Friday, January 29, 2010

354 - Dung

When you water your plants, you sometimes have to feed them. Manure is an excellent way to feed plants. Isn't that funny? Something that is so repellent when stuck to your shoe is so important to sustaining life.
~from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, Entry 354~
It's not always easy to figure out which knowledge will enrich our lives and which is...well...dung.

Some people collect knowledge as long as it is of a certain bent. The way it basically works is that, once a worldview is settled on, you collect all the information that fits your decided upon perspective. Anything that doesn't fit whatever it is that you already believe is thrown away, ignored and, even worse, ridiculed.

Some people collect knowledge as if it is candy. Every tidbit and morsel is stowed away. Hey, you never know when your sweet tooth needs to be satisfied? Besides, it's great to dangle it in front of others!!

The great Taoist sages -- Chuang Tzu & Lao Tzu -- caution people about knowledge. It almost sounds as if both see it as an impediment to embrace the Way. Me thinks each over dramatizes the point as a way to suggest that too much worldly knowledge -- facts and figures -- clogs the mind. A full bowl cannot be filled.

Too often, what so many look at as useless knowledge (mental dung) is avoided. But one person's dung is another person's caviar. The mystery of life is figuring out what is needed and what is not.

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