What is the Best Way to Read Zhuangzi?

Hackberry Tree

It’s summer time, which means some of us have more time to catch up on the things we miss. For my brother and I, we chose to revisit The Complete Works of Zhuangzi (2013) and found it more enjoyable than the first time we read it (in full). Additionally, we realized that some chapters are worth a deliberate pace while others are worth a mere glance.

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Following the Tao while Boxing

As readers may or may not know, Yang and I participate in our university’s boxing club and compete at the collegiate level. We have always liked boxing but I’m sure we never understood major aspects of the sport, such as intending to KO opponents or being driven by titles or recognition. Given that we follow the Tao, or at least try to do so, it makes little sense that we compete in boxing or box in general. If we want to follow the Tao and believe in the teachings of Philosophical Taoism, how then can we be said to follow the Tao and box?

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Not Good is Not No Good

Scarecrow_in_Taipei
In logic, there is a fallacy (an instance of poor reasoning) called the straw man: contorting a proposition only for it to be “beaten” down. Scarecrow in Taipei by 陽炎.

A logical opposite is a sentence (I use sentence very loosely here.) that is the negation of its counterpart. In practice, logical opposition is generally inserting a “not” near the core of the sentence.

Zhuangzi could have been striving to be therapeutic or (its logical opposite) not therapeutic. 

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Taoist Musings: Truck Driver

Coragyps-atratus-002
Black Vulture, taken by Mdf, can symbolize either me or the Tao

Lord of the Great Way, let me write what may seem contrived, clauses pinned with awkward rhymes, and inspire others to their own precious poesy; and also to some new, unkempt lines–call them yellow and dashed, literally not literary, and rolling metal oncoming-passed, actually but automotively, for in essence, isn’t a truck driver a sage, turning her wheels only to the wage. Thus, the Way is to get paid, the ears to drown out the paved, and the eyes always to gaze at the roads no different from ten miles ago, though I concede the trucker’s eyes may be strained as the summer sets that even the doctor would prescribe 40 pills of Percocet.


These musings are the pain-killed poetic and taoist fusing, so I hope my fun of writing this transfers to you an equal amusing.