TAKING ZHUANGZI TO THE LAUNDROMAT I

Scott:  Hey. No friend this time

Zhuangzi: Hi. No. There’s some who’d like to come, but since you don’t even know that some of them ever really existed, to bring them would be to reveal too much. And of others, you don’t know enough of what they taught for us to have a proper discussion without that adding to your knowledge.

Scott:  You don’t want that I should know “facts” that I don’t already know. I get that. But I can’t be sure that even you existed, as I seem to recall was mentioned at your first visit.

Zz:  True. But whether I did or not does not matter since the ideas are our true interest. In any case, haven’t you had enough of debate?

Scott:  I have. Truth be said, I’m growing weary of all this blabber and of ideas, as well.

Zz:  Ah! That’s good news indeed! But can you really stop?

Scott:  Probably not. Can anyone ever stop? There’s always some self-justifying project or another it seems. Can we ever cease building our castles made of sand?

Zz:  It seems likely that we cannot. Did the so-called Buddha stop? Did he not have disciples, and did he not teach them? Why? Because he wanted to save the Universe—just another project. Did the Zen Patriarchs who said we should stop, stop? If ever there were any sages who truly stopped, we would know nothing of them. But there’s value in knowing that that is what we are about. We are a ceaseless project—the freedom comes in taking our sandcastle building as nothing more than play. But play we must.

Scott:  As Laozi said, “Those who know do not speak”—and then he spoke still more.

Zz:  “Laozi” knew he did not know, and so he spoke. Isn’t it curious how we want that he should have known? And more curious still is that we want to “grow up” and put an end to play.

Scott:  We want to close the circle; rest in some final answer; believe there is some true purpose; deny our end in death.

Zz:  Just so. And all our blabber is no different—unless we know it for what it is.

Scott:  And know that thinking we know it for what it is—that’s just as easily no different.

Zz:  Just so! Play is so very hard to do. Only no one can truly play.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *