Friday, November 10, 2006

A simple post

After the complexities of Atlantis, perhaps it is time for a humbler post. By now the regular reader of this blog (if any) will no doubt detect a rather unearthly* tone in most of my posts--especially in my belated fiction. One might ask: why not write about something more "practical", something more "down-to-earth"! Perhaps I could fulfill the desires of such folks by churning out treatises on "Interest Rate Management and the Philips Curve" or "Purchasing Power Parity and Foreign Exchange Determination". Or perhaps something really exciting concerning "The fall of Byzantium and the rise of Modern Europe".

However these are things the curious reader can peruse elsewhere, and from authorities no doubt much more knowledgeable than myself. Even if there are certain odd opinions that I have of these fields, I may not want to share them (immature etc.), or for some reason, could not share them. Hence, the still small voice concerning these matters.

I stick quite firmly, as the reader can see, to a metaphysical and religious orientation in most of my writings. While you can indeed find countless fine and excellent tomes on economics and history, equivalent works on metaphysical issues are in fact pretty rare. In addition, much of this literature is conflicting and difficult. Indeed, for all my readings over more than a decade, I have TRULY covered probably only a small part of this territory. Thus in my blog, I hoped to cover something more unique and unappreciated.

To show the scope of my ignorance and the vast scale of metaphysical research, here are some of the 'occult' or metaphysical fields I know very little about:

Hauntings and ghosts (except for some legends of old Chinese High, like the green and cheerful beaming eyes of Tan Kah Kee. If our school truly possess a Guardian Angel (the Hwa Chong spirit!), I wonder what he thinks about our endless ghostly frettings? Or we have mistaken HIM for a ghost? Poor HC.)

Vampires and pontianaks (I heard of some leaping about in the Botanic Gardens at night, but I never ventured to confirm it for myself)

Werewolves, Dragons and most monsters--excepting those from Hell.

Astrology (know the rudiments, but that's all. I also do not feel any need for it)

Alchemy (only know the rudiments. Not sure whether it is very profitable to turn lead into gold. Economically speaking, successful alchemy will cause the price of gold to fall severely due to greatly increased supply and collapsed demand (gold is no longer a rare metal). Lead prices will rise due to vastly increased demand, and prices of both commodities will converge in a process determined by their respective demand and supply. Probably the eventual price of gold will be somewhat above that of lead due to the costs of alchemical conversion, but regardless, price-wise lead and gold will become virtually identical.

In conclusion, to turn lead into gold will reduce gold into lead. Of course there is a spiritual aspect to alchemy, but YYY knows much more about this field than me)

Feng-shui (it will be interesting to know where exactly is the elemental Dragon's Head in our school. I would like to drop different things on it and see how it affect our school's fortune)

Witchcraft (I read some books on Wicca in my teenage years, but found the stuff uninteresting and somewhat childish. I have a feeling that some of the spells and rituals probably can work given the right will and impetus, but still the gains are meagre and the costs high. Or is it just my prejudice?)

Necromancy (I have some interesting encounters at a Wayang show once, but do not care to find out more)

Celtic Druidry and that kind of thing

Fairies and mermaids

Shamanism (I read a book called 'urban shaman' during my teenage years. Again, like the wiccan book, superficiality is the problem)

Voodoo and aboriginal religion in general

Hermetic and Egyptian magic (I have read some books on them, but found them singularly unattractive)

Blood and sex magic, demon summoning and such.

You might lament my stubborn, arrogant and bigoted prejudice against all forms of black magic and what I deem to be "inferior mystical systems"--especially those that must be greased with handshakes with petty, invisible beings.

Now, I believe that many of these systems that I am arrogantly contemptuous about can actually work. Given the right 'mantra' or spell and concentration of mind, faith and openness of being, I have no doubt that the 'petty, invisible being' in question will come and perhaps do your will. But at what cost? Not many realise or believe that the ecosystem of the invisible is indeed very diverse and extremely interesting--and not always for the right reason.

But anyway, here are the fields I do know more about:

Buddhism (Mahayana, Theravarda and Tibetan)--I researched Buddhism for 4 years during my teenage years. I think I could still remember the main concepts.

Hinduism (especially the writings of Sri Aurobindo, the Tantras (not the sexual rites or the kama sutra, thank you), the Vedas etc.)

Christianity (obviously, since this is my religion)


Dungeon and Dragons and mystical/religious systems in some other fantasy worlds (Tolkien's, Robert Jordan's etc.)

The 'Micro' fields (these areas often find expression in the fields above):

Angels, both fallen and upright

Mysticism and spiritual experiences

The power of the word

Most of the stuff from which I draw my posts will come from the above. To be sure, these are already vast and varied fields and are more than enough to churn out exotic posts. Still one's ignorance, even of the latter fields, far exceeds one's knowledge. The more one knows, the more Newton's saying truly resonates:

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Reading Guide to the Atlantean Series

The various Atlantean posts in chronological order:

20,000+ BC-18,000 BC
The Atlantean Origins

12,000 BC-11,000 BC
The Fall of Atlantis

21st Century
Jerusalem (short story)
Ugly Duckling (Part I and II) (short story)

Background Information:

Atlantean Agriculture and Religion
Atlantis, Genesis and Christ (on the Biblical influences for the Atlantean series)

Some general comments:

The various posts are scattered throughout the blog from mid 2005 onwards.

There are countless allusions to the Bible and to the history of Atlantis in 'Ugly Duckling' and 'Jerusalem'. The more enthusiastic reader will probably want to read the first two historical posts and the book of Genesis. Part II of 'Ugly Duckling' is the most difficult post with the most unusual style.

Ugly Duckling (Part I and II)

"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

(Genesis 22:1-4, 6-8)

Part I

Enoch was flying far above a dark windswept plain. A fortress towered skywards and high walls soared near.

It was the dream again.

The citadel had haunted him, entrancing him with its surreal and implacable splendor. Seamlessly crafted from a single mountainous block of multi-colored stone, its lyrical rock arteries raced sinuously upward, softening harshness and lifting one’s sight to an inexorable height, where a second sun blazed fiercely with diamond white flame. But Enoch did not avert his eyes—for the searing fire invited his heart like the cozy hearth of a forgotten home.

Rays of seven hues interweaved with flame, stretching hundreds of meters from the orb. They danced playfully to a hidden tune, capering off the numerous gem-like windows that adorn the building and its walls. Radiated by this symphony of light, the building was a rainbow flame that soared aloft the wave-like walls.

Vaguely Greco-Roman and oddly modernist, Egyptian in parts, yet Far Eastern in its sweet organic harmony—its elemental beauty fused stubborn opposites and transcended intolerant categories.

What kind of civilization will endow a mere fortress with such splendor?

Then Enoch turned around. He knew what he would see.

An immense multi-colored cloud choked the horizon—the out-stretched wings of a cosmic raven. As it approached, he could make out thousands and thousands of flying and crawling things that dotted the sea, sky and earth. Machines that incarnate the insanities of the abyss, they were seamlessly wrought with fluid, organic curves and beautifully clothed with something that looked distinctly like flesh.

And unlike the monotonous bombers and tanks Enoch was familiar with, these machines were each unique in some way. Some looked like twisted vultures or serpentine dragons, some like giant insects and spiders—yet others were almost sweet, like doves or turtles. This spectacular, diverse and obsessive artistry made it obvious that this invading force, however filled with the menace of evil, hailed from the same root as the Tower of Flame.

This was a civil war. A splendid civilization was ripping itself apart.

Then the Nightmare came. For in the midst of the invading swarm was a huge statue, a skyscraper of hell covered with an unbelievable amount of blood, a mountain of flesh—compacted corpses, as far as Enoch could make out—with a massive blood-red Eye on top. This orb burnt with the splendor of darkness visible: devouring, insane and perversely sweet. A fatal chant emanated, a hymn of eternal hatred that rose in stabbing crescendo.

As if on cue, thousands of comet-like projectiles roared hungrily from the infernal machines of earth and sky—an innumerable pandemonium that rushed towards the doomed Tower…

Enoch awoke.

"Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

The words of Macbeth reverberated in Enoch’s mind as he brushed his hand against the thorny rose bushes of the sky garden. The thorns ripped his skin and dull blood sluggishly oozed out. Enoch focused on the pain, drinking it in.

Was it real? He was not sure anymore. And what could it mean?

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!"

He gave a sigh as he felt a fiery life enter his palms from an immense reservoir just beneath his spine. It was white and alive, and every nerve in his palm blazed with it. He somehow knew his wound was being healed at a supernormal rate.

What was happening? He asked himself—again. What could this thing be? This force that had suddenly manifested a few months ago, exploding up his spine to his brain, pouring in a fiery flood from above--and turning his inner world into a kaleidoscope where thought and vision were etched in flame? And with it had come these strange waking dreams.

And worse: Enoch closed his eyes, feeling the strange and resplendent force that permeated his whole body. But it did not stop there. The fire stretched out from him in all directions. He could feel the plants around him burning with the same essential radiance, though much lesser in degree. He could feel a cool shower, brilliant and crystalline, pouring down from the moon and the stars above. He could feel a couple of lovers some distance away, flaming in the heat of passion. And he could detect the serpentine lightning that coursed incessantly through the building’s electricity grid.

He was mad. Or possessed. Neither possibility was appealing.

When he was a very young child, he had dreamt of a beautiful lady in white. She was holding a rose. Behind her was a river and there was a garden with three swans. He had woken up in the darkness, just as his alcoholic father barged in with a belt.

His father left soon after, never to return.

Enoch then roamed the nameless alleys like a beast, stealing and begging for his daily bread. Then one day, he came: Moshe Levi. Even now, Enoch knew little of him. But he was the man who would touch his heart and give him a new life.

With authority, Moshe called Enoch's name. And trust was born in his dead spirit. Enoch did not ask how Moshe could have known his name-- somehow, as dawn charms the heart, it was right and fitting that it was so.

Enoch was brought to a beautiful house in another country. The best food, clothing and education were made available. But Moshe said little. He never explained why he chose him from among the thousands of street children in that urban hell. Nor did Enoch ask, for he was too awestruck in the presence of his foster father. After all, Moshe's worldly power alone was awesome: head of a world girdling business empire and an influential counselor to the rulers of men, there were few who did not defer to him.

Yet even more intimidating was the mysterious majesty that cloaked Moshe. Even during that first meeting in the dark, Enoch knew he stood in the presence of a king—and one with unfathomable authority. Even after 3 years, Enoch still shrunk from his foster father in fear and shame, painfully inadequate in the face of such splendor. The wounds of his tortured childhood had never fully healed.

And Moshe was seldom around. He always disappeared for long periods without any explanation or warning. Enoch remembered his first night on Moshe’s private plane. By coincidence or design, Enoch’s only companion was a book: ‘The Ugly Duckling’, for Moshe had remained behind in the city. It was a month later before he would meet Moshe again.

The 3 years had passed quickly. Such is time when joy is abundant. For the first time, Enoch lived. He thrived in school, albeit only academically. Still haunted by the shadows of his past, he avoided his schoolmates, spoke little and made few friends. He preferred to watch and observe—that was his gift.

It was precisely because he saw so clearly into Moshe’s true nature that he was afraid.

But now Moshe was dead. How was it possible? He…could not have died, Enoch reasoned. Yet he had. The news had come a few hours ago: a bombing of some kind in Jerusalem, the charred body of Moshe in the middle of a burning Al-Aqsa market, condolences from around the world. Moshe’s butler had sent him immediately by helicopter to the headquarters of Shalom—Moshe’s holding company in London.

But still something was wrong. Enoch could feel it in his heart.

It was the same voice, the same power that had touched his heart in the darkness. But this time, Enoch could not see Moshe. Yet his presence was no less palpable.

‘Father!’ he cried.
‘Do not be afraid or sad, Enoch. I have discharged an ancient debt and am now free.’
‘ But you are…’
‘This is simply a change of clothing, my son. That is all. By the mercy of God I have returned home and my mission is done. Now yours has begun—though you must first survive. Hurry now to my office at the basement.’

Enoch looked around. The headquarters of Shalom was immense. Where was the right elevator leading to the office of the chairman? And why was it at the basement? Even the sky garden looked like a maze.

Then instinctively he knew what to do: reaching out with his senses, he touched the electric flame that girded the building—revealing its design like a schematic diagram.

Enoch was soon at Moshe’s office. It was large but rather Spartan, with few furnishings and a rather uncomfortable looking alabaster chair. There were however many Egyptian artifacts from Moshe’s art collection—including the bust of a handsome looking Pharaoh.

Before Moshe had left for Jerusalem, he had given Enoch a small wooden box and some cryptic instructions to open it ‘at the right time’. Presumably the time was now. Taking it out from his pocket, Enoch tried to open it but found that it was securely locked.

‘Go to my desk and place the box on the seal in the middle’

Enoch walked to the desk. It was completely empty except for a desktop computer and some files. What seal?

‘Look not with your eyes of flesh, but with those of flame.’

As these words penetrated his heart, he suddenly noticed that there was a small current of energy flowing continuously within the surface of the desk. Concentrating his mind, he noticed that the paths of the current formed a distinctly clear picture of a sunburst with seven rays.

His heart stopped as he recalled the orb on top of the Tower.

‘The Tarasha, Enoch.’
‘What is that?’
‘You will know soon enough. Now do as I say.’

Enoch placed the box on the seal. It immediately clicked and slipped open. In the box was a stone, with a sunburst of seven rays on one side and a chalice with 11 feathers on the other. As he looked at the chalice, he had a strange feeling that he had seen it before. As he thought deeply, suddenly he found that he was no longer in Moshe’s office.

He was in a waking dream again.

He was in a vast chamber, with high pillars soaring like ancient trees. Towards the far end of the chamber was a large carving on a wooden wall—of a chalice with 11 feathers.

‘Sir, the sea fortresses could hold them no more! As we speak, the soil of Tarasha Lehe is already defiled. And soon…’

Enoch could see a group of strange looking men and women in seamless brilliant robes. A stern and hawk-eyed man in armor was addressing an old man in white. Somehow Enoch could understand their language perfectly.

‘My lord,’ a matronly woman had stood up, ‘Salem, 5 legions and the army of Ram are all that stand between the Traitors and the cities of the valley. Even the great Rock, even our best soldiers, even our valiant allies, cannot hope to fight off a force of this size—especially when it is backed by that Abomination.’

The old man sank unsteadily into a white chair, his grey head bowed low. There was a deathly pause before he slowly lifted his eyes—eyes that somehow reminded Enoch of the Tower’s flaming orb.

‘What does the Senate suggest then, Ferinei?’
‘We have the means to stop them, sir!’ The hawk-eyed man was speaking again. ‘The stones of flame are our only hope!’ As he said this, he suddenly lowered his head. Tears had quietly streamed down his battle-hardened face.

A terrible silence descended.

‘Hope, my friends?’ The old man paused, as if weary, but his voice was empowered with authority like that of Moshe.

‘It is not hope. Not for our civilization. It would destroy the Traitors and their abomination. But it will not save us. The world will plunge into darkness for thousands of years. All that our ancestors have built for 20,000 years will be lost.’

‘But what is left? Our homeland is now an abode of hell! Egypt and the Chinese nations, children of the motherland, are no more. Only the kingdom of Ram stands, but if we fall, it will fall as well. Tarasha Lehe is mankind’s last hope.’ The matron had stood up again, her voice strong and resolute. Many nodded wearily in agreement.

‘Senators, mark this well,’ the old man spoke softly, but mountainous force had been effortlessly interweaved, ‘Tarasha Lehe itself will not survive the use of the fire-stones. Why do you not understand, Ferinei? The sins of our nation are too heavy--too heavy! The sacking of Abra Lodesh, the massacre of innocents, the construction of the statue of Moloch—we have treacherously betrayed our God! If we, the last remnant, the faithful of Tarasha Lehe, commit bloodshed of this order, it will doom us. This will be the final abuse of the Atlantean Flame.’

Suddenly Enoch saw a vast network of fiery energies surrounding the whole chamber. And in the heart of the fire, he saw three stones blazing with illimitable power.

Part II

‘Behold Salem—the seven hued Rock that cleaves the darkness.’

The voice was Moshe’s and his word was fire. The Stones vanished as Enoch’s vision soared into the ancient dawns of a young humanity. Salem loomed, and in its Fire, Enoch saw the despair and glory of the dying Atlanteans. He saw their broken spirits uplifting the earth, their unrelenting holiness warring with fatal guilt—and in their final fiery triumph, he saw how they sealed their doom but saved the world. Surveying centuries with the sweep of dreams, Enoch plunged ever deeper into the memories of a forgotten earth.

Enoch saw the descent of the Atlantean Flame onto a pure desert people. He saw the primeval sages of humanity, burning with wisdom and power, inspiring ages of splendor. He saw the Exodus, the voyage of faith through the western seas and the settlement of the Atlantean motherland. He saw the forging of the Stones. He saw a tremendous ten thousand years of civilization, knowledge and power. And in noontime glory, Enoch saw the abrupt darkness that murdered the light.

Moshe’s word flamed in impetuous ecstasy and Enoch’s vision exploded—a kaleidoscope of whirling time gave way to sudden omnipotent Peace: in sovereign silence there was a Word, and the seven hued Glory that shines in all shone in Enoch’s heart.

Enoch had returned home.

But he could not enter. A gentle but implacable force held him aloft. He basked in peace and joy and light, but Enoch knew this was but the penumbra of the divine Fire, a mere foretaste of the divine bliss. There was a vehement thirst in him to tear apart the barrier.

‘Do you really wish to do so?’

The voice was feminine and sounded vaguely amused. It was coming from within the Fire. As Enoch looked, one part of the Fire coalesced and formed the figure of an old woman. She gestured with her right hand and a stern blue fire blazed harshly before condensing into a multi-faceted diamond with swirling threads of implacable light.

'You have seen the past, flame-child. Now witness the future—as much as the Lord will permit you. There are many paths, yet in them all, Justice demands the eventual doom of man,' she said simply.

Enoch stirred uncomfortably. He looked into the diamond light, gazing into the tapestry of time.

‘After the flood, humanity rose again from darkness, lifted by an eagle’s light that fired his spirit. Over the ages, his knowledge and power grew, till he could ride the winds and the waves, exploit the ciphers of physical life and mind, and command the atomic fire.

Men grew mighty, but their spirits faltered. They could weave the flame of the stars, but not the fires of their hearts. Beholding the cosmos, their minds could encompass eternity and put forth infinite wings—but the immensities of their own beings they know little, and worm-like, they plunder the barren surface. Like the ancient Atlanteans, they gained the world, but lost their souls.

Thus will their imagination and power and knowledge turn against them. For they know, but not truly, their power is but a shadow. Helplessness and terror grow with mastery, and the blessing they seek is their doom.

And in their moment of greatest need, when power grows apace, fatal blindness devours the light of our innermost hearts. Proud idolatry, hard-hearted disbelief--darkened embers of fanaticism strangle the failing spirit of man.

Thus will fire and darkness, plague, war and mechanized horror blossom, the dark rose born of man’s angel mind, bloodlust and beastly greed. Such is the word of Justice, flame-child, such is the fate of proud and idolatrous man.’

The fearsome voice sank to a whispering breeze.

Then a second voice arose. An old man, flaming white and rosy hued, stepped forth from the heart of the Fire. He shook his head and waved his hand. The diamond vanished. Enoch gazed at him as he weaved blue fire to form a round sphere. The sphere ascended, and swirled and turned into a storm. Then from far above came an overwhelming rosy flame that calmed chaos and enforced peace.

'Old woman, there are powers at work in this fallen age that exceed and redeem our greatest art. You know that. You yourself sacrificed much for that cause,' the old man said softly.

The old woman said nothing but looked down. Then she whispered sadly, 'I can only pray that it is enough, my friend. We cannot fail again.'

The old man turned to Enoch with his flaming eyes. ‘Justice is divine, but it is not the last word. For the Lord is love and mercy and peace.’

‘Yet grace rejected brings forth severest pains,’ the old woman added sadly.

‘But grace accepted stays the hand of justice and brings forth mighty fruits. And grace, Enoch, is what you must choose. You must choose to incarnate grace.’

‘Incarnate grace?’

‘ Look within, Enoch.’

As the words penetrated, Enoch suddenly saw an immobility hewed from living flame, a conscious power of diamond light upholding a frail human front with titan gaze. The fiery mass formed a being and two familiar eyes looked into his.

‘What is that?’ Enoch whispered.

‘You, Enoch,’ the old woman was speaking again, ‘you who came from the Flame and is free to return—even now.’

‘But that is what you must not do!’ the old man’s voice was gentle but filled with storm, ‘ the potential power and wisdom that stands behind you exceeds even that of Moshe’s! Your foster father is the last of the Guardians and the mightiest. But in a mysterious way you cannot fathom now, that which stands hidden behind you is an equal of the ancient Melchis who forged the Stones.

If you choose rightly, your power and knowledge will become a vast light that battles the darkness. You and those who follow you, will delay or perhaps even stay the hand of death. The seed of a new Atlantis will be planted, and it will blossom in the centuries ahead. The new light will break the fall of the old.’

The old woman shook her head. ‘But fail, Enoch, fail and the twisted creations of your hand shall plague the earth and help seal the doom of man. And the old man has yet to speak of the terrible sacrifice:

Death and doom and evil you must fight, but first within yourself. In your own flesh and mind and spirit, you must taste the corrupting shadow of the dark Atlanteans, the traitors who built the abomination of Moloch and doomed their world. You must confront a filthy vileness within yourself—a force that perverts all and enslaves your being to darkness.

And you must engage in this battle without the power and knowledge that are rightfully yours. Your bright prophetic vision will fail. These glories you now see will vanish from your sight. No more will you hear the voice of Moshe, your only family, or taste the bliss of the Flame, your home. No more will you see the inner stuff of things or the splendor of the inner worlds. No more will be you be moved by a transcendent Might from above.

Grim, hard earth will be your lot—for you must share the fate of the fallen humanity you wish to serve. You must drink, and drink deep, of their misery before you can alleviate it. That is the law of grace—the law of solidarity and of love.

Even your human intelligence will be injured by confusion and ignorance. You who love knowledge will be bereft of it, and your weakened reason will climb painfully on the steps of fragmented truth. You who wish to bring the Light must first taste the ignorance that blights the frail minds of men.

And you shall be lonely, a hidden swan, an ugly duckling unknown, unfathomed and distrusted by those around you. Moshe will be gone from your view, and you have to put on a mask to face the world. Love will be shallow, fleeting and friendship always precarious: not till the end of your ordeal will you find those who are truly able to know you--and love you for who you really are.

You will know yourself. You will see the being of flame. But you will not enter, nor will you know how long you must bear your cross. Even Glory will be a torment.

So, child, do you still wish to walk this path?’

There was a silence, the stillness of a windless, lonely night. Then Enoch asked, ‘What is the alternative?’

The old man looked at him and said sadly, ‘Do you really wish to know Enoch? In the coming night, it will make your burden heavy. But it is your right.’

‘I choose to know.’

‘Then so be it.’ The old man lifted his hand and far above him, Enoch saw a Fire, splendid with truth, vehement with righteousness. It crashed down, a resplendent torrent blissfully tearing open his mind, his heart and body

Enoch again saw the titanic immobility behind him. This time however, the diamond-fire knifed forward, violently conquering his widened being.

Enoch and the child of fire became one.

He saw an ocean of light, and it was himself. His old self—memories, intellect, body, desires, pains and pleasures—had become strangely small and unfamiliar, like sordid ill-fitting clothing put on for a child’s party. The Knowledge that was now himself smiled at the theater of his life. Adamantine peace guarded a vast symphonic wisdom that instantly comprehended the meaning of his seemingly random journey.

A Voice called from far above. An inner voice answered and mountainous might surged lightning-tongued from an ocean heart. Enoch ascended, a rippling blaze of immensity soaring to the peaks of vision.

He ascended the mystic ladder, soaring above the multitudinous kingdoms of creation. Still above, and closed to his still unworthy sight, was the mystery of God’s original splendor. Enoch knew that this summit border world between God and His creation was somehow his home--his rightful seat. He could stay and return no more.

‘Behold the Poetry that built the worlds.’ The voice was that of the old man, but infinitely enhanced in grandeur and beauty.

From the still Light came a small voice, a soft musical ripple--then Words immense arose, lamps of fire pregnant not merely with sound and faint idea, but surging with a universe of meaning and sealed with flaming Truth. Each seemed the very heart of a world, a supreme beat guiding a dance of infinite bodies.

Two blazing spheres filled Enoch's consciousness: One reigned in implacable white, outstretching harsh, clean wings of cleaving light--a furious, all-seeing, all-powerful Truth that compels all things to be as they must. The old woman stood within, transfigured in terror and majesty. It was the Word of Justice, the song of Righteousness.

Another was a Rose-flame, a calm and serene majesty, rippling sweet and intimate. It was peace, a night of joy on a mother's bosom, the all-embracing splendor and bliss of a hidden smile. The old man stood, royal, with eyes filled with suffering earth and the far supreme joy that broods over all pain. This was the Word of Grace, the song of Peace.

Many more Words arose, but they concealed their oceanic meaning and power and revealed only their barest surfaces. Enoch knew intuitively that the more he saw, the deeper will be the coming night.

The old man spoke again.

‘From this song, Enoch, the primeval Melchis framed the language of our Art, the poetry that forged the Stones and overthrew the kingdoms of darkness. The Atlantean tongue captured in its entirety the archetypal forces of this high world, this first- born kingdom of all creation.

For the ancient path of the Melchis was a way of knowledge--not the knowledge that could only figure truth with a symbol but stop short of its living heart. Behind all creation stands the Word. He is One and there is no other, but infinite are his Faces, his seed-Potencies that guide the symphony of the worlds.

For the Lord is love and justice, night and day, fire and wind, earth and sea, might and wonder, mystery and truth. These are his bodies and He is their song. We the primeval Melchis ultimately sought to know only one thing: the Word of God and his Fire--for to know Him is to know all things truly.

Yet few men are interested even in ordinary knowledge, not to mention the wisdom in which one knows as one knows oneself. Truth is mostly pursued as a tool to feed a mass of hungry desires. Few are those in whom the flame of knowledge burns purely.

To compound this, our Way is one in which aspirants do not storm the gates of heaven, but surrender to God in faith and patiently await his grace. Faith, surrender, patience, truth--these are valued by few, difficult for all. Thus few are those who are worthy to become true Melchis. Even those who truly value knowledge often rely too much on their own wills and minds, lacking the faith to sincerely say, 'Here I am, O Lord. Do with me as You will.' And then there are the dark nights when the Atlantean Flame burns in secret, the crucibles of pain when the Flame transforms our being, the unrelenting struggles with the forces of evil--these are great hurdles in the path of the aspiring Melchi.

Yet for those who faithfully and resolutely tread this Way, the rain of righteous Truth and Love shall fall, and one's being becomes a temple of the growing Flame. And with true knowledge comes true power. When the Melchi knows the Powers of creation as his own self is known, it is normal for him to be granted the authority to command creation like his own being. This is true authority: not the superficial machinations of the later Atlantean mages or your technologists, but an invincible and direct power over nature that is rooted in one's spirit and bestowed by grace.

The prophet Melchizedek, our royal torch of faith, righteousness, wisdom and power, was the greatest of those who walk this path. A whole generation of Melchis followed after him in the long days of our wandering. But by necessity, the impulse began to fail in the centuries after the Settlement. Thus we forged the Stones, but this desperate bid failed to perpetuate the line of true Melchis. The glorious seven-hued Flame could not abide in a race attached to the shadows, only mere figments could stay--thus did Atlantis reached a high perfection but not the true.'

Enoch pondered the old man's words. In blazing clarity he weighed the claims of Grace and Justice. After a timeless pause, a musing garden of eternity, he spoke,

'Has humanity changed for the better? If the transfigured race of the Stones could not receive the Light, when even they could fail and plunge the world into darkness, how could Grace transform the desperate and oppressed men of this age? You ask me to leave this place and its bliss. But I have tasted the horrors of earth. I have taken on burdens that burn my being and crush my bones. I have no one below. I see no hope below. There is only darkness.

You ask me to face all these to help others. Perhaps--part of me says yes. But I ask to know the true will of God. His Righteousness has already spoken, and His word is that I need not--should not choose to return.

And I do not want to return.'

There was a chilly hush. The old man lowered his head and spoke no more. But from the Fire, there came a third and familiar figure: Moshe Levi. His figure was compacted of fire and his eyes shone with peace. Lifting a flaming hand, he pointed downwards.

Enoch saw the earth. His attention was drawn to the land of Egypt. There he saw a foul cloud that was racing in all directions. He understood it to be Moshe’s ancient crime and the consequences that had followed. It was this sin that had bound him to the earth even as the other Guardians had departed.

Then Enoch saw the innumerable seeds of light planted in all the main civilizations of humanity—the deeds of power and love that Moshe had done for countless individuals and nations over the ages—including him. And in most of these cases, no one even suspected the true cause of their blessings. They were anonymous, done without any expectation of reward. And he saw the pity Moshe showed even to implacable enemies. Then he saw all these seeds flame up and spread in all directions, drowning out the darkness Moshe had unleashed before linking together in a vast field that covered the earth.

Then in that sea of light, Enoch saw one shining adamantine star: it was himself.

And Moshe came forward and took Enoch into his embrace. ‘Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abide alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.' Love embraced death, that men may truly live.’

‘You ask me to follow you?’

Moshe nodded. ‘The Fire shall leave you, but faith will still burn. Stay firm, and reject the darkness that will seduce you to become its joyful slave. And an omnipotent Love will fall one day, and your inner being shall flame not just with wisdom and power, but also the Joy that transcends everything--both justice and grace.'

As he said this, in the far forbidden sky, the dark throne of mystery stirred. An infinite Light, a sky-wide oceanic Fire descended. Vast as Enoch had become, he was but a faint flicker in this torrential sun.

From this Omnipotence came a human face. Humble eyes of homeliness, like those of his mother long ago, like those of his father before he changed, like those of Moshe--pierced into Enoch from unfathomable depths. Enoch felt a closeness with this distant Infinity, a total intimacy never felt before with anyone else. He felt an embrace without arms, a total safety in a dark night of love, a tender kiss that touched the pain of the world and his deepest heart.

Then came a quiet Voice.

"I am He, Enoch,
the light of justice,
the fire of truth
the beauty that flames
in your eyes.

Your pain is mine.
Barren joys and loneliness,
Burdens and heavy darkness,
These I share and make my own.
In your brokenness,
I walk close.

I am the Lamb of God who takes away all sins,
the High Priest of the order of Melchizedek,
the everlasting Word,
your friend.
Be not afraid of a passing desert,
for you are always in my embrace.

I shall bring you back to the living waters.
I shall bring you deep into my heart of Peace.

Come, and follow me."

Enoch stayed still. All was fulfilled. All power, knowledge and glory seemed small and trivial, compared to the simple fact that one is loved, and loved eternally by One who is totally true and faithful. The Secret is not in the hurricane, the earthquake and the fire, but in the still small voice that says 'I love you.'

There was an inner war, an eternal moment's pause. Then came a whisper, a soft but resolute reply:

'I will trust you, O Lord.'


The prayer call sounded from the Dome of the Rock as the last rays of the crimson sun were swallowed by the encroaching night. The ancient sands rose in swirling dream and murmuring winds swept the Old City, mingling the songs of the Koran with the cries of the Hebrew pilgrims and their Prophets. The city of peace, Jerusalem, sank into sultry slumber as hard light from a thousand markets, churches, mosques and synagogues pierced yearningly into the empty sky.

The Night has begun. Enoch looked up, stone heart crying into silence.