That warning brought on a depressing kind of feeling that now hung in the air like a dark cloud. This dark foreboding struck them just as they were about to celebrate the achievements wrought with their tireless labor.
What they were told by the man from the caravan created a paradox. Their lives had become spared by the kindness of the monks, but only to live like a bunch of cattle that have a place in the world only for as long as they remain useful to their masters. They knew they couldn't allow this to happen to themselves. Not again!
Now, among the people was a young girl whom the people had named, Lianhua. She had come from a long line of families who were renowned for their wisdom. It was natural, therefore, that the people came to her for advice in their endeavor to resolve the paradox. "What must we do?" they asked. "How do we get out of this trap? We have moved into a land that turned out to be poisoned. How do we survive?"
The girl replied that the answer is simple. If the land is poisoned, it needs to be cleansed. "We cannot allow our lives to be poisoned," she explained.
"But how do we do this?" they asked.
"That's simple, too," the girl answered. "If the poison flows from the monks who do not wish to work, we have to uplift them to where they can discover themselves as human beings, like we have come to know ourselves."
"That's easily said," said the elder of the people, named Mogao. "Who are we to accomplish a thing like that? We have no experience in the matter. We are farmers and fishermen, and builders. Who are we to teach the monks?"
"We are human beings," said the girl, Lianhua. "We don't need to teach anything. This is what we will do. We will treat the monks as if they already were what we want them to be, because that is what they are in reality, whether they acknowledge this or not. And in order to accomplish that, we must treat one another even more consciously in the same manner."
"And how shall that be?" asked the elder, Mogao.
Here the girl laughed. "I cannot decide this for you. I am not your king. You must decide this for yourself."
Mogao declared that Lianhua had wisely spoken. He stated that he understood now what was required. He suggested that they should all come together in seven days, and on every seventh day thereafter, to convene a council to explore among themselves whatever it was that they valued the most, both about themselves and about the way they were treating one another. He called this meeting-together a constitutional council in which they all would declare to themselves the highest principles that they have come to understand and to respect as a community, a community based on constitutional principles.
The girl Lianhua agreed that this was the proper path to pursue.
So it was that in seven days time the first constitutional council convened. At this session they all acknowledged to each other that they would not have survived long as a people, if they had not supported one another in all of their endeavors. They realized that as farmers and fishermen, and builders, not one of them could have accomplished in isolation, what they had accomplished for each other by working together to enrich their world and everyone's life with it. They all acknowledged that. Thus, they made a declaration that working together for the common good would be their first constitutional principle that would govern the community from this day forward, for all times to come.
During the next session they realized that as a human being, a person deserves to be honored. They declared that this honoring must never become an empty gesture, but must always reflect an honest recognition of a person's worth, strength, beauty, kindness, love, including all of the other qualities that has bound the community together as one single whole.
The girl Lianhua pointed out that she realized that honoring one another has brought light into everyone's life, that it has helped them to love themselves more fully, and thus to love one another more honestly.
All the people agreed with that assessment. They recognized themselves to be highly capable people, so that the implementation of this second declaration of honoring one another shouldn't pose a problem either. It wouldn't be a problem then, as they were, and not for all times to come, because of the beauty that it had brought into their lives, which outweighed all the efforts they made towards attaining that way of living.
They all agreed that this principle had so enriched their lives that they would never want to drift away from it, that it was a natural constitutional principle. It had opened doors to such joy and sharing, including sexual sharing, and to uplifting one another's spirit, the likes of which would never have been open to them on a lower platform, such as they had known before.
The specific form of this honoring, they all agreed, should be left to the democratic decision of each one acting individually, according to a person's wisdom and situation. These individual forms, however, and they all agreed on that, must always be subservient to the universal principle of honoring one another, that must never be sidestepped for any reason.
The girl Lianhua suggested that this constitutional goal should constantly enrich everyone, since it forces one to look ever deeper for the truth that invariably inspires the honoring of one another. She suggested that experience has shown that such honoring can unfold in the form of a gesture, or a commitment, or a deed, or whatever else may be designed to uplift one another. "On this platform, theft, rape, or murder will never become a possibility," declared Lianhua, "while our world becomes evermore beautiful in the process." Thus their new principle was enshrined in their constitution as the second constitutional principle.
The third session followed seven days later. During this session the people acknowledged to one another that each person has certain fundamental personal needs that the community should respect and endeavor to satisfy for one another, such as the need for food, shelter, warmth, affection, and so forth. Even sexual intimacies were recognized under this category as a normal aspect of living by a human being. The principle was acknowledged as an aspect conducive to happiness and to the joy in one another, which should not be blocked, but be uplifted.
The girl Lianhua summarized all these recognitions as an acknowledgement of the necessary principle of universal love and universal sovereignty as a platform for meeting all human needs. The people agreed with that assessment.
At this point someone asked Lianhua in what form, she felt, that everyone's individual sexual needs should be met, since she had been the one who had added sexual needs to the list.
The girl just laughed. "The answer is simple," she said. "No one owns us. We own ourselves, but we need one another. We have made a declaration that we shall support one another. This principle still sands. We have also made a declaration that we shall honor one another. This principle still applies. What more do we need to add to meet one another's needs, by which we meet our own needs as well? The details are not important. Our constitutional principles are important. They should govern the details. So, let us test these principles, therefore, and determine if they do indeed meet all the various needs in our life. Let us test them and see if they make our life worthwhile and productive, and bright with happiness."
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