Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bruce Lee on the Shape of Water

"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
Comment: These words speak to the influence of Lao Tzu and Taoist thought and practice.

In fact, if you read Bruce Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do (1975) you will find an elaboration of this thinking as compiled by his wife and editors after his death.

I like to think that the quote also speaks to persistence and resilience.  Water is inevitable and its shape is no shape or shapeless.

Water exists because it can also not exist and the other way around.

The clouds in the sky is as much water as the river that runs dry when the appointed season ends only to fill up again when the shape of water is purposefully transformed.

It is the ultimate life metaphor is it not?  Life is water - water is life.  (More than just a palindrome.)

And so the duality that is as endless and intricate as the shape and shapelessness of water.

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