Ambigamy

Insights for the deeply romantic and deeply skeptical

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Maybe minds are better-off, unmet

Taoism resonates with me; as philosophy not religion (I have none). But I see the passage of your first quote completely differently. Here’s how I view it:

Beautiful/ugly; good/bad are value judgments. IOW: Beautiful is “good;” ugly is “bad” . . . while all four [as well as the other opposites in the quote] can be stimulating.

Further: All opposites arrive in tandem. Beautiful brings ugly with it (and vice versa); good brings bad... And the Tao te Ching counsels: We should let go of such judgments, begin to see that the world around us simply is; that beautiful/ugly, good/bad, etc., are individual interpretations of that which simply is.

I see “stimulating” also as your interpretation. One end of a spectrum is not intrinsically more stimulating than the other; it’s merely more to you [based on what you’ve written].

We’ve previously discussed damage done by value labels (several blogs ago); we couldn’t come to a meeting of minds back then. But seeing, here, how you interpret the words in the Tao te Ching, I think I understand how you came to your position.

I read somewhere [in the I Ching?] that Tao is capable of communicating with each entity in his/her/its own intrinsic language. Thus: You take from the words what you need; and I take from those same words what’s necessary for me . . . presumably, for each of us to evolve.

And if that’s the case, a meeting of minds might even be detrimental.

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Jeremy Sherman is an evolutionary epistemologist studying the natural history and practical realities of decision making.

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