A Pleasant Rest

As you find a quiet spot to rest, a gentle breeze passes over you. There are some smaller groups nearby, enjoying light conversation and the shade of the trees. You make yourself comfortable and close your eyes for a little while.

Every so often, you are able to make out the conversations of people as they pass by. One particularly irritated voice catches your ear...

Well, whatever we're talking about, it has a certain logic and structure to it, right? And within that context, particular things are all related to each other in various ways. So the whole is inherently ordered, and if you cast your net across all the particulars you end up with a meaningful super-structure.

So what if I haven't got a cool name for it? If I start naming it, I'll distinguish it from other names, and it will seem like those other names are independent of the whole. I want to talk about being beyond particularity and limitation. The whole is indiscriminate in its presence or possession, there is no privileged status for subsumed things. In the context of the greatest whole, every particular is trapped to an equal and inescapable extent.

A second voice speaks up to needle him some more…

What about nothingness and negations? How can they be part of some indiscriminate, unfocused super-structure that subsumes all things? I'll even give you an example: a cup makes no sense without there being nothing within. For where else would I pour my drink?

As for negations, riddle me this: you say that one thing is not another thing. For example, a bird is not a bee. Yet then you want to turn around and tell me that the bird and the bee are entirely subsumed by the same thing - existence. So if they're both the same, how can you pretend they're different?

The first man sighs deeply and begins his response. You can only catch part of it as they wander deeper into the grove, away from your position…

Nothingness? negation? The only reason you have trouble with such terms is that you have no clear definition for them. I will tell you this - the only appropriate way to interpret a negation or nothingness of any sort is to give it some affirmative meaning.

When you say that the bird is not the bee, you are saying the bird is something other than the bee. The "is" flows over both sides. Therefore it is wrong to pretend that we have talked about some absolute negation, or apparent contradiction that cannot be resolved. Instead, you have forgotten the omnipresence of the whole and the...

As the voices fade, you drift off… you are no longer aware of the grove, the speakers, or anything related to this experience. The memories of the grove are inaccessible; Instead, you are wholly focused on your presence in the alternate world of the dream, and the concerns you have within that context…

...You wake up and become reacquainted with your presence in the grove. The memories and concerns you had in the dream world soon leave you, your awareness flowing from one place to another as easily as water. The two speakers have long since walked away, leaving you to your thoughts.

Perhaps the dream was all in your head. Then again, perhaps the people over in the dream world would have provided a similar tale if you had asked them, claiming that your dream-body generates the present context. For now, perhaps you only accept the primacy of this "waking" world because of the memories you currently have at hand.

At the very least, it is startling how quickly your awareness can be radically shifted.

Choices:

  1. Go back to sleep. (Please close the browser and go to sleep outside on the ground. You may return tomorrow)
  2. Make your way to the Guesthouse and retire for the night...
  3. Return to the patio...