Are you really at peace? Or am I really happy?
- Who can say whether what we call death may not after all be life, and life death?
"Certain germs, falling upon water, become duckweed. When they reach the junction of the land and the water, they become lichen. Spreading up the bank, they become the dog-tooth violet. Reaching rich soil, they become wu-tsu, the root of which becomes grubs, while the leaves comes from butterflies, or hsü. These are changed into insects, born in the chimney corner, which look like skeletons. Their name is ch'ü-to. After a thousand days, the ch'ü-to becomes a bird, called Kan-yü-ku, the spittle of which becomes the ssŭ-mi. The ssŭ-mi becomes a wine fly, and that comes from an i-lu. The huang-k'uang produces the chiu-yu and the mou-jui produces the fire-fly. The yang-ch'i grafted to an old bamboo which has for a long time put forth no shoots, produces the ch'ing-ning, which produces the leopard, which produces the horse, which produces man.
"Then man goes back into the great Scheme, from which all things come and to which all things return."
- Such is the eternal round, marked by the stages which we call life and death.
- Many of the names in the above paragraph have not been identified even by Chinese commentators. On all counts then they may safely be left where they are.