Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/133

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CHAPTER VIII.

Joined Toes.

Argument:—Virtues should be natural, not artificial; passive not active.
[Chs. viii to xiii inclusive are illustrative of, or supplementary to, ch. vii.]

JOINED toes and extra fingers are an addition to nature, though, functionally speaking, superfluous. Wens and tumours are an addition to the bodily form, though, as far as nature is concerned, superfluous. And similarly, to include charity and duty to one's neighbour among the functions of man's organism, is not true Tao.

The whole of this chapter is a violent tirade against the leading doctrines of Confucianism.

For just as joined toes are but useless lumps of flesh, and extra fingers but useless excrescences, so are any artificial additions to our internal economy but harmful adjuncts to real charity and duty to one's neighbour,

Which are the outcome of Tao.

and are moreover prejudicial to the right use of intelligence.

People with extra keenness of vision muddle themselves over the five colours, exaggerate the value of shades, and of distinctions of greens