[As the evening sun begins to gently fall behind the horizon Zhi-Guan and Mo-Zi are sat under the pagoda sipping on some lapsang and conversing when they see Tian-Zhu pass by]
Mo-Zi: Tian-Zhu my friend you look as though you carry great burden come join us, maybe one of us can be of aid.
Tian-Zhu: Thank you, I do indeed have a dilemma and pray your wisdom will bring me comfort.
Mo-Zi: Then tell us of your trouble in that we may find some remedy.
Tian-Zhu: My faith tells me that I must condemn those who enjoy their own kind as bedfellows, yet I find the number of whom I must condemn increasing as time goes on. I wonder as to why sin has come to spread in such great a plague.
Mo-Zi: Althogh I cannot agree with your faith Tian-Zhu I do understand your question. You wish to understand why there seem to be a greater number of homosexuals now than there have been.
[Tian-Zhu nods solemnly]
Mo-Zi: Well let us try to work towards an answer. There is now a greater population than before right?
Tian-Zhu: Right. Roughly seven billion now.
Mo-Zi: So theat would suggest all social groups would grow, would it not?
Tian-Zhu: I would have to agree yes. However this seems to be a greater growth than would be expected from your reasoning.
Mo-Zi: I see. Then let us take a different train of thought. You say seven billion people, yet the planet’s resources can only support five and a half billion adequately.
Tian-Zhu: I belive that to be correct, you are most learned on the subejct.
Mo-Zi: Thank you my friend however that is common knowledge. What I suggest is then that homosexuality is nature’s way of controlling the population. As the planet’s resources get strained nature tries to cut back on the number of humans capable of procreating.
Tian-Zhu: That seems like a fair answer, although not one that seems will with my faith.
Zhi-Guan: Maybe so but I do not accept that nature employ that method. I reason that if that were to be the case then nature would lower the number of fertile females, thus decreasing the liklihood of procreating.
Mo-Zi: But there would still be a significant number of males all of which could mate with the females over and over so the problem would not be fixed.
Zhi-Guan: You forget one thing my friend, humans are by nature monogomous creatures and will only mate with a special, chosen partner. This trait has been exhibited for millenia now.
Mo-Zi: You have me there Zhi-Guan once again I am defeated by your wisdom.
Tian-Zhu: Wise as he is this has not given my the answer I sought.
Zhi-Guan: Our apologies Tian-Zhu, perhaps your faith and our wisdom do have blind spots to which we cannnot fathom just yet.
Mo-Zi: I agree we may be wise but our wisdom is only limited.
Tian-Zhu: I guess I must trust in my Lord on this one. Good evening my friends.
[Tian-Zhu bows respectfully before making his leave]
Zhi-Guan was sat taking afternoon tea when Tian-Zhu came towards him, a look of concern etched into his features.
Tian-Zhu: “Zhi-Guan my apologies for disrupting your quiet meditations but I seek your advice. See man is increasingly being cirrupted by the sin of homosexuality. How can I show them the error of their ways and deliver them into God’s forgiving light?”
Lowering his cup Zhi-Guan answered
Zhi-Guan: “Perhaps it is not them who are at error my friend.”
Tain-Zhu: “How can you say this Zhi-Guan‽ God did not allow for such sin in his design.”
Taking another sip of tea Zhi-Guan pondered momentarily
Zhi-Guan: “This god of yours is he perfect?”
Tian-Zhu: “Yes. Of course”
Zhi-Guan: “So in being perfect he must be infalliable?”
Tian-Zhu: “That would follow so.”
Zhi-Guan: “And this god is it the ultimate creator, the first cause of all? Heavens and Earth? Man and beast? Flora and fauna?”
Tian-Zhu: “That is true. Why do you ask of me such simple truths?”
Zhi-Guan: “If what you say about your god is true my friend then your god purposefully designed some of his creations to be, corrupted as you say, by homosexuality. Unless that is you now deny his infalliablity and in doing so his perfection.”
Tian-Zhu: “That is unfair of you Zhi-Guan for you know as a devout disciple of the Lord I cannot deny him those attributes.”
Zhi-Guan: “My apologies it was not intent to bully you in such way. Let us perhaps take a new angle. A perfect god devises, as you say, ‘creations plagued by sin’ then it would seem this was done for a reason.”
Tian-Zhu: “I cannot think of such a reason.”
Zhi-Guan: “No? Fortunatly I can my friend. This god wants you to strive for moral goodness, a purity of soul, right?”
Zhi-Guan: “So to help instill moral goodness your god promises a seat within the heavens. A little encouragement to get man to freely choose moral goodness. But what of those who freely choose not to despite his encouragement.”
Tian-Zhu: “The lakes of sulphur await them in the afterlife.”
Zhi-Guan: “So there is a punishment of which to be feared?”
Zhi-Guan: “Thus we have a potential reason. Your god throws in a small amount of sin to be punished by means of example for those not willing to follow moral goodness despite the encouragement they are given via reward. Therefore homosexuals are a deliberate part of god’s design, they are the rod where the promise of heaven is the carrot.”
Tian-Zhu: “If that be true then how can homosexuals ever reach heaven? There must be some way to save their souls from the sulphurous lakes”
Zhi-Guan: “If god created them as a means to push others towards the rightous path then he must have also set aside a place for them since they are not sinners by choice but sinners by his own design. Besides does your religion not preach repentence, forgiveness and absolution?”
Tian-Zhu: “True. It would seem that once again you have bested me old friend. I shall take my leave now so may get back to enjoying your tea, I do hope I have not taken so much of your time that has now turned cold. Until the next time we meet God be with you.”
Zhi-Guan: “Likewise Tian-Zhu.”
Zhi-Guan takes his usual afternoon stroll through the cherry blossom where he comes across Kina-Chan weeping softly into the gentle spring breeze…
Zhi-Guan: “Kina-Chan my good friend what foul action of the heavens has moved you to such emotion this day?”
Kina-Chan: “A soul close to my heart no longer walks on this plane. I weep for her return which I know shall never come.”
Zhi-Guan: “I see. Death is often unjust in his acts, and equally as unjust in his inactions. But I tell you this in hope it lands on listening ears, do not mourn the dead for they are no longer with us to praise your waste of energy. Instead celebrate the fact they are now gone.”
Kina-Chan: “You monster! How can you remain so stoic in your resolve as you speak such vile words.”
Zhi-Guan: “If you would spare me the time I will be happy to explain my reasoning”
Kina-Chan: “Very well Zhi-Guan. I trust your wisdom so I shall offer you my fullest attention.”
Zhi-Guan: “Thank you. My case comes in two parts. The first regards the deceased. You see life is full of pains, tragedies and regrets all of which weigh upon the soul like lead, when Death calls he is merciful in the fact that he offers to remove our heavy burdens and make us free once more, all he asks in return is we hand over the mortal vessel which binds us to this plane. Once the transaction is complete your soul is free once more from pain, from suffering, from the troubles of mortallity. Even if the next plane holds nothingness and void is that not better than continued pain?”
Kina-Chan: “I guess. But life is also full of pleasure, friendships and worthwhiles do you suggest we ignore them in our calculations all because of some pain?”
Zhi-Guan: “Not at all. But all too often the negatives outwiegh the postives and Death leaves the postives with us to take care of in our memories he is in fact more merciful than people first think.”
Kina-Chan: “Very well I guess I can accept your words so far. You mentioned there is to be two parts. Please let me hear the second.”
Zhi-Guan: “Indeed this is to be a second, although it is more cut-throat and egoistic than the first.”
Kina-Chan: “Proceed still and I shall try not to hold it against you.”
Zhi-Guan: “We exist on a planet holding 7 billion, a planet growing tired and weak as we leech off its life-force like some rampant parasite. Together we have exhausted food sources by hunting our fellow beasts to extinction, poisoned oceans, soils and skies through our usage of toxins derived from the underbelly of the planet all of which has reduced the flora and fauna we use for shelter, food and binding of the land. Fuels are now scarce thanks to our over-indulgence of luxurious living so soon fire will burn cold. In short we have collectively brought dischord to the elements, fire now cold, air now toxic, water has become acid and soil deadly posion. We must start to look after ourselves in we our to survive and fight against all those who move in on our share of resources.”
Kina-Chan: “Where does this fit into why I should not mourn the dead?”
Zhi-Guan: “It is precisely the fact that they are dead which is the cause of celebration. Once deceased what need for their resources do they have?”
Kina-Chan: “None. Now I see so by taking Death’s hand we can move in and make claim to thier resources and celebrate one less drain on the planet.”
Zhi-Guan: “Precisely. As horrid as this may sound.”
Kina-Chan: “Thank you for your time Zhi-Guan. I cannot say I completly agree, but I can honestly say I have taken some slight comfort in your wisdom. I must now walk on for time drfits by and despite one life ending many more must still continue else all shall fall into decay.”
Zhi-Guan: “Until next time then my friend.”
Lao-Zhu: “Welcome my honoured guests to my humble abode, I have invited you all here this evening as you have gained reputation for being the wisest people in our lands. I desire to hear your wisdom in hope of learning how it is I may seek enlightenment. May we begin with your theory Qiang-Shan?”
Qiang-Shan: “Thank you Lazo-Zhu it is of course a great honour to be here in your presence as you to have a reputation for being wise, or as I have heard others call you; a sage. It is has to my understanding though that enlightenment is achievable through a lifetime of studying the philosophic arts”
Lao-Zhu: “Yet no lifetime is long enough to study such a thing to its completion so by this understanding enlightenment never come to actuality, it is doomed to remain only potentiality. Sheng-Ren perhaps your theory holds better.”
Sheng-Ren: “I hold enlightenment to be knowing where limits to your knowledge lie, once one knows what it is he does not know his mind becomes free from uncertainty and confusion, thus achieves a sense of inner peace.”
Lazo-Zhu: “But how does one come to know what it is he does not know if one does not yet know what it is? I find your theory flaws my good friend, although I admire the socratic direction of your thinking.”
Mo-Zi: “Perhaps a better interpretation of what Sheng-Ren is saying might be; enlightenment comes from admitting all you think you know may be false, thus all is in doubt”
Lao-Zhu: “If so then what your proposing Mo-Zi is that enlightenment becomes almost synonymous with uncertainty and confusion. This being the case then you must even be doubtful about your doubt so that your become uncertain about your uncertainty, in which case no knowledge could ever be possible and your mind becomes forever in turmoil. Surely enlightenment is about bringing your mind to peace not conflict? So either you have missed the point of enlightenment Mo-Zi, or enlightenment is not what I believed it to be. Let us hear your notions on the subject Kina-Chan before I make my decisions about Mo-Zi’s theory.”
Kina-Chan: “Enlightenment comes from living in accordance to one’s heart not one’s mind, hence doing what it is one loves most whenever and wherever one want to. A pure life of indulgence.”
Qiang-Shan: “But how does one finance a life of such indulgence? And what about the moral issues surrouding the heart’s desires of certain men? Can we allow murderer’s to murder to their hearts’ content just so they may seek enlightenment or ought we frobid them from achieving enlightenment? I fear work is needed with your thesis dear friend.”
Lao-Zhu: “Kina-Chan it sounds to me as if what you preach enlightnement to be is the life of a bard, travelling the world singing and playing to any and every ear willing to listen to him spill out his soul in return for a meagre profit. A truly noble class of people are the bards yet if all were to be bards then no nationstate would survive.”
Tian-Zhu: “The bard is only enlightened if he directs his heart, mind and soul towards God as inner peace is found through accepting God’s divine glory without question”
Mo-Zi: “So how we know when we have accpeted God’s divine glory?”
Tian-Zhu: “This is a matter of faith Mo-Zi, it is not to be questioned by man and his limited capacities.”
Mo-Zi: “So what you propose then is enlightenment is accepting what is unknowable and not to question what is unknown, in which case how can we accept what is unknowable if we cannot know what it is we must accept? Your notion is just as flawed as mine or Sheng-Ren’s.”
Lao-Zhu: “Zhi-Guan you have yet to speak, please present to us your thesis.”
Zhi-Guan: “But my learned friends I already have presented it to you.”
Sheng-Ren: “You have not uttered a single syllable Zhi-Guan, how may we absorb your great wisdom if you refuse to share, please deliver upon us your theories so that we may bask in your light.”
Zhi-Guan: “As I feared you do not understand. I need not stay a moment longer as you have failed to realise my thesis. I bid you all goodnight now my friends.”
Kina-Chan: I apologize Lao-Zhu voice of wisdom for interrupting your talk but I have been sent by those who have heard of your name in order to seek the answer to my problem.
Lao-Zhu: In which case young one your are in luck as my guest is Zhi-Guan whose wisdom excels even my own. I am sure whatever turmoil brings you our way he shall be able to heal.
Kina-Chan: I wish to understand the purpose of life?
Lao-Zhu: Then we must begin by asking what do you percieve it to be?
Kina-Chan: To seek out new epxeriences and embrace them with all our heart.
Zhi-Guan: And what about death?
Kina-Chan: That is to be avoided as this stops us seeking new experiences.
Zhi-Guan: But is death in itself not a new experience to the mortal man?
Kina-Chan: I guess it must for it can only be experienced the once, so any experience of death is new.
Lao-Zhu: So by your own admission Kina-Chan the purpose of life is to seek out death and embrace it.
Kina-Chan: I can see no way to deny that I have now led myself to this claim.
Lao-Zhu: Yet is it true or not that man seeks preservation of his life over the destruction of it?
Kina-Chan: Indeed what you say is true.
Lao-Zhu: Thus the purpose of life cannot be to die.
Zhi-Guan: And by extension it cannot be to seek out new epxeriences. There must be something else that provides meaning to life, however time is short and the list of alternatives is long, so I’m afraid as the sun is setting we must depart from this for now and leave you with the knowledge we have come across yet owe you the full argument.
Kina-Chan: Thank you. I shall look forward to that time Zhi-Guan
Lao-Zhu: As shall I my friend.
Mo-Zi: Zhi-Guan I wish to know what the value of human life is and was hoping you might know the answer.
Zhi-Guan: First Mo-Zi tell me what do you think it is?
Tian-Zhu: There can be no value on human life for it is a divine gift granted by God
Zhi-Guan: So Tian-Zhu you accept the sanctity of life as meaningless life is beyond all value
Zhi-Guan: But are there times when the sanctity of life becomes a gold standard which is impratical?
Mo-Zi: Actually Tian-Zhu I think there may be, take the case of twins who both need a transplant but only one organ is available in this case one life must be valued above the other
Zhi-Guan: So during such occasions a cost-beneift analysis needs to be employed
Mo-Zi: It would seem so my learned friend
Zhi-Guan: And at present we find ourselves in an economic struggle correct?
Tian-Zhu: That is correct
Zhi-Guan: One in which there are fewer people than jobs
Tian-Zhu: Yes, although I’m sorry but I fail to see where you are leading me
Zhi-Guan: In cases of excessive supply the value of commodities drop, yes?
Tian-Zhu: As a scholar of the economic sciences I would have to agree with you there
Mo-Zi: So Zhi-Guan what you mean to say is the value of human life is not as high as it once was
Zhi-Guan: Precisely Mo-Zi, hence the sanctity of life isn’t a praticial gold stadard for basing the value of human life on as it once used to be
Tian-Zhu: So what you propose is that we treat human life as a commodity capable of being treated in accordance with the laws of a free market
Mo-Zi: But that is how capitalist institutions of power operate and view human life
Zhi-Guan: Regretable so my friends and we live within a capitalist society do we not
Tian-Zhu: Sadly yes
Mo-ZI: Alas we do
Zhi-Guan: So how can you argue against the notion that humans are only valuable so long as the is a demand for them and a supply which does not generate surplus goods
Mo-Zi: It appears we cannot although it leaves us in a pretty grim position
Tian-Zhu: It is beyond grim Mo-Zi it is pure evil
Zhi-Guan: Alas my friends that is the way things are in there current state, sadly I must now depart for I have agreed to talk with Lao-Zhu I do hope our little discussion has enlightened you a little and not left you too disheartened
Mo-Zi: Till the next time then Zhi-Guan
Tian-Zhu: Until then and God be with you
Zhi-Guan: And he with you my friends
Mo-Yi: “Good day Lao-Zhu”
Lao-Zhu: “Yes good day to you too, yet it is not a good day”
Mo-Yi: “How so?”
Lao-Zhu: “Dark days loom on the horizon Mo-Yi for I shall soon lose my students, the state is making it harder for those in search of wisdom to seek me out.”
Mo-Yi: “That is terrible my friend”
Lao-Zhu: “Yes, and a teacher without students is like a king without a country”
Mo-Yi: “Surely a king without a country is not a king”
Zhi-Guan: “Not necessarily Mo-Yi”
Mo-Yi: “Ah hello Zhi-Guan good to see you again, do explain further how a king without a country can remain a king”
Lao-Zhu: “Yes please enlighten us”
Zhi-Guan: “Imagine a single person without any attachement to another, who would his ruler be”
Mo-Yi: “If he is the only person then he must be autonomous and therefore his own leader”
Zhi-Guan: “And a leader must give orders right?”
Mo-Yi: “That would appear to be the case”
Zhi-Guan: “So who is there to follow these orders?”
Mo-Yi: “If he is the only one then there is nobody to obey him”
Lao-Zhu: “No, if he is the only one then there is only he who can obey him, he becomes a law only unto himself”
Zhi-Guan: “so he is a position of authority, a law as such is he not?”
Lao-Zhu: “I can’t think of any better way of describing him”
Zhi-Guan: “So he is head of the state and the nation in which he governs over”
Lao-Zhu: “Indeed he becomes a nation-state”
Zhi-Guan: “And how many are there within this nationstate”
Zhi-Guan: “And how many rule the nationstate”
Mo-Yi: “Again one”
Zhi-Guan: “And as he is the only memeber of this nationstate is his rule aboslute without question”
Mo-Yi: “If there is no other to question his authority that must be the case”
Zhi-Guan: “Then the nationstate must be a monarchy”
Mo-Yi: “I guess it must be given the cirucmstances”
Zhi-Guan: “And the head of a monarchy is king right?”
Mo-Yi: “That is correct”
Zhi-Guan: “Well then Mo-Yi how could you now argue that a king without a country is not a king when we have deduced that solitary man can be king unto himself”
Mo-Yi: “It would appear that I was mistaken Zhi-Guan. I must thank you for showing me the error of my argument”
Lao-Zhu: “Although he does not have to consdiered a king there are other possibilities”
Zhi-Guan: “Indeed there is Lao-Zhu, for he could be regarded as a despot or an archduke or even a prince depending on how we wish to define this poor lonely mortal”
Mo-Yi: “Alas I must now depart it has been a pleasure to see you both”
Lao-Zhu: “I regret I too must take my leave but no doubt we shall speak again soon?”
Zhi-Guan: “I shall look forward to it. Goodbye for now my friends”