Life

The Meaning of Eternity and the Good Life

In pursuit of everlasting significance, individuals endeavor to consult sagacious individuals. The wise individual guided them to an expansive stone forest and uttered, “The formation of this stone forest is the culmination of countless millennia. Yet, do you possess knowledge of the initial stone that descended upon this terrain?” All present shook their heads in negation. The wise person proclaimed, “Embark on a quest to discover it. For if you succeed, eternity shall be unveiled before you.”
Eternity eludes expression; comprehension alone can capture its essence.
The novice monk erred and faced chastisement from their master, confining them to a room with a wall as their sole companion. The young disciple implored, “Might I be granted permission to open the skylight?” The master inquired, “Wherefore?” The fledgling monk expounded, “Within the sky resides gusts of wind and billowing clouds, which possess the power to cleanse my heart of mundane thoughts. Furthermore, the celestial expanse houses stars and the moon, which can aid in the revelation of the demons lurking within my soul.”
The master countered, “Then recline upon the bamboo chair within the courtyard.”
I derive pleasure from occupying rocky perches while basking in the sun’s radiance. Concealed behind the rocks lies a dusky and moist realm, inhabited by diminutive creatures. I sit upon the sunlit side, while the minuscule insects dwell in the shadows, relishing their existence without causing disruption. Mischievous children, however, pried open the stones, inciting panic among the tiny creatures, prompting them to scurry elsewhere. The children reveled in their mischief, yet I was afflicted by despondency. Reflecting upon this, I pondered the concealed universes that lie behind appearances, and thus questioned the need to disturb these creatures needlessly!
A blind individual traversed the nocturnal path, clutching a lamp. Not with the intention of illuminating the way before them, nor to guide others, but solely to prevent inadvertent collisions. The blind person professed that they were not a beacon of light, but rather sought to avoid burdening others.
If that is so, then you are not a lantern, yet you must refrain from extinguishing the light of others.
Merely a few tables away, I readily discerned the geniality emanating from the poet seated across. Why are our eyes so discerning? I believe I caught the scent of his profound essence and heard the winds whispering from within his chest.
I opine that true tranquility arises when confined spaces foster expansiveness, darkness engenders illumination, and the minuscule nurtures the grandiose. The wind, as it gently caresses the soul, bestows upon the lamp just enough breath to ignite a brighter glow, rather than extinguishing it.
When I pose beside a tree for a photograph, I yearn for the tree to perceive me as a kindred spirit, a tree worthy of engaging in conversation through the foliage of its heart.
Donned in a turquoise coat, I ventured into the courtyard amidst the flourishing trees, attuned to the joyous melodies sung by the avian inhabitants. Manchurian ash, Chinese locust, pentagonal maple, and crabapple trees flourished exuberantly. Suddenly, a sparrow alighted upon my shoulder, regarding me as one of its arboreal brethren. Might it deem my mobility as peculiar? Although I assume the guise of a tree, I do not necessarily possess a superior depth of contemplation. I deem the tree as the true sage—rooted firmly, aspiring skyward, in perpetual motion, yet concealed from our limited perception.
Having graduated from Harvard University, one eschewed the pursuit of employment, instead opting to fell trees and construct a personal abode. Living in solitude amidst the forest, relinquishing steak in favor of observing ants engage in combat, observing the graceful movements of bass as they swim, and intently listening to the midnight howls of owls, one delved into the eyes of a quail… Through practical actions, Luo imparted the wisdom that an individual can lead a fulfilling existence in harmony with their chosen path.
There existed a timid pigeon that persistently observed me. What piqued its curiosity? A timid, yet inquisitive sprite constitutes one of the most endearing aspects of our world. It enabled me to comprehend that infusing the melody of the wind into various entities can instill them with buoyancy and unfurl the very essence of their being upon the wings of the zephyr.
Recollections of a frigid winter many years ago flood my thoughts. Within the classroom, only a singular stove provided warmth, its reach inadequate to envelop every corner. Consequently, I directed my students to shuffle seats intermittently, ensuring each individual experienced a modicum of respite from the cold. Detecting a draft from a window, my students and I promptly sealed the aperture with newspapers. Unintentionally, I stumbled upon myown composition published within those pages, evoking a sense of sanctity within me. My words had served a purpose, shielding my students from the chill of winter.
Standing amidst the world, solace permeates my being. Time may weather my physical form, yet my words shall forever exude vitality. Fortunate am I to pen these words. Even if my mortal existence concludes one day, as long as someone continues to peruse my writings, my light shall persistently illuminate the world, and my spirit shall forever caress the winds that traverse the earth.

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