Month: January 2016

The Purpose Journey (11)©

Claudius asked, “Merlin, I have a question. Tristan, who we call Rav, has discussed the different mental worlds we move in and out of. We all have learned hypnosis and find it useful for many things. Invoked creatures as positive hallucinations is surely part of the explanation. But, my insides are telling me that there is more to the story.”

“What you call your insides is really feeling the honey mead. It is most curious elixir. Been working on it for many years now. It is made from enchanted bees, you know,” added Merlin.

“So far, all I have shared with you are comments as to the functioning of the normal mentality available to human beings in your particular universe of physicality. I have remained within the boundaries of the capacities of your central nervous system with its imago triad. We have seen that certain mental states are possible in hypnotic states, normal dreaming, and psychosis. This is as far as we have gone up to now,” added Merlin.

Continuing, Merlin said, “But, there is much more to discuss. Moreover, the material to come is much related to Chatelaine’s question. First, at this moment, you all are in the same universe as I normally reside within. And I would surmise that most of you, dear people, think it no different than your universe. But, this universe is not the same as your’s, as I already demonstrated. In my universe, real magic exists. Watch.”

Merlin traced a pentacle in the air in front of him and chanted in a language not understood by anyone present (other than Rav). In front of the travelers a purple sphere of smoke appeared, expanding into space so assume the shape of a human, finally solidifying as a beautiful young lady with green eyes and dark-red hair dressed in navy blue linen finery. Merlin stepped forward, took the right hand of the lady, and introduced her, “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise. May I introduce, Arthur’s half-sister, Lady Morgana le Fay. Ladies curtsy and men bow.”

Morgana greeted everyone, most royally. “Hello, dear Merlin. Long time no see. Nice of you to reawaken me from my rehabilitation sleep. I was such a bad sister to dear Arthur. But, the past is the past and the living must move on. Though, Arthur need not complain, Avalon is pretty nice place to live.”

Merlin replied, “I see you have repaired your soul and it is nice to see you with a kind smile. The reason I summoned you is for you to explain how magical worlds differ from the parent physical world. These folks are from the physical world and are still ignorant.”

Morgana had not noticed that Tristan was present for he had ducked from the library when the purple smoke first appeared. He returned saying, “Hello, Morgana, you look ravishing as usual.”

Morgana turned towards Tristan’s voice, rushing to him so to greet him with a rather passionate kiss on his lips, ending with, “Hello, darling. How are you? You haven’t forgotten your sweet and amorous sorceress, have you?”

Rav, blushing just a little, replied,”Never, Morgana. You were always sweet with me–even during the Arthur / Mordred fiasco. I would have stayed with you, as you well know, but, as I was a creature of the true physical world, eventually, I had to return.”

“I know, darling. I would like a few months or years of your time. I have missed you,” cooed Morgana.

“Good idea, after we finish today’s lesson, as to purpose, I am sure dear Merlin will entertain my students for a few weeks. Right, Merlin.”

“Fine, Tristan. But, allow Morgana to explain about the significance of your world’s dream time. It is unique to the physical worlds, as none of us dream in our worlds. We are either awake or in deep, dreamless sleep. Imagine how confusing things would be if we had to deal with dreams within dreams within dreams.”

The Purpose Journey (10)©

Everyone was famished and cleaned their silver plates one or more times. Chatting together in Merlin’s library was really a pleasant way to past the time (pun intended). Plus, everyone was feeling the subtle effects of multiple glasses of honey mead–no one was tipsy, but, everyone felt wonderfully settled, at home, and minds clear, sharp and focused.

Rav mused to himself, “Funny, no one said a word about the magic of Wonderland and Camelot. In our world, they would have been shocked. I will have to explain this later.  When we are in a dreamtime world, we attune with the basic structure automatically.”

Eventually, Merlin tapped his goblet with his knife to produce a series of musical notes doubling in frequency from the first ring note at 256 Hz or Middle C. As the last harmonic died away, Merlin began with Chatelaine’s question.

“Chatelaine, my dear, such a question is much more convoluted than most people in your world realize,” began Merlin.

“For example, I am well aware that a large percentage of persons living in your world swear that departed spirits, angels, demons, elementals and other creatures of ancient mythologies assuredly exist as distinct creatures who are composed of special energy-matter, or psychoectoplasm.  Unfortunately, claims made for the manifestation of such creatures has not been adequately verified by neutral parties studying the details of such reports. Moreover, most believers have not personally experienced similar occurrences. This is a real problem, Chatelaine.

If we survey the demographics of this population, we discover a number of common subpopulations, e.g., dyed-in-the-wool occultists, hopeful spiritualists, schizophrenics, psychotics, fantasying personalities, a few parapsychologists, primitive cultures, and little children. The list may sound pejorative to members of such groups, but, this is not my intention as you will come to see as we continue. My point being that the psychoneurological systems maintaining such beliefs arose early in your evolution and are the default mode of the normal human brain. As the default mode of your psychology, it makes sense that it would be most prevalent in psychiatric disorders involving the temporal and parietal lobes of the brain.”

Merlin paused to allow questions. He had noticed that one or two of his guests seemed a mite antagonized by his comments and so needed further explanation.

Alphonso raised his hand and Merlin nodded in his direction. Alphonso asked, “Merlin, could you explain in more detail. I did study occultism for a few years with a magician and he evoked some entities in my presence. They seemed real enough, though, we could not actually touch them. Doesn’t this suggest that these mythical creatures are real enough?”

‘Jolly good, my boy. You have touched upon one of the subtle complexities present within the fullness of Creation. A complexity which is not recognized by many occultists and so is most confusing. The confusion arising from the ‘crossing-over momentarily’ into another state of perception, a different conscious awareness, than you normally inhabit when in your waking state. What I mean by this, is that when an occultist invokes an elemental or other creature in your normal physical universe, such creature does not appear within your waking world, rather, an image seed appears within the dream awareness of the operator.  I know it is complicated and requires further explanation.

I am sure Tristan has explained the difference between waking and dreaming realities. In order to successfully invoke an angelic creature using a magical ritual require that the participants in the ritual have highly developed occult imaginations. That is, they must be excellent visualizers capable of externalizing an internally generated ‘form’ onto the physical surroundings.  As they work to visualize said creature, the evolving visualization molds itself to the silent seed form already existing in their subconscious minds.  So what manifests, if the ritual is successful, is the seed form which already existed therein.

Such a form, in and of itself, is no more than the creation of a positive hallucination. Positive hallucinations may be static or active. A common static form for an occultist would be a flaming sword. An active image is present when the imager can interactive with the invoked item or personality. People can interact with such positive hallucinations without being occultists. It happens automatically in psychoses and with medical hypnosis in fantasy prone subjects.

What most occultists fail to understand is the power of magical ritual for inducing a state of hypnosis or trance. A hypnotic state is characterized by greatly enhanced concentration, richer mental imaging, suppression of background information, and the feeling of actually being present within the world which was invoked by the facilitator. In truth, when someone enters into a hypnotic state, he or she has entered into his or her dreamworld–be the eyes closed or open. Moreover, if one studies the intricate design of magical rituals, one finds they are excellent hypnotic inductions useful to bring a seed form from the subconscious into the conscious which brings the feeling that an invoked person, spirit, or angel is truly present.”

Merlin paused once again for questions.

The Purpose Journey (9)©

In a ‘wink of an eye of newt,’ our travelers found themselves standing in a grassy meadow surrounded by a dense forest of brown trunks and green leaves. It was a pleasant late spring day and Sun was high in the sky above. The Looking Glass clothes were gone and everyone was dressed in black robes typical of early Christian monks and nuns. Everyone except, Rav who was in chain mail and a white tunic emblazoned with a gold cross and unfolding red rose at the center of the arms. Chatelaine broke the silence asking, “Rav, where are we now?”

Based upon the current dress code and this forest setting, “I venture that we are about a league away from Arthur’s Camelot and not very far from Merlin’s crystal cave. In fact, if you look towards the hill to my right, you will catch the sunlight reflecting off of the entrance stone to Merlin’s cave. So gather up your skirts, off we go to visit the old wizard. It will be fun.”

The band of monks and nuns arrived at Merlin’s cave entrance after walking for thirty-three minutes. Everyone found themselves filled with enthusiasm and curiosity as Rav had not said even a single word to them during their invigorating constitutional. The travelers found themselves standing before a granite stone filled with golden-pink feldspar veins. Nothing seemed out of normal where they stood. Celeste noted what the travelers were thinking, “Rav, I don’t see anything particularly special about the ground we are standing upon. I do not see anything suggesting a crystal cave.”

“My dear, why would you expect that Merlin would advertise his presence to the world? It is well known that he had sent a few years teaching and training his Beloved Vivian in the fullness of his magick before he officially retired from active politics with the death of Arthur and the return of the sword Excalibur. If we want to gain entrance, all I need do is knock on the stone seven times with the hilt of my sword. So here goes.” Rav, tapping upon a dark spot present on the face of the stone seven times and lo and behold, the stone rolls to Rav’s left side displaying a well-lit entrance hall.

Along the sides of the hall stood stalactites and stalagmites which seemed to be the source of light. A voice was heard from the back of the cave, “Have some patience, have some patience. I am walking as fast as I can. I am not the young wizard I once was, you know.” Shortly, Merlin appeared in the entrance way. The first thing noticed by the travelers was a soft shimmer of light within his eyes. A fluffy white-haired beard covered his chest and he was dressed in simple purple robe covered in constellations. His hands showed that he was someone who used hand tools, perhaps outside in a garden. He carried a wooden staff with all sorts of runes and mystical creatures carved upon its circumference.

As he neared the entrance, Merlin exclaimed, “Is that you? It is you. I thought you were lost for sure after you and that pesky dragon, Eater of Virgins, fell down into the pit to hell. If I remember correctly, the dragon slipped off the bridge and grabbed your shield arm. What ever happened, Sir Tristan?”

Rav bowed slightly to Merlin saying, “Well, my memory is a little sketchy as to details. What I remember is falling for a very long time with Eater of Virgins. Not much either of us could do except fall and talk. Eventually, Pilathorn, the dragon’s real name, and I started chatting about his life and the fact that his mother had abandoned him when very young, causing him to develop a desire to eat virgins so they will not make babies to abandon. By the time we reached the bottom, he had changed his mind about eating virgins and would open a nice farm next to a volcano so to raise abandoned dragons. After we hit the bottom, we found an exit back to the outside and parted company. Proves the importance of a heartfelt chat.”

Merlin stroked his beard, “I see. A good resolution for all. So to what do I owe this visit, my son?”

Rav told Merlin of our travel tale to date and what we had learned. “I think we arrived near Camelot so to answer a subject broached by Chatelaine as to the existence of Undines and other mythical creatures. Are they inhabitants of the physical world or simply figments of the dreamworld? Can living persons be possessed by creatures from the dreamtime?”

“Interesting question, my boy. Follow me to the library and all of us can sit down for a chat.” And with that Merlin turned around and headed further into the crystal cave. After a minute or two, the party found itself in a good sized room lined with bookshelves filled with old scrolls and clay tablets. “Everyone find a chair and I shall answer Chatelaine’s question. Which one is Chatelaine. Merlin glanced at her, “Jolly good, jolly good. Reminds me of my Vivian.”

“So allow me to officially introduce myself. I am the retired wizard of Camelot, Merlin Dinas Emrys. I am Roman by birth and cousin to Ambrosius Aurelianus of Wales who defeated the Saxon invaders. Let us share refreshments together.” He lifted his arms, said a short sentence in a language no one understood. And before each of Merlin’s guests appeared silver goblets full of honey mead and some very nice cold cuts and pickled vegetables.

“Chow down, my friends.” ‘Chow down.’ Everyone missed the temporally displaced language and Merlin and Rav just smiled at each other.




The Purpose Journey (8)©

After finishing his piece of cinnamon-sugar toast (and Rav had to admit that it was a might tasty piece of toast at that), he turned to the White Rabbit, asking, “WR, do you happen to unknow the nowhere location of the Cheshire Cat? I need him for my travelers?

And before the White Rabbit could open his mouth, comfortably resting in the air above the table, appeared a wide grin followed by the complete body of the Cheshire Cat. “Here I am, I heard the non-ring of the non-bell that was not-rung and came promptly.”

Settling into an empty chair at the table, His Catship, quipped, “What’s up, wild and crazy guys? Any one ready for a quick game of Find the Red Queen in the Cards?”

The Mad Hatter piped up, “Slow down, you appearing and disappearing Kittyship, the knight in the yellow tunic needs your help. And if you want some shortbread, be a kind pussy cat, please”

The Cheshire Cat turned to the Rav, holding out a paw so to shake paws, saying politely, “Nice to meet you, in a sort of non-meeting way. Sorry for the funny phrases, but such are the genre of this table. I will cut it out for the moment. What can I do for you, you can I do. Sorry.”

Rav explained about what had transpired on our journey to date and what had been learned. Twirling one of his whiskers, Rav saw that Cat was mildly miffed, as we had not come to him first. Being a self-observant Cat, he quickly spread some unmiffing jam on a piece of shortbread, gobbled it down in one bite, smacked his lips, and was back to his normally, irritating good mood.

Stroking his chin with the index claw of his right paw, he thought for a moment, or maybe a non-moment or two. Lowering his paw, he said, “Let me tell you a short story about my stewardship of Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They are certified dimwits and so I check up to see that they are OK . . . and for some entertainment, I must confess. One day, I watched them and here is what happened. Below me on that day, saw I, our two dimwits arguing, and so I wrote a short poem which I shall recite right now:

Not once and not again,
the rolly-polly twins of Wonderland
were spouting off their foolishness.

One, the graduate of the Wonderland Institute of Technology.
One, the graduate of the Wonderland Theological University.

“Information is solely physical; pure mathematics reigns supreme,”
insisted Tweedle-Dee.

“No, brother!
Information is solely aphysical; contemplation is the royal road,”
argued Tweedle-Dum.

Hearing the twins from faraway thereness,
the Cheshire Cat could not but appear out of close-by hereness.

Materializing in front of these quarrelsome twins,
with his big, toothy grin and humor-filled eyes,
he said, most wisely and with full authority,

“Information must be seen as either,
information must be seen as both,
information must be seen as neither.”

And with regal thusness and smugness,
he took a lengthy toke upon Caterpillar ’s ever-present hookah,
exhaling seven interconnected smoke rings,
vanishing back into the hereness which is thereness.

His yellow-black striped body disappearing,
leaving only his grin to be seen,
he spoke, “You two nits need to get stoned sometime.”

And with that, he was no more.

“I think this is what your students need, my dear Rav. Tut-tut, must move along. Got a visit with the Red Queen and she is so unpleasant if I arrive late–though, I make sure to arrive exactly 3 minutes and 3 seconds late every time. So you see dear Rav, by being not on time, I am on time. Cheers.” Raising from his chair and into the air, Cat’s yellow-black striped body disappearing, leaving only his grin to be seen, and then nothing.

And when the Cheshire Cat disappeared, Rav and the travelers started moving again. Quickly thanking everyone at the tea table for such a jolly good time and apologizing for such a hasty departure, with a wave and a grin the travelers disappeared to their next rendevous. I wonder with whom?

The Purpose Journey (7)©

As the last traveler exited jnana, Rav addressed everyone, “Before our next quantum leap in Never-No-Where Land, it would be beneficial to review what we have learned to date (in case you were wondering, ‘No’ is a homophone). During our sojourn on the Garden Isle, we learned that truth is not realized through blanket acceptance of the pronunciations of ones elders–and dearies, this includes, yours truly. The path leading towards understanding can be pointed out, but you cannot arrive, any the wiser, without actual experience and hard work. We learned from the two islands that the search of truth requires the intentional dividing of attention and effort so to explore all sides of the question. Moreover, truth will not be found unless we place our current answer to the side and explore without demanding the kind of fruit at the end. Everyone agree or not?”

“Rav, what about the rose garden and the stone fence,” asked Opal?

“Good question, little lady grasshopper. The roses represent the hidden Truths of this Universe and the stone wall is that part of you which prevents crossing over into such Truths. The stone wall is composed of all of your mainly dysfunctional ego-jinn jockeying for moments to hoard time with your ergoegotic center. Rid yourself of your need for self, other than as a tool to operate in the mundane, and you are in!”

“Rav, I don’t understand the logic of the Buddha’s advice,” piped up Amethyst.

“Think back to the words of Ichi-san. He explained Lord Buddha’s logic system using quantum mechanics as a guide. Buddha logic only seems funny to us for we were taught western logic and the excluded middle. I talked about this before, remember? Any other questions? OK, then time for more adventure, tap, tap, tap.”

And with that the travelers bodies turned to smoke, contracting to a central point, and disappeared from the Zen garden.

Poof . . . the travelers found themselves standing next to the disordered tea table of the Mad Hatter and his eclectic  friends. Fortunately, Alice was in attendance, as it was a most dreadful day for her. So dreadful that she needed to be with her quaint friends in Wonderland and behind the Looking Glass–it was her real birthday and no one felt like celebrating upon such a maudlin day. So the normally disorganized, motley, and rabid tea drinkers tried to maintain a modicum of rationale and linked thinking.

Trying to force a smile, she saw that the tea-goers had some most unusual visitors. As best look as she could, she could not stabilize her visuals. Everyone kept coming and going. “Oh, my,” said Alice, “natal day non-celebrations are so very, very unnerving. I am going to have a migraine, I do believe. Why do we have to drink coffee when it is one of our real birthdays?”

The White Rabbit put down his teacup, saying, “Relax, dearie. Now, you know the real reason we do not, and I mean Do Not, celebrate natal days. A single natal day tea party versus 364.242181 solar, mean non-birthday tea parties, do the math, dearie. A year of daily tea parties last 20 min and 24.5 sec if we switched to sidereal years. Can’t imagine drinking tepid coffee every day. So, coffee it is for one day.”

The Mad Hatter picked up a plate of shortbread biscuits and offered it to Alice, “Sweetie, eat one of these and you will feel better and things will begin to stand still. But, please take the moving one for the still ones will just not do–even if you did a do-do and ate two.”

Alice took a biscuit, thanking the Mad Hatter. Taking a bite, she notice that the visitors stopped moving about, “Now, this is better.”

Alice, feeling better said, “Oh my! What a poor hostess I am. I forgot to invite our guests to our tea party. Make way everyone, make room, bring more chairs.” And magically, the tea table grew and grew, with a woody moan or two from over-stretching, until sufficient space and chairs for available to seat all the travelers. “Sit, please.” And everyone sat with full cups of bergamot tea and more shortbread biscuits than they could eat, nonmoving biscuits that is! Though, the travelers succeeded in downing quite a few as they had not eaten for since they left.

Rav, finding himself dressed in chain mail and yellow tunic (in fact everyone was dressed as Looking Glass characters), stood and said, “Hello, new friends, allow me to offer a toast to all of you.” And as soon as Rav finished the word ‘toast’ and before he could finish his sentence, there appeared upon a plate, before each and every party goer, a scrumptious-buttery piece of warm cinnamon-sugar toast. Everyone was thrilled as this was their very first toast, gobbling down the delicacy everyone swore that from now on, they will make toasts on everyone’s real birthday as a good booby prize.

Purposeful Journey (6)©

While, his students were silent within and without the chattering of their sundry ego-jinn composing their operational selves, Rav clicked his heels three times and they arrived at the third point of this journey as to purpose. Shortly, our meditating friends left the eighth jnana and returned to waking awareness and open eyes. No longer were they in a grove of udumbara trees.

They were seated underneath a stain-glass dome supported by hand-hewn pillars of a reddish wood. A soft breeze was blowing, its kinetic energy calling forth musical notes from the many assorted chimes present. To the left and outside the pavilion, water tumbled happily over a granite boulder before joining the clear water of the pond below. If one looked, multicolored koi rested atop the stones lining the bottom of the pond.

To the right of the pine plank floor stood a carefully racked gravel bed mimicking waves moving outward after a stone is dropped into still water. Clearly, the pavilion was standing in a well-tended Japanese garden.

After several minutes a dignified, old man entered into the pavilion wearing the robes of a Zen Roshi. He approached our Rav and bowed respectfully, such bow being returned by Rav. Smiling, he gave Rav a great bear hug exclaiming, “Michael-san, long time no see in past, but visit in future.”

“Ichi-san, old friend, these little ones and I are traveling the Unborn Path and Not-Path so to discover how the universe establishes purpose for itself. The Seven League Time Boots have kicked us into a potential future with you.”

Ichi-san said, “Come Michael-san and sit beside me and ask what questions you may.” Both gentleman went to the east side of the pavilion, bowed together to a gold-leafed Buddha, and turned to sit upon two cushions in front of the Buddha. Ichi-san sat first, smiling as he pushed the meditation cushion away from Rav as he sat down and Rav’s behind plopped onto the wooden planks with a deep thud. Ichi-san broke forth in a great, loud laugh as Rav retrieved his cushion, facing Ichi-san intently, and sat down. The travelers’ eyes almost popped out of their sockets. They did not know what to do.

Adjusting himself, Rav looked sternly at Ichi-san and then broke out in a loud laugh himself. “Old Man, I see you remember our last sitting together some 2000 years ago.” Turning to the travelers, “Don’t be such serious bumpkins. You think enlightenment is stodgy and solemn? Listen carefully for the Roshi is a great neuroscientist.”

Rav began by discussing the significant details of our journey to date. They shared a few more laughs. At last Rav said, “Ichi-san, as we arrived in the future, yet formed or unformed, there is information you possess which these travelers need to understand. I think they need further instruction as to the hint given to them by our old friend, Lord Buddha.”

The Roshi looked each student in his or her eyes and began, “Lord Buddha was a real rascal. But, nice to hear that he finally opened up to share a few more leaves than he can hold in the palm of his right hand. For is it not written in the Samyutta Nikaya,

“Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the Simsapa forest. Then, picking up a few Simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, ‘What do you think, monks: Which are more numerous, the few Simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the Simsapa forest?’

‘The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the forest are far more numerous.’

‘In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven’t I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.
(Source: Access to Insight).’”

Ichi-san continued, “The Path of Work is the royal road to understanding the difference between unnecessary and necessary suffering and the cessation of the former. With the Path of Work you have the potential to form an imprint upon the Grand Metric, a beginning point in time after which immortality is yours. But, immortality never belongs to your operation self and its many ego-jinn, for such are artefacts of your brain-mind. ‘True I’ is no more than the simple feeling of continuity and familiarity with your unique line of incarnation. Nothing more. But, immortality is relative and can end when this universe undergoes the grand Deflation-Inflation. At this moment, this universe deflates into a single Planck hypercube and begins anew in the Great Inflation. All structure and matter being decomposed into simple photons so to begin a renewed universe. All order and all information that has not moved into the Unborn is lost irrevocably.

But, enough of the future. Lord Buddha told you a great truth when he said, ‘Āman is and Āman is not; neither is Āman nor is Āman not.’ Remember, quantum mechanics. A quantum is particle and not particle; it is neither particle nor not particle. It is wave and not wave; neither wave nor not wave. Easy enough to understand. It is the same with the mind and the brain. As is the quantum, the brain and mind are complementary sides of your being. True, brain generates mind, but mind speaks with brain. Remember the imago-triad your Rav has taught you about.

When you return to your time, I recommend that each of you read two books by James Austin, MD. The first book is ZEN and the BRAIN and the second is ZEN-BRAIN REFLECTIONS. Roshi Austin does an excellent job showing how each of the Zen states of mind and being are produced by the practitioner’s brain. Nothing supernatural at all.

So I leave you with one more clue to finding an answer to your noble quest. Good luck, I am off the feed the koi. Blessings.” And with that the old man was gone leaving all of us alone in his garden.

Rav spoke, “Let us meditate a moment on this lesson and then we will be off to the nexus ahead.”

The Purposeful Journey (5)©

Arising renewed from peaceful slumber, you stand, facing me, “Rav, have you taken this journey before?”

“Of course, my child. I have traveled the Unborn ‘road and not-road’ many times in past universes. You would think I could draw a map, but, I cannot for each journey encompasses new geography and new adventures. Moreover, whenever I bring another with me, the rest areas metamorphose so to adjust to the needs of the new one.”

One of you asks, “Where to next? Shall we click the heels of our Seven League Boots three times, pretending we are Dorothy of Oz?”

I reply, “Why not. I always enjoyed my visits to Oz. Those four witches are a trip after you get to know them. OK, ready or not here we go . . . one tap . . . two taps . . . three taps . . . off to Never-No-Where land!”

And with that the travelers bodies turned to smoke, contracting to a central point, and disappeared from the Garden Isle.

Poof . . . the travelers found themselves standing just outside a semicircle of monks and nuns in saffron colored gowns listening to a gentleman sitting on a stone in front of them. He was speaking in a language unknown to them. I quietly said, “Do not worry. In another moment or two you will understand the Pali language. We are sitting with my old friend, Siddhārtha Gautama Shakyamuni. Known to you as the Buddha. None of the monks or nuns know we are here. The Buddha knows we are here. Let us see what he has to say which is meant for our needs.”

Then Uttiya the wanderer went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One,

“Master Gotama, is it the case that ‘The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“Uttiya, I haven’t declared that ‘The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'”

“Very well, then, Master Gotama, is it the case that: ‘The cosmos is not eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“Uttiya, I haven’t declared that ‘The cosmos is not eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'”

“Very well, then, Master Gotama, is it the case that ‘The cosmos is finite… The cosmos is infinite… The soul & the body are the same… The soul is one thing and the body another… After death a Tathagata exists… After death a Tathagata does not exist… After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist… After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“Uttiya, I haven’t declared that ‘After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'”

“But, Master Gotama, on being asked, ‘Is it the case that “The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless”?’ you inform me, ‘Uttiya, I haven’t declared that “The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.”‘ On being asked, ‘Is it the case that “The cosmos is not eternal… The cosmos is finite… The cosmos is infinite… The soul & the body are the same… The soul is one thing and the body another… After death a Tathagata exists… After death a Tathagata does not exist… After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist… After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless”?’ you inform me, ‘Uttiya, I haven’t declared that “After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.”‘ Now is there anything you have declared?”

“Uttiya, having directly known it, I teach the Dhamma to my disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding.”

“And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding, will all the cosmos be led [to release], or a half of it, or a third?”

When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

Then the thought occurred to Ven. Ananda: “Don’t let Uttiya the wanderer acquire the evil viewpoint that, ‘When I asked him an all-encompassing question, Gotama the contemplative faltered and didn’t reply. Perhaps he was unable to.’ That would be for his long-term harm & suffering.” So he said to Uttiya, “In that case, my friend, I will give you an analogy, for there are cases where it is through the use of analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said.

“Uttiya, suppose that there were a royal frontier fortress with strong ramparts, strong walls & arches, and a single gate. In it would be a wise, competent, & knowledgeable gatekeeper to keep out those he didn’t know and to let in those he did. Patrolling the path around the city, he wouldn’t see a crack or an opening in the walls big enough for even a cat to slip through. Although he wouldn’t know that ‘So-and-so many creatures enter or leave the city,’ he would know this: ‘Whatever large creatures enter or leave the city all enter or leave it through this gate.’

“In the same way, the Tathagata isn’t concerned with whether all the cosmos or half of it or a third of it will be led to release by means of that [Dhamma]. But he does know this: ‘All those who have been led, are being led, or will be led [to release] from the cosmos have done so, are doing so, or will do so after having abandoned the five hindrances — those defilements of awareness that weaken discernment — having well-established[1] their minds in the four frames of reference, and having developed, as they have come to be, the seven factors for Awakening. When you asked the Blessed One this question, you had already asked it in another way.[2] That’s why he didn’t respond.”[From “Uttiya Sutta: To Uttiya” (AN 10.95), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013]

When the Buddha finished, the Ven. Ananda, his cousin, released the monks and nuns to their alms rounds. Ananda and the Buddha remained.

Our Rav approached the Blessed One, exchanging courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “My dear friend, I am escorting my worthy friends upon the Unborn path and not-path to enlightened understanding and our second step brought us to this grove and to the Lord Buddha.”

Lord Buddha smiled saying, “Old friend, so it would appear. Time is a curious fellow. Tell me of your journey.”

Rav replied, “Blessed One, in our time, we have learned much about the composition, structure, and laws underlying the physical world. We understand much of physicality from the imaginably small to the almost finitely large. Our medical scientists can image the workings of the human brain and correlate it to mental health and illness. Truly, all is impermanent, but change sometimes brings more knowledge. Still, old friend, the Dhamma remains true as to suffering and the cessation of suffering.”

Lord Buddha said nothing. He listened with a most serene smile upon his lips.

Continuing, Rav said, “Blessed One, I remember your aversion to discussing metaphysics with your monks–as such was not useful for liberation. But, in our time, we desire more than liberation from the round of rebirth. Rather than individual liberation, the stream enterers desire to remain within samsara (nibbana with residue) for the world will not survive without such helpers. Our advancements have given mankind the power to destroy the earth in its entirety. It is our fate to travel the paths of Work and of Study.”

The Blesses One replied,”I understand friend. Still, it remains true that all creatures suffer from greed, aversion, and confusion and so live life in error.”

“Yes, Blessed One. Suffering has not changed, but science has shown that mankind may be able to remove greed, aversion, and confusion from its very being and so become true stewards of the universe and all creatures within it.” replied Rav. “People still live in confusion, arguing over the existence or nonexistence of Ātman, the number of heavens and hells, and all of the ten questions you refused to answer in your day. Now, we need you to break your silence for the benefit of these stream enterers, old and true friend.”

Lord Buddha closed his eyes and entered into deep meditation for several minutes. He opened his eyes saying, “I see the problem of the future and I shall break my silence. The answer is not simple to understand in its fullness. So I will only provide some help for your party. They must continue this journey of learning so they will be able to address the needs of this future. The answer awaits at the end, just as it did at the beginning”

The Buddha began, “When you understand the meaning of these verses, you will know how to find the answer to your question: There is Ātman and there is not-Ātman. There is neither Ātman nor not-Ātman. No more shall I tell you.” And with this being said, the travelers found themself alone within the grove.

Rav said, “Then, I suggest you all sit in vipassana so to allow this question to settle deep into your psychocerebri as a seed for further study.” And soon all were deeply absorbed having passed into the eighth jnana.

Go To: to continue with the Saga of Prince Morningstar . . .