Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Story of the Scorpion and the Holy Man (Revised)

He who sees that all actions
are performed by nature alone
and thus that the self is not the doer -
that man sees truly
(Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita)

There was once a holy man who sat at a river bank. A passer-by observed how he lifted a drowning scorpion out of water, but before he could place it safely onto the river bank, the scorpion stung him. In pain, the holy man instinctively dropped the scorpion back into the water only to rescue it again. The passer-by watched that strange occurrence in amazement for a while and then asked the holy man why he always rescues that scorpion if he knows that he will only get stung. The holy man shrugged his shoulders and replied, "It is the nature of the scorpion to sting and it is my nature to save creatures in distress."

We do what we do, because we do what we do. I remember having once a philosophical discussion with an investor early in my career saying that all of us are 
conditioned in how we react to particular events so that the eventual outcome of our action is entirely pre-programmed. He laughed heartedly in response and said that few of my colleagues would quite see it that way.  I have long stopped having these "free-will" discussions since they don't seem to go anywhere. What I can say as a spiritual traveler though is that we just swap conditioning. As we let go of our own personal conditioning, we sign up to do HER WILL instead. So yes, along the WAY we may rescue the drowning scorpion just as the holy man did. It would be a strange end to the movie though, if it kept stinging us. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Let the movie unfold and don't worry, the ending will be a meaningful one. Once the SELF engages, serenity and love will be our travel companions.

No comments: