Doctrine of the Mean – one reader’s initiation



I wonder… how do I begin to read The Doctrine of the Mean in a meaningful way?

I think I will begin from my place of deepest ignorance — a barren, infinite landscape of the mind over which aleatory breezes have occasionally carried strains of a song, of songs, that somehow ring true to me…

Ordinarily, I might be inclined to take a class where I presented myself to a teacher who would guide my reading and interpretation. And then I realize that I might, by choosing such a path, be erecting a barrier between myself and the text; myself and the true teacher: this indifferently cruel and indifferently wondrous life.

I think about the first text that led me to learn from life, that journey born of the selva oscura, and so I am reminded to empty myself into naïvité and begin by crawling, then walking, then perhaps finally dancing even, before leaping to these songs whose fragmented strains already ring so true to my ears:

大學 Great Learning
中庸 Doctrine of the Mean
論語 Analects
孟子 Mencius

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