25 April 2023

The Meaning Of Life

Long time ago when humanity and civilizations were young, there lived a young wise man. His face was serene, with his beard and peaceful eyes. He appealed solemn attention with his soft intonation and proper demeanor. He attracted respect with his white silky robe and prayer beads on his hand.

He was on his maiden journey across savannas, forests, mountains, and deserts; from temple to temple, from monasteries to monasteries; he read scrolls and scriptures, he conversed with gurus and masters and nobles. He was on the sacred pilgrimage of discovering the meaning of life.

On one fine day, he arrived at a market of a small seaside town. Aside from the children who were playing in the muds and dogs that were digging the rubbish, it was not that busy, as the seamen were having their rest and the traders were just finished weighing the catch of the day.

He didn't spend his time for there were no spiritual gurus in that humble town. After a little negotiation, our wise man boarded a small fishing boat to cross the strait, accompanied by an old boat worker and a young boy.

The sea was calm, the wind was light, and the boredom prompted the wise man to strike up a conversation with the boy. They talked about the water, the boat, the boy's daily activities, then about his own, about his childhood, his friends, his school, his family, his ancestors.

At this point, the boy had stopped talking and was simply listening to the wise man. And he continued, about his home town, his journey, and his quest for the meaning of life.

Had been silent earlier, the old boat worker commented briefly, "it is a foolishness and an utter arrogance to try to contain the meaning of life within the limited boundaries of language."

The boy stared blankly at the sea as the wise man went on, talked about his teachers, the scrolls and scriptures that he had read, and he talked about his robe, his face, his beard, and his charm.

The boy jumped up to his feet, grabbed the wise man by his robe, and pushed him down into the sea. He took a barrel full of fish innards and poured it onto him.

"That, my friend, is the meaning of life."

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