Let me tell you a little story

“Once upon a time there was a little boy who knew everything – many stories have little boys.

Even when he was in kindergarten he amazed all the people around him with his perception and fast growing knowledge (at that time what he didn't really knew – he very skillfully invented).

When he was 9 he asked his mother to buy him "Einstein's universe" by Nigel Colder. When he was 11 he started reading Spinoza. After many years he understood that he really didn't understand all of that, but it all looked very exciting, and he loved the look of people when they saw a young kid reading all of this.

The world around seemed to be very clear. Of course, he continued to read books, but it was just to sort out some details. He got the general principle of the world, and that was the important thing. People seemed to be very stupid (with the exception of Spinoza and Einstein, maybe, but they were long dead), so the little kid spent most of his time scorning. He sat at weddings and scorned at the people getting married. He scorned at people who didn't knew that the planet is going to be destroyed one day, and that they were just small particles of dust in the vast universe (on which they knew nothing about, and he new, as I said, everything). That was his hobby: Scorning. Oh, that and reading, too. He read more and more, and discovered other wonderful and amazing people like him, like a scattered long-lost race, but all of them were dead or very far away. The people around him were of another race, ignorant and oblivious to all the amazing things in the world, so were his teachers too, whom with he argued frequently. Classes were easy then, and he spent most of the time drawing fantastical drawings inspired by wonderful stories and ideas. The other stupid kids were admiring his drawings, and he was delighted giving them away. For him it was so easy, and they treated it as a great treasure.

He was a good and just ruler. He treated his worshippers fairly. They were few, compared to his godly status, but he started to like it when they justified his view about himself. They asked him about everything, trusting him more than the teachers.

The only person he looked up to was his father, from whom he learnt a lot, but he hid his admiration of him from everyone including himself, fearing it can be a sign of weakness. After all, a “ruler of the universe to be” cannot have a mortal father, can he?

The days went by slowly in his kingdom of the world, but nights were horrifying. Knowing all was a burden, after all. How can one sleep when he knows the terrible things that lurk around, and knowing the terrible fate that is to come upon the world, sorry, his world?

He developed another hobby: telling people the world is going to end. It made him feel very powerful, seeing how other people are so small and ignorant. It was not really a new hobby, but maybe a development of the scorning hobby. Those were the hobbies of the immortal. (One day someone will call this behavior as “being a raven”).

 

Then one day – every story has “one day” – he started feeling alien feelings.

His body, the long trusted vessel that contained and mobilized the all-knowing brain of the ruler of the universe started to betray him. He knew (well, he knew everything) that “feelings” were only chemical reactions in the brain, and how disappointing he felt when his trusted vessel started making him look at the stupid girls like the other stupid kids. He found himself – how humiliating! – fantasizing about their fresh emerging breasts, instead of about quasars, electrons and dragons. He felt frustrated as a man whose new car had broke down, but of course, he couldn’t ask anyone for help – he, the ruler of the universe!

He decided that he will deal with it himself. He was learning martial arts, and tried to find ways to better control his rebellious body. It was a hard struggle. He felt as if all his life he was preparing himself for one thing and then got hit by the other, like a chess player that confronts a boxer. The new rules were very different. His precious mind was like a captive, a hostage of a traitorous captor, but no ransom was asked for. It seemed nature was doing it to him out of sheer cruelty.

The struggle went on. He was not exactly winning, but he felt the assault was contained. The urges and lusts disgusted him, but he felt empowered in overcoming them. “It is a test,” he told himself. “a test for the ruler of the universe” – he did not call himself in that name explicitly, back than, but in retrospect, this is what he was in the eyes of himself, and in some way, it was true, though he was slowly overthrown, losing a grip in his kingdom. And his universe was smaller than he thought. It was not even “Einstein’s Universe”. It was just a small cave he needed to get out of.

 

And there was this girl…ALL stories have a girl.

This girl was different. They knew each other from a very early stage, and with time, he started to think she was not one of them – especially them girls. She was a tom-boy, but very beautiful and intelligent, and she actually read books – and even scorned sometimes! They shared hobbies.

But things were not that easy.

They were both in a role playing group he was leading, giving his eager friends the precious chance of entering his wonderful realm. All of them where witty and enjoyed laughing at everyone, and relished on their complete superiority. The boy was their leader, of course, and they were his disciples. Secretly he scorned them too, mocking their surrender to the dark armies of corporeality and earthly, mind blurring delights.

Let’s face it – all of them were in love with her. At that time she just looked like the only girl around. He saw the other girls, too, his body craved for their curves, but his brain kept him back, filling him with guilt and disgust. That girl seemed a good solution.

He embarked upon a quest for her heart. The all knowing, ever-right ruler of the universe cannot just tell someone he is fond her, it had to be complicated. It had to be complicated not just to hide it from other people; it had to be complicated because somehow he tried to outwit himself. Like a prisoner that is trying to build a tunnel without attracting the attention of the guards, he tried to make an elaborate and secret escape – but this time the prisoner was his body and the captor was his brain – who claimed total superiority and could not stand giving the body a go.

It was an elaborate plan. The body tricked the mind that the purpose of the quest was not her body, but her mind, and her total devotion to him and her recognition in his ingenuity. The mind was very flattered, and was ready to show her who is the boss.

The boy took the opportunity of her request from him to draw her something on her room’s wall, and decided that this is going to be the painting of his life.

He declared this is going to be not a painting but a revelation, like a chapel’s ceiling. It was grand mission, worthy of an immortal. He started to make sketches and ideas. The girl was very glad and interested, and he was encouraged. He called it “The Atom Heart Mother Revelation”, being his visual interpretation of a musical piece they both adored. He understood that the long hours spent in her room, working on the fine details of his would-be masterpiece, can give her a small impression of his grandness, small but enough to make her fall to his feet.

He slaved for almost three years on her wall, till he was almost 17. He did not work every day, of course, but the chance of being alone with the girl, impressing her with his words and art, made him expanding the plans of the detailed piece to an unattainable vision, a never-ending work that gave him more chances to impress her and spend time with her.

It was a delightful era. They talked for hours, while he carefully colored the fantastical visions he realized on the wall of that small apartment in the gray and ordinary city of Holon. They listened to music, exploring strange and inspiring pieces on wonderfull vintage vinyl records they bought on the “The Third Ear” famous record store.

Meanwhile, he worked on a new surprise for his followers: a book. It was supposed to be and ingenious combination of philosophy and fantasy, and he wrote it with paper and pencil, calling it “On the Shores of Existence Ocean”. It was supposed to be his explosion to the world, and was later to be named “The zero book”.

The days with the girl went by, and he understood that however fun everything was, nothing happened. His quest was not an assault on her heart: it was a siege. And the city under siege did not show any sign of surrender to his efforts.

The day he feared was approaching: The painting should be finished. There was just no more room on the wall, and his original composition started to be realized. He was horrified. He was very worried. Soon, there will be no excuse for them be together alone. While he pondered what to do, the answer came by itself: she had a new boyfriend.

And it was one of the group, one of his friends! And the most insulting thing: one of the ones he considered ugly and a lot less smart than the others.

It was the utter betrayal of everything he believed in.

He finished his painting with a dedication, sending one last desperate message to her, and made his signature an epitaph on a small painted gravestone on the side of the wall, near her bad. So many hours they spent on that bad – talking. Only talking. He never touched her. Come to think of it, he didn’t touch anyone. Not his friends, nor his parents or relatives. At times he even shared his emotions with her about other girls he considered attractive, and told her about his mostly pathetic attempts to ask them out. How stupid of him!

There were times he thought it was wrong to admit a mistake. Saying that yesterday you have made a mistake, is betrayal of the “you” that is yesterday. And if you won’t back up the “you” of yesterday, how can you trust the ”you” of tomorrow?

But now he was just starting to discover that mistake is life, and knowledge had the scent of death in it – as Goethe once said.

The time came to join the army, and leave the old life behind. The story of the little boy continued on, and became the story of a young man. He had many more experiences that changed and shocked him. Some even dwarfed that one. He learned Humility. He learned to surrender some times. He left the small universe to discover a vast one, an unknown one. Many universes. He had many more wonderful adventures, but that’s a tale for another time.

Just one short epilogue:

Some years after that, the overthrown ruler of the universe met with that beautiful girl. At the time both of them were involved in meaningful, other relationships (that were too, in their turn, exploded like fat stars and faded into infinity since then).

Talking about old times, smiling at the pretentious painting in her old room wall. Somehow, he succeeded in putting into words, and asked her why she went with that boy.

“Well,” she said. “He asked me, and it happened. You had plenty of chances.”

He was amazed. All that time while he waited with his vast armies in the arduous siege, the gates of the city were unlocked! All he had to do…was…reach…out and touch…the handle.

Or had he?”

 

What’s the moral of the story? If it had clear moral, it missed the point. Maybe the point is that there cannot be clear morals in life. Stating absolute morals reduces life into an allegory for something else. But life is not an allegory. It’s the real thing.

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