Boisterous Immortal (I/IV)

Everybody laughs at Boisterous Immortal.

It’s 539 BCE, on a little island out near P’eng-Lai. There are only six immortals there. It’s not a very prestigious island.

Boisterous Immortal is always doing things like stabbing people and breaking buildings. It’s funny because it never hurts anything.

“Ha ha!” laughs Boisterous Immortal, stacking herbs on Placid Immortal’s feet and then lighting them on fire. This is actually a traditional medical technique but because Boisterous Immortal is not licensed to practice medicine it is morally incorrect.

Placid Immortal chuckles softly. “Hot foot,” he says.

Boisterous Immortal runs off.

“Ha ha!” cries Boisterous Immortal, flinging a gibbon into the air. It flies very high. It hangs there. Then it falls to the earth.


The gibbon shrieks its irritation at Boisterous Immortal. Then it dashes off into the island’s gardens.

Animal-Cousin Immortal shakes her head sadly at Boisterous Immortal.

“That’s cruel,” she says. “If you were a gibbon, would you like immortals to fling you?”

“Yes,” says Boisterous Immortal.

Animal-Cousin Immortal hesitates at this.

“Point to you,” she concedes primly. She goes off to tend to her jade meditation.

Boisterous Immortal laughs and shouts.

The sun watches Boisterous Immortal. It loves him. It follows him wherever he goes, always casting its light on him, except when it’s night or cloudy.

The clouds love Boisterous Immortal too. Sometimes, they rain on him!

“Ha ha!” laughs Boisterous Immortal. He swings his sword. He cuts down all the trees on the island. Whoosh! Slowly, they pull themselves back onto their trunks, rustling gentle mirth.

There is a problem.

It is hard for Boisterous Immortal to understand the problem but he can feel it coming. It is like a falling weight.

Something has changed.

“Ha ha?” he says.

He pokes Placid Immortal with his sword.

Placid Immortal, looking startled, bleeds out his life.

“Um,” says Boisterous Immortal.

He pokes Placid Immortal with his finger.

“That was not the consequence I intended,” he says. “Come back to life!”

But Placid Immortal is apparently a misnomer.

And Boisterous Immortal weeps, there on a little island near P’eng-Lai.

6 thoughts on “Boisterous Immortal (I/IV)

  1. So, immortals ceased to be immortal when Belshazzar devoured Nabonidus.

    Since Belshazzar devours the monster’s nature, perhaps Immortality is part of nature of monsters?

  2. Remember, for reasons connected to Siddhartha and perhaps other things, Belshazzar devoured all the natures of the world.

    Before the the Feast of Belshazzar, it was possible to have a nature such that you would not die. Afterwards, it was not. Such is the tyrrany of the mundane.


  3. It’s not quite clear whether he actually devoured all the natures of the world. I’ve learned to be careful about the wording of Hitherby entries. From Belshazzar’s Feast:

    And in Babylon, Belshazzar’s teeth cut and tear at his own flesh, and the devouring god devours himself, and into him like a rushing river pour all the natures of the world.

    In previous incidents, Belshazzar does seem to devour the nature of the monster, and (apparently) the nature of the hero.

  4. From Tre Ore:

    539 BCE

    There are some who say that Chen Yu broke the world. There are some who lay the blame on Belshazzar in Babylon, or Siddhartha Suddhodana’s son. A few blame Mylitta, or the monster, or even Maya, for all that there was nothing she feared more.

    In the end, that the world should break was inevitable.

    The weight of its suffering was not a thing the world could bear.

    As far as I remember, the fifth century abounded in founding religious and philosophical figures from all the major civilizational areas: Confucius, early Greek philosophers, the Buddha, with the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus leading to the transmission of ideas between Zoroastrianism and Judaism that would later influence Christianity. The quoted passage above refers to a Chinese sage, to the Buddha, and to the Babylonian conquest, all within a context that strongly suggests Christian themes.

  5. After a long wait, another canon entry. And this is an important one; as it seems this series will be about the changes to the world after Siddihartha’s Awakening and the Feast of Belshazzar.

    Here, we see the poor Biosterous Immortal, completely unprepared for what is happening. His tale is especially sad because when one destroys the nature of Happiness, what can be left but sadness? However, his tale is only a part of the whole. Imagine what it would be like, if the divine was something real to you. If you saw gods and immortals, could talk to them, ask favors of them. Now imagine if they all vanished.

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