As part of an ongoing experiment to see if I can attain Buddhahood, I have been trying my best to make time to meditate. I’m not really very good at it. Most people have a little voice in their head that sort of narrates their thoughts. The idea of meditation is to try to get that voice to be quiet. It’s really hard. A couple of months ago, I managed to get mine to shut up for maybe a minute, but when it started talking again, it said something really odd.
“Teela Brown is a filthy whore.”
I wasn’t sure who Teela Brown even was, so I got up off my cushion and googled her. Turns out, she is a fictional character from a book that I read about ten years ago as part of a course in “The Philosophy of Science Fiction.”
I decided that, perhaps, this was a Holy message from the Great Pumpkin or the Buddha, or whoever it is that puts crazy thoughts into my head, so I found a copy of the book and re-read it.
“Ringworld” is “hard” science fiction, which means it doesn’t suck like the stuff they show on the SciFi channel. It’s a really good story, with interesting characters and even a few non-humanoid aliens. I heartily recommend the book, and give it a rating of 4 Jihadis out of 5.
4 Jihadis out of 5
In this book, Teela is about 20 years old, and I didn’t see anything in her behavior that would have qualified her as a “filthy whore.” As far as I was able to discern, she conducts herself in much the same way as every standard-issue 20 year-old Earth-girl I’ve ever known.
I enjoyed Ringworld so much, that I went ahead and read the sequel, Ringworld Engineers. It’s set about 20 years after the events of the first book, so (without giving too much away) we encounter a much more mature Teela Brown.
I enjoyed the sequel, but it didn’t have the perspective-shattering impact of the original. Nonetheless, I give it 3 Jihadis out of 5.
3 Jihadis out of 5
Over the holidays, I met up with my old Philosophy professor. He told me (in his characteristic style) that I should have read “Protector” before Engineers, and that I probably don’t understand “Engineers” correctly, because I read the books out of order. (In my defense, I was unaware of the existence of “Protector” until Christmas Eve). He also asked me if I had gotten my semester grades. (He was apparently unaware that I haven’t been his student in any official capacity for over ten years.)
The upshot of all this is that I’m now able to forgive Teela of whatever whoreishness my 22 year old self had been accusing her of. I suppose that makes me ever so slightly closer to Buddhahood.