“And the third question is: ‘The light has been created first or darkness has been created first?’” That’s the three extra questions. “Many of the other stories and many of the wise persons in the world have tried very hard to answer these questions.”
“‘I have more power than anyone else in this whole world. Many still became my friend because I have enough strength and power to help them.’ So, the wise people, the wise sages kept quiet. Alexander could see that they did not believe that these people are real friends of Alexander.”
When you are powerful and rich, you don’t really know who are your friends. (Yes.) They can turn around any time when the situation is not favorable and beneficial to them. Correct? (Yes, Master.) I saw that many times in my lifetime. I can attest to that.
“So, Alexander asked them, ‘Among you, who is the wisest?’ They answered, ‘All of us have the same wisdom, same intelligence.’ Alexander said, ‘If all of you are truly of the same level of intelligence, why you don’t follow my faith and act like me? Is it because you don’t respect me?’ They answered, ‘We are always tempted to change our faith,’” means religious belief.
“‘We are always tempted to change our faith and just to act like other people, to act like others, but we give our highest respect to someone who could withstand the temptation.’ At this moment, Alexander became more angry. He said, ‘If I only say one word, all my guardians will kill all of you. Why are you not afraid?’ So they answered him, ‘We are not afraid because you have promised us that if we answer all of your questions, you will let us go in peace. A great emperor with such an incredible power like yours would never betray his promise.’”
Got that? (Wow.) (Yes, Master.) They are truly wise. (Yes, Master.) (That’s true.)
“Alexander realized that he has to let them go, or people would think that he’s a liar. So, he controlled his anger,” deep breathing, “and said, ‘OK. I reckon that you have spoken with the wisest intelligence.’ He gave them a lot of gifts with gold and silver etc., and then let them leave in peace.”
This story originally is written in the book “Babylonian Talmud.” It’s good? (Yes, Master.) It’s a short story. There is another story about him, but let’s study this short one first. There’s another one even. OK. Let’s read it. Oh, there’s two more, to make it finished.
“There’s another story that has been written about the ten questions from Alexander, not just seven. So, there are three more questions. The first one…” Three more questions extra.
“One of them was: ‘From the earth to the sky and from the east to the west, which distance is longer?’ And the second question extra is: ‘Heaven or sky was established before or the earth was established first?’ And the third question is: ‘The light has been created first or darkness has been created first?’” That’s the three extra questions. “Many of the other stories and many of the wise persons in the world have tried very hard to answer these questions.
There were some elders who answered these three questions above. The first question is if from west to east is a longer distance than from the sky to the earth. The proof is that when the sun is in the east, meaning very far, then even people can see it. But when the sun is in the middle of the sky, meaning very near, nobody can see it.”
You understand what I’m saying? No. (No.) How can nobody see the sun when it’s in the middle of the sky? (It’s too bright.) (Cannot look at it.) No, you have to… (It’s on top.) It’s not that easy when it’s right on top of you. But when the sun is in the east, just coming up, the sun’s just rising up, we can see it easily. (Yes.) But when it’s on top of us, we don’t see it. Of course, we can if we crane our neck or something, then we can see it. But it’s very difficult also because you’ll be blinded by the magnificent sunshine, that you don’t even see very well. So that’s what they think. That’s what they answer.
“And then the second, their answer is that Heaven, meaning the sky, is established before the earth. Because in the Bible, it is said that: ‘In the beginning, God made the Heavens and then the earth.’” (Yes, Master.) The sky, or Heaven, they just say “trời” here, meaning the sky. The sky is also Heaven. That’s what they meant here. So that means God made the Heaven first and then made the earth after. It’s also logical. (Yes, Master.) It’s in the Bible. The Bible cannot say the wrong thing.
“And then for the third question, they answered that, ‘Of course, the Jews, the Jewish people cannot answer anything different than,’” I mean, contradictory to the Bible. Because after that answer in the Bible, then we have to say that the darkness was created before the light. That’s why in the Bible, God said that: ‘God wanted light and there is light.’” (Yes, Master.)
It’s also logical. (Yes.) God just said Hes wants light and the light comes. So that means before that, there must have been darkness. (Yes.) Or else why do we need light or why did God have to create light? So that’s also OK. Very good! Bravo! Clap, clap, clap.
All right then. Now, any questions concerning this? Or you are sleepy, and we can study it next time? My bad translation. Sorry. Any questions or other questions?
(The second question is not very clear to me, Master.) What? (What I mean is, if the sun is at the east, you can see it.) Yes? (But when it’s above your head, you cannot see it.) Yes? (Isn’t it supposed to be farther that you cannot see with your eyes, and things that you can see with your eyes, it’s closer?)
It’s closer… When it’s on top of you, it means it’s closer than when it’s far on the horizon, no? That’s supposed to be like that. I’m not the questioner and I’m not the answer person either. OK? So, these wise people from the old time had tried very hard to answer these questions from Alexander because he, the Emperor Alexander the Great, was thinking he is the best. His ego puffed up to the sky. And then he tried to give them a hard time like that (Yes.) because he thought nobody could answer. But they had the Bible. He didn’t. So they could answer. But the first story has only seven questions. The second story has ten questions, three more extra. And the three extra questions are like that.
Actually, when it’s above you, then it seems closer, the distance is closer. (Yes.) (Oh, yes.) But it doesn’t mean it’s closer. (Yes.) Nobody can measure the sky yet, up to now, I think. Right? (Yes, Master.) And when it’s in the east, it means it’s far from you. (OK.) Far from where you’re standing. (Got it now, Master. Thank You.) And when it’s so far like that, even then they can answer. So, they mean when it’s on top of your head, even though it’s nearer, but you don’t see it. So that means the farther one. (Yes.)
Whatever they say there, I don’t care about all these gymnastics either. It’s just a story. (Yes.) There are some other stories similar like that in Chinese legends also. When we have time, we’ll talk about that. (Yes, Master.) Any other questions?
(I have a question, Master.) Yeah. (Well, just talking about leaders with power like that, when Master was George Washington or Genghis Khan or King Arthur, how did Master avoid all the war karma during those times?)
I forgot. It’s too long here, isn’t it? You know everything in this world is not always the way it looks. And remember when you saw the story of King Arthur? (Yes.) He had to deal with a lot of invasions from other countries and from the black magic people as well. (Wow.) Sometimes they even sent zombies that looked like soldiers, but they were not. Therefore, it’s OK to even kill them. They are not real. They are made by magic. (Wow.) (Oh wow!) They don’t have souls in them, these kinds of soldiers. (Yes, Master.) So, sometimes, maybe you have to use magic to defeat them or just kill them outright. That is a story only. (Yes, Master.) As a normal person, you don’t know who is a zombie, who is not, so it’s better not to kill anyone. If they don’t bother you, you don’t bother them. (Yes, Master.)