Zhuangzi:  No more wine? Well, I need to be on my way in any case. I’ve got another debate with Xunzi and Mencius yesterday.

Scott:  Yesterday?

Zz:  Yeah, “I left today and arrived yesterday”. Ha. Ha. Out beyond, the sun ‘don’t’ rise.

S:  So, how’d the first debate go?

Zz:  As all such things go—nowhere. Still, we all tuned up our own opinions in the process. Mencius and I are really on the same page—though he won’t admit it. Xunzi, on the other hand, he’s a bit of work. It’s hard trying to reason with a . . . what’s that word? . . “fascist”?

S:  That’ll work.

Zz:  He knows what’s right for everybody and thinks it’s the government’s job to force everyone to comply. At least Mencius’ pedagogical model for societal improvement allows for lots of breathing room. And his mystical side opens up into cultivating people’s natural humanity.

S:  His experience of “flood-like qi”?

Zz:  Yeah. He’s pretty vague on it! But he gets a good buzz from completely affirming and releasing into the human life-experience—he’s just afraid to go all-in on the mystical side. He’s afraid it’ll open people up to a moral free-for-all. You know how it is—a trust in humanity betrayed by a simultaneous distrust.

S:  Yeah. Though admittedly there’s room for pessimism. But it hardly seems like it could make things much worse. But back to your opinions on this Trump thing—what do you think, are there any helpful parallels?

Zz:  To be sure. Part of his appeal is his war on personal liberties. Your . . . Puritans? . . . what do you call them now?

S:  Evangelicals.

Zz: Yeah, Evangelicals. Like Xunzi they know what’s right and wrong, and believe they’re obliged to force it on everyone else. For them freedom of religion is the freedom to oppress others. Not that your “liberals” aren’t capable of doing the same thing.

S:  So, the healthier way is—grow our humanity. I see what you mean about Mencius.

Zz:  Yeah, we’re on the same page. Got to go.  Keep the non-faith!

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