Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu, "Can a man really be without feelings?"For most of us, going with the flow of life is the most difficult assignment ever. We want what we want and we will do just about anything to make it so. But trying to make it so -- often against that very flow -- leads to tension, stress, suffering and, ultimately, an inner death. If only we could let go of the reins!
Chuang Tzu: "Yes."
Hui Tzu: "But a man who has no feelings -- how can you call him a man?"
Chuang Tzu: "The Way gave him a face; Heaven gave him a form - why can't you call him a man?"
Hui Tzu: "But if you've already called him a man, how can he be without feelings?"
Chuang Tzu: "That's not what I mean by feelings. When I talk about having no feelings, I mean that a man doesn't allow likes or dislikes to get in and do him harm. He just lets things be the way they are and doesn't try to help life along."
Hui Tzu: "If he doesn't try to help life along, then how can he keep himself alive?"
Chuang Tzu: "The Way gave him a face; Heaven gave him a form. He doesn't let likes or dislikes get in and do him harm. You, now - you treat your spirit like an outsider. You wear out your energy, leaning on a tree and moaning, slumping at your desk and dozing - Heaven picked out a body for you and you use it to gibber about `hard' and `white'!"
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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