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(64) AN EVIL DEMON IN THE OLD HOUSE

Once upon a time, there was an old house where the rumours had it that an evil demon often appeared. People were so frightened that no one would dare to be in it. A man claiming himself dauntless said: "I would like to spend a night in this house." So he did.

Upon hearing from the bystander that the house was frequently haunted by an evil demon, another man also wanted to do the same proving himself to be more intrepid than the first one. He tried to enter by pushing the door.

The one who had got into the house first thought the second one to be the demon and blocked the door to his entrance. The second, unable to open the door, thought the first one to be the demon. They first argued and then began to fight until dawn. When finally coming face to face, they realized that they were both mistaken.

So are the people at large.

Our ego is subject to the law of impermanence and cause-effect, and therefore there is no mastering power in our body. Considering and analyzing all in all, one can only ask who the ego is. However, human beings indulge in ill-natured gossip everywhere, and fight each other like those men in this told story.

64人謂故屋中有惡鬼喻

昔有故屋,人謂此室常有惡鬼,皆悉怖畏不敢寢息。時有一人自謂大膽,而作是言:「我欲入此室中寄臥一宿。」即入宿止,後有一人自謂膽勇勝於前人,復聞傍人言此室中恒有惡鬼,即欲入中排門將前。時先入者謂其是鬼,即復推門遮不聽前;在後來者復謂有鬼,二人鬪諍遂至天明。既相覩已,方知非鬼。

一切世人亦復如是,因緣暫會無有宰主,一一推析誰是我者?然諸眾生橫計是非強生諍訟,如彼二人等無差別。

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