Click Here If You Missed Part IV

Back home, I started a regimen. Look, the last place you want to be if you want to get healthy is in a building full of sick people.

Okay, there’s pain. Wiped out. Weak. But if there’s one thing Hi had taught me, it was to be a fighter, not to surrender to the forces that pull you down.

I wanted to see that light again,I wanted to see that light again … But this time, I wanted to achieve it myself. to hear that symphony, to experience the entire world as a single thought. But this time, I wanted to achieve it myself.

So I began with a meditation at sunrise every morning.

That’s the secret ofThat’s the secret of the city: At dawn, it might as well be the country. the city: At dawn, it might as well be the country.

A thousand balconies look out upon the scene of dawn, but none care to know its wonder. From my balcony, I would gaze upon the canopy of green to the south, ignoring the power lines and buildings, staring at the trees, listening for the birds, awaiting the rise of that fiery ball in the sky.

I thought about my own thoughts, and compared them to the thought in which I dwell.

My thoughts flash and glimmer inside my mind, occasionally escaping its gravitational pull to emerge as conscious words, voices speaking inside me, sometimes whispering, sometimes yelling, all trying to convince me that they are me and I am them.

As a flock of sparrows in a bush, they never cease their chatter. Sometimes I can guide their flight, with the effort of a pilot steering his plane through turbulent skies. Sometimes, I just have to trust them to fly freely, like homing pigeons guiding me back into myself. Often, I must rein them in, ignoring the miscreant thoughts to let them wither away, replacing them with wholesome, meaningful ones.

But my thoughts have no life of their own. Thoughts speak of what should be, what could be, what I have seen and what I have never seen—but nothing ever becomes of them. Nothing, unless I put them myself to action.

Thoughts have no substance. If you could touch a thought, it would crumble to the ground. No, it would vanish. It is nothing but a impotent ray of soft light, glittering for a moment only to vanish back into the black star of the subconscious from which it temporarily emerged.

But these thoughts that IThese thoughts that I see about me, these thoughts yell out, “I am here!” They have a life of their own. see about me—the trees, the distant hills, the redness of a sky of latent dawn, the myna bird so proud of her songs—for she never repeats the same call twice, the squirrel now racing across the power line, stopping, running again, jumping to a rooftop, then changing its mind and swiftly spinning about to leap back and continue on that power line until it crosses the dark street below—these thoughts yell out, “I am here!” “I am!” “I am me and no other!”

They are alive. It is as though the entire universe is a single organism, and each thought another living cell.

When I am hurt, there are cells to tell me that I am hurt. The brain, the glands, leap into action and alert all of me of the location of the injury. The cells know what they should do. Each cell knows what the other cells are doing. They work as a single whole, each doing its job as though all the world depended on it alone. Each cell its own world, yet altogether a single world.

Or like the flock of blackbirds delighting in the clear morning sky over there to the southeast, each bird its own cocky individual, yet flying together as a single entity, unexpectedly diving downward, then up again, right, then left, then landing together on a distant tree, only to suddenly launch once again into their dance in three dimensions, as though choreographed and rehearsed for ages to some music heard by all of nature but me.

So it is with all this world of trees and sky, clouds and sun, birds and squirrels, a morning mist, an ocean breeze—each breathes with its own life, and yet they are a single whole.

These areThese are not my thoughts. I am one of them. not my thoughts. I am one of them.

I want to know the artist who conceived this magnificent whole, the composer of this symphony, the master that designed this work, who thinks these thoughts, these wondrous, living thoughts. A mind whose thoughts have life! I want to get inside that mind. Then I would have not just life, but the source of life.

And with all this pain, this fatigue, this weakness, life is something I need, right now.

Wrapping that leather strap and box around my arm, my head is spinning. The saliva in my mouth tastes metallic. My head crashes down on the table. I dream …

Continue to Episode VI