Welcome to The Path of Water

This site is dedicated to exploring the Tao and Philosophical Taoism; and how it relates to everyday modern life in the 21st Century. It also includes posts relating to how I feel Taoism can provide insights for dealing with the problems of everyday living.

The process of writing out my thoughts helps me to explore what I believe and why, so these posts will probably develop over time. I hope that you'll find this site interesting and, for those of you new to the Tao and Taoism, I hope that it can provide you with a first step on the path to a rich spiritual life. If you want to post comments relating to a post or the site as a whole I'd be grateful as all feedback is helpful.

Enjoy your visit - In Tao - Woody

Who would follow the Way must go beyond words.
Who would know the world must go beyond names. *

No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. **

Thursday, 24 January 2008

The Path of Water

Why did I call this blog "The Path of Water?" The Tao translates as the "Path" or the "Way" and it is often compared to Water because many of the properties of Water provide an insight into the nature of the Tao which most of us can relate to.

The highest good is like water which benefits all things and contends with none. it flows in low places that others disdain and thus it is close to the Tao. (2)

Water doesn't try, it doesn't want, it doesn't seek praise, it doesn't have pride, it does not feel fear, it does not feel inadequate, it just does, it just is. It acts in ways that are in balance with it's true nature.

We can learn from Water through acting in ways that are true to our nature. This doesn't mean reverting to living in trees; part of human nature is to explore, to compete, to invent and to learn; but it does mean that these should be balanced with other aspects of our nature such as nurturing, loving, and spirituality. In losing site of these aspects and undervaluing or rejecting them we leave a gap which we try to fill with possesions, comfort food, TV and status, but we can never be satisfied by these things as they don't fill the gap, they just distract us from it for a short while.

Water also has the property of stillness. When left without any outside forces acting on it Water becomes still and in its stillness is a "magical" peaceful quality which many of us recognize and are moved by. In Taoism it is through stillness that we can gain insight into the nature of the Tao.

Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. (3)

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