Yes, I'm reading Merton's translations of Chuang Tzu. They're quite amazing. This little story for some reason reminded me of Obama's governing style. Not entirely of course. But there's something here that helps me understand better how he approaches things:
When we wear out our minds stubbornly clinging to our partial view of things, refusing to see a deeper agreement between this and its complementary opposite, we have what is called "three in the morning".
What is this three in the morning?
A monkey trainer went to his monkeys and told them:
"As regards your chestnuts: you're going to have three cups in the morning and four in the afternoon."
At this they all became angry. So he said: "All right, in that case I will give you four in the morning and three in the afternoon." This time they were satisfied.
The two arrangements were the same in that the number of chestnuts did not change. But in one case the animals were displeased and in the other they were satisfied. The keeper had been willing to change his personal arrrangement in order to meet objective conditions. He lost nothing by it!
The truly wise man, considering both sides of the question without partiality, sees them both in the light of Tao.
This is called following two courses at once.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.