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Chuang Tzu Story - Three Friends (三人相与友)
03-20-2011, 06:34 PM
Post: #1
Chuang Tzu Story - Three Friends (三人相与友)
This following below is an interesting paragraph I came upon when reading book Zhang Zi. I like share it with people and hope Zhuangzi's story can enlighten us somehow:

Tsze-sang Hû, Mang Tsze-fan, and Tsze-khin Kang, these three men, were friends together. (One of them said), 'Who can associate together without any (thought of) such association, or act together without any (evidence of) such co-operation? Who can mount up into the sky and enjoy himself amidst the mists, disporting beyond the utmost limits (of things), and forgetting all others as if this were living, and would have no end?' The three men looked at one another and laughed, not perceiving the drift of the questions; and they continued to associate together as friends.

Suddenly, after a time, Tsze-sang Hû died. Before he was buried, Confucius heard of the event, and sent Tsze-kung to go and see if he could render any assistance. One of the survivors had composed a ditty, and the other was playing on his lute. Then they sang together in unison,

'Ah! come, Sang Hû! ah! come, Sang Hû!
Your being true you've got again,
While we, as men, still here remain
Ohone!'

Tsze-kung hastened forward to them, and said, 'I venture to ask whether it be according to the rules to be singing thus in the presence of the corpse?'

The two men looked at each other, and laughed, saying, 'What does this man know about the idea that underlies (our) rules?'

Tsze-kung returned to Confucius, and reported to him, saying, 'What sort of men are those? They had made none of the usual preparations, and treated the body as a thing foreign to them. They were singing in the presence of the corpse, and there was no change in their countenances. I cannot describe them;-- what sort of men are they?'

Confucius replied, 'Those men occupy and enjoy themselves in what is outside the (common) ways (of the world), while I occupy and enjoy myself in what lies within those ways. There is no common ground for those of such different ways; and when I sent you to condole with those men, I was acting stupidly. They, moreover, make man to be the fellow of the Creator, and seek their enjoyment in the formless condition of heaven and earth. They consider life to be an appendage attached, an excrescence annexed to them, and death to be a separation of the appendage and a dispersion of the contents of the excrescence. With these views, how should they know wherein death and life are to be found, or what is first and what is last? They borrow different substances, and pretend that the common form of the body is composed of them. They dismiss the thought of (its inward constituents like) the liver and gall, and (its outward constituents), the ears and eyes. Again and again they end and they begin, having no knowledge of first principles. They occupy themselves ignorantly and vaguely with what (they say) lies outside the dust and dirt (of the world), and seek their enjoyment in the business of doing nothing. How should they confusedly address themselves to the ceremonies practised by the common people, and exhibit themselves as doing so to the ears and eyes of the multitude?'

子桑户、孟子反、子琴张三人相与友,曰:“孰能相与于无相与,相为于无相为?孰能登天游雾,挠挑无极;相忘以生,无所终穷?”三人相视而笑,莫逆于心,遂相与为友。莫然有间而子桑户死,未葬。孔子闻之,使子贡往侍事焉。或编曲,或鼓琴,相和而歌曰:“嗟来桑户乎!嗟来桑户乎!而已反其真,而我犹为人猗!”子贡趋而进曰:“敢问临尸而歌,礼​乎?”二人相视而笑曰:“是恶知礼意!”子贡反,以告孔子,曰:“彼何人者邪?修行无有,而外其形骸,临尸而歌,颜色不变,无以命之。彼何人者邪?”孔子曰:“彼,游方之外者也;而丘,游方之内者也。外内不相及,而丘使女往吊之,丘则陋矣。彼方且与造物者为人,而游乎天地之一气。彼以生为附赘县疣,以死为决<疒丸>溃痈,夫若然者,又恶知死生之先后之所在!假于异物,托于同体;忘其肝胆,遗其耳目;反复终始,不知端倪;芒然彷徨乎尘垢之外,逍遥乎无为之业。彼又恶能愦愦然为世俗之礼,以观众人之耳目哉!”
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