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Mystical Experience of Zhuangzi

Zhūangzi (~369 BC – ~286 BC), literally Master Zhuang, also known as Chuang Tzu, was a Taoist Chinese philosopher and writer. The Zhuangzi book, attributed to Master Zhuang, contains stories and anecdotes that exemplify the carefree nature of the ideal Taoist sage. The Zhuangzi is one of the three foundational texts of Taoism, along with the Tao Te Ching and the Lieh Tzu.

In The Zhuangzi book, Master Zhuang refers to a Taoist teacher, Nu Chu, who helped a disciple to achieve a mystical experience through “tso-wang” (“sitting with blank mind”). Master Zhuang referred to the mystical experience of the disciple (a description that presumably fits his experience) as follows:

“Being in a state of illumination, he was able to gain the vision of the One (or ‘That which is unique’). Being able to see the One, he was able to transcend the distinction of past and present; having transcended the distinction of past and present, he was able to enter the realm where life and death are no more [i.e., to enter into Eternity].”

Union with the Infinite and the Eternal was the goal of Master Zhuang. To achieve his mystical consciousness, Master Zhuang sought to identify himself with “Infinity-Eternity” in order to become one with the “great Interpenetration.”

Zhūangzi stated about his mystical experience: “The heavens and the earth and I have come into existence together, and all creation and I are one.”

Quoted by Sidney Spencer from Mysticism in World Religion.

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