Happiness, fate, and the law of no self-subversion

Using the story of the protagonist Lin Daiyu in the Chinese classical novel A Dream of Red Mansions as the literary paradigm, this paper explores the traditional Chinese philosophical concept of wu ji bi fan (extremity produces selfdestruction; extremity turns X into its opposite) as the law of existence and happiness. The paper first discusses the two precepts of the law. It then demonstrates why Lin Daiyu arrived at a destination that was totally opposite to what she so determinately and intensively wanted; why Lin Daiyu had not achieved that she desired; why she could not maintain that she had had; what was the “invisible hand” that had subverted her enterprise; and what had denied her the dream that she dreamed and the aspiration that she aspired. Therefore, the paper also indicates the distinction between moral desirability of existence and ethicalexistential desirability of existence.


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