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Two from Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) – Walking two roads

September 16, 2014

From ‘Discussion on Making All Things Equal’:

“But to wear out your brain trying to make things into one without realizing that they are all the same – this is called ‘three in the morning.’ What do I mean by ‘three in the morning’? When the monkey trainer was handing out acorns, he said, ‘You get three in the morning and four at night.’ This made all the monkeys furious. ‘Well, then,’ he said, ‘you get four in the morning and three at night.’ The monkeys were all delighted. There was no change in the reality behind the words, and yet the monkeys responded with joy and anger. Let them, if they want to. So the sage harmonizes with both right and wrong and rests in Heaven the Equalizer. This is called walking two roads.”

From ‘Eternal Things’:

“The fish trap exists because of the fish; once you’ve gotten the fish, you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit; once you’ve gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning; once you’ve gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?”

(from Chuang Tzu Basic Writings, translated and edited by Burton Watson)

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