In Preface of Tao Xianzu’s “The Peony Pavilion” (《牡丹亭》), it says, “情不知所起,一往而深。生者可以死,死可以生。生而不可与死,死而不可复生者,皆非情之至也。” Lisa See quotes it in her novel “Peony in Love”, “Love is of source unknown, yet it grows even deeper. The living may die of it, by its power the dead live again. Love is not love at its fullest if one who lives is unwilling to die for it, or if it cannot restore to life one who has died.”

Do you believe in love of this kind? or do you think only this kind of love is love?

Everyone might love, but there are few who can love at its fullest. How much love is love at its fullest?

Is it love when you want to be with him at any cost, though you are more than clear you cannot afford the costs?  Is it love when you remind yourself to leave him and forget him almost every minute of a day, but a single call or a short meet will shatter all your determination? Is it love that you break up with him for a thousand times but you two were never really broken up?

When I read the following comparison, “《牡丹亭》在思想上与《西厢记》有类似之处,但是,《西厢记》是先情后欲,《牡丹亭》则是先欲后情;《西厢记》描述的是情感的自然发展,更多的是表达“愿普天下有情的都成了眷属”的美好愿望,而《牡丹亭》则特别突出了情(欲)与理(礼)的冲突,强调了情的客观性与合理性。” I realize that the conflict between love and rationality/ morality has been long-standing and will never cease. Rationality cuts off the wings of love, and love cannot reach its fullest when rationality is on its way, since rationality tells one never to believe “爱情能战胜一切,超越生死”.

How many of us can really risk our lives to love to its fullest, to see whether love makes the living die and the dead live again?