"When men get together to pit their strength in games of skill, they start off in a light and friendly mood, but usually end up in a dark and angry one, and if they go on too long they start resorting to various underhanded tricks. When men meet at some ceremony to drink, they start off in an orderly manner, but usually end up in disorder, and if they go on too long they start indulging in various irregular amusements. It is the same with all things. What starts out being sincere usually ends up being deceitful. What was simple in the beginning acquires monstrous proportions in the end.Go here to read the introductory post to the chapters of the Book of Chuang Tzu.
"Words are like wind and waves; actions are a matter of gain and loss. Wind and waves are easily moved; questions of gain and loss easily lead to danger. Hence anger arises from no other cause than clever words and one-sided speeches. When animals face death, they do not care what cries they make; their breath comes in gasps and a wild fierceness is born in their hearts. [Men, too,] if you press them too hard, are bound to answer you with ill-natured hearts, though they do not know why they do so. If they themselves do not understand why they behave like this, then who knows where it will end?
"Therefore the aphorism says, `Do not deviate from your orders; do not press for completion.' To go beyond the limit is excess; to deviate from orders or press for completion is a dangerous thing. A good completion takes a long time; a bad completion cannot be changed later. Can you afford to be careless?
"Just go along with things and let your mind move freely. Resign yourself to what cannot be avoided and nourish what is within you - this is best. What more do you have to do to fulfill your mission? Nothing is as good as following orders (obeying fate) - that's how difficult it is!"
~ Burton Watson translation via Terebess Asia Online ~
Monday, February 14, 2011
Chapter 4, Part 4 - Chuang Tzu
Posted by The Rambling Taoist at 2:30 PM
Labels: Chuang Tzu, Quotes, Taoism
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