Chapter Two: Qi Wu Lun (Leveling All Things)

南郭子綦隱机而坐,仰天而噓,荅焉如喪其耦。顏成子游立侍乎前, 曰:「何居乎?形固可使如槁木,而心固可使如死灰乎?今之隱机者, 非昔之隱机者也。」

Nan-guo Zi-qi sat, casting a shadow over his low table. Then he raised his head toward heaven and sighed, sundered as though one who had lost his companion. Yan-cheng Zi-you stood before him, ready to serve, and said, "In what realm were you, such that you could cause your form to resemble that of a withered tree and your heart to be like dead ashes? The one who at this time leans against his table is not he who leaned against it a while back."


Zi-qi said: "Yan, you did well to ask that question. Just now I lost my self. Did you know that? You may have heard the pipes of man and not have heard the pipes of the Earth. You may have heard the pipes of the Earth and have yet to hear the pipes of Heaven."


Zi-you replied, "I dare to ask for the gist of the matter."

子綦曰:「夫大塊噫氣,其名為風。是唯無作,作則萬竅怒呺。而獨不聞之翏翏乎?山林之畏隹,大木百圍之竅穴, 似鼻,似口,似耳,似枅,似圈,似臼,似洼者,似污者;激者,謞者,叱者,吸者,叫者,譹者,宎者,咬者, 前者唱于而隨著唱喁。泠風則小和,飄風則大和,厲風濟則眾竅為虛。而獨不見之調調,之刁刁乎?」

Zi-qi said: "Well, when the Great Clod belches gas, it is called the wind. Perhaps at first it does not rise up, but when it does arise the myriad cavities angrily bellow. Surely you cannot be the one person in the world who never has heard its whistling. The rocky outcroppings on the mountain peaks, the hollows and cavities in the great trees of a hundred spans: Like nostrils, like mouths, like ears, like hubs, like sockets, like mortars, like puddles, like pits. Sounds like cataracts, the twanging of a bow, hoots, gulps, shrieks, howls. The one that goes first sings "Yuuu" and the one that follows sings "Ouuu." With a cool breeze there is a minor confluence of sounds, and with a violent windstorm there is a major cacophony. When a violent wind gains surcease, then the multitude of cavities become empty and silent. Have you alone failed to observe the bending and swinging of those trees?"


Zi-you responded: "The pipes of Earth are the multitude of its cavities. The pipes of human beings are the arrays of bamboo pipes. I make bold to inquire as to the pipes of Heaven."


Zi-qi said: "The puffs of breath have a multitude of differentiations, and what gives them their individuality are in all cases instances of their self determination. But who is it that arouses them to action in the first place?"


Great knowledge is self assured. Small knowledge is prying at cracks. Great speech is bland. Petty speech is mere blathering.

其寐也魂交,其覺也形開,與接為構,日以心鬥。縵者,窖者,密者。小恐惴惴,大恐縵縵。 其發若機栝,其司是非之謂也;其留如詛盟,其守勝之謂也;其殺若秋冬,以言其日消也; 其溺之所為之,不可使復之也;其厭也如緘,以言其老洫也;近死之心,莫使復陽也。 其溺之所為之,不可使復之也;其厭也如緘,以言其都洫也;近死之心,莫使復陽也。

When people sleep their spirits intertwine, and when they awaken their bodies are estranged, and should they meet they will contend mind against mind on every day. Some are broad-minded, some have deep minds, some are capable of close arguments. Some people are moderately fearful, unhappy and apprehensive. Some people are terrified, totally shrinking into apathy. These feelings come upon people like the firing of a bolt from a crossbow, and that speaks to way that their affirmations and condemnations are marshalled for conflict. When people are holding on to victory, they hold to their own views as though they were solemn pacts and treaties. The daily attrition they suffer may be described as being like the killing force of autumn and winter. There is no way of recovering from the besottedness that comes from what they are doing. Their suppression of others is like a seal upon a tomb that lets no air in. The heart that is near to death cannot be made to live again.

喜怒哀樂,慮歎愛慹,姚佚啟態;樂出虛,蒸成菌。日夜相代乎前,而莫知其所萌。已乎,已乎! 旦暮得此,其所由以生乎!

Happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy, compulsive cogitations, sorrowful sighings, incessant changes of mind, losses of the courage to change, exhaustion and breaking down, all give rise to affects or psychological conditions. Music comes from voids, steam becomes fungi. Day and night they trade places before us and none know whence they sprout. Let it be over, oh, let it be over! That is all! That is the end of it! Dawn and dusk obtain this in order to be produced.

非彼無我,非我無所取。是亦近矣,而不知其所為使。若有真宰,而特不得其朕。可行己信,而不見其形,有情而無形。 非彼無我,非我無所取。是亦近矣,而不知其所為使。若有真宰,而特不得其眹。可行己信,而不見其形,

Were there no other, there could be no I. Were there no I, there could be nobody to do the apprehending. -- That is close to the truth, yet I do not know what runs this process. It seems that there is a true ruler, and yet there is a singular lack of actual evidence of its presence. That it can function, I already firmly believe, yet I fail to see its form and body. There are "True circumstances" to be considered in its case, and yet it is formless.

百骸,九竅,六藏,賅而存焉,吾誰與為親?汝皆說之乎?其有私焉?如是皆有為臣妾乎?其臣妾不足以相治乎? 其遞相為君臣乎?其有真君存焉?如求得其情與不得,無益損乎其真。

The hundred bones, the nine orifices, the six internal organs, are all complete in themselves. To which of them should I be preferential? Should one take delight in them equally rather than having a partiality toward one of them? In that case do they all fall into the category of servants and concubines? Are these servants and concubines adequate to regulate themselves by taking turns? Or, is it that there is a true ruler among them? Should one seek, but fail to obtain, proof of the true state of affairs, that would make no difference to whether there really is such a thing.

一受其成形,不忘以待盡。與物相刃相靡,其行盡如馳,而莫之能止,不亦悲乎!終身役役而不見其成功, 苶然疲役而不知其所歸,可不哀邪!

As soon as he gets his full form, he holds tightly to it pursuant to his ultimate exhaustion. He and others match blades, or they grind each other down. His process of exhaustion speeds into action like a team of four horses, and nobody can bring it to a halt. Is that not a sorry sight? For the whole of one's life, one is slaving away at it, yet one never sees any accomplishments. To be totally wiped out and to know of no refuge, is that not a great sorrow?


People say that they will never die -- to what avail? Their bodies decompose and their minds must follow. Could anyone claim that this is not a great tragedy? People, having once been born, are just deluded like that. How could it be that I alone am deluded and that there are others who are not deluded?


Should one take his preconceptions as his authority, then who would fail to have an authority [by which to justify his beliefs]?

奚必知代而心自取者有之?愚者與有焉。未成乎心而有是非,是今日適越而昔至也,是以無有為有。 無有為有,雖有神禹,且不能知,吾獨且奈何哉

Are there indeed cases in which those who do not have freedom must be aware of the changes that sweep across the scene in front of them, and their minds will naturally apprehend them. The ignorant people will also have their own [opinions]. To have opinions of right and wrong about something before there is a full comprehension of it is like going to Yue today and getting there in the past. That is to take something that does not exist to be something that does. Even though it were the godly Yu, such a one would not be able to understand it, so what can I do about it?


Now speech is not just hot air. Speakers have things that they say, but what they say is particularly indeterminate. Are there really propositions? Or were there really never propositions? Is there a difference between words and the cheeping of nestling birds or not?

道惡乎隱而有真偽?言惡乎隱而有是非?道惡乎往而不存?言惡乎存而不可?道隱於小成,言隱於榮華。 故有儒墨之是非,以是其所非而非其所是。欲是其所非而非其所是,則莫若以明。

How is the Dao obscured so that distinctions between genuine and counterfeit come into existence? How are words obscured so that distinctions between true and false come into existence? How is it that the Dao wanders and is not preserved? How is it that words are preserved and are yet impermissible? The Dao is obscured by minor [conceptual] successes, and words are obscured by vaingloriousness and pomposity. Therefore there is contention between the Confucians and the Mohists, in which each affirms what the other denies and denies what the other affirms. There is nothing superior in desiring to show to be true what others deny and denying what others affirm true than the use of brightness.


There is no creature that is not a "That" and no creature that is not a "This." From the standpoint of "That" one will not perceive. But from Knowledge one will know it. Thus it is said, "That comes out of this, and this is also dependent on that." Such is the account of things that says that "This" and "That" are produced simultaneously.


Although things are that way, at the moment that something is produced something else dies. At the moment that something dies, something else is produced. When one thing becomes permissible, something else becomes impermissible, and when something becomes impermissible then at the same time something else becomes permissible. In depending on this, one is also depending on that, and in depending on that one is also depending on this. Therefore the sage does not draw on these distinctions and instead casts vision on them in their natural state. To do so also depends on this.

是亦彼也,彼亦是也。彼亦一是非,此亦一是非。果且有彼是乎哉?果且無彼是乎哉?彼是莫得其偶,謂之道樞。 樞始得其環中,以應無窮。是亦一無窮,非亦一無窮也。故曰:莫若以明。

A this is also a that, and a that is also a this. A that is also an affirmation and a denial. A this is also an affirmation and a denial. So is there really a this and a that? Or is there really no this and no that? When that and this both fail to get their counterpart, we have what is called the pivot point of the Dao. The pivot gets placed at the center of the circle in order to respond to the infinite. Affirmations involves an infinity, and denials also involves an infinity. Therefore it is said: "There is nothing like brightness".


Taking a pointer (a universal) to use as an example in explaining that pointers (universals) are not pointers (universals) is not as good as taking a non-pointer (a particular, or the Dao -- two interpretations are possible) to explain why a pointer (universal) is not a pointer (universal). To take "Horse" (or "white horse" to demonstrate that "horse" is not a horse is not as good as taking a not-horse to demonstrate that "Horse" is not a horse.

A "Pointer" is anything that has as its function merely to tell people where to look for something else. It is not the same thing as what it points to. In fact, a single pointer can point to very large numbers of objects. For instance, the word "Electron" points to some huge number of components of the universe, and any one of them would do if we wanted an electron for some purpose.

This passage has an obvious connection to the contention made by some Chinese logicians that "A white horse is not a horse." The nub of their idea seems to be that the extension of the words "White horse" and "horse" are different. They put this valid observation into a paradoxical form to gain attention for their ideas, perhaps. But the result has been a great deal of heat and little light. The set of entities named by "White horse is contained in a larger set of entities named "horse" If we use one of logicians' favorite tools, the Venn diagram, we would draw a large rectangle and label it "Universe" Within that rectangle we would draw a circle and label it "Horses" Within that circle we would make a smaller circle and label it "White horses." The horse named "Man O' War" could be represented by a point within the larger "Horse" circle. The dog called Skritz could be represented by a point drawn somewhere inside the rectangle but outside the circles. But the names "Man O' War" and "Skritz" apply to one particular horse and one particular dog that exist at some time in the real universe, and the names have their written representations on the Venn diagram as well. So the name "Skritz" now points at two very different kinds of things, a creature and a word on a chart. So does the name "Man O' War." So Zhuang Zi has shifted the discussion from the observation of the logicians (that sets that are determined by are not the same sets) to the observation that individuals are not simply points on a Venn diagram or names on a list of names. Not only are the contents of sets each having one member different from any sets containing such a set and at least one other set, but the sets and the words related to them are not the same as the entities in the real world. And what connects words and objects, what makes pointers point more-or-less successfully to real things, is altogether unclear from this discussion. --PEM


Heaven-and-Earth [i.e., the Universe] is one pointer (universal). The myriad creatures is one "Horse" (i.e., particular).

Commentary: Translating this into English, where language, by happenstance, plays another role, makes Zhuang Zi's point much more challenging. His words might be paraphrased to say, "The universe is a single universal, and the myriad creatures is a single particular." What could that mean? If he literally means that the universe is a pointer, then at what does it point? If the word (pointer) is "Universe" and the thing being pointed to is "Myriad creatures conceived as a single object" then this is to say that when one speaks of "The universe" what one points to is the total process of the single entity that we conceive of, in our limited way, as the myriad discrete entities we seem to find in it. --PEM

可乎可,不可乎不可。道行之而成,物謂之而然。惡乎然?然於然,惡乎不然?不然於不然。物固有所然,物固有所 無物不然,無物不可。

Permissibility comes from giving permission. A pathway is created by walking it. Creatures are what they are said to be. How is it that things are the way that they are? They are thus because people affirm them to be so. How is it that things are not some way? They are not that way because people deny them being that way. Things are firmly endowed with the ways that they are, and they are firmly endowed with their permissibility. There is no thing which is not as it is, and there is no thing that is not acceptable (permissible).


So, let us consider a straw and a rafter, or an ugly person and Xi Shi, the great and the shifty, the agreeable and the perverse. The Dao links them all into a single whole. Its division is a completion. Its completion is a destruction. In all cases, creatures have neither a completion or a destruction but are once again melded into one.


Only those who have attained [the final goal] know how to link everything into a single whole. Those who so act do not employ [what other people engage themselves in] and give things an abode in ordinariness. Ordinariness means utility. Utility means linking things into one. Linking things into one means getting it. Once you have gotten it you are almost there.


Stop at merely depending on "This" stop and do not know the way it is, and this is spoken of as the Dao.

勞神明為一而不知其同也,謂之朝三。何謂朝三?曰: 「狙公賦芧,曰:『朝三而莫四。』眾狙皆怒。 曰:『然則朝四而莫三。』眾狙皆悅。」名實未虧而喜怒為用,亦因是也。是以聖人和之以是非而休乎天鈞,是之謂兩行。

To try to labor with spirit and intelligence to unify things without knowing that they are actually the same is spoken of as "Three in the morning." What does "Three in the morning mean?" A monkey keeper provided chestnuts/acorns to his monkeys. He offered them three in the morning and four in the evening. The whole group of monkeys became furious, so he said, "All right then, how about four in the morning and three in the evening?" The whole group was delighted. There was no significant change in the real world, but the altered wording made the difference between happiness and anger. And all of that also depends on "This." Therefore, the sage harmonizes it by affirming denial and takes his abode in the potting wheel of Heaven, and this approach is called "Going both ways."


The knowledge of the people of antiquity had a point to which their knowledge reached. Where did it reach? There was a stage at which there had not yet begun to be creatures, and that was the farthest, that was the point at which the subject of inquiry was fully exhausted and nothing could be added to it.

其次以為有物矣,而未始有封也。其次以為有封焉,而未始有是非也。是非之彰也,道之所以虧也。道之所以虧, 愛之所以成。果且有成與虧乎哉?果且無成與虧乎哉?有成有虧,故昭氏之鼓琴也;無成與虧,故昭氏之不鼓琴也。

Next there were those who accepted the existence of creatures and yet did not create domains among them. Next, there was a stage at which there were domains, but there was not yet affirmation and rejection. The manifestation of affirmation and denial was the reason for the attenuation of the Dao. The reason for the attenuation of the Dao is the reason for the success of love. Is there really completion and attenuation? Is there really a lack of completion and a lack of attenuation? Since there is completion, there must also be dissolution, Zhao Shi played the qin. Since without there being completion there is no dissolution, Zhao Shi did not play the qin.

昭文之鼓琴也,師曠之枝策也,惠子之據梧也,三子之知,幾乎,皆其盛者也,故載之末年。 唯其好之也,以異於彼,其好之也,欲以明之。彼非所明而明之,故以堅白之昧終。而其子又以文之綸終,終身無成。

The qin playing of Zhao Shi, the baton of Shi Kuang, the leaning of Hui Shi on the Wu tree, were each exemplars of the highest knowledge. And they rode these modalities to the ends of their days. But the way that each of them was inclined to prefer his own modality was different from the other two and each were inclined to prefer their own modalities, and each desired to be brighter than the other. To make bright what each thought was bright resulted in their [doing things like] taking up paradoxes involving hardness and whiteness. The ultimate result was that their sons ended their lives following threads of written discourse, and got nowhere at the end.

若是而可謂成乎?雖我亦成也。若是而不可謂成乎?物與我無成也。是故滑疑之耀,聖人之所圖也。為是不用而寓諸庸, 此之謂以明。

If such a course of action could be called a success, then even I am successful. If such a course of action cannot be called a success, then neither I nor anyone else can be successful. For those reasons there occurs bedazzlement by reason of sophistries. The plan of the sage is to not use them and to rest everything in stasis. This is called "Using the brightness."

今且有言於此,不知其與是類乎?其與是不類乎?類與不類,相與為類,則與彼無以異矣。雖然,請嘗言之。 Now there is a statement to consider. Whether it is related to "This" or not related to "This" is unknown. But both being related and being unrelated to something is in itself a form of relationship, so there is no way to isolate it from "That" [either]. Nevertheless, let me take a try at formulating it:

有始也者,有未始有始也者,有未始有夫未始有始也者。有有也者,有無也者,有未始有無也者,有未始夫未始有無也者。 俄而有無矣,而未知有無之果孰有孰無也。今我則已有謂矣,而未知吾所謂之其果有謂乎,其果無謂乎?

There was a time of beginning. There was a time before there was a beginning. There was a time before the time before there was a beginning. There are things that there are (i.e., things that exist). There are things that there are not (i.e., things that do not exist). There was a time before there were things that do not exist. Then unexpectedly there was a time before there was a time before there were things that do exist. In an instant there came to be things that do not exist, and it was not yet known that as for things that exist and things that do not exist which in fact did exist and which did not exist. Now there is already something that I have said, and yet I do not know whether I have really succeeded in saying anything or have failed to say anything.

天下莫大於秋豪之末,而大山為小;莫壽乎殤子,而彭祖為夭。天地與我並生,而萬物與我為一。既已為一矣, 且得有言乎?既已謂之一矣,且得無言乎?一與言為二,二與一為三。自此以往,巧歷不能得,而況其凡乎! 故自無適有以至於三,而況自有適有乎!無適焉,因是已。

There is nothing in the entire world that is larger than the tip of an undercoat hair in a winter pelt, yet Mount Tai is small. There is nobody more long-lived than one who dies in youth, and yet Peng Zu (who lived more than 700 years) died prematurely. Heaven, Earth, and I are simultaneously produced, and the myriad creatures and I are one. Since things have already been reunited in unity, can there really be speech? Since things have been declared to be a unity, then how can there fail to be speech? The unity plus speech are two, and there being two (because the original unity has been sundered) as well as the underlying unity, there are now three. Even a most skillful calculator would get lost in the multiplicities that follow along in this path, and even more easily confounded would be the ordinary people. So, since from non-existence there comes existence, and next there are three, then what would happen by starting from existent things to go on to more existent things? It is best not to choose that courses and instead to depend on this.

夫道未始有封,言未始有常,為是而有畛也,請言其畛︰有左,有右,有倫,有義,有分,有辯,有競,有爭,此之謂八德。 六合之外,聖人存而不論;六合之內,聖人論而不議。春秋經世先王之志,聖人議而不辯。故分也者,有不分也; 辯也者,有不辯也。曰:何也?聖人懷之,眾人辯之以相示也。故曰辯也者有不見也。

Now the Dao never was really partitioned off into domains, and words have never been constant. When there is a "This" then there are clear lines of demarcation. I would beg your indulgence and discuss these demarcations. There being left there is then right. There being ranks and stations there are obligations. There being divisions there are then disputations. There being competition there is then conflict. These are called the "Eight Virtues." Outside of the bounds of the ordinary world, the sage holds all in his mind and does not make propositions. Inside the bounds of the ordinary world, the sage make [objective] propositions and does not make value judgments. With regard to the Spring and Autumn [Annals], the classics, and the generational records of former kings, the sage makes value judgments yet does not dispute them with others. So with regard to divisions, he does not divide, and with regard to disputations, he does not dispute. Someone asked what that means. The sage holds things within his bosom, and the masses argue over them in order to distinguish themselves before others. Therefore it is said: The disputatious fail to see everything.

夫大道不稱,大辯不言,大仁不仁,大廉不嗛,大勇不忮。道昭而不道,言辯而不及,仁常而不成,廉清而不信, 勇忮而不成。五者圓而幾向方矣,故知止其所不知,至矣。

Now the great way is without assertions, and the great advocate does not speak. The great benevolence does not favor anyone. A great incorruptibility is unyielding. Great courage involves no bravado. The dao that dazzles is not the Dao. Words that are argumentative do not reach to the real matter under study. Benevolence that is unvarying does not fulfill its mission. The incorruptibility that is pure is not to be trusted. Bravery with bravado will not do. When these five are pared back, then they approach the dao. So to know well to stop at the edge of what one does not know lies on the highest level.


Who knows how to conduct disputation without words, to give travel directions that do not involve instructions. If there are those who know, then they constitute what could be called the repository of Heaven. Pour water into it and it does not fill up. Decant from it and it does not become exhausted, yet none know its source. This is called the shuttered brightness.

故昔者堯問於舜曰:「我欲伐宗、膾、胥敖,南面而不釋然。其故何也?」舜曰:「夫三子者,猶存乎蓬艾之閒。 若不釋然,何哉?昔者十日並出,萬物皆照,而況德之進乎日者乎!」

So, in ancient times, Yao asked Shun: "I desire to undertake a punitive expedition against Zong, Gui, and Xu-ao, yet as I sit facing south on my throne I am unable to release my anxieties. Why is that?" Shun replied: "Well, those three are in a situation comparable to being mired in a swamp. Why should you still be disconsolate? In great antiquity, ten suns came out at once and all of the myriad creatures were illuminated in their light. What then of those who come under the beam of your sun-like virtue?"

齧缺問乎王倪曰:「子知物之所同是乎?」曰:「吾惡乎知之!」 「子知子之所不知邪?」曰:「吾惡乎知之!」 「然則物無知邪?」曰:「吾惡乎知之!」雖然,嘗試言之。庸詎知吾所謂知之非不知邪?庸詎知吾所謂不知之非知邪?

Nie Que asked Wang Ni: "Do you know in what way the same affirmations can be made about all things?"
[Wang Ni] replied: "How would I know about that?"
"Do you know what it is that you do not know?"
"How could I know about that?"
"Then are all creatures without knowledge?"
"How could I know about that? Nevertheless, let me try to respond. How could it be possible to know that what I regard as knowledge is in fact not knowledge? How could it be possible to know that what I claim to be lack of knowledge is not in fact knowledge?"

且吾嘗試問乎女:民溼寢則腰疾偏死,鰌然乎哉?木處則惴慄恂懼,猨猴然乎哉?三者孰知正處?民食芻豢,麋鹿食薦, 蝍蛆甘帶,鴟鴉耆鼠,四者孰知正味?蛆猵狙以為雌,麋與鹿交,鰌與魚游。毛嬙麗姬,人之所美也;魚見之深入, 鳥見之高飛,麋鹿見之決驟。四者孰知天下之正色哉?自我觀之,仁義之端,是非之塗,樊然殽亂,吾惡能知其辯!

Now let me try a question on you: If people sleep in wet places then their lower backs will ache and they may become paralyzed on one side. But how would an eel react to that kind of an environment? If humans were to take their abode high up in the trees, then they would be nervous, apprehensive, tense, and fearful. But would apes react in the same way? Of these three kinds of creatures, which knows the right place to live? Humans eat beef and pork. Elk and deer eat lush grass. Centipedes relish small snakes. Raptors have a yen for rats. Of these four, which knows the right thing to eat? Apes mate with monkeys, elk mate with deer, eels school with fish. Humans take Mao Qiang and Li Zhi to be great beauties, yet when fish see them they dive for the depths, and when birds see them they fly high aloft. When elk and deer see them they burst through the undergrowth and flee. Of these four kinds of creatures, which kind knows the true object of sexual interest? According to my observations, the roots of benevolence and propriety, the paths of right and wrong, are all inextricably confused. How could I possibly know how to discriminate among them?


Nie-que said: "You know nothing of benefit and injury. Does the truly realized man indeed know nothing of benefit and injury?"

王倪曰:「至人神矣!大澤焚而不能熱,河漢沍而不能寒,疾雷破山 飄風振海而不能驚。若然者,乘雲氣,騎日月, 王倪曰:「至人神矣!大澤焚而不能熱,河漢冱而不能寒,疾雷破山、飄風振海而不能驚。若然者,乘雲氣,騎日月, 而遊乎四海之外。死生無變於己,而況利害之端乎!」

Wang Ni replied: "The truly realized man is like a spirit. Should a great wetland forest be swept by a wildfire, he would not get cooked. Should even the Yellow River and the Han freeze over, he would not feel cold. Should a violent electrical storm fracture the mountains, or a wind throw the sea into complete turmoil, he would feel no fear. One such as he can ride the clouds, can mount the sun and moon, and can roam beyond the four seas. Not even life and death could cause a change in such a one. How much the less could issues of benefit and injury?"

瞿鵲子問乎長梧子曰:「吾聞諸夫子,聖人不從事於務,不就利,不違害,不喜求,不緣道;無謂有謂,有謂無謂, 而遊乎塵垢之外。夫子以為孟浪之言,而我以為妙道之行也。吾子以為奚若?」

Ju-que-zi asked Zhang-wu-zi: "I learned from Confucius that the sage does not engage in governmental duties, does not seek benefit and does not avoid injury, does not like to seek the Dao and does not purposely rest on the Dao. When he says nothing he is making a statement, and when he makes a statement he is not predicating anything. He roams beyond the dust of this world. Confucius views the account to be boundless, and I view it as the working out in practice of the marvelous Dao. What do you, my master, think of it?"

長梧子曰:「是黃帝之所聽熒也,而丘也何足以知之!且女亦大早計,見卵而求時夜,見彈而求鴞炙。 予嘗為女妄言之,女以妄聽之。

Zhang-wu-zi replied: "Such talk would bewilder even the Yellow Emperor, so how could Qiu (i.e., Confucius) be able to understand it? Besides that, you are jumping the gun. You see an egg and expect the crow of a rooster to wake you up in the morning. You see a projectile and are ready to eat roasted dove. Let me take a stab at a rough approximation, and you listen to what I say with an equal tolerance for inexactitude. How would that be?"

奚旁日月,挾宇宙?為其(肉+勿+口)無合,置其滑涽,以隸相尊。眾人役役,聖人愚芚,參萬歲而一成純。萬物盡然, 而以是相蘊。

"He rests in the lee of the sun and the moon, and he cradles the universe to his bosom. He positions himself in indeterminancy to hold equally in respect all the multitude of generations. (See Chan, 189) The great multitudes of human beings are sedulous in their attention to petty details, yet the sage pays no attention to trivia. He melds himself with the myriad years and sees it all as a single pure (undifferentiated) entity. The myriad creatures are each and every one just as they are, yet they take it as their "brewing medium" substrate.

予惡乎知說生之非惑邪!予惡乎知惡死之非弱喪而不知歸者邪!麗之姬,艾封人之子也。晉國之始得之也,涕泣沾襟; 及其至於王所,與王同筐床,食芻豢,而後悔其泣也。予惡乎知夫死者不悔其始之蘄生乎!

How can I know whether loving life is not a species of delusion? How can I know whether the fear of death is not actually the reaction of someone who has lost his true home during his infancy and does not know how to get back? Lady Li, the daughter of a border guard in the territory called Ai, when first obtained by the state of Jin, wept so much that her tears soaked her bodice. After she had been taken to the palace and had shared the bed of the king and had eaten pork and venison, she regretted her earlier tears. How am I to know that the dead do not regret their earlier holding avidly to life?

夢飲酒者,旦而哭泣;夢哭泣者,旦而田獵。方其夢也,不知其夢也。夢之中又占其夢焉,覺而後知其夢也。 且有大覺而後知此其大夢也。

Those who dream of drinking fine wine may have cause for tears the next day. Those who dream of weeping bitter tears may thrill to the hunt on the following day. When one is dreaming, one does not realize that one is dreaming. During one掇 dream, one may even make a divination on the basis of a dream. It is only after awakening that one realizes that the whole thing was a dream. Perhaps one will have a great awakening and realize that all of this has been a great dream.

而愚者自以為覺,竊竊然知之。君乎,牧乎,固哉!丘也與女,皆夢也;予謂女夢,亦夢也。 是其言也,其名為弔詭。萬世之後而一遇大聖,知其解者,是旦暮遇之也。

Once there was a stupid fellow who imagined himself to be enlightened and thought that he had a thorough acquaintance with everything. Whether a gentleman or a cowherd, how obstinate! Confucius and you are both dreaming. My saying you are dreaming is also itself a dream. The term that is appropriate to cases of affirming one掇 own assertions is "Greatest discrepancy." After a myriad generations have passed, should one encounter a great sage, and only then get a solution would still count as a rapid turn-around in this process.

既使我與若辯矣,若勝我,我不若勝,若果是也,我果非也邪?我勝若,若不吾勝,我果是也,而果非也邪? 其或是也,其或非也邪?其俱是也,其俱非也邪?我與若不能相知也,則人固阱其黮闇。

Suppose that you and I got into a dispute, and that you overcome me and I fail to overcome you. Does that mean that you are in fact correct and I am in fact incorrect? Suppose that I overcome you and you fail to overcome me. Does that mean that I am in fact correct and you are in fact incorrect? Is the statement perhaps correct? Is it perhaps incorrect? Is it entirely correct? Is it entirely incorrect? (See Chan, 189) You and I cannot know each other, and so people are firmly suppressed by the darkness. Who will I have make things correct? Shall I have people who are the same as you make things correct? If those people are the same as you, how could they make things correct? Shall I have people who are the same as I make things correct? If those people are the same as I, how could they make things correct?

吾誰使正之?使同乎若者正之?既與若同矣,惡能正之!使同乎我者正之?既同乎我矣,惡能正之! 使異乎我與若者正之?既異乎我與若矣,惡能正之!使同乎我與若者正之?既同乎我與若矣,惡能正之! 然則我與若與人俱不能相知也,而待彼也邪?

Shall I have people who are the same as you and I make things correct? Given that they are the same as you and I, then how could they make things correct? Thus you, I, and these other people are all incapable of knowing each other So what is there that we have waiting in the wings?

何謂和之以天倪? 曰: 是不是,然不然。是若果是也,則是之異乎不是也亦無辯; 然若果然也,則然之異乎不然也亦無辯。 化聲之相待,若其不相待。和之以天倪,因之以曼衍,所以窮年也。忘年忘義,振於無竟,故寓諸無竟。」

What is it that we call "Know it by means of Heavenly ni equality?" [Zhang Wu-zi] replied: "Affirm non-affirmation. Validate unvalidated characterizations. If an affirmation is indeed true, then the difference between that true affirmation and a non-affirmation is trivial. If a characterization is valid, then the difference between a valid characterization and an invalid characterization is trivial. The interdependence of presentations (appearances) give the impression that there is no interdependence. Harmonizing things with the Heavenly ni, and letting them depend on seamless transformations is the way by which one can live out one's natural lifespan. Forget your years; forget your sense of right and wrong. Be active in the boundless and then the boundless will be your refuge.

罔兩問景曰:「曩子行,今子止;曩子坐,今子起;何其無特操與?」景曰:「吾有待而然者邪?吾所待又有待而然者邪? 吾待蛇蚹蜩翼邪?惡識所以然!惡識所以不然!」

Penumbra asked Umbra: Just a moment ago you moved, now you stop. Just a moment ago you sat, now you get up. What do you mean by being without stable aims? Umbra said, "Is it true that there is something that I depend on for things to be this way? Then does what I depend on have something that it depends on? Do I depend on snake skins and cicada wings? Do not attend to the causes behind occurrences. Do not attend to the causes behind things that do not occur."

昔者莊周夢為胡蝶,栩栩然胡蝶也,自喻適志與!不知周也。俄然覺,則蘧蘧然周也。 不知周之夢為胡蝶與,胡蝶之夢為周與?周與胡蝶,則必有分矣。此之謂物化。

Once upon a time Zhuang Zhou dreamt that he was a butterfly, a freely fluttering butterfly, and his feeling was that he completely content, and he did not know that he was Zhou! Suddenly he awoke then there he was, self-aware as Zhuang Zhou. He did not know whether he was Zhuang Zhou who had dreamt of being a butterfly, or was a butterfly who was dreaming of being Zhuang Zhou. There must be some distinction between Zhuang Zhou the man and a butterfly, and the existence of this distinction is what is behind the idea of the transformation of things.