Tim Gordon

Tim Gordon has been a great supporter of Monkey Press and was involved in the earliest seminars of Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée in the UK. His years as a medical doctor and researcher made him sharp inquisitor into the meanings of the Chinese medical texts, and Father Larre would often call upon him to clarity certain concepts in the light of modern science. His voice is occasionally heard in the early Monkey Press transcripts of the seminars.

With the formation of the Chinese classical study group, Tim became an avid scholar of the Chinese philosophical texts, and in more recent years, the group met in spring and autumn at Tim’s delightful house on the Thames in Hammersmith. We would slowly unravel the complexities of a classical text as we watched the ebb and flow of the tide. A constant reminder of the cycles of change so central to the texts.

During our breaks, we would sample rare teas, examine the growing collection of artefacts accumulated on Tims many foreign trips (his house a veritable museum of curiosities) and enjoy the refinement and discernment of his taste – on so many levels.

Tim’s deep intelligence, wit and occasional cutting sarcasm, helped bring the texts to life. He became a great Zhuangzi devotee, and at our most recent meeting we studied Zhuangzi chapter 2 – maybe the most challenging but certainly one of the most beautiful passages in classical Chinese. It ends with the dream of Zhuangzi, where he wonders whether he is Zhuangzi dreaming that he is a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that he is Zhuangzi.

Zhuangzi holds death quite lightly – suggesting that it is just one of many transformations… Tim’s life, and I am sure his elegant death, came close to reflecting that Daoist philosophy.

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