Disclaimer, I know very little on these topics historically. I am more talking about how the little I know influences my thought. Rather than me stating objective facts. In fact I may be and prob am wrong on some of these and definitely over simplifying. The point is not the vector but where it took me.
Okay title might not be super relevant but couldn't quite think of what to call it. So in china there was this dynamic of the highly strict rule system of honor and a way to live. Alan watts talked about how taoism was a safety valve of sorts on confucianism. Allowing often the elderly and those who couldn't deal with the confucianism strict goal oriented philosophy and went taoist rather than uproot confucianism.
Now in my reading I often would get confused in concepts of wu wei and desiring very little. As often times it seems desires fuel practicing toaism in a way and to a much stronger extent in example bruce lees writing on taoism he is still quite goal orientated. Plus many taoists are also buddhists and buddhism is a philsophy with a rulebook on morality and are seen as non contradictory.
Then this buddhist taoist amalgamation being imported to japan ended up turning into zen. Zen was extremely popular with the samurai class who were politicians warriors ect who had deep systems of honor, goals ect. Which would seem odd for taoism and goals, and strict rigid philosophy being combined. Even the book the art of war written by a general or many general had a decent amount of taoist philosophy influencing their thought and strategy. Even in the zhanguzi a major taoist text there are primitivist bits that depending on translation advocate for violent attack against society and civlilization to live a different life.
Something I have been struggling with is my inner turmoil between by great desires to reach anarchist goals and create stuff and a world I like better and taoist detachment and peace. Which I then realized is yinyang. I have also seen the comparison to confucianism as strongly yang and taoism is strongly yin. And taoism is all about experiencing both and moving with more yin than yang and sometimes more yang ect. So I'm trying to think about how to create a mindset where I both have the taoist mindset of detachment and the more structured goal oriented mindset of anarchy.
(which btw guys, if yang is masculine and yin is feminine and I experience both that means I'm gender queer. Who could have predicted that)
in the book of 5 rings which I have read very little the author is a extremely strong samurai in fighting. It includes a ton of bushido and zen combined. So the taoist elements of going with the flow, detachment ect paired with strong elements of honor and code of conduct. In fact the taoism is so common in martial arts bc the mindset allows people to fight better do to less fear of death and other reasons. So this strict "confucianist" mindset was only possible because of the authors taoist beliefs.
And tbh while anarchism is different it does contain many elements that make this comapirson of yinyang relevant to me. While anarchy doesn't really have a strong moral prescription or rules about how to live it is more loosey goosey but tbh it has many similarities in its role to play in morals or honor. For instance there is a right way to live as an anarchist and paths one should and should not take. For instance being gay, being anti racist, and generally not only holding rules for what u shouldn't do such as mysogyny racism but an active prescription in what u should do. And in anarchist spaces social conformity on some level is required just like confucianism tells u how to live and social expectations anarchy has it on some level. Not the same but the elements effect me in a way that I find the comparison useful to my life.
And in terms of honor (taking pride in ones strict adherance to said personal rules for conduct) its something extremely common in anarchism. The pride of vegans who never eat animal products and even minor concessions to be an extremely slight against ones character. The comonplace thought on this website and those worrying that they aren't doing all they could be doing to fullfill their code. I mean lifestylism in general lol. I mean it definely tracks a lot for me bc if we are being dead honest I sat long and hard over the last couple days and killing myself. Not in the sense of despair but in the sense that I am faced at a crossroads where I can't think of anything I can do but pick one choice that I am vehemently against. A cool calculated hmm, is this the most desirable action kinda way. Genuinely considering death as better than to live a life so against what I strive for. I sided against it due to viewing it as just another way to do one of the things I dislike but with worse consequences.
So I guess I initially sneered at the concept of some sense of order or goals though taoism but tbh I don't think I'm ready to shed such key goals. Though on the other hand my method of being so goal drived doesn't quite work out that great due to the massive mental toll and lack of peace. So trying to find the right balance of adaptable and rigid. While water is adaptable and goes with the flow it does follow strict rules and long term progression such as the water cycle. yeah that doesn't track analogy wise but whatever.
I'm at the piont where I can be at peace for a bit but have some degree of individual responsibility I desire and don't want to give up that tbh brings me great strife and excitement. But yet without being at peace it is harder to focus and do stuff under pressure and maintain keeping up with stuff and normalcy not to mention massive stress and strain.
So I'm mostly writting this post to spark mindset changes and try to find the right duality between these too concepts. And another thing that I do wonder is if I am even understanding daoism the right way. While I disagree that there is a right way I do wonder if me viewing daoism as almost exclusively yin is correct as it is a concept of avoiding being rigidly nonrigid. Maybe taoism as a practice flows and ebs in states of wu weui and desire depending on time and place. And trying to mix the two contradictory concepts.
I have been thinking about his one thing alan watts said. initially taoist students have lots of desires and goals, then overtime they get better than have no desires and goals but then after excelling at taoism they start playing with goals and desires. Which was puzzling to me. Often there is an interesting dynamic in daoism about the beginner acting just like the master and the intermediate taoist acting differently but its all about how the master does the same thing in a different method which makes all the difference.
(okay when I'm writing these posts my usual process is to think out some ideas and then often in the middle I come up with something smart and I think I"m onto something)
What if the way is not to disregard said desires and attachments but to view them from a different taoist lens. For example while I believe and follow the dreams or whatever but the point isn't the result or how it is. The point is doing it how it is. Anarchy is something u follow to follow for no real reason bc the result is irreverent. Become unattached and ambivalent about anarchist success. Success and failure are irrelevant as the point is to have stuff to do. While it does seem silly to consider lets say idk living a normie life with 401k plans ect just as anarchist as blowing up the government and giving out estrogen and T in high school and church parking lots but I think its an idiosyncrasy of life that being unattached to outcome performs the social obligations of anarchy better than caring. Plus the extreme benefits to the individual as their emotional state is no longer dependent on results or conditions.
For instance there is a doist fable about some farmer dude who keeps having a good thing happen and a bad thing happen every time. While after a good thing his neighbor asks him why he isn't happy the farmer always says "we will see" then a bad thing happens and the neighbor asks the farmer why he isn't upset and the farmer just says "we will see" All about how the future often is out of hand and being at peace with in cases of good times provides emotional resiliency in bad times.
And this mindset fits much better with anarchism in my opinion. Bad and good times will happen when doing something as chaotic as anarchism and often you might have lots of responsibilities or need to do something reliably. And forever having your mind gnaw at you when doing normalcy actions such as caring or a kid or being a reliable source of food about how u want excitement will spoil the joy of normalcy. And when in times of excitement the fear of insecurity will gnaw away at you and never provide a solution u will be at peace with. Plus as I'm someone whos life is all about failure spoiling much of my time and being incredibly hard to manage and success breeding massive egotism and risk taking behavior for no reason. So while it seems silly to not care about results but not caring about results would almost certainly have made it way easy to do anarchy.
Anarchy will bring good and bad times inherently. People will go to prison, failures will happen, massive wins may happen, excitement will be had, danger will be had. And being in a state where you are like water and able to be more emotionally stable is a pretty good idea. Thinking a lot about how in the art of war the primarily philosophy is to be extremely well defended and the plan is to react to the enemy. And this plays a lot into this for me.
Anarchy works well for its chaotic, reactive, out of the box thinking, innovation, and massive mobility and ability to change. It would make sense to not only have a mindset tailered to managing said qualities and enhancing reacting ability and inherent benefits of anarchy. Largely I have had many problems due to the rigidness of my anarchist mindset. I had my house and made my plans but due to the pressures of needing to win, the future, trying to change and other such things it was largely unpleasant and didn't go nearly as well. Because I was rigid and couldn't react and was not fluid of mind. I failed bc I was thinking and acting like a government or a oak tree rather than thinking like a chaos demon or reed.
Having a stable mindset works wonders for dealing with people. letting ones success or failure influence ur mindset and feelings and changing how u react to people for instance being less tolerant of someone being annoying bc u had a shitty day or not talking to friends due to sadness or whatever. Would also be nice.Tho tbh, its largely irrelevant on if this actually works well. Its all about a mindset that ebs and flows well with each other. yinyang ebbing and flowing and not conquering but coexisting.