The Zhuang Zi theory as seen in page 278 of Religions of Asia Today can be explained as follows. There are two images drawn from nature. These are a frog in a well and secondly an insect whose life is confined to summer (Esposito 278). A frog in a well cannot conceive in the sea.
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This means that a frog is limited to its confines. The frog is stuck to its little place so it would not survive in the sea. It is essentially pointless trying to get the frog to see beyond the well. Similarly, an insect confined to summer cannot survive during winter.
It simply cannot survive beyond its season. Similarly, a scholar with distorted views is bound by his doctrines. These are partial perspectives hence we can conclude that there is no extreme right or extreme wrong when one individual argues a point and the other argues the opposite.
However, Zhuang Zi argues that there is a point known as a privileged point of view and it is the most ideal for all observers to take.
The primary basis of Daoism is learning or adapting to a certain way of life which happens to be the basic rule of survival. Daoism lays emphasis on the relationship of things. This means that nothing can be considered as so bad or so good. This view is explained more using the ying yang symbol.
Ying which is considered to be black depicts a sense of lack of strength as well as inactiveness. Yang on the other hand is considered white and depicts vitality and action. Hence, nature is a balance of those two concepts in equal proportions.
This passage works as a Daoism critique of Confucianism ideas in the following ways. Confucianism does not quite believe in nature as much as Daoism does. Confucian scholars paint the view of nature as that of harshness and origin of all negative things on earth.
It prefers hiding from nature and protecting people from nature. On the other hand, Daoism believes in the beauty and harmony that is brought up by nature.
Confucian beliefs also encourage rebelling and imposing what it is that they want on the world. They take the troubles of the world as their own and they give themselves the responsibility of putting things in the right order. Acts towards other people are valued among Confucians.
Another factor is that Confucianism is not concerned with factors outside its territory. It also sees no use of spending any time away from the society. To them, it implies that there is no need to involve themselves with other factors in life other than those in their society.
Daoism on the other hand insists on the importance of learning outside, emphasizing that there is more to the world than what has already been studied hence the need to avoid being limited to a certain perspective.
The core of Confucianism is that they focus on the family and this world, and not the afterlife. It does not pose any faithfulness to any divine being. It is mostly considered as an ethical system as opposed to a religion.
Daoism on the other hand believes in the existence of a supreme being who is the source of all existing things in the universe. Daoism maintains the connection between the human being and the divine being referred to as the Tao.
Esposito, John. Religions of Asia Today. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.