The Liezi: Daoist text from 4th century CE

“Some people think they can find satisfaction in good food, fine clothes, lively music, and sexual pleasure. However, when they have all these things, they are not satisfied. They realize happiness is not simply having their material needs met. Thus, society has set up a system of rewards that go beyond material goods. These include titles, social recognition, status, and political power, all in a package called self-fulfillment. Attracted and goaded on by social pressure, people spend their short lives tiring body and mind to chase after these goals. Perhaps this gives them the feeling that they have achieved something in their lives, but in reality they have sacrificed a lot in life. They can no longer see, hear, act, feel, or think from their hearts. In the end, they’ve spent their lives following other people’s demands and never lived a life of their own. How different is this from the life of a slave or a prisoner?”

The Liezi
[The Writings of] Master Lie Yukou,

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