The Spirit of a Horse


徐悲鴻《九方皋》
徐悲鴻《九方皋》

徐悲鴻大型國畫《九方皋》
http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6a80502b0100pw6v.html

It is said that a fast horse is easy to find, but no one could find a horse as well as Pak Lok (a man of the Spring and Autumn Period who was reputed for being able to spot a ‘Long Distance Running Horse.’)

When Pak Lok was old, the king, Qin Mu Gong, asked Pak Lok to find a long-distance running horse for himself. Pak Lok recommended his apprentice, Jiu Fang Gao, saying that Jiu could identify the rarest horse in the world.

Qin Mu Gong summoned Jiu to look for horses for him. Three months later, Jiu happily came back to tell the king that he had found a rare horse in the world.

The king excitedly asked him: “What kind of horse is it?”

Jiu replied, “It’s a yellow mare.”

The king sent someone to have a look. It turned out to be a black stallion, so he was furious and called Pak Lok again. The king said to him disappointingly,” Your apprentice can’t even tell the sex of a horse. How can he identify if a horse is good or bad?”

After listening to the king, Pak Lok praised Jiu greatly. He told the king: “This shows how extraordinary he is. Jiu looks at the inner spirit of the horse but ignores the appearance of the horse. He sees the ability of the horse, not the sex of the horse. He focuses on what he needs to see, not what he doesn’t need to see. The way how he looks into the horse is far more significant than the horse itself.”

The fact proves that the horse chosen by Jiu is a rare steed in the world.

Comments:
This story illustrates that when you look at a problem, you must grasp the essence of things and not be fooled by the external image. Those who accomplish big things don’t trip over little trifles.

 九方皋相马

“世有伯乐,然后有千里马。千里马常有,而伯乐不常有。”伯乐老了之后,秦穆公又要伯乐为自己寻找千里马,伯乐就推荐了自己的徒弟九方皋,说九方皋可以识别天下最稀有的骏马,相马的本领不在自己之下。

秦穆公就召见九方皋为自己相马。三个月之后,九方皋高兴地回来告诉秦穆公,已经为他找到了一匹天下少有的千里马。

秦穆公兴奋地问九方皋:“是一匹什么样的马?”

九方皋回答说:“是一匹黄色的母马。”

秦穆公派人把马牵来一看,原来是一匹黑色的公马,就大为愤怒地招来伯乐,失望地对他说:“你的徒弟,连马的颜色,雌雄都分不清,又怎么能鉴别马的好坏呢?”

伯乐听到秦穆公这样说,非常惊喜,大为赞赏地说:“这正是九方皋的过人之处。九方皋相马,观照的是马的内在神髓,而忽略马的外表;洞察的是马的超然能力,而不注意马的雌雄;他只专注于自己想看到的,而不选择自己不必看的。少舍少得,大舍大得,九方皋相马的意义,远远超过相马本身。”

事实证明,九方皋所相之马,果然是天下少有的骏马。

啓示:

这则故事说明了看问题要抓住事物本质,不要被外面形象迷惑;成大事要不拘小节。

 

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