ZHUANGZI ON THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS III

Blog:  So, we asked for this interview because our minds are so wrapped up in this presidential election that we despise some candidates and love one, we’re angry about the status quo, and we’re worried that our favorite won’t win and bring real change. We’ve got hope, for God’s sake! This is really stressful and it all seems the complete opposite of what you teach is possible. Wouldn’t you agree?

Zhuangzi:  Absolutely! You’re a mess! But it doesn’t matter all that much. Your mess, my mess, the Great Mess—it’s all “good”. Can you see how your failure is no-failure in the light of there being no failures? You’re a perfect mess—just like everyone else.

B:  Yes, we get that; but aren’t there more perfect messes? Isn’t your mess better than our mess?

Z:  Well . . . yes . . .and no. If by “better” you mean happier and freer, well then I guess my mess is better. But it’s not more perfect. Nothing can be more perfect than perfect. Since everything is perfect in being precisely what it is, how could anything be more perfect than anything else? That’s the “higher” road. The other road is the possibility of you being freer and happier. But you can’t realize that until you also walk the other.

B:  Yes, we get that. That’s one of our biggest take-aways from your philosophy—being perfect in being who we are. Realizing that—brushing the edge of that—seems like the closest thing to “enlightenment” that you suggest. It’s the essence of freedom. But it’s a hard nut to crack.

Z:  Of course it is! Do you think I’ve cracked it? No—I’ll tell you what nut I’ve cracked—I’m perpetually cracking the nut of never cracking the nut and finding freedom in that. Absolutes! Arriving! Completion! Enlightenment! Eschew them all! Embrace your existential dangle! That’s freedom!

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