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Mr. Toothless asked the Lord of Confused Beginnings, "Do you know what all things agree in calling right?"
----"How would I know that?" said Lord Confusion.
----"Do you know that you don't know it?"
----"How would I know that?"
----"Then do things know nothing?"
----"How would I know that? However, suppose I try saying something. What way do I have of knowing that, if I say I know something, I don't really not know it? Or what way do I have of knowing that, if I say I don't know something, I don't really in fact know it? Now let me ask you some questions. If a man sleeps in a damp place, his back aches and he ends up half paralyzed, but is this true of a loach? If he lives in a tree, he is terrified and shakes with fright, but is this true of a monkey? Of these three creatures, then, which one knows the proper place to live? Men eat the flesh of grass-fed and grain-fed animals, deer eat grass, centipedes find snakes tasty, and hawks and falcons relish mice. Of these four, which knows how food ought to taste? Monkeys pair with monkeys, deer go out with deer, and fish play around with fish. Men claim that Mao-ch'iang and Lady Li were beautiful; but if fish saw them, they would dive to the bottom of the stream; if birds saw them, they would fly away; and if deer saw them; they would break into a run. Of these four, which knows how to fix the standard of beauty for the world? The way I see it, the rules of benevolence and righteousness, and the paths of right and wrong, are all hopelessly snarled and jumbled. How could I know anything about such discriminations?"
Mr. Toothless said, "If you don't know what is profitable or harmful, then does the Perfect Man likewise know nothing of such things?"
Lord Confusion replied, "The Perfect Man is godlike. Though the great swamps blaze, they cannot burn him; though the great rivers freeze, they cannot chill him; though swift lightning splits the hills and howling gales shake the sea, they cannot frighten him. A man like this rides the clouds and mist, straddles the sun and moon, and wanders beyond the four seas. Even life and death have no effect on him, much less the rules of profit and loss!....
Suppose you and I have had an argument. If you have beaten me instead of my beating you, then are you necessarily right, and am I necessarily wrong? If I have beaten you instead of your beating me, then am I necessarily right, and are you necessarily wrong? Is one of us right and the other wrong? Are both of us right, or are both of us wrong? If you and I don't know the answer, then other people are bound to be even more in the dark. Whom shall we get to decide what is right? Shall we get someone who agrees with you to decide? But if he already agrees with you, how can he decide fairly? Shall we get someone who agrees with me? But if he already agrees with me, how can he decide? Shall we get someone who disagrees with both of us? But if he already disagrees with both of us, how can he decide? Shall we get someone who agrees with both of us? But if he already agrees with both of us, how can he decide? Obviously, then, neither you nor I nor anyone else can decide for each other. Shall we wait for still another person?
But waiting for one shifting voice [to pass judgment on] another is the same as waiting for none of them. Harmonize them all with the Heavenly Equality, leave them to their endless changes, and so live out your years. What do I mean by harmonizing them with the Heavenly Equality? Right is not right; so is not so. If right were really right, it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument. Forget the years; forget distinctions. Leap into the Boundless and make it your home!"


Last edited by numan; 01/28/13 12:37 AM.
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'
Penumbra said to Shadow, "A little while ago you were walking, and now you're standing still; a little while ago you were sitting, and now you're standing up. Why this lack of independent action?"

Shadow said, "Do I have to wait for something before I can be like this? Does what I wait for also have to wait for something before it can be like this? Am I waiting for the scales of a snake or the wings of a cicada? How do I know why it is so? How do I know why it isn't so?"


There is a slight infelicity here in Burton Watson's otherwise admirable translation.
The phrase translated as "penumbra", Wang-Liang, a rhyming-binome, was originally the name of a water spirit, a deceptive nixie, whom one would, to their peril, occasionally glimpse in the dim images in water.
Here, the notion uppermost is that of a vague image, the shadow of a shadow !
If Shadow cannot guess what causes him to move, how much less can the shadow of a shadow know these causes !!

Last edited by numan; 01/28/13 12:46 AM.
numan #250069 01/28/13 02:40 AM
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Let me settle this for you without so much verbose pomposity.

I'm right. If you agree with me then so are you.
This works in both directions.
If you are right, then I will agree with you. Otherwise you are wrong.


Good coffee, good weed, and time on my hands...
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You're right.

numan #250079 01/28/13 11:12 AM
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If Shadow cannot guess what causes him to move, how much less can the shadow of a shadow know these causes !!


Indeed. ThumbsUp


"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky



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I think the key lies in the vitality of one's openness to consider the other viewpoint; to lay down one's own facts alongside of the opponent's facts, and to watch the thumb of one's ego on the Who's Right scales as the facts are weighed.

Quote:
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.
Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road


You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
R. Buckminster Fuller
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I don't disagree with the wisdom expressed in your last posting, Logtroll, but I think it demonstrates that you completely missed the sublimity of the wisdom of Zhuangzi.

Perhaps it would be better for you to take baby-steps in wisdom first. Here is a story involving Zhuangzi's niggling, word-splitting adversary, Hui Shi. It might be more congenial to your mentality.

Zhuangzi and Hui Shi were strolling along the dam of the Hao River when Zhuangzi said, "See how the minnows come out and dart around where they please! That's what fish really enjoy!"

Hui Shi said, "You're not a fish -- how do you know what fish enjoy?"

Zhuangzi said, "You're not I, so how do you know I don't know what fish enjoy?"

Hui Shi said, "I'm not you, so I certainly don't know what you know. On the other hand, you're certainly not a fish -- so that still proves you don't know what fish enjoy!"

Zhuangzi said, "Let's go back to your original question, please. You asked me how I know what fish enjoy -- so you already knew I knew it when you asked the question. I know it by standing here on the dam above the Hao River."


I wonder how many people who read this relatively simple wisdom will understand it.

Big, BIG hint -- a saying attributed to Hui Shi himself !

"Let love embrace the ten thousand things ; Heaven and earth are a single body."

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Now how can I express, to an American, even a bit of the wisdom of Daoism, and the deep meaning of the phrase, Wei-wu-wei ?

Because of the attention-span problem, it will need to be short . . . .

Ah, I have it !!

"HANG LOOSE, DUDE !"

numan #250120 01/28/13 11:36 PM
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So many words it takes to build a house.


You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
R. Buckminster Fuller
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Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?


--T. S. Eliot


"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky



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