The natural order

A very wealthy man asked a Zen master for a text which would always remind him how happy he was with his family.

The Zen master took some parchment and, in beautiful calligraphy, wrote:

– The father dies. The son dies. The grandson dies.

– What? – said the furious rich man. – I asked you for something to inspire me, some teaching which might be respectfully contemplated by future generations, and you give me something as depressing and gloomy as these words?

– You asked me for something which would remind you of the happiness of living together with your family. If your son dies first, everyone will be devastated by the pain. If your grandson dies, it would be an unbearable experience.

“However, if your family disappears in the order which I placed on the paper, this is the natural course of life. Thus, although we all endure moments of pain, the generations will continue, and your legacy will be long-lasting.”

Comments

  1. jackienoriega says:

    IHERMOSO BLOG NOSOTROS ESTAMOS AGRADECIDOS DE TUS LECTURAS QUE NOS HACES PENSAR Y SABER LO AFORTUNADOS QUE ESTAMOS DE TENER PADRES E HIJOS VIVOS Y QUE ESTAN SIGUIENDIO EL RITMO NORMAL DE VIDA. POR LO MISMO NO DEBEMOS DE CANSARNOS DE AGRADECER A NUESTRO PADRE CELESTIAL POR EL FAVOR QUE NOS HACE VIVIENDO ASI COMPLETOS Y QUE EL MOMENTO LLEGARA PERO YA TENEMOS LA OPORTUNIDAD DE REFLEXIONAR CON TIEMPO POR QUE ES UN CIRCULO DE VIDA IMPOSIBLE DE CAMBIAR SIN EMBARGO ESTAMOS AQUI FRENTE A LA SUPUESTA POSIBILIDAD Y PENSAMOS PENSAMOS QUE ESTAMOS BENDECIDOS Y LO SENTIMOS GRACIAS PAULO POR QUE EN EL AFAN DE CONSEGUIR TANTAS COSAS MATERIALES NO NOS DAMOS CUENTA DE LO IMMENSAMENTE RICOS QUE SOMOS TENIENDO NUESTRA FAMILIA COMPLETA UN ABRAZO MUY FUERTE PAULO

  2. Empié says:

    Pues sí, la importancia de ese mensaje lo conoce el que ha luchado por vivir para evitar que sus padres sufran toda su vida por su muerte.

    Un brindis por los valientes¡¡¡

  3. ..sorry – mistake – My father lies. His son lies “Do it now regret later” – shall I worry that I DO break the familiy tradition until now?

  4. My father lies. His son lies – “do it now regret later” – shall I worry that I didn`t break the family tradition until now?

  5. HECTOR says:

    ” EL ORDEN NATURAL” ES COMPRENSIBLE QUE EL ORDEN DEL FINAL DEL CICLO DE LA VIDA FUERA PRIMERO EL PADRE,DESPUES EL HIJO Y ACONTINUACION EL NIETO. PERO ESA ELECCION NO NOS CORRESPONDE CREARLA NOSOTROS.

  6. HECTOR says:

    ” EL ORDEN NATURAL” ES COMPRENSIBLE QUE EL ORDEN DEL CICLO DE LA VIDA FUERA PRIMERO EL PADRE,DESPUES EL HIJO Y ACONTINUACION EL NIETO. PERO ESA ELECCION NO NOS CORRESPONDE CREARLA NOSOTROS.

  7. amanda malinka says:

    Winter is approaching, a celebrity commits suicide. A famous man almost one year ago kill himself. Why is it that the wind rages outside and messages such as falling leaves must go hunting through your head?

    You get a visited by a bird that is torn in the front yard. The cats are happy by the window looking out. I stare at the sky and wonder if God exists? And if my father is close to me? He went one week after the famous man.
    “Isn’t hard?” Says somebody to me.
    It’s incredibly hard. The death has no redemption, whatever the Bible says. Not for those who are left behind anyway. Nevertheless, life goes on. But sometimes he comes, but unexpectedly is the Intruder. You close the curtains, the door is properly locked, write your busy calendar full of events just to escape.
    “I’m still alive! “He says in your sleep.

    You startled awake. Then look around you, nobody around. Take the stairs down and does not dare to look in the mirror. They say that sometimes you can see the dead people there.
    In the living room you sit behind your desk. Branches of ivy tapping on the window. The night is merciless. Time does not exist and ghosts claim their right to live. The worst thing is silence.
    A final argument: the gloves after a few years together, out of the closet. The real farewell in a shrill tone, “You’re not my father.”
    I can redeem my guilt with ten thousand good reasons. A past that made me childless. Believe me, if you state that coffin, lying him blankly, everything is not important anymore. “I love you, Dad. ”

    Hands to give, to share, to touch one another. It is the legacy he has left you: The long fingers over the keyboard a picture of him trying to form. The veins that run far beyond your wrists. The blood, temperament: “You still my tiger, the flows of raw inside and you live further that feeling.” “Yes, Daddy!”
    You really miss him? Whether you miss the daughter who you no longer will be?
    You remember his cynical humor, his poetic, philosophical answers. A smile. You are so similar.
    The man was alone in a different time grew up and was presented with a different environment than you. The time teach you.

    A clairvoyant can tell you that youre grandparents are with you. And you are fool enough to pay for it.
    Tarot cards can tell that it’s your destiny. You believe it at all times.
    The best is to look at yourself, youre own hands to read while listening to his music, simply.
    “There is still life on the square.”

    It echoes through the speakers into the room. Above all, you both were bon vivants!
    The consolation for a man: The tramp who does not understand in a bodice stabbing late, the people we both love, the street where our arms go around shoulders from strangers.
    The conversation with an aunt.

    “He has often remarried.”
    “Yes,” I reply. “I think we are the same.”
    I have a few things behind.
    How often you hit a door in someone’s face?
    You just laugh at the idea. Love is the most beautiful thing that can be repeated. It seems on a cloud someone winks at you.
    I am alone.
    The only one who understands my departure would be my father. It is a giving hand to me. You walk up and look in the mirror. It does not break at the moment. Life stares at me, not death. The child is still asleep.
    “You live on, Dad. ”
    “Yes!”

    Sorry for the englisch I use a translation program…

  8. alicia says:

    lo unico ke no entienod muy bien es acerca de las señales las ke debemos descifrar para asi buscar respuestas:como se supone ke puedo fijarme en las señales??de ke señales se trataria??gracias

  9. katie says:

    natural order …

    I once visited a small cemetery from the time when park city,ut, was a mining town.
    the gravestones described the harsh life at this time. most of the graves belonged to toddles, newborns & mothers dying during child birth.

    this is a natural order to which the human species adapted to over thousands of years. (our species is considered very fertile)
    in many countries we are spoiled today & have forgotten that. even though, this natural order is happening today on this planet.

  10. Alexandra says:

    It needed explanation. So we see that each view might be different. Of course a son is better if dies after granyy or father…But we do not like to think on death, but on life in order to be happy. At least usually…

  11. kealan says:

    I wonder what the supernatural order is ;o

  12. Jey B says:

    Mestre Pauuuloooooooooo, VC ESTA NO BRASIL? OU TA MORANDO FORA? eu queria parar o tempo pra entende como é difícil das pessoas perceber que ao seu lado vive um gênio um Deus, uma pessoa extraordinário como você é.
    Queria entende o porque que deixamos escapar por debaixo dos nossos dedos, se eu pudesse e tivesse super poderes eu em um piscar de olhos estaria ao seu lado, pois era tudo que eu mais queria neste mundo, desculpa se eu to escrevendo isso mais é o que eu sinto, tenho um grande carinho por você.
    Mestre você não tem como saber não tem como sentir isso, você deita na sua cama e dorme agora eu deito pensando num recado seu e me rolo na cama direto ate vim o sono.
    Não, não sou egoísta e nem atacada só que quando a gente gosta de uma pessoa e ama você fica pensando o dia inteiro será que o MESTRE recebeu minha mensagem? Será que um dia eu vou conhecer ele?
    Olha só não sei se eu já te contei, não sou uma fã perfeita sou especial mais isso já mais impediria de um dia se eu encontrar você te da um abraço e mostrar o meu carinho que não é pouuco não, rhum..
    Te amo muito, tenha um bom dia..
    Beijooos

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      Um dia a gente se vê!

  13. Big Zen says:

    Very wise indeed. Impermanence is precisely what makes something precious.

  14. Dassia says:

    Is there an other way to live this life?
    I mean not the typical rolls like to grow, marry, have children and die or never marry or travel all the time, I mean is there really a unique way of living this life?

  15. Csilla says:

    For me, another interpretation is that when I imagine life without my father or without my son then I will be more mindful of conducting myself in a way that leaves no room for regrets. It will be a reminder of how fortunate I am and thus I will continue to focus on my good fortune to have these people in my life

    1. chi-chi says:

      well said csilla. we are fortunate to have these people in our lives. we must count our blessings.

  16. Payal says:

    We always take things for granted, and once the “usual” changes it gets shocking for us, just to realize how happy we were the way we were…

    1. chi-chi says:

      yes payal, we must count our blessings.

  17. katie says:

    everything is impermanent.
    in some situations this is a blessing.
    in many situations it is hurting.
    but it leads me more & more
    to recognize the moment I have
    & its beauty.

    so good, to have the pc long-distance learning institute.

    1. chi-chi says:

      how nice katie. well said.

  18. Paulo!
    From the other side of the world – Malaysia – I say that the magic of the Far East , whence civilization began , & whence it is now coming back to be alive again , NAMASTE, Sa’alam , Va’anakum & Cho san!

    Godspeed.

    Jeya

  19. Josephine says:

    The older I get the more I see this,
    the old ones die, my cousins have children.
    One generation dies and new one enters the world.
    It’s both sad and beautiful.

  20. Liina.L says:

    Nii et teisisõnu ta tuletas mehele meelde, et pole igavikku, aeg ei seisa, vaid et elu on elu. Selline, nagu ta on, voolab, ei jää seisma, areneb ja meie areneme sellega koos. Ja et igal elusolendil on sünd, eluaeg ja surm.

    Aga ei, loodus ei ole alati selline, nagu siin loos. Miski pole ideaalne.

    Ideaalset ei eksisteeri. On vaid hetked ja momendid, ja elu.

    Tänud,
    L

    1. Alexandra says:

      I managed to translate. You are right Liina, life is a circle and not a point.

  21. Maggie says:

    Everything in perspective, I guess. But still, the discomfort of the initial reading lingers.

  22. Milorys says:

    Maravilloso es simplemente la ley de la vida no hay mejor manera de describirlo, jamas querremos ver morir a un hijo…

    Mi abuela siempre me decia que de una experiencia asi nunca nos recuperamos

    Besos

  23. coolguy1609 says:

    …. & for those who don’t have an heir…. Find ‘that’ within you that doesn’t die… That will be your legacy!!!

  24. Annie says:

    that was beautiful.. thank you dearest Paulo
    Bless you for creating this ‘warrior family’ ..

    Love and Gratitude
    Annie

  25. Tarek says:

    Great! It reminds me of the following story.
    “The Calif showed his vizier his new ring and asked him to suggest one sentence to be engraved on it that contains all the wisdom he needs to be a good person.
    The vizier took the ring and brought it back next morning with one sentence engraved on it, it read “This will change”. The calif was surprised and asked the vizier what should this mean?
    The vizier answered, your majesty, in the days when you feel sad or weak just look to this ring and you’ll remember that everything will change one day and your pain will soon be replaced with joy, this will protect you from despair and sadness.
    And in the times when you feel powerful and able to do all what you want, look to this ring and you’ll remember that this will change one day and the time will come when you’ll get old and weak, this will protect you from arrogance!”
    I don’t know where did I read this story (was it in one of your books dear Paulo?)
    I always like to site the source but here my memory is failing me sorry..
    Lots of love

    1. Csilla says:

      Lovely and ohhhh so wise. thank you

  26. wanbliska says:

    Dear Annie,

    …if you can get it, and you can get it if you try.”
    I think the Creation helps whoever It likes, whenever It wants, because of Its Graciousness. May be depending on the heart’s nature. But I prefer to think noone is condemnable.

    Love to you.

  27. wanbliska says:

    Dear Paul,

    Of course I agree with you. But in some situations it is not so easy. Maybe some are blessed, and others not. Maybe some are written in the Book of Life, others not.
    Still, I understand your remark. All this could have a taste of resting on our bay leaves (if we got some…)
    But, why do you talk about the Pope here?
    “Nice work…

  28. Agnieszka says:

    Dear Annie there’s this song I love:
    “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”

    let it shine no matter what,
    your parents love you even if they don’t show it.

    love to you,
    Agnieszka

  29. Agnieszka says:

    Yes, when the child dies, the pain cannot be compared to anything, but for the child to lose the mother or the father for me is beyond comparison because of the impact that is made on yet not developed emotional brain.

    love
    Agnieszka

  30. wanbliska says:

    Thank you dear Paul.

    Yes, difficult for me. But I will work it out. I can’t say if I’m right or wrong, but some cases are without appeal, I guess. Or time will tell “when water will have flown under bridges”, as we say here. Because I’m not alone to decide about, and time told me. Still I know for some of them, I have my responsabilities. Eventually, all is telltale sign.

    Nice night to you.

  31. Diana says:

    “However, if your family disappears in the order which I placed on the paper, this is the natural course of life. Thus, although we all endure moments of pain, the generations will continue, and your legacy will be long-lasting.”

    -As long as we multiply and are fruitful. Having experienced death of loved ones and news of soon to be arrival (God-willing), there is much to appriciate in having a loving family.

  32. wanbliska says:

    Maybe someone could explain, cause I don’t really understand it; even in translating it in french…

    Thank You.