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There once was an ancient Taoist master who was a great philosopher and strategist. He had a wide array of different skills, which made him sought after by a few rulers. They wanted to use him for his abilities to advance their own personal goals.
One of the rulers, King Wei sent his courtiers to find the Taoist master at his home and invite him to be the leader's chief counselor. Many people would find this job to be a blessing or an honor.
When they went to his home, they found him fishing by the river bank. The courtiers saw his living situation and thought he would surely jump at the opportunity for high status and many riches.
As they approached him and showed him the invitation he told them a story. Once upon a time, there was a sacred turtle that happily lived its life in the mud. It would roll around all day, enjoying its freedom in nature. But because it was considered a sacred turtle, it was captured by the king’s men and taken to the palace. There, they killed the...
There was once a poor man who led a donkey from one kingdom to another. Every day he needed to cross a river that was guarded by men from the kingdom he wished to enter.
The border guards suspected he was smuggling something, so they would always inspect him and his donkey thoroughly. They’d search through his pockets, the saddlebags on the donkey, but never found anything.
As time went on, they saw the man had much nicer clothing and had bought a larger house. They knew something must be up, and inspected him even more thoroughly. In the end, they didn’t find anything on him.
After 30 years of this, one of the border guards finally retired. One day as he was walking through the village, he saw the old man who would pass with his donkeys. He ran up to him and told him he was no longer a border guard and could not arrest the man. He pleaded to know, for his own peace of mind, what the man was smuggling all those years ago.
The man acquiesced and agreed to tell him now...
There was once a small village within a forest of trees. Word started to spread among the people that there was a wise holy man who lived in a small house at the top of the mountain.
One man truly wanted to visit the holy man, to ask him questions and get advice on his own life problems. He set out on a long and difficult journey to visit the man. He crossed through forests, mountains, and rivers to seek him out.
Once he was there, he knocked on the door and waited eagerly. The door swung open, and he was greeted by an old servant. He told the servant he traveled all the way there to meet the wise holy man. The servant simply smiled at the man and led him inside the house.
As they walked through the house, the man looked around curiously, waiting to see where he would meet the holy man. Before he knew it, the servant opened up the back door and led him outside.
Confused, the man turned to the servant and told him again, he wanted to see the holy man. “You already have.”...