“Isn’t there something really scary about people who knowingly, consciously, use others as stepping-stones?” Hmm. I wonder. Actually, it’s the people who unknowingly—with all the best of intentions and delusions of just cause—use other people who are way more disturbing. “Haha! But you’re a good guy, right?” he chuckled. Thankfully, whether or not I’m a good guy has nothing to do with anything. Instead, it’s like this: it’s not about two different ways of thinking, it’s about different ways of living life. About the absolute and enormous difference between people who can get through life without even needing to walk over others—and those who aren’t even worth walking over. Yeah, I guess that’s what this is really all about. Like a painter without a style. Like a scholar whose studies are complete. Like a chef who has already tasted success. Like a fortune-teller who has transcended too far. The women on that island were far too different. Both the host and the guests were of a hopelessly different breed, of an unstoppably different breed, of a different breed you would never want to stop. Their existence was so out of reach, so distant that you could never even hope to muster a desire to approach it. And then… “In other words, this is a question of ‘What is genius, and what isn’t?’ Now, being incompetent—that’s what’s best, really. To be completely obtuse. To be so oblivious as to never think for a second about one’s purpose in life, to never think about the meaning of life, to never think about the value of life. Then this world would be a paradise. Calm, peaceful, and serene. Trivial things would be major and major things trivial, and life could be lived to its fullest.” Surely that was indeed the case. The world is harsh to the brilliant. The world is harsh to the competent. The world is harsh to the beautiful. The world is harsh to the attentive. The world is kind to the unkempt. The world is kind to the incompetent. The world is kind to the corrupt. The world is kind to the oblivious. But if you figure that out, if you realize that, it’s already over right then. It’s a problem with no solutions and no interpretation. It’s over before it’s begun, and by the time it’s over, it’s complete. I guess it’s that kind of story. For example: “Essentially, people live in one of two ways. Either they live in awareness of their own worthlessness, or they live in awareness of the worthlessness of the world. Two ways. Either you allow your value to be absorbed by the world, or you chisel away at the world’s value and make it your own.” Which should take precedence, the value of the world or your own value? To accept the world as boring or accept oneself as boring? Which is really more agreeable? There’s bound to be some amount of ambiguity and uncertainty. Is there really any defined criteria there? Is it really just a choice between A and B? Do you really have to choose? “Where is the line between genius and not genius?” Where is the line between what is true and who is a lie? Where is the line between who is true and where is a lie? You must not ask. He snorted cynically. “So how about you then?” Well… “How does the world look to you?” To me, after having experienced that island. To me, there next to the blue. To me, now with this person before my eyes, it was all just mindless babble. It wasn’t even worth the trouble of even thinking of an answer. And so I said nothing. Instead, I looked away and thought of something else. So, how does the world look through this person’s eyes? Just how did I look in this person’s eyes?