The Neutral Zone
I do my utmost to attain emptiness; I hold firmly to stillness. (XVI) Do that which consists in taking no action; pursue that which is not meddlesome; savour that which has no flavor. (LXIII)
IN OTHER TIMES AND PLACES, THE PERSON IN TRANSITION left the village and went into an unfamiliar stretch of forest or desert. There the person would remain for a time, removed from the old connections, bereft of the old identities, and stripped of the old reality. This was a time “between dreams” in which fundamental chaos of the world’s beginnings welled up and obliterated all forms. It was a place without a name—an empty space in the world and the lifetime where a new sense of self could gestate.
One of the ...