Chuang Tzu—considered, along with Lao Tzu, one of the great figures of early Taoist thought—used parables and anecdotes, allegory and paradox, to illustrate that real happiness and freedom are found only in understanding the Tao or Way of nature, and dwelling in its unity. The respected Trappist monk Thomas Merton spent several years reading and reflecting upon four different translations of the Chinese classic that bears Chuang Tzu''s name. The result is this collection of poetic renderings of the great sage''s work that conveys its spirit in a way no other translation has and that was Merton''s personal favorite among his more than fifty books. Both prose and verse are included here, as well as a short section from Merton discussing the most salient themes of Chuang Tzu''s teachings.
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