Scott:  Do you exist?

Zhuangzi:  What!?

Scott:  Do you still exist—somewhere, somehow, or am I just completely making you up?

Zz:  Ha! That’s a new one. I’m used to people asking if I ever existed. Sure, some people think I still exist as an Immortal—ha, ha. But no one ever seems to wonder if I existed before I supposedly existed. So . . .

Scott:  Wait. Let me finish it. In the view from Dao, if you didn’t exist prior to your supposed existence then you didn’t really exist even when you existed. And so continuing to exist is completely out of the question, since you never really existed in the first place.

Zz: Yeah, that’s it pretty much. But we don’t want to be dogmatic—it’s just a way of imagining things. But when we take a close look at ourselves—like I had Yan do—we can get a sense in which we have never really existed as a concrete entity at all, ever.

Scott:  We are a becoming, a happening—part of the Great Happening in which nothing is permanent and fixed. All identities are in flux—no identity persists, not even for a moment.

Zz:  Yep. That’s the idea. Have you experienced it?

Scott:  Maybe a little? Have you?

Zz: I’m not saying! I like your “Great Happening” trope, by the way.

Scott:  That’s a few things of mine that you like!

Zz: Yeah, well, don’t let it go to your head—since that’s where it, me and my agreement came from in the first place.

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