Thanks for letting me share this, Peter:
I put this together a while back and I often reread it to remind myself;
Taoism philosophy (Inner Rightness)
The bush and the ocean and everything from elephants to buttercups have their own inner rightness, but humans keep wanting to improve them, or change them into something that will be useful for the humans, but this isn’t actually a great ideal. Wu Wei is a part of Taoism, which is the idea that you let things follow their natural laws.
It’s only humans who believe in mistakes. Nature doesn’t have any understanding of mistakes. If a branch falls from a tree, it doesn’t mean the tree’s made a mistake. Nature just reorganizes itself around the fallen branch. So now it becomes a home for the insects that live on the ground. Its leaves rot down and make the soil richer. If the branch falls into a creek, fine, the water now flows in a different way.
So, life goes on. Things happen. If you let things happen, they do.
What does Taoism say about if people you love die, or get killed and no longer are a part of your life? You do nothing. This has happened. It doesn’t matter in the long run how they’re gone. They’ve gone, so your life reorganizes itself. It will affect you in different ways. So, let it affect you. Feel what you feel, do what seems right to you. Don’t imagine there is a right way to act or a wrong way. Just let your life continue according to its own inner nature.
Think about the way creeks and stream operate. They start off little, gurgling and bubbling and jumping over rocks, full of energy, going all over the place. Then they get older and bigger, becoming rivers, and they take a more definite course, sticking to their path, knowing where they are going, getting slower and wider. And eventually they reach the ocean and become part of this vast mysterious world of water that stretches away forever. It is just like people; we start off life full of energy, going all over the place, then we start to follow a definite path as we get bigger. When we die, we join this ocean, a part of something that stretches away forever.
Go with the Flow. I am the leaf floating in the river of life. Does that mean you are helpless, vulnerable, without freedom? No. In fact, belief in that gives you more power, more purpose, more life. Does the river worry about the up coming bend or obstacles in its path? Does it fret that its life’s path will be changed? No. The river continues onward, changing direction; going with the flow. The river reorganized itself; it does not stop at the bend and considers that fact that it is changing its course. The river does not stop; it continues onward, as life continues onward.
That’s the power of that belief, the river knows its life continues past the bend. Whatever bend that will occur in your life, you know that your life will continue past that bend. As the river reorganizes its life with its new course; so will you reorganize your life with its new course. That is the strength of that knowledge; that knowledge does not make you vulnerable. Is the river a slave to only one path; even though that path is well developed? No. Rivers make new paths all the time, it only follows the right natural path. When circumstances change, the river is free to make a new path. Even though you feel that you are following your one and only path, and that you feel you have no freedom of choice of that path; a tried and tested path; when your circumstances change, you are free to make a new path; your right natural path.
When the river starts off young, the river will wander all over the place; winding. When the river begins to pick up speed, starts to flow with more purpose, it begins to be less windy, more straighter, faster and purpose. Such as we, when we grow up; we are open minded, learning and full of wonder. As we grow old, our life begins to take on more purpose, more straighter, and feels more faster. But that does not mean we can be stuck on a single path. The river always reorganizes its life, and with every moment, an opportunity can exist to change circumstances.
Go with the flow, be the leaf floating in the river of life.