Thursday, February 23, 2012

Daoist view of nihilism

Once upon a time in ancient China, there was a young man who was so awestruck to learn about the emptiness of existence, he could not stop talking about it. He told anyone who would listen: “When you get to the bottom of it all, you realize nothing has any intrinsic meaning.”

One day, a sage heard him discussing this topic with his friends. “Everything is meaningless,” he insisted. He challenged them to refute his statement, but his reasoning seemed so strong that no one could do it.

The sage joined them and asked the young man: “Why do you suppose that is? Why is everything meaningless?”

The young man said: “Why ask why? Reason is also meaningless. Perhaps there is no reason at all.”

“There is always a reason,” the sage said. “Everything is meaningless because that is exactly how it should be. It has to be that way because its void is what frees you to create your own meaning. The emptiness of a vessel is what gives it usefulness. Existence is a blank slate that invites your creative contribution.”

It was as if a light came on in a dark room. Everyone gained a piece of enlightenment that day. The young man also became aware that he had a lot more to learn. His path on the Tao was just beginning.

1 comment:

Nefandus said...

Funny, I came to the exact same conclusion when reading about nihilism.

Now I feel proud of myself :]