Siddhi‟s Worldly Affair Once upon a time, there was a free spirit, roaming carefree in heavenly realms. Completely in bliss, he felt a unity with all there is. Far below, was the Planet Earth, the physical realm he was high above. Beyond time, beyond space, beyond any kind of physicality at all, he drifted, enjoying his rewards. Then, suddenly, abruptly, he felt a cruel yank pulling him downwards towards the West Coast of that continent called “America”, like a fish biting painfully on a sharp penetrating hook. Bliss-time is over. Siddhi was born of extraordinary circumstances in an ordinary home. Before he came into this world, he was well aware he would have to suffer. He resisted, he pulled against the tide that drew him in with all his might. It was as if he were spinning around and around in a whirlwind, going down into this cesspool known as the „physical world”. He couln‟t help it; he was drawn irrestibably to these circumstances anyway. He was not quite finished yet. There were certain lessons he could only learn in this dimension where objects were solid and there was the inexorable flow of time.. In a darkened room, lit only by candlelight, the soul-essence that was to become Siddhi saw the couple who were to become his parents gasping, grasping and passionately fucking their way into some transcendental frenzy. His father was madly plunging his engorged penis deeply into the womb of his mother. She was holding him tightly and screaming for more. They were quickly working their way up to the verge of orgasm, momentarily losing track of all time and space.. Her legs were raised high entwined around him; her hands were sliding down his back, digging her fingers into the crack of his ass. Ever so gently she squeezed his balls for the precious juices contained therein. He was pulling her against him, sticking his fingesr up her nethermost holes, manipulating her to give her additional pleasure, seeking to assist her to join him in his own pleasure.. The soul-essence pondered: "Do I really have to go through with this? Yes, this is the act which gives us so much pleasure to come to this world again and again. Is it worth going through forever, however? Could I not politely sneak out of this carnal lair and return to the realm of spiritual bliss? What is it that draws both myself and countless others to come back here? "For here is also pain as well as pleasure. How well do I know this from the experience of countless lifetimes! The moment I enter this, I will forget myself and forget Who it is I truly am? Yet here I am once again, a hopeless addict to the physical realm and all its adventures and misadventures. Even the pains have their own fascination!" His parents-to-be were gasping louder in their journey to carnal bliss. The soul- essence, this close to the realm of incarnation, has no choice. What is to be has to be. Yet again, there is some lesson to be learned here. He attempts once more to pull away, but gives in at the end of his rope. Besides, it does look like they are having fun! Let‟s go for it! Let‟s join the party! How lovely it would be to become their mutually entrwined flesh, the result of their union. As the sperm juice shot forcefully out of his father's penis, the soul-essence discreetly slipped into the one destined to be the victor, swimming eagerly along the long urethal tube, shooting out past the barrier into another long swishy tunnel swirling in juices of gasping orgasm in this fleshy cave of the organism who is his mother. He could sense that egg, he could smell that egg inside the womb. Yes, it was him who would be the victor, the conqueror of this pulsating sphere. It was going to be his, to have his way with! With great delight, he plunged into it, way ahead of the others, and the egg gladly acquiesed to his entry. Then his identity switched again. His essence was also united with the female essence. How the egg begged to be penetrated, the prime reason for its existence. The bodies of the man and the woman shivered in epileptic spasms. The egg hummed in delight and proceeded to unite the male and female essence within itself. Once again, the soul-essence was united with flesh; unconscious. In that split second, the realm of spiritual bliss, the past incarnations, all of it, billions of years of evolution, were all forgotten. Meanwhile, the gratified egg happily proceeded to grow into what was to become the infant fetus of the physical body which was to be Siddhi‟s next mask. "Oh, that was so wonderful!" exclaimed his mother, as she hugged her husband in gratification. "Yes, did you feel it when I felt it?" said his father, as he laid back on the motel bed, lighting up a cigarette, taking a sip of the chalice of wine. "Yes, that was the best!" she paused, "You know, I feel something inside me. I cannot define it, but I think we did it that time!" "With you, I would love to create a new baby human. I hope it will be a son, a boy I can call my own, someone who will be part of both of us to unite our love." "If it is a boy, we will call him 'Siddhi'. That is what my grandfather was called. He was considered a very wise man and revered as a guru. It means 'Man of Wisdom'." "Well, let's keep it short to 'Sid' so it will sound normal in America. We don't want the other kids to make fun of him, you know." They hugged and cuddled. They drank more wine. They whispered how they loved each other. They went down on each other. They fucked some more in different positions. They were just married and they loved each other, celebrating their togetherness. He was American and she was Hindu. When Siddhi was a baby, he loved to wander naked in the yard. He would look up in the sky and see curious little bubbles hovering in the air. They danced and danced in the sheer blueness of the sky like little fairies playing games with his eyes. In fascination, he would watch strange giants hovering in the clouds. When the thundershowers broke, he imagined the giants were hurling lightning bolts at one another. Rainbows would emerge and he would gasp in awe. He played with his little penis glad to be exposed to the air. With absolute wonder, he watched golden streams of piss emanate onto the ground. He imagined he was infinitely full of piss and poop, ever ready to eject more to return it to the bowels of the earth. He speculatied that perhaps there was an electric motor inside that big furry thing called a 'cat', who he liked to chase around on her frolics in the garden. What a wonderful thing this thing called a 'world' was. How huge and magnificent it is! How amazing are its multitude of sensations! No wonder he just keeps coming back and back! Even breathing, that tiny heart beating so rapidly with joy within his infant chest, were fantastic novelties! Unlike other infants, Siddhi hardly cried. He just stared with wide eyes at the sheer range of colors, he listened carefully to the vast range of sounds, he touched all he could to gather its texture. It seemed that nothing was alike, yet all was the same degree of wonderful. Siddhi could often be found sitting calmly crosslegged like a little Buddha in the flower garden. He would spend hours gazing into the heart of a flower. He would hold it upwards as a gift to the gods and goddesses of the sky. Drinking martinis and laughing loudly, his parents showed him off to their guests. They eagerly snapped photos of him to go into the future family album. Siddhi crawled towards them. Shyly with a secret smile he offered them a flower as though it were the most wondrous gift in the universe. They just laughed and remarked how cute this little baby boy was. Siddhi's father, Clyde, was a rather stout man of medium build with blond brown hair and a full beard. His business was importing electronic parts which were made in India. It was a very lucrative business, those Hindus were excellent craftsmen and sold ridiculously cheap. Clyde, in turn, sold in this country at ten times what he paid – which was still cheap compared with the same parts made in this country. He had done well for himself, he had to remark, often finding it hard to believe he had gone this far. He was born in rather shabby circumstances on the wrong side of town. His stupid old man had no ambition at all, prefering to paint landscapes in a somewhat surreal manner, trying to pull himself off as some kind of “great artist”. His mother was some kind of beatnik poet, always dressed in long black dresses, playing bongo drums. They thought they were “cool”, poor sods. Clyde grew up in a small two room apartment; his parents slept in the bedroom and fucked and moaned loudly, while he tried to get some rest. They only worked sporadically at low paying part-time jobs, supplementing their income with food stamps and other welfare benefits, while scavenging in the streets for junk out of garbage bins. All the furniture was tossed-out garbage from the streets. Often they ate nothing but rice for weeks. As Clyde grew up, he swore he was never going to wind up like that! As he worked his way through school, his main objective in life was to make money and a lot of it. He paid close attention to what was going on in the market, in the nineties, noted that electronic parts in computers and other gadgetry was the going thing. So he took courses in electronics and business. He was quickly hired as an electronic consultant in a major company, and within 3 years, was promoted to vice-president of the company. Then, on the side, he invested in lucrative stocks and become nearly a millionaire within a year. He broke off on his own and started his own electronic company. Looking around his mansion, laying back in his expensive executive chair, sipping his martini and lighting up another cigarette, he had to admit he had achieved his objectives very nicely. He was a rich man, though, of course, he could always be richer. He had a beautiful subservient wife from India, nothing like those woman libber bitches in this country with a hell of an attitude. Nope, none of that for him! And now, he had a lovely baby boy, who he would see through the best schools and make even richer than him, to carry on the family name. His mother, Skakti, was a Hindu whom his father met in one of his trips to India. She had light brown skin and long straight hair powdered with henna, with a sapphire jewel in her forehead. She had the tattoo of a fiery serpent at the base of her spine. Unlike her peers, she tended to be somewhat liberally dressed, gracefully showing off her body unveiled. Clyde was introduced to her by her father, one of his primary business contacts in India. He was greatly attracted to her and asked her to come back to America with him, which, of course she accepted, knowing how wealthy those Americans are. His father married her for business reasons because her father offered her to him while they were drinking saki one night in a smoky opium den. Saki was dancing a serpent dance, slyly revealing her self to him. She kept giving him hinting looks which said "Take me! Yes, take me!" It was a business offer he could not turn down. Gladly he signed the contract with the man. They were married in Bombay and she went to Palo Alto with him to a new world. It was in a ski lodge in the Sierra Nevada that Siddhi was conceived. Snows of early spring were flying all around and another thick cypress log was on the fire. Through chill raging winds of the heights his spirit was drawn to their gasping bodies clinging to one another for dear life. When Sidhi was a child, he asked a lot of questions. His favorite question was "Why?" He would ponder on questions like: "Why is there life?" "Why do we speak as we do?" "Why do we think?" "Why do people do the things they do?" "Why is the sky blue?" "Why do the birds fly so high?" "Why do I feel compelled to ask this question 'Why?'" Sidhi was somehow set apart from the other children. He was quieter; he did not run and laugh; he was not inclined to be playful. He was a very serious child. For hours he would spend sitting by a nearby brook nestled between two steep hills. He would carefully study the flowing of the water, as if that would somehow give him an answer to his questions. He idly tossed rocks across the face of the water. He stared at his rippled reflection and wondered if that was who he really was. He stuck his hand in the water and marvelled at the sensations this gave him. There was a magic in this constant flowing of the water which fascinated him. There was much to learn from this new thing called "life". Minute to minute, his breathing and heartbeat sustained him. The clouds flowed across the sky, the water flowed from one rock to the next, while his breath flowed from one breath to another. Everything seemed to flow into everything else. He put his hand in the water and it broke off at an angle. How amazing this all is! One day Sidhi was out in the park with his father and mother. It was a beautiful day. Butterflies were gathering nectar from flowers in the grass. He was sitting on a bench eating an ice cream cone. Rivulets of ice cream were dribbling down the side of the cone and Sidhi was making a game of licking the droplets before they could fall to the ground. If they fell into the blades of the grass, he noted how the ants marched in long lines to collect the sugary substance. Then he looked up to see a very old man creeping ponderously by leaning on a cane. He seemed to be in a lot of pain and was making his way very slowly. He appeared to be about to topple over with each step. His limbs were bent at jagged angles. His skin was all wrinkled, his hair was grey, and his clothing was unwashed and ragged. Sidhi asked his father, "Father, what is wrong with that man? He looks so ugly! He appears to have something very wrong with him. Is he one of us or is he something else?" His father shook his head and looked away. "Don't stare and point at that man!,” Clyde hissed. “Don't worry about it. Just enjoy the day." "But I am worried about him. He looks like he needs help walking. Doesn't anyone care for him?" His mother took him aside and said: "He looks that way because he is old." "Old? What is old?" "It is because he has lived a long time. When you have lived a long time, that is what happens to you. You get old. You become all gray and crippled and wrinkled just like that man there." "Mommy, that is awful! And that is what happens to all of us?" "Yes, I'm sorry to say, that is what happens to us." "But can't it be cured? Is it like when I am not feeling good and you give me some medicine that makes me feel better?" "I'm sorry, Siddhi, but there is no cure for it." "Is it going to happen to you and Daddy?" "Yes, it will happen to us." "Mommy, am I going to get old and wrinkled like that poor man?" "You shouldn't worry about it. Just eat your ice cream and enjoy the day. You don't need to worry. You are very young now. You have many years ahead of you." She rubbed him on the top of his head and smiled. "But, Mommy, I don't want to get old! I want to stay young forever! Why can't I stay young forever? I like being what I am! I don't want to be like that man!" "It's better not to think about it now. It will only bother you if you worry about it. You're going to be young for a long time." His mother started looking like she didn't want to talk about it anymore. Siddhi could not figure out why they were being so evasive about this, but he figured it was one of those “no-no” topics, like when the subject of sex came up. Siddhi walked up to the old man and offered him his ice cream cone. The old man only shook his head and smiled sadly and pointed at a toothless mouth. Siddhi had a pet cat he was rather fond of. He loved to rub his ear against its body and listen to her as she purred in contentment. The cat was so elegant; it seemed so aware of all that was going on around her, even when she was seemingly fast asleep. He was fascinated by the way her ears were perked to attention at the sound of stray birds tweeting. The cat would spend hours in rapt attention watching things going on out the window. One day, Siddhi ran out to play in the back yard. By the bushes, he noticed the cat and ran over to play his usual games with it. He threw a little ball, expecting the kitty to chase after it. But, unlike other times, the cat just lay there and didn‟t move. There was something odd about the cat. She appeared to be fast asleep. She must have been having nice dreams. But, as he approached, he noted a quality about her sleep that was very still. Her whiskers did not move nor did her paws twitch. She did not even seem to be breathing! He reached out to stroke her body, but it felt oddly cool. Normally she felt very warm and would immediately awaken to his touch. Her ears did not move and she did not purr. Something was wrong with the kitty! He tried to pick her up but she felt very heavy and stiff. As he turned her over he noticed that there were all kinds of ants and other bugs crawling over her underside. And flies were beginning to hover around the kitty's eyes, which he then noticed were wide open, but not reacting to the flies. Normally when flies harassed the kitty, she would brush them away with her paws. He ran into the house and got his Mommy to come out. "Mommy, something's wrong with our kitty, she's lying in the garden and ants are crawling all over her!" "Oh, dear!" said his Mommy as she stopped vacuuming the rug. She went out with him to see. "I'm sorry, dear," she said, "I'm afraid the kitty is dead." "Dead? What's dead?" "I can't imagine what happened to her. Maybe she ate something that made her sick." "Well, can't we take her to the vet or something? We can cure her, can't we?" "No, she isn't ever going to move again. She's dead. We will have to bury her." "Mommy, what is dead? What does that mean?" "It is what happens to all of us sooner or later. We all have a lifespan and we all die." "That's horrible, Mommy! Is that what's going to happen to you and Daddy?" "Yes, we all die, Siddhi. That's what happens to us. We live for awhile and then we die. That‟s the way it is, I‟m sorry to say." "You mean we'll wind up like our kitty? Oh, Mommy, am I going to die?" "You shouldn't think so much about these things. Little boys don't need to worry about this. Our kitty has gone to kitty heaven where there are plenty of mice to chase. She will be happy forever." There was something in the tone of her voice like she didn‟t really believe it. Siddhi was sensitive to such things, when his parents were telling “sweet lies”. They went to get a shovel and dug a hole in the garden. They put the stiff body in the hole and covered it up. Siddhi, tears streaming down his face, was unable to comprehend this. He thought he and the kitty and Mommy and Daddy and all the other people he knew were going to be around forever. But, just like this kitty, they were all going to die. It was so horrible. They were going to die and be cold and stiff, and ants and flies would crawl all over them. It was all going to end. It's so terrible! For days, Siddhi pondered on this strange thing called "death". Life was so beautiful. Why did it have to end? Siddhi had an aunt on his father's side. She would come over to visit a lot. She tended to drink alot and she always had a cigarette burning on a long filter. She wore long red dresses and pearls. She put a lot of make-up on her face and dyed her hair with henna so it had a dark red color. She was a rather raucous character and had a long raspy laugh. She was always talking and making jokes which often many people did not quite understand, but they laughed along anyway. She was fond of Siddhi and always greeted him as "my little friend". Siddhi found her intriguing for she had stories of many foreign lands she had traveled to, but she also talked about "relationships" which Siddhi was not quite mature enough to understand. She tended to brag about men she had seduced and would tell stories about men she had met in bars. She would keep fondling Siddhi's head, muttering how "this boy's a sly one, you'll see, he'll grow up to be quite a trickster!" One day, Siddhi's father got a phone call and seemed very worried. He and his mother kept talking about something they seemed to be trying to hide from him, but it was obvious something was wrong. They spent long periods away from home and left him with a babysitter. It was the season of lots of rain, and Siddhi played odd little games by himself. He liked to draw pictures of wet trees and tried to draw a picture of his dead cat from memory hiding in the bushes trying to sneak up on a bird. Finally, his mother revealed to him what was wrong: "Your aunt is very ill, Siddhi, she is in the hospital." "Will she be healed, Mommy? When will they let her out?" He once spent a few days in the hospital getting his tonsils taken out. He remembered it as a playful time and his parents brought him a lot of toys to play with. He read comic books and ate ice cream. "Is she getting her tonsils taken out?" His mother made a sad smile. "They don't understand what is wrong with her. She just isn't well and they must do tests on her." "Is she sort of in school? Is she making good grades on the tests?" "No, no, Siddhi, where do you get such silly ideas? The doctors are examining her to see what is wrong with her." His parents kept visiting his aunt in the hospital while leaving him home with the babysitter. Siddhi stared out at the rain and wondered if the same thing that happened to his cat was happening to his aunt. Would his aunt go through the same strange thing that happened to the cat? Would she become all stiff and unmoving? Would they bury her in the ground in the garden? One day, his mother told him: "Siddhi, your aunt is not well at all, but she said she would like to see you." They somberly took Siddhi along. It smelled funny in the hospital and the walls were too bright on the eyes. Strong men in white coats were carrying old people around on things that looked liked shopping carts with beds on them. Something felt wrong here; Siddhi wanted to get out of there. They came to the room where his aunt was. She had tubes stuck in her body and smelled like she had pooh-poohed in her panties. She looked peculiarly skinny, like she had lost a lot of weight all of a sudden; her skin was hanging loose on her bones. She was breathing rapidly and had some kind of plastic thing over her mouth and nose, attached to a long steel cylinder. Her eyes moved up and down as if she were in terror. She was not laughing and she was not cracking jokes. Instead of a long red dress and pearls, she was wearing something that looked liked a paper gown that barely concealed her thin body. Her hair was prematurely grey and it was falling off in clumps. "What is wrong with her, Daddy, Mommy? She isn't like she usually is at all!" It was a horrible disgusting sight. "She had cancer, Siddhi, there are little cells in her that are eating her up." "Will they fix her, Daddy?" "I'm afraid not. They don't have any cure for it. If they try to kill the bad cells in her, they kill the good cells too. There's no cure for this. She is just going to get worse and worse." "She wanted to see you," added his mother. "Say something nice to her, Siddhi." Siddhi just gawked at this terrible sight in front of him. She did not even look quite alive anymore. She looked sort of like his dead cat, except her eyes were still moving around, but the rest of her was very weak and limp. How can you know what to say to someone in this condition? How could he say anything “nice” to someone like this? "Hello Auntie," Siddhi muttered. "It's good to see you again." Tears started streaming down his face; he just wanted to be away and for this nightmare to end. She gazed in his direction and nodded. She started struggling with her bonds that held her down. She tried to pull off the face mask, gesturing to have it off. His mother removed it for her so she could speak. Her voice was very hoarse, barely above a whisper. "How is my sly boy?” she wheezed, then all of a sudden, proceeded to cough violently, choking up blood all over the bed. Siddhi backed away, she looked like some kind of monster. While coughing and wheezing, she barely managed to choke the words: "Promise... me... don't... let... this.... happen... (she choked on her blood, sputtering out more)... to... you! Please... promise..." His mother pressed a button on a wire. Nurses came in and wiped her up, putting the oxygen mask back on. They gave her a shot which stopped her struggling and tied her down more tightly. "Yes, Auntie, " Siddhi said, crying. "I promise, I won't let it happen to me. I promise. Please get well, Auntie. Please get well." He sobbed and begged her to get well. He wanted the Auntie he knew back. He wanted to hear her laughing again and fondling his head again. They took him out of the room. "She is dying, son." his father said, scratching him on the head. "She only has a couple of days, they say, but she really wanted to see you before she goes." This was Siddhi's first encounter with a major illness. Will this happen to him? Is this going to happen to everybody? Oh, why can't life just go on and on. Why does it have to end in such a terrible way? The following week they had his aunt's funeral. They marched in front of her open casket. She was wearing a long dress and pearls, but she was all stiff. Her body felt like a rock when he touched her. They put a lot of make-up and a red wig on her. She looked like some kind of Barbie Doll. They even fixed up her face so she looked like she was happy to be dead. They closed the casket and put her in the ground in a place where there were a lot of stone markers with etchings on them. Everybody was dressed in black and they all pretended that "she had gone to a better place". But she was just a stiff body in a box in the ground. Is there anything more to life than this, Siddhi wondered. Why does it have to be this way? One day, Siddhi was playing in his front yard. He was idly throwing a rock in the air and watching it fall. He wondered why the rock didn't just stay up there. It was as if there were something in the rock that made it want to return to the ground. He kept throwing it up higher and higher. Perhaps if he threw it up high enough, the sky would capture it and it wouldn't want to come down to the earth. He wondered what the rock was thinking about all this. Does it enjoy flying in the air like a bird? Down the street, he noticed a very odd woman. She was wandering randomly about the streets and was carrying a huge plastic black garbage bag on her back. Even though it was a warm day, she was dressed in several layers of clothes, but she did not seem bothered by this. The clothes all had holes in them and nothing matched. They didn't look like the clothes his own mother bought at the fashionable stores; they never had holes in them. The woman kept muttering and cackling to herself. She seemed to be intently looking for something on the ground, prowling a bit like a cat going for a mouse hunt. She noticed a can in the gutter of the street. She seemed pleased to find it and put it in her bag. Then in a container in front of a house, she discovered a whole bunch of cans and bottles. One by one, she put them into the bag which grew bigger and bigger. There were a couple of small holes in the bag and it looked as though cans and bottles might burst through. Siddhi, curious about what she was doing, ran up to her. "Why are you putting those cans and bottles in the bag?" She looked at him and cackled. "Did the sky send you to speak to me, little boy? Don't you know that I am unspeakable? What makes you dare to speak to me, little boy?" "I'm sorry, I did not mean to offend you, but your behavior is strange and I do not understand it. I just want to know why you are picking up cans and bottles." "Ah, a shrewd one, aren't you, boy, to deign to ask me, the Queen of the Streets, such silly questions. And I suppose I must deign to answer your silly, silly questions. You see, I pick up these cans and bottles to take them to the store. They give me a nickel here, a dime there, until I have enough nickels and dimes to make a few dollars, then with the few dollars I make, I purchase a bottle that is full, yes, full of nice sweet wine, and go into a quiet alleyway or join my coven underneath a bridge. Then we sing and have a party, until someone else can get another bottle." "But why do you wear all those clothes with holes in them? They all look like they've been in the attic for years and moths have eaten them. In my home, we would throw such clothes away." "And so I find them, boy. The clothes you rich ones throw away, my kind find in your garbage. We live on your garbage. We eat your garbage. And we drink it away, away across the blue skies to Never-Ever Land." "I don't understand. Why don't you just go to the store and buy yourself some nice clothes." "Ah, so full of questions are you, my little shrewd rat boy. Doesn't your mother tell you not to talk to strangers? You wonder, don't you, why don't I just go buy fine new clothes like boys like you in neighborhoods like this buy every day of the year. Ah, you probably have a new set of clothes every day then throw them away at the end of the day, little richie boy, you. And you probably wonder why do I need to eat from your garbage when I could just go out sit in a nice restaurant, that is, if they'd let me in, and buy a nice fat juicy well-cooked hamburger with all the toppings on it. Oh, how my poor tummy growls and suffers just thinking about it; that is why I need that sweet wine, to kill that nasty, nasty hunger, and hunger no more, hunger no more, swept away like sewage in the gutter after a big rain." "I give up, your riddles baffle me, why don't you go and buy yourself something nice to eat?" "You still don't get it yet, silly boy, you poor innocent one, unexposed to the weary ills of this nasty, nasty world. I am poor, that is why, poor as a rat in an alleyway full of garbage." "Poor? I don't know what that means." "Ah, they don't teach you that in your fancy nice school where you go to with nice clothes and get to eat nice food. Poor is when you don't have money to buy any of those things." "But why doesn't someone give you money? Surely there is no need for you to go on like this, is there?" "Why? Because no one cares! No one gives a shit about an old woman like me who has to peck through garbage to stay alive day by day. Don't you know I've tried, God knows, I've tried, I've begged and begged, but no one cares. Everybody wants all the money for themselves. Don't you have any idea how hard I've tried. I've tried to make an honest wage with an honest living, but do you think anyone is going to hire one so crazy as myself? I've even stolen a few things in my lifetime, and for this I have no shame and why not? After all, the rich ones steal from us all the time, do they not? But no one cares. Hell with it, why am I wasting my time on you, you don't even know what I'm talking about, do you?" "I feel bad for you. I wish I could do something to help you." Siddhi reached into his pocket and pulled out some change from his weekly allowance. "Here, I hope you can buy some clothes with it." The woman grabbed it quickly like a bird pecking at seed. "Goddess bless you, little one, Goddess bless you," she whispered greedily. She suddenly turned and wandered away, muttering to herself with her big bag of cans and bottles tinkling. This was Siddhi's first exposure to poverty. Until then, he always thought everyone was well off. This was not right, he thought, that ones like himself should have everything they need while ones like that woman suffer so greatly. After his initial introduction to poverty, Siddhi started noting signs of it everywhere hidden in the nooks and crannies of the society he lived in. Although he lived in a fine neighborhood, where people had big houses and nice cars, he noticed that there were neighborhoods where people did not live so well. In these neighborhoods, people hung around listlessly on their front steps and looked at him somewhat angrily, as though they were bitter about his being so well-off, almost as if they were blaming him for their misfortune. Windows were shattered and often boarded up. There were grates around store windows here. The cars they drove were bashed up and were noisy with a lot of smoke coming out of the mufflers. Many of them rode buses and the buses were crowded. He once took one of the buses out of curiosity and the passengers, mostly black and hispanic, looked so weary. There was a lot of trash in the streets. There was a hispanic woman who came over to his house to do the cleaning and cooking. His mother never did cleaning and cooking; she was always having social gatherings with other women who also had hired help doing cleaning and cooking. There was also a black man who came out to tend to the yard and fix things around the house. Siddhi thought it was strange that his parents never did any of that work. He wondered if they were slaves. Whenever he asked his parents about it, they made light of it. "Oh, that's just the way those people like to live." Or: "Just be glad you won't be living like that when you grow up." They would try to change the subject and ask him how he was doing in school, was he making any friends yet, and so on. Siddhi thought a lot about this and something felt wrong about all this. It did not seem right that his parents and himself were so well-off while these other people were suffering so much. This did not make life fair. It was as if he were brought up in some kind of Disneyworld, but here were these cracks and gashes in the facade his parents and teachers were trying to cover up. It was not right that they were so happy while these other people were so sad. And then there were things like illness and death. They seemed to make so light of death on television shows, people kept getting shot so much, but it was like they were playing a game of it. He knew he got sick sometimes, and there was always the possibility he could get so sick he could die. But he was young and usually bounced back the next day. But what about when he got older and didn't bounce back so readily? All around, he noticed old people staggering down the streets, many of them also very poor. Their limbs did not work very well, and they were always coughing and gasping. He noticed that at the end of days, how his parents seemed bent over. There were lines in their face and they always seemed worried about a lot of things. They seemed to be pretending to be happy, but he could tell it was like a mask they were putting on, especially when friends came around. He noticed streaks of grey in their hair and how their tummies bulged. He also noticed how his mother seemed to be using more make-up than she used to, even though she was still quite pretty. They told him he was going to grow up and then he "would understand" about some of the things he asked about. But he was seeing a lot more than what they were telling him about. They did not want him to know about death and illness and old age and poverty, but it was very clear to him that life was not all pretty and happy. He was going to get old. He was going to get ill. He was going to die. The idea that he would die was so scary. The idea that he would cease to be alive, that he would lay still and stiff, that he would be buried under the ground, it was all so horrible. It could be a very slow process. Or he could become poor and live like those people in those awful neighborhoods. Is this all there is to life?, he pondered. Is there anything after death? This physical existence was so limited, so fraught with danger, and it was all going to end. Both himself and all those around him, they were all going to be no longer sooner or later. Surely, there must be more to life than all this suffering. Siddhi determined that his existence must have some kind of purpose. This whole thing must had come into existence for some reason. His educators told him it all came into existence accidentally. There was a Big Bang and the universe exploded into being. Life just happened to form from chemicals bouncing around and knocking into one another. The right combinations occurred and then it just occurred. Evolution was just some vague struggle for existence. None of this felt right to Siddhi. Some gut feeling told him there was more to life than that. He looked at the birds that flew so free. They seemed to fly just for the joy of it. Water flowed because it took joy in the act of flowing. Flowers in the spring took delight in the act of opening up. His peers and himself were so happy as they played. Couples walking down the streets seemed so pleased to have each other in their arms. They would look into each other's eyes and smile. Food was so delicious to eat and water tasted so good going down one's throat when you were thirsty on a hot day from playing so hard on a summer's day. The grass was so beautifully green as it grew and grew. Surely the plants had some form of consciousness as they arose from the seed state and sprouted. Surely the water was as aware of its flowing as he and his peers were when they tossed a ball from one to the other. And yet death, disease, war, poverty always lingered just over the horizon. The birds so happy and free would lay down in the fields and die. A dam would put a halt to the flowing of the water. It would cease to rain and the grass would turn grey and wilt. The flowers all eventually wilted from their all too short lives. The happy young couples would grow old and wind up in nursing homes, wondering where it all went. If Siddhi ate too much and too fast he would find himself throwing up over the toilet bowl, the food one sickly acidic mess spewed out into the blotchy waters. Siddhi felt as if he were privy to some kind of terrible secret. The babies who cooed so happily in their cribs would wind up cripppled andlimping down the streets begging for spare change. No matter what the pleasure, there was misery to end it all. People killed one another in wars; animals fought to the death over a piece of meat or for a chance to mate with the female in heat. All these live people walking around going about their lives were just walking dead, soon to be corpses. It was not long after this that Siddhi was to encounter the Christians. He was approached by people who claimed to be "born again". They told him stories about a holy man named Jesus, who died for all people's sins. This man told them not to commit "sins". As far as Siddhi could make it, "sins" were anything which caused pleasure. They were particularly adamant about something called "sex" but Siddhi was still yet young to quite understand what that was. But, the way they made it sound, anything which one enjoyed too much was sinful. His parents tried to discourage him from getting too serious about this. His mother explained to him that there were many ways of worshipping the God, and that people even believed in Goddesses. His father, a Jewish atheist, said it was all "a bunch of crap" and he should "stay the hell away" from people like that. Nevertheless, Siddhi was curious about people like that and their odd beliefs. There seemed to be so many of them and there was a church on virtually every street corner. What they spoke of gave him a feeling of hope, that there was indeed a higher purpose, that there was something that lived on after death, and there was some Supreme Being who seemed to care about the fate of creatures on this world. This Supreme Being loved all people and was so kind as to give them Jesus who died for their sins. He was such a holy man in his time, but people couldn‟t understand what he was talking about and this made them suspicious of him. He was cruelly put to death by being nailed on a cross. But in the end, he rose from the dead and came back in a spirit form. This was so that others could also rise from the dead and become reborn. So Siddhi decided to give this thing a try. He started going to Bible study groups and going to Sunday morning services to hear sermons about this religion. He was very diligent about this and made sure that he didn't sin, even though he was never sure what this was. He would pray and talk to God. He was sure that God talked back to him and assured him he was here for some higher purpose. Perhaps he had some holy mission and he would grow up to be a holy man. But, as he listened more to these people, something began to bother him. This God, especially the God of the Old Testament, was apparently a very vengeful old man, like a vicious tyrant who actually wiped out everybody on the face of the planet during the time of Noah's flood. He destroyed Sodem and Gommorah because they were sinning too much. Last but not least he would cast sinners into eternal hell, a permanent torture chamber. That did not sound very nice. He also could not figure out why this God suddenly become a compassionate, forgiving being in the New Testament, almost as if he had went through a major personality alteration. Surely a compassionate loving God would not do this, he considered. Not even if they were saved by this man Jesus. Does that mean that all people who did not believe in this God or did not pay homage to this Jesus were all going to suffer in eternal hell? No, that does not seem right at all. Also, he was bothered by the way these Christians considered themselves so superior to others who did not believe as they did. They seemed so smug that they were going to go to eternal Heaven and be given wings like Angels. They even seemed to have an attitude that it would serve the others right that they were so stupid to wind up in hell. This bugged Siddhi so much he decided to attempt an experiment. He stopped going to the Bible Studies groups and going to church. He prayed to this God to go ahead and strike him dead for being a sinner. He did things that he considered to be sinful. He spit on the Bible. Then he waited to see what would happen. But nothing happened. No bolt of lightning hit him. Nothing bad happened to him. He thus considered, with some relief, that this God did not exist. He became a kind of atheist, believing in no God. He became suspicious of religions in general. Yet he considered there was some higher purpose, but he could not quite define what it was. Siddhi then studied the sciences. There was a certain neatness with which the sciences explained things. Everything that happened had a very precise cause to it. If one thing happened, another thing happened to cause it. Then that thing went on to cause something else. C came right after B which came after A. But what happened to cause A? Z? Did it all go in some kind of cycle? Perhaps one cause gave rise to another effect. This effect went on to cause the original cause. And yet the sciences said that kind of perpetual motion was a physical impossibility. Like a huge clockwork mechanism, the universe was slowly running out of energy. Yet the scientists said that matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. There were some odd contradictions here that Siddhi could not quite figure out. But the sciences and the scientists seemed to have such a good foundation for everything they spoke of. Empiricism seemed very good and logical to him. Siddhi liked the way scientists could construct an experiment to prove the veracity of what they spoke of. Surely this was better than the religions just making up stories about gods and goddesses that run the universe; after his experience with the Christians, this all seemed very hokey to him. What he liked about the scientists was they could at least prove what they were talking about. And if they had a hypothesis they set about conducting an experiment to prove it; they did not just believe it just because they thought it up. This made Siddhi consider whether he would want to be a scientist when he grew up. It was fascinating to know the hidden causes behind things. He liked knowing what causes wind to blow and water to flow. It all had something to do with warm air interacting with cold air. Warm air is lighter and rises, while cold air is heavier and falls to the ground. That is why it is so windy around the time of spring, when temperatures tended to change and flow in cycles around each other. Water flowed downhill due to a force called gravity. Gravity was a major force in the universe. That explained a lot of things, like why we stayed fastened to the earth and did not fly off. But where did gravity come from? Chemical combinations happened the way they did due to electrons which have a negative charge and protons which have a positive charge. Atoms with a positive charge were drawn to atoms with a negative charge. That's what made different compounds and chemical cominations. It caused fire to burn because the combination of oxygen with carbon created a lot of energy. Whereas the sun burned because of a thing called nuclear energy; the atoms were packed so tightly they broke apart in separate components and released energy from the nucleus.. The scientists did not seem so clear on what makes life and the awareness which inhabits life. They had some ideas, but they seemed kind of vague. They theorized that life arose from a very complicated series of chemical combinations. Yet they were unable to re-create the series of chemical combinations which made a simple cell. Yes, they could recreate conditions on primitive earth and found very simple organic compounds would arise. But this was nowhere near the complexity of even a virus. Somehow this bothered Siddhi. Even their definition of life was a bit unclear and did not seem to fit all cases. This made Siddhi consider whether he would like to be a biologist or even a biochemist to study the intricacies of this thing, because life was the most amazing thing to have occurred in the universe. For example, he came up with a hypothesis that fire was alive, if you considered the standard definition of what life is. It breathed oxygen just like animals do and died for like of air. It ate carbon and do not animals and plants eat carbon-based compounds as well? It could reproduce by splitting off from itself; a flame could catch on another log to create an entirely new fire. It grew bigger when it had more carbon to burn. It created waste products in the form of carbon dioxide and smoke, as well as consumed carbon which took on a different form. By all definitions, fire was a very crude lifeform, even a kind of animal because it was very dynamic and moved. Another thing he considered was whether crystals were a form of life. Crystals, too, grew from the proper compounds which could be considered a kind of food. They could split in two, thus reproducing. Perhaps crystals were one of the first forms of life. Crystals had an almost plant-like quality in the way they stayed rooted to the same place. He asked his science teacher about this and he said that this is an impossibility, fire and crystals are not alive at all, they are inorganic and lifeless. They have no drive to survive. Siddhi asked how do you know that? He was told that he was just a dumb boy who was growing up. He should quit imagining such ridiculous ideas. Yet Siddhi kept asking these questions. Siddhi was quite shocked on the day that he read in a science book about astronomy that the sun would only continue burning for a few more billion years, then it would basically explode destroying this earth and the other planets of the solar system. Up to then, he assumed the sun was going to last forever, that the sun was the most stable thing in the sky. It would rise and fall, marking the passing of days. The earth would circle the sun forever, marking the passing of seasons and years. And now, in just a few billion years, this was all destined to end! There would be no more earth, no more human race, no more plants and animals which inhabited this unique planet in the universe. The whole planet would be naught but a molten rock. Siddhi felt very sad about this. Not only do individuals die, but the whole human species would die. Even the whole world would die and all its myriad lifeforms! It was one thing to consider that you yourself would die, but now it looked like there would be no future to leave a part of yourself toward. What good are all these magnificent accomplishments of humans if we were ultimately destined to be broiled alive by the sun dying out, the sun which gave life to all of us, the closest immediate physical entity equivalent to a god? Siddhi had considered that if he himself must die, then surely he could give his existence some negligible meaning by inventing or creating something he could leave behind to future generations. Then his name would wind up in history books as some great man who left something behind. He liked the idea of becoming famous, to be revered on the level of Leonardo Di Vinci, Galileo, Einstein, Gutenberg, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and all those other great men whose lives he read about in school. This would give his life a higher purpose. But now he discovered that even this would be no more in the long run. All of that would be gone in a few billion years. To us and our limited lives, billions of years seemed to be quite a ways off, but from the perspective of eternity, these billions of years were mere seconds. It is as if the entire universe were just a flash in the bucket. To make this whole thing even more frightening, Siddhi went on to discover that the universe itself was ultimately going to fizzle out of existence. All the stars he saw in the sky at night were remote suns that would wind up just like our own sun. One by one, like a macrocosmic blackout, they would blink out of existence to be replaced by eternal darkness. Any intelligent creatures dependent likewise on these suns would also die out to be no more, not even their history preserved. The scientists called this "heat death", where all the matter and energy would steadily spread out into the vastness of infinity, so dispersed that no force would be powerful enough to bring it all back to life again, like a cube of salt being equally dissolved into equal parts in a vast glass of water. And there was nothing we as intelligent creatures could do to prevent this. Oh, there were ways we could conceivably hold it off. We could migrate off this planet while our sun goes nova and move to stars that had a few more billion years with planets compatible to our own. But then those stars would die and we would have to find another star to migrate to, but this time there would be very few stars left. Perhaps we could manage to live in space, but meanwhile our energy would be less and less. Maybe we could manage to hibernate for billions of years at a time to conserve energy. Perhaps we could make ourselves virtual beings in computers to forestall the inevitable. But all machines wear down and are dependent on energy. This was a terrible, terrible thing to Siddhi. For days, he could not play. He could not eat. What was the point of all this if it was destined to all be gone? He wondered if he should just end his life then and there. But it was going to end sooner or later. He should set out to find out as much about this thing as he could. But then the question was what happened at the beginning of it all? Siddhi went on a quest to find out about this. There was one proposal that the universe was constantly created and destroyed in a kind of perpetual motion called the “steady state theory”, but this theory had been put aside. The most standard theory was the universe began at a single pinpoint in time and space. Or perhaps there was neither time nor space at this stage; it was something rather beyond all of that, but they didn‟t know what it was. It was like there was some kind of disturbance that caused this pinpoint to arise. However, what it was that was that did this was beyond anything the scientists could observe, extrapolate, or prove; at this stage, they could only speculate, make guesses. There was no way to simulate this in a laboratory. This was all before matter came into existence, before any kinds of positive and negative particles, before gravity, or the four major forces. There was no one around to see whatever it was that actually happened, so it was all a matter of guessing. And it all happened in merely trillionths of seconds, so they say. A few seconds before light came into being, energy came to existence, but no matter came into existence. It was just some mysterious force which gave rise to the other forces. It somehow diverged into positive, negative, and neutral. It split into gravity, weak nuclear, strong nuclear, and electromagnetic. All the stuff in the universe was supposedly packed in a little ball you could hold in your hand! This is weird! It wasn't until millions of years later that energy slowly cooled down enough to become bits of material particles. Then another long time period occurred in which positive and negative particles became drawn to one another – and we have the very simplest atoms. It wasn‟t until a similarly lengthy period had passed before we finally have mostly hydrogen with a bit of helium mixed in. Meanwhile the little handful had grown into an infant universe millions of light years big! From all that, vast packets of gas became attracted in the cosmic swirl. These separate packets became galaxies. As the galaxies swirled away from the origin point, stars winked into existence one by one. An interval of billions of years passed, and planets developed around more evolved stellar systems. On just a few of these stellar systems with the requisite compounds, life came into existence. Finally creatures as intelligent as Siddhi came into existence to ask questions about where it all came from. This was all very interesting. However, the confusing thing is just what was it that was there before all of this. What was it there beyond this universe that came into existence? Are there other universes? Did other universes start up and end before this one? Perhaps it was some kind of perpetual motion – the very thing science says is impossible! One idea Siddhi speculated that perhaps there were more primitive universes before this, then each successive universe became more evolved, complex and approaching some kind of unattainable “perfection”. There is no answer here, just guesses. Siddhi went so far to wonder if these theories were just as mythological as the idea once upon a time some old angry man with a beard made it all up in a week, then looked over it all, proclaiming, “It is good!” One thing that Siddhi noticed some scientists saying is that the past forces which make up the universe are very stable. It this forces had been just a certain way off, there would had been no galaxies, no stars, no planets, and no lifeforms. It was odd that it had worked out like this. Siddhi was a bit too young to understand the full implications of this, but this made him considered whether there was some kind of intelligence in the universe driving it to be in such a way. However, the average scientists would not admit that there was any kind of consciousness or intelligence within the universe. As far as they were concerned, it was all some sort of accident, just like tossing dice a certain way. Siddhi wondered if there was something more to it than that. Siddhi also wondered if perhaps there had been other universes prior to this one. There were some scientists who considered that this universe would somehow shrink back into itself and start all over again. Perhaps there were were an infinite number of universes expanding and shrinking forever and ever. The more Siddhi looked into this problem, the more it felt thare was a bug in the whole gimmick the scientists were coming up with. Why did light always travel at 186,000 miles a second, never more, never less? In a dumb, random universe, constants would simply not exist! Just this fact felt strange, the fact that the speed of light was a steady constant. If, as the scientists tended to maintain, this whole thing were a huge accident that just happened to produce us thinking creatures to ask questions about it, doesn't it seem strange that light would travel just so at a certain speed? It is practically as though it were obeying some cosmic speed limit! Or take something like Planck's Constant. Just the fact that there is a constant there doesn't seem right in an accidental universe. Of course, we may be taking these constants from our limited studies in this particular corner of the universe, and they are something else over in some end of the universe where we haven't yet been. Why is it that when you throw up a heavy weight, it always falls down! Why doesn't it just hang up there or even fly away to some distant corner of the universe where maybe the laws are different. And then there's the embarrassing fact that the scientists have yet to grapple with the issue of life. Life is a very deliberate process! It seeks to reproduce and survive at all costs in the face of all kinds of extraordinary obstacles such as lack of oxygen, extreme heat and cold, lack of nutrients, water, and love. Why would life bother to survive in such a formidable environment as the deserted wastes of Antarctica with temperatures going 100 below, winds up to 200 miles an hour, and virtually no water. Yet there are bacteria that can survive in such terrains and a few scientists suspect that bacterial spores can survive in outer space! Surely something that was the result of an accidental process would not even bother and fizzle out at the outset. Yet life is said to have arisen on this planet 3.5 billion years ago, only a billion years after it molded together from magma. Conditions on this planet then were quite alien and hostile, about as bad as Antarctica or Mars. Also, try as though they might, scientists have not synthesized a complete living organism. They may had come up with bits and pieces of it - only through very elaborate and deliberate laboratory synthesis. We always hear that story about the guy who managed to conjure up a few amino acids and hydrocarbons in his bathtub with an electric rod imitating lightning striking the water in ancient times. But, that's a long way off from a living breathing cell! Siddhi was only eleven years old and he started thinking about these things. When he asked grownups about these things, they simply told him he should go out and play. There was plenty of time for this kind of thinking later when he was grownup and in college. It was around this time that Siddhi began to get very strange feelings. He felt oddly emotional. He would tend to get peculiar feelings about certain boys and girls in his classes. He would have feelings of admiration, worship, love, or simply an attraction which drew him to them. He could not understand these feelings, but they were there. There was a particular girl in his class he liked to look at. He tended to give her little presents or pass notes to her. He would ask her if she would like to walk home with him. He did not understand it, but he liked to be around her. He would get certain nice feelings between his legs. He noticed his groin hardened when he put a heavy weight on it or lay on his tummy. He liked this feeling. At morning time, he would wake up and his penis would be throbbing hard. With other boys, he compared the size of his penis when it was hard. They would make jokes about it and sometimes they would have sword fights with their erect penises. The older boys seemed to know about something the younger boys didn't. It felt good to be naked and sometimes they would wrestle with each other that way. One day, one of the boys told him that girls didn't have anything between their legs. Instead of erect muscles, they had wet holes. He told him that older boys put their hard penises inside those wet holes and it supposed to feel really good. For some reason, this made Siddhi very excited. He and the other boys talked about this, wondering what it was like. They would pass around pictures of older women from x-rated magazines, pictures that showed them displaying their holes. The pictures of the breasts were exciting, especially the ones where the nipples were erect. He liked to look at their asses, too. These pictures would made him breathe restlessly and his penis would get throbbing hard. At nighttime, he would have dreams about naked girls, sometimes older girls he knew. These dreams were very fascinating. He would wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and his bedsheets would be wet from some sticky stuff around the tip of his penis. He didn't know what this was, but it felt very good. He noticed how the girls in his classes were starting to wear makeup and dress up. They were starting to grow breasts and this was exciting. They were like flowers opening up in spring, attracting boys around them like bees seeking honey. There was one girl with long dark auburn tresses whose company he kept seeking, but she kept putting him off. One time, just as an experiment, Siddhi stripped naked and started playing with his penis. He noticed there was a certain spot just under the tip where it felt particularly good to rub his fingers up and down. He kept rubbing in this spot. The more he did it, the more ecstatic he felt. He rubbed it harder and faster. As he rubbed, digging his fingers into the sensitive skin, almost as a matter of course, he started thinking about that girl with auburn tresses. He imagined her unclothed and in the bed with him. Her legs were spread and her fingers were pulling open her wet hole, inviting him to put his throbbing penis in there. He did so and started sliding it in and out. Suddenly, an inexpicably good feeling practically knocked the daylights out of him. His penis shot silver spurts all over his chest. Exhausted from the peak of the experience, Siddhi lay back, amazed that anything could feel that good. Siddhi thus discovered sex. Siddhi now had a new drive in life. His primary intention was to get laid. This desire burned within him day and night. He thought about girls. He lusted after them. He wanted to be with them. No longer content to be alone, he sought their company. He fantasized about them and frequently masturbated imagining being with them. Siddhi was in heat. With this new drive, he realized he had to play certain games. He had to become popular, because popularity was obviously a quality which the girls sought as a condition for being with boys. The unpopular boys did not make it with them. This was new to Siddhi, because it was foreign to his true nature as a rather introspective loner. It caused him a lot of anxiety because he did not know the first thing about how to be popular. Now he was aware that this was very important to people to a degree he had never been aware of before. He found he had to study the behavior of his peers to figure this out. This was obviously not something they were teaching in the schools, except in a very roundabout way. There were a number of ways to be popular, Siddhi observed. One could be a good athlete; certain girls seemed to like the jocks. This did not seem to be a way for Siddhi, for Siddhi was very poor at athletics. Or one could be somewhat loud and dominating, which was not the way Siddhi was either, though he attempted to force this quality. One could be a kind of comedian, that seemed to get attention but not the kind of attention he wanted from the girls. It seemed to be important to be imitative of one's peers. It was important to wear the same clothes, wear the same hairstyles, wear the same kind of shoes. It was important to adopt the same mannerisms. At the same time, it helped to do something that was a bit different, that made one stand out from the crowd. But not too much, or one would be outcase. One thing that was especially important was to defy one's elders and the teachers who were controlling their lives. It was important to grow out of the child role they had their generation locked into and thumb their nose at the grownups. In order to do this, one had to be sneaky. It was important to see how much one could get away with. The ones who got away with the most were especially admired. They became popular and certain types of girls liked them. One of the first things one had to do was smoke cigarettes; this was an activity which made one seem tough, a rebel. When Siddhi first tried to smoke cigarettes, it made him cough a lot and made him dizzy. He wondered how anybody could get anything out of this. However, as he practiced this, he got the hang of it and even began to find it a somewhat compulsive activity. Later on, he was puffing away with the best of them. It was considered cool to steal packets of cigarettes from one's parents or from stores. Another thing that was cool was to do odd things to one's hair and general appearance. One had to dye one's hair in unusual colors and pierce one's ears, lips, and nose. Raggedy clothes in wild colors were useful. These were things that got attention. And some of that attention came from the girls. Using a lot of four-letter words was very important here. One had to constantly spew out a lot of sexually loaded language. This was important to seem tough to the guys and turn on the girls. It was important to get drunk. One had to drink alot on weekends at parties thrown at places where grownups weren't around. This made Siddhi feel dizzy and made his head spin, but he liked the sensation of floating and being out of control. The more out of control you could get the more cool you were. If you could get a girl drunk with you, the greater the possibility of getting into her pants. With alcohol, came drugs. First there was pot, which Siddhi liked a lot; he liked the spacy feeling it gave him. It also made him more horny and more daring with approaching the girls. But then came the more heavy duty drugs, the uppers and downers, the mind-twisting psychedelics, LSD, MDA, ecstasy. It was considered very hip to do these drugs. The more grownups lectured against them, the greater the incentive to be the first kid on your block to do them. Certain kinds of music became important as a way of expressing one's uniqueness. It was important to be getting into the same music as the other kids and yet be the first to discover a new artist. The music had to be weird, wild, and wonderful. It gave a considerable boost to one's popularity to actually be a musician who played these popular tirades. Siddhi, however, was not a particularly good musician, though he did try to play a few chords on a guitar. But music gave one an identity. One handle Siddhi found he could use was a certain rebellious offbeat intellectuality. Although his peers were anti-intellectual in general, Siddhi found he could get an audience consisting at least partially of offbeat intellectual girls by being wacko in general. He adopted this persona particularly when stoned and drunk. He found he could get people to goof on it. Thus Siddhi found he had a lot to learn in this strange school of becoming popular. Yet there was a part of him that knew this was just a game. However, he had to approach this as though it were not a game, as though it were a very real thing. It was very confusing and distorted his sense of identity. Often, he was not sure who he really was anymore. There was a particular girl Siddhi fell in love with. She had long auburn hair and he was drawn to her. She had a cute giggle and he often flirted with her. They began to take long walks and they would talk about the meaning of life together. Life was a strange thing they had ahead of them and neither of them was quite sure how to approach it. They would sit in parks in concealed spots by the ponds and hold hands. They would pass a joint back and forth, and laugh at absurd jokes they made together. She liked an odd kind of beat poetry and they would read it aloud together. Sometimes they would go to poetry reading sessions. They would get stoned and sing the poetry in odd tunes in peculiar rhythms. He would pound on a empty tin can while she read the poetry. Or they would hang out in coffee shops, drinking cup after cup of expresso, writing poetry back and forth to one another. In poetry they lived, breathed, and had their being. Poetry was the basis for their relationship. Although Siddhi was not quite as turned on to poetry as she was, he went along with it to win her affection. Finally, they went from the stage of holding hands to kissing. Then in dark concealed places, they would tentatively feel one another's bodies beneath their clothes. He would lick her nipples while she breathed rather rapidly. Then they would tittilate one another's sexual parts. One night, when they were especially high from smoking dope, they decided to fuck. She was very worried about accidentally getting pregnant at an early age, so he was careful to pull out quickly when he was ready to spurt. Later, they kept a rubber handy for these special occasions. While they fucked, they made up poetry to go with it. Siddhi was utterly happy to be with her. They made a good couple, and if they did not specifically want to be together forever, they knew they wanted to be together indefinitely. In their togetherness, they found some mutual purpose for their existence. However, as time went by, she began to grow more distant from him. A certain boredom crept gradually into their relationship like a vine strangling a rose bush. Their poetry grew flat and their fucking became simply a habitual thing to do like going to the movies on a Saturday night. Their relationship became a thing to take for granted. She did not touch him as much. She did not smile or giggle at remarks he made anymore. There were nights when she said she didn't feel much in the mood for fucking, maybe they could do something else. Finally she told him she didn't think they should be together so much, life had so much to offer, why be limited to one person? But he wanted to cling to her and demanded to know why she felt that way. They had arguments and parted from one another in a huff, without kissing goodbye. One day, when they hadn't seen each other in a while, he discovered her walking arm in arm down the street with another guy. He was somewhat taller and stronger physically than Siddhi was. He did not look like someone who appreciated poetry, more like a tough street hood. She was clinging tightly to him, gazing at him as though she worshipped him, laughing and giggling at everything he said. She brushed curtly past Siddhi, standing in shock, like she never had known him at all. It was at that moment that Siddhi discovered the pain of separation and rejection. Siddhi became very different after this experience. Or it may be more accurate to say that he became very indifferent. He was depressed, deeply depressed. He felt it was impossible to count on anybody to care for him, to be there for him. He could never trust anyone. If they said they liked him or cared about him, it was probably for some ulterior motive of their own. Perhaps, in actuality, they were snickering behind his back, playing games with him. He lost all interest in being popular and decided he did not like people at all. He felt like he hated people, he resented being a member of the human species. He chose to be a loner. He would not go out with people, he chose to fast during lunch hour, instead sitting by himself in the ball field, hidden away behind trees, smoking cigarettes and being resentful in general. He dressed down in raggedy clothes and hung out with other guys who were loners. They went around and set fires to cars, smashing in windows, slashing tires, breaking bottles all over the streets, painting nasty graffiti on billboards. They would drink cheap wine and make pigs out of themselves. He would get laid with the most disgusting sluts in the school, also loners in their own way. He was an outcast and did not give a fuck who he fucked. All they were were holes to poke his prick into, not much better than jerking off. He ceased to make any effort to get good grades. He would sneer at the teachers from the back of the class. He would fart when called upon to answer a question and refuse to say anything. He would fall asleep in the class and burn his books. He would make "F" after "F". He even had to stay back a year, and this did not bother him. It was all a stupid game to him. His parents and the educational authorities could not make out what to do with him. Once he was such a good boy, such a model student. Now he was so rude and apathetic. Perhaps this was the onset of a mental illness?, they considered. They came to the conclusion to send him to the school pyschiatrist. He would talk to him and give him pills to straighten him out. The school shrink had him forced to attend the session. Siddhi could care less one way or the other. As far as he was concerned, shrinks were jerks and probably all sexual perverts, otherwise they would never be shrinks. The shrink asked him what was wrong with him. "What makes you think there is something wrong with me? Perhaps it is you who have something wrong with you." "Would you like to clarify that for me?" "As far as I am concerned, you are only a peon of this society. This society is all fucked-up. This society can be nothing but fucked-up because it is made up of humans and humans are just fucked-up animals who only look after their own self-interests. This includes you. You are only here asking me these questions because the school pays you a lot of money for it and you only are interested in me to the extent that you are paid money for it. You have no intrinsic care for me and for this reason I despise you and all you stand for." The shrink was scribbling notes very rapidly on his little notebook on his knee. "Manic-depressive" was one of the words he wrote. Good, he now had Siddhi in a category; once he has him in a category, he will know how to treat him. "And how does this make you feel?" the shrink tonelessly asked him. "I have no feelings whatever. I do not care about you or what you think about me. Nor do you care about me. Why do you keep up this pretense?" Hmmm, if he could straighten this young fellow out, he could do well in the field of psychotherapy. At the end of the session, he said: "You are a very interesting young man and I should find it fascinating to see more of you." "Ah, you just want to suck my dick!" The psychiatrist was somewhat flustered at this, but kept a level head. He went on to say, "The school nurse will give you some pills that should calm you down and help you sleep better at night." "No thanks, my pot and downers work find for me, creepo!" Siddhi took one look at the bottle of pills. "Thorazine" they were labelled. Figured, the shinks were giving this shit out like candy and it sucked, he tried it and had a pretty shoddy kick. He sold it to some kids, told them it was some really good downer. Sidhi continued to see this psychiatrist. For one thing, he was forced to by the authorites; as a matter of the fact the police would drag him there if he didn't go. But, on the other hand, Siddhi rather enjoyed attempting to outwit this fuckhead, who was probably quite mentally ill himself and became a shrink to try to psychoanalyze himself. "How are you doing today, Sidhi?" the shrink asked, crossing his legs in anticipation, with his clipboard of notes on his knee, ready to be filled with diagrams of the mind of Siddhi. "Ah, I feel all fucked up!" "And why do you feel, as you say 'all fucked up'?" "Because there is absolutely no meaning to existence." "And what makes you think there is no meaning to existence?" "Excuse me, are you some kind of parrot?" "What makes you think I am a parrot?" "Because you imitate everything I say. This makes me wonder if you are some kind of machine who is programmed to ask questions by imitating whatever the patient says." "Interesting. Would you please elucidate this?" "It makes me wonder if perhaps you are a machine that is programmed to ask questions and this machine is given a salary by which it maintains its own existence. It is even possible that I myself am a machine who is programmed to tell some kind of sob story to you, the question-asking machine. I would even go on to say the entire human race is made up of machines who do one thing or another to maintain their existence. And ditto for all forms of life. We are all mindless machines. We have some illusion that we have minds, but that is part of our machinery, you see." "What you say is quite interesting, Siddhi. Perhaps this has something to do with why you think there is no meaning to our existence." "No, it is more than that." "And what do you think it is?" "You don't see it, do you? Are you aware that you are going to die?" "Yes, I am, I don't like it and I don't like to think about it. No one does. But we have to go on. We take whatever pleasure we can get and make do with that. Mortality is a basic fact of human existence. Unfornately, unlike other animsls, we are aware of that mortality, and we must live with that knowledge." "The problem is, we can take pleasure, but all pleasure is followed by pain. Where there is pleasure, there is also pain. Nothing lasts. You may have a wonderful relationship, but it is followed by breakup. Where there is life, there is also death. So what is the point of it all? Why bother to try?" "Do you think there is something wrong with pleasure, Siddhi?" "No, not at all, but it is only small compensation for our existence. All in all, there is far more pain. Look at the sheer numbers of people in poverty, people who are ill, people who are old, people who are homeless, people who are starving. What is the point of all this?" "Do you feel guilty when you masturbate, Siddhi?" "Give me a break, cocksucker!" "Have you ever wanted to make love to your mother?" "How about you? Have you ever fucked your mother? You look like a motherfucker to me!" "I am simply probing for the root of your depression." "And you attempt to reduce it to some kind of sexual frustration. I know about you Freudians and your silly obsession with sexual frustrations. Perhaps this was more true in the Victorian Age, when people were far more guilty and embarrassed about such thing. But now there are other things. “I can see right through what you are doing. You think I wanted to make it with my momma. Actually, I have gotten turned on by my mother, especially when she is wearing that see-thru nightie. She was a Hindu snake dancer, you know, that's what made my father so horny for her. But there's my Daddy, he got there first, so now I feel left out, I can't get in my mamma's panties. Boohoo! So now I feel like doing myself in, right, shrinkhead?" "I'm just trying to know you better." "It doesn't have anything to do with that stuff. Sex is not the thing that bugs me. Cool, it's there, I'll fuck whatever is there. But then I cum and I'm aching for more. There's no real end to it. It's like we are just machines that constantly fuck. And then what? We get old, we get sick, we die." "Well, our time is up, Siddhi. This is getting interesting. We'll really have to discuss this later. I'd like you to pay attention to your dreams; we may touch upon that subject next time." "Fuck your dreams, dickhead! I know what you want and you're not going to get it." "See you later, Siddhi." "Why can't you get it that life sucks, man! There is no point to any of this! We're just machines that evolved to live and die; that's all we are!" Siddhi walked out and slammed the door so hard the entire building trembled. He didn‟t know why he bothered to see this fartbrain. Siddhi had a strange dream one night after a long night of tossing and turning insomnia, broiling with hatred and resentment against the girl who had left him, who had claimed to love him. The dream occurred at the crack of dawn. An angel appeared at the foot of his bed and pulled on his foot in a teasing manner. "Go away," Siddhi said. "Can't you see that I am trying to sleep?" "No, no," said the angel. "You really must awaken. I am here to guide you to higher worlds, worlds where you do not experience the pains and woes you experience here." "Ah, that's all a bunch of claptrap. Bible school shit! What Catholic school did you go to anyway? And, really who the hell do you think you are?" "You must come along with me, Siddhi. For I am your guardian angel and I have come to lead the way." "That is so ridiculous! I cannot believe that you actually have the audacity to come here and claim to be my guardian angel! Besides, haven't you heard angels aren't real. So, poof, vanish back into the void from which you come! Go away, you‟re just dream!" Another creature manifested beside him. This creature was of a rather grotesque appearance and wore a lot of beads and bangles. He had a chain of skulls hanging around his neck and he was munching on a mouthful of gore all the while. "And now who are you? Don't tell me you are another angel, though you certainly do not look like any angel I have seen!" "Ah, Siddhi, you must arise for the new dawn of your life has come. I am your lucid luscious devil's advocate! You must come along!" "Please you guys, just let me get a few winks! Now I know neither of you are real, so begone!" "Well, we know when we are not wanted," sniffed the angry angel, "but rest assured, we will be back." They vanished into the background, dying in the light of the dawn. Then Siddhi, trying to get back to sleep again, found his feet rising off the bed. Then his hands blew up and floated above him like big balloons. "Now what?" he groaned, as he rose off the bed, his feet not quite touching the floor. He attempted to turn on the light switch, but his hand went right through the wall. This is getting weirder and weirder, did he take any odd and unusual drugs the night before, he tried to remember. Could it be some acid flashback? He started to float through the ceiling of the bedroom. Then seemingly instaneously he found himself above the roof of the house. Hey, this is pretty cool, he thought to himelf. He was somewhere up in the trees among the birds eagerly singing enthusiastically about the arrival of the dawn's early light. It was a bit hard to control this, but he found he had some power to direct where he wanted to go. He was bouncing up and down like a huge balloon ball, taking 50 foot leaps up and over the milkman trucks. He wondered if he was having some kind of dream. But there was an odd quality to it. He felt just as he would if he were wide awake, able to think clearly and such. Then, just was he was getting into it and trying to go out into space to see what the Planet Earth looked like, there was a sudden yank that pulled him backwards. He snapped awake back in his bed; it was still dawn outside. Man, that was some dream. And somehow it felt like more than a dream, like it was realer than reality. It was so vivid and he could remember every detail of it. Siddhi sat upon a high grassy hill beyond the outskirts of the town where he was growing up. He was sitting beneath a eucalyptus tree. Far below by a roaring spring, within barbed wire, were cows partaking of the beneficence of high grass, contented to be alive, utterly oblivious of the fact that ultimately they were to wind up as steaks on someone's dinner table. Siddhi was puffing away at what remained of a joint. Lately, dope caused him bouts of anxiety, an acute awareness of his mortality. It was almost as if he felt his heart could suddenly stop beating, he would forget how to breathe or his diaphram would cease to work, perhaps his brain would give out and he would be in a permanent coma in a hospital somewhere. He knew this was only an illusion, a delusion his head was feeding him with, probably arising from his extreme obsession with that fact of ultimate death. One lives for only a certain time only to have it all annihilated in the end. Was there really any reason to bother going on? Paradoxically, after about a half hour into the stoned experience, Siddhi would feel suddenly somewhat giggly like it was all a big joke. Maybe he was some joker disguised as this character "Siddhi". Those cows were so stupid, were they posing for him?, they looked his way nonchalantly chewing on their cuds. Perhaps the whole universe was a stage and he was some kind of cosmic actor. But then after an hour, Siddhi began to feel very stoned. He was stoned as a stone, giggling at what would ordinarily be such a dumb pun, but finding it outrageously funny from the pot he was smoking. He began to mellow out, gazing intently at the details of the colors on the plants and the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The warm wind felt so soothing and he could smell so many vegetative and animal smells in the air, from all the machinery-operated farms around in this area of rural California. As the pot-high began to wear off, his thinking patterns began to change to a deeper phase. What is the ultimate meaning of existence? Ah, but that was his favorite question – and how he enjoyed answering it. Sitting beneath the peculiar branches of the eucalyptus tree, Siddhi began to look deeply within himself for an answer to this most peculiarly perplexing perspective-altering question. Now what happens after we die? Do we go anywhere? Do we float out of our bodies to go to some different dimension beyond what we know in this world? If it is just some ultimate dead-end and we just snap off like a light being turned off, then yes, life does have no ultimate meaning. The only meaning that would be left would be whatever limited pleasures we can derive out of our limited lifespans. In that case, there would probably be no particular reason to observe any standards of ethics. Because beyond punishments set by legal systems, there is nothing to be concerned about beyond life, because there is nothing beyond life. As long as one can get away with it, one could rob, kill, rape, destroy, cheat. lie, or whatever one chooses. This line of thought seemed somewhat depressing to Siddhi, and he was not inclined to be that way, but unfortunately this was the way a great many people thought. Perhaps we could examine what happens to the body itself, look at this issue from a purely physical perspective. The body just rots away. Ultimately the strongest coffins erode, fall apart, and what remains of the body erodes and rots into the ground. Bugs, worms, bacteria eat it up. Roots of grass and trees grow downwards and suck up various life-sustaining materials to grow, sprout leaves and flowers, combine with sunshine to make hydrocarbons. In turn, birds eat up the worms and bugs. Then predators eat the birds. Or various animals eat the leaves, flowers, bark, and fruit of the plants. So it goes around and around in a big circle. The animals die, rot away in the ground, and then it starts all over again. Or the plants and animals wind up on somebody's dinner table. So in a strange way, you become reborn as a human; your own materials becoming ultimately integrated as the materials of another person – or, for that matter, any other being in the universe! Siddhi found it somewhat reassuring that things all flow into everything else. He examined this even more deeply as his thoughts grew clearer. Look at the nature of matter itself. What is it? Energy! That's what Einstein was talking about, right? So if matter is energy, then the crawling things that munch on the body are energy eating energy. The plants and animals that are all eating each other are all one form or the other of energy. So it is all energy flowing into energy! We could go even further and say that the entire universe is energy. Perhaps we could say that what is called "God" is a vast infinte pool of energy, ever manifesting into different forms. Therefore, God is everywhere at once in the form of energy. Siddhi found this very liberating. It implies that everything is connected to everything else. All is flowing into everything else. Thus all is one and there is no real death. Siddhi told the psychiatrist a bit about his experiences and revelations. They were very strange and he did not know who else to talk to. He figured that anyone else would think he was crazy to have such experiences. The shrink was programmed to think he was crazy anyway, so there was nothing in particular to lose. Since he was unusally asked about any dreams that stand out in his memory, he told the shrink about the dream about flying out of his body. "Hmmm, it sounds to me a bit like you have been having what is known as an „out of body experience‟. They are also known as „astral projections‟. I used to study about these topics in school out of curiosity. Not sure if there is much to it myself. It‟s probably just some kind of brain seizure, where the conscious mind is disconnected from the rest of the body. “There is a school of psychologists who make a scientific study of there so-called „out of body experiences‟. They are called „parapsychologists‟. They also study things like ESP which is mind-reading, psychokinesis which is mind over matter, communication with the dead, foreseeing the future, and the such. There may be something to all that; it may be a lot of hocus-pocus garbage and I have no doubt that a lot of it is sheer put-on by charlatans just wanting to get a lot of attention." He got up, put on his glasses, and looked at his bookshelf. There was one book he pulled out called "Out of Body Experiences" and something else called "Paranormal Studies". He handed these books to Siddhi. "Fascinating stuff, however, whether you consider it real or fantasy. Some of the experimentations seem to hold a lot of water. Although I must say that dreams about flying out of the body are quite common in all cultures throughout the world. The brain is capable of creating all kinds of elaborate experiences, so perhaps we should not put too much stock on them." "Your other experience which you described to me of the revelations which came to you while sitting under the eucalyptus tree is of another order altogether. This is known as a mystical experience. It sounds to me like you hit upon something which is known as pantheism; a few philosophers discussed that subject. Even Freud, who did not particular go for this kind of thing, called them 'oceanic experiences' and explained them as a kind of return to the womb, but that's Freud for you. "Here again, there is actually a body of psychologists who study this kind of thing. They call themselves 'transpersonal psychologists'. Who knows, you may get something out of that kind of thing." Again, he went to his bookshelf and pulled off a book called "Altered States of Consciousness" and dropped it on top of the growing stack of books in Siddhi's lap. "Here. This was one of the textbooks I had to puruse while I was in grad school. Shouldn't be too difficult reading for you; you seem to be a fairly intelligent young fellow. Read it and weep, maybe you'll find something that reminds you of some experiences you've had. Can't say much for its apparent support of hallucinogenic drugs for having altered states of consciousness, but from what I hear of you, you're quite experienced in that area." "I have an assignment for you. I want you to read these books and compare them to any experiences you may have had." Intrigued, Siddhi eagerly grabbed the books and left. He began reading that night and stayed up all night. He took long walks at night and thought about what was in these books. For days and then weeks, he did not stop reading until he was finished. He returned these books and got some more like them out of a local college library. He looked at the “occult” section in bookstores. These books opened up an entirely different dimension for him. Siddhi become a student of the esoteric. He studied the occult and the mystical. He ceased to hang around with vandals. He lost interest in doing drugs and drinking simply for kicks. His usage of pot and more intense hallucinogenics slacked off. He paid attention to what these drugs were doing to his state of consciousness. He noticed the more intense hallucinogenics like L.S.D. put him in powerful mystical states where he felt a profound unity with the universe. He noted as well he was far higher than his peers, who just thought it was a “cool thing to do”. However, at other times, he would find himself in extremely frightening hell worlds, where he would feel alienated and paranoid of everybody and everything around him. He would start thinking people were seeing right into his mind. He also saw all kinds of nastry thoughts in other people‟s heads, which made him feel like he was on some sort of “Planet of the Apes”, run by incredibly lowly evolved animals. He finally concluded the drugs would eventually make him clinically insane. Although they gave him glimpses of a higher level of consciousness, there was no way he could keep doing them forever. From what he studied, he noted that there were more natural ways to open up one's consciousness such as yoga and meditation - and their ultimate effects were permanent in the long run. He went to libraries and bookstores, looking up topics like "mysticism", "parapsychology", "esoteric", "occult", "transpersonal psychology", "Eastern religion", and the such. He found a few bookstores in his area that had entire sections set aside on this subject; apparently it was more popular than one might consider. He even found a bookstore or two that were completely dedicated to these sort of topics. For example, he would find rows and rows of books on Theosophy, or Eastern Religion, or the Occult. He picked out certain of these books and studied them intently. One thing he noted was a certain similarity among various mystics. All of them spoke of a kind of profound and ultimate unity of the universe, that basically it was all one. This certainly sounded like the experiences he was having. The great majority of them pointed to a kind of cycle of the universe where it manifests over and over again. They also spoke of some kind of Cosmic Intelligence which pervaded everything – although there were disagreements about the nature and motives of this Cosmic Intelligence. Siddhi discovered that even in the Western religions there were certain sects that were far more mystical and esoteric than the more common forms which regarded God as some ancient benevolent dictator, an old man with a long beard, who severely punished those who didn't go his way. For example, among the Jews, there were studies of the Kabbalah which corresponded to Tarot Cards. Or there was a branch of Christains called the "Gnostics" who perceived an underlying unity to the universe, relied more on internal mystical experience for knowledge, did not have priests, regarded men and women as equal, and believed in reincarnation like the Easterners. The Muslims had the "Sufis" who combined Western and Eastern religions in a kind of synthesis, and believed the ultimate knowledge is to know that we are God. One thing he noticed about the Western Trio, Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedism, is the mystics in these religions spoke in parables and highly coded language. They would not blatantly speak of us as being God, that was considered somewhat blasphemous. Instead they spoke of us being part of the “Body of God” or some such thing. This felt too “roundabout” to him. On the other hand, Siddhi found himself fascinated by Eastern texts such as the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhist Sutras, the Tao de Ching, and the I-Ching. These all said unequivocally that All is One. This hit home for him and found he discovered a certain deja vu in studying this kind of thing. He wondered if perhaps he had been some kind of Buddhist or Taoist in a previous lifetime. Perhaps he was somehow picking up after he left off after being rudely interrupted by an untimely death. Or genetically, he was partially Indian, so perhaps that would explain his affinity for these teachings. He would occasionally try to talk to someone about these things, but they either did not understand or tended to poke fun at him for getting into religion. He did note posted on bulletin boards in the universities all kinds of meditation, occult studies, and yoga groups. He made a note to himself to check these out to see if there was anything to them. One thing that bugged him is they often claimed to be the “best way”, the “most effective” way, or the “only way”. Siddhi was more inclined to believe they were all pointing to the same thing. There were only different strokes for different folks. As he studied these esoteric matters, he also became a better student again. These topics made him feel more like there was something profound to live for, so he became more energized in his general life, more positive in nature. He ceased to be a problem for the school authorities and they no longer required him to see the psychiatrist anymore. The psychiatrist's final words to him were: "Well, I always thought there was more to you than met the eye. I'm glad you found something to enable you to find a path for yourself. But one thing I might warn you, don't go overboard. Otherwise, you may have a little trouble getting your feet on the ground again." Siddhi decided to go a bit further than merely reading and studying about the occult, mystical, and esoteric. He began to go to various groups in the area. He noted that many of these required somewhat steep prices for the entry fee while promising to give instantaneous enlightenment in a relatively short time. Siddhi avoided such groups because it was obvious to him they were only out to make a lot of money off of gullible persons in search of a quick fix and they were probably charlatans. Unfortunately, there were quite a few of these. He sought out the ones which only asked a small contribution simply for maintainance of the space where they met. These ones did not advertise as widely and were actually a bit selective about who joined the group. They did not attempt to convince him that theirs was some only or best way to find truth, but merely invited him to try this method out and see what it did to him. Oddly, these groups were generally rather small, consisting of only a handful of people. But these were the ones he tended to feel more comfortable with. He joined a Zen meditation group. Every week they would gather and spend two hours sitting crosslegged facing a wall, getting up every half hour to take a five minute walking break. Nobody said a word or really explained to him how to meditate or what he was supposed to look for. After two hours, an old Zen teacher spoke of Zen to the group. He would often read from ancient Buddhist texts. Nobody asked questions; it was almost as if no one was allowed to ask questions. As an experiment, Siddhi would often ask questions from the point of view of a kind of Devil's advocate. He would ask a question like: "We sit here meditating every two hours. Why do we do that? What exactly is the point of all this sitting and facing a wall?" The old teacher would ask in turn: "Why do you feel so compelled to ask questions? Just who is it that wants to know?" "I do. We sit here and meditate, and yet you never explain to us how to meditate." "First of all, how do you know there is an "I" within you? If you examine yourself carefully, you will take note that there is no "I" there." "I don't know. I feel an "I" here. Certainly feels real to me!" "You may cling to that illusion, if you like. But I think if you examine yourself with more objectivity, you will see there is no "I" that is "doing" anything. The purpose of meditation, if it has a purpose, is to go beyond this notion of "doing" anything." "It sounds to me like you are saying the purpose of meditation is that there is no purpose." "There you go again. Now you are saying there is a purpose. There is no "reason" for anything!" "Are you saying that the universe is without cause?" "Why do you think there is a cause?" And so it would go on like that. Siddhi was the only one who asked questions. The other meditators seemed to snicker as if they had similarly asked such questions before, but gave up. His discourse with this old man was like some game of esoteric chess, a game which nobody could win. After the Zen teacher made his talk, they would all chant a short sutra, which seemed somewhat conventional to Siddhi, a bit like saying the "Lord's Prayer" in church or "Pledge of Allegience" to the flag. Sometimes he merely hummed the words of the sutra. Once he noted one particular woman never uttered the words; she only came a few times and left. Sometimes they would catch one another's eyes as if they were fellow conspirators in some kind of mystical tyranny. Then they chanted "AUM" three long times and bowed to one another with hands clasped together at the heart. After the group was over, they gathered socially for awhile, talking about relatively trifling things like a latest meeting or someone's vacation. Though this group was odd to Siddhi, he did attend for awhile to see what he could get out of it. He at least liked how the old man seemed very original, if sometimes repetitive and conventional, and did seem to talk from his own inner voice. Siddhi attended yoga classes. He learned how to do all kinds of bodily contortions and to bend his limbs into numerous abnormal postures. He learned how to sit up side down. He stretched his body against the wall, resembling the Human Fly. He could turn his head 360 degrees. He spend long periods of time, breathing deeply curled up into a perfect ball while standing on his hand. He writhed like a snake and slithered across the floor. These postures seemed to give him intense energy and an acute awareness of his body. He was oftentimes surprised at the kind of twists and turns his body was capable of. However, he was not quite sure if doing hatha yoga in itself gave him any kind of enlightenment. He noted that the majority of people who attended, mostly women, seemed to be going there simply to keep their bodies in shape, as though it were some kind of Eastern gym. He had to admit many of the postures certainly seemed to open up possibilities of very interesting kinds of sexual gymnastics. He tried another kind of yoga, called kundalini. This kind of yoga focussed upon chakras and what the different kinds of chakras could do. The point of this yoga was to draw energy from the lower chakras, particularly the sexual chakra, and bring it up the spinal cord into the highest chakra, the crown chakra on the top of the head. There was a lot of rapid deep breathing involved here, and Siddhi often found himself getting dizzy. Often he would see hallucinations akin to the sort of colorful kaleidoscopic patterns one sees on LSD. Siddhi changed his basic lifestyle on the advice of the yoga teachers. He gave up eating meat and became a strict vegetarian, not even eating cheese and milk. He often fasted for periods of time, worrying his parents who did not approve of this at all. His peers would poke fun at him in the school cafeteria by attempting to tempt him with cheeseburgers and potato chips. Siddhi only smiled and shook his head. He lost a lot of weight and became rather skinny. The fasting tended to make him somewhat lightheaded and detached from the world. He often felt like he was floating. He liked the feeling. He also gave up smoking, alcohol, and drugs. He no longer hung out with peers who did so. Again, they would try to tempt him, they would hold a joint under his nose, but he only walked away. Siddhi was now seeking experiences more deeply rooted than what drugs could grant him. He began to feel more clearheaded and his health vastly improved. For one thing, he could breathe far more deeply. Last but not least, he gave up sex in all forms. He became absolutely abstinent. He did not even masturbate. Because of this, he was often distracted by sexual fantasies that crept in and feelings of horniness for girls in his presence. But at the same time, he noted an increasing energy in his body. Colors became brighter, smells became more acute, he felt like he was on some kind of natural speed. After awhile, his hardness decreased and he always felt a jittery feeling in his prostrate. He would feel strange chills up and down his spine. He was not giving up sex because he saw anything wrong with it, he was simply trying it as an experiement to observe the effect it would have on him. He dressed differently. He shaved his head and wore a light Indian robe. This manner of dressing felt familiar to him as though he had done all this in some past lifetime. Siddhi was now on the Path to Enlightenment. Siddhi joined a special group that studied the occult. They would sit in a circle, hold hands, and stare into a burning candleflame. They would chant rituals designed to make manifest the spirits of the dead. Occasionally one would be possessed by a long departed spirit of someone who had achieved a very high level of awareness. They laid hands on each other and attempted to heal one another's illnesses. Occasionally, they were successful, someone's cold or wound went instantly away. They tried to do acts of mind over matter. They put a needle to float on the surface of a bowl of water and attempted to make it move in a certain direction. When their minds were in synchronicity, the needle would move clockwise or counterclockwise according to what they willed it. They tried to make a pen rise off the table; sometimes it would move slightly. They studied works of occult and discussed it among themselves, considering how they could apply it to themselves. They studied such imminent authors as Paracelsus, Madame Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley, Author Edward Waite, the Mad Arab, Crow, and others. They also looked at modern experiments in parapsychology and considered how they could replicate such experiments to verify the results. They learned how to do things on their own. They practiced positive thinking and observed how it altered their circumstances. They learned how to sleep with full awareness and practiced out of body travel. Siddhi learned how to control his out of body experiences, how to deliberately have one even when a state of trance like consciousness. He would choose to move to different places, watch what people were doing, then when he came out of it, he would describe to them, to their amazement, exactly what it was they were doing. He figured out how to read someone's mind. He could use this to his advantage, if he liked. There was great power here, but all masters warned against how those powers could make one devolve to a great extent. There was a danger in getting carried away with such powers and this made Siddhi uncomfortable. He did not feel right when members of this group started to brag about the powers they had developed. It became quite an egotistical thing, who could get the most over the other. These things were nice, Siddhi considered, and they certainly gave a certain freedom in being reassured that there were worlds beyond this one, that life was not limited to sheer physical existence. However, somehow this was not quite what he sought. He sought something deeper, a certain alteration of consciousness, a basic change in his being. Studying and practicing the occult was interesting, but not internally fulfilling. After awhile, Siddhi dropped out of this group. Siddhi encountered the work of Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff was a most peculiar Russian fellow who lived around the turn of the century roughly in the Afaghanistan area. He was raised as an Eastern Orthodox in somehwat gnostic sect and then encountered the mystics of the Sufis. He spent years studying with some secret sect then came out of it with his own version of truth. Perhaps it was because of his radically different synthesis and practice, that Siddhi was attracted to this work. Siddhi read "In Search of the Miraculous" very thoroughly. The basic thesis of this work is all humans are asleep and do their daily activities and pursuits in a state of absolute sleep. Very few people are awake, and if they wake up, it is not long before thay fall back asleep again. Siddhi could certainly agree with this, and it was wakefulness that he sought. In the area, he found a group of people who practiced this work and made a conscious effort to observe themselves and come to some state of wakefulness. One of the first things he was told when he joined them was to become aware of his feet. Siddhi did just this. At all times, whether he was walking or sitting, he was noticing his feet. He noticed whether they were cold or hot, whether they were comfortable or tight, whether they were tense or relaxed. He noticed pains and itches he'd never noticed before. He noted whether he was tapping his foot out of a kind of nervous energy. He deliberately relaxed each muscle in his feet, feeling each toe and their separate sensations. Was the toe part of the foot or was it something else? There were numerous bones in each foot he had never noticed before, and he noted how they each touched the floor as he walked or stood. He and his group would sit for an hour in silence being aware of their feet. This was supposed to lead to wakefulness. They engaged in all kinds of other peculiar practices. They would walk in extremely slow motion. Then someone would yell "Stop!" and they would all freeze right where they were for an unprescribed period of time. They were to be aware of every muscle in their body and what it was doing. Or they would perform actions at an extremely speeded-up rate. They would run around the block, waving their hands and singing gibberish. People thought they were crazy. They would contort themselves into unnatural postures. Such activities were called "alarm clocks", the purpose of which was to awaken the practicioner. They were each told by a head teacher to do that which was contrary to their nature. If one smoked, that one was told to quit smoking - or to smoke an excessive amount if they abstained. If one did not smoke, one was advised to take it up. If one was quiet by nature, that one was told to be boisterous and loud. The more extraverted type was told to be quiet and contemplative. Someone who was into doing a lot of physical activities, would be advised to start reading and studying a lot. Someone who did not like athletics was told to go out for sports and act as though they loved sports. If one felt compelled to do something, the practice was to attempt to resist that activity and see how long one could resist it. For example, if you ordinarily would pick up a piece of trash you found on the floor because you thought it was unsightly, you would sit there and not do it. You would take note of all the thoughts and feelings which occurred to you as you did this. Or, the other way would be to overdo what it is you usually do. Instead of just picking up that piece of trash, you would get a magnifying glass and pick up every little piece of dust and grime you could find. Someone, a compulsive cleaner, actually did this around the practice center one afternoon. Another way would simply engage in your usual reaction to something, but "catch yourself in the act" as you did it. Be as aware of yourself doing your usual thing as you can. Watch the way you usually prepare your food and how you usually eat it. Do you do it fast or slow? Do you linger over each bite or do you wolf it down? This was what they called "self-observation". Siddhi thought this was very interesting, but there was also something somewhat silly about all these things. He wondered if simply being weird for its own sake was actually the way to wakefulness or if it merely became another habit pattern. At first, it was fascinating, but then something became routine about it. What did observing how you eat your food or being aware of your feet have to do with enlightenment? After awhile, Siddhi dropped out of this group. A certain wise man came to town from high in the Himalayas in Nepal. He had many followers and they acclaimed him to be the most evolved one of the century. They would chant mantras and pound on drums. The wise man only smiled and let them do this, though he did not prescribe this. The wise man was a political refuge from a Communist regime and had come to set up base in the United States. He also came to the United States for he saw a particular need in that country for spiritual enlightenment, so immersed it was in the throes of materialism. Siddhi encountered this wise man sitting crosslegged upon a pedestal in the town park. Thousands of people were gathered around him, avidly taking in every word he had to say. The wise man was wearing a long colorful robe, had very long grey hair flowing around his shoulders, a long grey beard, brown skin, and a beautiful smile. Sometimes he spend long moments not saying anything, only smiling. "This world is in great trouble. It is like a baby being born, and it is only a fine line between whether the baby will be born alive or whether it will be a miscarriage. We have wars going on with massive weapons pointed at different nations, weapons which could blow up every city on the face of this planet, and wipe out all life with radioactivity. We have massive starvation and homelessness; billions of people are going without the necessities of life, while mere thousands have hundreds of times more than what they need. Thousands of species of lifeforms are waiting to evolve into our level of intelligence, and, one by one, they are being wiped out. The air is becoming so polluted that we will soon need gasmasks to go outside in large cities. Governments, especially the one here, are becoming so corrupt, people no longer have a voice at all and political action is futile. The world is being run by vast corporations who care nothing for the needs of people and only think about how much profit they make. "This world has lost its soul. People go to their schools and go to their jobs like robots working day and night, doing nothing of essential importance, becoming mired in trivialities, being hypnotised by the media, only concerned about the latest fashions and getting ahead of each other. "To attempt to change it outwardly will only make the situation worse. Trying to change things outwardly only causes resistance from those in power, then we try to reason with those in power by speaking on their terms, only to become just like them in the long run. To war against war is only to create more wars. "The only solution is to go inward, to look within, to cease to try to alter what is. We must give up materialistic aspirations to seek within, to sit still and look at our fears, our anger, our feelings of discomfort. I can give you no answer, you must go and find it for yourself." Siddhi liked what this man had to say. He seemed to be speaking from a true depth. This group had a kind of monastic school high in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Siddhi immediately started asking questions how he could become a part of this group. He decided to drop out of school and join this school where he would learn lessons about how to evolve and contribute to the ultimate spiritual evolution of the planet. His parents were outraged at his decision to drop out of school and leave home. His father screamed at him, "You don't know what you are doing! You are a fool! If you drop out of school, you will wind up a mere dishwasher, a janitor, working in a department store, a shitworker for the rest of your life." Siddhi only smiled and quietly said: "I have no concern for such things you speak of. To me, it does not matter how much I make in life. I only wish to walk the path of freedom." "Freedom, bah, you will only find yourself in chains. You should go to college, you are a smart lad, get a degree in business, then you will make enough money to do anything you want to do!" "And how free are you, father? I only see you enslaved to your money, counting it all the time, filled with anxiety whether you will lose it all or not." "You are too young to know what you are talking about! When you reach my age, then you will know what the importance of making money is." "Please don't throw away all we have given you, Siddhi!" his mother begged. "We have done so much for you. We don't want to see you get hurt." "Mother, I appreciate all you have done for me, but there is something more I must find, something that you cannot give me with your fine house, your fine clothes, your fine food. It is our very craving for these things that is slowly destroying the world, you cannot see the consequences." "You are a complete idiot, Siddhi! I did not invest all I did for you to have you toss it all away! If you leave now, you can say farewell to all comfort for the rest of your life. I will disinherit you! You will be tossed in the streets to be a bum!" "No, father, I do not want to become the kind of idiot you are asking me to be. I refuse to enter your corporate world that is only designed to create war for profit, enviromental chaoes, and misery among billions of people." His father hit him. "Get the fuck out of my sight! Just leave this house now. You and your whole generation are going to hell!" Siddhi, in tears, said, "I thank you, father and mother, for what you have done, but you cannot have my soul. I am an individual, not some piece of clay you can shape to be proud of. I must go my own way. I only wish I could help you." Siddhi filled a backpack with essentials and went to the monastery. In the monastery, Siddhi lived apart from the world. The world and its problems became unreal to him, a bad dream beyond the boundaries of the monastery. The monastery was his comfort, his refuge. He lived a very routiine life. He and his fellow practicioners would arise before dawn, when the first light shone on the horizon. While the birds sang in joyous celebration of the beauty of the dawn, he and his fellows arose and walked barefoot to a stream where they washed their face with pure waters from the high mountains. As the sun rose, they would do various meditative exercises designed to awaken their inner consciousness. From wooden bowls on long tables, they ate cereals with fruit and nuts. They all observed complete silence, focused completely upon what they were eating, giving thanks to the Mother of Life for the gift of this food, praising the plants which yielded this to them. In the morning, they would go out to the fields and tend to the gardens. Some went into town and did errands. While they worked, they remained in a state of meditative silence. They breathed consciously and remained in the present moment of working. At midday, they would take a break, and sit in a circle under the high sun. They gazed upwards and sang songs of praise to the Father of Light. The wise man would come to them, sitting at the head of the circle. He would explain the meaning of the universe to them and would give them suggestions how to practice conscious awareness at all times. Then they would have some kind of vegetarian lunch. It was at this time, they would break their silence and chat while drinking teas. They would discuss with one another how their various practices were going. Then in early afternoon, they would lie for an hour on flat mats, and take a nap. They did not actually sleep during these naps; they merely turned down the flow of their thoughts, while maintaining just the barest thread of consciousness. This was called "conscious sleep". In the afternoon they would work again. Some went to tend the gardens. Some did maintenance tasks on the monastery grounds, thoroughly cleaning the meditation and eating halls. Some went into town and worked at part-time jobs; these pooled their money into the monastery budget. And others went into towns to spread the word that there were higher truths. Towards the end of the day, they would all bathe in the stream, washing themselves with a kind of non-foaming soap. They would focus upon the act of cleaniness. They would then march to the cliffs and sit still while watching the sun sink into the ocean. They would hold their hands out to the sun as if in worship and chant "AUM". Then a bell was rung and they went to the eating hall to have a kind of vegetarian dinner. The food was always good and wholesomel: much of it came from their own farming efforts. Again they would eat in a kind of meditative silence, focusing upon each bite of the food, making sure they digested it well. They would offer one another bites. Then as the stars and the moon came out, they sat for another two hour meditation session. The man would then give them a concluding talk. He explained to them how to consciously sleep and how to control their dreams. Then the bell would ring and they would go to their flat mats on the floor, placed close to one another. They would lay with their eyes open, breathing deeply in a certain rhythm. One by one they would drift off, making an avid effort not to quite go asleep, but to merely give their bodies and minds a rest. One of the talks of the wise man: "There are many thoughts and forms in the universe. All of them struggle to find their niche in totality. Endlessly they seek to create and re-create themselves. One thought becomes transformed into another thought; one form becomes transformed into another form. Emotions, the energy of living forms, too are ceaselessly transformed from one to the other. Yesterday, you were sad. Today, you are happy. Tomorrow perhaps you will be confused. "It is useless to attempt to control this process of becoming, of transformation. It is useless to attempt to examine it or to capture it. The flow of life can never be captured. No one thing is truly separate from the other; it is illusory that it appears to be so and we designate these seemingly separate things by sounds made with the mouth, words. But every moment, every second, it is changing, albeit from the most microcosmic level. "The chemicals are changing, the atoms are whirling, quantum bits and pieces are flashing into and out of existence. There is absolutely nothing from one microsecond to the next that is ever the same that it was. On the macrocosmic level, it seems relatively stable, but even the stars we see every night are moving thousands of miles a second and will not appear the same millions of years from now. The mountains we see here are not the same mountains that were here millions of years ago; millions of years later they will either be heightened or flattened according to changing geological conditions. "All we can do is simply join the flow of changing. You can never fix something and expect it to stay there. It will not, going on its merry way. Be with the flow. Be in the flow. That is how you will discover happiness. "Some of you have asked me what is the purpose of this universe. The universe is its own purpose." Siddhi's teacher went on: "There are many ways to meditate and there is no absolutely right way for any particular person to meditate. Each of you must find your own way just as water spontaneously falls into its own level. The main thing is to cease making an effort to meditate; then you will lose it. "Meditation is a process of being in the here and now. The irony of this is you can be absolutely nowhere else. Even when you are ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, you are doing it right now. When you are thinking about being some other place, you are doing it right here. "Most meditative practices have you focus upon your breathing in some way or the other. You could focus upon other activities of the body such as your heartbeat, your digestive system working, the tapping of a toe, various sensory impressions, and such. But what makes breathing unique is it is simultaneously an automatic and controlled process. You would have great difficulty attempting to control your heartbeat at a certain rate, but you can control the rate of your breathing. If you breathe in a slow deep rhythm, you will tend to become more relaxed. Also if you direct the breath inwards, you will give yourself the energy to concentrate. "My own suggestion would be to breathe inwards for 8 counts of your heartbeat, hold it for 8 counts, and breathe out for 8 counts. I would recommend using your heartbeat as the basis for counts rather than looking at seconds ticking off on a clock or using a music meter. The reason for this is then your breath will go at a more natural pace; as your heart speeds up, you will breath faster. as your heart slows down, you will breath more slowly. You may find as you get deeper into a meditative state, your breathing will naturally slow down. "However, do not go by what I say here. You can experiment with different count rhythms such as 8-4-8, 10-5-7, 4-16-8, among others. Different rhythms have their different effects, and different methods will work right for different people. Experiment. Try out different things. See what suits you best. "When you are holding your breath, make a slight effort to push it downwards. This is to make your lungs absorb the maximum amount of oxygen into your body which will give you more energy and make you less apt to drift asleep during your meditation session. Also breathe it in as deeply as you possibly can. After you have finished the outbreath, you may find it useful to "hold it out" a few seconds before going on to take your next inbreath. "Today try these suggestions, attempting to synchronize your breathing with your heartbeat. Be aware of the process of your breathing. Do not merely do it during your meditation session, but do it as you go through your daily chores and activities." A continuation of the meditation lessons: "It is always useful to have some kind of mantra going while you are doing your breathing. The mantra can be either intoned outwardly or you can focus on it inwardly. Personally, I think it is more useful to intone it inwardly; outward chanting can become overly hypnotic after awhile. "The mantra you get into is not overly important. It is helpful to have it be something cosmic such as "I am All." It is usually good to have it be three separate words or syllables. It could be helpful to merely say 'I am breathing.' 'I am here'. "The mantra I would suggest you focus on is an ancient one that has been around for thousands of years: AUM. AUM has a very profound meaning to it, it is simply the vibration which set the universe into existence, it is a humming you will hear in the back of your head if you listen very carefully. Try to listen to the silence sometime and you will see what I mean. It is very subtle; you will have to pay close attention. "Divide AUM into its three separate letters as you do your breathing. Focus upon A(hhh) on your inbreath. Focus upon U(ooo) on the holding inwards. Focus on M(mmm) on the outbreath. That is all there is to it." "Each of these letters have a cosmological significance in Hindu terms. The A(hhh) stands for Creation. The U(ooo) stands for Preservation. The M(mmm) stands for Dissolution. All forms go through a process of Creation-Preservation-Dissolution. They are born, they are maintained for awhile, and then they die. You yourself are created in the womb, are born, go through a process of growth, which is Creation. Then you go through a long period of survival in your middle years where you strive to maintain your existence, and this is Preservation. Finally you grow old, ill, encounter abrupt destruction, which is Dissolution. "While you go through your meditation, focus upon these processes. As you breathe in, see something or yourself being created. As you hold it, see something being maintained. As you breathe out, see that thing becoming destroyed. This is the basic cycle of life. "It is useful to have some kind of imagery to accompany your AUM-ing. One very good image is an ocean wave. As you breathe in, picture the wave rising. As you hold your breath, picture the wave at its peak, maintaining itself in a graceful curve. As you breathe out, see that wave crashing upon the shore. Then as you begin your next inbreath, see the water being sucked in to become part of the next wave. "Waves are helpful because the universe operates in waves, vibrations. If you observe a wave from the side, you will see how it forms a cycle which endlessly repeats itself. In a sense, we are surfers on the waves of the universe, riding on one wave or the other. However, all the waves are inseperable from the ocean which sustains it. "If you find visualizing a wave boring, you can always picture the act of sexual intercouse, also a very rhythmic activity. On the inbreath, watch or feel the penis going into the vagina. When you reach full penetration, hold it in there for a moment, trying to maintain it. On the outbreath, feel it gradually slipping out. This is usually an image that can keep beginners on the right track for hours. I don‟t think many of you would have problems concentrating on sex." (The audience laughs.) "You can get more creative as you get better at this. Like a musician, you can add more chords and variations on top of one another. In fact, you can even compose music in your meditation. You may find that deeper meditation will enable you to find creative solutions to problems you have from day to day. "Try it and see what happens. But start with AUM with the wave. You will find more profound results ultimately here." Siddhi took his advice and went off for three days on a meditation retreat. All the monks were encouraged to do this from time to time; they had the option to take a few days off as a kind of "vacation". There was a spot near the monastery which Siddhi liked to go to from time to time. It was deep in a valley, hidden in woods, a rushing stream which lept off the rocks in a medium-sized waterfall about 30' high and 10' wide. It was considered a "sacred spot" by the disciples. At the base of the waterfall was a deep pool around which there were slippery rocks. Here and there piles of stones were piled up in tenacious poses as a kind of alter. It was at the base of the waterfall that Siddhi chose to meditate. Sitting crosslegged very quietly, Siddhi gazed steadily in the middle of the pool while the high water splashed upon it and stirred it around in a kind of whirlpool. He looked right at the center of the whirlpool, never blinking his eyes and moving his eyeballs. He saw ghostly images as he gazed. At one point, he could swear he saw a water nymph appear, a bright light shining around her head, dragon-fly wings fluttering from her back. She smiled sweetly at him and invited him to come closer by motioning to him with her hand. Then he shook his head, and she was gone. At the same time, he did the breathing exercise recommended while focusing upon A-U-M. He chose to visualize waves of the ocean. He listened intently to the steady roar of the waterfall. As he got into it, the waves grew bigger and slower as his breathing gradually deepened with his heart pulse slowing down. The waves began to look like some kind of odd slow motion film which occasionally speeded up, especially as he was sucking in his breath again. As he breathed out, the wave took forever to fall and splash upon the shore, giving up its energy, surrendering its form to become reborn into another form. He became bored and decided to try watching the rhythm of sexual intercourse for awhile. As he breathed in, he got a hard-on. On the U(ooo), he felt his hard-on right against the girl's pussy, tickling her clitoral pearl, stimulating both him and her. On the M(mmm), he felt the plunge within her, like a wave crashing upon the shore, surrendering his sperm to become one with her wetness, the two merging to become transformed into another life. Then rising on the A(hhh), was the manifestation of the next hard-on, rising out of the stillness like a new wave on the ocean. The wave of the ocean, his breath, the A-U-M, and the plunging in and out of his hardness into the softness of the pussy, the yang and yin merging as one - all of these synchronized in perfect harmony. The image of sexual intercourse faded out bit by bit. It became more of an abstract mathematical diagram, the inner figure fitting into the outer figure, the inner boundary fusing with the outer boundary. He could see a rising and falling sine wave, within the sine wave was a circle with an arrow moving around according to the phase he was presently in. On the A(hhh), he saw the birth of himself as a baby. He saw himself growing up, going through the various trials and tribulations of childhood. He saw a birthday cake and himself blowing out the candles. He saw himself being spanked. He was in his first day of school. He got an "A" on a test. He learned more complex things. He got his first hard-on and jerked off for the first time. He hung out with gangs. He had his traumatic affair with the girl he loved. On the U(ooo), he was an adult. He was struggling to make a living. There was never enough money. He had to make himself successful. He was climbing some endless ladder. He had to pay bills. He had a child with a wife. He had a family to take care of, progeny which would survive after him. On the M(mmm), he had his first grey hairs. It was not as easy to move around. He kept getting sick. His mind was going. He was crippled, staggering on a walker. He was dozing off in front of a television set in a nursing home. He was facing death. He was being laid in the ground in a coffin. He was in the afterlife. Angels and demons appeared, each enticing him to go one way or another. Then he was reborn. On each breath, he was reborn in a different form. He was a bird, an animal, a man, a woman, poor, rich, pleasant-looking, ugly, healthy, ill, good, bad. Always, he swung from one opposite to another, as if he had to experience every single possibility there was. Finally, he was just a wave on the ocean again, rising and falling with each breath. As the waterfall fell, hours and hours of the day drifted by. Sense of time faded in and out. Hours became minutes and minutes became hours. Seconds stopped and became eternities, then sped up to become years. In Siddhi's head, the sound of the waterfall faded in and faded out to a silence. The afternoon became transmuted into sunset. Bright red light hovered over the waterfall in swirling beams as the sun sank into the ocean and the birds all sang their eulogy to the passing day. Twilight slowly developed and tentatively stars popped into existence here and there. Soon the entire sky above the waterfall was filled with a cascade of billions of stars, each with their own worlds. Creatures of the dark rustled in the bushes on their mysterious errands in the shade. Siddhi continued to breathe in, hold, breathe out. There was no longer a breather, no one controlling, it was just happening, there was just breathing. From the breath manifested worlds, universes, coming into being and going. Suns were born, then mere seconds later, blown away into supernovas. Breathing in came about countless other worlds from the materials hovering around in space. It took an infinite amount of time for an electron to swirl around a single proton, the basis for all matter, positive and negative doing their eternal dance of yang and yin. How the electon yearned for the proton, yet he could never quite approach her. How the proton basked in the favors of her worshipping electron. They were so glad to have one another. Two utterly vulnerable particles in the vastness of space held tightly together passionately protecting one another from the terrible void beyond. Billions and billions of flickerings in the void came and went. It was a city of flashing energy, filled with the excitment of what was to come. It was merely the beginning of the night. Complex energy patterns came into existence and interacted with one another in infinitely creative ways. All of them came closer and closer together amazed by one anothers' existence. Then there was a huge explosion, such a wonderful explosion, such an orgasmic release! How wonderful it felt to go from such a packed together tightness to such a transformative looseness. Swirling galaxies manifested from the light particles, billions of stars in each one. Siddhi was a volcano spewing forth sulfur and water into the air on a newly formed world.. He was raindrops forming a great ocean dissolving salt into itself. He was tidal waves smashing into the rocky coasts eroding them away over millions of years. He was the first chemicals of life experimentally making interesting patterns with their complexity. He learned to split himself into two and make variations. He became a cell, then a group of cells, then many kinds of groups of cells, all supporting one another. He was a jelly fish floating idly wherever the waves may take him. He was an armored fish seeking prey. He was splashing out of the water seeing land. Adventurously, he crawled out of the ocean, fins becoming legs over millions of years. An amphibian frog, he croaked around a big pond, his long tongue catching flies. He was a vast reptile crawling around the tree ferns. He was the first warm-blooded furry thing, watching the massive reptiles fight one another for dominance, shivering in the bushes. Suddenly the big reptiles were gone, and he was free to expand. He carried eggs, then he gave birth from a womb within. He learned to climb trees and pick fruit with forepaws with long fingers. He had hands which he could pick up things, make things. He and his tribe sat around the fire chanting, telling tales of hunts, waiting for the snows to go. All of these things he was and yet he was one. He was always the same one experiencing all of these separate forms. Although they all seemed different, they were also the same. There was always that lurking desperate struggle for existence, the drive to make one‟s life increasingly comfortable, to fill a belly, to squirt life seed. Yet it was unnecessary to struggle, because existence was granted as axiomatic. It was impossible not to be. So why try? Why not just let go and enjoy the mulitudinous experiences that life had to offer? But for the pleasurable experiences life had to offer, there was also pain. If you became rich, you would inevitably suffer poverty. Even to be rich was suffering because you were constantly in fear that you would lose it. If you were beautiful or handsome, there was always lurking the possibility you would experience a mishap and lose it. Or the worst fear of a beautiful woman is the inevitable event of growing old; you can only fix your face so much until you lose it. There was suffering even in having too much pleasure. Excess use of alcohol or drugs would lead to hangovers and losing your mind. Having sex all the time can become boring or you could catch a life-threatening disease. Siddhi thought about all the pain in the world. He saw an old woman diving in dumpsters. He saw a disfigured man no one wanted to be near. He saw the beggar in the street. He saw the wealthy man counting his cash, always feeling he didn't have enough, always wanting more. He saw the drug addict needing a fix, commiting crime or prostitution to get it. He saw the aging woman dying her hair, putting on more makeup to cover up her wrinkles and sagging face. He saw the squirrel being run over by a truck. He saw the wolf chewing up a rabbit. He saw millions of hungry children, all skin and bones, not a chance in their coming life. He saw soldiers being blown up in countless wars, wars being fought over pointless political haggles. He saw people living boring stupid lives working boring stupid jobs, wishing they had a better job, then getting promoted, only to find that just as boring and stupid as before.. He saw someone lying in bed weeping over the pain as disease ate up her body. There was no way around this pain. It was the primal price of life. To live is to be in pain. The amount of pleasure proportional to the pain was minimal. If you cannot escape the pain, then was there perhaps a way to become detached from it? Perhaps one could experience both pleasure and pain with absolute equanamity. Of course, that could mean becoming benumbed to the two sides of life. Or is there a possibility one could experience both pain and pleasure with utter joy, to see it as all part of a similar process, to know it is all part of a Great Cycle. Siddhi contemplated a mosquito landing on his arm. As the mosquito sucked his blood and the itching began, Siddhi did not bother to swat or scratch. He simply was aware of the sensation, not defining it as "pain". What was a somewhat unpleasant sensation for him was pleasurable for the mosquito. It needed to suck his blood; it was driven to by its instincts. Would it be worth the mosquito's life to kill it on the spot to deprive it of this singular joy, perhaps akin to sexual climax? Perhaps his skin and the mosquito were one being at this instant. Rather than experience his pain, he could experience the mosquito's pleasure. Siddhi became one with the mosquito. This very second was an eternity. This single sensation was all there was. No sound. No sight. No sensation. Just a sense of endlessly drifting. No memories. No identity. Nothing to plan. Just being here. Just this very moment, all there is. Somewhere in a very strange region far in the back of hs head, Siddhi breathing stopped, found the very thinnest of threads. A silver thread, that is all. It is the thread to lead one out of the labyrinth, this maze of life and death, of pain and pleasure, of the everlasting cycle of opposites. Is there any way out? But here is this most elusive of threads, you have to really train your awareness to see that it is there. The thread was auditory, an extremely high-pitched frequency, the finest of vibration floating in the void. It was the finest of rays riding on a wave, cruising in the depths of the Void. Like a bird catching a fly, a cat catching a mouse, Siddhi pounced on it, focused on it., fine-tuning his instrument of perception to make its presence clear. He pulled on it, pulled himself backwards, further backwards, away from the illusory front. Going up along the thread, going deeper within the maze, the thread gradually became a thicker thread. The most imperceptible vibration became a humming. Now no longer a thread, it was a string which Siddhi followed even deeper inwards. Not long aftwerwards, the string was a rope. The humming, ever so hypnotic, became deeper, more pronounced. Siddhi could hear various undertones in the humming, a kind of glistening ever-changing music, the music of the void. The rope became a ladder which Siddhi climbed every upwards, an infinite fall all around him should he drop off. Siddhi was precariously balanced on the edge between order and chaos. Should he fall one way, he would drop into sheer chaos to be forever immersed in a No-Where of no identity, no mind, no body, no feeling. Should he fall the other way, he would drop off into a kind of demonically tyrannical Absolute Order where nothing ever changed, all was absolutely defined, where there was no kind of creativity at all. Absolute Order or No-Where, take your pick, no thank you, Siddhi preferred to climb out beyond either of those traps. The rope then evolved into a kind of spiral staircase, the archetypal stairway to heaven. All around, angels sang and there was pleasant heavenly music. One could feel very close to God here. So high he was above the highest peaks of mountains, the land hundreds of miles below, leaving the face of the earth to journey to the stars. Siddhi felt tempted to just rest here, to call this the finishing point, but yet there was further to go, a spiral staircase going upwards into the void above out of sight. Huffing and puffing, the climb becoming tougher with each step upwards, Siddhi followed on. The stairway altered into an elevator. There were two buttons. One said "Zero"; the other read "Infinity". Siddhi figured it did not make any difference which one he picked and pressed "Infinity". Up of sudden, he was zipping effortlessly upwards. There was a fine humming in the background. He actually had no idea how fast he was going, no idea of which direction he was going. But did it matter? All of such points in time and space are relative anyway. There was only the sense of endless movement infinitely fast. And yet he was not moving anywhere. The walls of the elevator were gone. He was at the very center of the universe. Yet he was all points of the universe simultaneously. All points, anywhere you pick, is the very center of the universe. It is impossible to be anything other than the very center of the universe. The center is everywhere, the boundary is nowhere. There was no where else but this. This is all there is. There was that strange humming again. It was impossible to be anywhere where this humming was not. It was akin to an electrical force that flowed through the universe, which gave all things being. It is the very source of being, the OM-Force that is everything and everybody at once. Breathing deeply, listening to the roar of the waterfall, Siddhi was immersed in the OM-Force. Being here, Siddhi rejoiced in the feeling of being here, right in this moment, sitting by the waterfall, picking at mosquitoes. Warm rays of morning sunshine fell upon his face. He watched the swirls being generated by the flow, each swirl a microcosm of larger swirls of which he was a part. Each swirl generated countless waves, each wave containing smaller waves, tiny waves going in all different directions. It was all so dynamic, so alive with pulsating energy. There were so many infinite details everywhere. The waterbug calmly skated across the surface of the water. A fish drifted up to stick its mouth momemtarily above the water. So fluid, this clear stuff called water, so adaptable to flow into so many shapes. There were reflections of worlds above and beyond, and yet there were depths containing worlds within worlds. Far within, there was that constant sound of the OM, humming in the background, that eternal generator which was the source of all. So profound and yet so ridiculously common, esoteric yet so obvious. Just being in this place, sitting by the waterfall, there was no where else he needed to be. For awhile, the world was not the same to Siddhi. Things in front of him seemed to fade out and then fade back in. He would watch people and it would all look like some sort of contrived movie. Trees appeared to have their heads stuck in the ground, their mouths being the roots sucking water and nutrients from the earth like slurping on a straw. When his feet touched the earth, it felt like walking on rubber, walking on water, walking on air, on space. Perhaps he was moving through space, unbound to any planet. In the monastery cafeteria, he would watch people eating and think how strange it was, for they appeared to be eating themselves. It was all the same stuff being transformed from one form into another. He himself was just one form out of countless other forms in a constant state of transformation. The table he had his arms on was drifting into space. It was all in constant motion, yet it was perfectly motionless. Where was the boundary between him and the air? When he worked in the garden, he heard beautiful music all around him. The plants seemed to be singing in joy at receiving sunlight from above. The earth was humming in joy as it spun around in space. His hands flowed into the plants as he tended to them. The music was profound; it was an Ode of Joy to the Source of All Being. At meditation time, he looked forward to plunging within, like diving into refreshingly cool water after a hot summer day. He became increasingly skilled at discovering that thread within him and pulling himself inward to depth beyond depth. He would be floating in endless space as the floor melted below him. He had trouble with ordinary thinking and ordinary conversation, for these things were contingent upon seeing one form as absolutely separate from another form. If instead, one thing flowed into another and there were no actual boundaries, then words, contingent upon the concept of absolute forms, were meaningless. Because he was educated with the process of logic, this tended to be a bit frightening, yet very liberating, because it took considerable effort to keep things separate, to compare and contrast them. Suddenly there was no ground to walk on, no gravity to hold him down. He would occasionally attempt to describe to his peers what was going on with him, but as soon as he opened his mouth, he would realize there were no words for it. It was not something separate, it was the basis of all being. He would say things like: "You see, I am it and you are it and we are it. This table is it. This cup is it. The air we are breathing is it. Our hands and feet are melting into it. Oh, gosh, it's so overwhelming!" It was utterly ineffable. He only smiled and shook his head, for it seemed as though he were spouting gibberish. Everywhere he went, everything he did, it was there. It was everything he touched, it was everyone he dealt with. It was. It is. There was no "me" or "I" anymore, he was simply it. As was everyone and everything. All separateness seemed a vast pretense, some kind of game everyone agreed to play, but would dispense with ultimately. And Siddhi was far too spaced-out, or a better word would be "spaced-in" to play it anymore. Staring at an ant on the walkway, he watched himself crawl carrying another crumb to the anthill. The teacher called Siddhi in for a private consultation. Siddhi walked into the little room and bowed to the teacher. He sat upon a cushion opposite the teacher. Their faces were only a few feet apart. Outside a bird was making a loud racket then settled down. There was a deathly silence in the room. For a long while, they did not say a word to each other. They merely gazed into one another's eyes. They became lost in one another's gazes. It was seemingly as intimate as the way lover's would look into one another's eyes, yet even deeper. Another dimension was here, their souls were merging into one being. The eyes of his teacher were like whirlpools, like the eyes of a vast hurricane roaring all around them. Yet here they were safe in this harbor of nirvana. The boat had long since crashed and they were drifting freely floating upon the gigantic waves rising and falling. In the eyes of his teacher, Siddhi saw many people being born and dying, many forms of life. He saw the old man his teacher now was and he saw the carefree youth. He saw other races from other lands coming into focus and fading. He saw various men and various women. He saw an ape-man with a heavy brow. He saw the faces of bears, foxes, birds, frogs, snakes, fish. He saw naught but a huge mass of protoplasm. He saw distant oceans and faraway lands, volcanoes exploding, stars going nova. Then he was back in the room with his teacher. Though they had not said a word, he learned many things from his teacher in that instant. He nodded and smiled in acknowledgment. Finally his teacher spoke: "I see you have discovered a profound truth." "Yes, you are correct." "You are far more along the path than many others who have come this way. This is because you are a very old soul. You have been doing this for many lifetimes now. It is because of previous concerted efforts in previous lifetimes you are able to progress so quickly. And yet you have so far to go. You will realize there is no end to this path. There is only the path in the end." "I wish I could describe it. It is so frustrating that it cannot be captured in words. It often makes me feel so terribly isolated, as if I were in a world I cannot share with anyone else. It is just this, all this." Siddhi waved his hand vaguely around attempting to include everything at once. "Yes, I see you have discovered this. You will only find rare souls to share this with." "You seem to have found something; it is because of this that I was drawn to you, to be your student for awhile." "Yes, but now I must graduate you. You have learned all you possibly can here from me. Now you must go forth into the world and let the world be your teacher." "But the world, it is such a frightening place. How lost they are in the world!" "The problem here is, Siddhi, is you have moved too far, too fast. It is as if you have skipped a few grades to master truths far higher, yet you failed to learn some basics along the way. Unfortunately, you must go back to those levels to master them; it is only then that you can go back to where you are now. You will discover at the end, you will be vastly enriched for having done so." "I would really prefer to remain here. Here is where it all is. I would be very reluctant to leave." "I'm sorry, but I insist, Siddhi. This is not your place anymore. It would be relatively easy for you to remain here, be immersed in meditation, be caught up in a kind of pseudo-satori, but you will never learn anything that way. You must learn to take what you have learned and to apply it to the world. You have much to offer, much to teach. You must pass it down in order to move further." "Yes, I see what you are saying. I do feel I have taken on more than I could truly master here. I need to find a ground my feet can touch." Siddhi smiled. "Besides, it will be such an adventure. Life is so full of experiences!" "I'm glad you have come to see this. It will be for the best in the long run. I have had to do what you are about to do. We all have to go through this sooner or later. The only true test of higher experience is whether you can maintain it in the world. You may lose it, but you will regain it with much greater maturity." Siddhi got up and bowed to his teacher. "Thank you, sir, for being my teacher." "You are most welcome. Do not worry, our paths will cross again." His teacher bowed back. "I am sure they will. After all, our paths are always crossing. They cannot do otherwise for we are all One." "That is right, Siddhi." Siddhi packed his meager possessions that night and left the monastery at dawn the next day. When Siddhi was back in the world, he did not quite know what to do with himself. He was not at all sure what a worldly person does, but he had faith that he would figure it out somehow. With his pack on his back, he wandered along the highway. Cars and trucks whizzed by, knocking him over with on-coming wind, and it was difficult to breathe because of all the carbon monoxide in the air. Walking along the side, he observed the people in the vehicles. They all seemed in such a hurry. All of them had frowns on their faces or seemed to be preoccupied. It was all like some kind of fast-forward movie. Siddhi could not understand why they were in such a hurry, when really, there is all the time in the world to do anything. What was this chronic pressing need that was driving them to do something? It was as if they were not driving their vehicles; their vehicles were driving them. That night, Siddhi slept at a spot he had found off the road, a pasture filled with solemn cows busily munching on depleting patches of grass. They surrounded a somewhat stagnant pond, in which they bathed from time to time. It was somewhat hot and mosquitoes kept biting him. A curious cow came up to him once in a while and nudged him, gazing at him with huge curious eyes, wondering what this odd human was doing in their pasture.. There was the sound of commercial trucks all night, which kept waking Siddhi up. Because it was difficult to sleep, Siddhi gave up and meditated by the pond, watching sleeping cows until dawn. The next day, he wandered into a rather large-sized town, a suburbia town for the city nearby. He chose to stay there for awhile and see what happened. He was drawn to the park in the middle of the town; it was relatively peaceful there and he liked the natural setting. He would sit by the pond, meditating, and watch the ducks swimming around. They seemed so in tune with the flow of the universe, so contrary to all the people rushing around. It was not particularly difficult to survive. There were places around that served food to homeless people or he could stand in line and get leftovers from survival centers that people did not want anymore. It was not difficult to beg for enough spare change to get some cheap item such as nuts or bread from a store. Despite the hurry people were in, he would always find someone who would offer a bit of change. Or there was always some bit of food in the dumpsters behind restaurants; it was surprising how much people did not bother to eat, as if going to a restaurant was just some kind of show. There were places to sleep, though he did not feel he needed much sleep. He could achieve a very similar state while wide awake when he meditated. All he had to do was sit crosslegged, close his eyes, and turn off his mind, turn it all off, just be there. He could sleep in the park, under bridges when it rained, in the woods just outside of town along the railroad tracks. Because there was little he needed, Siddhi was perfectly content with this state of existence. He could remain in a state of constant meditation, so he felt no compulsion for anything. He spent most of his time sitting by a pond in the park, breathing deeply, watching the world melt before his eyes. Sometimes, he would go to the library and spend the day reading a book, sitting comfortably in a big arm chair. He watched birds change branches on a big tree out of the window. One day, Siddhi stood in the midst of the town, the main intersection, with his tin cup outstretched for spare change. It was noon and no one had given him any change. No one would look his way; they all had their eyes pointed forward. It was like no one even saw him. Siddhi felt like some kind of ghost. He was moving in slow motion, while everyone else was speeded up. It was like he was out of sync with the flow, the vast flow of the rest of humanity. He went so far as to grab people to get their attention. They would just brush him off like a fly and avoid him. He asked each of them: "Excuse me, why are you in such a hurry?" They would just say things like "Go away, I have better things to do than speak to bums like you." "Leave me alone, I have to go to work." "Beat it, I have an appointment to go to." Finally he caught someone who was walking down the street, whistling a tune to himself. He seemed very happy with something and was not in quite as much a hurry. "Excuse me, sir, but I can't understad something. Why is everybody around here in such a hurry? Why cannot they simply be and contemplate the infinity of existence?" The young man stopped and started laughing. "Well, it would be certainly nice if people could do that! I have to get back to my job, but if you will walk with me a moment I can tell you." Siddhi started strolling with him. "Okay, why are you going there? Why don't you simply sit upon a park bench and take your time?" They crossed a street, rushing to avoid being hit by a sports car just passing through as the light turned red. When they got to the other side, the young man explained, "You see, most people in this society have to work at jobs. Jobs take up a lot of time and the people who hire us would be very upset if we were not at our jobs at the time we are supposed to be." "Well, why don't they just leave their jobs then? Then they would not need to be in such a hurry." The young man looked at him, perplexed, wondering if he were touched in the head. Perhaps he was a retard who had wandered away from an institution? He said: "Why? I cannot believe you are so naive! They have to make money!" "OK, so why do they need to make money?" "I can't believe we are having this conversation! We have to make money to pay our rent, our mortgage on a house, our clothes, our food, to have cars so we can drive to our jobs, to support our families, to take our sweethearts out to dinner, to go to movies, things like that." "But why do you need all that? Why don't you just do what I do? I sleep outside, I eat very little, I do not need a change of clothes. And I have plenty of time." "I don't think very many people would be very comfortable with that. I certainly wouldn't be! Look, why don't you find a newspaper and get a job. Then you would not have to beg for spare change. I imagine that after awhile many people will simply avoid you. Do you really like starving? What are you going to do when the weather gets bad? Do you want to lie in the rain and get soaked? Do you want to freeze in falling snow? What will you do if you get sick? You will not get medical care without insurance. You would die in no time at all! “Get a job and more people would like you." He stopped briefly, put some change in a newspaper box, and pulled out a local paper. He opened it up and pointed at the WANT ADS. "Here, why don't you just sit down and study this. This tells you where the jobs are. Try it, hey, you might find you like it. It‟s nice to have money to spend on things. Now I really have to get back. My boss is going to be pissed if I'm not back by now." Siddhi decided to give it a try. If he was going to find out how to live in the world, this would be a good place to start. He could not quite understand what he was looking at as he looked at the want ads. The newspaper fluttered in a slight breeze. The names of the jobs were all so mechanical-sounding, like parts of a machine. He had never looked for jobs before, so it didn't make much sense to him. For example, what was a "Administrative Assistant" or a "Maintainance Engineer" or a "Systems Analyst"? Indeed, the world was a funny place. It was like a very odd game he had to play, but he didn't know the first thing about the rules. He gave up and tossed the paper in a garbage can. It was giving him a headache to look at all those strange names for occupations. How was he going to fit into that? Another thing he couldn't understand was they all said, "Must have experience". What a silly thing to say! If you were merely born, you were bound to have experiences. And, yes, he had many experiences, very profound experiences, experience of the Knowledge of God! Surely, he should have no trouble at all! He decided to go for the direct approach. He just walked into the first place he saw and went right to the receptionist desk. He smiled at the pretty girl who was typing there with a headphone around her lovely auburn hair. She smiled back, though she seemed somewhat nervous about something when she saw this scruffy fellow dressed in rags. "Uh, what can I do for you?" she inquired. He announced, "I would like to work for your company. And, yes, I do have experience." "Mmmm, maybe you better go down to human resources." "Human resources? What do you do to humans here? Surely, humans are more than a mere resource!" She giggled a bit. "Look, to get a job here or anywhere, you have to go to the employment office. That's usually called human resources." He went to where she pointed out. He was asked to sit down and fill out an application. The application asked a lot of funny questions, that didn't seem to have anything to do with work. Like, what did it matter where he went to elementary school? Why was it important what his extracurricular activities were? He put down, "Smoking dope, fucking." Why did they want to know where he lived? He just put down "No- where." With phone number, he said, "None". It asked what kind of work experience he had. He explained that he spent a number of years working on himself, observing his passions, gazing within to find his True Self. The lady at the front desk looked at the application he handed her. In the meantime, Siddhi watched the tropical fish in the window swimming around. He intently studied them, wondering what their world was like, being in this office, limited by glass so they could swim no further. The lady looked at what he wrote on the application and at him looking with an excessive interest at the fish in the aquarium. She was immediately tempted to call the police. Who was this crazy bum who had wandered in? Was he drunk or on drugs? "Sir," she said curtly to him. She had to get his attention; his nose was on the aquarium glass. Dreamily, Siddhi, walked over to her, amazed by the feel of the thick rug on his feet. "I don't believe we have any openings for someone with your experience at this time." "It looks like you have plenty of space here. You could accommodate many people here. There is infinite space everywhere and therefore infinite openings everywhere." "I'm sorry, you will have to try somewhere else. Perhaps you should go to the state employment agency in town here." "Well, if you think that's where I should go, ok. But can you direct me to where it is?" She explained to him the directions, writing out a map for him. He smiled at her and said, "Well, I hope you find God, ma'am. God is everywhere if you look carefully within." She waved him off, anxious to get rid of him and get back to her routine. Wait until she told the girls at lunch about this crazy guy. They get all kinds around here. The whole world of getting jobs was an odd one to Siddhi. He was obviously a person with a high level of creativity and high intelligence, yet this seemed to be quite opposite to what employers were looking for. Although it appeared their company could use someone who was astute and questioned how things were done, this was not at all what they wanted. Only the managers and the people who did the hiring were allowed to do that, and even they were limited by what the owners preferred. At one place, someone took a look at him and frankly told him he was dressed all wrong for a job interview. One cannot wear raggedy clothing and be unshaven and have wild uncombed hair. This simply was not done. The interviewer told him to come back if he could touch up his appearance a bit. Siddhi could not understand what appearances had to do with it, but apparently this was something this world which gave great priority to appearances, not the internal being of a person. He had to admit people were looking at him strangely. Siddhi went to a survival center and found some relatively dressy clothes, probably something left by an old man who had died. With rusty scissors he found a bathroom in a restaurant and cut his hair relatively even over the ears. This was the way all those people at those jobs seemed to have it. He then cut the bulk of his beard and mustache off. He then shaved himself clean with a discarded razor he found. He did not like making this change because long hair and facial hair felt more natural to him. He touched it off with a tie he got from the survival center. Although the weather was hot, he put on a suit jacket. There, that should do it. Perhaps now he would get through customs in this strange society. It was all Maya to him, a world of appearances. Siddhi then looked at different jobs in the papers and the local employment agency. He had to educate himself about what this world was about. Oddly, they did not tell him anything about this in school, though supposedly school was meant to prepare one for getting jobs. He could not get into jobs which involved selling goods, since everything was essentially free, he could not comprehend putting monetary values on things. However, he noted most jobs were about selling in one way or the other. And they paid very well. There were numerous specialty positions that you had to have experience with or have a particular kind of degree for. Siddhi was baffled at why they could not simply show you how to do something on the job; how did anyone ever get the experience if they never hired people without experience? He then offered to work for free to get the experience, but they did not want this. Why? Then they could get a lot of people working for free and save themselves money. They looked at him like he was an idiot, and he learned this was not something to bring up. One kind of job Siddhi found was relatively easy to get were temporary yard work jobs. They did not seem to give a damn how he was dressed, where he lived, what his experience was, or the such. Anybody could push a lawn mower, pull weeds, or rake leaves. However, these jobs were only for a couple of hours and good for a bit of spending money, which was at least a little better than seeking spare change from passersby. They were seasonal, though, and there was not much during the colder months. This would not be enough to rent a place to live. When he would actually get a job interview, which was rare, the interviwer would always ask him what his experience was. Siddhi would reply: "I can breathe. I can be. I can create." The interviewer would shake his or her head, shake his hand, and say, "We will get back to you." They never did. Eventually, Siddhi found himself wandering through the back store of a department store. It was a department store that seemed to specialize largely in ladie's fashions. There were a lot of high heel shoes, fake costume jewelry, and avant garde dresses. With wide eyed wonder, Siddhi gawked at the wares and all the pretty ladies combing fastidiously through the wares. After having spent so long in the monastery, this was a whole new world of its own. How the customers were plied by the pipers of Maya. The manager of this store looked over the clipboard to which was attached Siddhi's latest application to enter the real world. His reaction to his answers to some of the questions was to laugh out loud. "What a strange and weird sense of humor you have. Who else would have the audacity to answer these commonplace questions in such a bizarre manner. I mean, did you really go through the elementary school of "re-birth"? And was "fucking and smoking dope" your primary extracurricular activity?" Siddhi smiled and made himself crosslegged upon the chair he was sitting in. "Well, I did stay in a monastery for awhile and become enlightened. Was that the kind of experience you think would be useful to you?" "Well, not quite, but I've always wanted to go out for that kind of thing, never could seem to find the time in this busy, busy life of mine. So just what is it you intend to contribute to this great company of ours?" "I can breathe. I can be. I can create." "Hmmm, with those talents, I am wondering just how I can put you to use around here. I'm sure they kept you rather busy on the monastery chanting 'om' and washing dishes, did they not? You're not afraid to get those non-worldly hands of yours besmirched by the dirt of this world, are you?" "Dirt and cleanliness are but opposite sides of the coin." "Anyway, getting back to that statement you made. Obviously, to work well, you must be able to breathe right. We certainly can't have out-of-breath workers around here, can we? No, that wouldn't do the company image good at all!" He laughed uproarously. This guy was a riot. "And, you know, you really have to be here at all times. No point in having you drift off into Shrangri-La Land at inopportine instances, you know. You've gotta have your feet on the ground at all times, cha chai cha!" Another flair of that maddening fit of giggles. Siddhi vague wondered if this guy been smoking dope, perhaps sniffing up a line of cocaine, in the executive restroom during his lunch break? "As far as creativity goes, well, we like a little bit of it, but don't get carried away, you know. We wouldn't want you to compose the „Starry, Starry Night‟ on the ceiling with the womens' jewelry, though I have been tempted to go that way, many a time." Siddhi spoke: "The opposite of order is chaos. The universe is balanced upon a fine line between the two. Or they are one, if you see they are the other side of one another." "Anyway, Squire Siddhi, our latest stock guy just quit, as they all do ultimately, seeking their forture in a higher place, undoubtably. I think I'll just weasal you in as a stock clerk, you get to take out the wares and set it all up. How's bright and early tomorrow as the cock crows sound to you, seven sharp?" "I am stricken with wonder at this initiation into worldhood!" "Oh, we'll make a worldly man out of you yet, wait and see. Boy o boy, do I have some plans for you!" Well, the guy was either crazy, a druggie, a Lilywhite gay boy, or a complete idiot, but at least he got a job. Have to break in somewhere, somehow. Siddhi, in the busy, busy world of work, proceeded to make his way through the whole maddening thing as a humble stock clerk. This was the first time he had a real job in the deep gut sense. It was actually quite a simple matter, nothing complex to memorize. All he really did was push clothing around on racks. It was sort of a silly thing; they actually paid someone to do this? It seemed like some kind of nonsensical game the cohorts of Maya had led him into. Of course, he had to take the right clothes to the right departments. Had to get that down right. No sense mixing the spring clothes with the fall clothes, the men's clothes with the boy's clothes, the ripply bras and lacy panties (pant!) with the boxer shorts and jock straps (shit!). We can't have next month's fashions with last months fashions. It wasn't as bad as calculus tables but there was still a lot of rules to this strange game. If he played the game right, he won pay. If he played the game wrong, he won a heartbreaking cussout and possibly being escorted to the door. It didn't actually matter that much to Siddhi, an enlightened being, what the outcome of this game was, but he sensed it was better to play the game right than wrong. So he chose to win a paycheck, a steady lottery he could always count on. It was a piece of cake. Siddhi wasn't quite sure what you were supposed to do with money. He knew it could be exchanged for food, and that seemed a little more convenient than begging for it and digging through garbage for it. He asked his working peers what they did with their money during lunch breaks. "Oh, things like groceries, rent, bills, funtimes, the usual," would be the reply. Siddhi realized there was another part to this game. He needed to set a base of operations, a place to live. With the money he had, there was no point in living in the woods behind the store. So he went about trying to find a place to live. It wasn't as easy as he thought it might be. He found out he would need to pay up two or three months of rent money just to be allowed in the place - first month‟s rent, last month‟s rent, and one month rent as a security deposit. If he wanted a place of his own, he would have to pay up some couple of month's wages. In the situation he was in, there was no way he could make this happen. He found he had to make do with seeking out people who were looking to split places. A lot of those people were very particular about who they wanted as roommates. You had to be in a certain culture, like a certain kind of music, like a certain kind of food, belong to a certain religion. Or he could live in some kind of rooming house where you had to check in with your landlord or landlady all the time. Siddhi finally found some kind of rather slovenly place where a lot of people came and went, played loud odd music at weird hours in the wee hours, smoked dope and did unusual drugs or just stayed drunk. The sinks were rusty and the cockroaches ran wild. It had one thing going for it - it was very cheap. They were all street people who just packed themselves in side by side in all the rooms, splitting the rent so it came out some $50 a month for each. It was in poor repair and technically to be condemned, but the landlord had an arrangement with the town. He didn‟t care who lived there; there were no applicatons. Siddhi didn't care, he just laid out a pallet in his part of the room he was in, which was actually a spacious closet in someone‟s bedroom. He spent a lot of time in this little room with one overhead light. He would read spiritual books or just gaze at cockroaches running around. It was a very distracting place to live in. Often it was so noisy, he had to wear earplugs to manage a few hours sleep. The kind of activities that went on in the house he was familiar with, even though he wasn't really into it anymore. Occasionally he partook of a toot of reefer, a snort of coke, a shot of liquor, just for the game, because that's what it was, a big game. Siddhi could be found on his off hours sitting by the pond contemplating the ducks. How they swirled around and around. He would inwardly chant "AUM" as the world swirled away into some vast cosmic Void-Pool. The Now was all he knew. Siddhi, pushing the latest ladies' fashions through the corridors of the the marketplace, was whistling quite contently. The world was not such a bad place, he considered. It was so easy to make just a few bucks to survive and why did you need more? He had so much fun in his off hours watching the ducks flow by or participating in the various parties that were always forming at the household where he had his pallet. And all he really had to do was breathe very deeply and set up the assigned fashions to their proper resting places. Endlessly they would be poked at and tossed and turned by countless women pondering on whether these are what would make a grand impression on husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, or whatever. It was a good existence and all was one. It was when he was unloading a box of frilly underwear that he bumped into... HER. Like a goddess who had landed into the earthling domain, there SHE was! Siddhi scratched his head. What was SHE doing here? Wasn't SHE supposed to be up in heaven somewhere sucking the root of Krishna or something? She had long light brown hair and green eyes. There was what appeared to be rather expensive jewelry on every finger, pearls and diamonds hanging around her neck, a tattoo of a violet upon her ankle. Her eyes were like vast oceans Siddhi could become lost in for days, weeks, years, lifetimes. Siddhi was paralyzed by her gaze more than anything else - as if he were a deer dumbstruck in the glare of headlights. And yes, there were other features, her trim petite nose, her cute bangs, her nipples poking hungrily through the thin silken fabric of her blouse, her slim yet muscular build, her deliciously cute ass, her legs parted somewhat as if to receive him. Long, long did they fixate their gaze upon one another, locked into the thrill of one another‟s presence. After what seemed an eternal delight, she flashed a bright smile of appreciation. "Oh, hi, I don't remember seeing you here before!" she said with the sweet voice of a celestial angel. Breathlessly, Siddhi replied: "I want you to teach me the secrets of love. I want to marry you!" "Oh, no, but I hardly know you," she laughed, giggling somewhat. "Besides, what can you do?" "I can breathe. I can be. I can create." "Hmmm, that's good, but to be a lover, I need much more than that. Yes, I would be more than happy to teach you the secrets of love, you seem such a nice young man, but what can you show me in return?" "I can show you how to get in contact with your Self within selves." "Oh, I see, you are one of those mystics! Oh, wonderful, I have yet to make love with a mystic. Perhaps there are grounds for an exchange here. I tell you what. Here is my address. Bring me a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine; women like those kinds of things, you know. Oh, and please try to find yourself some good clothes and go to a good hairdresser; you must make yourself beautifully handsome so there is some possibility I may want to bed you. That is how the game of love is played, you know." She cast him a knowing smile over her shoulder as they parted, Siddhi staring with gawked eyes at the loveliness of her perfectly formed body. He could not believe his luck. Siddhi, after nursing a hard-on all afternoon, daydreaming about making lovely love with this unworldly woman he had just met, punched out and engaged upon some errands. He went to a hairdresser first; he had not had anything done to his hair in years and it felt weird. He just asked the woman to do it in whatever way would make him attractive to women in general. When she showed him the finished product, he could not recognize himself, but smiled, after all, what were appearances but a mask? The visit was somewhat more costly than he had expected, worth about two or three hours of his lowly pay. He got a highly recommended bottle of wine, again quite expensive. So was the bouquet of flowers he bought from a dealer on the streets. He bought a fresh set of clothes, on employee discount from his store, and went home to bathe himself. After all this, he was quite broke; he wondered how he would be able to pay rent, but love was more important than shelter as far as he was concerned. He then walked to the other side of the town, with his bouquet of flowers and bottle of wine, whistling to himself all the way. It turned out she lived in a rather posh side of town, zone of the wealthier citizens of the city. He was received by a servant after he knocked on her door. She laughed when she saw him. "I didn't think you would actually do this. You seemed too poor to me. How did a mere stockclerk like you afford those clothes? And, thank you for the flowers and wine, it pleases me greatly that you went out of your way to do this." They ate by candlelight by a fireplace crackling. They were served a multitude of courses. After dinner, they drank wine and made jokes. Yes, this world was a wonderful place, Siddhi considered. They played sweet music and danced. Then she laid back in a soft cushy couch with silken pillows. "You have been very good and I believe I am intrigued by you. I like to take a man from the lower classes from time to time; they are so real. Men of the upper classes are so vain and full of themselves. For your reward, I will treat you to dessert." And with that, she pulled up her dress. He noted she was wearing no panties and her natural feminine perfumes waftly gently to tease his nostrils. Spreading her legs, she revealed a very fresh completely shaved vagina, glistening with the juices of womanly desire. She smiled as said: “Please lick your reward!” Needing no further prompting, Siddhi got on his knees and began to lightly lick the pulsating knob at the front end of her slit. As she gasped and groaned, he explored further inwards with his tongue. She was opening up a whole new world to him which he eagerly partook of. And, yes, Amanda taught Siddhi the multi-faceted Secrets of Physical Love. She taught him how to love a woman, how to make her his. All that night, she offered herself to him thoroughly and without reserve. She showed him positions he had never conceived of, not even in his wildest fantasies. She showed him how to prolong the pleasure, how to make it last for hours and bliss-full hours. She aroused him again and again. And was this not all part of the Supreme Game, to find eternal variations on the union of male and female, to unite again and again until they became One. Yes, this was all part of the Purpose of Life, to gasp, to groan, to sigh with wondrous pleasures over and over. Yet, with the arrival of dawn, Amanda told him he must go, it has been pleasurable but she could not have him around forever. "This is but a fling for me, you see. You are a wonderful lover, but I have other commitments with other lovers." "But why?" proclaimed Siddhi. "Was there something I did not do right?" "Well, you see, you are only a lowly stockclerk. I only made love with you out of a whim. I'd always had a fantasy about taking on a stalwart fellow such as you, and do this from time to time. I like to initiate young men; it is a thing I get into." "But I would like to be with you again. Was not our union so wonderful?" "Yes, Siddhi, but you see, women like men who are rich. You must be wealthy to have some chance of being with me on a more permanent basis. That is just the way it is." "OK, suppose I accumulate riches and share them with you. Will you then take me on as your primary lover?" She smiled mysteriously. "I don't see how you can possibly do that, but come back to me when you do." Siddhi went back home with mixed feelings. On one hand, he had the most arousing lovemaking he had ever experienced, the equivalent of a lifetime in one night. Yet he was poignantly sad; he wanted to be able to experience more of this. He wanted Amanda as his forever. Somehow he was to become wealthy. But he didn't know anything about that. All he knew was how to meditate, to look inward, to creatively invent. Was there a way to become wealthy with that? One day Amanda came into the store with what appeared to be a very well off gentleman. He was wearing a three-piece suit, was a somewhat elderly fellow, and wore a gold watch and an expensive ring with a diamond on it. She was clinging to his arm and snuggling up to him. He held onto her like a prized possession, as if she were a Mercedes Benz he had just purchased that day after an extraordinarily lucrative business deal with an executive in Japan. Clinging tightly to his arm with two arms as if dependent upon him to save her from drowning in unknown oceans, she pointed at various articles in the store with a rather high price tag that she wished him to buy for her. They spent a particularly long time in the jewelry department and she purchased long strings of pearls. Then he bought some fancy pieces of lacy underwear for her. They also took a while in the perfume department, while she tried putting various items upon bare patches of her skin. She invited the gentleman to sniff and see what he thought. Although the things she bought were hers, she was always careful to get his approval. By turning him on, she could trick him into buying it for her. He paid for all the items by whipping out a gold-plated Master Card. Siddhi passed them by moving a rack of coats. Although he greeted her, she did not acknowledge his existence. "I think you must have me mistaken for someone else, young man," she said somewhat haughtily. Then surreptitiously she winked slyly at him when the wealthy gentleman was looking elsewhere. Siddhi could not quite figure this out, but considered this must be part of the game she was playing. In following weeks, every couple of days, she would come in with a different man. They were young and old, thin and fat, pleasing to look at or outright ugly. They all had one thing in common; they were all quite well-off and all had lots of money to spend on her, which she eagerly encouraged them to do by being very sexually accommodating to them. She behaved as if she never knew Siddhi in any way whatever. As Siddhi went on his errands past Amanda and her new beau, he learned not to acknowledge her. It made him somewhat forlorn to witness this, to see how she snuggled up to these men who would spend so much money on her. Siddhi became increasingly less content with his lot in life. He began to consider he wanted to be more than a stockclerk. It was so... lowly. As days wore on into weeks and weeks wore on into months, Siddhi began to become profoundly discontented with his station in life. Beautiful women came into the store to shop and barely glanced at him while they fished through pearls and diamonds. He noted how everyone smiled and greeted the managers of the store, but no one did so to him. He noted how he and his fellow workers did all the real work of the store, while managers merely sat in their offices, shuffled papers around occasionally, and told everyone else what to do. He noted how he and his fellow workers lived in shabby dwellings, got around in cheap clunky transportation, wore shabby clothes, and ate cheap food. However, the managers lived in the swanky part of town, owning very costly penthouses, wore very fashionable upbeat clothes, drove in brand new cars, and ate in expensive restaurants. He noted how the beautiful women who came in or who worked as salesclerks there spent long hours chatting with the managers. He noted how they went out with them and snuggled close to them. But they paid not the least bit of attention to him. It was as if he were a mere bit of dust, not worthy of the slightest bit of notice. As he worked and worked, putting up the clothes, laying out the merchandise, dusting off the shelves, rearranging the furniture, all the drudgery stock clerks do, he began to consider perhaps he was not playing this Game of the World right. He was on the bottom of the heap. He was losing the Game. He was a profound fuck-up. Siddhi wondered if this was how he wanted to live his whole life. He looked at the station of the managers and he looked at himself. Surely he was too intelligent to be doing this kind of shit work. He, too, wanted to live in the swanky part of town, to have a brand new sports car, to wear the latest and most expensive fashions, to eat fine food in fine restaurants, to drink the rarest wines, and to have lovely women always at his side. They were winning the Game; he was not. Yes, he would have to become like them. It was at that point that Siddhi developed desire. Desire was what made this world go round. He wished to be rich, to achieve recognition, to have people look up at him, not down. He resolved to go beyond this. He would work hard to climb the Ladder of Success. He was not quite sure how to do it, but he would find out. He would have to study the manners and ways of successful people and do as they do. Siddhi studied the people who were successful. He watched their actions and manners very carefully. One thing he noted is they smiled a lot and were very gregarious; that seemed to be a primary qualification. Then he noted that they were extremely dressed up all the time. The outward appearance of a person seemed very important here. He noticed that they were very concerned about how the work was done and were constantly trying to sell things. So he gave it a try. First of all, he had to start dressing up. He had a problem here, however. He was not making enough money to dress up. So where would he get the clothes? Right off, he decided that he was in a unique opportunity to solve this problem. Since he was a stock clerk, he would be readily able to steal the proper clothes. There was, of course, an ethical dilemma here. This was a dishonest activity. Thus, to become successful, he must learn the art of being dishonest. In the back rooms, he could take a pair of pants or a fine shirt, when no one was looking. He could even alter things on the order forms. When someone asked him what happened to these items, he could say that he had no idea. Somehow, that never came up. But, to be successful, he must learn to be a good liar. He must learn to appear to be telling the truth, even though he was telling a non-truth. This went against his inner nature, but he must alter his inner nature in order to be successful. He waited a given time after the item was missing and then began to wear it. One day, he came into the store with a very nice pair of leather shoes. Another day, he came into the store with a rather expensive tie on. The next week, he came in with a coat on. To be a manager, he must look like a manager. He also found that he was in a position to steal money from the cash registers. He observed how the salesclerks opened the registers during the day. Then when they were not looking, he took twenty dollars here, ten dollars there. After all, no one would suspect that a mere stock clerk would steal money. Stock clerks actually had the run of the store. With this money, he refined his appearance. He went to a hair stylist and got a very snazzy haircut, catchy but conservative. He trimmed his nails. He polished his new shoes every day. He began to show up at work fifteen minutes early and proceeded to work before everyone else. He started working overtime. He paid attention to what the supervisors wanted him and his workers to do, and he would anticipate their desires before they could tell him what to do. He always did more than what he was asked to do. He began to avoid his co-workers and associate only with people who gave the orders. He was very friendly to them and made jokes with them. He did not come on too strong to repulse them, but he came on just strong enough to make his existence known to them. He showed concern about the operation of the store and gave constructive suggestions. One day, he was called into the office of the manager of the store. He was asked: “I like how you work here. How would you like to be a department manager?” Siddhi smiled and said, “I would be most happy to increase the productivity of this store!” Siddhi was playing the Game right now. Siddhi‟s station in life immediately changed. He was promoted to be a department manager. His job was to make sure everything in the department was functioning productively. The purpose of this Game was for the store to make a Profit, and Siddhi‟s role in this game is to maximize the Profits of the department. He set about that with ruthless efficiency. First of all, he let go of all the slackers in the organization, the ones who were merely dead weight. Why should the Company pay these ones who were doing no actual work? He set about finding workers who were willing to work, who were genuinely concerned about the Productivity of the Company. Behind his back, Siddhi was not well-liked as a manager and feared, but that was not his concern. Profits come first; people are disposable. This Game did not regard people as important. Money was. The more Money you had, the more you were winning this game. And with a greatly increased paycheck, Siddhi had plenty of this wonderful substance called Money. It was magical how he could simply hand over pieces of paper or write an amount on a piece of paper – to be transformed into any form of matter you wanted! The first month, he left that apartment full of bums and fuckups with a deep sigh of relief. He was tired of being around loud music, heavy drinking, cocaine parties. No, this was not for him. For him, were the finer things of life. No longer would he need to endure being a street person. For he had Money! He put down money for a very nicely furnished apartment in the posh side of town. The rooms were nice and spacious. There were no holes in the walls, no cockroaches. It was quiet. The walls were sound-proofed so he could not hear his neighbors nor could his neighbors hear him, should he choose to up the volume on his state-of-art sound system or get a bit kinky with his latest girlfriend as she made loud cries of passion as he tortured her with pleasure. He ceased to walk to work. Instead, he called a private cab every day to take him wherever he wished to go. He had plans to put down money for a Mercedes sports car in a couple of months. Transportation would no longer be a pain-in-the-ass for him. He was able to afford to eat in the best restaurants in town. He was able to leave large tips. Or if he wished, he could buy such condiments as lobster to make elaborate salads with at home. No longer would he be forced to live on “on-sale” items from the grocery store or eat out in cheap burger joints. Women no longer avoided him as they did in his previous life. Now they flocked to him. They introduced themselves to him and snuggled up closely to him. He hardly had to try to pick up someone who attracted him. He had no lack of female company to go out with. Or, if he was too lazy to go through the motions of dating, he could have a call girl come visit him for the evening. But there was one he wanted and one he did not forget. One night, he showed up at Amanda‟s place with a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of fancy flowers, and a bracelet of diamonds just for her. Seeing him with his private cab and all dressed up, Amanda was quite pleased. “I knew you could do it!” she said, hugging him tightly. “I had faith in you!” she whispered in his ear, sticking her tongue therein. Yes, Siddhi was winning the Game now. Now was the time to reap his rewards. Amanda stuck her tongue up Siddhi‟s ear, breathing hard rapidly to stimulate him. “Fuck me!” she whispered. “Fuck me like there is no tomorrow, like there is no end to the world, like there is no mortality, like there is no old age, like there is no disease.” She ripped off his shirt and swirled her tongue teasingly around his nipples, sending electric currents of desire into his twirling sexual chakra. She played with her tongue there, licking up and down, from side to side. They paused to take a quick slurp of champagne. Sloppily they toasted: “To endless Pleasure!” she said. “To Lively Sensation!” he said. They quickly proceeded to devour one another in many ways. She began to tickle the center of his abdomen with her very skilled tongue. “To Power and all the Pleasure it brings!” she giggled. Siddhi felt his Chakra of Power quickly switch on, sending a buzz of energy into his growing Lucifer, his Giver of Pleasure, his Bringer of Light. Moving downward, she zoomed in upon this amazing organ, this throbbing fleshy power tower of life-giving blood. She took the massive tip of it into her mouth and proceeded to swish her saliva around it, teasing the underside of it with the tip of her tongue. She then continued her journey with the tip of her tongue down the underside of this Bringer of Light down to the Seed Sack containing countless microscopic tadpoles bearing life-giving DNA. Unhesitatingly, she took this Life-Bearing Organ into her mouth swirling her tongue in countless spirals around it, working down a labyrinth to the center. She then licked up and down this Vast Organ, stimulating endless hidden nerves sending their impulses into the Crown Chakra of Siddhi‟s brain, causing this organ to open up in bursting fluorescence. She licked every atom of desire in this Organ of Intensive Pleasure, causing droplets of clarity to emerge from the hole at its tip. She immediately took this Organ into her mouth, gulping it halfway down her throat, humming songs of pleasure onto it. Again and again, she swallowed it, pushing it to its ultimate limits. She gazed into his eyes as she did so, giving him pleasure with the utmost affection, enjoying the power she now had over him, helpless at her mercy. Only she could release him now. Then, before he could shoot loose into her mouth, she abruptly let go of him. She then crawled on top of him, pointing her sweet deirre and Chasm of Venus into his face. Gradually, she moved onto his face, indicating that she would like him to return the oral favor, which he willingly did so, inhaling her sexual endorphins up his nose. He then stuck his tongue into her slit, lapping up and down, side to side, to offer her maximum pleasure. Meanwhile she continued to suck his Wand of Lucifer, moving carefully up and down, offering the maximum pleasure, as he did the same to her. Together, they moved in unison, in perfect synchronicity, their mouths each upon one another‟s Ultimate Point of Pleasure. While he licked her up and down, he also had the impulse to move his tongue up into the crack of her ass, right into the hole, enjoying the musky smells. He then licked his forefinger and carefully worked his finger right within her therein. She gasped inward, then returned the favor to him. Meanwhile, she did the same to him. After working themselves up into a frenzied pleasure crest, they came off that wave rapidly crashing to the shore, and simultaneously decided it was time to fuck. While he lay down, she slowly moved her slimy crimson slit upon his pulsating purple wand. She moved up and down upon him like this, pausing momentarily at a point where he was just about to enter her. They then switched positions where she was on hands and knees and he went into her rich steamy interior from behind, plunging deeply into the warm rich flesh cavern of salty fluids. She gasped and made primordial animal cries of passion while he held her ass possessively and penetrated deeply in, an explorer of the feminine depths. Reaching a point of climax, he could hold no longer, and he gasped and let loose rivers of steamy streams of crystal semen to flow within her and unite with her gasping gushing fluids. Afterwards, Siddhi held her tightly, enjoying the synchronicity of their breathing together. It was so pleasurable to hold one another like this after the act of sexual unity, possibly even more pleasurable than the act itself. It would be so good to remain like this together, never to part, flowing in the various currents of the storm of life, enjoying it from afar. “Yes, I feel truly one with the world now, Amanda. I thank you for teaching me to be with you.” “And I feel one with you, Siddhi. You are the one who can be with me as I really am, naked and free.” And so life went on for Siddhi, glad and free. His new role as a man of business was a somewhat interesting process of juggling of monetary numbers. He enjoyed running the store, explaining to people what to do. He was friendly to the employees who seemed to be earnestly working for the profit of the store. He became well-liked and everyone looked up to him as he passed by and greeted him. He was the central hub of this wheel that went around and around. Yet there was some part of him that knew that none of this was quite real. He would continue to start each day breathing deeply and meditating on the dawn, connecting with that inner part of him. He only sought to make money for the external things, but he knew the inner life was priceless. (Nevertheless, as each day dawned, and he performed his obligatory meditive rituals to get in touch with this precious jewel of enlightenment, he would often find his mind distracted by plans for monetary investments or how to make a conquest with a particularly beautiful woman). His relationship with Amanda grew in depth and they spent a lot of time together. As she taught him the art of relationship, he also taught her the art of connecting with one‟s inner self. He taught her to meditate, and they did a form of tantric yoga together where they would remain posed in sexual union, but rather than moving and getting excited, they breathed deeply and gazed into one another‟s eyes, achieving a union far beyond sexual. Their souls would melt into one another. But as he made more and more money, he discovered all the amazing things that this stuff could become transformed into. It became a game, a fascination, an addition to see just how far he could go with this. He began to wonder if he could go even further than this. Rather than make mere hundreds of dollars, he wondered if he could make thousands of dollars. He fantasized what it would be like if he could be a millionaire. He imagined all the nice things he could buy Amanda. They could travel all over the world. They could have houses in remote places. He decided that perhaps the thing to do would be to return to school. Then he could get an MBA and go to work for a major corporation. These were the places that had all the money. He could play this game on even a higher level, transforming less money into more money. Then he would be even more on top of the world than ever. However, Siddhi remained in the job where he was at. Day by day, he would work at the department store in his role as a manager. It was an interesting role to explore, but it was not enough. It began to become boring. There was a very predictable routine day after day. Siddhi began to feel like some kind of robot at the store. And he was not making enough money again. It was nice to live in a fine apartment, but Siddhi wished that perhaps he could put money down for a house, a big house that he and Amanda could live in. Houses cost a lot of money and the sort of house Siddhi wanted would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions. His income was only a minute fraction of that. To get a house, he would need to make a lot more money. And to make a lot more money, he would need to find a considerably better position in this society. And to get that better position, he would need to go back to school and get a MBA. That would mean that he would need to quit working and have a certain sum of money to put down for school. He would need a place to live and food to eat. He would want to go to a particularly prestigious school because then he would make the contacts he needed to find himself in the role of a corporate executive officer. Then he could make the money he needed, and he could live happily ever after. But as long as he was working at this job, he would never be able to do that. He would never be able to work at anything other than this job. It would become a rut and he would be stuck forever in this role. So, feeling increasingly hopeless with his situation, Siddhi did what he had to do, but he was losing all interest in it. Then one day, one of his workers passed an urgent message to him. His parents, taking a trip on a vacation in Europe, had gotten into a tragic accident in a rented car, running off a road high on the mountainous slopes of Switzerland. They were both in intensive care wards in a hospital in Zurich. Siddhi immediately took a leave of absence and flew over there. The nurse led him down of the grim path of the dreary halls of the intensive care ward. All around was the smell of death. Dying people were in every room breathing their last breaths. Abandoned bodies lay in each room, some very old people without friends or relatives to come see them. Siddhi cringed in dread at what condition he might find his parents in. Mercifully, they were both in the same room. All kinds of tubes were attached to them and many kinds of liquids were coming and going. Digital devices lay next to the beds, with red numbers going up and down. Graphs were forming on green computer monitors, their slopes heading downward rather than upward. Siddhi speculated it was measuring their blood pressure, their heartbeat, their brainwaves, and other parameters of their bodies. All their organic manifestations were finally being reduced to a digital read- out. Siddhi imagined it was easier for contemporary medical practitioners to study these various read-outs rather than look at these bodies dying before their eyes. His father was breathing very fast, hyperventilating, hanging on to the fading remnants of his passing life as hard as he could, like someone futilely grasping a passing board floating in a vast ocean while the sharks all circled around. Because he had the oxygen mask over his face, he was unable to talk. His mother, on the other hand, seemed to be breathing very slowly, her eyes rolled up in her skull, as though she were simply lying in wait for the inevitable, passively accepting her fate, knowing that the time to die had come. They were both bandaged head to toe. It appeared that virtually every bone in their bodies was smashed by the ruptured steel that had crumpled over them when they met their fate skidding off the sharp downslope without rails upon a frozen patch of ice, smashing onto the rocks below. His father was paying little attention to the road at the time, since they were both drinking champagne, celebrating their freedom and all the good things money could buy. His mother was not paying much attention to conditions on the road, since she was busily lapping at his father‟s throbbing penis, delighting in the pleasure she could give this man who had bought her so many nice things. Neither of them were wearing seatbelts as they were thrown over the side of the hill to bounce like a steel ball down the long grassy slope filled with boulders. And now, here they were, barely alive, as if they were waiting for him to show up so they could get it over with and let go of their mortal existence. Siddhi reflected how it was these two who united in copulatory love whose sperm and egg gave rise to his very existence. He was only one link of the long chain of existence here. Would he and Amanda, in turn, similarly give rise to yet another being who would also witness their dying in a spot just like this? Where does it all end? His father suddenly rose his hand and pointed at the mask of his face, obviously signing for it to be removed. Siddhi moved over and gently removed the mask. His father looked at him and suddenly recognized him as if seeing a ghost. His eyes opened in terror. “My son!” he gasped, his voice so hoarse as to be barely audible. “At last, my son has arrived!” Siddhi tried to smile, but failed. “Yes, father it is I.” “Please, my son, realize. We only had your best interests at heart! You know that, don‟t you?” A tear ran down Siddhi‟s eye. “Yes, father, I know you tried to help me in your own way. I know I went astray from what you wished, but now I am becoming more like you. I am a manager in a department store. I am probably due to be promoted. I plan to return to school and get an MBA. I will be married when I get rich. Yes, father, I will be rich just like you!” Siddhi held his hand. His father looked at him in sheer horror. “NO! DON‟T!” he gasped. “Don‟t do that!” he whispered in a fading voice. He started breathing very fast. Siddhi put the mask back on so he could get more oxygen. This was all probably very against the doctor‟s orders, but this was a situation he felt was justified to take the law into his very own hands, since this man was going to die anyway. His father again gestured for him to take the mask off. “Please,” he earnestly whispered in a fading gasp. “Please, son, do not make the same mistakes I did! It is not worth it!” Siddhi held his hand tighter. He reflected that he had never held his father‟s hand before in his whole life, he had never hugged him or touched him in affection. It had simply been animosity between them the past few years. But now his father was reduced to this pathetic creature of skin and bones, uttlerly helpless. “No, father, I will do my best not to do that. For I must find the true way and I must find it in my own way.” His father suddenly gasped and his head turned away. All the readouts on the monitor came to a dead stop. There was an inexplicable mixture of terror and bliss on his father‟s frozen face. His eyes were wide open as though he saw God and the devil simultaneously. Siddhi dropped his father‟s limp hand and went over to his mother‟s side. Her eyes were wide open and there was a strange calm smile on her face. There was almost an auric glow around her tossled hair, a bluish-purple color swirling magnetically as though it were the aurora borealis. Her hand found his and tightened on it as though she never wanted to let it go. “He is gone now, isn‟t he, Siddhi?” She spoke in a husky whisper. “Yes, mother, he is gone. I‟m sorry.” “No, don‟t be sorry. That is just the way of things. He really put up a fight, didn‟t he?” “Yes, mother, he resisted until the end.” “It is his nature to be a fighter, to struggle against the inevitable. Now he will find peace.” “We can only hope so, mother.” “I must go, too, Siddhi. You know that, don‟t you?” “Yes, I know. I am sorry this had to happen.” Her hand tightened. “No, Siddhi, do not be sorry. All of us go, but all of us come back in another form.” “I understand that, mother.” “I loved you, Siddhi. You understand that, too?” “I loved you as well, mother. I thank you for all you did for me.” “It is nothing. I feel blessed to have given birth to you. It is the one thing I did with my life that is worthwhile.” “Thank you, mother. I will try to carry on and be worthy of your having given birth to me.” “Be true to yourself, Siddhi.” “Yes, mother, I will.” Then she seemed to lose that glimpse of lucidity. Some light that kept her alive was suddenly gone. She simply dropped and there was nobody there. There was only an empty body with eyes wide-open, resembling some kind of doll. They were gone, the ones who had raised him and took care of him in his vulnerable years. With tears flowing down his cheeks, Siddhi vowed to be a good example to them. It was odd to watch his parents being lain into the ground. A number of people had come who were friends and relatives of theirs. None of them were anyone he knew particularly well; in fact, he was sure he had never met them until now. It was as if they had no real association with his parents, but all decided to show up now that they were dead, simply because it was the obligatory thing to do. His parents were dressed in black. His father wore a black suit and his mother wore a black dress. His father wore a red carnation in his chest pocket and his mother wore a lily in her hair. Both were rapidly wilting in the heat of the sun. They were all made up as if they were going to some kind of morbid horror party of bloodsuckers and thieves on All Hallow‟s Eve. It would had been perfectly appropriate to stick a cocktail glass in his father‟s hand, a cigarette on a long stick between his mother‟s fingers. Everybody looked extremely uncomfortable and behaved somewhat relieved that the coffins were closed and they were in the ground. The men looked away and the women shed an obligatory tear here and there. Siddhi shook his head in disgust; if this was the American way of death, he wanted no part of it. He would rather have his ashes scattered in some wild spot to remerge back into the depths of the earth. How alienating this was to make one final attempt at immortality to preserve the bodies and keep them from rotting in huge steel boxes. Then they would be topped off with stone monuments designed to last for centuries with their names, an epithet, and the length of their prematurely shortened lives carved upon them. Of course, even in death, there is money to be made. The funeral homes, the priests, and the flower vendors must make a fortune from this event, all designed to cover up the inevitable fact that physical life must come to an end. After an appropriate period for which there was no real mourning, Siddhi received papers in the mail relating to dispensation of the estate. Since he was their only son and his father had no concerns about charities to donate to, he got it all. There was the huge house in which he had grown up, virtually a mansion. He would be immediately given $100,000 plus a rather hefty trust from a massive principal of stocks and bonds. His father apparently had made quite a fortune in overseas trading. And, as if this were not enough, the will stipulated that if he were to return to school and receive at least a Master‟s Degree, he would receive a million dollars as a graduation present. Siddhi could not help but smile at this ironic twist in his fortune. Here was the way out of the rut in which he had been finding himself lately. He would immediately quit his stupid job as a department store manager and get an education appropriate to the ways of the world. He would get an MBA and use the money to start a business of his own, in what, he didn‟t know yet. He could also move into his parent‟s house and take in Amanda as his wife. He immediately proposed marriage to Amanda and she gladly accepted. They had a rather elaborate wedding ceremony. Numerous friends and relatives showed up, partaking of culinary delights and champagne. They were married by a priest, even though neither of them were religious. It was in a huge elaborate church with all kinds of hidden symbols of crosses within fruits on the alter. Siddhi wore a white tuxedo with a rose in his front pocket and Amanda wore a white dress with a lily tucked in her hair. Siddhi reflected on the irony of this marriage, a symbol of union and life, happening so soon on the heels of the death of a couple. It was as if a new couple must immediately replace the departure of another. He felt that somehow he was simply following in the footsteps of his parents, almost as if it were some compelling demand he must fulfill. He almost felt like he were in the midst of some drama where he and Amanda were saying their lines as the ceremony progressed. Cheers and whistles arose from drunken participants in the ceremony as they danced down the aisle to slip out of the church into the bright sunshine of the world outside. They were captured by a long white limousine to be taken to their new home, the home which was his parents, but was now theirs. For three days and nights, they fucked voraciously in the huge bed, the same room his parents had occupied, with satin sheets to consummate their true union at last. For the first time, neither of them used any means of birth control. This was the time of the joining of their seed. One morning, Siddhi was pumping himself into Amanda from behind, making like the beasts in the field. The huge four-poster bed, ancient oak carved with roses and lilies, was rocking back and forth with the intensity of their actions. Amanda was making various growling sounds in the depths of her throat, enthralled by pleasure. Of a sudden, Siddhi noted that the bedroom was filled with pictures of his parents at a younger age, when they first met, when they got married, on vacations around the world, his mother holding him as a baby, his father proudly looking on in satisfaction that the genetic line was being carried on. There were various pictures of him as a child growing up, one of him dressed up like an Indian, one of him running happily along the sands of the beach, something of his first day in school and him all dressed up. While he was fucking Amanda, he had a weird flash that he was simply repeating a cycle here, that the pictures of his parents and his childhood would be replaced in a few years by pictures of him and Amanda with whoever their children may turn out to be. This kind of thing had been going on for many centuries and would carry on for centuries to come, a timeless cycle endlessly repeating. Meanwhile, blood rushed into his throbbing cockadoo, a tightening arose in his seed pouch, he felt aroused by the sight of Amanda‟s splendid rear end and the scent of the air filled with aphrodisic perfume coming from within Amanda. Simultaneously looking at the picture of his parents as they met, he spurted forth into Amanda, somehow vaguely flashing back to being his father fucking his mother, returning to his origin. They had a real field day with this huge house they had inherited. Siddhi quickly got rid of all the odds and ends his parents left behind, including the rudiments of his childhood. He wanted to remake it into his own image and Amanda did not hesitate to help him with this new design. They painted the house from white into various shades of blue, green, and purple. They put rather wild paintings in every room and got rid of the more conservative style paintings his parents had acquired over their lifetime. They changed the style of shades. Siddhi went out and bought a very high quality sound system with numerous speakers and put a wide screen t.v. that covered one whole wall in the living room. There was a computer with a wide screen monitor in every room. Finally, they had a real place to party and they made the most of it. Every weekend, they invited numerous friends over to celebrate their new found wealth. They seemed to have a lot of friends lately. There were bottles of champagne everywhere, they feasted on caviar and fine food plates prepared by hired chefs, and the music was wall- thumping loud. Since they were some distance from the nearest neighbor, they could be as wild and noisy as they liked. There were lines of cocaine on the tables along with open bowls of pot for anyone to partake of as they liked, as well as a silver bowl of magic mushrooms. There were often orgiastic activities in some of the upper bedrooms. Siddhi and Amanda frequently participated in these, having agreed to have an open marriage, and would make it with different partners right in sight of each other. There was one incident where Siddhi and Amanda, having gotten quite stoned on some very potent pot, went upstairs with another couple which they had become quite attracted to. They took off their clothes and all joined in a big bodily scramble together on the huge bed. They all started having sex with one another in various four way positions. Amanda and the woman would be licking one another‟s clitties, while Siddhi and the man did similarly to one another, licking one another‟s pricksters. Or they would crawl over each other and somehow all be licking each other‟s sexual organs in one big circle, exchanging positions for variety. At one stage, Siddhi was fucking the other woman doggystyle, while Amanda was sliding up and down on the man‟s prick. They were facing each other while they were doing this, gazing intently into each other‟s eyes and grinning all the while. It was somehow as though they were actually fucking each other. Siddhi reached out and grasped Amanda‟s hand, mouthing the words, “I love you.” She smiled radiantly and mouthed back, “I love you, too!” It was as if not even making it with other people could have an effect on their union. They both came at the same time, their hands tightly grasping each other while they gasped their pleasure. Sometimes they would all do drugs and drink into the night, gathered around the huge dining room table. They would discuss the future of society, how crazy the present government is, how fucked-up the present culture is. In the wee hours of the morning, sometimes Siddhi would talk about what is the purpose of existence, and they would talk about philosophy and metaphysics. He would start spouting off divine revelations to the others such as “We are all God, you see. You and I and this table is God. God is like this all-pervading Energy that is permeating this entire Universe. It‟s a little like „The Force‟ in that „Star Wars‟ movie.” People did not quite know what he was talking about, but it sounded cool anyway, and, besides, this guy is the one throwing these parties, so we better be nice to him. Some would laugh and make jokes like, “Are you saying my prick is God, too?” They would laugh and Siddhi would shake his head somewhat sadly that they weren‟t really getting it. Or someone would say, “G..o..d… spelled backwards is D..o..g! I get it! God is really our dogs. Our dogs are agents of God in every home, watching us to teach us to be friendly to animals. Or maybe they are agents of extraterrestial beings, keeping an eye on us to make sure we don‟t get out of hand!” They would all break up laughing loudly. Someone would break some piece of fine Chinese pottery or spill a carafe of wine over on the expensive Persian rug. Or even worse, someone would puke all over the couch. No problem, they could easily be replaced with all the oodles and oodles of money they had. Meanwhile, there would be someone, not used to doing drugs, freaking out on some L.S.D. mixed with various nefarious substances to give it a kick. He‟d be whining against the refrigerator or writhing on the floor muttering, “Please don‟t let them get me! I didn‟t do it! I swear, I‟ll be good from now on!” All in all, it was quite an exciting and happy time for Siddhi, if somewhat confusing and creepy. However, there were times when the parties got a bit out of hand. Siddhi would often wake up in the morning with a throbbing brain, wondering how the place had become so chaotic, trash and empty bottles all over the place along with discarded panties and dried cum in condoms. It was at times like these he considered that perhaps it was time to get his life together somehow. This was fun, but not something to get into forever. Siddhi woke up. He opened his eyes. He looked around the room. There were bottles and ground-out butts all over the bedside table. His head was throbbing; he wondered what degree of alcohol consumption he had indulged in the night before. He vaguely remembered sitting around the living room smoking reefer and discussing in a stoned state what a better world would be like. He also remembered chasing around a pretty underaged girl who had snuck into the party, pulling off her clothes, and making love (or sex?) with her along with Amanda helping out. He suddenly sat up like a lightening bolt, as if he were awakening from a long blurry dream in some chaotic world where all was permissible. Amanda stirred like a satisfied cat who had successfully hunted down a mouse, sighing blissfully with a grin on her face. She stroked his thigh and put her head upon his lap. “What‟s up, my dearest one?” she said. “It‟s ok, Amanda. I just need to think, that‟s all.” “Oh yes, I remember, that‟s something you are good at.” She got up and simply hugged him, while he thought about things, things that he had been putting off. And Siddhi thought. It occurred to him that he wasn‟t sure where his life was going. Something was flashing by and he wasn‟t grasping it on time. One thing he was sure of, these constant parties weren‟t quite the right way to be doing it. They were fun, to be sure, but he needed to be doing more than this. He had to clear his head. It was getting towards the end of the summer. He needed to get into some college. It was time to go back to school and figure out what it was he wanted to do with his life. He was good at business, so he would probably major in that. But he wanted to do something more than simply make money for the sake of making money. That is not the correct way. As he made money, he wanted to return something to the world. He wanted to do some good. Money was the way to power, but he wanted to do good with that power. He did not simply want to spend money on endless dead-end pleasures, which in the end are merely transient. He could be some kind of philanthropist, give money to various good causes. But which causes were the most vital in the state this world was in now? There were numerous causes to give to; he was constantly receiving mail from this thing or that thing. The world was obviously in some kind of trouble. There were billions of people with all kinds of needs, and those needs were conflicting with each other, so there were endless wars and political battles about which needs take precedence. All these billions of people were consuming resources quickly with their needs, destroying what was left of nature in their cravings for homes, cars, gadgets, social status. There was really no way to satisfy all those needs; they would destroy the world which sustains them in the process. Perhaps if there were a way to drastically cut the population of the world, that would help, but they insisted on having more and more babies; that was yet another of their needs. Sooner or later, it would all come to an end in some great final disaster. Another thing he could do would be to get into some kind of socially responsible business, creating alternatives which would help alleviate the problems rather than add to them, something which would consume less resources and take people in some new direction. Here he was not quite sure what it would be he could get into. For example, he could work on developing fusion power or making hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Or he could work on some new form of birth control. He could work with solar power. Or he could work with developing alternative cities, which were more environmentally conscious in design. In any case, he had a ticket to developing something here, but he would need to enter school and clear his head to consider how to do it. Siddhi became reincarnated as a college student. He bought and carried books around. He went to classes. He gathered the latest opinions and theories about the world. He drank coffee in shops and studied books and wrote papers on his portable computer. He eyed and oogled chicks and wrote out checks for many goodies. He drank beer in mugs and blithely debated the latest fashions about the most “in” thing to think. He studied and gored books galore upon rows and rows books at midnight bright in ivory towers oh so tall. Nevertheless, he was never quite sure what he was supposed to think. The professors and their tag-a-long assistants trailing all had their silly opinions about how the new world shaped be shaped. But Siddhi wasn‟t quite sure that was what he wanted it to be. And he went home afreshed and weary. He kissed his wife all dark eyed and bleary. He played silly games with his little kiddie all wild-eyed and new born. He collapsed in his sofa in front of the fire. He sighed and threw a crinkled log upon the blazing flames leaping so high as if straining to reach the haven of heavens. Popping a beer exploding with delight, Siddhi wondered if perhaps this was all there was to life. Then there was the smoky room in surreal muted and flashy colors where Siddhi and his friends came to ponder and mix the drinks fantastic. Studying about life was a drag, so it was good to simply lay back and experience it on plush furniture by blazing fires while idly turning over heavy topics. There had been this guy who had been clinging to him lately, kind of following him around like there was some kind of favor Siddhi owed him. They had been discussing current trends in business, what would be profitable or what would be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. His friend popped a tab on an imported Australian beer and lit a thin cigar. He offered Siddhi one of these cigars. Upon inhaling it, Siddhi noticed that this was not quite altogether just tobacco in this baby, it had an interesting mixture of rare herbs from the far corners of the earth. They were also in the beginning stages of intense drunkenness. All around, the world spun in exasperating circles. As Siddhi‟s imagination began to soar with the hawks of night so high, he heard this friend say: “You know, we should really tackle the personal transportation market. People are trembling in their booties and gasping in horror every time the gas prices go up. And all they are making and producing in the meantime is those damn gas-guzzling SUVs. People probably don‟t even want anything to do with those machines, but the auto co.s are hypnotizing them that this is the only way to get around these days. “If someone should put their foot forward and start making little gas efficient babies, and sell them for a relatively affordable price, like 12-15 g, I bet they‟d sell like crazy. Man, we‟d have customers lining up for miles. Those SUVs would go straight out of business and straight to the fires of hell where they belong. Of course, we‟d come up with some unique alternatives for the elderly and handicapped, say, computerized vehicles that can drive themselves. “What I‟m talking about is making one of those alternating current cars, you know, that are electric in one sense and gas in another sense. Hell, I‟d like to give them the capacity to run on peanut butter oil and corn margarine!” “OR BEER!” someone in the background shouted, who happened to hear the tail end of this conversation. They ignored this particular asshole. This person had a reputation for constantly being in the throes of intense alcoholic possession. There was a lot of it going around in those days. “Anyway, I got a pal over in the engineering dept. who has some interesting plans. He says it‟ll get about 100 mpg, get up to 70 mph, and dig this, it‟s only a 2- cylinder engine. Under 35, it‟s completely electric, then it becomes increasing gas above once you get up to highway speeds. It‟ll take about 2.5 people and two bags of groceries. I tell you, for the average commuter, it‟ll be a real boon. What do you think?” “Yeash, this sounds like the kind of thing I‟ve been meaning to get around to.” Spake Siddhi. “Good! The reason I sort of zoomed in on you with this thing is I know you‟ve got a good head for business and you got a stash of investing moolah on your hands. Why don‟t you meet this guy I mentioned and we can talk numbers. I‟ve got some resources up my sleeve and I think by bumping our heads together, we can make this thing work.” “Yeah, I think this is a thing that may be a new trend. One must look for the next wave to be riding high in the long run.” And that night a business partnership was born. They clicked their lager mugs to their inevitable success. As Siddhi dedicated his energies to his studies, he learned about business and how business is done in the world. People in this world dealt with a rather peculiar symbolic material called “money” which represented goods and services. It was how trade of material goods and services was conducted. The odd thing was that somehow along the line, people began to consider this material of more importance than the original goods and services it was supposed to symbolically stand for. It was interesting how this stuff evolved from being pieces of precious metals into being mere pieces of printed paper and finally into bits of digital memory within massive computers which performed all kinds of transformations upon this peculiar code. At the same time, on a more earthly level, Siddhi studied about automobiles and how automobiles are made. He considered the business aspects of how automobiles are sold and what potential customers may look for in a such a vital purchase for the average American household. To the extent that he was able to, he tried to comprehend the various mechanical components of the typical internal combustion engine. He then tried to grasp various features which would increase that engines‟s general efficiency and gas mileage. He wanted to make fuel efficiency the supreme feature of his product. But he also wanted to make, to the extent possible, comfort and room to carry things, a part of it. He then approached this friend‟s plans to see what he could make of it. It was indeed an interesting idea… as long as it can be made to work. The problem would be, of course, someone would have to build the thing. Right now, it was merely a plan on paper, but this guy was a rather astute mechanical engineer with a history of creating successful models, albeit only one based on each plan. He did manage to get 70 or 80 m.p.h. – with a MPG rating of 100! It would take a certain investment of bucks to put together the initial test model. Siddhi could probably do that all himself, but it would help to convince a group of potential investors to bet their money on it for possible huge payback in the future. The more he studied the plans and tested it against what he had learned about basic auto mechanics, the more he liked this idea. Perhaps what he should do is show these plans to some other mechanical engineers who were open-minded to see what they thought of the general concept – without giving away the plans. (He would have to talk to this guy about whether he has this thing copyrighted or not.) Late at night, Siddhi pored over the plans while simultaneously jamming through thick textbooks of how to conduct business in the material world. It was all so complex and fascinating; there was so much to learn. His wife, Amanda, leaned over him and rubbed his shoulders. She hugged him tightly from behind. “Are you coming to bed yet, my dearest one?” she murmured into the back of his neck. “I feel a need to have you inside me, Siddhi.” Siddhi smiled, paused from his pensive pontifications, and rubbed her back, holding her hand tightly. “In just a few moments, my beloved one. I just need to get to the end of this chapter. See, it‟s only a few pages longer.” “OK, but please try to hurry. I need a good fuck before I go to sleep tonight. We haven‟t been doing that too much lately, you know.” Siddhi and his wife, Amanda, were in bed. Siddhi was half-heartedly making love to her, going on „automatic‟. He wanted to make her feel satisfied – out of a feeling of obligation. Half of his mind was on the task at hand and another part of his mind was on the auto plans. Here is a picture of what Siddhi‟s thought processes looked like: “Let‟s see, what does she like? If I rub my finger just so over her clit, how will she respond? Let‟s see, who was that investor at Blue Morgan I was supposed to call? Perhaps I should lightly stoke my finger over the tip of her nipple. They did say they were open to investing in new technology. Let‟s see, is she moaning yet.? No, something seems somewhat missing here. It would be great if we could boost the MPG to 200. Hmmm, she is grabbing my sexual apparatus which is becoming gradually partially hard, but somehow it is not becoming quite hard enough. I‟ll have to ask Wally for those blueprints tomorrow. Come on, man, let‟s do it here. We‟ve been doing this for years with no problems, why is it not getting hard enough? I wonder if I should study a bit more for that exam tomorrow. Got to do this fast so I can hit the books again. Could it be I am actually getting bored with this act? But this is such a beautiful woman; I have no excuse to be bored with this. I can‟t be THAT old yet! Shit, I‟m not even getting a hard-on!” “Hmmm, I‟m afraid I‟m not quite getting into this yet, my beautiful one,” spoke aloud Siddhi, somewhat embarrassed by his lack of sexual response. “Tell you what, let me just do it to you. Maybe I‟ll catch up with you later.” “OK, dear, whatever you say,” said Amanda, somewhat disappointed. And Siddhi returned to rubbing his finger over her clit in a somewhat circular yet mechanical motion. He leaned over between her legs and applied his tongue there, swirling his tongue there. She started to make some gasping in-breaths, stirring restlessly. Good! She was responding, stirring in her own world, somewhat forgetting his own dilemma. Siddhi plunged his tongue deeper inside her, tasting that strange oceanic saltiness within her. Siddhi kept licking and licking, doing the best he could to keep up with her response, not always getting there. Sometimes she seemed to be slowing down while he moved a bit too fast. Or she seemed to be riding her way towards an orgasm, while he couldn‟t quite move fast enough for her. Besides, something like an hour had passed according to the tick-tock of the clock, the second hand was moving mighty slow, and, man, his tongue was getting super sore! Come on, hurry up! Hmmm, she‟s moving her ass around pretty fast now, swirling it in circles on the bed, and her toes are curling up. Good! She‟s getting there! To supplement her pleasure, he stuck one finger up her asshole and did a “come-hither” motion with it, while sticking three fingers up her vagina, working his way to stimulating her g-spot. Meanwhile he moved his tongue, sore as it was, faster and faster. Suddenly, she pressed her clit very tightly against his face, nearly causing him to choke, pushing harder and harder while making all kinds of crazy noises, „ummms‟ and „ahhhs‟ and the such. “Siddhi, Siddhi, I like what you‟re doing! Keep it right there! Oh, Siddhi, I love you, you‟re so good to me, you‟re so good!” Then she slowly melted back into the cushions. Oddly enough, as weary as Siddhi was, he found himself quite stimulated by the intensity of her pleasure. He felt a pounding between his legs and pleasantly noted his dick was quite hard and throbbingly long, standing upwards, suddenly very interested in this lovely woman he had in bed with him. She noted this and did not hesitate to move downwards to suck his dick, giving him long lovely licks up and down his sensitive spot just beneath the mushroom head upon his instrument of pleasure. She also licked his balls, making delightful humming sounds while containing them within her delicious mouth. Meanwhile, she slipped a finger up his asshole, finding his version of a male g-spot, holding the tip of this finger tightly over this spot, moving it in circles. Then she stopped all this, saying, “Would you like to fuck me now, my dearest Siddhi?” Siddhi was too out-of-breath with unleashed desire to speak. He merely told her to bend over with her ass towards him and began to fuck her from behind while she moved herself into him to help. He stuck a finger into her asshole, thinking it would be nice to fuck that as well, if he could gather the juice. He plunged deeper and deeper, feeling his orgasm coming on at last. God, it felt so good to be within her. She is the archetypal woman and he was the archetypal man! And this is the archetypal fuck! He shivered and orgasmic juice was transmitted from within him to within her, a primal form of communication. She also shivered, doing a kind of follow-up orgasm of her own. Good! A duogasm! Just the thing to cement the bond between them! “That was wonderful, Siddhi!” she said. “I‟m glad you got there after all! After all, I want you to feel good, too! I feel selfish being the one to get it all. It just doesn‟t feel right that way.” “This is true, my beloved one. Long live the archetypal fuck!” She giggled and snuggled up into his arms. Somehow Siddhi felt like he was an actor saying his lines, really identifying with his role. It was like he were brushing his teeth or wiping his ass or something. He immediately excused himself and went back to his study room. Days went on into weeks and weeks went on into months. Meanwhile months went on into semesters in which considerable amounts of intepid information was inserted into the neurons of Siddhi‟s brain. He learned about clever techniques for doing business investments, how to learn about what was a good deal and what wasn‟t such a good deal. He sort of double-majored in automobile engineering, although this was not something he very readily caught on to. He also followed up on some of the latest things being invented in personal transportation. He noted they were doing a lot more of this kind of experimentation in Asia and Europe where the price of gas was considerably higher. Gas prices were being artificially kept lower in America, but Siddhi had a hunch this was about to change in the very near future. He figured that by the time he graduated and got his new business going, there would be a demand growing for what he had to offer. Siddhi focused one-pointedly upon this education that was mandatory for him to get this piece of paper that would say he was qualified to quit doing it, an odd pursuit in itself. He also educated himself to a considerable degree in many fields which he intended to synchronize at a future time. For example, he studied the psychology of creativity; he wanted to use certain techniques to get both himself, his associates, and his employees to think about things somewhat off the beaten track. Creative thinking would be a mandatory qualification to work in the corporation he planned to set up. One semester followed another. The years went by. Finally the day arrived that he was due to step upon the podium with a cap and gown, proudly shaking the hand of his major mentor. He was annointed an honor student of the highest grade and given an award for the dedication he showed to his work. Amanda hugged him, weeping with pride. Many were the champagne bottles they popped in the days which followed. And yet some part of Siddhi felt it was all knowledge of pure emptiness. Sometime while all this was going on, Siddhi and Amanda produced another human being. This was as a result of their biological conjunctures and sexual explorations. They were not using any form of birth control, so this result was rather inevitable. The boychild, whom they decided to call Agni, after the Hindu god of fire, quite resembled Siddhi in many ways. This child seemed to be quiet and pensive; he did not cry as much as babies usually do. Instead, he stared around him, as though a bit puzzled. He seemed to like to experiment with objects to see what they may do. Amanda, as women generally are with their babies, was very happy with Agni. She was proud of him and held him close frequently. She chose to breastfeed him until he grew teeth, deciding this is a far more natural form of feeding than artificial babyfoods. She also had chosen to have a natural childbirth, having little to do with the usual medical procedures used in this country. Siddhi was fascinated to observe how this little person differentiated himself from both Agni and himself. Although there were similarities, Agni had his differences. He did not always react in expected ways, choosing to go in somewhat unexpected directions. Siddhi would throw a ball to him; instead of bringing it back like babies would commonly do, Agni simply stared at it or put it in his mouth. While watching Agni take nourishment from Amanda‟s breast, Siddhi watched him suckle in sheer contentment. Perhaps he was not quite as blown away by the baby as Amanda; babies seemed to be more of a woman thing. Amanda seemed to be more absorbed by the baby than she was with him; he often felt a bit neglected. Yet it was amazing to him that such pleasurable activities that he and Amanda had indulged in were designed to result in this new being in the world. It was so right that it should be this way and Siddhi was so happy that it could be this way. Here was a little being that would grow up to survive him, that would carry on his genes. Sometimes while Amanda was breastfeeding the baby, Siddhi could not resist taking the other breast and suckling that one as well. It somehow took him back in time to when he was a young, defenseless child himself. Although the milk tasted somewhat thin and sour compared with cow milk, it also tasted intriguing, filled with unique vitamins and drugs which made him a little sleepy. He would also insert his finger into Amanda‟s vagina or stimulate her clitoris with the tip of his finger. Amanda smiled and simultaneously played with his throbbing blood-filled cock pounding against her thigh. Yes, what a happy family in the formative stages they were! While Amanda and Siddhi proceeded to gasp and gasm, Agni had a tiny little penis which filled with blood. Even at such an early age, he had some primordial knowledge of what sexual stimulation was. And thus the process of life goes on. As Siddhi plunged wholesale into the mainstream, he found himself increasingly identified with the various roles he was supposed to identify with. Less and less was he on the shores of life simply observing the currents of human drama slip by. There was a certain thrill in this, and yet there was a kind of fascination that he was gradually evolving into a very opposite type of person to that which he had once resolved to be. After he had finished his business education and had taken a period of time-out to celebrate the arrival of Amanda‟s baby, Siddhi turned his attentions to starting up his business. He discussed this matter with the lawyer assigned to handle his trust, who agreed that this appeared to be a very good reason to take out a considerable sum of his principal and something for which Siddhi‟s father would had approved. Siddhi managed to convince him that, in the long run, this investment would make far more money than where it was currently as stocks and bonds. Siddhi also hired this lawyer to help him design the contractual basis of this corporation. He immediately made a contract with the inventor of the novel vehicle that in exchange for his input and designs he would receive a certain percentage of the total profits, which would amount to a considerable sum. The inventor would have the liberty to buy whatever materials and hire whomever necessary to put this device together. Before they designed the factory, they would need to know how to design this car to make it go to its maximum efficiency. The initial attempts worked rather well in the enery-efficiency area, but seemed somewhat cruddy and unattractive, as well as very uncomfortable. This fellow was certainly a genius in terms of design of engines themselves; he was able to make one toy- like model which was able to attain 150 miles to the gallon. However, it would only carry a single person and perhaps a bag of groceries. This may be adequate for certain hardy individuals, but would certainly not gratify the needs of the average American. Siddhi asked him to work with another designer who was better in terms of the design of more comfortable models. This person had a way of designing vehicles that were space-age appearing, used lightweight and inexpensive materials, were luxuriously comfortable within, carried at least three people, and was quite weather-proofed. These two individuals often had certain basic disagreements in their concepts and occasionally clashed, but Siddhi forced them to brainstorm in unique ways using his concepts from psychology of creativity. He even had them work with other designers working on similar concepts. He encouraged them to synthesize their ideas rather than battle over whose idea was the best. In the end, he had feedback from persons who know nothing about cars but do have ideas about ideal features they would like to see in a car. Finally, they created a completely ready-to-go model which would have the ability to drive two people and three bags of groceries. It would only weigh around a thousand pounds made of a very lightweight novel plastic material. It would ride on three wheels, all three of which could be steered, which can lead to quite unique 360 degree turning on the spot, so rear gear would not be necessary – ending the stress of backing up and having to turn your head around. It would have a very interesting space- age appearance to it. It would be very well proofed against wind, rain, and cold. If necessary, someone could attach a cart to it to carry a bit more. It ran pretty much on electricity at city speed limits. On highways, it switched to gas, though it generated electricity on the downgrades combining it on upgrades. It could get up to 70 mph on interstates. The battery was designed from an extremely lightweight material and needed to be replaced every ten years. It was designed to be charged overnight in the consumer‟s garage or driveway. The engine was only 300 cc and had 2 cylinders. Finally, the bottom line is it got around 100 mpg. The really cool thing about this new car is it only cost about half as much as the average internal combustion vehicle. If they could convince people that this was a viable reliable form of transportation, it would sell in leaps and bounds. They had people try it out and word got around it was an interesting form of transportation. Reviewers tested it and it got some good reviews, although it was so novel, some more conservative reviewers were not sure what to make of it. In any case, the basic model was set up. The next stage is to construct a factory for this baby. It was a somewhat convoluted business to get the wheels in motion for this distorted enterprise. Siddhi managed to find an old warehouse on the outskirts of Santa Palo which needed some reconstruction to make it into a vehicle factory. Windows and floors needed repairing, specific assembly lines needed to be constructed. Air conditioning needed to be installed because this could be a very hot business. It looked like time would need to be set aside for all this and money contributed from various investors needed to be put into all this which, as usual, always involved more than what at first met the eye. To get this project going, Siddhi had people working around the clock, including himself. Being a labor of love, Siddhi did not mind this so much. Siddhi continuously looked beyond what it was now to his vision of what it will be. At the same time, he began to order the basic materials which would go into this vehicle. He discovered a considerable part of the engine could be constructed initially with a certain Chinese motorcycle engine and the electrical components could be partly gathered from a golf cart manufacturer. This would involved an interesting synthesis of what is already out there. He began to store these materials in unused parts of the warehouse. He also needed to hire contractors who would gather the future assemblers for this. He found that there were a great number of rather adept and mechanically inclined immigrants from India who would be quite good at this project and would work for reasonable wages. Part of his job offer would be stocks in the company so the workers would share in the profits. He would also offer to the workers opportunities to give their inputs into how the project could be done more effectively; if it turned out to be a good idea, they would be rewarded with proportions of the company profits. Siddhi was a firm believer in the idea that those who work on the ground floor certainly had a better idea of how things were going than managers who were perhaps more aware of a larger picture but cut off from the details. Within six months, Siddhi had the factory constructed, the basic materials ordered and stored, a work force lined up, among other things which needed to be done. We needed to start manufacturing these vehicles first. However, we would also need to get the word out to potential customers that these cars would be around in the future. Another thing, Siddhi would need to do would find places throughout the country, and perhaps other countries, to sell these models. Meanwhile, what was going on at the homefront? Well, the little baby was gradually transforming from an incognito baby into a little boy crawling, then running all over the place. He began opening his mouth, pointing at things, and questioning, no demanding, “What is this?” He put things in his mouth, tasting them as if by doing so he would penetrate into the essence of what that is. The world was a fascinating place to the little kid and he was getting his tongue and fingers into everything he possibly could. One of his favorite questions was “Why?” Like father, like son. The relationship between Siddhi and his wife, Amanda, became somewhat more distant, on a different level. Rather than lovers, they were husband and wife, partners in the business of living and raising a child. Their love-making became more automatic, performed upon certain days when neither of them was as busy. Love-making was almost like a business appointment between them, a function to glue their togetherness, a handshake in their contract as husband and wife. Gradually, this became less and less frequent, as they understood this activity was not necessary to keep things going between them. For one thing, now they had this kid as a mutual bond. However, Amanda seemed to grow more bored, more bitchy. They would argue over things like what to have for dinner or where to go out for the evening. At first, these arguments were cute and teasing, but then later they grew more ferocious, not quite on the level where they would start throwing household items at one another, but voices were raised and the one who did not get his or her way would be very pouting. They were aware that this was normal in the evolution of marriages, that the days of loving romance were over and now was the true test of their continuing relationship. Luckily, they had the boy, over whom they could laugh and indulge in the business of raising. Nevertheless, Amanda was not quite satisfied being merely a mother raising a child. Her aspirations went somewhat further than this. One night, after mastication of a meal the menu of which they could both partially agree on, as the kid played with his vegetables, rolling them up into little balls, Amanda announced: “Siddhi, I cannot just stay around at home all the time like this. You have your work which obviously excites you. I need to do something, too.” Siddhi, wiped his mouth, saying, “Well, this is fine with me, my dear, but what is it you‟ve chosen to do?” “I want to go back to college. I want to be a teacher, possibly a professor. We do have the money to do that, don‟t we?” “I can see no particular objections in this, but what would we do with the kid?” “I think we can make arrangements for day care. He would get the opportunity to go out and meet other children, learn to socialize. I think it would be good for him. And we can still interact with him at other times. It is not as if we were sending him away somewhere.” “Your desire is my desire. I have noted a certain restlessness about you recently and certainly you should have a professional life as well as I. But have you decided what it is you would like to teach?” “I am not quite sure yet. I think I would like to teach something like art or writing to children on an elementary school level, ignite their creative ability. I would need to take a few survey courses to know for sure. But I would like to be a teacher, that I know for sure.” “If this seems to be what calls you, then you should certainly pursue it.” “Thank you, Siddhi, I knew you would understand.” That night, their lovemaking was somewhat more involved and creative than usual. They attempted a few positions and postures they had not tried before. Breathing deeply, they blended tightly into one another, feeling more of a bond as they gazed into one another‟s eyes. Siddhi worked. He busted his ass. He labored by the sweat of his brows. He was integrated into the ways of the world. He became lost in his labor. To be sure, there were problems and hassles with the coming along of the factory. Supplies did not arrive in a timely manner and parts were ordered that did not fit. They were creating something unlike what was customarily made and it was challenging to find parts that would come even close to fitting. Along the way, he realized that it would be necessary to create a subsidiary factory just to make the parts and new contracts had to be drawn up for this, an unexpected expense. Investors were impatient as to when profits would begin to be generated and Siddhi had to put these people at ease. Some became so impatient, they sold their stocks to invest in something more stable, but this could not be helped. Things went along at their own pace and there were some who could not accept this fact. He was forced to pay out wages and buy things for a marketable item which did not yet exist, a factor which always made a new good an especially risky thing. One thing, however, that did go in his favor was a harsh war was being fought in the Middle East with a country which supplied a considerable portion of the world‟s oil. This was forcing oil and gas prices to go up to record highs. He already had the car advertised both on normal channels and the web. Numerous people were starting to inquire about it, particularly interested in the miles per gallon this vehicle attained. This factor was putting heavy investors more at ease and they rescinded their threats to withdraw their investments. All in all, this world of business was stressful indeed. Siddhi found himself lying awake frequently in a state of worry about it. He would get up and go into his meditation room, meditating in the wee hours of the morning, making an attempt to make a positive visualization about the outcome. As the months drifted by and one season followed another, all the bits and pieces began to come together. They began to make their initial attempts at synchronization of the assembly line, working out by experiential feedback just what would be a good way to put hundreds upon hundreds of these cars together. They began to realize it would work better to have separate assembly lines for separate components, such as one for the main engine, another for the transmission, another for bodily parts, and the such. Then they would have a master assembly line to put all these basic components together. Finally, the day had arrived that they managed to construct an entire car, what would be the automobile of the future. Siddhi was the one to actually get into this and take it for a test drive. It ran beautifully! They took the rest of the day off with a massive party, breaking out champagne and celebrating in general. It was difficult to get to this point, but well worth it. Siddhi flirted with a rather pretty woman who worked in the accounting department. At the end of the day, they snuck off into a private room to participate in forbidden activities. He was discovering that his role as an executive was making him appear quite attractive to young and pretty women. They decided to call their company “SpaceShips, Inc.” The initial model they would market would be the “Flying Saucer”. Over the past couple of months, their design had gradually evolved. The car was made to look exactly like a retro flying saucer from old sci fi movies. It was circular in shape and one sat right in the middle of it. You would get in and out of it within a globular kind of window in the center. Then the driver faces one of the wheels with a dashboard which was all digital and very sci fi appearing. There were three wheels at triangulated points around the perimeter, wheels which all turned simultaneously should one choose to make a turn. (The designers were considering use of five wheels for additional stability on larger models.) Otherwise, all three wheels remained in the direction where one was driving. It the driver should want to make a turn in the opposite direction, he or she would simply point the wheels so the saucer would spin 180 degrees; there was thus no need for reverse gear and u-turns were unnecessary. It was also extraordinarily protected from potential accidents; there was a huge perimeter bumper of rubber which would bounce off colliding vehicles. Should two of these saucers bump into each other, they would bounce off one another and go on their way. One did not even use a steering wheel or brakes; it was all computer operated and one controlled it with a specialized joystick. One could even give it directions to where one is going and lay back to enjoy the ride, warning the driver in a case of some unexpected occurence. It was in the works for it to even be operated by voice. (What a boon this would be for physically disabled people!) It was getting more and more interesting as time went on. In the meantime, following web announcements of this saucer and rave reviews in more futuristic-oriented magazines, people were lining up to buy them. Dealerships noted this and began to snap them up. All over the country, people were getting rid of their old cars and getting these as a replacement. At first, they were somewhat on the expensive side and they were more like toys for the rich to show off how upfashion they were. As money began to pour in, Siddhi‟s company could begin building more and bigger factories and turn out millions of these, getting on the scale of Detroit operations. As they turned out, they became the new version of the “People‟s Car” and came down on price, being able to offer special financial arrangements for those who are not so economically well off. One was beginning to see more and more of them on the road. Virtually overnight, Siddhi was becoming a multi-millionaire and stocks in “Space-Ships, Inc.” were becoming one of the most sought-after items on Wall Street. The company was making billions of dollars. It was the equivalent of the executives who started the personal computer revolution; everyone was wanting them once they discovered their convenience. The long day had ended. The sheer bulk of success was becoming quite a burden. There were numerous construction projects going on, dealers to design contracts with, papers to be affixed with the executive signature and pushed on their way to the right departments. Siddhi was blown away by how the whole project had taken off; somehow he must had been at the right place at the right time. Perhaps this massive technological change was inevitable; if it had not been him to be the supreme catalyst to get it going, it would had been someone else about at the same time in similar circumstances. As he headed back to the office from a long meeting, he smiled at the data entry girl, Toni, contentedly clacking away on the keyboard while inwardly listening to MP3 tunes playing upon her headphones. He leaned suggestively over her desk and greeted her. For a few minutes, they spoke in the requisite office shop talk. He then requested that she come back into his executive office with him to take some “diction”. They looked at one another knowingly. This was the code for them to do some highly private activity between themselves. She came in and sat upon his desk right in front of him, pulling up her rather short skirt displaying her shaved sexual orifices right in front of his face. She was not wearing any underwear upon his executive command. Siddhi leaned back in his chair and loosened his tie, enjoying the lovely view she was showing him. A certain flow of blood was going downwards between his legs, initiating a hardness of his executive phallus which started to throb, as she inserted a finger invitingly within the wetness in her pink slit. Siddhi then proceeded to lean forward, rubbing his face between her legs from which an intimate primal fragrance was exuding. He enjoyed this lust-evoking scent inhaling it deeply within his lungs, savoring it in the most intimate recesses of his brain, as he inserted his tongue upon the tip of her clit and began to lick. He explored further, digging both his tongue and his nose into the depths of her passionate vagina, while she moaned for him to penetrate even more deeply, breathing heavily and quickly. She moved restlessly from side to side, making papers he had just signed damp with a feminine signature of her own. He took long licks all along her periniem, lapping at her clit, her cunt slit, and even back into her ass crack, pausing to dig his tongue into her asshole, which she particularly seemed to enjoy. She then came down between his legs, positioning herself on her knees before him, and proceeded to unzip him. He was not wearing any underwear either and his dick popped right out like a jack-in-the-box. She gazed in awe upon this massive phallus growing before her eyes with wide blue eyes in awe and wonder. She dropped her mouth, stuck out her tongue, and began to lick upwards and downwards along the forefront of its length, spending special time holding the very tip of the bulb at the end within her tiny well manicured teeth and polished lips. Slowly she moved her mouth over his length, taking his length all the way into the back of her throat, enjoying this uncontracted secretarial task greatly as he began to shift back and forth on the leather chair. As she slid her mouth up and down upon this throbbing orifice, she pulled his pants downwards until they were down to his ankles. Still holding onto him, not letting go for dear life, taking tentative looks upwards at him to take note of his reaction, she then took off his shoes, removed his pants, and, article of clothing by article, she undressed him. Although he would had loved to come then and there in her mouth, he pulled himself away. He then met his tongue with her tongue and they mated thusly passionately while he removed her secretarial outfit so he could press the nakedness of her skin against his. As they did so, feeling one another‟s bodies heatedly, they both intuited it was time for the executive fuck. She leaned herself over his massive desk, getting upon it on all fours, while he positioned himself behind her and proceeded to plunge his hardness into the depths of her softness. It was like taking a dive into a pool of cool water from off the top of a cliff after a very hot day; it was so refreshing. As she leaned towards him, he slid in and out of her, enjoying the sensations on the surface of their sexual skins. He loved to look at her exposed ass after lusting after this all day while passing her back and forth all day during the course of his executive actions. He dug a finger into her asshole, wetting it with his mouth first, and felt his dick digging into her back and forth through the sides. She moaned enjoying this double penetration. He then pulled out and thus lubricated by her juices, he proceeded to slowly push himself up into her ass, pushing hard as she breathed deeply to take him within accordingly. Meanwhile, she stimulated herself on the clit with her hand as he pushed into this tightness of herself in and out. Breathing deeper and faster, she orgasmed suddenly and violently, her hole tightening around him as he was deep within her. He reacted by coming in long spurts within her, going in as deep as he could, then pulling out with a long string of semen still hanging out of the hole at the tip of his penis. She turned around and cleaned him off with her tongue. “Thanks, Toni, I needed that. It‟s been a long day.” “Hmmm, so did I. I‟m glad you enjoyed it because I certainly did!” “How about dinner and refreshments afterwards? Perhaps we could go for an encore later on.” She snuggled up to him. “Hmmm, sounds like a plan. I don‟t mind working a little overtime.” “I‟ll leave a message for my wife I‟m working late tonight.” Siddhi‟s wife, Amanda, also started staying out later. Neither of them were around very much and the kid was up to his own devices, playing games on the computer or watching TV a lot. They kept him in school or in late afternoon extracurricular activities to keep him occupied. They also hired services of various babysitters who had their boyfriends come over to visit, smoke a joint, and make out a lot. Meanwhile the kid surfed on the net a lot, learning a lot more about certain adult activities at an early age than he was meant to. Siddhi and Amanda gradually drifted apart. They would occasionally encounter one another, exchanging a few words, perhaps giving each other an obligatory light kiss on the cheek or an uninspired hug. At the dinner table, on those rare occasions when they ate together, they would sit at opposite ends of a long table with the kid between them, wondering what‟s up while they got together simply for the illusion of a happy family for the benefit of the kid. They did not say much at these occasions, simply ate in a somewhat morose silence, exchanging words about business around the house. They hardly even slept together. At first, they started sleeping in separate beds, making obligatory love perhaps once a month, if even that. Then, bothered by each other‟s snoring, they decided to sleep in separate bedrooms. They had been around each other so much, they just weren‟t drawn to each other anymore. Siddhi started noticing that she wasn‟t very good looking anymore. Certain things stood out. Her breath was not good; she ate too much garlic and he could not stand the reek of it. He noticed how she was starting to sprout a few gray hairs here or there. There were subtle lines of aging in her face. She was gaining some weight around the middle and her breasts were beginning to sag a little. Amanda noted the same sort of things about him. Every day, he was beginning to look increasingly worn. His socks stank when he took his shoes off. His laughter was forced and his grin was fake. She wondered what she ever saw in him in the first place, yet she would continue to maintain this travesty of a relationship for the sake of the growing boy, now going on ten years old. And, of course, there were the benefits of being the wife of a very rich man. That helped, but she wondered if that was ultimately going to be enough, because, for one thing, she was bored as hell with him. Also, she noted the smell of perfume on his clothes, the occasional stray blonde hair. It was obvious to her he was doing some kind of extramarital affair when he claimed to be working “overtime” at the office. A woman could sense these things. She went ahead and helped herself to her own version of extramarital affairs; she could not live with the dearth of sexual activity between her and Siddhi. Occasionally she would fuck with the teenage boy who came over to do yardwork for them, inviting him in for a drink and more. She got off on teaching him about how to lick her pussy and how to please a woman. She once had a thing about the delivery man who delivered packages of things she had shopped for on the internet. She would hand them an exceptionally large tip for this special service. Meanwhile, she was developing a more serious thing with a professor at the college who had recently divorced from his wife (or so he said). They both liked literature, particularly the romantic variety. They acted out their own version of a romance between one another, making up their story as they went along. They made long and passionate love in his bedroom, celebrating their affair with champagne. One night, when Siddhi came in quite late at night, tiptoeing so as not to awaken anybody, he noted an odd ghost-like emptiness in the place. Like a detective investigating a crime, he noticed how a few things were missing here and there. A gut feeling hit him that something was definitely amiss here. He peeked into his boy‟s room to see if things were ok; he often liked to look in the bedroom to admire the growing boy in dreamland. This time, he noted the bed empty and the bed made. Oh, no! Siddhi thought. Has the worst happened? Have his nightmares come true? He looked in Amanda‟s room. Nope, just as he thought, she was not there either. He walked down to the refrigerator to get a beer, or perhaps something stronger for the occasion. On the dining room table, right in the center, he saw a letter with his name on it scribbled in his wife‟s handwriting. His fears were confirmed. He opened it up and saw a hastily scrawled note that simply said she was leaving him, she could not handle this farce of a marriage anymore, she was taking the kid, and she wanted a divorce. Siddhi collapsed in a chair in shock. His first thought was what would this do to his image? Having the appearance of a happy marriage was one of the peresquisites of keeping a good business going. He felt very unhappy that his boy was gone; would he ever be able to see him again? He felt the absence of her presence. Although there was no longer anything between them, he had to admit he felt some grief that she was gone. Siddhi began to drink very heavily and broke down and cried. In the morning, he was passed out on the kitchen floor. In the days, the weeks, the months that followed, Siddhi plodded quite bone- weary through the excruciating exigencies of existence. He tried and he tried to contact Amanda, to come to some understanding with her, to somehow win her back. It was not until she was suddenly missing from his life, that he realized what a presence she had been for him. Like images of a life passing by, he bitterly recollected all the wonderful times they had when they were once upon a time still together. He remembered their romantic interludes, the great parties they had, the times they took off to see the wide world, their retreat in their vacation cabin up in the high mountains. He remembered how wonderful it was to awaken next to her luscious body, how true it was when they told each other how much they loved one another. Try as he would to repress the memories, they just kept coming and coming back in droves. And how he missed the boy, too. He remembered the times they laughed together as they played silly games. He remembered the joy he experienced as he saw him learn to first walk on his two little feet, watching him stumble and run across the yard, as he snapped a picture on his digital camera. He remembered how the boy would ask questions and he would teach him about the ways of the world. He remembered the joy he would experience in hearing his integrated witticisms, like a young Zen master, wise in the ways of the world. And he kicked himself in the butt for allowing himself to become so distant from them, for seeking other relationships on the side, for letting his work get such a hold on him he completely ignored his family. Now he realized how important it was to have this thing at home, this continuity of a cozy relationship. If Amanda left him and took the boy, he only had himself to blame. Every night he drank heavily, immersed in these memories of the family he once had and now inadvertently destroyed. The house he lived in felt like a ghost home, cobwebs of the past hanging everywhere. Everywhere there was possessions of Amanda and the boy, the things they loved so much, an aura of what was hanging everywhere. On the shelves were pictures of him and them, all happily connected in a world that once was. He sometimes combined his drinking with various forms of downers, anything to kill the pain, smoking dope and listening to music of the past, acutely aware that by these various combinations of pain killing medications he was playing a kind of Russian roulette which could possibly lead to the cessation of the functioning of his physical body. And why should he care if he were to die? What good is all this anyway? What point is there in this thing called life? Certainly on an outward level he was far more successful than any American deserved to be on this planet, but on the level of maintaining relationships, he was a an absolute wash-out. And yet, despite his wish to end it all then and there, there was some irrational lifeforce which commanded him not to go that way. By the light of day, he went to work, though he did not understand why he even bothered to. It was just something to do, something to kill the remaining time until the end of his life. But, because he could not endure the sweet and painful memories of when he and Amanda and the boy were a unity, he immersed himself in the business of the corporation. Aggressively, he sought new contracts with various companies, made investments, cleverly designed the fine print to make even more money come his way. Making money was his entire existence. Though he knew there was no ultimate point in it, he went through the motions. And, yes, he also pursued pretty young women only half his age. He used his success to have any delectable female he wanted and fucked them in all kinds of positions, often having a couple of them at once. He would even offer them to potential business partners to gain a contract. Here again, he was going through the motions, he felt no real sense of relationship with any of them, and he often was unable to really get it up. He did not sense that any of these were especially interested in him as a human being, they were simply making it with him for the money he was making, for the treats he would buy them, avidly seducing him left and right, competing for his attention. There were times in the middle of a meeting, that Siddhi would suddenly retreat and run to his executive restroom. He would sit down and break down crying, wondering how it was one man could be so deeply in pain. Time passed and the pain Siddhi had been in began to numb, though there was that aura of bitterness and cynicism which still remained with him. The divorce proceedings were a very difficult process; it was quite painful to go to court to face a woman he had once loved and deal with her like a snarling business associate who was taking a lawsuit against him. He wound up leaving the house to her and the boy; he could not face remaining in the emptiness which lingered there anyway. He also wound up having to allot a considerable portion of his income to her; that was a bummer. However, in exchange for all that, he did get rights to see the boy every other weekend. Time went on and things happened. Life changed its course on its winding way down the ravines of existence. After the divorce, Amanda did wind up remarrying the professor she had been carrying on the passionate affair with. Siddhi, on the other hand, became the archetypal wealthy playboy, enjoying the fruits of his labors of earlier years. He started living in a penthouse atop of a high skyscraper downtown overlooking the entire wild city. He had money to spend and he threw it in all directions. He ate at the finest restaurants where the bill was commonly hundreds of dollars. He dated the most beautiful women who gave him the most exquisite blowjobs and the finest fucks in exchange for all the expensive items he would treat them to. He went to luxurious private clubs and consorted with the wealthiest people in the world, snorting the best quality cocaine with thousand dollar bills. He participated in the most elaborate orgies twisting in all kinds of crazy contorted convolutions. He dated with a woman barely out of her teens half his age who was a famous pornographic movie star, whom men and not a few women in their private moments worshipped from far and near. It was considered somewhat scandalous and the news media scooped it up for the shocked and fascinated public. Often he and she would encounter flashes from photographers wherever they went. Siddhi was on the top of the world now. He was rich, successful, and famous, the envy of every American who earnestly desired to be just like him. He made far more money than he knew what to do with and all he did was consume and consume. He simply did not know where to stop. In the executive office, he delighted in all the people who looked up at him and sought to get on his best side in exchange for some portion of the corporate empire which he now controlled. Everywhere the flying saucers were flying like some sort of alien invasion directed by Orson Welles, and regular cars were becoming all but obsolete. Yes, he thought satisfied, things were certainly going his way now. Siddhi had his marvelous masticating masturbating actress hanging upside down on a chain, strapped in by spiked leather. She was hanging at just the angle so she could be slurping away at his fleshly lollipop, licking at the juices steadily flowing out. Meanwhile, Siddhi standing up, had his nose between her legs inhaling her olfactory delights rising from her fiery cooking pot, sticking his fingers therein, tasting of the wondrous meal being steadily cooked within her pink slippery maw.. Together, they lapped at one another like happy puppies playing in the sunny grass. No other care in the world did they have but to be precisely in this moment, giving one another pleasure. This act was but the culmination of hours of making love, drinking champagne, and sniffing a stimulating white power powder which ignited their sexual proclivities to even greater heights. Siddhi‟s enlarged stick of flesh throbbed so hard for hours and hours, he could weep with joy at the delights this veil of illusion was revealing to him. As he felt the tip of her very experienced tongue lick at such a precise touch up and down his pounding protuberance, he dug his own tongue deeply into her own sticky cavity going into hidden realms only dreamed of in the past, causing moans and gasps of pleasure from this wonderful woman. How lucky was he to have this one to himself this moment, though in other moments he enjoyed watching her frantic sexually-charged antics on the massive digital screen in his living room. (Often she would watch these with him getting him worked up and fucking him in the meantime.) Finally the stimulation grew to a peak and he exploded, exploded, exploding forever like he was the effusions from the explosion which gave birth to this universe, massive waterfalls diving off cliffs, tidal waves crashing on the shore to eradicate entire cities. The explosion seemed to go on for an eternity, echoing in the void. Siddhi drove up in his fancy flying saucer to pick up his boy waiting in front of his ex-wife‟s house. His boy didn‟t smile or wave at him. He just looked at his feet and frowned. Morosely he got in the car like he was following orders. “Hey there, chap. How goes it?” Siddhi said in an attempt to break the ice. The kid just looked down and mumbled “OK, I guess.” “You guess? What‟s happening? Everything going ok at school? How do you like that school we sent you off to?” “Oh, it‟s all right.” He muttered. “Well, you making any new friends?” “A few.” Hmmm, a real conversationalist, this kid, Siddhi thought, as he turned on some rock station he thought the kid would like. The kid didn‟t seem very interested, just kept his arms crossed and sullenly looked out the window. They rode along in silence for awhile. Siddhi wished he could come up with something that would turn this boy on. The past few times they got together for his visitation rights, it was like this. It was turning into a growing trend. “Anyplace you would like to go, my boy?” “Oh, whatever you want.” “Hey, I want you to get something out of this, too! C‟mon, there must be somewhere you want to go. Wanna get a burger and milkshake somewhere?” “Yeah, that sounds ok.” “Say, you getting to know any girls?” The kid was getting into the puberty stage; he must be starting to know about sex. “Oh, I hang out with one or two of them.” “Are they interesting you?” “Um, I really don‟t want to talk about it.” “All right, whatever you say, chap. Hey, you want to talk about that kind of thing, just let me know.” The kid didn‟t say anything. Instead, he just started playing with the radio dial surfing around for alternative music. Finally, he settled on some kind of heavy metal punk rock where they were playing percussion with chain saws and explosions, doing some kind of bitter rap music with hateful lyrics. The kid started listening and nodding his head. “Hmmm, that the kind of music you guys are listening to these days?” “Uum, huh.” Siddhi suddenly stopped the car. He shut off the radio and engine. “Hey, listen kid, I‟m just trying to reach out to you, you know. You‟ve been like this for awhile and I‟d like to know what‟s going on. You know, I do a lot to take care of you and I care for you. The least you could do is give me some kind of response instead of saying “Uh, huh” and “Whatever”.” The kid just snickered. “Well, you know something? I just don‟t like you.! When you and Mom were together, you never were there; you were off fucking some slut, that‟s what Mom said. And I like my new Dad a lot better. He at least is home and does things with me. You aren‟t my Dad anymore, you get it?” “So your Mom told you a lot of stuff about me. Are you so sure it‟s true? Are you going to believe everything she says? Your Mom wasn‟t exactly a princess either; I can tell you a few things about her!” “Hey, chill out, man. Listen, I don‟t want to get into this stuff with you. I‟d kind of rather you took me home or dropped me off at the mall or something.” Siddhi started up the car again and started riding. How can this be? His own kid was rejecting him as his father. “OK,” he said in resignation. “Have it your way. But just remember I‟m sending a lot of money to you and your Mom. Hey, you got a whole big house to hang out in. You wouldn‟t have all that stuff if it weren‟t for me. The least you could do is show a little respect for me.” In silence, Siddhi drove the kid back home. In the empty car, Siddhi broke down crying. How had he become such a fuck-up? A new development arose in the personal transportation market. A competing company made a breakthrough and developed a way to use a kind of fusion to break down water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. These plants produced tons and tons of hydrogen. Immediately all over the country, a new kind of waystation was put in place of the usual gas stations which pumped hydrogen not gasoline. Competing companies immediately picked up on this and major investors put billions of dollars into this new development. A company created a special personal transporter which used hydrogen instead of gasoline. It even had a small fusion reactor within the engine which could break water down into hydrogen and oxygen, thus making visits to stations unnecessary. It could even use the same water over and over, recycling the water which resulted from the burning of hydrogen with oxygen. It was the most environmentally clean form of transportation developed. Instead of using an internal combustion engine, it would generate electricity and run the car on electricity. It was an amazingly quiet vehicle; as people began to buy them, the streets began to become much quieter. These vehicles could carry a heavier load and more people could ride at a time. Special trains were developed which could mass transport people and goods to their destinations. Because they were so clean and fast, they ran all the time, so there were no delays between runs. These trains were capable of going a few hundred miles per hour. Less expensive vehicles went without the luxury of a in-built fusion reactor and people used these to go to the hydrogen stations. There were some which were purely electric and run with overnight charges for local transportation. The upper class, of course, got the reactor engines which could use water over and over. This also made a difference in the energy market in general. Of course, everything was run on electricity. Homes were heated this way, for instance. Electricity was no longer the most expensive option for heating. Homes even started using their own reactors in place of furnaces. There was one model of vehicle which was designed in a somewhat narrow aerodynamic manner. It could go 200 mph on special thruways designed for them. They became very popular and were called “rocketships”. It was thus that the world‟s energy crisis was resolved for the meantime. As long as there was water, these forms of transportation would run. Meanwhile, the flying saucers immediately became obsolete and began to fall by the wayside. There were attempts of owners to remake the engines to run on hydrogen not gasoline, but this was not nearly as efficient as the rocketships. And they had the copyright to the best design; Siddhi‟s company was working from scratch here. Siddhi‟s company attempted to jump on this particular bandwagon and redesign the flying saucer to run on hydrogen. But by the time this was done, it was too late. The tastes of the consumers had altered and they preferred the rocketships which seemed more in line with the American way of zooming around. The flying saucer style was considered somewhat retro and silly looking. No one wanted to buy them anymore. Also the trains were so effective as a way of getting around, more people were preferring these. A popular way of doing it would be take the train, then use a portable hydrogen powered fold up scooter for getting to a specific location off the train tracks. In any case, Siddhi‟s company became bankrupt. Investors wanted their money back. The stocks were worthless. In no time at all, Siddhi had become transformed from a rich and successful man to a poor man and a complete failure. It did not happen all at once, but the signs were immanent. For one thing, as Siddhi‟s once large bank account dwindled, his girlfriend left him. She did not like the fact that he was no longer such a big figure in the corporate world. He could no longer buy her the jewelry she liked, take her to the restaurants she liked, buy her the fancy clothing she liked. She obviously did not find him attractive as he was and had no interest in him as a person. She just left without a word of goodbye. He found out later that she was now taking up with the head of the Rocketship corporation. This was very painful for him. He was incapable of putting the money down for the penthouse he was living in. He came back one evening and found the door locked. A letter was on the door which informed him he was being evicted for nonpayment of funds. The fancy furniture which he had was repossessed. He wound up living in increasingly humble dwellings. He lived in hotels for awhile and then found some medium-range apartment. Then it got so he could not afford that, and was forced to live in a lower-income neighborhood. He had cockroaches for roommates. There were cracks in the walls and the hot water was lukewarm. There was the smell of piss in the hallways. The elevator did not work and he had to walk up several flights of stairs. Though he had millions of dollars, his ex-wife quickly made arrangements to get that. Because Siddhi had been such a bad boy in his previous existence, the judge did not hesitate to grant her that. He could not afford a good lawyer and had to use a court- appointed one who was in league with the judge. After the hearing was over, his ex-son came up to him and spit in his face. “I‟ve always wanted to do that, you stupid shithead!” he explained. “You always thought you were hot shit, but you really suck!” As the company made proceedings to go bankrupt, all the people who once looked up at him with such respect and treated him like a king, now gave him silent treatment. They just ignored him as they went about their business. They were all about to lose their jobs, so they were no longer bound to him. Some of them laughed at him. They regarded him as an idiot. The secretaries no longer gave him blowjobs in the executive office. They didn‟t have to anymore. The day came when they started moving all the furniture out. Out went the printers, the computers, the fax machines, the desks, the swivel chairs. They came into Siddhi‟s main office and took away his huge executive desk upon which he screwed so many female employees seeking to keep their jobs. How many contracts had he signed that made him richer and richer. All the files were shredded and then went away the shredding machine. One by one the last of the employees cleared out their desks and then their desks were taken away. Nobody said goodbye to him; they simply glared at him as they went away to find another job. Siddhi stood in the absolutely empty building which had once been the very heart of a throbbing thriving growing business. Now that business was gone, made obsolete by the changing of the times. He wondered how this could possibly happen. For a moment, he was tempted to throw himself out a window to end his useless existence by splattering on the sidewalk thousands of feet below. Finally, he walked through the vast hallways echoing his footsteps, the only sound remaining in there. He shut the door behind him upon a previous phase of his existence. This part of his life was over. Siddhi sat at a wobbly table in the kitchen of his lower class apartment. He had a huge bottle of cheap wine in front of him. He stared at a crack in the wall. He took a huge slug from the bottle, chug-a-lugging it down. Compared with what he had been used to, it tasted awful, but as he descended into the mires of drunkenness, this was less and less noticeable with each slug. He supplemented this with substance abuse, taking little yellow pills encircled with a ring of black. He knew he shouldn‟t do this, but if he inadvertently o.d.‟ed, he wasn‟t sure he cared. Let him fall into the darkness unaware. He was a complete failure. The worst that could had happened, had happened. His capitalistic pursuits turned out to be a complete flop and he was overridden by competitors. He lost all his money to creditors and investors. His wife left him. His son despised him. He lost all his friends: they only hung around him because he reeked of money, and now they didn‟t want to be around him because he was imbued with the aura of failure. Nobody likes failures. They don‟t belong to this society. He watched a cockroach crawling on the wall. With its little wiggly six legs, it wobbled one way or the other, blinded by the bare lightbulb. It jumped onto the kitchen counter, looking for crumbs. Luckily it found the remnants of a peanut butter sandwich. Yum-yum! With two of its forelegs it picked it up and munched on it, its antennas waving around on the lookout for competing cockroaches. It scampered along the corner of the wall and counter, then found a large crack to hide itself from the unpleasant light into the soothing darkness. Siddhi felt a little like going into the soothing darkness himself. How wonderful it would be to finally lose consciousness for once and for all. He could just sit here, keep drinking and popping pills until it was all over. He was sick and tired of this thing called “life”. He was ready to finish this whole thing. He poured a handful of the yellow pills into his mouth slugging it down with a good portion of the bottle. Yes, it was definitely time to wipe out this whole foul identity called “Siddhi”, finish this stupid story, come to a conclusion which is inevitable anyway. Why wait around in this death chamber for decades longer? May as well end it right here and now. Here he was, attempting to wipe out what was left of his consciousness, he who once upon a time had sought higher forms of consciousness. Why had he abandoned all that? How had he gotten entangled in such blatant materialism, he who was once so spiritual and awake? Was he just a puppet being pulled by the strings of circumstances? Was it really all lost for once and for all? Was there any chance he could be saved from such a dreadful fate? The room swirled around and around. The table and bottle looked blurred, then faded away. There was nothing in the universe but this self seeking release. But there was no way to wipe out this self. The self would only go on to another lifetime to finally learn the lessons it must learn to find the true freedom. The self is eternal. Siddhi heard a remote voice from the past: “You must go within the world to transcend it.” Suddenly a light flashed in his head and he listened carefully to a distant humming within which came closer. It was the OM-point, the center of the universe which is everywhere. It was immediately clear what he should do. He realized that it was only his strong attachment to fame, respect, and material goods that made its loss so utterly painful. It was stupid to be so overwrought over it, like killing yourself because you broke a favorite vase or something. He picked up the bottle and hurled it across the room towards where the cockroach had hidden. It smashed into a thousand fragments like his past that no longer existed. He picked up the bottle, headed for the bathroom and poured what was left of its contents into the toilet. This was followed by a long waterfall of awful tasting puke as he stuck his finger down his throat, and threw up and threw up, giving it all to the toilet god as the ultimate sacrifice upon its alter. He made sure he threw up everything. He stumbled into his humble bedroom and collapsed upon the bare mattress laying on the floor. Swirling into the void, he passed out, vaguely wondering if there would be any tomorrow. Siddhi awoke with a throbbing headache and a raging thirst. The room still swirled a little. A cockroach crawling tentatively upon the bedroom ceiling looked down upon him. The cockroach was curious if he was dead meat yet. Seeing that he was not, the merry roach went on its way to other pickings. Siddhi had some trouble remembering who he was and what he was doing there. Of course, this was a very typical question which Siddhi would ask. With aching limbs and fuzzy head, he arose upon the mattress. Sitting upon the mattress in crosslegged position he asked himself: “Who am I? What am I doing here? What is my purpose?” It came back to him the whole nightmare of the life he had before. He realized how close he had come to ending his life the previous night. Bright sunlight was shining down upon the dark canyon of the alley outside. “I need to change my lifestyle,” he said aloud to himself. He got up and poured himself a bowl of crunchy granola cutting up bananas into it. He drank a large glass of orange juice. As he appreciated the taste of the granola and orange juice, he said to himself, “It is good to be alive!” Yes, this is the important thing, to be aware, to be alive, nothing else matters. He decided he would meditate. He sat and took stock of himself. Breathing deeply, he penetrated into the depths of himself. Carefully, he listened to the silence of the void within himself. While he meditated, he also thought. In the state of meditation, the quality of his thoughts had more depth. He realized he needed to renounce the things he had been attached to. From now on, he would live a simpler lifestyle. He would give up alchohol, drugs, and sexual entanglements. He would eat healthier foods. He would only read spiritually uplifting material. He would only listen to music which was mind-expanding. In all his actions, he would meditate, being completely there in the moment. He would renounce all materialism, living only on what he needed. He would cease to dwell upon the past. The past is gone. There is nothing that can be done about it. He would cease to worry about the future. The future cannot be controlled. Smiling to himself, Siddhi thought, “Yes, this is the way. It is so simple, so obvious, why did I not see it before?” After he had lived a cleaner lifestyle for awhile, Siddhi decided it was time to seek for some means to support himself. He still had a small fund which had kept him going, and should he choose, he could actually cut back on his consumption to a degree where he could live on this meager amount. However, it was his feeling that some form of work in the outer world would be necessary for him to maintain a certain existence on this physical level. He needed a certain degree of interaction with other humans; he could not just keep it all to himself. Should he choose, he could actually set himself up as some kind of spiritual teacher. He would be considered a master, a guru, or such, and people would come from far away to listen to what it was he had discovered. He did not want to do this, however. There were too many such people already, both contemporary and ancient. It was admittedly easy money, but such a way could quickly slip into corruption. And he had enough of that! Besides, silence spoke louder than words. People tend to twist words out of proportion and transform them into the very opposite of what they had originally meant. Sitting upon his mat, Siddhi turned on his laptop and scanned the net for jobs in the area. He wanted a job that was not very complicated, not particularly stressful, and had a lot of downtime which he could use for self-observation and meditation. He wanted something where he was out of the way, in the background, so people did not particularly notice him. He was not sure what this would be, so he just idly looked, keeping open to all possibilities. Then something lept out of the screen, so to speak, and caught his attention. It read: “Ferryman wanted. Transport vehicles across the ocean to Paradise Island. Beautiful job, no experience necessary! Lots of time to look within. Little pay, lots of opportunity for inner growth! Only spiritually attuned need apply. Come as you really are.” This was certainly peculiarly worded compared with the usual choices of employment opportunities in this society. Sounded right up his alley, when could he start? Siddhi would check this out the next day. Siddhi walked over to the docking area of the city. It just so happened he lived quite close to this area. This was a good sign. One of the qualities he wanted in a job was somewhere not so far away that it would present an immense complication to get there. The thing is he knew nothing about boating or being on the water. He wasn‟t so sure what a nautical mile was or a knot. He never could tell what a stern was or what was the word for that other end, starboard? He didn‟t know anything about navigation. He‟d once paddled around a pond in a canoe when he was younger, but that was about it. He wondered how he was going to present himself. How was he going to BS this potential employer into giving the impression he knew more than he actually did? He got lost among all the big boats around there. There were huge motorboats and sailboats for wealthy people who went out on the water for leisure. There were big fishing boats who went fishing for a living, who had to go further and further out from the city to find fish to catch, since seafood was becoming rarer. There were giant passenger ships to carry people across the oceans to exotic lands beyond. Finally, he saw a spot where people drove vehicles down to a massive three story ferry boat that seemed capable of carrying a hundred vehicles of various sorts. Holy shit! How was he going to drive that thing around? Surely, he would crash it on a rocky isle just taking his driving lessons. Siddhi felt tempted to turn around and give up at the outset, just get out of there before he embarrassed himself. However, the ad did say no experience was needed. His curiosity about this thing got the better of him. The boat appeared to be abandoned. It must not be quite its time for loading and taking off. He walked up the ramp upon the boat which was slightly tilting rhythmically from the big waves coming ashore. It was a bit disorienting to attempt to walk on the deck with this rocking. He hoped he wouldn‟t be the type who was vulnerable to seasickness; after all, he had never really taken a journey out into the ocean before. “Hello!” he yelled out. His voice almost echoed in the silence abroad. Perhaps he had come at the wrong time? He wandered around, a bit nonplussed at the size of this monster he was coming to learn. He went up a flight of stairs and looked on that deck designed for passengers to leisurely take in the view, smoke, drink, get a snack at the bar abroad. There were a lot of luxurious lawn chairs lined up for sightseers to gaze at the wide ocean and all its occupants. He didn‟t find anyone on the second floor. Must be a day off or something. So on he went to the third floor. He walked out towards the front searching for the man he had called, who he remembered had a funny high-strung accent like he was from China Town. He remarked to himself what a marvelous vista the vast waving ocean presented. Then he found him. The man was somewhat small and had a long braid down his back. He was simply standing out on the very front of the deck, leaning over the balustrade, looking out at the ocean very carefully like he was trying to see something very remote. Though he wore conventional seaman pants with a lot of big pockets stuffed with all kinds of navigator instruments, he also wore a silk Chinese shirt. On the back of this shirt, almost a robe really, it had sewn a big dragon biting its own tail surrounding what appeared to be a temple on a huge mountin. As the man turned towards him, he noted a yang/yin symbol on the front of the shirt with a bird flying through clouds on the top and a fish leaping out of water on the bottom. He was obviously Chinese. He gave Siddhi a broad smile as though he was an old friend he had known for many lifetimes. He grabbed Siddhi by the upper arm and pulled him next to him. Then he hugged him joyously. With that funny accent, he laughed and said: “Yes, indeed you the one to take my place. I be Ding Dong, one you speak to on phone. Like clock alarm! Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Time to wake up!” He broke up in fits of laughter. “How about you? What name be you?” “Hi, I am Siddhi. I came to apply for your job.” “Hmmm, Siddhi. You be very wise man, huh? Many experiences you have? You be named Siddhi, you be wise man. Where‟s your big elephant, wise man?” Ding Dong started snickering as if he had told a very dirty joke. Siddhi was a bit nonplussed. He didn‟t quite know how to respond to this character. Then he barked out: “Where you been all my life? Welcome! Welcome! Come flow with me!” Siddhi was confused. This was not the sort of job interview he had expected, where the employer is always suspicious and constantly cross-examining the applicant for any slip-ups about his past experience. “You mean I‟m hired? Just like that?” “Sure! No problem, man! Just come abroad! You flow with me! For now, I be your teacher. Next time around, when we live again, you be my teacher! Fair exchange, huh?” “Well, ok,” Siddhi said reluctantly, wondering if this man was drunk or a little crazy. Somehow this was a bit too easy. “Ummm, where do I start?” Ding Dong pulled him up next to him. “Just look! Pay attention! No sweat! This be easy job! Just watch the waves and flow with them! That all you do!” And Siddhi, learning the ropes, joined Ding Dong in his wave watching shift. “OK, so what do I do first?” Siddhi asked on his first day of work. It was a day off on a weekday when people didn‟t go. “You just do like I do. You look at waves. You rise with waves. You fall with waves. You be waves. Breathe the waves rising and falling. You be the waves. That all you do.” In silence, they watched the waves rising and falling. There were big waves. There were small waves. There were double waves and triple waves. Sometimes waves crossed each other‟s paths and cancelled each other out. Some formed foamy crests, some didn‟t. There were all kinds of waves. There were waves within waves, little ripples over huge mountains of waves. Waves might split apart and go in separate directions. Others may join one another and become larger waves. The long afternoon passed. Seagulls cried out raucously and fought over stray bits of seafood. A fish on top of a wave leaping out of the water to enjoy the sunshine. A herring gull with a long beak snapped it up to enjoy a meal. A wave washed over the herring. The sunshine was intense on Siddhi‟s face. It penetrated into his face and his skin burned. Still, he kept focused upon the waves, breathing deeply in and out with the rising and falling of the waves. The sun set like a huge red ball into the ocean. Siddhi was surprised that it did not set the ocean steaming and bubbling with its heat, causing massive waves to come in this direction. Great aurolas of color arose like a multicolored fountain from where the sun had disappeared upon the horizon. Ding Dong suddenly shook him. “Ding Dong! Ding Dong! Time to wake up, you lazy bum! You sleep too much. You pay attention, but you need to pay full attention. I like the way you work. You‟re in. You can clock out now. Be back early tomorrow morning when sun rise.” “You mean the day is over already?” “There be no time when you be wave.” Ding Dong burst into laughing. The next morning, Ding Dong showed Siddhi how to drive the boat. It was an interesting setup. He controlled the entire workings of the ship way up in a captain‟s cabin on the very top of the ship, on the roof of the third floor. The ship was entirely automatically controlled by a computer. There were videos set up on various parts of the ship, so Siddhi could simultaneously keep an eye on the rear, the sides, the front, the top, the bottom. He could keep an eye on every floor from various angles like a security guard to make sure there were not any problems going on. There was even a videos which showed various angles of the bottom, looking into the depths of the ocean, lit by powerful lights. As though he were in a submarine, he could see giant fish and sea monsters swimming by. The ship was operated by a mouse. With a click on the computer screen, he could open the rear ramps so that cars could load into the interior parking lot. As if going into a parking garage, people drove and parked their own cars. Then when the lots were full, the computer beeped loudly and a red light went on in the back, indicating to potential passengers they missed the boat this time with a screen message that told them when the next ferry would arrive and leave. The computer then automatically shut the ramp and doors, the engine, which used water to operate, automatically fired up, The computer took in various parameters for operation. It paid heed to the weather report which was fed into it by the internet; if conditions appeared to be too rough and dangerous, it would not make the trip or turn around, putting a digital voice on to tell the passengers what was happening. If an underwater rock or ship was coming up, the computer avoided these obstacles. The computer automatically told people interesting sights to watch as they passed by. If for some reason, the computer wasn‟t operating right, Siddhi simply steered the boat with a joystick, braking it with a push on a button. His main job was to see that the computer was operating correctly. There were backup systems to take over is primary operating system crashed for some reason. It was a little like playing a computer game. “All you do is be like wave,” Ding Dong explained to him. “Just move like wave. The ship is just a bigger wave on top of little waves. Just flow with the waves. That all you do. Easy job! Nothing to it!” The next day, Ding Dong took Siddhi out on his first trip on the ferry. It was a somewhat morose rainy and misty day in the harbor, so not too many people were inspired to make a trip to Paradise Island. Only people who lived there more permanently and people who had business there went that day. Only about half the boat loaded up. People parked their cars and huddled on the decks in warm clothes. “You just let computer do work. Computer be good worker. Doesn‟t daydream, doesn‟t sleep, doesn‟t get drunk and come in hungover,” he giggled, “just works like it‟s programmed to. All you do is keep an eye on everything and make sure nothing go wrong. Sometimes you see things computer not programmed about. Maybe big rock fall out of sky. You be aware and computer just dumb machine. You just be aware and everything ok. If you lose awareness, we go krash! That no good! You just watch waves and toot horn.” With that, Ding Dong started frantically pulling on horn string. The horn made a huge weepy bass drone that could be heard from miles away. “Go ahead, you pull string. Toot horn!” Siddhi felt silly but he did as said, he pulled the horn making it toot. Ding Dong laughed like a silly kid. “TOOT! TOOT! WAKE UP, EVERYBODY!” he screamed. Siddhi had to admit it was fun to toot the horn, to be the originator of such a massive sound with so little physical effort. The sound of the horn echoed off the cliffs of the nearby coastal mountains. With a few fingerstrokes on the computer, the huge boat was gradually moving out of the harbor. Slowly it rocked gently on the giant waves moving with such power out in the remote ocean. It was an impressive vista to see the great city behind them, the great towers hovering over the ocean. Huge rocky coasts wavered inland and out into the water. Then the city grew smaller and one could see all the various towns in their own little harbors up and down for a hundred miles. The boat rocked back and forth; it took some getting used to. Siddhi merely relaxed in his driver‟s seat and observed what the computer screen was showing him about various conditions, comparing it with what was actually ahead of them. After about an hour, a rather long island showed up on the horizon. There were a lot of houses lined along the shore. There were a couple of castle-like mansions made of stone which grew high over the shore with an immense private beach for each of them. Through his powerful binoculars, Siddhi swore he could see some pretty young naked girls playing with a big beach ball over a tennis net. A fat old man sat in a chair, puffing on a cigar with a drink in hand, contentedly contemplating them, wondering which one he would choose that day for his nefarious experimentations. Paradise Island was an interesting place. It was a long island about five miles across and some twenty miles long on a north-south axis. It was very popular for people who wanted to get away from the usual hustle and bustle of things. There were conservation areas for nature lovers to go hiking on the ocean facing side along the rocky coasts. It was very popular with surfers since the waves were unusually high there. There were cute stone churches where people liked to get married and it was a popular spot for honeymoons. If you went there and didn‟t bring a car with you, you could rent a moped or bicycle for the day; a lot of people brought their own. It was very stringently zoned so no fast food places or malls could set up there; in fact, you had to ferry inland to do most major shopping. The only major town there where the ferry went into was filled with bars, rustic restaurants, and art galleries. All in all, it was a very beautiful place and there were many untouched spots where one could feel all alone in peace and quiet. After they had arrived in the harbor and let the passengers out on the dock, Ding Dong said to Siddhi, “C‟mon! We have hour! Time is precious! Use it wisely, don‟t fritter moments away. Tick tock! Tick tock! Ding Dong! Wake up!” Ding Dong grabbed Siddhi by the shoulders and shook him fiercely from side to side, bursting out in another one of his contagious fits of laughter. He grabbed Siddhi and led him down on dock. He happened to have a moped with a spare parked on the dock. He threw Siddhi a key for spare moped. “Let‟s go ride around, huh?” Siddhi followed him along the somewhat narrow roads winding up in the hills where there actually sheep farms and cute stone houses. They putt-puttered slowly up and coasted downhill, not having a lot of power. He followed Ding Dong riding joyously winding from side to side until they arrived at a small parking area. The trip only took about ten minutes. Then they walked over to a scenic viewing area which over looked a massive coastal cliff some hundreds of feet high. Way down people were walking like ants along the sides and surfers were tussling with the mighty forces of the ocean. “Here you go! Big ocean! Big waves! This good place to come. I go here on my day off. I read waves. Waves teach you about life. You read them carefully. You learn a lot. Let waves teach you. Then you be free!” Sure enough, it looked like a dramatic spot to be, to spend time to commune with nature and God. Siddhi was immediately intrigued. “Soon I go leave you. You take my place.” Ding Dong pointed west with an outstretched hand in the direction of the ocean. “This all mine and this all yours, if you want it. Your true nature here. “Meanwhile, I go beyond to the depths of it all. I go join Big Mama. I suck her giant titties and lick her salty pussy! Big Mama very accepting of me. I dive in depths and find Great Pearl. Great Pearl in Big Mama! I crawl up her pussy and find Her Pearl! Then I let go, have big cum, and surrender. I let go of me! I be All. I be Big Mama herself. Sound nice way to go, huh?” He snickered in that crazy way again. “Then I find Pure Land. I know all. I be all. Just like you. Just like everybody. We all just waves on Big Ocean. Just let waves teach you. Then you be in Pure Land, too.” After awhile of working, Siddhi began to take his days off in Paradise Island. He had a habit of spending the day over on the other side of the Island where Ding Dong had taken him to. He liked to wander along the cliffs, looking over at the ocean afar. He thought about how strange it was that all the twists and turns of life had led him to this particular spot. How odd it was that he, who had been brought up in such upper class and wealthy surroundings, would finally wind up as a poor ferryman. And yet he did not feel that he was lacking for anything. Oddly, he felt more satisfied with being right here where he was than he had ever felt when he went through that phase of being so obsessed with having more and more. This was just the right place to be. There was the sun and the wind and the waves, yes, this was all he needed. He discovered a special spot for himself down by a stretch of rocky beach at the bottom of the cliff. A somewhat precarious winding pathway of shaky wooden stairs led down there. He had to watch his step and hang on to roots and rocks where the stairway ended towards the bottom. It was with great care that he reached this particular spot. Apparently few people knew about this spot, so he was generally all alone here. He liked to remove his clothes, becoming a nudist like so many others were apt to do here; no authorities were around to tell one what one must do or must not do. It made him feel free and natural. He attempted to go swimming in the rough currents of the huge waves splashing overhead, but gave up attempts to swim out into the ocean, finding this too dangerous. The currents were unpredictably errant and too strong to swim against. It was best to merely wade along the edge of the crashing waves, feeling the power of the currents swirling around his waist. Occasionally, a wave or current would knock him off his feet, and he would have to fight hard to regain his footing on the slippery rocks. Through the sunny afternoon, he sat upon a special rock that was a comfortable meditation seat for him. It gave him a good view of the ocean and a few miles up and down the coast. He would feel the rays of the warm sun upon his skin and the winds simultaneously cooling him. Droplets of salty water from crashing waves would fall upon his body, as the tide came in. Sometimes he was just sitting on the rock with the waves passing all around him. Breathing deeply, going within, he watched the waves as they came crashing in. He would attempt to synchronize his breaths with the rising and falling of the waves. He imagined the rising to be the stage of birth and avid youth, curiously exploring here and there, eager to find out what life was all about. Then he imagined the crest of the waves as adulthood, struggling to maintain one‟s precarious hold upon the crest, desperately trying to keep it there while it slipped through one‟s fingers. Finally, despite one‟s attempts to preserve one‟s wave nature, the waves would come crashing down, representing old age, dying, loss of individuality.. At the end, there was nothing one could do about it, so may as well let it all go, wind up as a sheet of water crawling up the shore, even here trying one‟s hardest to rise to the top. Then it was time for re-birth. The remants of one‟s previous self being drawn by a force beyond one‟s control would be sucked into the ocean, momentarily becoming one with the ocean, yet still fighting it, determined to be in the state of wavehood, because that was all one knew. Each time, there was this opportunity to be merged with the totality of the ocean, but one resisted this, because to become less than a separate individual was the most terrifying fate one could conceive of. So it was back to becoming a wave again, waiting for the right wind or current to come along, to push oneself up again. Thus the whole cycle began again, being a new wave from the remnants of old waves. Once again, one was a wave, fighting to maintain one‟s wavehood among other higher waves. Some huge waves were bullies. They would push aside other waves, breaking them up, hungrily sucking them up, becoming bigger and bigger, until another wave pushed it aside as it was growing weaker as it approached the shore. There were some waves that were parasites, little waves which crawled over big waves, using them to push themselves up. Some waves remained apart from the other waves; sometimes this tactic helped. Some waves pooled their resources together. Some waves became mates; they kept each other company to be a larger individual. Other waves split off versions of themselves, to live afterwards. Some waves died young; they just rose a bit then got sucked back into the ocean. But the main thing was to rise above the levelness of the ocean, to rise as high as one could before the inevitable end. The ocean was nothingness, to fall into the ocean was death, loss, the end. It was such an effort to fight it, yet to keep that uniqueness as a wave, one had to do it. Siddhi could hear voices in the waves. He could hear all kinds of voices in the roaring of all the waves together. “We shall overcome!” screamed the waves, working together to fight the ocean or other groups of waves. He heard the gasp of a woman being penetrated. He heard the scream of a man falling to his fate. He heard the muffled cries of babies being born, doing their best to survive. “Don‟t worry, I won‟t let you fall back in the ocean,” a man assured a woman. “I love you,” sighed a woman to the man. “Please help me, won‟t anyone help me?” sighed a wave in vain as it came crashing on the shore. “Just surrender to God, that‟s all that can help you now,” a priest told a dying wave. The thing is, all those waves being born and dying, were the ocean. They all felt separate from the ocean, but they were all made of the ocean. At no time, were they actually separate from the ocean. If they just let go and felt their oceanhood, they would realize there is no such thing as “death”. All they had to do was be one with the ocean. And if they felt like they were caught up in a state of wavehood, they can simply yield to this, too, realizing there is no actual boundary between them and the ocean. At no time are they separate from the ocean. At the end of the day, as the sun began to set, Siddhi was filled with the ocean. He knew there was no difference between himself and the ALL. The ocean roared within him, even as he left, as he climbed the rickety stairs to the top of the cliff. It never stopped roaring as he drifted asleep, spending the night upon the cliff edge. The day came when Siddhi was fully trained in his new station in life. Ding Dong decided to depart, leaving the keys to Siddhi. Ding Dong prepared a boat to go out into the ocean, a little sailboat with oars and paddles. He put a small bundle of things in the boat. He painted himself white with something that looked like ashes. He also drew rather peculiar Chinese symbols all over his body. He only wore a loincloth. He untied his hair so it hung loose on his shoulders. He had some odd version of a Chinese lute on the boat. He said farewell to Siddhi. He clasped his hands on Siddhi‟s shoulders and said: “I go now. You take my place. You be good ferryman now. You know how to tune into waves. That all you need to know. Waves show you where to go. Me, I go join waves, I go out and find Big Mamma. She rock me into other world. Me and Big Mamma, we rock good together. Big Mamma source of all life, I be with her now. I no little wave trying to be big wave; I be source of all waves. Someday, you join me. We all rock together, huh?” Ding Dong spurted out a round of laughter. “You be good now.” Ding Dong started vigorously paddling the boat, not much bigger than a lifeboat out into the harbor. Then he set up the sail which caught a handy breeze to drift him outwards into the beyond. He picked up the lute and started playing somewhat odd melodies, singing chanting some odd Chinese mantra in some peculiar microtones which were utterly alien to Western harmonies. He sang so loud, Siddhi could hear him as he was a mile out. Then he turned and waved at Siddhi. He bent over and shot him the moon, waving laughing. Teary-eyed, Siddhi waved back, wishing he could be there, Ding Dong seemed so joyous, though this was a somber moment. He swore he could hear Ding Dong singing, “Row, row, row the boat… Gently down the stream… Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” The sailboat headed far out to the edge of the horizon, then whisked out of sight to be no more. Who knows?, maybe Ding Dong would sail all the way across the Great Ocean to be in his homeland once again. In any case, the lucky man was retiring from the world. Siddhi turned and returned to his business as a ferryman. There were customers waiting to be loaded. He knew he would go that way inevitably, but not just yet. He needed to learn yet a few more things from the world. Siddhi inherited Ding Dong‟s hut by the ocean on Paradise Island. It was somewhat ramshackle but served the purpose of being a basic shelter. It had no electricity or utilities, although in one corner there was a small woodstove for cooking to keep the place warm in cooler weather. There was a small pile of wood next to the stove, with an ax and a saw. One had to constantly repair the roof to keep the rain from coming in; Siddhi was always covering it with plastic. Two windows looked out on the ocean and one window looked inwards towards the island. In one corner, there was a narrow pallet for sleeping on; there was no pillow and one thin blanket. This was ok, since it never got that cold there. There was a low table for sitting crosslegged by. In one corner, there was a little alter with a fat laughing Buddha on it. The Buddha was standing up and laughing, laughing uncontrollably at the joke that is the world. He was actually doubled over from laughing so much. Upon a wall, hung a drum and a flute. Siddhi took to sleeping there all the time; it was so relaxing to drift asleep to the sound of the waves crashing upon the cliffs below. He would park the boat on Paradise Island. It was a good arrangement since there were a few people who lived on the island and went to work on the mainland in the morning, wanting to hitch a ride. He would get up very early in the morning, while it was yet dark, and he would ride his bicycle to the east side of the island. He brought his flute with him and sometimes his drum. He would sit upon a rock. There was more sand here and the tide was low. There were remains of seaweed and various creatures that had passed away in the ocean, who gave up their souls to the Greater Being. Sitting quietly, he would play a song upon the flute, a constant tune which he just made up as he went along, as he would simultaneously breathe deeply and focus his attention upon the fountain of colors growing far inland where the sun was about to rise. Then as the sun rose, he stretched his arms out and greeted it with an ancient primordial song. The song was from his heart and it was always different, just as the colors and cloud patterns were never the same. After the sun rose, he would dance and beat the drum in joy that once more another day had begun, once more there was another day to live. And, in the evening, after he was home from work, he did the same thing in reverse, upon the west side where his hut was. He watched the reddening sun as it took its leave for the day. He gazed upon the dying of the light and meditated upon the passing of all things, as the great ball sank into the depths of the ocean. He played a somber tune upon his flute as beautiful colors spouted up from where the sun had just gone. He listened to the crashing of the waves in the growing darkness, as shades of dying light twisted and shifted on the waves splashing across the rocks. In the darkness, he was no more, he was only the darkness, the rising and falling waves. There was no more Siddhi. There was only the ocean. Then he went in to have his humble meal, often no more than a few slices of bread with organic nut butter, a few fruit to go with it. By the light of the Coleman lantern, he would perhaps read for awhile. Or he would simply light a candle and gaze into the flame. Sometimes on a clear night, he would lay upon the dew-crusted grass as gaze upward at the vastness of the galaxy, amazed at how infinite the universe was. As he would fall asleep, again and again he would hear voices murmuring in the crashing waves, voices of those who were past, voices of those who had so many problems now, problems which would not matter in the long run, voices of those who yearned to be born once more, who would go through the cycle once again, over and over. It never began and it never ended; all one can do is be in the process. There is no finishing point; the process is all there is. Siddhi would often stroll up and down the decks of the ferry on clear unperturbed days when the computer driver could do it all by itself. He would ask certain passengers how they were doing and sit next to them. There was a certain quality about his approach that passengers did not feel offended at this invasion of their privacy. He would ask them questions about where they were going, what it is that they do, what is the ongoing story of their life. It interested him that there was a certain similarity about their various stories, though they varied widely in context. No matter what their station in life, they always seemed to be missing something in their lives, something very important they must have, and if they could only find it, they would finally be satisfied. Sometimes they would find what they thought this was, but then they started finding something wrong with it, and once again, the search begins anew. Siddhi only listened. It seemed to do them a lot of good simply to be listened to. He would tune into their problems, putting himself into their place, imagining what it would be like to be them. He tried to be who they were. This seemed to do them good. He hated to see them in so much pain. “If only he didn‟t leave me,” the young woman sobbed. “I thought I had found the perfect person for me, but then he had to leave me for that slimy bitch. And I thought he was committed to me. It‟s like all those times he said he loved me, he didn‟t really mean it.” “Perhaps it would be good for you to learn to be who you are,” Siddhi replied. “It is like you are trying to find someone who will finally accept you as you are, but you need to do that for yourself. Who knows, this may be a great opportunity for you.” “I don‟t know, it is so difficult to be alone. I had gotten so used to being with him, but now that is gone, I don‟t know what to do.” “It is as if you were part of a larger organism, identifying yourself as a couple rather than an individual, but now you have been forcibly ripped apart. Now you have to find yourself again.” “That is exactly right. I feel so confused being by myself again; I have lost touch with who I am. In a way, it is nice to be able to make my own choices without having to decide it with him, trying to please and placate him all the time, we had such different tastes and interests. But it‟s also scary. I want to just find someone else again to fill the gap; I hate being alone.” “It is difficult to be in a new position in life, when there was something or someone you were so used to. It may be an opportunity to discover who you are, to observe the depth of your desires, to discover just what it is that makes you desire these things.” “You are so right about that. But being alone is so scary and depressing. I feel so lost.” “We are all lost in the great ocean of life. We find something for ever so brief a moment, and then a strong current of circumstance takes it away. Just be with your feeling of lostness.” Siddhi encountered a rather depressed looking man who seemed in utter despair. He had sad red eyes and kept taking nips from a brown bottle of very strong liquor in his leather bag. “You seem to be lost in this world,” Siddhi said as he took a seat next to him, sitting very close. “I notice you are drinking a lot, in a public place. There is something that is driving you to do this. Why are you drinking so much?” The man drawled, “I ask myself that every day. The devil is making me do it, that is all I can say.” He put a lighter to a very strong Turkish cigarette with no filter. “I do not know what this is that makes me need this damned stuff so much. I hate the habit to tell you the truth. And these damned cigarettes to go with it, too!” He exploded in a fit of coughing. Siddhi put his arm around the man‟s shoulders. “You are like a leaf being tossed every which way by a strong errant wind.” “Yes, yes, I suppose that is how it is. The last thing I do before I go to bed is make sure I‟m shitfaced enough to fall asleep and the first thing I do when I awaken is take a drink to kill the hangover. I drink enough to see things and hear things that aren‟t there. I tried going to AA, that didn‟t work, all they do is sit around and talk about their drinking habit and that just made me want to drink more. I tried rehab places; it was hell getting off, then as soon as I was out, some buddy of mine would come out and offer me a drink to celebrate, and there I go again.” “So your primary desire is to be free of this habit, free of all habits that are destroying you. You feel that if you didn‟t have this habit, you would be free of problems.” “It would certainly solve some of my problems, I tell you. It would be nice to have a clear head for once instead of being a sodden idiot. My wife left me, took the kids, took the house, I got kicked out. I live in some rooming house now with other drunks. They canned me at my job, I‟m just living off what‟s left of what I had, don‟t know what I‟ll do when it‟s all gone. I‟m gonna wind up on the streets, begging, dumpster diving.” The man broke down crying, weeping on Siddhi‟s shoulder. “Perhaps you should look at the root of what compels you. Don‟t fight it; don‟t try to change it, just study it. Look at yourself next time you take a sip; see yourself as you are. Try doing it in slow motion, what you normally do.” “You mean, like hitting the „slow‟ button on a video, or hit „pause‟. Right?” “That is exactly right. Just be there in the moment; catch yourself in the act.” “Hmmm, I‟ll try that right now.” With that, the man gradually pulled the bottle out, moving very slowly, studying the bottle in his hands. Taking a long pause, he then moved the bottle to his lips in very slow motion, taking a whole minute to get it to his lips. He just stopped when the bottle was at that point. He took a very small sip, swished it around his mouth, studied the taste of it. Finally, he gradually swallowed. His Adam‟s apple moved slowly. Still holding the bottle, he said, “Yeah, you‟re right, buddy. It kind of makes a difference when I do that. It felt kind of weird, like I was watching someone else doing it; it wasn‟t really me.” Siddhi smiled and patted him on the shoulder. “You are on the right track. Get to the roots of who you actually are, rather than what you think you are.” There was one person who had trouble trying to figure out which religion or cult was right for him. He was a young man who seemed uncommonly nervous and was dressed in somewhat mismatched used clothing which appeared to be picked up from Salvation Army bins. His eyes moved to and fro and he kept glancing out at the ocean as he spoke: “It‟s like I tried all kinds of stuff, man. I joined the Hare Krishnas for awhile, you know prancing and dancing and beating on drums and all that shit. After awhile, I put two and two together and figured they were a lot of hokey pokey crap. I got caught up in the Jesus Freaks, you know born-again fundamentalists, tell you Jesus loves you and all that shit. But I kind of felt like they were on some sort of power trip, being convinced they had the only way and all that. I got mixed up with Bahai‟s, same thing, in a different way. From there, I tried Sufism, interesting, but kind of deliberately obscure. The Zens were cool, but you never know what they‟re trying to pull, you know? Kind of like they get off on being weird and obscure.” “You seem to be driven to find something coherent for your frame of mind, something you can finally settle into. If you could only find it, you are convinced that this would get you together, pull you out of the chaotic frame of mind you perpetually occupy.” “You got that right, man. If I‟m not in some kind of major spiritual path, I‟m a complete wreck. I go out, smoke pot a lot, drop acid, get bombed, get high on whatever comes my way, get caught up in all kinds of screwy relationships that just wind up hurting me in one way or the other. So if I don‟t find the right path soon, I‟m going to really mess myself up.” “So you swing from one extreme to the other extreme. On one hand, there‟s some path of complete austerity and humiliation. Or else, you become an absolute hedonist to the point of destroying yourself. The problem is whatever path you seek, you get very excited about it initially, but then start seeing something wrong with it as time wears on, so you use that as an excuse to slip back into what you were.” “So tell me what I should do, man. You seem like a cool guy, been there, done that, you know? Just from what you know of me so far, what path do you think is right for me?” “There are an infinite number of ways to that which you truly are. The paths all go to the same space eventually, and they all crisscross one another. You can either choose to stay on one particular path, follow all its prescriptions and dogmas, until you reach the goal, and then you don‟t need the path anymore. “But you seem to be compelled to try different paths; perhaps this is your path. There is nothing wrong with this. Perhaps you just need to look within yourself and ask yourself what it is you are doing. You can take bits and pieces of all paths, just the parts that call to you, and make your own path. But do you even need a path? Do you really need someone to tell you what to do?” “What I hear you saying is I should try going without paths at all, right?” “This is what I am recommending, but don‟t take my word for it. Perhaps you should renounce all paths, then look at what happens to you when you don‟t have one. Is it really so threatening as you seem to think it is? Somehow you have convinced yourself that without a path, it is inevitable you must fall into utter degradation and destructive lifestyles. Just try it and see what happens to you.” “OK, I hear you. Yeah, I‟ll see what happens. This sounds cool.” “I wish the best for you.” Somehow word got around that there was this enlightened ferryman on the boat to Paradise Island who would talk to anyone who had great problems in life. Siddhi got a reputation as some kind of guru therapist who could get to the essence of what was bothering you and give you a deeper understanding of the thing that is driving you. A few people recognized him from his previous existence as a great business tycoon (remember those flying saucers?) who had renounced his wealth to become a humble ferryman. People thought that was really cool and so as time went on, he found himself more and more back in the public eye. This was not especially interesting to Siddhi; he could actually care less about what people were saying about him. His main interest was in reaching out and assisting people over the humps and bumps of the road of life. However, he began to gain a following. He figured he may as well make the best use of this; if people felt he had something valid to say, then perhaps he does. Perhaps he can actually help a few people along the way. It got so people would follow him around and they found out where his hut was, so he no longer had privacy. People would camp out around there, hoping for just a few precious moments to be with him. He would had preferred to continue his existence as a loner, but this was yet another wave of existence carrying him to some distant shore. It was an opportunity to become another kind of ferryman who would carry people with him to internal spaces they never suspected they had. Thus he created the Paradise Island Ashram. He had people construct little huts to stay in, a dining hall and kitchen, a library of spiritual books, a meditation hall and lecture auditorium. One young man volunteered to run the boat for him, so he no longer had that responsibility anymore. Now he had a greater responsibility. This was all funded by willing contributions from those who were convinced that he was some kind of great guru, though Siddhi did not really think so. He was not anymore enlightened than anyone else; he was simply an ordinary person. He was anything but some Messenger from God, Buddha, Avatar or whatever. But he realized that people needed to believe in someone, to cling to someone they felt knew more than they did. It did them good to look up to someone, someone they could take after. This was the nature of people, thus he would give this to them. He understood that for he himself to go on to even deeper levels he would need to pass on what he had thus far learned. And as he begin to teach people, he learned the ropes with them. The teacher and the disciples learned together, exhanged notes as to what works best for them. One day after he had given a talk, Siddhi encountered an older woman with long greying hair wearing a sari who approached him. There was something familiar about her, but he could not quite place it. She came up to him and gave him a hug, like so many of his disciples would. She looked into his eyes and said: “Hello, Siddhi, I wonder if you remember me. I am a ghost from your past.” Siddhi took a closer look at her. Yes, it was indeed her, though she had become older. Her skin was sagging and her hair had become grey. “Amanda! Yes, it is you.” He hugged her tightly as she reciprocated. “Yes, Siddhi, it is me. I had heard so much about you, how you have changed. I wished to see you as you are now.” “It is so good to see you again, Amanda. I thought you had hated me, that you would never forgive me. I had been so cruel to you in the past, so thoughtless in my behavior.” “O, don‟t worry about that, Siddhi. I, too, had changed. I thought about it and realized what a petulant bitch I was sometimes, always wanting more, always judging men by what they have, not by what they are. I feel I had pressured you so much, demanding that you bring home more and more treasures to me. That was so cruel of me.” “Let us say we both influenced one another in a wrong way, Amanda. I was not nice at times and neither were you. But we were both young and selfish in our own ways. But, please, let us remember the good things. How wild and wonderful was our lovemaking! We were such a beautiful couple. It was all so intense. “But these things can never last, of course. Every lovely flower must inevitably wither away. That phase has gone and now both of us are on another phase, the phase of old age and contemplation. Yes, I can see you have become old. Your physical beauty has faded, but within you, I see a beautiful soul which has passed its lessons of life and moved on.” “I have become a more spiritual person, Siddhi. I am no longer as shallow as I once was. For one thing, I had a close encounter with death. I had breast cancer and there was a fear that it would spread. I had to have them removed as well as some other operations. I went though a lot of chemotherapy. “This encounter with death made me think about what I was doing, where I was going. I realized what a vain person I had been, believing I could rig up anything I wanted by manipulating men with my physical charms. But now I see none of that is important, that all passes anyway. I started to meditate, remembering some of the things you had taught me in the past. I started going inside myself, just as you were talking about today.” “It is okay, Amanda. I forgive you for the things in your past and I sense that feeling is mutual. There is a part of me is still yet connected to you and always will be; such love that we expressed for one another can never truly die. The form has passed, but the essence is still there.” With tears they held one another tightly. They walked to the cliffs and meditated together on the waves coming in on the ocean. Tightly clasping hands, they breathed in unison, watching the sun sink out of sight into the Great Ocean. Massive fountains of color arose from the point where the sun had set. With tear-filled eyes, they looked at one another and knew it was time for them to re-unite again, this time on a profounder level than in their lifetime before. From that day on, Amanda began to live in the ashram as well, becoming a primary disciple of his. One day, Siddhi has another peculiar visitor from the past. It was a very ancient man who appeared to be ages old. He walked very stiffly, yet he had a proud appearance to him, not all hunched over like so many elderly people seem to be. He was approached by this old man walking on a cane carved with a serpent at its head. “It is good to see you taking up the work, Siddhi. I knew that you had it in you to eventually become a teacher as I was once your teacher in days long gone.” It was then that Siddhi immediately picked up who this was, his old guru. “Yes, you had taught me well in the days when you shone forth with the power of your knowledge. You were wise and I learned many valuable lessons from you.” “And now, Siddhi, it is your time to let your light show to the world rather than hide it like so many people do.” “Yes, so many people keep it hidden for fear of besmirching their reputation in some way, losing their position in the world, and such. They pretend it isn‟t there and live their lives in a kind of farce.” “I am glad you took my advice and went into the world to explore its interesting peculiarities. I would like to know what it is that you learned.” “I have learned that it is best not to get sucked into the attachments to power, fame, and wealth, although it is inevitable that one will get caught up in these things. At this stage, all one can do is pay attention to what is going on, to ride on the currents of life. Finally, I learned how to be with the world, yet maintaining my true nature within it. “The physical world is here for a reason; otherwise it never would had been here at all. We must experience life to fully appreciate that which is beyond life. We must experience the phantasmagoria to find the seeds of what is true within it. We must go within it to go beyond it.” “This is true, Siddhi. Yes, I see you have learned your lessons well. I wished to come here to see that. Now I can give up this old physical body in peace. It has served its purpose and I can let it go. I would like you to come with me down to the ocean.” The old man had tremendous difficulty going down the long flight of steps to the ocean below. He shook and trembled with a kind of palsy wrecking his body. At times, Siddhi had to hold him up on his journey as he rested for the next set of stairs. Step by step, he struggled and at times nearly fell. Finally they made it to the rocky beach. His once guru walked trembling to the edge of the water crashing upon the shores. Winds were picking up and blew his frail body, shaking like a whirling leaf. “I believe I have had enough of this incarnation, Siddhi. It is time for me to let it go to release my soul into that which is infinite. Long have I looked forward to this moment. It is a great power to choose one‟s death. This is different from suicide where one goes because one is simply overwhelmed by the cruelties and pain of the world. Yes, the world is indeed a very painful place, but it is also a very joyful place. The pain and the joy are inextricably entwined with one another. No, I choose this moment of my death in a state of joy, knowing that I have done all I could and there is no more I need do. I can finally let it all go now.” And with that, the old man began to walk out into the waves. He almost lost his balance with each crashing of a powerful wave, but he kept going determined, looking steadily outwards at the horizon. He kept walking, until the waves moved over his head. Finally, his head dunked under the water for a couple of minutes. Strong currents further out carried his comatose body out into the ocean, then an undercurrent sucked him out of sight, never to be seen again. Siddhi nodded in understanding, knowing this is what he had to do eventually. Not just yet, but the day would come when he, too, would choose his death. Siddhi looked out at his audience. It seemed as every day went back, the crowd grew bigger and bigger; it had gone from a few dozen to hundreds possibly to thousands. Sometimes there was even news media reporting on him and journalists from top spiritual and New Age magazines wished to have interviews with him. Siddhi sighed. So many people out there looking for an answer. Some had come from long distances to hear him talk. He did not quite understand just what it was that made him so special. It was all a kind of game to him because he knew they were just as enlightened as he was, they just did not know it. Somehow he had to convince them of this. After many moments of meditative silence, he finally spoke: “It is very important to always expect the unexpected. You get lost in your routines and chores, but at any moment something very unexpected can happen which will alter the entire direction of your life. The unexpected can be very abrupt and shift you against the force of the usual. It can be tragic such as an accident which makes you lose the ability to move your limbs, a death, including your own, a loss of job or reputation. It can also be very pleasant such as you finally meet that wonderful person you‟ve been looking for, a rise in position, an inheritance of a huge sum of money, a resolution of a problem you‟ve been trying to solve for a long time. “It could even be neutral, neither good nor bad particularly, just a very different set of circumstances which abruptly changes your position in life. You might not know until later that it is something good or bad. Or the unexpected may be very subtle; you may have to pay close attention to be aware of it. It could be a smile, a gesture, someone passing by, a leaf falling into your yard, a change in color, a sound. Unless you are paying attention, you may miss it altogether and thus miss an opportunity to jump out of your routine. “Getting lost in your routine can become very deadening. Your routine can kill your awareness and make you akin to a mindless robot simply doing what it is programmed to do. You may be so embroiled in your routine, that even something unexpected of a positive nature may have you resisting the change, clinging to your usual way of doing things. After awhile, it can be very depressing, this feeling that life is going to have nothing new to offer, that you have done all you can and experienced the extent of what you are ever going to experience. “I will guarantee to you, however, the unexpected will occur. Each moment you should pay close attention to what is going on, take note of anything that seems just a bit different. Is this person you see today really the person you knew yesterday? Are you really the person you were? Or is it time for a different direction in life? Look at all the details, take advantage of any change in the patterns. It is always changing every second. The unexpected is always happening. “And do not let the unexpected become yet another routine. Something will come along and change that as well. Constantly be aware of what is going on. Do not put labels of „tragic‟ and „happily ever after‟ to an event which turns around your whole life. A death may be setting the stage for something extraordinarily positive to happen. Something magnificently good may be swept away in a moment. Just go with the flow of what the unexpected is bringing. Learn the lessons it has for you.” “There are many twists and turns on the path of life. Sometimes they go upwards to where you are going. Other times they go downwards away from where you are going. But no matter which way they go, all possible paths you could possibly take will wind up at the same place. And that is right here in this very moment. “You have the idea that you need to follow certain precepts of a particular religion or cult, including this work you are doing here with me. You have the idea that if you do this thoroughly enough whether it is doing a certain number of good deeds or meditating thoroughly enough, that this will automatically guarantee that you will be rewarded with entrance into some heavenly realm or some enlightened state of consciousness. To be sure, such things will be helpful, but that will not do it in itself. In fact, the more effort you make in such directions, the more it will elude you. “Rather, it will come when you cease to try at all. One day while you are meditating, you will simply quit trying and you will simply be in the flow itself. Or you will be kind to a particular person with no expectation of reward, and that it is when it will hit you. It is when you give up all notions of yourself when you discover that which you truly are.” “We fill our lives with all kinds of problems. In the process of living, problems are inevitable. There are big problems such as your car had a major breakdown or you are getting a divorce. There are little problems such as how to get the cap off the bottle or the door is stuck. There are problems we make for ourselves such as how to do a job more effectively. There are things like taxes, government forms, bureaucratic tangles, lost papers, and such. Many of the problems arise from the solution of other problems. “It could be to you very obvious what the solution to a problem would be, but that does not seem like a very good solution at all to someone else. The people next door are making a lot of noise. They are having a party and playing music very loud at all hours. They are screaming and hooting all night long. Your problem is you cannot sleep because of all the noise. The obvious solution to this problem would be to get those other people to shut up. However, they are having a great time and don‟t think shutting up would be a very good solution at all. And this becomes a problem in itself. To them, the problem is there is a fuddy duddy next door who is calling the police all the time, that he can‟t have a good time like they are. „Why don‟t you wear earplugs?,‟ they tell you. “Or: There are countries who cannot agree on where to draw the line for a boundary between them. They both want the oil fields to make their respective countries wealthy. Or they want some holy city where the seat of their religion is. What would be the solution to the problem for one country would not be the solution for the other country. So someone from one side shoots someone trespassing from the other side. And that one shoots back. They have a war which goes on for many, many years. Much destruction and death takes place. And this becomes a major problem in itself. They cannot stop fighting because they want to get revenge for what the other side as done to them. “The solution to this problem would be to stop fighting the war and share whatever it is they are fighting over. Why can‟t they both have this holy city? Why does it have to be either one or the other. But, no, they will not listen to you and this gets you mad, too. So you fight a war against their war. Sometimes these things go on for hundreds and hundreds of years. “Life itself is a problem. The minute you are born, there is the problem of what to eat, where to sleep, having clothes to wear, having nice things to play with. There is the problem of who gets to have sex with whom, and some people get left out, and feel disgruntled. There is the problem of making money to buy all these necessities as well as fun things to entertain you. “It is almost as if problems generate more problems. To get this you need that, to get that you need this as well. There are perpetual motion problems which generate each other. We spend considerable energy preparing our defenses against future problems which may come up, which assuredly they will. We spend a large amount of our income on insurance against disasters which may or may not happen. Then it becomes a problem to convince the insurance company a genuine disaster did indeed happen and that you didn‟t just fabricate it. Perhaps you wind up taking the insurance company to court over this issue. Perhaps someone will offer you the ultimate insurance that will grant you insurance for the rates insurance companies charge. And on and on it goes. “The biggest problem is the fact that we have problems. If we could only for once and for all be free of problems, then and finally can we be happy and content. But one thing comes up after another. The solution the Buddha came up with after thinking long and hard about this under the Bodhi tree is to be free of desire. It is the desires that are the problem, said this venerable gentleman, not the problems. Eliminate the desires and you have eliminated the problems. If you don‟t want that thing, it is no longer a problem how to get it – or to get rid of it, if it‟s bugging you. “Here again is such an obvious solution if you can look at the root of it. Just don‟t want anything and you don‟t need anything. But then the big problem remains: How the hell do you get rid of the wants, the cravings, and such? So we are back at square one, albeit a more basic level. “I am not here to change you. I cannot change you. You have to find a way to do that yourself. I have no prescription for you other than to suggest that you look at the root of all this. Get very basic about it. For example, there is the fact that you breathe and you need air to breathe. You need to eat. You need some protection from the elements. You need some outlet for your sexual desires. You need love, acceptance from others. Examine the extent of your basic needs and start from there. “And, perhaps then, you will experience insight.” “Many of you have asked about what happens after death. It is a very understandable concern. For one thing, what would be the point of all this living, all this striving, if there is just a big Dead End where it all just ceases to be? Mortality is a basic fact of existence; it is always there hanging over our heads. We spend considerable energy trying to forestall this inevitable event. “I myself am going through drastic physical changes. My skin is wrinkling. There are lines in my face. My hair is turning grey. My muscles are aching and my skin is peeling. My bones are more apt to break. My brain is turning to silly putty and I cannot think as clearly as I was once able to.. There is nothing I can do to stop it and it will happen to each and every one of you if you live this long. Our bodies are doomed, one way or the other. Even if our medical scientists invented a cure for old age and eliminated all diseases whatever, something in the course of time will kill us. “I imagine it would become very boring to have the same body for thousands and thousands of years. Wouldn‟t you get tired of the same old jokes and the same old habits? Imagine being the same personality, the same sex, the same name. Eventually, you would absolutely have to get a total personality change, a name change, a body change, a sex change, anything to change the scenery – or else die from sheer boredom. This is why the Divine Creator invented death and reincarnation, knowing this would be the case. “One way to picture it is to see our bodies as cocoons. We are akin to caterpillars spinning their cocoons. Like the caterpillars, we are utterly ignorant of what we are destined to become transformed into. The caterpillars probably see the cocoons are doom and gloom. Freezing winter is coming, the warm days are gone forever, all the plants are dying, the animals are either digging holes in the ground or leaving the area for hopefully better climes. There is nothing for the caterpillar to do but wrap itself in grey threads, huddle within itself, and wait for the end, praying it won‟t be too painful when it comes. “But instead it sleeps a long, long time. Occasionally it dreams of the languid days when it was a caterpillar contentedly crawling about in search of grub to eat, lying snug in the warm sun. Or maybe it has peculiar dreams about fluttering around and flying. It doesn‟t understand these dreams, but in dreams anything can happen anyway. Then it starts feeling restless, the cocoon is getting warm, even hot, and the caterpillar starts moving around a lot. But it feels like something else, not quite a caterpillar anymore. “Finally spring comes, and out pops a beautiful butterfly. Fluttering from flower to flower, consorting with other butterflies, it happily leaps into its new existence.. It vaguely remembers gloomy days when it was some creepy crawling thing on the ground, but those days are long gone, thank the Goddess! “However, if you told a bunch of caterpillars they were destined to become butterflies, they would probably think you were crazy. Being a caterpillar is all there is to life!, they would tell you. They think butterflies are silly creatures, not serious beings like themselves with problems to burden them. All you can do is smile and tell them it will be revealed to them. “Another way to look at this is our bodies are like wombs in which the embryos of our souls which are gestating for the day of rebirth.” “It is amazing that we have the power of choice. You can choose to do something or you choose not to do something. We have the power to make decisions what to do with our lives. Think about it the next time you choose to do something. Did you really and truly choose to do that or was it chosen for you? Observe your day to day actions. How much of it did you choose? “Of course, we would say we are bound by circumstances. You need to make money, so you force yourself to go to a job that otherwise you might not go to. If you were not paid to do it, you could easily choose to walk out. Actually, you can choose to walk out anytime. That choice is always latent. If the job did not pay enough or you were treated very badly by your employers, you may choose to quit. “Or perhaps we are bound by our habits. Perhaps you have been doing something a certain way all your life, so your tendency is to keep doing it that way. So although you will feel you chose to engage in that particular activity, you were simply driven to do it by your force of habit. However, anytime, you have the power to choose to do it a slightly or radically different way. Think about something you normally do in an almost precise way every day. Look at your routines. Then make a choice to alter your routine. See if you can do it. I would warrant you probably can‟t do it; you are so engrained in the rut. Nevertheless, just the fact that you consciously became aware of it will change something in your being. “Here is an experiment: When you walk, alter your usual pace. Walk more slowly than usual. Step backwards a pace. Walk sideways. Walk backwards towards where you are going. Then do other experiments. If you drink coffee with breakfast, try drinking tea instead. Put in three teaspoons of sugar instead of the two you usually put in. Have something for dinner you don‟t usually have. Take your daily bath at a different time. Use a different brand of soap. “The important thing to note is you have the power to choose to do that. At any instance, you can alter your routine. This is what differentiates living things from non- living things, conscious beings from unconscious or semiconscious beings. Take advantage of this power of choice; it is a great gift of the Divine!” “Do you ever think that your own thoughts are more unique than anybody else‟s thoughts? Do you ever feel that what you think about is so much more important than what other people seem to think about? Do you feel that there is some very important reason for your existence, if you could only figure out what it is? Do you feel that there is some profound meaning of life, and you have the capacity to find it, yet it continually eludes you? “Perhaps you think that what everyone else is thinking and talking about is extremely trite. You believe are the Great Philosopher of Life whom nobody understands. Have you ever considered that perhaps everyone else is thinking the same thing about themselves? It is very possible that everyone believes they are some Great Somebody whom the world simply refuses to recognize. But the reason this does not get around to you is, just like you yourself, none of them dare to reveal this secret thought to anyone else – with the exception of a very close friend or spouse. “The reason no one is talking about these secret thoughts is because this kind of thinking is not socially permitted in this society. We are enculturated to dwell on the trite, the material, the impermanent. Anyone who is very open about these secret thoughts is instantly tagged as „crazy‟ „off the rocker‟ „hokey‟ „unbalanced‟ and other derogatory tags. It is thus the safest policy to keep these thoughts to oneself. “It would be an interesting experiment to simply walk up to a total stranger and ask that person if they ever ponder upon the meaning of existence. You may be surprised at some of the answers you would get and even more surprised at the appearance of the stranger. I dare you to try this sometime. Or at least, ask someone you know a little better and feel relatively safe with, someone who will not take you to the stake of social ostracization for revealing your deepest and truest thoughts to. You may be surprised that they are thinking the same things. “Or do you find yourself inwardly rehearsing what you are going to say to a particular person in a given social context? Perhaps you expect a interaction to inevitably go a certain way, that surely this person will reject your proposal about how to resolve a certain problem. You have your lines down perfectly as if you were about to go on stage in a play; you know how you are going to inflect every word. „But then, to your utter surprise, this person is very open-minded to your proposal and says he or she thought of the very same thing. Do you find that you are so taken aback, you are not sure how to say your lines anymore? Or do you inappropriately argue for your case anyway, which is somewhat embarrassing. Perhaps you stand up for your point of view so strongly, you actually cause the person to reject your idea after all, and you walk away, pleased with playing your role so well. “What if you went into a situation with no expectations of the turnout at all? What if you never rehearsed your lines and never anticipated what your role would be? You just play it blind and roll with the punches. Would there be a radical difference in the nature of your interaction? “I encourage you to ask the other person if they, too, rehearse their role in life according to certain expectations about the outcome. You may be similarly surprised they are inwardly doing the same thing you do.” It was the night of the full moon. A stark blue-white light lay all over the land. Multiple reflections sparkled in the crashing waves below upon the shadows of the cliffs. Dolphins danced in the moonlight, chasing one another in a tag game. Crabs entertwined their armored limbs to unite their sexual organs in the ecstasy of love. The fish went mad, leaping as high as they could to reach the source of this weird light. In a sleeping bag, Siddhi and Amanda were huddled closely against the damp cool, mutually enjoying the closeness of one another‟s company and fascinated with the magical world of the moonlight. It was a night of lunatic love. “It is sad that all this is so temporary,” remarked Siddhi, gazing into Amanda‟s glowing eyes. He could see multicolored auric patterns swirling about her head. “Yes, but this is all the more reason we must be aware of it while it is still here.” “I am sorry that we had to separate for so long, to wind up hating each other, and yet here we are back together in our old age, both sadder and wiser from the lessons we have learned.” Meanwhile, Amanda was doing something nice to his hard-on beneath the blanket with her hand, stoking it in fascinating ways. “It is nothing, Siddhi,” said she, “all of these things that pass are nothing. We have better things to spend our energies on than nurturing old grudges from a past that no longer is.” Siddhi returned the favor beneath the covers, sliding his finger up her moistened pussy, playing intently with some sensitive spot which caused Amanda to gasp. “Sometimes, Amanda, I wonder if I am qualified to be a teacher to all these people. I do not understand just what it is they see in me. What is it I have they do not already have latent within themselves? This is what I keep telling them, but they insist on putting me upon some pedestal. I never intended to be in this role.” “Ummm, keep doing what you are doing, yes!, right there! That is probably because you are such an intensely beautiful person, my love.” She changed her rhythm with her hand, finding a sensitive spot of Siddhi‟s. “That‟s nice, dear, do that for awhile. But seriously, I wonder if I should just leave them on their own. Perhaps, without me around, they would awaken and look inside themselves to become their own teachers. But, historically, this never seems to happen. They just create some religion in the teacher‟s name. Until someone else chooses to go independent – then the process starts all over again.” “It can‟t hurt them, dear. Oh, yes, that feels nice!” “Someday, Amanda, and it could be soon, I may choose to leave this world. I wish to go unite with the Great Beyond, the Nirvana of the Oceanic Depths. I am not going to wait around for natural death. I am going to choose my point of departure.” “If you do that, Siddhi, and I hope it won‟t be tonight, for tonight is a magical land where all time ceases, I wish to join you, for I know I can never be without you. Where you go, I will go, too. And we will be One Being.” “That is great, what you keep doing there. Would you mind teasing me with your tongue, the way you used to?” “If you return the favor, Siddhi, oh, please lick my clit like that!” And the ancient lovers beneath the madness of the moon brought one another into the Unity of Orgasm. It is dawn. Hundreds of seagulls are flying around in concentric swirls crying out their utter joy at this appearance of the initial light of the day. At a point in the east, a dim light grows brighter, a fountain of light flowing upwards. Dolphins and fish leap out of the water, so happy to see this wonderful light, anxious to take a peek at the red sun tentatively peeking back at them with its red bloodshot eye. It has been a long night on the other side of the world, but now it is time to rise. Siddhi and Amanda are sitting with one another, witnessing this almost paranormal spectacle which few are so lucky to see. Pink, orange, and yellow clouds paint the sky in an incredible array of colors. Hand in hand, they sit crosslegged upon the edge of the cliff, facing one another, bathed in the fresh morning light. They gaze straight into one another‟s eyes. Their souls are melting into one another. Simultaneously, they are in an advanced altered state of consciousness which could be called “love”. Together, they have made contact with the wordless Infinite, the Void which is both total emptiness and complete fullness. They have gone beyond the mere pleasuring of one another‟s physical bodies; their souls are utterly united in a bliss that never ends. Wild winds blow within the tunnels of their innermost minds, blowing away all thoughts and all preconceptions, leaving them thoroughly speechless. Their faces melt away like dripping butter in the heat of the sun and all that is left of them is a dynamic energy which permeates all of life. Finally, they have discovered what it is life has been struggling for all this time. The Guru Siddhi speaks: “You have probably made the discovery that the vast majority of religions and teachers usually forbid you to indulge in any activities which give you pleasure. I am not going to do that here. It would be quite absurd for me to tell not to do this or not to do that. The reason for this is by telling you not to do something, it will only make you all the more tempted to do it in private. Of course, you would feel extremely guilty about it and berate yourself that you did it, but secretly you would love it. The forbidden fruit is all the more tempting. “The parable about Adam and Eve was about this. God deliberately told them NOT to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because he wanted to make certain that they did partake of that interesting fruit. If he did not tell them this, they may had missed it altogether, remaining in their innocent amorality. He wanted them to find out about good and evil, so that they would need to learn to transcend it ultimately. You cannot learn to appreciate the state of innocence until you have lost it for awhile. “Look at what all the laws and cultural rules against sex have done. Because there are laws against pictures and movies of naked people showing their sexual organs in a state of arousal and having sex, there is a whole underground network of such pictures, books, and movies about sex being distributed. Because they do not want minors to find out about such things, the minors spread it among themselves and learn about sex at a far earlier age than they would naturally. An infinite number of perversions of sexuality have developed that probably never would had occurred had sexuality been utterly permitted. “Or take the issue of drugs, including alcohol. Because there are laws against drugs, people secretly spread the use of drugs among themselves and take the drugs privately. There is something about it being forbidden which makes their usage all the more tempting. Among developing adolescents, it has become almost a rite of passage, a kind of dare-devil game to see if you can get away with it. History has shown that laws against alcohol have done the same thing. In fact, instead of making people who are abstinate, it has only created more alcoholics. There are probably more alcoholics from the era of Prohibition than any other time in history. “Let us look at why people are so apt to indulge in sex and drugs. For one thing, it feels good, right? It is stimulating and it helps you forget about your usual problems for awhile. Also, at the moment of orgasm or with the right dosage of the drug, you find yourself in a state of satori, a brief glimpse of nirvana. You feel one with whomever you are with or one with the world. You feel happy, free of your day-to-day suffering. And what is wrong with that? “Basically, the laws and rules against these things are laws and rules against being happy, one with the universe, one with others, free of suffering! No wonder people are breaking these injuctions right and left! “So why are these rules there? It is true that sex and drugs, overindulged in, can cause eventual physical and psychic damage. Sex with numerous partners is known to trasmit certain diseases. Any kind of drug, overused, can cause malfunctions of the physical body and accidents. Being drunk is known to cause car accidents. Some people, it is true, get carried away with these things and become a problem to themselves and others. Also, if everyone were having sex and getting high all the time, no one would do work, nothing would get done, and everything would fall apart. Moderation is always the best route to go. “The reason teachers and gurus generally prescribe that you do not indulge in these things, is they want to make you aware that there are other routes to developing altered states of consciousness, more subtle forms of pleasure. These states can be accomplished by going within yourself, finding out who you actually are, looking beyond what you think you are. They can be achieved by meditation, developing awareness of what is happening right this moment. In fact, should you bring such awareness to the moment of orgasm or some peak state induced by a drug, your pleasure will be induced tenfold. I would even bet that you will find such an experience so rewarding and blissful, that you may lose your interest or need in these things. “Thus, I say do whatever makes you feel good. Only watch the experience and be aware of what is happening to you. Ultimately, you will transcend your need for such things, but you cannot transcend them until you are good and ready for them. And be assured, you have an infinite amount of time to do this.” It was after this talk that it went around in the news that Siddhi was some sort of perverted guru and he advocated heavy usage of drugs and lots of sex. Druggies and sex addicts came from all over the country to worship him, to regard him as the next Avatar Star. At his feet, they would indulge in all kinds of twisted activities. Siddhi merely smiled and shook his head. The media zoomed in on this and portrayed him as having orgies while high on all kinds of drugs. Some seedy aspects of his past life got around to the news reporters and they mentioned how he was going out with prostitutes and x-rated movie stars, engaging in sex with minors, both male and female. It was also mentioned how he would do anything to make quick and easy money, and he was setting himself up as a guru to get people to fork over money to him. A great many people in his following left Paradise Island immediately for fear that they would get a bad reputation by hanging around him. He became type-casted as some sort of libertarian guru where all was permitted and nothing forbidden. These people, particularly in the underworld, thought he was a really cool dude, and they set him up as some spiritual spokesperson for them. A lot of sexually liberated persons and people advocating freedom of drug usage as an entrance into a higher plane of consciousness began to hang around him. He got a reputation as a kind of “Timothy Leary” character. Neither of these viewpoints were true at all. Siddhi was forced to emphasize that he never said that he recommended heavy use of drugs and sexual liberation at all. He was merely pointing out that there were other routes to a higher level of consciousness which were more satisfying, healthier, and lasting. Siddhi merely smiled at his followers who faithfully continued to stay and remarked: “What can you do? This is simply the way of the world.” “One of the more profound meditative techniques I would suggest to you to try is to attempt to become united with your opposite. Literally be that which is the opposite of yourself. Yet simultaneously be what you ordinarily are. “For example, you may be the opposite sexual identity of what you generally consider yourself to be. If you are male, make contact with your inner female. If you are female, unite with your inner male. It has been a profound discovery of both Jung and certain ancient mystics that every man has a woman within him and, in all attempts to form relationships with women in the outer world, the man is simply trying to find his inner woman. Ditto for women who are trying to find the inner man within her in an actual man. “When we fall in love, we have actually fallen in love with that inner anima/animus and are projecting her/him onto the person we have fallen in love with. We are then profoundly disappointed when we discover that person does not quite match up to that inner opposite sex. Thus relationships tend to break up in a state of resentment, feeling cheated. “This does not need to be. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and pain by becoming united with the woman within if you are a man, and by the man within if you are a woman. You probably understand this better if you are either gay or bisexual, but try to become united with the opposite of your particular gender identity. Unless you discover this inner unity, actual relationships will never fulfill you. “If you are a man, try this meditation. On the inner breath, pretend you are sliding your penis slowly into the woman‟s vagina. Picture that woman as what you would be like if you were born a woman. Make her look just like you, except it is a she instead of a he. Essentially, you are fucking yourself. Holding your breath, picture you and her united in joy, coming together. As you breath out, picture yourself as that woman being slowly penetrated by her man who is you. Feel yourself enjoying this moment, being fucked by the man of her dreams. Holding the breath out all the way, once again picture the two of you in blissful union. Then repeat the cycle. “If you are a woman, you do pretty much the same thing except on the opposite side of the fence, so to speak. Except on the in-breath, you picture yourself being fucked by yourself, and on the out-breath, picture yourself fucking yourself as the man of your dreams. Imagine yourself enjoying this act. “If you do this exercise with enough fervour, you may succeed in achieving orgasm with yourself ultimately, not necessarily sheer ejaculation or muscular spasm, but more of what I would call a „spiritual orgasm‟, knowing your opposite. By doing this, you may transcend any need for relationship with another at all. At the very least, that need will not be as compelling, which is probably the strongest need any of us have. You will become more content, more complete within yourself. This is what we call „enlightenment‟, being lit from within. “The interesting thing you will find is others will become more attracted to you because of this. They will want to know you because they would like to partake of whatever it is you have. If you currently have a partner, your relationship will become much more satisfying than it was before. Vicariously, your partner will experience that which you have found, and your lovemaking, and not just the physical kind, will become far deeper.” At this point, Siddhi and Amanda, on the pedestal before the crowd, looked into one another‟s eyes and smiled. A deep silence lay upon the audience as they each thought about this in relation to themselves. “It is very important to achieve the ability to become complete within yourself. All too often, we allow ourselves to become dependent upon others, not just people, but things. We are dependent upon what people think of us, we are afraid to step off the beaten track, we are afraid to shock people so we simply play it safe and do whatever it is they are doing. We feel we need their attention and their caring. At the same time, we want to make an impression upon people, we want to convince them that in some way we are unique, we want to make ourselves stand out. We are afraid that if we do not stand out in some way, if we do not have a fascinating personality, this perpetual mask we put up, that we will wither away in the vale of anonymity. Thus we are neurotically torn between trying to fit in and trying to be impressive simultaneously. “We spend extraordinary amounts of energy trying to make other people have a good opinion of us. We don‟t want them to jeer at us, to reject us, to put us down. We see what happens to heretics and weirdos. They are cut off, they are tortured and killed, they are starving and homeless, they are ousted from the tribe. “Unfortunately, we need to interact to some degree just to have a means of employment and a place to live. We can‟t just go live off the land and build our own shelter anymore; our species on this planet have become too crowded for that. We must find our own specialty to interact in incredibly complex interaction with others. “We wind up putting in more energy to impress people than is actually necessary. We become sucked into this process. It is very difficult to break out. “This also applies to having things, the accumulation of possessions. We have convinced ourselves that we need a certain thing to be happy, to be complete within ourselves. We need that house, we need that wall to wall tv, we need that new car, we must have that upgraded computer with all the bells and whistles. Constantly we are nagging at ourselves that we need this new thing to replace whatever it is we already have. Rather than making maximum use of what we currently have, we go out to get something with a few extra features. We not only want these things for ourselves, but we want these things to impress others, it becomes a part of our persona mask. “We are even trying to impress ourselves. We make ourselves up in the mirror. We rehearse our lines to ourselves. We talk to ourselves and put on shows for ourselves. We are constantly trying to outdo ourselves. We are trying so damned hard to make ourselves accept ourselves. And if we don‟t, we go through endless agony beating up on ourselves. “You will only become enlightened when you finally see how futile all this is. It may take endless lifetimes of trying to make an impression in one way or the other before you just quit, walk out the door, be free. “You can start by taking breaks from all that. Take an inner vacation. Don‟t try to impress anyone or yourself. You will probably find it necessary to be completely alone to do this. Just be within yourself and be who you are. Be completely accepting of yourself just as you are. Declare to yourself: „I am complete just as I am. I do not need anyone to accept me. I accept myself thoroughly. I have just what I need right now.‟ “Make this a daily meditation. And please do not try to impress anyone or yourself with your ability to do it!” At this, everyone in the room laughed. “The purpose of our evolution is to achieve consciousness. We are here to be aware. Once we are aware, our bodies, our minds, our feelings serve no further purpose. We can choose to leave those behind or we can be very creative with them, using them for further expression. “We believe we are conscious and it is true that we are indeed far more conscious than we were when we were animals struggling in the jungle. For one thing, we are aware of ourselves and our mortality. But compared with the awareness we have yet to achieve, where we are now is a relative state of sleep. “We are sleepwalking through life, chasing after one thing or another, like a puppy chasing butterflies it cannot possibly catch. Sleepwalking, we accummulate possessions. Sleepwalking, we attempt to gain recognition. Sleepwalking, we try to make other people belong to us. All of this is futile. Yes, we may capture this or that briefly to be happy - only to have it fade away like sand slipping through our fingers. “Never do we stop to ask ourselves what we are doing all this for? If we could only cease from all this and become aware, we would instantly see how silly all this is. “The trick is to become aware of being aware. Actually, as sentient beings, we are aware, but somehow the state of knowing your consciousness eludes us. It is a little like the eye seeing itself, the ear hearing itself, the skin feeling itself. What I am asking you to do is to learn to be yourself. But you will need to discover for yourself what that means. Your self is not some imaginary driver in the vehicle of your mind and body, dictating what thoughts to think and what actions to perform. “The Self is much more than that. It is like the air we breathe. It is all around us and we cannot see it, but it is there. The Self is not here or there. Nor is it everywhere or nowhere. It is the very ground of all we experience. It is the consciousness with which we experience things. “When you get turned on by a good experience, such as you just had a good meal or you just got laid, that sense of being turned on is an increase in your consciousness. At that instant, you are more aware than usual. Your experience is more aware than usual. This is also true when you have an especially negative experience. For example, if you have just lost someone you loved, your awareness of life is increased. One of the reasons humans keep fighting wars is because such a state of violence and immediate threat to life creates an intense state of awareness. “On the other hand, when you just go through the activities of daily living in a state of routine, your awareness is decreased. You feel bored but you do whatever you are doing, because that is the way you are used to doing it. It takes too much energy to alter so you just go on doing it. However, if you became aware of it, and I mean really aware, even seemingly „neutral‟ experiences can be an immense turn-on. “The way around all this is to become aware of the awareness itself. This is the Ultimate Experience. Once you have connected with that, the compulsive need for the usual experiences falls away. Awareness is the base of all experience. All that we experience is due to awareness there in the background. Let it become the foreground, and life becomes a different thing.” “We spend an extraordinary amount of energy maintaining our reality. It takes a lot of energy to keep the illusion real. We have to keep things separate in their own little compartments. We keep reiterating our various belief systems to make sure they stay real. We need to keep the boundaries where they are. It is as if we did not maintain those boundaries that it would all inadvertently fall into a state of chaos and we‟d lose all grip on reality. Then we would become crazy. “Why do we bother? It is like we need to agree on what reality is so we can communicate with each other. From a very early age, we are taught what reality is. Then in school we are taught to repeat this agreement about reality and memorize it so we can put it down on tests and write papers about it. We must agree on this reality to function as a society. “It so happens to people who are hermits, who are outcasts, or have spent a long time in nature do lose their grip on „reality‟. They forget the words for things; their perception of things change. They lose that perpetual sense of „tomorrow‟ and „yesterday‟ which we constantly drill into our society members day to day. They no longer have any schedule to follow. There is only the sense of what is unfolding in this very moment. “Each of us is continually creating and recreating our own reality. We are telling ourselves and those close to us our stories, our dramas, day to day. We indulge in our tragedies, make our comedies, jump for joy, or sulk in pain. We give our realities a greater intensity with our feelings and our sensations. “It is small wonder we are so tired at the end of the day. All this energy we put into keeping our reality going is a real burn-out! We just want to collapse in bed and fall fast asleep. In fact, this is the very purpose of sleep, to shut it all out. Our dreams are like taking a vacation from reality; this is why they are so weird and surreal. We can fly, we can swim underwater like fish, we can walk through walls – no longer do we have all the “no-no‟s” we have in our usual definitions of reality. “Be aware of how you are creating your reality.” “Many of you have inquired about heaven and hell. These are states of consciousness which could be said to be actual „dimensions‟ of reality. They are a form of reality, though not literally „places‟, such as when the Christians believed hell is deep down in the earth and heaven is high in the sky. Though surprisingly, they were on the mark, since the further obsessed you are with things of the earth, the more likely you are to experience hell, and the more fascinated you become with higher levels of consciousness, the more likely you will experience heaven. “Hell is sheer chaos. In the hell-state, things are speeded up as if you hit „fast- forward‟ on your video player and everything is moving so fast you cannot keep up with it. In the hell-state, every state of pain you can imagine occurs, there is rape, torture, killing, cannibalism, anything goes. Of course, sex is going on so much you can‟t stand it, but it just goes on and on. To some of you, perhaps the idea of constant orgies might sound kind of cool, but what I‟m talking about here is something going on twenty-four hours a day, no breaks, all kinds of creepy perversions. Or you gorge and gorge feasts all the time, but keep throwing up to start over again. Maybe you keep killing people and they keep coming alive to kill you and you have to kill them again, over and over. Fear and paranoia run rampant. “The works of Hieronymus Bosch are a good depiction of what hell is like, except it is in terms of whatever thing of the world you keep getting obsessed with. Believe me, it is a creepy state of consciousness to be in and you would just want to get the hell out, but the thing is, you can‟t stop it. “No, it‟s not forever and ever, like the Western religions maintain. But let‟s put it this way, it seems like forever. And it‟s not necessarily something you experience after you die if you‟ve been a bad boy or girl. In your very obsession with whatever, you are experiencing it. In nightmares, you are also experiencing it. But if we want to get literarl, it only lasts as long as you are good and ready to turn your consciousness towards something else. Though actually, in the state between lifetimes, it seems like forever in the sense that there is no time beyond this particular plane we are on. “On the other hand, heaven is sheer sweetness and light. There is no sense of gravity pulling you down and you feel like you are floating all the time, even though you may walk on ground. But you always have the option to fly high above it all. You hear or make heavenly music. Everything is intensely beautiful in heaven. Lovely fields and mountains. Castles and mansions. Perfect food that fills you with just a bite. “Contrary to popular opinion, there is even a kind of sex in heaven. But it‟s not like the in and out, wham bam, thank you, ma‟am of this world. It is more like a merging of souls, a perfect unity that is like an everlasting orgasm. Just looking into one another‟s eyes is eternal bliss. It is more like what we call „being in love‟. “Everything is slowed down and seems to last forever. Although after a while, you can get a bit bored with it. Though if you are really advanced you can shift beyond to more and more subtle states. Eventually there comes a time when you are pulled back to this plane and become reborn. “Perhaps you have had dreams of flying and feeling intensely happy. That is what the heaven state is like. Our dreams reflect our level of being. Pay close attention to your dreams to see whether you are progressing or regressing.” “Today I am going to go into a subject which many of you may find somewhat morbid. It is the fact that all of us in this room are going to die. We are mortal beings, destined to last only so long and no more, and I‟m afraid there is no way around it. The birds singing out that window there are going to die. The trees they are in will die. Even the mountains, so grand in their magnificent size, will crumble to rocks and collapse into the ocean. “Death is probably the most taboo subject in this society. We cover it up with pretty coffins. We even have the corpses all made up to look like pretty dolls and dressed up in their finest clothes as though they were going to a ball! We do not say someone is dead, we say they „passed away‟ or have „gone to meet their maker‟. We hide corpses in hospitals, we cover them up so no one will see them. I would even go so far to say that the subject of death is more taboo than sex. “We do not want to think about the fact that it is all going to end. It is a very unpleasant subject to dwell on. And yet, it is always unconsciously at the back of our minds. Constantly we are aware that we have only so many years before it all falls apart. We are running frantically to accumulate all the experiences, possessions, and accomplishments we possibly can, like squirrels gathering nuts for winter, before that big D-Day lingering ahead. We want to visit as many places as possible, make love to as many people as possible, make great achievements so people will remember us afterwards, make lots of money to leave behind for our progeny. “And the thing is, none of it can possibly be enough. No matter how much you gather, there is always something else, something else you do not have, some other experience you have not had. At no point will you ever be able to put it all down so you can finally lay upon your deathbed and say, „It is finished! Now at last I can die happy‟ “The tragic thing about this is we are wasting extraordinary amounts of energy on all this. We do not need all those experiences, running from one thing to another as quickly as possible, we never have the time to fully appreciate the actual experience that is unfolding before our eyes right now. Even the things we leave behind will waste away and become forgotten in the process of time. Why bother with it? “We imagine that there are these invisible entities called „egos‟ and „personas‟ that are somehow sustained by the existence of these bodies and with the ceasing of these bodies, such entities either also cease to be – or go on to occupy some other form. The thing is, we made these entities up. Hand me your ego on a platter; you can‟t do it! That is because there is no such thing! “It is probably because we fear the cessation of our egos, personalities, our brain mind that we fear death so much. But once we understand that these entities are utterly abstract and there is only an all pervading emptiness, then we no longer have anything to fear about death, because there is nothing that can die. “Ponder upon this and see what it does to you. Do not believe a thing I tell you. Observe for yourself what is actually there.” Siddhi had become old and wise. Inadvertently years had slipped by. Only a handful of his followers chose to remain with him. The rest, fickle in their interests, found other paths, other gurus to entertain them on their journey through life. Amanda remained with him and she became old and wise with him. The day had come for Siddhi to make a choice. He could cling to what remained of his body, attempting to keep it alive by various medical miracles, extending the body far beyond what its natural capability is. It would be the equivalent of keeping an old junk car going, adding a patchwork of endless parts while other parts simultaneously broke down. Or he could simply choose to die then and there. He decided that his soul had enough of this physical world and he would go on out. It was a bright and sunny day, a good day to die. Crippled, he was guided down to the shore of the ocean by one of his more supple disciples. He was set down upon the shore. He sat there crosslegged, facing the waves crashing upon the shore. They were always dying and always being reborn. Amanda decided to join him. She knew it would be too painful to exist without him, so she too sat in meditative position next to him, one arm hooked around his arm. It was low tide and they were sitting right next to the ocean. “It is here I remain and I go no further,” he said. “I have nothing more to teach and I have yet much more to learn as I commence my journey into eternity. I give myself to the waves. Pieces of my body will be shared among the sea creatures. Thus I will join the Great Cycle.” “I will join you, Siddhi. You have taught me so much in the course of my life. Now I, too, will give myself to the waves and forever will we make waves.” “Now I must ask you to go” Siddhi said to his disciples. “I can only hope that you pass on whatever you have learned from me in your own way. I hope that the whole of humanity will learn the lessons it must learn and become transformed into angelic beings. I hope they will ultimately cease all the things that cause them so much pain.” “But how will we live without you? You have shown us so much. You have imparted so much wisdom to us.” “You do not need me. You do not need anyone. All that I have taught you is latent within yourself. See that you are all there is and you will need no one.” There was nothing more to be said. Holding hands, Siddhi and Amanda sat watching the waves come closer and closer. The droplets of water felt chilly, but the wetness became peculiarly sensual as the waves rushed in and enfolded themselves around them. The water within them was calling out to the water of the ocean, all too eager to rejoin the source. Finally the waves reached the height of their heads and the undertow pulled at their old weak bodies, enticing them go a little deeper. How salty was the water they tasted as they kept breathing deeply, inhaling the water over their heads into their lungs. Siddhi felt a peculiar liberation as he felt himself beginning the process of drowning. It was not so bad as he felt a drifting as his limbs became increasingly loose. It was all like some dream he had for a long time and now he was finally waking. Yes, he had gone through this many times before, waking up from the long dream of a lifetime. Hanging loose and drifting, he felt released from a great weight he had been carrying around so long. He saw in the distance an intense light, a light he was all too anxious to commit himself to, like a moth casting herself into the flame. He felt a presence next to him, an old friend through his previous life. „Yes, I am here, too‟ he heard her whisper in his mind. „Let us go there together and be finally one.‟ They merged into one being, giving up their separate individuality. Upon going into the light, there was an alteration of consciousness that was so much more intense than anything experienced before. No longer had the soul a name, a body, a mind. All thoughts were gone. There was only an intense bliss of uniting once again with the Source of Consciousness.