(Translation) 2019 朝三暮四

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Original Script

勞神明為一,而不知其同也,謂之朝三。何謂朝三?曰狙公賦芧,曰:「朝三而莫四。」眾狙皆怒。曰:「然則朝四而莫三。」眾狙皆悅。名實未虧,而喜怒為用,亦因是也。是以聖人和之以是非,而休乎天鈞,是之謂兩行。《莊子.齊物論》


Translation

Student Translation : Hector Sanchez

[We] put under strain our intelligence by making [things] into one yet we do not know if they are [already] the same. This is called “three in the morning.” What is meant by “Three in the morning?” It means [the following:] The monkey master was giving out acorns saying: “Three in the morning. At night, four.” The crowd of monkeys was all angry. He said: “This being so, then, [let us have] four in the morning and three at night.” The crowd of monkeys was all pleased.

Words and meanings were not damaged, yet happiness and anger were [lit. became] used [by the monkey master.] [This] too is following “this.” Therefore the sage harmonizes them [the monkeys] by means of disputes and comes to rest at the [center of] Celestial Scale. This is called the “two paths.”

From the Zhuangzi, "On Making Things Equal"



  • Discussion Questions:

HS: 亦因是也: Translating the clause as “[This] too is following ‘this’” makes sense when considering the passage immediately preceding this anecdote (Zhuangzi; "On Making Things Equal," 5:) 物無非彼,物無非是。自彼則不見,自知則知之。故曰:彼出於是,是亦因彼。 “There is nothing that is not a “that”; there is nothing that is not a “this.” One cannot see oneself as a “that,” but if one knows oneself, one knows what it is to be an other. That is why it is said, “That arises from this, and this also relies on a that.” This is the explanation of how this and that are born in the same instant.” (Eno Translation)

HS: Can we take the 之 of 聖人和之以 to mean humans by extension?

HS: I added the "at the center" to 天鈞 to give a sense of being above the small, petty scale of humans, a common theme across the Zhuangzi first explored in the Peng bird passage, the opening lines of the Inner Chapters.