Scott:  To tell you the truth, I prefer a walk in the woods to these logical exercises to occasion an experience oneness.

Zhuangzi:  So do I! It’s the story of Ziqi and his forest that comes from my heart. But you just have to remember that I was rubbing shoulders with the Logicians and so used their methods. I was mostly writing in dialogue with Huizi especially. So tell me about a walk in the woods.

Scott:  There’s nothing at all profound in it. My guess is that just about anyone, who lets her- or himself, experiences a sense of transcendent belonging when in Nature.

Zz:  And when are we ever not in Nature?

Scott:  True. Nature is everything. However much we think otherwise, we and all the supposedly artificial accoutrements of our manufactured hive are not other than Nature. In every moment and in every direction we turn is an invitation to experience oneness. That’s the beauty of it. It’s just being human. It’s all and always just being human. Nothing is added to the process of life, as you say. But there is something about a rawer and less humanized experience of Nature that makes the experience of oneness easier.

Zz:  Granted. And it’s also when we experience a sense of oneness with Nature that we come up against that which prevents us from complete release into oneness.

Scott: The fixed-self. The self that takes itself as a fixed-identity and fears its own loss. But that too is an opportunity for experimental play. We can imagine releasing our grip on our identity and can thus imagine ourselves into a deeper oneness.

Zz:  What’s there to lose!? Whatever we “are”, we cannot become other than we “are”. Nothing is lost in imagining the loss of our “me”. If the “me” is fixed and real, well then, it cannot be lost. And if it is not, then all we have to lose is our fear of its loss.

Scott:  And losing one’s “me” isn’t the loss of the self-experience in any case. It’s just experiencing it in a different way—an open-ended way that “participates everywhere in the springtime of each being”. It’s a self-experience that comes not at the exclusion of all other “selves” but that actually includes and celebrates the self-ness of all other selves.

Zz:  You like that passage.

Scott:  I love that passage!

Mencius:  And so do I!

Zz:  Meng! Glad you could make it! And your timing was perfect!

Scott:  If surprising me and making me jump out of my skin was the object, it was perfect timing indeed!  But you are most welcome. Take a seat and I’ll get you a glass.

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