soweli li pona ala tan mu ona.
jan li pona ala tan toki ona.
A dog's quality is not defined by barking. A person's quality is not determined by its talking. — Toki Ponist Pu
These are the words as recovered from the awoken well:
ona li toki e ni: o toki tawa mi e ni:
mi wile pakala e jan seme?
jan seme li lon ala?
jan ale li pali ike e seme?
mi ken suli tan seme?
nanpa wan en nanpa tu en nanpa mute la mi tawa e nasin seme tawa kama lon sewi?
nasin ni li kama weka lon kon telo sewi.
jan Sapilon li toki e ni: ni li seme lon sewi?
jan Sipi li toki e ni: nasin anpa.
Here follows a relaxed translation:
Sapilon finds Tipi near the mountain. He urges: “Tell me who I should fight to be right. Who must be destroyed? Who is wrong? What is everyone doing wrong and what can I do right? How can I grow? What are the three steps to enlightenment? Tipi points up the stairs to the top of the mountain in the clouds. Sapilon asks: “What is up there?” Tipi says: “The steps down.”
When everybody and their pet duck assumes that a thing is utterly true, a philosopher will come by and postulate exactly the opposite: that it is false. This is why it is very hard to get rid of philosophers. When everyone agrees, they disagree. And when everybody disagrees, nobody notices the annoyed philosophers sulking in a corner.
It is a philosopher’s job to make everyone else feel like an idiot. Now, the craving to make others feel like idiots is universal. Self-help writers, teachers, consultants, religious leaders and your average vlogger also make people feel like idiots and we eat it up. Why? Because after turning you into an idiot, they give you the tool to be better, to grow, and turn others into idiots. A blog post will read: “10 ways why you are shit and what to do about it”, not “10 ways why you are shit and how I gloat about it”.
A true philosopher will not give you this tool, he will dryly make you feel bad about your most personal beliefs. He does not need to declare that someone is wrong or destroyed or that there are steps to follow or lists to remember. For the best effect you ingest the insults of multiple philosophers, to point out that whatever way you look at something, you are an idiot.
Needless to say, what people say has no bearing on its quality.
Read a newer koan (Only still water reflects the heavens perfectly. But all water reflects the heavens.)
Read an older koan (Existence is the best way to waste time.)