I am already on the third installment of John Burdett’s Bangkok series, a book called Bangkok Haunts – I am reading the Kindle version on the free Kindle for iPhone application. In what seems to me typical Thai fashion the book is able to move effortlessly between violence, sex and spirituality. Here is a snippet from a conversation between the main character of the book, a cop in Krung Thep, and a monk:
Saved? There is nothing to save, my friend. You cannot caste yourself into the Unknowable in the hope that gesture will buy you salvation – you have to jump for the hell of it. In a nirvanic universe there can be no salvation because we are never really lost – or found. The choice is simply between nirvana and ignorance. That is the adult truh the Buddha urges upon us. We are the sum of our burning. No burning, no being.
When I traveled in Asia for a year, a long time ago, I was constantly amazed and delighted by the ability of so many people (((seemed like everybody was able to do that))) to switch from the mundane to the spiritual and back in no time at all. Spirituality is not reserved for a fixed hour per week, but is constantly present and referenced.