Chapter 2 – Zahor
Altair woke and seeing his mother Mary’s laughing face, began to laugh too. Mary pretended to hide and every time she reappeared it made Altair laugh harder, until he laughed so hard that he got hiccups.
She made soft shooshing noises patting him gently on the back, until he burped up the air and lay back in her arms with an angelic demeanor.
Mary and Altair were besotted with each other. Everything about the other was perfect and delightful.
“Time to sleep little darling. I shouldn’t have woken you sweetheart.”
Altair was the son of a hospital manager and a hospital matron. At just two years old he began to lucid dream which frightened him out of his wits. He had the same dream, night after night for an entire year, a dream in which he was a monk on a bridge, falling off into a chasm. The dream always ended the same way, with an enchanted sound, like Om. Altair was a very curious, gentle child with a sleight build not unlike a Yogi and curly brown hair which made him look like Apollo, a nickname his elementary school teachers called him. The school lay directly opposite his house. He had many good friends but he was happiest gazing into the stars and so he wrote to NASA when he was five years old asking to be an astronaut on the first one way trip to Alpha Centauri which he had noticed was the closest star to where he was now. NASA responded by inviting Altair to join them when he was eighteen which only encouraged him to go deeper into researching the planets and the stars for signs of life, a habit which would pay dividends many years later when he bumped into a real extraterrestrial being.
Like every star child, Altair managed to find exactly who he needed to at exactly the right time in his life, while he went about the daily tasks of eating and sleeping, going to school and doing his homework. When he was thirteen the blessing in his life was Suzie and he recognized her by a blue light that shone around her. The blue light appeared in front of him every time a truth or important sign post, which I call a Light Post, or significant person would appear. A Light Post is a sign on your path that you really should not miss, a sign that you have deliberately planted upon agreement with that person or truth so that you would know them when you met them. Suzie was in her twenties, tall, goddess-like, with golden-red hair that shone like spun gold. She wore her hair long and smiled with a radiance that would have shattered the heaviest darkness. She was graceful and assured and loved to hear Altair play the flute. “Do you like Mozart?” she would ask, which of course was Altair’s favorite composer and “Won’t you stay for tea?” she would insist, once they had finished playing a duet, with Suzie on her baroque recorder.
From the first time he met Suzie, Altair was convinced she was an alchemist or magician. He tried to ignore it, but some of the goings on at the house next door, which was where Suzie lived, were far too mysterious to put aside for long. One day Altair was stricken by a strange illness. It felt like a fever that did not belong to him, as if he were bearing the burden of some forgotten time or place. “What’s wrong?” said Suzie when she saw him, crossing the road from the school playground, pale as a church mouse. “Something has got hold of me,” said Altair despairingly, “and I can’t shake it!” He looked downcast. Suzie just smiled one of her radiant smiles. “Never you mind. Go and have a short nap. Close the door and make sure you are not disturbed. Think of me. I will be with you.” Altair went and did as she had told him. From the moment his head hit the pillow a most curious sensation overwhelmed him. Colors of the rainbow began moving up his body, caressing his skin, beginning with the soles of his feet. As the Rainbow Body surrounded him he was transported to a garden, where he lay in repose, barely breathing, as the Circles of Light softly nurtured and healed him. He could hear Suzie’s voice, or someone that sounded like her, gently soothing and easing away all the aches and pains. “Zahor” the voice intoned. He drifted away as if he were a feather on a breeze, riding on God’s breath. The next sound he heard was his mother’s voice. “Altair, Altair, are you alright?” He opened his eyes feeling his body as he scanned it top to toe. Not one ache, pain or feverish complaint remained.
Altair and his brothers and sisters lived a short walk from the beach front, some distance from the great city, and contented themselves with boats and boat races. The city stood with a great tower, which was like a castle in the sky and so was called Sky City. Altair lived opposite the Convent, or so it was known, as it housed the Sisters of St Joseph, who went daily about their holy business, which included giving Altair piano lessons and striking his knuckles with a holy ruler when he struck the keys with lazy fingers. Altair’s house, known as The Railway Station, because all manner of creatures from humans to dogs and ducks converged there, bordered on a stream with trout and that backed on to an orchard with horses, where they could ride if they asked politely, and pinch apples and oranges from the neighbors trees if they didn’t ask at all. Altair and his brother built forts down the back, hidden in the trees, and waged wars with the neighboring boys, which on one unfortunate occasion ended with his brother being blinded, temporarily mind you, on account of a vicious grapefruit thrown smack in his eye. Altair’s heart missed a beat that day. He loved his brother Simon dearly. Altair and his brother were reckless. They climbed icy mountains in gumboots and shorts, made counterfeit money to fool the local green grocer, and crafted makeshift rafts to steal aboard luxury yachts in the harbor to have private parties with their friends. In a manner of speaking they felt for all the world like pirates and adventurers, wiling to take what treasure and captives came their way, and sail into the wide blue yonder.
Altair enjoyed his life by the sea. For the most part, to an external observer, he appeared to be a boy attending middle school, but to the inward witness he was a detective following a trail. A path to the stars and beyond.
Altair became so interested in the stars that Suzie introduced him to a world-famous astrologer called Richard. Altair’s ears pricked up when she first offered to take him for a visit. Suzie had so many unusual friends. The sisters Ruth and Gabrielle on the other side of her house who had statues of Say Baba that bled oil and gold dust they called vibhuti or sacred ash. The old friend Graham who looked rather like a warlock, whose entire life had been foretold in a book of leaves named The Book of Bhrigu. Whenever Suzie asked Altair to accompany her he would put down whatever he was doing and sit at her side and listen intently to the tales of magic from around the world. So when he sat in front of Richard he was most surprised to hear this famed oracle pronounce “You have the makings of a famous astrologer” and then go on to tell Altair all he already knew about the fragile world of a thirteen year old and a lot more besides. Altair never had the aim of being rich. He was content with finding happiness and passing on what he could to other people. He knew he was lucky because a luck dragon had breathed on him early on in life and charms and treasures literally would fall in his lap. If he had known of the Chintamani Stone, and he would, when he was lucky enough to be given one, many years later, out of the heart of a statue of the Goddess of Compassion Guan Yin, he might have been persuaded to use “wish-fulfilling jewel” as a nickname, but that was something most thirteen year old boys didn’t bother themselves about.
Altair’s path, as he would later find out, lay between the stars and magic. Suzie would introduce him to both of these, most unexpectedly, and all at once.
The path of magic, he was to find, lay just over the fence and down the winding path past the pohutukawa tree resplendent with crimson blossoms like toothbrush bristles and up a single flight of steps to Suzie’s library set among musical instruments and paintings of tarot keys and the tree of life. The Alchemist herself was working on the blueprint for the philosophers stone on this particular day, the pattern on the trestleboard and the Kybalion which is how Altair first learned The Seven Principles of Alchemy. In between these tasks she was bringing up her daughter and attending to daily matters of the household, which included keeping an eye on the family debt, incurred through the wayward hands of her gambling husband. To make ends meet, the Alchemist was sewing elegant garments for wealthy clients, and the chitter chatter of the spool of thread on the winding bobbin was the noise that greeted Altair as he entered.
“I want to learn magic!” Altair burst out, unable to contain himself any longer.
Suzie got up slowly from her seat and walked over to the library.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for you to ask,” she said, pulling two books from the library and handing them to Altair.
The first book had the most gracious face Altair had ever seen staring out from the cover.
“Who is this?” he said pointing to the godly person in orange robes.
“Yogananda,” said Suzie as if Altair should know.
That simple word sent shivers up and down Altair’s spine.
“The other book is The Kybalion. It opens the door to all the forces that govern the universe. Mastery of those forces enables you to do Alchemy and become an Alchemist.”
Altair looked at the small book in black with gold inscription on the cover and a symbol of a triangle with three concentric circles as its seal.
“Borrow them, for as long as you like,” said Suzie.
“Then come and ask him some questions,” she said, pointing to the door.
‘Him?’ Did Suzie mean Michael, her gambling husband? Altair felt a growing excitement as he turned to go, walking towards the door of the library, clutching the two books in his hand.
Perhaps she’d been joking, and she’d meant Richard the astrologer, he was far more interesting and more likely to be able to answer some of the questions Altair wanted to ask. Perhaps he was through the door.
Altair stopped and stared. By the time he reached the door of the library he felt his hairs on the nape of his neck stand on end as he was walking into a crowd of people he didn’t recognise. He was blindfolded with semi-transparent silk and holding a staff and the crowd on either side of him were staring at him, willing him to go on.
Now Altair was nervous. He looked for Suzie and to his relief he noticed her, dressed in a white tunic, he knew it was her by her long golden-red hair. But when she looked at him her eyes were a deep green, like emerald, rather than her usual hazel color.
The pyramid, for that is what it was, was lit by Dendera lamps, which illuminated the inner temple and the faces of what looked like priests and priestesses, although the main altar must have been hidden in darkness. The people lined the route to the altar and in front there was a beautiful carved throne. Altair paused at the edge of the crowd as a large man appeared from the shadows and came forward to meet him. A ripple of anticipation ran through the crowd as he threw a powdery substance into the air. Altair felt light-headed as a series of visions unfolded in front of him. An ocean, a garden, a palace, three lovers. The man was tall and bald and round-faced with an air of mystique. He wore a simple white tunic with a gold band around his waist and he was naked from the waist up with two serpentine rings encircling each arm. Altair recognised the aura the man gave off. It was someone used to wielding power, a lord, a pharaoh or a king.
“That’s Master R, whom some call St. Germain,” whispered the voice of the woman who looked like Suzie, now beside him. “You can take your blindfold off now.”
Master R began to speak in a low rumbling voice.
“Welcome initiates of the Holy Temple. We’ve come here to listen and see. All of you who walk the path of pathlessness have lost something or someone dear to them to get here. Even if that is your self. We are under no illusions. The path from the dark places to the light requires great courage, perseverance and resilience.
We have in front of us a new initiate who like all of us is also an Old One. His name is Altair Shyam and he is being sought by the Dark. By the forces of ignorance and separation. He is in our care now and it is up to us to guide him with love and wisdom.”
Altair felt his face go hot and his palms begin to tingle. He wanted to hide. He turned to Suzie for reassurance.
“To bring about great change we need to take big actions,” continued Master R. “The Dark is rising and the forces of ignorance are sweeping this world which in its turn opens portals to the ignorance of other worlds. We don’t know which way the tide will turn. All we do know is that if we don’t take immediate action the opus on love will cease its writing.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We know that in as much as we have great Masters throughout our earth’s history, Source Messengers who have guided us, we also have equally powerful Agents of the Dark, who infiltrate our religions and governments and security forces to breed fear, divisive views and hatred. We know it’s going on, we see it and we are now in a better place than in all our human history to do something about it on a global level.
For every decision there is a price, a sacrifice. I am suggesting that we take a united stand and fill the corridors of power with young people like Altair, Angels of the Light, who are willing to stand and speak up and fight for peace and love and light.”
There was a murmur, then a roar of approval from the crowd, the roar turning into a clamor which shook the foundations of Altair’s world. The walls of the pyramid shook and the capstone of the pyramid appeared to fall inwards, collapsing the whole structure in upon itself. Altair found the same light-headed feeling grasping at him until all at once he found himself back in the library, facing the figure now standing in front of him, silhouetted in the hallway.
“Go ahead,” said Suzie. “Ask anything you want. He’s waiting for you. You don’t have long before he has to go.”
Altair hesitated. The Master R was stern and yet kind, a pillar of light and also a bastion of hope. Altair held out his hand.
“Welcome to the Family of Light,” said Master R.
Altair felt like the sky was about to crumple and fall. The Master’s Voice was like a sound he remembered as a young toddler of two years old, the Om, rumbling like the Voice of God in a chasm.
“Thank you,” was all Altair could manage.
“So has Suzie here been teaching you properly?”
“Oh yes, we play flute and recorder often.”
“Ah, including an insight into the Rainbow Body I believe?”
The library was a beautiful spacious room with a fireplace, laced curtains which allowed just the right amount of light in and an oval oak table with six chairs.
Without quite knowing how, Altair found himself guided into one of the chairs with the Master R sitting at the head of the table and Suzie sitting opposite. Suzie was a beautiful distraction to the stern Master whose eyes seemed to bore into Altair’s very soul.
Altair found a drink in front of him that he was sure wasn’t there previously. It was a nectar, warm and soothing, which he gratefully drank to settle his nerves.
“So you fell off the bridge into a chasm,” said the Master, with no segway.
“And you were running away from…”
“I wasn’t running…I was charging, into a battle…for…”
“The Dalai Lama. At Samye. Samye Monastery.”
“Yes, I’ve known him before, many times, in different…forms…and I was in this garden…”
“Zahor, the western gardens of Princess Mandarava’s palace in the Kingdom of Zahor.”
“My name was…”
“Palmo Shonu. You were sixteen when you met her.”
“I knew astrology.”
“You were an adept.”
“A Saraswati initiate.”
“Skilled in Jyotish astrology.”
“I was Her astrologer, Princess Mandarava!”
“In the time of Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal, yes. You read symbols as you do now. Each person has a Light Body, a Rainbow Body that is a portal to all wisdom and understanding. It can be triggered or activated in so many ways. One of them is by understanding and reading the symbols in the matrix of their chart.”
Altair was swept back in time to the gardens of Zahor in an instant. It was like watching a movie running in full sensory vision in his head.
“I remember. I was in the western gardens with many people from all parts of Zahor and beyond. There was a monk called Arnapa. People were asking him all sorts of questions but his answers only led to more confusion. So I asked him where he had trained to develop his knowledge. He took this as an insult and said a young sixteen year old girl like myself was no better than a rambling magpie. I explained that the esoteric instructions on astrology are like a wish-fulfilling jewel. That the wisdom text of Saraswati is as melodious as the sound of the vina. The composition is as beautiful as a dance of art on paper. To make contact with the Light through the Stars is to perfect transcendent primordial wisdom. It is the precious doctrine of the Buddha.”
“He tried to belittle you,” said Suzie.
“He was the reason Princess Mandarava noticed me. She told her mother the Queen that she wished me to be her teacher in the art of astrology. Her parents did not want a commoner to instruct her so asked a holy man to consult with them. He recognised me as a Dakini (Sky Dancer or Tantric Priestess) and said it would be good for me to stay permanently with the Princess. I was invited to the palace, became a member of her entourage and taught her everything I knew about astrology. We studied art and music and dance and magic together. I remained close to her thereafter.”
“He made you stand up for the Light. Suffering has the potential to uncover the deepest Light. Just as you are doing now with the Brothers, the Agents of the Dark. Standing up for the rights of children in your school. Even though you are persecuted.”
“Persecuted?” Altair had to think for a moment about what the Master R meant.
“Yes, that same instinct that made you fight against the accusations of Arnapa is the same energy protecting you today against the Brotherhood that has infiltrated religious organizations and schools, security agencies and Hollywood celebrity circles, political groups and financial regulators as you will find out. Your rebellion comes from seeking the truth.”
“Well, there are kids that hate the Brothers at our school and I know which ones to stay away from. There is Ape, and Hang-glider and Goldilocks, Muttonhead and Bosco, those are the nicknames we call them. They prey on kids, make them go naked to showers while they watch and pretend to be guiding kids when they are in fact fawning on them, pretending you are their favorite and then when you don’t allow them to touch you they make sure you fail your classes with them.”
Master R nodded.
“One day I went on a walk with one of the teachers and he touched me and I said “Get away from me,” and hit his hand off my shoulder which ended up in a rose bush with thorns and he said “I will make sure you fail all my classes,” so I quit. I was so angry but didn’t know how to express it. My father and mother could not understand as that was my favorite class, physics, and I was the top student. Sadly that teacher committed suicide after his relationship with another young boy was revealed.
On another day I was helping a friend with computer science which I was doing a scholarship for. The Principal came up and put his arm around my shoulders. I didn’t trust that Principal. I told him to stop doing that. He got angry. He told me to stop wasting my time and told me if I didn’t stop teaching others he would ensure I never became head boy. I didn’t stop teaching my friend so in that year I was the only one in the school who was not made a prefect or given a position of responsibility.
The teacher called Ape coached a rugby team and used to watch us all in the showers. He was a creep. So I quit his team and played for the bottom team in the grade which made him real mad, especially when we won the competition in that year.
And now I see it happening to children and women all over the world, what I experienced. The rape of children and women, physically and emotionally. I want to help.”
“These people will meet with terrible karma and be answerable to their maker,” said the Master.
Altair sat back against the chair and looked at Suzie. She was smiling at him, a rich, graceful smile filled with affection and kind expectation. The Master R. still had that stern look of deepest wisdom that left Altair feeling exposed.
“Tell us how you wish to help and what it is that you see,” said Master R.
At that the floodwaters broke. Almost as if on the Master’s command Altair’s vulnerability and his own deep wisdom was revealed as if all the veils were pulled back at once to reveal a bright day with wondrous shadows and textures.
Altair saw wonders he could only gape and marvel at. He knew what he was seeing. The Djedhi Way.
A Light Dolphin Isle in the Pleiades. Harvesting sea plankton in the Light Ponds of Atlantis. A Naga Serpent of Wisdom. A meeting with Krishna. Playing with Moses when he was but a babe and being an acolyte under Lady Nada in the Judaean Desert rituals. Meeting Buddha and Manjushri on the road to Sarnath. Standing at the foot of the cross looking up at Jesus with Mary Magdalene. Casting out demons. Alchemy in the Source Group of Merlin with Tareth. Meeting Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal in India and Tibet with Princess Mandarava. Doing Bodhisattva social work for Masters Kukai and Gyoki in Japan. Studying Tao and Zen under Master Huang Po. Sailing as a wayfarer from Maui. An adviser to Sakya Pandita. A Raj in Northern India. Serving the Fifth Dalai Lama as Sakya Pema, again an astrological adviser. And then with the Master R. as St. Germain before the fall off the bridge into the chasm in 1959. Then further, beyond the now, Altair saw into a time on Mt. Potalaka with Guan Yin, the astral worlds of Hiranyaloka with Yogananda and Ketumati with Maitreya.
“It’s a continuum Altair,” said Suzie in her musical voice. “We’ve all met before.”
“The Shared Heart,” said Master R.
“Love,” said Altair.
“The Golden Thread woven through all universes,” said Suzie.
“The attractive principle,” said Master R. “The quintessential law of attraction.”
“So why target women and children, and vulnerable young boys?”
“The power of attraction, innocence and love, is strongest when we are young. Young and free, not bound or possessed. Sacred and pure. It takes a great deal of courage and practice to maintain that power of attraction as we get older. There are so many distractions.”
“So if we maintain that innocence and purity, that awareness of love, we can see across worlds and into and beyond time like I did just now?”
“Yes, that is why the Dark wants to tamper with consciousness of the young. It stops them from seeing the truth, from understanding their real power. It stops them from knowing that they are already free.”
“Now Altair,” said Suzie, “I’m going to tell you something. The Master R. has been following the progress of many young people for a long time. People with a message. Young people like yourself.”
Altair swallowed. He felt like someone was about to hand him an ancient text to read, a book filled with magic and infinite possibilities, stories of the stars, the realms of Gods and Goddesses, a book of Love. And with it came immense responsibility.
“He knew about you as a child. From a baby. We knew about your visions, your dreams. We arranged for your mother to place you in the tender care of a Mother Superior.”
“Mother Kathleen Adamson?” She had been Altair’s favorite source of all things wise for as long as he could remember. It was she who had told him he was placed under the protection of the Virgin Mary, and she who had taught him the powers of Jesus and the Archangels.
“We don’t know what your parents have told you, but they don’t know the whole truth of it.”
“You know you can cast out demons.”
Altair was dazed.
“You can heal.”
“See the future.”
“Speak to dolphins, snakes, and beings from other worlds.”
“You can project your Self across worlds. That is how you will call Beings from other worlds to visit this planet. You can harness the Kundalini force, Shakti, completely naturally. To call the ocean to rise and help you, you have to become the ocean. The simple practice of the sacred breath and Kriya as you will find in Yogananda’s book has all you need to accomplish it.”
“You will help thousands of people simply by sharing the power of faith. By believing in them and showing them that a 3000 year old ancient manuscript speaks from across time and space about their life path and purpose. You will awaken in them the power to be free, to go and live their true purpose.”
“This is the truth about you Altair, and so many others like you. You were not put here by accident. You chose, along with many others, to meet here, and change the world. Not just this world. But many others. You have many gifts to help others. What have you discovered?”
“Well, there is this,” said Altair and he reached out to touch the hands of both Master R. and Suzie.
“The Blue Light,” and the Blue Light to his amazement coursed up both his arms and into the room around them filling the old library.
“The Blue Pearl,” said the Master R. as it is often known is a sign of things to come. A message from other worlds. A Light from Guan Yin. Swami Muktananda described how it expanded in front of him, engulfed him and carried him to other worlds. It is a physical manifestation of the soul and contains all consciousness in it.”
“Do you know how to use it to its fullest potential yet?” asked Suzie.
“I have been able to see it since I was very little. It is a sign of truth. It appears whenever anyone speaks the truth or when I meet people that are an important part of my path. It appears in my head and with my eyes open. Sometimes it is a bright iridescent flash, like magnesium.”
“It’s a truth-measure and a form of the inner Self. It contains all the different dimensions of existence,” said Master R.
“Everyone can see it with practice,” said Suzie. “You just have a naturally developed extrasensory perception.”
“A rare faculty,” said Master R. “to see it in one so young. Muktananda was also an adept and initiate of the Saraswati Order just like you. You have meditated a lot in this life and previous ones. With such consistency and love of meditation, Shakti, the power of the Source of All in the Universe awakes inside you. It created the outer universe and when you are still you can connect with it and it awakens within you an inner universe of bliss and happiness. As without so within. Try it now. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Breathing in, breathing out. Be still and know God. Trust your feelings, trust the Source. The energy and consciousness that flows within you flows in all things you perceive around you and outside you. As within so without. When we get our self out of the way, when we surrender to what is, the Source alone is.”
“I see Light, everywhere. I feel the Universe flowing, everywhere. I see the Blue Pearl, everywhere.”
“Muktananda, like many great masters, planted the seed of awakening in you long ago, just as Yogananda did. That knowledge has kept you safe until you were old enough to use its power to help others. The Agents of the Dark are tests for you and others like you, to help restore the balance. Where there is strong light there is equally strong darkness.
Now the churches and religions and science are moving towards unity but there is an equally strong conservative movement that wants to keep things separate and will do anything it can to stop it.
The experiences that occur in our life path are designed to make us stronger and our choices are simply to bring us to the point of ultimate freedom. Where we can let go and embrace all that is. Life and death, love and fear, peace and suffering.
The Blue Light and the Blue Pearl are given to us to act as beacons to awaken the Light in others.
They are gifts, never to keep, but to uncover wisdom and lead each of us to our purpose, our true destiny.
So keep it secret and keep it safe.
There will come a time when you will need it to assist you on your next journey as you leave this body and it departs with you. That is the true meaning of deathlessness or immortality.”
Altair noticed the Master R. had cupped his hands and from within his palms a beautiful blue pearl radiated with unearthly light. He folded his hands over and reached over the table and placed his hands on Altair’s. Altair felt suddenly very shy of this immensely powerful man, with his stern look and eyes which pierced to his soul.
“It is time for me to return. You have a lot to think about and absorb. Take care Altair.”
“Thank you,” said Altair, clutching the blue pearl to his heart with one hand and taking the two books with his other.
Master R. and Suzie smiled.
Altair’s mother was waiting at the side door of the house in Speight Rd when he entered.
“You were gone a long time,” she said. “I was about to call you for tea.”
“Sorry Mum,” said Altair. And he gave her a big hug and kissed her on the cheek before settling down to tuck into the big Lancashire Hotpot Mary had prepared for them all.
Artist Appreciation – Gratitude to all artists
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