When we were young we were full of wonder, full of curiosity. We searched, we explored and we gasped. Ah, awe - the elixir of life!
Then as we grow older the cares of the world, the need to keep body and soul together, the evil that men do unto men - and women - rape, murder, pillage, the shenanigans of politicians, corruption in high places, abuses of power, the senseless deaths from accidents and the killings in the name of one cause or another, one creed or another, one religion or another, one god or another, make us more and more cynical, more and more jaded until before we even know or become aware of it, we have lost any sense of awe that remained.
And once we have lost the capacity for awe, we have lost our innocence, we have lost the capacity to engage with life and all the joys it offers.
The joy of the sound of rain on the rooftop. the rustle of wind through the pines. the songs of the crickets in the dark, the beauty and silence of the night.
Ah awe, where art thou?
Shi Wang Di was looking for the elixir of life. Of course, he didn't find it. It was inside him.
He lost it.