Back in the Wilderness: and the Rough Places, Plain

Kether, the Church at Laodicea

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Elohim; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, l am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

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As the monk approached his destination, the words of the child began repeating themselves in his mind. The resonance of each repetition gained a little as he walked-- as though the child's voice first matured, then merged with other voices: first few, then many; and now, as he stepped into the open doorway before him, more than his mind could embrace at once.

"No one wins. No one wins!" The significance of the words changed of themselves in accompaniment with his reeling thoughts. "No one wins?" It was as though a multitude were knocking at every opening that could be occupied by consciousness. He paused upon the threshold a timeless while, and a new voice he recognized as his own seemed to answer, "We win as One."

Light surpassing light enfolded him from within, and all that he had known began to burn-- not as in the raging fires of Earth, nor even as in the hidden fire of ice: the fire in which he stood proceeded from itself and bathed unto transformation, fusing the purified essence of his former existences in time into an elevated continuation so far beyond his expectations that it appeared as new. Every expression that had ever crossed his face was there before him, now, revealed as but a single, smiling appearance of Maya-- Illusion: his mother to this moment, and his new-found friend.

His body was being rebuilt, cell by cell. As crystals form, so he grew: his feet and his abdomen, new; his legs and his lungs, new; his loins and his heart, new; his shoulders, arms, and his ears, new; his eyes and his hands, new; his forehead and, yet again, all of him, new: and yet the same!

An ancient writing opened to him: "Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." His life to this moment had been like steps inside a prayer wheel, whose turnings had kept his place in every circumstance. He had not come to an end, nor even to a new beginning, but to the center!

He reached out his arms to touch the door posts. They were there, but they were no longer solid, as in his approach. They rose above him on left and right like pillars of smoke. He turned his head to follow their trails upward and was nearly overwhelmed by the shining of the lintel: it was as though he had come face to face with eternity compacted into a single moment of time.

He might certainly have fallen, then; but the smallest of all voices from He who is Least of all invited him to enter. The monk would not have presumed to ask the question, but it was answered, nonetheless: "I am that I am."

On the other side, he was seated in his hut, the many-petaled Lotus. His prayer wheel was slowly spinning in the air around him. Deer were looking in at the window, and he understood that they were waiting to be fed. He stretched himself to make certain of this new vision, and his hands were filled, abundantly, with seed.


Chapter 11

Churches of Asia