The Enjoyment of Free Will

”King Wei of Chou, having heard of the ability of Chuang-tzu, sent messengers with large gifts to bring him to his court, and promising also that he would make him his chief minister.

“Chuang-tzu, however, only laughed and said to them: ‘A thousand ounces of silver are a great gain to me, and to be a high noble and minister is a most honorable position.

‘But have you not seen the victim-ox for the border sacrifice? It is carefully fed for several years, and robed with rich embroidery that it may be fit to enter the Grand Temple. When the time comes for it to do so, it would prefer to be a little pig, but it cannot get to be so….

“ ‘I had rather amuse and enjoy myself in the midst of a filthy ditch than be subject to the rules and restrictions in the court of a sovereign. I have determined never to take office, but prefer the enjoyment of my own free will.’ ”

-Chuang Tzu

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