Having reached the age when human intelligence begins to distinguish between good and evil, and having seen the various classes, orders, callings, occupations, and professions that men engage in, it seemed to me highly desirable to consider well which of these groups of folk I should join and which profession I should choose for my life work.


2 After spending much time and thought on this problem, and having earnestly considered it, I finally decided to live with the least amount of trouble and labor with the greatest degree of comfort, peace, and good cheer.

3 However, I found it difficult to discover which profession this might be. Moreover, I did not know with whom to take proper counsel about the matter. For I was unwilling to ask the advice of just anyone, presuming that each would naturally praise his own calling. On the other hand, I was loathe to undertake anything in a hurry for fear of erring.

4 Nevertheless, I confess that I secretly attempted to take up now one, then another or a third thing, but soon dropped them all again, perceiving (as I thought) difficulties and trivialities in all of them. Meantime, I feared that my fickleness might bring me into derision; accordingly, I knew not what to do.

5 After much inward struggle and hesitation, it finally occurred to me to investigate first all human affairs under the sun, and after I had intelligently compared them one with another, to choose the profession that would enable me to live pleasantly and peacefully. The longer I thought of this plan, the better I liked it.

Chapter 2 ||| Labyrinth index page home