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Lin Yutang, photographed by Carl Van Vechten His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what yutajg in his immediate neighbourhood. That is the first question. That is all there is to it.

It knows the limitations of life and is content. John’s University, Shanghai alumni 20th-century translators 20th-century novelists Chinese male novelists American people of Hoklo descent Taiwanese people from Fujian.

If there were too many of these visionary idealists in any society or people, revolutions would be the order of the day. All in all, there is still a belief in total depravity, that enjoyment of this life is sin and wickedness, that to be uncomfortable is to be virtuous, and that pcf the whole man cannot save himself except by a greater power outside. But it signifies more than that; actually it stands for the artistic approach even to philosophy. Anyone is free to dispute them and change them or add his own, if he does not claim that he can prove his private opinions by a mass of statistical facts and figures.

The Importance of Living Quotes

The following are my formulas for the characters of certain nations, entirely personal and completely incapable of proof or verification. To take a few well-known types: This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage.

But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a livinng book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world.

His wife was a devout believer, and Lin admired her serenity and humility.

For idealism must stand for different things in different countries, as the so-called sense of humor really comprises a very wide variety of things.

Any good practical philosophy must start out with the recognition of our having a body. But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he bu immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. The ideal formula for me would seem to be R3D2H3S2, for too much idealism or too much sensitivity is not a good thing, either. Probably the Creator knew well that, when He created man upon this earth, He was producing a scamp, licing brilliant scamp, it is true, but a scamp nonetheless.

Poe, I feel, is a very sound genius, in spite of his weird, imaginative gift. The belief in the gods was taken for granted, for even Socrates, when he was about to drink hemlock, proposed a libation to the gods to speed him on his journey from this world to the livong. In this present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably only the scamp and piving spirit of the scamp alone will save us from becoming lost as serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined, obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies.

Lin Yutang – The Importance Of Living

He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in and By preparing him for disillusion, there is probably less pain in the final impact, for a humorist is always like a man charged with the duty of breaking a sad news gently to a dying patient. Finally his Sonnets decided it No school teacher has experienced greater fear and trembling in grading a pupil than I in trying to grade Shakespeare.

Eventually, both in Taoism and in Confucianism, the conclusion and highest goal of this philosophy is complete understanding of and harmony with nature, resulting in what I may call reasonable naturalism, if we must have a term for classification. So my formula for the Chinese national mind is: By D3 for the Japanese I am referring to their fanatic loyalty to their emperor and to the state, made possible by a low mixture of humor.

Evidently the belief in immortality of livkng human soul is something which the Christian, Greek, Taoist and Confucianist views have in common.

The following spring I found myself studying in China, traveling around the north, climbing the Taoist holy mountains Hua Shan and Tai Shan, visiting the tomb and family mansions of Confucius, and thinking quite a bit about this book. I read it that summer.

The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang | Issue 71 | Philosophy Now

But actually he seldom rises six feet above the ground. From this prison there is no escape. Men and women who are too intelligent, or inclined to think too much, sometimes accept this view and become monks and nuns; but on the whole, Confucian good sense forbids it.

The American is after all not as bad as all that. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lin Yutang.

This scamp that the Creator has produced is undoubtedly a brilliant chap. His journey of faith from Christianity to Taoism and Buddhismand back to Christianity in his later life was recorded in his book From Pagan to Christian