What you're seeking for is where you're seeking from.
There lived a solitary sage on the outskirts of a small farming community. He lived alone and occasionally came to the village to trade for food and clothing, and tended a small garden next to his cottage, where he made tinctures from the herbs he grew there. Every so often, people would visit the sage for healing tonics and spiritual advice.
One day, a farmer and his wife came to the door of the sage’s cottage. The farmer banged on the door and forced the door off its hinges. Furious, he approached the sage and demanded an explanation, hurling accusations with an incensed voice. Their daughter had become pregnant, and she had named the sage as the father of the child. When they had finished, the sage replied, “Is that so?”
Several months passed, and no one came to visit the sage. No one would interact with him, because everyone was sure that he had defiled a young girl’s innocence and making her pregnant out of wedlock. A knock again came upon the sage’s door, and the farmer and his wife again approached the sage. They thrust the newborn baby upon him, telling him that raising the child is now his responsibility. Again, the sage replied, “Is that so?” and took the child in his arms, raising the baby as his own.
Four years passed, and the sage raised his young daughter with love and care, teaching her his knowledge of herbalism and giving her the gifts of his wisdom from an early age. The farmer and his wife with their daughter came to the sage’s cottage for the first time since the child’s birth. The daughter approached the sage, apologizing with teary eyes, and the farmer and his wife looked ashamed. They told the sage that the child was indeed not hers, and that the daughter had lied out of shame for her actions. They took the child back home with them, and the sage replied, “Is that so?”
Months passed, and the town welcomed the sage back into the community like nothing had happened. He tended their sick and gave teachings and advice to those who sought it. The months passed into years, and the sage was on his deathbed. The daughter of the farmer, now middle-aged, visited the cottage of the sage, bringing alms and news of the child. The child had been enriched by the short time spent with the sage, and they sent her off to monastery at an early age. The daughter told the sage that she had become a prodigy of the sage, teaching the other monks from her own attainment and her intimate knowledge of healing tinctures. When the sage heard this, he smiled and passed peacefully, sighing, “Is that so?”
Nonresistance to the flow of life allowed the sage to live in fullness. His choice of a solitary life was broken up by the incredible and unexpected gift of a child, and their short time together created an amazing, enriching journey for everyone involved. If the sage had, using his mind, put up resistance or engaged in the judgments of the villagers, it would have resulted in unnecessary suffering. Not running, not chasing, the sage remained unattached to the appearance of things, accepting all of life’s mystery as it unfolded.
This is the Way, the life of a master and the natural course of things when we are living from awareness instead of the trappings of the mind. The sage did not live with apathy, but full enjoyment of life. He had mind like everyone else, felt like everyone else, laughed and cried like everyone else, but did not allow the movement of his mind, emotions and actions to conceal his radiant and aware essential nature. In full nonresistance to the Way, the sage lives in all of us.
Is that so?
[Adapted and paraphrased to contain the spirit of the original story’s message and intent]