We suffer because we become attached to the past. We live on our memories that then shape our future. The concept of past and future is only important to the intellect because it gives the individual a sense of control over what is going on in his or her life. Modern civilization accepts the habit of trying to force one’s perspective upon others.
On the other hand Lao Tzu’s teachings illustrate the futility of our attempts to control life. He sustains that it’s only when you are willing to give up control of anything that you begin to gain the control you wanted but never knew existed.
When we are more attentive to our inner and outer worlds we experience the Dao, the way. The Dao can be experienced when we surrender our control over to the effortless realm of spontaneity and trust. Wu-wei means non- action, non-doing or effortless action. This means not forcing or allowing a state of intelligent spontaneity. This effortless realm is usually referred to as the way of nature and it allows us to sink deeply into the awareness that we are nature and not separate from any part of it.
Dao is that which is bigger than our personal lives and wu-wei is the fragrance of Dao. It allows us to stop clinging to the past and become fully grounded in the present. When you don’t force yourself upon life you discover that you are life. We are raised to believe that we live in a hostile universe so we ought to fear everyone and never trust anyone. This ideology is destroying humanity.
We confuse out identity with our social identity and no longer show up authentically. We cause violence towards others, condemn anyone who opposes our opinion, and hypnotically hurt those we love.
Government, organized religion, society and culture mark the advent of the physical trust that is lacking among individuals. When the individual loses his or her natural sense of trust then some form of external tyranny, disguised as parental concern, will take its place. Individuals fail to trust themselves and ignorantly trust their government unquestioningly as a parent, rather than seeing it as it was intended to be– a servant to the individual.
An individual who can follow the effortless grace of wu-wei within his or her mind has understood it all.