I looked out from the edge of a rock cliff into the soft morning mist, and dove quickly into the river Goma, surrendering wholly within its swift turbulent currents. The river carried me in its grip until my arms thrashed out and my legs kicked back to take charge and I splashed to the surface. The moment filled me with timeless wonder.
My name is Kareae. I am without an I. It has always been that way.
On the quay in the distance, Hanu, Kanparu Temple’s head guard, was urgently waving for me to return.
“Kareae,” he called out when I swam closer, “come, your father has summoned you.” Hanu with his strong arms helped me easily out of the water and handed me a towel.
“Thank you,” I smiled, giving him the Raian hug of briefly touching foreheads. “Yes, it is time,” I continued, “I’ve been feeling it all morning. Walk with me for awhile up to my quarters and after my meeting I will look for you at the front gate.”
Hanu silently agreed with a nod of head and we began our walk through the vast temple complex.
Kanparu was commonly known as the Temple of Love. Every Raian in their time came for blessings for their marriage and children. Nevertheless, Kanparu was much more than that. It was the foremost center of learning and exploration into Higher Consciousness, and was the spiritual heart of the entire kingdom. At any one time, over 500 monks lived there and were engaged into discovering the higher mysteries.
Hanu and I passed by many orchards and fields full of crops to reach the main areas where the numerous buildings, halls, temples and living quarters were located.
At the center square, Hanu left to resume his post and I returned to my quarters behind the main temple, which was adjacent to where my parents, the High Priest Ashara and the High Priestess Leila lived.
I was just finishing dressing when there was a knock on my door. My beautiful and serene mother - the powerful high priestess, Leila, entered accompanied not only by the scent of her perfume but also by the overwhelming fragrance of her pure heart and mind. Indeed, Raians from every corner of the kingdom flocked to experience her divine presence.
“Kareae,” she said after sitting on a sofa, “let us walk to the meeting together. But first, I want to simply be with you in this moment before we discuss and decide what to do. I don’t think our lives will be the same after today.”
Giving Leila a formal bow I sat next to her and replied, “Yes, I was just discussing with Hanu that I felt a shift in the collective energy field, almost deliberately by some conscious effort. Have you had any insight into what this might be?”
The high priestess frowned with a look of concern. “We may know and that is why your father has called a meeting. I want to give you a blessing now before the meeting and your soon final initiation into masterhood. Come here my son.”
I stood and knelled before her placing my head on her lap. In the silence of the moment, when she placed her hands on my head, I felt a rush of power entering within me and I dissolved in blissful unity with all the forces my mother commanded.
After some moments my mother said almost with tears in her eyes, “Yes, my son, you are ready, this I know. After your final initiation, I will no longer consider you my son but a fully initiated Master. Now come, let us go and not keep your father waiting much longer.”
We found Ashara sitting with some students by the lotus pond. He looked up with warmth in his eyes when we approached. He dismissed his students and he bade us to follow him back to his study.
My father was the astute high priest of the entire Rai kingdom in name and form, but as well, in his mastery of the powers that ruled the world and the powers of the mysteries. To achieve this virtuosity both my mother and father surrendered their personal identities to the greater forces that controlled their destinies. Soon it will be my turn, I thought.
Romdev, that ancient giant of man who was a dear friend and teacher to both my parents and me, was sitting in the study examining a small exquisite statue of a female deity. “Beautiful,” he commented, “I’ve never seen such a style before.”
“Yes, isn’t it,” Ashara reflected as he approached, “It comes from Pi. A gift from one of our pupils.”
Ashara’s study reflected the intelligence and power of the man. The walls aligned with many bookcases, were filled with ancient and modern tomes on all subjects. The room itself was exquisitely styled with artistic crafted pieces of furniture and a huge array of artworks. Within this, it was a comfortable room catering to the needs and comfort of whomever used it.
A novice monk served refreshments and discreetly left. Once everyone was settled Ashara began, “I called you together today at Romdev’s urgent request. He recently uncovered what seems to be an attempt to permanently alter the collective energy field matrix. Perhaps you have felt that shift today?”
Leila and I both nodded in agreement.
“Romdev, why don’t you tell us what you found.”
Romdev stood up and gravely moved to the center of the study wrapped in his famous blanket and shining shaved head. His massive body was almost filling the room.
“I didn’t think it was possible,” he began, ‘but someone has learned to penetrate the core of the energy matrix and today was successful to shift it a small degree. Fortunately, the force of the penetration was weak and did not cause damage. I felt that it was only a test probe but I have serious concerns about what might come.”
“Did you attempt to deflect the penetration, Romdev?” I asked.
“I tried Kareae, but there was nothing I could do to prevent it. I sensed that even if we tried to block it collectively, it would not be effective. It seems that the level of awareness of the penetrator is beyond the scope of our powers and there is nothing we can do to prevent it.”
Romdev continued, “I feel that the only person who could accomplish such feat is Kalo.”
“What!” exclaimed Ashara, standing up, “Kalo disappeared at the time my grandfather was high priest. How is it possible?”
“Yes, he disappeared then but was not gone.” Romdev answered. “Once in a very long while I had a subtle awareness of his presence.”
“I remember hearing about Kalo as a child but I thought it was just a children’s story.” I said. “He was experimenting with inter-dimensional travel or something like that.”
“Yes, that’s right, and he was making great progress until he began to change progressively after each journey.” Romdev replied. “At first, we hardly noticed but then it became obvious that Kalo was becoming increasingly angry and antisocial. He became very critical of the policies of Kanparu to raise human consciousness. Finally we had to restrain him but we were not successful. Shortly, he escaped into another dimension and we have never been able to locate him even with collective probing. It is too bad because Kalo was such a gifted person. He was in training to become a high priest together with your great grandfather Alo.”
Leila, who had been sitting silently during the discussion asked Romdev, “What is it, Romdev, that you think Kalo can bring about?”
Romdev turned to Leila in a most solemn fashion. “Having the ability to manipulate the matrix, Kalo will be able to reprogram all the mental and emotional fields. His wish will become our wish. His hope will become our hope. Indeed, most likely we would not even notice a difference.”
“In the end he will permanently subjugate the entire Rai Kingdom if not the planet to his own will.”
We sat with the seriousness of the implications of his statement; the air seemed heavy and thick, the world disappearing in our reflections.
Finally Romdev said, “Let us meet tonight when the moon is at its high point in the main temple sanctuary and open our minds together. I have an idea that might work but before I tell you about it, I need to test it out and see if there is any possibility.”
“Good,” Ashara said standing and signaling for his attendant, “I will go now and inform the senior monks to remain focused during our experiment. This is certainly crucial news and the greatest threat our kingdom has ever received. We must do everything possible to prevent it.”
In the moonlight, my body seemed almost as translucent as my mind. Thoughts and images floated pass me like a raft floating on the sea. From where I could observe them seemed like a huge distance and yet, I was focused perfectly on whatever was happening around me, completely grounded in the present moment.
My parents were waiting at the front entrance of the main temple with hands joined facing each other. Even though they were standing separately, I had difficulty to discern where one body began and the other ended.
“Kareae,” Ashara said when I approached, “Romdev is inside preparing the altar. He will call us in when the moon is at its zenith.”
We stood in silent communion until we heard the bell signaling us to enter. Within the candlelit and incense filled temple, we walked through the structural maze starting clockwise from the outer perimeter until we reached the center inner sanctum.
Romdev instructed Ashara to sit across from him with Leila on his right and myself on his left side.
At the sound of the next bell, we opened our minds together. I felt myself rising upwards out of the body, then merging and mixing into each other as it normally happened when we opened our minds together. In the past, I always retained a sense of myself within the merging. However, this time, after I felt an unusual jolt of energy, we completely dissolved into a new entity of consciousness without a trace left of my former self. I cannot say how long we remained like this.
At first, my sense of self seemed very far away like a distant point on the horizon but slowly it became nearer and stronger until we all could let go and enter into our individual bodies once again.
“Yes, it is possible,” Romdev proclaimed after we recovered and returned to the Ashara’s study. After a moment of reflection again gazing at the small female statue he said, “Yes, I think we can do it and it’s probably the only solution. We need to raise the consciousness of the entire kingdom to a new level where Kalo’s powers will be ineffective. Unless we can achieve this, we will be powerless to stop him. Tonight was the first time I could successfully merge our individual consciousness into a collective consciousness. I tried it before unsuccessfully, as you know Leila and Ashara, but never with Kareae. I feel he is pivotal in facilitating this merging. Kareae, without you it cannot be done. But, I must warn you that you will be at great risk, more so than all of us if Kalo gets wind of your powers.”
All eyes turned to me. I stood and approached Romdev placing a hand on his shoulder. “My teacher, I am ready to do whatever is necessary. I am not concerned about the risk. What is your plan?”
“My plan,” Romdev sighed, “ is a long shot. We need to raise the consciousness of the entire realm. I do not know if it is possible yet. I would say in fifty years as the population evolves, it would be conceivable but now... I am not sure. Our only chance is to accelerate the evolution of the kingdom. We would need to have around five percent of the population at the new level before we could cross the threshold for the entire kingdom. Right now, I think it is safe to say that about two percent of the population is living at this level. So, we need to enlighten around 3,000 people within two years. That’s a very arduous task.”
“Kareae, I want to move up your final initiation for the next new moon. That is if your parents agree.”
“Yes, Kareae is ready,” Leila injected. I checked him before we came here tonight.”
Ashara added in, “ I still need to do some additional work with Kareae but yes, I think we can be ready by that time.” “Very good, and afterwards we can send Kareae to make his worldly quest as we have all done except this time with a very special purpose,” Romdev replied.
I wrapped my cloak tightly around me in the cool night air. All was quiet, silent, just before the first signs of the dawn’s light that would be calling upon the birds to announce its coming. The majestic ancient built arch that stood at the front gate reached out to remind me of the highest that man could achieve.
Hanu was coming out of the guardhouse when I arrived. Looking at him, I could only see power. What he actually looked like seemed inconsequential. He was not tall or short, big or small but every part of him emanated strength and intelligence. “Come Kareae, lets sit by river and watch the sunrise. It has been a busy night; Romdev and your father have been very active calling impromptu meetings with the senior and the more advanced monks. Even your mother has been unusually joining the groups speaking privately to individuals. I can’t remember a night so high and poignant - Leila's presence seemed to fill the room with inexhaustible radiance.”
At the cliff’s edge with the naked sun just above the horizon Hanu shared, “Romdev opened his mind to me earlier. It’s hard to believe that one man could have such power over us. But seeing his earnestness, I know it must be true. I could sense when Romdev opened his mind that he was not hopeful that we could achieve our goal.”
“Hanu, what do you know of Kalo?”
“Not much really, I was a small boy at that time. I do remember he always wore a long black cloak with a large red dragon embroidered on the breast. The same dragon relief that is carved into the arch that you always bothered me about when you were younger.”
“Ah Hanu, don’t remind me that you still have not told me what the dragon means and I know you know...”
Hanu laughed but then said in a low tone, “In your time of need, the meaning of the dragon will be revealed to you. All I can say and you know this, is that the arch and the dragon are ancient remnants from the last civilization before the great wars.”
“Okay, I surrender to your mysteries,” I said lightly as I stood up and started to disrobe. With laughter in my eyes, I walked to the edge and dove into the Goma.
Soon to follow, Hanu jumped out like the warrior he was and together we swam the width and breath of the river in abandoned ease.