Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/27

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xxi
Note on the Philosophy of Chaps. i-vii.

and the contempt for common views is indeed equally marked in Eleaticism, and there is much in Chuang Tzŭ which recalls Parmenides,[1] so far as the contrast between the way of truth and the way of error, the true belief in the One and the popular belief in the Many, is concerned. But it seems to me that the "One" of Chuang Tzŭ is not the dead Unit of Eleaticism, which resulted from the thinking away of differences, but the living Unity of Heracleitus, in which contraries co-exist. Heracleitus, indeed, seems to have been a man after Chuang Tzŭ's own heart, not only in his obscurity, which won for him the title of ὁ σκοτεινὸς, but in his indifference to worldly position, shown in the fact that, like the Emperor Yao, he abdicates in his brother's favour (Diog. Laert. ix. 1), and in his supercilious disregard for the learned like Hesiod and Pythagoras and Xenophanes and Hecataeus,[2] no less than for the common people[3] of his day.

"Listen," says Heracleitus, "not to me, but to reason, and confess the true wisdom that 'All things are One.'"[4] "All is One, the divided and the undivided, the begotten and the unbegotten, the mortal and the immortal, reason and eternity, father and son, God and justice."[5] "Cold is hot, heat is cold, that which is moist is parched, that which is dried up is wet."[6] "Good and evil are the same."[7] "Gods are mortal, men immortal: our life is their death, our death their life."[8] "Upward and downward are the same."[9] "The beginning and the end are one."[10] "Life and death, sleeping and waking, youth and age are identical."[11]

This is what reason tells the philosopher. "All is One." The world is a unity of opposing forces (παλίντροπος ἁρμονίη κόσμον ὅκωσπερ λύρας καὶ τόξου).[12] "Join together whole and not whole, agreeing and different, harmonious and discordant. Out of all comes one: out of one all."[13] "God is day-night, winter-summer, war-peace, repletion-want."[14] The very rhythm of nature is strife. War, which men hate and the poets would banish, "is the father and lord of all."[15] But "men are without understanding, they hear and hear not,"[16] or "they hear and understand not."[17]


  1. See the fragments in Ritter and Preller's Hist. Phil. Græc. § 93 and § 94 a. b. Seventh edition.
  2. Heracl. Eph. Rell. Bywater, xvi.
  3. ὀχλολοίδορος Ἡράκλειτος. Timon ap. Diog. Laert. ix. i.
  4. Οὐκ ἐμεῦ ἀλλὰ τοῦ λογου ἀκουσάντας ὁμολογέειν σοφόν ἐστι ἓν πάντα εἶναι. Heracl. Eph. Rell. i.
  5. Hippolytus Ref. haer. ix. 9.
  6. Heracl. Eph. Rell. xxxix.
  7. Ibid., lvii.
  8. Ibid., lxvii.
  9. Ibid., lxix.
  10. Ibid., lxx.
  11. Ibid., lxxviii.
  12. Ibid., xlv.
  13. Ibid., lix.
  14. Ibid., xxxvi.
  15. Ibid., xliv.
  16. Ibid., iii.
  17. Ibid., v.