Living Like Water

Parker J Palmer is someone I respect deeply. In a recent post he wrote about an aspect of Taoism in such an intelligent way. What I so enjoy about him is his belief that no one tradition can have all the truth – that they kind of correct one another in their journeys in to truth. Here are some of his words from the post:


“Taoism counsels us to live our lives like water, but that does not mean “go with the flow” passivity. Taoism is all about nonviolent action. It invites us to flow quietly but persistently around the obstacles that stand between us and the common good, wearing them down as a river erodes boulders.

I don’t think Taoism — or any other wisdom tradition — has the whole answer to living well. Sometimes we must swim upstream against cruelty, injustice and untruth.

But rightly understood, Taoism is an important corrective to the Western obsession with force, even violence, as the way to get things done — which often results in little more than an escalation of violence.”

This last paragraph particularly grabs me.

Image – courtesy Pixabay


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, inspiration, Life, Nature, Poetic Imagination, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Living Like Water

  1. QP and Eye says:

    I like the idea of being able to work around life’s trying moments rather than feeling like we have to conquer everything 🙂 Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful description of wisdom. Thanks for sharing it with us Don.


  3. Hariod Brawn says:

    This quoted description appears to draw parallels with Ghandian Satyagraha Don.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Very few people these days have the patience required for “erosion” to work. I think you’re right, a melding of thoughts and ideas is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Might has never made right to me. I’ve finally decided I am in the minority. Excuse me for saying this to a man like you, Don, but MOST men thrive on conflict and some idea of conquering. Not a good strategy for the real problems we have on this globe. In my humble opinion.


    • Don says:

      You don’t have to apologize Sheila. You’re right that’s why I believe so firmly in the advent of the Feminine. The tragedy is that so much of the Feminine seeks to be precisely like some of the unredeemed masculinity we’ve all become victims of, in the name of so called “relevance.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ladyfi says:

    So true, Don! There are always many right ways and not just one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Val Boyko says:

    To me, there is no one right path. When we judge one as right, any other becomes wrong. Many paths cross along the way. Ahimsa (non violence) is an example found in Eastern religions and is the first principle in the eight limbs of yoga.
    I am drawn to the teaching of the Tao as well. 🙂


  8. My favorite “water” line from this excellent post was “… we must swim upstream against cruelty, injustice and untruth.” Very well done, Don.


  9. Beautiful thoughts Don. I think one should always try to live this way, or mostly anyway. I do think that sometimes force is called for. I know, I know, I’m such a rebel ❤
    Diana xo


    • Don says:

      I think you’re right Diana. I think of South Africa and the whole Apartheid issue. Sanctions against the country, a kind of force, went a long long way in bringing ultimate change. I suppose it is the nature of the force and the timing of its application that is vital. So, may the force be with you. 🙂


  10. All I could think of right now (which is not very eloquent) is WOW!. I agree with your thought. Poignant. Thanks for your continued support.


  11. Thank you for this. Have tyu read The Tao of Pooh? I think it might appeal to you. 🙂


  12. thefeatheredsleep says:


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s