Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel.It is interesting to me that the word parable means a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson. However, as we see at various points throughout the Bible, the people often were confused as to how each parable should be interpreted. When we get to the New Testament, there are several cases in which the disciples -- the confidants of Jesus -- had nary a clue what his various stories meant!
~ King James version ~
My words are easy to understand and easy to perform,
Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.
~ from Verse 70 of the Tao Te Ching ~
While the TTC is somewhat straightforward, the Zhuangzi can be likened to many of the parables in the Bible. Part of the problem with all these texts is that they are ancient and so modern eyes often lack the relevant context.
One wonders if the disciples of Chuang Tzu were just as mystified as the disciples of Jesus when attempting to interpret their stories.
If you're interested in reading more from this experimental series, go to the Tao Bible Index page.