The forlorn silence – IV

{change of narration}

He walked close to the house and nothing unusual happened. The well as still there or atleast the periphery was standing there just like in the dream. He went inside by scaling the lower side of the wall and looked around. He could make some sense of the house as if he knew it from some era. It all seemed hazy and distant. The memory was building up like a foam and dispersing as soon as it tried to take shape. he looked around and shouted “Well, I am here…What do you want from me? You want to kill me? I am not afraid..Here…kill me you blood thirsty witches. I am standing right here.” Not a leaf stirred or a bird moved. The silence was slowly becoming too much to bear and he wanted to shout again but could not. The Owl flew from the branch and it flew over him slashing at his head with his claw. The blood trickled from his forehead and found its way to the dry ground below. The droplets all coalesced into a thin stream that started moving like a little worm towards a certain direction. He pressed his forehead and slowly followed it and stood where it had stopped. He could not understand what to do, when abruptly the blood stream vanished into the earth below. 

He took to digging the place and with much effort dug out the soil with his knife he was carrying. He found a wooden door with a rusted lock on it. The lock came of with a jerk and he opened the creaking door. The stairs led down into the dark basement and he had not light to carry with him. He gathered courage and gingerly moved forward taking a slow step at a time. Once he was down there, he could see the sun rays coming from the back through the open door above. He just wished that the door does not shut on him. It certainly did. He was standing in utter darkness and the obnoxious smell all around him. He almost puked smelling this rank and fetid smell. He came to his senses in a while and tried walking around in dark. He stumbled on something and there was a clang and bang of things falling over and breaking. Then the whole room lit up with the same deep red color and a fire seemed to burn into the walls and he could see everything. He noticed a chamber of sorts that must be the witches ritual place and there were some animal bones scattered around. He could see an altar with some deities placed behind it.

He then observed a spot that appeared to burn through the front wall and something coming out of the hollow that was growing in size. He saw the same woman he had seem a few days ago coming out of it and moving towards him. He felt the same numbing down as he had felt that day. His brow as sweaty and his gash on the forehead burned like it was on fire. The woman came closer and looked him right in his eyes. He was staring into a deep hollowness of the bloodied sockets again. I felt like falling into a bottomless pit forever. He felt the coldness cover his body although there was fire all around him. The specter of the woman with sudden movement grabbed him and bent his head forward onto a bowl. The gash opened up on his forehead and his blood gushed forth into the bowl. He was holding onto the Bible in his bag and collapsed right then and there.

He woke up with a heavy head and looked around him and found three women sitting near the altar and performing some pagan ritual. He could see that there were no witches around. Was this some sort of diabolical illusion or was he already dead. He checked the Bible in his bag. It was there. He took it out and brandished it behind the supposed witches. 

“In the name of the Lord…” as he began, one of the woman got up and came near him and looked deeply in his eyes. He felt as if she was talking to him without speaking. The voice he could hear in his head. 

“Stop it. It is not going to do anything and we are not going to kill you. You are here to help us and you have to keep your promise. You promised us that you shall come and set us free from the torment of untimely death. We have heard this Biblical nonsense before also and it does nothing to us.” It said.

He could not believe what he had just heard. He got up and gently put the Bible close to his heart. The woman smiled. “Stop wasting time and free us from the shackles that are binding us to our previous life.”

He could not understand what she said and stared with blank expression at her. The other women joined her and they all sat around him. 

Isaiah began to speak after the lull had grown over-weary. “You are evil women…that is why they burned you…” He tried to control the shaky voice as best he could.

“Is it so? Who decides?” One of the woman asked.

Isaiah sat dumbfounded and looked at them.

One of the women began to speak to him. “What you call as evil is a perspective of the faith that you follow. The other who is not like you is always a subject of suspicion or hatred. Maybe a reason for awe sometimes. The witches as you call them were the wise women of yore which existed and enjoyed a good status just as the sages of that time. We were trained in certain practices to help people during certain times. Not all who wield power are good enough to keep it for the benefit of the people. There are some who fall to the level of selfish desires and begin using the occult powers for personal gains. We used to call them the fallen ones. They were a disgrace to the order or the covenant. For thousands of years many men and women have practiced certain techniques all over the world that make you go beyond the mundane existence and realize your true potential as a human being. We have seen our previous lives and we were not always a woman. Once we were men and we shall be born again in some new womb once you free us from the torture that killed us alive and bound us to your oath. We have waited for you to take birth and the right time when you would come and set us free.”

“But the priest…” He stopped short of saying anything.

“They do not know much what is hidden from the humans and they rely on reading a book and fantasizing about things rather than observing the things and finding the truth of their existence. They think they are doing the good. They are mistaken. The world is a mystery enshrouded within the mystery and mind cannot probe all the layers. The eye of the mystic knows and sees what the priest cannot and can never see. They talk about God without knowing what is the essence of life itself. It is a mere rambling of the mind that creates a chatter to keep itself occupied with nonsense. They spread all kind of hatred and lies against us. They made us look evil so that they could carry out their aim of subjugating the people under their spell and authority. They snatched away the individual freedom of your search for truth. They stopped the woman from spiritual progress and suppressed them from achieving their soul, their inner self, their divinity. They destroyed all that could help women understand who they are and what they are capable of. They projected the idea of their liberation through a man they think is God. What you call as God is nothing compared to what really is out there. You just keep yourself busy with you little stories while the truth is much much more stranger than your stories could ever be. The search for truth leads one to the path of mysticism. There were and there shall always be people on this plane of existence who would know and teach it. Jesus of Nazareth was one of them. He was a master and tried to teach people about the things he learned in esoteric circles. He was misunderstood and misused by the priests.

“Why should I trust what you say?” Isaiah resisted.

“Do you see what is happening right in front of you?” The woman said.

“Yes” he replied.

“Do you need to believe it?” She asked.

“I might be dreaming all this.” He said.

The women at this point started laughing and he felt like a fool.

“You killed all those innocent people…” he made an accusation.

“We did not kill anyone. Some died because of the fear and others because of their fate that was entwined with us because of their actions. Everything in this existence balances out to the last detail. Maybe you have heard stories…Human mind is very good good at spinning tales and stories. Beware of what you are told.” The woman became silent.

“I am still unsure how I fit in all this.” He looked puzzled and demanded an answer.

The woman began again “Look Jacob, we know you from our last birth and you had promised to us that you will come and set us free by performing certain rituals after the horrible act that the priest perpetrated that day. You promised on your life and blood. You betrayed us and …”

“”What!?” He let out a shout of disbelief. “How is it possible? I was not even present then?”

“You were…in another body and known by another name…Jacob.” The woman answered.

“How did I betray you?” He wanted to know.

“You were with them when they came to this side and gave false testimony against us. Then you dug the iron nails in our hands while we were being tied to a post with a rope. You and your village folk used to visit us before the priest poisoned your mind with his nonsense and made you believe that we were evil just because we never went to his church.  We never felt the need.”

“No..this is not true. You are making up stories to …” He was agitated and nervous.

The women drew a geometric figure with their finger that seemed to burn through the ground. Then they turned towards him and said “Here, hold our hands and sit with us and you shall see your past”. He walked closer and sat down. They all held each other’s hands and sat in a circle, while the women started to chant and hum slowly. The minutes were passing by and Isaiah was feeling drowsy and his head started to wobble. His eyes seemed to move upward and he was in a trance like state. His memories rushed into his past and through his childhood to the flashing whiteness with nothing but intense calm and clarity.

Then he was thrown into some memories that were not of this time. He began to see and relive the life again. All the moments of his life that were highlighted brought joy and sorrow in equal measures. He was going through every pain and pleasure as if he was living it right now. He saw himself driving the nails through these women’s hands and he cried in pain. He had somewhere hated doing it but he had no choice. They would have killed him and his family for being heretics and pagans or much worse Satanic. The women were burning alive and he was there…he had promised to come back and set their tortured souls free. He was sobbing uncontrollably and then everything seem to wrap up around him. He came back to his senses in this world and opened his eyes. The wise women were looking at him with a smile.

“You are not Jacob…nor you are Isaiah…you are beyond all names and identities. Search for the real you in this lifetime. Human life is very precious. Do not sit and waste it in imaginations of all sorts. Imaginations however beautiful and comforting are just imaginations. The truth shall set you free. Know thyself and you shall know all. You shall respect all life. We do not come here to rule over anything…we are here to coexist and learn. Now return to your family and do your duties. But soon the time will come when you will leave everything and be an ascetic. Your pain in the hands will go away from now on and you shall work for the good of all. May you find the right guidance when you need it the most.”  The woman rose and they put their arms to their chest and slowly began to fade away into the bright light. 

“How shall I find the truth?” Isaiah cried and pleaded.

The voice rang in his head for one last time.

The breath is the key.

Then everything became dark again all around him but he could see. The light from the door told him that the day was fading into an evening. He steeped out and for one last time saw the brooding silence all around him. He moved towards his boat with heavy feet and drew it closer to the water. He sat in the boat and began moving it towards the other shore. The house crumpled into a heap of rubble and the trees watched his distant figure vanishing into a silhouette of hazy outlines.

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