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Full Version: Chuang Tzu Story - The Self-Blocked Mind (有蓬之心)
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Hui-tsze told Kwang-tsze, saying, 'The king of Wei sent me some seeds of a large calabash, which I sowed. The fruit, when fully grown, could contain five piculs (of anything). I used it to contain water, but it was so heavy that I could not lift it by myself. I cut it in two to make the parts into drinking vessels; but the dried shells were too wide and unstable and would not hold (the liquor); nothing but large useless things! Because of their uselessness I knocked them to pieces.'

Kwang-tsze replied, 'You were indeed stupid, my master, in the use of what was large. There was a man of Sung who was skilful at making a salve which kept the hands from getting chapped; and (his family) for generations had made the bleaching of cocoon-silk their business. A stranger heard of it, and proposed to buy the art of the preparation for a hundred ounces of silver. The kindred all came together, and considered the proposal.

"We have," said they, "been bleaching cocoon-silk for generations, and have only gained a little money. Now in one morning we can sell to this man our art for a hundred ounces;-- let him have it."

The stranger accordingly got it and went away with it to give counsel to the king of Wû, who was then engaged in hostilities with Yüeh. The king gave him the command of his fleet, and in the winter he had an engagement with that of Yüeh, on which he inflicted a great defeat, and was invested with a portion of territory taken from Yüeh.

The keeping the hands from getting chapped was the same in both cases; but in the one case it led to the investiture (of the possessor of the salve), and in the other it had only enabled its owners to continue their bleaching.

The difference of result was owing to the different use made of the art. Now you, Sir, had calabashes large enough to hold five piculs;-- why did you not think of making large bottle-gourds of them, by means of which you could have floated over rivers and lakes, instead of giving yourself the sorrow of finding that they were useless for holding anything. Your mind, my master, would seem to have been closed against all intelligence!'

惠子谓庄子曰:“魏王贻我大瓠之种,我树之成而实五石。以盛水浆,其坚不能自举也。剖之以为瓢,则瓠落无所容。非不呺然大也,我为其无用而掊之。” 庄子曰:“夫子固拙于用大矣。宋人有善为不龟手之药者,世世以洴澼絖为事。客闻之,请买其方百金。聚族而谋曰:“我世世为洴澼絖,不过数金;今一朝而鬻技百金,请与之。”客得之,以说吴王。越有难,吴王使之将,冬与越人水战,大败越人,裂地而封之。能不龟手,一也;或以封,或不免于洴澼絖,则所用之异也。今子有五石之瓠,何不虑以为大樽而​浮乎江湖,而忧其瓠落无所容?则夫子犹有蓬之心也夫!”
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