The God Whispers was a fictional book written by Han Qing-jao, a character from Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series. They were a paraphrased version of many Chinese parables, which was in keeping with the character's birth on a planet of Chinese expatriates who were raised to see everything in terms of their faith. There was a quote from this book at the beginning of every chapter of the book Children of the Mind.

This node originally referred to the quote that begins "Let me tell you the most beautiful I know." The story is about a dog who a man cares for. No one can see the purpose of the dog, he doesn't hunt or protect the house, he just spends his time near the man. The man defends the dog, saying that of everyone the dog is the most faithful to him. When the man and the dog are in an airplane crash, the dog survives uninjured but the man is conscious but fatally injured. As the man dies, the dog eats the man's organs, and the man is comforted by the fact that at least he can provide for his dog in his death.

(NOTE: I paraphrased the tale here poorly, since the original text was noded by someone else. Most likely it was removed for copyright violations, so I added the above text so that my commentary below the line has some context.)


I showed some of the stories to a Chinese coworker of mine, Mimmy (real name Minfang), and apparently Orson Scott Card adapted his stories from actual Chinese tales. She later brought in a pretty nifty book that was Chinese on the right page, English in the left. The only one that I got to read was the original story about the dog who eats his masters' liver after a plane crash. (The only difference is that in the original story, he is just pushing a cart, and falls over the side of a cliff.)

I was amazed, though, at how different some of the stories were, compared to my own way of thinking. I somewhat generalized that my way of thinking was the Western way of thinking based on a few conversations with friends and coworkers. The story about the dog is the perfect example of this.

For the most part, a Westerner reads the story, scratches his head, and wonders "What's the point?" There seems to be an ambundance of this type of story in Eastern literature. For instance:

A man has an adopted son who kills him on a journey to steal his money and his robe, the man's only response is "I'm glad that I could provide for you, even in my death."

Amazing how different it all is. I wish I could put my finger on what exactly makes that so alien to my own way of thinking. But, Card captures it perfectly in his God Whispers excerpts.

Some may mention how this parallels the story of the prodigal son.  They seem different to me, though.  The prodigal son is a story about forgiveness of those who have transgressed.  This story has no sin, no lack of faithfulness.  The dog is merely a dog and is true to his nature as an animal.  The reaction of the man to be glad that he can care for hsi dog with his own organs seems strange and alien to me.

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