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Nuncle Scattered and Nuncle Slippery were observing the mounds of the Earl of Darkness in the emptiness of K'unlun where the Yellow Emperor rested.  Suddenly a willow began to sprout from Nuncle Slippery's left elbow.  He looked startled, as though he resented it.

"Do you resent it?" asked Nuncle Scattered.

"No," said Nuncle Slippery.  "Why should I resent it?  Our lives are just a borrowed pretext.  That which we borrow to maintain our lives is merely so much dust.  Life and death alternate like day and night.  As you and I were observing evolution, it caught up with me.  So why should I resent it?"
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5 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Nuncle

it is actually a word. i checked.

 

14 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Suddenly a willow began to sprout from Nuncle Slippery's left elbow

but this is some weird shrubbery

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6 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

it is actually a word. i checked.

Yeah, although Mair is an American he got his education in England so its understandable that he would sometimes use Old English words.

 

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Yeah, a willow sprouting out one's elbow is a bit strange.  But good example of the concept being presented.

 

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Posted (edited)

A willow sprouting out one's elbow can be understood as that the recycling of the matter of Nuncle Slippery's body has already started even before he was buried. As the text goes:

 

Quote

That which we borrow to maintain our lives is merely so much dust. 


However there is a problem in all this: it may be natural that life and death alternate as day and night, but it also seems natural that one resents the degeneration of ones own body before one dies. So that makes the acceptance of death and particularly of ones bodily degeneration somewhat forced. Unless one identifies with the whole universe or with Tao, because that what we were will not completely disappear but merely transform into other forms of life.

 

But who can identify with the whole universe or with Tao without being enlightened? 

Edited by wandelaar

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Yes, if we view our body, our life, as a personal possession it would be difficult to accept the transitions into old age and finally death.  However, if we understand that all that we are is just borrowed stuff from the universe it should be a bit easier to acknowledge that this that is borrowed must one day be returned.

 

Cycles and reversion are important concepts, IMO.  The cycle of birth, life, and death, and the reversion to what was before the previous reversion.  That last phrase sounds strange.  Reversion:  Come out then go back in.

 

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Posted (edited)

Willow symbolizes either humility , or recovery from hard times, (like at a funeral where the branches may be included or carried. ) in this venue. 

 

To be in Kunlun - extending from the center of the earth to the heavens , (a fantasy situation) ,  its possible that the Nuncles in the clip ,were actually deceased - ghosts  ,  looking at the remains of their flesh being recycled by nature. 

 

Nuncle slippery does indeed resent the loss of his flesh , but knows he shouldnt, so he is 'backsliding' a bit , having a bit of resentment rather than humility. 
Very understandable. 

 

 Nuncle Scattered , has made a more thorough break, 
more mature , and also understandable, and Slippery knows it. 

 

( the flip side , is that it is slippery who is accepting of the circumstances being revealed , and is therefore recovering -like the willow ,, and its scattered who is thinking there is resentment because he isn't as cohesive on the idea of rebirth like that.

Same message though ) 

Edited by Stosh
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17 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Yeah, a willow sprouting out one's elbow is a bit strange.  But good example of the concept being presented.

 

The Chineses cholars explain this part as an homophone. For some reason, instead a character for 'a tumor' the scribes used a similarly sounding character for 'willow' (liu).

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Existence individuated us.   This should give us a strong message that there is a reason for this.

We are guardians of our individuated expression and we should honour this and this is natural all creatures do this.
To not do this is to live with a philosophy of suicide.

No awakened being wielded the power of the whole, none of them could make a planet for instance.
Therefore they are not the whole; to think you are the whole is an arrogant boast.
No you are individuated and that individuation is your responsibility.

Is our individual self an illusion, can we not feel the whole ?
We can feel both they are like both ends of a bridge, we can feel both polls of the bridge.

Is our individuated self false ?
Well, is a trainee Doctor ... false ?
Or is there just some work to do before becoming .... real ?

Monkeys are coarse and sheeplike creatures, they do not feel very much inside.
To understand such things one must be able to feel and recognize inside.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, rideforever said:

Existence individuated us.   This should give us a strong message that there is a reason for this.

 

I was about to write that a part is not the whole of the whole, but then I thought about an infinite counterexample:

Let A = {{{... ...}}} then A= {B} with B = {{... ...}}, but B = A.

So a part can be identical to the whole.

 

Perhaps we just don't know. :unsure:

 

Edited by wandelaar
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The question is not what we are, but what we can be.

Saying we are a part of the whole ... or whatever .... okay but when ?

 

Before the path ?

Or after ?

People do not specify, do they.
Because they are before the path.

Only if you have reached the summit can you discuss the summit as well as the valley.
Otherwise all you have to talk about is the valley meaning you are before the path.

Perhaps we just do know, but refuse to do the work.

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