Re: Not-doing LO1086

James W. Hunt (
Sat, 06 May 1995 09:42:51 -0500

Replying to LO1077 --

Tim you wrote replying to LO1052:

>Replying to this thread on DOING/NOT_DOING or BEING/DOING as it arose
>from attempts to understand a translation of a verse/line from stanza
>48 of TAO TE CHING...
>I seek to understand the DOing/Not-Doing distinction from the viewpoint of
>ACTION and Separate Functioning.In other words: What is the strategy and
>motivation of our "Doing", our activities and actions? If it is to avoid,
>defer, or obscure what is "called for" or most appropriate for the moment,
>then what does it serve? I have noticed in myself that I spend way too
>much time and effort in such activity,and upon considerable reflection, I
>have also noticed that this kind of Doingserves only to maintain a sense
>of identity, or BEing: I am because I am ceasely doing (including
>"internal doing" or ruminating, daydreaming, monologing, replaying old
>scenes, etc). I find this kind of aimless/avoidant doing
>constructs/maintains my sense of myself as a separate functioning agent.
>On those occasions when I have been able to cease that aimless/avoidant
>Doing, when all is still inside, I have been able to BE in a different
>way. I don't experience myself as separate from anyone or anything, yet I
>can act autonomously, feel automonous and unique and Absolutely
>interrelated to everthing/one else. Then my DOING IS BEING and my action
>is what is "CALLED FOR", it Appropriate ACTION. This, so far, is a rare
>occasion. But, that it has has occured at all, is to me a joyful miracle.
>So I wonder where these distinctionswill take this thread...
>TIM <>
>Tim J. Sullivan
>Ministry of Health

What you describe in yourself is exactly what happens to people in
organizations and why they resist. The key I believe is that for whatever
the choice one makes as to DOING, NOT DOING, etc. if you see it as a
choice you still understand you have control. If one sees it as avoidance
it feels more like a reaction than a proaction. Even doing nothing is a
choice. Many would say about their choices they had none. But the reality
is they did but do not like the consequences of other potential choices
therefore feeling without a choice.

In my practice I try to work with people to understand that for instance
it is OK to stay in a situation because of financial or other
considerations, but see it as a choice and not a trap so that we are
constantly angry about where we find ourselves. In my work with
organizations I am constantly frustrated on this issue by senior level
people who so want to feel like they control situations and destinies that
they are unwilling to involve people or to help people in their understand
that they do have the ultimate power and that is to choose or not to
choose to go along. We, all of us, are much more powerful than we give
ourselves credit for, it is just that we are unwilling many times to see
that if we feel trapped that we trapped ourselves.