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Tchuang Tzu



Spiritual quotes of Tchuang Tzu

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A ll is sheltered by heaven and accommodated by earth, unconditionally.











H eaven and earth coexist with me, and I am One with all beings.











T he mountain trees do themselves harm; the grease in the torch burns itself up. The cinnamon can be eaten and so it gets cut down; the lacquer tree can be used and so it gets hacked apart. All men know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of the useless!











H ave you heard about the mantis which waved its arms angrily in front of an approaching carriage, unaware that they were incapable of stopping it? Such was the high opinion it had of its talents.











E verything has its that, everything has its this. From the point of view of that, you cannot see it, but through understanding you can know it. So I say, that comes of this and this depends on that which is to say that this and that give birth to each other.











T o pile fire on fire, to add water to water, and is called increasing the excessive.











I f water is not pi led up deep enough, it wont have the strength to bear up a big boat.











Y ou are not a fish; how do you know what constitutes the enjoyment of fishes?











Z huangzi in the forest saw a cicada, which had just alighted in a beautiful shady spot, and forgot its (care for its) body. (Just then), a preying mantis raised its feelers, and pounced on the cicada, in its eagerness for its prey, (also) forgetting (its care for) its body; while the bird took advantage of its opportunity to secure them both, in view of that gain forgetting its true (instinct of preservation). with an emotion of pity, said, Ah! so it is that things bring evil on one another, each of these creatures invited its own calamity.











T he interaction of superior men is tasteless as water, while that of mean men is sweet as new wine. But the tastelessness of the superior men leads on to affection, and the sweetness of the mean men to aversion. The union which originates without any cause will end in separation without any cause.











T he practice of the Tao flows abroad, but its master does not care to dwell where it can be seen; his attainments in it hold their course, but he does not wish to appear in its display. Always simple and commonplace, he may seem to be bereft of reason. He obliterates the traces of his action, gives up position and power, and aims not at merit and fame. Therefore he does not censure men, and men do not censure him. The perfect man does not seek to be heard of; how is it that you delight in doing so?











T hink of the close-furred fox and of the elegantly-spotted leopard. They lodge in the forests on the hills, and lurk in their holes among the rocks - keeping still. At night they go about, and during day remain in their lairs - so cautious are they. Even if they are suffering from hunger, thirst, and other distresses, they still keep aloof from men, seeking their food about the Jiang and the Hu - so resolute are they. Still they are not able to escape the danger of the net or the trap; and what fault is it of theirs? It is their skins which occasion them the calamity.











U nion brings on separation; success, overthrow; sharp corners, the use of the file; honour, critical remarks; active exertion, failure; wisdom, scheming; inferiority, being despised: where is the possibility of unchangeable in any of these conditions? Remember this, my disciples. Let your abode be here - in the Tao and its Attributes.











Z huangzi was walking on a mountain, when he saw a great tree with huge branches and luxuriant foliage. A wood-cutter was resting by its side, but he would not touch it, and, when asked the reason, said, that it was of no use for anything, Zhuangzi then said to his disciples, This tree, because its wood is good for nothing, will succeed in living out its natural term of years. Having left the mountain, the Master lodged in the house of an old friend, who was glad to see him, and ordered his waiting-lad to kill a goose and boil it. The lad said, One of our geese can cackle, and the other cannot - which of them shall I kill?The host said, Kill the one that cannot cackle.











N ow you, Sir, have a large tree, and you dont know how to use it, so why not plant it in the middle of nowhere, where you can go to wander or fall asleep under its shade? No axe under Heaven will attack it, nor shorten its days, for something which is useless will never be disturbed.











T hose who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature.











M aster Dongguo asked Zhuangzi, This thing called the Tao - where does it exist? said, Theres no place it doesnt exist. Come, said Master Dongguo, you must be more specific! It is in the ant. As low a thing as that? It is in the panic grass. But thats lower still! It is in the tiles and shards. How can it be so low? It is in the piss and shit!











H e who steals a belt buckle pays with his life; he who steals a state gets to be a feudal lord.











T he Heavenly Gate is nonbeing. The ten thousand things come forth from nonbeing. Being cannot create being out of being; inevitably it must come forth from nonbeing. Nonbeing is absolute nonbeing, and it is here that the sage hides himself.











I n all affairs, whether large or small, there are few men who reach a happy conclusion except through Tao. If you do not succeed, you are bound to suffer from the judgment of men. If you do succeed, you are bound to suffer from the yin and yang. To suffer no harm whether or not you succeed - only the man who has virtue can do that.











W ith all the confusion in the world these days, no matter how often I point the way, what good does it do? And if I know it does no good and still make myself do it, this too is a kind of confusion. So it is best to leave things alone and not force them. If I dont force things, at least I wont cause anyone any worry.











T he man who has forgotten self may be said to have entered Heaven.











T o use a horse to show that a horse is not a horse is not as good as using a non-horse to show that a horse is not a horse...











T he Spirit Tower has its guardian, but unless it understands who its guardian is, it cannot be guarded.











W hen youre betting for tiles in an archery contest, you shoot with skill. When youre betting for fancy belt buckles, you worry about your aim. And when youre betting for real gold, youre a nervous wreck. Your skill is the same in all three cases - but because one prize means more to you than another, you let outside considerations weigh on your mind. He who looks too hard at the outside gets clumsy on the inside.











M en all pay homage to what understanding understands, but no one understands enough to rely upon what understanding does not understand and thereby come to understand.











I n the midst of darkness, he alone sees the dawn; in the midst of the soundless, he alone hears harmony.











S uppose I try saying something. What way do I have of knowing that if I say I know something I dont really not know it? Or what way do I have of knowing that if I say I dont know something I dont really in fact know it?











Y ou should find the same joy in one condition as in the other and thereby be free of care, that is all. But now, when the things that happened along take their leave, you cease to be joyful. From this point of view, though you have joy, it will always be fated for destruction.











A state in which this and that no longer find their opposites is called the hinge of the Tao. When the hinge is fitted into the socket, it can respond endlessly. Its right then is a single endlessness and its wrong too is a single endlessness. So, I say, the best thing to use is clarity.











W here there is recognition of right there must be recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must be recognition of right. Therefore the sage does not proceed in such a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven.











W here there is acceptability there must be unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be acceptability.











B ut where there is birth there must be death; where there is death there must be birth.











W e cant expect a blind man to appreciate beautiful patterns or a deaf man to listen to bells and drums. And blindness and deafness are not confined to the body alone - the understanding has them, too.











I n the world everyone knows enough to pursue what he does not know, but no one knows enough to pursue what he already knows. Everyone knows enough to condemn what he takes to be no good, but no one knows enough to condemn what he has already taken to be good.











A man like this will not go where he has no will to go, will not do what he has no mind to do. Though the world might praise him and say he had really found something, he would look unconcerned and never turn his head; though the world might condemn him and say he had lost something, he would look serene and pay no heed. The praise and blame of the world are no loss or gain to him.











W hen I speak of good hearing, I do not mean listening to others; I mean simply listening to yourself. When I speak of good eyesight, I do not mean looking at others; I mean simply looking at yourself. He who does not look at himself but looks at others, who does not get hold of himself but gets hold of others, is getting what other men have got and failing to get what he himself has got. He finds joy in what brings joy to other men, but finds no joy in what would bring joy to him.











C an you be a little baby? The baby howls all day, yet its throat never gets hoarse - harmony at its height! The baby makes fists all day, yet its fingers never get cramped - virtue is all it holds to. The baby stares all day without blinking its eyes - it has no preferences in the world of externals.











T hings joined by profit, when pressed by misfortune and danger, will cast each other aside.











E yes that are blind have no way to tell the loveliness of faces and features; eyes with no pupils have no way to tell the beauty of coloured and embroidered silks.











I have heard that those who are fond of praising men to their faces are also fond of damning them behind their backs.











W hen men do not forget what can be forgotten but forget what cannot be forgotten - that may be called true forgetting.











P eople who excuse their faults and claim they didnt deserved to be punished - there are lots of them. But those who dont excuse their faults and admit they didnt deserve to be spared - they are few.











Y ou forget your feet when the shoes are comfortable. You forget your waist when the belt is comfortable. Understanding forgets right and wrong when the mind is comfortable. There is no change in what is inside, no following what is outside, when the adjustment to events is comfortable. You begin with what is comfortable and never experience what is uncomfortable when you know the comfort of forgetting what is comfortable.











D ont go in and hide; dont come out and shine; stand stock-still in the middle.











W hen a man does not dwell in self, then things will of themselves reveal their forms to him. His movement is like that of water, his stillness like that of a mirror, his responses like those of an echo.











H e who has mastered the true nature of life does not labour over what life cannot do. He who has mastered the true nature of fate does not labour over what knowledge cannot change.











B ut a gentleman may embrace a doctrine without necessarily wearing the garb that goes with it, and he may wear the garb without necessarily comprehending the doctrine.











W hen Zhuangzi was about to die, his disciples expressed a desire to give him a sumptuous burial. said, I will have heaven and earth for my coffin and coffin shell, the sun and moon for my pair of jade discs, the stars and constellations for my pearls and beads, and the ten thousand things for my parting gifts. The furnishings for my funeral are already prepared - what is there to add?











R ight is not right; so is not so. If right were really right, it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument.









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