Chuang Tzu Stories
The Empty Boat
Means and ends
Three in the Morning
The Owl and the Phoenix
The need to win
Chuang Tzu’s funeral
The Man of Tao
When the shoe fits
The Tower of the Spirit
Flight from the Shadow
Symphony for a seabird
Duke Hwan & the
Man is born in Tao
Chuang Tzu Story - Duke
Hwan and the Wheelwright
Duke Hwan of Khi, first in his dynasty,
sat under his canopy reading his philosophy.
And Phien the wheelwright was out in the yard
making a wheel.
Phien laid aside hammer and chisel,
climbed the steps
and said to duke Hwan,
“May I ask you, Lord,
what is this you are reading?”
Said the duke: “The experts, the authorities.”
Phien asked: “Alive or dead?”
The duke said: “Dead, a long time.”
“Then,” said the wheelwright,
“you are only reading the dirt they left behind.”
The duke replied, “What do you know about it?
You are only a wheelwright.
You had better give me a good explanation
or else you must die.”
The wheelwright said,
“Let us look at the affair from my point of view.
When I make wheels, if i go easy they fall apart,
and if I am too rough they don’t fit.
But if I am neither too easy nor too violent
they come out right,
and the work is what I want it to be.
“You cannot put this in words,
you just have to know how it is.
I cannot even tell my own son exactly how it is done,
and my own son cannot learn it from me.
Se here I am, seventy years old, still making wheels!
The men of old took all they really knew
with them to the grave.
And so, Lord, what you are reading there
is only the dirt they left behind them.”