Lets take a look at the Tao of Water. The Tao is often associated with the force of Water, but most of what is written about what Taoism says about water is wrong.
If you go into the natural world, and observe water or you experiment with it, water reveals its qualities:
- Water is relentless. It never stops exerting its force.
- Its force is a manifestation of its nature. It does not try to be something it is not, applying neither morality nor immorality.
- When it is restricted, Water seeks the weakest spot of any obstruction and applies constant force until it is free.
- When it is pressed or attacked, it changes form and repositions itself. It exerts constant counter force to search for weakness.
- Water is opportunistic. Given the slightest opening it will pass through. It will do so while the opening is present. It will widen the opening if possible.
- Water always seeks to do the easiest thing as long as it can.
- Water does not complain about the path it follows. It simply follows the path.
- Water has a wide range of energetic expressions, but continues to be Water. It can be still. It can be sluggish. It can be swift. It can be pounding. It can be vapor.
You see, Taoists do not look to nature for metaphors on how to live, and then interpret the metaphors or apply the metaphors. This is not the proper way, the proper relationship between a Taoist and Nature or a Taoist and Water. There is no need for a person to treat nature as a metaphor, because we are a component of nature and nature is an expression of Tao.
Taoists look to nature for direct instruction and follow the instruction as long as it applies.
Tao and Water in Everyday Living
Many times people consult with me about misfortune, or a failure to thrive in their finances, or their relationships.
In nearly all cases, the person is failing to pass through an open door, because he or she insists on the door being a certain way–maybe a purple door, but instead a pink door is the only thing that pops up.
What they don’t understand is that there are no purple doors where he or she is standing. There never will be.
If, however, he or she passes through the pink door, then the orange door, then the blue door, there could be a purple door.
Strangely, as soon as the person passes through that undesirable door, his or her misfortune starts to abate.
Are you that person?
If there is no motion in the direction you want to go from the place you want to go, find the place that you can go, and keep going.
That is what water would do. Learn the lesson of water.
Now, that is how you apply nature to being a Taoist.
Master Mikel Steenrod
Keeper of the Gate of Man and Heaven
(Lineage Holder of the 4 Ascendant Spheres Purity Adept School of the Tao)