Absolute Truth – Juedui de Zhen Li 絕對的真理
October 24, 2008
I have been reading the work of Daoist scholar Chen Ying-Ning 陳櫻寧, in an anthology published on his 20th anniversary, called “Daoism and Health Preservation” 道教與養生. Chen Daoshi promoted the study of Daoist Philosophy of Immortality (Xian Xue 仙學) all his life and wrote many books and articles on the subject. I have found this little piece on Absolute Truth quite interesting.
Once a student of philosophy asked him this question, “What constituted Absolute Truth in this world?” and he answered:
“ Absolute Truth happens when there is a mouth and no speech; when there is a mind and no thought. Once you open your mouth, once you start to think, it falls on two sides, it changes to mutual opposites and no longer is absolute. Therefore to seek the (Absolute) Truth in written and spoken words are all a waste of efforts. You studied philosophy, maybe it is because in philosophy you cannot find the Truth, and so you asked me this question. To be honest, there is no (Absolute) Truth as such in this world and it is not worthwhile searching for it. But let’s say you have somehow discovered the (Absolute) Truth, what good will it do (for you)? When (you are) old and sick, when (you) have no cloths and food and when (you are) in suffering and despair, will the (Absolute) Truth that you have found get rid of them?”
Many people these days cannot tell the difference between Absolute Truth and relative truth, so they became intolerant and pedantic. According to Chen Ying-Ning, if we want the Absolute Truth, then just sit quietly, don’t think and say nothing. Given time, we might even have a chance of becoming an Immortal.