One student asked his wise teacher, what is more important for a person: is it outer or inner beauty? In response to that the teacher asked his student:
“Tell me, if you needed to buy a house, but you only had enough money for a beautiful outside, but a comfortless house, or a poor house, but warm and reliable. What would you choose?”
“I would rather choose a simple outside but convenient inside house.”
“But what if a vain person was buying a house, proud of his position, but not having enough resource to buy a beautiful and cosy house”, asked the teacher again.
“Surely, he would prefer the outer beauty of the house”, answered the student.
“I think you are right”, said the teacher and added, “but regardless of your choice, each of you would understand that you are missing beauty or comfort and would seek for it.”
“So it means that outer and inner beauty is essentially equivalent and valuable only in harmony?” asked Zhao Zeng.
“You can say that”, answered the teacher smiling, “but I thought foremost that when possessing a half, you always need to seek for a whole, not losing what you already have. Because a half will always be only a half, despite of how great it would be”.