ZHUANGZI ON THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS VIII

Blog:  Well, this interview has helped clarify things for us. At least we’re no longer chiding ourselves for our involvement in partisan politics. But still, the emotional side of that involvement continues to disturb us. We’re disturbed about our being disturbed. How can we actually learn to care without that disturbing our peace?

Zhuangzi:  You understand this point of view—this view from Dao—quite well, but you’ve got to experience this understanding. And I have no formulas for how this can happen for you.


B:  You’re not much of a guru, are you?

Z:  You got that right! And that’s the most important thing you’ve realized about me and my philosophy. Since I haven’t “arrived”, how could I tell other people how to arrive? It’s always just a work in progress; it’s always just living; it’s always just being human. It’s not about practicing some so-called “spiritual” regime that leads to “a perfected human being”. What a lot of hooey that is! Not that these regimes can’t be good and helpful, but they tend toward a religious-mindedness that is inherently dishonest, inauthentic, and, frankly, often hypocritical and counter-productive.

B:  We appreciate that, but still we feel like you’ve left us dangling.

Z:  No I haven’t! Life has left you dangling! What? You want me to trump life? Embrace your dangling! That’s the best you can do. You say you are disturbed at being disturbed—embrace the fact that you are disturbed and you’ll be less disturbed at being disturbed. Can’t do that? Then embrace the fact that you can’t. If you want to say Yes to life, you’ve got to say Yes to how it manifests in you in every moment. That’s affirmative transcendence. Transcendence is not “arriving” at some ideal state, but forever making use of the state you’re in to soar in freedom.

B:  Thank you. We get this; but somehow keep forgetting. And we also have the niggling awareness of the criticism of some that this is just a cop-out, an excuse for our failure and an avoidance of responsibility.

Z:  It can be a cop-out! Everything can be a cop-out. But does it have to be? It can be a coping-out—a tactical exercise to realize a strategic aim—a freedom from the oppression of right and wrong that enables growth. In any case, why should the opinions of others disturb you?

B:  They do! And I embrace that!

Z:  Now you’re talking!

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