Tao Te Ching, the notion of not disrupting the flux of things reappears in many different manifestations such as water and the feminine. Feminine principles are really important in Taoism. One of the basic ideas of Taoism involves going with the flow of one’s nature and not interfering with the natural course of things; to be like water.
One who is at one with the Tao does not need to go against nature, including her own nature. This is because she is in tune with what is going on around her and follows her course automatically, going along where needed, like water. Other related notions include the idea of the uncarved block, the state of the infant (which includes being unbiased and remaining in its purest natural state and is very similar to the state of the uncarved block), and the qualities of water.
Throughout the Te-Tao Ching, there have been references of how being at one with the Tao involves going along with the nature of things without interfering with or influencing their essence.
The strongest and most malleable thing is that which lets itself be guided and does not seek to straighten itself out. This exhibits the feminine characteristics that water exhibits. In the Tao, being pliable and soft is a superior state than being firm and rigid. When people are under stress, it is better to go along with whatever pressures are inflicted upon them and to bend in the direction the force is applied rather than remaining straight and resisting any force whatsoever. When resisting, people will be more likely to break than when merely bending.
In the Tao, there are some passages that suggest water is the strongest thing. This is because it is soft and yielding, and because of its ability to take on any shape and fill in the gaps. Water has certain traits, such as softness, pliability, non-action, passivity, and fluidity, which make it the ideal element to identify with the Tao. Water flows with the current, does not fight natural stimuli, and remains still when conditions are still and becomes active when the conditions are active. It reacts to external influences in a responsive manner, yet does not stir up activity on its own.
Water is essential to mention when discussing the Tao. It goes with the flow and not against it. In a lake, the water is still until it encounters some disturbance. The water does not move on its own, but reacts to its environment. Water does not overreact nor underreact; it merely responds adequately to its surroundings. By doing this it does not waste energy and it is able to behave appropriately in certain situations. In times of hardship and troubles, we must strive to be like the water.
The analogy between the water and someone at one with the Tao is obvious. We are more efficient when we saves our energy and do not waste it unnecessarily trying to counteract the effects brought upon by nature.
Are you like water? Yielding and relaxed? Or do you struggle to go against the current? In the next few days, strive to be like water and note any changes in how you feel.
Ikam is a freelance writer from South Florida. She received her Masters in Religious Studies in 2001, specializing in myth and ritual. She has worked with victims of crime and trauma and also has a Masters in Criminal Justice, which she got in 2008. Ikam is interested in spirituality, healing, health, and the paranormal. She loves writing about a wide variety of topics, including travel, entertainment, culture, and health. Ikam wants to be a part of the Cycle Harmony community in hopes she will help and inspire others to achieve their goals, as well as share ideas on women, spirituality, and healthy living.