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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Usefulness and Uselessness

From first impression, this plant doesn't seem nutritious or bothered.
From first impressions, this plant doesn’t seem nutritious or bothered.

Hui met a person who knew about and liked Taoism, and he asked him “why do you not practice its axioms?” He said “I must do something. I must do something before I die.” Continue reading Usefulness and Uselessness

Multiple Interpretations of the Zhuangzi

Butcher Ting

Surprisingly, the Zhuangzi has its own article on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, but after reading it, Hui and I thought it to be contrived or misinterpreted.

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What’s the Role of Meditation in the Zhuangzi?

Artist: Kano Tan'yû (1602–1674)
Artist: Kano Tan’yû (1602–1674)

In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned that meditation and the ideas in the Zhuangzi are closely related. Actually, Zhuangzi made reference to meditation when a man (Yan Hui) asked Confucius about how to proceed to act with the Tao and be in the world of men. This passage can be seen in the “In the World of Men” Chapter of The Zhuangzi.

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The Double-Edged Sword of Eastern Philosophy

 

Words are very inconsistent in what they mean and try to bound the boundless.
Words are very inconsistent in what they mean and try to bound the boundless.

I was trying to pick arguments to analyze for an assignment in my philosophy class. I came up with four or five candidates, three of which were from Zhuangzi and one of which was from the Spring and Autumn Annals. In picking the arguments, I noticed that most of the eastern ones were arguments by analogy and that they employed figurative language. So, when I’m trying to analyze eastern philosophy, those traits often present some problems.

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