Many observers have seen in this painting a concern with centrality and balance, a desire for "things in their place," which carries social and political overtones. Does the massive central mountain represent the emperor or the central government? Does the tri-partite structure evoke the notion of heaven, earth, and man? Do the gnarled trees bring up issues of aging and perseverance? What of the Daoist temple in middle ground? Other aspects that evoke Daoist ideas to many viewers are the dwarfing of the men by the enormity of nature and the water and mist that evoke the vital energies of the earth and ideas of yin and yang.