Mike Longmeadow is an author fascinated by the invisible realities that permeate our lives. This has led him to read and learn about many past cultures, his curiosity pushing him to find elements from these past cultures in today's life that have survived the test of time.
As Dr. Frank Cutler emerged from the biochemistry lab clutching an envelope, he had trouble containing his excitement. His face was frozen in a smile that would have scared Freddy Krueger, and he had a spring in his step that made him look as though he was skipping. He got to his office as fast as he could without running. Once inside, he closed the door, shut the blinds, and sat at his desk. Taking in what was probably his first real breath since walking out of the lab, he started hysterically laughing and crying at the same time, holding his documents as if they were his own children. Dr. Cutler couldn’t bear the thought of this being true and knew at that moment that the end was near. As he regained his composure, he opened the envelope to reassure himself of what he had found out.
Contained in the three pages he was holding, was the confirmation that, of all the possibilities of evolution, the human being had been nothing more than a parasite-ridden being that had managed to dominate existence over time, invading and killing whatever it latched on to. The disappearance of the dinosaurs, generally thought to have been caused by a giant meteor was, in fact, a mass infection by a single-minded parasite, focused on destruction, that had infected a small and hairy monkey-looking being. These hairy beings could take over a given territory within months and follow, without question, the parts of the brain that regulated instinctual actions. By use of tools and weapons, they pushed the dinosaurs back into small pockets of land, isolating the herbivores, inciting them to overpopulate and eat everything they could until they died out from starvation. Out of food, the predatory dinosaurs began to attack each other, and within a generation, they had all disappeared.
This was a place where the most well-disguised beings were the unique survivors. Snakes and alligators were proof of this, as they were among the handful of species able to resist the virus that took over the earth. The sea remained intact for a long time, sharks and giant octopuses attesting to the survival of some creatures who once roamed the earth freely. But now, even the sea is under siege, the hairy monkey having evolved into what we now know as human. With its evolving technology, humanity has found new ways to plunder the deep waters of our planet. Dr. Cutler was almost shaking; his life’s work finally coming to fruition. With this proof, he could now convince the dominating oligarchy that he could help them strengthen their hold on power. His belief that humans were nothing more than the product of an infected DNA was now stronger than ever. Dr. Cutler picked up the phone and called Dwight Como. As the phone was ringing, Frank knew he held the ultimate argument to that would finally convince the heads of the controlling oligarchy to move forward. Dwight Como picked up the phone.
“Come now. I have the proof you asked about. And bring your documents.” Frank hung up without waiting for Dwight’s answer.
“Hello? Hello? God damn it!” Dwight slammed the phone down and abruptly started shaking.
What kind of proof was Cutler talking about? After a moment, Dwight decided to go without telling anyone. He didn't want to have to answer questions about his association with this freaky scientist. He grabbed his briefcase and left, not knowing he would never return.
The outside air felt almost alien compared to the stuffy mass of dust they refer to as air in that small hiding place of theirs that he and his colleagues affectionately called little HQ. Dwight and his colleagues were attempting to combine neuroscience, particle physics, and anthropology to find the evolutionary link that could explain the rise of human dominance. They had made some advancements in the understanding of certain realities, studying how information traveled after major discoveries, such as fire or the wheel. How these advancements affected the social fabric and how the evolution of science gradually placed mystical and religious beliefs on the back burner. But they had yet to find any explanation for why certain major discoveries were achieved at the same time across the globe. In a time when there was no practical communication between the different nations that populated the earth, it was difficult to understand how ideas were transmitted from one part of the earth to the other.
Dwight Como believed in the presence of an energy field that permeates the earth and carries electromagnetic waves which transport ideas and thoughts around the globe outside of the physical body. Although the math showed the possibility of its existence, he and his colleagues had yet to find any tangible proof. While they were accumulating data to understand how communication worked in ancient times, Dwight had been contacted by Dr. Frank Cutler, who needed his knowledge in anthropology to confirm a theory. Dwight had been secretly meeting with Dr. Cutler in hopes of unlocking something that would help him and his colleagues confirm any part of their theory. He didn’t tell the doctor about his current research, limiting his interactions as a consultant to him at first, integrating any new data to his group’s experimentation in hopes of furthering his own research.
Dwight took in a couple of deep breaths and felt a change in the air. He looked around. The old neighborhood felt the same but appeared different, a slight but visible glow or shadow covering everything with a sombre filter. The clock on the church tower read three o'clock, but it seemed more like early evening to Dwight, with people and buildings casting long shadows. He wanted to go but was too captivated by the darkness enveloping everything. As he watched the people walk along the narrow streets, he noticed some who seemed out of place, either not of this time, or somehow not of this place in the universe. Some were oblivious to the bleak environment, going to wherever they were going, head down, shoulders squared, walking with purpose. But some were visibly troubled by their surroundings, looking lost, confused. Dwight noticed one man who had what appeared to be a round hat but was in fact his head. The glow around him gave off the impression he had a hat on. His skin had a greenish, sickly hue. Dwight shuddered as he forced himself to start walking. The sick man then noticed Dwight and instantly became excited, his eyes lighting up. The man rushed to him, his bulging eyes appearing like two light bulbs with a fly caught inside. When the man stopped in front of Dwight, he wasn't sure what to do. Although this man was probably nothing more than a street bum, he was a little out of focus, wrapped by vapors, like the ones you see when you look down a hot street in the summer, which gave Dwight some pause as he tried to make sense of this impression. The man stood there and had yet to ask for change, his mind undeniably elsewhere. Then his eyes straightened out. He looked straight at Dwight and spoke, his voice strong and crisp.
“The answer is clear, you must make the right choice!”
Before Dwight could ask him what he meant, the man was off and running, disappearing into a blur. Dwight ran after him, but as he turned the corner, the man had disappeared. Dwight noticed a door closing slowly in front of him. It seemed deeply ensconced in a brick wall. Instinctively, Dwight went to knock on it. The door was large, thick, and ancient looking. He used the brass door knock hanging in the middle. Even though it seemed to him like he was hitting a brick wall, the wood that made up door was almost petrified, and the deep echo of his knock suggested a large empty room inside. The door stayed ajar, then reopened a little, creaking on its hinges while simultaneously growing more and more out of focus, making Dwight a little nauseous. There was another man behind the door who looked as though he were a hundred yards away, even though he was right there holding the door ajar. Dwight strained his eyes to see clearly, trying more and more desperately to make sense of what was happening, a panic cramp settling in his bowels, making his head spin. The man at the door was Dr. Frank Cutler who was looking at him while balancing a small object in his left hand. Dr. Cutler was mumbling something that Dwight couldn't understand, but as he stood there, the mumbling entered his mind, rendering him unable to move. Dr. Cutler's hand came to lay on his head, the mumble now clearer.
“Relax, empty your mind, let me in.” Dr. Cutler repeated the mantra until Dwight's consciousness was no longer present.
Dwight felt his mind slip away but couldn't do anything about it. He was caught in a strange limbo between the sleeping and waking world, witness to both, limited to existing as a passenger in each realm.
Dr. Cutler, certain Dwight was open to receive orders, continued his chants, now directing his thoughts.
“You will assist me in my research.”
Cutler repeated the phrase ten times, then finished programming his victim by waving his hand across Dwight's face.
“You will wake up when you see yourself in the doorway,” he whispered.
Dr. Cutler pulled back from the door, and in an instant, Dwight recognized himself in the man holding the door and stepped back, out of breath. The door slammed shut the moment the man holding it let go, but right before it closed, Dwight heard himself utter these two words; “choose diligently”.
Trying to understand what happened, he found himself on the sidewalk looking at a brick wall, dumbfounded. A passerby deposited some coins in Dwight’s hand, which snapped him back to reality. The dark cloak was evaporated, and the bright afternoon sun shone once again. The old nineteenth century three story buildings were back to being charming in their assorted colors, each a personal reflection of its owner’s tastes. Dwight had grown up in this neighborhood, and had seen it change from a blue-collar, grey-looking, hard luck neighborhood to a hip, colourful and trendy district. He felt that he could almost see himself playing cops and robbers with sling shots and plastic toy guns around the empty buildings, a “for rent” sign in every second window. He then realized how much he missed his childhood friends, who mostly were forced to move as the rent went up, catering to a new clientele. He had been fortunate enough to inherit his family home, although his university salary would have been enough to stay in the neighborhood. Feeling he was losing grasp on his mind, he sat on a bus stop bench to try to make sense of everything that happened, gradually regaining his composure. He decided to keep all this to himself for now, his mind feeling like mush. If someone was to ask him about his day, he wouldn’t know what to answer. A balanced mind was needed before he could talk to anyone about this. He knew something had happened but wasn't able to pinpoint what that could be. Suddenly, Dwight felt an uncontrollable urge to share everything he knew with Dr. Cutler. He got up and went to gather his research, now focused solely on the task at hand, a distant voice trying to resist Dr. Cutler’s hypnotic programming in the back of his mind.
“Tell me, who are you?” The man asked Engella Iblis, clasping his hands together and leaning in to listen.
Any time Engella had to relate her life experience, she would almost always fall into a pessimistic view of the world. But here she was, being asked to do just that. Fighting the cloak of darkness her mind was trying to create, Engella proceeded to recount her life story.
Born into a loving family, Engella Iblis was propelled into the foster family system after the death of her parents in a car accident. She had bounced from home to home from four to nine years old, each new place turning out to be temporary. It didn’t take long for her to realize that people live by their own standard, their own belief, excluding any outer influence to protect their own. She’s not a foster child who had to carry around horror stories from her time bouncing around, but that time did serve as a basis for her understanding of the human condition—what makes the soul and mind tick. At a time when kids her age were learning how to hopscotch, she was learning how to read a person, how to know if the person in front of her was trustworthy. She didn’t question why this was happening to her; her young mind was way too busy trying to make sense of everything.
She was first placed in a temporary home after the car accident that killed her parents, where she spent nearly a year. Both of her parents were orphans, so there was no family to turn to. The people in the first home helped her get her head above water as she tried to wrap her young mind around the notion of life and death. They supported and guided her through the emotions of her loss until she found her feet under her. Within a couple of months, as she was finding some comfort—some balance—she was moved to a new family that was supposed to become permanent. Even though she knew the situation was temporary in the first home, she found herself facing her second loss within the same year. She knew there was little chance she would see the first family again, and so, she tucked away her feelings once more and adopted a cold and analytical view of her new surroundings. Doing this helped her cope with the sense of abandonment she felt in dealing with this harsh reality.
In this home, where she was from five to seven years old, she had to learn to fend for herself. There was no verbal or physical violence, but no love or tenderness either, as the eight children living in the home had to find their way. The “parents” felt this was the best approach to teach the children to survive in the unkind, brutal, real world. Their take on social survival was that the only way for a person to advance in life was by stepping on someone else's toes. They applied that logic to the home, which created a strange crisscross of affiliations in the family, as the children naturally split into two groups.
In her new family, Engella was witness to the possibility of the co-existence of different points of view. One foster sister had set her mind to selling lemonade and set up a lucrative little street corner business, giving her some pocket money that the others didn't have. But her money was her money—no sharing. Opposite to her was the foster brother, who was mowing neighbor’s lawns for cash and sharing every penny. Engella chose to keep an emotional distance from both sides and learned practical household chores to stay in touch with all her foster-siblings. She could already make a mean omelet at six years old, and she soon became the morning cook for the kids in the house, a role that gave Engella some solace in her confusing and harsh childhood.
The foster family was soon declared unfit due to the loss of employment of one of the parents. The children in the home were once again spread around to other families. Engella hadn’t created a deep attachment to any of her foster brothers and sisters, but still felt the deep sting of a bureaucratic decision ripping into the social fabric of the family, as dysfunctional as it appeared.
The next six months were the worst Engella had ever lived. She ended up in a temporary foster family once again, but this time, a litany of contradictory rules made life unbearable. There was no way for a child to obey all the rules all the time, so there was always someone being reprimanded—generally more than one. The punishments were isolation from the family for twenty-four hours, with nothing but a small batch of fruits and vegetables to sustain themselves until the next day.
Engella grew to like the isolation and made sure to break enough rules to stay there as much as possible, but without incurring the more severe punishments, which were more painful. That is where she discovered the contentment that is attained by meditating, although she didn’t know it at that point. All she wanted was to be alone. A numb darkness fell over her soul during that time. How could these parents be considered fit and not the others, the sole difference being current employment?
During her long hours isolated from the world, she confronted her darkest thoughts, contemplating possibilities a child shouldn’t envision. The emotional tsunami she was holding back since her parents’ death was now surging forth, slow and powerful. Sometimes she thought about her own death, considering the notion that her demise would go unnoticed and could end this pointless life of hers. Other times, she dreamed about running away, thinking that she was on her own anyhow and needed no one to help her. Gradually, she let herself slip deeper into her darkness, creating a separation between her and the world around her, which gratified Engella’s wish to be alone. By that time, Engella was undeniably aware of the dual nature of the human soul. She had seen kindness and virtue but also malice and dishonesty. At eight years old, she was already aware of the duality of human existence but didn’t yet know how far that notion would take her.
Once again, she was placed in a new foster home after her time in the house of rules and isolation. She landed in a welcoming, warm family. Engella didn’t stay in her dark place for long, being pulled out by tenderness and understanding. She embraced this new family, joyfully surrendering herself to the love that permeated the house. She ended up being adopted by the family and spent the rest of her childhood and adolescence in a loving home where she was encouraged to explore the world and be curious. Gradually, she built a personal philosophy around the notion that what we want is distinct from what we need, trying to learn of her own limits about what is acceptable or desirable. During her late high school years, she decided to head into sociological studies with a minor in anthropology. She considered that the life that had been hers prepared her for that academic pursuit and threw herself into it headfirst.
Her time in college was somewhat forgettable as she lumbered through her courses, feeling uninvolved, looking for some truth which never materialized. As she came upon the end of the studies for her bachelor’s degree, she stumbled upon the works of Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli1. It helped her rediscover her interest in the duality present in every human soul. The search for light, the fight against dark, the acceptance of both—her realization that both are necessary. She remembered that during her high school years, she alternated her behavior from open-minded friend to all-out bitch, studying people's reaction to her changes, studying their willingness to expose their dark side. That was her first foray into trying to understand the duality that inhabits us all. But getting limited results, she let it slide, ultimately forgetting about it altogether, as the social pressures of maintaining a balanced front overcame her wish to explore the social psyche around her.
With her focus renewed, she concentrated her master’s degree on this theme, her essay on the duality which governs us all accepted on the condition that she push her research further, as she could not show enough coherent arguments to uphold her thesis satisfactorily to her peers. One professor chose to become her mentor and suggested she broaden her research base to accumulate more data to corroborate her theory. She decided to explore a wide variety of faiths as a basis to try to uncover why humans try to keep their spiritual realities apart from their practical realities. There she was, some years down the road, her post-doctoral essay on hold, meeting with a Yaqui sorcerer.
“That’s all nice and good, my dear, but I didn’t ask you what happened to you, I asked you who you are.” The village sorcerer was looking at her intently, Engella noticing a slight smile on his face. He seemed genuinely amused by her story.
“Oh, well… I’ve always lived by the idea we are a product of our lives, so who I am is intrinsically entwined with what happened to me.”
Engella felt he was testing her credibility, still deciding if he would accept “the interview” for her post-doctoral essay.
“True, but life will always be what you want it to be.” He paused and changed the subject. “How did you find me?”
The question caught Engella by surprise.
“As you know, I've been on a philosophical pilgrimage, gathering data to finish my thesis. Traveling from temples to churches to mystical sanctuaries only succeeded in making my thesis look convoluted and confused. But during my time in Mormon territory, everything changed. By then, I thought I was going in circles, not finding anything of note that could add any real content to my essay, contemplating the possibility of quitting. Then I had a strange dream in which a man approached me, pulled me out of my dream, and carried me to this place.”
“You need to come here,” he said, standing next to a rusted road sign indicating the village. Without a doubt, the most realistic dream I’ve ever had. Everything that happened from the moment I met the man until he vanished felt like I was fully awake, although I knew I was in my dream.”
“Hmm. And you came without question?” The sorcerer asked, his half-smile still present.
“Well, that experience was the first time I couldn’t explain what had happened with logic, plus I felt it was in line with my thesis research, so I thought, why not. A new perspective is always welcome.”
“Why not, indeed,” chuckled the sorcerer.
He then became more serious for a moment, his eyes no longer smiling.
“You have been sitting there for half an hour now, and you still haven’t asked me.”
“Asked you what?”
“Anything; my name, why you’re here, how old I am, what the weather will be like tomorrow.”
He was smiling broadly by now, and Engella took this as a sign he was warming up to her.
“What do you mean, why I’m here?”
“Now there’s a question I can answer!” He exclaimed joyfully. “You are here for your next phase, my dear. By answering my call, you have shown yourself ready to explore new realms. My presence here with you confirms that.”
He looked giddy from the excitement it gave him.
“You're here to teach me?” Feeling the conversation was about to take a mystical turn, she decided to play along.
Engella had become accustomed to having some form of metaphysical dimension slipped into the conversation by the spiritual leaders she has met, and felt this was no different.
“Oh! I cannot teach, but you can learn plenty.” He looked straight at Engella. “You are the one person who can overcome your limitations. I can guide you and help you, but I cannot teach you anything. You alone can learn what is necessary for you.”
“What does that even mean?”
Engella felt thrown back to the lost little girl she was when her family vanished, her emotions wanting to boil over. She narrowly managed to overcome the emotional onslaught, as the sorcerer looked at her, appearing to take pleasure in the discomfort he created.
“It means what you need it to mean to understand.”
“Are there different results for each person? How will I know if what I’ve learned is valid?” Engella wondered out loud.
“No, everyone comes to the same result, but the path followed is different for each person.”
“Okay.” Engella knew she was in the right place. For once in her life, she felt she was where she needed to be. She took in the sense of calm this feeling procured and took a deep breath. “All right then, let’s start at the beginning. What’s your name?”
The sorcerer smiled at this. “Now we’re getting somewhere. My name is Rafael Durango, and I will be your counsel during your exploration. Let me show you your room.” Rafael got up and left the house without checking if Engella was following.
He showed her a small room with minimal accommodations. A bed, a dresser, and a chair were all the furnishings the room contained. Grey plaster walls and a small window completed the picture. Rafael waved her in, bowing his head in a salute before leaving without another word. Engella found herself sitting on the side of the bed, part of her at ease with the situation, part of her in complete disarray. She began to tap at the dust on the floor with her feet, observing the mini dust clouds dancing in a ray of sun coming in through the window. She had no idea what Rafael meant when he said she was answering his call. Was it him in her dream? She had remembered the name of the village when she woke up, but that was it, as the rest of the dream reverted to a distant feeling. But the one thing she knew is that was where she needed to be for the near future. She had little knowledge about those people, if only that they were persecuted as much by the Spanish as the Mexican governance that followed. She had no idea how much knowledge this tribe possessed and how much they were willing to share with her.
If these chapters have ignited your desire for more, Cosmic Consciousness is available everywhere books are sold.
Copyright 2019 by Mike Longmeadow
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