Zhuangzi: Basic Writings

By Burton Watson; Zhuangzi | Go to book overview

FIT FOR EMPERORS AND KINGS
(SECTION 7)

Nie Que was questioning Wang Ni. Four times he asked a question and four times Wang Ni said he didn't know. Nie Que proceeded to hop around in great glee and went and told Master Puyi. Master Puyi said, “Are you just now finding that out?1 The clansman Youyu was no match for the clansman Tai.2 The clansman Youyu still held on to benevolence and worked to win men over. He won men over all right, but he never got out into [the realm of] 'not-man.' The clansman Tai, now—he lay down peaceful and easy; he woke up wideeyed and blank. Sometimes he thought he was a horse; sometimes he thought he was a cow. His understanding was truly

1 On Nie Que and Wang Ni, see above, pp. 40–42. Master Puyi is probably the
same as Master Piyi, who appears elsewhere in the Zhuangzi as the teacher of
Wang Ni. According to commentators, Nie Que's delight came from the fact that
he had finally realized that there are no answers to questions.

2 “The clansman Youyu” is the sage ruler Shun, the ideal of the Confucian philoso-
phers. “The clansman Tai” is vaguely identified as a ruler of high antiquity.

-89-

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Zhuangzi: Basic Writings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Free and Easy Wandering - (Section I) 23
  • Discussion on Making All Things Equal - (Section 2) 31
  • The Secret of Caring for Life1 - (Section 3) 45
  • In the World of Men - (Section 4) 49
  • The Sign of Virtue Complete - (Section 5) 63
  • The Great and Venerable Teacher - (Section 6) 73
  • Fit for Emperors and Kings - (Section 7) 89
  • Autumn Floods - (Section 17) 97
  • Supreme Happiness - (Section 18) 113
  • Mastering Life - (Section 19) 121
  • External Things - (Section 26) 133
  • Index 143
  • Other Works in the Columbia Asian 153
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