Master Hsuan Hua on Stupidity Versus Wisdom

Selections from Lotuses in the Spring Sun.
Kao-Hsiung, Taiwan. Wisdom Source Publications, 1995. Pages 153-5.
6/7/98 beta translation by Dharmamitra

Stupid people don't realize the severity of cause-and-effect and so they casually commit errors in cause-and-effect even to the point where they do not believe in cause-and-effect and argue that there is no such thing as cause-and-effect. People who possess a measure of wisdom realize the severity of the retributional response involved in cause-and-effect. And so they are fearful about making errors in cause-and-effect. No matter what endeavor one is about to do, "Contemplate it thrice and then proceed." (p.153)


The ancients said, "The errors of the superior man are like an eclipse of the sun or moon. Everyone sees them. If he immediately changes them, then people all look up to him." When a superior man has committed a transgression, it's just the same as when there is an eclipse of sun or an eclipse of the moon. Everybody is able to see it. If he is able to immediately change it then everyone will respect him and look up to him with admiration. (p.154)


As for intelligent people, when they have committed a transgression, they are certain to change their ways. As for stupid people, when they have committed a transgression, they do not change their ways. (p.155)

6/98 Beta Translation Copyright by Dharmamitra. All rights reserved.