Saturday, August 25, 2012

Illusions of Pain

I was one of the best...

Silence... Sunrise was one hour away. The deep dark star filled sky began to turn a characteristic purple. From the sandy ridge we could see everything that moved on the plains and in the valley below.

Everyone else was asleep. I was on watch alone.

I loved to sit and watch the white-blue Sun appear over the low horizon. It was the quietest moment on this Planet. Nothing moved. I think even the mountains were listening to the giant star as it slowly appeared close to the horizon.

Nothing in sight...

This was a second rate desert planet rotating around a second rate star; but the rebels were causing the early Interplanetary Empire of Sirius A a major headache and so Interstellar war had broken out. We were part of an advanced team sent down to the surface to locate and contain the rebels within a severely restricted zone. No matter how many we killed, it did not seem to stop them.

I put the heat sensitive viewer on top of my pack and began to kick the legs of the others behind me to waken them up. We were trained not to eat the local animals on other-world missions for fear of contamination. We caught and cooked anyway to help spare our pack rations.

"Come on, get up you guys and heat me some food. I'm hungry."

The white-blue Sun rose above the horizon as I pulled the helmet shield down over my face. Our body armor was seventy percent invulnerable to the rebels weapons. We were pretty much invincible. The rebels, in their woven cloth, had no defense against our photon pulse ejector blasters. All they could do was hide and attack using weapons banned under the Federation Treaties.

"Come on! You guys! Get me some food... " The lazy bastards!

I turned back to the approaching daylight. Now things will start to move. Now we can get going and do what we came here to do. Get some of those desert rats, before we have to return to the orbiting command station.

One of the guys prepared and heated some dark grounds in sterilized water and handed me the hot black liquid. I took the drink from him and turned away. I never said thank you. The guys knew me well. No one cared. They just accepted me as I am.

Now there was talk of the Space Planetary Federation negotiating an end to all fighting on this scrappy dried up world. I hope they don't agree... We have to take these bastards out and finish them off once and for all. Well, by the next sunrise we will be out of here and back to the orbiting station. One month active rotation is the maximum each team receives before being replaced.

I picked up movement below. "We've got them... Look!"

This was going to be easy. They were way out in the open and close enough for us to get down there and finish them off. With our active cloaking device it would only take an hour to surround them and finish the job.

None of the guy's ever talked about it .. but I knew they felt the same as I did. The pleasure of firing fast and furious rounds of photon bursts into an enemy camp. The fast and rapid external fire... Maybe that is why we guys got such primitive pleasure from something so devastating.

Only, later .. came the pain. We never thought much about that .. the pain!

Down and around we silently came. It was a small group of rebels carrying supplies from one network to the other. Maybe they had heard of the Federation Truce ahead of us. They were totally at ease, talking, laughing and no one was paying any attention.

Just as we surrounded them the call came in through our headgear: Truce! Ceasefire!

I was frozen solid... The rush of pleasure had surged into my hands as I lay ready to finish them off. The other guys in my team backed off as I opened fire, killing everyone. They did not know what hit them.

That was all I knew... Then came the pain.

It was dark... At first I was falling .. falling so fast .. falling faster than a shooting star. My own team had killed me, after I destroyed the rebels. They had tried to stop me. But I knew nothing of that. All I knew was the sudden rush of pleasure and then the devastating pain. Why do I hurt so much?

Was there someone at my side? I could not see anything - only feel.

Far below me was a blue Planet. A tiny marble of rich blue in a dark Universe. The Planet was shooting up towards me .. or was I shooting down to it? Tiny and then gigantic. Dark and then light. I screamed as the woman picked me up from the rough blankets.

A new Ruler had taken power on the Tibetan Plateau. It was the time of the Reign of Songtsän Gampo. By the age of six my parents had been killed by rogue elements within the Kingdom. Villagers took me to the Temple. All I remember screaming was hate: I have to kill them... I have to kill...

... There was so much pain.

I remembered nothing of the rebel wars in this human body. All I knew were recurring nightmares. A power, an energy surged through me and then I collapsed in pain. Everything went dark and I always woke up covered in sweat.

I stayed in the Temple and studied the teachings of Lord Buddha. I had nowhere else to go. I had nothing else to do. I admitted to no one that the fear of those dark dreams kept me at the Temple .. praying .. and studying.

The Monks brought me my food. I never said thank you. No one seemed to mind. They accepted me as I am. No one seemed to mind...

At 22 Earth years I was sent higher into the Himalayas, to the Cave Temples, to study with the Ascended Masters. Despite my dark dreams I was showing signs of rapid understanding and silent compassion. I did not need to say thank you. The other students grew to love and respect me. I always carried out the hardest tasks, carrying heavy loads, lifting the heavy burdens from my fellow man.

They appeared sad to see me go .. but no one spoke of their feelings.

I climbed to the highest plateau and dutifully carried out my tasks until I was 36 Earth years. Nothing much was asked of me. I simply carried out the heaviest tasks and helped my brothers and sisters where I could. Then one day...

One day I had to carry sacks of lentils and rice to the higher Sanctuary of Master Gautama. The path was so steep and harsh that the small donkeys could not make their way up. I began carrying each sack and then return for the others. One by one I took them up there without seeing Master Gautama.

When I had finished carrying, my teachers asked me to return and stay at the Eternal Cave until Master Gautama appeared. I had never met him... No one in our Temple had met him. He was as mysterious as the mountains themselves.

I bowed to my teachers, said thank you and I left for the upper cave.

Illusions of Pain
"We forgive nothing .. if we do not forgive ourselves."

I patiently waited for weeks at the upper cave far above the plateau. At first I did not eat any of the food I had carried there. How could I eat! The food I carried was for the Master! I simply waited.

The cave itself had a strange effect on me. When the dark dreams returned, I began to eat some of the food, cooking with water from the stream and burning small amounts of dried yak dung stored at the back of the Masters cave. The dark dreams were exhausting me. I would apologize to Master Gautama and would bring him more food.

Weeks and then months passed... I felt abandoned and alone. My friends .. the only family I had .. were far below and out of my reach. I had to stay here and follow the instructions of my teachers, even though the cave had an unsettling effect on me. I never like to be there and would go for long walks, exploring the surrounding area.

In the deepest darkest part of the night the darkest dreams surface. Demons seemed to haunt this cave. The walls echoed with the vibrations of my sweat and my pain. But, before the pain .. there was always a moment of pleasure .. a rush of energy and then the fall.

I sat up! Crawled to the entrance. Looked out at the stars. The sweat turned cold on my body and I returned for a blanket. I sat alone at the entrance in quiet meditation. I would no longer sleep in the cave. I would sit here until Master Gautama returned.

The energy of the cave badly effected my states of mind. I would sit here at the entrance until the Master appeared. Keep out of the darkness. Maintain peace of mind.

"The brightest light shines in the darkest corner."

"The Earth is a school," they said, "waken up!"

Someone kicked me... I jumped awake. The shadow hovering in front of me was so dark, so dense, so depressive. I broke out in a sweat. Is this the Master? The shadow floated closer at the entrance of the cave. How had I fallen asleep?

It was fear. My body was shaking. Pure primordial fear. I cowered down against the floor of the cave, terrified. The shadow was not a quick surge of pleasure washing over me .. nor the energy of pain. It was fear...

"Waken up! See it! Face it! Do not run away! Lifetime after lifetime!"

I pulled myself up and took a deep breath. I closed my eyes and calmed myself down. The cloud of fear drew closer. I sat still, observing the fear, observing myself. Seeing is its own action...

From somewhere deep inside I transcended the dark cloud of fear and from my heart a powerful compassion sent rays of light into the darkest corners. The fear was so old, it did not belong to the Earth .. it was much older. Alone. Frightened. Seeking any kind of human warmth. Seeking freedom and yet fearing that ending .. that death .. and so it held on.

Humans did not create fear .. they inherited fear from us. Yes, I remember how we helped create and feed this twisted and lonely distortion we call fear. My world was long gone. That warlike civilization was long dead. We created the pathetic entity of fear that now haunts this world. Carelessly exported through our genes.

How long is it since I have cried?

The last time salt tears stung beneath my eyes was my parents death. Since then I had taught myself not to allow those inner tides to disturb my existence. Only, this time the tears were not those of self pity .. but were the self realizing tears of compassion. I did not drive the shadow of fear away with my own petty reaction. I felt compassion for this formless creature - a twisted psychic root of our own minds.

What happened next surprised me. The dark shadow of fear inverted and collapsed in on itself forming a large energy Torus. The illusion of its own deep loneliness was gone. Fear was free... The rotating energy Torus merged and became part of the surrounding background of the Universe. My mind was strangely peaceful, at rest.

Salty tears still stung under the lids of my closed eyes, but they were not tears of sorrow .. they were tears of joy. My mind was still. My energy had returned. My heart was at peace. The first rays of the morning Sun appeared far below the peaks of the worlds highest mountains.

The presence of Buddha appeared in the sky before me. I opened my eyes. He was there. He was real. All around the Buddha were many other small Buddhas, all in an eternal state of deep meditation. Elusive and strangely beautiful blue disk shaped lights hovered above the seated figures.

Without compassion, we separate ourselves from our own true nature .. lifetime after lifetime.

I lived in the cave for many months, leaving the stored food for a brother who would follow. After the last of the Spring snow had melted I returned to my teachers on the Eastern plateau.

They greeted me... Brother Gautama has returned. Buddha bless us.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teachers of The Path

I never meant to come this way... To travel in this strange direction...
Unknown Masters of Reality trick us along "The Way"...

"Brother, where are you going?" he asked.

He was a Buddhist Monk .. travelling unseen in the wilderness .. the places we fear most of all. Perhaps his journey crossed thousands, tens of thousands, millions of years .. who knows?

"Brother, where are you going?" he asked.

I had spent my entire life - seeking "The Way".

"Where are you going?"

Ahead of me the mountains were high and covered with snow. These mountains were the highest mountains in the world. Towering above me .. rock and stone .. colour and light .. wind and air .. pressure and intensity.

"Brother, where are you going?" he asked.

He was a Buddhist Monk, dressed in traditional robes of the ancient peoples. He appeared to be younger than I .. but appearances can be deceptive. I was - at that time - 60 years old... and the Monk? Who knows how old he was?

"Brother, which path do you seek?" he asked.

Teachers of The Path
The towering mountains shimmered before my mind .. the Buddhist Monk faded .. ever so slowly .. in front of my eyes. The mind or the human eye? Which is accurate? Which one is the path to truth? Where do I find truth?

I finally had to accept that I was lost...

Exhausted, I fell face down onto the rocky, sandy slope of the highest mountain in the world.

"You do not choose," they said, "you do not choose... we decide... "

I lay defeated .. my entire life .. seeking "The way".

How can you know compassion? Other than compassion for your own self?

The energy of the ancient ones penetrated my innermost being. When and how did I forget? How could I not know? How could I spend my entire life searching for truth and do not find the subtle reality that I sought?

I was utterly defeated.

"You do not choose... we decide... " they said ...

How could I be so lost? How?

In despair I pressed the skin of my face against the sand and stone of the eternal mountain. Do we lose sight of who we are or do we discover the truth in the energy of our own existence?

We decide...

I fell asleep on the extreme mountain slopes and some strange energy awoke inside me above the Center of Initiation. I was .. I am .. I see .. I understand .. the teachers of the path show us who we are... lifetime after lifetime.

All that it takes is a realisation...

"Brother, where are you going?" he asked.

I reached out my hand...

Where are you going?