Through Nu Shang, the recluse Hsu Wu-kuei obtained an interview with Marquis Wu of Wei. Marquis Wu greeted him with words of comfort, saying, "Sir, you are not well. I suppose that the hardships of life in the mountain forests have become too much for you, and so at last you have consented to come and visit me."In many ways, the life of the well-to-do is more stressful than that of the poor man. I have never been of the former, but I have lived in what is called the middle class. As it pertains to my life, I now carry less stress in poverty than I did when I had means!
"I am the one who should be comforting you!" said Hsu Wu-kuei. "What reason have you to comfort me? If you try to fulfill all your appetites and desires and indulge your likes and dislikes, then you bring affliction to the true form of your inborn nature and fate. And if you try to deny your appetites and desires and forcibly change your likes and dislikes, then you bring affliction to your ears and eyes. It is my place to comfort you - what reason have you to comfort me!"
Marquis Wu, looking very put out, made no reply.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
This is not to suggest that I am now stress-free. Life itself is stressful, regardless of how one chooses to live it.
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