20 November 2016

Natural vs Cancerous Growth - Self Transformation - DaoDeJing 37

Cancerous growth vs normal healthy growth. Most people misunderstand Lao Zi's "No Action" as not doing anything. He actually means "No Violating Action". Let all things grow up naturally and don't force them to become otherwise. DaoDeJing 37
DaoDeJing 37 Text and Translation:

1 道常无为而无不为,
Dao never violates itself so that it get all things done.
(When we try to be someone we are not, we become unproductive - we stress ourselves up and accomplish little because we are not acting from our natural abilities)

2 侯王若能守之,万物将自化;
If only the kings can keep this principle, then all things will be able to self-transform, self-manage, and self-develop.

3 化而欲作,吾将镇之以无名之朴。
After development and if they desire to deviate from their paths, I will manage and help them so that they return to their original simple states.

4 夫亦将无欲,无欲以静,天下将自定。
The desired state is without any desires [to depart from the original].
No desire to change will lead to rest and the world will automatically become stable.
(Lao Zi is not teaching us not to change but rather the wrongful desire to be something different from what we are. Growing and developing are changes. These are natural. Lao Zi cannot be against such natural changes. He is against unnatural, forced, and abnormal change. Cancer is abnormal growth of cells).

What is cancer?
Cancer is the tumor formed by the abnormal growing of cells. There are two problems. Firstly, the cancerous cells lose their original functions. Secondly, they just continue to grow and divide themselves without stopping. It is abnormal growth. This is what Lao Zi is telling us. Don't interfere but rather work for, the natural growth process. Create or facilitate the natural growth of all things. Otherwise, we get cancers! Our intention may be good, but our wrong methods, produce the very result that we don't want.

Our Key Problem - We want instant solution and result
Lao Zi knows that we suffer from this problem of "Instant Answers". We don't want to wait for the natural growth to take place. We want to force the issue. We don't want to accept what we are. We want to become someone else. 

Manage the Deviations
Because we like to set objectives and to be something we are not, Lao Zi tells us to monitor our growth and check for the deviations. Of course, we don't jump at any deviation. We change only if there is a significant deviation from the normal. E W Deming teaches us Statistical Quality Control. We set control limits and take action only the deviations are 2 or 3 sigmas from the norm depending on the confidence level that you want. Generally,  we must take regular breaks from our routines and reflect on our life to see what we should change. Discovering ourselves, our character, abilities and talents, likes and dislikes take time. It also involves making mistakes. Don't let fear of failures stop us from trying. Try first that we may discover and understand ourselves more. 

Following Your Abilities will Lead to Stress-Free living - Matching needs and abilities
How can we discover our abilities ( I don't use the word 'strengths' that is commonly used.)? Two things can tell us. One is do we like what we are doing? The one is, do others say we are good at it? If the answers to the two questions are yes, then that is our ability. Doing with our abilities bring two results, we enjoy it and we are good at it. Doing it energizes us rather than stress us. It was so easy for us. When we know our abilities, then we must choose the career or business or any situation, that our abilities are needed. When our abilities are needed, our abilities become strengths. If we choose a career when our abilities are not needed, then we have no strengths though we still have the abilities. There is this matching of abilities and the needs.  When the match is right, we feel fulfilled in what we are doing and we don't want to change. If that happens to everyone, then everyone will be happily and productively working and the world will be at rest, in a stable state of peace and abundance.

Lim Liat (c) 20 Nov 2016
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