Thus, he could commit an error and not regret it.
He could succeed without being proud.
But what is a true man? The true man of old did not mind being poor. He took no pride in his achievements. He made no plans. Thus, he could commit an error and not regret it. He could succeed without being proud. Thus, he could climb mountains without fear, enter water without getting wet, and pass through fire unscathed. This is the knowledge that leads to Tao.
The true man of old slept without dreaming and woke without anxiety. His food was plain and his breath was deep. For the breath of the true man rose up from his heels while the breath of common men rises from their throats. When they are overcome, their words catch in their throats like vomit. As their lusts and desires deepen, their heavenly nature grows shallow.
The true man of old knew nothing about loving life or hating death. When he was born he felt no elation. When he entered death there was no sorrow. Carefree he went. Carefree he came. That was all. He did not forget his beginning and did not seek his end. He accepted what he was given with delight, and when it was gone he gave it no more thought. This is called not using the mind against Tao and not using man to help heaven. Such was the true man.
Such a man has a free mind, a calm manner, and an unfurrowed brow. He is as cool as autumn and as mild as spring. His joy and anger flow like changing seasons. He is in harmony with all things and has no limitations.
Chuang Tsu Inner Chapters
Tr. Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English