Starting from “equalizing all things”, Shen Dao develops the life philosophy of “rolling and swirling along with things” and the political theory of respecting the law and emphasizing the people. Based on “everything exists”, his theory of equalizing things shows respect to differences and the objective value of things, requiring to act along with things at the cost of agency. Yet Zhuangzi believes in an ultimate state when “before things exist”, and tries to equalize “things” with “nothing”. His philosophy embraces a complete picture from before the beginning of things to after there are already things, in which “things” are merely the temporary appearanceof the Creation-Transformation in an inferior level. Having found the origin of “things”, i.e. “the Way”, the spirit is able to go beyond limits of things toward the state of independently rambling.
2. Shen Dao’s Doctrine and the Position of Equalizing Things in It
3. How Zhuangzi Goes beyond Shen Dao’ Equalizing Things