Friday, April 20, 2007


On the brevity of a 100-year life

If you live to be a hundred, it is considered a long life. However, only one in a thousand persons is that lucky. But if we take a person who has lived a hundred years and look at the time he has spent in his life, we will realize that a hundred years is not a long life. Out of these years, childhood and old age take up at least half the time. In addition, half the day he is asleep. Not to mention the hours during the day that he has idled away.1 What does that leave him? Moreover, if you take out the times when he is ill, sad, confused, suffering, and not feeling good, there isn't much time left that he can enjoy or be free.

—Yang-chu in the Lieh-tzu as translated by Eva Wong

I hope you didn't have anything important to do today.



1Readers of Chuang-tzu will understand that these idle hours frequently consist of what we call "employment." [back]

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