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  • Writer's pictureMetta


I've re-read the Tao Te Ching, A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way, by Lao Tzu, translated by Ursula K. LeGuin. With the Art of War the Tao is an integral piece of understanding.

This particular part of the Tao really struck me:


Nothin in the world

is as soft, as weak, as water;

nothing else can wear away the hard, the strong,

and remain unaltered.

Soft overcomes hard,

weak overcomes strong.

Everyone knows it,

nobody uses the knowledge

So the wise say;

By bearing common defilements

you become a sacrifice at the alter of earth;

by bearing common evils

you become a lord of the world.

Right words sound wrong.

To be honest, I'm still trying to understand this one. But the part of that has stuck with me is the beginning. I've spent time in the desert this Spring, in canyon lands shaped by water. We have had massive powerful storms, one after another, and the results of the power water to change and modify is everywhere.

Wind damage as well. Like water, air can be seen as nothing, as soft, as weak. And yet my yard fence needs repair, and trees have been knocked down all over the place.

I've been through areas full of massive amounts of bottles and other light plastic garbage, where streams had formed in the storms and lifted all kinds of garbage and carried it other places. I gathered around 15 rubber balls and a huge number of bottles along a reservoir where our water comes from.

The trails are deeply marked by what water was capable of, like a trail today with a gash across the center.

But perhaps that is part of the key. It has to be perhaps a large coordinated effort - at the right location and with the right timing - for water to be able to be this powerful source. This ability to move boulders, shape rocks, transform landscapes. I guess I long for the promise of what is considered weak to be the victor. In this time when I just see the powers of hate seeming to have all the power.

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