The sensation of being pulled, like my whole body being pulled by a magnet, and my blanket suddenly materializes, then my body appears in the darkness, and I suddenly realize I have been woken up because someone is pounding on my balcony door. “David Wake up! Get your ass over here now!” It’s my neighbor Joshka. I looked at my clock. One in the morning. The night is dark and still. I figure he is either drunk or has something important to tell me. I snuggle back down into the warm covers. Dingdongdingdongdingdong. The doorbell rings and a loud, fast, continuous knocking on my door convinces me this is serious. ‘What in God’s name?’ The first thing I think is that Joshka saw a UFO. And that there is a UFO floating outside right now and he wants me to come outside and see it. (That was seriously what I first thought.) I believe in UFOs because I have seen one(and it is very difficult to not believe once you have seen one) so this is not too crazy. ‘Ok, there might be a UFO outside my window.’
I get out of bed. My room is cold. I walk over to the balcony door and immediately see a strange, very strange flickering glow shimmering in the space in front of my balcony. ‘What in the world? Maybe it really is a UFO.’ I step outside onto my balcony and the mirage-like light still hangs ethereally in the dark space in front of me. "why.." I look over to Joshka's balcony and it is then I see the source of the strange shimmering glow. Joshka’s House is on fire! I run back into my house and out the front door and over to Joshka’s. Dark smoke is billowing out of his apartment, I immediately start coughing, my eyes burning, ‘Where is the smoke alarm?’ I see Joshka though the hallway standing in front of his bedroom trying to work a fire extinguisher. “It won’t work!” I look into his room and see some sort of box in the center roaring in flames. Half awake I run back into my house, get a bucket, fill it with water, run back, and put out the fire. Silence again. Or rather, stillness again, for none of this made much of a sound.
“What was that?” I finally ask in between coughing fits as we walk out of his smoke filled apartment. “My heater. It fuckn exploded!” Silence surrounds us as the city continues to sleep. “Can I sleep at your place?” “Yes, of course.” Joshka kept coughing deep into the night.
The next day after work I found out that a store clerk gave Joshka gasoline instead of butane. His heater exploded and the heat from the fire melted everything that could melt in the room (like his keyboard and his air-conditioner.) That night, as I was taking my shirt off, I noticed that my collar was striped black. I took a nice long bath.
Recently I ordered two Ken Wilber Books in Japanese- One Taste and No boundary- for a couple of my friends who are interested in him. I will give them as Christmas presents. I have The English NO boundary, so I am now having a great time going though and reading the Japanese translation with the English guide.
IN fact, today I was at the board of ed all day and asked one of my coworkers to help me with some Kanji. We started talking about the Christian “Agape” and the Buddhist “Compassion.” (He studies christianity.) He said that they were the same thing. I asked him if Compassion or Agape was the same as Christ or Buddha Nature. He said “No. Absolutely not. The Christ nature or Buddha nature is something you already have. Everyone has it. Agape, or compassion, on the other hand, has to be cultivated with spiritual practice.” He then told me he was happy I was studying these things and went on his merry way.
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