Sunday, 27 April 2014

logos, pathos, ethos

Through a revue of several studies on the subject, Brain Pickings' weekly digest presents an engrossing and thorough introduction to the Eastern concept of wu wei (ๆ— ไธบ and literally English for non-doing).
In a social framework where performance, exception- alism, and perfection are the measures of success, this notion of adaptive effort- lessness—not detachment or doing by rote but rather acquired reflexes and instincts—is something akin to the idea of flow, only recently given a name in the modern West. Perhaps this reluctance, generally accorded to savants and the like, is due to the learned incompatibility, as one author suggests, among intuitive thoughts and cognition—sort of like the proscriptions on mingling faith and science. Governance may well be achieved by the evolution of regulation and institution for subjects to obey but a real sense of community, epitomized by the construction wu wei wu (effortless doing), is cultivated with a set of values, respect, rights and freedoms that are felt independently of the rules that chase after them.