The Wayless Way

Learn to listen to self, before looking outside of you

Floris Koot
Nov 18, 2017 · 6 min read

Lao Tzu said, “If humanity is the nature of human beings, there is no need to write a cart of books to preach about it. If humanity is not human nature, how many carts of books you have, it will not be enough to squeeze that information into the human mind.”

The bigger whole is within us.

Hungry for the next new thing? Waiting for that (promising) leader? Eager to follow that spiritual teacher? Craving for that book that has it all?

This is about becoming a true adult and about the power of intuition. It started with me wondering. What about all these books and teachers that claim to ‘have the answers’ and promise me success in whatever topic. I had an itch about them. Why? What is their real value? And what are the traps within them? Or us, when listening to them?

Getting Off Road

Why do we keep on seeking answers in long lists of mechanisms and principles that make things work? If I stack up all my books on life, leadership, relationships, spirituality, self development and business on top of each other and try to live every damn good advice in them, I ‘d go mad. Just the list of all healthy things to start with each day could fill a work day.

We seek to comprehend and control any situation and never feel safe enough to just live and trust our inner wisdom. We always long for an authority and proof that such and such steps will bring success. Almost as if we still want to get confirmation from our parents, what to do next. And rather than become real adults we ask a book, a guru, a business trainer. F#*k it.

This morning I left the house of thinking in plans, principles and stepping stones. This morning I entered a new world, laying around me like the first fresh snow. The world around me is suddenly so much softer, easier to comprehend and move about. It is a friendlier place, with way less traps I need to avoid. The neighbours smile more friendly and wave, because I really see them. This morning I entered the Wayless Way.

The Bell Within

“ Without reading every book, studying every research, you can know the ways of the world.” ~Lao Tzu

How can I give advice to walk this trail? Any advice I’d give would risk me becoming just one more book with a lot of golden tips and certain tricks full of promises to get what you want. It’s true. We all have been changed and influenced by inspiring books, great speakers and inspiring teachers. But have you ever heard somebody say, ‘I followed writer x five golden rules too, and now I am successful.’ Ha. The only ones you heard that from are the speakers who made their money telling these stories, or had great luck and perseverance and then rationalized the steps they took afterward as the sure fire way for success to happen. Mostly, the salesmen of methods get rich, not the home users.

Then how do those inspirational books and teachers really work? They echo something deep within you. Rather than rationally following a list on paper, these are the moments you take something to heart, because it rings a bell within. And yes, these inspirations can be powerful guides to find the bell. But know, the bell is within, and you might be able to ring it yourself. Because the inspiration that rings it, can be found in nature, gestures, pain, art and silly play too. The whole world can be our teacher, when we start to listen.

Seeking the Wayless Way

“ Without studying every great method, you can know the ways of the world.” ~Lao Tzu

So the Wayless Way. It spreads out in front of me and I like what I see. I know every answer I seek is already within me. I know that the wisdom of the body is wildly underestimated and its capability for intuitive insights beyond even our understanding of it. Everything around us is part of a big web of life. Everything we see, hear, smell, touch or taste is information. Every action we make ripples the web. Even our intentions, convictions and judgements ripple the web. Our body, our dreams, our deeper sensitivity notes all of these ripples.

Most of us are unaware we listen to those ripples and often act to them. ‘It felt good to come here.’ ‘I never trusted that guy anyway.’ ‘This approach doesn’t feel good to me.’ ‘I dreamed the answer last night.’ These are common things to say. These are the signs we do get info on a deeper level than we are aware and, often as not, we trust that information. And people who lie, or have other interests, or rather believe a plan over reality often seek to rationalize away such feelings. What would happen if we’d all train more this listening within?

The Way Within and the Help Outside

“ Without surrendering to rationalizations and anxiety, you can know the ways of the world.”~Lao Tzu

We can choose to walk this path more consciously; trusting that our deeper senses will see, what our conscious mind cannot. Listening to this deeper signs is what I’d call the Wayless Way. And just before you go, “oh wow, this might be so easy and requires less study,” I go mmm. I fear the Wayless Way is a stupid, irreverent, crooked, uncertain path; one with as much pitfalls as any other path. Hahaha. We may mistake instinct and prejudice for intuition. We may mistake imaginations that arise from fear and anxiety with imagination that predicts and warns. Only traveling with our senses open for a long will help us to learn to distinct the two. It’ll take time with us making mistakes until we get it right.

Though one thing, that really works for me, is: when your inner bell says “do(n’t do) this” and your head thinks “wtf?” then follow the bell. Because that’s how I know, it’s not me imagining things, but me getting information in beyond my conscious mental capacity. I found more fears to trust it, than that the inner bell was wrong. It never has been thus far, only the mind goes crazy.

And yes now, all those books I previously almost burned, all those teachers I almost spurned, can now help us learn to read signs more consciously. But this time, we will not read all these books, listen to all these teachers as life lines to success and control. They have stopped being the answer outside of us. We can now listen to them with a little bit more distance. They now help sharpen our wits and sensitivity and broaden our scope of possible reactions to any event. They have stopped being replacement parents we cling to. They can ring the bell within, but now we realize these inspirations are ‘the fingers pointing to the moon’. They have stopped being the moon itself. It’s all up to us ourselves now…

And in the end, each time we get lost, we may learn to return to the Wayless Way a bit easier. There’s a bell within us, that chimes the way.

“ Without going out of your door, You can know the ways of the world.Without peeping through your window, You can see the Way of Heaven. The farther you go, The less you know. You can know the ways of the world. Without peeping through your window, You can see the Way of Heaven. The farther you go, The less you know. Thus, the Sage knows without traveling, Sees without looking, And achieves without Ado.”~Lao Tzu

Link to Part II, “The Wayless Way II: Developing your Soul in/for this world.”

Another post by me based upon Taoism: Ancient Advice for Modern Politicians.

Christopher Chase showing modern importance of Taoism through the eyes of Alan Watts.

Note: This post is a re-edit of earlier publication as ‘New Visions’ in 2013

Floris Koot

Written by

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.

The Gentle Revolution

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade