相书-文化的排异动力 Motivation for Cultural Xenophobia
[Xiang’s Essay] - Motivation for Cultural Xenophobia
The monks’ patience for the Brahmin from outside of Shaolin Temple had reached its limit. Living in a weird, solitary way, followed every day by a one-armed brute who always seemed ready to kill, Bodhidharma was tolerated by the temple only because he “didn’t hurt”. Well, he must have been thrown away from the mountain if he hadn’t been protected by the one-armed and three other low-levelled monks. However, though as harmless as he was, some individuals in the temple decided it was time to break the “harmony”. Less than ten years that Bodhidharma stayed in the temple, six times he was poisoned, nearly one time a year. It was very strange that the Buddhists, who believed in karma, could root out a foreign Bodhidharma secretly for no cultural reason. So, why? Because they wanted to preserve. They wanted to preserve the Chinese cultural system. It was the real reason and motivation for the appalling deeds, a spontaneous self-protection of a culture.
At last, he surrendered. He was gone, without leaving his body in China. What depair it was! After Bodhidharma died, his tomb was opened. The temple had driven out his disciples. Nobody was there to stop it when the tomb was destroyed. In China, this meant a complete removal, as if Bodhidharma had never been here at all. He left only a small mound as the response to the world. There was no body in the tomb, only a shoe, as though Bodhidharma was answering with the word he used to answer Emperor Wu: nothing.
An arm for a shoe. That’s something.