It receives, but does not keep. And thus he can triumph over matter, without injury to himself.
- Without the wear and tear suffered by those who allow their activities free play.
The ruler of the southern sea was called Shu. The ruler of the northern sea was called Hu. The ruler of the central zone was called Hun Tun.
- This term is generally used to denote the condition of matter before separation and subdivision into the phenomena of the visible universe.
Shu and Hu often met on Hun Tun's territory, and being always well treated by him, determined to repay his kindness.
They said, "All men have seven holes,—for seeing, hearing, eating, and breathing. Hun Tun alone has none. We will bore some for him."
So every day they bored one hole; but on the seventh day Hun Tun died:
- Illustrating the perils of action. "The empire," says Lao Tzŭ, "is a divine trust, and may not be ruled. He who rules, ruins. He who holds by force, loses."
- "Men's actions," says Emerson, "are too strong for them."
- With this chapter Chuang Tzŭ completes the outline of his system. The remaining chapters are either supplementary to the preceding seven, or independent essays upon cognate subjects.