Tao thought: Sustaining and Tao te Ching Verse Twelve
Orange and gold carp,
Living beneath ice.
Uncaring of the world above,
Sustained by the water below.
Pez carpa de naranja y de oro,
Viviendo bajo el hielo.
Insensible del mundo encima,
Sostenido por el agua abajo.
In the rapidly chilling autumn, ponds begin to ice over. The waters become deep, dark, and mysterious, but in those depths the fish can survive the coming winter.
Tao may be known as directly as water is knowable to a fish. My Tao will not be the same as your Tao. We are both individuals, each with different backgrounds and thoughts. As soon as Tao enters into us, it takes on the colors of our inner personalities. When it passes out of us, it returns again to its universal nature. This is an ongoing and constant process, like water flowing through a fish’s gills. Just as the water nurtures the fish, so too does Tao nurture and sustain us.
As long as we continue our immersion in Tao, we will be as safe as a carp in water. When we separate from Tao, we are as helpless as a fish out of water.