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There are certain Oriental schools of thought, together with various Western offshoots from them, which are entirely founded on the principle of annihilating all desire. Reach that point at which you have no wish for anything and you will find yourself free, is the sum and substance of their teaching; and in support of this they put forward a great deal of very specious argument, which is all the more likely to entangle the unwary, because it contains a recognition of many of the profoundest truths of Nature. But we must bear in mind that it is possible to have a very deep knowledge of psychological facts, and at the same time vitiate the results of our knowledge by an entirely wrong assumption in regard to the law which binds these facts together in the universal system; and the injurious results of misapprehension upon such a vital question are so radical and far-reaching that we cannot too forcibly urge the necessity of clearly understanding the true nature of the point at issue. Stripped of all accessories and embellishments, the question resolves itself into this: Which shall we choose for our portion, Life or Death? There can be no accommodation between the two; and whichever we select as our guiding principle must produce results of a kind proper to itself.