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Musings of a Chinese Mystic

Chaung Tzu

Book Overview: 

If Lao Tzu then had revolted against the growing artificiality of life in his day, a return to nature must have seemed doubly imperative to his disciple Chuang Tzu, who flourished more than a couple of centuries later, when the bugbear of civilization had steadily advanced. With chagrin he saw that Lao Tzu's teaching had never obtained any firm hold on the masses, still less on the rulers of China, whereas the star of Confucius was unmistakably in the ascendant. Within his own recollection the propagation of Confucian ethics had received a powerful impetus from Mencius, the second of China's orthodox sages. Now Chuang Tzu was imbued to the core with the principles of pure Taoism, as handed down by Lao Tzu. He might more fitly be dubbed "the Tao-saturated man" than Spinoza "the God-intoxicated." Tao in its various phases pervaded his inmost being and was reflected in all his thought. He was therefore eminently qualified to revive his Master's ringing protest against the materialistic tendencies of the time.

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Community Reviews

This may or may not be the little book of Chuang Tzu which inspired Oscar Wilde's great piece, "A Chinese Sage," but it is about the same.

Of all the little wisdom books I have read, only the so-called Gnostic Gospel of Thomas compares to this for sheer sublimity.

My introduction to Eastern philosophy was Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, and it was suggested to me that I follow it up by reading Chuang Tzu. It is believed that the two authors were contemporaries, and that Chuang Tzu was a student of Lao Tzu. Both authors were followers of the Taoist religion, and the