along with all the good points everyone has made on the zen parable, it also confronts us with this problem: in a culture primarily interested in using you to propagate unsustainable and toxic mythology, we make no room for a person unfit for a role the system demands of him. We allow no room for error. Welcome to the nuclear family: you marry an abusive drunk, you have no way out except melt down and tragedy, or abandonment.
A culture which separates a ‘spiritual path’ from a familial path has some fundamental problems that no amount of zen will address, I suspect.
Though I feel like I’ve just sold the 15 year old samurai lovin’ Willem downriver when I said that. Some stuff about Zen really rocks, but some of it really smells funny.