raganwald
Thursday, October 11, 2007
  Three stories about The Tao
That maverick framework author is self-centred and vain. His framework is all about solving his problems, his way, he refuses to look at what the market wants and build something that could be more popular.

There was once a monk who would carry a mirror where ever he went. A priest noticed this one day and thought to himself “This monk must be so preoccupied with the way he looks that he has to carry that mirror all the time. He should not worry about the way he looks on the outside, it’s what’s inside that counts.” So the priest went up to the monk and asked “Why do you always carry that mirror?” thinking for sure this would prove his guilt.

The monk pulled the mirror from his bag and pointed it at the priest. Then he said “I use it in times of trouble. I look into it and it shows me the source of my problems as well as the solution to my problems.”

Sure, the big corporate framework and its language have problems, but they pay the bills.

Once there was a horse tied up on the side of the street. Whenever someone tried to pass, the horse would kick them. Soon a crowd gathered around the horse until a wise man was seen coming close. The people said “This horse will surely kill anyone who tries to pass. What are we going to do?” The wise man looked at the horse, turned and walked down another street.

Those rabid evangelists turned me off with their attitude, so I determined then and there to never look into their stuff, ever.

A monk and his novice were walking through the forest. They come to a stream. On the bank there was a beautifully dressed woman, crying. The monks asked her what was the matter. “I am on my way to a wedding. I have to cross the stream to get there, but the bridge has been washed away. I was searching for a place to cross where I wouldn’t ruin the dress, but I can’t find one and if I don’t make it across soon, I will be late.”

Without a word, the elder monk scooped her into his arms, waded across the stream, and deposited her on the other side. Ignoring her thanks, he waded back and the two monks resume their walk. They continued on their journey, but the younger monk was agitated and obviously had something on his mind. The elder monk stopped and asked him what was the matter.

“Elder, I am confused. Our vows prohibit us from fleshly contact with women, yet you embraced that woman in your arms. How can this be?” The elder monk eyed his novice with kindly concern. “Novice,” he asked, “I left her on the bank of the stream. Why do you still carry her?

I've read or heard these stories (and quite a few more) many times and in many forms. I borrowed the wording for the first and second story from this good page. Also, someone was kind enough to point outthat these stories are not necessarily about the Tao, and how Taoism is different from Zen, and so forth. Just so you know :-)

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Comments on “Three stories about The Tao:
The first parable in this article has become my new favorite. Thanks!
 
Heh, gotta love how you're referring to a very specific blog entry that was today on reddit but do not reference it or use explicit words from it ;)
 
Do Chuang Tsu's parable of the ox carving :)
 
Loved the third one.
 
Did you modify the first quote? It's different in my RSS reader.
 
Ah, the wisdom of Lao Tzu. The exact book you pictured is one of my favourites.
 
It is obvious that the novice still carries the woman; the last line would better be "Why do you still carry her?"
 
cynos, the ox carving is my favorite story too. Here's my take:
QUOTE:
"Basically, the programmer's task is to convert human understandable specifications into machine understandable instructions."

PARABLE

 
If you like the first parable you will like the movie "Acid House"
 
For an excellent rendition of the "Why are you still carrying her?" parable, as well as a couple of others, see "Zen Shorts" by John Muth. It's written as a children's book (the main character is a giant panda), but so beautifully illustrated and nicely executed that it's worth having regardless.

(Amazon book entry)

Won a Caldecott Honor.
 
Thank you, ordered.
 
I'm worried that retreating into zen stories means that we're abandoning our vigorous defense of Rails! Is the tide turning, enthusiasm waning?
 
I'm worried that retreating into zen stories means that we're abandoning our vigorous defense of Rails!

Once there was a horse tied up on the side of the street. Whenever someone tried to pass, the horse would kick them. Soon a crowd gathered around the horse until a wise man was seen coming close. The people said “This horse will surely kill anyone who tries to pass. What are we going to do?” The wise man looked at the horse, turned and walked down another street.

:-)
 
I know it's not much of a comment, but: Thank you
 
thanks for a good post!

some time ago I found a website with more zen stories (among those three in your post):

http://www-usr.rider.edu/~suler/zenstory/zenstory.html

you might like them too :)
 
thank you~ i luv the first one quote, really made me laugh~ a business friend once commented that my business plan was"limited" because i wasn't aiming for 1 million dollars plus...

am enjoying exploring your site
 




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