Lantern Review: Issue 5

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

idée reçue :: received idea

Reflected in the mirror is another sign of things to come. It is a fragment from a well-known Yoga Sutra, perhaps I.41, but her lover debates that the way scripture has historically been catalogued and numbered is a whole enigma unto itself. The words speak of samadhi. “Like a clear jewel, with unity among grasper, grasping, and grasped.” Gigi squints her eyes to make out the end of the phrase, how each subsequent “g” seems to run a bigger whorl, like ripples making out to the edge of the canvas. She could easily walk to the framed piece to take a closer look, but this reflection seems to cast the words in an alternate light. Is she the grasper? Is she grasping? Or has she been grasped? This word play, and how it teases, reminds Gigi of her earlier readings into spirituality. “The mystics seem to know the answers but not have the language to convey their experience.” This she said to her professor years ago, and she repeated it to the mendicant decades later here. Time has not ironed out the unanswered questions of Gigi’s past. Time did make them recede, like the light in the kitchen before dinner, and stay behind panels and blinds until they were asked to come out again. This, too, seems like the otherness of things, the way samadhi works, and how, in being true to samadhi, the otherness of other beings dissolve.