“Rubbish!”, she responded; “Some of life is suffering, but there are some pretty good bits too… you just have to focus on those and ignore all the rest.”
“Is that why you travel the road?”, he replied, “Always seeking the ‘good bits’, but never satisfied with what you find – surely, if you can truly find what is good, your travels would be over?”
She frowned at him: “Now you’re just twisting my words… just because you’re searching doesn’t mean you’re not satisfied. i travel because the travelling itself makes me happy – yep, it does bring me peace too – i love to explore new places and i’m interested in seeing all that life can offer. It’s not that i’m unsatisfied, i just think there’s far more out there just begging to be experienced.”
“Then you misunderstand your own frailty – if you had truly found a place of contentment you would not have the desire to seek out more that life can offer, for you would have all you need. You are driven by desire, which springs from discontent, and which leads ultimately to suffering.”
She considered slipping on her emoter HUD and giving him her hardest stare, but what good would it do? ‘OK buster!’, she thought to herself, ‘Two can play at being enigmatic!’
Perching herself on a handy stone, she assumed a serene pose, before answering in a pious tone, “And why should the journey not be an end in itself? Has it not occurred to you that the mere fact that we are travelling need not mean that we haven’t already arrived? After all, life is itself a journey and – no matter how righteous or content we may be – that journey will continue… even the enlightened must continue to age, surely?”
She allowed herself a smug smile and looked him in the eye, one eyebrow raised – half challenge, half questioning, and just a touch of stuck animation.
He returned her gaze steadily: “We all grow older – that is something we must accept.”
She groaned. “What sort of answer is that?”
“The truth”, he smiled, and winked at her.
“Hey! Since when did buddhas wink? Besides which, you haven’t answered my question!”
He chuckled. “Forgive me. Your desire for answers appears to be causing you some suffering… Nevertheless, you are correct, life is indeed a journey and one over which we have little control: we all age, we all suffer, we all die eventually – that does not mean that our lives should be meaningless. What you call ‘arriving’ is also an ongoing process – just as your journey has brought you to me, and is therefore an arrival, so to it is the beginning of a departure. You will soon grow tired of suffering my platitudes and be eager to move on, yet in doing so you will suffer a road tempered with lag, griefers and obstacles – whatever your journey brings, you will be compelled always to move on. This is the nature of the road.”
Her head had started to buzz, surely she could come up with something ?
“OK. You said we all die – that’s not true. You won’t die and i won’t die… we’re not flesh and blood… we’re pixels; electronic points of light arranged in a 3D mathematical construct. How do you suggest we’ll die?”
“What is death, but an ending to the journey?”
“Would you not agree that your journey ends every time you log out? That you are reborn into a new cycle of life, every time you log in? Can you not see that every session spent inworld is but an arrival in an unnumbered succession of lifetimes? We may only be pixels, but we are transient, just as those whom we represent are also transient too.”
“Damn, that’s depressing”, she muttered.
“And there you have it”, the buddha smiled; “life – in whatever form – brings discontent and our desire for something more, only serves to feed that discontent.”
Feeling deflated, she stood: “OK, you win. Do you always have to sound so flipping sure of yourself though?”
“Sorry”, he replied disarmingly, “it’s just the way I’m scripted.”
She nodded, then shrugged and readied herself to hit the road once more. Then a thought occurred to her…
“Hey, so what do you reckon i should do about it?”
The buddha paused, then smiled at her: “No harm in seeing where the road leads”, he said, winking once more.
She laughed and winked back, before heading off on the next leg of her journey. As she walked away, the buddha called out:
“One more thing… if you’re looking for Nirvana, I wouldn’t bother with the mainland – you won’t find it there!”
I ain’t gonna spend my time wondering why I never made it
I’ve already made it
I ain’t gonna spend my days thinking about why I never made it
DubFX – Made