Little is known of the life of this ancient Chinese sage, but his wisdom and laughter reach across the centuries to speak directly to people's lives today. Chuang Tsu saw through the illusory nature of this world, anticipating Zen Buddhism with its emphasis on the power of emptiness. With soaring fantasy and sometimes not so gentle humor, Chuang Tsu addresses anyone seeking enlightenment in the midst of all the problems of life.
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I invite you to my web page to see some of the book's pages with Gia'fu Feng's Chinese calligraphy on Jane English's black and white photos of nature.From the Author:
Foreword to the 1997 edition
The first book I did with Gia-fu Feng, the Tao Te Ching, was published in 1972. A year later Gia-fu decided that we were going to work on a book of writings by Chuang Tsu, who I had never heard of. He pulled it out and started reading it. Even after working with the Tao Te Ching, I couldn't comprehend what Chuang Tsu was getting at, though there were some parts, like chapter two, which really delighted me. We did it the same way we did the Tao Te Ching, by working with the translations at group meetings at our big communal house in Colorado. Looking back I see that Chuang Tsu is quite humorous, but we were being very serious about it, even arguing about what it meant. It was quite a process.
One of the things I personally like about Chuang Tsu, compared to the Tao Te Ching, is that it is not as pure. The Tao Te Ching seems almost unreachable. I'm imperfect, and Chuang Tsu is about imperfections. Like chapter five, about hunchback no toes. That's the chapter where I put all my funny, odd little pictures of bones and feet and that beautiful cow pie.
The book had the same format as the Tao Te Ching, but there weren't as many full page pictures. I'd run out because we'd finished the Tao Te Ching only two years earlier. I hadn't taken that many good, new pictures in just a year or a year and a half. In this new edition I have chosen the best of my photographs from the past twenty years to replace some of the old ones. When I was choosing photographs to use I recalled the process of putting the book together back in 1973. And here I was almost 25 years later delighting in doing it again!
I never studied art, except in elementary and junior high school, but I spent a lot of my time growing up, out in the woods looking at nature. I drank it in and I saw the balance, the harmony, the movement and how it all fit together. With my photographs, even before I met Gia-fu, I'd imagine them as a Chinese landscape paintings. I knew right where the calligraphy would go! I don't know where that came from, though some of my ancestors went to China on clipper ships, and there were a few oriental things around our house. But nature is one ancestry we all share, Chinese or not.
In a way, the calligraphy and the photographs do an end run around our Western logical minds. It keeps our interest, even when our logical minds are going, "What?" Perhaps the confusion we westerners sometimes feel while reading Chuang Tsu comes from certain standards and assumptions we're making about what ought to happen when we read something--that there ought to be a linear, logical way of understanding it. But in Chuang Tsu linearity is simply not there. The reader assumes it is linear, then thinks there is something wrong with their own understanding when Chuang Tsu doesn't make linear sense.
But now, almost 25 years after our translation of Chuang Tsu was first published I think people are more ready for it. Things have fallen apart more. It's getting more and more obvious that some of the rational, linear ways of approaching things don't work. So there is more openness, as there is in medicine, to alternatives. The solutions to many of the difficulties arising today are not going to be mechanical or scientific solutions, or even political solutions, they're going to have to be spiritual solutions. It has to do with how we see ourselves and what is. Chuang Tsu can help us with this.
It is a great honor to be working on this book. I sometimes wonder, "How did I get to be doing this? This is such a delight!" I hope that you too will be delighted by Chuang Tsu's wisdom and sense of humor. - Jane English, November 1996
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Descripción Vintage, 1974. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Prompt attention. Free tracking. New. Nº de ref. de la librería JUN11-160711113703-763
Descripción Vintage, 1974. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110394719905
Descripción Vintage, 1974. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0394719905