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Appearance Doesn't Always Reflect Inner Attainment, Part 5 of 10

2024-04-14
Lingua del discorso:Chinese (中文)
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If you want to govern a country and help your citizens, you don’t even care about your own reputation. Do not let others know that you’re honest and upright. No need to let others know that you’re wise. No need to let everyone know that you’re talented in bringing peace to the country and governing the world. No need. No need. You just do it yourself. No need to talk or explain. And no need to show off. Then sometimes you can govern even better. […]

If you want to save the world, you shouldn’t be attached to certain aspects. Depending on the situation, we help whatever we can quietly. Yes? Like Guan Zhong. Is it Guan Zhong? (Yes.) Which state did he belong to? Wei? Qi? (Qi State. He was the prime minister of Qi.) Guan Zhong of Qi. Do you know him? He was a famous prime minister, wasn’t he? (Yes.) He acted no differently from the foolish king of Qi. He did whatever the king did. When the king was foolish, he was also, even more. He didn’t want the king to smell his morality. He didn’t want the king to think that he’s better than him. However, because of that, he was able to govern the country and bring peace to the world. He was able to help that foolish king. He could even make use of the foolish king to help his citizens. Because only the citizens were important, not the king. If you can make use of him, do use him. If you kill him, it only brings you bad reputation. Instead, you stay beside him, play along with him, and then teach him how to do things. Because you’ve won his trust, he’ll listen to you. He’ll treat you as his partner, because you two are exactly the same. Both of you are foolish. He doesn’t… (Can be called bosom buddies.) He regards you as his confidant, a bosom buddy. Yes. Birds of a feather.

The king drank, and the prime minister drank even more than he did. He was terribly drunk, and the prime minister was even worse. He knew the king so well from inside, from his heart. This is what is called “If you know yourself and your enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” He didn’t have to show off his morality or his talent. He just governed the state quietly. At that time, was the king Qi Wen… Was he Qi Wen Zhang? Qi Wen Zhang? (Duke Huan of Qi.) Duke Huan of Qi. He was not the king really; the king was Guan Zhong. That’s perfect. Though it’s Duke Huan of Qi sitting on the throne, but it’s Guan Zhong who was governing the state and bringing peace to all. Because he was so tactful, so tactful. He could use even the bad guys. Those silly treacherous court officials, he could tolerate them all.

The other one couldn’t tolerate, and that’s why he could not do the job well. What’s the name of the other one? He was also very talented. (Bao Shuya.) Bao Shuya? (Bao Shuya.) Bao Shuya, he was also a very good person, but he’s too good, too extreme. He liked good people very much. As for the bad guys, wow, he’d kill them and felt it’s not enough. He’d kill them without blinking an eye. That’s why he couldn’t govern the state so well as Guan Zhong. Though he was a loyal courtier, a very honest and upright high official, he couldn’t help the state that much. On the contrary, Guan Zhong led a chaotic life: eating (animal-people) meat, drinking, smoking, having affairs and many chaotic things. Exactly like the king. However, he’s the one who helped the country most, the best hero. That’s why when we read history, we should learn something. Not to mention reading Buddhist sutras or watching Master’s teachings and lectures. If we have wisdom, we can always learn something from whatever we read. When we read how others brought peace to the country and ruled the world, we can also learn to do it. Understand?

Governing the country and bringing peace to the world is also like practicing spiritually to save sentient beings. Nothing different. The method is the same, and so are the tactics. And so is the spirit to serve. Being an ordinary prime minister, he knew sacrificing his own reputation for the sake of his citizens. He’s the one who really loved his country and was loyal to his king. His loyalty to the king was real. Without him, the state of Qi would have long been swallowed up. Duke Huan of Qi would not have been able to sit on the throne, giving orders and enjoying glory and wealth. Therefore, he was really loyal to the king. It’s not giving orders all day long, or criticizing the king, scolding him and embarrassing him, then one can be considered as a loyal courtier. One should do things quietly. That is also good, but it’s too… Sometimes not so flexible.

If you want to govern a country and help your citizens, you don’t even care about your own reputation. Do not let others know that you’re honest and upright. No need to let others know that you’re wise. No need to let everyone know that you’re talented in bringing peace to the country and governing the world. No need. No need. You just do it yourself. No need to talk or explain. And no need to show off. Then sometimes you can govern even better. If you let others know too much, people would keep praising you. When you are not really moral, yet people keep praising you, exaggerating your virtues from eight points to twelve, then you’d feel even more uncomfortable. People would expect more from you each time. When another person praises you, it’d become 15 points, then you are lacking half of that. That’s when you’ll have trouble. You’d feel nervous and be very careful in doing everything. You’d become uneasy. Because you’ll always have to live up to the reputation that people expect you to be. Then, it’d be difficult to do things. Doing things casually is more comfortable. Because people won’t expect much from you.

People would think, “Ah, that’s how that person is. No need to watch him. He doesn’t mean business. No big deal, no one would want him. He’s sloppy, casual, vulgar, eating, drinking, playing, enjoying life. He’s nothing. Don’t care about him. No need to pay attention to him. He’s not competitive. The way I am, very virtuous, people will definitely like me. What’s the big deal about him?” That’s how it is. You’re not competitive. No one expects anything from you. You’ll do things… (Smoothly.) Huh? (Smoothly.) Smoothly, because you do things quietly. You’re doing things behind… like you’re smiling behind your mask, which no one sees. Have you seen that kind of mask? The rigid mask. (Yes.) It covers your whole face except your two eyes. Then, if you’re laughing or crying behind the mask, no one sees.

Likewise, here in this world, sometimes if we really want to help others, we must not care what people think about us, like… Truly, if… If we really want to gain reputation, it’s easy, very easy. You only need good advertisement, good ways of paving the way. After paving the way for a few years, people will know that you’re good. Then, for example, if you want to be a presidential candidate, it’ll be very convenient. If you really want to be a presidential candidate, you have to pave your way in advance, pretending that you are not running. You prepare in advance, greeting everyone, visiting every temple and church and all groups and organizations, etc., etc. After some time, people would invite you, saying, “Please, please! I see you’re the most virtuous person in the whole country. You have the demeanor of a spiritual practitioner.” Like that. And then you say, “Oh, no! I feel embarrassed!” Then after people have invited you repeatedly, you just say, “Let it be! (Let it be!) So embarrassing.” (I really feel embarrassed.) “I really feel embarrassed. But you may invite me again.” Invite again? Screening? Huh? (Second screening.) Screening (Running) for the election? For example like that. Therefore, it’s all fake morality and reputation.

One with real good morality and reputation, often looks otherwise from the outside. A really capable person never reveals himself. I don’t mean anyone here. I mean the whole world. Sometimes people say that politics should be like that. I learn from them. Just hearsay. Sometimes, mingling with them, I hear some interesting things. Maybe one day I’d want to run for president. That’s why I should learn it first. It’s OK if it’s never put into use. No harm, anyway. What if I want to? Then I’ll know how to do it. Or else it’d be too late, right? I’m old already. If not now, when shall I learn? Just joking. I’m not a Taiwanese (Formosan). Not your competitor. Don’t worry. It seems it requires that my birthplace is here. (Yes, You could. Why not?) I’m Chinese. What I mean is, I have a little bit of Chinese bloodline. The name shows there’s a little bit, even just one drop. Then, I’ll just change my name into a Taiwanese (Formosan) one. That’ll do. And then learn some Taiwanese (Formosan) dialect would be great.

In ancient times, there was a person… I don’t know what his name was. I’ve forgotten. He was better than the king. The king was morally degenerated and greedy, while he was very generous. He later obtained the country and the throne. (King Wen.) (King Wen of Zhou.) King Wen of Zhou? Was He a good king? (The best king. He went to Jiang Zi…) (He was originally a duke.) (One of the dukes and then became a king. He went to invite Jiang Ziya to be the political adviser.) Perhaps it’s like that. Perhaps He’d been doing everything better than the king, so later, people invited Him to be the King. If Guan Zhong wanted to be a good person, he could also take the position of Duke Huan of Qi. Because at that time, the reputation of Duke Huan of Qi was already bad. Wasn’t it? Guan Zhong didn’t do it. He didn’t like to take away the throne of others. He liked to help the country. He was a real patriot. He didn’t care about his reputation. He even threw it away for the good of the country. He made himself even more lousy and terrible, so that the king wouldn’t doubt him. He kept his reputation lower than the king, so that he could help the country.

Because at that time, he just happened to have that kind of king, so what could he do? If you killed him, it’s also a bad reputation. If someone else became the king, he might not be better than the old one. He just happened to win his trust, so he just went along with it. Is it the way to say it? He dealt with things as circumstances demanded. Thanks to him, that state of Qi enjoyed peaceful times and later even acquired other honors. (Became the overlord.) Became the overlord. Right? What’s the big deal about Duke Huan of Qi? He wasn’t worth even one penny. Everyone knew that. His best deed was using Guan Zhong. Likewise, Guan Zhong’s best deed was to make use of the foolish king. Not only the foolish king, Guan Zhong could also make use of treacherous court officials beside the king. He didn’t give the cold shoulder to anyone. This way he could do things even better. That man was really amazing, very smart. If spiritual practitioners could learn from him, it’d be very nice. He’s really broad-minded. He was a good person, but not that good, meaning from the outside, only from the outside. I don’t mean he’s not good in the inside. Just that he didn’t want to let people think that he’s so good. He can tolerate all kinds of people. That’s why he could govern the country and bring peace to the world.

I think Guan Zhong was a nice guy. If I could have one person like him... The sister is already not bad. I’m contented. When she smiles, (Solves all worries.) the city of troubles is gone. Her second smile… would overrun our Dragon Boat Lake here. OK. Sometimes reading stories of the old times, we could learn something. Therefore, if we’d like to comment on someone or to understand someone, we must use wisdom to understand deeply what kind of person he is. We can’t judge him only from the outside. We have to look at the outcome of what he does, the outcome of his behaviors. Don’t just look at his behaviors. Don’t just look at his outside without… His demeanor, habit, or ways of doing things sometimes could cheat us. If the outcome of his doing is good, then it’s good. Likewise, sometimes…

Like in Âu Lạc (Vietnam), there was also a Prime Minister who didn’t have a good reputation. His name was Trần Thủ Độ. You probably don’t know him. He was very well-known. When he was alive, everyone scolded him. History says he was not good. History also says Guan Zhong was not very good. I don’t know how good it says he was, but his descendants didn’t obtain any of his fame or anything like that, weren’t able to… obtain the benefit of power and wealth like Guan Zhong. He was really all for his citizens, not leaving a name for his posterity. That’s why his descendants did not get any good reputation. Understand? Nor official post for his children or grandchildren. (No influential power for them.) Did not leave influential power to his descendants. (Benefiting the descendants.) Benefiting the ancestors and grandchildren? (Meaning passing down the official post.) Right, right. Didn’t pass down. No one respected them, saying, “Ah, those are the descendants of Prime Minister Guan” or anything. No, no. No one cared.

Photo Caption: True Nature Is Brightness, Till Contamination Took Over!

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