In Distress

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Archer and his Charioteer.

The archer asks, “Charioteer, why must I fight my kinsmen?”
The charioteer replies, “There are those that seek power for power’s sake and this propensity must be checked lest it result in total destruction.”
The archer inquires, “What do you mean?”
The charioteer responds, “If the tiger hunts deer for nourishment alone, there is balance. If the tiger hunts for the thrill of the kill, there is imbalance, eventually diminishing both sides.”
The archer asks, “What is my role?”
The charioteer replies, “It is the duty of the just to extinguish aggression, else it poison the whole.”
The archer inquires, “Why does such a thing occur?”
The charioteer responds, “The world is brought into being, and by the forces of nature those within it function, but this process is imperfect resulting in excesses and inefficiencies. At times these wrongs must be righted.”
The archer asks, “But why me, why now, and why in this manner?”
The charioteer responds, “Why not? What else is life but dramatic pageantry? It is creation and dissolution. Some must prune for the whole to prosper, if a garden is overcome with weeds it can bear no fruit.”
The archer inquires, “But why must it be my kinsmen?”
The charioteer replies, “All that exists extinguishes. You are not the cause but the tool, the implement wielded by life to bring forth balance. As you do not choose to draw breath, you do not choose to draw your bow, circumstances dictate your course, you need only accept your part.”
The archer says, “I am not sure I want such a role.”
The charioteer replies, “See it not as burdensome but be grateful for the task, by this appreciation you will find satisfaction.”
The archer replies, “But I find this situation so disagreeable that I cannot persist.”
The charioteer responds, “If you cannot justify these acts by proximate means, then seek spiritual means. Seek to see life not as a visceral event but a mirage, a brief display of dancing light blinking in and out of existence.”
The archer replies, “But what I feel is real.”
The charioteer responds, “Stories and dreams evoke emotion, yet these are fictional occurrences and their effects diminish quickly. When life is perceived in a similarly lighthearted manner, distress also diminishes quickly.”
The archer asks, “How can I perceive life in a different way?”
The charioteer responds, “How did you achieve accuracy with your bow — but by practice. In the same way hone your mind. As you steadied your bow, steady your attention. As you targeted your arrows, target your thoughts. Focus on your intention, ignoring all else.”
The archer says, “But my mind is as a storm, wild and uncontrollable.”
The charioteer replies, “In time with practice the mind can be tamed, this is the promise provided by the most ancient of wisdom.”
The archer says, “Dearest charioteer, you have given me much to consider and I have no reason to doubt your words. I will practice as you say and in doing so achieve my aim of a tranquil mind.”

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