Buddhist parable – poison arrow

Since the existence or nature of God is unknowable, some feel that can pointless or distracting to attempt to form images or theories. A Buddhist parable makes a similar point.

The Buddha always told his disciples not to waste their time and energy in metaphysical speculation. Whenever he was asked a metaphysical question, he remained silent. Instead, he directed his disciples toward practical efforts.

Questioned one day about the problem of the infinity of the world, the Buddha said, “Whether the world is finite or infinite, limited or unlimited, the problem of your liberation remains the same.” Another time he said,

“Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first.”

Life is so short. It must not be spent in endless metaphysical speculation that does not bring us any closer to the truth.

      As told by Thich Nhat Hanh, in Zen Keys

.