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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Vinegar Tasters

There is a famous painting, depicting the three schools of Chinese thought, from Confucius, to Buddha, to Laozi.
All three have dipped their fingers into that tangy, tart substance, vinegar. All three wear a different expression, from pure disgust, to a slight grimace, to a little smile. All three taste the same substance, but all three react differently.
In the Vinegar Tasters, vinegar represents Life.
I: Confucius saw life as sour, and rules were needed to regulate it.
II:Buddha saw life as being full of pain.
III: Laozi, the Father of the Taoist movement, saw life as good, in its' natural state.
Some, seeing the three venerable gentlemen around one single vat of vinegar, interpret it as the "Three Teachings are One"...another Trinity of sorts (Three separate parts make up the whole, and are the whole).

Taking that, you could say, that life has its' awful, bitter, sad moments. But these can teach a good lesson. And that, is sweet



  1. this image is not public domain.  It is an edit of http://www.edepot.com/taoism_3-vinegar-tasters.html

  2. thank you. I was ill-informed.