Seeing that which is

Stories

In a remote corner of the country, there lived a stubborn old man. People who used to know him told many stories about him. In one story, he was very young, only a boy. Watermelons were harvested from a nearby village, and children gathered at a spot to eat them. Everyone wanted to have a taste. The boy, in order to have many for himself, bit off the top of the many slices, and no one was willing to eat them anymore. So he leisurely ate them all, and after a while, his stomach ached and fell ill for several days.

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A traveler began a journey in the valley. She had lived in the valley for generations. It was said that a woman shall not leave her soil, travel alone to foreign lands, yet she did not listen. She heard the calling of the mountain top, and yearned every day of her life to attain to that height. So one day, she decided to leave everything behind, her family, her children, her house. She looked at the mountain top, covered with snow, majestic, solitary, imbued with power she could not name.

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There once was the one with many faces. Many people had seen the one, but only through the faces. They had seen happiness, courage, solitude, discipline, and many other faces. The people thought these faces were tremendous. The faces were articulate, exquisite, brimming with an inexplicable energy, and they had accomplished incredible deeds in the world. They had scaled the highest mountains, crossed the enormous ocean, conquered entire kingdoms, built the most complicated architecture. To these faces, the people wrote many tales. The tale of the happy man. The story of a lonesome warrior. The adventure of a fearless pirate. The ascent of a just ruler. Soon, the tales were gathered into books, collections, and they were studied. People's children imitated these faces, or the tales of these faces, and those who imitated the best were venerated. They were deemed the living expression of the one with many faces.

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Two friends gathered around the campfire. The night had encompassed everything. The moon is full, and its light seemed quite bright in the forest around them. There were the occasional ruffling coming from the animals hiding in the darkness, but the surrounding had become quiet.

“Let me tell you a story. I have quite a good one to share.” One of them, a bright young lady, who was a traveler, with quite a serious expression on her face, began to talk between them.

“Alright, let's hear it.” Spoke the other, who was a professor, quite accomplished in the academic world at his young age. He came out camping with the traveler for a change of scenery from the big city.

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“Could you tell me a story before bed?” The little girl asked the Grandmother.

“Of course, my dear. Now get in bed, put on the covers, and please don't get a cold at night. Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“The story goes like this. Once upon a time, there was a fox in the mountain. The fox was chasing its tail. The fox thought its tail was separate from itself, so it kept chasing and chasing, but never really catching it. So on and on the fox chased its tail, wearing itself out slowly.”

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A writer went up the mountain to seek the wise patriarch.

“Sir, I want to write a story.”

“Why?”

“Because I want people to know what I think. I have many thoughts about the world.”

“So go and write. Why have you come here?”

“It is very difficult to write. I don't seem to have words to it. My ideas are grand, and I am afraid that people won't read it.”

“It is so. Maybe no one will read your story.”

“That is a depressing thought. I want people to read it. But then I try to please them, write things they like. Then it wouldn't be my story.”

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There are many doors along the hallway. The hallway seems to have no ends. One might try to walk endlessly along, but no one has ever found the end of it. The hallway is of course full of people, who are entering and exiting the many doors along it. The doors are also countless. There are those who do not care about the hallway at all, and are determined to enter through the right doors. There are those quite confused about this whole business of entering and exiting, and walk along aimlessly, seemingly deciding what to do. What is even more strange is that no one knows how they first came to this hallway at all. All they could remember is the hallway, and the many doors along.

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