A Monster Koan

In the movie ‘The Cave’, a parasite takes upon host humans, gradually taking over their bodies and minds entirely. A team of deep cave divers realise their leader was infected by this parasite, when they got trapped in a deep underwater cave. It made me wonder whether I’m a parasite for others or do I let myself be a host for parasites. Then it struck me that we are mostly both – to some extent, mindfully or not, once a while – as long as we are unenlightened, especially since Samsara is an interdependent place.

The dilemma surfaced as to how much of the human leader is still himself, especially as time trickled by. When is he truly a monster to be abandoned or even killed, for the safety of the others? Do either too soon as one becomes a monster in body and mind oneself – for demonising the innocent. Do either too late and one jeopardises everyone else. Can his leadership still be trusted? Another movie koan! Why corner ourselves with dualistic alternatives? There’s another way – bind the leader and move on with him to find the exit, with his instructions as guidelines to be followed with mindful discernment for what it’s worth!

(Spoilers alert: By the way, in the story, the leader’s advice turned out right. He didn’t transform to be a monster, while he sacrificed himself to save his team.)