Monday, August 02, 2004
There was a scholar who was to marry his fiancée, but on the day of marriage, his fiancée changed her mind and married someone else. The scholar was devastated and fell ill. His family sought all kinds of medical treatment for him, but still he showed no sign of recovery. They were about to give up hope on him when a wandering monk passed by.
After learning about the scholar's condition, the monk walked to the scholar's bed and took out a mirror for the dying man to see. In the mirror, the scholar saw a vast ocean, and the naked body of a murdered woman laying on the beach. A man passed by, looked at the body, shook his head and left. Another man who passed by saw the body, took off his robes to cover the body and left. Finally came a man passing by who saw the body, dug a hole and laid the body carefully to rest before burying it.
The scene in the mirror suddenly changed. The scholar saw his fiancée in a nuptial chamber and another man was lifting her wedding veil... The scholar blinked at the monk, confused. Slowly the monk explained, "The woman whose body you saw on the beach was your fiancée in her previous life. In your previous life, you were the second man who gave her his robes to cover her body. To repay your kindness in this lifetime, she loved you for a period of time and became your fiancée. However, ultimately the man whose favor she has to return for the rest of her life is the third man who buried her. And that man is now her husband."
Enlightened, the scholar sat up and recovered from his depression.
It is interesting how life works. Sometimes when you think that you may have just messed things up forever, something comes along and puts them into perspective. This story has just put my life into perspective. Something very similar happened to me recently. Last night in fact. Then, today, I happened to be randomly going through Web Logger profiles and the creator of this blog was one of the first that I came across. While I don't like the fact that this person's spelling would give most English professors an Acute Myocardial Infarction (heart attack), the logger was definitely "there for me" when I needed it. Maybe it was fate that I should find this parable when I needed it most. Maybe it is true that "When the student is ready, the master will appear." I think that the master is not always a person. I think that the "master" may be an event or possibly, as in this case, a story or other learning experience that "comes" to us. Either that or I just get philosophical when I get depressed. Either way I feel much better now. Not completely better, but much better than before.
I hope that everyone finds something that helps put their life into perspective like this has done for me.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 5:55 PM