Theory of Centipede

In the arcade, they have gathered. There are dozens of them. They are not raucous, but rather restrained. They are not rude, but rather comport themselves in the correct manner. They watch as the Master plays Centipede.

“Observe,” says the Master. “I am sincere and truthful as I address the centipede. In return, it ceases to encroach upon my borders.”

The viewers admire. Then one disciple startles. “Master!” he says. “There is a scorpion!”

The Master holds up one hand. “Be at peace,” he says. “I am attempting to demonstrate my uprightness. This will subdue the scorpion.”

“No!” cries the disciple, caught up in the moment. “Try humaneness!”

“Not yet understanding life,” the Master answers, “how may you understand Centipede?”

The disciple quiets.

“Still,” says the Master, “the scorpion descends. Please pass me six quarters.”

The disciples do so. The Master inserts them, one by one. “Easily inserted,” he says, “and easily; and with difficulty; and easily; and with difficulty; and with difficulty. This is the hexagram Kwei Mei. Action will be evil, and in no wise advantageous.”

The Master stands back from the controls. He watches the scorpion descend. Then the scorpion recognizes its error. It retreats off the screen. The Master returns to play.

“How is it that when I play this game,” asks a disciple, “the enemies attack; but when you play the game, they pursue harmonious interaction?”

“When you play with aggression,” says the Master, “you do not inspire respect. That is why the centipede attacks you. You admire my play? When the ancient worthy P’eng would play, the insects would not even appear!”

4 thoughts on “Theory of Centipede

  1. Wow; Zen Video Gaming? Deep.

    The real odd thing is that the Zen Master there reminds me a bit of Rebecca herself, showing wisdom that doesn’t always make sense from this air of untouchable mystery.


  2. Sadly, I am not sure that the Master’s wisdom is applicable to the illusion that is the world. If it were truly possible to prevent strife by being peaceful and without hatred, then the world would surely be a better place?

  3. Oh ye of little faith ;)

    The thing about the illusion is that everyone is always trying to detect the illusion and get out. Show me a person who really accepts that peace and respect is always the right action, and I will show you a god.

    Because you do not believe it, it is not true. By acknowledging evil, hatred, dissolusion, you give power to that which you fear. That is why it exists in this world. Our disbelief in the good gives evil all it’s strength.

    Thus, the question is not, “Isn’t it silly to be peaceful?”, but “Is it possible for a human to be peaceful?”

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