Friday, August 22, 2014

Everything is the Ass

There are only two diseases:
One is riding an ass to search for the ass;
The other is riding an ass and being unwilling to dismount.

You say that riding an ass to search for the ass is silly
and that he who does it should be punished.
This is a very serious disease.

But, I tell you, do not search for the ass at all.
The intelligent man, understanding my meaning,
stops searching for the ass,
and thus the deluded state of his mind ceases to exist.

But if, having found the ass, one is unwilling to dismount,
this disease is most difficult to cure.

I say to you, do not ride the ass at all.
You yourself are the ass.
Everything is the ass.
Why do you ride on it?
If you ride, you cannot cure your disease.

But if you do not ride,
the universe is as a great expanse open to your view.

       - Shu Chou, quoted in Fung Yu-Lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy

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