From Ge Hong’s autobiography

juli 11, 2015

I am hoping to ascend a famous mountain where I will regulate my diet and cultivate my nature. it is not that I wish to abandon worldly affairs, but unless I do so, how can I practice the abstruse and tranquil Way? Besides, to comprehend these matters is truly difficult, requiring considerable discussion and questioning. For these reasons, I neither visit nor send letters to powerful officials. However, even those scholars who refrain from visiting others cannot refuse to receive callers, who invariable become an obstacle to concentration. It is not that the Way is found in the mountains and forests; the reason for the ancient practitioners of the Way always had to enter the mountains and forests was that they wished to be away from the noise of the world and keep their minds tranquil.

(From «Ge Hong’s Autobiography,» in Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook, 2nd ed. Edited by Patricia Buckley Ebrey)


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