Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chinese Philosophy - PART V

In Zhuangzi Speaks, Zhuangzi spoke, “Nature is constantly changing, and people have to acknowledge and adapt to these changes. This way, reactions of delight and fear will dissipate, and the distinction between life and death will lose its significance”(Chung 45). There is so much change in this world. The only thing that does not ever change is the fact that everything we perceive is constantly changing. It is written in the Analects that Confucius said, “Only the most intelligent and the most stupid do not change”(Chan 46). With this, he speaks of the changing mindsets that ordinary people have. It would follow then, that the most intelligent and the most stupid of human beings must have no need for plan making. This is so, because in being the most intelligent, there will be no end result to plan for. Great Wisdom will have already been obtained and change is, thus, not necessary. As for the most stupid of human beings, well, they are plainly too ignorant to desire any progress within their present state of mind, so planning ahead will not be necessary, nor conceivable to them. Ignorance truly is bliss.
I am neither the smartest, nor the stupidest of man. I travel through the world with many different, changing mindsets. As Confucius said, “Know what you know and know what you do not know—this then is wisdom”(Ames & Rosemont 79). Within this essay, I planned to argue that making plans for the future is counterproductive. How contradictory! Although this must be seemingly contradictory, take into mind that in writing this essay I planned to not-plan what to write, and in not-planning, my plan was changed. The changes are still being made as I write. The timeframe that each word is released seems to be instantaneous and spontaneous and original. Even if it is spontaneous, when I say what I had not previously planned to say, the instant of my short-lived deliberation between Now and Now will always be planned slightly ahead of the time it is all actually written. Human beings seem to be lost within the desire of constantly fulfilling end results. Since the future is now, it seems to be quite impossible to plan for what is already happening. So why do we make plans? We all intrinsically plan for uncertain ends in order to distract our minds from the one thing that dually exists with life. Death. I will close with yet another quote of Zhuangzi’s that resonates deeply within my mind. He said, “Everyone is afraid of dying, but maybe death will be so great that we’ll end up regretting having ever lived”(Chung 23). Right Now, I plan on enjoying every instant of life that “Nature”, “God”, “Dao”, “Dharma”, “?”, allow me to live, including the infinitely timeless moment of Death.

1 comment:

  1. interesting thoughts.
    -Zillion ;