Meditations on Stories 14

Meditations on Stories 14

14 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen alongside a story untitled tale told by the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu.

What questions arise when I focus on an “unfinished story” as an object of Vedanta meditation?

A kuai is a one-legged creature whose existence was recorded in an ancient Chinese text called The Mountain and Sea Scripture (Shan Hai Jing  山海经). The ancient philosopher Chuang Tzu told this tale about the kuai.

The kuai envies the millipede; the millipede envies the snake; the snake envies the wind; the wind envies the human eyes; the eyes envy the heart – mind.

One day, hopping on down the road, the kuai encountered the millipede and expressed admiration, “Wow! You look so graceful. How I wish I could move with many legs instead of being clumsy as I hop along on one leg. How do you do it?” The millipede said, “It’s my nature.” Down the road, the millipede encountered a snake and expressed his admiration. He asked the snake, “You move so smoothly without any legs! How do you do it?” The snake said, “it’s my nature.” Next, the snake encountered the wind and said, “Wow, you move so quickly without a body! How do you do it?” The wind said, “it’s my nature.” When the wind encountered the human eyes, in awe, the wind said, “Wow! You reach distances without moving! How do you do it?” The eyes said, “It is my nature.” The eyes then turned to the human mind – heart … {The rest of this story is lost to time. We can only guess how it ends. Or, we have to accept it as incomplete or an unanswerable mystery. Note, too, that in Chinese, there is only one word that means mind – heart together (心 xīn). The Chinese language does not make a distinction between mind and heart. Vedanta makes such a distinction; plus, Vedanta distinguishes four parts of the mind: 1. The manas is the sense perception 2. The ahamkara is the feeling of an I or ego 3. Buddhi is the intellect 4. Chitta is the storehouse of memory.}

Meditating on an unfinished story, a Jnana yogi might ask, “What would the story be if the one-legged kuai had turned her vision within, and the first being she encountered was her own heart – mind? What would become of the millipede, snake, wind, and eyes in such a story? Won’t you please tell me that story?”

#AdvaitaVedanta #stories

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