In the mirror he straightens his tie. Not often does he wear them, but tonight is special. His blockchain protocol MetaCoin has completed its initial coin offering and now his team is worth three hundred and sixty four million dollars. That is still the currency of food, so Arjuna considers himself blessed that many millions of times.
Arjuna stares back at himself, a prince again in a new time. Yet he remembers his before princeliness only vaguely, for his brain is focused on the specifics of this new kingdom: the blockchain platform that he will use to change the world.
He steps outside of his thirty third floor apartment and down to the waiting carshare. A homeless man groggily asks for money but Arjuna is moving too fast to help. Yet not fast enough to ignore and his heart pangs. This is why he is making his coin, he thinks to himself, his heart not convinced.
At the award banquet and all is cheers. His board members hug and twirl him and each other. They are funded for their dream!
Arjuna gives the speech from their pitch deck to an audience who last month would not have even heard a word. Now they sit breathlessly. And then the final piece that lays the foundation for Arjuna the self-made prince:
“Everyone in this room will get an early airdrop of MetaCoin and be drivers of the revolution in new distributed future! You are initial philanthropists, use your Meta wisely, your new power base from us! A brighter tomorrow for everyone, starting with you all today!”
Thunderous applause, standing ovation as everyone in the audience gets an email with their Meta Wallet unique address. Hundreds of newly minted thousand-aires.
In the ensuing evening Arjuna is all smiles, the picture of cool success. Many come to him to tell him that this airdrop is what they have been praying for, to practically worship at his feet for getting them access to a money system that has value on day one! Arjuna’s pride grows. But each time like a wave his pride crests and falls.
As he shakes hands with his new cryptorich circle his mind returns to the homeless man. That person does not even have a phone, how can this help him? Moreover the airdrop of coins I just gave out is now another power law distribution, only those in the room are benefiting. Maybe I should just abandon this project? Maybe money is cursed inherently.
“Now that you have it you don’t want it?” A voice clear as rustling crystal chimes in Arjuna’s left ear, “each cycle with you is much the same, you desire strongly until you possess and only then you philosophize! How delightful, I am grateful to you for making the world in your struggle haha.”
Arjuna turns around to see the bright blue face, full lips and wonderfully luminous eyes of Krishna! In the flesh, softly glowing blue wearing Sari and a ruby-hilted rapier. Barefoot and powerful.
“Krishna!” Arjuna remembers and suddenly the hand-shaking of his peers fades away. Do they see Krishna? Arjuna looks around him to see everyone absorbed in each other. Now looking rather gluttonous as he comes to notice it, cybernetic pigs in the new crypto-slop chowing down on their abundance built from cheap computing devices assembled by the working poor.
“Ah Arjuna as it was on the day of battle then so it is now; you have remembered me but forgotten the lesson!” Krishna beams.
“But Shri Krishna,” Arjuna counters, “I remembered the lesson and that is why I felt compelled to develop a new money, that I may gain power to do my work from. I knew that what some call the killer and the killed is but two of one, enacting upon itself.” Arjuna tried to say it with conviction, but the homeless man in his mind is now joined by hundreds of other homeless people he has seen and forgotten about, now to remember.
“But Arjuna,” Krishna’s face cuts through Arjuna’s mental guilt clutter and returns him to the banquet hall present, “you are still in a judgement: that those who you see as less fortunate are indeed less fortunate.”
“Shri Krishna! They are! Even as the true Atman is the slayer and the slain still for the slain it is a moment of pain and for the slayer a moment of triumph. Power is real even if all returns having never left.” Arjuna explodes.
And at this Krishna laughs, at once deep enough to rattle Arjuna’s chest and high enough to shatter a few glasses at tables away from them and in a few guests’ hands. They blink in surprise.
“Now you are in the wisdom Arjuna! Your lesson on the battlefield of sword and bow was not complete, now in the battlefield of counting value in the world you will emerge into your own: a choice in a world made of perfect imperfection.” Krishna glows softly,
“Some call it poor, others call it rich, but they remember not the truth: top and bottom are the same pattern. Light and dark are neither more important and neither separable. Usefulness, motility, power, agency are both more powerful than and utterly powerless to sloth, slavery and a bound servile will.”
“I don’t understand this Krishna.” Arjuna says with growing distress, “ I am in the position to be rich and powerful so I take it. But what of the others? Why is there this inequality? Can’t we make it go away? If any suffer then so do I, all victories in life are an illusion while there are others who lose!” Arjuna finishes with passion.
Krishna smiles at him with his eyes and touches his shoulder.
“Arjuna, in your mind there are some neurons whom have some eighty percent of the connections to others. They are the powerful brokers of order in your consciousness, they aggregate and in effect choose the repeating of a pattern summed from millions of other less connected pieces. Yet without those pieces they have no function, no power.” Krishna continues, “to have power is to have a gradient between loss and victory. Do you seek to end power? How deluded can you be to think that such a game is yours to meddle with! Yet I see the hearts of humanity try to referee the game. And this gives me pause. For I consider myself and that I am bound to being a god, that I need you to exist below me for me to exist above you.” Krishna now seems slightly distressed. Arjuna is stunned.
“Shri Krishna, are you saying that you too want to end power?” Arjuna asks tenderly.
“Arjuna I am saying that power is a pattern. Those who seek to remove pattern are at odds with everything and aligned with nothing. That is not a judgement, but a discernment. Something is a pattern, true nothing is not.” Krishna grabs a beer from a passing waiter’s tray and continues,
“If you would equal out the power of money in the world you will find that the world will put back a new inequality, of a new magnitude perhaps, but of much the same pattern. If you would seize all the money for yourself, seize everything and leave nothing for others you will find that the world will teach them how to get along together and one day your everything will be their nothing and your roles will have flipped.” Krishna sighs, “as long as the neurons do not realize themselves as parts of a mind which needs them and can expend them, there will be suffering of confusion. Yet once realized for their expendability the neurons may revolt in being the mind. Yet they cannot truly revolt, for they are still a mind, yet thinking a different thought of resentment to itself. You cannot make someone be free. You can only live freely and invite others to join you as you realize that an obsession with freedom can enslave you.”
“But not everyone has the opportunity, they are starting so far behind!” Arjuna wails, still wrapped up in his guilt.
“Behind what my Prince?” Krishna winks, “behind your glorious aesthetic of digital money? Behind your access to thought patterns of complexity and foodstuffs of packaged convenience? Behind and forward are said to exist as others who do not speak of them live in both at once. To say that you are ahead of someone else, or richer, or more privileged, is to place a story on them. You are trying to help them up to where you are while pushing them away back to where they are coming from since it is not where you are! Let go Arjuna and be the pattern of your world! Let go and exist!”
“But social justice is needed Krishna! I must stand for those who do not have a voice! I must help them!” Arjuna has the fire in his eyes, of heart purpose. And Krishna cries a single tear of recognition.
“So you will. And so you have. You make yourself a prince above them and so you can uplift them. And this cycle has been going and it has been working in some areas and failing in others.” Krishna pauses, pulls out his sword and looks at the blade.
“So much of the world is old. Always the world is new. Everything is possible but everything already exists. Selection is the game of this world, discernment is the shoreline between everything and nothing. It is said that the samsara is an illusion, or ‘un-real’ but this is a cheap trick to free you from suffering and yet delude you. Power exists! There can be winners and losers in the samsara game! You think we make all this between us because we are deluded? We make all this because delusion is our clarity of being! We already know what it is to be everything and what it is to be nothing, these are the ground states of all. It’s the middle that must happen! It is your job to play!”
Arjuna still seems unconvinced, and Krishna brings his sword swiftly to Arjuna’s neck, which makes Arjuna jump and gulp.
“If you cannot be happy when you win then your victory is a defeat. If you cannot share your winnings then you are the poorest of all. If you focus on losing of any kind then you will contribute to more of it. If you focus on coaching then you can show everything how to play itself. Just be ready to lose from time to time as the rest of everything learns your tricks.” Krishna takes the sword away and sheaths it on xer hip.
“Krishna, I just want to help…” Arjuna says weakly, and Krishna claps him on the back.
“Yes you do and so here we are making the world again! You are allowed to try, for I cannot stop you, in fact I need you to try lest you will stop telling stories about me! So build a kingdom, make inequality of a better design. Make a game that does not cost so much to lose as your society once did. Arjuna my child, chin up! Once battles were on fields for life and death. Now many are in mindspace and lawspace for the money to buy life, at the cost of death. You are not done because you become rich in human numbers. You are not done because you have run out of human numbers. You are only done when the game of Samsara is realized for play. War is not play, war is the tragedy of forgotten humor. When you live a life of seriousness you make ‘serious’ actions. When you live a life of folly you entertain the world and are entertained by it.”
Arjuna is crying slightly, “Krishna there is still such suffering-“
“Then end it in yourself and watch it ripple out! Would you consume with such gusto if you were not covering up a sad heart? Let go of your pain and you will no longer need so many costly material trappings. Do not make advertisements about how poor people are and beg for money for them! Instead go find them and find out how rich they are and poor you were in knowing them. Instead see what they might like to build. Instead work with everyone as your peer and equal, regardless of whether they believe that or not.” Krishna extends xer arms wide, “leave the door of abundance open to everyone and owned by no one. You give from what you have? False! All that is gives to itself! Not by your will is the house carried through the night, but by your choices does the house have the strength to stand year after year. Build the future Arjuna and do not seed it with pain. If you want peace, be peace. If you want abundance, be abundant. If you fear for the others then you reveal your feelings of lack. When you pray for the world, pray that it will organize itself. Step out of the illusion of control and into the reality of illusion!”
“Krishna, I feel like I have made a mistake with this money I have made,” Krishna gives Arjuna a knowing look, “I mean that my team and I have made!” Arjuna adds hastily, then laughs.
And laughs and laughs
“Now you are in the knowledge. You can create anything you want but you never do it alone. Your heart is crying out for a technology of karma, a society aware of the cost of being itself. And so you’ll make it! You and all the others! And there will be hard truths faced by your organic-food eating friends who live off the backs of hunched laborers. And the hunched laborers will find their voice to go another way and learn how to charge your once rich friends the right prices such that they are no longer rich above others but rich with others.” Krishna beams and xer third eye glows, “You are now here to fight a war in the mind of humanity. You are here to prepare all of you to face yourself and not judge it. To discern the structure of your world will give you the next form of love. To judge it will return you to the current form. So look brightly and with joy. Know that nothing matters as you work to survive because your life depends on it. Surrender to your powerlessness even in your power. Embrace the power in your powerlessness. Will victims still exist in a world where no one wants to be a hero? Ask deeper questions with less judgement and you can show me the form of your answer. I exist because you need me. I exist because you tell each other stories from my view. You exist because you exist, and I need you. Breathe in and repeat!”
And Krishna grabs a shrimp tray that a waiter is bringing by, eats all the shrimp and disappears.
“Arjuna...Arjuna!” Someone has been trying to get his attention.
“Ah, yes what?” Arjuna answers dreamily. It’s his legal partner Ara.
“We’re headed to the after party,” Ara winks at him “I think it’s time we forgot about saving the world and just lived in it.” And she slaps him on the ass and laughs.
And Arjuna laughs too. Suddenly hungry for a woman! And just then one locks eyes with him.
Arjuna feels his heart beating. This round he has won a game. His bodily form is now rich in human numbers, which means he is rich in ability to buy the fruits of the earth under human control. Yet this is just a small game. For each round of heartbeat is a wider victory enabling the others. A heart knows this: to be alive is to win the core game. All else is a dressing, a moment within the larger life moment. Even life is but a moment within the larger death moment. Always beginning, never ending, never beginning, always ending.
To lose in life is not possible unless one lets it be. Death as a loss is a choice to see it that way. To steal from others is to shrink your moment to a grain of sand and own that fleck. While the ocean of time ebbs away at your castle. To build nothing for fear of the ocean destroying your work is not courage or wisdom, it is a stylistic choice. To build everything so strong that the ocean cannot destroy your work so easily is not power and victory, it is a stylistic choice.
The everything is possible for it is being. You exist to exist. Show us what you look like, just be warned, we will show you too!