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The Story of Tung-men Wu

There was once a man, Tung-men Wu of Wei, who when his son died testified no grief. His house-steward said to him: "The love you bore your son could hardly be equalled by that of any other parent. Why, then, do you not mourn for him now that he is dead?" "There was a time," replied Tung-men Wu, "when I had no son, yet I never had occasion to grieve on that account. Now that my son is dead, I am only in the same condition as I was before my son was born. What reason have I, then, to mourn?"


On Destiny and Free Will

The husbandman takes his measures according to the season, the trader occupies himself with gain, the craftsman strives to master his art, the official pursues power. Here we have the operation of human forces.

But the husbandman has seasons of rain and seasons of drought, the trader meets with gains and losses, the craftsman experiences both failure and success, the official finds opportunities or the reverse. Here we see the working of Destiny.

*From "Taoist Teachings", translated from the "Book of Lieh-Tz├╝" with Introduction and Notes by Lionel Giles p. 96. Selection by WPE.


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