Esoteric Online

Wishing you a prosperous New Year EO Community! Keep Steady - run deep. ~ Max

Long ago, there lived a rich old man who was a lecher and skinflint by nature. He lusted after pleasure but couldn’t bear to part with his money.

One twilit evening, with the clouds tinged a delicate rosy shade and a light breeze blowing, the old man was in his garden. The cones on the old pine tree rustled gently and, in this scene of tranquility, the old miser was overcome by a hankering for lamb. Suddenly, a brainwave! He had an idea how to eat as much lamb as he wanted without paying for it and without losing face.

The old man told his servant to bring his sons to him. When his sons arrived, they found their father in a posture of prayer, solemnly intoning, “Tree Spirit! Tree Spirit! Please continue to bless this house! Please bless us! Please bless us!”Then, the old man turned around and exclaimed, “My sons! Why are we so blessed? Verily because of this old pine tree! You should offer sacrifices to the Tree Spirit every year.” The young men followed their father’s injunction, and immediately slaughtered a great number of lambs, and moreover, built a shrine for offering sacrifices to the Tree Spirit. As he had intended, the old man was soon supping on lamb and felt most satisfied with himself.

Year by year, the old man weakened, and at last he fell gravely ill. Just before the end, he dreamed that a herd of sheep came and demanded his life. As a result, in his next life he became a lamb in his very own flock of sheep.

When the day of worship came round again, the old man’s sons chose to sacrifice the lamb which was actually their father’s new incarnation. Only now did remorse enter the old man’s heart: “My sons! This old pine tree is just an old pine tree. I just wanted to satisfy my appetite. Please don’t keep piling wrong on wrong; otherwise, there can be no escape from suffering.” Just at the moment the old man’s sons picked up their butcher’s knives, an Arhat passed by begging for food and prevented the slaughter.

Pointing to the lamb, the Arhat said, “Don’t kill it! This lamb is your father!” Through divine power, the sons saw the lamb’s previous incarnation. Seeing this, the old man’s sons could not contain their tears and swore the oath, “From now on, I will never kill! I will only do good deeds to plant the fields of blessings, and make offerings to the Three Jewels.”

The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!

http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com/the-offerings-of-a-miser-buddhist-zen-story/

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Alchemist
Comment by Loki on December 30, 2020 at 5:20pm

It's difficult to write things like this directly, it becomes a mere reminder rather than revealing depth.  The difficulty is in making the symbolic require a path of reason (logos) to the idea being fashioned.  Then the individual has to create it for themselves, the teaching is just as much for the mentor, who can see how the pupil is recognizing whatever id they formulate.  Or, in the case of the self-initiated, you must meditate and consider the ends you come to, rather than whether you are right or wrong.

The path taken is the form for introspection and the idea reveals ones jdugements, which can be contrasted to ones actions.  At least, for me, that is the point of speaking of the esoteric.

The other practice I understand to any degree, constructing the underworld, would mean creating the symbolism for oneself. 

Here, I myself would write that the man hadn't learned, but formed his design in old age, then died in old age.  The lamb he became rushed to the site each day to eat grass.  If you play with a lucid dream, put  voices in certain places, set boundaries, develop contexts you create a cascade of effects.  Not simply whether the parable is true, but what effects it arouses within you, in the original form or wildly altered forms.  This story gives too much of a sense of control.  In that case, any emanations only form to the moment, not the whole, so it only gives the sense of a result, a mirage.

I only practice 2nd degree(my own words: a little beyond surface level exploratory vision) create a formal-body, overlay it with an energy pattern, make some changes and feel what emanations come from this.  So I'm  hardly a master, but this story would need to go beyond the mental idea.

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