有一段時間，洗澡變成我的專屬昆蟲觀察研究時間，發呆兼思考。毒物群聚的生態，在人造平民浴缸裏顯得荒唐又寫實。像不像文學大師馬奎斯名著《百年孤寂》中，怪癖美女躲在浴室吃泥，引來一大群飛行昆蟲的詭麗對比畫面？倒也不像。人小不美。也沒吃泥。蝴蝶沒飛來。一大缸子黑蜈蚣爬來爬去。南台灣的地下水文化在夏季 high 到最高點，「地層下陷」這個名詞還是後幾年才開始大為流傳，很多人根本不當一回事－－浴缸污水裏黑烏烏的蜈蚣群來回游走的畫面，成為南台灣鮮明的夏季回憶。
Guess the timing was really good; no show, no movie, no play, no audience. Only me and you alone, the Red House Theater. The sunlight danced through the old cracks of the red brick walls, the black curtains hanged around whispering, the eastern-style tables and chairs scattered chatting, the octagonal ceiling above watched silently.
I asked you, "Why did people build you?"
There were so many wars in the world when you were completed in 1908. Did people combined octagonal and cruciform shapes in order to comfort the crying ghosts?
I asked you, "How could you mix different religious cultures in the religious structure, and turned it into a modern cultural center?"
As long as people can live happily and cooperated peacefully, we should respect all religious tradition to enhance their mutual understanding.
I asked you, "What's your opinion about people, men or women, gay or straight, east or west?"
Aren't they all Earth beings called human beings?
That day, I had such a wonderful talk with you, an old theater, but people thought I was just quietly standing alone.
There are so many subtle links of causes and effects that we don't know. For example, what people say "upon the table" and what they do "under the table," or how people put a lot of efforts to keep "low-key" during the process and finally show the result all of a sudden in a "high-key" spotlight. It's hard for anyone to see the whole picture clearly and know exactly what's next.
It may start from an idea, an opinion, a discussion, even a casual debate. People put their thoughts into words and actions, then all complicated causes and effects will change accordingly. That's how emptiness functions in real life, ordinary yet magical:
The impossible could become possible.
It's up to your mind, your words, and your actions.
Buddha Nature is the root of all kinds of personalities.
People change; people's personalities also change. I was once criticized for being a very strict and reasonable person when I was young, then I did my best to change. Many years later, I was scolded as a soft and sensitive person, so I worked hard to change. Finally, I started to write some poems and smile a lot, people reached a new conclusion that I must be very romantic and only lived in my own dreams. Several years later, a whole new issue came out as such, "How could your personality be so different from your looks? You look like a kid, yet your mind is almost like an old man!"
Everybody is right. People understand each other due to their own observation and judgments. People have the freedom of opinions and speech, I respect that. The illusory personalities may change, but Buddha Nature is still Buddha Nature.
Look at this photo.
It's a peaceful animal, looking at you, dear human beings.
It's a living being; before you kill it mercilessly on purpose and call it "beef."
Food problems are big global issues now. If you want to beef up this topic, just ask the consumers and the protesters all over the world. Some people in US don't like this idea at all; some people in Taiwan don't accept this business at all; all cattle on Earth don't want to be murdered and eaten up. Don't tell me you'd love to be killed and put on the table as daily food yourself; you hate that. You, as a human being, always think your own life is important, precious, and special.
Whenever food issues heat up, that reminds me something:
I was born in a killer-race after all. I belong to a killer-race named human beings, who keep telling me how they believe in love and life everyday, but actually never quit killing and abusing. Call it legal or ethical, say it's safe or non-poisonous, people kill for money, sell animals for money, push business for money, tell lies for money...
In the beef business, we can see clearly how people could set up a sound legal system to support a killer-business and justify animal slaughter, even establish all kinds of convenient means for global promotion. Well, dear human beings, you kill so many lives and still claim that you believe in LOVE? I don't buy it!
People in the past lived their lives; they left lots of koans behind. We read and read; we try so hard to decipher them. But hey, how about right now, right here, living our lives? If we don't focus on NOW, what could we leave behind for future generations?