Exchange at Absolute Extremes

There is the given and there is the taken.
There is the giving and there is the taking.
When it is not given, it is not taken.
When there is no giving, there is no taking.

There is a relative difference between giving it and taking it, conventionally operative through a sequential procedure, mediated or influenced by given forms of social conduct. The difference is indicative of the roles that each party fulfills in the greater process of exchange, whether exchange of bodies, properties or goods. The successful succession of exchanges presupposes an asymmetrical relation, for a purely equal exchange would bring the whole movement to a still. With each part equally fulfilling their relative roles, there is enough for the one act but nothing more. But with precedence given to one over the other, there is the possibility of there being a surplus, of there being more than what was previously given.

With precedence given to taking, all that has been given would have been taken, and there would be nothing left to take any more.
With precedence given to giving, there is also a perpetual taking, for as long as there is someone to give, there will be someone who will partake.

With precedence given to pure giving, the process of exchange can potentially go on indefinitely, generating more and more productive surplus or wealth along the way.

Beyond merely fulfilling their respective roles, and taken to their absolute extremes, giving and taking can become indistinguishable from one another, and no meaningful difference ultimately ascertained from the unified movement of that feeling—as if the process perpetually succeeded without exchanges or changes in state.

“Having renounced the taking of what is not given,
he is a person who abstains from taking what is not given,
who takes only what is given and desires only what is given.
So, he spontaneously lives purely and genuinely.
In this way he becomes accomplished in integrity.”
—Buddha, “Tevijja Sutta”

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