Dogen

‘King Wen asked Minister Tai, “You made an effort to recommend wise people, but as yet there is no result. The world is even more disturbed. What is the cause of this crisis?”
The minister answered, “If you hire wise ones and do not use them, it is hiring in name only and the fruit is not attained.”
King Wen said,”Where is the fault?”
The minister said, “The fault lies in adopting what worldly people admire and not adopting truth.”
King Wen said, “What is the meaning of adopting what is admired by worldly people?”
The minister said, “If you listen to what ordinary people admire, you regard wisdom as not wisdom, knowledge as not knowledge, trust as not trust. If you regard those who are considered wise by the worldly as wise, and regard those who are criticized by the worldly as incapable, then those who are popular advance and those who are not popular withdraw. Consequently, wicked people form groups and overwhelm the wise ones; loyal and innocent retainers are killed, and wicked retainers fill the ranks with false honor. This is how the world has become even more confused and why the world cannot avoid a crisis.”

Thus, a secular person grieves over the crisis on society. The Buddha’s children should grieve over the crisis in buddha dharma and the buddha way. The cause of the crisis lies in mistakenly paying attention to the words of worldly people. If you listen to what worldly people admire, you cannot attain true wisdom. If you wish to attain true wisdom, you should have resources to reflect on the past and see to the future.
Those who are admired by worldly people are not necessarily wise ones or sages. Those who are criticized by worldly people are not necessarily wise ones or sages. However, consider, and do not confuse those who are wise and criticized with those who are false and honored. Not to use the wise ones is the loss of the nation. To promote incapable ones is the regret of the nation.’ (Shobogenzo Butsudo)

Written in 1243, drawing on an earlier story. With a sigh I reflect, plus ça change…

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