The Man and the Figure. Ch 4

Why did I have to die? Why did I want to? Why did I allow myself to fall for the sweetness of heroin, for the desperate cold I felt in its absence? Did I not love my children and family? Did I not do all I could?

No. You lived and are still living in the past. You were never truly there, you are always somewhere else. You sought out joy and pleasure, only seeing too late that the pleasure you felt was a curse. Now you return to yourself, to the sands of who you are.

Is this my soul?

The form laughed in a strange way, chuckling almost as though laughing at a child who was upset over spilled milk.

There is no soul, there is only the present. There is only that which changes, which is all that there is. Leave what is past in the past. Leave what is future in the future. You have returned here, to the certainty of uncertainty.

Are you God?

I does not exist, I cannot be anything. I am form.

I sat up from where I had been laying, weeping, and looked deep into the shifting sands of the figure. What a strange way for God to show himself, to deny that he is God.

There is no he. No she. There is only reality. There is no God, and no man. There is only what is.

So you are reality?

Reality is only what is perceived. I am form that is formless, the self which is selfless. The sand which is black.

Did my children love me?

There are no children.

What of my wife?

There is no wife. There is only the uncertainty of love. There is no certainty, there is only love.

Will they be alright without me?

There is no way of knowing. The future can never be known, for the future does not exist.

But I can imagine the future.

You do not exist. Therefore neither can the future.

Not this again, you truly are a fool.

The fool is wise, the wise man is foolish.

The swirling storm of the self slowly came to a halt, the sands once more falling flat in the absence of wind. Once again I could see the tree on the sunless horizon, its branches pale and nimble.

How can a fool be wise?

He is wise enough to be foolish.

Then those that are wise are the fools?

If they were wise they would be fools, the fools are those who believe themselves not to be fools.

That is a strange way of seeing those who are wise.

There is no wisdom, only experience.

Are those who are wise not masters of experience?

They are slaves to themselves, because they are their own master. The fool is wise, for he knows that to be a fool is to be wise, and is not slave to himself. He simply is as he is. No need for words of wisdom nor songs of praise nor legend, he embodies himself.

Am I a wise man then? For I have been much a fool in my life.

U are neither. U simply are.

Am I not a fool for having sought out the pleasures of that which would do me harm?

No you are wise for having died because of them. Thus you are a fool for seeking them out.

So I am both?

You are both and neither. You just are. And the fool just is. You only think you are not because you are not wise.

This is all very confusing.

I placed my head in my hands as I tried to discern the convoluted teachings of the wise fool. was neither wise nor foolish, I simply was. But there is so much to know that I don't know, so much to do that I could have done were I not a fool. A deep sense of regret fell upon the desert, and with it the air grew thick with smoke and ash. I retched and coughed, though as I did, I realized there was no burning in my throat nor weight in my lungs, and breathed in a huge gulp of air. How strange.

You needn't breath. There is no life to breath in, and no death to breath out.

My eyes widened in discomfort, I needed to breath it, was the only semblance of my being alive! I breathed in, and once again coughed and retched in the blisteringly hot smoke.

Should you breath to cling to life, your clinging will choke you, and your guilt and regret will become stuck in your throat.

I gave the figure an angry look. I hated admitting when someone was right. I stopped breathing. A deep peace came over me, and I realized something strange; I hadn't been breathing the entire time.

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