Marblehead

Chuang Tzu Chapter 6, Section I

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Yan Hui said, 'I am making progress.' Zhongni replied, 'What do you mean?' 'I have ceased to think of benevolence and righteousness,' was the reply. 'Very well; but that is not enough.' Another day, Hui again saw Zhongni, and said, 'I am making progress.' 'What do you mean?' 'I have lost all thought of ceremonies and music.' 'Very well, but that is not enough.' A third day, Hui again saw (the Master), and said, 'I am making progress.' 'What do you mean?' 'I sit and forget everything.' Zhongni changed countenance, and said, 'What do you mean by saying that you sit and forget (everything)?' Yan Hui replied, 'My connexion with the body and its parts is dissolved; my perceptive organs are discarded. Thus leaving my material form, and bidding farewell to my knowledge, I am become one with the Great Pervader. This I call sitting and forgetting all things.' Zhongni said, 'One (with that Pervader), you are free from all likings; so transformed, you are become impermanent. You have, indeed, become superior to me! I must ask leave to follow in your steps.'

 

 

 

Zi-yu and Zi-sang were friends. (Once), when it had rained continuously for ten days, Zi-yu said, 'I fear that Zi-sang may be in distress.' So he wrapped up some rice, and went to give it to him to eat. When he came to Zi-sang's door, there issued from it sounds between singing and wailing; a lute was struck, and there came the words, '0 Father! 0 Mother! 0 Heaven! 0 Men!' The voice could not sustain itself, and the line was hurriedly pronounced. Zi-yu entered and said, 'Why are you singing, Sir, this line of poetry in such a way?' The other replied, 'I was thinking, and thinking in vain, how it was that I was brought to such extremity. Would my parents have wished me to be so poor? Heaven overspreads all without any partial feeling, and so does Earth sustain all; Would Heaven and Earth make me so poor with any unkindly feeling? I was trying to find out who had done it, and I could not do so. But here I am in this extremity - it is what was appointed for me!'

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from- Wandering on the Way: Taoist Tales and Parables

by- Victor Mair

 

"I'm making progress," said Yen Hui.

"What do you mean? " asked Confucius.

"I have forgotten rites and music.

""Not bad, but you still haven't got it."

Yen Hui saw Confucius again on another day and said, "I'm

making progress?'

"What do you mean?"

"I have forgotten humaneness and righteousness?"

"Not bad, but you still haven't got it."

Yen Hui saw Confucius again on another day and said, "I'm

making progress."

"What do you mean?"

"I sit and forget."

"What do you mean, 'sit and forget'?" Confucius asked with

surprise.

"I slough off my limbs and trunk," said Yen Hui, "dim my

intelligence, depart from my form, leave knowledge behind, and

become identical with the Transformational Thoroughfare.

This is what I mean by "sit and forget."

"If you are identical," said Confucius, "then you have no

preferences. If you are transformed, then you have no more

constants. It's you who is really the worthy one! Please permit me

to follow after you."

 

 

Sir Chariot and Sir Mulberry were friends. Once when it had

rained continuously for ten days, Sir Chariot said to himself,

"I'm afraid that Sir Mulberry may be in distress." So he wrapped

up some food in a piece of cloth and went to feed him . When he

reached Sir Mulberry's gate, he heard the strumming of a lute

and a plaint that sounded as though it were between singing and

crying:

"Was it father?

Was it mother?

Heaven?

Earth?"

The voice could barely sustain itself and the verses were uttered

in haste.

Sir Chariot entered and asked, "Why is your song like this?"

"I am thinking about who might have brought me to this

extremity, but can't come up with an answer. Surely my father

and mother would not wish for me to be so poor. And heaven

shows no preference in whom it covers nor earth in whom it

supports. How could they show preference in making me poor?

I seek to find who might have done it, but can't succeed.

Well, perhaps it was simply destiny that brought me to this

extremity!"

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Modern Interpretation

Yan Hui(颜回) said: "I have advanced."

Confucius(孔子): "What was your advancement...???"

 

Yan Hui(颜回): "I had forgotten 'benevolence and righteousness' already."

Confucius(孔子): "Good, but it is still not suffice."

 

Few days later, Yan Hui went to visit Confucius again and said: "I have advanced again."

Confucius(孔子): "What do you mean by advancement this time...???"

 

Yan Hui(颜回): "I have forgotten 'proprieties and music'."

Confucius(孔子): "Good, but it's still not good enough."

 

Few days had passed, then, Yan Hui went to visit Confucius again: "I have advanced again."

Confucius(孔子): "What is your advancement...???"

 

Yan Hui(颜回): "I'd been 'Zuo4 Wang4(坐忘)'."

Confucius was surprised and perturbed: "What is 'Zuo4 Wang4'...???"

 

Yan Hui(颜回) answered: "Destroyed and deformed the the healthy body, desensitized the senses of hearing and clear vision, then integrated with the Great Tao as a whole(一体), this is what was called 'Zuo4 Wang4' of quiet sitting with an empty heart and forgetting both myself and all things.

 

Confucius: "Integrated with all things as one(同一), then there is no bias. Follow the changes spontaneously, then it would not be out of line with the ordinary principles. Oh! You are really a sagacious person! I am being a teacher for others, but I would hope that I can learn from you by follow your footsteps.

 

 

 

ZiYu(子舆) and ZiSang(子桑) are good friends, it had been raining for more than ten days, ZiYu(子舆) said: "I'm afraid that ZiSang(子桑) maybe very tired and fell from hunger." Then,

 

ZiYu(子舆) packed some foods and brought for him to eat. When he arrived at the front door, he heard ZiSang(子桑) seems like he was singing, but then he seems like he was crying, and also he was playing a musical instrument: "Is it my father? Or is it my mother? Is it heaven? Or is it human?"

 

His voice was so low, it seems like he cannot help it to express his feelings which was quickly revealed in his lyrics in the song, ZiYu(子舆) went inside the room and said: "The lyrics you sung in the song, how come it was like this?"

 

ZiSang(子桑) answered: "I am looking for the one who made me such extreme hardship and fatigue, however, I didn't find it. Is it, perhaps, my parents would like me to be poor? Heaven were not bias to cover up the Great Earth. The Great Earth were not bias and nourish all living things. Are heaven and earth, perhaps, letting me to be poor? I was looking for the thing that made me live in poverty but I haven't found it. Hence, I have already reached in such extreme level of fatigue, then, it has to be 'kismet'!"

Edited by ChiDragon

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Kismet. I had to look that word up. Kismet = Fate.

 

And I think: Fate. Humm. Is there really such a thing? Most, I suppose, would say "Yes".

 

Fate: From "What has been spoken."

 

Spoken by whom?

 

I don't like the word "fate" very much.

 

I can work with "cause and effect" though.

 

Cause = what was. Effect = what is.

 

No, I cannot talk about what will be.

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Hence, I have already reached in such extreme level of fatigue, then, it has to be 'kismet'!

 

Hence, I have already reached in such extreme level of fatigue, then, it has to be said that was 'life'!

How is that sound...???

Edited by ChiDragon

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Hence, I have already reached in such extreme level of fatigue, then, it has to be said that was 'life'!

How is that sound...???

 

Hehehe. I wasn't trying to change your mind - just making comment, but yes, "life" seems to be a better word to use here.

Edited by Marblehead

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Hehehe. I wasn't trying to change your mind - just making comment, but yes, "life" seems to be a better word to use here.

Hehehehe......You did not change my mind.

 

In Chinese thinking, 命(ming4): life. It is also equal to 天命(tien ming): fate; destiny; kismet; it was meant to be.

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Hehehehe......You did not change my mind.

 

In Chinese thinking, 命(ming4): life. It is also equal to 天命(tien ming): fate; destiny; kismet; it was meant to be.

 

Good thing I didn't change your mind. Hehehe.

 

I am sure you know that I don't believe in destiny or any of those other things because I believe in free will. The word "life" is a neutral word whereas the others are limiting words. We can't be limiting my free will.

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