ZHUANGZI DISSES THIS BLOG III

Scott:  This conversation started with something important that we didn’t finish, but I forget what it was.

Zhuangzi:  We were discussing whether you believed your own drivel or not.

Scott:  Yeah, but it was something that led into that. I know; you said you’ve moved on from what you wrote—but I’m still there trying to “get” it. Can you elaborate?

Zz:  I was mostly just twisting your tail. But it’s simple enough—what I wrote was a fish trap; now I’m eating my fish. If it’s all about depending on nothing—and yes, congratulations, you got that much right—then that includes not depending on even that. It is just an idea after all.

Scott:  Well, when you put it that way, I don’t feel so bad about still messing around with the idea—maybe I’ve set my sights too low, but I don’t expect to ever get much further than that. But there’s some fun and freedom to be had in even that.

Zz:  Your theory of “approximation”. I rather like that actually. People just seem to want to take everything so seriously—so absolutist-ly.

Scott:  We want the answer—clarity—an end to our existential dangle. But if you’ve moved on, then I guess that means you’ve gone further than that to which I aspire.

Zz:  Or maybe I’m just dead. Ha, ha, ha.

Scott:  Ha, ha. Why does that comfort me? But that brings up something important that I think is to be learned here, but I don’t know how to address it. This conversation I mean. And not just this conversation, but my engagement with your philosophy generally. There’s something unreal about all of it, yet somehow there’s something . . . genuine (?) in it.

Zz:  You’re having a conversation with a dead guy and putting words in his mouth that you pretend are not your own words—and yet somehow, in some way, they are not—and you’re learning from the process. Yes, most unreal—and yet genuine. Reminds me of life and everything having to do with it actually.

Scott:  And the same applies to my reading of your work: There is something that you actually said, but whatever I take away from it is not that, but rather what I think you said, so that I’m in effect putting words in your mouth once again. Do you agree?

Zz:  Abso-tutely! Maybe Penumbra can help us here—after we refill our glasses, don’t you think?

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