Red Boy remained unconvinced. “But their doctrine is different. Every school of thought is different. You can’t just lump them up and claim that they are aiming for the same goal through different means, right?”
Fangzheng laughed out loud, “Confucianism talks about improving upon yourself first, then managing your family, then governing your state. That is the only way to bring justice and virtue to the world according to Confucianism. It talks about how important your current state of cultivation is. Confucius also said: ‘While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits?’ This is telling people that one has to learn how to live first before talking about death. Only after you understand what life means should we talk about death. This means we place importance on life and not death. ‘If poor, attended to your own virtue in solitude; if advanced to dignity, make the whole kingdom virtuous as well.’ All of this talks about society and how it should be governed.
Buddhism emphasizes ‘seeing one’s nature, redemption to gain everything.’ It talks about ‘conditional arising is empty in nature, everything is an illusion, thus the need to pursue life that is not empty through emptiness.’ To put it simply, it’s to seek the exoneration of one’s heart and mind. It treats the human’s mind and once treated, the world can naturally be treated. Human nature is good by nature, and the world can be governed without doing anything against nature.
Daoism emphasizes ‘cultivate oneself, recluse oneself, and forgo the myriad possessions.’ Laozi believed that the myriad things have their rules for change. By making people model the way heaven works, leaving everything to nature, one will be able to learn how to deal with people and situations from nature. By understanding nature, a person’s heart will naturally be calm. When a person faces life and death, gain and loss, frustration, pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy, reading the doctrines of Daoism to wipe away the discontent and depression in one’s heart. By stepping into nature, one will experience a calmness that belongs to nature which allows one to quickly treat the ailments of a person’s heart and mind, as well as the body’s displeasure. Being without any resentment or foulness in the heart would naturally lead to world peace.
Jingxin, don’t you think that the three schools of thought have a common goal through different means?”
When Red Boy heard that, he was rendered speechless. What else could he say? However, he said unhappily, “You make it sound nice, but I have never seen any of you do anything Hmph.”
Fangzheng knew that Red Boy was making up a fuss for nothing and could not be bothered to care about him. He stood by the side of the cliff looking at the Mt. Tongtian range, his mind recalling the Perfected Letian. He had always been interacting with monks, villagers or people from the cities. This was the first time he had interacted with a Daoist, but Letian gave him a feeling like it was a brand new world! That freshness was not about shattering his world view and opening up a new world. Instead, it felt more like seeing something in a different light.
Fangzheng could sense the happiness in Perfected Letian’s heart. It was a feeling that he was nature and nature was he. Although the world was large, he could continue living carefreely like a child without any worries. He did not consider face as ordinary humans, nor did he have any scruples. Whatever he thought of, he would say or do it. If he did something wrong, he would admit to it and repent. That simple method made Fangzheng yearn for it.
“System, I see that most monks look as calm and stable as a mountain as though they are composed elderly monks. Why is that so? As for Letian, he seems to give me a feeling of vibrancy like he is new life breaking out of the soil? Could it be that Buddhism is inferior to Daoism?” Fangzheng was perplexed.
“You just mentioned about how the same goals can be reached through different means. Why are you the one confused now? Look inwardly at your true self. If you can’t see what your true character is, how do you see your true self? Perfected Letian is more experienced than you when it comes to cultivation. He can already see his true self and has figured out his life path through nature. He lives on like a new life that breaks out of the soil forever. That way, whatever he sees, it is forever fresh, beautiful and interesting. As for you, you remain lost in the mortal world. That is not something divine powers can resolve. You need to gain enlightenment for yourself.”
Fangzheng was slightly taken aback as he sighed, “Indeed, Buddhist cultivation is a long path. I’m still lacking. Having been called master recently, I turned a little vain.”
“You have a good foundation now, but your experience is lacking. You have seen too little of the coldness and warmth of the human world. There are certain things you will not figure out until you see them. Since you have the Formless Door, you can go out and take a look at the huge world that awaits you.”
Fangzheng nodded with heavy thoughts weighing on his mind, expressing his understanding.
After circling the mountain once with Red Boy, it was already evening when he returned to the monastery. The sky was dyed a beautiful red.
After dinner, Fangzheng was in no rush to read the Buddhist scriptures. Instead, he recalled the System’s words. Go out and take a look
“Jingxin, are you done eating?”
“Let’s go out. You have been here in One Finger Monastery for so long, but you have never seen the world outside. Today, you shall be taken out into the world.”
Red Boy’s eyes lit up the moment he heard that. Many things that happened on Mt. One Finger seemed new and miraculous to many people, but they were nothing impressive to him. However, having seen Fangzheng’s cell phone and the various technological products, Red Boy’s curiosity was piqued. These mortals had created such items? It was indeed somewhat interesting! However, he did not dare run off without Fangzheng’s permission. Now that Fangzheng was willing to bring him out, he was naturally fully agreeable to it!
Fangzheng said, “Jingfa, Jingkuan, Jingzhen, the three of you shall stay on the mountain to watch the monastery.”
Lone Wolf, Squirrel, and Monkey immediately turned downtrodden when they heard that. They thought that they could all have fun outside, but they were now being left out.
Fangzheng said with a smile, “Don’t worry. In the following days, This Penniless Monk will go out often. Each trip will have a different disciple follow. Everyone will have his chance.”
When the three animals heard that they would have a chance to go out, they immediately beamed. All their unhappiness vanished.
“Master, are we setting off now?” Red Boy was already impatient. The crappy mountain was so boring that he wanted to belch. He was eager to go out to have some fun.
“Yes, let’s set off now. Let’s go.”
Upon coming to the door, Fangzheng took a deep breath and thought about opening the Formless Door. Instantly, a multitude of information appeared in Fangzheng’s mind.
He could vaguely hear some people speaking.
“It’s been sixty years”
“Where are you?”
“It’s been sixty years? Send me there!”
It was a blur in front of him. Fangzheng seemed to see shimmering blue neon lights and cars roaring past him, but he could not see it clearly. The scenes fleeted. It looked like a car.
“Ding! The Formless Door Mission has been activated. The captured information has been provided to you. You have to use this information to seek out the person you need to help. Help the person and after completing the mission, you can choose to open the Formless Door at any time to return to Mt. One Finger.”
“Really? Just this bit of information? How am I to find the person?” exclaimed Fangzheng. This was way too much of a scam. How was he to find the person through that bit of blurry effects and sound?
“It’s not like I can do anything. The missions assigned by the Formless Door are calculated in accordance to the person’s merits, obsession, will and other complex factors. It will randomly choose a mission target that meets the requirements before capturing imagery of the target. This imagery capture can only do vague video and some sound,” said the System.