Din [ Chapter 14a ]
The things we will regret the most are the ones we did not do when we had the time.
The first words of the book already made Din’s mouth taste bitter like blood. There were so many things she hadn’t done in time that she regretted, so many things in so short a life…
She flipped back to the first page which just had
inscribed in beautifully calligraphic lettering. The last word was written entirely in Yamato signs and seemed to have no intelligible meaning: it literally said ‘Captured Great True Form Body’ in one long compound-word. Only the alphabetical Yamato signs that were used to express spoken syllables and that were placed descriptively above the complex signs showed Din how it was meant to be read phonetically, for several distinctly different parts of the word were written with the same character: ‘body/form’.
She flipped back to that singular statement that was centered on an otherwise blank page and thought of all the people that were gone now. In a way, even Sameth was gone; she was all on her own. So, what was it the time for now? What was there to do now that she had to do, that she would regret not doing in the future? She did not know, so she looked at the next page and raised a brow.
Without specifically reading anything she started flipping through the pages and realized by the face of the text that this was some sort of collection of short phrases and some longer blocks but not a connected story, if her first impression didn’t deceive her. There was no chapter structure, no sectionalizing, just plain text grouped into shorter and longer blocks, though many pages were dedicated to little sketches and drawings of human bodies in various positions, perhaps performing parts of a dance. She flipped back to read from the beginning. It started with a longer block:
There is a strange, inherent structure to the universe, and all that is, can be measured three by five, such is my experience. It begins with three truths that make up all that is, named Genjitsu, Sonzai, Genshi: Reality, Existence, and Origin.
As they lie in balance, there is power that reality holds over us, power laid out in laws that govern all interactions in the universe. Existence is the inherent power in all living beings that allows them to create their own interactions and thus change the face of the universe. To master Taishôgeki, one must master one’s own existence.
As the universe is made up of three by five in all that is, from each of those three truths unfolds a five-fold structure and all is connected. Existence is made up of these five essences that must be explored: Soul, Willpower, Life Force (or Natural Power), Instinct, and Spirit.
As reality is the driving force of the universe outside, existence is the driving force of the universe inside. Look deep and deeper. Once you have reached deep enough inside of you, there is a place that all the mighty know well: A dark, empty space, and in that space there is only the great gate. Sometimes the space is boundless black, sometimes it is an ocean without land or rim. Sometimes the gate lies right in front, sometimes it lies eternally hidden.
Find it and it will lead you to the place where all power is born and your journey may truly begin.
Din looked at the rays of moonlight that pierced through her window and threw spectral white light onto her floors. She had heard this and that about the here presented world-view in side remarks by her teachers and people she had talked to. They all believed in what they called ‘the Great Clockwork’, a driving force behind all things, but some had hinted that to them it was only a by-product of a much larger existential structure that made up all things, while others had denounced it as the willful mystification of magic. She looked to the next line for clarification, but it was no longer a part of the same block and just said:
When I see the ravens stop by, dressed in black – ever so briefly – see them taking off, then I think to myself: what light might those feathers have swallowed, soaring high and far and wide? What knowledge? Are they indeed eternal students, or are they simply specks of black, vanishing in a boundless never-ending night sky?
She paused and stared at the line in confusion. There seemed to be no logical connection between this and the previous block. The leap in thought seemed quite strange to her; but then again she had trouble understanding any meaning in this line all on its own: It seemed like a random thought with no serious meaning, brought down to paper. Reluctantly, she read the next one:
The further one looks ahead, the more one forgets to look back.
Don’t meditate questing for nothing and void, meditate questing for fulfillment and all.
These seemed more like sayings and instructions! She read on:
All comes from destruction and all shall end in destruction, what happens in between is what we call beauty and life.
Still bewildered, she began to pick up the pace and read through page after page, pausing every now and then when something caught her eye. Not only the nature of the text blocks varied greatly from one to the next, many were written in different tongues, as if using only one would not have sufficient explanatory power; or at least it appeared that way to Din. Her philosophy teacher had told her once that the sciences, in their attempt to understand and explain the universe, would every now and then reach a point where existing models and views on a subject would become insufficient to explain a phenomenon, at which point a model or view with higher explanatory power would be required, and in its creation new understanding would follow. The use of different tongues here seemed much like that to Din as certain words sometimes existed in each tongue in their own right with no exact translation and as there was a different melody, a different rhythm to those tongues.
As Din read on and on, she began to realize that this book contained not just a collection of phrases but indeed a way of life and a most strange approach to what she could only guess to be some form of enlightenment; as if someone had used his own soul as ink to fill these pages.