Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

126 Inspiring Quotes by Zhuangzi

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Zhuangzi.

Wikipedia Summary for Zhuang Zhou

Zhuang Zhou (), commonly known as Zhuangzi (Chinese: 莊子; literally "Master Zhuang"; also rendered as Chuang Tzu), was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BC during the Warring States period, a period corresponding to the summit of Chinese philosophy, the Hundred Schools of Thought. He is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name, the Zhuangzi, which is one of the foundational texts of Taoism.


white wall paint with black shadow

The sage is still not because he takes stillness to be good and therefore is still. The ten thousand things are insufficient to distract his mind -- that is the reason he is still.

--Zhuang Zhou

black bird

Being is thoughtless-beyond and beneath all categories of thought. Expression is the realization of creative thought. Being is still; expression, moving. But then if I do not strive, who will?

--Zhuang Zhou



photo of mountains

Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting point.

--Zhuang Zhou

green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

One whose inner being is fixed upon such greatness emits a Heavenly glow. Even though he has this Heavenly glow, others will see him as just a man. Someone who has reached this point will begin to be consistent.

--Zhuang Zhou

None

We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.

--Zhuang Zhou


landscape photo of mountains under starry sky at nighttime

To be constant is to be useful. To be useful is to realize one's true nature. Realization of one's true nature is happiness. When one reaches happiness, one is close to perfection.

--Zhuang Zhou

person holding sunflower bouquet during daytime

Eyes that are blind have no way to tell the loveliness of faces and features; eyes with no pupils have no way to tell the beauty of colored and embroidered silks.

--Zhuang Zhou

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

The perfect man of old looked after himself first before looking to help others.

--Zhuang Zhou

silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

A good completion takes a long time; a bad completion cannot be changed later.

--Zhuang Zhou

two gray pencils on yellow surface

Let your mind wander in simplicity, blend your spirit with the vastness, follow along with things the way they are, and make no room for personal views -- then the world will be governed.

--Zhuang Zhou

bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

He who steals a belt buckle pays with his life; he who steals a state gets to be a feudal lord.

--Zhuang Zhou




yellow sunflowers

A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a Nation.

--Zhuang Zhou

Longer Version:

When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten; when the belt fits, the belly is forgotten; when the heart is right, "for" and "against" are forgotten. There is no change in what is inside, no following what is outside, when the adjustment to events is comfortable. One begins with what is comfortable and never experiences what is uncomfortable, when one knows the comfort of forgetting what is comfortable.



top view photography of heart latte coffee

Those who count things are not worthy of assisting the people.

--Zhuang Zhou


desert under blue skies

How do I know that loving life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death I am not like a man who, having left home in his youth, has forgotten the way back?

--Zhuang Zhou

Longer Version:

How do I know that loving life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death I am not like a man who, having left home in his youth, has forgotten the way back?...someday there will be a great awakening when we know that this is all a great dream. Yet the stupid believe that they are awake, busily and brightly assuming they understand things, calling this man ruler, and that man a herdsman- how dense!




woman in white shirt sitting on brown rock near lake during daytime

Life is finite, While knowledge is infinite.

--Zhuang Zhou

blue wallpaper

Am I a human dreaming I am a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming I am a human?

--Zhuang Zhou

green grass field

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

--Zhuang Zhou


man in black shirt on pink background

The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror.

--Zhuang Zhou


selective focus photography of Russian Blue cat

You will always find an answer in the sound of water.

--Zhuang Zhou


pink and white clouds

The Tao has no place for pettiness, and nor has Virtue. Pettiness is dangerous to Virtue; pettiness is dangerous to the Tao. It is said, rectify yourself and be done.

--Zhuang Zhou

purple petaled flower on gray surface

By ethical argument and moral principle the greatest crimes are eventually shown to have been necessary, and, in fact, a signal benefit to mankind.

--Zhuang Zhou

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

To have a human form is a joyful thing.

--Zhuang Zhou



selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

The Spirit Tower has its guardian, but unless it understands who its guardian is, it cannot be guarded.

--Zhuang Zhou

red blue yellow and red paint

Luck implies an absolute absence of any principle.

--Zhuang Zhou




blooming yellow sunflower field

Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks down into the many.

--Zhuang Zhou


landscape photography of mountain hit by sun rays

Can a man cling to the positive without any negative in contrast to which it is seen to be positive? If he claims to do so he is a rouge or a madman.

--Zhuang Zhou

forest at sunset

If you wish to care for your body, first of all take care of material things, though even when you have all the things you want, the body can still be uncared for.

--Zhuang Zhou


brown nut on person's left palm

Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.

--Zhuang Zhou

silhouette of a person during sunset

Easy is right. Begin right and you are easy. Continue easy and you are right. The right way to go easy is to forget the right way, and forget that the going is easy.

--Zhuang Zhou

black mountain under blue sky during night time

Running around accusing others is not as good as laughing. And enjoying a good laugh is not as good as going along with things.

--Zhuang Zhou


yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

Where can I find a man who has forgotten words, so I can have a few words with him?

--Zhuang Zhou

body of water

Men honor what lies within the sphere of their knowledge, but do not realize how dependent they are on what lies beyond it.

--Zhuang Zhou

lightning strike at night

Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied.

--Zhuang Zhou

forest trees photograph

Men of this world all rejoice in others being like themselves, and object to others not being like themselves.

--Zhuang Zhou

brown and black butterfly on pink flower

When an archer shoots for enjoyment, he has all his skill; when he shoots for a brass buckle, he gets nervous; when he shoots for a prize of gold, he begins to see two targets.

--Zhuang Zhou

Longer Version:

When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind or sees two targets -- He is out of his mind! His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting- And the need to win drains him of power.


None

To use a finger as a metaphor for the nonfingerness of a finger is not as good as using nonfingerness as a metaphor for the nonfingerness of a finger.

--Zhuang Zhou

green background

The space under the sky is occupied by all things in their unity.

--Zhuang Zhou


blue sky and white clouds

Forget about life, forget about worrying about right and wrong. Plunge into the unknown and the endless and find your place there!

--Zhuang Zhou


purple textile in close up photography

Those who follow the Tao are of clear mind. They do not load their mind with anxieties and are flexible in their adjustment to external conditions.

--Zhuang Zhou


white pencil on black platform

When there is no more separation between 'this' and 'that,' it is called the still-point of the Tao. At the still point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things.

--Zhuang Zhou

man riding on boat on body of water

He who pursues fame at the risk of losing his self is not a scholar.

--Zhuang Zhou


A view of the night showing stars

Forget the years, forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home.

--Zhuang Zhou

Longer Version:

Forget the years, forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home!





grayscale photo of pug on floor

Perfect happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.

--Zhuang Zhou


photo of about to bloom lotus flower

The sound of water says what I think.

--Zhuang Zhou


man in green shirt and blue knit cap sitting on floor

My most interesting memory is of my first real dream. I was a caterpillar, wriggling around in the earth, just the way a caterpillar would. Following my caterpillar whims, completely unaware of anyone.

--Zhuang Zhou

Light blue to dark blue gradient

The sage embraces things. Ordinary men discriminate amongst them and parade their discriminations before others. So I say; those who discriminate, fail to see.

--Zhuang Zhou



None

If we look on heaven and earth as a single crucible, and on the creator as the founder, would there be any place I could not go? When it is time, I will fall asleep, and when the right time comes, I will wake up again.

--Zhuang Zhou


brown desert under sunny sky

Not to understand is profound; to understand is shallow. Not to understand is to be on the inside; to understand is to be on the outside.

--Zhuang Zhou

photography of starry sky

The World is Large -- Its beauty indescrible.

--Zhuang Zhou



None

I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?

--Zhuang Zhou





pink and blue painted wall

Great knowledge is universal. Small knowledge is limited. Great words are inspiring. Small words are chatter.

--Zhuang Zhou


rainbow

If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind.

--Zhuang Zhou

Longer Version:

If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.


man sitting on wooden bench near black metal railings

There are no greater adversaries than yin and yang, because nothing in Heaven or on Earth escapes them. But it is not yin and yang that do this, it is your heart that makes it so.

--Zhuang Zhou

Arizona landscape donkey

The ultimate happiness is doing nothing.

--Zhuang Zhou



brown and white abstract painting

The eye is a menace to clear sight, the ear is a menace to subtle hearing, the mind is a menace to wisdom, every organ of the senses is a menace to its own capacity.

--Zhuang Zhou

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

Do not struggle. Go with the flow of things, and you will find yourself at one with the mysterious unity of the Universe.

--Zhuang Zhou

grayscale photography of elephant

The Way is to man as rivers and lakes are to fish, the natural condition of life.

--Zhuang Zhou


lake beside green pine trees

Do not use life to give life to death. Do not use death to bring death to life.

--Zhuang Zhou

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

We are born from a quiet sleep, and we die to a calm awakening.

--Zhuang Zhou


green background

The torch of doubt and chaos, this is what the sage steers by.

--Zhuang Zhou

None

He who does his work like a machine grows a heart like a machine and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul.

--Zhuang Zhou

top view photography of heart latte coffee

Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious.

--Zhuang Zhou

Longer Version:

Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.



person holding gray leaf

Only he who has no use for the empire is fit to be entrusted with it.

--Zhuang Zhou



purple and white clouds during night time

Listening stops with the ears, the mind stops with recognition, but spirit is empty and waits on all things.

--Zhuang Zhou

sunset hgihway

To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge.

--Zhuang Zhou

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

All men know the utility of useful things; but they do not know the utility of futility.

--Zhuang Zhou

women's black and pink monokini

Things joined by profit, when pressed by misfortune and danger, will cast each other aside.

--Zhuang Zhou



car passing by in between trees

The true man breathes with his heels.

--Zhuang Zhou

white flower graphic wallpaper

The one-legged creature is envious of the millipede; the millipede is envious of the snake; the snake is envious of the wind; the wind is envious of the eye; the eye is envious of the heart.

--Zhuang Zhou


green and white painted wall

Let your mind wander in the pure and simple. Be one with the infinite. Let all things take their course.

--Zhuang Zhou

purple lavender flower

Words have value; what is of value in words is meaning. Meaning has something it is pursuing, but the thing that it is pursuing cannot be put into words and handed down.

--Zhuang Zhou

close up photo of tree

A sage steers by the bright light of confusion and doubt.

--Zhuang Zhou


silver round analog wall clock

Moreover, I have heard that those who are fond of praising men to their faces are also fond of damning them behind their backs.

--Zhuang Zhou

We wish you a perfect day!