There was one mountain that had never been climbed, for so big were the clouds that hovered over it. One man, poor and despised though he was, began his journey to the base of the mountain. And as he passed through the town along his way, the townspeople took notice of him walking in the direction of the mountain. They watched as he climbed the base and they sneered and doubted that he would succeed beyond the craggy rocks. More gathered, watching as he proceeded past the lowest rocks into the realm of the mountain’s great beasts. More and more gathered still, and the women watched with keen eyes, considering that perhaps this man would prove his strength, as he defeated the lion, the snake, and the bear. He proceeded upwards, and with increased faith in his success, all the women in the town below prepared themselves in beautiful dress and adornments for a ceremony to honor his success. He passed the realm of great storms and mighty winds, and even more gathered to hear what he might say when he reached the top. Alas, the tired man reached the peak of the mountain, turned to face the people, and said,
“The figure of eternal beauty knows that the beauty she emits is not of her own self, and she therefore spends her time redirecting the glory received to the source from which it came.”
And as the man began his descent, the women scattered among themselves to undo their adornments and to shed their fine linens. While the man was still along his way back to town, all the people assembled and prepared a large banquet, as no one had ever succeeded at ascending the mountain before. And all the women and all the men wore their most tattered clothing and put no effort at all into beautification. When the man walked in, all cheered and welcomed him with great applause. The man, however, looked around, and fell somber and silent among the great crowd. He turned to a fellow townsperson and said,
“The town looks different than I remember. What has happened since I’ve been gone?”
The other townsperson replied, “The women were struck by what you said atop the mountain, and agreed that they should destroy the beautiful adornments they had created, which were idols for they eye.”
“That is a fascinating interpretation,” replied the man. “But a flower does not work to pluck out its petals. Rather, she turns to face the sun, and thanks the soil from which she sources nutrients.” The other townsman shrugged, and began to eat his steak dinner.