SUNYA&TATHATA#3:The web of life
- SUNYA & TATHATA #3: The web of life
The dizzying sticato flicker of the monitor screen was all that kept
Sunya awake. Every
time she drooped easfully into a luxurious state of semi conscioussness,
it would yank
her back violently into reality.
'Reality'. That was perhaps a misleading term.
She had gritted her teeth and relayed to her little and yet
bewilderingly at once both
mature and innocent sister the tale of last night's ill advised flirting
with the grim
Of course, she had understood. She understood everything, that girl,
appeared, much effort.
She probably would have understood if Sunya had told her 'Sorry, Tath,
but I held a
wild party in your room with my drinking mates and they, er, dropped
alcohol all over
your philosophy books'.
She's most likely understand if she'd told her; 'Sorry, Tath, but I held
a REALLY wild
party in your room with my piromaniac friends and they, er, BURNT all
Hell, she'd even understand if she'd said: 'Sorry, Tath, but I held a
wild party with my paranoid delusional serial killer mates and we, er,
reinact a scene from the texas chainsaw massacre and, you know, you were
room at the time; sorry about the blood and the... severed limbs and
Sunya rubbed her eyes and scoulded herself for harbouring such black
Existence itself is suffering, right? Then what's wrong with such
Existence is a funny thing. Funny mainly in that it... doesn't really
Actually, this was getting all too much for Sunya, and since barely
twenty four hours
had passed since her 'revelation', that was mabye a bad sign.
Tathata had leant her a book of Buddhist scripture, which, after many
to decifer the meaning of the opening few verses, Sunya had deemed a
'Well, what is it the Zen masters say; when you've read the scriptures
and its cold, use
them for firewood, right?'
Sunya's comment would have been a fairer portrayal of the enlightened
mind if she
had indeed ventured to read the mammoth tome BEFORE condemning it to its
reincarnation as a particularly uncomfortable pillow.
At least Tathata wouldn't tell mum of her big, stupid sister's self
Sunya had made her promise to keep it to herself, and Buddhists don't
Sunya quickly skimmed through the book to a section on ethics which
proved just as
cryptic as the rest of the thing. Actually, she wasn't quite sure.
'Its all ten of that, sixty three of this, eighty seven of that.....'
She felt like she was in a
maths class. Which had reminded her; class.
She had homework to do, and to be honest Tathata's book, although the
behind its lending was nothing but compassionate, had made her
the fact that she had other labourious things to do.
'If I read any more of THAT I'd probably end up killing myself.' The
irony was entirely
lost on her.
She scrambled around in her folder to retrive a crumpled collection of
and flicked on the modem with a weary hand.
What was the point of all this, anyway? OK, so it wasn't worth dying
for, that was for
sure; she'd established that.
But that didn't make all this... being alive make any more sense?
It was like, you live, you die. What's the point of doing HOMEWORK?
That said, the alternative was NOT doing homework and getting a
bollocking from her
'No..... ANOTHER alternative is killing myself like I was GOING to and
not having to
even SEE my tutor tommorow, or any other time...' But some deep, inner,
wrenching, heart felt, completely purposeless motivation... um...
PURPOSED her to
stay alive, and, better still, awake to get this thing done.
'Driven by destiny, yeah, that's me.' Sunya's sarcasm was even more
that her irony.
So she'd got to a search engine, and gathered her notes into something
Funny thing was, whenever she got this far, only one thought crossed her
mind in the
form of an old and admittedly slightly amended proverb;
'If you can't be bothered to suceed under your own devices; cheat.'
And that meant study guides.
Sunya was supposed to be researching artistic symbolism in Franco
classic rendition of Romeo and Juliet. This was the bane of doing a film
The positive side was that lectures involved watching movies. They were
free, it was
dark, you could sleep if the film was bad.
The negative side? You had to REMEBER what you'd seen in vivid detail
being deep in the land of nod throughout) and write rambling,
about it. Oh, and there was no popcorn.
'How the hell do you spell 'Zapharelli?' This was not a good sign. The
examiners tended to notice was if you'd spelt the essay time correctly.
Sunya was staring at a big, fat 'fail' mark.
'Mabye I'll just search under 'Zaph' and see what we get.... 287
matches. I'm gonna
need more coffee. OK, Zap, Zip... What's this?'
E-GROUP CONCENING THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURES OF ZAPH: UNCOVERING THE
IDEAS OF BUDDHISM FROM AN EASILY APPROACHABLE ANGLE, OPEN TO NOVICES
AND ADEPTS ALIKE.
'Well, this isn't exactly my homework, but mabye if I read some of this
understand where my sister's coming from....'
Sunya possesed both a heedless soul and a wandering mind, which didn't
when all through the world there are various metaphorical clifftops and
spiritual darkness, but sometimes with a good measure of luck, potential
become... well... learned lemmings.
She connected to the site and began reading people's posts. People like
not particularly 'religious' but deeply spiritual. People not
grotesquely 'doctrinal' but
A lot of what she read reminded her of her, which brough about a strange
Both the homework and the scripture she used as arm rests, and
on the screen. 'Better the middle path, Tathata always says'. Perhaps
she was getting
the hang of all this philosophical stuff.
One person's posts struck home more than others.
One other lost soul staggering around in the vastness of space, or
should that be
VIRTUAL space, searching for some philosophical concept to call his own.
solace to label 'home'.
His: Zeph was his name: comments on the spiritual realizations of the
protagonist seemed uncannily similar to her own, perhaps only because
neither he or
Sunya had the faintest idea of what was going on here, and, futhermore,
and often forboding transformations were going on in their own psyches.
In his most recent post, Zeph just said:
I don't get it.
So I'm not me.
Who am I then?
Am I nobody?
That's not good, is it?
I mean, if there's no self, who am I?
Am I dreaming all this?
But wait: I can't even dream all this, because if there was someone
dreaming, surely it
would have to be me, and how can I be dreaming about me if I'm not me?
None of this makes sense.
Sunya concured, and the thought came to mind that if she wasn't she, and
he not he,
and the world a mere illusion, then the world was like a computer game.
You're just staring at the screen all the time, and all this stuff goes
on and sll these
things happen, and really none of this happens at all.
It's all just happening on a screen that you're transfixed to and you're
so caught up by
it; so fooled by it, that you never once think to turn around away from
the screen and
take a loom at the real world.
Mabye that was what spiritual realization was about; turning around away
screen and looking at the real world.
She swiftly typed all those wandering thoughts down as best she could,
admittedly was not very well, and sent them off via E-mail to Zeph.
Strange how quickly things can travel all the way around without even
In fact, without really even EXISTING in any kind of real shape or form
in the first
place, and yet STILL there they appear on someone else's desktop on the
other side of
the globe in seconds and have a profound effect on their REAL, physical
After that, Sunya turned off the computer quickly as if a dozey druid
cursed chalice a little too late and swiftly disposing of the item
before he came out in
blotches and boils.
That computer metaphor hit home a bit too brutally. It caught the feel
of that nihilistic
philosophical direction Sunya had spurned many a time in the past; that
nothing truly 'exists'.
Being and nothingness: a phrase coined by Sartre: was quite apt here.
Alan Watts had said that 'In your fundemental existence you are the
total energy of this
universe playing the game of being you. The fundemental game of this
world is the
game of hide and seek.'
Sunya had spent a lifetime hiding. Mabye it was time to seek. Mabye it
was time to
turn away from the computer screen of life; to forget the 'game' for
once and embrace
the reality around her, if it was any more than unreality at all. Mabye
it was time she
give her brain a rest and get herself thinking straight again, or at
But that computer metaphor; the internet metaphor: was enough to
convince her of
something she really didn't want to know.
That everything of this world is intrinsically empty.
She wondered if Zeph thought the same.
OK THATS THE CHARACTERS INTRODUCED, SO WE CAN GET INTO SOME PROPER
'ISSUES' IN PART FOUR; WHICH SHOULD BE AROUND NEXT WEEK.
(SORRY I TOOK A BIT LONG TO POST THIS ONE)
ANY COMMENTS; AS NORMAL TO
OR JUST POSTED TO THE E-GROUP. ALL ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED