Thursday, March 14, 2013

Smelling the Flowers

Scott Bradley

Visiting Daoists asked Zhouzi, "Master, might you explain what place being and non-being find in your philosophy?"

"Forgive me, my Friends," replied Zhouzi, "but I know nothing of these things."

"But Master," one exclaimed, "Did not Laozi himself teach the primacy of non-being saying, 'It is the emptiness of the window that fills the room with light'?"

“‘Primacy’? I'm not so sure," answered Zhouzi. "But no matter. There is that which we believe we know and that which we do not; how could the one not inform the other? But of ‘being’ and ‘non-being’, though I understand the words, I fail of their necessity."

"But Master," asked another, "is it not emptiness we seek?"

"Zhuangzi said, 'It is just being empty, nothing more'," Zhouzi replied. "He suggested we be it; he did not suggest we seek it. Why should we seek when there's nothing to find? What is missing in the experience of you? There is no other treasury from which to draw. If things are not as they seem, still how they seem is good enough for me. If the fabric of the world as my mind weaves it — its warp to my weft — is only just a dream, still that's more than enough for me. We honor the Root when we enjoy the flower. Only a fool would insist we pull it up to appreciate the roots."

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

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