A Chinese philosophical work called The Secret of the Golden Flower says that “when purpose has been used to achieve purposelessness, the thing has been grasped.” For a society surviving to no purpose is one that makes no provision for purposeless behavior—that is, for actions not directly aimed at survival, which fulfill themselves in being done in the present and do not necessarily imply some future reward. But indirectly and unintentionally, such behavior is useful for survival because it gives a point to surviving—not, however, when pursued for that reason. To play so as to be relaxed and refreshed for work is not to play, and no work is well and finely done unless it, too, is a form of play.

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A quote saved on Dec. 30, 2015.


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