Be water, my friend

  • Streen
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30 Oct 2014 11:10 #167388 by Streen
Be water, my friend was created by Streen
This is an excerpt from a book I read a long time ago, and started reading again recently. It think it's probably the most powerful lesson in the book:

When the ancients and their students stopped to rest by a pure flowing stream, the teachers compared Tao to water.

Water is flowing. Every drop is made of the same substance. Water never fears being divided, because it knows it will flow back together in time. It is eternal.

Water is powerful. Although it can be soothing, comforting, and cleansing, it can also be enormous, mighty, and overpowering. It's nature is constant. It is true to itself at any extreme.

Water is profound. In the depths of the lakes, in the darkness of the oceans, it holds all secrets. It is dangerous. It is mysterious. Yet life came from those depths.

Water is unafraid. From any height, it will plunge fearlessly down. It will fall and not be injured.

Water is balanced. No matter what the situation is, water will seek its own level as soon as it is left alone. Water will always flow downward to the most stable level. It conforms to any situation in a balanced way.

Water is nourishing. Without water, no plant and no living creature could survive.

Water is still. It can be completely still, and in its stillness, mirror heaven perfectly.

Water is pure. It is transparent, clear, needing neither adornment nor augmentation.

For all these features—to be flowing, powerful, profound, unafraid, balanced, nourishing, still, and pure—one who would follow Tao need only emulate water in every way.

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  • WRThore
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30 Oct 2014 13:25 #167400 by WRThore
Replied by WRThore on topic Be water, my friend
Some of my favorite philosophy quotes come from Bruce Lee, who loved making references to water.

Water can flow, or it can CRASH! Be water my friend...!

By any chance, what book is this?

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  • Arkayik
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30 Oct 2014 16:01 #167433 by Arkayik
Replied by Arkayik on topic Be water, my friend
The Silent Flute, or as it was released, The Circle of Iron, was a wonderful movie with a few not so wonderful bits...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_Iron

I don't know the extent to which Bruce Lee wrote it, but its different in a mostly interesting way...

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31 Oct 2014 11:17 #167605 by Streen
Replied by Streen on topic Be water, my friend
Ah, I forgot to mention where I got that quote... It's from a book called Everyday Tao by Deng Ming-Dao

It's great for just reading a quick message and moving on. Each page has one lesson based on an ancient Chinese symbol, it's meaning and importance, along with a few paragraphs about how it's applicable to everyday life.

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  • tzb
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31 Oct 2014 11:21 #167606 by tzb
Replied by tzb on topic Be water, my friend

Streen wrote: Ah, I forgot to mention where I got that quote... It's from a book called Everyday Tao by Deng Ming-Dao


Love that book. Thanks for sharing.

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31 Oct 2014 12:02 #167612 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic Be water, my friend
Yes ... I was just reading that. 98. ;)

Of course, I've been reading it in the original French ... B)

:blink:
:lol: :woohoo: :laugh:

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Arkayik

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  • Sproule
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18 Jan 2016 22:48 #222688 by Sproule
Replied by Sproule on topic Be water, my friend
I love the imagery of "be like water". It's a fantastic metaphor for life. I have never read the books you have mentioned but I have read a lot of Bruce Lee's thoughts and philosophies.

For me, "being like water" is the ultimate path to finding one's true self.
I understand that every philosophy can be interpreted differently depending on your own personality or beliefs.
My interpretation is that to be like water we must adapt to every situation. Like a river, that meanders through the earth, it slowly erodes away at rocks and dirt to create a smoother path. I feel that this represents a persons struggle. The true self can only be uncovered with hard work. Nothing that is achieved through short cuts can be truly appreciated.
When a river comes across an obstacle it's envelopes or surrounds it and continues on it's way.
I feel that this speaks to all obstacles we face. We may not be able to initially overcome them, but by working hard and searching within we can find away to move forward by incorporating the obstacle and conquering it.

I would love to hear other's interpretations of this.

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  • E-3_4L_Teeter
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11 Apr 2016 00:57 #237383 by E-3_4L_Teeter
Replied by E-3_4L_Teeter on topic Be water, my friend
Open your mind! Be formless, shapeless; like water. When you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can CRASH! Be water my friend.

Best Bruce Lee quote ever. And it doesn't just relate to martial arts.

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11 Apr 2016 16:39 #237446 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic Be water, my friend
At times I feel like I should hate being that guy, but I really can't make mysely... I mean, what Mr. Deng describes there is almost nothing like water. It's like saying blue is the colour commonly associated with planet Mars, Hell, love, fire and blood, yet somehow this is more touching and wise because an eastern fellow said it, content aside...

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

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  • Korvus
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12 Apr 2016 07:38 #237547 by Korvus
Replied by Korvus on topic Be water, my friend
I really enjoyed this! It was quite inspirational! Plus it reminded me of the late great Bruce Lee. Thank you.

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