To understand is to be on the outside | Chuang Tzu, 476–221 BC


Zhuangzi contemplates waterfall


“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.”

"To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge."

"We are born from a quiet sleep, and we die to a calm awakening"

"Cease striving. Then there will be transformation."

"Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to."

"It can be passed on, but not received. It can be obtained, but not seen."

"All men know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of the useless!”

"You can't discuss the ocean with a well frog - he's limited by the space he lives in. 
You can't discuss ice with a summer insect - he's bound to a single season."

"To forget the whole world is easy; to make the whole world forget you is hard."

“The Perfect Man uses his mind like a mirror - going after nothing, welcoming nothing, responding but not storing.”

“The little child learns to speak, though it has no learned teachers - because it lives with those who know how to speak.”

"He who steals a belt buckle pays with his life; he who steals a state gets to be a feudal lord."    

“Understanding that rests in what it does not understand is the finest.”

“Not to understand is profound; to understand is shallow. Not to understand is to be on the inside; to understand is to be on the outside.”

“Your life has a limit, but knowledge has none. If you use what is limited to pursue what has no limit, you will be in danger.”

"Cherish that which is in you and shut out that which is without, for much knowledge is a curse."

"The sound of water says what I think."

“He sees in the darkest dark, hears where there is no sound. In the midst of darkness, 
he alone sees the dawn; in the midst of the soundless, he alone hears harmony.”

The Spirit Tower has its guardian, but unless it understands who its guardian is, it cannot be guarded.”


Zhuangzi, The Book of Chuang Tzu, 476–221 BC 


Daoist painting
Manuscript of Tian Yun Volume of Zhuangzi, 8th century 
Zhuang Zi  book, The First Chapter, 369-286 BC

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