|Duke Mu of Chin said to Po Lo: “You are now advanced in|
years. Is there any member of your family whom I could
employ to look for horses in your stead?” Po Lo replied: “A
good horse can be picked out by its general build and
appearance. But the superlative horse – one that raises no
dust and leaves no tracks – is something evanescent and
fleeting, elusive as thin air. The talents of my sons lie on
a lower plane altogether; they can tell a good horse when
they see one, but they cannot tell a superlative horse. I
have a friend, however, one Chiu-fang Kao, a hawker of fuel
and vegetables, who in things appertaining to horses is
nowise my inferior. Pray see him.”
Duke Mu did so, and subsequently dispatched him on the quest
for a steed. Three months later, he returned with the news
that he had found one. “It is now in Shach’iu” he added.
“What kind of a horse is it?” asked the Duke. “Oh, it is a
dun-colored mare,” was the reply. However, someone being
sent to fetch it, the animal turned out to be a coal-black
stallion! Much displeased, the Duke sent for Po Lo. “That
friend of yours,” he said, “whom I commissioned to look for
a horse, has made a fine mess of it. Why, he cannot even
distinguish a beast’s color or sex! What on earth can he
know about horses?” Po Lo heaved a sigh of satisfaction.
“Has he really got as far as that?” he cried. “Ah, then he
is worth ten thousand of me put together. There is no
comparison between us. What Kao keeps in view is the
spiritual mechanism. In making sure of the essential, he
forgets the homely details; intent on the inward qualities,
he loses sight of the external. He sees what he wants to
see, and not what he does not want to see. He looks at the
things he ought to look at, and neglects those that need not
be looked at. So clever a judge of horses is Kao, that he
has it in him to judge something better than horses.”
When the horse arrived, it turned out indeed to be a
Taoist taleJerome Salinger, “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters”.
Well, there are between us people who could not see nor the color nor the gender of horses, they do trivial mistakes. For example they keep failing in driving test, if they are being instructed about how to get to a certain place –they will arrive at any house accept the house they were supposed to find.
When they buy a new instrument, they will not succeed putting it together. Almost everything falls from their hands, they break things. They are not good in small talk. In their work place – people who start to work with them will move on, while they get stuck in the same position.
Everything trivial that others do easily, they find difficulty in.
This people could easily give themselves a hard time – if they judge themselves through their ability to distinguish between the color and gender of horse – they would be very miserable indeed.
But what the story is telling us that their focus is different. They are focused on a different level of the existence. And there they are excellent.
And the more they would be based in the ‘spiritual mechanism’ of a thing – the more they will unsuccessful in the trivial levels of life.
The range of perception of anyone is limited, the focus of a person must be either in the lower or the higher. His center of gravity must be here or here. If he is focused in the seen, the regular and the trivial – he will miss an understanding of what is rare, spiritual, hidden, deep and eternal.
If he will be focused in one – he will fail in the other.
It is easier to be good in the regular, mechanical, and technical and to miss the inner dynamic, the higher aspect of reality.
Most people are very good in orientation in the gender and color of horses. But blind to the ‘spiritual mechanism’ of life.
And those special human beings pay a heavy price for their specialty, they are being judged according to their ability to identify the color and gender of horses.
And they themselves are judging themselves because of this inability of them.
They forget to remember that this inability is a proof to their rare ability.
And most important of all is that they will understand that their inability in what is generally known –is a proof for their incredible ability in the higher levels of life.