Peak 83: I am playing with latent possibility 

I LOVE playing OTBS (On the Bright Side). For example:

  • I haven’t done my talk for tonight! OTBS: It’s nearly ready, because I actually did it before.
  • I haven’t got enough time today! OTBS: I have sometime. I can order things.
  • It’s past my bedtime! OTBS: I’m spending extremely special time with loved ones.
  • My family are now all messaging me to ask if I’m ok because I’m not responding to the 1000s of messages! OTBS: I’ve been offline because I’ve been busy with work. They care and I can be in touch lightly today.
  • I’m losing my morning to work commitments again! OTBS: This will encourage me to say ‘No’ to things in future.
  • I’m still in my pyjamas! OTBS: No one can see me. I could even stay like this all day.
  • I can’t get everything done before I go away next week! OTBS: I probably can get most of it done, super-efficiently, if I stack it by priority.

When I have OTBS as an instant ‘go to’ remedy when I have glum thoughts, I can almost always get a shift upwards. It’s a real help.

So, what new today?

-19- Stop being learned and your troubles will end. Give up wisdom, discard cleverness, and the people will benefit a hundredfold. Give up benevolence, discard moral judgements, and the people will rediscover natural compassion. Give up shrewdness, discard gain, and thieves and robbers will disappear. These three false adornments are not enough to live by. They must give way to something more solid. Look for what is simple and hold onto the Uncarved Block. Diminish thoughts of self and restrain desires. (Tao Te Ching Chap 19)

Say whaat?! Give up learnedness, wisdom, benevolence and shrewdness?!

Diminish thoughts of self? “Me-me-me-me?!” Yup…. I could do with that.

Restrain desires? Yes… I’m getting some shift there…

What about looking for what is simple? I’ve been working on this…

Tell me about holding onto ‘the Uncarved Block.’

The Uncarved Block is a key aspect of Taoism. Imagine the stereotypical art critic or culture lover admiring a spectacular statue. Consider how they view this singular piece as elevated above others. Consider how their enjoyment is based on the sense of exclusivity and finesse they are bearing witness to. Now imagine the philosopher standing over a block of stone. The philosopher is almost moved to tears by the spectrum of possibilities and wonders that the uncarved block evokes. What is the difference in tone of those two vignettes?

They are both about wonder. It’s just that the latter is about latent possibility. The former is about perfection of execution. There’s no further possibility available to it. In fact the statue is marvellous in its uniqueness, its fragility, its ephemeral nature, and the shadow of memories which it casts.

‘Latent possibility.’ Beautiful. This.

Today, you might incorporate such a notion into playing OTBS, with the inclusion of the word, ‘possibly‘ or ‘possible‘. 

[xyz!] On the bright side, possibly… [abc]

[xyz!] On the bright side, it’s possible that… [abc]

Ok. Wonderful. eg:

“I’ve got too much on! OTBS, possibly this strained feeling is teaching me how to get serious about limiting what I agree to.”

“I’m not dressed or exercised! OTBS, it’s possible to develop a condensed version of these activities in the next hour before I open the shop.”

Yes. I like playing with the sense of positive possibility.

I am playing with latent possibility 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *