Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The warrior and the moon

A warrior once inquired of a devoutly peaceful man, if a person threatened to murder you and your wife and your children for some reason, material or otherwise, what would you do? After he thought it over for a while, the peaceful man asked the warrior to look at the moon when it got dark that night.

The next day, the warrior returned and said he had seen the moon, but his question remained as strong as it was the day before.

So the peaceful man said, now that you have the moon clearly in your mind, how long do you think it has been in the sky? The warrior could not exactly say. Longer than you have lived, asked the peaceful man? Yes, said the warrior. Longer than any creature great or small has ever lived? Yes, responded the warrior again. Well then, said the peaceful man, you are now of a mind to understand what I would do for myself and my family if so threatened.

The peaceful man continued. I own no weapon and harbor no specific anger, but as long as I have a voice I would say to that person, the universe is infinitely old and indifferent to men, yet I am not like the universe. I am willing and able to understand any wants or grievances that you may have, so please tell me what those are. In the meantime you are welcome to any and all of my possessions; those matter nothing to me. But if you intend to take my family, you must take me first, because they are more precious than my own life. Yet I will not resist you, because we are all one with respect to the universe and will only survive if we coexist in peace. So I ask you to be at one with us if you can find that in your heart.

The warrior listened as the peaceful man grew quiet and said, as he lay down his arms, "Good man, thank you, for now I think I have seen the moon."