Sage, a

Does not confront evil but diverts its energy

June 30th 2012
A sage was in his garden picking fruit. Suddenly, he hears a noise and sees a man running. ‘Where are you going so fast?’ he asks him. ‘My neighbour is chasing me with a shotgun; he’s saying it was me who set fire to his granary.’ ‘Go quickly; I’ll see to it.’ The other man appears. ‘Where are you running like that?’ the sage asks him. ‘You seem really out of breath. Sit down a while.’ ‘No, I must catch the person who set fire to my granary. He’s got something coming to him he won’t forget in a hurry.’ ‘But he must be a long way off by now. Look at this fruit, it’s delicious. Sit down and have a taste.’ Eventually the man sits down and eats the fruit with relish, and the sage also has him admire the flowers and trees in the garden, the blue sky, and so on. This little break changes his mood, he gives up chasing his neighbour and even offers to help the sage with his fruit picking. You will say it is an unlikely story. But not necessarily… The sage knew that if he stood in the angry man’s way and said, ‘Stop; it isn't worth running like that’, the man would have pushed him aside, not wanting to hear anything, and he would have had to use force. So, what did he do? He distracted him by offering him fruit. This means that, if you want to stop people from doing something wrong, rather than confront them it is better to try to divert their energy.