Anarcho Te Ching
i. Reading this probably won’t change your life. As Lao Tzu says, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao.” As Tenacious D says, “This is not the greatest song in the world. This is just a tribute.” This is a description of an experience; this article is not the experience itself. Still, I am writing it. Everything I write comes from, and comes back to, understanding this and this understanding. I am practicing.
ii. The nature of existence is towards expansion and complexity. The nature of each living thing in existence is towards healthy equilibrium. Existence expands through the act of things growing towards equilibrium.
iii. What we experience tells us which direction we need to go in to reach our state of equilibrium. What we experience tells us what options we have to reach our state of equilibrium. What we experience tells us which states we are in.
iv. When we experience being out of equilibrium, having too much or too little of something, we need to move towards equilibrium.
v. What we need in order to reach equilibrium is to move towards the opposite state of the state we are currently in. A need is only ever a state of being. States of being can by physical, emotional, mental, and none of these realms is separable from the others.
vi. Rather than denying what exists in our experience, we can work with it to find more options to meet our needs. Rather than fixating on a particular option or desired strategy to meet our needs, we can focus on the needs and broaden our number of possible options to meet them.
vii. All we have is the ability to respond to our experience, and through responding, alter it. Ability is expanded through awareness of more options, and power to take more options.
viii. Awareness is a product of internal conditioning and genetics. Power is a product of external conditioning and genetics. Everything is a product of conditioning and genetics.
ix. Everything comes from everything. The nature of existence is interdependence. Everything has a relationship to everything. Everything uses its relationships to get its needs met.
x. Sometimes, us getting our needs met leads to others not getting their needs met. The more possible options we have to meet our needs, the less we need to deny others their needs or harm others in order to have our needs met.
xi. Ability to meet needs is expanded through greater power and greater awareness. When we have too much awareness but not enough power, we need more power. When we have too much power but not enough awareness, we need more awareness.
xii. This moves relationships towards a state of healthy equilibrium. This allows greater expansion of options to meet needs through allowing greater complexity in available options.
xiii. Politics is social relationships. Social relationships create systems, such as power structures.
xiv. A system is a pattern of behavior, of conditioning awareness and power, that can itself go on to condition behavior (awareness and power). Power hierarchies are systems that limit options for abilities to get needs met.
xv. Those at the top of a hierarchical power structure have more power to get their needs met, and often less awareness of a multiplicity of options or the needs of others. Those at the bottom of a hierarchical power structure have less power to get their needs met, and often more awareness of a multiplicity of options and the needs of others.
xvi. To reach a healthy equilibrium in which everything has the utmost possible options to get its needs met, hierarchical power structures must be allowed to dissolve through the power-lacking increasing power, and the awareness-lacking increasing awareness.
xvii. Having more available options for all beings to gets their needs met moves existence in the direction of a healthy equilibrium. Having more options for all beings to get their needs met without harming one another moves existence in the direction of expansion and complexity.
xviii. Nothing is separable. Everything is distinct from everything else, but still not separate.
xix. There is no map. There is only a compass, and that compass is your experience itself.
xx. Navigating by your compass takes practice. There is only ever practice, and movement towards.