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Spine Knot Syndrome

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by javedbabar

Amir went to the Ancient Asian Acupuncture clinic. He had a strange lump at the base of his spine. It wasn’t troubling him really, there was no irritation or pain, he couldn’t even call it a swelling. It seemed like a misplaced knuckle on his back.

He felt throbbing which felt energetic rather than depleting. He had picked up this terminology from his old girlfriend, Shakti, who claimed to be a yogini and had introduced him to Tantric Sex. This was like normal sex but favoured women.

Incense and gymnastics were involved, and it went on forever. Shakti scored every time, but things went on for so long that he sometimes failed. Despite his best efforts, she left him for her guru eventually, a rascal named Ozwald Malchizedek, aka OM. Amir had met him a few times and…

His doctor said, “Amir, please come in. Yes, I have looked into the matter. You have a bolus connected to all seven nerve centres. I found references in ancient textbooks to SKS: Spine Knot Syndrome, which arises from energetic imbalance, but can also be beneficial. Think of it as grit in an oyster creating extreme irritation, and the oyster produces layer upon layer of material to coat the grit and make it bearable. The result is a gleaming pearl, prized worldwide.”

“I don’t get it,” said Amir. “What’s happening to my body?”

“Okay, relax, you are tensing the right side of your body. Let it go, and again, good, that’s it. You’ve had a nerve trauma, entirely energetic, but you can see the physical manifestation. The affected part sends signals to every part of your body crying ‘Help!’

“As energetic conductors your nerves follow spiritual principles, such as Love thy neighbor as thyself. They greet the damaged nerve and make it welcome.”

Amir shifted. The doctor said, “Please be still. I am sensing the best treatment.”

After five minutes he said, “Okay, I’ve got it. What’s the best way of explaining it to you? Erm…Okay, I’ll try a domestic analogy. The body is like a house, and each part is a room. I’ll run through your physical real estate from bottom to top.

“Your bowels are your basement, where unwanted items accumulate, and they should be emptied regularly.

“Your genitals are your bathroom, a place to expel unwanted fluids, maybe an en-suite bathroom, leading on to the bedroom.

“Your stomach is your kitchen, full of food.

“Your heart is your lounge, a place you meet people or rest alone.

“Your throat is your entry hall, where you chit-chat in passing.

“Your third eye is your bedroom, where you sleep and dream.

“Lastly – we could say, ultimately – your crown is your loft, a place of elevated thoughts.

“Your house is looking shabby though. Are you ready for some renovations?”

After a month of weekly sessions, Amir found that he was eliminating more toxins, having less sex, eating less food, watching less TV, chatting less, sleeping less, and meditating more often. He was transforming into an energetically integrated being.

He was also becoming smug and irritating. Not everyone saw the oyster forming inside the pearl. People rolled their eyes when he spoke of his “physical real estate”, and began to avoid him. Amir was in a knotty bind.

House Sitter Wanted

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2012 by javedbabar

Adil withdrew fifty dollars from the ATM. He knew he was overdrawn but couldn’t do much about that. A man needs cash in his pocket, even if he doesn’t own it.

He stopped at the noticeboard behind the machine to glance at the ads. He saw a jet ski, ski gear, and a mobile home. Maybe if he had a win on the lottery, say twenty thousand bucks, he could buy them all.

There was a note saying Assorted Items for Sale, detailing hand tools, a tool belt, pulleys, ropes, chains and a harness. It was useful stuff for a construction job. Maybe he could bargain the vendor down from $200 to under $100.

He was about to note down the number when he spotted another ad behind it, saying House sitter wanted, with room and wage.

For someone who wasn’t working at present, and who was sleeping on a friend’s couch, that was a mighty attractive offer. He’d recently applied for gardening, retail, cleaning and security jobs without success. It seemed that Lucerne had an excess of unskilled workers, somebody had told him “more than ten per job.” Professional jobs were a different matter. It was a shame he lacked qualifications.

Adil called the number. A man answered, “Hello, Lucerne Valley Rentals.”

“Hi, I am calling about the ad for the house sitter…”

“Which one? Does it have a reference number? We advertise many properties.”

Adil reread it. “I am sorry, I can’t see one.”

“Look carefully please. Is there a name or number?”

Adil looked again. “No there isn’t. It just says House sitter wanted, with room and wage. If you…”

The agent interrupted. “Okay, I know the one. It is in the valley, ten kilometres out of town. Do you have a car?”

Adil lied, “Yes I do.”

“Good, you will need it there. The client is a very private person. His name will not be revealed to the sitter, and you cannot tell anyone where you are. You can receive no visitors while there. You will receive a free room and a weekly allowance of a hundred dollars, plus a wage of a hundred dollars a day, payable at the end of each month. How does that sound?”

The client was clearly a secretive individual. Adil didn’t ask any more questions.

After sending Adil’s photo and resume to the client, and performing background checks, the agent said that he’d got the job on a one month rolling contract.

He said, “You start today.”

Adil chatted to his brother that night. “The house is a little strange. It has minimal furnishings, and hooks and rings on the walls. The owner must have removed the old fittings in a hurry. I wonder what he’ll put there instead. It seems like a big house from the outside but the inside is pokey, with very thick walls. Do you remember that castle we went to in Spain? It’s a bit like that. I’ve looked for hidden doors and panels. Yes, I’ve checked the bookcases and none of them slide back, and the paintings don’t have hollow eyes…”

The owner of the house wondered how long Adil would keep talking. He had sneaked out of a trapdoor while his new sitter was showering, and slipped some Rohypnol into his coffee. He crouched down with chains, ropes and harnesses at the ready, and smiled, recalling Adil’s comment about paintings with hollow eyes. With CCTV and infra-red goggles available, who used those these days? You only saw them in old horror films. He preferred making modern ones, with live action.

Hundred Million Dollar House

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2012 by javedbabar

“Do you want mahogany window frames?”

“Shall I varnish this door with pearlescent coating?”

“Do you prefer a seamed metal roof for the garage, or diamond pattern?”

“Which colour siding looks best, dark blue or brown? The brown is eco-paint, which is twice the price.”

“Shall we install a 50 kilowatt diesel generator?”

“Do you want fibre-optic cable?”

“How about a vertical closed loop geothermal field?”

The other workers ribbed David continuously. They kept asking him for decisions concerning the hundred million dollar house. The plans for the house were drawn, stamped and approved already, but it was a game they enjoyed playing.

Sometimes they went too far and David became moody, but it was his own fault really. He had started the joke that he was the owner of the house, and had joined the crew to ensure they did a good job. They had no idea who the owner was, as he was obscured by lawyers and managers, so they happily played along.

They never did what David said though. In fact they often did the opposite, for which he said he would fire them later. This made them laugh.

As the house neared completion, sign-off was needed for various components. The lawyers said that the owner was unavailable, and the builders should just proceed as contractually agreed.

“God damn those lawyers!” said the foreman. “They tell us to carry on as if its child’s play. Sure we know what we’re doing, I am a third generation builder, but we need to confirm they are happy with the work so far. It will be mighty expensive making changes later.”

“Well, why don’t you ask me? I am here,” said David.

“Quit fooling around now. I’m not in the mood. There’s millions of dollars at stake. It’s not a game.”

“Okay,” said David, walking away. “I was just trying to help.”

“Well then shut your mouth and stick your help up your ass!” The foreman was annoyed, but then forgot about it.

Some days later he thought, what if David really is the owner? That would explain a few things. We give him the crappiest jobs: mudding and taping, sweeping and washing, rubbish and recycling, but he’s always smiling. He’s never had a day off and never gets annoyed. He knows a lot about construction, more than any casual laborer should. What if he really is the boss?

The foreman called him over. “Tell me honestly, son, are you the owner of this house?”

A smile crossed David’s lips, but also a look of horror. “No, I am not.”

The foreman could tell when someone was lying. He knew that David was lying.

After that, they did whatever David said. They installed marble steps and copper railings. They lengthened the swimming pool. They built a root cellar. They added gables.

When the house was finished, they met the owner, Daniel, an older man from the city. He shouted at them, saying, “Why the hell did you make all those changes? They were not on the plan!”

Daniel was pleased with the job his nephew David had done. He’d got them to make many expensive changes that he wasn’t going to pay for. He’d also demand a discount on the house, maybe ten percent. David’s commission would come out of that. It would help him finish acting school.

No Need to Worry

Posted in Global Travel, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Adam had heard that professional jobs were available in Lucerne. Things were pretty slow in the city so it seemed like a good idea to try his luck elsewhere.

In days gone by he would have just taken off abroad. Living in developing countries was cheaper than staying in Arcadia. When he wasn’t working here, living in India or Ethiopia or Peru was a way to save money, provided he went for at least a month to amortize the airfare.

A month in the city was about three thousand bucks all in, a hundred a day. A month in Varanasi, Lalibela or Cuzco was two thousand, flights included, and the longer he stayed there, the better the notional day-rate – going from sixty dollars to half that. But now that he had a wife and three step-children, he had to handle the situation carefully.

He did some day trips initially. Lucerne was a pretty village with a white mountain standing guard above it, and surrounded by forests, rivers and lakes. It was filled with old families of farmers, loggers and hunters, but also a new crowd of artists, musicians and yoga teachers. He checked with Village Hall, and yes, they said, they needed professional people desperately. If he moved here, he could have his pick of jobs.

“When can I have an interview?” he asked the receptionist.

“This is it,” she said. “You’ve got the job, or more than one if you like.”

“More than one?”

“Yes, we have numerous positions available, and funds from the Authority gathering dust. We want to use them for the benefit of Lucerne’s citizens.” She explained the strange situation here. There was mass unemployment of unskilled people, but a shortage of skilled ones. They desperately needed his expertise.

Adam was assigned the job of CPM: Chief Project Manager, and asked to start as soon as possible. He was also given a house to live in with a nocturnal security guard.

“Is that necessary?” he asked. “It seems like a peaceful place.”

“Just in case,” said the receptionist. “You never know.”

Adam’s wife agreed that he should follow the work, and they moved immediately. On the first evening, they dined outdoors, and were so moved by beauty that they could hardly speak. Adam had seen such beauty before, in the Himalayas, Lasta Mountains, and the Andes, but always alone. He was now seeing it with his family, through the eyes of his beloved, and her children.

As the sun set, the security guard, David, suggested they go indoors.

“What’s the hurry?” said Adam. “Let’s enjoy the stars appearing and tonight’s full moon.” He knew it would be impossible to get the kids early to bed tonight. They may as well stay out.

“You don’t know this place well, do you. Have you stayed here overnight before? No? Okay, trust me. You’re better off indoors. That’s what I’m here for, to stay outdoors to ensure your safety. There’s no need to worry though. I am a professional too. I will keep you safe.”

“Safe from what?”

“You’ll see.”

“Do you have a gun?” Adam recoiled when he realized what he’d said. Had he brought his family to a place where you need a gun to survive?

“No, I won’t need a gun. Just go inside and take it easy. No need to worry.”

That night they heard glass smashing somewhere, screeching tires, and flashes like firecrackers, followed by a chorus of sirens – ambulances, fire trucks, and cops. They slept eventually but were disturbed from their slumber by smashing and shouting. Adam went to the window to see. There was David, covered in blood, either grimacing or grinning.

“What happened?” he called. “Are you okay?”

“I told you not to worry. I have taken care of it.” He wiped his machete, swigged some beer and sat down. He looked at the horrified children and said, “Nothing to see. Now go to bed.”

He wanted them to leave before there was another assault on the house. More of the poor would come.

Monkey Business

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2012 by javedbabar

Adil shouldn’t have gone hiking.  He had never gone by himself before. His friend Steve was supposed to take him, but domestic issues had caused him to drop out. He said, “Monkey! Let’s go next weekend instead.” Monkey was Adil’s nickname, on account of his hairy body and climbing skills, and he was also called “link”, as in the missing link.

Adil was feeling stressed by life in general, and its romantic and financial aspects in particular. He needed to get away.

He packed his backpack, hitched a couple of rides up the valley, and headed into the forests at the base of Mt Negra. Four days would be enough to reach the top of the mountain, spend a day there, and come back down. It was irresponsible to climb alone, but it wasn’t really climbing. Steve had said no technical ascent was involved.

The first day was great. Adil estimated that he was about halfway up, which wasn’t bad seeing as he had only started climbing at midday. Maybe he was better off without Steve after all. He travelled faster alone.

He found a good spot to set up camp, a small meadow with red, gold and green wildflowers. He hadn’t known there were such things as green flowers. He picked one and smelled its rich, coffee-like perfume.

His tent was up in five minutes, and a three course meal under way in fifteen. He cooked it in four stages on his camp stove. First was beef soup, then pasta, then tomato sauce for it, and then tea. Nice warm liquids, nourishing and hydrating, so much better than the junk he consumed daily – burgers, pizza and beer.

Adil threw a rope over a branch and hauled his supplies up into the tree. He’d probably be OK, but why take the chance?

This didn’t stop a hungry black bear though, which must have climbed the tree, jumped on the backpack, and gnawed away the rope. By the time Adil emerged from his tent, it was already gone, leaving only quivering bushes.

No food was an issue, as was no water, but most pressing was no map or compass, which he had foolishly left in the pocket of the backpack, which was now elsewhere. The thought of the compass guiding the bear around the province amused him briefly, but quickly seemed less funny.

Adil could make out his general position but not get an accurate bearing. Should he continue to the top or turn back now?

He wandered around a bit, looking for his bag. Maybe it could still be recovered. It became dark unexpectedly, too quickly, so he set up his tent again. In the night he dreamed of fur brushing against his skin and something dark biting him, but upon waking found no tooth marks. The smell of rich coffee must still be on his breath from the night before.

Adil navigated by the sun’s position and made progress downwards, but became less sure of his orientation. He saw a strange jumble above his head. Was it a huge nest? Or some kind of aerial beaver’s lodge? It seemed a rough tree house, but who would build that here?

If he stayed up there he would be safe from the bear though. He collected nuts, fruits, berries and herbs and spent the third night of his hike in the tree house. He didn’t feel safe on the forest floor, so stayed there the next night too, coming down only to gather foods.

A week later, Search & Rescue teams came looking for Adil. One of them saw his shelter and what seemed to be a large monkey within it. He pushed the speak button on his radio. He must inform his team that he’d found a new species of primate in the forest, that built green flower nests. But before he said anything, he smelled rich coffee, sensed something above him, and everything went black.

Salmon Rush Die

Posted in Global Travel, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by javedbabar

Salmo swam around listlessly.

He had enjoyed the party. It was always good to see old friends, especially those that had been with him every inch of the way. This was the last time they would see each other; he should make the most of it.

The party didn’t feel right though.

Salmo was part confused and part angry. Here they were, having this great celebration, feasting on smaller fish, shrimp and squid, and plankton for those so inclined, racing and chasing, smooching and shaking, and having good times, before everyone going on his or her own way in the morning. It was their great separation and return.

So what was his issue? Why was he creating a vortex while everyone else was dancing in rings? Was it because he was the only one not completing the cycle of life ordained to his kind?

Salmon must return to their natal streams. They must use their powers of heart and mind, and all six senses, to seek out their source. Why didn’t he want to do it?

Someone brushed past him. He felt a slick glide and a playful flick, and knew it was Salma. “What’s up,” she said, “not enjoying the grad party?”

He said, “I’ve told you before. I don’t feel the call. I’ve lived in the open ocean for many years, and don’t want to return to a little river.”

“But don’t you want to go home?”

Salmo slowed down. He often did this when thinking. Good job he didn’t need to think when killer whales were around; his manoeuvres then were purely driven by instinct.

He said, “But home – is that here or there? I can sense the river but don’t remember it; my knowledge of it is purely physical. My body transformed there, preparing me for a life in salt water; there was a period of adjustment, yes, in brackish water, but…”

“I remember that period too,” said Salma. “Older ones taught me to regulate fluid pressure. Sometimes it became too concentrated, and I felt fat and heavy, and sometimes it was too dilute, and all I could do was float. But it was a conscious process, don’t you remember, really?”

Salmo swam to the right and Salma followed him. They had both sensed dolphins ahead. Better steer away from them sooner rather than later.

Salmo said, “My chemistry changed. My body changed. My spirit changed. I became a sea creature. I had no reason to hold on to my past little life. It felt like something to leave behind.”

“But that’s our life’s purpose – to return.”

“I know that Salma. But don’t you think it’s strange that our bodies start to deteriorate as soon as we enter fresh water again? By heading to the place we call home, we’re killing ourselves. Why become salmon rushing to die? Instead of going back, I would rather go further on, somewhere new.”

“But that’s not our place, Salmo.”

“That’s the issue, sister. What is our place? I fear that my place doesn’t exist anymore. I sense the two-leggeds have stopped the great rivers, poisoned the waters of rivers that still flow, and destroyed the wetlands. If I’m making the last great journey of my life, I want to go somewhere worth going.”

He sensed there was also a positive effect to the two-legged’s dabbling. Global warming caused icecaps to melt, creating new currents and rivers. He could swim with these waters to many new places, and if he found a place of hope, he could yet complete his life cycle.