UNDER HEAVEN LXVI

The Tianxia saves Huizi and the other Logicians for last. It has absolutely nothing positive to say of them. For this reason, we are inspired from the Zhuangzian point of view to see how we can completely affirm and enfold them so as to realize a oneness. This has absolutely nothing to do with what they taught or how they behaved; that’s another issue altogether; though our very opposition to those things is precisely the catalyst that occasions this movement of uniting. Nor does such a uniting eliminate that original opposition.

Can we similarly affirm and enfold that putative devil amongst us, Adolf Hitler? If we cannot, then we cannot truly do it with anything or anyone else. This oneness is either universal or it is a sham.

“Seen from the point of view of their sameness, all things are one.” How was Adolf the same as us? He was a human being. You and I belong to the same class as Adolf. This is humanity. Humanity is not an ideal; humanity is what humans are and do. We do not have the privilege of excising Adolf or anyone else from the category of human.

You and I thus participate in Hitler-ness. He is in us all. There’s benefit in realizing this painful reality—this oneness.

Never again! Really? There is something to be learned from the fact that this understandable cry, when taken as a “sworn oath”, can lead to a willingness to inflict tremendous suffering on others in the pursuit of that end.

Adolf was right—in his own mind. He didn’t do evil because he wanted to do evil—he wanted to do the right thing—for his tribe.

Go ask the chickens, pigs, and cows if we humans are not Hitlerian. Go to the slaughter houses and industrial “food” factories. Ah, but they are not human, not of our tribe. And anyway, I’m a vegan. Can that absolve you?

But let’s get some relief and unite Adolf and ourselves in still broader onenesses. We, the chickens, pigs and cows are all beings. We are part of the same Mess. We are one. I might therefore want for all beings what I want for myself.

And then there is the Oneness that opens us out into . . .  Openness. We cannot contain it, cannot think it; we can only be affected by it. And here, the self-affirmation that I feel as a matter of course extends out into this Totality and I sense that all is well in this Great Mess.

And now let’s return and tackle the wrongness in all these rightnesses.

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