Wise Men

Imagine there is a village. It has people who work hard to earn a living. Among them, are men who do not relate well to the constant hustle. They realize that one does not need a lot to live. They do not need large vasts of land or hordes of cattle. The moment one owns something, it occupies equal space in mind. A mental baggage comes with keeping up with task of managing these things. As possessions grow, so does the stress of keeping and maintaining them. There is greed, envy, fear of loss and insecurity.

This changes how one thinks and act. Men who realize this decide to step away. They start living somewhere outside the village. They occupy a small “place”, eat simple and wear basic clothes. When villagers comes across them, they see a happiness that is mysterious. The lack of stress and abundance of time is surprising. These men appear “wise”. The wisdom is from the freedom they got from the perpetual struggle that others are occupied in. While villagers struggle, they are at ease.

Everyone asks “how are you at peace?” though they know the answer. Everyone wants that peace but they do not want to let go of anything. They crave a new possession, happiness. The Place begins to appear sacred to villagers. Many begin to move out of the village to start living there. With an increase in group size comes a need to organize. Rules are made to villagers who want to step out and join. Although, it began to avoid conformance,  the Place now demands it.

Many villagers want wisdom and happiness without leaving their life. So, children are sent to the sacred place. Wise men teach them. As years pass, the teachings remain same. A curriculum is established. Teachings are accepted and spread through generations. Initially, the teachings are given orally but later they are written. When speaking, a teacher can chose his own words and act a he finds suitable. Once books are introduced, teachers stick to them.

A hierarchy is established to govern what goes into the book. Changes are reviewed and become infrequent over time. So any individual that goes through this school receives the same teachings. The skill or greatness of teachers varies but the content becomes as sacred as the place itself.

If hundreds of years later someone questions these words, he will be looked down upon. He may also be subjected to violence. The schools, institutions and teachings live. So does the fear of loss and greed to gather. The teachings were set to help realize that more physical or mental possessions does not bring happiness. They have been transformed into a possession. People are threatened when they question. They think these teachings are at threat if questioned. In fact, they exist because someone was questioning when others were busy gathering food. They are threatened by questions and resort to violence. They hold the book close and repeat its words as a ritual. The ritual has taken space in their mind. Like a house to be maintained give stress. Forgetting to perform this ritual or not doing it right gives them fear.

What began to end fear turns into a reason to spread it.

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