That night the Monkey King learned many spells to harness Spirit for protection and purity. When he departed to sleep, his heart was peaceful and filled with bliss. This was a pattern for 3 years, until Subhuti once again came to lecture to the disciples. The teachings were profound, concerning both the inner and outer world. With them, though, came a warning.

The powers Sun Wukong was learning brought dangers intended to defeat immortals. Demons and spirits angered by the great power would strike with three Disasters, all of which were lethal unless evaded. Although he was doubtful at first, after hearing the explanation the Monkey King was deeply disturbed and begged for knowledge to escape death.

The responding advice was imparted thusly:

“Your sight must be clear so that you can hide from them before they come. If you succeed in avoiding all of them you will live as long as eternity itself; if you don’t, you will be burned or torn to shreds.”

“There are several transformations that you could employ for this purpose. You can learn either ascendant transformations, of which there are only 36, or the 72 worldly ones.”

After some consideration, the Monkey King decided to learn the 72 worldly transformations to get as much as much as possible out of them.

Subhuti does not comment except to say, “If that is your will.” before whispering the miraculous secrets into Sun Wukong’s ear.

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Sun Wukong: Learn

The other disciples were angry at Sun Wukong for driving off the master. To them, he had offended by refusing to learn. Despite their loathing, the Monkey King was cheerful. In the back of his mind was the answer to the riddle, so he bore their resentment without response. The actions of Subhuti in leaving held subtle clues that suggested a meeting in secret to the keen mind of the monkey. For the rest of the day Sun Wukong waited impatiently in the cave, staring at the sky until dusk. He went to bed with the others, but made sure to stay awake.

At the third watch, the monkey would go to the back door. Lacking another method for keeping track of time, he breathed slowly and counted until the approximate time. Outside was a brilliant, clear sea of stars and emptiness in the sky. Sun Wukong made his way along an old path to the back door, which was ajar. Seeing this as confirmation of his belief, he quietly entered and crouched by the bed inside. Not wanting to disturb the Immortal who slumbered upon it, the Monkey King knelt and waited until they awoke. Subhuti was surprised to see the monkey inside instead of at the door, but once composed was impressed that he understood the cryptic message. They offered to teach Sun Wukong the Way of Immortality, and he accepted.

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Sun Wukong soon settled into the calm way of the monastery, learning and meditating with all the other disciples. In his free time he would do whatever work needed to be done. It was a simple life that provided all necessities of life, and years passed without the Monkey King noticing.

One day the Immortal called all the disciples together to learn the Way. Their profound teaching excited Sun Wukong, who began eagerly jumping and clapping. Disturbed by the commotion, Subhuti asked why he was leaping about instead of listening. Sun Wukong answered, “I was listening to your teachings with all my attention, but your marvellous words amazed me so much I jumped without realizing. Please forgive me.”

“If you truly understand my words, then tell me how long you have been here.”

The monkey did not know, but remembered that he had fetched firewood for the stove seven times. According to the Immortal’s words, that meant he had lived there for seven years.

With this knowledge, Subhuti queried what Way the Monkey King wished to learn. He was offered the Way of Magic Arts, the Way of Sects, the Way of Silence, and the Way of Action. Each time, Sun Wukong asked whether he could gain immortality through that method. Each time, the answer was no and he refused. Frustrated, the Immortal descended and slapped him three times, yelling “You won’t study this and you won’t study that, so what do you want, you monkey?” before leaving.

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The Monkey King introduced himself as a disciple hoping to learn the Way of Immortality. The apprentice laughed before offering to take him to the Immortal. Accepting the guidance, the monkey straightened his clothes and followed the apprentice through the gates.

Inside, the sanctuary was filled with splendor. Precious stones formed majestic works of art and massive buildings. After they passed countless cells, the Monkey King finally saw the Immortal amidst a crowd of disciples.

Subhuti sat on a dais made of jasper. Their countenance was pure and golden, freed by enlightenment from the imperfection and desires of mortal beings. Upon seeing them, the Monkey King bowed and proclaimed them his master.

“Where are you from?” Subhuti queried. “You must tell me your name and address before you can become my pupil.”

The monkey uncertainty answered, “I have no name, but I have come from the Mountain of Flower and Fruit.”

The Immortal was angry, thinking that he had lied. In desperation, the Monkey King declared his truthfulness and described his origin and journey. Subhuti subsided, now interested. After some consideration, they proposed a surname of “Wu.” The Monkey King was delighted, and enquired after a personal name to further identify himself. On that day the monkey received the name Sun Wukong, meaning Monkey Awakened to Emptiness.

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==> land

The raft did not reach land for several days, but the Monkey King’s determination did not wane. When he did finally reach a shallow point, he leaped off of the raft and raced to the shore. The people who saw him screamed and fled, but the Monkey King managed to catch one and make them give him a disguise. Afterwards he was able to wander as he pleased among their society.

He would imitate the people he saw, but never forgot his goal and was always asking of the Immortals and Sages. Nobody cared about death or the secret of immortality, and after years of exploring he realized there was nothing for him on the small island. After hearing of a continent to the west over a great sea, he built another raft and set sail once again.

The Monkey King arrived and journeyed over the land, always enquiring as to the nature and whereabouts of the immortal beings. The effort paid off eventually, when he arrived at a massive yet graceful mountain. Awed and uncaring of any predators foolish enough to attack, he climbed until he reached a small forest. From it came a simple melody, which was sung by a woodcutter engrossed in their work. It mentioned Immortals, at which the Monkey King interrupted delightedly, “So this is where the Immortals have been hiding.” However, when he greeted the worker as an Immortal his assumption was quickly refuted.

“No, no. I don’t even have enough to eat or drink, so how can I possibly let you call me an Immortal?” The Monkey King was confused, as the song had also used a term that he had learned to associate with the way of Immortality. When asked, the worker explained that they were taught the song by another and directed the monkey to the cave where the Immortal lived.  

The Monkey King made his way along a path until he reached a forest with doors set in a giant rock wall. He did not dare knock, and instead waited for somebody to emerge. When the doors finally did open, it was an apprentice with a noble bearing who he saw.

“Who is making that row out here?”

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The Monkey King was hosting a banquet one day when he began being plagued by a fear for the future. Servants noticed his sudden change in spirits and crowded around, querying as to the source of his anxiety. When he told them, they merely laughed.

The Monkey King responded by saying, “Although we are not restricted by the laws of human kings, and we fear no beast, the time will come when we are old and weak and are taken to the underworld by the King of Hell. When the time comes for us to die, we won’t be able to go on living among the Blessed, and our lives will have been in vain.”

Most of the monkeys were stunned and worried of the relentless pursuit of time. Another, though, was knowledgeable and proclaimed, “If Your Majesty is thinking so far ahead, this is the beginning of enlightenment. Of the Five Creatures, there are only two that do not come under the jurisdiction of the King of Hell:  the Immortals and the Sages. They are free from the chains of mortality and last as long as the world.”

The Monkey King was delighted and immediately decided to leave and search for a teacher. When he informed the others, all the monkeys clapped in approval and promised to gather enough food for a great feast.

The next day, the host of monkeys ushered the Monkey King to the seat of honour. Each of them took brought him wine, flowers, and fruit in turns. The next morning the Monkey King woke and ordered the monkeys to build a raft of pines. He boarded the raft, pushed off with all his might, and floated off towards the waves of the ocean.

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Image result for spring of water

The monkey soon grew control and began exploring the land. He lived off the plants that grew on the mountain and was able to befriend all of the wild creatures that roamed. Other monkeys lived there too, and they often relaxed and played together. After eating, the monkeys would bathe in a small stream and sleep in a small forest. It was a simple, peaceful life and the stone monkey had not a care in the world.

The stream began high in the mountains, and of course the monkeys grew curious. After much gossip and speculation, they traveled along it to find its source. It emerged from a hole in the mountain and fell in a brilliant waterfall that shone with the rainbow. The monkeys were delighted and dared each other to enter the cave through the water in return for being made king. The stone monkey was eager to take the risk. He stepped forward and cried, “I’ll go! I’ll go!” He crouched and shut his eyes, then leaped through the spray.

When he looked up he saw a vast cavern spread out beneath him. At his feet was an iron bridge covered with emerald moss and mist. At the end was an empty house made of and furnished with stone. The stone monkey was overcome with glee and hurriedly rushed to the water curtain.

The other monkeys gathered around and listened with wonder as he described the contents of the cave. The monkeys doubtfully asked, “How ever could you see a house down there?” They challenged him to take them there. Following him, they gaped at the rare flowers and giant house. After taking it all in they rushed to take the stone plates and slam the stone benches within the house in accordance with their mischievous nature. The stone monkey reminded them,  “Gentlemen, those who break their word are worthless. Just now you said that if anyone was clever enough to come in here and get out again in one piece, you’d make them king. Well, then. I’ve come in and gone out, and gone out and come in. I’ve found you gentlemen a cave heaven where you can sleep in peace and all settle down to live in bliss. Why haven’t you made me king?”

They were, of course, eager to do so after receiving the benefits of the discovery he had made. They bowed and paid him homage, calling him the Great King of a Thousand Years. Of them was made a bureaucracy, which swore to use intelligence instead of acting as wild beasts did. They celebrated and lived for years in the splendor of the Monkey King’s court.


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==> begin.

This story is based off of Journey to the West. It is a rather interesting (if somewhat long) read, but a good summary can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61nuXrvqNgI.

Long before time was ever measured, Spirit and Body were one. No beings existed in the way mortals understand it.

Then, time began crawling. The physical world began moving and changing while the Spirit remained unchanged. On the small scale substance was able to retain some of this power, but most was detached from reality.

There were exceptions, of course. One planet held a smooth rock with powerful magic. Inside was held the potency of life and the resilience of death, amplified by Spirit that had accumulated since its creation. After many eons, the stone broke open to reveal an egg the size of a ball. When shaken by wind the egg hatched and released a stone monkey. He quickly learned to crawl and walk, and looked each direction over the edge of the plateau to see what was there. The monkey’s power was so great that from his eyes shone beams of light and magic that cut through the galaxy.

One of the beams happened to coincide with the location of a number of other exceptions. Many beings throughout this particular galaxy were born with a connection to the latent spirit of the universe, though none had the raw power of the stone monkey. Instead they had formed a society in the time before the monkey hatched. The leader was called the Supreme Sage, and he was one of those who was close to the path of the beam. He was on his throne with his immortal ministers, in the Temple of the Clouds. Curious at the brilliant light, he sent two of his Seers to determine what was the cause.

“Your subjects have observed the source of the golden light. We found that on an island on the planet of Aolai called the Mountain of Flower and Fruit, the magic stone that rested there broke to reveal an egg. The egg hatched into a stone monkey, who sent the golden beam from his eyes.”

The Sage’s curiosity was satisfied by the explanation and he decided to be kind and leave the magic monkey be for a time.

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