Thursday, August 6


Learning the Mandarin for "Why?" can take you a long way in The Story of Yanxi Palace. Wèishéme (为什么), pronounced weshema, might be the most repeated phrase in the series. "Why?" cried in anguish, in despair, in fury, in confusion, as one character after another in the story falls victim to circumstances he can neither control nor understand. 

So much is going on, so many crises, it's only toward the end it comes clear that The Story of Yanxi Palace is one long morality play. There is always a choice, and how the victim of circumstance decides will determine whether he takes up with evil. What is not necessarily evident in the short life span of a human but graphically illustrated over the course of Yanxi Palace is that the inexorable fate of evildoers is to meet with justice in exact measure.  Why? Their own character has the answer. 

That, and the fact that evil, as with goodness, is personal; it has to do with an individual's decisions. There is no such thing as collectivist evil, just as there is no group Karma.  To believe otherwise is to thunder at the heavens, "Why?"


1 comment:

Himanshu said...

one time some devotees from america were visiting Baba at the time of the Iraq war and they asked Baba why there were so many terrible things happening in the world. and Baba told them that instead of asking why ? why ? why ? humans have to realize the I, I, I :) then the why will become known to them.