ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (SPONTANEOUS NOTES FOR MYSELF): Zìrán 自然 spontaneous, spontaneity, “so of its own”

the knife and spontaneity
“As an adjective, the term zìrán 自然 means “spontaneous,” “natural,” “so of its own,” “so of itself.” As a noun, it denotes spontaneity, naturalness, the things as they are. It is a synonym of zìzài 自在 (self-existent) and zìyŏu 自有 (self-produced), and is very close in meaning to zìdé 自得 (self-attaining) and zìwéi 自為 (working by itself, doing spontaneously).”—Isabelle Robinet

“On the cosmological level, zìrán 自然 defines the way the world goes on by itself without anyone “doing” it, and expresses the faith in a world well-ordered and self-regulated in a natural way. Epistemologically, it means that we do not know what is producing life or how life is achieved. Zìrán 自然 is then the ultimate word, not in the sense of an explication but as an expression of human ignorance and respect of the secret of life.”—Isabelle Robinet

“To respect zìrán 自然 one should not interfere (wúwéi 無為), and gently let life act and speak through oneself rather than acting and speaking individually…. To act spontaneously is to have no intention of one’s own, to let the natural force that is within everything work freely. This is not the same as giving free rein to one’s own fantasy (as the term has been misunderstood by some Xuanxue thinkers), because this fantasy is an only superficial desire to satisfy one’s immediate wishes, and not the profound naturalness without desires that is zìrán 自然.”—Isabelle Robinet

Yes, I feel satisfaction reading out the academical sources too, and yes, I feel a huge problem following them in everyday life. From another point of view it is always good to think on good things and quality sources another couple of hours while the day is running to its end. Let’s call it meditation, and let’s call it one of the way to reproach academical coolness for those who don’t bear a formal title in the taoist hierarchy or a membership in the scientific society.

No, I don’t want to achieve in this world anything my left leg is fancy, and no, I really don’t feel any respect to the idea to interfere in whatever else I see around myself. No matter what president of any country—small like Israel or big like Russia—wants for his subjects, a tribal life is the tribal life. The wisdom is the wisdom, and the wisdom is for masters only: those who feel sacral silence accepting in the heart ‘the profound naturalness without desires’ like the highest law. The highest law, period.

When I was younger, I mean much younger, I have been bearing some dreams having a sword, and a set of brushes to study Chinese calligraphy. I don’t say I am much smarter now, but I do like when my knife (not the sword) goes spontaneously and sticks in the target 9 or 10 times of ten, and my simple ink pen allows me to practice Chinese and Japanese calligraphy whenever I feel appropriate time to write another thousand of hieroglyphs—spontaneously—like it was yesterday and today, and it will be tomorrow.


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