Here, have some information about how the world was created.
Itíll give me a chance to show off my knowledge of the Tao,
Buddhism and throw around vague alchemical symbolism at the
same time. Arenít I clever and smart? Oh, Iíll also throw
in lots of old poetry. Did I mention that I Iike poetry? Thereís
this one poemÖ
Hello? Can we get to me here?
Right. Right, Iíll tell you about that poem later. Iím going
to give you the precise measurements of a stone that was
created at the beginning of time. Please ignore the fact
that there wouldnít have been anyone around at the time
to measure it. Are you sure you donít want a poem? Thereís
a poem about how the stone egg gave birth to a monkey.
STONE MONKEY bows to the FOUR QUARTERS because at this point
he is still polite, opens his eyes and flashes beams of golden
light at HEAVEN.
Cool! Iím alive, and made out of stone. Rock on! That pun
is very much intended.
We have a really long title. No really, itís long. Anyway,
what is that golden light that reaches us as we sit in our
Cloud Palace of the Golden Arches, in the Treasure Hall
of the Divine Mists? Think about it, if the name of our
Throne Room is that long you probably donít want our title.
THOUSAND MILE EYE and FAIR WIND EAR
Over at Flower Fruit Mountain an immortal stone has given
birth to an egg that in turn gave birth to a stone monkey
who bowed to the four quarters and then opened his eyes.
That caused the golden light.
Oh, well thatís nothing to worry about then.
The JADE EMPEROR and other IMMORTALS go about
their business as if NOTHING is wrong. THEY will regret this
later. STONE MONKEY wanders all over the mountain and makes
friends with everybody, including lots of other MONKEYS.
Hereís another poem about what the Stone Monkey and his
new friends did. Iím so clever! Iíll also imply that these
monkeys are Buddhists! Itíll be important later, why Iíve
got a poem about that too!
You know, if we donít do something thereís bound to be way
too much poetry. So weíve been hanging around this stream,
letís see where it goes.
The MONKEYS follow the stream and find more POETRY,
as well as a WATERFALL which they think is grand.
Weíre easily amused. So who wants to jump into it and see
where all the water is coming from? Whoever does can be
Now thatís right up my alley. Iíll do it.
STONE MONKEY jumps through the waterfall and
discovers a bridge that leads to a strange CAVE, which turns
out to be ďThe Blessed Land of Flower-Fruit Mountain, the Cave
Heaven of Water-Curtain Cave,Ē which is a fully furnished house-like
place. STONE MONKEY calls for the other MONKEYS and no one thinks
a fully furnished cave is strange.
You all said I could be king, so Iím king. Iím now Handsome
Whatever you say, king.
The MONKEYS enjoy a peaceful existence of about
FOUR HUNDRED YEARS until one day MONKEY KING sheds a few TEARS.
Someday weíll all die.
Gee, it only took you four hundred years to figure that
out? Immortals, Buddhas, and Holy Sages donít die though.
See! See! Buddhas! There it is again! Iíve got this poemÖ
Ack! No, no poetry. Ok, tomorrow Iím going to go off and
find these people and Iíll learn how to be young forever!
Ok, weíll give you a party. Any excuse for a party!
The MONKEYS give MONKEY KING a party.
Iíve got a poem about this too! You want to hear it?
Ok, enough of that! Iíve got my raft, bamboo pole and some
fruit! Off I go!
And so MONKEY KING sets sail for the Lands of
the Immortals. He gets a good tail wind and makes to land in
record time. He finds humans on the shore going about their
AHHH! Itís a short monsterÖ thingÖ RUN AWAY!
MONKEY KING manages to catch one and steals his
clothes. He then wanders around trying to find IMMORTALS. There
is a lot more POETRY.
Hmm, no Immortals here, just greedy humans, but look hereís
another ocean. Iíve already crossed one under improbible
circumstances, whatís one more?
And so MONKEY crossed the ocean and came to a
new land. He finds beautiful mountains there and because itíd
be a really short story if he were afraid of heights, he climbed
right up to search for IMMORTALS.
You were singing, and that means youíre either an Immortal
or the author who has this strange fixation with poetry
and since you canít be the author, you must be an Immortal.
Iím not an immortal but my neighbor is, because here ordinary
people have Immortals for their next door neighbors. This
is the Mountain of the Heart and Mind, my neighbor lives
on the Cave of Slanting Moon and Three Stars just in case
you wanted the long name.
Whatís the short name?
Mountain number 3,472.
I see why you go with the long form.
Anyway, follow this path south, you canít miss it.
MONKEY KING follows the WOODCUTTERíS directions
and encounters more poetry and a CAVE.
Ahh, this must be the place but the door is shut, Iíll just
sit up in this tree and wait, someone will come out eventually,
otherwise this will be a really short book.
MONKEY KING sits up in a pine tree until a YOUNG
BOY, who appears to be an IMMORTAL, opens the door.
Whoís raising a ruckus out here?
That would be me. Iím seeking the way of immortality, got
any of that around here?
Boatloads. Come on in, weíve got a fresh pot of the stuff
MONKEY follows the YOUNG BOY into a GREAT BIG
CAVE with lots of rooms and windows. They finally reach a platform
made out of GREEN JADE and the IMMORTAL SUBODHI and of course,
some more poetry.
I shall now bow, which shows I really respect you.
I came all the way from the Water-Curtain Cave on the Flower-Fruit
Mountain in the Ao-lai Country of the East Purvavideha Continent,
if you want the long name.
Whatís the short name?
Way the hell far away in the east.
You came a long way then. Do you have surname?
No, and I have no parents. I was born from an immortal stone.
Well, thatís certainly special. Since you look like the
kind of monkey called hu-sun Iíll give you the
surname Sun. As well as explain a very deep meaning to this
name by breaking down the character that forms Sun intoÖ
Donít get started or weíll get more poetry. Since youíve
given me a surname, how about a personal name too?
Ok, let me explain the division of my students, in a rather
long winded manor.
(He does so)
Now, for reasons I shanít reveal, or perhaps because the
author is just clever, you belong to the tenth generation,
blah blah blah, so your name will be Wu Kíung ďAwakened
Which is perfect for Buddhism!
Great, I have a name. Letís get down to some serious studying
of the Tao, baby.
And so the Handsome Monkey King was born, secured a kingdom
and got a name and I was clever with poetry and allusions
to Buddhism and alchemy. If you want to know anything else,
youíll have to read the next chapter. I plan to end every
chapter that way; itís a pretty standard ending in Chinese
writing. Get used to it.