Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great
crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs
and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and
resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature
said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall
let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current
you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will
die quicker than boredom!"
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at
once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet, in time,
as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the
bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See
a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come
to save us all!" And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more
Messiah than you. The river delight to lift us free, if only we dare let go.
Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.
But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the
rocks, making legends of a Saviour.
-- Richard Bach
One day it was announced that the young monk Kyogen had reached
an enlightened state. Much impressed by this news, several of his peers
went to speak with him.
"We have heard that you are enlightened. Is this true?" his fellow
"It is", Kyogen answered.
"Tell us", said a friend, "how do you feel?"
"As miserable as ever", replied the enlightened Kyogen.