Flames by the Campfire

So, from all corners of Talmenor in which the tokagi resided, entourages of wise folk flocked to Makuta’Mata. Some came to finally settle old debates, others to learn, and yet others to earn fame to their name… While some, well, some just appeared to have a bit of fun.

Another round of whispers then followed until Kiki-Riki raised his hand to hush them. He replied sardonically:

“What a beautiful speech, Chum-Bum. Truly! I was almost convinced myself. I have but one more question to ask… Pray tell me. How was this ‘truth’ revealed to you?”

“You would not understand even if I revealed it to you.”

“Oh, I am sure I would not, yet I am sure that there are many people here, who are much wiser than I, who would understand. Do not do it for my sake, but for theirs.”

“I… If you say so. Listen to me, everyone! These truths were revealed to me by the deities themselves, by nature itself! I have developed methods with which to communicate with them. By imbibing a special concoction that I have brewed, I am able to reach them and converse with them. That is how I know these truths.”

“Fascinating,” replied Kiki-Riki. “Suppose someone came to me while in this state… could I speak with them?”

“No, you could not. Your body would not be able to respond.”

“And say I get hungry and want to eat something. Hunger is a powerful drive. Will I be able to eat in that state?”

“No, you will not. The state is stronger than even hunger!”

“Amazing. Say I have to go to relieve myself. Would I be able to go?”

“You will relieve yourself in the moment, but you will not be able to clean up until after you have finished your meditation.”

Kiki-Riki scoffed. “I see. It seems yet again that my questions have left me with more questions, rather than the answers I seek. I was so close to being persuaded by your arguments before, but upon learning more about the ways in which you have discovered your ‘truths’, I must admit, I have become doubtful. I find the truths revealed by someone who is in a state which strips them of their basic functions to be dubious. If you are not able to even lift a finger, pray tell me then, how you can tell whether what is revealed to you is true or false?”

“With faith!” exclaimed Chum-Bum. “That is how… Something you clearly lack.”

“Ahh, faith… Interesting… Is not faith the same thing that assures you that if you jump into the lake, there will be no alligators inside? Is not faith the same thing that makes you go for your staff every time you hear a rustle in the bushes, expecting danger on the other side? My friend, can you not see that faith is not a strong foundation on which to build your ‘truths’ on? Especially if these truths are revealed to you in an altered state of conscious.”

Shamora-Sha interjects, “He’s right, ya know. It’s all language games, really.”

Chum-Bum and Kiki-Riki look at each other, then at Shamora-Sha, and said, “What are you even talking about?”

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