The Songs of Trees, p. 100. The kami is both water and absence of water.
It is light and darkness. It is the way of love and the way of indifference. Not hate, or war, for those imply a passion for, or against, something. Thus the opposite of passion is impassion.
The kami comes upon one when he or she is sleeping. It is a breath of night wind, through an open window, even around the cracks in the door. it steals in and silently takes over the soul, infusing its receptor with an air of invincibility, a feeling of all-reachingness, a sussurration of serendipity, a unanimity of thought and action unrivaled in the mortal plane.
The kami is an idea, an ideal, more than anything physical, or even spiritual. For if it were physical it could be defined, measured, captured, tamed. If it were a spiritual, perhaps other-dimensional, it could weakly interact with the objects, the people, the places and things of this world, and we could see its effects. We could see how, like gravity, or electromagnetism, it impacts the world even though it is not of the world.
But the kami does not behave as such. It does not behave at all. It has no pattern to its action, inaction, or combination of the two. It tries not, it fails not. It simply is. And if one were to attempt to understand the kami, to hold its concepts in your mind, to believe that you are external enough, observant enough, independent enough to be able to take in and objectively evaluate the kami, then you are simply showing your ignorance of the reality of the kami and of you.
For even this little we see, or imagine, of the kami is as if through a darkly-veiled glass. We see, we feel, we know, only what it wants us to know. Perhaps the kami is only one miniscule, minute, remote tendril of some great, vast, interstellar consciousness. Perhaps it is magnanimous, perhaps malignant. There is no way for us to tell.
Perhaps the kami is an aggregation of miniature experiences, floating through the ether with no more intentionality than the Yellow River. Again, we have no way to measure, to conceive, to understand, apart from what it has deigned to reveal to us. And should we believe?
There is a camp which says the kami is all it says it is, and we should believe. That this is the first of many steps along humanity’s path to enlightenment: the absence of skepticism. And that from that starting point we shall be able, with the help from the kami and those who follow, to eventually reach that Nirvana so many long for, and so few seek.
But not me. I shall retain my pensiveness, my apprehension. I shall continue to wait. To ask. To wonder. To believe – not in the kami, but in the self, for that, as Descartes so elegantly put it, albeit in not so many words, is all I really can do.