Chuang Tzu was a Taoist sage, living sometime before 250 B.C. The book, by the same name, Chuang Tzu, is believed to contain both his own writings and writings by others about him and his teachings.
". . . ‘Chuang-Tzu’ is distinguished by its brilliant and original style, with abundant use of satire, paradox, and seemingly nonsensical stories. Chuang-Tzu emphasizes the relativity of all ideas. . . . He puts forward as the solution to the problems of the human condition, freedom in identification with the universal Tao, or principle of Nature."
- The Columbia Encyclopedia, 4th Edition.
If a man is crossing a river and an empty boat collides with his own skiff, even though he be a bad-tempered man he will not become very angry. But if he sees a man in the boat, he will shout at him to steer clear. If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing. And all because there is somebody in the boat. Yet if the boat were empty, he would not be shouting, and not angry. If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world, no one will oppose you, no one will seek to harm you.... Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost amid the masses of men? He will flow like Tao, unseen, he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home. Simple is he, without distinction. To all appearances he is a fool. His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation. Since he judges no one, no one judges him. Such is the perfect man: His boat is empty. - Chuang Tzu
You train your eye and your vision lusts after color. You train your ear, and you long for delightful sound. You delight in doing good, and your natural kindness is blown out of shape. You delight in righteousness, and you become righteous beyond all reason. You overdo liturgy, and you turn into a ham actor. Overdo your love of music, and you play corn. Love of wisdom leads to wise contriving. Love of knowledge leads to faultfinding. If men would stay as they really are, taking or leaving these eight delights would make no difference. But if they will not rest in their right state, the eight delights develop like malignant tumors. The world falls into confusion. Since men honour these delights, and lust after them, the world has gone stone-blind. When the delight is over, they still will not let go of it. . . . - Chuang Tzu