Let me try explaining what I mean. From the Three Dynasties on down, everyone in the world has altered his inborn nature because of some [external] thing. The petty man? - he will risk death for the sake of profit. The knight? - will risk it for the sake of fame. The high official? - he will risk it for family; the sage? - he will risk it for the world. All these various men go about the business in a different way, and are tagged differently when it comes to fame and reputation; but in blighting their inborn nature and risking their lives for something they are the same.Let's face it. Few of us -- maybe no one -- is selfless. Just about everything we think, say or do pertains to our sense of self. We want to maximize our pleasure, while minimizing our pain. We might say that we're thinking of others, but we're really focused on our own egos.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Is it possible for an individual truly to be self-less? I don't genuinely know. Probably not.
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