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Taoist Tradition

An influential philosophical system in the history and thought of China, Taoism comes from the writings of Lao Tzu and was elaborated on by Chuang Tzu. Chuang Tzu gives the following description:


    Yen Hui said, “I have made some progress.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Confucius.
    “I have forgotten humanity and righteousness,” replied Yen Hui.
    “Very good, but that is not enough,” said Confucius.
    On another day Yen Hui saw Confucius again and said, “I have made some progress.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Confucius.
    “I have forgotten ceremonies and music,” replied Yen Hui.
    “Very good, but that is not enough,” said Confucius.
    Another day Yen Hui saw Confucius again and said, “I have made some progress.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Confucius.
    Yen Hui said, “I forget everything while sitting down.”
    Confucius’ face turned pale. He said, “What do you mean by sitting down and forgetting everything?”
    “I cast aside my limbs,” replied Yen Hui, “discard my intelligence, detach from both body and mind, and become one with the Great Universal [Tao]. This is called sitting down and forgetting everything.”
    Confucius said, “When you become one with the Great Universal, you will have no partiality, and when you are part of the process of transformation, you will have no constancy. You are really a worthy man. I beg to follow your steps.”