Consequence of our greed

Consequence of our greed.  Stellar significance is the same as stellar insignificance, because, when you ponder it thoroughly enough, you do not want the whole of things to have a meaning; at least you do not want them all to be yoked by one meaning alone.  Local meanings, a sea of local meanings crashing and warring and interacting with one another at every level, from the smallest to the largest…that is what we’re faced with….  And then…and then the desert, the gaps, the blank stretches through which the hands or tentacles of two or more meanings cannot touch one another, where they are forced, exhausted by their striving, to concoct some fantasy of an overarching meaning that holds them all, even the incommensurable ones, in one solid, firm, sure grip.  It is precisely then that we lose hold of the world, that it slips through our greedy fingers.


  1. Mr. Z says:

    Would you say greed could or should be treated like an addiction? Can we solve greed if we recognize it as an addiction? Or maybe I’m being too simplistic?


    1. Richard Q says:

      I don’t think this is too simplistic at all. I see a sort of addiction at the root of both our good and our ills. Recognizing the primal conditionedness and thrownness of things can be a boon when you think you are being demolished or threatened by some form.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mr. Z says:

        Thank you for your reply. We start to believe our patterns. Which are true and also not true. I believe you are helping me free my mind… I was getting sticky.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Richard Q says:

        I relate to this, and am overjoyed to hear your response.

        If you get a chance, read (or reread) Chapter 2 of the Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi), On the Equalization of All Things (here, working everything out evenly). It is incredible, and travels along the way we are traveling here.

        The Book of Chuang Tzu – Terebess

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mr. Z says:

        Thank you for the link! I look forward to learning from it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Richard Q says:

        Enjoy it. It is one of the treasures I have come to on this earth.


      5. Mr. Z says:

        I just found a copy on my bookshelf! It sounded familiar… But my translation is by Gia-Fu and Jane English. The chapter headings are slightly different. Such as: Happy Wandering instead of Wandering Where You Will. I had the companion book Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching but passed it on as a gift… I’m not sure I fully appreciated it. It needed to go to someone who was more receptive at the time. You’ve made me curious tho. Now I’m interested to see the translation you have offered in comparison. I know Penguin as a publisher tends to go for the most authentic translations. Thank you again, Richard.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Richard Q says:

        I actually had a feeling that you would end up familiar with the Zhuangzi. There are so many translations. I have always found the Tao te Ching and the Zhuangzi the greatest book-formed gifts, so it is a delight to hear you passed one on!

        I hope you truly enjoy this Palmer translation, since it will lift you up at certain points where the other translation did not.

        To be honest, the translation that had me most engrossed in the shattering and soothing brilliance of Zhuangzi is Brook Ziporyn. His translation of the Zhuangzi along with his own philosophical work are astonishing, and have actually sent me into a vortex of vision and splendor.

        You are right about Penguin Publishing. This is another example of their selecting a translation that is astute as well as beautiful. Keep all the translations near!

        Zhuangzi: The Complete Writings – Terebess


      7. Mr. Z says:

        I will look for Brook Ziporyn next. What brilliant fun you are Mr. Q. 🙏🏻❤︎

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Richard Q says:

        Thank you, Z. I taste the good salt from you, too.

        Even if you don’t order a hard copy of the Ziporyn translation, you might use that link to look at small segments you are gripped by in the Palmer et al translation.


      9. Mr. Z says:

        Small update, I’ve read the first chapter of my translation and compared it to the one you sent in the link. Thank you for Martin Palmer’s (and pals) more lyrical version. The one I have is stiff and stilted and not at all compelling. Palmer’s is playful and accessible and I’m sad I’ve missed out on it until now. I am going to replace the copy I own with the one you recommended.
        You’ve no idea how perfect it is to me. 🙏🏻❤︎

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Richard Q says:

        I know…now I’ve passed on more than one alternative translation! The Palmer translation still might stay closest to you for its light beauty, but I think reading through the Ziporyn translation and notes will make the whole thing glisten more subtly.


      11. Richard Q says:

        It’s given me a great and lasting smile to know that we will be reading this together, in part. I will reread these works interminably…(maybe) to the chagrin of Zhuangzi’s spirit! ❤️


      12. Mr. Z says:

        I will let you know when I have embarked on my new Zhuangzi. I ordered the book online immediately after reading the first chapter’s last line (from the link you provided) and I think by Friday I will have my own copy. Bliss. 🙏🏻❤︎

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Richard Q says:

        That is excellent. Become one with/merge with/love the dust. (Ch.52, Tao te Ching)


      14. Mr. Z says:

        After I said “bliss” I thought of Joe Campbell’s “ignorance is bliss” and that’s not the right word choice for Zhuangzi’s spirit. Therefore I’d like to offer my correction as, Joy…
        … and I hope you have a joyous day…


      15. Richard Q says:

        I thought of Campbell when I read the word, as I often do. He hijacked it in a way, or the cultural rockstar movement around him did. Follow your bliss was his phrase. Ignorance is bliss, I believe, comes from an old 18th century poem. At least I don’t think he said this about ignorance, as he was pretty fixed on the hero’s journey of (self-) realization. I still like the quote, “ignorance is bliss” being attributed to Campbell, since I am not exactly a Campbellphile!

        I like that you changed to joy, even though the phrase “follow your bliss” has some place in my life. For joy is one of the greatest words, as it is for me the ruler of emotion or mood. (I know I’m just going on) It seems to me sometimes that it is the only emotion that somehow takes cognizance of every other facet of life. Somehow joy can contain its opposites, whereas our other emotions have a more closed in (vision of the) world.

        Joy to you today and always, Z.! Z greatest joy!


      16. Mr. Z says:

        Good morning Mr. Q!
        Campbells Creative Mythology (the Masks of God) was dry reading but extensive in connecting the “mono-myth” humans share. I think his desire to show people how our myths and stories come from and lead back to the same source was/is important “research” and it liberated a lot of people from the divisiveness of their religions. He pissed off Jewish people who feel/ felt him to be anti-semitic when he blasted their myth, but I don’t believe he was anti-semitic at all. Altho certainly he wasn’t being reverent. lol.
        I guess Joe was dangerous to the collective faith(s) as he championed the personal spiritual journey.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Richard Q says:

        My grandmother, who raised me, had a couple dozen audio tapes of Joe’s lectures. I listened to them endlessly as an older boy and a younger man. I will always be thankful to Campbell.


      18. Mr. Z says:

        My father made a “guru” out of Joe for a while because he felt vindicated against his catholic upbringing so he wanted to spread the word about how to dismantle the myth of Jesus. He’s a card carrying atheist and all about freedom from religion (not freedom of religion) and I’m grateful for all of that, but I have absolutely no relationship with him today. Whenever I miss him, I remind myself he’s following his bliss, and there’s nothing I’m missing out on. We have different paths and the one we shared for a short while in life was meaningful while it lasted. I remember him playing me the recordings of George Carlin!
        Thanks for sharing about your grandmother with me.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Richard Q says:

        I have a similar distance from my father, but like you a love for him. Unlike you, I don’t have a sense of where he stands in the spirit. My grandmother is a cornerstone. I can’t help but mention her!

        I hope your day is shining.


      20. Mr. Z says:

        I got my copy of the Palmer Book of Change Tzu! It arrived early. I read ‘working everything out evenly’ this morning. Thank you again for the recommendation. I have order a copy for my nephew whose birthday is coming up soon. He’s just turned that age where I think sharing a book like this will be perfect.

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Richard Q says:

        This has delighted me through the whole day so far, hearing that your nephew will become acquainted with Zhuangzi. It is learning at its finest, when it comes from within an atmosphere of love.


      22. Mr. Z says:

        Thanks for helping me shop! I had no idea what to get him until you recommended the Zhuangzi. A cosmic package has sprang up around it including the latest Mr. Gnome CD with Space Opera on it and a pair of sock-it-to me socks for men that have the cosmic eye swirling on them… I’m shipping it today and he’ll be stylin’ in no time.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Richard Q says:

        Such abundant, and thoughtful, love! Carry on, Z!


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