All in the universe are born of elements, and live because of elements. When the ancient tower was halved, a fragment in the form of a giant stone landed in the fertile Flower Fruit Mountain.
As years passed, the giant stone developed mysticism through elements, and further cultivated its asceticism. The stone watched a tribe of monkeys and learned their behaviors. It cultivated its asceticism to become one of them. Then, it defeated the tribe, claimed kingship, and later took the title of Monkey King.
Rock Monkey: ‘Little rugrats, you shall honor me as King!’
Monkey King: ‘Arrogant rock monkey, I shall accept your challenge!’
The monkey king whooped confidently, dismissive of the rock monkey. Yet, the rock monkey had cultivated itself with elemental power, and has developed an impenetrable body. The two monkeys began their melee.
With its impenetrable body, the rock monkey soundly defeated the monkey king.
Monkey King: ‘I accept your supremacy.’
Monkey King: ‘Monkey subjects, from now on, this shall be your king!’
Rock Monkey: ‘Little rugrats, now that I am king,’
Rock Monkey: ‘I shall ensure you shall have plentiful, delicious food and drinks! ’
Tribe of Monkey: ‘Bravo, Your Majesty!’
The tribe of monkeys grew stronger, and developed hegemony over Flower Fruit Mountain. All that resides on the mountain serve under the tribe of monkeys, and they in turn served the stone monkey king, who was now styled the Monkey King of Flower Fruit Mountain.
In Water Curtain Cave, the tribe of monkeys gathered. An elderly monkey lay on a large banana leaf, and the whole tribe worried for his wellbeing. The Monkey King held the elderly monkey’s hand, transferring pneuma to ease its suffering.
Elderly Monkey: ‘Your Majesty, my days are numbered. There is no need to worry yourself...’
Monkey King: ‘Be quiet! You’ll be fine!’
Life and death remained ever present as time passed, and the Monkey King experienced it again and again as his monkey subjects passed over. Helpless, the Monkey King had no option but to seek help from Xian to develop Tao, the universal principle of all. When the Monkey King departed, all amongst Flower Fruit Mountain’s tribe of monkeys wept. They could not stand their Monkey King leaving, and held him in embrace.
Monkey King: ‘Little rugrats, I shall return the moment I have cultivated the universal principle!’
The Monkey King journeyed off the mountain and traveled the realm before arriving at the realm of Xian. There, he hoped to ask a Xian to serve as his master, and learn from him the Xian’s universal principle.
Xian: “Little monkey, you want to learn how to cultivate Tao, the universal principle?”
The Monkey King nodded.
Xian: “Little monkey, would you be willing if you must accept me as your master?”
The Monkey King understood and nodded in consent.
Xian: “Let me test you.”
Xian: Not bad! Not bad!
The Xian took the Monkey King as his apprentice, teaching it both the human language and the way to achieve Xian-hood. It had taken much experiences in the mortal realm for the Monkey King to achieve some measure of Xian power. Then, the Monkey King met the mystical bull, and the two elvish creatures began traveling together. The Monkey King sought the Dragon King in hopes of challenging him.
Yet, he was stopped by various Xian, and a powerful Xian in particular heard of this, and vowed to help the Monkey King achieve enlightenment. The Monkey King accepted immediately, and the powerful Xian was extremely happy. He endowed the Monkey King with a name — Sun Wukong.
The Dragon King killed many, and the Great Sage slaughtered Xian; this was condemned by all life. However, this action rendered the Great Sage imprisoned under five Sacred Pillars, where he awaited his freedom at the hands of a great Taoist ascetic. Originally, the Great Sage bellowed in rage day and night with no regret for his actions. Yet, time passed and after a century, a traveller passed by in search of the universal principle through the reading of Sutras. The Great Sage yelled arrogantly:
Sun Wukong the Great Sage: Human, unseal me, and if I get out, I will help you accomplish one task!
Hearing that, the traveler began studying the Sacred Pillars. Unfortunately, while the traveler was a practicing ascetic, he was not a great Taoist ascetic. The man could only give up. The Great Sage felt helpless and sighed frequently, awaiting for the one again..
Another two hundred years passed, a traveler arrived. However, he was also not a great Taoist ascetic and the Great Sage again began his wait.
The Great Sage was trapped under the Sacred Pillars for some five hundred years when yet another traveler arrived. The Great Sage no longer wished to be unsealed, but simply sought the company of the traveler. Thus, the traveler told the Great Sage of all he had seen and heard over his journeys...
Traveller: Are you still dwelling on those events from five centuries ago?
Sun Wukong the Great Sage: Well, I cannot accept what happened!
Traveller: But do you truly understand what you want?
Sun Wukong the Great Sage: I am me!
Traveller: Then why are you still stuck here?
Sun Wukong the Great Sage: That...
Traveller: Does the one who seeks the universal Tao shares your thinking?
Traveller: If that is the case, then who is the one who truly knows you?
Traveller: You already know the answer...
This inspired the Great Sage to reflect as the traveler departed.
After days of rumination, the Great Sage had an epiphany, finally understanding a guiding wisdom.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: In the mortal realm, all is impure chaos;
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I was born in this impure chaos; thus, I am impure chaos.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: ‘In the beginning, there was nothing.’
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: ‘I must achieve nothingness, like my name Wukong means in its original language.’
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I, Wukong, understand the powerful Xian’s sagacity!
A sound reminiscent of thunder rang out causing the Great Sage to lift his head. The Sacred Pillars cracked, and then dissipated into nothingness. Curiosity drove the Great Sage, and immediately, he rode the wind and soared.
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Sun Wukong, it seems you have acquired true wisdom.
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Others can never understand you. Only you can comprehend yourself.
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Now go, and seek the universal principle you desire!
All is nothingness. Form is no different from formlessness; formlessness is no different from form. Form is formlessness; formlessness is form. All life shares the same form. The Great Sage had finally learned to cultivate Tao, the universal principle; yet, he remained unable to proceed.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I was chaos, and has long exited the mortal realm. Why is this happening?
The Great Sage angered. He was a mystical rock that formed its shape through the consumption of elemental power. The powerful Xian had guided his thinking until he achieved epiphany. He had reflected while trapped under the Sacred Pillars. Essentially, he had transcended minor difficulties and major obstacles; yet, he remains unable to achieve Tao and Buddhahood. How could he not rage?
Since the Great Sage had broken the seal on the Sacred Pillars, he dared not forget the words of the traveler and he sought to return the favor. However, he could not discover anything. All he could do was to return to the land of the seal to cultivate his asceticism. Yet, he had no additional breakthroughs after decades. The Great Sage could not understand why, and so simply kept cultivating his asceticism.
One day, as the Great Sage remained unable to achieve Tao and Buddhahood, he hurled insults into the heavens. In an instant, dark clouds flooded the skies, and thunder roared from the heavens. A manifested double of the Celestial Supremacy arrived riding the wind. The Great Sage asked the Supremacy.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: Supremacy, why can’t I cultivate and develop the universal principle?
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Wukong, why do you seek to cultivate the universal principle?
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I want my monkey subjects to have eternal life!
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Wukong, you understand yourself, but you do not realize your own motivations.
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: You were a mystical rock. You are immortal; why do you need eternal life?
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: But my monkey subjects...
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: All creatures have a beginning and end.
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Birth, age, sickness, and death are all predestined.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: Then why do we have eternal life?
Celestial Divinity - Yuanshi Tianzun: Because we have long transcended the mortal realm.
The manifested double of the Supremacy disappeared as it had appeared — into the wind. Sunlight returned as the Great Sage sank into thought. Suddenly, a man in strange clothes arrived, arousing the Great Sage’s curiosity.
Achilles the Hero of Kleos: I felt the pneuma of Gods. Did I sense it wrong?
The strange man was curious as he looked upon the Great Sage and said:
Achilles the Hero of Kleos: Hey gorilla, did you see anyone here?
While the Great Sage could not understand the insult behind the strange man’s words, he disliked the pneuma that radiated from the strange man’s body.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I do not know what you are saying, but you should get out of my sight!
Achilles the Hero of Kleos: Haha, a talking gorilla...You seem quite powerful!
The strange man attacked suddenly, forcing the Great Sage to retaliate.
The strange man escaped to the laughter of the Great Sage. Suddenly, he had another epiphany. He had not experienced the joys of battle for five hundred years, and this sudden excitement had brought him enlightenment.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I am not motivated by eternal life, or my monkey subjects.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I am motivated for myself. All is predestined; none can escape this.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: Knowing something that should not be done,
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: and attempting to do so anyways is courageous, but stupid.
Sacred Deicider Sun Wukong: I live for war; that is my motivation.
Mystical light radiated as the Great Sage’s mindset surged, releasing himself from his worldly surroundings.
As the ballads say: ‘Elements birthed the mystical monkey, who mastered the technique of seventy-two transformations. Through great wisdom, the Great Sage shattered the Sacred Pillars. Through enlightenment, the Great Sage achieved Buddhahood. ’