Saturday, March 9, 2013

One of Us

Scott Bradley

Visiting Daoists asked Zhouzi, "Master, are you not one of us?"

"Of course I am one of you!" exclaimed Zhouzi. "Are there some who are not?"

"Master," came their reply, "we are few and there are many who follow other paths."

"Are we not all denizens of the same forest?" replied Zhouzi. "Are there not as many paths in the forest as there are things to walk them? Is it not in their differences that we understand their sameness? Is not the diversity of the forest its completion?"

"It is as you say," they answered, "but is it not also true that monkeys of a kind troop together and birds of a kind flock together? Since we follow a common path, should we not do likewise?"

"Indeed you might," answered Zhouzi. "Is not this very community a similar troop? Thus are we able to mutually support and encourage one another. Yet unlike monkeys we are capable of a more transcendent view, and it is to this that we encourage; for the monkey knows no lack, whereas the human knows little else. In the troops of monkeys is self-preservation, yet too often in the troops of men is added the preservation of self."

"Then we form our troops in order to transcend them!" one visitor exclaimed.

"Just so!" replied Zhouzi. "So let us troop together!"

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

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