Letting go of Form


At first, form is needed.

Then doubt and inhibition must be dispelled.

Eventually form is celebrated with joy,

And expression becomes formless.

In all fields of endeavor, one must start out with certain structures, procedures and forms. Even though one admires the seemingly effortless virtuosity of the masters, it will take time before one can reach that level.

Take dance for example. The novice must drill constantly on the basics, isolating each step and movement with meticulous attention. Although the emphasis is on structure may add to the beginner’s inhibition, it must be done. Eventually, the student will learn to let go. The steps will have become part of their natural movements. Then dancing can be celebrated joyously. Our now mature dancer may even dance in a way that seems so spontaneous, so magical, that it will even seem formless—or more correctly the form will emerge with fluidity, beauty, originality, balance and grace.

The same is true for any endeavor. A first the practice and restrictions seem quite constricting. Eventually you reach a stage where learning and understanding simply flow spontaneously. Each and every day is new and fresh and full of insight.

The beauty of the world then shows itself as it is. Doubts begin to fade away and the banality of ordinary life is replaced by the awe and grandeur of your own life.

This is what it is to be formless.


Taking form to become formless

As Bruce Lee once said, “Be like water my friend, be like water.”

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