The Twelve Links – Part 7

Posted on Jul 28, 2018 | 0 comments

“I now know many things about suffering in Samsara,” he thought. “I know that if I am suffering I can’t be happy, that there is a cause to suffering and that suffering can end. It is impermanent. So if there is a cause to suffering, then what is it? The cause of most of my suffering is other people,” he thought. “But if suffering is impermanent then all people would have to start being a lot nicer to me or everyone would have to die. Or maybe I would have to die.” None of those options seemed very realistic or particularly noble. There must be a more rational explanation. “No doubt all will be revealed if I am patient,” he mused.

On the morning of the third day since he had left Contact, he hit Feeling. Over the main road into to town was an arch made of woven tree branches. Atop it was a rooster a snake and a pig, replicas of course, all made of clay. “ Strange group of animals,” thought Nap, “I hope they’re not into voodoo in this town.” But in fact Feeling was a farming town, a good place for Nap to replenish his stores.

When he reached the centre of town he saw a crowd gathered around the doctors surgery. He parked Karma and Delusion and wandered into the General (and only) Store. Whilst perusing the shelves for something special to send to Sheila, he overheard the locals talking. The cause of the crowd outside was a teenager with an arrow in his eye. Apparently this teenager and his brother wanted to join the circus and had been practicing a trick where the brother shot an arrow into the air and the teenager was to catch it in his teeth. Needless to say he missed. He claimed the sun had got in the way but the locals thought it was the fact that he only had one eye left from the last time it went wrong.

Nap purchased some supplies for his trip he was unable to find anything suitable for Sheila in the General Store. After he added the extra weight to Karma and Delusion, he walked over to a park opposite the general store to lie in the sun for a while. In the middle of the park was a huge rock serving as a monument, it had a plaque on it engraved with a picture of a rooster, a pig and a snake. Below the rooster was the word ‘greed,’ below the pig was the word ‘ignorance’ and below the snake was the word ‘hatred’. It then read, ‘There are two causes of suffering, they are, karma and delusion, these three animals are chosen to remind us of delusion, the primary cause of suffering.’ All this time and Nap didn’t know that his horses were the main cause of all his (and for that matter everyone else’s) suffering. Not quite the rational answer he was looking for, perhaps they meant that delusion was the afflictive emotions of greed, hatred and ignorance. Karma, he already knew, was the law of cause and effect.

He lay in the sun and thought of how that fitted in with all that he’d learnt so far. He now knew the cause of his suffering (although he wasn’t sure what he was ignorant of exactly) and things were beginning to make sense. He couldn’t blame others for his suffering for as he reasoned before if they didn’t start treating him better they would all have to die. (He wasn’t about to.) So if he couldn’t blame others, that left only him. Therefore he would have to take responsibility for his own suffering. Nap remembered Tara’s note, ‘the completed effect of meditating on the true origins of suffering is to have abandoned the causes of suffering’. “Does that mean that if I can remove greed, ignorance and hatred from my mind my suffering will stop? ” he wondered. This thought caused his brain to ache. He was taking his mind to places it had never been before.

All that thinking had made him hungry. He had a picnic in the park and then made tracks for Craving; it wasn’t far off. He made it just on nightfall, riding in as Craving was settling down for the night. The only place open was a very seedy looking bar. Nap sauntered in not because he was interested in having a drink but in the hope of finding somewhere to stay. The barman was tall and skinny, his face was gaunt and his skin looked paper-thin. He had a tattoo of a dragon on his right shoulder and a monkey on his left. The best place to stay was at the old vineyards on the other side of town he told Nap.

Part 8 just around the corner…….



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