This is the ninth in a 15 part series. My summary of the lessons of Chuang-Tzu, based on a translation by Lin Yutang. For a full explanation of this series, please see the introduction in Part 1. Here, we move into the third of four sections...
Life lessons from Chuang-Tzu #9
From section 3, On ethics & behavior:
KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT INTEGRITY
Chuang-Tzu noted that our world is an uncertain place, and if we are to have true knowledge of it, we must be careful to avoid bias so that we do not confuse what is of the things we examine with what is of us. As he states in The Great Supreme, "we must... have true men before we can have true knowledge." But what is a 'true person'? A true person knows that morality is a guide for working with others toward a shared goal. They understand how the world works and are calm, at peace with it. They have integrity because they set themselves in accordance with the universe and their nature as moral beings. Without a true person knowledge, much less wisdom, are impossible. Without wisdom, our well-being is in jeopardy. Therefore, integrity aids our well-being, and its lack diminishes it.