Another engaging theme central to the teaching of Zhuan-zi is that as it takes all kinds to make a world, no one should

try and impose his view upon anyone. Three arguments of sorts were embedded here and there in the Book of Zhuan-zi in support of this contention. The first is that regardless of how much one has come to know, what is known is still less than what one does not know. Call this the finitude of knowledge. Another is that different types of individuals are bound to appreciate different things in different ways. One man’s food could be another man’s poison, so to speak. Call this the relativity of all values. For reason of the above two predicaments, it was also his view that controversy about what should or should not be the case is not something that debates are able to settle. Call this the futility of argument. That being the case, it is better not to alienate anyone, but embrace all without distinctions.

Zhuan-zi on

Embracing All without Distinctions
An excerpt from The Six Patriarchs of Chinese Humanism Author: Peter M.K. Chan
All Rights Reserved


Let’s take a look at each part of this elaborate and interesting argument in turn. Finitude of knowledge According to one of Zhuan-zi’s allegories, when the autumn flood arrived, hundreds of streams poured into the River. Its torrent became so violent that it was not possible to distinguish an ox from a horse on the opposite side of the riverbank. That made Uncle River very happy, thinking that the beauty of the world was all his to enjoy. Eastward he flowed until he reaches the North Sea. However, upon seeing the boundless expanse of the North Sea, his countenance changed

and sighed to the North Sea saying: I am one of those who have heard about Dao, and thought that no one is able to surpass me. (秋水时至,百川灌河。泾流之大,两涘渚崖之间不辩牛马。于是焉
河伯欣然自喜,以天下之美为尽在己。顺流而东行,至于北海,东面而 视,不见水端。于是焉河伯始旋其面目,望洋向若而叹曰:闻道百,以 为莫己若者,我之谓也。 Book of Zhuan-zi, Chapter 17)

This kind of cognitive myopia, said Zhuan-zi, could also be said of the frog in a well. The frog said to the turtle from the East Sea: I am happy just by leaping onto the rim of the well and then leap back to rest inside its broken wall. Its water buoys up my body and head, and its mud covers my legs and ankles. There are also crabs and tadpoles enjoying themselves in the water and crossing the well. Why don’t you come and have a look? (谓东海之鳖曰:吾乐与出跳梁手井干之上,入休乎缺甃之崖。赴
水则接腑持颐,蹶泥则没足灭跗。还虷蟹与科斗,且夫擅一壑之水,而 跨 寺 埳 井 之 乐 , 此 亦 至 矣 。 夫 子 奚 不 时 来 入 观 乎 ? Ibid.) However,

when the turtle did not find the well to be comfortable, it started to tell the frog about the sea, saying: The distance of a thousand miles is not enough to describe the vastness of the sea. The length of one thousand meters is not able to gauge its depth. In the times of Yu (prior to the Xia Dynasty), there were floods nine out of ten years, but the water did not increase therein. In the time of King Tang (of the Shun Dynasty), there were droughts seven out of eight years, but its shore did not recede either. In short, the sea’s dimension neither changes with the length of drought nor varies with the amount of rainfall. This is the greatest of joy for the East Sea…. Upon hearing these words, the frog was totally at a lost and overcome with awe. (夫千里之远 ,
不足以举其大;千仞之高,不足以极其深。禹之时,十年九潦,而水弗 为加益;汤之时,八年七旱,而崖不为加损。夫不为顷久推移,不以多 少进退者,此亦东海之大乐也。 ......于是埳井之蛙闻之,适适然惊,规 规然自失也。Ibid.)

That’s right, said the nymph of the North Sea (presumably on behalf of Zhuan-zi). You cannot discuss the sea with a well frog because it is confined to the well. You cannot discuss ice with a summer moth because it is here for just a short time. You

cannot discuss Dao with a bookworm because he is restricted to book learning. (北 海 若 曰 : 井 蛙 不 可 以 语 于 海 者 , 拘 于 虚 也 ; 夏 虫 不
可 以 语 于 冰 者 , 笃 于 时 也 ; 曲 士 不 可 以 语 于 道 者 ,束 于 教 也 。 Ibid.)

Further, according to the nymph: From the viewpoint of what is small, there is no comprehensive picture of what is large; and from the viewpoint of what is large, there is no distinctive features of what is small. (北 海 若 曰 : 夫 自 细视 大 者 不 尽 , 自 大 视细

The fact of the matter, said Zhuan-zi, is that many are not aware that this is so, As the story is told: There was a kind of bird by the name of Pang, whose back is like a lofty mountain with wings hanging like clouds in the sky. Soaring like a whirlwind to a height of ninety thousand miles, the Pang flies above the dense clouds and against the blue sky on its way to the South Sea. A quail laughed at the Pang, saying: Is that really good for him? I just hop and skip, and never fly more than a dozen meters. But I can hover among the reeds, which is already flying at its best. Is his kind of flying really suitable for him? (有鳥焉 ,其名為鵬,背 若 泰 山 , 翼 若 垂 天 之 雲 , 摶 扶 搖 羊 角 而 上
者九萬里,絕雲氣,負青天,然後圖南,且適南冥也。斥鴳笑之曰:彼 且奚適也?我騰躍而上,不過數仞而下,翱翔蓬蒿之間,此亦飛之至也 , 而 彼 且 奚 適 也 ? Ibid. Chapter 1) Meanwhile, a turtledove that is

learning to fly also derided the Pang, saying: I can fly suddenly upward and alight on an elm or a sandal tree. Sometimes, when I cannot make it, all I had to do is to alight on the ground. What is the point of going ninety thousand miles to the South? Those familiar with their terrain could already get three meals and return (on the same day) with a full stomach. Those who go one hundred miles would have to carry enough grain for their overnight stay. Those who go one thousand miles would have to bring enough grain to last three months. (學 鳩 笑 之 曰 : 我 決 起 而
飛,槍榆枋而止,時則不至而控於地而已矣,奚以這九萬里而南為?適 莽蒼者,三餐而反,腹猶果然;適百里者,宿舂糧;適千里者,三月聚 糧。Ibid.)

But the question is this, inserted Zhuan-zi: How could these two little creatures know that this is really so? (之 二 蟲 又 何 知 !

Those who know little are not able to understand those who know a lot. Those who are short-lived are not able to understand those with long lifespan. .... The fungi that sprout in the morning (and wither in the evening) do not know night from day, and cicadas (which live only for a season) do not know the difference between spring and autumn. .... And there was this huge tree in the ancient past that would take spring as well as autumn to last eight thousand years. (小 知 不 及 大 知 , 小 年
Ibid.) 不及大年。 ......朝菌不知晦朔,蟪蛄不知春秋, .....上古有大椿者,以八 千歲為春,八千歲為秋 。Ibid.)

The point Zhuan-zi was getting at is therefore this. For what have come to be known, what man knows is much less than what he does not know. The time when a man is alive is much shorter than the time when he is not. To try and comprehend that which is boundless with the finitude of one’s life could only lead to more puzzles than understanding. (计 人 之
所知,不若其所不知;其生之时,不若未生之时; 以其至小,求穷其 至 大 之 域 , 是 故 迷 乱 而 不 能 自 得 也 。 Ibid. Chapter 17) Besides, of

the myriad kinds of things in the world, humanity is but one of them. Human beings live in regions where grains grow, and also where boats and carriages come and go. An individual man is but one of them. Compared with all the things (in the world), isn’t an individual man but a tiny hair on a horse? (号物之数谓之
万,人处一焉;人卒九州,谷食之所生,舟车之所通。 人处一焉。 此其 比 万 物 也 , 不 似 豪 末 之 在 于 马 体 乎 ? Ibid. Chapter 17) Hence, to

know where to stop at what one does not know is already perfect. (故知止其所不知,至矣。 Ibid. Chapter 2) Nevertheless, as Zhuan-zi further explained, even though the knowledge of man is limited, one can still know the working of Nature on the basis of what is yet to be known. (人 之 于 知 也 少 , 虽 少 , 恃 其 所 不 知 而 后 知 天 之 所 谓 也 。Ibid. Chapter 24) For this reason, one must inquire unceasingly, though not without limits. (其问之也,不可以有崖,而不可以无崖。Ibid. Chapter 24) It is also to be appreciated that knowledge that is profound would encompass things both near and far. It would not regard what is small as insignificant, or what is large to be important. There is

no limit to what can be known. One must seek to understand both past and present, rather than be bogged down and crippled by the remote past. The flow of time is unceasing and without 证曏今故, end. (是故大知观于远近,故小而不寡,大而不多,知量无穷。
故遥而不 闷 ,掇而不跂,知 时 无止。 Ibid. Chapter 17)

Comment: What Zhuan-zi was saying, I believe, is that since what one knows is always less than what one does not know, it is not to be assumed that what one knows has therefore got to be the truth and nothing but the truth. Given the fact that there is no limit to what can be known, one must inquire unceasingly regarding things big and small, past and present, as well as near and far. Further, care should also be taken not to cripple the mind with the teaching of anyone, ancient or modern. As time does not stand still, neither should the understanding of anyone.

Relativity of all Values Now, according to Zhuan-zi, not only is human knowledge myopic, man is also not the measure of all things. Have you not heard about the story of a seabird? When it stopped outside the capital of Lu, the lord of Lu went out to welcome it with wine from the temple. He also ordered Cho-chu (his musician) to entertain it, as well as slaughtering animals for it to eat. But the bird appeared dazed and sorrowful. And in three days, it died.
(且 汝 独 不 闻 邪 ? 昔 者 海 鸟 止 于 鲁 郊 , 鲁 侯 御 而 觞 之 于 庙 , 奏 九 韶 以 为 乐,具太牢以为膳。鸟乃眩视忧悲,不敢食一脔,不敢饮一杯,三日而 死。 Ibid. Chapter 18) As Bian-zi said: this is called nourishing a

bird in man’s way. If a bird is to be nourished in the bird’s way, it should be allowed to perch in the forest, to fly over rivers and lakes, and to eat snakes on the ground. (扁 子 曰 : 此 之 谓 以 己 养 养
鸟也。若夫以鸟养养鸟者,宜栖之深林,浮之江湖,食之以委蛇,则平 陆而已矣。Ibid. Chapter 19)

Another thing to note, said Zhuan-zi, is that if a man sleeps in a damp place, he will have pain in his loins, become sick, and die. Is that true of ells? If a man lives up in a tree, he will tremble with fear. Is that true of monkeys? Which of the three really knows the right place to be. (民 濕 寢 則 腰 疾 偏 死 , 鰍 然

乎 哉 ? 木 處 則 惴 慄 恂 懼 , 猿 猴 然 乎 哉 ? 三 者 孰 知 正 處 ? Ibid. Chapter 2) People eat vegetable and meat; but deer eat tender grass.

Centipedes enjoy snakes, whereas owls and crows eat mice. Which of the four really knows the right taste. (民食 芻豢 ,麋 鹿食 薦 , 蝍 且 甘 帶 , 鴟 鴉 耆 鼠 , 四 者 孰 知 正 味 ? Ibid. ) Further, Maochiang and Li-chi were known by man to be beautiful. But at the sight of them, fishes would plunge deep, birds would fly high, and deers would dash away. Which of these four is really correct about what is beautiful in the world? (毛 嬙 麗 姬 , 人 之 所
美也;魚見之深入,鳥見之高飛,麋鹿見之決驟,四者孰知天下之正色 哉 ? Ibid. ) It should thus be seen that man is not the measure of

all things. For what is also known, fish can only survive in water while man will die in it. ... Water is life to fish, but death to man. As man and fish are different, they are bound to like and 彼必 dislike different things. (鱼处水而生,人处水而死。 相 与 异 , 其好 恶 故 异 也 。 Ibid. Chapter 18) Similarly, due to the peculiarity of inborn natures, a battering ram can knock down a city wall, but it cannot fill a hole. It is good only for a specific purpose. A good steed can gallop a thousand miles a day, but it cannot catch mice as a weasel. Different tasks require different skills. An owl can catch fleas and see the tip of a feather at night, but it cannot see the hills with its eyes in open daylight. Such are the peculiarities of inborn natures. (梁 丽 可 以 冲 城 而 不 可 以 窒 穴 ,
言殊器也;骐骥骅骝一日而驰千里,捕鼠不如狸狌,言殊技也;鸱鸺夜 撮蚤,察毫末,昼出瞋目而不见丘山,言殊性也。Ibid. Chapter 17)

Furthermore, take the case of humble creatures that have to crawl on the ground. The monopode said to the centipede: I move with only one leg; it is easy as easy can be. How can you really move with so many legs? The centipede said: ... I just move according to the arrangement of nature. But I do not know how it is really done. (夔 谓 蚿 曰 : 吾 以 一 足 趻 踔 而 行 , 予 无 如
矣。今子之使万足,独奈何?蚿曰: ......今予动吾天机,而不知其所以 然 。 Ibid.) Meanwhile, the centipede also asks the snake: I move

with many legs but you have none, why is it that I cannot move as well as you? The snake said: that is easy, I just move

according to the arrangement of nature. Why must I move with legs? (蚿 谓 蛇 曰 : 吾 以 众 足 行 , 而 不 及 子 之 无 足 , 何 也 ? 蛇 曰 : 夫 天

What that shows, according to Zhuan-zi, is that there is no point to argue about the use or uselessness of anything. If a thing is useful because it can do something, it should follow that everything is useful. Likewise, if a thing is not useful because it cannot do something, it should also follow that everything is useless. (以 功 观 之 , 因 其 所 有 而 有 之 , 则 万 物 莫 不 有 ; 因 其 所 无 而 无 之 , 则 万 物 莫 不 无 。 Ibid.) But from the view of Dao, things are neither noble nor despicable. (以 道 观 之 , 物 无 贵 贱 ; Ibid. ) They are produced by Dao, and are what they are. (道 行 之 而 成 , 物 謂 之 而 然 。 Ibid. Chapter 2) In and of themselves, they are neither this nor that. They are also neither right nor wrong. (物 無 非 彼 , 物無非是。 自彼則不見,自知則知之。 Ibid.) In their own way, things are what they are, and everything is permissible. There is nothing that is not so, and there is nothing that is not permissible. (物固有所然,物固有所可。無物不然,無物不可。Ibid.) It is also to be observed that in the affairs of man, it is timing that determines what is noble and what is despicable. There is no one constant (universal standard of judgment). (贵贱 有 时 ,未 可 以 为常 也 。Ibid. Chapter 17) Emperors and kings gave up their thrones in different ways, and the three dynasties (of Xia, Shun and Zhou) were succeeded in different fashions. Those who were ill timed and went against the establishment were called usurpers; but those who were well timed and conformed to popular culture were called righteous men. (帝王 殊
禅,三代殊继。差其时,逆其俗者,谓之篡夫;当其时,顺其俗者,谓 之义之徒。Ibid. Chapter 17)

Comment: What Zhuan-zi was saying is basically this. Firstly, since different creatures value and abhor different things, man is not the measure of all things. Secondly, for reason of different inborn natures, every creature is valuable for it can do, and nothing is inherently right or wrong. Thirdly, all value judgments have got to be seen as relative to the situation and time in which they occur. These judgments are not governed

by any universal and time-honored standard. Thus, given the fact the natural endowment of every individual is not exactly one and the same, there is no reason for anyone to think that what he takes to be good and valuable has got to be the standard for all mankind. As he put it: One cannot see the view of another. One only knows about oneself. (自彼 則 不 見,自知則知之。 Ibid. Chapter 2) As readers can see, what is being put forward is a kind of “relativistic value theory”.

Futility of Arguments But the question is this: could issues about right and wrong not be decided on the basis of arguments? No, said Zhuan-zi. You and I may argue. If you beat me instead of me beating you, are you really right and I am really wrong? If I beat you instead of you beating me, am I really right and you are really wrong? (既
使我與若辯矣,若勝我,我不若勝若果是也?我果非也邪?我勝若,若 不 吾 勝 , 我 果 是 也 ? 而 果 非 也 邪 ? Ibid.) If neither you nor I know

which is right, others would also be in the dark. Who else is able to arbitrate? If we ask someone who agrees with you, since he has already agreed with you, how can he arbitrate? If we ask someone who agrees with me, since he has already agreed with me, how can he arbitrate? (我與若不能相知也。則人固受其黮闇,吾
誰使正之?使同乎若者正之?既與若同矣,惡能正之!使同乎我者正之 ? 既同乎我矣,惡能正之!Ibid.)

On the other hand, if we ask someone who disagrees with both you and me to arbitrate, since he has already disagreed with you and me, how can he arbitrate? Thus, if you and I, as well as others are not able to agree on what is really right, should we wait for yet another to arbitrate? (使 異 乎 我 與 若 者 正 之 ?
既異乎我與若矣,惡能正之!然則我與若與人俱不能相知也,而待彼也 邪 ? Ibid.) It should thus be seen that if what is deemed to be

right is really right, the fact that others deem it to be wrong should leave no room for debate. If what is so is really so, the fact that others deem it to be not so should also leave no room for debate. (是若果 是也, 則是之 異乎不 是也亦 無辯; 然若果 然也, 則

What that shows, according to Zhuan-zi, is that there are things that analyses are not able to dissect, and there are debates that arguments are not able to settle. (故分也者,有不分也 ; 辯 也 者 , 有 不 辯 也 。 Ibid.) This is how controversies between Confucians and Mohists arose. Each of them regards as right what the other holds to be wrong, and regard as wrong what the other considers to be right. It is not possible to make clear that what the other takes to be right is really wrong, and what the other regard as wrong to be really right. (故 有儒 墨之 是非 ,以 是其
所 非 而 非其 所 是 。 欲 是其 所 非 而 非 其所 是 , 則 莫 若以 明 。 Ibid.)

Hence, said Zhuan-zi: For what I can see, the standard of humaneness and righteousness as well as that of right and wrong are really confused. I do not know what to make of their arguments. (自 我 觀 之, 仁 義 之 端 ,是 非 之 塗 , 樊然 殽 亂 , 吾 惡能 知 其 辯 ! Ibid.) All I know is that Dao that is displayed is not Dao, and speech that argues is not able to settle. (道 昭 而 不 道 , 言 辯 而 不 及 , Ibid.) This is why the sage would rather keep things to himself, while other people would argue just to show off. As it is said: he who argues does not really see. (聖 人 懷 之 , 眾 人 辯 之 以 相
示 也 。 故曰 : 辯 也 者 ,有 不 見 也 。 Ibid.)

Comment: What Zhuan-zi was asserting is therefore this. Given the fact that all value judgments are relative to the views of their propagators, what should or should not be preferred is by nature not objectively decidable. Even if many were of the view that such and such should indeed be preferred, the fact remains that some would still insist otherwise. Superiority in number does not connote superiority of value. Furthermore, given the fact that what is known is always less than what is yet to be known, what is universally deemed to be right at any one time or place is not able to guarantee that it is also right for all times and for all places.

Now, in virtue of the above arguments, it may appear that Zhuan-zi would want to call for the eradication of all dogmatic non-Daoist points of view. But this is not what he had in mind. For what he had come to see: all things come in different kinds

and interface with each other in different ways. They all begin and end in cycles, beyond the understanding of man. This is also what is called the balance (or parity) of Nature. (万 物 皆 种也 ,
以 不 同 形 相 禅 , 始 卒 若 环 , 莫 得 其 论 , 是 谓 天 均 。 Ibid. Chapter 27)

That is to say, there is a natural role and rightful place for everything in this world. As to why all deviant teachings should not be rejected, his answer is that those who think so do not understand the principle of Heaven and Earth as well as the natural temperament of all things. It is like saying that there should be Heaven without Earth; and that all should be yin rather than yang, which is clearly impossible. Those who still talk in this way are either stupid or abnormal. (是 未 明 天 地 之 理 , 万 物 之 情 者
也 。 犹 师 天 而无 地 , 师阴 而无阳 , 其 不 可行 明 矣。 且 语 而 不舍 , 非 愚 是 然 则 诬 也 。 Ibid. Chapter 17) Note should also be taken that it is the

nature of things to divide so as to combine, and combine so as to disintegrate. (道通 , 其 分 也 ,成 也 ; 其 成 也, 毀 也 。Ibid. Chapter 2) Where there is life, there is death; and where there is death, there is life. Where there is possibility, there is impossibility; and where there is impossibility, there is also possibility. For anything that one takes to be right, there will always be others who would take it to be wrong, and vice versa. (方 生 方 死 , 方 死 方
生 ; 方 可方 不 可 , 方 不可 方 可 ; 因 是因 非 , 因 非 因是 。 Ibid.)

Zhuan-zi’s advice is therefore this: Do not block the operation of Dao with willful preoccupations. One should be grateful for what is little as one would with that which is much. To neglect one or the other is to deviate from the Dao of Nature.
(无 拘 而 志 , 与 道 大 蹇 。 何 少 何 多 , 是 谓 谢 施 ; 无 一 而 行 , 与 道 参 差 。 Ibid. ) Be strict and impartial as a king. Make offerings not for

your own benefits, but for the blessing of society – in four directions and without limit. In short, one should embrace all things from all sides. (严乎 若 国 之 有 君, 其 无 私 德 ;繇 繇 乎 若 祭 之有
社,其无私福;泛泛乎其若四方之无穷,其无所畛域。兼怀万物,其孰承 翼 。 Ibid.) It is also to be kept in mind that what sound contrary

could in fact be complementary. Given time, they will also be harmonized by the slow-moving processes of Nature. (化 聲 之 相

待 , 若 其 不 相 待 。 和 之 以 天 倪 , 因 之 以 曼 衍 , 所 以 窮 年 也 。 Ibid. Chapter 2) This is what is meant by saying that only a perfect

man is able to wander freely in the world without any prejudice, and to get along with others without losing his individuality. He does not study the teaching of others, but would not reject them either. (唯至 人乃能 游于世 而不僻 ,顺人 而不失 己。彼教不学 ,承意 不
彼 。 Ibid. Chapter 26)

Comment: Simply put, as it takes all kinds to make a world, one must try and embrace all regardless of their views. Be concerned about their welfare without partiality. Accept contrasts and differences, and dwell on complementarities as well as commonalities. In this way, not only would controversies and conflicts be averted, social peace and harmony may also be realized in the end. Such is the way of the Daoist sage.

That Zhuan-zi had indeed tried to practice what he preached is to be seen in the following exchange between him and Hui-zi (惠 子 leader of the School of Debaters) about the feeling of fishes in water, as well as what he said to Hui-zi regarding Confucius, Moh-zi, and their teachings: Zhuan-zi said: fishes are happy to swim leisurely in the water. Hui-zi said: you are not a fish, how do you know whether or not they are happy? Zhuan-zi said: you are not me, how do you know that I do not know about the happiness of fishes. Hui-zi said: From the fact that I do not know your state of mind because I am not you, it follows that you cannot know whether or not fishes are happy (because you are not a fish). 庄 子 与 惠 子
游 于 濠 梁之 上。 庄子 曰 : 儵 鱼 出 游从 容 , 是 鱼 之 乐 也。 惠子 曰 :子 非 鱼 , 安知鱼之乐?庄子曰:子非我,安知我不知鱼之乐?惠子曰:我非子, 固 不 知 子 矣 ; 子 固 非 鱼 也 , 子 之 不 知 鱼 之 乐 , 全 矣 ! Ibid. Chapter 17) For what is also told, as constant sparring partners and good

friends, they could only agree to disagree. Zhuan-zi said to Hui-zi: Confucius transformed sixty times in sixty years. He negated in the end what he affirmed at the beginning. It is hard to say whether he would approve today of what he disapproved when he was fifty-nine. To this, Hui-zi

replied: Confucius was diligent and learned. Zhuan-zi again said: Confucius has already passed away, and it is no longer possible to hear what he has to say. ... All we know is that he considered his own words to be rules and regulations. He was trying to convince others regarding the difference between profit and righteousness, good and evil, as well as right and wrong. His objective was to win the heart of man so as to stabilize the world. And I must say that I am not his equal in this regard. (庄 子 谓 惠 子 曰 :孔子行年六十而六十化。始时所是,卒而
非 之 。未知 今 之 所 谓 是 之, 非 五 十 九非 也 。惠 子 曰: 孔 子 勤 志 服知 也 。庄 子 曰 : 孔子 谢 之矣 , 而其 未 之 尝 言。 ......鸣而当律,言而当法。 利义陈乎 前,而好恶是非直服人之口而已矣。 使人乃以心服而不敢蘁,立定天下 之 定 。 已乎 , 已 乎 ! 吾且 不 得 及 彼 乎 !Ibid. Chapter 27)

On the other hand, Moh-zi advocated universal love, mutual benefit, and non-violence. He was studious and well read, but not in agreement with the former kings. He wanted to do away with all ancient rituals and music. (墨子泛爱兼利而非斗,又好学而
博 , 不 异 , 不 与 先 王 同 , 毁 古 之 礼 乐 。 Chapter 33)

Toward this

end, he worked hard all his life, and left behind only a few things when he died. But his doctrine is too harsh and difficult to follow. It makes people sad and anxious, and should not be regarded as the way of the sages. It is repulsive to the mind of man and is not tolerated by the world. Even if Moh-zi himself could follow his own doctrine, how could the rest of the world? It has deviated from the way of the world, and is also far from the way of kings. (其 生 也 勤 , 其 死 也 薄 , 其 道 大 觳 。 使 人 忧 , 使 人 悲 ,
其 行 难为 也。 其不 可 以 为 圣 人之 道 , 反 天下 之 心 , 天 下不 堪。 恐 墨子 虽 独 能 任 , 奈 天 下 何 ! 离 于 天 下 , 其 去 王 亦 远 矣 。 Ibid.) Nevertheless,

Moh-zi was still well loved by the world. Someone like him is not easy to find. Though exhausted, he refused to give up. He was indeed a talented intellectual. (虽然,墨子真天下之好也,将求
之 不 得 也; 虽 枯槁 不 舍也 , 才 士 也 夫! Ibid.) =============================================================

Peter M.K. Chan is the author of The Mystery of Mind (published 2003),

and Soul, God, and Morality (published 2004). Recently, he has also competed any work titled The Six Patriarchs of Chinese Humanism (copyrighted and available in ebooks, but not yet in print). For details regarding the above, please visit