Scott:  So one of the positive outcomes of experiencing oneness is a hope that is also not-hope.

Zhuangzi:  Life is a great hoping—an affirming élan, is it not? “Hope dawns eternal”, as you say. But it also eternally sets. We become ill and hope to recover; and maybe we do. But eventually we do not. The hope that depends on particular outcomes is the mother of despair. Conditional hope and despair are mutually generating opposites; you can’t have one without the other.

Scott:  But they can be united to form a oneness.

Zz:  And when we do that we put an end to the conditionality of hope and return to our intrinsic hope. In their mutual self-negation all that remains is what life itself is—a hopeful affirming.


Scott:  Explain again how we can unite them to form a oneness. I basically get the mechanics of it, but it does seem like a lot of word-play—a kind of trickery.

Zz:  It is word-play and trickery! What is not? I use several mutually generating opposites to show how we can unite them to form a oneness. Which would you prefer I now use as an example?

Scott:  Remind again of the options.

Zz:  Well, there’s self and other, right and wrong, and creation and destruction, for starters. But once we start, it becomes applicable in the case of all our dualistic self-experience. Remember, that’s what we’re doing—moving from our inherent dualism to an experience of oneness. And when we emerge, we have a dualism that is informed of oneness so that our not-oneness is also experienced as a oneness. And it’s all psychological—tweaking our experience, playing with our humanity. We’re not talking Truth and Reality here.

Scott:  That last is so important—it makes the word-play seem more acceptable. Okay, how about self and other.

Zz:  First we want to see how they generate each other. Do you agree that without self there is no other, and vice versa?

Scott:  Well, self thinks of itself as independent, fixed and real; so no, I don’t see that as self-evident, though it’s likely the case. Can we take creation and destruction as an example instead?

Zz:  Sure. I take your point. Shall we refill our glasses first?

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