Thoughts on the Nature of Water

Chinese Waterfall. Water is life: it nourishes, it soothes, it revives, it cradles. It can also be violent and destructive, or a quiet menace, insidious and far-reaching in its effects. Water should not be thought of as a weak element since water has great force and penetrating power over a long period, especially when it is channeled in a concentrated way. A beautiful example of the power of this element is expressed by an 11th century Chinese scholar:
"Of all the elements, the Sage should take water as his preceptor. Water is yielding but all-conquering. Water extinguishes Fire or, finding itself likely to be defeated, escapes as steam and reforms. Water washes away soft Earth or, when confronted by rocks, seeks a way around. . . . It saturates the atmosphere so that Wind dies. Water gives way to obstacles with deceptive humility, for no power can prevent it following its destined course to the sea. Water conquers by yielding; it never attacks but always wins the last battle." (from John Blofeld's The Wheel of Life, p. 78)

Feng shui masters divide water -- the element of insight, motivation, and social contacts -- into living (or flowing) and dead (or still). Each person possesses both kinds. Flowing water represents a person's drive and effectiveness in society. Still water reflects a person's clearness of mind.