Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Simple Way III: Yes

Scott Bradley


The Simple Way of Zhouzi might be summarized in the one word Yes. It is an absolute and fundamental affirmation of things as they are. This is, ironically, a very hard saying. Things are not as we would have them to be. There is much evil in the human world. There is much suffering in the world in general. We feel a moral responsibility to care about this and to do something about it. Yet none of this apparent imperfection impacts the view from Dao. From the perspective of Dao all things are perfect in being what they are, because they are. Dao is the great emerging of which all things are equally a part. Dao is what happens. Dao is amoral. Just like Nature. Just like the stars. Just like empty space. Just like the Universe.

It bears saying that all this evil and suffering of which I spoke and with which we are so concerned are only one supernova or asteroid impact away from complete resolution. Yet these are probably some time off and we live in the present. And in this present we understand that our affirmation of all things is precisely what enables us to make them better. All things are perfect; so let's work on their imperfections. Nothing need be improved upon; so let's improve them. Walking two roads, just like life itself, never really makes 'sense'.

Here's Mary. She's all fucked-up. Yet there's something essential about Mary that makes her affirmable, and because of this essential affirmability we care about her and seek to assist her to greater peace. And just as our desire to help her begins in our appreciation of her affirmability, so our actual help begins in helping her to realize her affirmability. But alas, despite our efforts, Mary remains all fucked-up. No matter, Mary is still perfectly Mary. All is well.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

1 comment:

  1. Two "Yes"-related books came to my mind as I read this post: Joyce's Ulysses, which ends with a resounding "Yes!" (the title, Ulysses, also contains a hidden "yes"), and one of the best so-called "self-help" books I've ever read, "Fuck, Yes!: A Guide to the Happy Acceptance of Everything" (excerpt: http://www.templaruniversity.com/wingfing.html). So glad you're continuing with these posts, Scott.

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