Terry Pratchett's Tibetan Magic (by Sudeva 2016)
"The wise man does not seek enlightenment, he waits for it. So while I was waiting it occurred to me that seeking perplexity might be more fun. After all, enlightenment begins where perplexity ends."
– Lu Tze (a character in Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett )
It seems there is more in Terry Pratchett's books than one man could create in one life time. Was he an old Tibetan monk, drawing on the experiences of a dozen incarnations? He looked more like an eccentric Englishman, but then according to Lu-Tze (see above), "you can't tell a book by its cover."
I love reading Terry's books and I am fascinated by the way he points to the deep and spiritual truths of life, almost as an aside. In reading one receives a multitude of multicultural human wisdom while being joyfully and elegantly entertained. How does he do it?
There is the simplicity of Tao in Terry, the wild and fantastic magic fits easily in Tibet … and the sound between the lines equals the great Zen teachings.
Terry Pratchett's wonderful books are mostly set on the Discworld, a world where magic operates in a more visible realm than it does here on Sphereworld. Still, the people who use magic recognise that it is wild, unruly and unpredictable. They prefer not to use it, except for the wizards of the Unseen University who mostly cannot see beyond their own noses.
Lu-Tze and Granny Weatherwax both come from the Ramtops, mysterious mountains where magic is a way of life. They live an enlightened life while appearing as perfectly ordinary and simple human beings.
Granny Weatherwax – a fully empowered old wise witch - rarely uses magic. Instead she creates miracles though her "headology"; seeing who people really are she un-clogs the pipes and channels in their minds, affects their behaviour and wakes them up.
Lu-Tze is a sweeper at the monastery of the History Monks – the lowliest of the low. He is also their greatest martial arts practitioner – though no one has ever seen him in action. Like magic, his martial power is used only when it must be. "Violence is the resort of the violent," he says. He follows the Way of Mrs Cosmopolite, his landlady when he was a student. In his battered book of notes on her sayings it is written, "It won't get better if you pick at it." How many times has the average human being lain awake at night picking fruitlessly at their problems when they could have been fast asleep?
Terry's characters are in the business of waking people up and indeed if Mrs Cosmopolite didn't say "Wake up to yerself" then she should have. Waking up is not a one-off event and his characters find themselves again and again in situations where they have to be in the present moment or their lives fall apart. The magic flows when they are pushed to the point where nothing else works and they have to act now. For it is written, "There is no time like the present".
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