Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Vinegar Tasters.

Today my tale is nowhere my own neither is my art. My art is a poor attempt at copying an ancient painting. My tale is one that i have read many many times and have pointed others to it. 

I have never posted it here because I have always thought it was not the right tale.

Yesterday I found a need to go and read it again and as always I was left with much to think about. So I share it as it is and apologise for those who find it either boring or meaningless. 

I will try to simplify as best I can. 

Three famous sages are standing around a large bowl holding vinegar. The three are Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu. The three famous teachers, of Chinese Philosophy.

The first man has a sour expression the second a bitter expression but the third person is smiling.

To Confucius, life seemed rather sour. He believed that the present was out step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of, the universe.     

Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. A saying was recorded about Confucius: "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit." This ought to give an indication of the extent to which things were carried out under Confucianism. 

To Buddha, the second figure in the painting, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The world was seen as a setter of traps, a generator of illusions, a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures. In order to find peace, the Buddhist considered it necessary to transcend "the world of dust" and reach Nirvana, literally a state of "no wind." 

Although the essentially optimistic attitude of the Chinese altered Buddhism considerably after it was brought in from its native India, the devout Buddhist often saw the way to Nirvana interrupted all the same by the bitter wind of everyday existence. 

To Lao Tzu, the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth from the very beginning could be found by anyone at any time, but not by following the rules.  

According to Lao Tzu, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. 

The more forcing, the more trouble.  

To Lao Tzu, the world was not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons. Its lessons needed to be learned, just as its laws needed to be followed; then all would go well. 

To find harmony with life is the way of peace. 
 In the painting, why is Lao Tzu smiling?  Because the vinegar is as it is meant to be it is that part of life it has been set to be. All is well.

I hope today is a day of harmony for you. I know this is not an easy tale but reading it so often helps me get my own life back in harmony .

Have a great day.  I hope that was not a wasted read?

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