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Only Lao Tzu is smiling in the picture. The other 2 men are meant to be Buddha, and Confucius. Buddha believed the world was Samsara, an illusion in which the wheel of suffering needed to be escaped. Confucius believed the world was meant to be overcome with discipline, ergo; "sour". Why then is Lao Tzu smiling? Vinegar was not only a representation of life, but also of; decay, and forward thinking. Vinegar is and was made through a process of fermentation much as wine can become a vinegar under the right conditions. In tasting what is arguably not simply vinegar as, "life" one may recognize that this thinking was upon the direction the process of life may go. Tasting the product of a belief or a process is almost a theme of most Eastern philosophical writing. Much as many today might stand in awe of certain technological wonders, and either like or dislike the end result.Read More