Friday, March 11, 2011

Chapter 11, Part 6A - Chuang Tzu

The common run of men all welcome those who are like themselves and scorn those who differ from themselves. The reason they favor those who are like themselves and do not favor those who are different is that their minds are set on distinguishing themselves from the crowd.

But if their minds are set on distinguishing themselves from the crowd, how is this ever going to distinguish them from the crowd? It is better to follow the crowd and be content, for, no matter how much you may know, it can never match the many talents of the crowd combined.

Here is a man who wants to take over the management of another man's state. He thinks thereby to seize all the profits enjoyed by the kings of the Three Dynasties, but fails to take note of their worries. This is to gamble with another man's state, and how long can you expect to gamble with his state and not lose it? Less than one man in ten thousand will succeed in holding on to the state; the odds in favor of losing it are more than ten thousand to one. It is sad indeed that the possessors of states do not realize this!
~ Burton Watson translation via Terebess Asia Online ~
Go here to read the introductory post to the chapters of the Book of Chuang Tzu.

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