The Propensity of Things

Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.
L’avenir, tu n’as point à le prévoir mais à le permettre.


A propensity to do something is a natural tendency to behave in a particular way, to move in a particular direction.

This is a Chinese tool I found in a François Jullien’s book. You won’t read any, so I offer it to you.

First, let’s talk about Goals and Efficiency.

A Goal is an altered state of reality, probably a better one, you wanna reach. Well you hope to achieve this !

Then you PUSH towards the goal – the American Way probably – because you wanna reach it, silly. It’s a task ! Being able to do that is called Efficiency.

This is the typical way to live in Occident. If you make war, if you flirt with your date, if you write a poem, this is what you do : you PUSH towards your goal, right ? Efficiency is : win the battle, kiss the girl, impress the reader.

In China, instead of pushing like bulls, they do something else. They use the propensity of things.

Which is totally different.

You watch your goal, then you forget it, you don’t care, you don’t PUSH.

You watch what you have now, here. HERE. Then you watch the propensity of things, the natural tendencies they have to move. If it’s in the good direction, then, in the appropriate moment, you just turn little things, open little doors. The energy of propensity works alone. It’s an inner energy. Just watch it moving ! Towards… yeah…

Tool : This tool makes you think. Makes you think about how heavy and loud we are. We “want”. So there : China’s Art of War is really different than Napoleo’s. You can just spend some time with your crush and dance with what you see, instead of acting like a fake alpha-male puppet. You can try subtilities and complexity in your poetry, instead of playing the smartassy poet with idiot metaphors.



9 thoughts on “The Propensity of Things

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