A long, long time ago in Japan, it was quite normal for marauding armies to ransack villages, with the villagers having to flee or be killed. In one such village an old Zen master sat peacefully in his very humble abode as chaos reigned outside. All of a sudden, a fearsome soldier kicked the master’s door open and stood menacingly in the doorway; the master was unmoved. The soldier sneered and said, “what are you still doing here, are you not afraid? All of the villagers are either dead or have fled, yet you remain here.” The master replied, “what have I to fear, and besides, where would I go?” The soldier became angry, and drawing his sword raged, “don’t you know that I am a man who can run you through without blinking an eye?” The old master looked at him and said, “don’t YOU know that I am a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?”
With a body or without a body; it is all the same to one who has realised. Live or die; the master knows there is no death and therefore remains unmoved. There is also the paradox here between the polar opposites of “doing” and “being”. The soldier wants to “do” (kill) the master, but that in itself is a fruitless task, as the most he can achieve is to be the cause of the master’s body evolving (effect) into a different form. You cannot kill anything in reality as all is consciousness and is in a constant state of flux. What would happen to the body? If buried it would eventually decompose and merge with the earth. If cremated, the cremation process would cause the flesh to evolve into heat energy and be absorbed back into the total energy mass.
The master remained in a state of pure knowing, enlightenment, awakening, bliss or whatever description you wish to use; all are just terms for “Being”. The master remains blissful regardless of which action the soldier chooses to take. He says, “besides, where would I go?” Indeed, where would the master go? There is only here and now; it is all we have.
Excellent parable, thanks for sharing dear Richard.
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Thank you my friend!