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:

一位女士不停地述說自己的苦難,沒完沒了。

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

法師打斷她的話說:你的苦還真多呀!

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

女士:別人訴苦最多需要三天三夜,我訴苦需要三年! 

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

法師:那是什麼時候的苦? 

Master:   When did your sufferings occur?

女士:前幾年。

Woman:   Within the last few years.

法師:那不是過去了嗎?為什麼還緊抓不放呢?(停了一下)你拉出的糞便臭不臭? 

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

女士:當然很臭啦!poo

Woman:  Of course, very smelly!

法師:現在糞便在哪裡呢? 

 Master:  Where are your feces now?

女士:拉完就沖掉了。

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

法師:為什麼不把它包起來放在身上?見到人就拿出來告訴別人,說我被這東西臭過? 

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.

女士:那多惡心!

 Woman:   This is nauseating!

法師:對呀!苦難也是一樣,它已經過去了。回憶和訴苦就如同把糞便拿出來向人展示,既臭自己又臭別人!越訴苦越苦,越抱怨越怨。

 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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