PureInsight | June 16, 2003
[PureInsight.org] Zheng Youxuan was born to a noble family in Xinyang City. He moved to Chang'an city where he and his neighbor, surnamed Luqiu, followed teacher Shi. Because of his family background, Zheng was arrogant and egotistical. Luqiu's family was poor and from a lower social class. Zheng often made fun of Luqiu. Once he teased him, "You and I are not of the same class, but follow the same teacher. You should feel embarrassed even if I do not mention it." Luqiu was ashamed and died of illness a few years later.
Ten years later, Zheng Youxuan passed the State Economics examination and was appointed as a military staff member in Tang'an Shire. The governor asked him to be the military chief of Tangxing County. There was a twenty-year-old gentleman called Qiu living in the same building as Zheng. Qiu had been born into a rich business family. He met with Zheng every day and gave him lots of gold and gifts. He and Zheng often went out together on sightseeing trips and to parties. Because Qiu did not have any official rank, Zheng never treated him with respect. Once Zheng invited all his friends to a party, but did not invite Qiu. Finally, someone told Zheng, "Qiu lives right here in this building, and you two often go to parties together. This time you did not invite him. Shame on you!" Zheng was embarrassed and asked Qiu to come. When Qiu arrived, Zheng poured a huge beaker of white wine and passed it to Qiu. Qiu said that he could not finish it; when pressed, he insisted. Zheng was irritated. He shouted at Qiu, "You are not from a noble family, and all you know is how to make money. You should not live in this official building. I treat you like a friend, which is a great honor to you. How dare you reject me?" Qiu felt insulted, and he stalked out of the room. Soon he resigned his position and isolated himself from everyone. He died of a disease several months later.
The next year, Zheng Youxuan was dismissed from his post. He left the city and went to live in a temple in Mengyang County. He grew fond of Taoism. At that time, there was a famous Taoist named Wu living on Sumeng Mountain. Zheng admired Wu. He visited him often and expressed his wish to become Wu's disciple. Wu told him, "You want to be a deity, so you should live come in the forest and forget mundane life in the human world." Zheng was very grateful to Wu and said, "Master has attained the real Tao. I am willing to be your disciple. Is this acceptable to you?" Master Wu agreed. Fifteen years later, Zheng grew tired of cultivation. Master Wu said, "Since you are unable to persist in cultivation, it is a waste of time for you to stay in the forest." Zheng left.
In a hotel in Baocheng city, Zheng met a handsome teenage boy. Zheng talked to the boy and found that the boy was extremely bright and intelligent. Zheng felt that the boy was even better than him. The boy told Zheng, "We were old friends. Don't you remember me?" Zheng said, "No. I forgot." The boy said, "I used to have the last name of Luqiu from Chang'An city. We went to the same school. But you thought I was too poor to be in the same class as you. Later on, I was Qiu and lived in the same building as you. You accepted many of my gifts but never treated me with respect, and you said I only knew how to make money. Why were you so arrogant?" Zheng was amazed and bowed several times to express his apology. "It was all my fault. How could you know these things if you are not a Saint?" The boy said, "I am Tai Qing Zhengren. The Gods think that you are a gifted person and they sent me down to make friends with you, so I could teach you the secrets of the Tao. But because you were so proud and arrogant, you could never get the Tao. What a pity!" After he finished, the boy disappeared.
Zheng realized his errors and regretted his actions very much. He finally died of grief.
Xuan Bao Zhi
Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/5/23/21710.html