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Full Version: Zhuang Tzu Story - Notes of Earth, Notes of Men and Notes of Heaven (地籁, 人籁和天籁)
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Nan-kwo Tsze-khî was seated, leaning forward on his stool. He was looking up to heaven and breathed gently, seeming to be in a trance, and to have lost all consciousness of any companion. (His disciple), Yen Khang Tsze-yû, who was in attendance and standing before him, said, 'What is this? Can the body be made to become thus like a withered tree, and the mind to become like slaked lime? His appearance as he leans forward on the stool to-day is such as I never saw him have before in the same position.' Tsze-khî said, 'Yen, you do well to ask such a question, I had just now lost myself; but how should you understand it? You may have heard the notes of Man, but have not heard those of Earth; you may have heard the notes of Earth, but have not heard those of Heaven.'

Tsze-yû said, 'I venture to ask from you a description of all these.' The reply was, 'When the breath of the Great Mass of nature comes strongly, it is called Wind. Sometimes it does not come so; but when it does, then from a myriad apertures there issues its excited noise;-- have you not heard it in a prolonged gale? Take the projecting bluff of a mountain forest;-- in the great trees, a hundred spans round, the apertures and cavities are like the nostrils, or the mouth, or the ears; now square, now round like a cup or a mortar; here like a wet footprint, and there like a large puddle. The sounds issuing from them are like those of fretted water, of the arrowy whizz, of the stern command, of the inhaling of the breath, of the shout, of the gruff note, of the deep wail, of the sad and piping note. The first notes are slight, and those that follow deeper, but in harmony with them. Gentle winds produce a small response; violent winds a great one. When the fierce gusts have passed away, all the apertures are empty and still;-- have you not seen this in the bending and quivering of the branches and leaves?'

Tsze-yû said, 'The notes of Earth then are simply those which come from its myriad apertures; and the notes of Man may just be compared to those which are brought from the tubes of) bamboo;-- allow me to ask about the notes of Heaven.' Tsze-khî replied, 'When the wind blows, the sounds fro) the myriad apertures are different, and its cessation makes them stop of themselves. Both of these things arise from (the wind and the apertures) themselves:-- should there be any other agency that excites them?'




[Image: chuang_tzu_31.jpg]
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