Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Occasionally I Contemplate Murder 10

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F or some reason, I have the impression that it's mostly the good guys who are willing to comply and die. The bad guys rarely do.

Those we do find precious in life on earth, seem to be the least attached to it — and the ones chewing on it without any manners or sharing, they hold onto it with immeasurable force.

This is costly to our world — having so many nice ones quickly pass, while the deplorable ones remain, seemingly forever.

On the other hand — who is the better martyr? Men live for a short time, only, but we are dead for very, very long.

Yes, the dead are so much more important than the living. Once dead, people are invincible, and their personalities do, through the thoughts and hands of the living, accomplish formidable feats.

Every man is a center of mysterious forces, which are all of them released at the moment of his death. It's impossible to foresee or control the effects of this uncaging.

Accordingly, one is led to conclude that the moment and manner of each man's death is far more important than any other event in his life. More significant, even, than the circumstances of his birth.

Again, this tells us, murder is a thing of magic.

P ractising the gracious Japanese martial art of Aikido, our authentic Japanese master told me many old tales and legends. Several of them concerned donating one's most precious belonging of all, to one who claimed it.

A strange possession, life is. To be stolen or conquered, given freely or sold for some incomprehensible price:

Once it leaves the original owner, it exists no more. A most elusive treasure.

Yet, my Japanese master told me:

When murdered, a holy man will in this act, as life leaves him, bring bliss to his bane.

A strange reward for someone provoking the Gods. Still, this is the very essence of all the Japanese martial arts, and really a good strategy for survival:

Don't enter the duel with life dear to you. Give it up, and it will not accept to leave you.

Life is like any lover. Worship her, and she'll despise you. Neglect her, and she'll cling to you. For as long as it works.

My Japanese master led a life burdened by the supremacy of his predecessors, the ones living as well as those legendary. He tried and tried to be like the holy men of ancient times, but found it rather more complicated than telling their tales.

Thus, there was an intriguing ambiguity in his obsession with these tales of acceptant death. Telling his dedicated students of the martial arts that the supreme master gives bliss to his murderer, might be a bit demanding — almost a challenge.

As of yet, though, no one has complied.

This is the most intriguing of all the stories he told me:

An old man and his two sons had decided to leave all, their wives and homes, for a quest to find salvation. After many a year's travel and hardship they came to a huge mountain, which was said to give bliss to those who climbed it. The only thing one had to do, villagers at the mountain's foot assured them, was to climb to its top, where a certain flower grew, then pick that flower and eat it.

Well, the father and his two sons began their march immediately, and it was an ordeal of unforeseen proportion. By every step they took, the wind grew stronger and the temperature dropped.

Finally, at the very brim of their endurance, they reached the top and found the flower growing there, its stalk sticking up through the snow.

It was a strange kind of flower, dark in its colors and with a forceful scent. They sat down to eat it, but the father hesitated.

What kind of plant, he wondered, could this really be? Looking like nothing else and smelling like nothing else, it was not a flower he'd like to have growing in his own garden.

So he told his younger son to taste it first, handing it over to him.

The boy obeyed his father, but the moment his tongue touched the flower, he fell down on the snow and died.

Now the father grew very thoughtful, watching his dead son and pondering the legend of this mountain and its flower.

Could all the tales he'd heard, and all the villagers at the foot of the mountain, be so wrong? He had to make sure.

So, he told his older son to taste the flower. The young man obeyed, carefully picking it up from his brother's chest.

The moment his lips touched the flower, he fell on his back and was dead.

The father stood up. He watched his two dead sons, his heart pounding and tears coming from his eyes. Soon, he turned and climbed down from the mountain.

Reaching its foot, the old man turned to watch the peak, high up above. Then he saw his two sons, shimmering of light, rising through the air and into the sky.

I think this tale is as true to the essence of salvation, as the onion is to this world we live in.

The core of life is nothing, and the essence of salvation, its very prerogative, is death. For the living, it's not.

Again, a reason to contemplate murder.

Should I, perchance, be only grateful to my murderer, if one appears, sending me to the divine domain? And should I search the world over for him, has he not yet appeared, or use all my viciousness to provoke my neighbors into giving birth to one?

Will the kind of Jesus, at the other side of the border, be cunning enough to see through such trickeries?

He probably will.

On the other hand, if I do my utmost to preserve and prolong my life, for the purpose that he will not accuse me of all too eagerly leaving it — isn't that, too, a mockery of his principles?

Man is banned by his awareness. He can do nothing, absolutely nothing, without being conscious of its implications and possible consequences. Therefore, we are never completely innocent.

And never guilty? Oh yes, ever guilty.

There's the everlasting aftertaste of one single bite of the legendary apple. A taste more bitter, even, than that of the telltale onion.

Awareness is an evil spiral, spinning without pause in our minds, from birth unto the moment of death — perhaps also beyond.

No wonder we sometimes wish so much for an end to arrive, we do our best to approach it.

There is some comfort in contemplating murder.


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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder
by 2006, 2011,2015
Paperback, 124 pages
Arriba Publ.
ISBN: 978-1-5142-2337-6

The same book in Swedish

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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.