Exploring "Journey to the West"* (1)

Chuan Jiang

PureInsight | September 30, 2007


(1)    The Stone Monkey

The birth of the stone monkey is a description of the way any life in
the universe was created originally: from the intelligence of the
cosmos.  He jumped out of the crevices of the stone.  His
birth caused a huge amount of energy to be released and shocked Heaven
and Earth.

The stone money was born with two eyes that could see the palace in
Heaven. Actually, human beings also had that ability in the beginning.
It is the acquired notions that blocked our eyes from seeing. When the
stone monkey washed his eyes with the water from this world, his eyes
lost the golden light. From this we can learn that the newborn are very
pure in both body and mind. Later on, they learn in school and obtain
knowledge and the ways that we deal with people and things and,
therefore, lose their god-given natures. For that reason, in the path
of cultivation, one talks about letting go of all acquired notions and
returning to one's true self.

This stone money had unique qualities and quickly became the king of
all the monkeys on the Flower-and-Fruit Mountain and lived a carefree
life.  Normally, anyone living such a comfortable life would not
think about cultivation. However, the stone monkey had great inborn
quality. He still wanted to obtain the Tao.

The first demon the stone monkey defeated was the Mess-Around Demon. If
anyone wants to achieve something, he must overcome his own inertia and
take things seriously. The stone monkey is very diligent, which is the
minimum quality for a cultivator, besides having self control and being

* "Journey to the West" is a classic novel of Chinese mythology. The
Buddhist monk Tang Xuanzang and his three disciples went to India to
obtain the Buddhist Scriptures. On the surface, it is a novel about the
adventures of the monkey with unsurpassed supernormal capabilities
battling demons of all sorts. Underneath, it is a story about
cultivation and tells the attachments that cultivators have to overcome
one by one.

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