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Daoism -> Zhuangzi -> Miscellaneous Chapters -> The Old Fisherman -> 4

孔子Confucius looked sorrowful and sighed.
(Again) he bowed twice, and then rose up and said,
'I was twice driven from Lu.
I had to flee from Wei;
the tree under which I rested was cut down in Song;
I was kept in a state of siege between Chen and Cai.
I do not know what errors I had committed
?」 that I came to be misrepresented on these four occasions (and suffered as I did).'
The stranger looked grieved (at these words), changed countenance, and said,
'Very difficult it is, Sir, to make you understand.
There was a man who was frightened at his shadow and disliked to see his footsteps, so that he ran to escape from them.
But the more frequently he lifted his feet, the more numerous his footprints were;
and however fast he ran, his shadow did not leave him.
He thought he was going too slow,
and ran on with all his speed without stopping,
till his strength was exhausted and he died.
He did not know that, if he had stayed in a shady place, his shadow would have disappeared,
and that if he had remained still, he would have lost his footprints:
his stupidity was excessive!
And you, Sir, exercise your judgment on the questions about benevolence and righteousness;
you investigate the points where agreement and difference touch;
you look at the changes from movement to rest and from rest to movement;
you have mastered the rules of receiving and giving;
you have defined the feelings of liking and disliking;
you have harmonised the limits of joy and anger:
and yet you have hardly been able to escape (the troubles of which you speak).
If you earnestly cultivated your own person,
and carefully guarded your (proper) truth,
simply rendering to others what was due to them,
then you would have escaped such entanglements.
But now, when you do not cultivate your own person, and make the cultivation of others your object,
!」 are you not occupying yourself with what is external?'

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