The elderly Lo Zu walked through a long, beautiful meadow and came near to the local village. He saw a group of youth sitting near a fenced garden and ambled near to them while holding on to his sinuous, meandering cane. As he walked, he smiled at the majestic, wonderous blue sky and at the beautiful trees dancing in the light breeze that he was not (in any way) apart from. Many of the young people looked rather bored, and excitement and wonderment were missing from their eyes. Lo Zu said to them, “When i was your age, i too sometimes would get bored; I too found myself lacking in exciting things to do. Now, in my elderly age, there is no boredom; there is only harmony and bliss.”
“What is your secret?, one of the youth asked.
Lo Zu then said, “One went beyond what all of the others said about life, self, and consciousness. The root of suffering was discovered and perceived.”
Some of the youth inquired, “What is the root of suffering?”
Lo Zu replied, “The ‘I,’ the ‘me,’ with all of its pretense and chicanery. The ‘I’ or the ‘me’ helps create a space between what is considered a “center” and the rest of the world (even including between a thought of a supposed center-controller and thinking). However, for example, thoughts and thinking are what consciousness is (as they occur), including the concept of ‘I’ or ‘myself.’ There is, though, a beautiful intelligence beyond and much greater than mere thoughts and thinking. Such intelligence is of a wholeness and transcends the petty concepts of ‘I’ and ‘me.’ Such intelligence transcends psychological suffering/boredom, mere words as labels, and gross limitation; what is whole and immense is not dominated by what is false and limited. Mental suffering is false and limited. Only when one clings to the limited is the intelligence of the whole not apparent. Look at everything beyond fragments, symbols, and images… and perhaps that intelligence will manifest. Clinging to what the ordinary, every-day people tell you… may be like clinging to garbage. Even clinging to ‘collected experiences’ (robotically) is childish and unnecessary. Cling in that way if you wish, but as for this elderly being, there is too much bliss here to crave what is fundamentally of the dead past. See the living beauty of life and nature in each instant (without merely always labeling and remembering). Question things, be appreciative of life, perceive with wholeness, and go beyond the ordinary. “
The group of youth thanked Lo Zu and asked him to stop by to visit them again.
As he walked away, he heard one of them say, “He is not like the other elders; he is different; he seems magical. When he looks at you, it is as if he can see right into you.”
Vast difference between embracing (now) and clinging (to either then or hope)
Yes indeed, Jazz. 🙂 But the ironic thing is that some people cling to the ‘now.’ Perhaps it wasn’t meant to merely be clung to. T.S. Eliot was on to something when he poetically wrote, “Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.”
Love the final rumination over the spirit of this piece! There are few people who can look right through their fellow beings, but we can learn from those who can.
Yes, Jaya, those who can perceive in such a deep way can leave us some good tips (i.e., signs along the way). 🙂 But each one of us has to do the work; each path is different.
Thanks, Tom, for another lovely Lo Zu story to ponder over!
Glad you saw something in it, Harini. 🙂
Empowering story Tom. 🙂 I love this answer to what the root of suffering is – “The ‘I,’ the ‘me,’ with all of its pretense and chicanery.” I also love – “Only when one clings to the limited is the intelligence of the whole not apparent. Look at everything beyond fragments, symbols, and images… and perhaps that intelligence will manifest.”
Great photo of your plum tree blossoms too by the way. 🌸💐🌺
Well, Kym, i like the sections that stood out for you. Wisdom and your consciousness may not be two separate things. 🙂
Thanks too about the plum blossoms. Plum blossoms and elderly sages kind of go together, it seems.
Oh my pleasure Tom. Continue to inspire and empower. It’s very encouraging my friend! ☺😎😁
It’s been a while since we had a Lo Zu and after all these frosty temps we’ve endured of late, it is nice to see such delicate plum tree blossoms – smiling no less.
Yes, the elderly sage has been in seclusion (as has the nice, warm weather). 🙂
Yes, he has. The weather here has finally turned a corner, after nine days of frost advisories every night.
Yes, no more covering of plants in the yard. 🙂