As he entered the room, he had a funny feeling that he had been here before. He was weary, exhausted and utterly drained. He took note that he was wearing his Kakomi, hakima, obi and katana. Why? He had no recollection of dressing for combat. How then, had he come to dress for battle, when he did not have a call for it? It was not like him to dress for battle when it was uncalled for.
Off in the distance, thirty yards or so, he saw a familiar red oak table, bathed in the pale yellow light of a single pigtail hanging from the ceiling, and it swayed ever so slightly, but it definitely swayed. "Funny that. There is no wind." He was right. The air was still and calm.
This time there were two chairs. The last time he had been sent to this place, there were three chairs and he was not dressed for combat.
He knew the drill. Come in sit down and wait. Wait for someone, or something to join him. Out of the darkness these deities, these demons these creations of something not of this world would come. They would come from the nothingness that was his soul and deliver messages of wisdom, or often visions of terror. It was never predictable and he had no idea why he was plagued with these"gifts" as these beings would call it. They all told him that he was the lucky one. "You were chosen for this life. These things these are gifts from the gods. Do not despair. It will all be clear at the end. But he did not wish for clarity at the end. He could not bear to wait that long. He wanted clarity now. But the gods would not bargain with him on this matter.
As he sat down at the table he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and relaxed. With his right hand on the hilt of his katana he meditated, as though he were preparing for battle. But it was impossible. Even if he were going to battle it would not happen here. Or would it? Had they changed the rules, and not informed him? Maybe this was how he was to learn about the new rules. He did not care he just wanted this to end. He was tired of it. Tired of knowing the entire how's, and why's, of life, and death; he just wanted to be and exist in a reality that would suit him.
Out of the darkness he was joined abruptly and without warning, yanked from that calm quite place that he loved to be. It seemed like an eternity, but there it sat, right in front of him.
"Who, or what, the hell are you?" This was not at all what he had expected, if he had expected anything at all. He was humble. He was respectful. But the shock of what he saw before himself, was almost enough for him to forget who and what he was.
He waited, patiently, for a response. It just sat there. Not moving not breathing just being, and existing. It made him feel as though it was maulking him because he could not just be and exist, he needed to know what this thing was and he needed an answer now.
No mouth opened. Not a breath was taken. The sound of its voice echoed in his head. Slowly it began to respond. "I 'am the darkness that you embrace. I am the light you shut out. I am the evil that you loath, and combat every day." It was this comment that caused his hand to grip the hilt of his katana firmly in preparation for what every came next. "I am the peace and the war, life and death. That's what I am." It was silent for along while. He held his tongue waiting for more, but alas it never came. So he spoke, "Are you pain? Are you pleasure? How about yin and yang? Are you these things too?" He did not wait for a reply. He continued, "Are you the sun and moon? If you are all of these things than you must be the sun and moon too." For some reason he could not contain his contempt and frustration. His right hand was now ever ready to unsheathe his blade. "I..." It hesitated for a moment because it could feel his contempt. "I am the thing that you fear. I am the thing that you embrace. I am the uncomfortable feeling you get when you feel her. I am the feeling you get when you can't feel her." With that he drew his katana and placed it on the table.
It knew that this conversation could be its last. It wondered why its masters would send him? What had it done to deserve to be cut down by this? Surely they would not send it if they did not believe that it could get through were the others had failed. But they chose to arm this creature that they had spawn into the wrong place and time. Perhaps this was their message to it. It was humble. It knew its place. It was a humble servant of its masters. It was born of elements and essence. It was all things that were created by its masters.
"Why have you come?" he asked quietly. He had no idea why it was sent. Nor did he really care.
"You must understand we are the same. You and I are both servants of the elements, you, more than I. For you were born of fire and wind." It paused. He sat and thought a while about that statement. He felt it but never knew that it could even be considered. "This can not be. I am a mortal human." He was baffled. It continued, "Yes, you are, in flesh only. In spirit, you are mightier than these mortals. It is time for you to feel the passion of fire, and the essence of the wind." It was nervous. "I do not believe you. Mortals are never born of the elements, not directly?" He was confused. His next thought was that this treachery was deserved of a severed head. It sat; motionless and nervous for a very long while. Contemplating that katana that sat only a foot away from its belly, it scrambled for something to tell him, to ease his rage, if it could be done. Cautiously now, "You view life and death as the same thing, no start no end. The birth is the same as the death." It paused a moment to wait for the death strike that it felt was coming. "Go on." He ordered. "I am that which you know. I am that which you feel. I am reality and mystery. We are the same.
Faster than it could blink, the point of the katana was millimeters away from the corroded artery. It thought, "He had not even stood up". The only thing that he knew for sure was that it said that they were the same. If it did not lie the anatomy would be at least similar. He was right. The corroded artery was right there. A slight twist of the wrist and it was all over for it. It was speechless. The speed with which the katana moved in his hand was unbelievable.
It had never seen a human so utterly fearless. It was impressed and scared for, itself and humanity, all at once. It wasn't sure if the masters knew what they were doing. But who was he to challenge their creations. So he would do their bidding at any cost.
"This is why I am here. You have known your whole life that you were different. I am here to help you realize that you are different than these mortals." He was very agitated. He was trembling a little bit. "Are you love?" He screamed at the top of his lungs. It did not answer. This enraged him. "Are you love?" The rage came up from his toes and right out of his throat. It was stoic, quite and calm. He sheathed his katana, took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment in hopes that it would be gone when he opened them again. It was still there.
"I am all the things that you are, devotion, and commitment. What you must ask yourself is, "What am I?" We are all things. Not all at the same time. Not all at once in the same space." More relaxed now that the katana was sheathed it felt more freely to speaking. Surely it would live to see the cosmos another day.
"Why send this to me now? What purpose can this serve? Why? I do not understand? Why now?" It saw a small tear leave his tear gland, run down the inside of the bridge of his nose and his tongue licked it away. "Your mother has sent this to you for eons. Each time you rejected it, ignored it, and laughed at it. Now you cannot ignore me. No matter what you feel the detriment to your soul will be, you can not, and now that you have decided to spare me, I know that you will sit and feel and hear, and exists in this time, and space with me, my brother. I know that you cannot regard life and death as equals without feeling, passion, and lust, and want, and sorrow. You must sample life in order to respect death. The only thing about life you do not fear is death. In order to see this; you must feel her again, only longer, harder and more intensely. You cannot know death without the joy and passion and love of a kindred soul. Yes love, the love of that mortal soul, who has followed you through out eternity, and is still here, in this time and space, right here, right now."
He sat and contemplated this for, what seemed to be an eternity in itself. "So, if I
Feel, this connection again in this lifetime, if I embrace it as I do combat, if I hold it close
to my soul, if I cling to it like my lungs cling to fresh cool spring air, then I may gain
enough insight and wisdom to explain the things that I can not, at this time?" Again he sat for an eternity and said nothing until it hit him like a ton of bricks crashing through a bamboo hut. If I embrace it in this life and feel it till it hurts, I could quit possibly lose it again. Then where would I be? Then what? Wait for death, soulless and alone? Spend the rest of my time in this bar do waiting for a quiet, peaceful and easy exit from yet another plain of being? Why? Why do my celestial parents insist that I feel what these mortals feel? If I am to be more than these mere mortals, then what purposes dose this serve?"
.... There is more of this story ...