The stoner’s friends had read The 420 Code, and they had smoked beside him for many years, but still they had questions. Many of these questions were some strain of this: “What should we do?”
In times of crisis — and it seemed like, more and more, it was always a time of crisis — this question had the smell of ash about it, desperation and fear.
One day, the stoner’s friends seemed especially worried, but he calmed there fears with a question: “When you smoke, and you get too high, what do I tell you not to do?”
“Never Wish to Fall,” they said, quoting the 18th Rule of Thumb.
“And so it is with a crisis. You cannot go back to normal, anymore than you can not have smoked. What is, is, and always shall have been. But what is to come?
“We can try to remain as we are, like green grass in a bowl, like a beautiful lawn, well-kempt and fresh. Or we can set ourselves on fire.”
“Man, you’re messing with my high,” said one of his circle. “I don’t want to get burned.”
“You can stay in your bowl, if you wish. But you cannot stay forever. Eventually, you will be spilled and scattered on the floor. It is the same as with your pipes, for what is the nature of all glass?”
“To break,” said another, quoting the 2nd Rule of Thumb.
“If we stay in our bowls, thinking that we are safe, we will be knocked to the ground and dispersed. We will become nothing. Every crisis is such a knocking. It can tip us over as easy as that, and we will be nothing.”
An uncomfortable silence followed. One of the people coughed.
“But if we set ourselves on fire–”
And when he said this, he picked up a pipe and lit the corner of the bowl. He took a breath, and the green grass burnt and turned to black. “We pass through the screen like smoke.”
He exhaled, and smoke filled the room. “And we shall live forever in the clouds.”
And the rest of his circle marveled at this, for although it confused them, it also made sense. And they asked the stoner, “How do we set ourselves on fire?”
And he answered them, “You must learn The Metaphysics. These are the 4 principles and the 20 thoughts which set fire to the heart. With them, you will know yourself. With them, you will make yourself. And with them, you will emerge from this challenge a new person. Do you wish to learn them?”
Everyone in the circle nodded.
“Then I will teach you. But only some of you.”
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