Zhuāngzi 350 BC

About us
Contact us


Slideshow  Timeline  Comments (0)

Image is of one of Zhuangzi's decendants in his home town of 商丘 Shangqiu in Henan Province.

"‘Zhuangzi’ is the name of the second foundational text of the Daoist philosophical and religious tradition and the name of the putative author of this text, who early historical sources say flourished between about 350 and 300 B.C.E. As one of the two most popular Daoist texts in the Chinese tradition, the Zhuangzi has been the subject of more than sixty major East Asian commentaries since the third century C.E., some of which contain philosophically significant interpretations of the text. The most important of these are the commentary by Guo Xiang, which focuses on his understanding of Zhuangzi's philosophy of spontaneity, the commentary by Cheng Xuanying (ca. 620-670), a religious Daoist master with strong interests in emptiness theory, and commentaries by the following Sung and Ming dynasty literati scholars: Wang Pang (1042-76), Lin Xiyi (ca. 1200-73), Lo Miandao (ca. 1240-1300), and Jiao Hong (1541-1620). None of these has been fully translated into English and modern studies of them in any language are few, thus yielding a fertile field for future research. The existence of these commentaries demonstrates the great popularity of the Zhuangzi among Chinese literati who saw within it support for a withdrawal from a life of social and political service into a private life of reclusion and self-cultivation. If Confucianism came to stand for the foundational philosophy of this ethos of self-sacrifice, the Daoism of the Zhuangzi came to stand for its opposite, the escape from societal pressure into an individual path of freedom. While thus important to literati scholars, the work was also significant for Daoist religious practitioners who often took ideas and themes from it for their meditation practice, for example Sima Chengzhen's ‘Treatise on Sitting and Forgetting’ (ca. 660 C.E.) (Kohn 1987)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Free and Easy Wandering 逍遙游

Related Items:
Dòule Māotóuyīng Doyle Owl 鬥了貓頭鷹
Hénán 河南
Shāngqiū 商丘
Zhuāngzi Gùlǐ 莊子故裡