Thursday, 15 September 2016

He Who Has Achieved

SM Stirling, Against The Tide Of Years (New York, 1999), Chapter Eleven.

William Walker recites:

"'...he who has achieved satori may without sin steal the peasant's ox or take the last bowl of rice from a starving man; for he has become the eye that does not seek to see itself, the sword that does not seek to cut itself, the un-self-contemplating mind.'" (p. 160)

No, the man who has achieved satori may not steal without sin. Is Walker quoting something? When I googled the phase, all that I found was this same passage.

Some shocking phrases do have valid meanings, e.g., "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" means that the Buddha is within. See here.

Meanwhile, Walker and the Nantucketers move inexorably towards world war in the ancient world, with Agamemnon on Walker's side and Babylon allied to Nantucket. Hopefully, Walker's claim to Hong that:

"'...we can do anything we fucking want to here...'" (p. 161)

- is about to come unstuck.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Hmmm, so you are not sure Walker was quoting a genuine Buddhist text or source? I certainly hope not! For it would always be WRONG to steal a peasant's ox or a starving man last bowl of rice.

I can think of how Our Lord said similarly "hard" things in the gospels. Such as the one telling a would be disciple to follow Him and let the dead bury the dead.

I sure won't be sorry if William Walker and Alice Hong come to miserable ends!