Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who's To Blame?

Scott Bradley

Two disciples came before Zhouzi asking him to resolve a verbal dispute between them. After each had made his case for himself and against the other, Zhouzi asked them both, "Who is responsible for your own inner peace?" Both answered, "I am, Master." "Then who is to blame for your present disquiet?" continued Zhouzi. Again, both answered, "I am, Master." "Then why are you here asking me to arbitrate between you? Since you seem bent on assigning blame, would you not do better to find it in yourselves without reference to the other? The world is full of vexation for those who wish to find it, yet the roots of all vexation are found in the hearts of those who do. All vexation is a story made up; and the disputatious mind finds pleasure in playing its role. Go unravel your own stories if you wish to know peace; nothing external need disturb you." With this Zhouzi dismissed them both.

Tzulao, who had been in attendance, then asked, "Master, do you think they are able?"

"Few indeed are able," replied Zhouzi. "And I know no method for making them so. It would be easier to enter the forest so as to tame the wild beasts."

"And yet the glory of the beasts is that they remain untamed," opined Tzulao.

"Just so," replied Zhouzi. "So much is resolved when we honor humans as mind-endowed beasts. Following along with things as they unfold, we need not vex ourselves with where they eventually lead."

"Though we may sow the seeds of a happier way among those in whom they might grow," added Tzulao.

"For this alone we speak,” concluded Zhouzi. “Yet it is as the proverb says, 'You can show an ox the water, but you cannot make it drink'. Indeed, it could be a perilous thing to attempt it."

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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