The highest virtue is like water
Water nourishes myriad creatures without contending with them
It flows to the low loathsome places
Therefore, it comes close to the way.
Live in accordance with the nature of things.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In action, watch the timing
So no blame.
A clear stream of water flows from poem to poem throughout the book of Dao De Jing, the ancient text which uses water as a metaphor to describe Dao, the Chinese word signifying the “way” or the “principle of being”. Moreover, our bodies are approximately three-quarters water by volume and 99% by the number of molecules –– water molecules are incredibly tiny compared to others. As water gives us life, we also become its carrier bags, “facilitating the proliferation of the new by holding water and becoming literal gestational milieu for the other” (Neimanis 2017, p122).
This Masterclass with Charlotte Qin creates an intimate space to connect with our "inner water": emotions –– offering insights on how the virtue of water manifests in every building block of personal and social life.
Chapter 8 — Daode Jing (4th century BC), Laozi (translated by Ursula K. Le Guin)
Astrida Neimanis. (2017). Bodies of Water Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology
Live masterclass with Charlotte Qin