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A student traveled to seek the knowledge of a master who was known for both his wisdom and his violence; many was the initiate driven away by the master's chiding stick. The student sought to understand this seemingly contradictory nature. He reasoned that either the wisdom justified the violence or the violence was a path to the wisdom.

As he walked, the student devised a plan: "I will provoke him with an appeal to both aspects, and see which one he responds more strongly to." Thus, when he arrived and greeted the master, he asked the question, "Master, have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

The master replied, "I'll beat you! Where's my mu-stick?"