An encounter between Confucius and Warring States-era Daoist primitivists (~4th c. BCE):
“Ch'ang Chu and Chieh Ni were plowing together yoked as a team [with no Ox]. Confucius went past them and sent Tzu-lu to ask them where the ford was. Ch'ang Chu said, ‘Who is that taking charge of the carriage?' Tzu-lu said, ‘It is K'ung Ch'iu [Confucius].’ ‘Then, he must be the K'ung Ch'iu of Lu.' ‘He is.' ‘Then, he doesn't have to ask where the ford is.’
Tzu-lu asked Chieh Ni. Chieh Ni said, ‘Who are you?…you must be the disciple of K'ung Ch'iu of Lu?' Tzu-lu answered, ‘I am.' ‘Throughout the Empire men are all the same. Who is there for you to change places with? Moreover, for your own sake, would it not be better if, instead of following a Gentleman who keeps running away from men, you followed one who runs away from the world altogether?' All this while he carried on plowing without interruption [or an Ox]. Tzu-lu went and reported what was said to Confucius.
The Master was lost in thought for a while and said, ‘One cannot associate with birds and beasts”.
— Analects, 18:6
“The people who work with Dao
are Dao people,
they belong to the way.
People who work with power
belong to power.
People who work with loss
belong to what’s lost.
Give yourself to the way
and you’ll be at home on the way.
Give yourself to power
and you’ll be at home in power.
Give yourself to loss
and when you’re lost you’ll be at home.”
— Lao Tzu, Ch. 23
"Great understanding is broad and unhurried; little understanding is cramped and busy. Great words are clear and limpid; little words are shrill and quarrelsome. In sleep, men's spirits go visiting; in waking hours, their bodies hustle. With everything they meet they become entangled. Day after day they use their minds in strife, sometimes grandiose, sometimes sly, sometimes petty. Their little fears are mean and trembly; their great fears are stunned and overwhelming. They bound off like an arrow or a crossbow pellet, certain that they are the arbiters of right and wrong. They cling to their position as though they had sworn before the gods, sure that they are holding on to victory. They fade like fall and winter"
— Chuangtzu, Ch. 2
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