Books on Chuang Tzu:
The Empty Boat (in English)
When the Shoe Fits (in English)
Chuang Tzu is a rare flowering, because to become nobody is the most difficult, almost impossible, most extraordinary thing in the world.
Chuang Tzu says: To be ordinary is to be the sage. Nobody recognizes you, nobody feels that you are somebody extraordinary. Chuang Tzu says: You go in the crowd and you mix, but no one knows that a buddha has entered the crowd. No one comes to feel that somebody is different, because if someone feels it then there is bound to be anger and calamity. Whenever someone feels that you are somebody, his own anger, his own ego is hurt. He starts reacting, he starts attacking you.
– The Empty Boat, Chapter #1
Chuang Tzu says that the real, the divine, the existential, is to be attained by losing yourself completely in it. Even the effort to attain it becomes a barrier — then you cannot lose yourself. Even the effort to lose yourself becomes a barrier.
– When the Shoe Fits, Chapter #1
Chuang Tzu says: Even the distance of a hair is enough, and heaven and earth fall apart. Just the distance of a hair — not much at all, almost negligible — but it is enough to separate earth from heaven. When even that much difference is not there, one is enlightened.
– Theologia Mystica, Chapter #15
Chuang Tzu is very rare — in a way the most unique mystic in the whole history of man. His uniqueness is that he talks in absurdities. All his poems and stories are just absurd. And his reason to choose absurdity as his expression is very significant: the mind has to be silenced. With anything rational, it cannot stop; it goes on and on. Anything logical and the mind finds nourishment through it. It is only the absurd that suddenly shocks the mind — it is beyond mind’s grasp.
His stories, his poems and his other statements are so absurd that either people simply left him, thinking that he is mad…. Those who were courageous enough to remain with him found that no other meditation is needed. Just listening to his absurd statements, the mind stops functioning. And that is the meaning of meditation.
Meditation is not of the mind.
– The Razor’s Edge, Chapter #14
Chuang Tzu is one of my love affairs, and when you talk about someone you love you are bound to use extremes, exaggerations, but to me they don’t sound like that. I could give the whole kingdom of the world to Chuang Tzu for any single parable that he wrote — and he wrote hundreds. Each is a SERMON ON THE MOUNTAIN, a SONG OF SOLOMON, a BHAGAVADGITA. Each parable represents so much, and so richly, that it is immeasurable.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #14