One day Zarathustra V met the mountain monk at the crest. Zarathustra ( Zara), after saluting the monk, asked, “ Oh, my dear “disgustingly-clean" and respectful monk, among all these trivial hustle-bustles and great burdens of life, how can you keep smiling and your poise all the times ?”
The monk countered: “Why not smiling, my dear philosopher of the era, and what good does it make ? ”
Zara: “I smile, even laugh at many instances, my monk. But don’t you see, when the all burdens in my heart, concerning the foolishness of humans bother me a great deal, and when they do not understand me, as I utmost and sincerely try to point out to them the way to will power and passion to help them resolve many problems of their lives ? ”
Monk: “ I can understand that. But why do you keep insisting on doing things , if people are not listening? Can you just leave it alone for some time ?
Zara: “ Somehow I believe I was born with that mission : to make people advance, or gain some happiness, with my philosophy of “Will to Power” and “Passion”
Monk: “Why then, the troubles and infliction, if things are not well understood or received ? In the end, isn’t it the self of yours, its happiness, is the one thing that you should take care of first? ”
Zara: “ Yes, my monk, but then , I would not feel right, if I see that they are wrong, and can not help them push through to make it right. Maybe, that’s my infatuation, and even my passion with this life.”
Monk: “ Ah, ha. Infatuation and Passion. Good in certain ways, but there are plenty of void in them also.”
Zara: “What, what, my monk?”
Monk: “ I said, “Void” in them.”
Zara: “How are they so?”
Monk: “Infatuation, that’s swooping stream which pulls all the leaves, branches and other things vigorously at a moment— to use your favorite way of describing things. :-)
The prudent self is jolted and enters a trance. The core of it, foundationally, is nothing more than intensified desire at a moment, blinded by unguardedness and forgetfulness. Think of the picture of a dog chasing a bone. Passion to a lesser degree— for the moment, but longer in being attracted— is also a desire, the desire to love someone or something, a career, a deeply-felt wish to accomplish a goal, an ideal. Undeniably, it is romantic, “beautiful”, even lofty at times, and is a great force to move humans forward to do work, and accomplish tasks. I “love” it , too, myself. But meditating to the core of them, you will see both have harmful, or destructive sides of themselves, if we are not careful. Infatuation can lead to harming some person; passion can destroy homes, people, and other things.
Zara: “ How does this happen, my monk ? ”
Monk: “Man is principally driven by desire, passion and often in a state of forgetfulness, regarding the fire, the attraction, the “would-be happiness and satisfaction” promised somewhere in that running after someone, or something. These traits are deeply ingrained in men as well as women. And the constitution of these desire and passion is the complex combination, blending/mixing of the five aggregates as the Buddha taught from the day we were born. Think of the affection and infatuation children have for their mothers’ breasts of milk. Years in and years out these desire and passion change and grow, with different targets. If not guarded, they can lead to harmful deeds.
Zara: “ And how do they contain void ?
Monk: “ Ah, that’s very interesting and requires a very lengthy approach to understand the Void in all things. Bubbles and bubbles; bubbles in bubbles. That is the “nature” of all things. Everything has some kind of relation to other things— which could be from long past. Nothing can stand alone by itself; that is— things do not have any true essential elements. And they change. As such, what characterizing them as “existing” for a time, will soon be replaced or modified with other things. Then, they become a different thing, not retaining any “essential” characteristics over time at all, so consequently, they have “voided” the characteristics, the elemental components ascribed to them by minds with no keen, careful and deep observation. Their change in “nature” is ever-present and constant. Go read the Buddhist teachings and discourses, and you will find out. But more importantly, learn how to meditate the Buddhist way, not the Western way. To meditate on something the Western way is mainly to ponder upon, to think hard on them. To meditate in the Buddhist way involves a different method, principally, to observe very thoroughly, diligently first, then reflect on them later. Good luck, my brilliant philosopher.
Zara: “ Thank you, my monk. I will try to look deeper in your fashion. May the sun always shine in your heart. But what if I am not able to overcome all of these passions, desires ? ”
Monk: “ Of course, this is a gradual process of dropping/releasing heavily-attached wish and want , my friend. It will take time and steps”
Zara: “ But, still, what if I can not totally drop them all ? ”
Monk (laughing joyfully): “ Then just lift that part back, as a Zen koan teaches”
Zara: “ Again, thank you, my mountain monk.”
Monk: “My pleasure, Zara. Please learn how to BREATHE also. Nothing beats a wonderful method.”
Tâm Nguyên (AN)
Note : This writing has no referential indication to any real situation. It was written out of the perception I have of the “hearts and minds” of some type of thinkers, after reading again some of F. Nietzsche’s work.