3547– Thursday, August 15, 2019 — Buddha and the Duck   

buddha

My name is Siddhartha Gautama.  I was born into a rich family.  I was living a life of privilege with servants and maids to cater to my every whim.  I had no need to work to earn money since we had more gold than we knew what to do with.  My days were full of eating, drinking, playing and indulging my whims.  As I grew older, I could see that my life was going nowhere.  It had no meaning or purpose beyond my daily pleasures.  I soon decided that I must leave home to find out what life was really about.  I left home when I turned twenty.  My goal was to find the true meaning and purpose of my life.

It was a sweltering day in July, and I was trudging down yet another long dusty road somewhere between China and India.  I had been walking unnamed roads for many months now.  The only meaning I was finding was the dust and sweat covering my skin from my exertions on these unpaved rural roads.  I was getting more and more depressed as my journey now seemed fruitless.  I was about to conclude that life was hopeless and that I would never find my meaning or purpose.

As I came over a rise in the road, I saw a duck waddling across the road.  I called out in jest “Hey, Mr. Duck why are you crossing the road?”  I started to laugh when all of a sudden, I thought I heard the duck say, “Why do you think stupid?”  Clearly taken aback, I looked around to see where the voice had come from.  “What are you looking for dummy?”  This time I was sure that the duck was talking, and it was looking directly at me.  I began to think that the summer sun was addling my brain.  I spoke “Ducks cannot talk.  You are an illusion.”  “Well, now” said the duck, “another human who thinks they know everything.”

duck on road

“Okay, just supposing that you really are able to talk, why are you talking to me.”  “Well, you asked me your dumb question, so I thought that I would reply to you.  Most of the time, it is not worth bothering talking to humans since their only thoughts are about sex, food, drink and money.”

“I am not like everyone else.  I am traveling in search of the meaning and purpose of life and particularly my own life.  I do not care about sex, food, drink or money.”

“Ha” said the duck.  “You think that you are so special that you have a meaning or purpose ordained by the gods for your existence.”

“Well, you raise an interesting point Mr. Duck.  I simply assumed that we all had a purpose for existence.”

“You humans are always assuming things.  You think that the world and everything in it are made for your purposes.  You believe that you are the center of the universe and everything revolves around you.”

“I think instead of crossing this road, I will also journey down the road and look for the meaning and purpose of my life” said the duck with a funny cackling laugh.

“You are making fun of me” I replied.

“Why is it funny to think of ducks looking for the purpose and meaning of their lives?  Should it be any funnier than humans looking for the purpose and meaning of their lives?”

“You humans are all the same.  You think that you are so important.”

“But what,” I replied, “If there is no purpose or meaning to anyone’s life?”

“Maybe, there would be no worry, no power trips, no greed, no lust, no hate, no war” replied the duck.

“Are you saying that the problems humans have come from a search for meaning and purpose?”

“I am not saying anything.  I am only walking to the other side of the road.  I will be on my way again.  I hope you have a good day.”

“Good day to you as well Mr. Duck.”

The duck continued on his way across the road and through the brush until he was no longer visible to me.  His last question had left me in a quandary.  What if all of my discomfort and unhappiness came because I was searching for meaning and purpose?  What if these were truly irrelevant concepts to the universe?  What if I stopped this search and could simply BE as the duck was?  Eat when I was hungry.  Sleep when I was tired.  Walk when I felt like it.  What would a life without purpose and meaning be like?

Free the mind from disturbances.  Get rid of entanglements.  To simply be.

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” — Buddha

“Life has no meaning.  Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.  It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”  — Joseph Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dr B
    Aug 15, 2019 @ 23:00:23

    An enjoyable story, I quite like conversations with Sid, even if they are from the viewpoint of a duck! I’d quite like to reblog this if that’s OK?

    Reply

  2. Dr B
    Aug 18, 2019 @ 22:19:24

    John, I’ve tried to reblog your post this morning, but the reblog button at the bottom of your post doesn’t seem to be working. Could you have a quick look and check your settings? B.

    Reply

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Aug 19, 2019 @ 05:38:58

      It seems to work for me. I clicked it and it would allow me to repost. Do you know of any other settings that I could change? Can you simply cut and paste? Or can I send it to you from the site. It is somewhat changed from the one I have on WordPress.

      Reply

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Aug 19, 2019 @ 05:40:38

      Of perhaps I can send it to you with the reblog button. If so, let me know. I did not know I could do this but I will try. The only reblogs I have done have been to repost older blogs onto my own site.

      Reply

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Aug 19, 2019 @ 05:42:16

      When I hit the reblog buttom, it gives me a drop down menu with my other blog sites. I wonder if I can send it using this menu to a new site? I suppose it would have to be on wordpress.

      Reply

      • Dr B
        Aug 19, 2019 @ 06:36:55

        Hi John, just published it ….. using a very round about method. I copied your opening couple of paragraphs, wrote an introduction, then ended with a link back to your blog to read the rest of the tale. If you go to my blog you’ll see what I mean so everyone still has to go to your blog. I’m exhausted! 😂😂

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Aug 19, 2019 @ 06:49:41

      Where did you ever find the great picture of Buddha and a Duck in gold? Wonderful!

      Reply

  3. Dr B
    Aug 19, 2019 @ 05:44:47

    Don’t worry for now John. I think it’s to do with WordPress and your site being .com or hosted elsewhere. I will do it a different way using the PressThis tool. I’ll do it as soon as I’ve finished lunch and let you know here 👍

    Reply

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Aug 19, 2019 @ 06:48:06

      I find working with computers often perplexing. Glad you were able to figure something out.

      Reply

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