Life Is as Important as Heaven.
Life and death are of the utmost importance. “Life” refers to the lives of people, and “heaven” means the most important matters. The meaning of this phrase is similar to the expression that “life is of supreme importance.” The ancient Chinese regarded human beings as the most exalted form of life in the world. Life is the most precious because each person only has one life. Therefore, in judging cases, using military force, practicing medicine, etc., special caution must be exercised when lives are at stake. This exemplifies the humanistic Chinese spirit of respecting people and respecting life.
And human life is of the utmost importance. It is hard to sustain life but easy to kill. The dead cannot come back to life; hence the sages took it very seriously. (The History of the Three Kingdoms)
Human life is the most important, more valuable than a thousand pieces of gold. Writing a prescription which cures a patient is a good deed which is more valuable than a thousand pieces of gold. Therefore the title of my book is Qianjinfang (literally Essential Formulas for Emergencies Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold, shortened as Essential Formulas for Emergencies). (Sun Simiao: Essential Formulas for Emergencies)
Life and death are of the utmost importance; they are not children’s games. (Dream of the Red Chamber)