Steve Jason, while leaving the Buddhist centre Aria Tara for palliative cares, was very sad, yet strangely calm.
His wife Liu Wang just ended her life there.
Steve already had to face the death of Hervé Elzécher, director of the Shedrup Ling University in Lhassa, and his adviser Esmeralda Alson, who followed him some days after in the afterlife.
Hervé's death had not been a surprise, given his great age. Everyone also knew that Hervé and his confidante Esmeralda Alson had established a very keen long-standing platonic union, although this was a topic that everyone avoided to mention, to avoid spoiling such a delicate feeling. Those who were making lewd remarks invariably attracted Hervé Elzécher's contempt, and the polite and silent contempt of such an intelligent and kind man had something very vexating.
So nobody was astonished if Esmeralda, the white angel as she was nicknamed, exquisite artist and former opera chorus member, also died some days later, without any apparent cause, a serene smile on her lips.
As everybody expected, it was the German Rolf Gensher who took the direction of the Shedrup Ling University. Hervé had thoroughly prepared him for this task, and he had the confidence of nearby all the researchers and teachers. So Rolf took his new charge at 44, without any problem.
Rolf, a high level engineer, had his life closely linked to his family business, the KRG: Kraft Roboten Geselshaft. This robotics company was founded in the 2000s in Europe, specifically in Germany, to address a rather surprising issue: at this time almost all the machine tools and industrial robots were imported from the United States, and they all had the very notorious disadvantage... of not being in the metric system! The base position unit was the mill, which is 25.4 microns, while all Europe was in metric. This medieval survival was causing serious issues when some precision was needed, as machined surfaces were having «ladders» irregular in width, and which were differing from one machine to another. The machines of the KRG were soon highly demanded in Europe, but also in Asia and Africa, which had to equip with new tools, without being already ridden with equipment to the US standard. When the US manufacturers, imbued with their power, understood what had happened, it was too late: their marked was nabbed by the Europeans.
The KRG could however not become a leader in robotics, because it is a very wide area, with many production niches requiring very different skills. So many businesses were occupying this market, each with its specialty. The KRG still became a world leader in surgical robots, extremely demanding and delicate machines, which in 2102 had replaced most human surgeons, and were doing things that no human could have imagined, while never trembling, never making mistakes, and always as the most competent and experienced possible surgeon could do. Only these machines could detect nerves and avoid to irremediably cut them, or operate at the micron scale to repair very delicate nerves and channels. These incredible machines were visualizing the body with NMR (note 21) in real time, and were operating with virtual «scalpels» using ultrasounds or microwaves, focused with time return mirrors (note 22). Thus they were able to intervene directly onto the internal organs, without opening, without cutting any tissue, and were able of eliminating one per one thousands of tiny metastases (cancer germs) in a few minutes, or repairing a severed spinal chord: Millions of people were owing them to walk, work or love freely, instead of being severely disabled. The KRG has also studied military robots, often secret, but from the beginning things were very clear: a citizen corporate, it provided only the UN, and only for purposes of peacekeeping. Only KRG robots were able to completely clean up the vast expanses of Africa and Asia which were mined during the barbarian wars of the 20th century, or get to the bottom of the ocean retrieve barrels of nuclear or chemical wastes which were dumped here per millions. It was also said that the huge profits of the company were used to fund advanced robotic experiments, into laboratories and test centres, of which very few was known, even not in which countries they were.
The KRG, as many other high tech companies, was maintaining close links with the Shedrup Ling University, even if legally they were two completely separate entities. The senior managers and the main engineers were all trained in Shedrup Ling. Not for technical reasons, but because the successive directors of the KRG knew that Shedrup Ling was screening its students on the basis of personal qualities of integrity, respect of life and ecology, or even of devoting their lives to a positive purpose, whichever it was. This was the spirit of the KRG: before everything else, to be useful to humanity. Such an idealistic staff was also incorruptible: this was one of the best safeguards against industrial espionage.
This made that, when Rolf Gensher received the direction of the KRG, he knew he could trust an efficient, honest and dedicated team. So, to combine this function with the direction of Shedrup Ling was arousing no issue. However this was giving Rolf Gensher an enormous power, that only few could guess its actual reach. And he used it, this power. Quietly, but efficiently. He sought neither fame nor recognition, but his environmental action had helped to breathe a purer air, to drink a cleaner water, to allow forests to grow again where since the early 20th century there was only concrete.
Rolf Gensher was very discreet about his spiritual commitments. Doubtless he attended some Tibetan masters such as Sangye Tchögyal, but he always denied being «a Buddhist», stating to be a scientific experimenter before all, even in the realm of the spirit. He just conceded to be interested in the humanism of the great scientists and, of course, in ecology, «like everybody». His career was quite curious. He was a brilliant student, kind, devoted to life, ecology, peace and justice. But materialistic. Yet life was waiting at him, with a trick of its own...
One could never know what happened exactly, Rolf always being very discreet on his private life. But, at the occasion of a travel in Peru, he ended to have his evidence, obvious and beyond any discussion… and, it was said, very painful, with a frightening shingles crisis, so violent that people had to prevent him of jumping out of the window.
Rolf, somewhat rationalist, needed several months to accept the fact. But the scientist won at last. He remarked that if such «physically unexplainable» things are possible, so there is necessarily «something else» than matter. He then spent more than one week in a row on the Internet, to study the subject. The parapsychology experiments. The powers of the Yogis. The miracles of prayer. He discovered that the scientific evidences of the powers of the mind over matter were perfectly well established before 2000, but superbly ignored by the traditional scientific establishment: the studies Cornell University on ESP, of the University of Utrecht, of Dr Auriol in Toulouse, of the University of Gothenburg, the University of California, the Stanford Research Institute, the Science Applications International Corporation, the strange experiences of the PEAR laboratory in Princeton... While using standard practices used in all other areas of science, it was already concluded by the year 2000 to the reality of many psychophysical phenomena such as NDE, telepathy, and even psychokinesis. However this did not prevented traditional scientific establishment to remain superbly materialist, even one century after these results. It is to pass over this stagnation that the Shedrup Ling University was founded, together with many other organizations and laboratories, leaving traditional materialistic science with the noble task of «building its bombs and its washing machines».
Rolf thought that there was no reason not to do science in these domains too. It was enough to consider the psychophysical facts (and even consciousness facts in general) as observation facts, and then to apply the known methods of material science. He even thought of writing a book on the subject, but he soon discovered the book by Richard Trigaux «General Epistemology», where all that he had on the tip of his tongue was already clearly explained. He took several weeks to pick up this dense book, sometimes extravagant, and already outdated in many respects by the latest research.
Of course Rolf Gensher's commitments in the field of mind science made of him a convinced pacifist, who used his wealth and expertise for humanitarian purposes, directly or while funding organizations. The accounting department of the KRG had become expert at evading taxes by distributing profits to humanitarian groups, ecology, or social work. Several inquiries from the Brussels European tax services never found anything illegal. Yet it was not by lack of trying, because the power of the KRG, dedicated to the welfare of mankind, was very unpleasant to some... who went as far as calling Rolf Gensher a «Krupp of the New Age». Even if Rolf was not very keen for humour, he screamed with laughter when he heard that...
If the death of Hervé and Esmeralda was coming naturally after a well fulfilled life, the death of Liu was on the contrary looking totally unfair. Fifty-five years was far too short. Liu was still beautiful, in perfect health, with many projects in mind. She was passionately loving Steve, even if she missed more than two years in religious retreats, and she was planning a three year one.
This had begun with her feeling tired. Thinking of some karmic phenomenon, she made purification fasts. But this only increased the tiredness. Then came fainting, which took her after effort. Climbing stairs became a problem in only a few months. Liu's heart was losing power. Yet her arteries were in perfect condition, as one could expect from a vegetarian from birth, who had practiced Chi Gong all her life.
They had, however, to accept the fact: her heart was rapidly losing its muscular strength, with no other apparent symptoms. And the problem soon began to spread to the arteries...
As one of her aunts had died of the same disease, twenty years earlier, a complete genetic checkup was made. It appeared that a gene encoding for a protein regulating the heart muscle growth was impaired. Several neighbouring nucleic acids had been ejected or tampered. The effects of this error appeared only by accumulation, manifesting rather abruptly when a certain threshold was reached, between forty and sixty years. And it could not be cured: Liu had only two or three months to live.
The origin of the mutation was found, in an ancestor of Liu, who was born in the 1950 years, in the midst of cold war and intensive nuclear testing. The lethal gene had since been transmitted to dozens of persons. Liu was dying of a war which took place a century and a half earlier, which very stake seemed nebulous and childish, production of sick brains who sacrificed their own offspring to their greed for power.
Hundreds of similar mutations had already been found, dating from 1945 to 2040, with a maximum in the 1960s, a second maximum in the fifteen years that followed the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986, followed by the unthinkable Fukushima disaster in 2011. And this was just a small forewarning: these mutations, mostly recessive (note 23), would appear only gradually, in the millennia to come. And the new problem was: how to fund hundreds of studies, each with an enormous cost, for hundreds of diseases which were each affecting only a few dozen persons? Some mutations were benign, but very annoying, like having a repulsive smell. Some could be corrected by surgery. But the problem is that there were more and more. One day they will become the leading cause of medical expenses, and they would reverse the progression of life expectancy.
Some of these mutations were causing deformities, but most were rather causing alterations of the metabolism, with often subtle effects. The major functions of the human metabolism are always redundant, for safety. This makes that, well before the nuclear age, most people were already bearing many genetic defects, but without disease, because the disturbed functions were doubled by healthy ones. These defective genes without visible effects were called stealth genes, or more precisely stealth alleles. However, some unfortunate individuals can inherit of several disturbed functions, thus thwarting a redundancy. Then they suffered from diseases without defined type: nutrition disorders, various degeneracies, weakness or premature aging. This was not understood by the geneticists of the 2000 years, who were always seeking ONE gene for ONE disease, while the onset of a disease almost always depends on the combination of several different stealth genes into a single individual. A given stealth gene could promote several different diseases, while a given disease could be caused by completely different genes, or the most unexpected combinations. This was not really understood before 2020. The proliferation of stealth genes after the nuclear age did not fundamentally changed this situation, except that victims were becoming more numerous, and there was concern that they could become the majority.
The situation was becoming even worse with psychological or neurological disorders. The human nervous system alone uses a good part of the genome, and its more recent appearance in evolution makes it very vulnerable, because there are little or no redundancies. In the 20th century, the origin of psychological or psychiatric disorders was a mystery, and the first clues emerged in the 2000 years with the discovery of microbial antibodies in mentally ill people, or genes favouring various diseases, such as dyslexia. The genetic origin of mental disorders has long been an heavy taboo, as scientists speaking of this would be called racists and eugenists. But one had to admit that the formation of the base «wiring» of the nerves and brain are controlled by genes, so that deficiencies in these genes necessarily resulted into nervous, sensory, psychiatric or psychological impairment, in addition to those occurring after congenital malformations, material trauma, virus attacks, psychological shocks, or unhealthy education conditions which prevented the normal maturation of the neuronal circuits.
Thus new mental diseases were multiplying, sometimes curious, mild or severe, but always very annoying: insensitivity to certain smells, troubles of learning or concentration, inability of a psychological functioning compatible with society life, sexual disorders... This was already a serious social issue, but it was nothing compared to the multiplication of delinquents, fascists, narcissistic perverts, stalkers and other perverts, who could not be locked in, but who were poisoning the lives of more and more people, up to threatening the democratic foundations of society. It was especially difficult to comprehend these problems, let alone to find solutions, as these people are skilful at seizing the power wherever it is, creating political and ideological blockages into their favour. But, facing their growing number, it soon became unavoidable to «control» them by limiting their social, political or family rights.
Associations of victims were formed, asking for aid, investigating, studying history in order to try to understand how the nuclear genocide of the 20th century had been possible, despite the refusal of real scientists and aware citizens. They were denouncing the complicity of the media and governments of the era, showing on their websites criminal propaganda such as the cynical «le nucléaire, votre confort de demain» (Nuclear power, your comfort of tomorrow). The nuclear age was gradually joining in history the persecutions of Nero, the massacre of St. Bartholomew and the nazi camps. With the huge difference that the victims, them, were not belonging to history, but to a painful present.
Facing this silent disaster, couples were more and more practicizing genetic screening before having children. As more and more defective genes were known, these tests were coming to almost always give disturbing findings, thus producing an increasing number of dramas and divorces. There were talks of mandatory genetic counselling in fertilization (Accepting a fertilization only if it was sure it would produce an embryo free from any known genetic disease). This perspective was making defenders of human rights scream, because of the appalling possible power abuses. But others were seeing here the opportunity of a morally defensible eugenics... But also prone to moral drifts, see to erroneous choices with tragic consequences for the future generations... The stake was not less than to block the natural evolution of mankind! The discussions were becoming hot, and the victims were starting to make trials to the opponents. But the urgency and pervasiveness of this insidious disaster could force the decision. Some recalled that the fundamentally antidemocratic aspect of the nuclear adventure had been publicly denounced since the 1970 years, to no avail. But it is this antidemocratic aspect which was manifesting now, and leaving no choice to humanity than to engage into the eugenics adventure, willing or not willing, and whatever the consequences.
Populist social movements called for hatred and revenge, but against whom? Buddhist and Hinduist spiritual masters reminded that today's victims were nobody else than the reincarnations of the yesterday unconscious, while Christians or Muslims leaders denounced the only real enemy: selfishness and indifference, which allowed for the nuclear monstrosity to go on, while as soon as 1945 all the governments had the necessary information to understand, and also the general public since the 1970 years. And despite numerous democratic votes, no one had ever taken the opportunity of stopping the atrocity...
Enormous efforts were made to decontaminate all what could be taken care of, but this was like to try to empty a bottomless pit: not a year passed without the discovery of a secret dumping site, a former factory, sometimes deeply buried wastes, and each time one had to expose workers to radiation, and pile up thousands of barrels, of which no one knew what to do with. Worse, the huge contaminated mine tailings heaps in Congo, rusted and ripped barrels on the ocean floor, sunk nuclear ships, former test sites and secret facilities of Novaya Zemlya, Kazakhstan, Alaska, Nevada, Tibet, Pacific, Sahara, Pakistan, former landfills full of tritium or radium watches, all this was leaking slowly, and nobody could do anything against this, and the radioactivity of the oceans had risen to the point that the fishery products had become unmarketable. The most shared feeling about the whole nuclear adventure was a huge powerless disgust.
When learning her fate, Liu was first very depressed. She could not complete her project of achieving the higher consciousness states. Then she went on. She met Sangye Tchögyal for the last time, because he was leaving to a retreat for some months. He confirmed that sadness or anger were useless, and could only lead to destroy her still fragile achievements. She had to accept the situation, accept that things were like this. Meditate on impermanence (note 14), on painful situations (note 25), meditate on the Lamrim (note 24).
When Liu was unable to walk, Steve took her to the United States. He showed her the Grand Canyon, and some other natural wonders that she always wanted to see, pushing himself her wheelchair, or carrying her in the steep paths. Then they went to the Aria Tara Institute, a major Buddhist centre of palliative care. Now everyone knows well what palliative cares are, which tend to protect the dignity of the dying, with sparing him any form of suffering, in a human accompaniment to the door of the afterlife. The first palliative care beds in a strictly Buddhist context had appeared in 2008, in the Nalanda Monastery, in Lavaur, France. Curiously this was also the town where was written the book «General Epistemology». In a Buddhist context, the effect of palliative care was multiplied by ten or by hundred, because the Buddhists, about death, they know. And they have an incredible variety of techniques for this situation, both for the dying person as with his family and relatives, and this well beyond the door of the afterlife.
Let us say it right away: the Aria Tara Institute was an incredible place, which took down all our certainties, where wonder was common, and miracles fairly frequent. How many families entered in tears, with one of theirs sick, or shredded by an accident, and emerged a few days later, their eyes looking somewhere else, sometimes an ineffable smile on their lips, after transforming this painful experience into a source of spiritual power. All were really feeling that death is only a passage, a fantastic switch where all the destinations are possible. And, given the number of dying at the Institute, the «switch controllers» had a busy schedule, at day or at night. There was no respite, and at any hour the corridors were walked by red robes or lay practitioners, and the temples were seeing ceremonies over ceremonies, sometimes without even taking the time to sweep between. The Temple of Death, as it was called, was in fact a powerful plant for learning to live, strewn with piping and humming with mantras.
The Institute was very large, including several multi-storey glass buildings in a huge forested park, nestled among the green hills of the Ozark Mountains. There were so many people that there was a crematorium operating continuously, in the far side of the park, and some retrograde minds were thinking that this allowed them for some very disparaging comparisons. But for the people of the Institute, he had his purpose just like all the other buildings.
Each person to die had a soundproof room, while families could also stay nearby, or in the same room. All the beds were mounted on wheels, with even an electric motor, bringing all the gear together, personal belongings, perfusion, etc. This allowed to bring the sick people into the temples, where services were held 24/7, or in discussion rooms, witness of so many individual dramas turned into revelations about the meaning of life.
The immense entry hall was like a train station or airport hall, except the statues of the Buddha in the background. And this was really giving the feeling of being an airport hall, a place with a quantity of destinations, where countless lives where crossing and moving away again. An airport with only take-offs, but no arrivals... Steve was first bewildered by the whirl of lives, drama and wonders which was permanently filling the vast corridors. A bed was passing, with somebody sick and moaning, or an injured person with a bereaved family. People were talking excitedly about their misfortune or sudden understanding. Sometimes could be seen a bed which occupier was covered with a cloth: this one knew the continuation of the story. Other people were just looking lost in a dream, apparently wandering aimlessly through the wide corridors with large windows, just occupied to absorb the fantastic life energy of this place. Sometimes, people were coming to... marry, and a serious project was to install just in front an arrivals hall, this meaning a birth place.
More than twelve permanent Lamas and tens of educated practitioners were running the Institute 24/7, so they were always there, always available. Many practitioners were also visiting the Institute, just to find inspiration in this extraordinary environment, or to receive some of its extraordinary energy.
Of course, the institute was open to all, regardless of religion, and it often happened that the patients requested that their last moments were accompanied by a priest, a rabbi or an imam, that they could also meet in the place. But not just any: they also were powerful and extraordinary characters, that the rumour credited with strange feats. In any case, and contrarily to what some may imagine, they formed with the Lamas a close-knit team. The centre was Buddhist, but the dying were what they wanted.
Liu requested to stay in her soundproof bedroom. She preferred to spend her few remaining time to her practice. Anyways, now, even speaking was becoming difficult, and she was content to visualise her mantras, her eyes into the eyes of her husband. She was perfectly aware, without suffering, but more and more tired, her mind empty, even not able of daydreaming. Soon she had to bear permanently her oxygen mask, specially designed for not hiding the expressions of the face. Steve was sleeping into the same room, but into a separate bed. Anyways she was now unable to receive him in her bed.
So Liu was spending long hours without speaking. She tried to transform this state into contemplation of emptiness, and see it as a kind of serenity, of detachment. It is what truly happened: the parasitic thoughts, instead of enforcing their presence, were dissipating spontaneously. But she still had to ask Steve to say the mantra for her. Little by little, Liu was feeling floating into a kind of pleasant light, with somewhere besides her a sweet presence... Already the bedroom was starting to fade to her eyes, without she had to do something for this, and without this vision come back immediately when she was thinking at it. This state is very conducive of death bed visions, or extrasensory experiences. To use it in the appropriate way, in the way of the great Buddhist meditators, especially allow to realise the ultimate nature of the mind, and to very quickly reach the highest spiritual states.
When Steve felt that it was only a matter of hours, he came to hold her hand, and never let her go. She seemed to look at a fixed point on the ceiling, behind Steve, smiling like a shy girl. She still managed to murmur: Daka Daka Daka, always smiling, staring at the ceiling (It was a ganzfeld ceiling, specially designed to enhance this kind of vision just before death: white, concave, smooth, discretely lighted of a colour it was possible to choose). She asked for one of the Rinpoche, to perform the transfer of consciousness, or Powa. As he could not wait all that time, nurses installed a remote heart monitor. This allowed the Rinpoche to arrive about fifteen minutes before, accompanied by a doctor and three other monks or yogis, including two blacks, to immediately start spouting mantras at an incredible pace.
Steve startled violently when the Rinpoche shouted the mantra of the Powa. Liu seemed to startle too. Then her features relaxed. A few blood drops appeared on the white pillow. The plot on the monitor screen stopped. The doctor unplugged the oxygen without further ceremonial, took off the mask, and began to complete the death certificate. Liu was now nice like a young girl. The four monks continued for about ten minutes to whisper hurriedly mantras, several times changing abruptly their flow and tone. One of the two black yogis, in particular, seemed to express a great power with authoritatively declaiming his text. Then, they suddenly fell silent, without concerting, looking relieved as after an effort. The Rinpoche, smiling, looked at Steve: «Very good, she obtained the Tushita paradise». Then they went out quickly.
Steve felt deceived to see them so fast and hurried. But they had an enormous workload. Some dying people were screaming and wriggling for days before accepting the situation, and they had to be lengthily cuddled, when Liu was ready since years, twenty minutes of prayer were enough for her.
But Steve was especially frustrated. He, the scientist, had to grind about only a little smile, a few words muttered by Liu, suggesting she had some vision, and this statement: «She obtained the Tushita paradise». He remembered the conventional words of consolation, without foundation, that the religious hypocrites of ancient times were automatically pronouncing, to make believe that they had powers. And he now had before him only an inert body, already stranger. Almost automatically, he pulled the sheet over her face.
Then Steve suddenly felt too very tired: he had no sleep since twenty-four hours and more. He laid on his bed without undressing, and fell asleep instantly.
He was floating, in a kind of blue green void. Suddenly, a warm light pierced this veil, tearing it and pushing it away...
... Liu was before Steve, smiling, more beautiful than ever, as if she was only eighteen years old, just wearing a light blue skirt and a necklace of small pink flowers.
Around her was a dream landscape...
Flowered trees, blue dome shaped mountains, jade rivers, with a subtle melody arising from nowhere....
She was not speaking, just smiling at Steve, a smile which was saying:
«Look how life is simple».
Then appeared a tall and merry life enjoying nun, with some half cut hair locks.
She told Steve, laughing:
«Hey, the scientist! Look, at the gates of death the le miracle is a scientifically reproducible experiment».
Then Steve awoke.
A dream. It was just a dream. This could not be otherwise. There was here only the inert body of Liu. Steve, beginner practitioner, could not be able to get a vision of Tushita, this was reserved to advanced masters. And this was not a proof, his mind could very well have created itself this kind of images, of which Buddhist movies were stuffed.
The day was starting to rise. Steve had lived these last days out of time, and, opening the shutters which were completely sundering this room from the world, he took contact again with the trees, the flowers and the rhythm of the sun.
A short beep told him that somebody was asking to enter. Absentmindedly, Steve pressed on the OK button, despite he was not washed, and his clothes were crumpled.
A small table on wheels entered, pushed by a tall nun, her hairs cuts with a pruning shears.
«But you are... uttered Steve, flabbergasted.
-I am myself, quite simply», replied the nun of the dream of Steve, who was bringing a very real breakfast. For Steve, she seemed to float, as in a dream... She was not very nice, with her triangular face, her big mouth, her half cut hair and the somewhat hoarse voice of those who laughed and cried too much. But her warmth and sympathy were making her company very pleasant.
«Ah, these scientists, always asking for evidences» And she sat on the bed, besides Steve.
«This is impossible, I surely saw you in the gangways, and unconsciously the dream has...
-Not at all. I am on duty since three weeks in the temples of the upper floor, where the public has no access. You never met me. I am down just for you, to confirm what you saw. Because you still need material evidence, despite your years in Shedrup Ling, with your master Winner of the Buddha Dharma (Sangye Tchögyal). If you are so viscerally opposed to miracles, no wonder that they all scamper off when you arrive.
-But how do you know that...
-I hope that this will bring you the faith. The faith which creates reality, the faith which creates the infinite freedom, while science is only observing it, freezing it, making it commonplace, drying it, mortifying it. The universe is basically a miracle. What prevents the miracle to occur in everyday life is exactly the same phenomenon as the decoherence (note 26) which prevents your quantum states to occur into the ordinary world, but caused by the belief into the absolute physical reality, due to the calculating mind which constantly makes interpretations and always brings things down to... Ah, but where do I get all this from, I even not know you.
-Do you think that I may find again my wife in Tushita?
-This is possible. All depend on your karma. Anyway, do not cultivate attachment to this idea, this is the best way to make your plan to screw up.
-Do you think that...
-That it is possible...
-To errr what?
-That I shall be able to make love with my wife, in Tushita?
-HA HA HA HA HA!» the unknown nun laughed loudly, while familiarly posing her hand on Steve's shoulder. He was loving this kind of affective demonstration from a nun, as it was devoid of any womanizing innuendo.
«This must be possible... All depend on your karma. And, with my opinion, you have more karma than me for this kind of things! Mpfff hi hi hi! He is too much, him!
-Are you Tibetan?
Me? Not at all. There is nobody Tibetan here. I am a Texas girl, and was a country singer before becoming a nun. Never put a foot in Tibet or even in Asia. We now have everything we need as teachers and monasteries here in the United States. Apart from the Sanskrit mantras, all the rituals and teachings are now in English. We created the AmB, the American Buddhism! In addition to the unsurpassable qualities the Buddha provided it, it also inherited or all the abominable defects of the U.S. culture, ha ha ha!
«Your wife told me one thing: she knows you will still need her. Then she will come every time you ask. But do not ask too often or for bullshit. Otherwise it will become weaker and weaker.
«You even can make love, if you want.
-Well, yes, hi hi, as you think only on this.
-Simple: you do your meditation, as usual. You visualise her, as your divine spouse, in union, as you used to do. And you think that she will send the energy, as she was doing before. Then nothing, you left your mind empty, without attachment or expectation. Yes, try, you will see.
«You know, she is not dead, she is simply into another state of consciousness. And the thingy which remains here, we are to burn it, because it is unhealthy» And she let an unceremonious kick to the deathbed, which moved half a meter on its wheels, rattling the infusion bracket and oxygen tube.
«What is your name?
-The one of the dream. This will be enough as a name, for you. Maybe I even not exist, as of a true dream. Well, I need to go back to my service, there are at least fifty others waiting to peg out today. Farewell, scientist!» and she departed abruptly, happily humming her mantra, her rosary dangling around her, while a lock that escaped the shears was wandering on her neck.
Steve took his breakfast without thinking. Then he closed his suitcase and left the room reluctantly, after a last glance at the silhouette under the sheet. Indeed, there was just a thing here, nothing which could be his wife.
He went to the temple, and left a fairly good offering, that nobody controlled. Then he went to the secretariat, to announce that the room was free, and they could take the body to the crematorium after the prescribed three days. This would be done very efficiently: the bed with electrical motors would go to the entrance of the oven, and the body would be dropped with all bedding, thus eliminating all the problems of cleaning and hygiene. These American Lamas had a really practical mind.
He went again through the great entry hall, and he realized that despite all the appearances, it was ALSO an arrival hall, toward all the time he still had to live, toward all what is worth living for. Of course, said silently the great Buddha in the back, smiling, a glint of light in his eyes.
In the plane bringing him back to San Francisco, Steve took the time to think again by himself, now that he was out of the incredible magical aura of the Aria Tara Institute. But the dream was following him, of a gentle vibration, as of a music which sound stopped, but which beauty remains in our heart...
Steve thought to his wife, Liu, who should still have lived thirty years, or more. Himself was only fifty five years old, with still many years of active life ahead. And this happened because of...
It was quite difficult for these people in this early 22nd century to imagine what could have been this 20th century, where in the same time so many progresses and such barbarity had been possible. That uranium was a weapon of genocide was known since 1943, by the researches of the manhattan project. Spreading radioactivity could serve no purpose, not even military, since the effect is delayed and spread all over the world, victims and attackers as well. Mere act of dementia, by unconscious people conditioned by monstrous ideologies. And it was because of these morons that his wife Liu... Ah, if Steve had before him these tainted military, these paranoid spies, these cynical and irresponsible politicians, these perverted scientists, these liar and manipulator ideologists, these rotten businessmen, how readily he would have crushed their faces, broken their teeth, kicked them in the... But how, with these enemies dead for so long? To be unable to catch somebody was making Steve still more angry, and his neighbour began to think he was really agitated.
Suddenly Steve felt a presence, as when Liu was still with him. This so intense and peculiar presence she had when she was coming back from a retreat. An image appeared in Steve's mind. The smiling Liu he had seen in his dream of Tushita.
And all anger dissipated into Steve's heart. The smile of his beloved was telling the obvious: anger was unnecessary. The only really relevant thing at this time was compassion, see pity for these abject beings, who, at this very moment, were suffering horribly in hell, the terrifying furnaces of fire of the heinous and violent, or the horrific freezing abyss of the liars and manipulators, where flesh bursts under the bite of cold, without any death to bring an end to this torment.
Was this vision of Liu real, or was it only an illusion created by his own mind? In any way, this illusion was very interesting, as it had many deep truths to teach him.
Steve now had only one feeling in his heart: mercy for these beings who had created so much suffering on Earth, and who were now reaping the poisoned fruit of their madness, into the depths of their after death hellish nightmares. A fate finally much worse than his own, or Liu's.
Steve had now only one desire: to also undertake retreats himself. Yes, it was that, as soon as he would be back to Lhassa, he would organise to complete his scientific work and consecrate solely to spiritual practice, the only thing which really matters, after all. With the hope that the image of Liu would often come to comfort him...
A soft beep warned Steve that he had received an urgent email.
«I hope you retreat in Aria Tara with your wife went well. Please contact the director Rolf Gensher, in the Shedrup Ling centre of California, immediately at your arrival in Frisco. Signed: Sangye Tchögyal».
Steve was very astonished: It was not in Tchögyal's habits to interfere into his Shedrup Ling professional activities. And in more, he was in a retreat. So there was some exception motive, like in the Dumria affair.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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