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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

983 Good and Evil

 "Xizi and the rest took a job from an old employer. The pay is quite good, so they informed me," Second Brother said.

Song Xianhe asked with a frown, "You didn't ask what the job is?"

"Uh, Xizi and the rest are wily old foxes. They can be trusted with the job, so I didn't ask further. It's not like they will give less money than they are required to hand over," Second Brother said with a chuckle.

Song Xianhe felt displeased. Just as he was about to say something, he heard Third Brother shouting about buying a chicken to stew it, but someone was refusing to sell it to him. The two voices were loud, and it appeared as though they had gotten into an argument. Song Xianhe patted Second Brother on the shoulder and said, "Better to be safe than sorry. Be meticulous when handling everything."

Second Brother knew what Song Xianhe was referring to as he scratched his head awkwardly. "Got it, Brother."

With One Finger Monastery getting more lively, there was greater activity on the Internet. More media placed more focus on the matter, and instantly, Fangzheng's lecture that was to take place the next day became a hot topic. There was all kinds of discussion regarding it.

Of course, Putian Hospital's actions were brought to the forefront of discussion. Many patients stood forward to recount their personal experiences, criticizing Putian Hospital's doctors for a lack of medical ethics. They also applauded Fangzheng and company for handling the matter beautifully. However, most of the discussion was...

"Holy crap, I just realized that Abbot Fangzheng does things completely unlike a monk. He freaking does things without class!"

"I noticed that too. Look at other masters. Either they are otherworldly like immortals or they have genial and benevolent attitudes and are extremely reliable when handling matters. But Fangzheng's 'my territory, my rules' and 'the right of interpretation is with me' are seriously... Alright, after saying so much, all I want to say is one thing-well done!"

"Haha, Master Frivolous is indeed Master Frivolous. If he were like those nonfrivolous masters, going with what was said, they would have allowed those a**holes from Putian Hospital to attend the lecture. That's what I'd call something capable of chilling the hearts of all men. Let me ask you, if that actually happened, how would the other professional doctors think of the matter? Would that be fair to them? And if they then behaved the same way, wouldn't that infect the social mood? On the other hand, if they didn't do the same, it would be unfair to them. Therefore, although I think that Master Frivolous' actions are frivolous, the outcome isn't."

"Previous Poster, are you a rapper? You sure make it sound good!"

"I fully support Abbot Fangzheng on this matter!"

...

Upon seeing these comments, Fangzheng beamed widely. Although he wasn't someone who craved for fame, he still felt good being praised and acknowledged by others.

Monkey scratched his head and asked in puzzlement, "Master, you clearly weren't acting honestly, so why are people praising you? The rules were set by you, and people found loopholes in them to gain points. There's nothing wrong with that, right? After all, the responsibility for setting the rules is ours, not theirs."

Lone Wolf and Squirrel looked at Fangzheng with a curious look as well. This was a problem they couldn't understand either.

Fangzheng looked up at the sky and said, "It's getting dark. Let's go strike the bell and drum. The questions can be answered after we're back."

With that said, Fangzheng went out. Monkey was still perplexed as he opened his mouth, hoping to ask more.

At this moment, Salted Fish chuckled. "Don't ask. I guess your master doesn't know what to say and is taking some time to gather his thoughts so as to fabricate a story.

Dong!

A rock flew over from afar and struck Salted Fish on the head, sending sparks flying. Salted Fish rubbed his head and grumbled,."In this day and age, you can't even speak the truth anymore."

After the drum and bell were struck, the monastery closed for the day. Everyone sat under the bodhi tree as Fangzheng sampled some Frost Bamboo tea. Monkey, Lone Wolf, Salted Fish, Red Boy, and Squirrel all gathered. All of them watched silently without drinking the tea, as though they were saying, "We'll just wait and see how you answer. Don't try to get away with it by being vague."

Upon seeing this, Fangzheng smiled and put down his tea bowl. He asked in return, "What do you think the goal is of being honest?"

"Of course, it's how an ideal person should behave. Otherwise, how would people live if everyone lied?" Red Boy said without much thought.

Monkey said, "An honest society is definitely better than a dishonest one."

Squirrel raised his paw and exclaimed. "Of course it's to make life better. If everyone tried to cheat and outwit each other, how would the mentally challenged survive?"

When everyone heard that, they subconsciously looked at Lone Wolf.

Lone Wolf glared back in anger. "I'm not mentally challenged! My brain is great! You are the ones who are mentally challenged!"

Everyone grinned. "Heh heh."

Lone Wolf became even more infuriated. Just as he was about to erupt, he heard Fangzheng say, "Alright. Jingfa, share with us your views. Why do you think honesty is required?"

Lone Wolf didn't think too much. In fact, his brain never thought about such things. He said in passing, "For justice, I guess."

Fangzheng looked at Salted Fish who twirled his fish whiskers. "I think it's to make life better."

With that said, everyone looked at Fangzheng. Now that they had shared their views, they wanted to see what Fangzheng had to say.

Fangzheng leaned onto the bodhi tree's trunk and said lightly, "That's right. All the rules, restraints, and the promotion of morals are to make the world a better place. The goal is to repress evil and encourage good and to make evil disappear. It's to allow the good to be rewarded. Then, is complete honesty really the equivalent of that? Does it mean that being honest is always the same as spreading good?"

Upon hearing this question, everyone fell into deep thought.

Fangzheng continued. "This Penniless Monk has heard of a story. An elder with a terminal disease once had a child who sacrificed himself to save someone. His son's comrade pretended he was his son, writing to the father every month, saying how good the army camp was and how beautiful life was. Every festival, he would send a gift to the elder. The others also didn't send their meritorious medals to their families but combined them to send them to the elder. His son's comrade would describe heroic deeds that never happened, giving all the glory to the man's son.

"In this way, the elder lived as a proud man. He was honored by his son's glory, often telling everyone how impressive his son was."

"Even when the elder passed away peacefully, he had no idea that his son had already passed before him. However, when he left, he left with a smile. In his will, he had one line: "On life's final journey, I left extremely happy. Although my child didn't return, I know that by doing so, he was able to make more people return to spend time with their families at ease. I don't need him to accompany me because he's always by my side anyway. I can see him, and he can see me."

Having said that, Fangzheng paused and asked, "What do you think of the soldiers' lies? Right or wrong?"

Before anyone answered, Fangzheng continued. "This Penniless Monk also heard of another story that was similar. An elder's child passed away, while a neighbor who was an enemy of the elder immediately told him the truth once he learned of it. The elder was heartbroken. After the funeral, he hung himself. Before dying, he left the sentence that he hated this world; he hated the world that had robbed him of everything he cared about. Now, were the actions of this honest neighbor good or evil?"