I get the following story from the web about a conversation between a venerable monk and a woman.  The original is in Chinese.  I translate it here:


A woman had been talking non-stop about her suffering and grievance.


The master had interrupted her, “You really have lots of suffering!”


 Woman:    Other people may at most take 3 days and nights, my grievance needs 3 years to spell out!


Master:   When did your sufferings occur?


Woman:   Within the last few years.


 Master:   Were these sufferings already passed?  Why do you still hold on to these sufferings?  (Paused).  Do the feces of your bowel movement smell?  


Woman:  Of course, very smelly!


 Master:  Where are your feces now?


Woman:  I had flushed them away after I was done.


Master:   Why don’t you wrap your feces up and carry with you?   Then show and tell anyone you meet that you were smoked by these feces.


 Woman:   This is nauseating!


 Master:   Exactly!  Sufferings and grievance are similar.  They had already passed.   Recollection and grieving about them are similar to showing your feces to people–  smelly to other people and yourself .  You suffer more when you recollect your past suffering.  You grieve more when you talk about your past grievance.

The story above illustrates the Bazi concept of “self-penalty“– people’s tendency to relive their grievance and suffering by talking and thinking about their unpleasant experience repeatedly.  People who listen to their grievance also suffer from this self-penalty like second-hand smoking.  We may call this “second hand penalty“.

Psychologists and psychiatrists like self-penalty because they get paid US$200+ per hour here to listen to people’s grievance.

Ken Lai

© 2019 Ken Lai, all rights reserved.

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