The Chinese proverb goes “If you want to know what water is, don’t ask the fish
Like fish, most of us don’t see what’s really going on. We don’t see that life is happening through us and around us and that we can only ever experience our own thought created version of it. We drown, mysteriously, in sadness, loneliness and stress, attributing it to all kinds of things… except what it really is.
And then some of us, like David Foster Wallace, get a glimpse of the truth and we say: “This is water“.
But what use is knowing that it’s water, if we’re still flailing around trying to stay afloat, we’re still swimming against the constant currents of fear and disconnection, and we’re still drowning?
Bright, beautiful David Foster Wallace took his own life.
And then a lucky few of us get to see how it’s possible to swim. Syd Banks saw that he could swim, in fact he saw that we all can…. We were born knowing how and simply forgot. Remembering how to swim makes it so much easier to navigate, to not get caught up in a swell, and then not to mind so much when we do. Syd showed us the deep down happiness of swimming in this incredible life-creating force.
And then a tiny few of us, maybe one in a billion, get to see water for what it really is. Lao Tzu tried to show us… Why swim when you can do nothing? When you understand water, from its glorious ebb and flow, its shimmering drops to its secret depths, you can glide in its awe-inspiring currents and let them do the work for you. Water plays out in its own magnificent way – it’s more powerful than any one of us.
Why try to change it?
Why try to fight it?
Why try to master it?
Why worship it?
There’s no ‘me’, ‘you’ and water… there’s only water.
Bruce Lee said it best… “Be water, my friend.”
P.S. If you’re anything like my friend Emma, don’t forget to drink water too… Don’t wait for your optician to shout that even your eyeballs are thirsty. It’s much easier to be water when you’re well hydrated. 🙂
P.P.S. Want to know more how understanding water makes for a happier experience? Check out our revolutionary happiness course Happy School!