Saturday, March 16, 2013

Living Reality

Scott Bradley

Tai Chinjen asked Zhouzi, "Master, how in your way does one discover Reality?"

Zhouzi answered, "Need fish discover water?"

"It is true that for fish water is the most immediate reality," replied Tai, "but for us it is easily seen that their lakes and ponds, rivers and oceans are but limited realms and thus are not Reality. Are not humans similarly deceived?"

"We are deceived when we think the immediate is not also the Ultimate," answered Zhouzi. "Is there Dao and not-Dao? Is there true Dao and dissipated Dao? Are not all things as they are Reality?"

"Yet we are deceived," countered Tai. "Is deception also Reality?"

"If it is true, as it is written, that all distinctions are falsely imagined, how can falsely imagining not also be Reality? Have you not falsely imagined a distinction between reality and Reality? Dao is what happens. Not even the thinnest of blades could find a space between them."

"Then can we not make a distinction between deception and true understanding?" Tai persisted.

"There is no distinction between life and death, except for the living," answered Zhouzi. "Life and death are one string, yet life is not death and nourishes itself to preserve life as best it can. Still, there are those who fail to nourish themselves properly. Whether deceived or of true understanding is a question of nourishment, yet neither is of great consequence."

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