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Tzu Ch’i says,
"...to wear out your brain
trying to make things into one
without realizing that they are all the same
this is called "Three in the Morning."

"What is Three in the Morning?" asked Tzu Yu.

Tzu Ch’i replied,
"A keeper of monkeys
said that each monkey was to have
three chestnuts in the morning
and four at night,
but the monkeys were very angry at this.

So the keeper said
they might have four in the morning
and three at night,
with which arrangement they were all well pleased.

The actual number of the chestnuts remained the same,
but there was an adjustment
to meet to the likes and dislikes of those concerned.
Such is the principle of putting oneself into subjective relation with externals.

Therefore a wise man,
while regarding contraries as identical,
adapts himself to the laws of nature.
This is called following two courses at once."

--Chuang Tzu 3rd or 4th Century BCE


Adapted from: Chuang Tzu Mystic, Moralist, and Social Reformer, translated by Herbert A. Giles. Bernard Quaritch, London, 1926.

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