Everything Has Its Purpose

Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu, “I have a big tree named ailanthus. Its trunk is too gnarled and bumpy to apply a measuring line to, its branches too bent and twisty to match up to a compass or square. You could stand it by the road and no carpenter would look at it twice. Your words, too, are big and useless, and so everyone alike spurns them!”

Chuang Tzu said, “Maybe you’ve never seen a wildcat or a weasel. It crouches down and hides, watching for something to come along. It leaps and races east and west, not hesitating to go high or low-until it falls into the trap and dies in the net. Then again there’s the yak, big as a cloud covering the sky. It certainly knows how to be big, though it doesn’t know how to catch rats. Now you have this big tree and you’re distressed because it’s useless. Why don’t you plant it in Not-Even-Anything Village, or the field of Broad-and-Boundless, relax and do nothing by its side, or lie down for a free and easy sleep under it? Axes will never shorten its life, nothing can ever harm it. If there’s no use for it, how can it come to grief or pain?”

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lino Althaner
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 21:16:30

    I’m just reading the Chuang-Tse, the complete book; it´s an amazing book. Your blog is very attractive. Congratulations.
    Lino

    Reply

    • The Buddhaful Tao
      Mar 16, 2012 @ 09:37:29

      Thank you Lino! I’m glad you have found something meaningful from my blog. The Chuang-tse is a great book with amazing parables. I find a new meaning in each one every time I read it. 🙂

      Reply

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