Tuesday, October 2

The Happiness of Fish

When I was in college, and longing for a dog, I got a fish. It was one of those multi-colored, iridescent fighting fish that will bash it's head against the walls of it's tank if you so much as place a mirror in front of it. Sometimes, when I'm reading coverage of the war, I think of that fish...

But this is not that story, nor is it an explanation for why it's been a month (!) since my last post (though I will say for the record that the SAT takes place this Saturday, that Presence still needs sound to be divided into takes, that I started working in an office part time, that Art of Tea needs posts and editing, and on and on).

This is the story of the fish I had in college. It was named by Jeff and it's name was Chinese. I can't remember now - but Jeff, if you read this, would you please remind me. So he names the fish a word that means "the happiness of fish". This term is from a Chinese proverb that I recently rediscovered in a Coetze book about animal rights.

The Happiness of Fish

Chuang Tzu and Hui Tzu had strolled on to the bridge over the Hao, when the former ovserved, "See hoe the minnows are darting about! That is the pleasure of fishes."
"You not being a fish yourself," said Hui Tzu, "how can you possibly know in what consists the pleasures of fishes."
"And you not being I," retorted Chuang Tzu, "how can you know that I do not know?"
"If I, not being you, can not know what you know," urged Hui Tzu, "it follows that you, not being a fish, cannot know in what consists the pleasure of fishes."
"Let us go back," said Chuang Tzu, "to you original questions. You asked me how I knew in what consists the pleasure of fishes. You very questions shows that you know I knew. I knew it from my own feelings on the bridge."

Let that be your wisdom from the east for the day.

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