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The Enjoyment of Fish--A Debate between Chuang Tzu and Hui Shi
Chuang Tzu implied symbol of freedom and easiness to fish. In his writings, there was a huge fish which transformed to a giant bird and soars high into the sky. And there was a [tortoise] which would rather be alive and dragging its tail in the mud than be dead and honored in the temple. Furthermore, there were stranded fish which would be better to forget their restriction within the real world. These stories signified that Chuang Tzu was yarning for freedom and easiness as fish. Comparing to fish, only if man forgets about the secular bondage would he attain the ultimate beauty and the highest happiness. Chuang Tzu and Hui Shi viewed fish swimming in Hao River and debated on “the enjoyment of fish” from distinct perspectives. Hui Shi stressed on logical analysis of objective knowledge. He viewed fish by discrimination and therefore would not be able to appreciate the enjoyment of fish. Chuang Tzu, on the other hand, preferred subjective esthetics by intuitive realization. He treated all creation without discriminative anticipation so he “saw the fish came out and played around at their ease”. The distinction between the both depends on their attitude toward life. Their argument was nothing to do with win or lose. The point was mutual respect. For Chuang Tzu, the ultimate beauty is to see the world with pureness and without discrimination, and the highest happiness is to experience the easement and freedom.
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