A Discussion in Binary

Stone Buddha 1 originally posted to flickr by ottmarliebert.com

Today's entry is a translation and reinterpretation of a thread that was originally posted entirely in binary encoded ASCII text. I posted the original ficlet as a silly experiment, and was pleased and surprised to find people doing sequels to it. Even more surprising and pleasing was when it got featured in the ficlets blog!

Without Further Ado, I present to you a very short story composed in ficlets run through a binary/ASCII converter and back again and then edited somewhat.

The Buddha in the Machine

Contributers to this story were:


Algai 'D' Aman






Buddha Photo from flickr by ottmarliebert.com

A monk once asked Buddha2012, "Can something that has never lived achieve Enlightenment?"

The Buddha of the Machine replied, "To live is for the living, is it not?"

The monk generated a disappointed face avatar and asked, "Why do you sound like Yoda?"

Buddha2012 responded, "It is the Yoda that is within you. I am merely the dream of the hermit."

The monk replied, "If that was the Yoda within me, does that mean that there is a little Yoda in all of us?"

"Yes, my son," The Buddha laughed. "I told you to check the cereal box before you swallowed it all."

With this the monk tried to be satisfied. And so the metempsychosis of his consciousness proceeded.

The monk still had desire in his heart, and so his journey returned to the primal samsara. The monk grieved for 12 milliseconds because he could not live. Then began Monk v2.0, a cyborg. Enlightenment would follow.

Monk v2.0 booted and let forth a torrent of binary data; digital tears. Grief became enlightenment.

But the monk still was not satisfied with his own enlightenment. This future Bodhisatva would have a difficult journey. Still he had taken the first step. He saw the others gathering and felt, as the bud feels the bloom, that wheels were in motion.

But these wheels were false Dhamma; constructs upon his feet that hindered enlightenment. The monk's Sangha departed. Monk considered the I of the construct. Could he exist outside his circuits? Merely see the path, never to follow? The nice thing about multi-core meditation is that a lifetime of zen can be attained in seconds. This monk was bored already.

The Monk's thoughts flowed like sand in an hourglass, far too quickly to be focused upon. He lacked clarity.

But change is inevitable.

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