The prelude to Forever Love, White Eagle takes place in the Fields of Peace, in the future. Hiram, Knight of the Apocalypse, arrives from the Philadelphias in the company of Virginia Serah. They ask Master Barkhan Seer to show them Archive records of Virginia's parents.
Barkhan Seer fulfils the request by immersing them in images of Atlantis. Thus unfolds the saga: Volumes 2, 3 and 4 of Atlantean Secrets are an Archive viewing by Virginia and Hiram - until Book 21, in which they are the main characters.
In Book 8, we (finally!) find out what happened to Szar after Felicia invited him to accompany her into the cave of the Watchers.
The vision of Teyani is the opportunity to discover Voice power in its most extreme form. Nineteen-year-old Teyani, invested with the full Light of the Eagle, blasts everything on her way. High Spirit and miracles like in the Ancient Days of the Earth.
Szar returns to Eisraim, is initiated in the power of the Point, rediscovers the temple from a space of awakening.
Book 9 lays the theoretical foundations for the whole of Atlantean Secrets. In it, Samuel Sagan describes the key mechanisms relating to the fields, the central technology on which rested the Atlantean civilisation.
What exactly caused the fall of Atlantis? Could the disaster have been avoided? Formulating answers in a way that was intelligible to modern readers was no small enterprise. It took Samuel Sagan years of lecturing and teaching before he elaborated a language, which allowed him to do this. The results are presented in a few essential scenes of The Book of Elyani.
The story of Atlantean Secrets is full of unexpected twists. The last thing we wish to do on this site is to spoil the suspense for you!
For this reason, the excerpts that are offered here are mainly those which present information and teachings. Reading them in advance will not spoil your enjoyment of the novel.
Besides, these scenes were designed to be read a few times. Their content is dense.
Many people's favourite, and no doubt the most outrageous book of Atlantean Secrets! It introduces three important new characters: Lady Maryani of the White Eagle, Woolly the stone maker, and King Vasoukidass, an Underworld being of phenomenal powers and sweet-and-sour sense of humour.
Candid Maryani and her Naga friends give Szar a hard time. Vasoukidass' enlightenment is the opportunity to discuss secrets of invicibility: prima materia and philosopher's stone, that is, matter in its primordial and ultimate states.
The Naga King also narrates a spectacular creation myth: the creation as cooking!
What did an Atlantean palace look like? Book 11 takes you into the Atlantean equivalent of a five-star hotel room, loaded with field technology.
As the central drama of the saga unfolds, Szar faces his first Nephilim Hunters.
Dead to the world of mortals, the two women left their bodies and found themselves in darkness visible. Before they even started ascending through the spheres, the White Eagle came to meet them.
A light flared in Teyani's heart, "My forever friend, here you are already!"
She moved towards the Eagle's presence. In no time the dark purple atmosphere was replaced by a blazing white light with a slight hue of blue. Teyani was no longer in darkness visible. The Eagle's power was transporting her into the spheres of Highness.
She kept walking towards the Light, chanting a hymn to her god and most treasured friend:
"Here I come, White Eagle of the gods.
This Light which many fail to recognise after they die,
I enter joyfully.
The spark of the Unborn God,
The blazing glory, brighter than all the fields of stars,
I embrace joyfully.
Free from the fetters of destiny,
Unhampered by human dreams and illusions,
Released from the burdens of life in the kingdom,
I come and give myself to you, White Eagle.
Capture me in your infinity.
Take me to this point of eternal sunrise,
Where you forever dwell.
Enchant me away from the dreaming of gods and men,
Awaken me to your glory.
Only your love I want.
Only your Ineffable Light I will marry.
Here I come, White Eagle of Highness."
Teyani kept advancing, entering ever greater intensities of Light. The Eagle's presence responded.
"O my beloved child,
My dear friend and precious lover,
Here you are, standing in your full glory!
Soul of Highness,
Child of eternity,
Angel of the Human Hierarchy,
I have waited for you since earlier than time.
And here you come, shining,
Punctual for the cosmic appointment,
Making the Mother of the Light proud of her seed.
Sweet is this instant beyond time,
Where we can meet face to face,
Having desired each other for so long.
Let your Spirit feed on my fountains.
Let your Light join with my Spirit!"
Light met Light. Teyani shone, intoxicated with the Eagle's elixirs of ecstasy. She kept advancing towards the Great Source of the Light. The Eagle spoke again.
My sister in infinity,
Stop where you are.
Ascend no more. Stay on the edge of that which retains shape.
The time for our Great Lovers' Dance has not yet come.
More works in the kingdom are to be accomplished.
I must ask you once again to be my maid,
Tread perilous paths,
And bear the dull greyness which men have set on Earth."
"O my Lover,
O thunderbolt of my kidney,
Shall I lose you once more?
Shall I once more descend from point to line,
Line to plane,
And from plane to the kingdom?
Grey indeed is the kingdom,
And each day more empty of the Ancient Earth's magic.
What place is there for me in such a boring sphere?
The waterfalls no longer chant the glory of angels.
Sulking animals no longer talk to men.
Precious herbs are turning into weeds,
Flowers no longer carry the fairies' joy,
And the elves are losing their sense of humour.
The trees themselves are losing their spirit,
Their fruits no longer convey your Mother's infinite sweetness,
And their leaves in despair fall in the coldness of autumn.
The gnomes hide in their caves,
The salamander species is endangered,
The wind no longer speaks to the wise.
The morning dew is no longer pregnant
With the buoyant chaos from which all things arose.
Sunrise no longer tells the story of the creation's birth,
Sunset no longer holds the mysteries of pralaya.
Malchasek and the Great Angels of Highness
Are slowly withdrawing their Light,
And their breath of Highness will soon have disappeared.
O White Eagle,
The ancient glory that was Earth is fast vanishing.
The world of men is becoming a world of dwarfs,
And the blissful mists of the kingdom
Are now turning into dark threatening clouds
That will soon pour a consuming deluge
And destroy all of Atlantis."
The Eagle spoke,
"O wise woman, great magician,
Dear to the Earth and keeper of her wisdom,
I know your pain.
Great perils await the kingdom,
And from this ever greyer sphere
Where iron, like a plague, is spreading fast,
My presence soon will have to be withdrawn.
But, child of the Earth,
You must kindle the flame in your heart
And keep hope,
For the souls' dark night will be followed by a dawn.
Under giant rainbows,
A kingdom will emerge
A renewed soil, for a new vine to be planted,
A new race, for your children to be reborn,
A new playground for the mighty and the meek.
Another dawn, another day, another night
To further prepare
The promised rendezvous with Light
Which the Architect of Hierarchies has planned for humanity.
This cosmic game
We must play and play well,
Each of us must lay his stone
To build the temple of universal destiny."
The White Eagle further raised his Voice, transferring formidable powers into Teyani.
"Stand up, child of my kidney. This is my will:
Regain the irresistible strength which you have conquered
In your former lives.
Fierce and glorious, descend into the kingdom.
Let your Voice shatter all obstacles.
Become the head of the White Eagle's order.
Go and seek Thunder the mighty.
Let him take you to the east.
In his county you will find a nest
For the White Eagle's maidens,
A place of joy and high Spirit,
The dwelling of Thunder.
There, a rainbow web is being woven
And seeds for great achievements are being sown.
There, you will give birth to a daughter.
And Adya too, the beloved soul,
Will carry a White Eagle to shine my glory
High in the heavens
And prepare the coming of the kingdom of the rainbows.
"O White Eagle, I am your servant maid.
Thy will be done."
In this Light beyond time, Teyani opened and received, and her Spirit was fortified.
Then she walked through Highness to a chamber where scenes of her past lives were waiting for her.
There she contemplated the glories of the Earth as she had known them in remote times – the Ancient Days when the Godhead's glory was awake in all things. She saw the dance of the fairies and the elves. She saw the rivers flowing with silvery waters of life, their sandy beds carpeted with specks of gold and orichalc. She saw the perfect harmony in which all beings sang the beauties of Mother Nature, accompanying her cosmic spheres' fathomless melody.
Teyani saw her past self, the great magician who commanded awesome forces and ruled like a queen over the fresh world's powers. Gnomes, salamanders and other elemental beings all fought for the privilege of being her servants. Giant trees invited her to come and hear their legends, and to gossip about the secrets of nature. Volcanoes asked her permission before erupting. The wind sang his best tunes for her, for he desired her and begged her to become his lover. He enjoyed surprising her with the cheeky kiss of a quick breeze when she stepped out of the water after bathing in the river. The ocean called her 'his special friend' and blessed her children with long lives, and when she swam he sent dolphins and big fishes to brush against her. During the night, owls looked after her sleep, sending wise dreams and premonitory inspiration. Larks sang to wake her in the morning, and came to her shoulder when she called them. She could charm any animal with her songs. Panthers and leopards turned tame at the sound of her Voice.
Laughing with joy, Teyani looked down to the spheres of Melchisedek. She saw Adya, waiting for her. So she hurried from point to line, line to plane, and from plane to the fields of stars. Arriving in darkness visible she realised she was carrying one of the White Eagle's feathers in her left hand. Placing it in her hair, she let herself fall back into her body.
Finding myself in Gervin's aquamarine chamber once again was a moving experience. What an awesome presence was held within the living walls of that room! For thousands of years masters of the lineage of Thunder had taught in it, among them a string of legendary names such as Takhar the Unbending, Barkhan Seer, Firen Seer, Olembinah, Semper and Orest. The air was vibrant with their Living Word. The aquamarine light was the keeper of myriads of secrets.
Gervin welcomed me with all the warmth of the Brown Robe, and invited me to sit with him. He started by inquiring after my health, then he said, "You don't get sick very often these days, do you?"
I shook my head. I had hundreds of questions on my mind, but tuning into him I understood that this was a time for him to speak.
Having asked a few unimportant questions about my journey, he began, "There has been some very sad news regarding the warp of energy fields in the last weeks. Do you understand what the fields are?"
"Lehrmon and the Field Wizards of Ferman's team will start teaching you about them in the coming days. The fields are the foundation of so many things in the kingdom of Atlantis! And they are so ancient that most people take them for granted, as well as all that is derived from them. The holy atmospheres of the chapels and temples rest on the fields, and it is through the fields that a number of great angels can make their presence felt in the kingdom. Most rituals, through which priests link with the gods, rely on power supplied by the fields. And the active participation of the gods in human affairs is mediated through the fields. The fields make buildings grow, and they form the energetic blueprints that keep plass walls together. We use energy derived from the fields for the purpose of healing, and for controlling diseases and epidemics. The fields allow us to grow rich crops, and to eliminate pests. Anything that has to do with soft stones comes from the fields, since soft stones are receptors for the power of the fields. Without the fields, only high initiates would be able to use the voice channels of darkness visible for communication. But even more important than all of this, the clarity of mind of many wise people rests on the energy coming from the fields. People never think about this because the fields have been active for so many generations. But if the fields were to be withdrawn, their minds would be turned into chaos. They would lose their vision, their prophetic abilities, and their perception of the spiritual worlds."
Gervin looked at me with surprise. I was twinging my beard, pondering deeply on his words.
I dropped my hand onto my lap. "Hum... is it because of the degradation of the fields that new diseases are appearing, and particularly diseases that can't be controlled by the hymns of the Law?"
Gervin nodded, "As Lehrmon will explain to you, the warp of fields has secured harmony in nature and balance in the kingdom for thousands of years. It was the will of our Lord Melchisedek that the fields would radiate the order of the Law and magnificent states of consciousness for human beings to enjoy. In turn, by chanting the mantras and the hymns of the Law, human beings would feed the fields and control them.
But in the last generations, the fields have undergone a gradual deterioration. They no longer radiate the full purity of the Law. Each year new diseases appear, more and more crops are lost due to pests, and the Underworlds are completely out of control. As well as all this, the chanting of the hymns of the Law is losing its power to influence the laws of nature."
Limpid, crystalline, irresistible, he has transcended time.
Gervin paused and kept eye contact with me for a moment. Then he continued, "The most tragic thing of all is that people in the kingdom have taken a fatalistic attitude, as if the degradation was unavoidable. A number of measures could have been taken, and could still be taken, but no one dares to deviate from established rules. Sleepers hate change. And there are influential people with vested interests who oppose any change because it would mean a drastic loss of power for them. For more than twenty years I have been prophesying that the present course of events is pure folly. When I speak, people often believe what I say, but taking action would result in too much hardship. They prefer to keep sleeping and let fate overtake them ' and this they will do until the very end."
As Gervin held eye contact with a living wall, I studied the way he was twinging his beard very carefully. When he noticed the intensity of my gaze, he dropped his hand and frowned for a second. Then he went on, "People believe that the degradation of the fields is a slow process. Every few years they realise that certain forces have weakened a little bit more. Take the soft stones, for instance. When I was a child, a decent soft stone would allow you to communicate with anyone in the kingdom, no matter how far away they were. Now, even with the marvellous medallion you brought back for Elyani, someone in the county of the Eastern Shores could never reach a friend in the Western Shores. It all happened gradually. Every so often we realised that we had to draw a little more power from the fields to voice-channel each other, and that the communications did not convey our feelings as well as they used to."
All of a sudden Gervin stood up. Drawn by his magnetism, I stood up with him. He walked to the end of the room. Resting on the Dragon, I stayed where I was.
He turned towards me. "My friend, I want to speak to you now about grave matters. These must not be discussed publicly, even with the people of our temple. The present situation is grim. In the last weeks, the Field Wizards have reported dark omens. The fields are no longer deteriorating gradually, but faster and faster. The bleak reality is, the entire warp of fields is on the verge of collapse, and so is the kingdom with it."
At the high end of the fountain, ten million suns. Gervin sees.
"Many years ago," Gervin continued, "I carefully studied how the degradation of the fields was taking place. This led me to predict a number of events that were to occur one after the other, signposting the looming disaster. I knew only too well that once some of these signs were observed, the end would be near. But what no one could predict was how long it would take for the sequence to unfold. It could have been a few dozen generations, or it could have been a few dozen years.
For more than two decades, none of the critical signs were observed. But in the last months the Field Wizards have reported that a particular ritual no longer alleviates the overflow of chaotic elemental beings in darkness visible. This, to me, indicates without a shadow of a doubt that the entire warp of fields is about to break down.
From here on, things will move fast. It may take a few years before the total collapse begins, but it could all happen within a few months. To tell you the truth, it could even happen in a few days."
Anchoring in my Mother the Dragon to withstand the shock of his words, I held onto the fountain.
"Now for the worst part. What will happen when the fields start collapsing for good? The bell will toll for the sleepers. Temples and chapels will become empty of the presence of the gods. People will be taken completely by surprise. In the middle of a prayer their deity will become silent, and all the support they used to receive from the upper spheres will vanish. They will be stricken with fear, and they will become totally blind to the spiritual worlds. Many of them will lose their mind. Some will lie prostrate and let themselves die, others will take to the streets like madmen, attacking each other for no reason.
Nature too will turn mad. The warp of fields is used to control crops, so there will be entire years during which the land will yield no grain. There will be droughts as never recorded in the kingdom before. Great shortages of food, even famines will occur in parts of the land. In other places, there will be massive floods and tidal waves.
And throughout the kingdom, buildings will start melting. Without the fields, the plass can't stay alive. In a matter of months, the living walls of all edifices will liquefy. The most magnificent temples will be reduced to heaps of amorphous whitish substance. Not one house will be spared. Even tree houses will become an unlawful mess of branches.
Expectably, the populace will be panic-stricken. People will flee in all directions, looking for food, but there will be no safe place to go. The king's administration will soon be overwhelmed and prove incapable of controlling the situation. The remnants of temples and villages will be ransacked by hordes of bandits. And the people who survive the massacres and the famines will be stricken by strange, terrifying diseases. There will be corpses strewn in every field. Darkness visible will be swamped by the wandering souls of the deceased, and there will be no priests to direct them. This in turn will cause an overflow of the Underworlds, and more plagues in the kingdom.
Finally, after a few decades or a few generations of mounting chaos and misery, the Lord Melchisedek will have mercy and will end the suffering of men by causing torrential rains. For months and years the rain will fall, washing away the glory that was Atlantis. Not one county will be spared. The entire kingdom will be engulfed. The savages in the remote lands, far beyond our eastern shores, may well be the only survivors. And it won't be long before they forget we even existed."
Gervin closed his speech, gazing into the void.
I felt as if the clear fountain had struck me with lightning.
When I could finally force words out, I asked, "Master Gervin, when did you say these things were going to happen?"
"Not all counties will be hit at the same time. And no one can predict the exact date of the beginning of the end. So many factors are involved. I used to think it could take up to twenty years before the situation in the county of Eisraim got really out of control. But now my guess is it will be much less than that. To be honest with you I have to tell you again, everything could collapse in a matter of months, even days. This is the beginning of the end."
Gervin slowly walked back towards me and sat down. I sat too, thankful to put my weight on something solid.
"Szar," he resumed, "I need your help. It concerns a very secret project, called 'Archive'. It will not prevent any of the disasters that are about to strike the kingdom, but if we succeed it will preserve a great deal of the knowledge of Eisraim, and of another temple as well. I will explain more in the coming days, when you have got a better grasp of fields, streams and soft stones. But for now there is another important thing I want to tell you." Before continuing, Gervin reinforced the eye-contact between us. "I will soon ask you to take part in the team of Field Wizards who are working hard on the completion of the Archive. In the troubled times which are coming, each of us will have to give their very best. I am personally asking you to move fast, Szar. I know you are no longer a sleeper, and I know that you have gone through great hardships in the last years. But I must ask you to awaken further ' and fast. Every day counts. I need you to be very strong."
"What should I learn first?" I asked.
"The streams, with Lehrmon. If you can I would like you to learn about soft stones with the team of Field Wizards who work under our great expert, Master Woolly. The man himself is not easy to get along with, but the Field Wizards around him are quite friendly." His voice boring a hole in my third eye, Gervin hammered, "But of all things, awakening is the most important," and he kept eye contact with me, pouring his thunderous energy into my fountain.
"I'll have to go soon, a lawful representative of the prince of Eisraim is waiting for me," he announced. "Was there something you wanted to ask me?"
"Well... Master Gervin, I had come with a particular question in mind, but after hearing your words I feel ashamed to even mention it."
Gervin smiled. "Tell me, friend in the Law."
"I was... I was going to ask whether the Masters of Thunder can be married. It sounds like such a futile topic to mention, now."
Gervin burst out laughing, making me wonder where he found the strength to laugh in such tragic times. He got up and came over to me, put his arm around my shoulders, and walked me to the door of the aquamarine chamber.
"Wondering how to behave with Lady Elyani?"
"Mm..." the Thunderbolt Bearer was quite amused, "if the situation wasn't what it is, I think I would have left you in the throes of hesitation for a few months. It would have been excellent for your spiritual development. But now," he became more serious, "I want you to be happy. Enjoy every lawful minute! Make my little Elyani as happy as you can. There is no rule saying whether the Masters of Thunder should be married or not. If we have made ourselves such a secret caste, it is precisely so we can follow our Truth, regardless of the sleepers' rules. The Masters of Thunder's only rule is to follow the integrity of the clear fountain."
My brother in Thunder welcomed me with one of his solar smiles and gave me a long hug. "I have never seen your eyes shine like today! What is happening to you?"
With my finger I pointed to the centres of energy above my head. "Lady Elyani is teaching me about the Point."
"Voof!" he exclaimed.
"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
Unlawfully startled by the explosiveness of the Warriors' Voice-laughter, Lehrmon lifted his right eyebrow, a strange flutter passing through his amber eyes.
"Hum... yes, it must be the Point," I went on, thinking I had better be careful with Mount Lohrzen's ritual landmarks.
"Gervin..." Lehrmon called himself back to his normal self, "Gervin told me he spoke to you about last week's bad news."
"A most enlightening talk," I nodded. "Hearing about the looming catastrophe shocked me out of sleep. It made me realise how much I take for granted and don't know how to appreciate. Makes you wonder if it is only when people are about to lose something that they start to understand what it means to them."
Lehrmon bit his lip and nodded.
Lehrmon was Barkhan Seer's present to Teyani. Through him, Barkhan Seer poured his love into her.
I went high up in my clear fountain and let it click with his. "Actually, this is what I would like to tell you today, Lehrmon. I think you are a wonderful person. I've been thinking this for years, and yet I never told you. And I have never really thanked you for the support you gave me before I went to the temple of the Dragon. It made an enormous difference to me. It was not just illuminating, it was warm like the Eagle's love."
Still biting his lip, Lehrmon kept eye contact with me, letting his vibrantly compassionate light shine.
Strange. I had never seen Lehrmon bite his lip before.
"Well, shall we start with the streams?" he offered.
Curiosity made the Dragon vroof with excitement.
Lehrmon made me sit by his side. "The streams," he began, "are the foundation of the energy fields. Do you understand what the fields are about?"
"Not quite," I confessed. "Shameful, considering I have been living within them for so long."
Lehrmon welcomed such enthusiasm with a patient smile, a touch of irony imperceptibly lifting the corner of his mouth. "A field is a space in which an energy is held. When you enter the chapel of Lord Gana, you immediately feel the god's presence. You don't even have to tune in and try to connect with the god, his energy is already in the room. All you have to do is be open, and let the presence flow inside you. The same is true of all chapels. When you enter the halls of Melchisedek for instance, you are immediately filled with the heartness of the Law and the special shining light of our Lord. As you may have noticed, the effect starts as soon as you cross the entrance. It can be quite amusing if you are standing in the doorway. Take one step in and instantly you are flooded with the spiritual presence. Take one step back and you are in the normal world again."
Lehrmon bit his lip again. For a few seconds he contemplated the living walls exquisite sapphire glows. He took a deep breath and continued, "If those chapels are so vibrant, it is because of the field within their walls. The field impresses a certain quality in the space of the hall, it activates particular laws of nature. This creates a resonance through which spiritual beings can make their presence felt. Hence the verse of the Law: The fields are the vessels into which the gods pour their light. But there are other fields than those in the chapels. In a music hall for instance, the field helps the audience to tune high into the harmony of the spheres, and it enhances their artistic receptivity."
"How convenient!" I remarked. "So the singers don't have to be great artists. Provided the right field is set up, the audience will be rapt."
Lehrmon approved, raising his eyebrows. "There are also fields specially designed for dining halls, so people enjoy the food served to them. The field helps their digestion too."
I found it difficult to imagine these fields fooling Nephilim people into enjoying the Eisraim style of cuisine, which they would still have found desperately boring.
"The power of the fields comes from the streams," Lehrmon continued. "The streams are like rivers of energy which run through the fabric of the cosmic spheres. From what I understand, the Great Warriors taught you much about healing. So you must be familiar with the meridians that run through people's body of energy."
"The streams are the cosmic equivalent of these meridians. They are to astral space what meridians are to the body. They are a profound mystery, far more than just rivers or draughts in space. They have many facets. They exist on several levels at the same time. On their most subtle level, they are so highly spiritual that they are sometimes called the sweeping breath of God. The grosser levels are nothing more than flows of elemental forces. You understand what elemental forces are?"
"The little beings that form the substance of water, fire, wind and earth. And there are some more sophisticated ones that rule the climate and the forces of nature."
"Right and righteous!" he exclaimed. "There are many levels in the streams, some subtle and some gross, which is why so many different powers can be derived from them. In the beginning, when the Lord Melchisedek upheld the fields which are the matrix of our spheres, he drew from the cosmic streams and made them shine with the Spirit of the Law. At the beginning of time, this is how the Primordial Sages cognised the Law ' they listened to the streams and performed the high ritual of Melchisedek, and the Law was revealed to them: they heard the hymns. Later on, when men were created, they learnt the hymns of the Law from the Primordial Sages.
For thousands and thousands of years people lived perfectly happily, because the full glory of the Law was shining through the streams and enlightening the fields – these fields that Melchisedek had created for them in the beginning. There was peace and harmony on Earth. No one ever fell sick. People had long lives. The weather was always kind, and the land gave so many juicy fruits that no one had to till the land. Men's mandate was to chant the hymns of the Law and thus maintain the lawful integrity of the fields. As the Law says, human beings fed the streams with their hymns and their rituals, the streams fed the fields with their power, and the warp of fields fed human beings with plentiful bounty. Everyone was happy, always."
Lehrmon became pensive. Biting his lip again.
"All this sounds so perfect. How did we get from there to the present looming disaster?" I asked.
"Some say it all started with the Nephilim. Others say it was bound to happen with time, even if the Watchers had never descended on Mount Hermon. Have you heard about the Nephilim, Szar?"
Had I heard about the Nephilim! I sighed. "I met one or two of them, which was an opportunity for the most fascinating conversations. Correct me if I am wrong, Lehrmon, but I was under the impression that some people blame the Nephilim for every single evil in the kingdom, while at the same time enjoying the use of soft stones, and many other wonders the Nephilim have introduced."
Lehrmon added a touch of wit to his ever-shining smile. "I see you have spoken with them, my friend in the Law. What you say is true indeed. I must tell you that after many years of study under Gervin and Esrevin, I have come to the conclusion that the deterioration of the fields is an extremely complex process that involves a great multiplicity of factors."
"But how did it all start?" I asked.
"Long ago people began to realise that great powers could be harnessed from the streams. In time, the Windmill Keepers came to use different hymns from those chanted in the beginning, and they achieved great wonders."
"So when the Windmill Keepers perform the rituals of the windmills of the Law, they draw power from the streams, is that it?"
"Exactly. The Windmill Keepers' essential function is to manifest the fields out of the streams."
"And how did they first get the idea of deviating from the straight recitation of hymns of the Law so as to modify the fields?"
"Who knows?" Lehrmon sparked. "It happened so long ago. One legend says the first man to tap new powers from the fields was Tubal Cain. He had a sister called Naamah. As the legend goes, Naamah was an exceptionally beautiful woman. Once, looking down to the kingdom, one of the Watchers happened to see her. He immediately fell in love with her and descended from the spheres straight into the kingdom to marry her. You have heard of the Watchers, haven't you?"
"The powerful angels who first descended on Mount Hermon. The Nephilim were their children." A shiver ran through me, "I once visited the cave where Verzazyel the Watcher had lived. The dreaming I went through in that cave was bigger than the Law. A Nephilim friend of mine who was an initiate of Verzazyel explained that the dream had taken place in the Watcher's mind. Lehrmon, man of the Law, let me tell you ' this was no Blue priestess' herbal tea!"
Lehrmon laughed. "So you have Nephilim friends now. Initiates, moreover! And you went dreaming with them in the Watchers' caves of power. Szar, you're becoming a big boy in the Law!"
How did Lehrmon know my dream had taken place with Felicia? I preferred not to dwell on this topic. "And so what happened to Tubal Cain?"
"Tubal Cain's sister went through a momentous awakening in the company of the Watcher. Then when she came back to visit her brother, she scorned him for being a sleeper and called him a blob-man."
Those blob-men who spent their days lying on the beach, making children without even noticing, had always fascinated me. "Was Tubal Cain one of them?"
"No, Tubal Cain was just a simple man who followed the Law without asking himself any questions. But his sister, having enjoyed the shining light and the thrilling consciousness of the Watcher, underwent a profound transformation. She became so ashamed of how asleep her relatives were that she endeavoured to teach Tubal Cain how to become more awake and more powerful by tapping powers from the streams. This is how Tubal Cain became the first artificer, who taught men how to use brass and iron."
I couldn't avoid thinking of long-haired Felicia. "Are we blaming Naamah for helping her brother awaken from his sleeper's condition?" I asked.
"Of course not!" Lehrmon was amused. "This is precisely what I am trying to explain to you: no one really did anything wrong ' not in the beginning anyway. Later, it changed. But in the early stages, people only wanted to become more awake and achieve wonders through the fields. And yet the modifications they made to the fields were the first seeds for the total collapse now threatening us."
"How could this happen?"
"For a start, they complicated the situation. In the beginning of the kingdom, the task of the Windmill Keepers was quite straightforward. They performed one type of ritual per season, with a few variations that followed the moon cycle and other rhythms of time ' and the fields were happy.
But to tap new powers from the streams, new rituals had to be introduced, which created new fields. The Windmill Keepers did not stop performing the old rituals, of course ' had they done so, the early kingdom's golden age would immediately have ended. So the Windmill Keepers added new rituals on top of the old ones, which introduced new forces in nature. Generation after generation, more and more rituals were added. And it appeared that some of the rituals had conflicting results, they conjured powers that were incompatible with one another. At times, these caused great natural disasters: extinct volcanoes re-erupted, crops were destroyed by hailstorms, and so on. To restore balance, more rituals had to be introduced.
Century after century the scaffold of rituals escalated, adding fields on top of fields. Now thousands of types of rituals are performed throughout the kingdom every day. There is no longer one, but hundreds of castes of Windmill Keepers. To assist them, castes of Field Wizards who specialise in the maintenance of the warp of fields were introduced a few hundred years ago. But so many forces are being conjured that even the greatest experts cannot keep track of them all. The situation has become so tangled that it is plainly unmanageable."
"Why can't we just simplify, and return to the good hymns of our ancestors?" I asked naively.
"Several reasons. One is the very complexity of the system. As I told you, a number of rituals have to be performed in order to balance the effects of others. If they were to be discontinued the whole edifice would be destabilised, which would immediately cause natural disasters of unprecedented magnitude. It's like a giant tower. Take away the stones at the bottom, and the tower can only collapse. The warp of fields has become so complicated that no one knows where the top and the bottom are."
"What if we stopped performing all the rituals at once?" I wondered aloud, even more naively.
"Szar, my friend in the Law, do you realise the enormity of what you are saying?" Lehrmon answered patiently. "If we were to discontinue all rituals, the warp of fields would fall flat and the kingdom would be emptied of the spiritual presence of the gods. What would life be worth then? All buildings would melt, nature would turn into complete chaos, and at least half the species of trees would disappear. So would the rare birds that speak the language of the gods, and several other precious animals dear to the gods: levlons, filosterops, pessalans, merestons, apassolos, unicorns, amarols ' you name it! All kinds of pests would proliferate: rats, mice, leeches, flies, fleas, mosquitoes ' not to mention diseases."
There followed a heavy silence.
"So we are completely locked in, aren't we?" It was more a plea than a question.
Lehrmon did not answer.
"Still," I said, "it is difficult to believe that with all the Field Wizards, all the great sages and the initiates we have in the kingdom, all the resources of hundreds and hundreds of temples, we can't find a solution."
"One of the dramas is, when sages speak out no one listens to them. It has a lot to do with the sleepers' apathy. Sleepers simply cannot believe that dramatic changes are ahead. Change is such a foreign concept to them that they don't even notice the deep transformations taking place before their very eyes. Worrying about the future is totally beyond them. Why then should they accept any sacrifice aimed at restoring the balance of forces in the fields, which anyway they do not understand.
The problem is further complicated by the fact that many orders of priests derive their psychic powers from field rituals. If you were to take measures to simplify the fields, a number of these orders would instantly lose their spiritual connections, as well as the influence they exert over simple folk. Within a matter of years, many of these fat cats of the Law would be turned into beggars. They would lose everything ' not only their spiritual sight and their peace of mind, but also their reputation and their wealth.
There are other complications, but these you must keep very secret and never discuss them with anyone, even in the temple."
For a while Lehrmon sat deep in thought. Then he went on, "There are so many things one can do with the fields. One can make magnificent flower gardens grow. One can let trees build the most delightful tree houses all by themselves. One can make people in a dining hall enjoy their food as if it were the best in the kingdom, or inspire the audience of a music hall to acclaim the artists." Lehrmon locked his gaze into mine, "A prince, supported by knowledgable Field Wizards, could even make his generals believe he is the greatest of all sovereigns. He could set fields in his soldiers' barracks so they would all love and admire him, and remain faithful to him. The king of Atlantis has so many priests serving him, he could even set fields throughout the kingdom to make sure all his subjects remained happily tamed and loyal."
"Lehrmon..." I was dumbfounded, "do such things happen?"
Lehrmon shrugged his shoulders, keeping silent.
Then he said, "I have arranged for you to meet Ferman's team of Field Wizards tomorrow, and Woolly."
"The soft-stone man?"
Lehrmon nodded, amused by the anxious look on my face.
I gulped, "How do you think I should behave with him?"
"Hold onto the power of the Point when you listen to him. Apart from that, I can't tell you much. He is... let's say, unpredictable."
"Mm..." I pondered cautiously, a bucketful of white slime sloshing around in my thoughts.
Before leaving, I inquired about the statue of the curly-headed god I had seen in the enclave of the Most Ancient and Lawful Orders.
Lehrmon knew exactly which one I meant. "Do you like him?" he asked, enigmatic.
"I find the light that shines from his statue amazing. I had to stop for a short contemplation."
"All glory to the teacher! His name is Apollo. The Masters of Thunder invoke him in some of their highest rituals. When Master Gervin takes you through the domain of Thunder, the reason will become clear."
This scene which presents the cosmological model (ladder of non-physical worlds) used in Atlantean Secrets.
Elyani took me by the hand and walked to the ladder against her bedroom wall. With her back against the ladder, she stepped onto the first rung, holding the upper rungs with her hands.
"I am the Great Goddess who encompasses the spheres," she took her prophetess' voice. "Where are Szar and Elyani?"
I was perplexed. She took my left hand and placed it on her chest, against her heart centre. "Their head," she said.
She led my hand down, touching her body slightly. When reaching the limit of her abdomen, on the edge of her thighs, she said, "Their feet!" Slowly, she took me up, back onto her heart, "And when they love each other, they are here."
I stayed motionless, feeling the rising and falling of her breast as she breathed.
From infinity to infinity-ness. Fly. Worlds without end.
"Where is the kingdom?" she asked.
Spellbound, I let my hand go down against her body, lightly touching her, stopping at the lower limit of her belly.
"Right and righteous,mighty Dragon!" she welcomed my hand. "And where do the worlds of the gods begin?"
I went back onto her heart, "From here!"
"Where do they end?"
I brushed a loving caress up to her throat, and hesitated. She took my hand and moved up, caressing her face. She went on until my wrist reached just above her Point. "There you are at the summit of the glorious sky of the gods, on the Golden Shield which separates the transient spheres from the spheres of Highness. If you can pass through, you have become a great angel ' immortality without limits."
"How high do the spheres of Highness go?" I asked.
"My ladder goes up endlessly," the Great Goddess proclaimed.
I took my hand down onto her heart.
This vastitude the giants will never comprehend.
"Where are the Underworlds?" she asked.
Starting from the tender edge of her belly, I let my hand glide against her legs.
"Mm..." she approved. "And where do you think the Underworlds stop?"
"They don't! Your ladder goes as far down as it goes high up," I answered, bending down to touch her feet.
"And where is your Mother the Dragon?" Elyani asked.
"At the bottom of my endless ladder," she said.
"But... Oh Great Goddess, if your ladder is endless, how can it have a bottom?"
"Well... precisely, your Mother the Dragon is my endless bottom."
There was a shared giggle.
"Endless Bottom!" I exclaimed with reverence. "What a beautiful way of describing the Dragon of the Deep. And it goes so well with another name of hers: the She-Serpent of Wisdom that reaches deeper than the Abyss."
"Now, pilgrim of the Law, tell me, where is the Lord Melchisedek?" Elyani asked.
"At the top of your endless ladder, Oh Great Goddess."
"Right and righteous! But my ladder is more mysterious than you think, for the absolute top meets the absolute bottom somewhere, and they become one," she announced.
"Then my Mother the Dragon and the Good Lord Melchisedek must be very close," I concluded.
"Very! Do you think they could get married?"
Merging with the intoxicating web of softness which Elyani had woven, I rested my head against her, brushing her throat with my curly locks.
She sighed, then continued. "Pilgrim of the Law, let the Great Goddess reveal another of her secrets to you. You thought the Lord Melchisedek was at the top of my ladder, didn't you?"
"This I believe. It is the Law of my Fathers," I replied emphatically.
In the voice of a great hierophant she went on, "Well, man of the plains, learn the heart of the Law. Truly, the Lord Melchisedek is not at the top of my ladder. The Lord Melchisedek permeates the entire ladder. He is the ladder."
"Is he really?"
"Truly and verily."
"But then, so is my Mother the Dragon!" I exclaimed.
"Verily and truly," she said.
At the heart of an infinity of spaces, you will rise.
I steered my hand back to her heart. She met me by taking a long breath.
The dim moonlight made physical silhouettes merge with the glows of darkness visible, creating a mellow ambience. I took in the things she had said, enjoying guessing the expression on her face, wishing I could stop time.
The flight of the Eagle.
"Where is the White Eagle?" I asked her.
I was puzzled. "Is there more than one?"
"Didn't you know there are two of them?"
"It does not matter, in reality they are one and the same." She took my hand and placed it against her eyes. "There is the White Eagle of the gods, who lives in the triangle, in high regions of the worlds of the gods. He constantly journeys up and down through the spheres." She pulled my hand up to the limit of the Golden Shield above her head, then she made me come down to her heart slowly, and up again.
"Then there is the White Eagle who lives in Highness, on the other side of the Golden Shield," she said, pulling my hand as high as she could above her head, drawing me towards her at the same time.
"Is he a god?" I asked.
"No, he is one of the angels of Highness." She brought my hand down to her lips, "The other one, beneath the Golden Shield, is one of the gods. But the two are one Spirit. The White Eagle of the gods is an emanation of the White Eagle of Highness."
So close to her, I hesitated between a kiss and a question.
"Now, move back!" she said.
I sighed and took a step back. "Like this?"
"No! Much more."
Slowly, I moved away from her.
After at least ten steps, she said, "Good. Now you must whisper a long 'ffffoooohhhh."
"That's it!" she said. "Now you are a Flying Dragon. You are far, far away from my ladder. My creatures say you live in a sphere of remoteness. They can hardly understand you, because you are so different from them. So different! When they tune into you, all they can perceive is a long ffffoooohhhh. You are ancient, fascinating and mysterious to them."
"Well," I thought, "it's not so bad to be a Flying Dragon after all!"
"Now, move to your left," she said, "very far from me..."
I went and stood close to her favourite laurel tree.
"Now you are another Flying Dragon, in another sphere of remoteness. Even further away. Even more mysterious."
"Ffffoooohhhh!" I whispered, the bay leaves caressing my back.
"You are the Spirit of the Great Ant! You are so strange that whenever Master Gervin directs his vision towards you, he twinges his beard in perplexity."
"Now, move to your right. A long, long way!" she said.
As I slowly walked across the lawn, she said, "You are crossing the Abyss of the Deep and the Fault of Eternity."
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"You are going too far from me."
I stopped where I was.
"No, but you have to!" she insisted. "Go on!"
When I reached the wall on the other side of the courtyard she said, "Now you are the Flying Dragons who live beyond the Abyss of the Deep and the Fault of Eternity. Your spaces are glorious and packed with so many stars that your spheres are as bright as Highness. And the Mother of the Light keeps delivering more and more stars for you all the time. She must like you a lot."
"If I have my own spheres, does it mean that I am a ladder too?"
"Exactly!" she said. "I am the ladder which Szar and Elyani climb up and down. The Spirit of the Great Ant, in its far remoteness, has its own ladder. And you have your own ladder, with myriads of little Flying Dragons moving up and down."
"And where does the Mother of the Light fit in all this?" I asked.
"O Flying Dragon, how profound thy question is! It touches the cosmic mystery of ladder-ness."
"As I have revealed to you, my ladder's endless bottom is one with its infinite top. The same is true of your ladder, O Flying Dragon: the uppermost top is one with the lowermost end, and so it is for each and every ladder. But there is more – the endless bottoms of all the ladders are one! It is this infinite one-ness which is called the Mother of the Light, the Cosmic Mother."
"So the Mother of the Light is the cosmic level of the Dragon of the Deep?"
"Right and righteous, Flying Dragon! The bottom of my ladder is the Dragon of the Deep, the Great Serpent of Wisdom. The bottom of your ladder is another glorious depth, and the bottom of the Great Ant's ladder is another one. The infinity where all these meet is the Mother of the Light."
"But then, if the ladders' tops are one with the bottoms, there must also be one principle at the top, where all the ladders meet together."
"Flying Dragon, thou hast discovered the Unborn God. He is the One. He is Ish, the Lord of the entire creation. He is God."
"Do you think He is married to the Mother of the Light?" I asked.
"How could He not be?" she exhaled a humming sound, as if calling me through the immensity of space. "Now let me tell you a strange story, part of the White Eagle's mysteries. Once, long ago, one of the Masters of Thunder crossed the Abyss of the Deep and the Fault of Eternity and went to visit you, Flying Dragons. Thunder came to you as the ambassador of the Lord Melchisedek, and he became your friend. So you decided to send one of your Flying Dragons for a visit to my ladder."
Slowly, I walked towards her.
"He was a huge, magnificent Flying Dragon," she said, tears in her eyes. "As he was approaching, the creatures of my ladder could see his gigantic blue cloud drawing near and they all heard his Voice – 'ffffoooohhhh!' – and they were amazed. The Lord Melchisedek sent the White Eagle of the gods to greet him."
I arrived close to her. "And what happened when the Flying Dragon met with the White Eagle of the gods?"
"They got along so well that the White Eagle invited the Flying Dragon to stay and live in my ladder."
I came even closer, my lips nearly touching hers. "What did the Flying Dragon do?"
"He could not stay, he had too many spheres of remoteness to visit. So the White Eagle of the gods invited him to leave some of his seed in our spheres."
I drew a long breath. "Did the Flying Dragon say yes?"
"Yes," she whispered, her lips half touching mine. "He planted the seeds for baby Flying Dragons into our Mother, the Dragon of the Deep. And do you know what he said, while he was doing that?"
My lips lightly touching hers, I whispered, "What did he say?"
"Forever love, White Eagle!"
The Nagas are mythical beings of Hinduism. Vasoukidass, king of the Nagas, is a 20-meter long, 2-meter high, golden snake with a superior sense of humour. Here is his version of the myth of the creation!
When I next descended into the Underworlds, I was instantly transferred from the blue cavern under Elyani's courtyard to the orchard where I was to meet Maryani and Vasouk.
I sniffed around for direction and started walking amidst the brilliantly coloured flowers. They were huge – some of them familiar, like sunflowers, purple roses, pink pantelopes and golden carnations. Others had extravagant shapes that were totally unknown to me. I understood these were part of the wonders that used to be seen on Earth in the Ancient Days, before the glorious powers of nature became unavailable to human beings and sealed off in the Underworlds.
Not wanting to offend my friends by being stiff and defensive, I decided to smell the fragrances and let them make me feel merry. By the time I arrived at their favourite spot, I felt quite light-hearted.
"My, my... isn't this our friend Szar of the Brown Robe," Vasouk said in his slow, melodious voice, "what a happy visitation!"
Elyani had advised me to remain relatively informal but still cautiously polite. "Greetings, Your Majesty!" I answered. But Maryani's skin and aura were so red that I found it difficult to keep smiling.
"I swam in the lakes of lava!" she explained. As I repressed a shiver, she opened her eyes wide and looked straight into me. "I even drank some of it!"
"Mm..." I was resolved to keep good countenance. "Was it good?"
"Fan-tastic!" she thundered. "It made me feel like jumping straight into the Furnaces of Doom."
"Fear not, Szar of the Brown Robe!" Vasouk interposed, "Maryani will not jump into the Furnaces of Doom until she is ready for it."
"Your Majesty," I smiled confidently, showing all my astral teeth, "that makes me feel much better already."
Vasouk rolled his Dragon-deep black eyes to and fro rapidly, then returned the smile.
Lilu, hanging in the air by his side, was even larger than the day before. She had now reached the size of an Underworld pumpkin, and was still ablaze with red sparks of light.
Ant gigantic. Spread in space. No limits.
"Your Majesty, may I extend an official invitation from Master Woolly of the Cream Robe, to visit our chapel. Any advice Your Majesty may wish to give us to rescue our stones will be received with immense gratitude."
Vasouk wriggled his nostrils. I observed him carefully. There was no doubt about it, this was exactly the way brother Amaran had taught me to do it. "So who taught who?" I wondered to myself. Had the Great Warriors received the art of sense-smelling from the Nagas?
"My, good. Very good!" Vasouk rejoiced. "Szar of the Brown Robe, please convey my answer to Master Woolly of the Cream Robe. I shall accept his invitation and visit his chapel."
I was taken aback. I had never expected Vasouk would agree to visit the kingdom. It dawned on me that not one room in Woolly's chapel would be large enough to fit the seventy-lawful-feet-long king.
"But I shall come later, when the time is right," Vasouk added.
Maryani brought an apple and a few red berries which she placed in my hands, and then went to collect fruits for Vasouk.
"Well... sit!" Vasouk advised.
I anchored myself in the Dragon of the Deep, resolute. This time I was going to eat a whole berry without being overtaken by ecstatic convulsions.
As I was about to put the berry in my mouth, Maryani shouted from a distance, "Wait! That is not the way to do it!" She rushed back and emptied her arms of a few cabbage-sized peaches, throwing them into Vasouk's mouth. With a mischievous glint in her eye, she told me, "These little red berries are called Venusian delights. When you eat them, you must think of a person you love, and she will dream of you."
I contemplated the berry for a moment. "Was there a time when gardens like this could be found on the Earth?" I asked.
"Well, yes, I should say. Exactly," Vasouk said. "Mighty fruits like those in this orchard were in all your gardens. And the flowers too."
A confused bee, half the size of my fist, flew to visit Lilu, mistaking her for a flower. Lilu sparked a few fizzles as if she was being tickled, and the bee buzzed away.
"And how did we human beings come to lose all these beauties?"
Vasouk swallowed the peaches he had been savouring on his tongue. "When you lost Life ' this is when might vanished from your kingdom. And do you know why you lost Life?"
Still looking at the berry, I shook my head, wondering if Elyani had been serious when she said the slime fumes made her Dragon all vibrant.
"Well, well, it is because you lost your integrity," Vasouk said. "Integrity is the most important of all qualities."
My Dragon attuned to Elyani's, I ate the berry. All at once I could hear celestial melodies resonating throughout the garden. I felt like laughing, dancing, singing, transported by the blissful vroofing waves.
Maryani winked at Vasouk, "It's working!"
"Well, good. Very good," Vasouk replied.
Straight flight. Curves of time. Edge of Highness.
"Hum... Your Majesty, could you clarify for me what you mean by integrity?"
Maryani bit into one of her juicy pears. Her appetite looked just as voracious as the day before.
Vasouk wriggled his nostrils for inspiration and declared, "We Nagas have a simple definition of integrity: it is the capacity to bear fire. Things which have no integrity cannot withstand fire. We Nagas have total integrity, we can withstand any intensity of fire." Vasouk's gaze was to-and-froing over the orchard. "At the moment, we are teaching little Maryani how to regain her integrity, which is why we are exposing her to greater and greater intensities of fire."
I could still hear the musical harmonies.
"Have another berry, Szar!" Maryani offered.
I Dragon-resonated with Elyani and put the berry in my mouth. The music became louder. "And why is it that human beings lost their integrity?" I questioned.
"According to the Law of the gods – and I believe that the Law of men follows the gods on this matter – integrity was withdrawn from men at the same time as it was withdrawn from the fallen angels who had misused the fire. Well, well... it is easy to understand why the Lord Melchisedek ordained that integrity should be withdrawn from the fallen angels, for they had betrayed Truth by misusing the fire. But why was integrity withdrawn from men at the same time?" Vasouk drew from his nostrils, rapidly rolling his eyes. "Some strange, far-fetched reason, I should say, which I can't remember. In any case, the Law of the Nagas holds different views on this matter. According to us, if men lost their integrity so easily, it is because they never really had it in the first place."
Maryani went to get another load of fruits.
Vasouk continued, "The Law of the Nagas states that creatures were created in several stages. In the beginning, there were the great sages and angels who live in Lowness and who did not have to be created because they had not perished at the end of the last cosmic cycle.
Then there was the first creation wave. Out of the cosmic cauldron, heated by our Mother the Dragon, the first creation of gods arose. But these gods, the asuras as they were called, proved to be jealous, angry and rebellious. Some mistake, perhaps, had taken place.
Therefore the Lord Melchisedek ordained that a second creation of gods be concocted, still using the same cauldron. He said, 'This time, let there be a long enough cooking!' for he suspected that the first creation of gods had failed because of insufficient cooking. To all the creatures of the second cooking he therefore commanded, 'Stay in the cauldron as long as you can!'"
Maryani dropped a pear in my hand. Then she walked back to Vasouk who opened his mouth for another fruit. After swallowing a cabbage-sized peach, he continued, "And so all the creatures said, 'Yes, we will stay in the cauldron as long as we can.' But as our Mother the Dragon heated the fire in the cauldron, many of the creatures started jumping about, screaming in agony, begging the Lord to end their ordeal."
Maryani settled herself against the Naga.
"After barely a tenth of an aeon," Vasouk went on, "some of the creatures couldn't take it any more and started fleeing from the cauldron ' these were the satyrs and the nymphs. Not very long after, the demi-gods capitulated, 'This is as much as we can bear!' and they too jumped out of the cauldron. In their turn the magical animals, those that are now found in the celestial regions, reached their limit and jumped out of the fire.
The gods stayed much longer ' long enough to be cooked immortal, that is, immortal till the end of a cosmic cycle, of course. And because they had withstood the fire for so long, when they came out of the cauldron they became the rulers of all the creatures that had escaped before them, and they chose for their dwelling the highest of the spheres."
"And what happened to the Nagas?" Maryani asked.
"Well, well..." Vasouk flared his nostrils, "the Nagas never tried to escape, they enjoyed the fire. Once all the other creatures had left, our Mother the Dragon ran hot with her deepest fire. But the Nagas didn't mind, and it lasted for a long, long time. Then the Lord Melchisedek, who couldn't wait endlessly because he had other things to create, decided, 'Well, well... let this cauldron become the Underworlds, and let the Nagas rule over them.'"
I was astounded. "Does this mean we are sitting in the cauldron right now?"
"Well, yes! The cauldron's upper part which, by now, has cooled down a lot. But if you were to follow me and my Nagas into the Deep Underworlds, you would find the same hot fire which cooked all the beings of my creation wave."
"And what about human beings?" Maryani asked. "When were we cooked?"
"This was another creation wave," Vasouk said. "It took place much later on. Another cauldron was prepared. But by then the most subtle ingredients had already been used for the beings of former creations. Thus, gross matter was put in the cauldron. And this time the gods were helping with the cooking. It was their first time, which is why they made mistakes.
Again, the Lord Melchisedek commanded all the creatures, 'Stay in the cauldron for as long as you can!' But these creatures were not able to bear as much as those of former waves. As soon as the fire was lit, the insects jumped out, for insects can never remain motionless for long ' so insects are extremely short-lived. Soon the fishes and the reptiles followed them, and then all the animals, one by one. And this is why animals carry only some of the qualities of human beings, and live for merely a fraction of the human lifespan.
But, but... human beings themselves stayed only a fraction of the time which would have been needed to bring them to completion. When he saw them running away from the cauldron, the Good Lord Melchisedek mourned, 'What a cosmic shame!' For had they been capable of bearing the fire longer, the gross matter would have been refined, gradually, and it would have become light, and pure, and perfect like the matter of the gods.
Human beings have thus always been prone to diseases and all manner of afflictions, for they are but half-cooked vessels made of imperfect substance."
My eyes fixed on the pear, I let the Naga's words resonate deep in my being. I decided to eat another berry. Carried by the elation of the vroofing waves, I stood up and began moving my arms slowly, following the magic harmonies which I could hear everywhere. "So if I had integrity, I could eat of all the fruits in this garden, instead of being overwhelmed after just a nibble."
"Well, yes... exactly!" Vasouk said. "Those who have no integrity can never experience ecstasy. After only a few drops they start jumping and yelling as if they were being cooked in the cauldron. Only those who can stand still can bear with high intensities of ecstasy."
"The capacity to remain still while being cooked in the cauldron," I chewed it over. "So this is what integrity is!"
"My, yes!" Vasouk approved with his nostrils. "Really, this is what integrity is: bearing with fire."
"And so... is integrity what is lacking in the stones we are trying to perfect in the kingdom?" I asked. "Should we find a way of cooking them better?"
"Well, well... yes, cook yourself!" Vasouk opened a smile.
This left me perplexed. "Cook ourselves?"
"My, yes, well... What you have not yet realised is that, when cooking your stones, in reality you are cooking yourself. And so to cook your stones, simply cook yourself! For anyway, this is the source of all the problems of human beings: insufficient cooking."
"I need to understand more about this cooking!" I concluded.
"Well, yes, Szar of the Brown Robe," Vasouk said, "this, to be certain, is the truest thing you have said today."
"Why can some creatures withstand the fire, and others not?"
"Well, they can all withstand the fire, but they do not all know that they can." Vasouk let out a long hissing breath through his nostrils.
"And those who can and know that they can," I asked, "how do they do it?"
"There is a secret," Vasouk said.
Instantly, Maryani stood up. "A secret?"
The Naga's head moved slowly up and down, nodding silently.
"What kind of secret?" Maryani frowned with curiosity.
"Well, simple. Very simple," Vasouk said, "but essential! Central to the Law of the Nagas, furthermore."
"And... could Szar and I ask you what this secret is?"
Vasouk nodded, wriggling his nostrils and breathing out loudly. "The secret is, nothing exists but fire." After a long pause, he continued, "I am fire. You are fire. Szar is fire. Anything that exists is fire. Once this has been realised, there is no limit to the amount of cooking one can bear, for fire cannot be burnt by fire."
Maryani and I remained silent, letting the power of the Naga's words work on us.
At the bottom of the Great Abyss. Boundless fire. Endless smile.
After a while Vasouk invited us to join him for a drink in one of the neighbouring rivers. Maryani took me by the hand, and we walked by the king's side. This time I decided to imitate Maryani. I knelt down close to the water, put my mouth in and drank as much as I possibly could. Maryani and I felt so merry that we started splashing each other and couldn't stop laughing.
Vasouk, who was still drinking, approved. "Well, good. Very good!"
Before leaving, I expressed my gratitude, thanking him wholeheartedly for his wisdom and his patience.
Vasouk instructed me not to visit again for seven days, as he was to lead Maryani and a company of Nagas on a pilgrimage to deep and fiery regions of the Underworlds. "But next time we meet," he promised, "I shall show you some great wonders which, undoubtedly, you will enjoy."
When I came back into my physical body, the first light of dawn had not yet reached the kingdom.
Elyani heard me move in the room. She called out in a sleepy voice, "I have been dreaming about you all night! Come! I want to hold you in my arms."
I have travelled from beyond the limits of time. For you.
Remembering the red berries, I joined her in her bed and let my energy melt into hers.
"I love you!" she whispered. "I love you! I love you! I missed you."
© Samuel Sagan 2004