What was the relationship between zhuangzi and confucius

imPerfect Stranger: Zhuangzi on Confucius

what was the relationship between zhuangzi and confucius

Daoism and Confucianism arose as philosophical worldviews and ways of life. hands—and in the Zhuangzi (“Master Zhuang”) by the 4th–3rd-century-BCE. Zhuangzi expanded the Chinese understanding of Dao (Tao), explored .. their relationship on its head following Confucius's realization of his. the Author of Zhuangzi and Confucius most likely lived several centuries apart from each other, and, in many ways, Zhuangzi opposed the.

Fortunately, the Zhuangzi's philosophical tenets provide an elegant backdrop for understanding this concept. As with many other thorny philosophical issues, Zhuangzi approaches wu-wei primarily through parable instead of discursive argument. The text is peppered with tales of skillful archers, butchers, and cicada catchers, lowly folks who have achieved mastery of their various fields through the application of "action-less action. Cook Ting was cutting up an ox for Lord Wen-Hui.

At every touch of his hand, every heave of his shoulder, every move of his feet, every thrust of his knee—zip! He slithered the knife along with a zing, and all was in perfect rhythm, as though he was performing the dance of the Mulberry grove or keeping time to the Ching-shou music.

When I first began cutting up oxen, all I could see was the ox itself. After three years, I no longer saw the whole ox. Perception and understanding have come to a stop and spirit moves where it wants.

What is the Difference Between Daoism and Confucianism? | kinenbicounter.info

I go along with the natural makeup, strike in the big hollows, guide the knife through the big openings, and follow things as they are. So I never touch the smallest ligament or tendon, much less a main joint….

The whole thing comes apart like a clod of earth crumbling to the ground. I stand there holding the knife and look all around me, completely satisfied and reluctant to move on, and then I wipe off my knife and put it away. It is not an exaggeration to state that virtually every description of an exemplary person within the text features or is predicated upon accepting the natural and acting accordingly through wu-wei.

For example, consider the practical advice given by Confucius to a disciple in Chapter 4: To serve your own mind so that sadness or joy do not sway or move it; to understand what you can do nothing about and to be content with it as with fate—this is the perfection of virtue. As a subject and a son, you are bound to find things you cannot avoid. If you act in accordance with the state of affairs and forget about yourself, then what leisure will you have to love life and hate death?

For Zhuangzi, this is the practical path to a successful life. Meditation A final innovation of the text was to provide one of the earliest descriptions of a meditative lifestyle in Chinese literature.

While the Dao De Jing Tao Te Ching was often re interpreted as a meditation manual throughout its storied history, the Zhuangzi features numerous passages that openly discuss meditation practices and the advantages gained by utilizing them. For example, Chapter 4 features a dialogue between Confucius and a student, in which the student asks his master how to achieve success in his worldly affairs.

Confucius replies that he must fast, but then elaborates: Do you think it is easy to do anything while you have a mind? If you do, Bright Heaven will not sanction you…. Listening stops with the ears, the mind stops with recognition, but spirit is empty and waits on all things. The Way gathers in emptiness alone. In the above section, Confucius advocates a meditational process of emptying the mind and making oneself receptive to the Way.

This is what I mean by sitting down and forgetting everything.

Zhuangzi | Chinese Daoist philosopher | kinenbicounter.info

When Zhuangzi himself was at the point of death, his disciples began to talk about an elaborate burial for him. Zhuangzi immediately stopped the discussion by declaring that he did not need the paraphernalia of a great funeral, that nature would be his inner and outer coffin, the sun and the moon his jade rings, and the stars and the planets his jewelry.

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All creation would make offerings and escort him. He needed no more. Somewhat taken aback, his disciples declared that they were afraid that the crows and the buzzards might eat him. What prejudice is this, that you wish to take from the one to give to the other? Insight for Zhuangzi comes with the realization that everything in life is both dynamic and continuous—what he calls dao.

Philosophy Zhuangzi taught that what can be known or said of the Dao is not the Dao. It has neither initial beginning nor final end, nor limitations or demarcations. Life is the ongoing transformation of the Dao, in which there is no better or worse, no good or evil. Things should be allowed to follow their own course, and men should not value one situation over another.

A truly virtuous man is free from the bondage of circumstance, personal attachments, tradition, and the need to reform his world. Zhuangzi declined an offer to be prime minister of the state of Chu because he did not want the entanglements of a court career. We are more inclined to follow a path, and given our similarities, think we might pursue it with benefit when we know some natural being like us found and followed it.

And Zhuangzi clearly does ridicule the social moralists Confucians and Mohists as well as Hui Shi for the narrowness of their range of choices—their failure to appreciate the richness and complexity of alternative ways of life. The judgment from no-where-when is no-judgment. That we progress in such exchanges is something we ourselves judge, not the cosmos. The latter structures his analysis mainly on comparatives.

Ergo, there are no real distinctions and the world is actually one. Now that I have called us one, did I succeed in not saying something? One and the saying make two, two and one make three. Proceeding from here even an expert calculator cannot get to the end of it, much less a plain man. Commitment is setting off along a path.

We have momentum and a trajectory. The shape of the path combines with these and commits us to walk on or continue in a way that depends on the discernible shape of the path. Walking a path involves staying mostly within its physical boundaries. Zhuangzi would not make that point in terms of deduction from a normative premise or principle.

Zhuang Zhou

The internal and external paths themselves have a causal and normative relation to our walking behavior. A sentence would state the action or the intent—rather like the conclusion of a practical syllogism rather than, as as fits in this metaphorical space, as performing a role in a play or or part in a symphony.

  • What was the relationship between Zhuangzi and Confucius?

The focus of ancient Chinese theory was on names on the analogy of path markers: Confucian social versions emphasized the names of social roles and statuses more than of natural kinds.

Human language is a natural sound. The cosmos does not select which way to make the choice. Graham had noted that Zhuangzi returns to the metaphor nearer the middle of the dialogue, noting that here Zhuangzi seems to be taking back some of its implications. The Later Mohists advocated a version of pragmatic-semantic realism. This is the basis of a social standard of correct word use enshrined in past practice. The world, in effect, gives us many ways of establishing conventional distinctions and assigning names.

That which it languages is decidedly not yet fixed. Is the eventual result that they have there is language?

What is the Difference Between Daoism and Confucianism?

Or there has never been language? Deeming it as different from bird calls: Or is there no distinction? However, the analogy with bird calls is a fortuitous suggestion. We arrange, adapt and modulate the elements of our language to fit our environment, abilities, and opportunities e.

Would Zhuangzi have guessed the same about birds? In one passage, Zhuangzi allows this appeal to past or existing common practice but does not endorse it as right—merely as useful.

what was the relationship between zhuangzi and confucius

Conventions are useful because they facilitate communication. The conventional is useful; the useful, communicable, and the communicable achievable.

Our trajectory along our paths incorporates these accumulated commitments to prior practices of language use. Our existing evaluation practices remind us that shared and unquestioned past practices can be wrong.

what was the relationship between zhuangzi and confucius

Mozi appealed to what he would also have regarded as a purely natural practice. Humans, in finding ways to walk and walking them, initiate the construction of social paths, naturally and perhaps unintentionally, by leaving prints in the natural world.

How do we know either that our past practice was correct or that we are correctly following them in this new situation, here and now, based solely on our eyes and ears?

what was the relationship between zhuangzi and confucius

The main mechanism Zhuangzi discusses is appeal to a judge or authority. Are they partly right and partly wrong? Or jointly right and jointly wrong? You and I cannot know between ourselves, so another human inherently inherits our obscurity and doubt. To whom can we go to correct us? Employing someone who agrees with you, given that they are like you, how can they correct the situation?

Employing someone who agrees with me, given that they are like me, how can they correct it?

what was the relationship between zhuangzi and confucius