Zuangzi's Xinxin Taoism

One day Zuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly: he was happy to be a butterfly. What a freedom, what a fantasy! He was so happy that he forgot he was Zhou. Suddenly he woke up and, surprised, he saw himself looking like Zhou. But now he no longer knew whether it was Zhou who had dreamed he was a butterfly, or whether it was a butterfly who dreamed he was Zhou. (Zhuang zi II,7)

The sage does not waste time in discussions about being and non-being, about what is and what is not, but rests in the balance of heaven. (Zhuang zi II,4)

Collect your thought, and listen not with the ears, but with the heart/mind, neither with the heart/mind but with the spirit. With the senses and the heart / mind silent, the spirit remains empty and takes in things. The dao rests in emptiness. Emptiness is fasting of the heart. (Zhuang zi IV,1)

He who has emptiness for his head, life for his pillar, and death for his base, and who understands that life and death, having and losing, are one and the same thing, I will have him for my friend. (Zhuang zi VI, 5).

The 2010-11 course immersed us in the reading of the Zhuang zi, a fundamental text of Chinese Taoism together with the Dao De Jing and the Lie zi. The Zhuang zi is one of the Chinese classics and at the same time one of the great works of world literature.

The Zhuang zi is a text of exuberant prose, of great literary and poetic quality, by a talented, imaginative and ingenious author, who makes an exposition of ideas in a graphic and concrete way, with fables, comics, accurate metaphors and surprising oppositions. A skilled logician who argues with other schools and a deep metaphysician qualified instead of skeptical, relativist, monist, idealist, mystic, shamanic …

We use the excellent Spanish translation:

  • Zhuang Zi, Maestro Chuang Tsé (1996). Preciado, Iñaki (ed.). Barcelona: Kairós.

And we also had in mind the bilingual version:

  • Chuang-tzu. Literario filósofo y místico Taoista (1972). Elorduy, Carmelo. Caracas: Monte Avila.