ZHUANGZI (Zuang Zhou)
Zuang Zhou And The Butterfly
Zuang Zhou in dream became a butterfly,
And the butterfly became Zuang Zhou at waking.
Which was the real—the butterfly or the man ?
Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?
The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea
Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream.
The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city,
Was once the Prince of the East Hill.
So must rank and riches vanish.
You know it, still you toil and toil,—what for?
Distinguishing Ego from Self
All that is limited by form, semblance, sound, color is called object.
Among them all, man alone is more than an object.
Though, like objects, he has form and semblance,
He is not limited to form.
He is more.
He can attain to formlessness.
When he is beyond form and semblance, beyond “this” and “that,”
where is the comparison with another object?
Where is the conflict?
What can stand in his way?
He will rest in his eternal place which is no-place.
He will be hidden in his own unfathomable secret.
His nature sinks to its root in the One.
His vitality, his power hide in secret Tao.
If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao’s gift),
If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get,
If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood,
You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek.
To know when to stop,
To know when you can get no further by your own action,
This is the right beginning!
The empty Boat
Who can free himself from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of men?
He will flow like Tao, unseen,
He will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple is he, without distinction.
To all appearances he is a fool.
His steps leave no trace. He has no power.
He achieves nothing, has no reputation.
Since he judges no one
No one judges him.
Such is the perfect man:
His boat is empty.
Means and Ends
The purpose of a fish trap
Is to catch fish,
And when the fish are caught
The trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare
Is to catch rabbits.
When the rabbits are caught
The snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words
Is to convey ideas.
When the ideas are grasped
The words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man
Who has forgotten words?
He is the one I would like to talk to.
The man of spirit, on the other hand,
hates to see people gather around him.
He avoids the crowd.
For where there are many men
there are also many opinions and little agreement.
There is nothing to be gained
from the support of a lot of half-wits
who are doomed to end up in a fight with each other.