THE HAPPY VOLUPTUARIES
Chow and Mu said:
"Long ago we knew it and made our choice.
"Nor had we to wait for your instructions to enlighten us.
"It is very difficult to preserve life, and easy to come by one's death. Yet who would think of awaiting death, which comes so easily, on account of the difficulty of preserving life?
"You value proper conduct and righteousness in order to excel before others, and you do violence to your feelings and nature in striving for glory. That to us appears to be worse than death.
"Our only fear is lest, wishing to gaze our fill at all the beauties of this one life, and to exhaust all the pleasures of the present years, the repletion of the belly should prevent us from drinking what our palate delights in, or the slackening of our strength not allow us to revel with pretty women.
"We have no time to trouble about bad reputations or mental dangers. Therefore for you to argue with us and disturb our minds merely because you surpass others in ability to govern, and to try and allure us with promises of glory and appointments, is indeed shameful and deplorable.
"But we will now settle the question with you.
"See now. If anybody knows how to regulate external things, the things do not of necessity become regulated, and his body has still to toil and labour. But if anybody knows how to regulate internals, the things go on all right, and the mind obtains peace and rest.
"Your system of regulating external things will do temporarily and for a single kingdom, but it is not in harmony with the human heart, while our method of regulating internals can be extended to the whole universe, and there would be no more princes and ministers.
"We always desired to propagate this doctrine of ours, and now you would teach us yours."
Translator of Yang Zhu's Garden of Pleasure is Anton Forke. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the Yang Zhu label below.