This page is written in collaboration with Raymond Sigrist, student of Zhuangzi mysticism http://www.apophaticmysticism.com/
Not much is know about the historical life of Chuang Tzu. The Chinese hisorian Ssu-ma Chien sets his date to the 4th century BC.
The Taoist book Zhuangzi of the same name as the author is a composite of writings from various sources. The traditional view is that Chuang Tzu himself wrote the first several chapters (the "inner" chapters) and his students and related thinkers were responsible for the other parts (the "outer" and "miscellaneous" chapters). Strong proof of direct authorship by Chuang Tzu of any of the text is difficult.
general, Chuang Tzu's philosophy is rather antinomian,
arguing that our life is limited and things to know are unlimited. To
use the limited to pursue the unlimited, he said, was foolish. Our
etc. are all biased with our own perspective so we should be hesitant
in concluding that our conclusions are equally right for all things.
Chuang Tzu's thought can also be
considered a precursor of multiculturalism and pluralism
of systems of value. His pluralism even leads him to doubt the basis of
pragmatic arguments (that a course of action preserves our lives) since
this presupposes that life is good and death bad. In the fourth section
of "The Great Happiness" (the 18th chapter of
the book), Chuang Tzu expresses pity to a skull he sees lying at the
side of the
road. Chuang Tzu laments that the skull is now dead, but the skull
retorts, "How do you know it's bad to be dead?"
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