The Place of Idyllic Beauty

PureInsight | July 11, 2007

[] Tao Yuan Ming
was a great writer of the Jin Dynasty.  He once wrote a famous
article of "A Place of Idyllic Beauty," which described a paradise of
peach blossoms in human space:  A fisherman lived in Wu Lin
District of Wuhan.  One day, he paddled a boat along a
river.  The boat was floating and floating.  He did not know
how far and how long he had been floating, until all of a sudden, he
found himself going into a paradise full of peach blossoms. 
Grasslands were situated on both banks of the river,  where the
fresh green grass was set off by the luxuriant peach blossoms.

The fisherman was attracted by the scenery.  He was wondering why
he had never been here before.  He continued to paddle the boat
and a mountain appeared in front of him.  There was a cave in the
middle of the mountain.  The fisherman was so curious that he
crawled into the cave.  At the very beginning, it was dark and
narrow in the cave.  But he kept on crawling.  Not long after
he began crawling, the cave suddenly became wide and open.  At the
end the cave, he was astonished to see a plain that was as beautiful as
a paradise.

There were houses along the roads.  All types of crops were
growing in the rich fields.  Many people were busy going and
coming on the roads.  Children were playing in the fields. 
The people were surprised to see the fisherman.  They paid their
respects to him and treated him well.  They told him that their
ancestors were the civilians who came over here to escape the war
turmoil during the Qin Dynasty.  Since then, from one generation
to another, they had been living in this peaceful land where it was
isolated from the outside world.  

Before the fisherman left, he promised the people that he would not
tell anybody about the land and keep it a secret.  However, after
he returned, he did not keep his promise but instead reported his
adventure to the prefecture chief in charge of the local area. 
The chief sent his men to look for the paradise with the
fisherman.  They couldn't find it at all, because the fisherman
could no longer remember how to find the paradise.


Later generations extended the meaning of "The Place of Idyllic Beauty"
to an idiom as "A Retreat Away from the World".  It refers to a
place that is isolated from the world and looks like an earthly
paradise.  People can live there in seclusion without being
interfered with or affected by worldly matters.

Translated from:

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