sufism hakan menguc

The philosophy of water …

“Then let me tell you the answer,” I replied and revealed it with a little story:

The nature of water manifests a philosophy. Think about water coming down from a mountain. It takes the path of least resistance. If there is a rock in the way, the water will not struggle with it. It continues to flow around that rock instead. Inspired by this phenomenon of nature, Sufis say, “Do not deal with anyone who would obstruct your path. If you do, you will be stuck at the same place. Find another way to reach your destination.”

Let’s presume that after coming down from the mountain, the water comes to a path that does not allow for it to go around the rock. In this case, the water accumulates and crosses over; or it gradually builds up its pressure, weakens the rock mass, and breaks down the rock. The nature of water shows that even what seems impossible can be achieved, and this requires patience and perserverance.

After the water goes through the rock, it continues on its course again. It is cleaned as it flows further. Occasionally, we see puddles form on the streamside. Water that does not flow becomes cloudy and muddy. That’s why Sufis say, “You must flow like water. You should renew and start your day with a clean slate. Do not fall into the same routine and do not think about the past. Move on, keep flowing and learning new things today.”

Water is not afraid of changes. It can tell you how changes come in many beautiful forms. It transforms into rain, snow, ice, and steam. Then the steam rises into the sky, and descends to the ground again as rain.

Water is adaptable; it has no definite shape. When you put water into a container, it turns into the shape of whatever it occupies. Even though it constantly adapts, its nature never changes. Those who are in harmony with nature always survive because they go with the flow which enhances their potential to grow. Being flexible means less likely to break when strong forces are encountered. Those who resist change are like stiff trees that do not bend with the wind when the storms beat down on them. On the other hand, palm trees, seedlings, and grass survive the storm because they bend in the wind.

Water becomes a stream and all streams eventually split into a number of streamlets and flow into the sea. This analogy means doing your best when life breaks you into pieces. We should learn to accept ourselves at all stages in life. Even if we are in pieces, ultimately we will find a way to be whole again as long as we are like water. As they say, “Water flows and finds its own way.” If you live like water, you will flow and find your way. The pattern of water is the pattern of life.

“This is why Sufis repeat this quote to each other, ‘Be like the water, my friend.’”

(from Hakan Mengüç // No Encounter is By Chance)