Archive for prophecy

Head Half-Full

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2012 by javedbabar

Zadam had predicted Armageddon. The whole village was now scared and shunned him.

For a while he had been the most popular person in Lucerne. Citizens lauded his demolishing of politicians’ bullshit at the town hall meeting, and liked the way their pets frolicked around him, as if he were a forest god. But after his humming, spinning, sparking display in the park, and his prophecies of global doom, they avoided him.

This didn’t seem to bother Zadam. As a deformed man with upside-down head, he was used to social rejection. His only real friend in the village, Shama, still dropped by and encouraged him to go out.

“Why should I?” Zadam asked him.

“Because it is nice to go walking – you get fresh air and exercise. I know there are people who make you feel uncomfortable. Just ignore them. While I am with you, they won’t come close.”

For the first time since he had met him, Shama saw a tear appear in Zadam’s eye. Because his eyes were near his chin, the tear appeared, rolled down, and disappeared quickly. “What is wrong?” asked Shama.

“Nothing at all,” he said and turned away. Then he turned back. “I am nothing at all to most people. I am someone creepy and disgusting. That’s why I hide in this hood.” He stopped speaking and looked down.

Zadam was a grown man. Shama didn’t know what to do. Should he hug him? Would that be too invasive?

Shama did what came naturally. He wiped the next tear, and held Zadam in his arms. He kissed him on the forehead, like a kid brother. It seemed a little strange because his forehead was placed where you would expect his mouth to be.

Zadam began venturing out again “by his own,” but whenever Shama saw him he was not alone. People walked beside him, quizzing him about his apocalyptic prophecy that the world was unbalanced and about to break, or following him quietly, reverentially. They felt sorry for him, and scared, and wanted to show they supported him.

A local holy man, Ozwald Malchizedek, also known as OM, declared that Zadam was divinely inspired. He said, “There was the first man, Adam, and now the last man, Zadam. These are clear signs for believers.”

He tried to be seen walking ahead of Zadam, but Zadam was unpredictable and stopped and started without warning. Eventually OM began following a few paces behind, telling people that Zadam was the herald for a forthcoming Master, not saying, but implying, himself.

Shama saw Zadam across the railway tracks, like when they had first met. The red lights began flashing, bells ringing, and barriers falling. These stimuli were picked up by sensors, converted into signals, collated by receptors, and interpreted by cells. What to make of this sensory overload? It indicated there was a train approaching.

Similarly, how should Shama react to Zadam’s warnings of global disaster? He asked him after the train had passed, on the railway tracks.

He said, “It is up to you. It is all going to happen one day, today, Saturday, who knows? But I am a head half-full kind of guy. We can have lots of fun before then.”

Zadam pulled out a whistle from his coat pocket and blew it from the mouth at the centre of his forehead. He led the crowd following him along the railway tracks.

Samhala

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2012 by javedbabar

I spent a week at the steel cabin reading the pioneers diary, which had an unnerving parallel to my own story. The author had woken mysteriously on top of a white mountain – which he called Mt Alba – and crossed swamps to reach the valley’s town; it was then no more than a hotel, shop, sheriff’s office and church. He had been welcomed at the hotel, but then chased out of town by holy zealots who feared and hated strangers. He had braved wild beasts, forests and rivers, to reach the place where he had either built or furnished this strange steel structure.

I made myself quite comfortable there. There was a stock of food – dried beans, garlic braids, and canned tomatoes, plus a mini root house with multicoloured potatoes. There were red, white, and blue ones; he must have been a monarchist. I also managed to catch some grouse, those most stupid of birds. Two flew into the structure and stunned themselves, becoming ready meals.

One night I heard a steady rhythm. At first I thought it was a bear bashing a tree trunk or the echoes of a woodpecker’s drilling. Then I thought noise could be the black river slapping a log, but it was too precise and steady.

It sounded like drums coming from further up the valley, on this side of the river, maybe slightly uphill. Enclosed echoes are deceptive though. It could be coming from anywhere.

I walked slowly through the forest. The bush was thick and ground unsteady.

The sound always seemed far away but suddenly was close; just as I realized this, I saw movement ahead. A shadowed clearing was filled with busy people, a hundred at least, of all ages, building something of wood. The object lay on the floor amid tall grass. What was it, I wondered – a giant boat? Could they read the weather of this flood plain? Was a deluge coming?

“Ouch!” I cried, and jumped up. “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Stop that! Who is it?” A boy turned and ran, clutching a reed, through which he’d been blowing beans, each of which had stung me like a wasp.

People in the clearing stopped working. Some shouted to others. Men advanced towards me clutching hammers and bars. A bearded elder called out, “What are you doing? Is this any way to treat a stranger? Welcome him! Invite him to our village!”

Some men’s snarls transformed into smiles. Others found the change too hard to master, and looked like jittery mimes. However they all made friendly gestures, encouraging me to come forward.

I stepped out of the forest into the clearing, and the elder came forward, huffing, and said, “You are not the first stranger. Others have come before and sheltered here with us. But you are the first to come on Samhala. We welcome you, stranger. It is a good day for us. It was foretold.”

I was taken to a house with thatched roof and squared plaster walls, and given warm water to bathe, and a soft bed to rest. At dusk someone entered. I was ready to jump up and fight for my life, but saw that it was a beautiful woman with full breasts, red hair and blue eyes.

She held no shyness, for her visit had holy purpose. It was to strengthen the Upper Valley’s gene pool.

One-Do

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by javedbabar

Kenneth felt sorry for the boy walking along the Lucerne Valley Road. He was always out, regardless of weather, scampering home alone. He seemed brave and fierce like a guard dog, while Kenneth floated past in his car. Kenneth had twice stopped to ask if he wanted a ride, but he’d declined politely. He didn’t stop to ask again, as he may get accused of being a paedo. That was one of the sickest things about the world today. Now adults feared children they didn’t know. What a perverse situation.

The boy’s face was often bruised. Was it another kid, Kenneth wondered? Was it a parent? Should he ask him what happened? Should he get involved?

Kenneth waved to the boy as he passed him, but he never waved back. He seemed to be moving his arms about, but more like dancing than waving. He must be listening to music. Was he alone by choice, Kenneth wondered? The kind of boy who was shy, and not yet ready to handle the world. Or was he alone by rejection? Someone who yearned for company but was denied. Kenneth had been the former when younger, but now as an old man he was the latter.

He didn’t see the boy for a while. He must have moved on like they all did eventually. This place is too small, thought Kenneth. Kids need a bigger town, maybe with a hockey rink or a swimming pool. However a month later the boy returned. On a silvery full moon night, there he was again, walking up the Lucerne Valley Road, but this time on metal crutches. Kenneth pulled up and said, “Hey son, do you need a ride today?”

The boy said, “No thanks, I’m building up my strength again.”

Should he ask him? He decided to. “What happened to you?” Then he made it a less pointed question. “A sporting injury?”

“Yes it was, but I’m almost healed now.” He indicated his legs.

“What sport do you practise? I used to play cricket.” In his mind Kenneth heard a leather ball smack a willow bat.

“I’m a martial artist,” said the boy. “It’s a style called One-Do.” As soon as he said that, Kenneth felt his limbs burning. He shivered slightly and then grimaced. “Are you feeling alright, Mister?” Kenneth said yes. “You know I think I will take that ride after all. Thanks for asking. Is that ok?” Kenneth said yes. “You can drop me at the Golden turn-off.”

They drove in silence initially, and then Kenneth said, “Please tell me about One-Do.” He felt that he should know already, but didn’t, or couldn’t remember.

“It’s an ancient martial art developed by the Golden King in 3,000 BC. Some say it developed in Arabia or India, others say China or Japan. It requires internal and external training.” Kenneth asked him to elaborate. “Internal practice like awareness and focus. External development of muscular flexibility and cardio fitness. Are you interested in martial arts?”

What could Kenneth say? He had watched a Bruce Lee film but that was it. Yet the moment the boy had said One-Do, Kenneth’s body came alive. “Yes I am,” he said. “But I’ve never tried any.”

“Would you like to start now?”

“Are you serious?” said Kenneth. “At my age? I’m seventy-seven you know.”

The boy said, “I think you’re much older than that.”

“Cheeky bugger!” said Kenneth. “What a thing to say!”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. I was trying to be funny. It’s a One-Do joke.”

“There’s One-Do jokes too?” said Kenneth. “It must be a truly holistic system.”

“Yes it is.” The boy said that he was fully conversant with Techniques, Forms, and Stances, but needed to practice Applications. If Kenneth wasn’t too busy, he would like him to become his practice partner. How about it?

Kenneth was speechless. He didn’t know what to do. But there was also another explanation. He knew exactly what to do, so there was nothing to say. Somewhere deep inside, this was what he had been waiting for. He knew it would happen. It must.

For the next week he practised rudimentary techniques, conditioning exercises, and simple movements performed repeatedly. The second week he focussed on stretching and meditation. The third week was striking, throwing, and jumping. The fourth week he worked on adapting the techniques he had learnt to hunting and military applications, by fine tuning his muscular strength and flexibility, breath and energy management, and proper body mechanics.

The boy worked with him daily, with endless patience and full support. It was clear that the boy was not just a martial artist, he was a Master of the Art. He taught Kenneth the wisdom of animal mimicry, the powers of religious ritual, and hidden meanings of legends. They practised with curved and straight swords, fighting knives, bamboo sticks, and bladed nanchuk. For closer work there were brass knuckledusters, Cretan cestus gloves, D-shaped tekko fist extenders, and Indian push daggers. For longer distance they used four-pointed shuriken throwing stars, Aztec atlatl spear launchers, 3-balled bolas, and ebony knobkierrie. The boy taught Kenneth both Hard and Soft techniques. It was clear that the boy preferred blocking head on force, and diagonal cutting moves – Hard techniques. Kenneth’s inclination was to yield, and turn an attacker’s force to his disadvantage – Soft techniques.

Within one month Kenneth had re-learnt everything that he had known in his previous incarnation 2,000 years ago as the Floating Turtle Warrior. He now fully recognized his cyclic foe, the Thunder Dog Brave. His noble opponent had retrained him well, for it would not be a fair fight otherwise. And following this auspicious full moon of the ninth quarter their time had come. As soon as the boy’s leg was fully healed, they would engage in mortal battle once more beneath the holy peaks of Mt. Alba and Mt. Negra. Kenneth also had the benefit of his current knowledge. He could lead his opponent into a disadvantageous position and then snap his weak leg, exerting of course only minimum force.

Mission Critical Destructive Data Simulations

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by javedbabar

Client (in a pompous voice): “XOXOX is your name?”

Voice: “It’s my working name.”

Client: “Isn’t that usually a woman’s email sign-off? Meaning love and hugs?”

Voice: “I am a woman, but it’s not my sign-off. It’s my working name.”

Client: “How do you pronounce it? Just say the letters individually, or read it like a word?”

Voice: “It doesn’t much matter to me. Say it how you like.”

Client: “What does it mean though? It’s a strange thing to call yourself. Why not MCDDS?”

Voice:  “You are a curious fellow, so I will tell you. I specialise in the field of Semiotics. People often write XOX, which seems pessimistic to me – X, a sign of negation, then O, a sign of creation, then another negation; that’s it. But OXO is overly optimistic – presuming that creations are followed by negations, and then recreations. XOXOX is more realistic. Correct symbolically. It represents creative and destructive cycles – but starting and ending with the Void. The world is germinated and will end with nothing. We are nothing. But until that final cycle, we may as well all do our best.”

Client: “Are you a Buddhist? A nihilist?”

Voice: “Yes I am both.”

Client: “But we work by strategic and scientific principles. Can you work within rational parameters?”

Voice: “I only work within rational parameters.”

Client: “But what you say is more mystical than rational.”

Voice: “Are they different?”

Client: “Yes they are. Aren’t they?”

Voice: “I’m not so sure.”

Client: “Emotional things and rational things come from different places. Emotions come from the heart, and thoughts come from the brain. Isn’t that right?”

Voice: “That may be true for you, but I feel differently. Emotions are underpinned by logic. You feel a certain way for a reason. Intuition and instinct are powerful forms of knowledge. I feel the truth first, and then analyze it. For example, I feel right now that Time is precious. My daily rate is $200,000. I suggest that you use my time and your money wisely.”

Client: “Yes, you’re right. I don’t know why I was acting so casually. We must press on. Have you read the brief? It was edited by the President himself.”

Voice: “I haven’t read it yet. I’ve been too busy.”

Client: “What! You haven’t read the brief! Do you know how serious this situation is?”

Voice: “I do know that. That’s why I’ve been so busy. My services are much in demand.”

Client: “But we’re not talking about just anyone here. We’re talking about the President of Canadia. You should put him first.”

Voice: “Does he put me first?”

Client: “But he doesn’t even know who you are. How could he?”

Voice: “Exactly. He doesn’t know me. He should.”

Client: “Well who are you? I will tell him.”

Voice: “I am everyone who didn’t want this war to begin.”

Client: “But he didn’t start it. What could he do?”

Voice: “I agree it wasn’t him individually, rather it was the system he promotes. However, we have now spent 4 minutes discussing general matters rather than the situation at hand. I suggest that you allow me to begin my work. I will call you in exactly 236 minutes with a status report. The task will be completed 240 minutes after that, inclusive of any further discussions. Is that all to your satisfaction?”

Client (in a deflated voice): “Yes thank you.”

XOXOX examined the brief. It required the standard process but on a larger and longer scale. She initiated analysis. It amused her that clients always assumed she was male. The scrambling software disguised her voice completely, making it robot-neutral. This was a good reflection of her character. Her instincts as a woman, mother, and grandmother told her one thing. But her professional persona often disagreed.

She called the Client in 236 minutes as agreed.

Voice: “Hello, it is XOXOX.”

Client: “Things have got worse. I’m sure you know. The threat is real and growing. Where have you got to?”

Voice: “I have performed initial analysis of your Financial-Telecomms-Military-Energy-Knowledge-Agricultural-Industrial Systems, plus a selection of Soft Systems. If the threat is executed, I predict that 52% of all systems will be harmed irreversibly, 38% will be recuperable within 12 months, and 10% will remain largely operational. 91% of the human population will not survive. Many won’t be harmed directly by the onslaught, but will become indirect casualties of failed systems, and will die through lack of water, food, power, products, medicines, communications, co-operation, and hope. However the 9% remaining will be lean, healthy, smart, and strong, and will provide good genes for their descendants, who will be able to build a lighter, better, more balanced, and more sustainable culture. It will take seven generations to rebuild a standard of living comparable to today.” She felt pretty bad saying it, but the conclusion was clear. “I recommend that you allow the threat to proceed.”

Secret Buyers

Posted in Lucerne Village, Uncategorized, World Myths with tags , , on January 3, 2012 by javedbabar

Every spring their shacks went up. What they did all winter was anyone’s guess. But they returned with the bright buds and birds, sitting in an assortment of trailers, tents, and shanties, each with a sign saying “Secret Buyer”.

Some of them were third, even fourth, generation buyers. The old families were well established. They bought only secrets that were ripe and ready to be told. Many new buyers, who came from the City chasing a quick buck, bought their secrets early. The people who sold them never reached the end of their thoughts.

Suzi had a secret that she’d kept for years. Ever since she could remember. It’s not that she didn’t want to sell it – it’s just that she didn’t fully know it yet. It was developing.

Her brother had sold some secrets last year, and got enough cash for a new skateboard. He hadn’t told their parents because they were religious. They didn’t believe in selling secrets. Her brother was going again today.

Suzi went with her brother to the buyer. He sat in a white tent with a heater on high, surrounded by steel boxes. “What’s in the boxes?” asked Suzi.

“That’s where I keep the secrets,” said the buyer. He had a bushy brown beard and yellow teeth shining somewhere within it. “It’s a long journey from here to Holland. They have to be well protected.”

“Why do you send them to Holland?” she asked. “Don’t people there have their own secrets?”

“Yes they do. But they are not very good secrets. You see Holland is flat. There’s less excitement, and nowhere to hide. Here there are mountains to play on, and valleys to sneak into, so there’s lots of great secrets.”

“And how much do people pay for secrets?”

“Well Suzi, that depends.”

Suzi froze. How did he know her name?

“Don’t be shocked,” said the dirty banana shape moving within the beard. “I bought your brother’s secrets last year, so I know your name.”

What had her brother said about her, she wondered?

“Children’s secrets are always the most valuable, because they’re true. Adults lie about theirs, to make themselves look better.”

Her brother wrote his secrets on a piece of yellow paper. The buyer read them slowly, nodding, did a quick calculation, and wrote $160 at the bottom of the page. Her brother nodded enthusiastically. The buyer folded the paper and enclosed it in a steel box. He counted out the cash.

“Do you have a secret for me, Suzi?” he said.

The way he said her name again – hissing. His yellow banana-teeth. His birds nest beard. She wasn’t sure why, but she turned and ran. She knew that she wasn’t yet ready to sell.

There were so many rumours about secrets. Some people said that you should never tell them, because the moment you did, they were gone. Others said that it was your duty to share what you knew with others. She’d heard there was a factory making secrets in the Industrial Park without zoning. That the village was trying to introduce a Pay & Tell scheme. And the rumour that intrigued her most was that there was one secret, so secret, that if it was told then there would be no more secrets. This made her both want to tell her secret, and also not to. For what would life be like without secrets to tell to your friends?

Suzi told her mother that her secret was bothering her. Her mother suggested that she go to church and tell it to Father Joseph. He was surprised to see her, for she usually only came in with her family on Sundays.

“Yes, child, how can I help you?” he said.

“Father, I have a secret. I don’t know what to do with it.”

“Do you feel like telling me?” he said. He could see she was nervous.

“I’m not sure I can say it.

“Well why don’t you write it down?”

Suzi wrote down her secret.

Father Joseph read it and went pale. He sent Suzi straight home. He put her secret in a metal box and booked an urgent courier to Rome. He knew this was going to happen one day, for it was written in Holy Scripture. He thanked God Almighty that the secret had come to him before it went to the other side. For he knew that “Secret Buyers” really worked for someone else, whose price was your soul.