He shivered as a cold breeze blew across him; even though it was nearly summer, it was still cold, the wind blowing off the mountains made the robes he wore seem useless. He reprimanded himself for shivering as again the cold wind blew across the polished wood floor, scattering fallen cherry blossom on to him, where it contrasted starkly with the saffron robes. But he did not brush them off. He did not think, reminisce, cogitate. He was not here to procrastinate, he had had plenty of time for that on the journey here.
Instead he closed his eyes, letting his mind clear as he sat in the customary position. As peace overcame him, he opened his mind taking in the smells, the sounds, the peace of the temple.
The images came, first of the small wooden sanctuary where his mortal body sat, then moving up the mountainside to the trek path, where he would continue his journey. He strayed away from the route west, as he knew that was where he had come from, and did not want to be drawn back to remembering, for he was trying to go forward, not backward.
His mind travels to the peak of Chomolungma, where he hopes to find what he is searching for, but to no avail. The secret of the quest was not to be so easily found.
He descends the snowy white mountains, into a steamy jungle, where butterflies flit across his vision, green verdance all around. And in this tropical paradise of life, he find to much distraction, the answer is not here.
Now he moves swiftly across the continent, flying with eagles, with hawks. No, the answer is not in flight, not in the beauty here.
After crossing a small sea, he hits a busy metropolis of people, of grey buildings and flashing lights. A train speeds along, packed with people. Seeing this, seeing people going to and from the cities, scuttling around, he sees the futility of humanity, but though this is one step along the path, it is not the answer.
A wide ocean greets him, a blue so pure it could be artwork, from above a rough, ragged, wild blue, hinted with white. Underneath, a deep blue, with peace matching and even exceeding his own. Even in this unseen world, the answer can not be found.
Across a large continent, amazing rock formations loom up out of the earth, red stone, never touched by anything but wind. The red valleys, pillars, a whole landscape of that dry, dusty red that is not quite orange, not quite crimson. He rests here, his mind roaming freely in this isolated desert. But isolation is not the answer, only a means to the end.
In realisation of the irregularities of this place, he searches for a purer place, this time yellow, across another sea. Here the suns beats down on the smooth gritty sand, undulating across the plains. But in this paradise of monotony, the answer eludes him still.
Drawing into a deeper unconscious calm, his mind takes him northwards. This time no resistance to the re-treading of his path, may this hold the key? From a tall triangular structure, he relives his oath, the journey across the plain countryside, the communities where he stays getting smaller and poorer, until he again reaches the point where the accomplishments of man can no longer aid him. And taking a stick from the roadside, he treks to the mountains, on his pilgrimage.
The past does not seem to hold the key. The future. His mind freed of the constraints of time, he plots his path from the mountains, but finds it difficult to see past the choices he must make. Moving to the future of the world, he sees a superpower emerging, war breaking out, the oppression of millions. He sees the spreading of enlightenment, a renaissance of free will and thought. But in these trivial matters he cannot find an answer.
It seems once again that all answers can be found but Why. He had explored the three dimensions of space, the many facets of colour, the unexplored aspects of time, even his own beliefs of the dimension of peace and beauty, chaos and disarray. He probes with his mind, the seams of reality.
Thought, whereby one may find the answer
Space, the perception we cannot trust
Time, a barrier to overcome
Dimension, where the answer is
He trains his mind, steeling against returning to mortality, thinking harder, logic pounding through his mind. The call to return to his body grows, he has spent too long away, but now he has it so simply laid out surely he is almost there.
Thought alone is not succeeding
Space has no consequence
Time is running out
Dimension we have searched through
Or has he, his mind confused, his thoughts harder to follow, he must return, but he must find the answer. And as even the simplest logic evades him…
And, as if one is turning a corner and seeing the sunlight, he realises his fault. The process of thought itself is his error. One must think outside the box of logic! Forget all that has been taught before, see why logic cannot be used.
And, now oblivious to the pain tearing at him, he turns his thoughts inward, as if going through the plane of colour, as if the world was a sphere he finds the core. The reason, the why, the purpose, the underlying structure to reality. And as he realises this…
A crimson robed monk stepped out from the garden where he had been raking the gravel into swirled patterns. He saw the young Parisian pilgrim, sitting on the floor. He saw his face take on an expression of elation. He watched as his face turned black, he observed him as he toppled over, lying on the floor, cherry blossom covering him up.
By the same author: Butterflies