Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Divining Perforations

This hangs in the waiting room in the basement of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, a catapult's launch from the Buttermilk Channel. I was there yesterday for a little blood letting/needle biopsy ceremony. I'm so glad for the hypnotic effect of the faux fish tank in which swam faux fish whose bodies seemed to swell irregularly as they perpectualy circled their tank.

I'm confused about all this tissue business and kind of surprised that anyone reems long needles into anyone else but I suppose things like that have been happening for a long long time, and far worse, as this parable from 350 BC that I came across moments before the PROCEDURE indicates.

Lord Yüan of Sung one night dreamed he saw a man with disheveled hair who peered in at the side door of his chamber and said, “I come from the Tsai-lu Deeps. I was on my way as envoy from the Clear Yangtze to the court of the Lord of the Yellow River when a fisherman Yü Chü caught me!”

When the Lord Yüan woke up, he ordered his men to divine the meaning, and they replied, “This is a sacred turtle.” “is there a fisherman named Yü Chü,? he asked, and his attendants replied, “There is.” “Order Yü Chü to come to court!” he said.

The next day Yü Chü appeared at court and the ruler said, “What kind of fish have you caught recently?”

Yü Chü replied, “I caught a white turtle in my net. It’s five feet around.”

“Present your turtle!” ordered the ruler. When the turtle was brought, the ruler could not decide whether to kill it or let it live and, being in doubt, he consulted his diviners, who replied, “Kill that turtle and divine with it--it will bring good luck.” Accordingly the turtle was stripped of its shell, and of seventy-two holes drilled in it for prognostication, not one failed to yield a true answer.

Confucius said, “The sacred turtle could appear to Lord Yüan in a dream but it couldn’t esape for Yü Chü’s net. It knew enough to give correct answers to seventy-two queries but it couldn’t escape the disaster of having its belly ripped open. So it is that knowledge has its limitations, and the sacred has that which it can do nothing about. Even the most perfect wisdom can be outwitted by ten thousand schemers. Fish do not (know enough to) fear a net, but only to fear pelicans. Discard little wisdom and great wisdom will become clear. Discard goodness and goodness will come of itself. The little child learns to speak, though it has no learned teachers-because it lives with those who know hot to speak.” Chuang Tzu, Basic Writings, page 136

This sentence "Discard goodness and goodness will come of itself" seems to travel at light speed in all directions at once. It's an anarchistic statement if nothing else, but let's not get caught up in politics. It's the internal anarchy that matters as it airs the soil of self and grants relief from the long standing oppression of the short-sighted presumption of sanctimony. That standard that everyone should be subject to? Just another chimera.

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