When your imagination and your thought are in conflict, your imagination will inevitably win.
The way of the sage is simple, and every culture across the world has had it’s own understanding of this. The sage does no great thing, and yet nothing is left undone. This is wonder in action.
What makes a shaman a shaman is not that they live in an otherworld that their tribe does not. The shaman lives in an inner world that many of their tribe will not. They take a moment and wonder. They don’t pretend that they can understand the whole world from a rock. They take a moment to communicate with the rock, and let the rock communicate with them. They don’t set out to create complex cosmologies so they can say pithy things like God is dead. But in their willingness to consider anything in their world from moment to moment, they do begin to see bigger patterns, relationships, which never put them out of touch with the rock. But these patterns do change how they see the rock, what they think the rock is or know it to be.
Taoism uses the same method, but instead internally focused. Rather than concern themselves with those things present in their environment, though they don’t spurn them either, the Taoist sage instead considers what there is not. The Taoist considers the space in the world. The reason why a tree is not a stream, and they see a vast landscape of no thing. Not nothing, not any nihilistic attitude, but they see how things share in their innate nature, and how this unified nature affects all things. This doesn’t take them out into the aether though, because they return to themselves and realize that any action is just action. The right action is the one that respects the moment. The moment only being received in wonder. They don’t objectify anything, because when you say the Tao is a rock, it becomes a house. When you say the Tao is a house, it becomes ruins. When you say the Tao is ruins, it becomes sand and a place for vines to climb.
We loose wonder when we see the world as fixed in place? Yes. Losing wonder, we lose perspective. We lose touch with reality. Losing wonder, we build nuclear reactors on fault lines, and ignore warnings of natural disaster as well as our options for dealing with it. When man still respected the storm, a shaman would have been watching. Losing wonder, we lose self respect in favour of an idea of safety that is a lie.
Yes. Now we build cities below sea level. New Orleans did sink. Atlantis, or some community like it, likely did sink.
Without wonder we don’t move on. We stay in the same job, same city, etc. That is true. We instead obsess. We think that we weren’t really wrong, and we can do it right this time because we are so very clever. Repeating bad business is still bad for business.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.