Immortalising the Camp Ehipassiko 2005 story

Act I: The Search

 

In a faraway land there lived a wise and good king,

Who ruled his kingdom wise and well.

He made wise and good decisions,

And lived a wise and just life.

 

As they always say: where there is wisdom and justice,

There would be beguilement and unfairness.

Where there is good,

Somewhere lurking there would be evil…

 

There was one night when the king wandered into an abandoned crypt,

Into an abandoned chamber.

And came across an abandoned mirror,

Covered in inches of dust.

 

With a deep breath he blew the dust off.

With a hard swipe he polished the surface to a shine.

With a curious look he peered into its inky black depths.

 

At first there was nothing.

Then there was something.

 

Something stirred,

Something swirled,

Something took form.

 

And something stared back at him…

 

When the king finally emerged from the crypt,

He was a different man.

Darkness had befallen the land.

 

"O Great King, O Wise Man, or so it seems,

Wallow in your pathetic contentment, for slowly and surely your glory dims.

For every acre that is your land, a thousand acres lie unconquered,

For every beauty that has slept at your side, a thousand lie unbedded.

O Lowly Creature, O Ignorant Fool, there is an answer to your endless whims,

Wade in eternal glory, it lies in the chest that gleams."

 

When the distraught king sought counsel with his advisers,

Fell over one another they did in their eagerness to help him.

Darkness had befallen the land.

 

"O Great King, O Wise Man, or so it seems,

Wallow in your pathetic contentment, for slowly and surely your glory dims.

For every coin that you have earned, a thousand remain unminted,

For every book that you have read, a thousand remain unprinted.

O Lowly Creature, O Ignorant Fool, there is an answer to your endless whims,

Wade in eternal glory, it lies in the chest that gleams."

 

From mountain to mountain they searched,

For the Chest That Gleams.

And for sure they found it,

Darkness had befallen the land.

 

"O Great King, O Wise Man, or so it seems,

Wallow in your pathetic contentment, for slowly and surely your glory dims.

For every man that bows to you, a thousand stand undefeated,

For every year from your birth to death, a thousand pass unlived.

O Lowly Creature, O Ignorant Fool, there is an answer to your endless whims,

Wade in eternal glory, it lies in the chest that gleams."

 

Darkness had befallen the land,

For the people were not happy.

 

What makes a person happy?

 

Is it wealth?

Power?

Immortality?

Or knowledge?

 

Surely within the chest that gleams,

There is a Treasure to bless the land.

People would be at peace,

The king would be contented.

Dawning a new era of happiness,

And prosperity,

For generations to come.

 

Act II: The Knowing

 

Finally,

And oddly,

Each of the Six Elders

Of the Clans of Generosity, Morality, Forbearance, Diligence, Concentration and Wisdom

Have found the Key That Gleams that opens the Box That Gleams!

 

Everyone rushes to clutch at the King’s robes,

Dragging him left and right,

Shouting “My King! My King!”

One by one they took turns to try their key,

But none could turn the lock.

 

The King cried out in exasperation,

Will this darkness never be lifted? Will the people never be happy?

 

But by a stroke of inspiration,

With plenty of aspiration.

The Elder of Wisdom put six keys together,

Finding it to be one big key.

 

Everyone stares in astonishment.

 

Immediately everyone rushes around the Box.

 

Breathlessly, everyone watches as the key turns…

 

It turns!

 

All cheer!

 

Breathlessly, everyone watches as the box opens…

 

To reveal…

 

 

…nothing…

 

 

The Chest is Empty!

 

As the king stares at the empty Chest,

His shoulders sag,

His head droops,

He groans and

He holds his hands to his face.

He staggers back from the chest and sinks down on to his knees.

 

Crestfallen, the Elders chant:

 

"People gave their possessions, their time and their energy away,

Without hoping for a reward.

And in return for their generosity,

They were rewarded with an empty box.

 

"People kept to their principles, not harming and not stealing,

Without hoping for a reward.

And in return for their morality,

They were cultivating an empty box.

 

"People grit their teeth and swallowed their pain,

Hoping only that the troubles would pass.

And in return for their morality,

They were rewarded with an empty box.

 

"People sweat and toiled through fire and water,

Hoping their efforts would pay off.

And in return for their diligence,

They were rewarded with an empty box.

 

"People focused all their attention, their lives becoming a single task,

Hoping for perfection.

And in return for their concentration,

They were cultivating an empty box."

 

But slowly,

The King looks up.

With a shaking finger,

He points at the chest.

 

"What is inside the chest?"

 

The Elders hesitate.

 

"Nothing! It’s empty!"

 

The King does not.

"We have our answer right here!

 

"For lifetimes people have searched for Happiness,

Many lives of despair, distress and discontent.

Lives wasted away in an endless search,

Forgetting the present, chasing the future.

 

"Wise men have advised that we should cultivate Perfections,

Qualities of Generosity, Morality, Patience, Diligence, Contemplation and Wisdom.

These six keys should open the door to Happiness,

But instead we have Emptiness!

What does it mean?

 

"Darkness was created from our minds,

The search for Happiness also.

When you wipe your eyes clean of wax,

The answer is an empty box!"

 

Jovially the Elders chant:

 

"You can your possessions, your time and your energy away…

 

"You can keep to your principles, not stealing, not harming…

 

"You can grit your teeth and swallow your pain…

 

"You can sweat and toil through fire and water…

 

"You can focus your attention, deep in meditation…

 

"But happiness only comes when you can realize the empty box!"

 

And from hence on the darkness lifted. The mirror was smashed, ground to powder and thrown into the sea. The king returned to his just and wise ways, and true to prophecy, there dawned an era of happiness and prosperity for generations to come. And it all came from the treasure of an empty box.

 

So the next time you look into the mirror in your heart,

And see:

For every acre that is your land, a thousand acres lie unconquered,

For every beauty that has slept at your side, a thousand lie unbedded.

For every coin that you have earned, a thousand lie unminted,

For every book that you have read, a thousand lie unprinted.

For every man that bows to you, a thousand stand undefeated,

For every year from your birth to death, a thousand pass unlived.

Find the empty box, smash the mirror,

Happiness comes when you stop the search.

 

 

 

When the Search ends,

The Knowing begins.

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1 Comment

  1. Sea Ming said,

    29 March 2006 at 18:14

    *applause


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