An acolyte asked his master, “Master, what must I learn to become enlightened?”
His master asked in return, “Look around you; what do you see?”
“All around me is the orderliness of the monastery. We eat at certain times, we meditate at certain times and in certain ways, we do the work required when it is time and in the required ways. All is order here.”
The master said, “The first lesson you must learn is that order is an illusion. To look closely and see order is merely your perception. When you step back and look at the larger picture, you will see all is chaos.”
The student went away and meditated on this. The following day, he returned to his master and told him that he saw all truly was chaos.
“The next lesson, then,” the master said, “is that chaos is an illusion. From your new perspective, indeed it seems that there is no governing principle, but when you step back and look at the bigger picture, you will see patterns… that there really is order.”
The student went away and meditated on this as well. The next week, he returned to his master and told him that he saw all truly was in order after all.
“Excellent!” the old master said, and smiled. “Now, the next lesson you must learn is that order is an illusion…”
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