Dregs of the Dead

By Joseph Mattappally on 19-03-2010

   ‘Does
history repeat?’ ‘What doubt?’ we reply. In a closer analysis we see that even though
the man who jumped down a pinnacle a year ago landed safe, it need not be the
fate of the man who does it tomorrow. Further, we realize that neither the past
repeats as we had feared nor a dream materializes exactly as we once saw it. It
requires no much brain to understand that the present is the only reality and
it is foolishness to live, lost in the promises of the future or the problems of
the yesterdays. Hear this Chinese story. Duke Huan was reading a book in the hall. Wheelwright
Pian, who had been chiseling a wheel in the courtyard below, set down his tools
and climbed the stairs to ask Duke Huan: “May I ask what words are in the
book Your Grace is reading?”

“The
classic of a famous sage.” the Duke responded.
“Is
he still alive?””Oh
no, he is long dead” “Then
you've been reading the dregs left over by a dead man, isn't it?” Duke
Huan said, “How dare a wheelwright to have opinions about the book I read!
If you can explain yourself, I'll let it pass. Otherwise, it's death!”

  W'heelwright
Pian said, “In my case I see things in terms of my own work. I chisel at a
wheel. If I go too slow, the chisel slides and does not stay put. If I hurry,
it jams and doesn't move properly. When it is just right, I can feel it in my
hand and respond to it from my heart. I can explain this to my son, but I
cannot pass on the skills to him. That is why at seventy years old, I am still
making wheels. The sage who couldn't pass down his wisdom is already dead; and
that's why I say the book you're reading is merely the dregs of a dead
man.”

  Duke
Huan needed a servant to learn that real knowledge is not passed, embedded in
words.

About The Author

Sri. Joseph Mattappally

Sri. Joseph Mattappally, Founder and Director of Indian Thoughts, is a writer and social worker. He is also a Reiki Master (RIRC Mumbai) and licensed Amateur Radio Operator ( VU2JIM). He has authored 'Success Secrets', a book detailing basic life management principles.