The tenth Zen Ox-herding picture or the tenth stage on the road to enlightenment in Zen Buddhism is called “Entering the Marketplace with Helping Hands.” Hixon writes:
“Carrying a gourd, he strolls into the market. He leads innkeepers and fishmongers in the Way of the Buddha. Bare-chested, barefooted, he comes into the marketplace. Muddied and dust-covered, how broadly he grins! Without recourse to mystic powers, withered trees he swiftly brings to bloom” (Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions by Lex Hixon, p.80).
Years ago I saw another series of the ten Zen Ox-herding pictures. As the sage is walking into town, flowers are blooming on both sides of the path behind him. This picture reminds me of the old Chinese saying that goes something like this: When the wrong man does the right thing, it turns out wrong. And when the right man does the wrong thing, it turns out right.
There is a parallel theme in the Odyssey. When Odysseus returns home from his multitude of harrowing adventures, he plants an oar from his ship in the center of his land. Symbolically, this means that Odysseus will give back to the community what he has learned on his journey.
Into the Jaws of Death
In scene eleven of The Matrix Revolutions, Neo decides to sacrifice himself for the greater good. He is willing to sacrifice his life for his community. Neo says, “I know what I have to do.” Morpheus asks, “What?” Neo replies, “There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it. I have to take one of the ships.” Roland questions, “What?” Morpheus asks, “To go where?” Neo states, “To the machine city.” Roland laughs. Neo says, “I know it’s difficult to understand.” Roland exclaims, “No, it’s not. You’re out of your goddamn mind.” Neo answers, “I still have to go.”
Why would Neo sacrifice himself? He does so because of who he’s become. He sacrifices himself unselfishly because of who he now is. Neo has become “the right man.”
Becoming the “Right” Trader
Becoming the right trader doesn’t mean following all the trading truisms. It doesn’t mean obeying all the trading “shoulds.” It will mean that you will need to sacrifice your present beliefs about trading – your trading worldview. It will mean that you need to go to your own “machine city” and discover why you trade so mechanically, so robotically. Then discard that method and find your own Way.