The highest good is like that of water. The goodness of water is that it benefits the ten thousand creatures; yuet itself does not scramble, but is content with the places that all men disdain. It is this that makes water so near to the Way.
Many people think it impossible for guerillas to exist for long in the enemy’s rear. Such a belief reveals lack of comprehension of the relationship that should exist between the people and the troops. The former may be likened to water and the latter to the fish who inhabits it.
It is traditionally said that the ruler is like a boat and the common people are the water. Water supports the boat but may also upset it.
For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.
How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.
If we turn from contemplating the world as a whole, and, in particular, the generations of men as they live their little hour of mock-existence, and then are swept away in rapid succession; if we turn from this, and look at life in its small details, as presented, say, in a comedy, how ridiculous it all seems ! It is like a drop of water seen through a microscope, a single drop teeming with infusoria; or a speck of cheese full of mites invisible to the naked eye. How e laugh as they bustle about so eagerly, and struggle with one another in so tiny a space! And whether here, or in the little span of human life, this terrible activity produces a comic effect.
What man is there whom contact with a great soul will not exalt? A drop of water upon the petal of a lotus glistens with the splendors of the pearl.
Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapour, a drop of water is enough to kill him But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. the universe knows none of this. Thus all our dignity consists in thought. It is on thought that we must depend for our recovery, not on space and time, which we could never fill. Let us then strive to think well; that is the basic principle of morality.
In order to try whether a vessel be leaky, we first prove it with water before we trust it with wine.
From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things - the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals - and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery. Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue. The animals had rights - the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, and the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness - and in recognition of these rights the Lakota never enslaved an animal, and spared all life that was not needed for food and clothing. This concept of life and its relations was humanizing, and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all. The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery. In spirit, the Lakota were humble and meek. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” - this was true for the Lakota, and from the earth they inherited secrets long since forgotten. Their religion was sane, natural, and human.
A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.
As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.
Enlightenment is like the moon reflected in the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
The mind or spirit is present everywhere, because it is nowhere attached to any particular place. And it can remain present because, even when related to this or that object, it does not cling to it and thus lose its original mobility. Like water filling a pond, which is always ready to flow off again, it can work its inexhaustible power because it is free, and be open to everything because it is empty. This state is essentially a primordial state, and its symbol, the empty circle, is not empty of meaning for him who stands within it.
The mind is a river; upon its water thoughts float through in a constant procession every conscious moment. It is a narrow river, however, and you stand on a bridge over it and can stop and turn back any thought that comes along, and they can come only single file, one at a time. The art of contentment is to let no thought pass that is going to disturb you.
You can’t live on amusement. It is the froth on water - an inch deep, and then the mud!
Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it.
When we use the water in the sweat lodge, we should think of Wakan-Tanka who is always flowing, giving His power and life to everything; we should even be as water, which is lower than all things, yet stronger even than the rocks.
The laws of nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable. The elements have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, the earth buries. And perhaps it would be well for our race if the punishment of crimes against the laws of man were as inevitable as the punishment of crimes against the laws of nature, were man as unerring in his judgments as nature.
Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air.