By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
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One day the Lord Shantih threw a coin down a wishing well. He wished for another coin. Later, as he walked upon the road, he found a coin.
The next day Lord Shantih again threw a coin into the well, wished for a coin, and found a coin upon the road. This continued for several days — always Lord Shantih wished for a coin, found a coin, and used it to wish for another.
At the end of a week Lord Shantih cast two coins into the wishing well.
“I won’t be able to come here tomorrow,” he explained.
The Lord Shantih saw a fortune-teller in the marketplace. The fortune-teller threw a handful of sticks in the air and examined the pattern they made as they fell upon the ground. From this pattern he divined the future.
Lord Shantih pondered this for many days. Finally he took a handful of sticks and threw them in the air. But the sticks would not fall down. They fluttered away like a flock of birds.
“If I were a true fortune-teller,” Lord Shantih observed, “I would know this was something more than magic.”
One day the Lord Shantih met a skeptic.
“And what if there is no paradise?” the skeptic asked.
“Then men would build one,” the Lord Shantih replied.
“And what if there are no gods?”
“Then men would become gods.”
“And what if man were not divinely fashioned?”
“Then everything was fashioned by the mind of man,” Lord Shantih said. “And if there were no flowers on the earth, there would be flowers in the sky.”
The Lord Shantih told the story of the farmer who prayed to the gods for a large harvest only to have his crop destroyed by flood. The next year the farmer again prayed for a large harvest and a drought destroyed his crop. The third year he prayed as before and this time enjoyed the largest harvest he had ever had.
“All gods will answer,” Lord Shantih said, “if you give them enough time.”
There once was a river of unknown depth that flowed past the cottage of Lord Shantih. Those who sailed upon the river often lowered sticks into the water to measure its depth, but they could never find it.
Lord Shantih once asked a sailor why he sought to know the depth of the river.
“Because I sail upon this river,” the sailor replied, “and I must know how deep it is.”
“I walk upon the ground,” Lord Shantih said, “and the ground is always paper thin beneath me.”
A seeker came to the Lord Shantih with a question.
“Where can I find the truth I seek?” he asked.
“When a leaf falls from a tree,” Lord Shantih explained, “it always lands on the ground.”
Another seeker came to the Lord Shantih and asked: “Which path shall I follow?”
“No one guides the river,” Lord Shantih answered, “the river knows the way.”
Yet another seeker came to the Lord Shantih.
“Where does one go to find wisdom?” the seeker asked.
“No!” Lord Shantih finally said. “I have been asked for directions too often. I can take no more questions.”
“My Lord,” said the seeker, “the ocean is always filled but never full. You can answer one more question.”
With that, Lord Shantih rapped him hard across the ribs with his staff.
“Fool!” he shouted. “Don’t ask me for what you already have!”