The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places people reject and so is like the Tao.
— Tao Te Ching 8 (Feng/English)
The same text translated by Red Pine:
The best are like water
bringing help to all
A comment on this text by Wang Pi (included in Red Pine’s edition, p. 17):
The Tao does not exist, but water does. Hence, it only approaches the Tao.
Does the flow of water exist? Does energy flow exist? We can say it does when we see work being done, some purpose being served. But what determines which product or service exists or occurs as a result of the process? The Way it works.
Charles S. Peirce would agree with Wang Pi that the highest good (or God) does not exist, but is real, because it ‘determines the suchness of that which may come into existence, when it does come into existence’ (Peirce, EP2:269). Who or what is that good for?