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Chuang Tzu Chapter 6, Section F

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Zi-sang Hu, Meng Zi-fan, and Zi-qin Zhang, these three men, were friends together. (One of them said), 'Who can associate together without any (thought of) such association, or act together without any (evidence of) such co-operation? Who can mount up into the sky and enjoy himself amidst the mists, disporting beyond the utmost limits (of things), and forgetting all others as if this were living, and would have no end?' The three men looked at one another and laughed, not perceiving the drift of the questions; and they continued to associate together as friends. Suddenly, after a time, Zi-sang Hu died. Before he was buried, Confucius heard of the event, and sent Zi-gong to go and see if he could render any assistance. One of the survivors had composed a ditty, and the other was playing on his lute. Then they sang together in unison,

 

'Ah! come, Sang Hu! ah! come, Sang Hu!

Your being true you've got again,

While we, as men, still here remain

Ohone!'

 

Zi-gong hastened forward to them, and said, 'I venture to ask whether it be according to the rules to be singing thus in the presence of the corpse?' The two men looked at each other, and laughed, saying, 'What does this man know about the idea that underlies (our) rules?' Zi-gong returned to Confucius, and reported to him, saying, 'What sort of men are those? They had made none of the usual preparations, and treated the body as a thing foreign to them. They were singing in the presence of the corpse, and there was no change in their countenances. I cannot describe them; what sort of men are they?' Confucius replied, 'Those men occupy and enjoy themselves in what is outside the (common) ways (of the world), while I occupy and enjoy myself in what lies within those ways. There is no common ground for those of such different ways; and when I sent you to condole with those men, I was acting stupidly. They, moreover, make man to be the fellow of the Creator, and seek their enjoyment in the formless condition of heaven and earth. They consider life to be an appendage attached, an excrescence annexed to them, and death to be a separation of the appendage and a dispersion of the contents of the excrescence. With these views, how should they know wherein death and life are to be found, or what is first and what is last? They borrow different substances, and pretend that the common form of the body is composed of them. They dismiss the thought of (its inward constituents like) the liver and gall, and (its outward constituents), the ears and eyes. Again and again they end and they begin, having no knowledge of first principles. They occupy themselves ignorantly and vaguely with what (they say) lies outside the dust and dirt (of the world), and seek their enjoyment in the business of doing nothing. How should they confusedly address themselves to the ceremonies practised by the common people, and exhibit themselves as doing so to the ears and eyes of the multitude?'

 

Zi-gong said, 'Yes, but why do you, Master, act according to the (common) ways (of the world)?' The reply was, 'I am in this under the condemning sentence of Heaven. Nevertheless, I will share with you (what I have attained to).' Zi-gong rejoined, 'I venture to ask the method which you pursue;' and Confucius said, 'Fishes breed and grow in the water; man developes in the Dao. Growing in the water, the fishes cleave the pools, and their nourishment is supplied to them. Developing in the Dao, men do nothing, and the enjoyment of their life is secured. Hence it is said, "Fishes forget one another in the rivers and lakes; men forget one another in the arts of the Dao."'

 

Zi-gong said, 'I venture to ask about the man who stands aloof from others.' The reply was, 'He stands aloof from other men, but he is in accord with Heaven! Hence it is said, "The small man of Heaven is the superior man among men; the superior man among men is the small man of Heaven!"'

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Modern interpretation

 

This Chapter is a ridicule for Confucius

 

【译文】

 

子桑户(Zi Sang Hu)、孟子反(Meng Zi Fan)、子琴张(Zi Qin Zhang), these three persons are conversing with each other: "Who can be mutually associated with each other but not putting a full-heart into the acquaintance. Who can rise to heaven and ride on the clouds, repeatedly going up and down the space, and forgetting one's existence. Also, there was no ending nor limit." The trio looked at each other and smiled within their hearts. The had the same thoughts from heart-to-heart and mutually became friends. Time has passed not too long ago, 子桑户(Zi Sang Hu) had died but still have not been buried. Confucius knew about that, and send his disciple 子贡(Zi Gong) to assist with the burial service. 孟子反(Meng Zi Fan) and 子琴张(Zi Qin Zhang) were composing a song together, both were singing the song: "Oh! 子桑户(Zi Sang Hu), 子桑户(Zi Sang Hu)! You have already returned to your original genuineness(本真); but we are still alive and a dependent of our skeletons." 子贡(Zi Gong) heard them and rushed to confront them, said: "I beg your pardon, may I ask singing in front of a corpse of a dead one, is that in accord with the principle of politeness...???" The two mutually looked at each other and laughed once, then said: "How can this kind of person know about the true meaning of 'politeness'...???"

 

三人在一起谈话:“谁能够相互交往于无心交往之中,相互有所帮助却像没有帮助一样?谁能登上高天巡游雾里,循环升登于无穷的太空,忘掉自己的存在,而永远没有终结和穷尽?”三人会心地相视而笑,心心相印于是相互结成好友。过不多久子桑户死了,还没有下葬。孔子知道了,派弟子子贡前去帮助料理丧事。孟子反和子琴张却一个在编曲,一个在弹琴,相互应和着唱歌:“哎呀,子桑户啊!哎呀,子桑户啊!你已经返归本真,可是我们还成为活着的人而托载形骸呀!”子贡听了快步走到他们近前,说:“我冒昧地请教,对着死人的尸体唱歌,这合乎礼仪吗?”二人相视笑了笑,不屑地说:“这种人怎么会懂得‘礼’的真实含意!”

 

After 子贡(Zi Gong) returned and told Confucius what he saw at the funeral. He said: "What kind of people are they? They looked at cultivating virtuous manners lightly without any consideration in politeness. They place their physical body outside of the lives. They even sing in front of a corpse without changing their facial expression. I have no idea how to describe them. What kind of people are they anyway..???"

 

子贡回来后把见到的情况告诉给孔子,说:“他们都是些什么样的人呢?不看重德行的培养而无有礼仪,把自身的形骸置于度外,面对着死尸还要唱歌,容颜和脸色一点也不改变,没有什么办法可以用来称述他们。他们究竟是些什么样的人呢?”

 

Confucius said: "They were those who are released from rituals and free in this world. The people that are outside and the people are inside of the world have no relationship with each other. However, I let you go to the funeral was really my ignorance. They are really being in the companionship with the creator and free within the genuine universal Chi(元气之中). They were treating life like something that is extravagant as insignificant as a tumor. They look at death as a tumor that was poked causing the fluids to run out. This kind of people, how could they consider it's good or bad for the existence of the life and dead...!!! From the reflections of all kinds of things, thus at the end, they were relied solely as an integral. They forgot about the internal organs such as the live and bile inside their bodies; also they forgot about the external ears and eyes. Infinitely, the repetitious cycle from the beginning to the end continuously taken place; but one never know where it really starts. Vastly, floating outside the world of humanity. Free and living in a nothing to do or a none productive environment. Why would they want to be cumbersome in creating those mundane rituals. Then, purposely showing off in front of the people vaingloriously."

 

孔子说:“他们都是些摆脱礼仪约束而逍遥于人世之外的人,我却是生活在具体的世俗环境中的人。人世之外和人世之内彼此不相干涉,可是我却让你前去吊唁,我实在是浅薄呀!他们正跟造物者结为伴侣,而逍遥于天地浑一的元气之中。他们把人的生命看作像赘瘤一样多余,他们把人的死亡看作是毒痈化脓后的溃破,像这样的人,又怎么会顾及死生优劣的存在!凭借于各各不同的物类,但最终寄托于同一的整体;忘掉了体内的肝胆,也忘掉了体外的耳目;无尽地反复着终结和开始,但从不知道它们的头绪;茫茫然彷徨于人世之外,逍遥自在地生活在无所作为的环境中。他们又怎么会烦乱地去炮制世俗的礼仪,而故意炫耀于众人的耳目之前呢!”

 

子贡(Zi Gong) said: "So, my teacher, then what do you consider as a standard."

Confucius(孔子) said: "I'm 孔丘(Kong4 Qui1), a sinner damned by Heaven. Even so, by all means, I will go with all of you together to pursue the transcendent 'Tao'."

 

子贡(Zi Gong) asked: "May I ask how are we going to pursue 'Tao'."

Confucius(孔子) answered: "The fishes fight to jump into the water, humans struggle to pursue 'Tao'. The fishes dig a pond for survival; humans pursue Tao was to have a peace of mind. Therefore, the fishes are died in the rivers and lakes; and humans are died in the pursuit of Tao.

 

子贡(Zi Gong) said: "May I ask you a question about 'handicaps'...???"

Confucius(孔子) answered: "The so-called 'handicaps' are different from the mundane individuals but they are equal to the natural people. Thus it was said to be that the natural people are gentlemen in the world; and the gentlemen of the world are villains.

 

子贡说:“如此,那么先生将遵循什么准则呢?”孔子说:“我孔丘,乃是苍天所惩罚的罪人。即使这样,我仍将跟你们一道去竭力追求至高无尚的‘道’。子贡问:“请问追求‘道’的方法。”孔子回答:“鱼争相投水,人争相求道。争相投水的鱼,掘地成池便给养充裕;争相求道的人,漠然无所作为便心性平适。所以说,鱼相忘于江湖里,人相忘于道术中”。子贡说:“再冒昧地请教‘畸人’的问题”。孔子回答:“所谓‘畸人’,就是不同于世俗而又等同于自然的人。所以说,自然的小人就是人世间的君子;人世间的君子就是自然的小人。”

Edited by ChiDragon
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from Wandering On The Way: Taoist Tales and Parables

by Victor Mair

 

Sir Mulberry Door, Meng Sir Opposite, and Sir Lute Stretch

were all three talking together. "Who can associate in non-

association and cooperate in noncooperation? Who can ascend

to heaven and wander with the mists, bounding through

infinity, forgetting themselves in life forever and ever without

end?" The three men looked at each other and smiled. Since

there was no discord in their hearts, they became friends with

each other .

After an uneventful period of time, Sir Mulberry Door died.

Before he was buried, Confucius heard about his death and sent

Tzukung to participate in the funeral. When Tzukung ar-

rived, he found one of them composing a tune and the other

strumming on a lute. The song they sang along together wen t

like this:

 

Alas, Mulberry Door!

Alas, Mulberry Door!

You have already returned to the true,

But we are still human, oh!

 

Tzukung hurried in and said, "I make bold to ask whether

it is in accord with the rites to sing in the presence of the

corpse."

The two men looked at each other and smiled, saying,

"What does he know about the meaning of the rites?"

Tzukung went back and reported to Confucius, ask-

ing, "What kind of people are they? They cultivate nonbeing

and put physical form beyond them. They sing in the presence

of the corpse without the slightest change of expression.

There's no way I can describe them. What kind of people are

they?"

"They are people who wander beyond the spatial world,"

said Confucius, "while I wander within it. Beyond and within

are incompatible. It was uncouth of me to have sent you to

mourn him. They're about to become companions of the

Creator of Things, and wander in the unity of the vital breath

that joins heaven and earth. They consider life as an attached

cyst, an appended tumor, and death as the bursting of a boil,

the draining of an abscess . Such being the case, what do they

care about the priority of life and death? They lodge in a

common body composed of diverse elements. They forget their

inner organs and are oblivious of the senses. Over and over

turns the seamless cycle of beginning and ending. Faraway they

are, roaming beyond the dust and dirt of the mundane world,

carefree in the karma of nonaction. So how can they be

bothered with worldly rites, merely to look good in the eyes of

ordinary people!"

"Well, sir," asked Tzukung, "to which realm do you adhere?"

"I am one of heaven's condemned," said Confucius. "Nev-

ertheless, this is something we share in common."

"I venture to ask their secret ;" said Tzukung.

"Fish delight in water," said Confucius, "and man delights in

the Way. Delighting in water, fish find adequate nourishment

just by passing through their ponds. Delighting in the Way,

man's life is stabilized without ado. Therefore, it is said, "Fish

forget themselves in the rivers and lakes; men forget themselves in

the arts of the Way."

"I venture to ask about the oddball," said Tzukung.

"The oddball may be odd to other men, but he is a pair with

heaven. Therefore, it is said, "The villain in heaven is a gentleman

among men; the gentleman among men is a villain in heaven."

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the love of fun. Like the heyoka, or sacred clowns of Native American tribes, who will purposely break consensus' of etiquette when it starts to strangle the love and nature of life (edit: though without disturbing the sacredness). Chuang Tzu was a Heyoka! Ho!

Edited by Harmonious Emptiness

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Modern interpretation

 

This Chapter is a ridicule for Confucius

 

【译文】

子桑户(Zi Sang Hu)、孟子反(Meng Zi Fan)、子琴张(Zi Qin Zhang), these three persons are conversing with each other: "Who can be mutually associated with each other but not putting a full-heart into the acquaintance. Who can rise to heaven and ride on the clouds, repeatedly going up and down the space, and forgetting one's existence. Also, there was no ending nor limit." The trio looked at each other and smiled within their hearts. The had the same thoughts from heart-to-heart and mutually became friends. Time has passed not too long ago, 子桑户(Zi Sang Hu) had died but still have not been buried. Confucius knew about that, and send his disciple 子贡(Zi Gong) to assist with the burial service. 孟子反(Meng Zi Fan) and 子琴张(Zi Qin Zhang) were composing a song together, both were singing the song: "Oh! 子桑户(Zi Sang Hu), 子桑户(Zi Sang Hu)! You have already returned to your original natural state(本真); but we are still alive and a dependent of our skeletons." 子贡(Zi Gong) heard them and rushed to confront them, said: "I beg your pardon, may I ask singing in front of a corpse of a dead one, is that in accord with the principle of politeness...???" The two mutually looked at each other and laughed once, then said: "How can this kind of person know about the true meaning of 'politeness'...???"

 

After 子贡(Zi Gong) returned and told Confucius what he saw at the funeral. He said: "What kind of people are they? They looked at cultivating virtuous manners lightly without any consideration in politeness. They place their physical body outside of the lives. They even sing in front of a corpse without changing their facial expression. I have no idea how to describe them. What kind of people are they anyway..???"

 

Confucius said: "They were those who are released from rituals and free in this world. The people that are outside and the people are inside of the world have no relationship with each other. However, I let you go to the funeral was really my ignorance. They are really being in the companionship with the creator and free within the genuine universal Chi(元气之中). They were treating life like something that is extravagant as insignificant as a tumor. They look at death as a tumor that was poked causing the fluids to run out. This kind of people, how could they consider it's good or bad for the existence of the life and dead...!!! From the reflections of all kinds of things, thus at the end, they were relied solely as an integral. They forgot about the internal organs such as the live and bile inside their bodies; also they forgot about the external ears and eyes. Infinitely, the repetitious cycle from the beginning to the end continuously taken place; but one never know where it really starts. Vastly, floating outside the world of humanity. Free and living in a nothing to do or a none productive environment. Why would they want to be cumbersome in creating those mundane rituals. Then, purposely showing off in front of the people vaingloriously."

 

子贡(Zi Gong) said: "So, my teacher, then what do you consider as a standard."

Confucius(孔子) said: "I'm 孔丘(Kong4 Qui1), a sinner damned by Heaven. Even so, by all means, I will go with all of you together to pursue the transcendent 'Tao'."

 

子贡(Zi Gong) asked: "May I ask how are we going to pursue 'Tao'."

Confucius(孔子) answered: "The fishes fight to jump into the water, humans struggle to pursue 'Tao'. The fishes dig a pond for survival; humans pursue Tao was to have a peace of mind. Therefore, the fishes are died in the rivers and lakes; and humans are died in the pursuit of Tao.

 

子贡(Zi Gong) said: "May I ask you a question about 'handicaps'...???"

Confucius(孔子) answered: "The so-called 'handicaps' are different from the mundane individuals but they are equal to the natural people. Thus it was said to be that the natural people are gentlemen in the world; and the gentlemen of the world are villains.

 

 

Edited to replace:

"genuineness" with "natural state(本真)"

Edited by ChiDragon

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