I take a deep breath and make myself wait 24 hours before replying. When I do, I keep it simple: What is truth test software? I ask. The reply comes back quick smart: Akasha, it says. And that's all. So I google: Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning aether, which in Hinduism is the basis and essence of all things in the material world; it is one of five elements and its main characteristic is Shabda or sound. In Hindi Akasha means sky. For the Jains, Akasha is space and is divided into two parts: Loakasa, occupied by the material world, of which our universe forms only a part, and Aloakasa, the space beyond the material world, which is void. So far so good; but there's a link to something called the Akashic Records so I go there next: it's a theosophical term for a universal filing system which records every occurring thought, word, and action. The records are impressed on a subtle substance called akasha and have been identified with the cosmic mind, the universal mind, the collective unconscious, the collective subconscious. Some think the Akashic Records make clairvoyance and psychic perception possible, that events recorded upon the akasha may be read in certain states of consciousness: stages of sleep, weakness, illness, drug intoxication and meditation so that not only mystics but ordinary people can and do access the Akashic Records. Then there's this, from The Urantia Book: The recording angels of the inhabited planets are the source of all individual records. Throughout the universes other recorders compile formal and living records. From Urantia to Paradise, both kinds of record are encountered: in the local universe, more of the written records and less of the living; on Paradise, more of the living and less of the formal; on Uversa, both are equally available. And finally, this: Ervin László in his 2004 book, Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything posits a field of information as the substance of the cosmos. Using the Sanskrit and Vedic term for space, Akasha, he calls this information field the Akashic field or A-field. He says that the quantum vacuum is the fundamental energy and information-carrying field that informs not just the current universe, but all universes past and present (collectively, the Metaverse). László describes how such an informational field can explain why our universe is so improbably fine-tuned as to form galaxies and conscious lifeforms; and why evolution is an informed, not random, process. He believes that the hypothesis solves several problems that emerge from quantum physics, especially nonlocality and quantum entanglement. Whew. Heavy shit. Nonlocality* and quantum entanglement**, whatever their esoteric meaning, seem accurate to my peculiar liaison with Samsara. I text her again: Is your library a repository for the Akashic Records? I ask. Her reply is equivocal, mysterious. Akasha: a black oval – representing spirit, she writes. And: Will be visiting your system tomorrow - are you around? Yes, I say. I'll let you know when I'm close, she replies. I go back to contemplation of the infinite library; to the strangeness of falsities, lies, or simple misapprehensions entering therein; and to the vexed question of how to tell between the two. Not that this is a new speculation, it is in Borges, that most unoriginal of writers. And then a few hitherto inscrutable lines from Fq (6) come back: Each step is more delirious than even a line by / Alan Brunton / life's supreme uranic poet / Overseer of the Scribes of the Great Records. Braggadocio, for sure, but with Alan there's always a substratum of deadly seriousness. He wandered around India in his youth, he had looked in to the Akasha, the Empyrean, the sky above the Deer Park. What did he know? I feel not so much out of my depth as out of my width or height. Out of my head perhaps. I know that Urantia is another name for Earth but where is Paradise? Where Uversa? Is that the name of the planet with two suns and no moon that I visited in the Thousand Ruby Galaxy? I need to talk to Samsara but I can't, I have to wait. Where are you now? I text. Only 24 hours from Tulsa, she replies. Only one day away from your arms. Savage irony or some kind of promise? I simply do not know.

* In physics, nonlocality is a direct influence of one object on another, distant object, in violation of the principle of locality. A phenomenon is nonlocal if it implies a direct influence of one object on another, distant object, provided that local realism and counterfactual definiteness are taken for granted. This subtlety explains why a nonlocal phenomenon is not necessarily a channel for direct signaling.

** Quantum entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart — even though the individual objects may be spatially separated. This interconnection leads to correlations between observable physical properties of remote systems.


truth test software

When I forward my summary of the events at Eureka to Samsara's attention at the repository in the Thousand Ruby Galaxy, there's no acknowledgment, no reply. I wait for what seems like a decent interval - or else eternity - then send a polite, follow-up query. Again silence. I'm not sure what to do, beyond reminding myself that uninhibited and unimpeded communication between us is a fairly recent development, that things used to be much more fraught, much more like they are now than they ever were before. I wait a while longer then frame a third inquiry but just as I'm about to send it I get a reply to my second: it's brief and hectic, thanking me for the piece on Eureka, apologising for the delay in responding and saying that she'll be in touch at greater length once the galactic storms plaguing her system have receded or passed over. I wonder what this means - are they weather storms, magnetic storms, psychic storms or some other kind of storm we've never heard of here? Or a combination of all four. I worry that Moksha's dead hand has fallen across her slender white wrist, that he has made good his threat to hurl her into exile out beyond the Sombrero Galaxy; that my Eureka piece is the astroporn that tears our small skein apart. I remember driving away from our last real world encounter, through Redhead and Jewell and Violet Town, and the names seem to murmur an inconsolable song. Then one night I'm walking through Martin Place, late, with a friend, having been to the Art Gallery of NSW Christmas Party (depressing: they don't serve red wine because it stains the floor, two different art hags in high heels wound my feet with their stilletos, the show upstairs of indigenous people photographed by indigenous people is full of facile quasi-political interpretations scrawled across the portraits) when my phone goes off. Where are you? the message reads. Can we talk? I text back: Town Hall station in 10 minutes then walk my friend over to George Street and hail her a cab. Once she's safely on her way I head down past the QVB to the underground station. On Platform 1 I text Samsara again - I have really no idea where in the universe she might be - saying I'll be taking the 11.57 to Summer Hill, ETA 12.16 - how would she like to talk? Skype? Or is she 'here'? The journey seems to take forever, first through the dark tunnels under the City, then slowly along the dreary stations of the Western Line, past grimy streets full of equivocal shadows under the yellow lamps. The carriage itself is a drift of discarded food wrappers, sheets from tawdry giveaway newspapers, unidentifiable stains and an empty soft drink bottle rolling randomly, insanely, to and fro under the ripped blue seats; while the only other people there, a young English couple, backpackers perhaps, argue viciously with one another in hissing whispers. There's no text, no phone call and by the time I'm walking down the deserted cavern of Lackey Street towards the place laughingly called home I'm so alienated by the events of the night that I become convinced that our so-called civilization is a mistake that cannot be rectified, cannot even be dignified with the adjective tragic, since our errors and misapprehensions are so relentlessly trivial as to deserve to be forgotten before they were made, should such a thing be possible. Hours later I'm woken in the night by a text message coming in on my phone, which I've left on for just this eventuality. Truth test software advises re-writing Eureka, it says. History decays into images, not stories. See you in Uch or Ferozepore ... soon, Samsara.


what happened at eureka

On October 6 1854, late, two men going back to their tents after a night out drinking noticed lights on at Bentley’s Hotel at Eureka near Ballarat. Scotsman James Scobie and his digger mate Peter Martin knocked on a window—too hard, it broke. An argument ensued and they were set upon by four men from within the hotel—the clerk, Farrell, a former policeman; a man called Hance; Mooney the night watchman; and the publican, James Bentley, perhaps egged on by his pregnant wife Catherine. Martin ran away but Scobie, struck through the broken window, probably by Bentley, with the blade of a shovel or a spade, fell down dead. A coroner’s jury next day, citing lack of evidence, discharged Bentley. When protests arose, a judicial inquiry was convened under Gold Fields Commissioner Robert Rede, Police Magistrate John D’Ewes and Assistant Commissioner Johnston. D’Ewes was a friend of Bentley’s; he had expedited his application for a liquor licence at the hotel, was a frequent visitor there and may even have been a part owner of it. As for Rede, he was an autocrat who believed in his absolute right to impose his will upon the rabble of the goldfields. After a private discussion between Bentley and D’Ewes during an adjournment, Rede and D’Ewes, with Johnston dissenting, discharged the publican. On October 17 a public meeting was called to petition the Government for a rehearing of Bentley's case. Thousands of miners attended and after the meeting closed at 2.30 they gathered outside Bentley’s Hotel and began pelting the building with rocks and stones. Bentley, anticipating trouble, had already escaped on a horse lent to him by an Inspector Ximenes. Rede was at the Eureka government camp and came down to address the mob, who threw stones at him too. He called in the military but as soon as the hotel was cleared of people, the bowling alley next door was set alight. Strong winds spread the fire to the hotel and within half an hour it had burned to the ground. The protest was effective; the publican, his wife and two others were sent to Melbourne to be tried for the killing of Scobie. On the same day that Bentley, Hance and Farrell—but not Catherine Bentley—were each sentenced to three years hard labour, three new defendants, McIntyre, Fletcher and Westerby, stood before Judge Redmond Barry to answer charges of riot and of pulling down a dwelling house. They too were convicted but received much shorter sentences—months not years.

The incident of Bentley’s Hotel gave a focus to miners’ discontent as well as suggesting they had the power to do something about it. Their chief grievance was licence fees. Every digger, whether he found gold or not, had to pay thirty shillings a month for the right to mine a 12 foot (3.6 metre) square claim. On the Ballarat fields the easy gold had all been mined and what remained had to be sought in deep seams that required extensive digging and tunneling. The licence system was anyway corrupt and enforced in a heavy-handed manner by goldfield police; there were regular licence hunts that could lead to prosecution if any miner was found to be without his piece of paper, even if he had one left behind in his tent. In September Rede had increased the frequency of licence hunts to twice a week; and during one of these there was a wrongful arrest, and subsequent conviction for assaulting a trooper, of a crippled, non-English speaking Armenian servant of the Roman Catholic priest, Father Smyth. This, along with Bentley’s killing of Scobie, was the other provocation for the events that followed. On November 11 a mass meeting produced the Ballarat Reform League charter which, among other things, demanded the release of those jailed for burning down the hotel—another seven men had been arrested for the crime. The meeting declared that it is the inalienable right of every citizen to have a voice in making the laws he is called on to obey, that taxation without representation is tyranny. They also decided to leave open the possibility of secession from the United Kingdom if the situation did not improve. The Ballarat Reform League’s formal demands included the right for all men (excluding Aboriginals) to vote; abolition of the property qualifications for members of parliament; payment of members of parliament; voting by secret ballot; short term parliaments; equal electoral districts; abolition of diggers' and storekeepers' licenses; reform of administration of the gold fields; revision of laws relating to Crown land. All of these were refused by Governor Hotham in Melbourne on November 27, allegedly upon the specious grounds that he objected to the use of the word demand. The next mass meeting, on Bakery Hill on November 29, was angrier. There was talk of burning of licences. A further meeting was scheduled for the afternoon of December 3 to elect a new central committee but this never took place. The government camp was arming and reinforcements were being sent up from Melbourne. A skirmish broke out between diggers and troops as soldiers of the 12th Regiment made their way to Ballarat, during which the regimental drummer boy was wounded; many believed he had been killed in the affray and that alarmed both sides still more. Rede now had a force of over 400 men under the command of Captain John Thomas mustered at his camp and, to show the government's resolve, ordered that licence hunts continue. On the morning of November 30 a hunt was conducted in the Gravel Pits, miners turned out in numbers to protest, the Riot Act was read and during the ensuing scuffles there were some injuries and several arrests; all those charged were later acquitted. After the events in the Gravel Pits a second meeting was called on Bakery Hill and the Southern Cross flag was for the first time raised—designed by a Canadian miner, Henry Ross, it has a white cross on a blue ground with a star at each point of the cross and another in the centre. Licences were burned, calls were made for volunteers and new leader Peter Lalor administered an oath to stand truly by each other and fight to defend … rights and liberties. On the afternoon of the following day, December 1, the stockade was built. It was a ramshackle affair hastily constructed from slabs of mining timber and overturned carts and never intended as a military fortress. Lalor said it was nothing more than an enclosure to keep our own men together. He had already outlined a plan whereby if the government forces came to attack us, we should meet them on the Gravel Pits, and if compelled, we should retreat by the heights to the old Canadian Gully, and there make our final stand.

Like Lalor himself, the miners at the stockade were overwhelmingly Irish. Even the password they used—Vinegar Hill—commemorated an earlier 1804 uprising of predominantly Irish convicts in western Sydney. There were also English Chartists and Italian revolutionaries among them. During Saturday December 2, some 1500 men trained in and around the stockade. A further 200 Americans, the Independent Californian Rangers, under the leadership of James McGill, arrived about 4 p.m. The Rangers were armed with revolvers and Mexican knives and rode horses; but in a fateful decision McGill took most of them away from the stockade to try to intercept rumoured military reinforcements coming from Melbourne. Rede's spies observed these actions. That night many of the miners went back to their own tents after the traditional Saturday night carousal, on the assumption that the Queen's military forces would not attack on a Sunday. A contingent of about 150 miners remained at the stockade. Early on that Sunday morning 276 police and military personnel under the command of Captain Thomas surrounded the stockade. At 4.45 a sentry fired a warning shot to alert the diggers. The battle was fierce, brief and one-sided—the miners were hopelessly outclassed by the military and routed in about fifteen or twenty minutes. Lalor, standing on a pile of wooden slabs trying to rally his men, was hit by a bullet in the arm. Henry Ross was shot dead standing beneath the flag he had designed, which was then torn down. In the aftermath, the killing was indiscriminate, bodies were mutilated, tents set on fire and nearby stores burned and pillaged. Women ran forward and threw themselves over the injured to prevent further slaughter. The Commission of Inquiry would later say that it was a needless as well as a ruthless sacrifice of human life indiscriminate of innocent or guilty, and after all resistance had disappeared. According to Lalor's report, fourteen miners were killed inside the stockade and another eight died later from injuries they sustained. A further dozen were wounded but recovered. The unusual proportion of the killed to the wounded, he wrote, is owing to the butchery of the military and troopers after the surrender. The number of deaths and injuries might have been higher; some miners fled to the surrounding bush and it is likely a good many more died a lonely death or suffered the agony of their wounds, hidden from the authorities for fear of repercussions. By 8 a.m. Captain Pasley, the second in command of the government forces, sickened by the carnage, had had enough. He saved a group of prisoners from being bayoneted and threatened to shoot any police or soldiers who continued with the slaughter. One hundred and fourteen diggers, some wounded, were marched off to the government camp about two kilometres away, where they were kept in the crowded lockup before being moved to a more spacious barn on Monday morning. Among the soldiers and military police six were killed, including one Captain Wise. In the aftermath, martial law was imposed and all armed resistance collapsed. But news of the massacre spread quickly to Melbourne and to other gold fields, turning the repression of the insurrection into a public relations disaster, with widespread condemnation of the government's action and equally widespread support for the diggers' requested reforms.

Peter Lalor, heavily wounded, hid underneath slabs within the stockade. He was rescued and after a few weeks clandestine recovery, escaped to Geelong concealed in a dray; his wounded arm had to be amputated. Thirteen men were taken to Melbourne and charged with High Treason, the penalty for which was death. They were Timothy Hayes, Chairman of the Ballarat Reform League, from Ireland; John Joseph, a black American from New York; Raffaello Carboni, an Italian and a veteran of the Risorgimento; James McFie Campbell, a black man from Kingston, Jamaica; John Manning, a Ballarat Times journalist, from Ireland; James Beattie, from Ireland; John Phelan, a friend and business partner of Peter Lalor, from Ireland; William Molloy, from Ireland; Henry Read, from Ireland; Michael Tuohy, from Ireland; Thomas Dignum, born in Sydney; Jacob Sorenson, a Jew from Scotland; and Jan Vennick from Holland. The trial was a farce and all thirteen men were found not guilty and acquitted. When the first man, John Joseph, was freed the court erupted into wild cheering and he was later carried through the streets of Melbourne in a chair amidst a procession of 10,000 people. The Commission of Inquiry’s report was scathing in its assessment of all aspects of the administration of the gold fields, and particularly of the Eureka Stockade affair. Rede was removed from his post. Gold licences were abolished and a small annual miner’s right and an export fee based on the value of the gold being remitted substituted. Mining wardens replaced the gold commissioners and police numbers were drastically cut. The Legislative Council was expanded to allow representation from the major goldfields and Peter Lalor was elected, along with another leader of the insurrection, the Chartist John Basson Humffray, as member for Ballarat. Two other court cases resulted from Eureka. Henry Seekamp, editor of the Ballarat Times, was arrested the day after the stockade battle, charged with seditious libel and eventually found guilty; his conviction thus became the only one to eventuate from the entire affair. Amongst the evidence against him was a copy of the Ballarat Reform League charter that he had printed. No government representative was convicted of committing any criminal act at Eureka. One man, Arthur Akehurst, a clerk of the peace, was arrested and tried for the manslaughter of storekeeper Henry Powell. Eyewitnesses testified that Akehurst cut Powell with his sabre, even though Powell wasn’t involved in the stockade. Powell survived his wounds long enough to make a statement against Akehurst but the prosecution case was dropped after Powell's dying deposition was ruled inadmissible. Nor was the government held accountable for the destruction and theft of property during the events at Eureka. Numerous accounts were given to the Commission of Inquiry lamenting the wanton disregard for the property of innocent bystanders by soldiers and police. Raffaello Carboni submitted a petition for compensation, suggesting that drunken troopers had robbed arrested prisoners of their belongings after their capture. The Italian was the sole eye witness to write and publish a comprehensive account of the events at Eureka. His The Eureka Stockade came out in 1855, a year after the events. He had cried out presciently before the events had properly begun for all men irrespective of nationality, religion or colour to salute the Southern Cross as a refuge of all the oppressed from all countries on Earth. The stockade itself was soon dismantled, the timber used for other things; there is now some uncertainty as to where it actually stood. But the karmic web continues to spin: the Eureka flag remains as a sign of hope for a Republican future for Australia; while, curiously, descendants of the Bentley family in Ballarat are still agitating for the return to them of the land upon which the burnt down hotel once stood.



One night, late, when my effort to fight off what seems to be a case of incipient narcolepsy is fading towards oblivion, I hear the cascading Aeolian harp of my mobile phone signalling a text message arriving. It is from Samsara and tells me that next day she is visiting our galaxy to have the red of her back tattoo augmented and can I meet her afterwards at the parlour where the work is being done? She has something to give me. The place is called Crossroads and is on the outskirts of the Philosophical City. I get there just on three o'clock, a little agitated because the tape machine in my car has just eaten the copy of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band I was trying to play: Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire ... Never mind, I know most of it by heart. It's cool inside Crossroads, with a pale bluish light emanating from behind the walls illuminated with tattoo designs: the usual skulls and heavy metal chicks, birds and snakes, ships and dragons and crowns. There's a lonely looking bloke in t shirt, stubbies and boots sitting on a bench at one end of the room and two women cruising the design portfolio. I head for the counter at the other end of the room just as a short, burly fellow with long hair comes out to see what I want. He's older than me and speaks with some gravitas. I say what I'm here for and he says Samsara's work has just been finished ... good timing. He goes behind the curtain and I hear him say that there's a gentleman here for her. And then her voice, surprised that I'm on time. Her laughter tinkles down the scale from disbelief to what I hope is delight. While I'm waiting for her to come out I also cruise the images. For nearly twenty years I've wondered about getting my writing hand tattooed with Marquesan motifs but have never followed through. I want - or wanted - that hand tattooed because of the pain and because I liked that one of the Marquesan words for tattoo means prolonged and heartfelt weeping or some such and refers to those old men so heavily inked they were a blue black colour all over; Marquesan tattoo never ended and is said sometimes to have extended as far as the glans of the penis ... at the time in which I conceived this misconceived notion I did far more thinking about writing, tattooing, prolonged and heartfelt weeping etc than I ever did actually writing anything and now, although I do sometimes look at my writing hand and imagine it covered with inscrutable and barbarous markings, I'll probably never do it. She comes out all flushed and we go back down an overgrown path into the church carpark where I've left the car. Later, after she has unthreaded Sgt Pepper from the tape machine and put on Diamond Life instead, and we're driving away into the hot afternoon Samsara tells me Crossroads don't do hands, a lot of places don't, because it's very painful and as a result of inadvertent flinching the possibility of mistakes is high. Plus hands are always visible so there's that to consider as well. Why can't you have your tattoo completed in the Ruby Galaxy? I ask and she gives her secret smile and doesn't answer. Or not at first. Later, when I'm putting soothing cream on the Celtic crown above the Excalibur flaming down her back she murmurs something about how the work could be done anywhere, it's true, but she wanted to revisit Crossroads in order to look east and west. Where's Willie Brown? I wonder but don't say. What I do is ask what she has for me. Actually there are two things. The first is a ring in the shape of an eagle with a piece of oriental jade clasped in the hieratic breast of the bird. The second is a book. It has a purple cover and is a biography of Howard Hughes by John Keats. Not that John Keats but another, of Philadelphia, author of The Sheepskin Psychosis among other things. I have not come unprepared - I hand over a black egg that might be a scrying stone and also this quote from Plutarch's Life of Alexander that I think she might like: He could not refrain from leaving behind him various deceptive memorials of his expedition, to impose on aftertimes, and to exaggerate his glory with posterity, such as arms larger than were really worn, and mangers for horses and bridles above the usual size, which he set up, and distributed in several places ... I don't add, and it may anyway sound implausible, but this second gift is really only given so that I can see her smile that secret smile again. It is indescribable and seems to open up into a vista of knowledge as vast as the Thousand Ruby Galaxy. She reads. She smiles. Time runs backwards and forwards at once and when I look at my hand there's some kind of dull ink leaking from the low grade silver of the eagle ring, covering my skin with strange inscriptions. There is no pain: instead, a delirium that could be joy. Or ecstasy.


Night of Intuition

The gods of the Dogon are the Awa, who lead the souls of the dead to their resting places; Lebe, the earth god, who is a serpent and at night licks clean the skins of the Hogon to restore their life force and purify their endeavours; and the Binou, who are many and various, the totems of the tribes. Before all of these was Amma, the sky god, who made the amphibious Nommo, who came down into the waters and split into six pairs of twins, one of one of whom rebelled; another (the other?) was sacrificed, the body cut up, the parts scattered through the universe. Every sixty-five years the Sigui is held, a ritual that might last five or six years; the next one begins in 2032. The Sigui is a processional that travels through the Dogon villages and across the immense span of time from the death of the first ancestor until the moment people acquired words. A woman's breast, say the Dogon, is second only to god; when divination is required a grid is drawn in the sand and siglas and symbols inscribed in certain of the squares. Milk, millet and peanuts are laid across the grid to attract foxes, whose footprints complete the grid and answer the Hogon's questions. The Dogon, said a couple of Frenchmen, famously, descended from the Sirian system and retain astronomical knowledge of its binary suns; but it is perhaps more likely that they made their way west and south from the upper reaches of the Nile and both their amphibious gods and astronomical memories have the same source as those of the Egyptians.

Matter is not and can never be a transformation of spirit but is a permanently existing substance, ineradicable, made up of atoms and taking many forms. Imprisoned within it and working upon it like yeast, giving it form, are the souls, who are innumerable and, like matter, never to cease to exist. The goal of the Jaina religious practice is to release the souls from their entanglement with matter. We are fettered because we go on acting and every action accumulates in our entanglement with matter. Life rules and vows will conduct the layman to the ultimate state of an advanced ascetic. Absolute release, if it can be achieved, does not mean re-absorption in the universal substance; the individual soul ascends to the zenith of the organism of the universe and remains there forever with all the other freed souls - self-existent, self-contained, immobile, all aware, occupying boundless space. The universe is itself represented as a giant in human form, male or female, with the underworlds, the purgatories and the home of demons in the lower body, from the waist to the soles of the feet. In the chest, neck and head are the heavens; while the world of humans is at the belly. Moksha, freedom, release, is at the crown of the head. These obdurate, pessimistic beliefs may have been those of the prehistoric, pre-Aryan inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent. They might be the thought of the people of the gridded, enclosed, paranoid cities - Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Chanhu-Daro - of the Indus Valley civilization.

It is the night of intuition. There is no moon in the sky, which is a blaze of silver, almost solid against the fugitive black. We are under the umbrella of the indigo trees. I tell Samsara the results of my researches: the gods of the Dogon, the background of the beliefs of her possible saviours two millennia and more ago. Starlight makes her eyes glint topaz; she is languorous and insouciant tonight. The account of the Dogon divination by fox footprints interests her and she describes briefly the custom of deriving knowledge from the swirling of the albumen of eggs in water. Well I think it is in water, I'm a bit distracted and don't attend as well as I should: the Onyx Lake has gone topaz too and there's something strange being born out of the lily patch that is all Monet in the starlight ... entanglement, she says, there's nothing wrong with entanglement. Why else are we here? If not to entangle ourselves in the seductive glories of the world. That Moksha, he's ... the topaz blaze of her eyes has red lights in it now, they flare, and the marvellous child, if that's what it is, birthing down there in the lilies of the lake begins a thin high shrilling that is painful to hear ... she lets it go. Nirvana, she whispers, isn't what you think. It just ... isn't. Let's do our forgetting and remembering another time. Let's just be here now. Let's ... entangle. I look up past the indigo trees to the silver sky. It's pulsing. The black, that seemed almost not to be there a moment ago, is gloss and ebony, sable and jet. It's everything and nothing. Who are you? I ask as sweet oblivion descends. I do not know if I hear exactly right but what I think she says is: I am the Dark Lady.


two suns

I return to Samsara's planet, this time for a longer stay. Don't ask how to get there - there's no easy way, someone from there has to open the way if someone from here is to go there. They are all from here originally, as I think I said. Or did I? It's hard to recall, because I am myself changing as I write. One thing I have realised is that those who have attained the alleged state of grace that loss of karma imputes are victims of a terrible ennui. The paradise of the siddhas, at least in the Thousand Ruby Galaxy, is a hell of regret. This wouldn't be the case if bliss were extinction but it isn't, it's translation. The two violet suns in the sky contend without ever prevailing: one is the sun of forgetfulness and the other the sun of memory. They light up the Onyx Lake with their double paradox: what you remember shall be forgotten, what you forget will be remembered. Samsara has asked me here in order to remember the forgotten and also to forget the remembered. This is what is called love. It makes the turquoise trees flame to a colour more like vermilion, because here all landscape is emotional in essence and in expression. Those white furred creatures slinking through the hollow grass have transparent heads that flash a wicked red when they make the death leap over the small winged things they hunt. When the sun of forgetfulness is dominant the Onyx Lake takes on a dull, gloomy, slate-like look; the remembering sun wakes emerald reflections in the shining black water. These waves of feeling emanate randomly from all the living creatures here and, equally, effect all of us randomly. When Samsara and I embrace in the shade of the turquoise trees, the disturbance races through the landscape the way an earth tremor might. Our gasps contract the sky. Sap engorges the reeds and flowers burst spontaneously from the lily pads on the lake. The skeins, webs, shrouds of karma spin wildly, not out of control but into it. What is it like here at night? I manage at last to say. Under what moon shall we suspire? Moon, Samsara whispers, we have no moon here. When our planet swings into the night it is a night of stars only. That is when memory and forgetting resile from their strange alteration. That's when intuition alone rules. Something that you cannot perhaps imagine: will you stay? Will you let me go? I say. She does not answer. Her eyes are emerald. Already I can see the two violet suns westing.