TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE

A rabbi was concerned for a young friend who was becoming worldly and materialistic.

The rabbi invited him into his study and led him to the window.

“What do you see?” he asked.

There was a playground next to the house. “I see children playing,” the young friend answered.

Then the rabbi took a little hand mirror out of his pocket and held it before the visitor’s face. “Tell me what you see now?”

“I see myself,” he said wondering what was going on.

“Isn’t it strange,” the rabbi asked, “that when a little silver gets between yourself and others, you see only yourself.”

Source: “Materialism” #20,  in
Frank Mihalic, SVD
1000 Stories You Can Use, Vol 1
(Divine Word Publications, Manila, 1989)
pages 10-11

CONSIDER THIS

  • What is it in your life that tends to get in the way of seeing what is offered for you to see?
  • What blinds you, or if not so sever, what is it that blocks your vision?
  • And here’s one quotation to chew on: Cataracts are the third biggest cause of blindness. Religion and politics are the first two.”

THE WORLD MIRRORS THE HEART

THE WORLD MIRRORS THE HEART

Su Dongpo prided himself on his wit and liked to debate Master Foyin. One day, over tea, he challenged the master. “Foyin, people think you are an enlightened monk, but to me you just look like a big, stinking pile of worthless dung sitting on your pillow all day long.”

Su Dongpo leaned backward and crossed his arms slyly.

Master Foyin placed his hands in prayer position, “My dear Dongpo, but to me you look like a Buddha.”

Su Dongpo grinned and bid Master Foyin farewell.

When Su Dongpo got home, he was wearing a triumphant smile. His sister asked him what happened.

“Today I outsmarted Master Foyin,”Su Dongpo replied, then recounted the events to her.

“Oh no, brother! I’m sorry to tell you this, but you lost badly,” she said.

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t you realize that the world mirrors the heart? Master Foyin sees you as a Buddha because he is a Buddha. You see him as a pile of dung. What does that make you?”

Su Dongpo turned beet red. Then, all of a sudden, he became enlightened.

Source: There are many versions of this traditional story, each with their own unique take on the tale. This is the version as told by Qigong master, Jihui (Robert) Peng, in The Master Key: Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love and Wisdom. (Sounds True, 2014) pages 223-224

CONSIDER THIS

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” —C.G. Jung

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” Hermann Hesse

“We discover in ourselves what others hide from us and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves.” —Vauvenargues

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PERFUME FOR MY WIFE

On Christmas Eve, Nathan thought it would be nice to buy his wife a little gift for the next day. Always short of money, he thought long and hard about what that present might be. Unable to decide, Nathan entered Dillard’s and in the cosmetics section he asked the girl, “How about some perfume?”  She showed him a bottle costing $150.00

“Too expensive,” muttered Nathan.

The young lady returned with a smaller bottle for $75.00.

“Oh dear,” Nathan groused, “still far too much.”

Growing rather annoyed at Nathan’s meanness, the sales girl brought out a tiny $30.00 bottle and offered it to him. Nathan became really agitated, “What I mean”, he whined, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.”

So the sales girl handed him a mirror.

Source | unknown

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A slightly different version

At the end of a long business trip, a man was searching for a gift to take home to his wife. “How about some perfume?” he asked the clerk. She showed him a bottle for 50.

“That’s too much,” he replied. So the clerk showed him a smaller bottle for 30.“That’s still quite a bit,” he complained.

Rolling her eyes, the clerk brought out a tiny bottle for 15. Again he shook his head. “What I mean is I’d like to see something real cheap.” With that the clerk handed him a mirror!

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning (1996).

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Does your mirror reflect scarcity or abundance?