A Brief Biography of Chuang Tzu

"Chuang Tzu (369? - 268 B.C.) was a leading thinker representing the Taoist strain in Chinese thought. Using parable and anecdote, allegory and paradox, he set forth the early ideas of what was to become the Taoist school. Central in these is the belief that only by understanding Tao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in unity can man achieve true happiness and be truly free, in both life and death. Witty and imaginative, enriched by brilliant imagery, making sportive use of both mythological and historical personages (including even Confucius), the book which bears Chuang Tzu's name has for centuries been savored by Chinese readers."

(The selections on this web site) are from the translation, by Burton Watson, of Chuang Tzu's basic writings, which includes the seven "inner chapters," which form the heart of the book, three of the "outer chapters," and one of the "miscellaneous chapters."

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The Chuang Tzu