It is very likely that the Commander of the Right lost his leg through the actions of man, but even this, he assures us, is also of Nature. Humanity is both of Nature and not of Nature, though the former trumps the latter. Language, its words and ideas are all of Nature, though they are incapable of fathoming Mystery, where everything is in effect mystery—“Mystery upon mystery”. This again is the fundamental though paradoxical principle of walking two roads at once that informs all of Zhuangzi’s philosophy.


All this has been simply to establish the usefulness of ideas in the transformation of our interface with the world and ourselves. Philosophical Daoism, especially the Zhuangzian version, does not dismiss words or the ideas they convey, but rather suggests their fullest realization in pointing us to where words cannot go. We will next consider Zhuangzi’s use of imaginative meditation which necessarily uses language and reason to affect a transformative recontextualization of our being in the world.

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