3 Qualities of Water According to the Laozi – An Ancient Chinese Philosopher

Laozi, also named as Lao Tze and Lao-Tzu was born in 601 BC. He was an ancient Chinese writer and philosopher. Apparent author of the Tao Te Ching. He believed in the divinity in religious and traditional Chinese religions. He is the founder of philosophical Taoism.

Beautiful thoughts for water in the poem inspired by the Tao Te Ching

Water is an element that can provide us with great lessons. That is why Lao Tzu has taken as a model in his many poems.

Be like water, my friend. Be like the water that flows and never stops. Keep moving. This famous Bruce Lee commentary on the course of self-realization truly summarizes one of the best three qualities of water in the opinion of Tao, it is extracted from the old poetry of Lao Tzu. The foresight contained in the text is a source of inspiration these days.


The Concept of Liquid Society:

The concept of liquid society was brought to us by the famous philosopher Zygmunt Bauman a few years ago. Through the latter, he defined modernity with inconstant values, changing patterns and social structures and realities evident by uncertainty. Looked towards this panorama so fluctuating, where it is almost impossible to stick to things, the only solid thing is none other than our fears. And that is a paradox.

Supreme Goodness Is Like Water

Who favors everything and does not compete with anything.

By occupying the position despised by every human,

She is very close to Tao.

Its position is favorable.

Her heart is deep.

Her gift is generous.

Its word is faithful.

Her government is in perfect order.

She fulfills her task.

She is acting.

By not competing with anyone, she is irreproachable. ”

“Lao Tzu”

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We live in a world where few things are characterized by stability. We are being asked for agility and flexibility to adapt to every change, professional changes, political fluctuations, new social demands, and variations in how we relate to each other. In the midst of these dynamics, it is normal to feel some anxiety and insecurity. That’s why intellectual references from the oriental world, like Raymond Tang, lecturer, and professor at the University of Guangzhou, invite us to know a little better the philosophy of the Tao.

In this context, we are taught to keep calm in the midst of chaos. If you want to achieve moderation and safety in the midst of uncertainty behave like a paper boat on the water.

1- Qualities of Water According to the Tao: Humility

The first quality of water according to the Tao is humility. It is possible that, at first, it is a little difficult for us to establish a relationship between a psychological dimension and an aquatic element. However, this relationship does exist and is truly inspiring. Water flowing through a peaceful, placid and harmonious river feeds nature.

When her level is normal, she reaches the shores, feeds the animals and promotes this ideal balance for everything to work. On the other hand, when the river becomes arrogant and when its flow is more powerful, everything changes. The strength of its torrent is devastating. It turns the earth, destroys the environments and affects all living things.

We must integrate this quality of water characterized by tranquility and humility. Whoever knows himself well and does not pretend to be someone else will always prefer calm to violence. And even if it sometimes drifts to the bottom of its being for external reasons, it still resumes its normal course. Serenity will always be chosen to promote a natural balance.

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2- Water is Attentive to Opportunities:

In the midst of difficulties, there is always a corner lit by the glow of opportunity. It does not matter if our environment is agitated, if we are undergoing changes or pressures or if a wall suddenly rises up in front of us to prevent us from moving forward. Let’s be like water. Let us find this flaw, this weakness in the face of our opponent or this particular difficulty and take the path that opens with new opportunities.

Among the qualities of water according to the Tao, we find the one that reminds us that this vital substance is extremely skillful. When something has a limit or when an obstacle arises to prevent it from flowing, the water will not hesitate to do two things. Apply a relentless force to recover its freedom and find the weak point of this wall to defeat it.

Let’s not forget that, in a way, water is a great opportunist. She never hesitates to change her form, place or position to keep moving forward. As soon as she sees the slightest chance of making her way where she wants to, she does.

3- Change, an Option to Realize Without Fear:

Few elements are as inspiring and open to change as water. You can consider the following. When temperatures are on extreme, it can turn into ice or steam. She will not hesitate to change shape depending on where she is. It will turn into glass when it is contained in one of them, it will be insignificant if it gets stuck in the crack of a rock, it will recover its immensity if it returns to the ocean and takes the form of food if a living being is thirsty and needs it.

Water has power and character. She knows and understands that there is nothing more important than making changes when it becomes necessary. The environment and nature are often hostile and those who do not adapt to it do not survive. Accepting these principles that Tao’s water qualities convey to us can inspire us and help us in many ways.

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Let’s Be Like Water:

Albert Ellis, an American psychotherapist known for developing rational emotional-behavioral therapy in 1955, once said that a monster chasing us every day. A repeatedly monster, which is complete hinders our happiness. It is the eternal idea that the way people feel largely influenced by how they think. We know it is not but we continue to suffer from every difficulty and every stone on the path and every unrehearsed change.

Let’s be like water. Bruce Lee has already told us but we don’t limit ourselves to see these qualities of water according to the Tao as a beautiful and simple image. In the end, we are part of nature. And nature is the expression of the Tao.