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Chuang Tzu Sings Upon his Wife's Death (Written by You-Sheng Li; website: http://taoism21cen.com )

When Chuang Tzu’s wife died, his friend Hui Tzu came to offer his condolences and found Chuang Tzu hunkered down, drumming on a potter pan and singing.
Hui Tzu said, “You lived with her, raised children with her, and grew old together. Even weeping is not enough, but now you are drumming and singing. Is it a bit too much?”
            Chuang Tzu said, “That is not how it is. When she just died, how could I not feel grief? But I looked deeply into it and saw that she was lifeless before she was born. She was also formless and there was not any energy. Somewhere in the vast imperceptible universe there was a change, an infusion of energy, and then she was born into form, and into life. Now the form has changed again, and she is dead. Such death and life are like the natural cycle of the four seasons. My dead wife is now resting between heaven and earth. If I wail at the top of my voice to express my grief, it would certainly show a failure to understand what is fated. Therefore I stopped.”  (Chapter 18)
Chuang Tzu makes it clear that death in our society makes us sad but does not need to stop us from moving on with our life. Excessive and formularized expression of grief at the death of our fellow man is a sign of our civilization. Chuang Tzu held himself back from the local custom, the human culture. Taoists believe in simple burial rituals.

Chuang Tzu Sings Upon his Wife's death

I did not ask to be born; i was born anyway.
I will not ask to die; i will die anyway.
I believe that whatever happens after that will be beyond my knowledge and control.
I think it will be good, but that is just my uninformed opinion.

I think like Chuang Chou, but i would put it somewhat differently..
I was given the gift of life; i have learned to be grateful for it.
I will some day be given the gift of death; i suspect i will be grateful for it.

(I will post again in about three weeks.)

I will post again in about three weeks.


Nov. 17th, 2015 12:35 pm (UTC)
Snowing today.



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