Archive for transparent temple

Thousand Names

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba had said, “This is a very special gathering so please remember the thousand names.”

Sami had spent an hour a day memorizing the names. After a week, he knew them all in order.

It wasn’t as hard as he’d imagined. With a combination of the favourite place/person method – where you imagine persons embodying specific qualities, sitting in spots around your house – acronyms, and rhyming, he was set.

He imagined Marilyn Monroe soaping herself in his shower, Groucho Marx pacing about in his garden shed, Boris Karloff lumbering around his cellar, and Barack Obama mowing his lawn, making the names fun to remember. These attributes of the Divine Creator were now unforgettable. The official list began with:

The Great – The Not So Great – The Funny (Groucho) – The Pretty – The Clever – The Cultured – The Spiritual…

The Great Gathering in Lucerne’s Transparent Temple was progressing well. There had been an issue with external crowd management, then a problem with internal crowd control, but both were resolved. There was a steady flow of people performing darshan – holy viewing – whilst the holy names were chanted continuously by a group on stage, accompanied by banjo, bongos and harmonium.

“There is no point in being too serious,” Guru Baba had said. “People should enjoy singing holy things.”

People who hadn’t memorized the names tapped their feet if they were Westerners, and nodded their heads if they were Easterners. They eventually picked up the names; by the fourth round they could anticipate the next one. Sami was right to not project them on screen, which would have changed the aural dynamic to visual, diluting the names’ holy vibrations. The chanting grew louder:

The Brave – The Scared – The Powerful (Obama) – The Powerless – The Beaten…

Sami saw people he knew – Sophie, Shama, Bobby, Dimpy and others – looking different somehow. Their faces were brighter. Their voices were lighter. Their postures were straighter. Their heads held higher.

Were they absorbing the names?

Joining with the names?

Becoming the names?

Sami had a flashback to the film HUMANITY; he had acted as local project manager for its global launch. It was filled with eye-popping visuals transporting you to ethereal realms, but being at this gathering was the real thing – the cameras, lights and action!

`           The Friendly – The Open – The Loving – The Nervous – The Monster (Boris) – The Murdered – The Killer…

An agitated marshall approached him and said, “All these names. Some of them are pretty fearsome. Do we need to be careful with them?”

“Sorry, I can’t hear you,” said Sami. “Can you repeat?”

“Do we need to be careful with these names? They could be dangerous.”

“Let’s go backstage. It will be easier to talk there.”

As soon as they were behind the curtain, Sami grabbed the marshall around the neck and wrestled him to the ground, shouting, “What’s your name? What’s your name? Tell me!”

The marshall struggled and grunted. He tried to break free but failed. He gave up and said, “Astra.”

Sami shouted, “Astra, be gone from here, and never come back!”

The marshall fainted, and a wisp of smoke blew from his nose.

Demons sometimes inhabited humans, filling them with negative energies. You had to be tough with demons. They were always trying to diminish God’s names and never wanted to reveal their own names, because once they were known to you, you could command them to be gone.

The Beautiful (Marilyn) – The Regal – The Legal – The Buyer – The Seller – The Three – The Two – The One.

Arty

Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by javedbabar

“Thanks for coming,” said Mr. Jameson, Recreation Manager of the Community Centre, aka. The Transparent Temple. “Would you like some tea?”

“Er, do you have some coffee?” said the journalist. “I’m not really a tea drinker.”

“I’m sorry we don’t. It’s Tea Awareness Month in the Village. All municipal facilities have only tea.” The journalist licked his lips as if trying to compare the two beverages. “And it’s also political. World Coffee Corp has taken over all the coffee shops in BC, so municipalities are promoting tea. Anyway, that’s a different story.”

“Yes, it is. Let’s talk about that next time. Yes tea would be fine, with milk and sugar please.”

Mr. Jameson served the tea, then seated himself opposite the journalist and said, “Would you like to ask questions, or shall I relate the whole story?”

“Just start at the beginning – tell me about the artist and how you acquired the artwork – and I’ll ask questions when I need to.”

“Ok then,” said Mr. Jameson. “We have a fabulous creative community in Lucerne. Artists first came here twenty years ago to escape the City, and rented old cabins here and there. The mountains and forests inspired them, and they had the isolation they craved.”

“How did they survive financially? Did they sell their works?”

Mr. Jameson smiled. “What’s the second largest industry in BC?”

“They grew pot? That was their income?”

“Well when they sold it they had income, and when they didn’t they smoked it and didn’t care.”

“That sounds like a good life to me,” said the journalist.

“Well it was initially. But then they got married, had kids, bought houses, and most got regular jobs. But some stayed out there literally. Unemployed or unemployable. Peter Stone never stopped working. He never sold anything, but never stopped working. He said it was his duty. His gift from God.”

“Is that a quote? Did he actually say ‘gift from God’?”

“Yes, he wrote it in his proposal. I can give you a copy if you like.” The journalist nodded. “Anyway, when we initiated the ABC – Art as Beautiful Community – program, he submitted work along with everybody else. He paints onto full-sized plywood panels; we thought it was too rough and rejected it. But then the large format painters we’d chosen – maybe you’ve seen Sharon Move’s old barns, and Wynn Kingston’s young bears – couldn’t commit their works for six months, due to upcoming shows. So we were left with Peter Stone. He’s an abstract painter, and we knew that his work would receive mixed reviews. The most prominent piece was Embrace of Infinity.”

The journalist said, “Do you have a picture of it? I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen it. I looked online but found nothing.”

Mr. Jameson nudged his file around the desk and said, “You won’t believe this, but we don’t have any pictures of it either.” He explained how none of the images appeared. All you saw was a blank plywood board. The paints were invisible. There was no explanation for it. The artist said that his work expressed the inexpressible. It was a work of light and shade.

“Tell me about the yoga class – the children’s one.”

“Well the painting was shown in the Great Hall for three months. Some people liked its raw energy and rough colours. They said its swirls reminded them of seasons, the weather, skiing, and moose rutting. But most thought it was pretty lame. Then we started a children’s yoga class on Wednesdays. One boy – who I can’t name for legal reasons – just sat there staring at the painting and wouldn’t move. The next week, two more boys joined him. The week after, the whole group sat before the painting and chanted, and the week after that too. We thought that yoga must be too intense for children, and cancelled the…”

The journalist interrupted. “That’s when I first heard about Embrace of Infinity. My colleague covered the yoga story. That poor teacher had a really hard time. I hear she’s left town and gone to live in an ashram.” Mr. Jameson raked his head up, indicating yes. “Is that when the City dealer came to the Transparent Temple?”

“You mean the Community Centre? I thought so. Yes he viewed the work then went to meet the artist in his cabin. He declared Peter Stone a genius and the work a masterpiece. He estimated its value at $12 million.”

“Where did that figure come from?” He tapped his pen. “It sounds pretty random?”

“Well I remember telling him that the Community Centre cost $12 million to build, and the next thing I know the painting’s worth the same.”

“What do you think? Is it worth $12 million? Look, is there any way that I can see it? I mean, this is a public building after all. Can’t I just have a little peek?”

Mr. Jameson shook his head. “I’m afraid that’s impossible. Even I can’t see it now. Due to the controversy the Great Hall is closed till further notice. Its windows are all covered, and the painting is guarded around the clock. It’s being removed by the dealer tomorrow. He’s found a wealthy buyer.”

“There are rumours that it’s World Coffee Corp’s owner.”

Mr. Jameson stiffened. “The Village has every right to sell it. We have a buy option for $1,000. It’s in the contract. I’ll give you a copy. It will pay off the Community Centre’s construction debts. It’s important that you give our side of the story.”

“And what about Peter Stone?”

“He has made violent threats against us. He is not allowed within 100 metres of the Community Centre.”

Vote Night

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , on February 27, 2012 by javedbabar

The Election Officer addressed the assembly. “Here are the results for all candidates standing for Mayor of Lucerne.” Excited murmuring ran throughout the Great Hall. To people passing, the Transparent Temple seemed like an aquarium with larvae wriggling within, one of whom would gobble up all others and become the Big Fish.

The Election Officer continued, “I shall announce them in alphabetical order by surname, with their stated affiliations.” The room hushed.

“Samir Bungawalla, Ethnic People’s Alliance: 200 votes.” People whispered that the Doctor’s son should really have done much better than this; the party founded by his father was on the wane.

“Davy Choo, Sustainable Fuels Forum: 50 votes.” Davy was a popular guy, but everyone knew that he was simply a front man for failing logging companies.

“Pinky Dada, Ethnic People’s Gay Alliance: 150 votes.” People congratulated Pinky, who blew kisses to everyone. Her breakaway group had done quite well.

“Simonique Jahanara, Ethnic People’s Gay Disabled Alliance: 120 votes.” People said that Simonique shouldn’t have stood, for she had split the ethnic and gay votes. Her response to this was, “Kick a queer black girl in a wheelchair, sugar, why don’t you?”

“Breda Mopa, Ethnic People’s Gay Disabled Autistic Alliance: 60 votes.” There was a time when the EPA was a rising star in local multi-cultural politics – but it had split into ineffective shards that continued to break further.

“Simon Palmer, Lucerne Valley First: 499 votes.” There was a general cheer. The current mayor had done very well, as hoped for and expected. It was almost a given that he would make his second term.

“Gracious Trabant-Berliner, Equestrian Horizons: 110 votes.” There was a time when horsey people were very popular, but people had, frankly, just got bored with their endless whinnying.

Di@ne W@tkins, Future Focus: 499 votes.” People gasped around the room. Di@ne W@tkins had a clear space around her, in which she stood surprised. Lucerne’s first-ever robot candidate had done very well and matched the incumbent!

The Election Officer asked for quiet; she had yet to finish announcing the results. “Toni Wicca, Ethnic People’s Gay Disabled Autistic Psychic Alliance: 12 votes.” This was clearly one split too far.

“And finally, Bongo Zephaniah, Ganga Potty Party: 160 votes.” A respectable showing from someone who had been treated by the press as a clown. Pot was no laughing matter in BC. Well it was – when smoking it in your yard with friends – but not in municipal elections.

“So there is a tie between Simon Palmer and Di@ne W@tkins. I will consult with my colleagues and shortly make further comment.”

A din of voices, like spring insects buzzing, rose around the Great Hall. There were jovial conversations and hidden whispers. The hottest topic was the robot candidate, Di@ne W@tkins. She was a petite woman with long dark hair, who had lived in the Village quietly for five years. Last year she’d announced that she no longer wished to live as a closet-robot; she publically declared that she had undergone the HST – Homo Sapiens Technology – Program, and was proud to represent this new branch of humanity.

Local people were shocked. There was a robot living right amongst them, undetected for years! They felt for some reason that robots existed only in the City – near factories, technicians, and charging stations. How could they exist out here? Their information however was out of date. Yes people over 50% android must exist near technical facilities, but the 50% boundary was rarely approached.

Most robots were under 20% android. Some were just cosmetic conversions, but most were medical enhancements of various degrees – a nose enlargement to assist breathing; a new heart for one that was failing; new lungs for those about to collapse; a new penis for erectile dysfunction; new legs for paraplegics; a new voice box for those with throat cancer. Robotics was the marvel of the age.

Having electrodes, polymers, and metals in bodies, however, frightened people who didn’t have them. “Are these people less human than we are?” they wondered. In truth many of these people were more human – because they had suffered and faced their mortality. Their alien structures made them whole, and they were compassionate to others who seemed weak or afraid. Test cases had challenged their legal status, but the Supreme Court had declared them equal and deserving of all rights, though the question of robots with extra powers was yet to be resolved.

The crowd hushed as the Election Officer returned. She said, “As you know, the most accurate and efficient form of assessing the electorates’ wishes is electronic voting. However, mistakes are occasionally made. Under advice from Legal Counsel, we will have a recount for the two leading candidates. This simply involves myself pressing a button, and the computer re-running the vote counting program. I will do this right now.” She pushed a button and the Great Hall remained hushed. Then she announced the recounted results. “Simon Palmer: 498 votes. Di@ne W@tkins: 500 votes.”

Most people cheered, as Di@ne was popular in Lucerne. She was hoisted onto shoulders amid flashing cameras. However others in the room stared at the petite, dark-haired robot suspiciously, thinking, “How did she do that?” and, “Is she connected to that computer?” and “Is this the first step towards Overmind?”