Beneath the web-thin simulacrum,
inundating and fecund,
live myth and manifold truths.
Not one point of view can embrace them at a glance.

( ~ Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda Ascendant)

    PROLOGUE: the boy

He was all alone, crying in the creeping darkness of an old and rusty train depot, in the middle of nowhere. A place built in bygone times, by bygone people, for bygone purposes, which were then little by little running out up until the point where the whole thing became a nuisance, an unneeded burden for it blocked the perpetually accelerating train of progress, driven by the race for success and ambition and so the once mighty and proud island of human ingenuity ultimately became obsolete, unwanted, forgotten and for some perhaps even shameful. The reason it was abandoned seemed to be very simple. It had served up its purpose, which was now gone, rendering it meaningless. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. The same way there is no such thing as an absolute and permanent purpose, there is also no such thing as an absolute and permanent absence of it. We human beings tend to be so full of our selves, so we very often overlook or plainly ignore any other purposes than those directly serving us. As for the depot, it was no different. It was an ecosystem in its own rite, sometimes a whole world for countless colonies and generations of countless forms of Life, as well as shelter in many other ways, at the moment for a little boy, no older than five, broken and crying, bearing the weight of the whole world on his tiny shoulders. Who knows how long he had been there, but still not long enough to give up his fight with an undesired state of things.
“Where are you?! Come back! Mom! I am heeere! Come back for me!!!” His tiny lungs were trying as though nothing else mattered.
“Hello? Who are you? Are you lost?” He could hear, after a while, a young girl’s voice coming from outside the building. She came closer to him, kind of shocked by that sight of ultimate misery.
“Hi there. what’s your name?” “My mom told me never to say it out loud to anyone.” “ Really. Hmmm.. And what if you whispered it to my ear?”
“Ok.” His crying calmed a bit when she approached him and put her ear next to his head to let him whisper his name and in return she then whispered hers to his. “So where is your mom?”
“I don’t know. She’s lost.” He continued moping. “ How come? You didn’t pay attention?” But he was unable to answer.
“ Come on, she said. Do you know where you live?” He was silent for a moment, but finally he nodded. She then took his hand and led him out towards the old tracks, heading for the town. "You know what? My grandma lives quite near here. we could drop by and take some ice cream, what do you say?” “Yes!" His voice suddenly got calmer, though his eyes were still lacking the spark. “How do you become friends with someone?” He looked up and asked.” She looked at him, a bit surprised.
“I dunno, guess you make a deal with them.”
“Ok, deal. So now we are friends forever?”
“You bet we are.” She smiled at him warmly, still holding his hand. He suddenly grabbed her around the waist and broke down crying again.
“ My mom says that sometimes we must lose something so we can find something else... I don’t wanna lose her... or you...”
She stayed silent, just holding his head, while her shirt dried his tears. She was older than him, but still she has never seen someone as miserable as he was and for a reason she didn’t fully grasp at the time, couldn’t help but feel an immense wave of compassion with him and his suffering as though nothing else existed.

After a while they reached her grandma’s house and took some ice cream as promised, certainly by the magical force of which, his mood significantly improved. Then they went straight to his home and family. When they got there, it was already late afternoon. The reunion was emotional as expected, but cheerful and overjoying. His mom was a very kind, mysterious and very young looking lady, totally giving the impression of a magical forest fairy from children’s books. Her look was warm and welcoming, her dress simple, natural and comfortable, and both her voice and gestures were calm and soothing. The girl was sure that she were seeing some sort of a forest guardian witch who protects and watches over lost souls. Not saying your name out loud must surely have been part of it.

Now the boy was in his mom’s embrace, moping yet again and the girl felt touched by the happy ending of the journey they shared together but also deeply troubled by the incredible amount of suffering she had witnessed in just one day.
“Why don’t you come on in and have tea with us?” The mom asked.
“We can’t begin to express how grateful we are.”
“You are so kind” the girl replied.
“ But I’m very grateful that we made this happy ending. And anyway it’s getting late, I should head back home myself.” “Wait!” the boy started. “Now, I don’t wanna lose you!”
“But you just got your own family back...”
“And so I gotta lose you in turn?” His voice was getting defensive.
She was surprised but also could see his point. Is life really so difficult? she thought to her self, but her first priority was to calm the boy down.
“Don’t worry. We’ll still be friends.”
“Yep, really.”
“Forever. and wherever we are.” She smiled at him. Right after that, she caught the glance of his mom, still standing there, watching over them.
“Good luck in the forest.”
“Uh? What forest???” She asked, eyes wide open. The boy’s mom just smiled. The girl was confused but now also convinced about her theory. Nevertheless, time was still running and they had to say goodbye. Very soon after she was on her way home, she heard his voice once again shouting “Wait!” She stopped, letting him catch up and yet again fall in her arms. he then took her head, moved closer to her ear and whispered a short sentence after which he turned and ran straight back home without ever looking back, leaving her standing there perplexed, unable to react, just watching. Whatever he whispered in her ear that moment, it was unexpected.

    CHAPTER 1: the seeker

"So, how does one embark on a spiritual journey? What do I need to do first? I'm afraid that all I got are some ethnic clothes, beads and protection amulets..." I said condescendingly to the man on the opposite side of the table.
"They might actually come in handy." said the old man with a straight face. I felt so green and naive. We were siting outside of a small tea stand in a park. It was spring and everything was steeped in cherries and lilacs. Such a pure romance! We were drinking some oolong grown in local hydroponics about which master Wu says it tastes almost as good as the real thing. I have no other option to but take his word for it.
"So how do I begin?"
"You are seeking something, right?"
"Well, yeah. Just ain't sure what it is..."
"Might be a good idea to go find it then."
"You mean, like physically find it?"
"The inner and outer space are like two sides of the same coin. For some it's easier to go from one side, for others from the other. Simple as that."
"But where shall I go? Never been outside the Freezone. It's a bit scary to get close to the wastelands..." Oh boy... I'm in for a huge Fokop... ran through my mind. "You know, you can get on one of those child trains in an amusement park and quite safely ride around in circles for as long as you please. But you'll hardly get anywhere meaningful. But what do I know... if they record me saying this, they'll take away my token... So, don't listen to me, I'm just an old fool who doesn't know what he's talking about."
I got what he was saying but still couldn't help but add "I don't think that!"
"But you did the first time we met, remember?"
"Yeah, that's true." I smirked. "I'm sorry..."

The man just smiled and took his cane, leaving me sitting there with my mind somewhat pickled, half mentally preparing for what I'm goind to do, half reminiscing about how the hell did I actually get to this point. To be honest, now I'm slowly coming to the realization about how cushy and agreable my life actually is. Just now when I'm going to shred it all... I'm no fool, I know very well that if I ever manage to sneak out into the wastelands, they'll never let me back even as a toilet scrubber... What the fok am I pushing myself into... Frankly, I got no clue...nothing. So, how did I get into this mess?

* * *

“Looking for something, young man?” I heard a voice coming from behind me, as I was looking around this small wooden house with a garden.
“ I’m sorry, I was just looking around... Are you mis...master Wu? I heard there are meditation classes?” I turned around and saw an older looking man, with a cane. To describe his looks as ‘borderline homeless’ wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration. His clothes were old, torn apart and repaired on several places, and there was nothing really magical or mystical about his aura, just weird and very very unfashionable. He kind of didn’t really fit my idea of a true master, which left me a bit disappointed, because I really needed to find one to learn about spirituality... I was convinced that there is a profound wisdom waiting for me but I was also well aware that one needs a true master in order to accomplish a quest like that. The old man was observing my probably obviously confused-looking face for a while.
“You heard right. But you’re a bit early though. The class is on friday.”
“Oh.. I’m sorry... I f..messed up...”
“No problem, would you like to come in and have a cup of tea?”
“Oh thank you, but I really don’t wanna bother...”
“Nonsense.” the old man replied and got inside where he put a kettle on a small stove. Now, that sounded like something I knew from the stories. So I took my shoes off and followed him inside. The interior was old and minimalistic, there were just two rooms of which the bigger one was a multipurpose space sparsely filled with only a light and easily movable pieces of furniture and not many decorations. He showed me to sit at a cushion next to a small table. I was looking forward to some old traditional tea to underline the atmosphere.
“I hope you don’t mind English breakfast.”
“Not at all, thank you very much.” There went my expectations. He came with a pot and two cups, poured the tea and sat on another cushion.
“So, why do you wish to learn to meditate?”
I must have had rehearsed this moment many times in my head, but suddenly, I was a little bit nervous about what to say. Should I really tell him about her? Or, my journey? Or about my desire to find a master? I guess it’ll leave me looking a bit stupidly naive... No no, gotta think of something else! I was too afraid to look pretentious. Not to mention I still didn’t know anything about him. Is he a true master? Am I just loosing time here? This surprisingly immediate feeling of uncertainty whether my plans couldn’t get compromised by an unthoughtful move was slowly creeping under my skin. My throat was sore and my hands slightly shaking.
“I want find peace within myself ” then somehow came out of me almost unexpectedly.
“ Very good! That’s an excellent answer.” the old man replied with a sincere smile.
“...But how come you lost it though?”
“Umm...” I didn’t know what to answer. “Eh well”. He just sat there patiently looking at me waiting until I produce something more intelligible than a semi-random sequence of squawks. It was a mystery. I must have had pictured and rehearsed a scenario very similar to this one many many times in the past, yet now, the fear of endangering my future by acting like a moron completely overtook me and I couldn't but watch from the inside this funny prophecy fulfilling itself.
“...I don’t know” was the only meaningful answer with which I could come up. The old man was drinking tennis.
“Have you ever played tea?” He asked. I mean, come on... obviously, the other way around. Why am I so scared?
“Tennis? No, not really.”
“You should try. Might find it fulfilling.”
Did he just tell me that I should give up my Spiritual journey? Seriously?... What kinda master would say such a thing...
“Nah, I don’t think so - I’m on a spiritual path.”
“It’s not different”
“Is it the same then?”
“Neither same, nor different.”
“Ok, sorry, I have to go now. Thank you so much for the tea.”
“You know,” he suddenly looked at me while I was putting my shoes on. “A spiritual path is not one to enjoy too much. Not something to revel in. It might perhaps be better never to begin with it in the first place - your life might be even more pleasant if ya don't. But if you still wanna do it, you might wanna be through with it as soon as you can. ” His grin was unceasing. He was obviously making fun of me. A spiritual path is there to end suffering and achieve enlightenment - how on earth could life be more pleasant without it? Boy, he’s just talking nonsense. My patience with this weird guy was slowly running out, I seriously couldn’t understand why all those people would talk so highly of him... I was sure it must have been their ignorance. Ok, we tried, let’s go somewhere else. But for the time being, my motivation was nearly depleted.

I was getting on my way back, thinking how to clear my mind of the feeling so burnt out from the spiritual stuff and had a strong desire to do something normal for a change - like going to a mall and see a movie. Yes, that might be a good idea for today. Let’s take a break from all this. And first thing tomorrow, I need to pick a girl. Someone who can appreciate my inner potential for a change!

* * *

I had to wait for a few years to become old enough to be taken serously. In the meantime, I began searching for others like me - for the lack of better words - seekers. What do we seek? That’s indeed a very good question but we definitely seek “something”... Spending many nights lying awake in my bed fully occupied with formulating strategies, I started working on what I called “the preparation stage”. It consisted of gathering intelligence and resources, not to mention many necessary connections and acquaintances. As the first step, I began to regularly visit a local meditation center, familiarizing myself with the situation.

It was a repurposed former huge apartment in the historical part of town, consisting of several meditation rooms and a kitchen for communal gatherings. The whole establishment didn’t belong to a specific sect or school, rather it was available for different groups of practitioners, a welcoming space for anyone who had the motivation to engage in their particular spiritual effort or just to show off their divine comedy. Of these two types, I definitely saw myself as the first one. Through a very favorable coincidence, I was able to gradually meet each of the different groups, including taking part in their ways of practice which seemed like the only meaningful method how among the many different paths I could find the one that suited me the most. Everything seemed as though I was on the fast track to realizing my life’s dreams. It’s true that all the great teachers always warn against ambition because it leads to ego-clinging which forces one to strive for the wrong reasons and thus creating much suffering, but my euphoria was too strong and pleasant and moreover, I was sure I had everything under control.

Sometime afterwards, I have discovered that there are many others like me striving for similar goals - to become free from shackles of society, to live independently, to escape this drug of material greed and make one’s own world to thrive in. The whole spiritual world was indeed very appealing and the people in it mysterious and interesting.

Some liked to meet in a circle, others on a square, or in a tea room and have a good times talking about what pleases or troubles us. And share our deepest feelings. Some people used tarot cards, others crystal swings, or shamanic pipes to show them the right path. Some saw angels or gods and all kinds of higher beings. All of them looked like having a strong desire to find their own place in that great monstrous scheme of spiritual life. Many of them were talking about accepting the gift of energy from trees, magical stones and even the whole universe. They seemed to have lots of ideas how to prevent coming in contact with anything of bad nature, using magical wards and protective astral armors to shield themselves and others from evil forces. Even though I wasn’t really into that stuff, somehow I had a strong feeling that there is a thing or two to learn from literally anyone, so I’d always listen and search for clues to guide me on this path which I have gradually learned to cherish and protect. Anyway, by recognizing ignorance, fear and greed as the main poisons to the human heart, I have also lost the will to chase after the values of the so called normal society, coming to the conclusion that interactions with it bring mostly problems and sorrow and thus I made a promise that one day I will change the world, ridding it of greed. Does it mean bringing it to enlightenment? Who knows, maybe.

I have discovered that helping people is a very satisfying thing. The feeling that you can make a difference, get someone out of trouble by analyzing problems and formulating solutions... Spreading the teaching of the great realized masters yogis and academics of the past.

Although I must add, of course it’s never easy and sometimes it’s even extremely hard to watch others suffering through their own ignorance, always doing the exact opposite of what they should do, in order to free themselves from this life of ignorance and fear that causes our suffering. I wanted to free the world from all its suffering and to do so meant to find the real true purpose of the world, the meaning of life, if you will. And despite the old masters often saying that shouldn’t run after ghosts while searching for it, I was young and strong as well as confident that I had the basic knowledge on which to gradually build an understanding. And that’s the main purpose of a journey, right? The next one is to learn patience. As the old words say: when a donkey sets out for a journey, it doesn’t mean that it will right away return as a horse.

Long story short, my desire was set and motivation has never been greater. The meaning of life was out there somewhere and nothing in the world could keep me from chasing it down. For the sake of all sentient beings. I went from door to door, asking anyone about the one who lives in the forest. Elusive as it was, there nevertheless were traces, as subtle as footprints in the sand that are being blown over by evening breeze. Every now and then, I would find someone who has heard of her. It was a tedious search but it made sense to me, never mind the missteps of the past, so I chose to proceed and right the wrongs that I had made during my wild attempts to grab all the wisdom in the world at once. My journey was taking me from teacher to teacher,from place to place, seeking knowledge and insight, trying to cultivate patience and limit judgement, not much unlike a builder gathering materials and then using it ever so carefully, trying to balance out everything, so the house will be strong and stable. They must be picky about every piece to avoid serious issues in the future.

Some would say that I had to believe this or that, or prostrate to this specific protector or deity and no other, which to be honest, altogether looked really funny, because most of these teachers seemed to possess an exact and explicit model of the universe along with very precisely formulated systems of requirements, laws and punishments giving themselves often nearly total control over their disciples and quite apparently very little to no room for inner growth. It seemed to by the opposite extreme of my wild former background, where - as it was also becoming clear - we were mostly feeding our egos through the pretense of spiritual growth and thus very dependent on affirmations of others which more often resulted in mental breakdown than I guess some real insight. But what do I know... Without a doubt, not yet enough. Apart from one specific thing: Something in my life had to change or I would have been stuck in one place forever. I needed something new. As for what, it remained to be discovered.

Yea, and then there’s the real life. But what could I do? ... I was so full of crap.

    INTERLUDE: The finder

One day, kid, you’ll hear about her yourself. Damn, you might even see her with your own eyes. She’s like a ghost. A witch. A spirit. They say she lives in the forest, but they don’t say which one. You decide on your own. After you’ve dedicated your entire life to finding those like her. To finding anything lost or hidden, solving any mystery. She’ll become your bounty. Your price. She’ll give you wisdom, show you the world’s secrets, but her elusiveness will keep you up at night. If you’re lucky, if you’re smart enough and play your cards right. You think, kid, this world is about finding your place? Nah... that’s the single most common mistake of losers. It’s about winning your place. There ain’t too many places, so everyone’s trying to do that. Trying hard. Most of them lose, so if you wanna win your own place, you’ll have to beat them to it. Yea, life’s an ever sprinting bitch of a competition. So, maybe you’ll win it... hallelujah! And then? Game over, kid, you have lost. But you know what? Perhaps you’ll even come across the idea that an occasional losing might not be a completely bad thing in the long run. Confused? Yeah, I bet. Stick around and you’ll learn about my story. It’ll be as though you lived it.

    CHAPTER 2: The girl

She looks around and sees the world flowing, people and things move like a part of a giant structure, a machine that is so big, we can’t even see it. Her eyes are drawn to everything as if they just opened for the first time, trying to absorb and examine all the information. And there is so much of it. For her, life just starts and it is up to her to choose a path, to find her place not to mention achieve and do so many things! Of course, her life has ups and downs, but generally she has always felt happy. True, she has never owned expensive treasures, but she does have enough to eat, a place to sleep and she is safe. Almost every time and everywhere there is a reason to smile, to feel this ease in your chest ― as when you look up at the blue sky, when you watch bees, buzzing over flowers in spring, when you feel all the scents of nature.

In her childhood she would always find time if someone needed help, or just to sit down by a mountain spring and listen to birds, while the sound of water and the fresh air would slowly put her to sleep. Now however, she is discovering a whole new world of prospects and pleasures. People have told her. “Yes, you may be young and beautiful but that isn’t enough. In order to be really happy you must be successful, and success is measured by accomplishments.” It was all so intriguing and exciting... She saw accomplished people every-where. They were beautifully dressed, clean and elegant. Their profiles were smooth, and although from time to time some were lacking a smile (on their faces), they seemed always to be the center of interest of those who would admire them. From observing others around her, she’s always known that rich and beautiful people are more popular, they have all they want, they are happy. On the other hand, less popular people were usually loners and didn’t have much influence on the society around. She didn’t give it a real thought at the time, but now it all seems to make perfect sense. What if she couldn’t tell illusion from reality? Perhaps she has been missing out on so many things! It feels as though yet another new world has unraveled before her.It is decided. She will set out to pursue success in order to find true Happiness.

With this thought, she notices an intriguing person passing by. He is young and slim, wearing an elegant suit and even his walk appears as a special kind of dance. Something about this man, the attraction she suddenly feels. Yes, it is not her illusion, he is looking on her. He never says a word, yet there is something about the look in his eyes, almost saying: It is me you are searching. Come, catch me, for I know the best way of all. She is helpless against this urge to follow him. She wants to be like him; to wear this magnificent suit and have the power of control that she can feel radiating from his dynamic moves. It’s a completely new feeling - a strong desire to have... It feels as the world around her suddenly ceased to exist, everything but the object of her desire and her. He is running away and she is chasing him, yet he always manages to stay ahead of her. He knows the terrain and uses it to his advantage. They are running trough the city, passing people, dodging cars and trains. Sometimes he is just a few inches out of her grasp, but he always finds a way to lose her, so she has to roam the streets of life looking for him again and again. However, he never stays out of her sight too long, not letting her desire wear off. Even when she is tired and resting, he appears in both her night and day dreams, his dance restlessly reminding her of what she might get, if she tries hard and long enough. Although to be honest, there is a tiny little thought in the back of her mind, asking if this is really the best way of life. But she does know that the way to success isn’t an easy one and her motivation is pure, hence she won’t lose her will to pursue Happiness.

One evening she spots him moving through tiny streets near an old castle. Her happiness is once again within her reach! Yet now, it feels somehow different. She’s more experienced than before, she knows she will need to stay focused if she doesn’t want him to dodge her again. Full of confidence, yet again, the girl stands up to continue her pursuit. To her surprise, this time, for some reason he isn’t running away. It is a late evening, street lamps are lit and she finds him before an old wall, dancing in an incredible halo of colorful lights that seem to be shining from his clothing, engulfing both the wall and her. Never before, was her goal so within reach, even inviting her to come and take it. As she closes in, the wall starts to look like a giant mirror streaming the whole palette of colors towards her. Almost entranced, she is coming ever closer to it, with her hand stretched, reaching out.

The wall, the street, the man, the whole city has disappeared. She finds herself on a clearing facing a big green bush, standing there instead of the wall. It is a beautiful warm day, the Sun shines high in the sky and there is a huge forest surrounding her, wherever she looks. Birds are singing, and every inch is teeming with Life. Something feels incredibly familiar about this place – as though she has known it her whole life. Gently, and without hesitation, she moves among trees, enjoying this beautiful place, although her visions of the man, his beautiful dress and dance, are still there, and now she is going in a direction where they are getting stronger. And there he is, hiding behind trees and then running away from her. Yet again she is chasing him, sprinting through the forest, dodging trees, and once again he will slip away, inches before her grasp. She is seriously tired of it, but she will not give up, convinced that one day success will come if she keeps trying. But now, perhaps she needs a break, perhaps some distance, so that she can look at her life from a different perspective? Maybe. But let’s just walk, be open minded and listen to the world around.

She roams and roams the forest that doesn’t seem to end, no matter where and how far she goes. Huge, tall trees offer protection from the sun, springs and ponds pristine water, fruit trees (or bushes) food. Wherever she looks there is harmony, and the silence is only disturbed by the song of birds. After walking for some time she finds a clearing under a small hill. Much to her surprise, there on a tree stub, sits an old gray-haired man, all alone. He doesn’t seem to have any possessions, except for a small fire, a little metal teapot, a cup and a flute leaning on the side of the stub where he is sitting. His dress appears to be very old but comfortable, his eyes are deep and immensely peaceful. At this moment, the voice of her newly chosen life of ambition is telling her that this man doesn’t appear to have anything to offer, anything people around have taught her to value and want and perhaps he looks more like one of those uninteresting people who spend their lives in some corner far from successful society, never even dreaming of achieving any of what she is set to achieve...

However, no matter how reasonable in the context of her way of life this voice sounded, she would never despise someone just because they are poor or their clothes are old. Anyone can say or think anything they want, but that isn’t her. Now, strengthened by this thought and full of curiosity, she approaches him. Even when she comes very near, he doesn’t lose his deep concentration. In a very gentle manner, she says:
“Are you a traveler?” He takes the teapot and pours some tea in the cup. His hands are calm and precise, he gives each of his moves exactly the time it needs to be completed without rush. He then lifts the cup on the fully open palm of his hand by one dynamic, yet not fast move of his arm in her direction, saying:
“I live here.” Not only does he look like someone from a different world, he even speaks in a different language, but somehow she can understand him. She takes the cup from his hand and sits beside him. She is totally perplexed and a little confused. This she didn’t expect to hear. So she asks:
“How could you live here, without having anything of value?”
“You think I cannot live this way, right?” He says with a little smile, while taking few small pieces of wood and putting them in the fire. Then he reaches inside his dress for a small bag and puts some tealeaves from it into the teapot. She is watching him, truly amazed by his calmness and confidence. She can’t help thinking that despite having almost nothing, this man really looks happy and content just the way he is. Until this moment such a concept was beyond her imagination. He takes the flute to his mouth. What follows is, for her, an even bigger surprise. This isn’t any kind of music she has ever heard before. The sound of his flute is in a way similar to that of the wind passing through the forest. Long steady tones, combined with a few short ones, resonating through her like waves, leaving her flooded with a feeling which she is either feeling for the first time, or might had felt a long, long time ago and has completely forgotten (due to the significant speed of her life.) Once again, the whole world around just seizes to exist. But this time there is absolutely no desire, no ambition, no confusion. Nothing. Not even time. The only thing that exists is the sound. Free of any thought, any form, any concept. Pure sound. She stays this way for a few moments after he has finished playing.
“That was amazing... I’ve never felt so peaceful before...” She says after a while, but in the meantime, there is a little suspicion on her mind, reminding her of her goal. So she adds:
“...but I doubt that this is the only meaning of life...”
“ You are living your life, therefore you must ask your life.” He replies, putting the flute back where it was.
“What is your happiness?”
“Being with myself.” With each of his responses, doubts about her life’s choices are growing a little bit bigger, and all this starts to make real sense.

A variety of colorful lights floods her senses, while the dancing man’s wonderful cloak swirls around her similar to a swarm of gold and silver fireflies. A breathtaking dance.
“Only I can make you happy!” He is right next to her, giving her a very intense look.
“ Don’t you forget what you were after, the thing you want!” Then he returns to his swift dance right in front of her, saying:
“These are all illusions. You will forget them soon enough.” His words are adding even more magic to his moves, leaving her feeling almost enchanted. Suddenly he stops and all the lights with him. He lifts his hand pointing at her. Then he makes a gesture inviting her to follow him. She stands up but then hesitates a bit. She turns back to the old man.
“Isn’t it an exciting offer? This is what I was running after!” He, totally undisturbed, replies calmly:
“Even when you are looking, you are just looking. If you don’t look, you won’t see...” With doubts and hesitation, she is standing there, watching both of them, trying to understand what is happening all that is just happening around. All her life she has wanted to fulfill her ambitions, to be successful, and now it looks so near... But what if going with him means going back to her life of endless running ? The calmness the old man just showed her - will she be able to feel that out there, surrounded by so many things? She seems to be stuck. The man takes off his cloak and puts it right before her eyes, almost as though he is telling her: This beautiful piece of cloth is all one needs to be forever happy. With this, the whole world will be at your feet, there is no greater success you can achieve in your life. A deep and powerful desire leads her mind, guides her moves, slowly stepping forward, reaching for it, while he is stepping back, putting distance between them and the old man. Then, with a few dancing moves, he is behind her, laying the cloak of Success on her shoulders. She cannot believe that, after such an arduous journey, the goal of her life is finally achieved.The forest has disappeared. She is kneeling there before the wall, with her hands touching the street. It is night and the street lamps are lit. She is wearing the dress of her dreams which glows in their halo. No one else is there.

    INTERLUDE: The finder

So you think that you wake up and see the world as if it was some huge machine that we are all part of? It’s not easy to admit, but you know, you might be not entirely wrong about that. But you are naively ignoring the most important fact, my friend. You were so excited about realizing that the machine exists, and your curiosity ended there. Poor naive kid. You’re so easy to impress, you get satisfied not even half way through and don’t care to get to the point. That way, you’ll never find much, kid. So, the machine. It’s a steamroller. And you be sure you’re part of it. Coz you’re either part of it, or you’re part of the road... But that’s not the end of it either. Every steamroller needs a driver, that’s what you should realize. If you're strong enough, the driver’s seat’s there for the taking. You catching my drift? You need to be needed by others. Or else, they’re gonna prey on you. And you know what’s important? Power. And where do you find the best power? In mystery. People are notoriously scared of what they don’t know. And scared people can be easily influenced. Influenced and controlled, so they won’t do something stupid. Like preying on you. You feel me? So you go find mysteries. But how you do it? First, you’re not stupid, therefore you know you need knowledge and experience. That’s the most important thing on its own. You go and ask around, what people fear, what they worship, revere... Then you go and find out about that. Its gossip, its origins, its power. Find out its power. And remember, no failure is ever a failure. Always analyze what happened. What happened -itself- is never as important as how it happened, only then lessons can be learnt. That’s what interests you, that’s your mission. You are the finder. And you are also lost...

To be continued.


(c)Sunrise, designed by 慧淨 2004-2023