The Prince of Wu took a boat to Monkey Mountain.
As soon as the monkeys saw him they all fled in panic and hid in the treetops.
One monkey, however, remained, completely unconcerned, swinging from branch to branch – an extraordinary display.
The prince shot an arrow at the monkey, but the monkey
dexterously caught the arrow in mid-flight.
At this the prince ordered his attendants to make a concerted attack. In an instant the monkey was shot full of arrows
and fell dead.
Then the prince turned to his companion Yen Pu'i, “You see what happened? This animal advertised his cleverness.
He trusted in his own skill. He thought no one could touch him. Remember that! Do not rely on distinction and talent when you deal with men!”
When they returned home, Yen Pu'i became a disciple of a sage to get rid of everything that made him outstanding.
He renounced every pleasure. He learned to hide every
Soon no one in the kingdom knew what to make of him. Thus they held him in awe.
This story carries one of the most secret keys of Tao. Tao says that whatsoever is beautiful in you, hide it, never act it out; whatsoever is truthful in you, valuable, hide it, because whenever a truth is hidden in the heart, it grows like a seed hidden in the earth. Don’t throw it out. If you throw a seed on the street for everybody to see it will die, and die to no purpose. It will simply die, there will be no rebirth.
Treat all that is beautiful, good and true, just like a seed. Give it some soil, a hidden place in the heart – don’t display it. But just the opposite is done by everybody: whatsoever is wrong, you hide it; you don’t want it to be known by others. Whatsoever is ugly you hide and whatsoever is beautiful, even if it is not, you try to advertise it, you magnify it, you display it. Hence the misery – because the ugly grows and the beautiful is lost. The untrue grows, it becomes a seed, and the truth is thrown away. The precious is thrown and the rubbish grows; you become like weeds. No flower comes to your life because you have never done the right thing – hidden the seed of the flower within. This opposite is the path, and I say this is one of the most secret keys of Tao.
A man of Tao remains ordinary, absolutely ordinary. No-body knows who he is, nobody knows what he carries with-in him, what treasure. He never advertises, he never tries to display. But why do we advertise? Because of the ego. You are not satisfied with yourself, you are satisfied only when others appreciate you. Kohinoor is not enough. You may have a valuable stone, but it is not enough; others must appreciate it. Others’ opinion is more valuable, not your being. You look into others’ eyes as if they are mirrors and if they appreciate you, applaud you, you feel good.