Don’t fight the law because the law will win. But, well, we do like to watch interesting criminals—your Walter Whites and your Dexter Morgans—get away with flouting the law. Our character today is 法 (fǎ), or law. Every aspect of our life is governed by it; you have 婚姻法 (hūnyīnfǎ, marriage law), 劳动法 (láodòngfǎ, labor law), 刑法 (xíngfǎ, criminal law), and so on ad infinitum. While today law is based on a strict, codified system, our ancestors put their trust in supernatural powers to determine right from wrong.
Philosopher Micius recorded a case in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BCE – 476 BCE) in the state of Qi that stumped its lord. Two court officials were involved in a lawsuit for three years, yielding no clear results. The lord was on the verge of killing them both just to get a moment’s peace, but with his last shred of patience, he decided to let the gods decide. The two officials were asked to state their case at a shrine and slaughter a goat as a sacrifice; the first official stated his case undisturbed, but the second wasn’t so lucky. Before finishing his statement, the dead goat jumped to its feet and charged at the official, breaking his leg. The god of the shrine then apparently descended from the heavens and executed the liar.
When I was a kid something bad happened to me. I was so ashamed that I didn’t tell anyone for years. I didn’t even know what I’d done wrong, or what was happening to me, but I thought it was my fault and there was no one there to hold me and tell me it was okay. It wasn’t until this summer that I finally really confronted it; my therapist had me go back and tell my past self that she would be okay. That it wasn’t her fault. I never cried so much in my life as I did for that little girl.
I think Launo derives from that little girl in me. I think we all have a kid in us somewhere who needs to be told that it’s okay, that we’re okay.