Exploring the "Journey to the West"*(25)

PureInsight | October 25, 2007

The Spider Demon in the Winding-Thread Cave

[PureInsight.org] There is quite an allegory in this adventure.

One of the basic and most troublesome attachments for cultivators to
get rid of is sentimentality. Cultivators need to let go of the bondage
of emotional attachment. Sentimentality is often described as gentle
water or winding threads.

Cultivators must pass the tests of sentimentality. Sentimentality
includes such things as joy, anger, sorrow, fear, love, and hatred,
from which many human attachments result. Greed, dislike, and
childishness are all result from sentimentality. Truth be told, many
issues among humans originate from sentimentality. It is crucial that
cultivators can let go of this and replace it with compassion.  It
is quite an achievement for ordinary people not to be moved by

In Buddhism, it said that the human beings who are immersed in the
sentimentality will suffer: Joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness are all

Tang Monk and his disciples encountered more Spider Demons later. Only
Sun Wukong could resist it and not be poisoned.  Sentimentality is
a poison for cultivators!

* "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 a 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.

Translated from:


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