I’m looking for the original phrase by Zhuangzi where he mentions that the ideal “recluse” is the one who finds reclusion within his own mind and can still remain a part of society. Anyone familiar with this passage? This was the philosophy later adopted by Tao Yuanming when he left political office and returned to the fields to farm and pursue poetry. I’d appreciate any help!
Isn’t there more than one reference to this idea?
i kinda like this one:
[quote]Once, when Chuang Tzu was fishing in the P’u River, the king of Ch’u sent two officials to go and announce to him:
Yes, I’m familiar with that parable … but it’s not the one I’m looking for. :?
yes, he was the man. sadly, i am forgetting so much these days. the one about the gnarled tree sticks in my mind…but that story doesn’t jive with the remain in society part of your search. the only other one that pops in my mind is his butterfly dream. now that was sweet. still love to ponder on that one time and again.
i’ll try to find something. but in the quest to become pretty much nothing staying IN society seems not to follow.
Is it from the 2th paragraph of "µ
It sounds a bit like part of 大宗師 第六, copied from my 莊子集釋:
I’m not sure if that was what you were looking for, but it seems pretty close.
Are you positive this was taken from Zhuangzi? I can’t recall anything like that in his writings, though I admit it’s been a long time since I’ve read them. (Too long, really. I should get them out again.) And if it were in Zhuangzi, would Tao Yuanming need to explain it (“You ask me how this could be so”) as if it were original?
i meant that i recall offhand several references to what you described to varying degrees.
Can you be more specific? is it in the ‘inner’ ‘outer’ or misc chapters? does it involve an anonymous character, the character of zhuangzi or some other known figure.
Yes, I’m positive it’s from Zhuangzi. It was footnoted in an article by Wang Kuo-yin called “The Retirement of Tao Qian (365-427): A Gentleman Who Rejected Court Summons”. The footnote says:
“Zhuangzi’s ideal man is the one who can bury himself among people and be a recluse while still living in the world. See Zhuangzi (Sibu chongkan ed.) 6.1ab/8.50b.”
Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with that edition of Zhuangzi, so I can’t seem to find it. There are a lot of parables in Zhuangzi dealing with refusing appointment to official posts, but they don’t quite touch on the point of being a recluse and remaining a part of society (as opposed to going off into the mountains) that I’m looking for … this act is what made Tao Yuanming different from all of the other recluses of his time.
At any rate, in partial answer to Cranky Laowai’s question about Tao Qian, here is the original quote from the aforementioned article that may be of some help:
“Apparently, there is no need for Tao Qian to escape to the remote ‘mountains and forests.’ His thatched hut is situated in a noisy human world, and yet with ‘the mind detached, one’s place become’s remote,’ i.e. with a detached heart he is able to maintain an inner serenity. His reclusion thus belongs to the highest type, that of the mind and spirit. This is exactly what Zhuangzi advocated in his philosophy.”
Lu Ren Jia was right … it is from 《莊子．外篇．繕性第十六》.