Tao is called “the watercourse way” by Alan Watts and others. It celebrates water, just as St. Francis did, for its humility: how it seeks the lowest; how it flows and changes shape and receives impressions; how it nourishes selflessly. Water is the only molecule on earth that, in nature, takes all three forms, solid (as ice), liquid (as flowing water) and gas (as steam).
Here’s Ursula Le Guin’s version of Chapter 8 of the Tao Te Ching:
Easy by nature
is like water.
It doesn’t compete.
It goes right
to the low loathsome places,
and so finds the way.
For a house,
the good thing is level ground.
depth is good,
The good of giving is magnanimity;
of speaking, honesty;
of government, order.
The good of work is skill,
and of action, timing.
so no blame.
On Tuesday we tried various ways to sense our embeddedness, our continuity with the surround. We looked at how we are continuous with the world physically (with the air, for instance, or the floor), and with other aspects of the world emotionally (in a chorus or classroom, for example), and with other aspects of the world purely spiritually. We tried to dwell in the sense of connection.
Continuing this tale of continuity ,will look next time at the water-like or fire-like flow of ideas. That, too, is the water of the Tao.
When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.
Rudolf Steiner too emphasized the distinction between dead thoughts and living thinking: the stream out of which awareness continually dies and crystallizes into our normal consciousness of this and that.
All blessings to all,