Against autocracy: 自化

The Daoist philosophical perspective is a clear rejection of authoritarian ways of organizing things, of authoritarian systems–not just politically. Authoritarian patterns focus on the accumulation of individual power. They are not community centered and not about empowering larger sustainable systems.

This also holds true for dealing with and conditioning the body. From a Daoist perspective it is therefore important that movements are not overly willfully initiated and controlled, but that they evolve naturally within the communication and exchange between the different forces we are a tiny part of (heaven, earth, humankind 天地人). Nonetheless, the will is a natural part of our existence. Depending on the respective circumstances of our lives, a bit more or a bit less will-power is required in a specific situation. But as I said, the will is only one part. It needs to be in balance with other drivers in our existence. Sometimes we are faced with clear-cut situations. Sometimes it is a walk on a tightrope. Daoist philosophy opposes authoritarian interactions. Too much using one’s will, is manipulative and destructive. Avoiding the multitude and complexity of the repercussions authoritarian patterns and systems create is high up on the agenda of Daoist philosophy. Yes, there is not only construction. There is also destruction in nature. There’s not only life. There’s also death. But when you look at the Daodejing, its central focus for all kinds of interactions lies with principles giving and supporting life within larger sustainable self-organizing systems (生、育、畜、長、母、牝、雌).