Like Water


One of universal nature is like water;
he benefits all things
but does not contend with them.
He unprotestingly takes the lowest position;
thus, he is close to the universal truth.

One of universal virtue chooses to live
in a suitable environment.
He attunes his mind to become profound.
He deals with others with kindness.
In his speech, he is sincere.
His role brings about order.
His work is efficient.
His actions are opportune.

One of deep virtue does not contend with people;
thus; he is above reproach.

source: Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching
image: Eddie Two Hawks, Image Collection, The Calm Sea


11 thoughts on “Like Water

  1. This may be my favorite verse and thought of Daoism ~ to be like water is a great thought to ponder during the day. Cheers to a great year Eddie.

  2. Wonderful philosophy.. water also fines its own level and move around things .. And it is all powerful under pressure and gentle as a dew drop on a spiders web… Interesting we Humans are made up of over 70% of water 😉
    Have a beautiful day Eddie.. Love your way my friend

  3. Its interesting to note that the Tao is more or less emptiness, and one filled with “virtue,” in the sense of western philosophy, would have a hard time following the Tao. Even more interesting is the idea that virtue and action are related. I need to read more Lao Tzu, but from what it seems, Lao Tzu teaches that virtue is necessary for action(s), while his distant Taoist relative, Chuang Tzu, teaches that inaction is necessary for virtue. Bottom line is Lao Tzu may be more interested in the world and man, while Chuang Tzu is interested in the Tao, Heaven, and man.

    • Minor confusion may arise from any philosophical concept brought to life.
      “Universal nature” and “universal virtue” are terms used here by Lao Tzu. Keep in mind that these terms and his thoughts are more than 2500 years old. We now apply them to today’s ‘world’. “Tao” exists as a concept and if not for any reason, we can share ideas concerning it.
      Pointing out the differences between Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu is greatly appreciated and duly noted.
      Thank you Hui Ho for your kind and thoughtful remarks.

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