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Chapter 35: Concert in Roaratuni
They gathered in the grassland clearing by the septaradial, all the crawl-fly-walking things. They gathered and began to tune. First a galumphfrog roke. Then a boomfowl added its umping base line note. Then a velinule and a cellinule and a double bellinule, the choir swelled. An elephantine trumpet ripped ripples and all the jungle fauna boomed beating bols, bells, decibels.
The throng already hummed when Chris, Ishtar, Zak and Hal, Sheki and Sokittoommee came to lick and link. There were maraka snakes and clacodents, oboenosed grubsniffers and xyladilos. Giant tortii wandering about disconcerate. Every other year the monkeys drummed upon their shells with sticks, each section of their carapace a different note (a glorious steel band sound) but today the monkeys sulked off on their own, and the turtles were silent.
Still the air was filled with rapture and buzz, filled with excitement, filled with the God's wings dancing, filled with their light.
Chris, Ishtar and Hal explored the concert site. There were not many Joju about: perhaps thirty. "We gather round all seven radial vessels and circulate," Hal sonataed. Concentration and dispersion must be balanced too. "Few is as meet as many, and we must seek harmonious spacings if we're all to shine."
"This instrument of balance conjures trials and examinations," thought Chris, growing agitated. "The shibboleth!" he said obscurely. "You've thrown the shibboleth."
(The "Shibboleth" was a password of the ancient HeJews in the time of the Philistones. The Philistones couldn't say "shibboleth". You can read a man as soon as he opens his mouth. Ditto the poor beasties of Roaratuni: if we don't make the right sounds, we get zapped...)
Christopher was restlessly bopping about muttering "shibboleth, shibboleth." Ishtar suggested they sit and collect, reflect for a while.
Near the edge of the clearing a mango trunk sprang directly from the soil (separate from the mazetree above ground level). Chris and Ishtar sat beneath the mango tree near a tall sculpt whistle termitary, wind fluting through. Hallelujah danced round. In the branches of the boa-tree near the edge of the grassland space were crystal hangings, tinkling, and many webs had been spun. All the forests spiders weaved through the fringes of the forest to woft their transpositional echoes into the jungle jam.
Thus far the Joju had taken almost no part in the opening music, but now they joined in singing first a gentle dedication, slowly feeling out the tone of the jungle vibe, till letting go all stops they licked free. A fine feedback bloomed. As the music reached new heights, the lights of the dancing God’s wings magnified: as the God's wings shed their dust the more down onto the musicians inspiring new dimensions, the singers in turn rose higher. The music became more and more full and (paradoxically) spacious. The God's wings danced in greater rapture feeding on these new realms of music, and the light flowed on accordingly. The boa-tree too tinkled, writhed, and sang. So everyone rose towards bliss.
And Ishtar wandered off upon a tortoise.
"Perhaps I could learn to magic legs," said Ishtar.
"Why should you want legs?"
"You dance in the sea," I said.
"To dance in this garden with you. If I knew how to work for it, I would. It is important to me."
"Perhaps it’s possible. All things are possible with God, they say..."
…they say we live at the dawn of' a new age - Nova - exploding - all that knowledge, experience, communication, growing exponentially…
When I was a little boy, my father said - and I listened with awe and suspended belief - "Man will reach the Moon in your life time. Perhaps not in mine," he said, "but in yours, certainly," and he lived many years after the stars and stripes stood plastic on the moon. We never dreamed of live T.V. coverage in those post-war years (they’d only just closed the camps...)
Similarly, Raury O'Tune was saying to me in da boozer just de oder night that with all the attention the straight thinkers, academicians, scientists, you know, with all the energy they are now giving to psychic and phenomenal studies, we stand at the threshold of a new era, and, "Within fifty years men will reach stars. We have de technology for dat in de pipe line already. You know, perhaps within de next fifty years dere’ll be no more death. People will just go on living forever, immortal. And we'll live ta see it, Pasha. You mark my word."
I escaped to the dart board.
There's a lesson in darts. Usually when I'm throwing maybe it's a 20, a 5, and a 1, but sometimes it focuses right down, I can hit the spot, three treble 20s, bang bang bang, and you can feel this syching in as it flows through you. You know as the dart leaves your hand that it's flying to its mark - and I try to catch hold of the feel of this perfect synchronising, but there's nothing to grasp: it just flows by and on... like Satori. Like life.
Kif kif, they say that at some levels we remember everything that we've ever experienced, and that we use but a tenth part of our brains. And now all these psychic powers, telepathy, clairvoyance, astral bodies. The borders of the miraculous. What might not be possible?
Miracles. I don't know. There are those times when coincidence and significance pervade our lives and everything's very high with vital meaning: then we must live simultaneously in two conceptual schemas, with and without the miraculous. I've seen clearly enough the finger of God in the web. But I've never seen your actual miracle. My mate Colin's seen a couple. I told you about his chinaman...
Colin lived as a hobo.. Among the street community there was this old Chinese man, maybe seventy years old, eighty, always neatly dressed and dignified. One day he suggested to Colin that they go for a drink. They set out, Colin assumed, for a pub they had been to together before, but no. "I take you to another place."
They sat in a pub, scotch after scotch. The china paid. "He just kept taking pound notes out of his jacket pocket. I suppose that was strange, just pulling these notes out of his chest pocket, but I didn't remark it at the time."
The two hobos got quite pissed. The china nudged Colin in the ribs, look, watch...
He drew his finger up the outside of a glass, filling it!
An old wizard, living humbly as a vagrant. You and I, we might not notice him long or deeply. Jesus could pass by.
So where does this leave Chris Pasha's Messiahdom? Well, we know the world is deeper then they've led us to believe. Why, the knowledge of that great yet subtle force, electricity, is only two centuries old, and now we've telepathy, acupuncture, subtle bodies. "When man understands the nature of his being," said Sokittoommee, "he will no longer be the creature you have known."
"If someone opened all the doors," thought Chris, "all the doorways of their mind and entered into full flower of their potentialities, what might that mean? And if someone first crossed the threshold, perhaps then, with the doors opened, many could follow.
The Joju imagine the Single Primary Spirit, "aiun", to be as a great sphere, and we are bubbles pinched off the surface, and dying fall back into the ocean. Bubbles pinched off the surface, with a thin umbilicus back to God. Dying we return to the Om. God musing.
"Soon the eclipse will be over. Now, tonight, I must figure it all out. This is the moment, now or never and soon it will be gone, fleeting, and I'll still be me, floating."
He stopped trying to work it all out. Stopped thinking. The music of Roaratuni washed over him. He began to understand. Let it flow. Let it be. It was all just there.
Do we not "comprehend the totality", not hear the music, because we fear it, fear what we may hear?
The other side is usually new mornings. "The darkest hour's just before the dawn."
Bear’s tale reminded me of a trip I'd had, and I wonder if it isn't a universal.
It begins with the Shibboleth. I didn't know where or who I was supposed to be, Jew or Nazi, and when you open your mouth... It ends there too. A bird in a field and a man with a gun, and what to do? and flash...
But halfway through is a point I want to get to, when all my parameters, all my dimensions of discrimination began to disappear. Left/right, up/down, vanished. something's wrong! Something's wrong with the pattern. Dark/light vanished. Must act fast. What's wrong? We're disappearing. Funnelling down to nothing - something’s wrong with the child! misconception, somewhere in the pattern, in the DNA? In the conception? In the heart? In the heart!
I entered my heart, fit to burst, holding back, inside the pulsing heart, holding, and then let go, became one with Christ, the sacred heart, sacrifice, bursting...
Needless to say, the other side was a melting bliss of oneness with everything.
So what is this Messiah theme? Listen! Chris Pasha is the Messiah, and it happened like this:-
It was fortunate that Chris stood under a mango, and not a coconut tree, for the tree was filled with the conspiratorial monkey minions of the Incompetent Evil Genius, and these now rained a hail of mangos down on our hero. Mangoes in the air, mangos on the ground, mangoes in his hair, and man goes all around.
The Joju children started skipping dancing singing "Chris Mango, Chris Mango".
Chris looked up... squish, his brow was anointed. Sweet mango juice ran down his cheek, and he knew...
"Chris, you the "mess I are"," sang Hallelujah.
"Man goes from heaven."
"Chris Mango, Chris Mango," sang the children. Chris Mango and the children danced through the concert throng. "...Chris Mango." "Mangoes from heaven." "Chris Mango, Chris Mango."(footnote one)
M'jo entered the clearing and came up to Chris. Stood before him and held out his arm to touch his mangod shoulder. And the salamander slid along M'jo's outstretched arm and crossed to perch on Christopher's shoulder by his ear.
Chris took the Inca flute knife from his belt. He brought it to his lips and let rip a lightning lick. And everybody was blinded by his egotism.(footnote two)
Everyone was blinded by the blast, except for the salamander. The salamander, deep creature of the earth and fire, was already blind.
The salamander shimmied along Christopher's arm onto the knife, and modulating the flute's stops with its suckered feet, changed the tune, brought some parameters back into being (up/down (left/right (front/back) dark/light) self/other).
Chris, Chris Mango, who had been absorbed completely, along with everybody else, in the explosive manifestation of self, was now, after the salamander's manipulations, able to discriminate one thing from another, at least enough to stop and take the blade from his lip. He found himself in an edgeless space: just he and the fire beast and the knife. The salamander crawled back to his ear. "This is not god enough," whispered the newt.
"That's true," thought Chris and, straightening his spine and extending his love (has anyone fed the cat today?), he brought the flute knife to his lips again, bent his song to his true wishings, and played the world back into being.