The ‘fish’ are still biting and I’m reeling them in, I’m just not posting them. Posting my fishy observations requires so much cleaning up to make them fit for reading. Finishing the last chapter of my translation of the Tao Te Ching — Tao Te Ching, Word for Word — was the catalyst I needed to reevaluate things. I’ve wondered for some time why I post my observations in the first place. A Taoist point of view has to be among the most ironic subjects to speak or write on. After all, as chapter 56 says, he who knows does not speak, he who speaks does not know… I’d include think and write along with speak.
So I have to ask myself, if I don’t know, why reveal my ignorance? On the other hand, if I do know, why am I speaking? To be fair, that pithy “He who knows…” statement is not the whole story. On the positive side, trying to write coherently is a fascinating challenge for me, and my observations do appear to benefit a few people. You could say I’m composing and performing a form of art — a music for some shadowy part of the mind. Now certainly, my ‘songs’ are music to nearly no ones ears, but that is just as it should be.
Is redundancy the name of the game?
I feel like I’ve said it all before, ad nausium. Still, a constant echo seems to be useful to counteract the bio-hoodwink. Reviewing the view I see in my most balanced moments helps anchor me in my less balanced ones. From what I can tell, that is a common human practice. Forgetting what we truly want of life is all-too-easy!
Adventures of aging
I never remember any old people telling me how fascinating aging was or would be, although if they had, it probably wouldn’t have registered, seeing as one can only truly understand what one already knows (see You Know). I seem to be having increasing difficulty remembering things. I know this worries most aging people. However, for me that is a positive thing, as chapter 20 says… My mind is that of a fool – how blank! Vulgar people are clear. I alone am drowsy. Vulgar people are alert. I alone am muddled. Insight seems to flow like water through the void my mind is becoming. Alternatively, perhaps I’m just making lemonade when served with lemons!
Then again, I could just be seeing myself more as I actually am rather than as the ‘genius’ I once liked to think I was. Yes, that sounds like chapter 71’s Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty. Put simply, what I think is true prevents me from seeing what actually is true — the blinding effect of belief.
Another possibility is that I could be experiencing the beginnings of Alzheimer’s and the hole it produces in memory lead to my final days of insight before the mind’s curtain falls. Speculating is such fun, especially given how life usually turns out differently from anything we think. It is an adventure, that’s for sure!
Postscript: It is now 2017, about 6 years after I wrote this post. I now believe I’ve completed the circle, or as chapter 36 puts it, If you would have a thing laid aside, you must first set it up. After my last post, The Tradeoff, I felt I’d said enough. Still, who knows?