The great philosopher Zhuangzi told a fascinating story about a debate with his friend Huizi, another famous scholar and philosopher of the 4th century B.C.E. The story is playful but profound. Let’s see if you can unwrap the deeper meaning of the debate.
Zhuangzi and Huizi were walking beside the weir on the River Hao. Zhuangzi said, “Look, the fish are coming to the surface and swimming carefreely. They look so happy!”
Huizi asked, “You are not a fish; how do you know the fish are happy?”
Zhuangzi replied, “You are not me; how do you know I don’t know the fish are happy?”
Huizi said, “Exactly! I am not you, so I don’t know what you think. In the same way, you are not a fish, so you don’t know what the fish are thinking.”
Zhuangzi said, “Ah, but let’s return to your original question. You asked me how I knew the fish were happy. That means you already knew I knew. I know it by being here on the weir of the River Hao.” (End of the story.)
Most people interpret this story shallowly as an entertaining display of Zhuangzi’s debating skills. But this story is not merely a witty wordplay of the sage. It provides a profound wisdom of human consciousness.
When Huizi asked, “You are not a fish, how do you know the fish are happy?” Zhuangzi answered, “You are not me, so how do you know I don’t know the fish are happy?” That means, “I know the fish are happy the way you know me as your friend.” But Huizi missed the point and thought it supported his argument.
So, Zhuangzi asked him to return to the original question for self-reflection to awaken his consciousness. Then Zhuagzi ended the argument by saying, “I know it by being here and now.” That means he knew the fish were happy by being in the moment.
Huizi was not in the moment because he was argumentative. An argumentative person is less reflective and unconscious. They focus on winning the debate rather than learning the truth. We know Pharisees loved to argue, so they missed seeing the Son of God standing before them. That’s why Jesus said they were blind.
Let’s bring it closer. Do you know when a dog is happy? You do if you love dogs and own dogs. I know when a dog is happy. I don’t think you would ask me, “You are not a dog; how do you know the dog is happy?”
Zhangzi’s debate goes deeper. He implied we are all part of one creation, so we can know if the fish are happy as well as we know our friends. It’s a matter of consciousness.
Another good example is John Donne’s famous poem, “No Man is an Island.” If your consciousness reaches the point of John Donne, you don’t have to ask, “For whom the bell tolls?” because “It tolls for you.” It’s about the consciousness of the oneness of humans.
Zhuangzi takes you to a higher level of consciousness—beyond humans to all creatures, “How do you know if the fish are happy?” The answer is, “You know it through consciousness because we are all part of God’s creation.”
I want to take us even to the highest level of consciousness to discern the Spirit. Not only are humans one, not only are all creatures one, there’s oneness between the creation and the Creator.
John Calvin said we are born with a sense of divinity and a seed of spirituality. Human consciousness is paralyzed because of total depravity. It must be awakened. Only with the awakened consciousness can we discover Jesus is God’s Son.
One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How can we know for sure Jesus is the Son of God?” Where is the undebatable evidence? Even Christians struggle with this question.
Some know, but they can’t explain it. Others regard it as a mystery. Still, others find the idea absurd and superstitious, so they avoid it entirely. It is critically important to know Jesus is the Son of God because it matters to how we live and function in this world. So, how do we know?
The most common answer is, “That Bible says so.” However, the Pharisees knew the Bible from cover to cover, but they failed to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Many Bible scholars today still fail it. The words in the Bible taste dry without consciousness.
So, today, we will tackle this tough question, “Is Jesus really the son of God?” If so, how do we prove it? If it needs the higher consciousness, how do we awaken it? Let’s begin!
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