Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello Mr Nailed Together Wood


I stole the basic gist of this idea from Alan Watts who judging by the rest of his career stole it from someone else (polite joke).

Two folks begin teaching in nothing more than a large hut in a small village. Children come to their school and the school gets a name. In time, as new youngsters come and the older children leave, new teachers come too, the school is expanded with a new building along side the old.

Years later some of the older teachers begin to leave and more new ones come, each year the ongoing flow of students, young coming in, older ones leaving, even at some point old students returning to be teachers or as parents bringing their own children to school. At some time, the newer building is extended and, at another time, the original hut changes purpose and then later is demolished and replaced by an even newer building. - This school is a process, not a thing. It has a name but none of its original parts are there.

A person is very similar to this process. Consider how your clothes, your ideas, your cells, the inflow of food and the replacing of all that makes you up goes on in just the same way as the school above. What makes you up now is not what made you up before, you're an ongoing flow. You have the same name (probably) and you have maintained an ongoing thread of self identity but nothing solid remains here that was there when the name was given or the 'me' claimed residence.

You're part of the process, the flow of Tao.

You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.


  1. And your point is?

    Go clean up your room.

  2. I enjoy your missing the point in so many posts and rather than ask for clarification (which is almost always in the post somewhere already) you pick up on something that goes against a personal prejudice and bite.

    Still, in this case you asked, so, my point is, you're the process of Tao and not a fixed identity. Not a big point for anyone in Taoism to grasp, just yet another rerendering.


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