What is "profound sameness"?


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Describing chapter 56’s “profound sameness” has always been a hobby of mine. I guess you could call it a hobby. After all, I don’t make any money from my philosophical musings. My daily yoga and tai chi at the beach clears out my mind nicely. The other day as I was biking home afterward, I got to contemplating the difference between “difference” and “sameness”. It occurred to me that when I’m most tuned into “profound sameness”, “profound difference” is also in view. My best description now is that feeling “profound sameness” is simply experiencing both sides of the coin simultaneously.

Only feeling one or the other, sameness or difference, is emotionally skewed. By that I mean the view is serving one personal emotional agenda (bias). I’ve long felt that seeing difference was tantamount to seeing illusion: difference = illusion. On the other hand, seeing sameness was seeing things closer to reality: sameness = reality. That is how they correlate (see Tools of Taoist Thought: Correlations).

I feel making a closer connection between “difference” and “sameness” comes closer to the truth, to reality. When you think about it, there can be no “sameness”, profound or otherwise, without “difference”. They are really two sides of the same coin. The “profoundness” occurs when you see/feel them both at once. It is like Schrodinger’s quantum cat, both alive and dead, until observation causes one or the other to occur. Experiencing “profound sameness” is seeing the cat in it indeterminate quantum state, both alive and dead in a state of “profound sameness”.


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