Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ouch!

Scott Bradley

Things are good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable,
only because we think them so.
All things are perfectly acceptable in themselves.
All things are equal in Dao.
No one thing is more important or more valuable
than any other thing.
The differences between things
are their individual completion.
Realizing the equality of things
is the travail of rebirth.

This is my adaptation of Mitchell's adaptation of a passage from Zhuangzi 2.
Is there anything to add? One would hope that something might be said that said all that need be said. But since the saying is not the experiencing, one always wants to say more, hoping that more saying will lead to more experiencing.

Yet nothing more need be said. This is rock enough upon which to break, cliff enough off which to fall. All we need do, is to do so. But why would we want to? If you don't, then don't. It doesn't matter all that much.

The power of words of spiritual import often resides in their ability to make us say "Ouch!". If the declaration of the equality of things does not 'go against the grain' of our discriminatory existence, what does? If we have not at least felt the knife, then we haven’t understood.

How is it that I presume to offer words of "spiritual import"? It is because I believe they echo the words of another. And they make me say “Ouch!”. Yet, how could that other so presume? Perhaps it is because he felt "Ouch!". We, too, might feel it, and in the feeling, realize its implications.

I have said before, don't read my words; read the one's above. But you needn't read those either; read Zhuangzi. But you needn't read him; figure it out for yourself. But then, perhaps you'd rather not bother. It really doesn't matter all that much what you do. Ouch!

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

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