Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I was so glad to realize the 24/7 meme had died, or at least been incapacitated, good riddance to all its overdrive, compulsion and mania. But I very much enjoy the idea of this Nothingism Club, especially when I hear the motto "Nadismo." It's an affirmation of laziness laced with more than a hint of Tropicalia and a dash of hobo autonomy. It's not nihilistic inaction driven by anomie but a defense of seemingly baseless spontaneous fulfillment. I hope the Nothingists save the world from human excess, but ambition and insecurity are strong opponents.

I suppose it's a bit naive to think one can save the world with some measure of Nothingism, but there's some truth in it. This is the anarchical Taoist Zhuangzi's assertion: "You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless. Undo the mind, slough off spirit, be blank and soulless, and the ten thousand things one by one will return to the root—return to the root and not know why. Dark and undifferentiated chaos—to the end of life none will depart from it. But if you try to know it, you have already departed from it. Do not ask what its name is, do not try to observe its form. Things will live naturally of themselves."

~Chapter 11, the Zhuangzi (莊子 "[Book of] Master Zhuang"), 3rd century BCE, (11, tr. Burton Watson 1968:122-3)

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