The huge gate of our school had many symbols on the door in a language I had never understood and when asked, our teacher would say: “When the moment is right you can gain knowledge of it. When you work with yourself the instructor himself would teach you without you having to ask.”
Inside the gates it was like a fresh paradise with trees, grass and lots of vegetation, water with different kinds of fish in it, and even those large ones that would jump out to eat from a hand and in the rear you would find our teachers place next to the training field. Then there would be a library with books that were so prehistoric that one could mistake them for being a bunch of rigid soil.
I found our teacher during a class were some of the students were crying and as I got closer I sat down and heard the following: “…When is it time for our stonehearted hearts and rocks to become soft and become a true heart? When is it time for us to fight our passions, lusts and become free?” Then he glanced towards me and back at the students and after a short silence he said: “Some of you are meant to do great things, but great things cannot be achieved without great sacrifice and in order to achieve great things one must undertake the task of a huge burden. But all this cannot happen without knowledge and practice…” I kind of got lost in my own thoughts.
After the session we sat with our teacher to chit chat and when everyone was gone he closed the gate and glanced at me with a smile and said: “So we are here to talk about something that bothers you. You really don’t come and visit me otherwise, maybe I’m ill, maybe I need something, all you care about is what you need. It shouldn’t be like that. When you become a teacher someday you would wish the same from your apprentice. That they come and spend time with you.”
I felt embarrassed, he was right; those same words were on my grandfather’s lips before he passed away.
“Master, I have questions about why they would flog and whip a person who has been drinking beer while he has done nothing to others.”
“Ah, what an excellent question. “He answered by taking some bread out of his pocket and divided it into two halves and gave me the larger portion.
“See beer has both benefits and harm but the harm is more than the benefits. A person who is drunk can inspire others to get drunk as you probably have heard about in our neighboring towns. Being under the influence of beer will make you lose your normal senses and you would not be able to judge between things. You could commit misdeeds thinking it is fun. You can fight and even kill someone without having the real intentions of doing such” He said and stood up and went towards a pot with something in it.
“See in this pot is medicine for certain maladies but I would never ever let anyone take a sip from it unless a person being really sick! And if you inspire others to drink and through that inspire the society to be immoral and indecent. Then you would be punished. The first time you would be given a chance, the second time you would be whipped and the third time you have to leave this impure physical body so to move into another realm where you could become pure and hence we would stop a whole society of drinking by this act of punishment” he finished by taking a bit from his barley bread.
“Have you not heard the stories of those who fell of the cliff, those who mixed poison in foods, and those who would stare at our feminine halves? They all were drunk and drinking removes shame and honor. Two qualities our society would be dragged into all kinds of immoral acts and destroy us just like they destroyed the nation of Aar.”
I went into my own thoughts, as I realized that not everything that tastes or feels good could be good while in fact it could be the opposite. How could we then now what is good and what is bad?
“Listen to this carefully, Ryo, a thing that could be seen as fine might in fact be harmful and vice a versa. We couldn’t know, weren’t it for our scriptures that was given to us by the creator of the skies and our homeland” and he opened the gates for me as a sign that it was getting dark soon and he had to prepare for his sunset prayers.
I almost stepped out as I heard from my behind: “Remember this goes as well for death. Who says death is a bad thing or the end as every fool thinks?” and baaaaom the big gate closed.
I always pondered how he could open and close such a big gate himself and yes, there are stories of his powers that my dad always used to talk about. They both defended Pandaqom when they were young.