A Parable on Nature

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The ruler of the Southern Ocean was Shu, and the ruler of the Northern Ocean was Hu, and the ruler of the Center was Chaos. Shu and Hu were continually meeting in the land of Chaos, who treated them very well. They consulted together how they might repay his kindness, and said: “Men all have seven orifices for the purpose of seeing, hearing, eating and breathing, while this ruler alone has not a single one. Let us try to make them for him.” Accordingly they dug one orifice in him every day. At the end of the seven days Chaos died.

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3 responses »

  1. It’s a comment on man’s relationship to the natural world. Chaos represents Nature as it exists in equilibrium and Shu and Hu are mankind, which believes it can improve upon Nature. Rather than working with Nature and being appreciative of all that it has provided for mankind throughout our species’ history, Shu and Hu disturb this state of equilibrium and in doing so bring about the destruction of Nature. They believe in the religion of Inevitable Progress, that perfection always lies in the future and is obtainable only by man’s efforts, rather than recognizing that things were already perfect before interfering with Nature. As Aldous Huxley puts it, man should not seek to be the master of Nature but should be her intelligently docile collaborator.

  2. Pingback: The Religion of Inevitable Progress Part 1: Is religion all about God? « Questing for the Mindnut

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