Daily Dojo

A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.

Our thought for the day comes from the writings of Chuang Tzu.

A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.


Chuang Tzu

The quote is highly Americanized. Like most ancient Chinese writings, English translations vary depending on who does the translating.

The quote itself comes from the seventeenth chapter of Chuang Tzu’s writings.


Zo, (the Spirit-lord) of the Northern Sea, said, ‘A frog in a well cannot be talked with about the sea;– he is confined to the limits of his hole. An insect of the summer cannot be talked with about ice;– it knows nothing beyond its own season.


Chuang Tzu

It goes on from there for quite a bit, and it is worth a read.

The quote itself . . . what does it mean? Are we confined by what we think we know? Limited by what we think we can do?

One thought on “Daily Dojo

  1. It depends on whether or not the frog wants to learn anything new. The hole may be safe, but also limiting. For example, I will never be an astronaut or live on the space station for a year. But, I was fascinated and “wowed” when I attended a presentation by Scott Kelly, who has accomplished those very things. I was the ‘frog’ in this case and I wanted to learn about the “ocean”.

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