topic: daoism

Daoism’s Uncarved Block and the state of our world

The Dao De Jing, the ‘bible’ of Daoism, in various places refers to the Uncarved Block that loses something essential when it is carved. The Uncarved Block could be a baby free to become any version of themselves before their upbringing, their experiences and the culture they are raised in ‘carve’ them into the person that they grow up to be. (This interpretation resonates with a previous exploration of how a thought remains fluid until […]


T’ai Chi taught me many things but perhaps nothing quite as useful as the unlearning of the reflex to grasp. This reflex – to grab hold of something, most often with the dominant hand – becomes a liability in any kind of fight. One problem is that it focuses the mind on the grasping hand: thus focused, the mind loses the ability to see ‘the bigger picture’. Another is that an attempt to grab some […]

Chinese martial arts…

I was watching the ravishing “House of Flying Daggers” for the second time, and was again struck by how ravishing Chinese martial arts can be. I find them far more compelling as ‘dance’ than I have ever found ballet, for example – and it does seem to me that martial arts plays the same role in China (perhaps less so in Japan) as ballet does in Europe… I studied T’ai Chi (that is the yin, […]