Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/339

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CAP. XXIII.]
305
Kêng Sang Ch’u

This is the highest point. It is exhaustive. There is no adding to it.

"The second best was that of those who started from existence. Life was to them a misfortune. Death was a return home. There was already separation.

"The next in the scale said that at the beginning there was nothing. Then life came, to be quickly followed by death. They made Nothing the head, Life the trunk, and Death the tail of existence, claiming as friends whoever knew that existence and non-existence, and life and death were all One.

"These three classes, though different, were of the same clan; as were Chao Ching who inherited fame, and Chia who inherited territory.

The fact of inheritance was the same, but not the thing inherited,—by these men of Ch’u.
There are various interpretations of this passage. No two commentators agree.

"Man's life is as the soot on a kettle.

Meaning, concentrated smoke.

Yet men speak of the subjective point of view. But this subjective point of view will not bear the test. It is a point of knowledge we cannot reach.

Individual standards are fallacious. What is subjective from one point of view is objective from another.

"At the winter sacrifice, the tripe may be separated from the great toe; yet these cannot be separated.

Each carries away the characteristics of the whole.