The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary),A person can live a few weeks without food, but not so without water. Every cell in our bodies begins to revolt and breakdown without this liquid tonic.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
Water give life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Water greatly benefits myriad things without contention
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
water is good for all living things.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
Yet, in and of itself, water has no distinct purpose. It doesn't grow, rule or create things. It is a substance that nurtures others to fulfill their internal natures. In other words, its role in life is to give and not take.
When we live like the metaphor of water, we let go of the self to serve others.
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.