I peered deep into the burrow. The hole was black and nothing arose but its voice and the occasional glisten from its eyes.
“What are you?” I asked. “A badger? Fox? Rabbit? Mole? Groundhog? A crab? A snake?”
“I’ve forgotten,” it said. “But within the burrow it doesn’t matter. It is all the same down here.”
“How can it all be the same?”
“Within the burrow there is nothing but darkness. Nothing but black. In the burrow there are no shapes or forms or color. Deep enough there is not even sound. Inside the burrow there is no emotion or logic. Just existence. Pure existence. There is nothing in the burrow but the serenity of darkness and pure existence.”
“Nothing exists within the burrow?” I gasped.
“Nothing but darkness and serenity.”
“And you never leave?” I asked.
“No. My eyes long ago grew unaccustomed to light.”
“Perhaps I could return at night or on a gloomy day to persuade you out. Then you may see there is more to the world than just the darkness of your burrow.”
“My dear friend, coax me out? Why would I want to leave this sanctuary of serenity?”
“There are many things to see and do outside your burrow,” I suggested.
“And you believe in these things?” it asked.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Descartes and Kant made the points well enough. The follies of the senses. Only fools believe in what their senses tell them.”
“There are no fools within the burrow?”
“No, because there is nothing. Nothing but darkness and serenity. As I said, within the burrow, there are no shapes or forms or colors to deceive. And, deep enough, not even sound. I assure you, my friend, the burrow is bliss. The burrow is serenity. So won’t you join me?”
“But I enjoy the occasional fornication and inebriation. I presume there’s none of that in the burrow.”
“No,” the creature said. “There’s no need. Down here there are no base and vile desires. There are no needs or desires in here – only darkness and serenity.”
“What about love? What about emotion? What about trust?”
“There is nothing but darkness and serenity in this burrow.”
“And the seasons and your years. How do you spend them in the burrow?”
“Praising, reflecting and giving thanks for the blessing of the burrow’s serenity,” it said.
“I think I will pass on your invitation,” I said.
“Surely you have dreamed of bliss. Surely you have prayed for serenity,” the creature said.
“I enjoy music,” I said. “And the occasional fornication and inebriation. And, as difficult and often disappointing as love and trust are, I will not exchange them for nothingness.”
“The rapture of the burrow is more than nothingness. It is eternal bliss and serenity. Are not love and trust and fornication and music small things to relinquish for the remainder of your life spent in bliss and serenity?”
“I understand,” I said. “And I may be a fool for these base senses and vile desires. But, still, I will pass.”