This post was originally intended to be the last one on a series of koan-like expanded pieces of my experiences while revisiting my native city, making peace with my past and tapping into the lucid reality of its present. I might not be able to accomplish this task exactly the way I had planned, but I will give it a try.
Going back to your native city after a stretch of time has passed since you first left can be an interesting experience; going back after more than twenty years have passed, is fraught with expectation, fear, doubts, and flaming inquietude.
I was born in Anshan in 664 BCE. At the age of six I had already crossed the seas and traveled to distant lands and explored a variety of wild jungles with my mother and aunt. Uruk became my temporary residence. I communed with the spirits of the land, the birds, the animals, the reptiles, and otherworldly beings. The galaxies opened up a world of stars and possibilities that materialized in front of me. I was touched by the Great Eagle and learned the secrets of arrow shooting at an early age. As a trickster I had to tame the darkness of my soul. But kids are always what they are, no matter what may come out of them.
A world of fantastical creatures and monsters inhabited my space without my control. Voodoo dolls and magic potions surrounded my space in a hallucinatory and psychedelic composition. Those were the times of great knowledge and wars that shaped and mapped the history and the landscape of my native country. I was the scion of the ruling dynasty in my imaginary world. The political powers at the time generated a coup d’état to overthrow the government and bring about the downfall of the entire civilization by establishing a military autocracy, a ruthless dictatorship.
Writers, artists, poets, playwrights, educators and singers were stifled, silenced, or killed. Many fled the country in order to survive. Others simply perished while fighting and defending their beliefs and ideals. I was unaware of the many crimes committed at that time. Throughout the world, it was also a time of revolt and change.
When I returned to Anshan, I was almost twelve years old. I never met King Gudea – my father. He was the missing puzzle in this historical hodgepodge of sorts. Upon my arrival in Anshan, I had a harsh encounter with the Devil himself, or was it Ishkur, the storm-god, striking me back to life? I will never know. My mother and aunt raised me in the city of rivers, the fertile land of ancient times broken apart from the original Pangaea. The land and the mud is within me. The spirit of gypsies, the culture of the eastern Slavic civilizations, the Sephardim Jews that brought with their genes the Ashkenazim life into my soul. Prophet Mohammed spoke to me in my dreams, and Moses’ Burning Bush fired up in my heart with the Light of Yahweh, Adonei ha’ adonim: Lord of lords.
I am made up of all the constituent parts that inscribed the history of our civilization on this planet. I come from all galaxies above and beyond. I exist. I am caught between the crossroads of this knowledge and the evanescent seeming reality of our impermanent selves. I meet my descendants and ancestors at the same time.
Death made its first introduction in my life when it took my aunt, but left the sound of the aulos within me. Later it took my mother too, but left in me the power to see within and be in harmony with the spirits of all directions.
I got a call from “those who live at red earth hole”. The spirit world of the Pomo people summoned me here to return home for shamanic healing . That is where I belong. My roots were entwined with those of so many who came before me, and without giving any thought, I heeded the call. I came. I arrived. I answered. I drank the wine and the nectar and infused my veins with the strength and the ultimate connection with those sacred elements. I invoked them. They answered me. I showed up. I am a creature of the night. My veins are open to absorb the gaseous, billowing flow of smoke that brings the presence of spirit and light and the whole of nature in one glimpse of truth that is all too simple to grasp, and yet, it reveals the incomprehensible state of human life as we know it.
Time penetrates the incongruous spaces of the physicality of things, but can never clearly capture the essence of spirit that lives beyond the conceptualism and duality inherent in the illusion of nominalism, reality, and the metaphysical investigations of ontology and cosmology. Kant’s Transcendental Idealism weaving the history of our lives together. In the theory and principles of Monadology “everything which exists has a sufficient reason to exist” – “Nothing arises from nothing”.
An overall interest in meditation has been increasing over the years all over the world. People are turning to meditation for numerous reasons. However, it is my firm belief that this interest comes from the ancient Greek aphorism “Know Thyself”. Only by careful observation of one’s own mind and intentions can one intrinsically know who they are. The true spiritual quest is the acknowledgement that we set ourselves off on a journey that begins with the spark of creation infinite eons ago. It is an ongoing process of self-actualization and evolution established upon reoccurring principles that follow universal patterns imbued with an energetic ripple effect.
My entire being rejoices with gratitude for partaking in this complex system. I follow rivers. I cover myself with the dust of time and the presence of foreign lands. The whole universe is contained in me and only in silence am I able to catch rare glimpses into the intricate simplicity of everything there is. There is nothing to know and yet so much to see. The mind must be under constant scrutiny because it is as ethereal and unsubstantial as the air itself.
I am a beginner. I am a constant learner and I am starting everyday anew, with what I have and with who I am, doing what I can, giving my best shot. And, always, trying again and again, and moving forward – certain that I am already home and at peace. I put the ghosts to sleep. Medusa has been dethroned. I survive.