‘No one is so wrong as the man who knows all the answers’ (Merton)

Thomas Merton summarizes the teachings of Zhuang Zhou (Chuang Tzu) so beautifully: ‘No one is so wrong as the man who knows all the answers.’ This is from The Way of Chuang Tzu.

How wrong: wrong in a moral sense? Perhaps. But primarily wrong in an epistemic sense as in incorrect or mistaken, in error. Whence: ‘No one is so mistaken as the man who knows all the answers.’ But how could this be? Isn’t he precisely the one who is most right, never mistaken?

Oh but this man, the know-all-the-answers man, has never acquainted himself with what is beyond the answer to this or that. The Dao. Therefore, he is folly, an unperturbed insistence, a disputation.

Zhuang Zhou: ‘Better to abandon disputation and seek the true light [of direct intuition]!’

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