My computer is working again so it’s time for excerpt number two from the upcoming novella Last Words of The Sage. More information about the topic of this chapter will come at the end of this post.
“Here then is the story: There once was a little pebble on the bank of a river. Every day it saw humans and animals alike come to bathe in and drink from the water and that stream was called ‘Mother’s Breast’ because it gave life to all the land. The pebble greatly envied the river because all loved and venerated it.
For years and years, the pebble’s jealousy and anger grew. Until one day, in a fit of rage, it shouted at a passer-by to throw it in the water. Terrified by this screaming rock and fearful that he would be cursed if he disobeyed, the man complied. For a single moment it seemed the pebble had hurt the surface of the water and the pebble felt great joy at that. But it was merely an illusion, as the shape of the water returned to normal and the river continued unbothered it’s peaceful flow while the pebble sank to the bottom.
Now trapped, the little rock howled and cried and bemoaned day and night its cruel fate. Eventually, it gave up hope and quieted. Only then did it realize the river had been whispering to it.
‘Why do you fret so?’ She said. ‘What use is anger and profanity against my mighty flow? Do you not see how even my softness easily overcomes your hardness? But surrender unto me and I will set you free.’
So, unrestricted by any remaining pride, the pebble gave itself over to the river. With the passing of time and of the water, the little rock was worn down and its parts became so fine that they merged with the river and travelled with it into the vast and mighty ocean, where it remains submitted to its will and ever free.”
“That’s a dumb story,” I said. “Submission and freedom are opposite, like fire and water. What even is the point of this tale?”
“That the soft will always overcome the hard, that there is no use in bemoaning one’s fate but that by opening one’s eyed to the Flow of Life, one finds the way forward. Many will misunderstand this lesson, but the pure of heart will know its true meaning.”
This part of the novella speaks of a certain philosophy of life whose inspiration I drew from the Taoist concept of Wu Wei, or effortless action. But there is also a hint of devotionalism which will become more apparent later in the book.
To learn more about living life ”in the flow”, I can highly recommend the Tao Te Ching and especially chapter eight. That book is truly life changing.
Here’s also a short video I found that explains pretty well the idea of Wu Wei: