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Following the Yang (Ze Yang)

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Following the Yang (Ze Yang)

In my opinion,Ze Yang of 《Zhuang Zi》 (《Chuang Tzu》) is a chapter daily record of events and thoughts by Zhuang Zhou,I translated it in my way,added some history and backaround . I read the translation by Nina Correa and the translation by Burton Watson for reference.

In 354 BC, King Hui of Wei started a large-scale attack on Zhao. By 353 BC, The capital of Zhao, Handan, was under siege.later the Wei army badly destroyed the wall of Handan city, Zhao nearly disappear.Its call the suffering of Handan in history. The State of Qi intervened in time. The famous strategist of Qi, Sun Bin proposed to attack the Wei capital while the Wei army was tied up besieging Zhao. The strategy was a success; the Wei army hastily moved south to protect its capital, was caught on the road and decisively defeated at the Battle of Guiling .This strategy become very famous,its name is "besiege Wei,save Zhao." Since that ,Zhao was under control by Wei,and also a friend of Qi.

前348年  魏殷臣、赵公孙裒伐燕,还取夏屋,城曲逆。

前347年  壬寅,孙何侵楚,入三户郛。楚伐徐州。 (《竹书纪年》)

According the offical history book of Wei state ( 《Bamboo Annals》) ,Six years later,In 348 BC,General Yin Cheng of Wei and General Gong Sun Suai of Zhao leaded the armies from two states, attacked Yan state,Took the lands of Xiawu and Quni from Yan .That means Wei and Zhao fighting together again.

In the spring of 347 BC ,General Sun He of Wei invaded the three-family-town of Chu this year,Chu attacked Xu Zhou of Qi.

The three-family-town locate in the Danyang (丹阳),Which is the old capital of Chu state,It is a sacred land of Chu ,Especially for the Zhuang's families of Chu .A son of the King Zhuang of Chu 楚庄王,Which was one of five hegemons during the Spring and Autumn Period,He take "Zhuang" as his surname,His name is Zhuang Wu or Prince Wu(王子午), He become the first ancestor of Zhuang's families of Chu,His tomb is locate at the three-family-town.

After general Sun He of Wei invaded the three-family-town of Chu state.Zhuang Zhou (庄周) and his brother Zhuang Qiao(庄蹻)travels to the Chu state form Song state.




Note: Ze Yang (则阳) means following the Yang,Peng Yang (彭阳) means expanding the Yang,Ze Yang and Peng Yang are brother . Yi Jie 夷节 means diplomat.Many noble families of Chu escape the state since 380 BC,Because most of them involved to assassinating Wu Qi (吴起),They are still guilty before Wei army invaded Danyang in 347 BC.

Ze Yang traveled to the state of Chu, Yi Jie talked to the king about it, But the King didn't agree to meet them, Yi Jie went back.Peng Yang then went to see Wang Guo and said: "Sir, Why do you not introduce me to the king?"

Wang Guo replied: "I am not so good to do that as Gong Yue Xiu."

Peng Yang said:"What sort of man is he?"

And the reply was: "'In winter he spears turtles in the river, and in summer he rests in shady places on the mountain. When people passing by ask him what he's doing, he says: 'This is my house!'"

" Yi Jie already tried to help you but couldn't do it, I couldn't do any better! I'm not even a match for Yi Jie.Yi Jie is the guy Who have knowledge without the virtue,He ususally don't make the promise ,But he always make a firm friendship by his amazing ability,He can deeply crazy in the land of richs and honours.But he helped you without the virtue in this case,that means instead his help will cause a trouble.The one who's freezing in the winter will imagine being covered by the spring's warmth, But the one who's suffering from sunstroke will thinks about the cool winds of winter.Now the king of Chu,He looks very honourable and stern , He deals with the guilty people, like a tiger without forgiveness .No one but a gross flatterer or a man with right virtue can bend him to change his mind."

"So the sage, When he living in hardship, he can make his family forget their poverty; When he living in affluence, he can make kings and dukes forget their titles and stipends ,and make them become humble . His approach to things, is to go along with them and be merry; his approach to people, is enjoy to the communication with them and still hold on his own. So sometime he may be don't say any word, but the other still can drink the harmony ; Standing with others, he can cause them to change, let them feel comfortable like father and son,That kind of feeling to go back home, On the moment easy to do anything . His understanding of people's heart,Its so far away than this .So I say you should wait for Gong Yue Xiu ."


Note: Zhuang Zhou went back to the old homeland,and failed to get a meeting with the King of Chu at the beginning,Later he knew his teacher already predicted that and made the arrangement.Zhuang Zhou very appreciate for what his teacher's done.

The sage made a perfect arrangement,so carefully include all situations, yet he does not know why,it is a matter of the inborn nature .He return to still as a hermit and following the nature as his teacher to act accordingly,People just take his advise like taking a order.Worrying from the situation already know,so action can't constant for a long time,It will stop in other situations,How about this?When a women is born with good looks, the others compare with her, but if them don't tell her, She will never know that she is better looking than others. Whether she know it or don't know it, whether she was told of it or was not told of it, however, her delightful good looks remain unchanged to the end, and others can go on endlessly admiring her , it is a matter of inborn nature. The sage loves people, and people fame him, but if they do not tell him, then he will never know that he loves people. Whether he knows it or doesn't know it, whether he is told of it or is not told of it, however, his love for people remains unchanged to the end, and others feel safety in it will never end, it is a matter of inborn nature.


The old capital of the old state ,I feel good just to look at it from afar. Even when hills and mounds, brush and forest, make nine out of ten of the city have gone to lie under them, I feel even better,How much more so,Those seeing and hearing,stand out like eighty-foot tower among the crowd.


Note:The crown prince of Chu,his name is Xiong Shang (熊商),later he become the powerest king of Chu (楚威王),his teacher is Duo Jiao 铎椒,Duo Jiao is a polymath,a educationist,and a the crown prince consider him as Confucius (孔子).this year happen a lot of stories,they all need to be careful.

Mr. Ran Xiang got the middle of its circle then got his the naturly completion , Joining with things, without the end, without the beginning, no minutes, no hours.Changing with the things everyday, It is the one thing never changes , so why should he abandon this? Those tries to following the nature as a teacher but never learn something from the nature,and dying along with the things in the end,going that way as the matter,how about that!The sage has never begun to think of nature, has never begun to think of human, has never begun to think of a beginning, has never begun to think of things. He moves on with the real world and never instead of , his movement is so complete without any blemish. then the thing happen to meet his will, how about this?

The emperor Tang got his groom,a guardsman name Deng Heng, and had him be his tutor. He followed him and treated him as a teacher, but was not confined by him, so he got his naturely completion, Tang decleared the great teaching of Deng Heng , he's behavior made both of them become a legend.For the exhausted thinking of Confucius,He is following it and learning from it.

Mr.Rong Cheng said:"Without the days there is not a year,Without the inside there is not outside."



Note: Marquis Tian succeeded to the throne in 356 BC,But he didn't ruled the state of Qi by himself nearly nine years untill 347 BC.He love to drink over a long night with beautyful women,Some corrupt officials control the goverment of Qi,So the situation of the Qi state is not so good .Wei made a treaty with Qi to attack Chu , Qi violted it. So Wei try to attack Qi for revenge,But there is a big problem,Zhao is a friend of Qi,if Wei attack Qi,It need to fight with Zhao and Qi.

Wei Ying (the king of Wei) made a treaty with Marquis Tian of Qi , but Marquis Tian violated it. Wei Ying angried, So He wanted to send the killer to assassinate Marquis Tian.

General Gong Sun Yan heard of it and shamed about it,He said:"My king,You are the ruler of ten thousand chariots,but you just treat your revenge like a commoner! Gong Sun Yan ask to be given command of two hundred thousand armored troops,I will attack Qi for you,make prisoners of his people, and lead away his horses and cattles.I will make Marquis Tian burn with anger and the fire break out on his back,then I will keep on storm his state.When Tian Ji also try to run away,I will whip his back and break his spine!"

Ji Zi heard of it and shamed about it,He said: "Biulding an eighty-foot wall, the wall is just nearly eighty-foot high,then break it down again,That is realy a pain to those people who once suffered for it.It is already been seven years not raising the army till now,This is the foundation of your leadedship.Gong Sun Yan is a troublemaker,his advice must not be heeded!"

Hua Zi heard of it and shamed about it,He said: "The person good at saying 'attack Qi' is a troublemaker,And the person good at saying 'Don't attack Qi' is also a troublemakers,And the person says that 'those who says attack or do not attack are all troublemakers,he is a troublemaker too!"

King of Wei ask:"then what should I do?"

Hua Zi reply:"My king,you need to seek the answer from Dao, that's all."

Hui Zi, hearing this, introduced Dai Jin Ren to the King of Wei. Dai Jin Ren said: "Your Majesty,there is a creature called the snail , Do you know it?"

The king reply,"Yes."

The visitor said:"On top of snail's left antenna is a state called Strike, and on top of snail's right antenna is a state called Brutal . At times they usually fight for the territory , strewing the field with corpses by the tens thousand, the victor need half a month to return home."

The king said: "Eh,What kind of empty talk is this?"

The visitor said:"Your Majesty,please allow me to show you the truth in it. Do you believe that there is a limit to the four directions, to up and down?"

The king said: "No limits."

The visitor said:"Understanding that the mind can wander where there are no limits,and go back to the states which traffic is well developed,It is not certain whether it even exist or not?"

The king said: "Yes."

The visitor said:"And among these states,the Wei is one of them, and within the state of Wei is the city of Liang, and within the city of Liang is Your Majesty. Is there any difference between you and the ruler of Brutal?"

The king said:"No difference."

After the visitor left, the king looks disappointed seem he lost something . At that moment Hui Zi came to see him.

The king said:"That visitor was truly a great man. A sage wouldn't be capable of matching him."

Hui Zi said:"Blow into a bamboo flute and it'll produce a loud sound. If blow into the end of a sword's hilt, it will be a feeble wheeze.Emperor Yao and Shun were set up on a pedestal by the people, but expounding on Yao and Shun in the presence of Dai Jin Ren,it would sound like a little wheeze!"


Note: When the king Zhao of Chu (楚昭王) was a boy,Duke Bai Gong Sheng (白公胜) want to be the king of Chu,So he try to kill Zi Xi (子西),who is The prime minister of Chu.Southtown Yi Liao (市南宜僚) is a brave warrior of Chu ,A man can fight with five hurdred soldiers .Duke Bai Gong Sheng didn't made the agreement with Southtown Yi Liao ,he put a sword on the neck of Southtown Yi Liao ,but Southtown Yi Liao played ball without any panic,Duke Bai Gong Sheng can do nothing about that ,He couldn't handle two of them in the sametime ,so his coup can not happen.This is call:" Southtown Yi Liao play ball,The trouble between two family was gone."(市南宜僚弄丸,而两家之难解。)After Confucius arrived in Chu,the situation was changed,The balance was broken by Confucius.Later Bai Gong Sheng killed the prime minister Zi Xi and his coup was a suceess.

Kong Zi arrived in Chu, he stopped over at an inn of Ant-Hill-town. A neighboring family, including the husband, wife, servants and concubines, had gathered on the roof of their house.

Zi Lu asked:"Why are all those people standing so precariously up there?"

Zhong Ni said:"They are the servants of a sage ,Who was burying himself among the people,hiding himself among the fields.His sound like negative,but his determination never been exhausted.His mouth maybe spoken something , but his heart didn't say anything.He just violated the secular principles,and his heart disdained for going along with them,he is a plunger in land. Could he be Southtown Yi Liao ?"

Zi Lu asked permission to call him over.

Kong Zi said:"Let it be! He knows that I am out to make a name for myself, and he knows my coming to Chu,He assume that I will certainly let the king of Chu to give me a position,He just take me for a sycophant. If so,A man like him ashamed even to hear the words of a sycophant, much less appear in person before him! What makes you think he is still at home anyway?"

Zi Lu went next door to have a look,His house was already empty.

长梧封人问子牢曰:“君为政焉勿卤莽,治民焉勿灭裂。昔予为禾,耕而卤莽之,则其实亦卤莽而报予;芸而灭裂之,其实亦灭裂而报予。予来年变齐,深其耕而熟耰 之,其禾蘩以滋,予终年厌飧。”庄子闻之曰:“今人之治其形,理其心,多有似封人之所谓:遁其天,离其性,灭其情,亡其神,以众为。故卤莽其性者,欲恶之孽为性,萑苇蒹霞始萌,以扶吾形,寻擢吾性。并溃漏发,不择所出,漂疽疥痈,内热溲膏是也。”

The border guard of Changwu (长梧 or 苍梧) said to Zi Lao, "In running the government you shouldn't be crude, in ordering the people you shouldn't be slapdash!In the past I used to grow grain, I plowed in a slipshod way and got a slipshod crop in return.The following year I changed my methods, plowing deeper than before and raking with great care , the grain grew thick and luxuriant, then I didn't need to care about the food for the whole year!"

Zhuang Zi heard of it and he said, "People of today, when they deals with their bodies and their minds, most likely do it in the same way as the border guard described. They away the nature, against their inborn nature, ignore their feeling, and forgot their spirit, just for following the crowd . So they slipshod with their inborn natures,breeding their own likes and dislikes as their natures ,just like the overgrowing of weeds and rushes. When those first sprout up, they will be a comfort to the body, but they are looking for stifling the inborn nature. later the toxin begin to break out side by side,not only one part of the body but all over. Festering ulcers and boils, internal fevers and pus-filled urine, these are the results!"


Bai Ju was studying with Lao Dan.He said: "Please allow me to go out and travel in the world."

Lao Tan said: "Stop it! The world is same as here."

When Bai Ju repeated his request, Lao Tan said: "Where will you go first?"

Reply:"I will begin with Qi."

When he arrived in Qi, he saw the body of a criminal who had been executed. he push and drag until the body laid out in proper position, he took off his formal robes and covered the body, wailing to the heaven and crying out:"Hey you!Hey you! The world gonna have a big disaster,you just leave alone at first.We've been told not to steal and not to kill others. But when glory and disgrace have once been defined, We will see suffering;when goods and wealth have once been gathered together, We will see wrangling. Now the defined already brings suffering , The gathering already cause wrangling,When the body of the poor never expect a rest, they don't want to end up like this,Could they?"

"Those who ruled people in ancient times gave credit to people for the achievements and took responsibility themselves for losses; gave credit to people when things went right and took responsibility themselves when things went wrong. Therefore, even one person experienced a loss they would step back and check themselves out."

"It is diffence now,They hide the thing to fool the people who cann't know the truth, raise the difficulties to put the blame on the cowards. create impossibly tasks then punish those who can't fulfill their mandates. make the journey longer then chastise people who can not reach in time.When the knowledge and strength of the people are exhausted, they will begin to piece them out with artifice.Everyday so much artifice are increases, how can people keep from resorting to artifice? A lack of strength invites artifice, a lack of knowledge invites deceit, a lack of goods invites theft. But to those thefts and robberies ,Who are really deserves the blame ?"


Note:This story from another book.

Zhuang Zi arrivaled in Qi,When he met a hungry man he show his sympathy to him, The hungry man followed him and beg for food.Zhuang Zi said:"It was been seven days I didn't eat any food!"The hungry man said with a sigh:"I saw so much people passing by me,None of them show their sympathy to me,the man can show his sympathy to me is only you.Sir,if you are not didin't eat ,Can you still show your sympathy to me in that way ?"


Note: This story from 《the legend of the women》 (《列女传》), Marquis Tian's name is Tian Yin Qi,later he become the King Wei of Qi (齐威王) .

Concubine Yu,her name is Juan Zhi,she is a concubine of the King Wei of Qi .The King Wei of Qi succeeded to the throne,He didn't ruled the state by himself nearly nine years,the goverment running by the officials,The other states near Qi all invaded Qi.There is a corrupt official name Zhou Po Hu, with his autocratic reputation he jealous of the talent and envy the good .he daily slander the official of Jimo who is a good man,daily praise the official of A-Cheng who is corrupt.

Concubine Yu talked to the King:"Zhou Po Hu is a sycophant,he must be fired.There is a talent name Mr.Northern Town in Qi,he is the good man worthy to hire. "Zhou Po Hu heard of it,so he slandered Concubine Yu,"When she was younger in the street,She had a fornication with Mr.Northern Town."

The King suspected her,so he confined Concubine Yu into a room locate in a nine floors tower,and he ordered a prison official to investigate her.Zhou Po Hu briberied the prison official,made the rumour on her become real.That official falsely accused her and handed up her testimony to the King,The King read her testimony,found something unreasonable,So the King summoned Concubine Yu for a plea.

Concubine Yu said:"Concubine Juan Zhi fortunately have a chance to succeed the body from ancestor,I was born in a leisurely place away the heaven's land,left from the under of thatched cottages,and serves in the palace of a wise King. wiping out the mud on the aisle of palace,making the bed and changing the mat,and cleaning with the servants,in charge of hot water for you,It's already over ten years till now.I'm so care about you,so I thought I can add a word,then I was pushed away by sycophant,My heart was falling to the below of a hunder tiers ,unexpecting the summon from you and talk to me again."

"I heard that the judy fall to the mud but it won't be contaminated;Liu Xia Hui use his body to cover a lady who's freezing,It isn't considered as riot;This because they accumulate the elegant,So they couldn't be suspected.Didn't tread the shoe after pass a melon patch,didn't correct the pileum after go through a plum garden,I didn't care about the taboo,This is my first fault."

"When I was aready in trouble, the prison official taken the bribe and he taken order from the sycophant,so my words soon be covered then I can't explain by myself.I heard that a widow cried out beside the wall,the wall falled down for her.A knight sighed in the market for the national subjugation,The market leaded a strike for him.The honest word come out form the heart can movethe city,My falsely accused so clear like the sun in the clean day,though I cry so loud alone in the room of nine floors tower,Nobody would help to check it out ,this is my second fault. "

"So my reputation was contaminated,and added this two fault,I souldn't be alive in moral principle.The reason that I still alive is not for clearing my falsely accused,It allway happened form the ancient times,there are a lot of example ;If I should die,I don't want to talk about them again.But I still hope that you can pay a tension to those corrupt officials,Especially Zhou Po Hu.You do not rule the state by youself right now,The state of Qi will be very danger then."

So the King released concubine Yu with a such disillusionment,Renowed her in the public. rewarded the official of Jimo ,cooked those currupt officials in front of people.


Note: This story from 《Shi Ji》(史记)。

Eight years after the King Wei of Qi succeed to the throne,Chu state sent a lot of armies to attack Qi state.The king of Qi let Cun Yu Kun go to Zhao to asking for hlep,let him bring with fifty kilogram gold and ten carriages. Cun Yu Kun laughed out loudly toward the sky,the rope of hat was broken.

The King said,"Sir,do you think it is less?"

Kun said,"I don't dare."

The King said,"Why did you laughed out so loud?"

Kun said,"Today I came from east,I saw a man prayed in the side of load with a pig's trotter and a bowl of wine. he wished:'The sorghum in the high land full of the cages,the grain in low field full of car,the crops will be bumper harvest,full fill the house.'I found that he asked for more but his offer was a little,That's why I laughed it."

So the King raised the gold to five hundred kilogram,Ten pair of white judys,a hundred carriages.Kun left to Zhao bring with the gift.the King of Zhao borrowed hundred thousand brave soldiers to Qi,and a thousand chariots.Chu army heard of it,retreated immediately at night.


Qu Po Yu has been going along for sixty years and has changed sixty times. Every time he begin to do something because of thinking he is right,but in the end he stop it because of thinking he was wrong,He still don't know that right in today isn't the wrong in other fifty-nine times. All living things are born but we cann't know the root. All living things appear we cann't know the door .People all respect that their knowledge enables them to understand ,but they do not know respect that depend on the ability to understand something they don't have any knowledge about it at first, Can't this be called the big doubt?stop it,stop it, There's no way to escape it,that is so call,"right,and right?"

仲尼问于太史大弢、伯常骞、狶韦曰:“夫卫灵公饮酒湛乐,不听国家之政;田猎毕弋,不应诸侯之际:其所以为灵公者何邪?”大弢曰:“是因是也。”伯常骞曰:“夫灵公有妻三人,同滥而浴。史鳅奉御而进所,搏币而扶翼。其慢若彼之甚也,见贤人若此其肃也,是其所以为灵公也。” 狶韦曰:“夫灵公也,死,卜葬于故墓,不吉;卜葬于沙丘而吉。掘之数仞,得石椁焉,洗而视之,有铭焉,曰:‘不冯其子,灵公夺而里之。’夫灵公之为灵也久矣!之二人何足以识之。”

Note: 灵 ling means magical.Zhong Ni(Confucius) and three historians Da Tao,Bo Chang Jian and Shi Wei,They are live in different time.So the Zhong Ni probably means Duo Jiao,The teacher of the crown prince.

Zhong Ni asked the great historians Da Tao,Bo Chang Jian and Shi Wei.He asked:"Duke Ling of Wei love drinking and seeking pleasure,didn't care about the business of state,he went hunting and gaming with nets to catch birds, ignoring the treaty with the other Marquises.What is the reason that he got the title Duke Ling ?"

Da Tao said,"These are the reasons."

Bo Chang Jian said:"Duke Ling had three wives ,They bathed togther in the same tub. But when Shi Qiu came to visit him in the palace , He rewarded Shi Qiu a lot of money,and assisted him by the arm. His slight is too much,his attitude toward the good man is so serious,That is why he was called Duke Ling."

Shi Wei said:" Duke Ling,when he died, a divination was made and it said unpropitious for him to bury in the family grave. Another divination showed that if he was buried at Sand-hill it would be very propitious. After digging down for several feet, a stone coffin was found. When it was cleaned up and examined, Some words was found engraved on it: 'Do not depend upon his heirs , Duke Ling will seize this plot and be buried here.' Duke Ling show his ling quite a long time ,Those two guys-How do they knowledgeable enough to know this?"

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