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The time is the 1870s. The place is the American Southwest and, in flashbacks, China. The stories follow Kwai Chang Caine, a half-Chinese, half- American Shaolin priest, an expert in the ancient Chinese art of Kung Fu (“It is said a Shaolin priest can walk through walls. Looked for, he cannot be seen. Listened for, he cannot be heard. Touched, he cannot be felt.”*3*). Caine had been raised/trained mostly by Master Kan and Master Po at the Shaolin Temple in the Honon Province of China. But he had to leave the country after killing the Emperor’s*1* nephew (who had shot and killed Master Po).Once in America Caine learns he has a half brother. While searching for Danny Caine, Kwai Chang Caine is sought by Chinese assassins and American bounty hunters (who are after the $10,000 reward that China, in widely distributed wanted posters, offers for his capture – only $5,000 for his death).
(‘Kung Fu’ actually translates as something like ‘human effort’ or ‘skill’ or ‘ability.’ But in current English usage, it tends to refer to Chinese martial arts disciplines.)–from: http://kungfu-guide.com/overview.html
By Kevin Stoda
Po: The hands, Grasshopper, are the eyes and the tongue of touch. Through them a man may reach out and see another’s feelings, or speak his own.
KCC: Is it not sad master, that the hands of a man may strike a blow as well as caress?
Po: Pain and pleasure are like two bells, side by side. And the voice of each makes a trembling in the other.
KCC: Are pain and pleasure so alike?
Po: Are the eyes and tongue alike? You see the butterfly, and an ugly wound. And the same tongue which screams, also laughs.
I have a colleague who looks a bit like David Carradine did in the 1970s classic martial arts western TV series: Kung Fu.
The colleague even wears the same sort of leather satchel with should strap that the Kung Fu character did.
After pondering what I could recall from the Kung Fu TV show from my early 1970s childhood. I decided to look up what I could about the show. One of the most fascinating videos is called:
I suggest you all click on the title (above) and be overwhelmed by the wisdom passed down to 1970s youth. Nowadays, we seldom have such wisdom shared with teens and pre-teens in our action programming.
Grasshopper: “Of all things, to live in darkness must be the worst.”
Reply of the elder #1: “Fear is the only Darkness.”
Reply of the elder #2: ” Never assume one cannot see if he has no eyes.”
Keye Luke as Master Po
- Po: We have a good collection this month, Lee-You?
Lee-You: A fine one Master Po. Already, I have found two pieces of rare beauty. I am most grateful.
Po: We are grateful to you, for rewarding our carelessness.
Po: Will you walk with me, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: Yes, Master. Master? The man to whom you spoke, Lee-You? Is he a confused one?
Po: What is your view?
Young KCC: He is a beggar, like the rest. I can see he is greatly in need of food. But he does not eat.
Po: He seeks to satisfy a stronger hunger.
Young KCC: He values what is worthless. (Broken pieces of pottery, which Lee-You uses to decorate a monument he is making for a public area)
Po: To you, to me, perhaps. Not worthless to him.
Young KCC: Bits and pieces that cannot be put back together.
Po: Not to understand a man’s purpose does not make him confused.
Lee-You: Why are you following me? What do you want? AH! You are from the temple. Have you nothing better to do?
Young KCC: I was instructed to follow you.
Lee-You: Come now. You can think of a better story than that.
Young KCC: It is the truth, Lee-You. I am doing what Master Po told me to do.
Lee-You: So wise a man, said to follow me. Why?
Young KCC: He said you could teach me a great knowledge.
Lee-You: (Laughs) But I cannot read or write. What can I teach anyone?
Young KCC: Master Po said you had found both great wisdom and great happiness. And if I observed you, I might learn what they are.
Lee-You: (Laughs again) Such a fine joke Master Po has played on you. Sending you to tramp on the dusty roads, after an old man, who does the only thing he can do. He lives every day from its start, to its end, and hopes there may be another to follow.
Young KCC: There must be more?
Lee-You: Nothing more, my son. But if you choose to think there may be more, you are welcome to follow.
Lee-You: You are the only helper I have ever had. How long have you been with me now?
Young KCC: I cannot remember.
Lee-You: You are not paid. The work is hard. Why do you continue?
Young KCC: I have not learned what Master Po wishes me to learn.
Lee-You: AH. That Master Po. To play such a cruel game on a good boy. Hey, go swim in the river. I will not tell.
Young KCC: I am here to learn.
Lee-You: Ahhh. Will it ever be done?
Young KCC: You do not know?
Lee-You: I grow old. Everyday weariness takes a little a more of me. Would you finish my work?
Po: Will you, Grasshopper? If needed, would you finish Lee-You’s work?
Young KCC: I hesitate, Master. For it is Lee-You’s work. And only he knows its purpose.
Po: Ahhhhh. Then you no longer think him confused?
Young KCC: No Master. I now see the great clarity that instructs his efforts.
Po: Clarity?! When he treasures what is worthless?
Young KCC: Each piece of porcelain finds a new value in Lee-You’s work (building a statue).
Po: You have begun to learn.
Young KCC: But, this is not the great knowledge of which you spoke?
Po: Take heart. From the accomplishment of Lee-You, the work of many years. One small piece. Now another, and another, and another.
Po: You have said farewell?
Young KCC: As best I could.
Po: Death has had no victory, Grasshopper.
Young KCC: But Lee-You is gone.
Po: Is he not still here, labor upon labor, piece by piece, beauty upon beauty. Is it but a monument, or is it the man himself?–KF*
- KCC: If you worry, will the future change?–KF (REFERENCE: KCC will stand for Kwai Chang Caine when he was a young adult. Young KCC will stand for when the character was young)*
- Man: All because I was a rascal and a fool. I gambled away all the months rent from my tenants. I Bought wine for everyone and paid the flower girls for their song. There was nothing left. At last they goaded me into it. I bet my finger. Mao threw the dice. And I lost!! It hurts, Master…it hurts!
Master Won-Que: And what would you have won if the dice had been otherwise?
Man: Four pieces of silver. As many as I have fingers left.
Master Won-Que: And with the four pieces of silver, you would have bought more wine and the flower girls, would you not?
Man: (Nods acknowledgment).
Master Won-Que: Then perhaps with the finger, you have bought wisdom. And that would be well worth the price.
Man: (Cries in pain). I have lost too much already!
Master Won-Que: The fire (infection) has entered the hand through the wound. And the hand is dead already. And if we do not remove the fire, you too might die. Did you hear me? Leu, I’ve done all I could, but the spirit of the finger is calling to the hand. And if we do not give it , the spirit will be anger, and may even demand more.
Man: Spirit. Have you seen the spirit? (A crow lands on the nearby window ledge).
Young KCC: It is here at the window!
Kan: What must we say of a mirror that receives tranquillity, yet reflects a troubled brow? The mirror I spoke of was you, student Caine.
Young KCC: It is not with myself I am troubled with, Master. But for the sick man Leu. If he does not accept the loss of his hand, he will die.
Kan: did not Won-Que, make this clear to him?
Young KCC: Yes, Master, but..
Young KCC: Shall we not act in spite of the obstinacy of the sick man? When inaction may destroy him?
Kan: Is it your feeling that Won-Que is not forceful enough?
Young KCC: I have asked myself that question.
Kan: Look to the water at your feet. Does not the sage say: “What is more yielding than water? Yet, back it comes again, wearing down the ridged strength, which cannot stand to its strength. What is more forceful than quite water?”
Man: Master Que? I was so much trouble for you.
Master Won-Que: You were much more trouble for yourself, Leu.
Man’s Wife: I see nothing to give thanks for. I brought you my husband, who had a hand! And an arm!! And you return to me a man who is half himself.
Man: Woman! Be still! And you boy. Thanks for keeping vigil so long with me (Master bows). Come woman.
Young KCC: Master. Why was the spirit not satisfied with Leus’s hand?
Master Won-Que: The spirit might have been. But Leu himself had not been done with gambling. He refused, as you recall, to let me help him.
Young KCC: I do not understand. What did the spirit want?
Master Won-Que: That we may not know. Only what they do. But it seems clear that the finger was lost foolishly. And that angered the spirit of the finger. To be ripped, unwantingly off. With so many good years left of work left in it. That appeased the spirit for it was a good loss. The spirit decided to let Leu live. Sometimes we must lose part of a gamble, in order to win in the end.
Young KCC: Master. Leu might not have consented to the loss of his arm except for the appearance of the crow.
Master Won-Que: Yet the crow did appear.
Young KCC: And on the floor of the sick room, I found this (rice).
Master Won-Que: Leu believed in demons by his own choice. Not by ours. If the appearance of one of his demons helped him make the right choice, then we can only be grateful by the way of providence.–KF*
- Po: What is it Grasshopper?
Young KCC: A man in need (bandit).
Man: Whatever you have – valuables, money – throw them on the ground (they throw their rice bowls). What about you old man?
Po: How many bowls do you need to eat from?
Man: I can sell it. Throw it down!! (Po does so, and accidentally a small book, and he picks it back up). What’s that?
Po: It is of value to no one but myself. Some poems that I wrote.
Man: Throw it down!
Po: No one would buy it.
Man: Then I’ll use it to start my fire. What have you priests got to worry about. You live content behind your walls, with plenty of rice and wine. While others work for a living. We starve. Give me the book (they fight and the bandit is driven off).
Young KCC: Master? Do you not know the poems in that book by memory?
Po: Yes, Grasshopper. But can any man afford such arrogance?–KF*
- Young KCC: He betrayed us, yet we feed and cloth him.
Kan: And you disapprove?
Young KCC: It is said he swore an oath, as one of us, never to reveal our secrets. It is said that when he left us, he taught farmers to be soldiers. And led them to their deaths in foolish rebellion.
Kan: I am aware of his unsavory adventures. I know also his hunger and cold.
Young KCC: But, master. Will not food and new clothing strengthen him to go out and cause more suffering?
Kan: It may. But when he leaves us in the morning, will the earth fall away from under his feet? Will the sun, shining on all else, withhold light and warmth from him? Will water turn to mud when he stops to drink? If sun, and earth, and water refrain from judgment, who am I to withhold a blanket and a bowl of rice?–KF*
- KCC: It is said “Honor dies, where interest lies.”–KF*
- Kan: (He mentions the strange name of a plant) Mixed with the white of an egg, it is effective for relieving pain in bruises and swelling. Taken internally it quiets the heart and lungs, or causes death.
Young KCC: You mean it is a poison?
Kan: A very powerful one. It’s essence is Aconite.
Young KCC: Then it can be used to heal?
Kan: Yes. But only when combined with other substances in the most exact proportions. As with all things of nature. It can be used by man for good or evil. Study this herb carefully, for the difference of life and death, in it, can be measured in the blinking of an eye.–KF*
- KCC: A man can be broken.
KCC: By a strength outside, greater than himself. Or a weakness inside, which he cannot understand.–KF*
- Ho: Master I cannot win this match.
Kan: In saying so have you not already lost?
Ho: This man seems to be driven by a force I do not know. He has a strength I have never seen.
Kan: There is more to this combat than physical strength.
Ho: It has been said that the lance can never give way, but that a man can give way.
Ho: By a strength outside that is greater than himself. Buy a weakness inside him, which he cannot interpret.
Kan: Do you forget that your spirit is stronger than the flesh? It can defeat the power of another, no matter how great. There is no failure, no defeat, no weakness within you. Only that which you allow to settle in your own mind. Draw upon the strength of your spirit.–KF*
- KCC: Master. I do not understand all that happened.
Kan: No one knows all. We were challenged by a festering anger. The challenge was accepted. And in the end, the seeds of hatred destroyed themselves. As they always do. As they always will.
Po: Battles are waged on the earth and in the heavens. Within the mind and within the soul. This battle has been won.–KF*
- Man: Humility may lead to meanness, But vanity may lead to violence. Therefore it is better to be humble.–KF*
- Chan-Ye: Pismire. Pismire. Come over here. I want you to go to the village for me.
KCC: On what errand?
Chen-Ye: This (hands him a note). Deliver it to the Pale Blossom Road. The 3rd house on the left.
KCC: I shall ask master Kan for permission.
Chen-Ye: NO! You will do as I tell you. You are bound. Give it to the girl Sue-Ling (KCC takes the note from him).
Kan: Chen-Ye!! Let me have that [note]. You may leave (to KCC. Kan reads it and tears it up). Come with me. Why have you broken your vows, and betrayed the trust put on you as a disciple of this priesthood?
Chen-Ye: I have broken only one vow.
Kan: That is the power fought by all men. You allowed it to take hold, and drive you to disobedience.
Chen-Ye: Master, I have struggled long. Torn between my desire to be a Shaolin Priest, and my desire for Sue-Ling.
Kan: We’ve watched your torment Chen-Ye. Always hoping that you would come to us.
Chen-Ye: Perhaps I feared to borrow the strength which you could give. Perhaps I did not wish to be helped.
Kan: The Yin and the Yang are opposite forces. Yet they exist together. In the harmony of the perfect orb.
Chen-Ye: I could not find that harmony, Master.
Kan: And because you could not, you must leave the temple forever.–KF*
- Kan: When you leave these walls, you will come upon the many pillars of violence.
KCC: May not a man, one with nature, seeing such pillars – avoid them?
Kan: Other men stumble in the way. They go in idle-less search for peace.
KCC: Must I then tumble down these pillars?
Kan: Seek always peace. Wear no paths for the footsteps of others, unless the soul is endangered. We are all linked by our souls. To endanger one, endangers all.
KCC: And if thus endangered?
Kan: In such times, the soul must be the warrior.–KF*
- Kan: What the eye sees disappears with a blink, or a wandering puff of breath. Where there was light, the eye denied sees nothing (he blows out a candle).
KCC: My eye is denied (Kan leads KCC to another room with a candle in it).
Kan: That is what the eye sees. What the souls sees cannot be denied.
KCC: Will not the soul, too, be denied when death blinks its eye?
Kan: No. The soul sees always.
KCC: Yet the body dies.
Kan: Does the sun die?
KCC: It does not shine at night.
Kan: It shines, somewhere, you do not see it.–KF*
- Po: Discipline your body, that your mind may find a greater power.
KCC: What greater power is there, Master Po?
Po: Those who surrender themselves, find inner strength.
KCC: Will this protect more that could my arms and legs?
Po: When the heart knows no danger, no danger exists. When the soul becomes the warrior, all fear melts, as the snowflake that falls upon your hand.–KF*
- Po: GRASSHOPPER, BE YOUR SELF. AND NEVER FEAR THUS TO BE NAKED TO THE EYES OF OTHERS. YET, KNOW THAT MAN SO OFTEN MASKS HIMSELF. THAT WHAT IS SIMPLE IS RARELY UNDERSTOOD. THE DUST OF TRUTH SWIRLS, AND SEEKS ITS OWN CRACKS OF ENTRY. AND A TREE FALLING IN THE FOREST, WITHOUT EARS TO HEAR, MAKES NO SOUND. YET IT FALLS.–KF*
- KCC: When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding.–KF*
- KCC: I do not get lonesome, I belong to myself.–KF*
- Kan: Strike each flame, within the width of a hand from the wick [candle]. In this way the flame is snuffed out, yet the candle is not touched.
KCC: What is the purpose of so difficult a blow?
Kan: Discipline. That you may strike with such strength, yet in one place, and no more.
KCC: Master, I am troubled. We learn to make powerful the force of out bodies. Yet we are taught to reverence all against whom we may use such force.
Kan: When your life is threatened, or the innocent life of another, you will be prepared to defend them.
KCC: Being thus prepared better than others, should I not always stand and fight?
Kan: Ignore the insulting tongue, duck the provoking blow, run from the assault of the strong.
KCC: Are these not the actions of a coward?
Kan: The wild boar runs from the tiger. Knowing that each being well armed by nature with deadly strength, may kill the other. Running, he saves his own life, and that of the tiger. This is not cowardice. It is the love of life.–KF*
- Po: You wish no longer to savor the memory of your father, through that which was close to him?
KCC: Master, you have taught me to claim no possessions, that none may claim me.
Po: The sextant was only a memory. Which you could keep not only in your heart, but in your hands.
KCC: I am now of age, I must put away such memories.
Po: Between father and son there is a bridge which neither time nor death can shatter. Each stands at one end, needing to cross and meet.
KCC: But he is dead.
Po: The bridge which I speak of is your love for him.–KF*
- Young KCC: Master, are you lonely?
Kan: Do you feel loneliness?
Young KCC: No. But I do not understand, why denied the experience of so many things that other men desire, I do not?
Kan: Do you remember the day that you first came here? You stood in the rain, you did not play games with the others.
Young KCC: My parents were dead. I was alone.
Kan: Is that why you waited so long? So patiently to join us?
Young KCC: Yes, it was.
Kan: We to, were alone.
Young KCC: But you lived here together.
Kan: Man, like the animals, is meant to live together, with others like himself. But the meaning of belonging to such a group is found in the comfort of silence, and the companionship of solitude.
Young KCC: Is that why you let me enter, and taught me?
Kan: We taught you young man, because you already knew.–KF*
- Kan: Man against man. It is a contest that may have an end. He who is most skilled will prevail. You are both enjoined by your vows to do your utmost. Disciple Caine, you will attack. Disciple Han, you will defend (they spar/fight). Disciple Han you have done well [lost]. He who attacks must vanquish. He who defends must merely survive.
KCC: We swore an oath of friendship, master.
Kan: You are speaking of disciple Han?
KCC: Yes, master.
Kan: And he no longer feels bound by this oath?
KCC: Because of the contest yesterday, between us, in which he was defeated.
Kan: And you feel as though you have lost something?
KCC: I do.
Kan: What will you do now with your oath?
KCC: Is not an oath eternal?
Kan: But how can you control such a thing as a friendship? Which requires the assent of two persons. It is well to consider deeply, before binding yourself to an ideal, cause, or a man. But what is an oath worth that binds a man to an unachievable task?
KCC: He is still angry, it troubles me. I do not know how to answer to his hatred.
Kan: How else, but with love. One cannot always keep a friend. When that friend believes that one has wronged him.
KCC: But, I have not wronged him. He is mistaken.
Kan: Each man has the right to choose his enemies and his friends. He may choose unwisely, but the decision is his alone, to make. Then he must live with the consequences. And so must his enemies, and his friends.–KF*
- KCC: Your eyes saw a gun in my hand, and a man shot. For all you truly know, your lie has freed a murderer.
Girl: But you said you were innocent.
KCC: Must I always tell the truth?
Girl: But you couldn’t lie. You hate lying as much as I do. If I never lie again, can I be the same as I was before?
KCC: Each waking moment is as a rung on an endless ladder. Each step we take is built on what has gone before.
Girl: Then I will always be as liar.
KCC: Yes. But I can take your lie from you.
KCC: I will show you that your lie was indeed the truth. Trust me.–KF*
- KCC: It was the truth. To say less would dishonor the respect for truth, which she has won at such great cost.–KF*
- KCC: Master, as I walk these roads, are there none I may call on for help, when I need help?
KCC: Will this not be useful?
Po: To those who would destroy us. In the past, when we have relied on our great teachers to lead us, our enemies in high and low places, could deal us a mortal blow by simply lopping off our heads. Now in our oneness, we are not like a great beast which may be destroyed by a single well planned stoke to the brain. Rather, we are like an ocean of many waves, or a field of flowers. Though one or more may be uprooted, the others still live, with a life of our own.
KCC: As a wave upon an ocean, a single flower in a field of many, what will the people ask of me?
Po: To lead them against their enemies: the despots, the tyrants, wickedness, iniquities, ignorance, persecution, superstition, dishonor.–KF*
- KCC: May I ask, master? When I leave the temple, what will be expected of me?
Po: To walk the roads of the land, and use what you have learned for the needs and benefit of the people.
KCC: Will I always know when to act and when to stand off?
Po: That which you do not know, the doing will quickly teach you.–KF*
- KCC: Well master?
Po: Tell me.
KCC: The body and mind are one, working in unison.
Po: They are one.
KCC: It is as though the unity made by itself, are necessary.
Po: And all those years of rigor and discipline?
KCC: What else could a man seek, but this unity.
Po: As the wise farmer puts back, into the land, at least as much as he has taken out of it. So soon you must give back to others what you have taken for yourself.–KF*
- KCC: Master, what endures?
Po: The sun endures, the moon endures, life endures.
KCC: Yet, the life of this young man has ended. He was younger than I am. No daughter will weep for him. No son remains to sow his seed.
Po: It is said the leaf honors the tree. Yet when the leaf falls, the tree trembles.
KCC: You speak of the past.
Po: The present is rooted in the past. It is through these roots we draw nourishment and strength.
KCC: And I am a man standing on one leg.
Po: Do you know nothing about him, Grasshopper, you father?
KCC: I remember a troubled, quiet young man. It was as though he could not rest in this new country, yet remained for my mothers sake.
Po: Nothing else?
KCC: He was an American. He once told me of the place he was born. I have never forgotten the name – Lordsville.–KF*
- KCC: Master, of mans roots, which is the stronger?
Kan: It is a Shaolin belief that the paternal line controls.
KCC: What is a man without roots?
Kan: What is a tree without roots? The deeper into the earth the roots reach, the stronger the tree.
KCC: A name. A face in my mind. A place. It is all I know of my father. One half of myself, an emptiness, a mystery.
Kan: Seek to discover it then. For it is this thread which holds you to the past and binds you to the future. To fix your place for all time and eternity.–KF*
- Po: What? Sad Grasshopper?
KCC: My sadness is for you.
Po: Is it?
KCC: Never to see the clouds, never to see the sun on the water, or the plumage of a bird.
Po: Yet it is sometimes eyes that blind a man.
KCC: How can this be?
Po: Because he can see, he does not look. Is the bird only the color of his plumage?
KCC: None should think so.
Po: To be at one with the universe, is to know bird, sun, cloud. How much shall a man lose if he then loses his eyes?–KF*
- Kan: The rabbit feels rage. The tiger, pity. The dragon, pain. All creatures, the low and the high, are one with nature. No life is insignificant. If we have the wisdom to learn, all may teach us their virtues. This is Shun, master of the White Crane system. From the crane we learn grace and self control. The snake teaches us suppleness and rhythmic endurance. The praying mantis teaches us speed and patience. And from the tiger we learn tenacity and power. And from the dragon we learn to ride the wind. Life sustains life, and all living creatures need nourishment. Yet with wisdom, the body learns to sustain in ways that all may live.–KF*
- KCC: Mater, do we seek victory in contention?
Kan: Seek rather not to contend.
KCC: Then, will we not then be defeated?
Kan: We know that where there is no contention, there is neither defeat nor victory. The supple willow does not contend against the storm, yet it survives.–KF*
- Kan: Weakness prevails over strength. Gentleness conquers. Become the calm and restful breeze that tames the violent sea.–KF*
- KCC: Master, our bodies are pray to many needs. Hunger, trust, the need for love.
Kan: In one lifetime a man knows may pleasures. A mothers smile in waking hours. A young woman’s searing intimate touch. And the laughter of grandchildren in the twilight years. To deny these in ourselves is to deny that which makes us one with nature.
KCC: Shall we seek to satisfy these needs?
Kan: Only acknowledge them, and satisfaction will follow. To suppress a truth is to give it force beyond endurance.–KF*
- Po: You sit by yourself, Grasshopper. What do you think of?
Young KCC: My mother, my father, both gone. I am alone.
Po: Do you hear the flock of birds overhead? Do you hear the fish? The beetle? In this crowded place you feel alone. Which of us is the most blind?–KF*
- KCC: To know nature is to put oneself in perfect harmony with the universe. Heaven and earth are one. So must we seek a discipline of mind and body within ourselves.–KF*
- KCC: The cobra seeks to fix the eye of the bird, before it strikes. In that moment of looking at each other, each accepts their role – predator and prey. Fear creates the victim. Yet, something in the bird makes it seek the eye of the cobra.
Man: I’ve seen it.
KCC: A wish to die.
Man: Yes. Tell me how it feels.
KCC: But you know how it feels. I will survive if I can. But you. It is you who feels the fear.
Man: I’m the one who’s got the finger on the trigger.
KCC: Facing death yet one more time. Yours. Mine. It’s the death that fascinates you. Looking into its eyes. You are the bird, the cobra is death.
NOTE: Bounty hunter risking life because something happened in life to depress him. He does not care about life. He takes chances.–KF*
- Young KCC: Master?
Kan: Yes, student Caine. What is it? An infant. Where did you find it?
Young KCC: Left to die, by the river.
Kan: You wonder, how can this be?
Young KCC: Is it better to let the infant die, than to force it to live?
Kan: All life is sacred. Thus the joining together of man and woman, is always honored. Apart, there is no life. But from such union, life may proceed.
Young KCC: Then life must always be defended.
Kan: The thorn defends the rose. It harms only those who would steal the blossom from the plant.–KF*
- Man: Mister, I’m in your debt.
KCC: No more than the leaf owes the root. With water and sunlight, both grow together.–KF*
- Young KCC: Is injury wrought by oneself?
Young KCC: Then by another?
Young KCC: Then by oneself and another?
Po: Did your eye meet your own fist?
Young KCC: Then shall I seek ways to repay?
Po: What is the debt?
Young KCC: My suffering.
Po: Vengeance is a water vessel with a hole. It carries nothing but the promise of emptiness.
Young KCC: Shall I then repay injury always with kindness?
Po: Repay injury with justice and forgiveness. But kindness always with kindness.–KF*
- Woman: I’m scared, help me.
KCC: Be in touch with what you feel. From these actions you will bring forth a new life. Feel the sand. Once mighty waters hurled themselves against rock. And from these two harsh trinks, came this most gentle sand.
Woman: I’m scared. I don’t know what to do.
KCC: See the graceful things around you. Hear the peaceful sounds.
Woman: I hear my own heart beating. And the pains.
KCC: The butterfly, floating in the sunlight. The incense of sage. The laughter of the wind. Think of these.
Woman: Ohhhhhh!!! I feel pain.
KCC: Trust. [pause] See. The sheath which held the seed has opened. And from within, this bursting growth reaches out. As simply, and with more beauty, your seed will find its own accord with nature. Seeking air and sunlight in its own free life.
Woman: But, I’m scared of it, of what will happen.
Po: Fear is the enemy, trust is the armor.
Young KCC: But not knowing what will happen, am I not wise to be afraid?
Po: He who conquers himself is the greatest warrior. Do what must be done with a docile heart.
Young KCC: Master. How can I know if this is possible for me?
Po: Listen for the color of the sky. Look for the sound of the hummingbirds wings. Search the air for the perfume of ice, on a hot summer’s day. If you have found these things, you will know.–KF*
- Po: Grasshopper, what troubles you?
Young KCC: I am ashamed.
Po: To feel shame for no cause is a waste. To feel shame for a cause is also a waste. For you must rather spend time correcting that for which you are ashamed.
Young KCC: Master. I woke last night, and seeing nothing, hearing nothing, yet I was afraid.
Po: Of what?
Young KCC: Death.
Po: He who knows how to live need not fear death. He can walk without fear of rhino or tiger. He will not be wounded in battle.
Young KCC: How can this be?
Po: In him the rhino can find no place to thrust his horn. The tiger, no place to use his claws. And weapons, no place to pierce.
Young KCC: Why is this so?
Po: Because a man who knows how to live, has no place for death to enter.–KF*
- KCC: Before we wake, we cannot know that what we dreamed does not exist. Before we die, we cannot know that death is not the greatest joy.–KF*
- KCC: I must leave soon.
Woman: What should I do?
KCC: What do you feel?
Woman: Hate. Fills the emptiness where my child grew.
KCC: To hate is like drinking salt water. Your thirst grows worse.
Woman: Don’t you understand what I feel?
KCC: I have seen the silkworm. It spins a thread, thinking itself to be safe. It has spun a tomb. Hate is the tomb you weave. It will not save you from your suffering.
Woman: That’s what I feel. What can I do with it?
KCC: Perhaps there is room to bury your hate in that small grave, where we have come from.–KF*
- Old Man: Leaving?
KCC: She is better.
Old Man: I have seen what you can do. All I have in this world is this sword. It’s yours if you do what I want done. An eye for an eye.
KCC: Keep your sword!
Old Man: You’re a man. You feel. Don’t you care about what happened?!?! They raped my little girl!!
KCC: I am a man! I care!
Old Man: Then do something about it!!
KCC: (He grabs the sword) I will do something. I will break the necklace’s beads of vengeance. There has been enough killing (He breaks the sword). I will end it.
Old Man: If I don’t have a right to revenge, who does?!
KCC: No one.–KF*
- Young KCC: Thank you Master Po, for what you have done for me.
Po: Not for you young Caine, for myself.
Young KCC: But I was the one. The foreign barbarian they wanted to hurt.
Po: Young Caine. When I was a boy, I fell into a hole in the ground, and I was broken, and I could not climb out. I might have died there. But a stranger came along and saved me. He said it was his obligation. That for help he once received, he must in return help 10 others. Each of whom must help 10 others. So that good deeds would spread out like the ripples from a pebble in a pond. I was one of his 10. And you are one of my mine. And now I pass this obligation onto you.–KF*
- Kan: The best charioteers do not push ahead. The best fighters do not make displays of anger. The wisest antagonist is he who wins without engaging in battle.
Young KCC: But master, is this not a contradiction? To train the body thus, yet shun anger in battle.
Kan: This is the power of not contending. It is how the weak overcome the strong.–KF*
- Po: The hands, Grasshopper, are the eyes and the tongue of touch. Through them a man may reach out and see another’s feelings, or speak his own.
KCC: Is it not sad master, that the hands of a man may strike a blow as well as caress?
Po: Pain and pleasure are like two bells, side by side. And the voice of each makes a trembling in the other.
KCC: Are pain and pleasure so alike?
Po: Are the eyes and tongue alike? You see the butterfly, and an ugly wound. And the same tongue which screams, also laughs.–KF*
- Young KCC: They took our money, our cart, our clothes, everything we had of value.
Khan: Except that which is irreplaceable, your lives. How did you come to leave the main road?
Ho Fong: Because we were fooled. We trusted a stranger.
Young KCC: He was an old man with a kind face and a gentle manner.
Kan: Ho Fong, what lesson did you learn from this?
Ho Fong: Never trust a stranger!
Kan: Kwai Chang, what lesson did you learn from this?
Young KCC: To expect the unexpected.
Kan: Ho Fong, in the morning when you are well and rested, you will leave the temple.
Ho Fong: When shall I return, Master Kan?
Kan: To us, never. [Ho Fong leaves].
Kan: You are troubled about your friend Ho Fong?
Young KCC: I do not understand why he was told to leave, and not I. When I equally responsible for trusting the old man.
Kan: We do not punish for trust. If while building a house, a carpenter strikes a nail. It proved faulty by bending. Does the carpenter lose faith in all nails, and stop building the house?
Young KCC: Then we are required to trust. Even if we are reminded of the existence of evil?
Kan: Deal with evil through strength. But affirm the good in man through trust. In this way we are prepared for evil, but we encourage good.
Young KCC: And is good a great reward for trusting?
Kan: In striving for an ideal, we do not seek rewards. Yet, trust does sometimes bring with it a great reward, even greater that good.
Young KCC: What is greater that good?
- KF Quote: To be alone without one to love is a waste. But to be not alone, without one to love is a waste of the soul.–KF*
- KCC: Master, may we speak further on the forces of destiny?
KCC: As we stand with two roads before us, how shall we know whether the left road or the right road will lead us to our destiny?
Po: You spoke of chance, Grasshopper. As if such a thing were certain to exist. In the matter you speak of, destiny, there is no such thing as chance. For which ever way you choose, right or left, it must lead to an end. And that end is our destiny.–KF*
- KCC: I follow the Tao. No one can say to what solitude that might lead, My journey is endless, until it comes full circle at my death.–KF*
- Kan: What do you feel? (Kan is watching Young KCC, and he is watching a young girl perform a dance. And she smiles at KCC).
Young KCC: Nothing.
Kan: What do you feel?!
Young KCC: Uncomfortable.
Kan: The mind, the body, the spirit are one. When the body expresses the desires of the mind and the spirit, then the body is in tune with nature. The act is pure. And there is no shame.
Young KCC: What is love?
Kan: Love is harmony, even in discord.–KF*
- Kan: In the Shaolin temple, there are three kinds of men. Students, disciples, and masters. Development of the mind can be achieved only when the body has been disciplined. To accomplish this the ancients have taught us to imitate God’s creatures. This is Shun. Master of the White Crane system. From the crane we learn grace and self control. The snake teaches us suppleness and rhythmic endurance. The praying mantis teaches us speed and patience. And from the tiger we learn tenacity and power. And from the dragon, we learn to ride the wind. Life sustains life. And all living creatures need nourishment. Yet, with wisdom, the body learns to sustain in ways that all may live. (ADD IN THE SECTION ABOUT VIRTUES, TAKE OUT FROM GOD’S CREATURES TIL VIRTUES), and the fire and passion of the winged dragon, there is no discord. Between the supple silence of the snake, and the eagle’s claws, there is only harmony. As no two elements of nature are in conflict, so when we perceive the ways of nature we remove conflict within ourselves. And discover a harmony of body and mind, in accord with the flow of the universe. It may take half a lifetime to master one system.–KF*
- Kan: Perceive the way of nature, and no force of man can harm you. Do not meet a wave head on. Avoid it. You do not have to stop force. It is easier to redirect it. Learn more ways to preserve, than to destroy. Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill. For all life is precious. Nor can any be replaced.–KF*
- KCC: Long ago Jwang Joe dreamed that he was a butterfly. He was very joyful as a butterfly. Well pleased with his lot. His aims fulfilled. He knew nothing of Joe, the man. But shortly, he awoke, and found himself again, to be Jwang Joe. He could not tell whether as Joe he had dreamed he was a butterfly, or as a butterfly he has dreamed he was Joe. (Young KCC read this from a valuable and sacred scroll).
Po: You are not afraid to travel?
Young KCC: I am afraid only of failure, venerable sir.
Po: Then take pains that you do not fail.
Young KCC: Master, we are taught that the most important gift of our nature is the reaching out to one another.
Po: To say and to listen. To teach what we know truly, to those who do not know. To send peaceful thoughts over the bridge of words.
Young KCC: Yet, I am only to speak when spoken to?
Po: Reach out. Yet, weary of what you allow yourself to grasp. Go now Grasshopper. Guard above all things, the purity of your vision.–KF*
- Kan: Look at the world you live in, and this pool of fish. There are 12 fish, 12 worlds.
Young KCC: But only one pool.
Kan: Many. The one you see, the one I see, and the world of each [fish]. The world you live in is mysterious, exciting, unknown. And mine is older, familiar and calm. You will never know my world, or I yours.
Young KCC: Never?
Kan: Can you see with my eyes? Think with my brain?
Young KCC: But master, you are one with the universe. So am I.
Kan: We are one. Yet we are not the same. Ten million living things have as many different worlds. Do not see yourself as the center of the universe: Wise and good and beautiful. Seek rather wisdom, goodness, and beauty. That you may honor them everywhere.–KF*
- Po: Where is evil? In the rat, whose nature it is to steal grain. Or in the cat? Whose nature it is to kill the rat.
KCC: The rat steals. Yet for him the cat is evil.
Po: And to the cat, the rat.
KCC: Yet master, surely one of them is evil.
Po: The rat does not steal. The cat does not murder. Rain falls, the stream flows, a hill remains. Each acts according to its nature.
KCC: Then is there no evil for men? Each man tells himself that what he does is good. At least for himself.
Po: Grasshopper. A man may tell himself many things. But is a man’s universe made only of himself?
KCC: If a man hurts me, and I punish him – perhaps he will not hurt another.
Po: And if you do nothing?
KCC: He will believe he may do as he wishes.
Po: Perhaps. Or perhaps he will learn that some men receive injury, but return kindness.–KF*
- KCC: If you plant rice, rice will grow. If you plant fear, fear will grow.–KF*
- Kan: The cobweb is made of silken thread so fine that a puff of breath destroys it. Yet, to the spider it is a secure haven.
KCC: Still to me only a cobweb.
Kan: (Blows a cobweb): When the wind blows, a feather dances in its wake.
KCC: But the feather, much weaker than the wind, can do no other.
Kan: Is this the way of man?
KCC: There are strong and weak.
Kan: You do not see. Which is stronger, these boards, or your arm?
KCC: The boards.
Kan: Strike the boards, using your arm as a weapon (boards break). Yet the boards resisting do not endure.
KCC: Can the weaker be the stronger?
Kan: See the way of life as a stream. A man floats, and his way is smooth. The same man turning to fight upstream, exhausts himself. To be one with the universe, each must find his true path, and follow it.–KF*
- KCC: Master. The silent one. He is not one of us, yet he remains.
Po: The river seeks its own level. It will not fight the rock, it flows around it. The rock becomes a refuge in the river.
KCC: The fury is understood. What if he were outside?
Po: Is there an outside? Who understands the silent one more than a sparrow or a kid (child goat). Though nature has clouded his mind and twisted his body, it gave a magic to his hands. This the creatures know. Is it not a gift more precious then fame, or beauty, or the riches of a king?–KF*
- Po: Why do you hesitate, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: I am afraid.
Po: What is it that you fear?
Young KCC: I do not know what lies beyond.
Po: It is only a corridor, leading to a place that is no longer used. Is that something to fear?
Young KCC: It is very dark, master.
Po: And is it not also dark in your room?
Young KCC: Yes.
Po: And do you have fear there too?
Young KCC: No master.
Po: Perhaps then, there is a greater reason for your fear.
Young KCC: Master, before I came here a boy in the marketplace whispered of the corridor of death. He said the place at the end holds the bones of many who entered.
Po: But Grasshopper, what is it that I have told you?
Young KCC: That life is a corridor. And death, merely a door.
Po: Do you believe me?
Young KCC: Yes master, but I am still afraid.
Po: In time you will learn to fear only your fear itself.–KF*
- KCC: When a man has nothing, it is then he is most able to raise himself up. When we dream the things we wish for happen by magic. When we wake, we know without effort a man is less than nothing.–KF*
- Daily, KCC practices walking on a large beam of wood. It is located on the ground. He is practicing to walk across a beam suspended over, what appears to be a pool of acid.
KCC: Master, if a student should lose his balance and fall into the pool, will he not be consumed?
Po: It is essential, always, to keep ones balance. Is it not?
KCC: I see where others have fallen.
Po: Let your eyes see only the beam. In that way, you will not fall. [HE FALLS IN].
Po: (Laughs) Observe closely. Is not your flesh still clinging to your bones?
KCC: The pool is filled with warm water, nothing else.
Po: You believed it was acid.
KCC: But I saw skeletons.
Po: Look again.(Po retrieves plastic skeleton). Superstition is like a magnet. It pulls you in the direction of your belief.–KF*
- KCC: If I tell you, you are not within a prison. The prison is within you. Can you believe that? Sit like me (The lotus position). Let all effort flow out of your body. All heat flow from your body. The weight of your body becomes less and less. Until the body becomes one with the spirit. Which is as light as a feather. As a breath……….a moment……….as nothing at all.–KF
- KCC: The power to claim life is not superstition, it is destiny. Bow to superstition and you create a new , unhappy destiny.–KF*
- Young KCC: What is the value of truth, master?
Kan: It binds one to the reality of oneself.
Young KCC: This is hard for me to understand.
Kan: So is the truth – hard to understand. Accept/except that which cannot be spoken.
Young KCC: But, should I not always speak the truth? No matter what the consequence?
Kan: Recognize that all words are part false, and part truth. Limited by our imperfect understanding. But strive always for honesty, within yourself.–KF*
- Po: Arise calmly Grasshopper. And brush the indignity off your trousers. You fought blindly, Grasshopper. A sickly maiden could have beaten you.
Young KCC: Yes, Master Po. Forgive me.
Po: Forgive yourself. You have suffered for it. What is the cause of your anger?
Young KCC: It is anger at myself.
Po: Yes, but what is the reason?
Young KCC: For being a coward.
Po: Ahhhh. When did you discover this about yourself?
Young KCC: Yesterday. When Ho Fong and I were attacked by five big bullies in the market place. He was struck first. And I, out of fear, did nothing to help him.
Po: You were two boys against five larger than yourself. What do you think you should have done?
Young KCC: Fought back, and try to help my friend.
Po: Ahhh, yes Grasshopper. That would have been heroic.
Young KCC: You agree, then. That I was a coward?
Po: What is cowardice? But the bodies wisdom of its weakness. What is bravery? But the bodies wisdom of its strength. The coward and the hero march together within every man. So to call one man coward, or another brave, merely serves to indicate the possibilities of their achieving the opposite.–KF*
- Kan: Those who speak convincingly of peace, cannot go armed. Those who speak convincingly of peace, must not be weak. So we make every finger a dagger, every arm a spear, and every open hand an ax or sword.–KF*
- Kan: Training in the martial arts is for spiritual reinforcement. But is based on self-defense. Disciple Caine. When you were attacked by more than one person, the enemy should be allowed to make the first move, and thus create the beginning of his downfall.–KF*
- Young KCC: My mother, my father. They were both dead. I could not save them.
Po: You were only a small boy.
Young KCC: But after that I could no longer be a small boy.
Po: The mountain is beautiful with snow. But after it loses its snow, green grows from underneath. In every loss there is a gain, as in every gain there is loss. Grasshopper, do you understand that?
Young KCC: I will try.–KF*
- Po: Self pity does not become you.
Young KCC: How do you know what I feel?
Po: Your response is anger, not at me, but at your parents for dying and leaving you alone. Do not make me responsible for that, or I shall become angry in return.
Young KCC: I don’t care about you.
Po: Do you not, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: Master?!?–KF*
- Woman: They loved him.
KCC: So did you.
Woman: Not enough.
KCC: Love cannot measure itself until the hour of parting.
Woman: I am alone and frightened. I need to trust someone.
KCC: Trust comes within you.
Woman: Why didn’t you tell me where you got the money?
KCC: I was not able.
Woman: Do you know who killed Jim? You do, don’t you. Why won’t you tell me? How can I trust you, until I know everything?
KCC: Is not trust to rely on someone of whom you know nothing.
Woman: I can’t do that.–KF*
- KCC: If you worry, will the future change.–KF*
- KCC: With each ending, comes a new beginning. You said once, you needed someone to trust.
Woman: Walt? You’ve learned to trust people, but doesn’t it hurt you?
KCC: And you, not trusting. Are you not hurt more?
Woman: How do you go through all that and not get twisted out of shape by it?
KCC: I seek not to know all the answers…….but to understand the questions.–KF*
- Po: Where does your pebble walk to Grasshopper? (KCC had thrown a pebble into a pond of water)
Young KCC: It walks, its journey is to nowhere.
Po: Each journey begins, and also ends.
Young KCC: Then the ending is the bottom of the pool.
Po: Does not the pebble, entering the water, begin fresh journeys?
Young KCC: It seems unceasing.
Po: Such is the journey through life. It begins. It ends. Yet, fresh journeys go forth. Father begets son. Who becomes in turn father, who begets son.
Young KCC: Then the roots I have are me. And I am they.
Po: Grasshopper, seek first to know your own journeys beginning and end. Seek then the other journeys of which you are a close part. But in this seeking, know patience. Wear that travelers cloak, which shelters and permits you to endure.–KF*
- KCC: Master, what is the best way to meet the loss of one we love?
Kan: By knowing when we truly love, it is never lost. It is only after death that the depth of the bond is truly felt. And our loved one becomes more a part of us then was possible in life.
KCC: Are we only able to feel this toward those whom we have known and loved a long time?
Kan: Sometimes, a stranger known to us for moments can spark our souls to kinship for eternity.
KCC: How can strangers take on such importance to our souls?
Kan: Because our soul does not keep time. It merely records growth.–KF*
- Po: Grasshopper, are you fishing in our lily pond?
Young KCC: No master. I see something which puzzles me.
Po: Good. Tell me.
Young KCC: The stick is straight. Yet in the water it seems to bend.
Po: That is not a puzzle, Grasshopper. It is only something you do not yet know (Po begins to walk away).
Young KCC: Is what I see so unimportant?
Po: Do you not know that what you see is made of reflections, sent back to your eyes? Like a ball thrown against a wall.
Young KCC: But why does the stick seem to bend?
Po: The same ball is thrown against two different walls; The water and the air. Your eye is deceived.
Young KCC: I am sorry master. I still do not understand.
Po: Look closer. You will see some things clearer. Perhaps you will see other things you do not know at all. But the puzzle, Grasshopper, that is to find the way so that others may see you.–KF*
- Po: What have you found?
Young KCC: A spider, master. It has trapped a fly. Should I destroy his web?
Young KCC: So it will not make a prison for other living things that were free.
Po: Look more closely, Grasshopper. Were you to destroy this web, would not the spider, knowing no other way, build another?
Young KCC: Yes. But I cannot kill the spider.
Po: Look more closely still. Is not the spider also trapped by its own web?
Young KCC: Yes, but if I do nothing, it will capture more living things, make them prisoner, and kill them.
Po: You are concerned then with the fly, to which nature has given wings. That it may move about freely.
Young KCC: It is cruel to see it made a prisoner.
Po: Still you do not see. Which is truly the prisoner? The fly, which moving freely, enters unknown danger. Or the spider? Which having spun its web, remains. Never knowing the pleasure or the danger of the fly.–KF*
- Po: A single blow to the base of the neck, can be a fatal stroke.
Young KCC: Master, these things which we are taught. I cannot do them.
Po: You find the exercises too difficult?
Young KCC: No master. Too cruel.
Po: And to be killed. What is that?
Young KCC: I must learn these exercises, to defend myself.
Po: Learn first how to live. Learn second, how not to kill. Learn third, how to live with death. Learn forth, how to die.–KF*
- Po: What beautiful image have you made Grasshopper, to please your eyes?
KCC: The branch of a tree.
Po: Is not painting, the joyful reaching out of a man so filled with beauty, that there is not enough room in him to contain it?
KCC: Master, I do not know if I should speak of what it is that troubles me (pause). I have seen a girl. Her hair, soft and rich. Her voice, liquid. Her eyes bewitch me. My sleep is filled with restless dreams. My wakefulness with longings. How shall I know if this is love?
Po😦picks up a hour glass): What do you see?
KCC: Two glasses, joined together. One filled with sand.
Po: One only?
KCC: The other is empty.
Po: Look! (Po turns it over). To know love, be like a running brook. Which deaf, yet sings its melody for others to hear. Feel the pain of too much tenderness. Awake at dawn with a winged heart, and give thanks for yet another day of loving. Empty yourself, and yet be filled. An old man tells you, this is how to know love.–KF*
- Kan: Tell me, what makes the shadow?
Young KCC: The arm of the sundial.
Kan: But what of the sun?
Young KCC: Yes. The sun. Both help us. They tell us time.
Kan: Yet, does not that sundial standing in the way of the sun, defeat its light?
Young KCC: Master. I do not understand. Like many things you teach me, it is a contradiction.
Kan: Shoot the arrow. (KCC does so). Which brings it to its target? The bow or the arrow? Launched, the arrow has not choice but to seek its target. Yet without the arrow, the bow is an empty promise of flight.
Young KCC: Still, I do not understand.
Kan: When you must choose between one good and another. Or one evil and another. Remember this. If men would contend with you, seek not their death, but choose your own life.–KF*
- Kan: Remember always, that a wiseman walks with his head bowed. Humble, like the dust.–KF*
- Kan: (KCC is knelt, bowing) Please get up. Why have you come?
KCC: To confess my unworthiness, honorable sir. I have disgraced my teachers and shamed this holy place.
Kan: Tell me how.
KCC: I have senselessly taken a life.
Kan: You speak of the nephew of the emperor. It was he was it not, who killed our master Po?
KCC: I have shamed my masters memory.
Kan: Did you not think to run?
KCC: I thought to run. But I could not find it within me to leave master Po, dying.
Kan: This is the grave of master Po. This earth is honored to receive him. May his bones find rest in this place. And may his passing, in its violence, not wake the tigers of outrage, the dragons of vengeance. May it rather, in its sadness, wake nothing but the dove in us. The lamb in others. So that together, in the bond of compassion, we may rejoice in the memory of Master Po. And wipe away forever the tears from the eyes of the blind lion. The pursuit by the imperial police will be relentless.
KCC: I understand, Master.
Kan: Now go, for you may no longer stay here.–KF*
- Kan: It has been said. Be utterly humble, and you shall hold to the foundation of peace. Be at one with all these living things, which have arisen and flourished. Return to the quiet whence they came.–KF*
- Kan: Do not ask for forgiveness from me, for it must come from the one who has condemned you.–KF*
- KCC: What you do not like is that your life depends on the promise of an Apache, and the scruples of a china-man, which you do not understand. It is not hard to understand. This is not an Indian, or an Apache, but a man. Who’s name is Oh-Sky. I am not a china-man, or a breed. I am a man. My name is Kwai Chang Caine.–KF*
- Po: (A young boy lies dead on the alter) What troubles you, Grasshopper. That the boy was your own age?
Young KCC: He spoke of a curse.
Po: Who was it that cursed him?
Young KCC: His master, the sorcerer Leu. Because he ran away.
Po: The undiscerning mind is like the root of a tree. It absorbs equally all that it touches. Even the poison that would kill it.
Young KCC: But he took no poison. And he was not ill.
Po: That is true.
Young KCC: Why did he die, Master? I do not understand.
Po: Did the boy not believe that he was to die?
Young KCC: He did not believe otherwise.
Po: And so, his life had no choice but to fly away. Learn from him, Grasshopper.
Leu: I am the sorcerer Leu. I am looking for my apprentice.
Young KCC: He is dead.
Leu: I am grieved to hear that. It was my desire to instruct him in great secrets.
Young KCC: He said you put a curse upon him
Leu: It was his own foolishness which cursed him. And now the same curses me. I am left with no one to instruct. What will become of my great secrets?
Young KCC: Are not these secrets not known to my masters, in the temple?
Leu: They are known only by me. They are the secrets of the universe. I can cure any sickness. Converse with the dead. And confound a thousand masters (laughs). But I must pass this knowledge to one who is worthy. Will you come with me and learn the secrets of the universe?
Young KCC: Yes.
Leu: (Back at Leu’s temple) Be still. Stand silent. The air is filled with a multitude of creatures. Some human, some not. Bind them to yourself, and you will learn the secrets of life. Creatures of light, burn bright. Creatures of earth, hold true. Creatures of fire and smoke, incense and perfume, cast away any phantoms of evil intent. Appear, come forth and serve your master!!
Young KCC: Master. I have been to the temple of the sorcerer Leu. I followed him thinking to learn great secrets. I ran away.
Po: Before you learned his great secrets?
Young KCC: He cursed me. As he cursed the boy who died. Now …I will die! (Po holds a candle up to a mirror). Will this lift the curse?
Po: What do you see in the mirror?
Young KCC: The flame of the candle.
Po: Is the mirror harmed by the flame?
Young KCC: No, Master. It only reflects it.
Po: Be like the mirror.
Young KCC: How do I do that?
Po: Allow no evil to pass through you. Reflect it to its source.
Young KCC: Then shall I be safe.
Po: Go to sleep, Grasshopper.–KF*
- Young KCC: A threat cannot harm, unless you accept it.–KF*
- Quote at end of a KF show: That we are possessed by what we would posses; held in bondage to earth and vested things by the attachments we form for them. Even so holy a thing as a chalice, so slight a thing as a pebble.”(The reference to the pebble is the one KCC has to extract from the masters hand in order to leave the temple. The chalice reference is what was stolen by several individuals, during the episode, and finally retrieved by KCC) –KF*
- Young KCC: And what is it to be a man?
Kan: To be a man is to be one with the universe.
Young KCC: But what is the universe?
Kan: Rather ask, what is not the universe.
Young KCC: Then it is everywhere?
Kan: It is in your eye, and in your heart. As a seed of the peach contains the fragrance of the flower, and the substance of the fruit.
Young KCC: And the bitter pit at its core?
Kan: Even that.–KF*
- KCC: You are a good son.
O-Sky: What is a son, without a father or mother?
KCC: Is not a son the love of a mother and a father, and the life they gave him? A design of the universe he must fulfill, if he is to be a man.–KF*
- Po: What is it grasshopper?
Young KCC: I have been troubled.
Po: I have sensed that in you these past days. While your body has been healing, your spirit has sickened.
Young KCC: It is because I have done nothing about the murder of my parents.
Po: And what do you propose to do?
Young KCC: Find General Chung, kill him!!
Po: You a boy, not yet a man. Against the ruthless warlord and his soldiers.
Young KCC: If I can find him alone, it could be done.
Po: And being done, what do you derive?
Young KCC: Satisfaction.
Po: Huh…(pause, he blows out one of many lit candles). Is there now more or less light in this chamber?
Young KCC: There is less.
Po: Is it not more important that you find yourself, than a killer of men? Would your parents not wish you to go forward to life and light? Rather than backwards to death and darkness?
Young KCC: How do I find myself and the light?
Po: By taking the path that leads to the truth.
Young KCC: Will you help me walk the path?
Po: I can only point the way, Grasshopper. You must walk the path yourself.–KF*
- Po: What is in your heart Grasshopper!?
KCC: That is the man who killed my mother and my father!
Po: Revenge is a double edged sword. It cuts both ways. Either Jung Sue just will kill you or you will destroy yourself. A rather suicide of your spirit. Grasshopper, the wheel of life has turned inexorably, by the infinite stars. So it is, the truth will not be cheated. Consider General Jung. Reduced to stealing some few bags of rice. Is not the wheel crushing him? Is it not his path which he treads with his own feet, leading to an eternal grave?–KF*
- KCC: Is the spirit of a man sustained by food [or drugs, alcohol, etc], or warmed by outer garments?–KF*
- Po: Your final test. The urn of the two symbols. The dragon and the tiger. When you can walk in this corridor, the path to the outer world, and can push the urn aside with your forearms, you will bear its markings with you for the rest of your life.
KCC: Hundreds of pounds of burning coal and iron. How can I, Master? Having only the strength of a man, and the weaknesses.
Po: It is because you are a man that you can do this, Grasshopper.
KCC: I do not understand.
Po: As the softest clay, in time, becomes the hardest brick. A fragile leaf – a diamond. As a stream of fiery ore freezes into unbending iron. So too may a man ascend to himself.
Po: By slowly forging the Chi within yourself. The bond between the finite and the infinite. The inner essence of your spirit and the limitless power of the universe.
KCC: How can I do this?
Po: You will have found your strength and the source of your survival. You will be free.–KF*
- KCC: Master, I am troubled.
KCC: My parents are long dead. General Jung is tumbled from his arrogance and power. Yet within me anger boils as water in a heated pot.
Kan: Observe the day lily. Each morning, with the warmth of the sun it opens in lovely blossom. Each night it closes.
KCC: I do not understand. What has a flower have to do with my anger?
Kan: Once your anger warmed you, and like the flower you opened to it. That is long past. It is night.
KCC: Am I then to do nothing, feel nothing, be still?
Kan: Still water is like glass. It is the perfect level. A carpenter can use it. The heart of a wise man is tranquil and still. Thus, it’s the mirror of heaven and earth. The glass of everything. Be like still water. You look into it, and see yourself.–KF*
- KCC: If I worry, will the future change?–KF*
- Man: What is this place?
KCC: It is a temple.
Man: A temple? How did I get here?
KCC: I saw you struggling in the river.
Man: You pulled me out?!
KCC: You were drowning.
Man: As I wanted to. Never before had the courage.
KCC: Cannot courage give you joy to live?
Man: Tell me the joy of an empty stomach.
Man: Do you want your blanket back?! It is not mine. I do not deserve it.
KCC: You may keep the blanket.
Man: It is little enough. Too little. Where will I go, how will I eat?
KCC: You are welcome to stay.
Man: No! I cannot fill my belly on your thin soup, and your thinner pieties(philosophies)!!
KCC: We can give only what we have.
Man: I want what was in my hand, when you took it from me.
Po: You gave him an unwelcome life.
KCC: He will do it again, what he tried to do. Tomorrow. Next week. Next month.
Po: If you found the flame of a candle struggling to survive, what would you do?
KCC: Free it from its own wax.
Po: How much?
KCC: As much as needed, to save the flame.
Po: Does a man’s life deserve less?
LATER: Man is killed trying to steal a pig for meat.
KCC: He had no one to morn him.
Po: You and I.
KCC: No one who loves him.
Po: You knew him.
KCC: I did not love him.
Po: The lack is in you.
KCC: I wanted to help him.
Po: You gave him life.
KCC: I gave him a few days. What do they matter?
Po: To him, or yourself? Do not see him and his life through your own eyes.
KCC: I see his pain. Even through his eyes.
Po: And his needs, Grasshopper. Do you also see them through his eyes?–KF*
- KCC: Fear brings anger to the tongue. A friend speaks to the heart.–KF*
- Young KCC: I loved him.
Kan: He was my master.
Young KCC: How did you know where he was?
Kan: There could be only one place for him. His favorite path in the foothills. We found master Sons body, in a comfortable position. His back resting against the boulder. Starring down at our valley. His face glistened in the frost. But his lips were black, from the poison of the wild berries.
Young KCC: Everyone loved him. Why did he take his own life? (Master clasps his hands together). Yin and Yang?!
Kan: The yes and the no. In him the no conquered.
Young KCC: But I sensed that he was in harmony.
Kan: Perhaps he looked into our valley, knowing that soon he would have to leave it. But instead of the beauty we observe, he saw ugliness.
Young KCC: How is that possible?
Kan: He looked with his eyes. And we look with ours.–KF*
- KCC: With plenty to eat, and work to do I am already rich.–KF*
- Kan: You did not fail (KCC was sent to a clearing to watch a skit performed by other masters).
Young KCC: I did not see what you sent me to see.
Kan: What you saw or did not see in the clearing is not important.
Young KCC: Than why did you send me?
Kan: When old master Son looked down into our valley, and saw ugliness, he revealed something about himself, to himself. He did not like what he revealed.
Young KCC: But I saw evil in the peacock. That it was the robber. Yet the peacock contained no evil at all.
Kan: You saw what your eyes told you.
Young KCC: But master, what I saw was not real.
Kan: You made it so. As master Son saw ugliness, where nothing exists but a valley.–KF*
KCC: Master? Why do we morn for this man, who is a stranger? Is he someone special?
Po: You heard the circumstances of his death?
KCC: He was killed on the road, by bandits, of the Red Turban Tong. This is what I was told.
Po: There is more that you were not told. There is much evil in the world, Grasshopper. It has always been thus. And so, our ancestors built this monastery and developed the art of Gung-Fu, so that they might cultivate virtue and protect themselves from harm. But whatever one man possesses, another will covet. The Manchu Emperor heard of our prowess. So he sent an army of soldiers to burn the monastery to the ground. Only five escaped. They made their way to Fu-Kyen. And founded the Tong to overthrow the Manchu’s and restore the Ming emperors to the throne. Violence became their tool for combating violence. Thus the sage Jwang Tzu has said: “By ethical argument and moral principle, the greatest crimes are shown to have been necessary, and in fact a great benefit to mankind.” 200 years have passed. The Manchu’s are still sitting upon the throne, The Tong still kill, no longer for a noble cause. Yet they are the children of the five Shaolin priests, who went to Fu-Kyen, long ago. And we are the parents, so we morn this strangers death.
KCC: Master, must we not do more than morn this man. We must right it.
Po: How, Grasshopper?
KCC: Strike down this Tong. Take away from our children the power to do wrong.
Po: That is what they said in Fu-Kyen 200 years age. No, Grasshopper. Evil cannot be conquered in the world. It can only be resisted within oneself.–KF (Episode “The Tong”)*
- KCC: What will happen will happen. Whether one is afraid or not (this was a response when KCC was asked about being afraid).–KF (Episode “The Tong”)
- KCC: I do not know your bible. But our sage Lao Tzu has written: “A wise man does not contend, therefore no one can contend against him. Yield and overcome.” What will happen, will happen. Whether one is afraid or not.–KF (Episode “The Tong”)*
- Po: Are you all right now?
Young KCC: Yes. My nose is bleeding.
Po: That is because you fought in anger. It is a bad way to fight.
Young KCC: I wanted to repay a hurt to Ho Fong.
Po: And what was the hurt?
Young KCC: He calls me “Oil and Water.” Because I have white blood.
Po: And this made you nose bleed?
Young KCC: It caused me pain.
Po: Is it a lie then?
Young KCC: No. It is the truth.
Po: And you wish it were not true? (Near by a priest is carving a piece of wood) What is he making?
Young KCC: An animal, master. I cannot yet tell what kind.
Po: It was just a piece of wood. And now it will become an animal. And [the shaved off wood] will go feed the fires in the kitchen. And yet, they are the same in this. That each has been diverted from its true nature, Time is carving you, Grasshopper. Let yourself be shaped, according to your true nature.–KF*
- Young KCC: Master, you have said we are to make ourselves one with life.
Po: As the leaf flows with the river. It does not hold it back, it makes not even a ripple.
Young KCC: Should not the branch then be left as the wind has left it?
Po: If I do not help it to heal, it will wither, never to bear fruit for the birds to eat. Would you have the birds go hungry?
Young KCC: No, Master. But if we help, how then are we like the leaf on the river?
Po: Do what must be done.
Young KCC: But Master, how will I know when to be like the leaf, and when to do what must be done?
Po: What do you think?
Young KCC: I do not know.
Po: The way to do, is to be.–KF*
- Student: Master, I have gathered these for you.
Student: Because they are the most perfect flowers of all, as you are the most perfect master.
Po: I cannot accept them. (Pause) Grasshopper. Were you not preparing me a gift of great beauty?
Young KCC: I was master.
Po: What has become of it?
Young KCC: You do not want flowers.
Po: Have you no love for me?
Young KCC: I have only love for you.
Po: The other boy does not. His was a gift without love. It was false.
Young KCC: I feared you would not accept them. I feared that I would be hurt.
Po: And now, have you not lost the joy we might have shared.–KF*
- KCC: Master, we are taught that a good man’s heart is not shut within itself, but is open to the hearts of others.
Po: The sage says “Find good people good, and bad people good, because I am good enough. Trust men of their word, and liars, if I am true enough.” To be yourself, Grasshopper, feel the heartbeats of others, above your own.
KCC: But if I shall love others how can I be sure that they, in return, will love me?
Po: Do you seek love or barter?
KCC: But if I love others, and they do not love me, I shall feel great pain.
Po: That is what you risk, Grasshopper. Great pain, or great joy.–KF*
- Po: Do you marvel at the carvers skill?
KCC: Yes, Master. And it is mean. Each is free to move, and each is held captive.
Po: Are we not also?
KCC: The temple does not hold us, we have only to open the door.
Po: Are we then free to go anywhere we choose, even up into the heavens?
KCC: No, Master. We too are captive. Just as these.
Po: Then why do I speak to you of freedom?
KCC: It puzzles me, Master.
Po: Is your mind not free to seek its own course, to soar even to the heavens. Though you turn and spin within a prison.
KCC: But, I wish to be truly free.
Po: Bind yourself to nothing. Seek harmony with all. Then you will be truly free.–KF*
- Old Man: Young man…Young man! I have these to sell. I made them myself.
KCC: We have our own, and they are better. Can we offer you food? You look hungry.
Old Man: I have eaten well today. I do everyday. I have no need of your food.
KCC: Master? That man suffers from want of food.
Po: Did he not say he had eaten well?
KCC: He does not speak truly. He is weak, from hunger.
Po: Perhaps his desire for dignity is greater than his need for food.
KCC: He is poor. He should admit it. He is too proud.
Po: Perhaps pride is the only crown he has left to wear. Would you not truly help him by offering first respect, and then food?–KF*
- Po: Grasshopper, do you find mystery in the fire?
KCC: My thoughts are of a girl I saw in the marketplace. She as very pretty. She sought my friendship. And then when she had it, she did not want it. Master, why can the female not be direct and open as the man can?
Po: Is it not better that the female act as a female?
KCC: She seeks only to confuse. The truth is not within her.
Po: Perhaps you only fail to perceive it.
KCC: I do not know that I wish to perceive it
Po: (Pointing to a coal fire) What is it that makes the heat? The coal or the flame?
KCC: The coal. The heat is within the coal.
Po: What if the coal is not touched be the flame?
KCC: The heat is not felt.
Po: Are not male and female, coal and flame? If the coal does not seek to know the flame, can either fulfill their destiny?–KF*
- Kan: Why do we have laws? (Kan is speaking to KCC and another boy monk)
Young KCC: To help us live in harmony.
Kan: The law of the fast (Fasting/not eating) seeks to strengthen the spirit by purifying the body. A man may die from the hunger of the body, but whole nations have fallen from that of the spirit. Discipline. Discipline cures. The fruit of this tree is delicious, but in the discipline of our fast no one may touch it. Not even I.
Young Student: Then why show it to us Master? It is already difficult for us to fast.
Kan: To be certain that you know and understand the law. It will test you. Do not break.
Young KCC: (He observes the boy take a fruit, he then walks over to the tree when the boy leaves)
Kan: Admiring my tree Kwai-Chang?
Young KCC: Yes, Master. What is my duty to the law?
Kan: You must assist the law. To serve justice.
Young KCC: I have seen a law broken. Would I serve justice if I let it go unpunished?
Kan: What is the purpose of the law?
Young KCC: Discipline.
Kan: And who is served by this discipline?
Young KCC: Each one who obeys the law.
Kan: Then to break a law of self-discipline denies justice only to oneself.
Young KCC: Is it the same of all laws
Kan: Consider. If you break, do you deny justice only to yourself?
Young Student: You saw me take the plum?
Young KCC: Two times now.
Young Student: And you said nothing?
Young KCC: I said nothing.
Young Student: My young friend is almost strong enough to fly away.
Young KCC: You broke the master’s law.
Young Student: I thought the fruit of a love tree would be better for my little friend. Was I wrong to break the law?
Young Student: I have broken the law master. I ask forgiveness.
Young KCC: As do I.
Kan: Why did you not come and tell me of your injured dove?
Young Student: I’ve broken your law master, and you told me ‘do not break.’
Kan: Then the wrong that was done was to yourself. Young Caine, when you observed Yet-San take the plums, you assumed they were for himself?
Young KCC: I did Master.
Kan: Then the wrong you did was to Yet-San.
Young KCC: And to you, Master. By not telling you.
Kan: And I have done a greater wrong to you both.
Young KCC: How?
Kan: By leading you to attend only to the letter of the law. And not respect its meaning. I bow to you both.–KF*
- Kan: You have both worthily shown your mastery of what you have been taught.
Priest: Master Kan? Which one of us has won?
KCC: Must there not be one who is the victor?
Priest: And one the vanquished?
Kan: When you were younger, did you not stand by the fountain and watch the bubbles raise?
KCC: They were very beautiful to see.
Kan: In a sense, a victory for the gasmier circles of liquid, over the insubstantial air they imprisoned. When you tried to grasp them, what became of them?
Priest: They were gone.
KCC: They were empty. Without substance.
Kan: So too, can victory be.
KCC: And defeat?
Kan: Does not the true value lie in what one does with either?–KF*
- Young KCC: Ugly!
Kan: And yet to another such creature, might not this one appear beautiful?
Young KCC: So beauty differs from being to being?
Kan: Beauty is constant. As is the truth. Seek and find what is the truth.
Young KCC: What is the truth of man, Master?
Kan: It has been said that a man is three things: What he thinks he is; What others think he is; And what he really is. Which one of these do you believe is the truth?
Young KCC: What he really is! But if a man is wrong about himself, and others are wrong about him, who is left to say what he really is?
Kan: At what point in time can a man be fixed and frozen, if he is to live and grow?
Young KCC: He must change.
Kan: As the lowly caterpillar transforms itself into a finer and more beautiful creature.–KF*
- Po: (Master Po wakes KCC from a restless sleep) What is it, Grasshopper?
KCC: Demons, DEAMONS!! Trying to kill me!
Po: There are no demons here. See for yourself. Only a bad dream.
KCC: Huh, Master. Why do I have such dreams?
Po: All men have dreams of different types – good and bad. There are the vain dreams. Futile, based on baseless hopes. There are the dreams that spur and inspire. Based on aspiration to a higher ideal. And there are the false dreams, based on lies to oneself or others.
KCC: Which is mine?
Po: The incense container was the catalyst of your dreams. A fiction frozen to fact, that summoned forth the demons of your dream.
KCC: My dream was false, then?
Po: False to you, therefore a nightmare. And yet, to the artist a good and true dream. For in that fabrication he realized his inner ideal of …the perfect dragon.–KF*
- Kan: Beware of judgments of others. In this imperfect world in which we live, perfection is an illusion. And so the standards by which we seek to measure it, are also, in themselves, illusions. If perfection is measured by age, race, color of skin, color of hair, physical or mental prowess, then we are all lacking. It is well to remember that the harshest judgments are reserved for ourselves.–KF*
- Kan: (Munks are practicing forms) Simple, controlled movements to begin a harmony of mind and body. A movement surely of grace and beauty, of serenity. Yet, strangely, some choose this moment to weep. Tears.
Young KCC: Master, it is all too beautiful. I weep at my good fortune.
Kan: Tell me why.
Young KCC: I stood outside these gates, once. With many other boys. Hoping to enter this place of peace. Only I was chosen. What if it had not been so?
Kan: But it was.
Young KCC: Yes. But it might not have been. Where would I have been then?
Kan: Who can say.
Young KCC: And what of the others. Where are they now?
Kan: That too, is unknowable for us.
Young KCC: And what of those who may never come here, who will never know this peace?
Kan: Do you pity them?
Young KCC: Oh, yes!
Kan: Please come with me…Consider a field of lilies in seed. The wind which carries the seed plays no favorites. The seeds fall where they will, according to the fortunes of wind and weather. Those that fall in fertile soil, may be tended and cared for. Grow strong and bloom. Those that fall in baron soil will die. Yet some will cling to life in arid places. On hillsides, in deep clefts. And so, the traveler, unsuspecting, comes upon a sight of beauty. A single lily, growing amid the rocks. The thoughtful traveler will water this lily in passing. Grateful for its strength, its beauty, its tenacity to life. And growing in the rocks, as it is, is it not, in its essence, still a lily. And every bit as beautiful as these.–KF*
- Young KCC: Master?!
Po: I am here.
Young KCC: I looked deep into myself. And I saw something which frightened me.
Po: What did you see, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: I saw dark and fearful shadows in motion. Shadows that shunned the light.
Po: Did you put a name to these shadows?
Young KCC: I called them evil.
Po: And what is the nature of evil?
Young KCC: I do not know.
Po: Do you sometimes feel love, Grasshopper, and joy? Do you sometimes feel pride in what you have accomplished?
Young KCC: Often, Master.
Po: And do you sometimes feel good?
Young KCC: Try.
Po: But the threads that make up our human nature are two ended. There is no capacity for feeling pride, without an equal capacity for feeling shame. One cannot feel joy, unless one can feel despair. We have no capacity for good, without and equal capacity for evil.
Young KCC: Must we not then fear evil?
Po: Shall we fear our own humanity?
Young KCC: Must we not fight evil?
Po: Who can defeat himself? For what is evil, but the self seeking to fulfill its own secret needs. All that is necessary is that we face it, and choose.–KF*
- Man: You think I do not know. I heard the scratching in the wall. You sealed a priest in the wall behind my room. Now they listen to me. They listen to me!! I, I, I can’t sleep, thinking about it. I can’t sleep.
Kan: I will help you to sleep (Master Kan produces a sealed jar of liquid).
Man: No, Poison!! (Master Kan opens it and drinks. Satisfied, the man drinks).
Kan: When you have rested, we can talk.
Young KCC: Master, what besets that man?
Kan: He has been marked to wander inward. Through and beyond the dark and terrifying land. Where no road exists. And no sign post points the way.
Young KCC: But why?
Kan: Who can say?
Young KCC: Should he not be locked in his room?
Kan: And prevent him from his journey? If he can pass through the trackless land, he will find peace. His answer, his cure. As far as we are able, we must travel with him. Help him along the way.
Young KCC: But how? Where there are no roads or sign posts.
Kan: There are steps. His and ours. We take them together. This is our duty, to all who are marked as he is.
Young KCC: I should hope then, never to meet another like him.
Kan: Very often, a wanderer in the trackless land finds that which he sought, and more. Something of rare value, for the one who shared his journey. Could you risk the loss of such a benefit?–KF*
- Young KCC: Why do such fearsome statues stand at the entrance to our peaceful place?
Po: These are the threshold guardians, Grasshopper. Set here to keep away those not ready for the silence within.
Young KCC: Must they be so horrible?
Po: Those incapable of understanding the way, see things as monsters. Better for them, never to enter here.
Young KCC: Yet if a man is unafraid of stone, he may pass unhampered.
Po: He may physically pass. But is his mind is in the outer world, he will leave us, in time, to rejoin it.–KF*
- KCC: When a fear becomes strong enough, like another being within you who fights to stay alive, it is not you who will die, it is your fear [that will die].–KF*
- Kan: Your heart beats too fast. You must quiet (KCC was meditating). What frightened you?
Young KCC: I heard the silence, Master. I felt my whole being diffuse, like a cloud. Then rain fell from the sky. Through me. I was apart of everything. Yet I was myself.
Kan: You have experienced oneness.
Young KCC: But in this great joy, I felt as if I was dying. It frightened me.
Kan: You know the lesson of the silk worm?
Young KCC: Silk worm dies. The moth lives. Yet they are not two separate beings, but one in the same.
Kan: It is the same with man. His false beliefs must die. So that he may know the joy of the way. What you felt in the silence was real. Something in you is dying. It is called ignorance.–KF*
- Kan: Young Caine. Do I see a scar of anger on your face?
Young KCC: I do not like to be a servant.
Kan: Oh, you consider it beneath you to serve another?
Young KCC: How am I to answer? I do not know what it is like to be served.
Kan: Do not the ancients say that rank and reward have no appeal, for a man one with himself?
Young KCC: Yet, you Master are served, and therefore greater.
Kan: Smaller. I have taken without true respect for what you have given. We must both learn. Please, sit here. (KCC sits in the masters spot)
Young KCC: It does not seem right.
Kan: It is my joy, Master.–KF*
- Kan: It was my pleasure to wash them for you (Master Kan continues to serve KCC by washing his clothes).
Young KCC: They were very dirty from my work in the garden.
Kan: Yes, but no more.
Young KCC: I am very grateful (he bows).
Kan: And I to you, for allowing me to be of service. If in serving one is served. And in being served, one also serves. Are these not the folds of the same garment?
Young KCC: I do not understand. I am pleased you have done my wash. And ashamed that I have not done it myself.
Kan: Again. You have taught me.
Young KCC: How?
Kan: A man truly himself will not enrich his own interests, and make a virtue of poverty. He goes his own way, without depending on others. Yet is not arrogant that he needs no one. The greatest man is nobody.–KF*
- Kan: Do you see yourself (Starring in a pool of water, KCC still ponders the servitude issue)?
Young KCC: Too clearly master. I feel shame for wanting to be more than I am.
Kan: The sage says “That which shrinks, must first expand. That which fails, must first be strong. That which is cast down, must first be raised. Before receiving, there must first be giving.”
Young KCC: It was pride that kept me bowing to you.
Kan: Is it not easy to bow, and still honor oneself?
Young KCC: Can it truly be for you?
Kan: Truly (He bows).
Young KCC: But you are important. I am not.
Kan: Are we not equally important, and not important.
Young KCC: How is that possible, when you are my master?
Kan: I am old. You are young. I am wrinkled. You are smooth. Do these things change the nature that we share? Look beyond the surface. See what is real. In yourself and others.–KF*
- Po: I’m with you Grasshopper. Be calm. Perhaps you would like to tell me of your dream.
Young KCC: There was an animal. A beast. A very strange beast.
Po: Oh. Did he have more than one head?
Young KCC: No Master.
Po: An excess of legs?
Young KCC: No.
Po: You said he was strange.
Young KCC: His shoulders were like mounds. His head did not rise above them. He was like an Ox, yet he was not an Ox.
Po: Was he of great size?
Young KCC: No master. No higher than my chin. And most gentle. I could tell he was very young. And he was frightened of something.
Po: And you were frightened for him?
Young KCC: Yes. This is not like other dreams I have had. Even now, I feel as if it was real. And I was truly there.
Po: Perhaps you were, Grasshopper. Or perhaps, you will be.
Young KCC: But I know it was a dream.
Po: Do you? Have I been here at your side, and am I leaving you now to drift back to sleep? Or has this too, been a dream?
Young KCC: Yes, Master?
Po: It is I, or a dream?
Young KCC: It is you Master, as it truly was last night.
Po: I will accept your judgment.
Young KCC: After you left, I remembered more of the dream. And of the strange beast, that was so frightened.
Young KCC: He tried to speak to me. He tried again and again. But he was unable. Then he turned and was gone.
Po: Did he simply disappear?
Young KCC: No. He passed through a red door.
Po: Is it your wish to enter? (They stand in front of a room with a red door)
Young KCC: Yes. I will then know what the gentle beast was trying so hard to say.
Po: Let’s see. I’ll follow you (They enter).
Young KCC: It is only an empty chamber. Has it no purpose?
Po: Let us call it, the chamber of the answer. Tell me what you see?
Young KCC: Only a red door (The room is empty).
Po: Does it lie before you?
Young KCC: Yea.
Po: Ahhh. Then that is where your answer must be waiting. Behind the red door (Po closed the door they just walked through).
Young KCC: But I…But I am behind it.
Po: Are you?
Po: Do not fear. She will be taken care of. She is about to bring forth a new life (A woman is in labor).
Young KCC: I know, Master. I heard her baby cry.
Po: That is…most unusual.
Young KCC: Do I deceive myself? Could such a thing truly happen?
Po: It was you who heard. Life calls to life.
Young KCC: A baby, not yet born, calls to me. I do not understand.
Po: Nor do I. But how beautiful.
Young KCC: Yes, Master?
Po: You sit very still.
Young KCC: I listen for the cry of new life.
Po: Soon. The woman’s time approaches swiftly
Young KCC: The life she will bring forth will live.
Po: That is our wish.
Young KCC: I know it master.
Po: Yes, you do. Strange. A thing of wonderment. You and this infant, not yet born. You are as candle and flame. Separate, and not separate.
Young KCC: There must be others bound together in this fashion?
Po: I would not disagree.
Young KCC: Perhaps then, there are couplings beyond couplings?
Po: I would not disagree.
Young KCC: Do you think, could it be that all men are bound together, and all things?
Po: There is not reason to believe so. Nor reason not to believe so.
Young KCC: How can we learn the answer?
Po: That is simple. Do not seek it.–KF*
- KCC: You once told me my present is rooted in my past.
Po: And it is through those roots we draw our nourishment and strength.
KCC: Do not the roots then also, form the future?
Po: Uprooted, can the tree flourish and bear fruit? Without the fruit, what may bear the seeds of future generations? And thus, fulfill the ordained cycle of eternity.
KCC: Then my future is rooted in my past. And half my roots are across the sea, in America. How will I find my place?
Po: Time and your Tao (Dow) will tell you that, Grasshopper.–KF*
- Kan: Had you good cause to risk this danger? (Older KCC and older monk fought/sparred unsupervised)
KCC: My purpose was to prove my agility, and my courage.
Kan: I had hoped such qualities were already yours.
KCC: I sought to test them.
Kan: For yourself, or them (younger monks observed the match)? It is better to see yourself truly, then care about how others see you.
KCC: If I look truly, will I see truly?–KF*
- Kan: A picture of the world we live in. Now you will tear your papers, thus. When you are finished, you will reassemble the pieces in their proper place (They are tearing up a map of the world).
Young KCC: Master Kan? I have finished, Master.
Kan: So swiftly? It is correct. In all respects. How did you do it, my son?
Young KCC: It was not difficult, Master. On the other side was a picture of a man. I put the man together, and the world was remade at the same time.
Kan: The man. The world. The wholeness of each, seems related.
Young KCC: And all men, added together. Do they not make up the world we live in?–KF*
(CUT OFF ON TAPE)
- Young KCC: ROAR!!!!
Kan: Happy New Year, honorable demon.
Young KCC: Why do you not tremble before me?
Kan: Is the disciple Caine then so fearful?
Young KCC: How did you know?
Kan: Your Chi is not that of a demon, Kwai Chang. Only a mask. Thus while you appear to be a demon, your inner energies betray who you really are.
Young KCC: I suppose the trouble is I don’t really want to be a demon.
Kan: You have hit on a profound truth. Can you not tell me what it is?
Young KCC: I must first decide who and what I want to be.
Kan: And then? In order to achieve that ideal?
Young KCC: I must become one with it.
Kan: Posses and be possessed by it. Until you are what you will to be, and not merely a mask. Attempting to deceive yourself and others.–KF*
- Po: You are the new student. Come closer.
Young KCC: You cannot see.
Po: You think I cannot see.
Young KCC: Of all things, to live in darkness must be the worst.
Po: Fear is the only darkness. Take your broom and strike me with it. Do as I tell you, STRIKE! (Misses). Again. (Misses again, and is disarmed). Here, catch. (Po laughs). Never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young KCC: I hear the water. I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heart beat.
Young KCC: No.
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper, which is at your feet.
Young KCC: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?–KF*
- Po: You have learned discipline and acquired many new abilities. However, never forget that a priests life is a simple one. And must remain free of ambition.
KCC: Have you no ambition, Master Po?
Po: Only one. Five years hence. It is my wish to make a pilgrimage to the forbidden city. It is a place where even priests receive no special status. There in the temple of heaven, will be a festival. A full moon of May. It will be the thirteenth day, of the fifth month, of the year of the dog.
KCC: That is not such a great ambition.
Po: Who among us is without flaw!–KF*
- Kan: You must prepare yourself, for what lies ahead in your chosen role as priest. The nature of wind and fire and ice. The frailty of the human condition in hunger, thirst, and fatigue. The predatory instincts of living things. The greed and the finality buried in the hearts of men. You must be prepared to survive through all of this. These graceful movements you now perform, along with the rigors of all those disciplines, which your masters impose upon you, will help you to develop the inner strength – that which we call Chi. And when you come to meet your greatest test. Your highest challenges. When you call upon your Chi, it will not desert you.–KF*
- Po: What do you look for beyond the sea, Grasshopper?
KCC: That part of me which I know little of. The past out of which I was born
Po: Then someday you must seek it.
KCC: But is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?
Po: If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.–KF*
- Young KCC: Master, can these things be real? (KCC watched a prestidigitator conjure up a tree out of nowhere, and then make it disappear, leaving behind fruit on the floor)
Po: Did you not see them with your own eyes?
Young KCC: Is it not possible the Lama put them into our minds, to make us believe they were there?
Po: We are taught that all things are possible.–KF*
- Kan: It is often said, that to be effective one must act with forthrightness and great force. But what is to be gained from such a course? If the end one (won ?) is embarked upon, is a righteous action. It flows the way of the Tao (Dao). Forces are in motion, to which we cannot add, from which we cannot subtract. If our path is right, there is only one course to follow. The correct action is to do nothing. And all will be done.–KF*
- Young KCC: Do such things exist?
Kan: Do wars, famine, disease, and death exist? Do lust, greed, and hate exist?
Young KCC: They do, but how? Where do they come from?
Kan: They are man’s creations. Brought to being by the dark side of their nature.–KF*
Young KCC: How can man rid himself of such terrible things?
Kan: Each man, must start with himself, within himself, by slowly forging his Chi. The inner essence of his spirit, and the limitless power of the universe. Only thus, can you conquer the power… and the presence of evil.–KF*
- Kan: Communication between self and self; between self and others, may take many forms. Dreams are a language which we may learn to interpret. Our deeper self, talking to our self. The needs, the sensations, the flights of fancy of others, imprinting on our own. Take heed, not to disregard these communications. But rather listen. And hear what they have to say.–KF*
- Po: A lady of peace and serenity. The man who carved it felt that, and carved it into the bone.
Young KCC: It belonged to the man who saved my fathers life.
Po: And may perhaps, one day, permit you to pay the debt your father owed to this man.
Young KCC: How is that possible? When both he and my father are dead.
Po: But your father had a son, who lives. And this man, too, might have a son. Or perhaps a grandson. As a son inherits his fathers goods, so he inherits his debts.
Young KCC: And may pay in turn, to his son?
Po: If such a one exists. And accepts the payment. This may be the token which identifies it.
Young KCC: How?
Po: It is the talisman by which you will recognize each other.
Young KCC: We spoke of debt, to the man who saved my fathers life.
Po: Ah, yes Grasshopper.
Young KCC: Must I indeed pay this debt?
Po: Did your father acknowledge it?
Young KCC: Yes, Master.
Po: And uh…do you acknowledge it?
Young KCC: Yes, Master.
Po: Then if circumstances permit you, seek out the man who can receive payment, or if he seeks you out, you must pay.
Young KCC: How can payment be made for the loss of life?
Po: He must tell you.
Young KCC: And if he asks too much?
Po: What is too much? This man gave everything he had, unasked. In turn, his heir may demand from you anything he wishes, short of your own life.
Young KCC: And I must pay it?
Po: Are you, or will you be a man of honor?–KF*
- Po: We pay tribute to our beloved Nun-Chi. The sage says: A man is born gentle and weak. At his death, he is hard and cold. Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At their death, they are withered and dry. Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death. The gentle and unyielding is the disciple of life. May our gentle and lovely Non-Chi be consecrated to life, even in her death. And may she find eternal peace.–KF*
- Young KCC: I stare at you and speak.. You stare back and say nothing.
Po: A piece of cloth upon a wall. Truly Grasshopper, do you expect a reply.
Young KCC: I realize the tapestry cannot speak, Master.
Po: Then who is it that you address? Yourself?
Young KCC: Yes.
Po: And are you able to answer the question, the tapestry cannot?
Young KCC: No, Master.
Po: Is it not because the tapestry is mute, so are we, so long as we are held immobile by the lightly woven threads of fear.?
Young KCC: What must I do, Master?
Po: You will know that once you have sought out your demon, and confront him. Only then will you come face-to-face with the thing you fear. That which you gave the shape of, this demon.–KF
Po: (speaking in the background) It is a time when the body is at its weakest. And the mind, seeking to protect itself, looks for something beyond itself. It creates in its fear, a figure that exacts a more terrible price.–KF*
Po: Then your journey inward has begun?
Young KCC: Yes, Master. There is yet, I do not recall where I have met this demon. Or what was said between us.
Po: You must go deeper into this world.
Young KCC: I am afraid, Master.
Young KCC: I may lose my way within this strange world. And never emerge.
Po: It is a risk, Grasshopper.
Young KCC: Must I take this risk?
Po: It is the only way to confront your demon.
Young KCC: I do not wish to confront him.
Po: Let us sit here for a moment. To run from your demon is to have him pursue you. Better to advance and meet him in his world. Then to retreat and have him enter yours. The doorway to another reality lies before you. You must step over the threshold. You must enter this world. Meet your demon, wherever you were in the past. When you created him. However young you were at the time.
Young KCC: I have entered.
Po: Do you see your demon now?
Young KCC: I begin to.
Po: How does he appear, as the tapestry portrays him?
Young KCC: Much the same way, but more real.
Po: What else do you see?
Young KCC: Nothing. I hear things.
Young KCC: Sounds. Voices, I think.
Young KCC: (He reflects to sometime in the future).
Po: Where are you, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: Master, I am trapped in this world.
Po: You trapped yourself! You must fight!
Young KCC: There is no way out.
Po: You seek to escape. Instead, you must go even deeper.
Young KCC: How?
Po: This demon is your own creation. Search out when you first created him. Search out when you were very young.–KF*
(NOTE: The plea of a frightened boy cannot change the will of destiny).
- Po: For at the right time, all may be reached.–KF*
- Po: The sage says: “Return good with good. Return evil with justice.–KF*
- Po: Still troubled, Grasshopper?
Young KCC: Sometimes, Master. It seems as if a wall lies between myself and others. A wall through which I may see, but may not touch.
Po: You feel the fault within you?
Young KCC: I do not know where the fault lies. But I feel apart.
Po: In your conversation with this other, more is left unsaid than is said?
Young KCC: It is so.
Po: Who can know himself well enough to hear all. The sage says “Shape clay into a vessel, cut doors and windows for a room. It is the spaces within which make it useful. So we must listen for the spaces between us. We must hear the silences.–KF*
- KCC: Master, how can we find our way when all paths seem dark?
Po: The way runs true through the darkness. Through shadow. Neither is cause for despair. The sage has said: “The 5 colors blind the eye. The five tones deafen the ear. The five flavors dull the taste. Therefore, the wiseman is guided by what he feels, not by what he sees.” When our senses are confused and overpowered, our deeper feelings may yet keep us on the way.–KF*
- KCC: Master. I am puzzled.
Po: That is the beginning of wisdom.
KCC: I have seen you laugh, and I have seen you cry.
Po: And you do not?
KCC: We are taught discipline.
Po: The purpose of discipline is to live more fully. Not less.
KCC: But how shall I know if my sorrow is only the echo of self pity; or my laughter the preening of my own happiness?
Po: The bird sings in the forest. Does it seek to be admired for its song? Let tears come, when your heart tells you of its sadness. Let joy come unasked, unplanned.–KF*
- Po: It is written: “Shape clay into a vessel, it is the space within that gives it value. Place doors and windows in a house. It is the opening that brings light within. Set spokes within a wheel. It is the emptiness of the hub that makes them useful.” Therefore, be the space at the center. Be nothing. And you will have everything to give to others.–KF*
- KCC: (He is shooting a bow and arrow at a target, in the black of the night). I do not do archery for killing.
Man: What do you use it as?
KCC: A form of meditation.
Man: Meditation? What do you think about?
KCC: I think of nothing. But to be one with the target.
Man: You think I’m going to believe that? How can you see what you are shootin at in the dark?
KCC: Watch my eyes (He turns his eyes away before he shoots, and hits the target).
Man: How’d you do that?
KCC: I do not do it. It is not done.
Man: What do you mean ‘It’s not done?’
KCC: It is only experienced. It happens.
KCC: The pole (target), the arrow, the bow are one. Not many things. Not different things. One.
Man: Well, I see it. But I sure don’t understand it.
KCC: That is good.
Man: Why is it good?
KCC: It remains a puzzle. When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding.–KF*
- Man: How come you know so much about bows and horses?
KCC: The horse lives. I live. We share this with all nature. We are one.
Man: You know, you’re different from just about anyone I’ve ever met.
KCC: That is good, I hope.
Man: Don’t you ever get lonesome, just drifting around? No place to belong to.
KCC: I belong to myself.
Man: Yeah. Me too. Most the time I wish I didn’t, though.
KCC: You are young.
Man: Guess I’ll always be lonesome. Did you really mean what you said about not being afraid of death?
Man: Do you think you can teach me how not to be afraid of it?
KCC: It is too soon. It is not something one man may teach another.
Man: Yeah. I think I know what you mean by not being able to teach me that. It’s like a man has to teach it to himself, sort of.
KCC: It is rare to ask your questions. It is more rare to listen to the answers.–KF*
- Man: Back there at the creek. Were you meditating again?
KCC: I was clearing my mind of impurities and disturbances.
Man: Well, how does that work?
KCC: It lets me see the nature of things, as they really are.
Man: Is that what keeps you from getting mad?
KCC: It is how I can encounter life’s many faces, with some sense of peace.–KF*
- KCC: Each moment that passes changes you. You do not and cannot posses even yourself. How can you hope to posses anyone else?”–KF*
- Po: It is written in the Tao Tae Ching: “Under heaven, all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good, only because there is evil. Therefore, having and not having a rise together, difficult and easy compliment each other. High and low rest upon each other. Front and back follow one another. Be like the sun, and what is within you will warm the earth.”–KF*
- KCC: What greater power is there, Master?
Po: Those who surrender themselves find inner strength.
KCC: Will this protect me more than my arms and legs?
Po: When the heart knows no danger, no danger exists. When the soul becomes the warrior, all fear melts. As the snowflake that falls upon your hand.–KF*
- Young KCC: (a monkey has caught its hand in a jar, while trying to retrieve an apple in that jar. But he cannot take his hand out with the apple in his hand) I do not want to harm him, only to play.
Kan: He thinks you are as others, and would have him for your supper.
Young KCC: I could never do that!! That is a foolish monkey. The gardens are full of fruit, yet he chooses to hold onto the one in the jar.
Kan: I am pleased you are wiser than the monkey
Young KCC: I am much wiser, Master.
Kan: I would hope you remain so, and will know when to let go of those things which do not serve you, but force you to serve them.–KF*
- KCC: Master, how does one find the strength within oneself?
Po: By being one with all that is without himself.
KCC: Yet, these sometimes contend?
Po: When fire meets ice, which prevails?
Po: Yet in dying, does not the ice, becoming water, also die?
KCC: For the fire dies.
Po: That prevails which refuses to know the power of the other. Where fear is, does not danger also live? And where fear is not does not danger also die? Where the tiger and the man are two, Grasshopper, he may die. Yet, where the tiger and the man are one, there is no fear, there is no danger. For what creature, one with all nature, will attack itself?–KF*
- Po: In the pond there are some lotuses which stand above the water. And though their roots feed, they themselves are untouched by it. Some others have only risen to the waters level. And others are still underwater (They are talking about how to treat people).
KCC: Shall I seek to measure these differences, that I may treat them differently, each according to his growth?
Po: Examine the flowers. Is not the flower, in each position, yet a flower?
KCC: Shall I then treat each man the same?
Po: As far a possible, without surrender. Be on good terms with all.
KCC: Yet the flower beneath the water knows not the sun. Other men, not knowing me will find me…hard to understand.
Po: Accept the ways of others. Respect first, your own.–KF*
- Po: The scissors cut the paper. The paper covers the rock. The rock crushes the scissors.
KCC: Is not playing a child’s game a waste of time?
Po: In games children teach. Sometimes more than books. Come, instruct an old man and yourself. Look beyond the game, as you look beyond the surface of the pool to see its depth.
KCC: Each in turn conquers the other. There is no stronger, or weaker.
Po: This is the harmony of nature, and not a waste of time. I have three treasures which I hold and keep. The first is mercy. For from mercy comes courage. The second is frugality. From which comes generosity to others. The third is humility. For from it comes leadership.
KCC: Strange treasures. How shall I keep them?
Po: Keep them in your deeds, Grasshopper.–KF*
- KCC: How may I walk a peaceful path, when the world is seldom peaceful?
Po: Peace lies not in the world, Grasshopper. But in the man who walks the path.
KCC: But in my path may be men not filled with peace.
Po: Then seek another path.
KCC: And if at each turn, appear those who would be violent, and do not love peace.
Po: To reach perfection, a man must develop equally compassion and wisdom.
KCC: But, Master. How do I not contend with a man that would contend with me?
Po: In a heart that is one with nature, though the body contends, there is no violence. And in the heart that in not one with nature, though the body be at rest, there is always violence. Be therefore, like the brow of a boat – it cleaves the water, yet it leaves in its wake, water unbroken.–KF*
- (KCC stumbled down some stairs, while he had his eyes covered).
Po: Did you not think to look where you were going?
Young KCC: I placed the sash over my eyes. I chose not to see.
Po: Do you prefer darkness to light?
Young KCC: I wanted to know darkness.
Young KCC: I wanted to be like you. It is nothing to place one foot in front of the other. But to walk without seeing is most special.
Po: I never thought it special, only unavoidable. Is it not better to enjoy the gift of light that adheres, than to seek a darkness you are spared?–KF*
- Po: To know is to be.–KF*
- KCC: When a man finds his way, heaven’s gentle.–Kung Fu