Zhuangzi’s monkeys

劳神明为一而不知其同也,谓之朝三。何谓朝三?狙公赋予,曰:“朝三而暮四。”众狙皆怒。曰“然则朝四而暮三。”众狙皆悦。名实未亏而喜怒为用,亦因是也。

A man living with monkeys was about to feed them nuts.

“Morning three and night four,” he said.

All the monkeys were furious.

“Okay… morning four and night three then,” he said.

All the monkeys were delighted.

*

This is actually a story Zhuangzi used to scold (make fun) of people. He is saying that most people are like monkeys, easily manipulated.

When scolded, people get angry. When praised, people are joyful. But it’s all just words; there is no actual loss; yet the difference in emotions.

Just like the monkeys, it’s still seven nuts a day; there’s no actual loss. Yet the difference in emotions.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Zhuangzi’s monkeys

    1. Perception triggers emotion. Emotion distorts perception. Yet they are different events even if they are yoked together. The problem of wisdom is how to unyoke them. Thank you for your comment.

      1. Yes yes, so perception and the triggering emotion are the thinking mind, and the wisdom that unyokes them comes from the contemplative, infinite mind, if I understand what you’re saying.

      2. Yes, you can put it that way. The thinking mind generally perceives from the point of view of the ego and its ideologies, beliefs, dogmas… And so this thinking mind is attached to the ego and will recruit bodily emotion to defend its ideologies, beliefs, dogmas…
        The contemplative infinite mind has the advantage of dropping the ego and accompanying baggage. It is in a state more ready to confront truth and receive wisdom (depending on what is being contemplated upon).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s