Joy of Fish

Roy_Lichtenstein_Drowning_GirlI was at the Dustbowl Dojo last Saturday and Gary heard me mention Thomas Merton and so he lent me a book by him from the Zen Library they have there.  There were two books by Merton, and a third book by someone named Mirken, but I chose the Merton book that was about the Tao. The other Merton book was about Zen. The following quote is from Wikipedia, and I wondered if the Chinese characters would display in my blog. So far it looks like they do. The Merton book has translations of this book, but not really translations because Merton could not read Chinese, but he created a synthesis from 4 other translations, 2 in English, 1 in French, and 1 in German. If you have any questions you can post them as comments, and I will no doubt write about the Tao at greater length in the not-too-distant future.

“The Debate on the Joy of Fish”

The story of “The Debate on the Joy of Fish” is a well-known anecdote that has been compared to the Socratic dialogue tradition of ancient Greece.

     莊子與惠子遊於濠梁之上。莊子曰:儵魚出遊從容,是魚樂也。
     Zhuangzi and Huizi were enjoying themselves on the bridge over the Hao River. Zhuangzi said, “The minnows are darting about free and easy! This is how fish are happy.”

     惠子曰:子非魚,安知魚之樂。莊子曰:子非我,安知我不知魚之樂。
     Huizi replied, “You are not a fish. How do you know that the fish are happy?” Zhuangzi said, “You are not I. How do you know that I do not know that the fish are happy?”

     惠子曰:我非子,固不知子矣;子固非魚也,子之不知魚之樂全矣。
     Huizi said, “I am not you, to be sure, so of course I don’t know about you. But you obviously are not a fish; so the case is complete that you do not know that the fish are happy.”

     莊子曰:請循其本。子曰汝安知魚樂云者,既已知吾知之而問我,我知之濠上也。
     Zhuangzi said, “Let’s go back to the beginning of this. You said, How do you know that the fish are happy; but in asking me this, you already knew that I know it. I know it right here above the Hao.”

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