Exeter, New Hampshire
Digital Equipment Corporation
The real meaning of the often misused and misunderstood expression "going with the flow"
Quoted exactly from: Assertiveness Training & How to Instantly Read People by:
Dick Sutphen Valley of the Sun Publishing Box 2010 Malibu, CA 90265
Lao-Tzu, living in China in the fourth century B.C., formulated the Tao, which can be summarized as an attitude of tranquility, non-artificiality and simple enlightenment. In Taoism, that which is absolutely perfect is dead, for without the possiblity of growth and change, there can be no Tao. Lao-Tzu taught that the highest form of man is he who adapts himself to and keeps pace with movements of change.
Coupled with the doctrine of Tao is the teaching of Wu-Wei, the secret of mastering circustances without asserting oneself against them. Bodhidharma (470-543 A.D.) is credited with originating the Martial Arts based on Wu-Wei concepts, at the Shao- lin Temple in Honan, China. The principle is to yield to an oncoming force in such a way as to render it harmless and, at the same time, change its direction by pushing it from behind instead of resisting it from the front.
Relating this to day-to-day living, the Master of Life never opposes things; he never attempts to change things by asserting himself against them. Instead, he yields to their full force and either pushes them slightly out of line or else moves them around in the opposite direction without ever encountering their direct force. This is the principle of controlling things by going along with them . . . .