On Being Human

Carl G. Jung, the great transcendent psychologist, dedicated an entire chapter in his book, Alchemical Studies, to the analysis of the Chinese text, The Golden Flower, and specifically to the Taoist notion of action through non-action or, as Jung expressed it: “The art of letting things happen.”1 He says, “We must be able to let things happen in the psyche. For us, this is an art of which most people know nothing. Consciousness is forever interfering, helping, correcting, and negating, never leaving the psychic processes to grow in peace.”2

This made me wonder what would happen if one day I decided not to do anything. I imagine myself waking up, having some breakfast, and then I would just sit comfortably and do nothing. Better still, I would not even think. What would happen if I became a ‘nothing’? After all, what I am physically is a conglomeration of basic elements. In fact, the molecules that make up my body are the same molecules found within the inert objects that surround me in this very moment; there is no difference. The only thing that distinguishes me from one collection of elements and another is my ability to be aware of my surroundings and myself.

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