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Appearance Doesn't Always Reflect Inner Attainment, Part 6 of 10

2024-04-15
Lecture Language:Chinese (中文)
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The truth might not be like what was written in history. Besides, who recorded history? It was one of those officials, also a human being. Humans tend to have their own biases. They have their own shallow wisdom. He wrote history according to his own prejudice and feelings. His sense of gratitude or resentment influenced his writing. Therefore, we shouldn’t always read history and readily believe it. We have to use our wisdom. If we really want to gain insights, we have to analyze it ourselves to know who was truly good and whom we should learn from. […]

In Âu Lạc (Vietnam), there was also a prime minister who didn’t have a good reputation. His name was Trần Thủ Độ. You probably don’t know him. He was very well-known. When he was alive, everyone scolded him. History says he was not good. History also says Guan Zhong was not very good. I don’t know how good it says he was, but his descendants didn’t obtain any of his fame or anything like that, weren’t able to… obtain the benefit of power and wealth like Guan Zhong. He was really all for his citizens, not leaving a name for his posterity. That’s why his descendants did not get any good reputation. Understand? Nor official post for his children or grandchildren. […] No one respected them, saying, “Ah, those are the descendants of Prime Minister Guan” or anything. No, no. No one cared.

Because when Guan Zhong was alive, people seldom saw his good side. They only saw him drinking, eating, playing, and enjoying. That’s all, just like the king. The king already had a bad reputation, and if his reputation was worse than the king’s… Understand? Who could see through his mask, knew his patriotic heart and his loyalty to the king? People in the world generally are blind. Because they were ordinary folk, they couldn’t be as good as him, and so there could be no like attracts like. No one could be his bosom friend. No one could understand him. Therefore, no one respected and loved him, thinking that he was also a… understand? A brown-noser. And that he did it all for fame, for his own sake, for benefiting himself. That’s why he followed the example of a foolish ruler. No one could appreciate his talent for bringing peace to the state and helping the public, nor discern the beautiful, honest, upright, patriotic, and loyal qualities within him.

In Âu Lạc (Vietnam), there was a prime minister who was just like him. When the prince ascended the throne, of course, all power and authority belonged to him. Then, he married one of the former king’s concubines. After the king passed away, he took her. He married the concubine. I’m not sure if it was due to love or because he wanted to fully control the imperial court. Actually, he had complete control. The young king was ignorant of everything so he always asked him to decide. And he was very… stubborn in his decisions. That’s why, according to history, he was not good. He was overbearing, threatened the young king, grabbed his power and took advantage of many situations. A lot of bad stuff. But in fact, he… If we read history clearly, he was a great revolutionary or democratic activist.

Just like in our times, there are kings, and there are the… How do you say premier? Premier? (Prime minister.) Prime general? (Prime minister.) Prime minister? Prime minister, yes. Like a monarch and a constitution, then we’d call it a constitutional monarchy. Isn’t that right? (Yes.) Then, the king won’t have much power. It’s the prime minister who has the power. It was him at that time, the way things were done… that kind of system. But then, we Aulacese (Vietnamese) were not used to it. The king was the so-called “son of Heaven.” Whatever he said was right and had to be done. The officials could only bow their heads and say, “Yes, sir. No, sir,” like that. Therefore, we were not used to it, and neither were officials of all ranks. He had too much power. He decided everything. The young king had nothing to say because he was too young to understand anything. If not for him (prime minister), Âu Lạc (Vietnam) at that time would not have been so peaceful and prosperous in many fields.

But the people all said he was domineering, abusing his power, bullying the king, and other things. He didn’t enjoy a good reputation. History says that he was not good. But at that time, our Âu Lạc (Vietnam) was developed in various fields. In many aspects, we were free and prosperous. If we had allowed the stupid king, who knew nothing, to govern the country, how would he be able to do it? The country would be doomed. Sometimes, even if the king didn’t agree, he signed things and affixed the seal himself. That’s why people hated him. But actually, he was really good. If he was not good, he had already married a royal concubine and secured complete control, so he could have gotten rid of the king and ascended the throne himself. That’s what people used to do back then. It was very common, especially in China. Right? (Yes.)

Yes. If the king was weak and you got the power, you ascended the throne and then changed the name of the dynasty. Originally, it was Sister Li, and then it became Mr. Wang, Brother Wang. Very quick. For example, like that. Therefore, if he truly wanted the kingdom or more power, he could have gotten it in no time since the king was very young and the authority was in his hands, given by the former king. He was very powerful already. The former king already gave him all the power, meaning he had to look after the young king and… and… (Affairs of state.) take care of the government, etc. So, it was not true he did it for his reputation. What he did worsened his reputation. (Yes.) But he still stood by the king and managed affairs of state. Everyone hated him. In fact, when we look at the outcome, we know he was a very good politician and so on.

A lot of things, a lot of stories, and a lot of comments in history make us, the later generations, think that this person was not good, that person was good. This one was virtuous, that one was loyal to the king, and the other one was patriotic. In fact, we have to read it again and think twice. The truth might not be like what was written in history. Besides, who recorded history? It was one of those officials, also a human being. Humans tend to have their own biases. They have their own shallow wisdom. He wrote history according to his own prejudice and feelings. His sense of gratitude or resentment influenced his writing. Therefore, we shouldn’t always read history and readily believe it. We have to use our wisdom. If we really want to gain insights, we have to analyze it ourselves to know who was truly good and whom we should learn from.

Just like when I was… Last week, before I came back, I was in Munich, over there in Europe. Munich is “white.” But it’s so dark. It’s strange the way you Chinese translate foreign languages. Newton, Munich, and massage. In America, when they hear us say, “The horse kills the chick,” they’re really frightened. Understand? It’s not about the horse killing the chick. It’s just that in the US, the word chick also means a young woman. So they think that we’re going to kill their young women, meaning our reputation is not good. I don’t know why the translation is like that. And in Munich, people have white skin. Why black? Not black. When I was in Munich, during some of my free time, I took those people who helped me to see some of the historical sites. There are castles that were left behind by former kings and so on. I think they recorded some videos, videos and photos. I’ll sort through them when I have time to see which ones are better. They might not be good since inside there… we were not allowed to use… (Flash.) Any flash. Because the paintings and gold, anything plated with gold, might be damaged.

But here… you use flash randomly on Supreme Master Ching Hai. Her eyes are not… they’re made of iron. The eyes are iron and the skin is copper, indestructible. No fear. Hah! It doesn’t matter if She is getting darker and darker. The gold plate is all gone, but the inside is made of iron and reinforced concrete. So She is not afraid of you using flash on Her day and night. Cameras and video cameras, bring hundreds of them here. No worries. OK? She is of copper skin and iron bones. It doesn’t matter if Her vision isn’t good. She can wear eyeglasses. It’s alright if Her skin is affected. She can always cover it. Just put some powder on, that’s all. So, the videos recorded inside there might not be very clear. They were afraid of damaging the paintings or the gold, so flash was not allowed. I don’t know if the videos are good or not. That’s why I can’t show them to you. Besides, we don’t have enough time. Maybe later, huh? Next week, if we’re still here. When we come, I’ll use those. But it wouldn’t be good to watch them during the day. You should stay overnight to watch. What’s that? Next week… (Let’s just go with it.) Play shameless again? (Let’s just go with it.) Just go with it. There’s nothing special next week, is there? Anything special? (No.) No. Then it’d be troublesome to come. Have a rest! It’s tiresome if you come very often. I’m tired!

Now, talking about the castles, the one we went to visit was from Ludwig II. How to say it in Chinese? (Ludwig II.) It was built by Ludwig II. He was very famous for having built a lot of beautiful fairyland-like castles, with interior decorations all covered with gold or something very precious, such as jewels. Very, very beautiful. We…I took them there to have a look inside. Personally, I’m not interested. Strange. I lived there (Germany) for seven years but had never went to those places, except the one near my house, about five minutes away, which I often visited. Well, it wasn’t sightseeing, really. Once, I took my friends there, and other times, I’d just go out walking because that place was very, very beautiful, with mountains, rivers, trees, birds, and flowers. Very beautiful. Some flowers I had never seen before. Very, very beautiful and tidy. It wasn’t that kind of rigidly tidy, but very neat. So I often took a walk there.

The other castles were not nearby, an hour or two by car, and I had never seen them before. So, it’s not that I myself wanted to visit there. Just that maybe it was about time, so I took them there together. But when I got to those places, wow, I felt so, so uncomfortable. The moment I got out of the car… arrived at the gate, I immediately felt so… so distressed, sad, and anxious that I wanted to run away immediately. Each time, it was the same. It happened not just at one castle but at three or four, all the same. The same feeling at each place, just a little bit different. But I got through it. Ah! It was weird: the feeling of being oppressed heavily. Maybe because the King there died very tragically. When He was alive, He was very lonely, very stressed. That’s why He felt… Or when the King was there, or when He built the place, He spent tremendous effort, a lot of money and labor, which made people feel uncomfortable. Or it could be that too many people had been there, different kinds of people who disturbed the peaceful atmosphere. That human stuff… The air they breathed out was all dark or coffee-colored, maybe because of that. Therefore, whenever I get into those places where there are huge crowds, I always feel uncomfortable.

I’ve heard that when the King was alive, everyone said He was crazy, and that’s why they confined Him somewhere. But He died after only a few days. He went to take a walk along the riverside and died. I think it was an assassination, but history has it that He committed suicide together with His doctor. What a strange thing. If they committed suicide, how come people heard two gunshots when they drowned themselves? And how come there were two shots instead of one? Wait a second. OK. Two persons, so one shot for each, if that was the case. How could a king with a mental disorder build such a beautiful castle with such exquisite interior decorations? It’s heavenly. He didn’t just build a castle. He built a theatre for His most respected and favorite musician to play in. Very, very beautiful. Everything was so beautiful, it was just... He was a very wise person. His talks and other things denoted His demeanor as a spiritual practitioner. He said one day we… we’ll fly in the sky without… Swans will take us there. They will pull our carriage. And we won’t need to walk or work or anything. He was talking about Heaven. And His castles were brought down from Heaven and those kinds of realms. That’s why, later on, people called Him the Fairy Tale King.

But at that time, there were political issues, and He didn’t like to talk to… He didn’t want to cooperate with other German states. That’s why they just labeled Him crazy. When the doctor declared that He was crazy, He even asked the doctor, “How do you know I’m crazy? You’ve never examined me. You’ve never touched me. Isn’t that strange?” But because He was… not like… He was not the kind of king who loved fame and wealth. So, whether He sat on the throne or sat somewhere else, He felt imprisoned. That’s why He frequently changed His residence. He couldn’t stay long even if the place was nice. He’d often go to very remote locations. Can you imagine that in the 18th century, He went on such journeys? One had to cross a huge lake, which was like a sea, to get to His home. He also invited others to visit a distant mountain.

In the 18th century, the roads were lousy, and so were the boats. It wasn’t convenient to transport construction materials, but He preferred those secluded settings. So, it’s difficult for us to see them even today. If you want to go on foot, high heels won’t do. You need to climb the mountain etc. At that time, some people also said that He was a kind of hermit king. That’s why I don’t think He was crazy. It’s just that history tells it that way. Those politicians accused Him as such in order to get rid of Him and install a monarch who would be more compliant. They plotted all of this together. It was all about politics. That King was very handsome, very smart, and beautiful. And He never treated others badly. He was very kind to His subordinates and others. According to His subordinates, as recorded in history, He was very nice.

Photo Caption: Hiding Rare Inner Beauty, It’s Still So Recognized by the World

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