Saturday, January 27, 2007

Abrupt and Sudden

odd ornamental ball
Originally uploaded by Rob E.
Finishing up my breakfast this morning I spied on the corner of the table my copy of Cleary’s The Taoist Classics, Volume I. I picked it up thinking that I needed to put it away. “Nothing useful here.”

Then I noticed that I’d attached a little stickum tag to the edge of one page. “What is this?”

Opening the book, I smiled. I had forgotten Chuan-tzu’s story of Abrupt and Sudden.
It bears repeating, sharing, living non-forgotten:

The lord of the south sea was Abrupt; the lord of the north sea was Sudden. From time to time Abrupt and Sudden got together in the territory of Primal Unity, and Primal Unity treated them very well.

Abrupt and Sudden planned to repay Primal Unity’s kindness.

They said, “People all have seven openings, through which they see, hear, eat, and breathe; Primal Unity alone has none. Let us make openings in Primal Unity.”

So every day they gouged out a hole. After seven days, Primal Unity died.