Feb

19

 Here is a story from the Chuang Tzu, which speaks of the relationship of the unending chain of predator-prey-predator-prey-…, between Hubris and (mis)Fortune. After all, in the thick of hubris, little does the hunter know that he is the hunted as well:

As Chuang Tzu was rambling in the park of Diao-ling he saw a strange bird which came from the south. Its wings were seven cubits in width, and its eyes were large, an inch in circuit. It touched the forehead of Chuang Tzu as it passed him, and lighted in a grove of chestnut trees. ‘What bird is this?’ said he, ‘with such great wings not to go on! and with such large eyes not to see me!’ He lifted up his robe, and hurried with his slingshot, waiting for (an opportunity to shoot) it. (Meanwhile) he saw a cicada, which had just alighted in a beautiful shady spot, and forgot its (care for its) body. (Just then), a preying mantis raised its feelers, and pounced on the cicada, in its eagerness for its prey, (also) forgetting (its care for) its body; while the strange bird took advantage of its opportunity to secure them both, in view of that gain forgetting its true (instinct of preservation). Chuang Tzu with an upsurge of emotion, said, ‘Ah! so it is that things bring evil on one another, each of these creatures invited its own calamity.’ (With this) he put away his slingshot, and was hurrying away back, when the forest ranger (who had, unbeknownst to Chuang Tzu, been following him) pursued him with terms of reproach.

–Chuang Tzu, Outer Chapters


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