Chuang Tzu (also known as Zhuang Zi) was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived sometime during the 4th century B.C.E. during the Warring States Period which corresponds to the Hundred Schools of Thought, a philosophical summit of Chinese thought. His name is sometimes spelled Chuang Tsu, Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Tze, Chouang-Dsi, or Chuang Tse.
Chuang Tzu allegedly lived during the reign of King Hui of Liang and King Xuan of Qi, from 370 to 301 B.C.E. Chuang Tzu was from the Town of Meng in the State of Song (now Mengcheng, Anhui). His given name was Zhou. He was also known as Meng Official, Meng Zhuang, and Meng Elder (Méng Lì; Méng Zhuang, Méng sou, respectively).
His existance is sometimes questioned as his writings are thought to have been from Kuo Hsiang. However, evidence suggests otherwise. A biography of Chuang Tzu existed centuries before Kuo Hsiang. As well, the Han Shu lists texts written by Chuang Tzu which were written before 1st century AD, which predates Kuo Hsiang by centuries.
Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
Cherish that which is within you, and shut off that which is without; for much knowledge is a curse.
Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious.
I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?
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Men honor what lies within the sphere of their knowledge, but do not realize how dependent they are on what lies beyond it. Those who realize their folly are not true fools.
Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature.
We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.
All existing things are really one. We regard those that are beautiful and rare as valuable, and those that are ugly as foul and rotten The foul and rotten may come to be transformed into what is rare and valuable, and the rare and valuable into what is foul and rotten.
Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.