Return is the movement of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
All things are born of being,
Being is born of non-being.
A little bit ago I was looking casually through the Tao te ching. This brief verse caught my eye. The moment I saw the first line, I also saw like a transparent slide over it the tsunami in Japan crawling through the city streets, black water, cars floating, boats drifting between the buildings, everything suddenly turned to debris. From the little video I've seen of it, I'm glad I wasn't there and feel sorrow for the people that were. Return is the movement of the tsunami. A wave of water sweeps over the city pushing the debris along its forward edge, then the water recedes, taking cars, boats, houses, back the other way out to sea. A living man was found 60 miles out surrounded by floating debris. The return of the water to the sea is the movement of the Tao. I suppose the buildings, houses, garages, cars, people, dogs, cats, bicycles, everything above ground yielded, the way of the Tao. We have the movement and the way of the Tao in the first two lines, the water pushing everything inland, then pulling what's left out to sea.
It's a natural process, an act of God. What else can it be called? Seeing the boats and cars floating through the streets I was reminded of chidlren's bathtub toys, little plastic boats; splash the water and they rock in the waves, fill up the tub too much and they drift over the edge. For some years I'd heard the question, What is the bridge between matter and spirit? I took it for a New Age chicken crossing the road question. Then I heard a philsoph say it was spirit becoming matter, or matter becoming spirit. I don't remember which. I found somewhere reading Pablo Neruda that he said water is the bridge between matter and spirit. There it was. Of course. Frozen, water becomes solid. Heated, water becomes steam, akin to spirit. The bridge between ice and steam is water. I don't know what this has to do with other than the tsunami in the news has me thinking about water philosophically, even, perhaps, spiritually.
Water is one of the 4 major elements, personified, or deified as the three brothers, Zeus, Poseidon and Hephaestus. They received by will at the death of their father, Cronos (time), the sky, the sea, the underworld and earth. Zeus got the sky, Poseidon (or Neptune) received the sea, Hephaestus, also known as Vulcan, was given the underworld. All three shared the earth in common. Neptune, the god of water, symbol of emotions, must have had some sort of emotional release. The underworld, Vulcan popped through, pushing a tectonic plate over the top of another. It set Neptune in motion, a push from the underworld. Zeus watched it all from helicopters and satellites. I think the gods are mad at the humans, because Prometheus was unbound and gave electricity to humanity. Initially, Prometheus gave us fire, which helped us evolve reason and render us independent of the gods. To punish him, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock by Vulcan for eternity. But Prometheus was the god of foresight and knew Zeus would need to know in the future who was working a plot to overthrow him, so Prometheus waited. To get the answer, Zeus needed to set Prometheus free. Electricity, the new fire, will help the humans evolve intuition. Humans having electricity does not make the gods happy. Maybe this has something to do with the cataclysms we've been having that look like they're here to stay for awhile.
Oil corporations are surely putting their heads together to find a justification to raise gas prices. Tell it on the evening news for a week and everybody believes it. Someone, I can't tell who, said to me not long ago and I had to hold it back, "I know it for a fact, I heard it on television." I couldn't say anything. The propaganda machine everyone wants bad enough to pay hundreds and hundreds for one, wide-screen, big, Walmart, the most popular channel the propaganda channel. Like I feel sorrow for the Japanese people whose lives were interrupted so rudely by the ocean, I feel sorrow for the people in our USA's near future. The wind has blown, the house of cards is swaying in the breeze, the fundamentalist passion for destruction is cheering it on with disaster movie after disaster movie feeding the popular appetite for destruction. People I know who think and talk this way give me the impression they believe it has nothing to do with them. They'll watch it on the evening news. LIVE ON CNN: The End Of The World. Brought to you by Cadillac.
In a movie I saw yesterday, a boy told his dad something somebody told him, that water is soft, but the strongest thing there is. The Tao. The story was Danish, pre-electricity, possibly 19th century. PELLE THE CONQUEROR. The ocean was depicted through the course of the story as stormy, dangerous, mortally dangerous, the expanse of water he needed to cross somehow to get to Amerika. We in America tend to think of ocean water as beaches, surfboards, babes in bikinis, benign. Until a shark bites somebody's leg off from time to time. I've read that sharks think surfboards are inanimate, like boats, but somebody lying down on one moving the arms in the water swimming looks to a shark like a big fish. Yum. It really didn't take the movie JAWS to keep me out of the ocean. All I had to do was think for a second---it's another world that is not mine, everything in there is looking for something to eat, and what am I but bait without a hook and line attached. This way of looking at it has kept me on dry land out of reach of the stormy sea.