Wu Wei and Water - their shared qualities:
1. water/wu wei supports and carries effortlessly
Chinese character for swimmer is literally "one who knows the nature of water." A good athlete can enter a state of body-awareness in which the right stroke happens as if by itself, effortlessly, without interference with the conscious will or resistance from the water. We can't tell the dancer from the dance.
When in perfect harmony, "in the zone," with the Tao, you vanish into the deed, moving with the Tao as if effortlessly, overcoming and transforming. Example of Fly Fishing or distance running. Contrast with Newton's 3rd Law of Motion (for every action there is a equal reaction - a push back) and "competition."
Tao Te Ching 63:1-17
2. water/wu wei is supple and soft, and adapts itself to surroundings and endures
Example of "tree with a twisted trunk" or of "bamboo"
Tao Te Ching 76:1-13
3. it is the suppleness and softness of water/wu wei that also subdues what is hard and rigid
Tao Te Ching 78:1-13, 17:1-9
4. with patience, in its stillness, water/wu wei can offer clarity and focus on the Tao
In viewing the night's stars and going out from a lit home, your eyes must adjust to the darkness
Tao Te Ching 15:13-16
5. water/wu wei is neither ethically good nor evil
Taoism unencumbered by social concepts of sin, evil, as it is not a black/white world.
Story of the Farm's Horse and "who knows what's good or bad?"
Tao Te Ching 27:11-16
If resisting evil, desires, attachments are not the great challenge, then what is the great challenge?
Back to #4, seeking clarity, overcoming opaqueness of the muddied waters
Irony, when you are free from the moral, human-derived categories, you have access to the Tao and the greater "jewels" of the nameless, the pregnant void
6. water/wu wei nurtures, and is virtuous - De - and compassionate - "the Three Jewels"
Tao Te Ching 67:7-17
1. love and compassion for all living beings Tao Te Ching 34:3-5 & Footnote p. 68 #2
2. moderation and simplicity
The aim of wu wei is to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium or alignment with the Tao (Yin Yang) which results in attaining an irresistible form of "softness," as water, inaction, effortless action that allows you to overcome things, the self, others and the world, and access ch'i - life breadth
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