ON BEING SELF-SO (ZIRAN) III

Guo makes several arguments for all things being self-so, uncaused and self-arising. We have already spoken of the problem of infinite regress created by the idea of causation, and its only solution being a beginning that is uncaused, which is to say the self-so-ness we were trying to avoid in the first place. Thus, “Heaven” is not a causative something other than all things, but precisely all things. There are not-two (heaven and earth); and where there is not-two, there is no causation.


Another of his arguments is that nothing cannot create something. He takes Non-Being as meaning what it actually implies—nothing. How can nothing cause something?


Arguments have their uses, but we must be wary of depending on them. Anything proven true is existentially untrue. Zhuangzi makes similar arguments that inspired Guo’s, but his differ fundamentally in intent. All he wanted to prove is that we can prove nothing. (Gotcha! This is self-contradictory! Exactly.) We are existentially a-dangle. This leads us to the examination of our actual experience so that we might harmonize our living with life, which, quite frankly, makes no sense. Get over it. That’s Zhuangzi’s vision in a nutshell—getting over it—getting so far over it that life becomes a playful romp.


We promised that we would show how this is something practically helpful, something more than just speculative blabber. We cannot—showing it would just amount to more blabber. We can, however, recommend an imaginative excursion into the possibility of your being the Great Happening. Not part of an endless line of caused events whose sum is the Great Happening, but the Great Happening as not-two. This is “hiding the world in the world”—not a Truth, but an activity. Not knowing, but living.

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