Friday, 16 November 2012

The Who, What, Where, Whom, (W)How, Why III

The Why?

The Useless

Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu:
“All your teaching is centred on what has no use.”

Chuang Tzu replied:
“If you have no appreciation for what has no use
You cannot begin to talk about what can be used.
The earth, for example, is broad and vast
But of all this expanse a man uses only a few inches
Upon which he happens to be standing.
Now suppose you suddenly take away
All that he is not actually using
So that, all around his feet a gulf
Yawns, and he stands in the Void,
With nowhere solid except right under each foot:
How long will he be able to use what he is using?”

Hui Tzu said: “It would cease to serve any purpose.”
Chuang Tzu concluded:
“This shows
The absolute necessity
Of what has 'no use.' ”

translation by Thomas Merton

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