Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - May 2nd, 2013 - Ownership - 所有權 - Suǒyǒuquán

Ownership - 所有權 - Suǒyǒuquán

A man and his birds
board a small boat.
A bond forged over generations,
blends family and servant,
so that no distinction is made
between what is yours
and what is mine.
Sustaining countless generations,
but soon, the last will pass-
another extinction
of the modern age.

The cormorants willingly go to work, diving to catch fish and returning to the boat. They contentedly go about their work, accepting the offerings tossed their way. They seem not to concern themselves with the lost fish. Their effort goes to sustain another, and all of this is done without conflict.

The cormorants obey the master because of conditioning. In truth, they do not need to obey it. They do not need to give up their meals. The bird-master is merely doing his job, fishing through the birds much more effectively than if he were to do so by hand or net. He does not own the birds in the ultimate sense; he merely exercises power over them. They respond, yet neither the man nor the birds realize that their bond is provisional.

Ownership of property is an artificial construct of the animal mind. If you remember that ownership is merely a definition, then you can abandon possessiveness, defensiveness, and greed more easily. What does it matter how much gold you possess or how large your house is? You cannot actually own it.

Your body isn't even yours to own. Ultimate ownership would mean supreme control, which is not possible in a chaotic world. Aging is inevitable. Perfect beauty is unattainable. Accidents happen to good people and bad alike. Flesh, blood, sinew, and bone are all subject to decay, disease, and destruction. Rather minor accidents can prove fatal. The shell separating life and death is paper thin; why not seek the truth which transcends the body?