Probably the greatest tragic figure in the Zhuangzi is the defiant praying mantis, who waves her Lickety and Split often met each other in the land of Wonton, and Wonton treated them very well. 75: Zhuangzi explains that a person without feelings "doesn't allow likes or dislikes to get in and do him harm. 21-22. Zhuangzi (dzwahng-dzur) was born sometime around 365 b.c.e. " Among the traits Chan/Zen Buddhism borrowed from the Zhuangzi are a distrust of language and logic, an insistence that "the Dao" can be found in everything, even dung and urine, and a fondness for dialogues based on riddles or paradigm-challenging statements known as gōng'àn (公案; Japanese kōan). Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. Zhuangzi sometimes suggests that the sage will greet loss with unfractured equanimity and even aplomb. Confucius says his own way is limited, but Zhuangzi’s way is so much better. ; The Divine Classic of Nan-hua, 1881; also known as The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, 1968; commonly known as Zhuangzi, 1991): Once, when Chuang Tzu [Zhuangzi] was fishing in the P’u River, the king of Ch’u [Chu] sent two officials to go and announce to him: “I would like to trouble you with the administration of my realm.”, Chuang Tzu held on to the fishing pole and, without turning his head, said, “I have heard that there is a sacred tortoise in Ch’u that has been dead for three thousand years. But he didn't know if he was Zhuang Zhou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that he was Zhuang Zhou.  The Zhuangzi played a significant role in the traditional Chinese skepticism toward rationalism, as Zhuangzi frequently turns logical arguments upside-down to satirize and discredit them. Proper human behavior consisted of not interfering with the Dao but living in harmony with it. Abstract The Zhuangzi offers two apparently incompatible models of bereavement. One could define a "tragic" viewpoint in many ways, but its core is the claim that things in this world do not always work out for the best.  A number of prominent scholars have attempted to bring the Zhuangzi to wider attention among Western readers. , Among the Japanese national treasures preserved in the Kōzan-ji temple in Kyoto is a Zhuangzi manuscript from the Muromachi period (1338–1573). To view supplemental material and additional commentary on selected sections in the Zhuangzi by Brook Ziporyn, please click on the links below: * About the Zhuangzi * A Note on the Translation * Zhuangzi as Philosopher * The Dao of the Daodejing * Additional Commentary to passage 1:2 * Additional Commentary to passage 3:3 * Additional Commentary to passage 3:7 Thus, Zhuangzi was a contemporary of the famous Confucian philosopher Mencius (Mengzi; c. 372-c. 289 b.c.e.). Probably the greatest tragic figure in the Zhuangzi is the defiant praying mantis, who waves her Thus, Zhuangzi was a contemporary of the famous Confucian philosopher Mencius (Mengzi; c. 372-c. 289 b.c.e.). Zhuangzi. ", Zhuangzi seems to have viewed death as a natural process or transformation, where one gives up one form of existence and assumes another. When this bird rouses itself and flies, its wings are like clouds all round the sky.  The Zhuangzi also played a significant role in the formation of Chan ("Zen") Buddhism, which grew out of "a fusion of Buddhist ideology and ancient Daoist thought. The most famous of all Zhuangzi stories—"Zhuang Zhou Dreams of Being a Butterfly"—appears at the end of the second chapter, "On the Equality of Things". During this time, the ostensibly ruling house of Zhou had lost its authority, and there was increasing violence between states contending for imperial power.  Today, it is generally accepted that the middle and later Zhuangzi chapters are the result of a process of "accretion and redaction" by later authors "responding to the scintillating brilliance" of the inner chapters. The dichotomy, however, is hard to motivate in the Chinese philosophical context. The disciples said: "We are afraid that the crows and kites will eat you, Master!" The Philosophical Context. The Zhuangzi consists of a large collection of anecdotes, allegories, parables, and fables, which are often humorous or irreverent in nature. Almost nothing is concretely known of Zhuangzi's life.  In order to illustrate the mindlessness and spontaneity he felt should characterize human action, Zhuangzi most frequently uses the analogy of craftsmen or artisans. In the last two paragraphs of chapter one of Zhuangzi's writings (p. 213 in Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy), a character Huizi likens a large gnarled tree to Zhuangzi's lofty philosophy. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Zhuangzi composes the following description of the hunchback’s experience: I hold my body like a bent tree trunk and use my arm as an old dry limb. Introduction. 莊子曰：不然。是其始死也，我獨何能無概然。察其始而本無生，非徒無生也，而本無形，非徒無形也，而本無氣。雜乎芒芴之間，變而有氣，氣變而有形，形變而有生，今又變而之死，是相與為春秋冬夏四時行也。 This standard did not imply absolute quietism but rather acting intuitively, spontaneously, and effortlessly in imitation of the Dao, which manages to... (The entire section contains 2590 words.). With writings as profound and vibrant as these, the historical Zhuangzi must have had quite a devoted group of followers. “I have a big tree, the kind people call Spring. He was looking up to heaven and breathed gently, seeming to be in a trance, and to have lost all consciousness of any companion. The (Philosophical) community perspective. The Writings of Chuang Tzu This book is taken from James Legge's translation The Writings of Chuang Tzu, found in volumes thirty‐ nine and forty of the Sacred Books of the East series, published by Oxford University Press in 1891. , After the collapse of the Han dynasty in AD 207 and the subsequent chaos of the Three Kingdoms period, both the Zhuangzi and Zhuang Zhou began to rise in popularity and acclaim. Zhuangzi's "On the Uniformity of All Things" INTRODUCTION TO INNER CHAPTER 2 Vital breath of universe: wind. 莊子曰：請循其本。子曰汝安知魚樂云者，既已知吾知之而問我，我知之濠上也。 Not only the time before she had a body, but the time before she had a spirit. Mohism, deriving from Zhuangzi's possible contemporary Mozi, was the most logically sophisticated school in ancient China. He just lets things be the way they are and doesn't try to help life along." Zhuangzi often refers to the problem of "That's it, that's not"; when that way of thinking lights up, the Dao is obscured.. What is he criticizing? ), the philosopher was a native of the town of Meng in the Kingdom of Song. You'll get access to all of the  One of the slips from the Guodian bamboo texts, which date to around 300 BC, contains what appears to be a short fragment from the "Ransacking Coffers" ("Qu qie" 胠篋) chapter. “It would rather be alive and dragging its tail in the mud,” said the two officials. "Now she's going to lie down peacefully in a vast room. 弟子曰：吾恐烏鳶之食夫子也。莊子曰：在上為烏鳶食，在下為螻蟻食，奪彼與此，何其偏也。 Deformed people, amputees, how they can also be perfect Professor Puett’s Interpretation of Zhuangzi Definition of the Way: For Laozi, it’s a space of undifferentiated space; that … Zhuangzi (莊子), an ancient Chinese collection of anecdotes and fables, one of the foundational texts of Daoism . you can't discuss the Way with a cramped scholar--he's shackled by his doctrines" (Watson, 97). Zhuangzi interpreters may be trained in religion, literature, history, or philosophy. Political Theory. , The Zhuangzi has been called "the most important of all the Daoist writings", and its "inner chapters" embody the core ideas of philosophical Daoism. Named for its traditional author, "Master Zhuang" (Zhuangzi), the Zhuangzi is one of the two foundational texts of Taoism, along with the Tao Te Ching. The king keeps it wrapped in cloth and boxed, and stores it in the ancestral temple. " It is unclear if Zhuangzi's positions amounted to a form of anarchism, as the political references in the Zhuangzi are more concerned with what government should not do, rather than what kind of government should exist.  The manuscript has seven complete chapters from the "outer" and "miscellaneous" chapters, and is believed to be a close copy of an annotated edition written in the 7th century by the Chinese Daoist master Cheng Xuanying (成玄英; fl. 惠子曰：子非魚，安知魚之樂。莊子曰：子非我，安知我不知魚之樂。 But in spite of differences of form and emphasis, the two texts present the same view of the Dao and its relation to the world. The story of "The Debate on the Joy of Fish" is a well-known anecdote that has been compared to the Socratic dialogue tradition of ancient Greece. In the Zhuangzi, such characters are fools, not heroes. In the midst of the jumble of wonder and mystery a change took place and she had a spirit. (2001), This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 04:54. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. 人且偃然寢於巨室，而我噭噭然隨而哭之，自以為不通乎命，故止也。 You said, How do you know that the fish are happy; but in asking me this, you already knew that I know it. He had distinct natural characteristics but was not adamant about them; his humility was evident but not displayed. Chuang Tzu said, “Go away! Zhuangzi is both the name of the second foundational text of the Daoist philosophical and religious tradition and the name of the putative author of this text after whom the book was titled, who, according to early historical sources, flourished between about 369 and 286 bce. However, upon the death of his own wife, Zhuangzi evinces a … Many Western interpreters of Zhuangzi treat the author of the inner chapters as a mystic.  He is thought to have spent time in the southern state of Chu, as well as in Linzi, the capital of the state of Qi. The Zhuangzi is named for and attributed to a man named Zhuang Zhou—usually known as "Zhuangzi", from the Mandarin Chinese Zhuāngzǐ 莊子, meaning "Master Zhuang". Critical summary of Zhuangzi In the last two paragraphs of chapter one of Zhuangzi's writings (p. 213 in Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy), a character Hui... Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. But you obviously are not a fish; so the case is complete that you do not know that the fish are happy." Zhuangzi said, "You are not I. What shall be added to it?" While other ancient Chinese philosophers focused on moral and personal duty, Zhuangzi promoted carefree wandering and becoming one with "the Way" (Dào 道) by following nature.  The other major philosophical schools of ancient China—such as Confucianism, Legalism, and Mohism—were all concerned with concrete social, political, or ethical reforms designed to reform people and society and thereby alleviate the problems and suffering of the world. Named for its traditional author, "Master Zhuang" (Zhuangzi), the Zhuangzi is one of the two foundational texts of Taoism, along with the Tao Te Ching. ), during which China had become divided into many small, fiercely competitive states as a result of the collapse of the Zhou (Chou) Dynasty. The Lack of Sentential Context. THE ZHUANGZI. Many major Chinese writers and poets in history—such as Sima Xiangru and Sima Qian during the Han dynasty, Ruan Ji and Tao Yuanming during the Six Dynasties (222–589), Li Bai during the Tang dynasty (618–907), and Su Shi and Lu You in the Song dynasty (960–1279)—were heavily influenced by the Zhuangzi.  In the 4th century AD, the Zhuangzi became a major source of imagery and terminology for a new form of Daoism known as the "Highest Clarity" (Shangqing 上清) school that was popular among the aristocracy of the Jin dynasty (AD 265–420). Zhuangzi is a figure in about one quarter of these narratives, which were probably based on stories told by his immediate disci… Zhuangzi's style is decidedly unlike that of any previous Chinese thinker, using fables, jokes, puns, unanswered questions, imaginary dialogues, and riddles to address the human problem of alternate daos and the demand to know these daos, to judge them, and to commit to one of them. I shall start with an analysis of three famous stories in the Zhuangzi. Once, Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering about, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Share with your friends. The 17th century scholar Gu Yanwu lamented his government's flippant use of the Zhuangzi on the imperial examination essays as representative of a decline in traditional morals at the end of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).  Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji 史記), the first of China's 24 dynastic histories, has a biography of Zhuangzi, but most of it seems to have simply been drawn from anecdotes in the Zhuangzi itself. 1. ; English translation, 1876; also known as Book of Changes, 1986), the ancient manual of divination based on the concept that the world and the laws of change are an ordered, interdependent unit, and from Laozi’s Dao De Jing (possibly sixth century b.c.e., probably compiled late third century b.c.e.  The Book of Han, finished in AD 111, lists a Zhuangzi in 52 chapters, which many scholars believe to be the original form of the work. It changes into a bird with the name of Phing, the back of which is (also)—I do not know how many li in extent. G, 82: "He constantly goes by the spontaneous and does not add anything to the process of life." While what we know of the philosophy of Zhuangzi comes primarily from this work, it is important to realize that the Zhuangzi … “The Butterfly Dream” is the most famous story in the Zhuangzi (c. 3rd century bce), one of two foundational texts of Daoism, along with the Daodejing: “Once Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. Sound of man from different flutes and pipes. Chuang Tzu had a unique philosophical style that contributes to the tendency to treat him as an irrationalist. In 1939, the British translator and Sinologist Arthur Waley described the Zhuangzi as "one of the most entertaining as well as one of the profoundest books in the world. Watson PDF beyond this, little is known regarding Zhuangzi ’ s way is experience! Was Zhuang Zhou 1968, p.440 creativity, and linguistic prowess were entirely in! Left unprepared left unprepared n't know about you must have had quite a devoted group of.. Be dead and have its bones left behind and honored by Zhuangzi in this is! For readers over his chest, a pose that conveys dignity and serenity in the in. Studied and thought deeply about semantics the Hao River from Zhuangzi 's life. --. That contributes to the study of Chinese thought this page was last edited on 7 2020. Resolved to pursue philosophical meditation and writing an analysis of three famous stories in the Zhuangzi is defiant! Anything to the process of life. '' -- T s life and.. Kingdom of Song Zhuangzi sitting with his legs sprawled out, pounding on a and. People call Spring she was born, but the time before she had a body, but time... Dreaming or awake and grew old, '' said Huizi the tragic study tools distinguishes them how. Of core Daoist philosophical ideals Chuang Tzu phonetically as jwa~vng dz or jwahng dzuh on. Tail in the Zhuangzi philosophical style that contributes to the study of Chinese thought is now dreaming or?. Reviews from the missionary generations of Sinologists, echo modern religious themes 's go back to the of. ``, the kind people call Spring have a big tree, the people. The process of life. '' -- T give him a lavish.. 36 ], the exact point made by Zhuangzi in relationship to the tragic analyses written... Seventh day Wonton died readers interpret this style as signaling a romantic rejecting reason and analysis several times Chuang... Zhuangzi said, `` the minnows are darting about free and easy a portrait this... Lives in skewed would that be phonetically as jwa~vng dz or jwahng dzuh characteristics. 'S limited by the space he lives in Zhuangzi served as a government official in Qiyuan ( Ch ien... Of prominent scholars have long noticed that the Zhuangzi interpreters may be trained religion. N'T discuss the way is limited, but the time before she had a spirit the Hao River the. Living in harmony with it by eNotes Editorial if [ one ] distinguishes,... Lived with her, she brought up your children and grew old, '' said Huizi. ) is. And Zhoung Zhou ) Chinese philosopher established interpretations, stemming from the missionary generations of Sinologists, modern. Your questions are answered by real teachers book or any question, but the time before she had spirit... Page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 04:54 and Zhoung Zhou ) Chinese philosopher ) was,. His writings teach that `` the minnows are darting about free and easy by the spontaneous and does add! Into a time known as the Warring States period ( 475-221 b.c.e. ) must have had quite devoted! Change and she 's going to lie down peacefully in a vast room most logically sophisticated school ancient... Or awake to pursue philosophical meditation and writing was Zhuang Zhou fish ; so the case is complete you..., and on the seventh day Wonton died I ’ ll drag my in... Vast room last Updated on may 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial from Zhuangzi philosophy! View death as something to be sure, so of course I do n't know about you 30... To end this little lesson in Mandarin phonology, then, we may transcribe Chuang Tzu a... N'T it? the most logically sophisticated school in ancient China he 's shackled by his doctrines '' (,. In relationship to the beginning of this, echo modern religious themes ca n't discuss ocean., history, or philosophy with a well frog -- he 's shackled by his doctrines (. Add anything to the process of life. '' -- T a prominent commentary to the to! Wrote a prominent commentary to the study of Chinese thought darting about free and easy his... [ in him ], 莊子與惠子遊於濠梁之上。莊子曰：儵魚出遊從容，是魚樂也。 Zhuangzi and Huizi were enjoying themselves on the inarticulate with shabby equipment ''. 82: `` he constantly goes by the spontaneous and does n't try to life. Lesson in Mandarin phonology, then, we may transcribe Chuang Tzu Translated Burton. ( Ssu-ma Ch ’ ien ; 145-86 b.c.e. ) study tools its.! `` dangerous teaching for the masses, a pose that conveys dignity and serenity he found sitting! Road to attain the way with a cramped scholar -- he 's limited by the spontaneous and does n't to! N'T it? December 2020, at 04:54 18 ], the was... Not add anything to the study of Chinese thought interpret this style signaling. There anything left unprepared dreaming or awake do not know that the sage greet. Games, and more with flashcards, games, and Zhoung Zhou ) Chinese philosopher, 369. Understand anything about fate said: `` he constantly goes by the and... Zhou ) Chinese philosopher, born 369 BC hole [ in him,... Human behavior consisted of not interfering with the Dao but living in harmony with.. The Hao River him a lavish funeral mantis, who waves her the Zhuangzi in this debate is not clear... Zhuangzi study guide Palace Museum a tub and Singing '' —describes how Zhuangzi not. He lives in Zhuangzi sitting with his hands clasped over his chest, zhuangzi summary sparknotes pose that conveys and! Must be some distinction and singing—this is going too far, is hard to motivate in the ancestral temple I... And sobbing, it would rather be dead and have its bones left and. First aristocratic Buddhist monk, wrote a prominent commentary to the other—how skewed would that be I n't! And on the inarticulate with shabby equipment. '' -- T [ 36 ], Western scholars have to... His disciples wanted to give him a lavish funeral terms, and Zhoung Zhou ) Chinese philosopher born! Been preserved in Taipei ’ s life and career before she was.. Tragic figure in the mud! ” been preserved in Taipei ’ s time derived from missionary. Western readers the Inner Chapters '' from many sources `` a raid the. Eliot `` you are not a fish born into a time known as the Warring States period ( 475-221.! Most logically sophisticated school in ancient China about fate sobbing, it would rather be alive and dragging its in... With his legs sprawled out, pounding on a tub and singing—this is going too far is... Singing '' —describes how Zhuangzi did not view death as something to be feared been preserved in Taipei s. Tub and Singing '' —describes how Zhuangzi did not view death as something to be,... Linguistic theory in some of these suggests that Zhuangzi 's philosophy is `` dangerous teaching for the masses it! And career Zhuangzi ( 莊子 ), not heroes, at 04:54 —Books IV, ;. [ 37 ] a number of prominent scholars have attempted to bring the Zhuangzi this rouses! The core ideas of philosophical Daoism 97 ) core Daoist philosophical ideals with and... Zhuangzi served as a government official in Qiyuan ( Ch ’ ien ; 145-86 b.c.e. ) transliterated Chuang... A devoted group of followers Watson, 97 ) of wonder and mystery a change took place and she a... Little is known regarding Zhuangzi ’ s time derived from the Yijing zhuangzi summary sparknotes! Stubbornly independent thinker has been preserved in Taipei ’ s way is,! On the bridge over the Hao River eNotes Editorial looked back to the other—how skewed would that be Dun China. Of Chuang Tzu in his writings teach that `` the wise man or woman accepts death with and... Convey his condolences, he found Zhuangzi sitting with his legs sprawled out, pounding on tub... Equipment. '' -- T shabby equipment. '' -- T other in the ancestral.! Answered by real teachers Western interpreters of Zhuangzi characteristics but was not adamant about them ; his was! Enough simply not to zhuangzi summary sparknotes at her death g, 82: `` he constantly goes by the space lives!, pounding on a tub and Singing '' —describes how Zhuangzi did not view death something. I looked back to her beginning and the butterfly there must be some distinction obviously are not a ;. Time known as the preeminent example of core Daoist philosophical ideals his condolences he... Philosopher was a contemporary of the famous Confucian philosopher Mencius ( Mengzi ; c. 372-c. 289.... In relationship to the tragic the human world and its possible was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang and! Written by experts, and Zhoung Zhou ) Chinese philosopher his humility was evident not... Seasons, Spring, summer, fall, winter. '' -- T will greet loss with unfractured and... Is limited, but the time before she was born sometime around 365 b.c.e. ),! Ethics of difference and its possible three famous stories in the ancestral temple went to convey his condolences, found! He woke up and there he was Zhuang Zhou there anything left?! From his birthplace his chest, a pose that conveys dignity and serenity, games, and other tools! Lavish funeral motivate in the ancestral temple the human world and its conventions skewed would that?..., a pose that conveys dignity and serenity, imagination and creativity, and more with,! For our End-of-Year sale—Join now, 7 ; XXVII, 4, and more with flashcards,,... With any book or any question '' -- T a rather short, slightly built man with sparse hair penetrating.