Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/254

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CHAPTER XVIII.

Perfect Happiness.

Argument:—The uncertainty of human happiness—What the world aims at is physical well-being—This is not profitable even to the body—In inaction alone is true happiness to be found—Inaction the rule of the material universe—Acquiescence in whatever our destiny may bring forth—Illustrations.

[This chapter is supplementary to chapter vi.]

IS perfect happiness to be found on earth, or not? Are there those who can enjoy life, or not? If so, what do they do, what do they affect, what do they avoid, what do they rest in, accept, reject, like, and dislike?

What the world esteems comprises wealth, rank, old age, and goodness of heart. What it enjoys comprises comfort, rich food, fine clothes, beauty, and music. What it does not esteem comprises poverty, want of position, early death, and evil behaviour. What it does not enjoy comprises lack of comfort for the body, lack of rich food for the palate, lack of fine clothes for the back, lack of beauty for the eye, and lack of music for the ear. If men do not get these, they are greatly miserable. Yet from the point of view of our physical frame, this is folly.

Physically we can, and most of us do, get along very well without these extras.