Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Astrogenghis Speaks: 'The Way of the Gnat' " by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Rogue Journalist

[originally published in the January 1992 issue of The Oblivious Plethora; from the Jericho Files collection]

"Teacher," began Frank the Pupil. "How does one keep from straying while on the path toward enlightenment?"

Astrogenghis replied: "The path toward enlightenment is like the wet bottom of an infant. That is to say, when the storm breaks, prance spiritedly for truth seldom emerges from the wisps of the fog."

"I don't understand, Teacher."

"To see the acorn on the road is to wrestle the rapid chipmunk. Or, when faced with a titan, scream. In that way lies practical wisdom. In the other lies a dead gnat."

"Teacher, I still don't understand."

"Let me tell you a story:
Two monks were on a pilgrimage to a far off temple. On the way, they encountered a gang of bandits who threated them with rusty nails.

"Give us your money!" said the bandit leader. "If you do not, we will kill you!"

The first monk shook his head and turned to his companion. "A pity, isn't it?" he said, "that these men have taken the toil and sweat of an artisan such as one who crafted these nails and turned it into instruments of death?"

The second monk merely smiled.

The bandit leader stepped forward, brandishing his rusty nail and snarled, "Did you not hear us the first time? Give us your money or you will surely perish at our hands!"

The first monk said: "Why speak of death when life abounds around us?"

Suddenly, a tiger leaped down from the nearby hill, gutted all the bandits with one swipe of its huge claw, then bounded away into the nearby jungle.

The first monk turned to his companion and said: "Is it not a wonder that the wheel of life turns as it does, that one who speaks of death eventually experiences death?"

The second monk smiled wider, pointed to the first monk's feet, and said: "You stepped in horse doodie."
"I understand now, Teacher!" exclaimed Frank. "You are saying that one should stay focused on the path ahead and not be afraid of the obstacles that lie in the way. For in doing so, one appreciates the Now-ness that is true life. And once we stay and keep to the path, we gain the insight from within that allows us to transcend our physical state and achieve connection with the All. Is that it, Teacher?"

Astrogenghis smiled and said: "...no..."

Come back soon for another entry of The Jericho Files!
Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

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