Confucius Analects – Different Types of Enjoyment
16.2 On enjoyment
Confucius said, ‘There are three things men find enjoyment in which are advantageous, and three things they find enjoyment in which are injurious. To find enjoyment in the discriminating study of ceremonies and music; to find enjoyment in speaking of the goodness of others; to find enjoyment in having many worthy friends:– these are advantageous. To find enjoyment in extravagant pleasures; to find enjoyment in idleness and sauntering; to find enjoyment in the pleasures of feasting:– these are injurious.’
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There are some who perceive Confucianism as a “dry” and lifeless tradition with blank faces and rigid lifestyle. This is another chapter that refutes this perception (refer also to Section 6.1 – 3 Levels of Practice) as Confucius himself described enjoyments in life. He did not object joy and enjoyment, he merely recommended proper enjoyments: 1) traditional music, ceremonies, and manners; 2) praising goodness in others; and 3) making wise friends, and avoid non-healthy enjoyments: 1) prideful recklessness; 2) aimless loitering; and 3) extravagant partying.
The former 3 enjoyments strengthen and uplift one self and others, versus indulgence of the latter 3 could lead to addiction and confusion. Do you have joy in your life? If so, where do you find it?