Thursday, 29 June 2017

the second arrow

Writing for Big Think, correspondent Philip Perry introduces us to the Buddhist parable of the second arrow—which has the simple exposition of walking through the woods and finding oneself suddenly struck by an arrow. This ambush is to be understood as an allegory for any unexpected misfortune, but the archer isn’t quite finished and has one more arrow in his quiver for us. The first strike was unavoidable but if we keep our wits about us and don’t collapse in an emotional heap, we can dodge the second volley and forego a good deal of extra grief. The visceral pain of the first arrow is rather inevitable but the suffering and sorrow (duḥkha) of the second is voluntary. Read more about the morale tale and Buddhism at the link up top.