If I had all the money I’d spent on drink, I’d spend it on drink. – Sir Henry from Sir Henry at Rawlinson End
I figured a brief explanation is in order due to the prolonged inactivity on this so-called journal. Since my last post, I have arrived in Malaysia on the ominous Friday the 13th at Midnight. I had hoped to immediately set-off on adventures around South East Asia without really considering the reality of my non-existent bank account.
Having spent all my savings on drink during my final two months in London, I haven’t even enough to make it to the adjacent town. However, this has been an opportunity to remain idle and rest. Being mostly inactive, there has been little to write about. I spend most of my days idling, reading, walking, haphazardly planting and gardening, and entertaining our three cats. I was hoping to stay off the internet and computer more than I currently am but I am sure this won’t last for long as I have very little reason to go online these days.
The urge to write this post was also partially to justify my in-activeness as not just laziness or defeatist but largely due to not knowing how to move forward. In the last few days I have come to see this situation as potentially an opportunity to just do nothing. My teacher had emphasised constantly “When you don’t know what to do, best to Do Nothing”. If I remember correctly he was echoing WuWei 無爲, a tenet that is primarily advocated in the Daodejing 道德經, Zhuangzi 莊子 and the Yijing 易經.
I have made a start on the titles listed below. I believe they are good books to have during this forced but much welcomed idleness. Books that requires the reader to reflect for a good duration of time and with little distraction. I’d be very happy to correspond with anyone who knows better or want to discuss these titles. My contact details here.
- I Am That – Nissargadatta Maharaj
- Will To Power – Friederich Nietzsche
- Critical Sermons of the Zen Tradition – Hisamatsu Shin’ichi
I believe Nietzsche had expressed a dimension of WuWei (Do Nothing) very well. I have quoted the aphorism below. I had mostly misunderstood Nietzsche (assuming he was a nihilist) until a friend linked me to an illuminating article.
On the hygiene of the “weak.”- Everything done in weakness fails. Moral: do nothing. Only there is the hitch that precisely the strength to suspend activity, not to react, is sickest of all under the influence of weakness: one never reacts more quickly and blindly than when one should not react at all.-A strong nature manifests itself by waiting and postponing any reaction: it is as much characterised by a certain adiaphoria as weakness is by an involuntary counter-movement and the suddenness and inevitability of “action.”- The will is weak and the prescription to avoid stupidities would be to have a strong will and to do nothing.- Contradictio.- A kind of self-destruction; the instinct of preservation is compromised.- The weak harm themselves.- That is the type of decadence.- In fact, we find a tremendous amount of reflection about practices that would lead to impassibility. The instinct is on the right track insofar as doing nothing is more expedient than doing something.- All the practices of the orders, the solitary philosophers, the fakirs are inspired by the right value standard that a certain kind of man cannot benefit himself more than by preventing himself as much as possible from acting.- Means of relief: absolute obedience, machinelike activity, avoidance of people and things that would demand instant decisions and actions. – Will To Power.