Archive for seven

Dark Moon Retreat

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba said, “Are you scared of death?”

Though he knew that his holy bossman was full of surprises, Sami was often unprepared for his questions. Sami had been given the day off, yet told that he’d be “working all night,” and here he was in a field beneath a full moon, being asked about death. He’d never really given it much thought. He said, “I suppose I am.”

Guru Baba grabbed his hand and said, “Come on then!”

Sami resisted. “Where to?”

“To death! Let’s go there!”

What was he up to? Sami turned to face him and said, “Guru Baba, I don’t want to die yet.”

“Why not? Practice makes perfect!”

Sami pulled away. “What do you mean by that? You’re scaring me now.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to. It’s just that the best way to prepare for anything – a race, a test, a holiday – is to engage in some practice. There is an ancient method to prepare for your death called the Dark Moon Retreat, performed during the darkest lunar phase.”

“But Guru Baba, there’s a full moon tonight. That’s why we’re out here.”

This stopped the sage in his tracks. “Ah! So there is!” He looked rapidly from side to side before his gaze settled on some farm outbuildings. “No problem. Let’s go over there.”

Guru Baba climbed over a barbed wire fence. “Shouldn’t we get permission to come here?” said Sami.

“No, no, no need for that. Come on over. The Egyptians used to meditate in pyramids. The Teotihuacanos too. Holy men and women would enter their inner chambers alone and spend the night there, removed from all sources of light and sound, yet filled with visions of the inner workings of worlds. We don’t have any pyramids here, so this will do. Let’s have a go.”

Sami was bemused by the choice of an A-frame barn as a pyramid stand-in, but held his tongue. Guru Baba said, “It is a restricted practice, only for use under appropriate spiritual guidance. Do you think I qualify for the role of spiritual guide?”

Guru Baba was one of the world’s leading holy men, recently retired to “that lovely village with the white mountain above it.” Sami smiled and nodded.

He was instructed to sit cross-legged on hay bales and breathe slowly in and out. “Lose all of your thoughts,” said Guru Baba. “Keep only the gaps between them. Look at the spaces.” He waited a while, and said, “Good. Whether we live or die, we are always connected. We have seven spiritual centres in our bodies, infused with seven colours, and connected with seven planets. Now focus on these centres, planets and colours, and recite these seven holy syllables.” He broke off for a moment to think up some words, and then said, “I am Sa-mi so am I.”

Sami did as he was told. At first he felt the hay prickling his bottom.

Then he was aware only of his words.

Then the centres.

Then colours.

Then planets.

There was a sequence of degeneration where all words, centres, colours and planets fell away. Sami saw reality clearly – who he was truly – and then experienced terrifying hallucinations – who he had been in lesser forms.

Guru Baba watched Sami’s rainbow body shining. It illuminated the whole barn. He sensed fluttering above. “Poor bats,” he thought. “So confused. Maybe this will enlighten them too.”

Seven Generations

Posted in Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Nobody in the village had spoken to Breda for twenty four years. Seven generations ago, one of her ancestors had committed a crime, and since then all villagers had shunned her family.  The Nooranis were Quieted, which meant that they were not to be spoken to or spoken about, ever. It was as if they didn’t exist.

Life continued though, and they quietly went about their business in the Upper Valley. They were farmers and thus largely self-sufficient. They had all the food they needed – roots, fruits, meat and veggies –and could make do with or mend most objects. They were also able to trade with out-of-towners, who held no taboos, and engaged with them freely, but Lucerne’s citizens kept away from them entirely.

The only exception was shopping. They were allowed to buy what they needed from the grocery and hardware stores, but always in silence. Mt Alba and Mt Negra – the white and black peaks at opposite ends of the Valley – had been better companions to Breda growing up than anybody in Lucerne.

“Good day, love,” said the grocery store cashier. “How are you doing today?”

Breda dropped her cabbage. Somebody had spoken to her! How? Why? What for?

The cashier continued, “How was your weekend? Boy, it was hot on Sunday. Did you take a dip in the lake?”

Breda said, “Excuse me, are you talking to me?”

“Sure I am. I quit talking to myself years ago. I always chat to my customers. That’s the difference between this place and a box store. We give you personal service. Wasn’t it…”

Breda interrupted. “Do you know who I am? I’m a Noorani.”

“Yes, yes, I know that. Who doesn’t? But that’s neither here nor there now, isn’t it? The baby must be coming soon. When’s it due?”

Breda held onto the conveyor belt. So that was it! It was her baby! The child would be born of the eighth generation, and the taboo would be ended.

“Oh, I see you’ve got some nappies. You’ll be needing plenty of those! You might want to get a bigger pack next time. You’ll get through those in a flash. Do you want to change the pack? I’m sure the people behind you won’t mind much. They’ll understand the situation. Wait! You don’t want to walk up and down the aisle in your condition. Let me call one of the assistants…”

Breda was lost for words. This rush of engagement was overwhelming. It was like a desert becoming a lake. She was not ready to respond.

For Breda’s twenty four years of life, nobody in the village had spoken to her or her family. She had been made an outcast for crimes that had nothing to do with her at all. She didn’t even know what her great-great-great-great grandmother had done in the first place, and what was the chance of a fair trial for women in those days? Was there even any evidence? It was likely a baseless accusation for personal reasons, by a vicious neighbour, a zealous parishioner, or greedy rival.

Breda declined the cashier’s offer of getting a bigger pack of nappies. She bagged her own items and headed out of the store.

Two women passing greeted her effusively. “Oh Breda! Look at you now! When’s it due?” These were girls that she had studied with. They’d not spoken to her during her schooldays – never, ever – yet now asked after her mother and sisters. She didn’t know what to say to them, so grunted and headed to her truck.

A guy in a white half-sleeved shirt, on his lunch break from the bank, helped to load her groceries into the cab. He asked after her brother, to whom he had never spoken.

Breda started the truck and headed up the Lucerne Valley Road. As she rounded a bend near the river, she saw more people she knew that had never, ever spoken to her. They now waved cheerily and made signs to call them.

Breda considered swinging her truck towards them. Hitting them hard and sending their bodies flying into the river. These people had condemned her for things she hadn’t done; at least then they would have a reason to hate her and the next seven generations of her family. But then she thought, why not make this eight generation different?

My Hands

Posted in Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by javedbabar

Solomon twisted his hands and then clasped them firmly. He wondered how much truth there was in palmistry. Actual physical truth. That parts of your hands corresponded directly to parts of your body, and also to celestial bodies.

He looked at his right hand. Across the top were Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo, and Mercury; below these were Mars +ve, the Plain of Mars, and Mars –ve; then Venus, Neptune, and Luna. Were all of these connected to heavenly objects, and also to Gods?

He held up both hands against light pouring from the windows. He observed his fingers, fingernails, and finger prints; his palm skin patterns; skin texture and colour; his palm’s shape. He tested his hand’s flexibility. It bent back almost to his wrist. If only his life was so easily manipulated.

His head, heart, life, and fate lines tore through this gentle landscape. In one sense they were only creases, he knew, but in another way they were holy scripture written across his body’s most active organs, with every act imprinted upon them already, his duty only to manifest it. There was the story of his life, already told. Solomon’s dominant right hand – his conscious hand – was fighting for control of his mind. Maybe he could overpower his left, unconscious hand, carrying his karmic conditioning.

He looked through his hands at the dramatic landscape. There was Mt. Alba, its snow-capped bulk gleaming in the distance. Hundred foot cedars stood mighty, and poplars shivered in light winds, their leaves turning and flashing continuously, like a sequinned dress glimmering.

Solomon didn’t want to make the call. He had hoped it could be avoided. But he had waited too long already. Was this cowardice yet another sin? He took a few deep breaths, then dialled 9-1-1. He paced his breathing and kept calm.

She asked him, “Where is the emergency?”

He said it was here on the Lucerne Valley Road.

She asked him, “What is the nature of the emergency?”

He said was is a murder.

She asked him, “What happened?”

He said it hadn’t happened yet. It was going to happen. The person who had attacked him was about to be killed. He didn’t give his phone number, or location, or listen to any further instructions from the dispatcher, and hung up the phone.

Fallen humanity had a tendency to sin. He’d better take action. People ate too much and became obese. While a billion starved there, a billion here ate too soon, too expensively, too much, too eagerly, too daintily, too wildly. They filled themselves up till they vomited, or gorged themselves till their organs exploded, like an egg in a microwave. They just couldn’t stop eating themselves to death. That stomach must be torn, like Samurais did when dishonoured.

People lusted for the flesh. After eating animals, they rushed to devour each other with boiling sexual thoughts. There was a reason for god’s gifts. We must use our bodies with respect for their holy purpose. To make beautiful babies. Not sweat and rut endlessly like jungle beasts. Like pigs who needed fattening, or stallions needing taming, there was only one answer. Remove the carnal source.

We are each created in the image of God. Our talents are unlimited, and our gifts are incredible. But we are incredibly lazy. Lying-in in the mornings, enjoying wasteful coffee breaks, engaging in endless chatter, checking stupid messages, and sending pointless texts, all to avoid working, providing service to our fellow beings. Not shouldering our burden. That weak back serves no purpose. It must be broken.

We envy others. We desire to deprive other men and women of what is rightfully theirs. The things that we are too lazy to work for, we want to steal from others. We bear hatred towards them, not realizing the self-destructiveness of provoking feuds. Our loathing is self-loathing; hatred of our own hearts. Let’s remove this one.

We desire to be more attractive and more important than others. We confuse authority with humanity, and fail to acknowledge the good work done by our fellows. This proud chest must be punctured.

We are greedy. Whether deserved or undeserved, and whether productive or destructive, we pursue status, power, and wealth excessively. I have two hands, one for helping myself and the other for helping others. Both have failed. Remove those grasping hands.

We have the solutions to all of these things. We are patients with a ready prescription. For gluttony, take temperance. For lust, chastity. For sloth, some diligence. For envy, show kindness. For wrath, bear patience. For pride, humility. For greed, show charity. We have the doctor’s authority on paper, and stand at the pharmacy. We are next in line. But rather than handing it in for fulfilment, we pocket it quickly and walk out of the store, picking up a Snickers, some condoms, a cushion, and a celebrity magazine, and kicking a dog, sneering at a beggar, and buying a lottery ticket on the way home.

This is what I do daily, thought Solomon. I am a sinner beyond compare, and beyond redemption. When the first responders arrived, they found his butchered body. The only thing visible in the mess was a severed hand holding a phone.