The Parable of the Setting Sun

A young person journeyed far, on a pilgrimage to gain wisdom from those who possessed it.

One night, as she walked along the road, marveling at the stars above and the earth around her, she saw many people seated in a meadow, all facing the same direction. All were weeping and beating their chests. Some threw themselves prostrate upon the ground in their grief. Their clamor was heartrending.

She approached one and asked, “Who are you? Why do you weep? What great tragedy has befallen you?”

The man replied, “We are the ones who have seen the day and mourn its passing. We sit facing west, mourning the setting of the sun, our grief overwhelming us.” He paused. “This is our wisdom. It brings us no joy.”

“But…” the young person began, but the man was no longer listening. With a loud cry he rejoined his fellows in their clamor.

She stood silently for a moment, observing their pain, and then walked away, toward the east, where the sun was already rising.

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