Taoism 3 Essay Research Paper In an — страница 2

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shouldn’t they strive like Peng to fly as high as they can, and travel to distant lands, nothing should seem unconquerable? This is where I find some weakness in his teachings. He sees this pride of not trying to go further as a positive thing, as in his quote “Therefore a man who has wisdom enough to fill one office effectively, good conduct enough to impress one community, virtue enough to please one ruler, or talent enough to be called into service in one state, has the same kind of self-pride as these little creatures.” (25) I actually received a kind of re-enforcement from this quote, but it came from the opposite conclusion. That this statement was unsatisfactory for me, and why should I be constrained to my surroundings? This class and Chuang Tzu, and also the book

Iron Silk, are some of the reasons that I decided to take Chinese and I decided to study in China. I wanted to defy what was expected of me, I wanted to break out of the Western World. It was fascinating when my fellow students in class spoke Chinese and I wanted to understand and be able to speak the tongue that sounded so foreign to my ears. Another quote that seemed fascinating to me was the quote from Section one, “He drew a clear line between the internal and the external and recognized the boundaries of true glory and disgrace. But that was all. As far as the world went. He didn’t fret and worry, but there was still ground he left unturned.” Now I got two things out of this quote, One, that you should be free, recognize the obvious, but don’t stress. Realize your

surroundings, your boundaries, your limitations, but don’t go beyond that. Just by being observant and understanding the atmosphere that you are in, you will be content. You should not waste your time trying to discover everything, because one, not everything was meant to be discovered, and two at this point you should just be content with yourself, and with this contentment, you will find peace and happiness. By discovering too much, you will discover things that you don’t understand and that will make you unhappy. Basically, he is saying, the less you know, the happier you are, to just be happy with what you are given and taught. I don’t really agree with this train of thought. How can you be content when there is so much out there to discover, how do you curb curiosity?

Lastly the final quote from Section one that I found fascinating was, “I have a big tree called a shu. It’s trunk is too gnarled and bumpy to apply a measuring line to, it’s branches to bent and twisty to match up to a compass or square. You could stand it by the road and no carpenter would look at it twice. Your words, too, are big and useless, and so everyone alike spurs them!” “Chuang Tzu said, ‘ Now you have this big tree, and your distressed because it’s useless. Why don’t you plant it in Not-Even-Anything Village, or the field of Broad-and-Boundless, relax and do nothing by it’s side, or lie down for a free and easy sleep under it? Axes will never shorten it’s life, nothing can ever harm it. If there’s no use for it, how can it come to grief o pain.”

This is one of my favorite quotes because it shows the purpose for what others see as useless. It reminds me of the story of the Giving Tree, where the tree can not act out an activity, it is always there to provide something, and does not hurt a thing. This is what Chuang Tzu is saying. Why should people spurn what Chuang Tzu says, or criticize him? If what they are saying is true, that he provides nothing, but uselessness, than how can he be hurting anything, and if he is not causing any pain, why should he be stopped from what he is doing? But in actuality if there can be any good coming out of his lessons, than they should be taught freely and not shunned. Like the tree, he provides comfort in a world which always expects something back, like the tree which provides shade and

a place to lie down and rest, he to shows people only good things in the world, and how to find peace with themselves, how can this be bad, when he expects nothing back? Section two, “Discussion on Making All Things Equal” criticizes society and what effects it has on people. Chuang Tzu believes that society can be detrimental to the human spirit. There is so much that drains the everyday person, so much that conquers them. So many expectations drag people away from an easy, spiritual life. “Great understanding is broad and unturned; little understanding is cramped and busy. Great words are clear and limpid; little words are shrill and quarrelsome .With everything they [men] meet they become entangled. Day after day they use their minds in strife, sometimes grandiose,