John Suler's Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
The Emperor asked Master Gudo, "What happens to a man of enlightenment after death?"
"How should I know?" replied Gudo.
"Because you are a master," answered the Emperor.
"Yes sir," said Gudo, "but not a dead one."
People's reactions to this story:
"Knowledgeable people are not afraid to say "I don't know" regarding things that they _cannot_ know. Observe all that you can. Do not invent what you cannot know."
"This story seems to me to be saying that we should rely on our own experience. That is the only thing that we truly "know". The master could not talk about what happened to an enlightened man after death because he had never experienced death."
Why should the emperor care? If he doesn't know, he's not enlightened and shouldn't try to act enlightened because he's not!!!
"I believe that this story is trying to tell us that first hand experience is the only kind of knowledge we can truly have."
"I guess that the master is still not enlightened completely."
A wise man knows that he is not wise-just like Socrates.
The truly wise are not afraid to say "I don't know."
To know that you know what you know is all anyone can really know!!
Your alive so mind your own business!
I think master Gudo wants the emperor to realize he should not think of the future but now.
The future is unforeseeable and the past is but dead images, we only really experience the present moment.
When one answers a question with another question that person is avoiding answering the question. Maybe the Zen master knows the answer and doesn't want to share it with the Emperor.
Sometimes, if you have to answer a question with a question, maybe more thought should have been put into it before it was spoken.
A fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer.
I think this story is beautiful. It states,very briefly, the great flaws I see with traditional western religions. They all promise life after death and eternal bliss-worshipping God. But they miss the point--it doesn't matter what happens after death if we live our lives right.
Cross each bridge when you get to it.
"The World of the Living and the World of the Dead....so close but yet so far."
Just shows that you shouldn't trust all the quacks who claim to know everything about the afterlife!
|| A Useless Life || Bell Teacher || Banishing a Ghost ||