A.C. Graham

A.C. Graham Chuang-Tzu
The Inner Chapters
Hackett Publishing 2001


Graham 6
Although it is not easy to offer a definition of Taoism, thinkers classed as philosophical Taoists do share a one basic insight - that, while all other things move spontaneously on the course proper to them, man has stunted and maimed his spontaneous aptitude by the habit of distinguishing alternatives, the right and a wrong, benefit and harm, and reasoning in order to judge between them.


Graham 9
Like all great anti-rationalists, Zhuangzi has his reasons for not listening to reason. He developed them in the pieces assembled in "The sorting which evens tings out"( Zhuangzi 2 ), a scattered series of notes which conveys more than anything else in ancient Chinese the sensation of a man thinking aloud.
... all reasoning depends on making distinctions. We should abandon reason for the immediate experience of an undifferentiated world, transforming "All is one" from a moral into a mystical affirmation.

Graham 15
Zhuangzi is...a "Heaven-intoxicated man".
For him, it is not a matter of obeying Heaven; the sage constantly goes by the spontaneous and does not add anything to the process of life", he "lives the life generated by Heaven" (cf. p.82, 84 below - chapt 6.1) At first sight one might suppose that like the Yangists he wants to give full scope to the spontaneous inclinations of man's nature. But...the implicit imperative of Taoism, "Mirror clearly", introduces a rift between human spontaneity, rejecting the passions which blur awareness, exalting the impulses which stir in an impersonal calm which mirrors the situation with the utmost clarity.


Zhuangzi

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