And when it’s convenient, by the way, the holy God told the angel of death like this: “You have all the power over all other beings, and even all the food that they will have, except the phoenix and their race and their generations. They never have to taste the taste of death.”
The Zoom stuff is funny. Many funny stories about this Zoom nowadays. (Yes, Master.) Remote work is very funny. Like sometimes a very top government official is talking (about) some important thing and then the cat just appeared in front of him, (Oh, yes.) drinking milk from his cup. Or talked for him because he put the wrong filter on or something (Oh, yes, yes.) without realizing it.
Or somebody even showed affection to his wife graphically on the Zoom. (Oh!) I think he forgot to turn off the computer, to turn off the Zoom or the… If you just cover the camera hole, it’s enough. Right? (Yes.) Then nobody can see you. Right? (Correct.) Why did he have such trouble? To let people see how he loves his wife! In front of the camera! My God! And many other stuff. OK.
The story of “The Phoenix.” Maybe I put it here, “There is a king, the emperor of the new Babylonia, a long time ago. (Yes.) It’s about like 605 to 562 before Christ (BC). And he was a very good warrior. He conquered Judah country and also invaded Jerusalem and made the Jewish people at that time go in exile in Babylon. This kind of exile lasted 50 years! Almost 50 years. He is one of the important personages in the Bible, in the chapter about Daniel.”
They’re talking together; he talks with his subordinate, I guess, about the phoenix. But this phoenix is not like the physical one; I guess not. They just translated it for lack of other terminology for this kind of sacred bird. Just like we say “dragon.” Some look like dragons, or for lack of words, we say dragon. But actually, it’s not a dragon. It’s similar or something like that. And we heard about him; we never saw him, the dragon. (Yes, Master.) Or another looks like a lion. What is “kỳ lân” in English? I forgot. Check it out. “Qílín.” How do you say “qílín” in English? No one knows? (I think they also call it “lion,” Master.) It’s not a lion. (In English, yes.) Are you sure? (Yes.) I don’t think so. But never mind. Just an example. All right.
“One day this king, his name is Nebuchadnezzar.” Whoa, long name. “He asked one of his people, name is Ben Sira.”
(Oh, sorry, Master. They call it “unicorn.”) No. (Kỳ lân.) Kỳ lân is not unicorn. Unicorn, it looks like a horse (Yes.) with one horn on the head. (Yes, I used Google Translate. It’s wrong, I guess.) Yeah. I know, I know. They translate very funny things. Like last time I sang the Aulacese (Vietnamese) romantic song, and they said, “The love bore a hole through the roof and comes out.” Something like that. Remember? “Tender love through thatched roofs.” “The deep love bore a hole through the roof.” My God! How romantic can that be? How can the romantic love bore a hole through the roof?
I’m OK, don’t worry. I just need to drink a little water, so my voice is sweetened a little. (Yes, Master.) Be patient. You need to go out a little bit or something? (No, Master.) (We’re OK.) No. OK. I was so in a rush to organize this, you have no idea. It looks simple to you, but it’s not for me. (Understand, Master.) I have to see the angle to cover the wall for my safety. In my retreat, I’m more sensitive. Not like when I’m out in the public. (Understand.) When I’m out in the public, I already guard myself for that time. But I cannot guard 24/7. (Understand, Master.) That will be too bothersome. (Yes, Master.) So, many things I had to move because of safety. Not from outsider, from my insider. From so-called disciples. (Wow.)
As I told you, if you’re low-level and you even want to love people and respect them, you also make trouble. Like your hand is dirty, whatever you touch, it’s dirty. No matter diamonds or precious stuff. If your hands are full of dirt or dirty, filthy, and you touch that, it becomes dirty too, at least temporarily. (Yes, Master.) And bad energy is very difficult to wash off, not so quick. Especially if they continue – not just one time. Not just one day, two days, but continuously with the low-level energy or desire or whatever. Oh, my life!
“So, the emperor asked the person next to him, maybe an official, his name is Ben Sira: ‘How come the angel of death could control everything except the race of the phoenix?’ And so, Ben Sira answered the emperor like this: ‘When Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and give one to her husband, Adam, to eat with her, then at that time she made other beings become very desirous also to eat that. So she gave to all of them, she gave whomever there to eat with them. And then suddenly Eve saw the phoenix, the bird, and she told the phoenix, ‘Hey, you! You go and eat together with your friends around here, whatever they’re eating.’ So, the phoenix answered her like, ‘You already sinned against the sacred God, holy God, and thus you created the reason for death in the future for yourself and other beings. Is that not enough? Why do you still continue to want to seduce me into disrespecting the order of God, and tell me to eat this forbidden fruit? Then I’m going to be ruined also. I will definitely never listen to you.’ And suddenly, there was a holy voice roaring around them, saying to Eve and Adam, ‘You both have known my order, but you did not respect and keep it, and you even sinned. Now you even want to drag the phoenix bird into the sinful action like you. But the phoenix did not want to do that, even though I have not ordered it.’” He did not order the phoenix not to eat, but the phoenix still did not eat.
“‘So, the phoenix has respect and keeps my order because he has the highest regard for me.’” Means for God. (Yes.) “‘Thus, from now on, the phoenix and their children will never know death, never have to taste death.’ And when it’s convenient, by the way, the holy God told the angel of death like this: ‘You have all the power over all other beings, and even all the food that they will have, except the phoenix and their race and their generations. They never have to taste the taste of death.’ (Wow.) At that moment, one of the angels respectfully spoke to God, ‘Oh, the God of all the universe, please keep these phoenixes in a very, very remote area, far away from other beings, because they are a very righteous race of birds. Because if not, these righteous birds will also be contaminated by other beings and then they will also learn or follow the actions, the deeds of other beings, and then they will also sin in front of You, even though they are already defined as they will not know how to sin.’”
Even then, he worried that they might be contaminated and be coerced or pushed or influenced by others. (Yes, Master.) Wow. No wonder we don’t ever see a phoenix anywhere. (Yes.) Very rare. And even then, these are not the real phoenixes, I don’t think. We just saw it on the painting only. (Yes, Master.)
“So, the holy God immediately accepted this suggestion of the angel. Then He manifested, He created for the phoenix and their kin alone, a very big, big city. And He pronounced that, ‘I have decreed that you and your kin will not be controlled by even my own sword or the sword of anyone else. And you will never know death.’” Meaning they will not die. Wow. (Yes, wow.) (Wow.)
Actually, this is a kind of legendary bird. “They call him ‘never-dying bird.’ The ‘live-forever bird.’ Immortal birds, according to the legend of the medieval Jewish time. In the Babylonian Talmud book, they are called ‘orshina.’ And according to other stories in Midrash, one of those holy books of the Jewish, they are called ‘hol’ or ‘hul.’” H-O-L and H-U-L. But here, the author used the word “phoenix” because everyone else in other stories in other books, they also used them like that. I guess we don’t have other birds to liken unto this bird. Because “the phoenix is also one of the four holy beings. That is the dragon, the qílín in Chinese, the turtle, and the phoenix.” These are the four sacred beings. Special, very auspicious. The Chinese and the Aulacese (Vietnamese) believe they are very auspicious beings, and it’s very lucky if you see them. Thus, in Âu Lạc (Vietnam), they use the word “phoenix.” I think we have it in English. I just don’t remember now.
“In the Bible it also says something like in Job 29.” It says, “I am telling you, when I breathe my last in my own nest but my phoenix, will lengthen my life.” That’s what he said, one of the saints in the Bible. And then he also said that, “Phoenixes are the type of bird that’s very famous for their long life and can rejuvenate themselves.” That is the story. Finished.
So, anybody have any idea what the story wants to teach us? No. As usual, huh? (To not give in to temptation.) OK. Also a lack of understanding.
(Master, about the four animals, they say it’s a turtle, white tiger, phoenix, and dragon.) Oh. White tiger, they keep them all in the zoo and they take them for their skin. Terrible. White tiger is easy to find. It’s not. It’s the qílín that’s difficult to find. I know the word, I just forgot. Never mind. If I know it, I will speak it for you. If I don’t know, then we just keep qílín in Chinese. It does look similar to the lion, but it’s not a lion. (Sometimes people refer to it as a “mystical lion.”) (Yes.) Probably, yes. But there is a word for it. Never mind. Maybe I don’t remember well.
Now, you can see it’s not just to give in to temptation, but once you are in trouble, you infect others. You see that? (Yes, Master.)