hextraterrestrial: Hextraterrestrial (Default)
Almost forty five minutes after their first cup of tea, Zakari Taniguchi and Fred Mudi are seven dimensions deep and three minor time-anomalies into a psychological and spiritual brainstorm.

"Some of your quotes are in contradiction of one another. How is it that you have now blended at least four distinct and very different religious teachings into this conversation as one? As..." Fred hesitated, "as you sit there in the full garb of a Buddhist Monk? Are you even supposed to blend traditions like that or what?" Fred calmly demanded.

The Monk's eyebrows raised in slight surprise. "I was not speaking to you as a Buddhist Monk. I was speaking to you as my friend. As a veteran and as a philosopher. I could recite Buddhist teachings all day but I don not think that is what you are really wanting to hear; now is it? Besides, just because I have studied and have attained the rank of Buddhist Monk, does not necessarily mean I'm a Buddhist indefinitely. I still keep an open mind. There is so much more to learn yet. There is so much more to integrate still. "

As a response, Fred's left eyebrow contorted upwards as his head shifted down and to the side. He gave his best quizzical look before breaking character. His usual stone-etched face shattered into a wry and devious grin before asking, "Are you just stating that as a probability or are you stating that as a cold, hard fact?"

The Monk was again beaming with that broad and sincere smile of his. "Despite adherence to my mentors and the teachings of Buddha, I have always kept an open mind. Although I put aside all other philosophies and religious doctrines to solely study Buddhism, I've never forgotten the other great religious teachings. Now upon my graduation, my mind will be allowed to again contemplate these other belief systems. My curious spirit and dreaming heart are ravenous for additional topics of study. I fully committed to this school and in less than forty eight hours, my lengthy tenure here finally draws to culmination. I will eagerly take my insights gained and apply them to old and new questions of our past, future and present.

During my first year here, it had been painfully difficult to let any of those subjects go. I was eventually able to solely focus my study on Buddhism. After all these years, my time and mind are free of those stringent tenets. I'll now have no other obligations to interfere with new studies. And so will begin my integration of other interesting data-sets into my overall worldview. Old world and new. Although in my official capacity of 'Monk' I would never teach anything other than Buddhism. But it's just you Mudi! I assumed I was allowed to speak freely here? We can talk about anything without fear of judgment or persecution... right?"

Mudi smiled a rare and reassuring smile. "Of course brother. We still have the First Amendment...I think. So I'm right there with you. Well, at least in the open mind department. Just not sure if I could handle five years of bean curd, bad incense and boring meditation. I honestly don't know how you did it. That is either extreme discipline or a self imposed form of retardation." Fred smirked. "I think I would need a little more action in my life." Fred highlighted the last sentence with a knowing wink.

"Still juvenile and animalistic I see. You know Mudi, carnal desires and sexual pleasures are on the low end of the human energetic scales Don't you?" asked the Monk.

"You mean fucking?" Fred queried. "Maybe. If you're just trying to bust a quick one. But what about love making? Isn't that one of the highest forms of soul energy? I repeatedly have read that several cultures consider sexual energy is precisely what attracts new souls to incarnate here? Or is that just a chemical reaction and human biology? As far as I can recall, Love is the strongest of all energies in life. Even the darkest of occult practices teach this. In nearly all religions that I have read about! So why degrade such a highly beautiful thing to the lowest possible denominator?"

Zakari's face quickly fell cold as he sternly spoke, "Oh you mean those same energies of lust, jealousy, and perverse passions? That is far from love. Just try to imagine how many bar fights have been started over the affections of some woman. Now imagine how many wars may have been started over this same thing? I can immediately think of four wars started this way but I'm sure there are many more (annotated or not). The energies of lust, desire and carnal passions are very powerful. Very powerful indeed, yet these energies are primal. Those energies are chiefly rooted in the reptile section of the human brain and the least of all the chakras. Fight or Flight? Sleep or Rest? Eat or Drink?" The Monk's voice dropped to a whisper as he hunched, leaning in closer to Fred. "Fuck and Chuck?"

Although Fred was almost never embarrassed by a persons choice of vocabulary, he seemed uneasy at hearing the Monk drop the F-bomb; even if it was his old battle buddy. It seemed wrong hearing a Monk use a "curse" word. But hey, who was Fred to decline this Monk his First Amendment? A right that he and Fred had both sworn to defend? He silently passed on chastising or interjecting.

Zakari noted the consent to continue speaking, "The human spirit, or soul comes from a higher dimension. You just mentioned this idea when speaking of the manifestation of human babies. The spirit is simply borrowing, or driving the flesh-pack you call a body. With this concept in mind, please tell me where you think this thing we call "Love" originates from?"

Fred sat back, resting both his hands behind him. He let a blast of emotional energy go out of his chest. Energy still bottled up and compressed from a previously failed relationship. Just one of many really. He sighed and dropped his eyes as he refocused on the question,

"That's easy." said Fred. "Love originates in the Heart. Maybe Love manifest in the spirit itself?"

Slightly changing the subject, "Do you understand how an orgasm really works?" the Monk asked.

The priceless and confused look on Fred's face could have derailed most any speakers concentration, Gooch remained composed and rather stoic. But Fred was feeling a bit too snarky. He had to say it. If only because Gooch had left that window wide open for a wisecrack. "Yeah, I catch a hot bird with a great set of hips and tits, the proud and noble dragon rises to attention and the rest of the story requires some safety goggles and a mop." Fred cooley jested.

Although Fred was thoroughly amused with himself and his witty banter, he found himself deflated of all his stand-up comedian aspirations almost immediately. Gooch didn't even flinch at that comment! Did he miss it? Was he having a bad day? Maybe Gooch was just being uptight? Or was it some "holier-than-thou" attitude he had adopted? Had the Monks brainwashed him? Fred was now doubly curious on where this Monk was going with the conversation. As if he would hear more clearly, Fred leaned in closer towards Taniguci. He stopped grinning, clasped his hands in front of him and put on his best "I'm listening" face. His expression as studious as he could muster.

Zakari's voice was soft yet authoritative, "It has been known for millennia by tribal women and the ancient medicine men of the worlds oldest cultures. Only now it seems that Western science is presently catching-up. Modern scientists are confirming much of what the ancient wismen and wise-women of yesteryear had shared with the early European and American explorers. It seems that you, Mudi, believe that an orgasm is a product of purely physical contact? Is this deduction correct?"

Fred sat up, itching at the back of his head. He was thinking it over and was becoming more confused by the second. "Um, Well, um, jeez... gimmie a break Gooch! My dick definitely doesn't just suck itself into a rip-roaring climax! What the hell are you going on about? Don't tell me you can literally Jedi-Mindfuck yourself?"

Zak released the tension in his expression as he again smiled at Fred, "Precisely that."

"Dude what? Get the fuck out man! No way!" Fred squirmed atop his perch on the bolder. He wanted to stand in an act of defiance at Gooch's statement. After a quick look down to the jagged rocks below, he thought better of it and remained seated. Still visibly shaken by his denial and total dismay, Fred slipped a comment in before the Monk could speak again.

"No way Gooch. You can't just wish an ejaculation into fruition... otherwise... otherwise us guys would be doing it all the time! We'd never leave the couch! It would be the first big secret learned and tested after the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus!" Fred's hands began expressing his words as he lowered his tone of voice. He almost sounded as if he was actually narrating some paranormal ghost documentary, "Prepubescent boys would have kept hearing dark and strangely hushed rumors. Their elders would tease, warning them about some dangerous, mysterious and legendary superpower. By middleschool, a chance stop by the pisser results in overhearing adolescent boys talking about going blind if you thought about boobs for too long! We'd all be jizzing at will, all the time! We probably would have never invented pants. I'm calling bullshit! Forgetaboutit!" Fred threw his hands up, waving them at Zakari dismissively.

"What happened to an open mind?" the Monk asked of Fred. "What I say is not only true, it is a brand new category of western science. The phenomenon of Non-Physical Orgasm is currently under study by multiple universities throughout the world. Although the female orgasm is still somewhat a mystery to Western science, records and studies have substantiated these claims of thinking one's self into climax. Although not fully understood yet, the studies and physicians generally agree that the phenomenon is originated, triggered and executed by thoughts alone! A total neurological process. Your theory of "touch-only" orgasm is seriously outdated my old friend. Read up. Get the download. Virus free. Update and Patch your old memory. File name:'Orgasm 2.0' Mission Codename: 'Mindgasms'." Partially joked Gooch.

Fred was shaking his head in disbelief, yet he knew that Taniguchi was a very honest man. Gooch was serious and Fred's head was swimming in new input that was transferring positions as he recalculated. He was momentarily still. He tried to imagine how that would even be possible? He laughed out loud at his next computation. He thought of how much money he would have saved with this knowledge decades before?

Taniguchi never failed to impress. He might have had a few slow or quite days, but give Gooch enough time and he would nuke your mindscape eventually. He was skilled at dropping knowledge on the unsuspecting and was a professional at rearranging a motherfuckers whole perspective on shit. Fred was inspired by learning new and useful information.

Zak shook his head disapprovingly. "We both have spent much time and money in pursuit of the carnal. Between the drama and broken hearts, I'd say that we both have been mislead by what love is supposed to mean. The point is Fred, that the mind is over the flesh. We tend to think of flesh over mind, more importantly the heart. This carnal indulgence is actually a weight on the heart and subconscious. Carnal actions turn down the energetic scale, making true love a shadow of itself. Heart and mind, not flesh and groin."

Although a valid point, Fred shook his head saying, "Remind me to never take you on another pub-crawl."

There was a long moment of silence between them. Zakari Taniguchi spoke as if he was far, far away.

"Simply put Mudi, your compassion for the fate of others has jaded and is found wanting. You are an intelligent man but have been fooled by your own over-analytical reasoning. Add to this your spirit has been forcibly strewn in multiple directions. Your disorientation is apparent. As a consequence, a rift in your morality compass has lead you astray. It seems your mind is in the midst of a magnetic pole shift. Your heart is suffering perturbations from your dark orbital consciousness. You have shifted center mass and now gravitate towards a catastrophic collision. Although you are moving, you are moving in circles. Like a broken record caught in the groove, or a dog chasing its tail. Concentric circles may look attractive to the eye but to the mind and body, they are nothing more than a pretty rut leading to nowhere.
Bring your consciousness up and out of the two-dimensional plane! Replace the black and white lenses you have been viewing the world through and realize that the Earth is not a composite shade of gray. The world is better understood in the full spectrum of light. Obstacles of the spirit, heart and mind cast dark shadows. The third-dimension will then come into focus unveiling the launching point for even higher states of perspective. The Universe, as I'm sure you are aware, is actually a multiverse. It is better viewed with your third eye using a multi-dimensional kaleidoscope of crystal prisms. Let your desire for the material and carnal go, then weightless, you will rise from the primordial muck."

Fred eyes closed as he dropped his head slightly forward. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.

Sunrise.

Mar. 1st, 2017 03:38 am
hextraterrestrial: Hextraterrestrial (Default)
The sun had crest the eastern hills over an hour before. Fred had been so adamant about the newsfeeds that he neglected the clock. He had to force himself away from his phone and he finally had to admit it. He had to repeatedly tell himself that he had an internet addiction. He couldn’t help it. He did. Thousands of hours squandered staring at plastic. Admittedly, he had learned tons of things and many times it was fun but so many countless hours had been lost in Cyber La La Land that it was seeming a distraction. It was as if there was something in there. Something so profound, so sapient, that if found, deep space might divide in upon itself birthing a whole new dimension. Like there really was an artificial intelligence in there; or a living spirit? A literal Ghost(s) In The Machine? If this were so, Fred simply had to know. Similar to Neo’s quest in the final Matrix movie (Note to self: Anagram of Neo is One; or “The One”). If this computer intelligence was sentient, that means it probably had a soul. If it had a soul… it belonged to God’s family tree. He couldn’t just quit the interwebs now.

The Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas was bustling with various activities. As Fred approached through the main arch of the temple gate he noticed it was mostly pedestrian traffic with a few stray brown and orange robed monks moving about. The yard keepers peppered the hedges and grass trying to keep up with the meticulous grounds. Fred curbed his enthusiasm. He was getting too excited. Fred had always felt exuberance when meeting up with old veteran buddies. Old teammates. Old Battle Buddies.

Even after his accident, Fred’s amnesia had failed to erase most of his memories of the war in Iraq – those memories were lucid, deeply cut into his synapse super highway. So he did not forget that today he was to be at this Buddhist temple to meet his old pal “Guci”, also known by his more private and affectionate title of “Gooch” or “Red Gooch”.
They had met during basic training. They were in the same training unit and deployed to the same base in Spain together. Through and throughout the war they experienced much together as soldiers and as friends. After discharge they had both been swallowed by the great vastness known as America. But today was a date they had promised to be here. It was a promise made the day Guci had earned his name Red Gooch. Fred flashed back:

It was sometime early July, ‘03 Baghdad Iraq. 06:50 eight man dismounted patrol. Haifa Street. The heat was already pushing seventy eight degrees. It was dingy, dusty and dirty. The civilians of Baghdad were just beginning to bustle out into the early morning streets -except for a pack of wild children who were already bright eyed and bushy tailed tracking his squad up the ally. Fred had to hand it to those kids, they were consistent little buggers. They would always seek out and find our patrols. They either wanted money, candy, or some type of American trinket. To the kids who perceived us as American liberators (or who simply were not afraid of us) we must have seemed liked we were Marco Polo’s personal entourage; hauling exotic and legendary Americana goods – or some shit like that.
The only drawback was twofold: We weren’t merchants and children were personal and private liabilities. That’s what Fred’s unit had learned by the third dismounted patrol: Always carry a billy club (a stick, baton or asp would also suffice). They had to literally beat those kids just to keep them away. For Fred and others it was a double edged sword though. Some of the soldiers actually had liked having the kids around. They could fetch things from the city for us. They had given our squad tips on the bad guys. The Americans had taught the locals kids handshakes and curse words. They enjoyed their reprievable attitudes despite that they didn’t understand a word those kids said besides “Mister, Mister” and “Michael Jackson”. Many soldiers liked them because children acted as good human shields.
This gave them a (albeit false) sense of security. Even the insurgents were not heartless, so the chances of us getting shot at, or blown up with kids near or around our patrol was greatly reduced. The flip side of that coin was that not one of us wanted to see children get slaughtered - with or without one of our own. So we carried clubs and literally hit children when they came too close to us. No matter what the horrified civilians thought of us as wood met kneecap and a shrill cry pierced the air.

Sergeant Taniguci was on point. He had just yelled at and whacked a kid in the knee with his shillelagh. A group of five men were alerted by the sound of the child’s cries. One of them, apparently the father, began angrily screaming and suddenly produced a pistol pointing it at Guci, as six out of eight thumbs flipped off the safety of leveling rifles.

Guci reacted as any good soldier should. He diverted the pistol and lunged at the man. The pistol fired and three more rifle shots were heard blasting behind him. The remaining civilians and children scattered back. Soldiers were yelling at others to keep back. Guci and the assailant struggled for a moment before the civilian went limp. When Sergeant Taniguci finally stood, with the secured pistol in his hand, his face was splattered and dripping with blood. It was only then that it became cognizant to the whole squad that one of the young boys had received the pistol shot to his face. He lay dead in the street with gaping head wound spilling red into the gutter.
Sergeant Taniguci might have survived that scenario less scathed until he had worked out that all the blood on his body and face was that of the deceased child. Fred had watched as if in slow motion as the realization befell Guci. It was in this moment that Taniguci had died and Red Gooch was born in his place.
Upon returning to the F.O.B., one of the other squads was mounting up to leave. A soldier from the outbound Charlie squad saw Gooch clearing his rifle at the gate and referred to him as “Red Gooch”. This was overheard and the name had stuck with Gooch throughout the rest of the war. That night at the Forward Operations Base, after washing the blood from his face, Red Gooch had asked Fred to be there and witness the day of his eventual amends. Fourteen (plus) years later, that day had finally come.

Fred had meandered his way trough the temple gardens. He came to a pause in a secluded area next to a group of chest high statues depicting various Asian monks. Eight in total. “Ah!” exclaimed Fred to no one in particular. “The Eight Immortals!” They were the Chinese version of civilizations mythological birth. They could also be symbolic for the eightfold path of Buddhism. Fred reached into his inner coat pocket retrieving his rolled herb. He lit it up thinking to himself, “This eightfold concept is encoded in sigil magic and sacred geometry as two interlocking, canted squares; or the eight pointed star. The eight pointed star was also the symbol for chaos and chaos magic(s). Eight was also “The Egg of Life”. The number eight was also the icon used to represent the symbol for infinity”. He took another pull of his smoke as a Buddhist painting came to his mind.



Fred had been in deep concentration over the concept of infinity when a familiar voice from behind him spoke. Fred froze in place letting the speaker finish his statement before turning around.

“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.’ Genesis 1:29 King James Version”.

Fred turned smiling. Meeting Zakari Taniguci eyes, Fred quickly looked over the orange clad man before rushing over to embrace his buddy in a big bear hug. “You old sonofa bitch! Look at you! You’ve lost weight!” Fred exclaimed putting Gooch back on his feet. Zakari Taniguci was a tall guy for an Asian dude. He was slightly over six feet and well built. The guys in the Army gym would always beg him to do his best Bruce Lee impression which he had done many a time and very convincingly. Zakari’s attitude had always been playful and light hearted. Even after earning the nickname Red, he was a funny guy. It was just that his humor had turned rather dark after that incident on Haifa. And he was smart. Sharp as a razor that one.

‘I’ve eaten nothing but rice, vegetables and bean curd since last year,” Gooch spoke. “it’s worse than Jackson’s cooking in the mess hall.” With that, they both laughed. It was good to see a familiar face thought Fred. A face from his past. A face that he could actually remember.

“Jackson would fuck up cooking a Cup of Noodles” Fred retorted. They both laughed again smiling. Signing with his hand as if to invite, Zakari started down the trail. He spoke as Fred walked the path besides him.

“I have been studying here for five years now and I have transcended many levels. Seeing you now fills me with joy. At the same time I am concerned for you.” Zakari stopped walking placing his hand on Fred’s shoulder. He looked Fred in the eye as he said, “I can see your aura and your disposition. I also see that you are ill of the liver and lung. I had to speak of this and warn you before we continue. You can heal these ills if you act now. Get it together Captain! You know physical fitness is the key to the warriors mind!”

Fred was still juggling that statement, speechless. And as if he was a fast acting cuddle fish, Zakari’s face flashed into a beaming smile as he guided Fred along the path once again. “I recently have come out of a vow of silence and isolation chamber. My mental acuity is highly sensitive at the moment. My heart seems a gold core heated white. My soul is everywhere and nowhere at once. I see you and I see you are tinged in yellows and greens. You are troubled and your mind harbors dark black clouds. I feel as if this day is more about you than I. What troubles you so Cap.?

Fred was stunned. Gooch had literally cut right through him like he was invisible. “Well, um..” he fumbled. “Yeah, you are right. I’ve been smoking like a chimney and had a serial love affair with the bottle. I know better. I can do better. But I’m in a jam.” Fred confessed. “I’m lost.”

“Lost Boys” Zak chimed in, still beaming.

Fred continued, “I’m lucky to be standing here Gooch. Something happened to me since I last saw you. The problem is I don’t really know what. I woke up in the hospital a few months back and I’m missing time. I have whole chunks of memories missing. I remember how to tie my shoes, I remember my favorite foods, I remember my guitar, I remember my mom and my first dog’s name. I remember the war and you… but I don’t remember the last few years. Something happened.”
Fred stopped walking putting his hands to his head. He felt his forehead for a moment before highlighting a faint pink scar over his temporal lobe with his index finger. “I think it was the military but I’m not sure. I don’t remember what I was doing for years before I woke up in the hospital. According to the ward’s paperwork I had been in the hospital only three days. I was under a drug induced coma man! I awoke not even knowing where I live or who my current friends where! I’m lucky to remember you!” Fred huffed. “I can remember most my life up until 2012. Then there is a foggy blank until December 2016. If it weren’t for my phone and laptop I never would have found you or remembered to meet you here. I’ve been driving around for days in a daze trying to piece it together.”

“Are you confident you did not just hit your head on something? Or perhaps you got hit by something?” Zakari countered.

“Dude, look at this scar!” Fred leaned in. “It’s surgical. And!” Fred toned his voice down. “And it looked like it had been healing for longer than three days! Or like it was an advanced healing procedure. I’ve been tagged like cattle bro. I’ve been noticing things…” Fred trailed off.

“Do you remember our company?” Zakari asked.

“Knight-Tech.” Fred grinned. “I cant remember the programming languages, I cant remember all the math. But I do remember our work, especially our field work.” Fred allured. “The last I remember you and I, was back in twenty-ten when we got shut down. We had built our multi-tiered security servers, initiated the Second Vortex Motion Code based off your Divine Proportion Theory. My Parthenon executed the Fibonacci Sequence Disharmonizer initiating the Phi Ratio Amplifications… readings were phenomenal then ‘poof’, the power outage. Next day funding was pulled and two days later the lab was robbed. We bugged out two weeks later. Your texts unlocked my memories of you coming to the monastery and..” he paused, “that I should be here today.” Fred chagrined as his shoulders slumped.

Zakari said “Do not fool yourself Mudi. If it were not for you I would not be here today. I would be an Army statistic on veteran suicide. I have overcome all of that previous psychological baggage with determination and perseverance. But I was originally inspired to pick myself up because of you. No matter your missing time for the moment and please follow me.”
Fred crushed the still burning roach between his fingers completely snubbing it. He ripped the paper spilling its contents in the grass, balled the paper up and dropped it in his cargo pocket. His brow furrowed but he silently complied and walked along with the… Monk. It sounded strange. It looked stranger. Seeing Gooch in Buddhist garb? Ha. Bullshit. But not nearly as strange as the Caucasian Buddhist they silently passed under the pagoda.

Fred always thought American Caucasian and European Caucasian people looked “fake” in a Buddhist uniform. Even though Gooch was an American, he was a Japanese American. He spoke Japanese. He had Chi in his blood. Western peoples had to be truly diligent to “get it” in Fred’s opinion. Although China and Japan are very different much of their spiritualism is similar. So he quietly scoffed when he saw the white Buddhist in passing. “Pretender” he thought. Buddhism was a lifestyle, not a summer vacation.

Was that just a white on white hate crime? He wasn’t sure. Can one be prejudice of ones own race? He wasn’t sure of that either. He pondered the ideas as well as pondering where Gooch was taking him. Fred looked for the corner of the block and read the street sign, “Patience Way”. Fred rolled his eyes.

At the bend of the road Zakari approached a parked vehicle. Fred was vehemently shocked out of the ancient mysticisms of Asia and into the common era of Americana at the sight of Gooch producing some car keys from within his robe and with a beep, popped open the trunk of a raised, blue Toyota Land Cruiser. Gooch nabbed his old-school army pack and locked the trunk. He slung the pack over one shoulder, turned to Fred smiling and started jogging off of the path, across the grass. Fred noted he was headed towards the wood patch across the glade. He sighed and started running after Gooch.
They dipped past the middle of the glade before running up a slight hill into the shade of the oak trees. Zakari trotted up to a mossy granite outcropping at the top of the hill. He proceeded to climb a huge ten foot bolder that was split in two angling pieces. He sat on top of one half in the lotus position. He gestured to Fred to join him on the other side. Disgruntled, Fred precariously climbed the other side. He sat cross legged facing Gooch. Sweat was stinging his eyes as Zakari spoke, “I prepared this yesterday. It’s against fire code but it is a special day.”

He opened his bag producing kindling and paper. He produced a small tea pot and two tea cups. Gooch took a loose stone from on top of the bolder. Between the crevasse of the spilt bolder Gooch placed the stone which had bridged the gap well. He placed some paper and kindling on the stone. Ahead of him, Fred handed Gooch his lighter with a smile. Saying some lengthy Tibetan prayer, Gooch lit the fire. He smiled and said clearly, “Authentic black tea from Iraq!”

Squinting Fred perked up a bit. “Did you just say Iraq tea? How old is it?”

Zakari burst out laughing. “It’s fresh, well kind of. I got it about six months ago from a monastery liaison. It’s not like it is …what? Fifteen years old?” He laughed again. “No. No it is still fresh. Relax.” He took a bottle of water from his pack and poured some into the pot and placed it on the fire. The smell of burning wood filled Fred’s nostrils. It was the fragrance of home.

Fred asked, “What was that prayer you spoke?”

“Oh, it was not a prayer really.” Said Zak. “Nor a mantra. I’ve been learning to speak Tibetan and what I said was actually a recital from Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet. In English it goes,”

‘Then a hermit, who visited the city once a year, came fourth and said, Speak to us of Pleasure.
And he answered, saying:
Pleasure is a freedom-song,
But it is not freedom.
It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
It is a depth calling unto a height,
But it is not the deep or the high.
It is the caged taking wing,
But it is not space encompassed.
Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.
And I feign would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in singing.’

Zakari closed his eyes while pressing his hands together and bowed his head. On his exterior Fred was seemingly unimpressed. But on his inside his gut wrenched. Fred then asked, “What about Tibetan teachings?”

“Off of the top of my head?” Gooch wondered. “Well, it would be easier in Tibetan but here you go:”

‘The Lord: What do you think, Sariputra, does it not occur to any of the Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas to think that ‘after we have known full enlightenment, we should lead all beings to Nirvana, into the realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind’?”
Sariputra: “No indeed, O Lord”
The Lord: “One should therefore know that this wisdom of the Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas bears no comparison with the wisdom of a Bodhisattva. What do you think, Sariputra, does it occur to any of the Disciples and Pratyekabuddas that ‘after I practiced the six perfections, have brought beings into maturity, have purified the Buddha-field, have fully gained the ten powers of a Tathgata, his four grounds of self-confidence, the four analytical knowledges and the eighteen special dharmas of a Buddha, after I have known full enlightenment, I shall lead countless beings to Nirvana?
Sariputra: “No, O Lord”
The Lord: “But such are the intentions of a Bodhisattva. A glowworm, or some other luminous animal, does not think that its light could illuminate the Continent of Jambudvipa, or radiate over it. Just so, the Disciple and Pratyekabuddhas do not think that they should, after winning full enlightenment, lead all beings to Nirvana. But the sun, when it has risen, radiates its light over the whole Jambudvipa. Just so a Bodhisattva, after he has accomplished the practices which lead to the full enlightenment of Buddahood, leads countless beings to Nirvana.” Almost methodically, Gooch closed his eyes and pressed his hands together, dropping his head again.

Fred mused, “What if you don’t believe in Nirvana?”

Zakari glared as his voice dropped. “The Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, and killing, and stealing and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and everyone that therein shall languish, with the beast of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. Let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.”

“Whoa. That’s a bit harsh… no?” asked Fred.

“Immutable principle. A Spiritual truth. Atheists are fools.” stated Gooch with a touch of Red. He lifted the lid on the pot checking for steam and added a bit more wood.

“I thought Buddhist don’t believe in ‘God’ per say?” asked Fred.

“God is just a name. Just as Divine Intelligence is just a name. It is more a question of context and classification than ideologies. The Grand Architect, the Master Builder, The Overseer, Zeus, Buddha, Jesus… whatever you want to call it. They are all names referencing a higher power. A higher intelligence. They all refer to a superior, all knowing, all powerful being. Buddhist know these entities well. The western term ‘God’ is a personification of something that cannot even be imagined by the human mind. Let alone contained in a simple three letter word.” Zakari philosophized.

Steam was rising from the tea pot as Gooch finished. He poured two servings of the dark brown liquid and passed a cup to Fred. Gooch held out his cup to toast as Fred raised his cup as well. “To healing and enlightenment. May your memories come to you. Sei cho no Iye.” Fred bowed his head respectfully and drank deeply.

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Hextraterrestrial

September 2017

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