Zhuangzi: I really do like your mantra—“I am perfect by virtue of my being perfectly as I am, just as I am”. But it is rather revealing of your actual experience, don’t you think?

Scott:  For sure. In fact, this whole publicized project is pretty embarrassing. I mean everything for which I advocate is precisely what I lack—which is why I advocate for it. Talk about hanging out your dirty laundry!

Zz:  And why would anyone take your advocacy seriously, when it’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about?

Scott:  I’m doubtful that anyone does. So the value of this writing practice as far as the reader is concerned is that it presents itself as a personal project of self-exploration. It does not suggest that one adopt my responses, but only that one might wish to engage in a similar project. But what about you—Did you know what you were talking about?

Zz:  What!? How could you question the de of a great sage!? An Immortal, no less! Where would you find answers if I did not know what I was talking about?

Scott:  I’ll take that as a “no”.

Zz:  Take it as a dodge. Hold it in ambiguity. “Release your mind to play in the harmony of all de.”

Scott:  We seem to have gotten back to the question of efficacy. Knowing what you’re talking about means having realized what you advocate. And you won’t say whether you did that or not. So there’s no basis for my belief in the efficacy of your responses to life.

Zz:  Apart from your own experience in their application—which is apparently minimal.

Scott:  Hold that in ambiguity! But the important thing is: Zhuangzi doesn’t have the answers!

Zz:  You’re making progress. Pretty soon I’ll be begging to be your disciple. Ha, ha, ha.

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