By Zhuangzi, A. C. Graham

Author note: Translated via A. C. Graham

The internal Chapters are the oldest items of the bigger choice of writings via numerous fourth, 3rd, and moment century B.C. authors that represent the vintage of Taoism, the Chuang-Tzu (or Zhuangzi). it truly is this middle of historic writings that's ascribed to Chuang-Tzu himself.

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A Western grappling with the concept of Heaven is likely to presuppose that it is either a person living up in the sky or an impersonal and physical Nature named by metaphor after the sky. But the Heaven which ordains everything beyond the scope of man’s powers is simply the sky itself. We have already noticed the concept of ch’i, ‘energy’,74 which has the place which ‘matter’ holds in our own cosmology, and is at the root of some of the profoundest differences of viewpoint between the ancient Chinese and ourselves.

He sees these habits as fetters or mutilations imposed by Heaven. But what is it that Heaven is punishing? It seems that Heaven has a kind of justice different from man’s, and requites not what we deliberately do but what we are. ’ 65 Chuang-tzŭ’s exemplar of the noble man crippled by Heaven is none other than Confucius. His attitude to China’s greatest teacher is remarkable, and 40 easily misunderstood if one treats the whole book as a unity. The bitter mockery of Confucius in the Yangist chapters ‘Robber Chih’ and ‘The old fisherman’, and the elaborate condescension with which Old Tan instructs him in a cycle of stories in the Outer chapters, are quite foreign to Chuang-tzŭ, who never allows any of his characters to treat the Master disrespectfully to his face.

27 Moralists however cannot afford simply to agree to differ over the definition of the word, and be forced to admit that there is nothing to choose between the Confucian standpoint from which the three-year period of mourning for parents is it and the Mohist standpoint from which it is not. Each school thinks it knows what does actually constitute duty, and engages in disputation to justify itself. Chuang-tzŭ calls this the ‘ “That’s it” which deems’,28 which judges that something actually is what we call it (in contrast with the ‘ “That’s it” which goes by circumstance’,29 which is relative to a criterion), and denies that any reasoning can support it.

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