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Daoism -> Zhuangzi -> Outer Chapters -> The Tree on the Mountain -> 1.2

Next day,
庄子his disciples asked Zhuangzi, saying,
'Yesterday the tree on the mountain (you said)
would live out its years because of the uselessness of its wood,
and now our host's goose
has died because of its want of power (to cackle)
?”- which of these conditions, Master, would you prefer to be in?'
庄子 Zhuangzi laughed and said,
'(If I said that) I would prefer to be in a position between being fit to be useful and wanting that fitness,
that would seem to be the right position, but it would not be so,
for it would not put me beyond being involved in trouble;
whereas one who takes his seat on the Dao and its Attributes, and there finds his ease and enjoyment, is not exposed to such a contingency.
He is above the reach both of praise and of detraction;
now he (mounts aloft) like a dragon, now he (keeps beneath) like a snake;
he is transformed with the (changing) character of the time,
and is not willing to addict himself to any one thing;
now in a high position and now in a low,
he is in harmony with all his surroundings;
he enjoys himself at ease with the Author of all things;
he treats things as things, and is not a thing to them:
where is his liability to be involved in trouble?
黄帝神农This was the method of Shen Nong and Huang-Di.
As to those who occupy themselves with the qualities of things,
and with the teaching and practice of the human relations,
it is not so with them.
Union brings on separation;
success, overthrow;
sharp corners, the use of the file;
honour, critical remarks;
active exertion, failure;
wisdom, scheming;
inferiority, being despised:
where is the possibility of unchangeableness in any of these conditions?
Remember this, my disciples.
Let your abode be here - in the Dao and its Attributes.


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