Wu-Wei @ 8%

Apr 3rd, 2010 by adminadam in articles

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eisley

Water is a metaphor for both power and humility, bending around obstacles, seeking the path of least resistance. Water always seeks to lower itself below all else, flowing downhill to appease gravity. It this way it gains power from humility. Water is thus the prime example of wu-wei in nature.

The best human equivalent of this is a person that acts along the path of least resistance, applying wu-wei, not forcing his or her will upon the world. We as individuals can also draw great power from humility by training our minds and bodies.

When I tried Aikido my second year of college, I could see the power in moving with the forces of the universe, instead of pushing against them. Here we see Steven Seagal applying the wu-wei type principles inherent in Aikido to subdue his multiple attackers. To me his demonstration of non-doing is very effective.

Quotes by Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido:

“If your opponent tries to pull you, let him pull. Don’t pull against him; pull in unison with him.”

“Though surrounded by many enemies, view them as a single foe and so fight on.”

Quotes by Alan Watts on Water & Wu-Wei:

“Wu-wei is the lifestyle of a person who follows the Tao and should be understood first of all as a form of intelligence — that of being aware of the principles, structures and tendencies of the human activity and of the natural phenomena so well that you could use a minimum amount of energy when you have to deal with them.”

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

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