The Essential Teachings of Chuang Tzu

Overview

After the Tao Te Ching, the Chuang Tzu is the most popular of the Taoist writings of ancient China and has had an especially strong influence on Asian thought and literature, particularly Zen. Containing the teachings of the sage Chuang Tzu (369-286 BCE) and his followers, the Chuang Tzu is a compendium of wisdom stories, verses, fables, conversations, and anecdotes. At turns playful and acerbic, these writings present a philosophy of life that is politically radical and deeply spiritual. At their heart the ...
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Overview

After the Tao Te Ching, the Chuang Tzu is the most popular of the Taoist writings of ancient China and has had an especially strong influence on Asian thought and literature, particularly Zen. Containing the teachings of the sage Chuang Tzu (369-286 BCE) and his followers, the Chuang Tzu is a compendium of wisdom stories, verses, fables, conversations, and anecdotes. At turns playful and acerbic, these writings present a philosophy of life that is politically radical and deeply spiritual. At their heart the teachings of Chuang Tzu stress the immediacy of the Tao, that all-embracing first principle that gives rise to the universe.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like a treasure chest of precious stones, the writings of Chuang Tzu shine with uncommon wisdom and insight. This new translation, which expertly preserves the humor and bite of these ancient teachings, will entice a whole new audience to read--and re-read--Chuang Tzu's writings. In their informative introduction, Hamill and Seaton discuss the vast influence Chuang Tzu, a disciple of Lao Tzu, has had on writers as diverse as Walt Whitman and T.S. Eliot. Chuang Tzu's moral and spiritual instructions teach distaste for technology, love of nature and suspicion of social convention. This revered Taoist teacher also longs in his writings for a golden age when everyone lived a better life. Although written in the third century B.C., Chuang Tzu's teachings are astonishingly contemporary. (Aug.)
Library Journal
This adept abridged translation of the most important writing of the Taoist tradition after the Tao Te Ching attempts to translate key terms consistently, using the same English word even when context might call for a multiplicity of terms; it also relies extensively on an etymological use of Chinese characters and does not shy away from contemporary colloquialisms. Though some readers may end up longing for alternatives to "All-under-heaven" for the Chinese "t'ien hsia" and other such terms, and colloquialisms such as "road kill" appear unexpectedly and perhaps incongruously, Hamill (a poet and founder of Copper Canyon Press) and Seaton (Chinese, Univ. of North Carolina) have selected well and capture the wit, paradox, and profundity of Chuang-tzu's concept of the Tao. The glossary of names and themes will be helpful to nonspecialists. Recommended for all public libraries.--D.E. Perushek, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570623363
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/22/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 170
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Translators' Introduction
Free and Easy Wandering 1
All Things Being Equal 8
Nurturing Life 19
In the Human World 22
The Sign and Seal of the Power of Virtue Standing on Its Own Two Feet 33
The Great Ancestral Teacher 41
Answers for Emperors and Kings 53
Webbed Toes 58
Horses' Hooves 63
Baggage Gets Stolen 66
Staying Home, Possessing Nothing 71
Heaven and Earth 81
Autumn Floods 83
Getting to Joy 95
Getting to Living 101
The Mountain Tree 112
Knowing Wandered North 121
Snail Kingdoms 129
External Things 132
Robber Chih 140
Speaking of Swords 147
The Old Fisherman 152
Glossary 159
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