The nature of the Tao is similar to the state of the infant, the notion of the uncarved block, and the notion of water. All these things have the feminine principle of passivity and going with the flow of things, not against the current.
The main idea which ties all of these images together is the basic tenet that in order to be in the same state as the Way, one needs to follow the natural flux of the universe and not reject nor try to defy it. In other words, we must embrace our feminine nature.
By this, I don’t mean wear girly clothes and paint your nails (although I love those things as well, as they make me feel feminine). I am talking about getting in touch with the feminine qualities that lie within us: seeking harmony, expressing love, creating a safe space for ourselves and those around us to cultivate and share ideas.
Generally, in life, things will go smoothly as long as we do not try to interrupt what is naturally bound to happen. By attempting to interrupt the flow of nature, one is wasting more energy than by reacting to events in an appropriate way.
For example, it is easier on the individual to bend under the weight of events and bounce back later rather than resist strongly and instantly break from the stress.
In Taoism, the idea of the uncarved block illustrates how the individual has all of their potential inherently within himself. You can become anything with the tools you have available to you.
Going against nature in the instance of the uncarved block would mean attempting to become something that is not within the potentiality of the block. You can only carve it into so many things, and it would be impossible to turn a small block of wood into an actual house. Although you can certainly make a tiny house, so work with what you’ve got, and don’t forget to be creative and dream big. You might be surprised with what you can create for yourself.
The state of the infant is a state where there are no biases and the individual merely sits still and learns from experiencing his surroundings. In this state, one does not attempt to defy the events around her. Instead, she takes the events as a learning experience and reacts appropriately to these events. Instead of thinking all odds are against you when facing a problem, see what the challenges are and what strengths you can gain from these obstacles. Instead of giving up in the face of adversity, try to figure out what your best plan of action is and work smarter, not harder.
The nature of water is to flow with the events which occur and not against them. Water also reacts appropriately according to the situation, in the correct amount; there is not too much reaction nor too little. Water’s flowing nature can also be used as a type of symbolism to describe the nature of the Tao.
Most of the characteristics of both water and the Tao are the same, such as being subtle, flowing, flexible, and soft.
If one follows the Way and does not interfere with natural circumstances or events which occur, she will gain a more prominent insight of the Tao and use its principles to live a more balanced life.
Challenge yourself to react in a calmer manner for the next few days. Do you notice less problems surround you as a result? I find that a lot of the times, we create our own problems by imagining things as far worse than they really are. I challenge you to be like the water: soft, yielding, flowing. Be like the uncarved block, full op potential and possibility. Mimic the state of the infant, absorbing knowledge and remaining at peace. How many other ways can you incorporate Taoist ideals of the feminine in your daily life?
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.