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Zhuang Zi -- Great Philosopher of Taoism

 in Chinese Culture

Zhuang Zhou (about 369 B. C. — ?), respected as Zhuang Zi, honorific name as Zi Xiu or Zi Mu, was a great philosopher of Taoism and an influential litterateur in Chinese culture.


Zhuang used to work as an official, but soon he resigned and started to travel around China.


After his extraordinary talent popularized and impressed nationwide, a king rewarded him a great deal of money to invite him to be a powerful minister.


Zhuang firmly rejected the offer, and then lived in seclusion and poverty since after. 


In his seclusive days, Zhuang wrote around 100, 000 words, telling his insightful and smart ideologies through romantic fables.


He was an absolute freedom worshiper, an intelligent and romantic ideologist with fantastic imaginations.

Main Ideas of Zhuang Zi

1 Value and follow the nature and humanity. 


Everyone should try to appreciate the beauty around them, freely and independently; that is the only way to achieve the genuine happiness.


Like bird singing in the sky, or fish swimming in the water, or human being integrating in the nature. 


2 Everyone in the universe is equal, and can in the end reach to an integrate harmoniously.


Human and animal, life and death, humble and noble, they are all the same from a bigger perspective. 


Therefore, strict etiquettes and hierarchy from Confucianism ideology is strongly disdained.


3 People should try to abandon man-made rules, including political ideas, universal values, etiquettes and hierarchy; these are designed to suppress the human nature.

4 There is no ghost or spirit; the dead is dead.


Hence, an elaborate funeral is not necessary; people should come from and go back into nature simply.


Physical death is not scary or sad, the ideological death is; because ideas can last forever. 


The most mournful thing for a person is a desperate and dead heart.


5 Everyone has their own limitations and shortcomings, so there’s no need to be negatively influenced, because of other people’s comments or achievements.


Knowing and embracing this fact is a good way to obtain the inner peace. 


Everyone has an ability or some hobbies to cheer themselves up; knowing how and when to make use of it is an important path to the happiness. 


The best circumstance is that someone has the ability to find happiness whenever and wherever.


One doesn’t need to wait for certain people or event, nor reach to a specific stage or material condition.


That is the highest spiritual state that human beings could achieve.