The marks of human experience are value judgments
and planned action. The marks of the Dao are freedom from judgment and spontaneity.
The processes of the Dao may be most clearly seen in the action of the non-human world, Nature. Trees and flowers, birds and beasts do not
follow a code of ethics and act spontaneously from instinctual responses. The order of Nature is an image of the action of the Dao. To grasp the perspective
of the Dao, human beings need to discard judgment and act on their spontaneous impulses.
The Daodejing celebrates spontaneous action with two complementary terms, “self-so” and “non-striving”.
The inhabitants of the Natural world are “self-so,” they simply are as they are, without any intention to be so. Human beings live by purposive
action, planning and striving. To become Dao-like, we need to return to an animal-like responsiveness to simple instincts, and act without plans or effort.
This “wuwei” style of behavior is the most central imperative Daoist texts recommend for us.