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Chuang Tzu Stories

  1. Apologies

  2. The Empty Boat

  3. Means and ends

  4. The Useless

  5. Three in the Morning

  6. The Owl and the Phoenix

  7. The need to win

  8. Three Friends

  9. Chuang Tzu’s funeral

  10. The Man of Tao

  11. When the shoe fits

  12. The Tower of the Spirit

  13. Flight from the Shadow

  14. Fighting Cock

  15. Monkey Mountain

  16. Symphony for a seabird

  17. Autumn floods

  18. The Turtle

  19. Duke Hwan & the Wheelwright

  20. Man is born in Tao

  21. Wholeness



Chuang Tzu Story - Autumn floods

Chuang Tzu told the story
of the autumn floods:

The autumn floods had come.
Thousands of wild torrents
poured furiously into the
Yellow River.
It surged and flooded its banks until,
looking across,
you could not tell an ox from a horse
on the other side.

Then the River God laughed,
delighted to think
that all the beauty in the world
had fallen into his keeping.

So downhill he swung,
untill he came to the ocean.
There he looked out over the waves
towards the empty horizon in the east,
and his face fell.

Gazing out at the far horizon,
he came to his senses
and murmured to the Ocean God:
“Well, proverb is right:
‘He who has got himself a
hundred ideas,
he thinks he knows more than anybody else.’
Such a one am I.
Only now do I see
what they mean by expanse!”

The Ocean God replied,
“Can you talk about the sea to a frog in a well?
Can you talk about ice to a dragonfly?
And can you talk about the Way of life
to a doctor of philosophy?”