Zhuangzi:  Do you agree that when we create something we also destroy something else? When we carve the jade pendant we destroy the raw jade.

Scott:  Yes.

Zz:  The artisan assigns greater value to the jade pendant, but from another point of view the raw jade had the true value.

Scott:  The logging industry thinks the board feet to be obtained from a two thousand year old redwood are more valuable than the living tree. And some of us disagree.

Zz:  Precisely. And didn’t we agree that from the point of view from Dao those two opposite valuations are equalized? The value of the tree and the value of the boards are equal?

Scott: As an inveterate tree-hugger, I have difficulty with that. Maybe it wasn’t the best example.

Zz:  But that’s precisely why it is a good example. If it doesn’t cut against the grain of your chosen inclinations then it’s of little use. And remember, even when you have equalized these opposing values you can return to your chosen value. Only now you are informed of a broader view—the felling of the tree will not lead you to despair; you have realized that all things are created in the destruction of something else, and all destruction is the creation of something new. You will have had an experience of the Transforming Openness wherein all identities are in flux and nothing is ever lost.

Scott:  So, creation is also destruction, and vice versa; and thus we can see how they themselves negate each other and form a oneness. And that oneness is the sense of Dao.

Zz:  Yes; and you are right to say the “sense” of Dao. This Dao is not “The One”, but the psychological movement that experiences oneness.

Scott:  As Laozi says, “Reversal is the movement of the Dao.”

Zz:  Well, whoever wrote it had something similar in mind, though I admit I’m not always sure what he or they had in mind.


Scott:  Like your writing.

Zz:  Yes; I guess so.

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