AT THE DEATH OF A PARISHIONER, MASTER DOGO, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS DISCIPLE ZENGEN, VISITED THE BEREAVED FAMILY. WITHOUT TAKING TIME TO EXPRESS A WORD OF SYMPATHY, ZENGEN WENT UP TO THE COFFIN, RAPPED ON IT, AND ASKED DOGO: 'IS HE REALLY DEAD?'
The first thing: when death is there you have to be very respectful because death is no ordinary phenomenon, it is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the world. Nothing is more mysterious than death. Death reaches to the very center of existence, and when a man is dead you are moving on sacred ground: it is the holiest moment possible. No, ordinary curiosities cannot be allowed. They are disrespectful.
In the East particularly, death is respected more than life -- and the East has lived long to come to this conclusion. In the West life is more respected than death; hence so much tension, so much worry and so much anguish, so much madness...
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