09 July, 2011

Cantina Quote o' The Week: Chuang Tzu

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten the words? He is the one I would like to talk to.

-Chuang Tzu 

Even if you don't know his name, you know this ancient Chinese philosopher: he's the one who dreamt he was a butterfly.  He did a lot else beside that.

One of the things I love most about Chinese and Japanese philosophers is how they can turn concepts on their heads.  The other thing I love is how they can ask a seemingly simple question that turns out to be nearly impossible.  Chuang Tzu could have held his own with the Zen patriarchs, and he wouldn't have been out of place among the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.

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