Once, when I still was a child, playing in my garden, a Captain suddenly appeared, and he said:
Then he turned his back against me and started to run. I ran after him. Never did I see his face. Now and then he yelled: “I am Illusion! I am Diversion!”. I did not really listen. Eventually, I resigned and halted. He disappeared. Since that day I have incessantly been searching for the garden where I played as a child.
My body, my instrument and vehicle, has without much complaint and lament carried me to fair, magnificent and strange places. Some have been far and distant, some have been quite homely. I must speak of this as yet immature person, for my travels in the past are presently of aloof and remote remembrance. They are dwelling in the deepest layers of my mind, as inherent knowledge and intuition; and they cannot easily be rendered in speech.
I have been through abysses in which I have witnessed shallow monsters, and gaunt and meagre weaklings, grimly crawl in shades of malice, lust and greed; in which I faced despair and depression, not knowing who or where I was – transfixed in utter desolation. There are places where emptiness and falsehood is norm, where superficiality is all. But in my luggage I had this, given me by Laozi:
I have climbed peaks, where I have acquired sight and vision, scrutinizing all things in the world, which now could be seen clearly and at once. Every minute fragment could be glimpsed in proper vestment. And then Nature: Her robes of majesty and grace, her omnipresent beauty, discernible in bosoms, folds and wrinkles; extending endlessly in equal magnitude from horizon to horizon – across oceans and into the farthest reaches.
I was struck in awe and humbled. Never had I faced a mirror as great as this. Out there, somewhere, is an answer; and the question is not asked. Could I ever endure returning to the world again? If so, would I not therein only be a lonely wanderer, rambling as a stranger on my own in my odd ways?
With a heavy heart I have descended the stony, slippery paths down to the vast and windy plains below, where Time is on the throne. There, I have encountered many beings, some rude and fiendish, some kind and amiable. The languages and songs they’ve taught me, I often have applied, when other remedies were futile.
I have traversed dry and fallow fields and deserts, where the thirst and hotness almost was unbearable; I have cut my way through damp and rainy jungles, tight and stuffy as can be; I have roamed in glacial realms, enclosed with snow and ice, in which my bones and blood were frozen; I have been exposed to winds from all corners, some brute and chilly, some gentle and mild (conveying news to those with ears that listen).
I have transcended rivers and torrents, some with an arched footbridge, some only with smooth and mossy stones to tread on – unstable and tricky as they are. I have avoided swamps as best I could, but I were soaked in some.
Then, as I have walked in high spirits, and understanding through the seasons, it suddenly became winter, and it grew cold and dark. The stars above were gleaming even more beauteously. Their dignity is not affected by an icy breath. And many sceneries appear on the winter curtains of night. My only company was my memories and my pouch, where I had some necessities.
I will need strength and good eyes – and friends – to remember, to be steadfast in my memories: The Tide is high; it comes from beyond, so many have not yet seen its wrath. The waves are still just ripples compared to the grossness they will have, when their travel through now barren landscapes has brought them to the fore, when the brought terror will be evident for all. Memory is the Tide’s enemy. Death is its goal. It is captive in its own web of destruction. And even if it should perceive that, from within or through visible results, it has reached the point where no road leads back. The boomerang is hurled. Its only reason for existence is to postpone its end, to seek pleasure while it can. In self-indulgence there is no love, no hope, no joy, no art – and no wisdom. Rather then make war. The Tide is deaf: in its vanity will it meet its end with its death mask on already. Its boots are rude, its wagons are heavily laden. It hastes and tramples through nature, literally tortures all life; air, water and grass is poisoned, the Sun is grey; trees and leaves lie on the ground to be inherited by our children.
The Tide has crushed and drowned millions. But many do remember, if only vaguely, who have a longing. To them, the Tide’s roar is like hoarse cries in a quiet, starry night. Maybe will they even one day face the gallows, as a consequence of just, but disallowed, words or actions: for having sat a lamp and clear signs in the darkness.
Evil, or bottomless egotism, is attentive, seemingly innocent; with claws hidden. The prey could easily have escaped, if it weren’t so unfocused and buried in self-importance and vain pursuits. Had it lifted the eyes towards the mysteries and the wide sky, with clouds and sparkling colours, towards each day, which is new; and then the night – with the immeasurable depths; and the winds, fellow entities, and the sounds of rivers and creeks – yeah – then there was no real danger, except from death, the inevitable, which no longer would be feared.
Should we believe that we could help? Could we patiently carry the most stubborn and suspicious on our aching shoulders up ahead, so they themselves can see and fathom the dew and moist marshes below, and the next road? The most hardened might again become observant and choose wisely, and dreams might yield warmth in cold hearts. The mythical is real! Faërie is a place! The ‘I’ that was perceived yesterday and given unlimited trust is now almost forgotten. It is gone like the morning frost when the Sun rises.
A sharp light glinted, blinding me for a while until I saw a large stone castle upon a hill. I sat down. Suddenly I heard someone yell: “Come now!“ Somehow arguing was not an option, so I went through the hinged portal, that slammed down. As I went into the courtyard I felt a cold breeze through my ears.
On a table were some bowls, each one over a fireplace, each one with a heavy lid. They looked similar. “Aha! Take a cup of soup, if you so wish. Choose one yourself, but it may seal your destiny”. In front of me stood the Captain. “I am the Afterthought”, he whispered into my one ear. He stood near, went around me and whispered into the other: “I am the Afterthought. It is now high time that you tell me the purpose of your travels”. I said I did not exactly know and asked if maybe he could tell me. He frowned his brow so disapprovingly that I almost shivered. “And you think that you are wise? Do you know what will happen if you attain your intentions?” he said and pointed at me with his finger. “No, what?” I said. “No-one can tell”, he said more meekly. “Go wherever you want. You are ambivalent. But do not grab what is undeserved”.
I thought: “So now you are here again. After a long time, after void searches, you can see that you’re in a blind alley. But you’ve turned around; you’re returning. Yep, going back can also lead forwards. A crossing is behind you, a crossing is in front of you. It’s what you left that you’re now in the middle of. Thefts and lies are everywhere, truths are seen through veils – although the hidden is visible, for the method in lies is to hide what can be seen. The best of your efforts are gone – left along paths. But in your past, where flames of fires are dead, where sparks are barely glowing, there are today flowers flowering. You do not see them, you will never in this lifetime see them, for they are ashes in your mind, but mould in another’s, and ashes and mould is growth.
So there is nothing lost that is not present – as there is nothing present that were not once lost. You can recover what the one before you thought. What you are thinking at your moment of death will the next day be found as a brilliant stone by a child.
A threshold is steep, but your threshold is your own. A threshold is exactly as high as your step needs, without stumbling, without hesitation. Speculating is idle work. Creating is known things coming out of forgetfulness. Of old delusions is now only dust left. They do not tempt you; they never had any value; they were always an obstacle – a height without depth – a trail without direction. They swallowed your attention, so that you saw nothing.
Man lives a short while in a sea of time. How can one drop be lost in an ocean? When a drop falls from heaven, who knows the origins?
I looked around me in the yard. The floor was solid, and I took some steps towards the portal, bewildered, knowing this was real. “Wait!”, the Captain said, “You must know the lands here. Follow me!” We went through a labyrinth of walls and up stairways, till we reached a circular chamber in the highest tower, and he left me alone there. There were twelve windows. The Sun came close, and I could see as far afield as my eyes allow.
After having left the castle, I went fast along a certain route to come out of sight. In the evening’s pleasant light I then saw a Soria Moria in the distance – glowing like a dying fire.
I took a stroll on the beach today, in strong wind. My coat flapped against my back, and the wind came from there, from behind. On the sand, far into the distance in front of me, with a foamy ocean close to my right, I saw a carpet of smoke flying hastily across the surface, vigorously dancing in beautiful patterns. It took a while before I realized I was looking at drifting, solid grains, tiny pebbles of sand, indistinguishable from smoke when seen from above at a Man’s height. You will not understand this until you have seen it. All that we cherish on Earth, what we perceive as solid forms and bodies, are individual points of foci in ever-changing energy fields, with fairies embellishing matter.
Contrast this with the raw and primitive urges of the world’s diverse police, which is equally heavy-handed against non-violent, ordinary people, maiming and murdering innocents in homeland just like abroad, in streets and in citizens’ dwellings. They will deem you as a criminal and punish you if you feed the hungry or give warmth to those who are cold.
Evil abounds, and I don’t discount that it might also have much to do with that entity which is commonly called ‘God’. Few are more generally ignorant than the fervorous crowds that follow any book-based religion. Of course I know that all such religions are construed for political purposes, with blind adherents as willing sheep, with the same scripts. The deeper intent is to destroy beauty and justice, and for you it is a question of whether you see. When you walk your paths, you will in every instant be alert. You cannot wholly avoid stupidity, and your steps must be taken in a directed manner.
I am not here addressing honest souls with a faith. We all have some beliefs. But I do say that there are as many, or more, good-willed and assisting people outside established systems as there are within. Your label is not what counts in Reality.