Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 9, Part 5

Trey Smith

When horses live on the plain, they eat grass and drink from the streams. Pleased, they twine their necks together and rub; angry, they turn back to back and kick. This is all horses know how to do. But if you pile poles and yokes on them and line them up in crossbars and shafts, then they will learn to snap the crossbars, break the yoke, rip the carriage top, champ the bit, and chew the reins. Thus horses learn how to commit the worst kinds of mischief. This is the crime of Po Lo.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Religion cages people inside a fence. They quickly lose their internal moral compass and must turn to holy books and clergy as the authority on how to live their lives. As the author of this chapter phrases it, this is one of the chief ways we lose our "inborn nature."

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

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