RE-SEEING THE WORLD IV

“We think of our theory as ‘this’, as right, and the other’s theory as ‘that’, as wrong. But everyone and everything is clearly both a ‘this’ and a ‘that’, so in this sense they are the same. But we cannot easily see another’s ‘that’ as a ‘this’ being bound as we are by our own subjectivity, by our own ‘this’”(1:17).

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“This” and “that” also imply self and other. “This” is the subjective self and “that” is its objectified other. Yet, every “this” is someone else’s “that”. Everyone is thus both “this” and “that”. This being the “obvious” case, we are invited to move to the next level and unify them into a oneness.

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“Thus, every individual thing can be said to be ‘right’ and ‘acceptable’. If we say that this thing is a ‘beam’ and not a ‘pillar’, or that a leper is ugly and the famous beauty Xishi is beautiful, there is still a perspective from which someone can say that the opposite is true. Thus, there is yet another dao that allows these two perspectives (daos) to open up into each other, and to thereby combine to form a oneness” (2:22).

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