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To: alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc,alt.mythology,alt.philosophy.taoism,alt.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism
From: Xiwangmu 
Subject: Re: Immortality (was My Quest continues)
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 07:10:37 GMT

50010902 VI! om

>>Chuang Tse is described as banging on pots and pans for a while
>>after the death of his wife. no mourning needed. classic stories
>>abound regarding the differential of perception of ordinary
>>events based on the insight of the sage -- in particular the
>>ordinary attaches significance while the sage merely rests with
>>the flow of events and accomodates hirself to the actual change. (Jim Fish):
>Chuang-tzu mourned at first and then his ability to reason that death
>is a natural and unavoidable made him realize that mourning her death
>was natural but mourning of itself is useless.
>Everyone goes through stages upon the death of a loved one and in the
>end we remember events of living more, and death less.

while I could not find the pot-banging story, I did find this one
which illustrates something of what I intended in my original post:

	When Lao Tan [Lao Tzu, reputed author of "Tao Teh Ching"]
	died, Ch'in Shih went to mourn for him; but after giving
	three cries, he left the room.

	"Weren't you a friend of the Master?" asked Lao Tan's


	"And you think it's all right to mourn him this way?"

	"Yes," said Ch'in Shih. "At first I took him for a real
	man, but now I know he wasn't. A little while ago, when
	I went in to mourn, I found old men weeping for him, as
	though they were weeping for a son, and young men
	weeping for him as though they were weeping for a
	mother. To have gathered a group like *that*, he must
	have done something to make them talk about him,
	though he didn't ask them to weep. This is to hide from
	Heaven, turn your back on the true state of affairs,
	and forget what you were born with. In the old days,
	this was called the crime of hiding from Heaven. Your
	master happened to come because it was his time, and he
	happened to leave because things follow along. If you
	are content with the time and willing to follow along,
	then grief and joy have no way to enter in. In the old
	days, this was called being freed from the bonds of

	"Though the grease burns out of the torch, the fire
	passes on, and no one knows where it will end." *

		* {TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: The first part of this last
		   sentence is scarcely intelligible and there
		   are numerous suggestions on how it should be
		   interpreted or emended. I follow Chu Kuei-yao
		   in reading "grease" instead of "finger." For
		   the sake of reference, I list some of the other
		   possible interpretations as I understand them.
		   "When the fingers complete the work of adding
		   firewood, the fire passes on" (Kuo Hsiang).
		   "Though the fingers are worn out gathering
		   firewood, the fire passes on" (Yu Yueh). "What
		   we can point to are the fagots that have been
		   consumed; but the fire is transmitted
		   elsewhere" (Legge, Fukunaga).}

	"Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings", translated by 
	  Burton Watson, Columbia University Press,
	  1964; pp. 48-9.

>I sometimes wonder if there isn't a part of the story that is missing:
>"The next morning Chuang-tzu awoke and realizing that his wife was not
>there with him, he felt a slight sadness that left him even more
>quickly than his mourning of the day before..."

	the next morning Chuang's neighbors came over bringing 
	platters of food (as is the custom for some in the West!), 
	saying "Oh it is so terrible that your wife has died!" 

	his only reply was "Is that so?"

	that evening while everyone helped to clean up a man
	knocked on the door and announced that his wife's
	insurance policy had left old Chuang with a million yen!
	his neighbors were ecstatic. "How wonderful!" they cried.

	his only reply was "Is that so?"

	"Oh!" exclaimed the man offering the insurance money,
	before signing the final papers, "I thought you were 
	Chuang *Lao*! This money is only for Chaung Lao, not 
	for you!" His neighbors crept out the back door, 
	shaking their heads in despair at his misfortune.

	his only reply was "Is that so?"

	that night Chuang smiled as he smelled the dirty
	bedsheets where only a few nights ago he and his
	wife had shared close embraces and brief yelps
	of ecstatic delight, then fell asleep peacefully.

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