The Great Path (Tao) is non-action (大道無為)
18 X 50cm in Clerical Script (隸書)
The Great Path (Tao, 道) refers to the "Ultimate Truth", "Ways of the world" or "Natural Order of the Universe" in classical Chinese (1
). In Tao Te Ching
(道德經) written by Laozi (老子), this Tao is so mysterious that words cannot describe it: if it is described, that description will fail to characterize the true nature of the unchanging Tao (道可道，非常道). Non-action (無為) refers to "without human intervention" or "without purpose" and is one of the central thoughts describing Nature developed by Laozi.
"The Great Path (Tao) is non-action". Note that non-action does not mean inaction or without any action. It means "action without action" or "effortless action without purpose". Therefore, the entire phrase can be interpreted as "the Great Path (ie. Natural Order of the Universe) acts without action".
Tao is not describable by words, according to Laozi, and any description of it will fail to characterize the true nature of it. Since the statement "Tao is not describable by words" is a written description of Tao, the statement also fails to characterize the true Tao. Our phrase "The Great Path (Tao) is non-action" also fails to characterize Tao, since it certainly is also a written description of Tao. What is Tao then? Laozi was trying to describe it in words as much as he can, but, since we cannot use words to describe it, I believe we need to clear our thoughts (see Silence in absolute stillness (寂然不動)
in Works of 2015 section in this website) then "feel" and understand this Tao without our possessive minds.
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