Tsü-ch’i of Nan-kuo reclined elbow on armrest, looked up at the sky and exhaled, in a trance as though he had lost the counterpart of himself. Yen-ch’eng Tsü-yu stood in waiting before him.
"What is this?" he said. "Can the frame really be made to be like withered wood, the heart like dead ashes? The reclining man here now is not the reclining man of yesterday".
"You do well to ask that, Tsü-yu! This time I had lost my own self, did you know it? You hear the pipes of men, don’t you, but not yet the pipes of earth, the pipes of earth but not yet the pipes of heaven?"
"I venture to ask the secret of it".
"That hugest of clumps of soil blows out breath, by name the "wind". Better if it were never to start up, for whenever it does ten thousand hollow places burst out howling, and don’t tell me you have never heard how the hubbub swells! The recesses in mountain forests, the hollows that pit great trees a hundred spans round, are like nostrils, like mouths, like ears, like sockets, like bowls, like mortars, like pools, like puddles. Hooting, hissing, sniffing, sucking, mumbling, moaning, whistling, wailing, the winds ahead sing out AAAh!, the winds behind answer EEEH!, breezes strike up a tiny chorus, the whirlwind a mighty chorus. When the gale has passed, all the hollows empty, and don’t tell me you have never seen how the quivering slows and settles!"
"The pipes of Earth, these are the various hollows; the pipes of men, these are rows of tubes. Let me ask about the pipes of Heaven".
"Who is it that puffs out the myriads which are never the same, who in their self-ending is sealing them up, in their self-choosing is impelling the force into them?" […]
The winds rise in the north,
Blow west, blow east,
And now again whirl high above.
Who breathes them out, who breathes them in?
Who is it sits with nothing to do and sweeps between and over them?
Zhuāngzǐ – The Inner Chapters (translated by A.C. Graham)
Zhuāngzǐs parable of the wind compares the conflicting utterances of philosophers to the different notes blown by the same breath in the long and short tubes of the pan-pipes, and the noises made by the wind in hollows of different shapes. It is natural for differently constituted persons to think differently; don’t try to decide between their opinions, listen to Heaven who breathes trought them.