Thursday, July 3, 2008

When is competition valuable?

Competition is sometimes useful as a bonding or social inspiration. But as fire is useful, there is a careful balance to be maintained or the useful can become the destroyer.

Personally, I am more inclined to Wu wei as a guide to achievement, rather than competitiveness. An excellent explanation of Wu wei comes from Alan Watts:

...Wu-wei, meaning not to force, refers to what we understand of one's acting accordingly to the nature, of one's moving in order to avoid a stroke, of one's swimming downstream, sailing before the wind, rolling like the waves or one's bending in order to win. (From Alan Watts - "Tao: the Watercourse Way").

Also, this variation on a verse from the Tao Te Ching is a wonderful reminder of a natural way of coming to one’s destination/goal.

Lao Tzu - chapter 48

In the pursuit of achievement, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day pursuit is dropped.

Less and less is done.
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)

Words do not contain truth, but may reflect the truth that you hold within.
This is my truth. Only you can determine if there is any value in it for you.

Copyright 2008 CG Walters

C.G. Walters primarily writes fiction that focuses on the multidimensionality of our loves and our lives. His current novel, Sacred Vow is a metaphysical novel about a man who responds to the mysterious call of [his soulmate], opening the way to redefinition of both himself and his understanding of the world around him…Highly recommended. —Midwest Book Review.

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