Lao Tzu – Yield With Life


“As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone, to yield with life solves the insoluble.  To yield I have learned is to come back again.  But this un-worded lesson, this easy example is lost among men.”

To grasp the depth of this demands that we let go of associated thoughts and open our mind in a wonder state of being.  For example: as you allow the flow of water to overflow from the cup of your hand you’ll feel how soft and pleasant it is. Yet, when the water is a raging flow it can be damaging and violent. “As the soft yield of water” in this context demonstrates that to ‘Yield’ is to accept the power we have, and in this acceptance allows us to face the reality of the problem.  You can see in time, like the soft yield of water can shape a rigid and jagged stone.  Take a walk on the sea shore and you’ll find smooth shaped stones.  The forces of the water and the sand smooth the sharp edges.  To yield is to accept the problems of life and our resistance to change; however, LaoTzu reminds us it’s in the going back again, and in the returning to face the issues, the problems are where our character is strengthened.

“But this un-worded lesson this easy example is lost among men.”   LaoTzu sees the reality within man that he wants to complicate things, and he cherishes the lengthy words and extended flowery vocabulary so it’s impossible for him to see the truth in this poem.  The question for you is do you see the wisdom in this simple poem with few words.

What you want to learn in our school is to let go, or unlearn conventional wisdom.  All our learning and education is from hearsay and experience: we rarely understand the knowledge that we carry and we are overloaded with information.  In the so called normal schools we learn by memorizing and the goal is to get our diplomas and degrees as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort.  We want to learn how to slow down and let go, which is not easy to do.  We want to learn how to unlearn so that we can truly learn how to understand.  The understanding can only come about with the development of the new ‘Self’ which comes from our intuitive intelligence.  Our old self is our ‘Ego-Personality’ which holds onto all the information in its stored memory.  We think robotically and act mechanically as if we are asleep-machines.  We want to awaken our intelligence where real thinking is possible then we can learn what freedom and fulfillment really feels like.