Archive for reincarnation

Questionnaires

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by javedbabar

“What are these for?” said Irene, fiddling with the white envelopes and then holding one at arms length and reading. “The Authority, 10001 The City. Why are you giving them to me? Why don’t you take them to the Post Office?”

“There are questionnaires inside the envelopes,” said Mr. Amin. “I’d like you to hand one out to everybody here.”

He could have done it himself, but then what could Irene do? Just sit there doing nothing? As manager of Open Hearts seniors daycare centre he had to be ingenious at all times, which was the only way to keep the place running. “When completed, they should go back in the envelopes and be returned to me. Then I will take them to the Post Office.”

“What are they for?” said Irene. “I’ve filled out enough forms to last me two lifetimes. We all have. What don’t they know about us already? We’re old and we’re dying. What else is there to know?”

“Irene,” said Mr. Amin. “We are regulated by The Authority. There have been bad news stories about care homes recently, and they are a hot topic provincially. The Authority is doing some Quality Control.”

“What’s the point of doing surveys now? It will take them years to analyse results and implement changes. By then we’ll all be dead!”

Mr. Amin knew she was right. The Authority’s capitalist system was based upon dissatisfaction. Do satisfied people feel the need to buy things to prove that “they’re worth it”? Of course not. They stay at home and appreciate simple pleasures. You may as well do what good you could though. He said to Irene, “We’ll be dead anyway, so why not help future generations of oldies?”

“Okay, I will. Why not? What have we got to lose? Don’t blame me for what they write though. They’re not all in the best of moods, or even sane.”

Irene walked over to Gemma. She didn’t want to interrupt her knitting, so stood over her for a while. There was no appreciable slowing of her knitting and purling of purple and white yarns. Irene cleared her throat and said, “Gemma, may I give you something?”

Gemma’s needles slipped. She grimaced to herself, and looked up furiously. “What do you want! Disturbing a woman doing her knitting. You should know better than that! Who the hell do you think you are anyway?”

“I’m sorry Gemma. I tried to get your attention but you were too engrossed. What are you making?”

Gemma was still irritated and said sarcastically, “Can’t you see? It’s the fabric of life. The knit is what should happen to you, and the purl is what does happen.” She jabbed a needle.

Irene said, “I didn’t know that you took it so seriously. I thought it was just a pastime, making bootees for your grandchildren.”

“I don’t have any grandchildren,” she said. “Or any children, for that matter.”

Maybe Gemma was onto something, thought Irene. The yarn was a good analogy. The Two Laws of the Universe did create a kind of fabric. The weft was the Law of Attraction, drawing you along, and the warp was the Law of Karma, pulling you up or down. Us oldies must be getting wise.

Gemma said, “So why are you bothering me? What’s in that envelope?”

“It’s a questionnaire about the Centre. Please complete the questions and return it to Mr. Amin.”

“You must be joking. I was a high school teacher for thirty years. A damned fine one too. I’ve taught every person in Lucerne under forty to add, subtract, multiply and divide, and the smarter ones square roots, squares, integration, and differentiation too. And then they saddled me with so many forms to complete, lesson plans to create, reports to write, key stages to follow, observations to pass, and endless other bureaucracy that I had a nervous breakdown. Can you understand? Someone who could add real and imaginary numbers, divide by irrational ones, and multiply by transcendent ones with her eyes closed, was made to drown in a sea of stupid papers. Idiotic! Vacuous! Pointless! I never recovered and never returned to work. All I’m doing now is waiting to die. The last thing I want to do is complete any more forms.”

Irene told Gemma that she didn’t need to complete the form. She would explain to Mr. Amin, who would understand surely. She handed out forms to others more successfully, and then came to James. She wondered what to do with his form. He sat there all day, unresponsive to everybody – even to her, his one-time soulmate, so many lives ago, but he couldn’t even look back into her loving eyes now. That was life. Or should she say that was lives? She decided to complete the questionnaire for him.

It was a simple system. There were twelve questions, with a choice of responses – Good, OK, or Bad. She looked into his eyes as she asked each question, hoping for a clue to his thoughts. She asked him what he thought of the location of the centre, its facilities, staff, the food, the information they provided, responses to clients’ concerns, the treatment of visitors, their occasional excursions, overall cleanliness, healthy and artistic activities, daily timings, transport. “Anything else?”

He stared blankly ahead throughout her questioning, and gave no indications at all. She ticked OK for all of the questions. Maybe the conditions of his next life would be Good.

Who knew what The Authority would do with the results anyway? Would they reduce services to dissatisfied respondents for being unappreciative? They were just as likely to reduce services to satisfied ones, thinking that they were getting more than they deserved. Why should unproductive members of society be so happy? If everybody felt like that, The Authority’s economic system, based upon perennial dissatisfaction, would fall apart.

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.

Two Laws

Posted in Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Noop hobbled into the lounge and looked around her. It was airy, bright and open. The small manager welcomed her personally, saying, “Mrs. Irene Todd, it’s always nice to see new faces. I hope that we will see you here often.”

She said, “I’ve been quite busy since Aidan died. It’s been a difficult period.”

“We’ll do whatever we can to help you.” He indicated the staff now busy making dinner. “Our main goal is sociability. We like to draw people out.” He smiled at her like an imp. He was an imp. “So please don’t be shy.” It must be hard work “drawing people out” she thought. Some of them were drooling and dazed. Thankfully she still had her wits about her. That was a nice little temple they’d made, with different gods and goddesses. There were Ram & Sita. Why did it feel so natural to say Hai Ram?

“Please make yourself comfortable,” said the manager. “Will you be dining with us, or have you brought your own lunch?”

“I will be eating here,” she said. She hadn’t heard great things about the food, but wanted to try it. She hoped it was something spicy, even if they made it poorly. It would be better than bland food.

“Okay, great. I’ll introduce you to some of the others at lunch. Will you be okay here for a while? I’ve just got to call the Village about transport, and the Medical Centre about their new healthy eating guidelines. As you can see, bureaucracy never ends – even when our lives do.”

Noop sat on the sofa outside the manager’s office. She could have walked over to the other women, but preferred to be introduced. There aren’t many men here, she thought. They must have disappeared early like her Aidan. How did the tradition develop – all over the world – of men marrying younger women? On average men die five years before women – it doesn’t make sense. Hai Ram.

Her Aidan had been a good man mostly. He’d provided well for her and the kids. He’d built her a home. He’d taken her on holidays. He’d bought her flowers and gifts. In fifty years he’d never missed one Valentines’ Day. “There was more than one St. Valentine,” he said. “Maybe three or four. But all were martyrs. Let’s go one day to Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, and see St. Valentine’s flower-crowned skull.” They’d never made it. Like the manager here, Aidan complained about bureaucracy. He blamed it for most things – even their lack of seeing the flower-crowned skull. “Bloody governments,” he said. “Making rules and regulations. How’s a man ever to fight his way out? My skull is crowned with photocopies and receipts.” He’d done his best. He was a good husband. But in her heart she had always known that he wasn’t her true love.

Noop looked across the room and saw…

The next thing she knew, bright lights filled her eyes. She was looking up at the ceiling. What had happened? Was she lying on the floor? The manager’s imp face was close to her, saying, “Mrs. Todd? Can you hear me? Irene?” Other staff crowded around her. She panicked at first, but relaxed quickly. This wasn’t the first time. She knew it had happened before. But where? And why? The man she’d seen was known to her. But who was he?

An ambulance came and took her to the hospital. They said that it was just a momentary lapse. Nothing to worry about. She checked out later the same day.

Noop should have stayed at home the next day, but just had to go to the Centre. She knew the man there. He didn’t seem to recognize her though. He had lost his mind. He was drooling slightly. She wiped his mouth with a tissue. Other women began gossiping about her. She didn’t care. The way he looked at her. He knew too. So late in this life! Why so late in this life! But they were still connected. Hai Ram.

Through Noop’s many lifetimes, with many different names, one thing had become clear. That there were only two laws at work in the world. The Law of Attraction and the Law of Karma.

The Law of Attraction was qualitative. There were no absolutes. Its vehicle was your imagination. Whatever you thought about, desired wholeheartedly, and worked towards was ultimately yours. It may take a while to get there, but it would come. Noop and Raja had been circling each other for countless lifetimes, like the gods Ram and Sita. They came together like sugar and water, dissolving into each other completely. But that water was spilled again after forty, fifty, or seventy years. They were entwined and could never be separated entirely, but must find new containers to mingle. That was their endless journey, to find a grail in which to merge. Maybe one day forever.

The Law of Karma, however, didn’t make things easy. You did the best you could, given your circumstances. You tried to be diligent, hardworking, truthful, just, and kind. You retained faith in God and fulfilled your earthly duty. But no one knew the repercussions of their every action, multiplied infinitely. You did your best, that’s all you could do – and that changed continually: with each moment, day, year, and lifetime. Karma was quantitative: a huge balance sheet of plus and minus – leading to a grand net total. If positive – you advanced, and if negative – you retreated. So it was.

Plato spoke of divided souls, searching for their completion. Sufis yearned for a return to their original unity. All lovers seek soulmates. Twin flames, lit from the same source, can merge again. But till then they must wander as lone sparks.

Noop looked into Raja’s eyes, though he didn’t seem to be looking into hers. She held his hand, squeezed his fingers, and said, “I have found you again, my love. I am your Sita. Hai Ram.