Taoism 3 Essay Research Paper In an

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Taoism 3 Essay, Research Paper In an effort to decide how I wanted to approach this paper, I decided to search the Internet to see what today’s world held for me on the matters of Chinese Philosophy. One quote describing Chuang Tzu, the topic of my research paper, stuck out. In describing what this person thought was the overlying teachings of Chuang Tzu he stated, “The individual could attain mystical unity with this One by achieving complete emptiness or hs -a timeless state free of worries or selfish desires, open to impressions but transcending all individual material objects.” This is what truly made the biggest impression on me from our seminar class. Now, I know that in the beginning of the class we were lead to believe that none of these philosophies should

change our life because for one, they where written a very long time ago, where being in a “timeless state free of worries,” could be possible. I have to say though that some of the material, especially Chuang Tzu really changed my outlook on many things. My parents could say that this philosophy has made me lazy, believing that I can go through life, living peacefully and harmoniously, in nature, with out a care in the world. I don’t really believe this, but some of Chuang Tzu’s arguments have either made me strongly agree with what he was teaching, or go into the opposing view and really make me want to seek out more to life, than just my surroundings. As a philosopher, Chuang Tzu has been under attack from the beginning. It has been said that “scholars at the time

could neither figure out what to do with him nor overlook his caustic attack on their root assumptions.”(Wu, 2) He has been misunderstood from the beginning. Critics are always condemning him, and not fully understanding what he is trying to hear. His critics can be often heard describing him as a “skeptic, nihilist, fatalist, relativist, and even an evolutionist…In other words, Chuang Tzu is a queer mystical negativist, an obscure prankster, who is not worth taking seriously.” (Wu, 2) Chuang Tzu from the beginning effected me greatly and made the world around me seem different. His teachings helped me understand a lot of the emotions that I had been filed with as a child and through my many stages of maturing. In Section one “Free and Easy Wandering,” Chuang Tzu

proclaims, “If you go off into the green woods nearby, you can take along food for three meals and come back with your stomach full as ever.” (24) In essence he is saying that food is not the only necessary means of filling a person. There is so much more out there in this world. A person’s soul also needs nourishment. Being at peace can fulfill this need, and nature can bring you a feeling of relaxation and peacefulness. The truth is that it is easier to figure out what is going on around you while surrounded by god’s gifts to the earth. The pureness of nature can satisfy more than any actual substance or material. “The little quail laughs at him, saying, ‘Where does he think he’s going? I give a great leap and fly up, but I never get more than ten or twelve yards

before I come fluttering down among the weeds and brambles. And that’s the best kind of flying anyway! ‘ Such is the difference between big and little.”(25) Now this is something that Chuang Tzu discusses that I disagree with. In his writings he believes that a person is given their talents by god or nature, and that it is the foolish person that tries to defy nature and experience and accomplish things that is beyond them. This quote about the little quail states that the quail is perfectly happy in his own world, content in his belief that he lives the best possible way, and that anyone who reaches outside of that realm is foolish, that nothing could possibly be better than what he knows. This seems ignorant to me. Why should people stay within what they know, why