Scott:  I’d like to go back to the idea that since no one ever existed before their birth, they do not even truly exist after their birth, and therefore certainly not after their death. Its real practicality it seems to me is that it helps us reconcile with the core emptiness we all experience.

Zhuangzi:  Right. If it isn’t rooted in our experience then it’s just adding to life.

Scott:  But we do experience ourselves as a someone nonetheless. How do we account for that?

Zz:  We experience ourselves as an experience that naturally objectifies itself—calls itself “me”—and then takes that “me” as something substantial and enduring. We then become attached to that identity and fear its loss. Instead of understanding the self-creation of “me” as a process in the flow of continual process we try to freeze the process and make our “me” an essential something—a “soul”, true-self, or whatever.

Scott:  But it is natural to do this, so . . .

Zz:  Everything that happens is natural. Doing the most “unnatural” thing imaginable is still natural. It’s just as you say with humanity—it is what it does; it isn’t some ideal reality removed from how it manifests. If there is inhumanity, then inhumanity is also humanity. All these declarations that “we are better than this” are said in bad-faith, self-deceit. So yes, it’s natural to posit a “me”—and even to take that “me” as “full and real”. The appendix is also natural—a troublesome and useless left-over within the evolutionary process. A positive consequence of our self-awareness is that we can tweak nature to our own advantage—we can remove the appendix. The habit of taking oneself as a fixed-self is also a natural but troublesome evolutionary product that we can tweak to our own advantage.

Scott:  So the egoic-self is not evil.

Zz:  Not unless nature is evil. Nor does the cosmos care one way or the other that we make ourselves suffer. Nor is the cosmos in any way negatively affected by our dysfunction. Yet we in our anthropocentrism think the cosmos must be fragmented because we seem to be.

Scott:  Humpty-Dumpty—hundun—chaos—does not yearn to be put back together again.

Zz:  Right! And the case can made that all our supposed rational de-chaos-ification is really just chaos on steroids.

Scott:  You seem to be pretty well integrated into today-speak.

Zz:  Sure, when you’ve non-existed forever it’s easy to keep up with the times.

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