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Chuang Tsu: Inner Chapters Paperback – Illustrated, January 1, 2000
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"(The new photographs added to the 1997 edition of Chuang Tsu) are more skillfully crafted and more sensual. Rippled sand suggeste creased moist skin, Feng's face sleeps glistening among the ferns. Retreating waves caress each other. Twisted branches jut out into the sky. Shrubs grow from dunes like brushy hairs. The images are more dynamic, more engaging than (Jane English's) earlier illustrations." -- Express Books, September 1997
"This present volume is indeed a gift to all lovers of Chuang Tsu and anyone else who would like a taste of this wild, irascible and astonishing sage. the oversize pages, with their calligraphy and Jane English's haunting nature photography, draw us into the work in a relaxed and easy way so that before we know it, we are inside the world of Chuang Tsu." -- The Empty Vessel, Winter 1997
A gift to lovers of Chuang Tsu and anyone else liking a taste of this wild, irrascible and astonishing sage. -- The Empty Vessel, Winter 1997 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English, Chinese (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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A student climbs to the top of a mountain and finds two old enlightened masters sitting there. One of them is Chaung Tsu, and they invite him to sit. "I have come to learn from your wisdom, great master" says the student.
Chaung Tsu begins: "Now I am going to tell you something. I don't know what heading it comes under, and whether or not it is relevent here, but it must be relevent at some point. It is not anything new, but I would like to say it."
The student sits forward and gives Chaung Tsu his full attention. Unseen by the student, the other master catches the twinkle in Chaung Tsu's eyes and knowingly shakes his head.
"There is a beginning", continues Chaung Tsu. "There is no beginning of that beginning. There is no beginning of that no beginning of beginning. There is something. There is nothing. There is something before the beginning of something and nothing, and something before that. Suddenly there is something and nothing! (But between something and nothing, I still don't really know which is something and which is nothing.) Now, I've just said something, but I don't really know whether I've said anything or not."
The would-be student stares slack-jawed at Chaung Tsu. He makes as if to speak a question, and then snaps his mouth shut. After some time, he slowly gets to his feet, stammerrs "thank you", and then slowly departs down the mountain from whence he came.
When he has gone, the other enlightened master turns to Chaung Tsu and scolds "why do you do that? He only wanted to learn."
"He came expecting some deep truth with which to adorn his mind", replies Chaung Tsu, "and yet what he came seeking is already within him. The clutter in his mind only prevents him from seeing it. As long as he believes his mind is the tool which will lead him to enlightenment, he will never achieve it. He will now go and turn my words over and over in his head until his rational mind is so weary it cries itself to sleep like a baby. Then with it out of the way, perhaps he will catch a glimpse of the truth which he seeks."
"Besides", continues Chaung Tsu with a wink, "I just like messing with people."
The words whisper things that my inner self already knows, but needs to remember.
One can meditate on the words, or the wonderful black and white photos.
Each page includes the ancient Chinese script of the text.