Disagreements on the Interpretations of the Zhuangzi

Disagreements on the Interpretations of the Zhuangzi Essay example
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Various analyses on the content of the Book of Zhuangzi can be attributed to how the original Chinese verses were written, and interpretations of the text will depend on the readers’ experiences, beliefs, and backgrounds.


These differences can be summed up in presenting two modern analyses and interpretations of some parts of the Zhuangzi, with emphasis on the governing forces that shape and control the universe. For writer Erica Brindley, she interprets the Zhuangzi as the driving force and endless source of power that moves the universe and is above even Heaven itself is the Dao ?, which is “an upright way”, “a method”, “a path”, or “a truth”.1 The Dao allows the proliferation of diversity, thus any kind of method is considered acceptable as long as it is in line with the truth, making it a cyclical or a circular concept. Meanwhile writer Michael J. Puett interprets Heaven or Tian ? as the apex in the universal hierarchy and governs laws initiating changes and transformations, similar to patriarchy as a social order.2 Because the two authors read and interpreted the Zhuangzi using two different terms with differing ideologies, there are disagreements between the two, wherein Brindley’s interpretation of the Zhuangzi shows that the universe has a cyclic nature accessible through transcendence, while Puett’s interpretation states that the universal hierarchy is linear with Heaven at the apex, and man must live in balance with it without having to enter transcendence. ...
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