The Tao Of Water

Andre Philippe Laisney
2 min readJan 3, 2022
Photo by Jong Marshes on Unsplash

“The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to. It flows to low places loathed by all men. Therefore it is like the Tao.”- Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.

I like the look of water clinging effortlessly to a low basin. The still water of a lake. I like the look of the rock at the bottom of the hill. I am not compelled to push the rock up the hill. But I am not water, I have my own energy which compels me to create and to move myself and which makes me feel lazy when I do not.

I am not water. I am full of energy and become nervous and anxious with prolonged stillness. Still I like the look of the rock at the bottom of the hill.

Water can be churned up by energy into great crashing waves, without being concerned. It knows full well that it will return in time to the quiet still basins.

But, I am not water. I long to be like the water in a flowing stream where some energy would become one with me and move me peacefully yet purposefully along, going somewhere happily while going nowhere happily. A lazy, happy wandering stream.

I am not water, but I am mostly water.

Only the little bit of energy inside me is nervous and anxious.

This energy within me, that I think is me, clings to the water that is me, hoping to learn it’s Tao so that it can escape its own frustration and learn to know its own beauty.

This energy stirs up the still basin water into great high crashing waves, compelled to watch the water return to the low places in lazy meandering streams.

I am not only water, for there is something in me which is compelled to eat and to act. Having eaten, the only action I really want to perform is to walk to the side of a meandering stream and to sit on the bank and admire it, but this doesn’t feel like enough action to appease the energy within.

I feel that I should create something.

I wonder if, with the energy in me, I can create anything more than a disturbance in the water and a reflection in the water of the water itself.

Life seems to be more than just a disturbance of water, but I wonder.

Energy disturbs the starry waters of the heavens into beautiful patterns.

Does it do so without trying? Does energy create the beautiful disturbance without trying?

The energy in me seems to fail when it seeks to create something new.

Water nourishes without trying.

Perhaps creation has nothing to do with trying.

Effortlessly, participates in being a part of creation.