Parables of Lao Tse/The First Parable: Let the Ant Pass!
The First Parable:
Let the Ant Pass!
The archivist of the imperial library called Lao Tse was walking along the road and thinking about what he had read that day. He was completely absorbed and was not looking at the road.
Suddenly, he heard: “Let the ant pass!”
Lao Tse looked down and saw that his foot was over a little ant hurrying to an anthill. He carefully stepped over the insect and looked back to see who had spoken with him. But he could not see anyone around!
“Is there someone here?”
“Yes!” — said the Invisible One.
“Who are You?”
“Are You the Immortal Who has cognized Tao?”
“Why can’t I see you?”
“Because you are looking around only with the eyes of your body and even forget to look under your feet!”
“So, how can I see You?”
“You need to look with the eyes of the heart — the spiritual heart!”
“Don’t hurry! Let’s start from the beginning. We were talking about the ant…”
“Does it matter?”
“Yes! Everything has its meaning and purpose! The life of every ant, worm, bird, and plant is not a “pointless fortuity”. They — just like you — are here by the Will of Tao! Their lives also contribute to the development of the universe! The one who hasn’t learned to respect lives of all incarnate creatures won’t be able to take the next step on the Path of the cognition of Tao.
“At present many people on the Earth have become insane, so to speak! Heartlessness predominates in the world: they kill animals, devastate bird nests, and catch all the fish from the lakes, rivers, and seas to eat their flesh! They destroy trees, cutting and burning them without necessity! Senseless destruction of innocent creatures leads to the transformation of cruelty into the ‘norm’! People have begun to consider those things that are harmful for them as “useful”! On the contrary, what is really useful ‘does not make any sense’ for them…
“Thus the Truth is lost! Thus the memory about the Harmony, laid by Tao in the Law of existence and development of everything, is lost! Such behavior of people is contrary to their real interests, but they don’t know about this!
“Yet people can correct their lives, following the principles of Love and Harmony!
“You, if you want to, can help them to get to know about the Law of Tao, about the principles according to which people should live in the universe. Anyone who knows this Law may find peace, joy, and harmony in life.
“Why did You choose me?”
“A lot of things from your past life on the Earth connect us! Later on, I’ll remind you about the most important of them.
“The one who has already traversed the entire Path can easily remember everything! You will need little time and effort for this!”
“Why was I born here again? Why don’t I remember the steps of the Path?”
“You have come into this incarnation with a special purpose. You have the Mission: you will help a large number of people to learn about the meaning of their lives and about how to live in a correct way! You and I will write the book about Tao and Te! Do you agree?”
“How can I say ‘no’ to God?!”
“Quite easily! A lot of people do this, turning their eyes away from the Heavenly. They look only at the benefits from the material life and thus become prisoners of material things…
“So, do you agree to help Me?”
“Yes! With great joy!”
“I’ll take you at your word since it won’t be easy!”
“Let me see You! Tell me Your name!”
“My name is Huang Di. I am — forever — your Teacher! I was your Teacher many centuries ago when you lived in a body near Me and learned from Me!
“Now I am ready again to be with you as long as you want it, even until the last breath of your body!
“Together we can do a lot of useful things on the Earth! You will write a book — and My ancient Teachings will be heard again among the people of China! Your words, like arrows from the Abode of the Secret Knowledge, will be hitting destined targets for thousands of years!
“This doesn’t mean that the emperors and generals will begin to follow our advice immediately. This doesn’t mean that the peasants, the officials, and the traders will change quickly their lives in accordance with these wise principles. Nevertheless, those who will hear and understand them will get the possibility to find the Path of cognizing the Greatness of Tao and walk this Path till the end!”
… Lao Tse was listening to Huang Di and was being born anew, so to speak! That love which connects the Teacher with His disciple flooded his heart with Calm and Bliss. He saw the soft iridescent Light that, shining like the sun’s rays in the purest transparency of water, took the form of the Great Teacher Huang Di.
Lao Tse wanted to rush to the feet of the Master, but his ability to see Huang Di left him as suddenly as it had appeared…
“Don’t worry! It’s enough for today! We will continue tomorrow. Now take a rest…”