Chrysanth (Chrysanthemum) (2)
Inn Along the Way/Chapman Farm
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At one time the Exalted One was living in Jeta Grove [in India]. A certain deity of astounding beauty approached the Exalted One and said:
Many deities and humans have pondered on blessings. Tell me the blessings supreme.
The Buddha replied:
To associate not with the foolish,
to be with the wise,
to honor the worthy ones
this is a blessing supreme.
*Adapted from Mangala Sutta. Trans. Gunaratana Mahathera. In Jack Kornfield, Ed. Teachings of the Buddha.
They [my students; followers] are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.
*Jesus, Gospel of John 17.16
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A seer lived alone on a hill up from the village. A celestial being appeared in a night vision, informing him the water in the village well would soon become contaminated. Anyone drinking from the water would become insane. Hence, the villagers would need to dig another well nearby for water.
The seer hurried down early in the morning to inform the villagers. Even those who had highly respected him for his guidance thought his words nonsensical. His detractors scorned and laughed at him, thinking this proved he was indeed crazy, confirming what they had been saying all along.
In sadness, the man walked back up the hill to his hut. He had plenty of water, drawing it from a nearby stream. He also grew his food. He was content, knowing he had plenty. Yet, he remained concerned about those below.
After a few weeks, the seer went down to see what was happening below. As the celestial being had warned, the villagers were losing their minds, and they did not even recognize him. The seer walked back up to his hut.
After a few months, he missed the villagers much, and, more so, he ached with loneliness. So, he went down. He hoped all would be well, but all the people were insane. He decided to live among them rather than return to his hut alone. And, like them, he drank from the well and lost his mind. He had decided it was better to be insane with them than sane alone.
The above parable poses us with a choice. What is that choice? Contemplating the story, what does it say to you?
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*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2022.
*Use of photography is allowed accompanied by credit given to Brian K. Wilcox and notation of title and place of the photograph.
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse.