Most of the world, like most of our body, is comprised of water. This lifeblood liquid is one of the softest things on earth, and yet look at the power it holds. When you watch a wave break on the shoreline of a beach, the wave represents one process for what the entire ocean is doing. The individual wave is not separate to other waves, nor is it acting of its own accord against the ocean current. The wave is one part of the entire ocean expressing itself. We can look at ourselves as human beings in a similar light.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are caught in a rip – an undercurrent in the ocean that pulls you further away from the safety of the land, and for which your struggle against the current induces panic as you gain no ground. If you continue with your struggle, soon enough you will fatigue and likely drown.
However, if you let yourself be taken by the rip, you may end up somewhere where you do not want to be, but you will in fact also be somewhere you have never been before, and you will be alive as a result of ‘letting go’. Life works the same way.
There is a Chinese proverb that goes like this: the tallest branch is the first to lose its leaves to the wind. We can see our own egos and identities as an attempt to fight against the ocean current – of wanting to be the tallest branch, rise to the top of the game that we currently call life, and cement our fate as masters of the Universe.
However, if you relinquish desire and control, you can become like water. Water seeks the lowest ground and ‘goes with the flow’. Although it might be viewed as soft, silent and weak in its low-ground pursuit, water is the only thing strong enough to break-down hardened rock. It does this with nothing more than persistence, habit, and of going with nature.
This is the secret to life: relinquish control, go with the flow, and you will find that this is ultimately the source of all your power. The world, in fact, is a paradoxical place. When you strive for control, you end up losing control, as is the case in fighting against the ocean rip, or losing your leaves to the wind. A similar analogy would be to say that to hold your breath is to lose your breath. Only when you let your breath come and go, viewing neither state as good or bad, but just ‘as is’, is when you end up living.