Friday, December 5, 2008

Desire-Part V-Joyful Participation in the Sorrows of the World

A rolling cloud of violet smoke announced the arrival of his eagerly awaited visitor. Bacchus closed the door to the guest bedroom more out of protective reflex than concern about disturbing Arianna’s slumber. Pan had scrounged up a draught from Morpheus to help the poor woman rest and nothing could rouse her until the satyr administered the antidote.

Coughing his way through the purple haze, the fallen god extended his hand. “Vighnesha, hey, thanks for showing up.”

“Oh, no sweat. It’s totally cool. When Pan popped in at Amarapura I was all like ‘dude, where you been, man?’ But you know, at first I didn’t even know if he was really there. I’d gotten this righteous bud from the Disciples. Man, last time I got some shit from them, I woke up a century later with this elephant head on. I still haven’t lived that down. So yeah, I was totally freaked by the goat-man.”

“Sorry about that.”

“Nah, it’s all good. So, Bacchus, dude, how have you been? It’s been ages.”

“Well, aside from being stripped of my status as a god, I’m peachy.”

“Really, man? That’s totally harsh. Why’d they kick you out?”

“Something about me causing more suffering than I alleviate.”

“That’s totally bogus. How’d they figure that?”

“I’m not sure. Actually that’s why I called you; I need a favor. You’re one of the only beings I know, aside from Bodhi himself, who has mastered Bodhi’s philosophies. I need you to explain something to me.”

“Ah yeah, Bodhi’s got mad meaning-of-life skills. Go ahead, shoot.”

“What in Hades is he talking about he when he advocates ‘joyful participation in the sorrows of the world?’”

“Okay, bro, it’s like this: You only gotta know three things in life—Life’s a bitch and then you die. The reason life’s a bitch is because you want more than you got. But if you want life not to suck you have to stop wanting anything.”

“The root of all suffering is desire,” Bacchus murmured.

“Right on.”

“But how can all desire be bad? There’s nothing more uplifting than falling in love and joining bodies with someone else.”

“True, but think about it, you ever been with a chick you really, really dug?”

“Oh yeah. Aphrodite can do this thing where she puts an ankle behind her ear and—”

“Right? I know the thing your talking about and somehow she flips over and can still grab your junk. Woo, good times.” Vig paused to tuck a lock of hair behind his ear. “Anyway, so what happened when Aphrodite was gone?”

“Bastet came by for a visit.”

“Okay, bad example. How about this—Have you ever lost something important to you?”

“Uh—hello.” Bacchus waved a hand. “One cast out god over here.”

“Sorry, man, I forgot. But cool, that’s the perfect example. How do you feel about all that?”

“I’m pretty miserable.”

“There you go. You get what I’m saying, bro? The desire to be a god again is bringing you down. If you accept your new lot in life and go with the flow, you wouldn’t feel so fucked up.”

“So wanting anything is bad?”

“Not bad. No. Bodhi’s not making it some good or bad kinda deal. He’s saying be happy with what you got.”

“And how does all this relate to ‘joyful participation?’”

“This is the best part. It’s so friggin’ elegant it makes me want to cry. Okay, it’s about enjoying something cool while it’s there to be enjoyed. Then letting it go when it’s time for the experience to end.”

“You mean like Aphrodite and Bastet? I enjoyed Aphrodite, but when it was time for her to go, I didn’t beg her to stay or mope because she left. I turned around and enjoyed Bastet.”
“Right on. The journey is the destination. Be here now.”

“I think I understand. It’s not intoxication and ecstasy that’s feeding The Sorrows. It’s the desire for intoxication and ecstasy. More than that it’s weakness in the face of that desire.”

“You got it, my man. So whoever put the finger on you did the world wrong. And you gotta get The Council to see that.”

“And I have to do it before my followers lose faith or die out. Can you imagine a world devoid of strawberry margaritas?”

“I shudder to think of an existence without umbrella drinks, bro. Anything I can do to help?”

“You’ve done more than enough on that front. I may need some backup for some nasty business brewing down here, but I’ll send Pan for you if things go bad.”

“I’m totally there. Whenever and where ever. And I’ll give Heracles, CĂșchulainn, and Gilgamesh the heads up, too. Those dudes are itching to throw down.”

“Thanks, Vig.”

Vig scratched the round blue belly under his golden vest. “Hey, I hate to ask, but I got fierce munchies. You got anything to eat around here.”

“I don’t,” Bacchus replied. “But let me introduce you to an exquisite service the humans invented. It’s called ‘pizza delivery.’ You’ll love it.”

“Sweet, bring it on, bro. And don’t forget the extra cheese.”


Rita Vetere said...

Just getting caught up with Bacchus and company... and enjoying every minute of it! Looking forward to the next installment--these guys are a hoot!

kensanadarnell said...

Luv it Jax. Can't wait for the next installment.