There are differences and there are similarities, between cultures, between families, between individuals.
We can focus on either but it is important not to focus on one or the other exclusively, otherwise we restrict our potential.
Texts do not rely on commentaries, people rely on commentaries.
Zhuangzi is capable of speaking across millennia, bridging language and culture, communicating very directly and personally.
We are the ones that need to be open and prepared to hear what he has to say.
Certainly there are challenges but when you hear what he is saying, you know.
When he speaks of the archer going blind when he is more focused on the prize than the act of releasing his bow, I know exactly what he is saying, as does every soccer pro who ever missed a penalty shot, or golfer that missed a 2 foot putt.
When he speaks of the ambiguity of waking and dreaming, the sudden feeling of uncertainty, of mystery and possibility is unmistakable and pure. No need for commentary or cultural translation.
While I agree that there is value in cultural and linguistic coloration, subtlety, and precision, it is not an all or none proposition.
I think you are selling yourself and others short, especially the old masters who wrote down these profound lessons.
There is a reason why these teachings are held so dear that they are passed down for hundreds and thousands of years.
They are not limited to any particular scholarly, linguistic, or cultural tradition.
They are able to express something deep and valuable, and not only to a limited few but to anyone, anywhere potentially.
And the meanings, very much like poetry or other forms of art, are not restricted to a particular perspective.
No one can claim complete authority over the meaning of profound spiritual texts or art.
In part this is because what we need from a teaching as individuals is not necessarily an answer or a piece of information; what we often need (some may say always) is something that loosens an obstacle or a blockage in us, allowing the truth that is deep and hidden, but always already present, to shine forth.
Profound spiritual lessons are not so much like learning a new mathematical equation or grammatical rule, it is more like being guided to a feeling of coming home to something very deep, very certain, very supportive and nourishing; and it often feels like waking up from a long to dream to something you somehow knew all along.