Excerpt from “The Myth of Doing”
I define action as the body’s existence in space, in any moment, in the configuration it is in, in relationship to its environment. Action is simply a person’s natural state of being; it is not something other or additional to that status, as our mind imagines. So even if we feel like we are doing nothing, in reality we are always doing something: “I am sitting on the bench”; “I am eating an apple”; “I am putting groceries into the refrigerator”; “I am watching a movie.” We can sense ourself through our weight and touch against the surfaces with which we are interacting (my back against the chair, my feet on the floor, my fingers on the keyboard, my hand on the phone) to get a real-life check that we are where we are, doing what we are doing. We are always, by nature, in some place, and therefore, intrinsically in an activity. It is physically impossible to be alive without being in an action.
It is important to note that our state of action does not have a beginning or an end. The string of our activity is fluid, as we exist in continual time (or how we think of time). There is no break between our actions, as they are just the ongoing isness of our body in space (as although we may disappear into our thoughts, we never physically disappear). Subsequently, there is no room for us to do anything other than what our body is attending to in any given moment. As we need our body to act with (and we only have one), if it is presently occupied with some activity (“I am drinking a glass of water”), then it is unavailable for some other action in that particular moment. We must always be doing what we are doing, and we can never concurrently be doing something else. This reality is so basic, yet easily overlooked.