Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: “Why do people have to die?” “This is natural,” explained the older man. “Everything has to die and has just so long to live.
Sozan, a Chinese Zen master, was asked by a student: “What is the most valuable thing in the world?” The master replied: “The head of a dead cat.” “Why is the head of a dead cat the most valuable thing in the world?” inquired the student. Sozan replied: “Because no one can name its price.” From Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
I’ve had an idea for a story for a while now that I think would be pretty interesting to write. In the future, a computerized virtual world would be accessible to most people like a utility, much like the internet. Users could interact with the virtual world like a virtual reality game, where your sight and hearing are tuned to the virtual world, not the real one. Its use has become so pervasive that people do many things in the virtual world that are currently done in the real world, such as playing games, meeting people, conducting business, collaborating, performing financial transactions, etc.