The Twilight State
A Saiyasart short story about this world, the afterlife and a normal day in the jungle.
Deep in the jungle and far from civilization, hidden in the rocky hatches of a mountain formation, there was a cave that was hard to reach. No one had ever gone there and only the plants and animals of the surrounding area gave the place the harmonious naturalness of the jungle.
A naturalness that resulted from the rhythmic cycle of the rising sun and the weather phenomena, and led to the distinction between day and night and the associated seasons. A monotony in a varied environment at the same time, like an order in disorder with all its effects. Unrhythmic sounds of animals and windswept leaves resulted in the musical accompaniment of this togetherness in balanced and peaceful harmony in the here and now.
On a late afternoon, just before the surrounding area was completely covered by darkness, there were suddenly unusual and excited noises, an activity that came from birds and other animals of the jungle. Mixed with sounds of bent branches and crushed leaves, they signaled something unusual in this normality. The direction of this change was given away by the sounds, both where they came from and in which direction they were moving.
A muscular man, covered in blood, suffering from the injuries of a fight, makes his way through the jungle. He holds a fighting sword in one hand. With a rigid gaze, he comes hurriedly out of the valley towards the mountain top, his facial expression shows pain and anger. He is without fears and does not seem to be on the run. Determined, he proceeds consciously and in a controlled manner, as if he were looking for a particular environment.
Its path ends at a rock wall near the hidden entrance of the cave. Darkness sets in and takes his sight and the dense tree formations of the forest make his perception almost impossible. He searches for a place between small stone hills for his night camp and falls asleep peacefully after a very short time.
In his dream, a figure of clouds with a female voice appears to him, pretending to be a cave guard. She was entrusted with the task of sending a necessary message to newcomers like him before entering the cave. The message is that the passage into the cave is linked to magical conditions in order to pass through it and get to the other side. The conditions consist of the fulfilment of the “inviolability” and the “welcome”, and apply to all continuous. After she delivers her message, she dissolves into thin air.
Due to the unusual nature of his dream, the man was emotionally confused and restless, causing him to wake up spontaneously. He found himself in the jungle, it was day, and everything was bright and filled with light. But the brightness was not the brightness of the day, with its warm sun rays, that were so familiar to him. It was rather a silvery brightness that strangely made everything shine, but did not provide any heat. Apart from that, everything was normal, he saw the jungle in front of him, as it was before.
Behind him, on the rock face, that was covered by trees and climbing plants, he found the hidden cave entrance, just as the cave keeper had described it. He was surprised and, out of curiosity, immediately went to the entrance of the cave, not realizing how easily and without resistance he could move. It was just like an ordinary dream, in which you don’t have your own pictorial perception or physical sensation as in waking.
The cave entrance looked like a tunnel filled with fog, so that he could not see any walls or a passageway. He didn’t feel like he could pass the cave at all, or see where it was going. Then he remembered the message of the cave guard and her explanation of the magical conditions of “inviolability” and “welcome”.
Inviolability refers to the present state of existence, where the “I” does not have a (physical) “mine”. For the passage, the “mine” is a hindrance, if it has not yet been laid off. The welcome refers to the present self in this world, which on the other side of the passage has neither validity nor meaning. Those who fail to let go of the present self cannot be welcomed by their future self. The cave is basically a transition for all arrivals, such as a threshold or a shady tunnel, which exists simultaneously as a present reality and future illusion. Everyone has to pass through the tunnel on his own, and it is only through the acceptance of this state that one transforms into a simple being, which allows that the path can be made to the other side.
Meanwhile, the sun stands high above the tops of the trees and shines with its warm rays on the surroundings of the jungle, as on all other days. Everything seems to be ordinary, except for the entrance of the cave. There is a human carcass, surrounded by hungry animals. Of all that was and is and however it may be, it was only a normal day in the jungle.
Plai Tamin, December 20. 2015