If it were not a novel, this would be a “feasibility study” dealing with the ways and means of a self-aware man who wishes or, rather, seeks to protect a woman. The project is, under the given circumstances, doomed to failure not because it is impossible, but because it is unnecessary. The fragile and gentle woman, with her passive (Buddhist) presence and existence, with her rejection in acceptance, would lead this seemingly macho man to self-decomposition. He goes through a stunningly honest self-analysis only to turn himself into a vulnerable human being. So vulnerable, in fact, that he is the one who seeks St. Christopher’s protection.
…Thai also serves as a lesson given to a complacent Westerner, with the intention of curing his haughty ego by succumbing to the East. However, there are no winners in this process, only losers. And even then – he can be healed only temporarily by the “Empire of Emptiness” – the emptiness being essentially a feminine quality.