Taoism and narcissism: Living in harmony with nature and not forcing

In this video, I introduce Taoism and it’s the first of a series to explore Taoism and narcissism. In this video, I go mainly into the principle of not forcing (Wu Wei) and living in harmony with nature.

This video is an addition and update to my earlier in-depth article about Taoism and narcissism. I hope this video can be helpful to you in some way. To get updates on new videos you can subscribe to my Youtube channel here.

I wish you strength and kindness.

Video Transcript

What can the wisdom of the Tao teach us when dealing with narcissistic behaviour? In possibly a few videos, I will explore Taoism and its principles and how it might apply or relate to dealing with narcissistic behaviour. In this video, I will introduce Taoism and mainly go into being natural, and not forcing. Know, that this is all based on my interpretation of the Tao and narcissistic behaviour. I hope this can be helpful to you!

My experience and process

Now, my experience has brought me on a path of learning a bit about Buddhism and Taoism. On this path, there is compassion, kindness, love but also wholeness and polarity. I’ve been in a process of sharing videos and articles on my website, mainly when I was in a learning phase of getting information and knowledge about narcissism and also focusing mostly on analyzing and recognizing such behaviour. Although this phase might be necessary and useful, we don’t want to stay in this phase forever, it is in our heads, and mainly involves analyzing and thinking about the behaviour of others. Now, it is thus time to shift our attention to ourselves, to our self-worth, our own thoughts, questions, states and energy. Therefore, I love to share some ideas of these eastern philosophies with you as I think they are full of wisdom, kindness and compassion.

Experiencing narcissistic behaviour

Taoism is about spontaneity and living in harmony with nature which in my experience represents everything narcissistic behaviour is not, as such behaviour is very unnatural by using a lot of force and manipulation. It is driven by ego and results in disturbed and chaotic energy. Sadly, a lot of people experience or have experienced narcissistic and manipulative behaviour. Words won’t align with actions and such a person can have a whole different perception of the world. We can feel the energy isn’t healthy for us, and we might even feel judgmental about feeling this about another person. This experience can be very painful and there can be much doubt, fear and discomfort in dealing with such energy. I want to focus, however, on how these experiences can direct you to develop yourself, work on self-worth and finding your true self. Although it could sound harsh or strange, this learning process might be the only possible gift from experiencing narcissistic abuse. I believe in the strength of kindness, compassion, and harmony. And I believe in your strength to find this within, as it is already there. You are love.

Short introduction to Taoism

Now, I will first shortly discuss Taoism to give a glimpse of this philosophy and its principles. What is the Tao? In the first verse of the book of the Tao, we learn that the eternal Tao can’t be named, defined or told. Tao is ‘the way’ or the cause of things. The Tao flows everywhere. It’s the way nature behaves. It could possibly be explained by the basic idea of the universe as an organism. There is no controlling center in the universe and everything is interdependent.
The Tao seems to try explaining what can’t be explained with words and this results in a practice in paradoxical thinking when reading the Tao. Interdependency is important in Taoism. To be and not to be arise mutually. Simply put: you will only find bees where there are flowers and you will only find flowers where there are bees. Flowers and bees might look like different things but they are inseparable. You could say they arise mutually and this supports the idea that the universe is a form of cooperation.

Taoism thus revolves around the spontaneity of the universe. It’s about living in harmony with nature. Important concepts are Wu Wei, which is action without intention, naturalness, spontaneity and the basic virtues in Taoism are compassion, simplicity, and modesty. Other principles underlying Taoism and Chinese philosophies are polarity and the idea of constant change.

Being natural and in harmony with nature

Now, I will first go into being natural. The Tao shows the way of life is being natural. The Western lifestyle could lead you to disentangle from nature. The Western way of life of going along with the pattern of school, work, buying a house, finding love, and achieving is one in which you assume a certain role in your life. This could encourage the ego mind to be stimulated by comparing, fulfilling expectations and you could lose touch with nature.
Essential questions might remain unanswered living your life unconsciously this way: who am I ultimately behind my identity, body or personality? What is my true self? Thinking about your essence and true self might lead to living a life that goes with nature rather than against nature.
Narcissistic behaviour seems opposite of the way of life of being natural. No one would describe such behaviour as cultivating any of the basic virtues of Taoism of compassion, simplicity or modesty. From this perspective, narcissistic behaviour is fully disentangled from nature.
So, what can we learn from the idea of being natural? We can try to feel and assess whether our relationships feel natural and whether you seem to go in the direction you want. This can be the relationship with yourself as well as with others. Does the relationship allow you to stay close to yourself or are you assuming a certain role in your relationship and life? Is there a healthy balance in this ‘adjusting’ to a certain role? These questions lead us to the next fundamental principle of Taoism, which is Wu Wei.

Wu Wei – Not to force

Wu Wei means not to force anything. It’s about acting in accordance with the pattern of things. To illustrate, in playing sports or playing a musical instrument a good teacher will try to teach you the skills by eventually ensuring you’re not using force. You first need to learn the movements but later on, you need to forget it again in order to achieve relaxation or flow.
Taoism is a philosophy that emphasizes nonresistance and the importance of gentleness. Wu Wei means taking no unnatural action but to allow spontaneity. It thus doesn’t mean doing nothing but rather means trusting the mind to work by itself. Spontaneity happens as your heartbeat and it doesn’t have to be controlled. You allow yourself to spontaneously live in the here and now.
To be clear, nonresistance doesn’t mean putting yourself in harm’s way or allowing yourself to be mistreated. That would not be very natural. Your intuition will tell you the situation is unhealthy when dealing with narcissistic behaviour and this is thus more a message to trust your truth and intuition. Let go of the desire to force anyone or anything. To not force might result in that you need to break free from an unnatural relationship and that you don’t feel responsible to change the behaviour of others.

The ways of water

Now, Taoism is thus about the ways of nature and to live in harmony with it. Because of that, it’s often compared with the ways of water. Water is a soft substance, yet it can penetrate the hardest substance of the world. You can’t grasp it or strike it and it will not be divided as it has no shape of its own. It shows the strength of simplicity and softness. Being like water results in a simple life in harmony, unity, and peace.
It’s interesting to see that the grey rock method shows similarities with certain aspects of Taoism. The grey rock method is about simplicity, plainness, and detachment. A person makes themselves emotionally detach from the narcissist and thereby feeding their independent mind, which is a mind that is independent of the opinions of others, whether positive or negative. The simplicity, modesty and ‘boringness’ is the opposite of what feeds the narcissistic energy. Narcissistic energy seeks appreciation, validation, and ego-boosting and thus is a state with a very dependent mind.
Learning about the Tao could possibly empower you when you need to act like a grey rock when still interacting with narcissistic energy. Although the grey rock method can be helpful in the short term, it is unhealthy in the long term as it is unnatural to participate in a game of manipulation where your attention will still be on how to behave and act around this narcissistic energy. You can learn more about this in my other video about the grey rock method.

To conclude

Now, the most important lesson from this introduction is encouraging you to live in harmony with nature. Are your relationships with yourself and others natural or do you use a lot of force? Do you feel responsible for the behavior of others or not? Are you in touch with your own nature of kindness and compassion?
In my next video I will go into polarity and Yin and Yang and how to possibly balance it. Thank you for listening and I wish you strength and kindness.
Did you like this article and is it helpful to you? I encourage you to share, like, follow, comment and possibly subscribe to my newsletter to receive monthly updates of my activities!
– You can visit my Youtube channel by clicking here. Subscribe to my channel if you want to get updates!