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Dialogue Between a Taoist and a Non-Taoist

TAOIST
You should go with what the Tao wants rather than resisting the Tao.

NON-TAOIST
What if what the Tao wants is for me to resist the Tao?

TAOIST

What if it is?

NON-TAOIST

Then I should do what the Tao doesn’t want and resist the Tao.

TAOIST
Go for it.

NON-TAOIST
Then why did you tell me I should go with the Tao?

TAOIST
Because what the Tao wanted was for me to tell you that.

NON-TAOIST
Don’t Taoists think that those who know do not say and those who say do not know?

TAOIST
We say that a lot.

NON-TAOIST
So does it follow that you are not a Taoist?

TAOIST
It does.

NON-TAOIST
Does it follow that I am a Taoist? Because I do not want to be a Taoist.

TAOIST
I don’t think it follows.

NON-TAOIST
So nobody is a Taoist?

TAOIST
Nobody and nothing is.

NON-TAOIST
Then is it better to be a non-Taoist?

TAOIST
No, that does not follow at all. At least the Taoist understands that he is not a Taoist, but the non-Taoist does not understand that he should go with what the Tao wants rather than resisting the Tao.

NON-TAOIST
But I was arguing that I did understand it.

TAOIST
Where there is disagreement there is always misunderstanding.

NON-TAOIST
But that’s really dumb. You said that I should go with what the Tao wants rather than resisting the Tao and I said I shouldn’t, so obviously there is disagreement there without misunderstanding.

TAOIST
No there isn’t. If we had understood each other we would have agreed.

NON-TAOIST
I don’t agree.

TAOIST
There? See! You did it again.

NON-TAOIST
Hmm.

TAOIST
“Hmm” is right!

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