Recommended Posts

Master Chuang's wife died.  When Master Hui went to offer his condolences, he found Master Chuang lolling on the floor with his legs sprawled out, beating a basin and singing.

"She lived together with you," said Master Hui, "raised your children, grew old, and died.  It's enough that you do not wail for her, but isn't it a bit much for you to be beating on a basin and singing?"

"Not so," said Master Chuang.  "When she first died, how could I of all people not be melancholy?  But I reflected on her beginning and realized that originally she was unborn.  Not only was she unborn, originally she had no form.  Not only did she have no form, originally she had no vital breath.  Intermingling with nebulousness and blurriness, a transformation occurred and there was vital breath; the vital breath was transformed and there was form; the form was transformed and there was birth; now there has been another transformation and she is dead.  This is like the progression of the four seasons - from spring to autumn, from winter to summer.  There she sleeps blissfully in an enormous chamber.  If I were to have followed her weeping and wailing, I think it would have been out of keeping with destiny, so I stopped."
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good part of Chuangtse has to do with exploring the nature of life and death. Elsewhere he writes:

 

Life and Death are a part of Destiny. Their sequence, like day and night, is of God, beyond the interference of man.
These all lie in the inevitable nature of things.

 

We tend to focus on dealing with death, with little consideration for what it means to live. Hui attempts to point out some of that meaning by reminding Chuang that his life and his wife's were intricately intertwined

 

She lived together with you ... raised your children, grew old, and died.

 

I think that Chuang realizes this but wrestles with is own human response. Again, elsewhere he recognizes:

 

Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, worries and regrets, hesitation and fears, come upon us by turns, with ever-changing moods, like music from the hollows, or like mushrooms from damp. Day and night they alternate within us, but we cannot tell whence they spring. ... But for these emotions I should not be. Yet but for me, there would be no one to feel them.

 

Unable to deal with his emotions, he takes refuge:

 

If I should break down and cry aloud, I would behave like one who does not understand destiny.

 

Perhaps it would be better if he accepted his own human nature as part of Destiny. 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But when we lose something/someone in our life there is no reason to grieve for the rest of our life.  It is natural that things/people enter our life and after a while they depart.  These are the processes of life.

 

So Chuang grieved for a while and then realized that there was no reason to continue grieving as he still had the rest of his life to live.

 

We should interact with things just as we do with people.  We have them for a while and then one day they are gone or broken beyond repair.

 

We can't bring the people back and we can't repair something that is beyond repair.

 

The cycles of life rule.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

It is natural that things/people enter our life and after a while they depart.  These are the processes of life.

 

Just so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Hehehe.  I expected more words.

 

Well, I'm workin on that. I always got an opinion. Doesn't meanit always needs to be expressed. Life too short to get wrapped up in endless argument.

 

(That sounds a bit snarky. No offense intended)

 

Edited by OldDog
Disclaimer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, OldDog said:

 

Well, I'm workin on that. I always got an opinion. Doesn't meanit always needs to be expressed. Life too short to get wrapped up in endless argument.

 

(That sounds a bit snarky. No offense intended)

 

Yes, that was snarky.  We don't disagree very often.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites