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Lies told to my Grandchildren

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Summary

A collection of short stories.

Genre:
Fantasy / Adventure
Author:
John Hester
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
3
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Beginning to End

Dukha sets in meditation. Breathe in, breathe out. Chest rises, chest falls. Blood flows, heart beats, thoughts surface. Dukha resist the urge to grab the thoughts. Let them flow. Mind so busy. Let it go. Back away and only observe. Watch it from afar. Breathe in, breathe out with nothing to know.

Incense burns, candle flickers, shadows on the floor. Dukha feels beyond his body, the ceiling, the rug, the room with its walls. The wind chime outside his door. He feels it in his mind. It drifts in the sun and wind, whispering its song.

He concentrates upon the chime. He pushes outward. The chime sounds. He feels it inside himself and pushes again. The chime sings to him. He examines the parts of the chime, the string, the wood, the metal bells. He connects with them and they move with his breathing.

He moves through the grain of the wooden pieces. He traces the twinning fibers of the string. The engraved metal bells smell of ancient dust and rust. He knows the parts of the chime and marvels at the assembly of the instrument. He detects finger prints from a previous owner or perhaps the craftsman.

Dukha feels magical in this connection.

He pulls away, back into himself. He rises from meditation but finds he cannot break his connection with the wind chime. He tries to redirect his center elsewhere but the chime stays in focus. He feels it even now, moving and turning with the wind. He can see and know what the chime experiences. He has become two things which are entangled.

He moves away from his home and travels the stone path that leads to the garden. He is curious if his connection to the chime is based on locality. At the end of the path, just east of the garden, he turns and faces his home. He still experiences the chime. At this distance, the connection is unaffected in the least.

He travels through the eastern pasture toward the rolling grass hill. Even here the chime is clear. It has become a part of him, an extended new limb with which to know the world.

Over the hill and into the cave behind the waterfall where he had found the stringed instrument, the chime is still with him. He wonders if he could fly into the sky beyond the clouds, and among the stars, would the connection remain. He wonders more as he strolls back home.

It is morning and he prepares his breakfast with the cat moving about his legs. She nudges Dukha, instructing her servant. Dukha stops his preparations to pour milk in a bowl and set it before the cat. He wonders if he can connect with the feline.

Finished with breakfast, he sets on the rug in pose, the cat in his lap. He pets her as his meditation begins. Within minutes he has achieved a mindful awareness and reaches out to the cat. Easily he connects with her. Her breathing, her warmth, her carefree attitude, he now knows. He connects with her tissue, her muscle and blood, her bones and mind.

She is aware of an intruder and opens her eyes. He sees through her vision with his eyes closed. She moves from his lap, and he travels with her, still sitting on his rug.

The connection remains as with the chime. It takes effort but within a few days Dukha can maintain the three way focus, the cat, the chime and himself. Within weeks he has mastered the feat and begins connecting to other objects and beings. A bird, a bee, a tree, a wheel. Each thing is now his knowing. Each one can he feel. He can know life from another vantage point.

Months go by as Dukha gains more understanding of reality, his senses and his surroundings. Limbs not of his body stretch out and experience the world. He reaches to know it all.

His visit to the library proves to be beneficial and will feed his wonder for ages. Dukha thought it to be a silly proposal, still he made the attempt. Can he know a book? Can he connect with a closed volume and knows its contents? In a lone corner, he reaches out. He journeys over leather covers and dried parchment pages, faded ink and oily fingerprints.

Dukha drinks from the well of his culture’s wisdom. He feast at the table of poets, artist and lovers. He lives. He dies. He loves and tries, to find the reason for it all. He falls.

He finds redemption in the ancient ways, in the teachers of old. Laozi, Plato, Jung and Quinn, he partakes of them all. Science and math he consumes, philosophy and history he absorbs into his being.

The seasons flow forth as Dukha advances in his craft. The masses come to him seeking wisdom and guidance. The humble seeker of truth has become the most sought after sage of his time. Kings and rulers desire his council. Disciples he chose not approach his home, begging to set at his feet and partake of his wisdom. He turns them all away, and then he turns away himself.

A note is left upon his door, “All that remains is yours.” The sage forsakes his home, towards the mountains the hermit roams. To find a den in which to live. To inhabit his days in silent meditation. To practice his craft in solitude.


The ancient sage sets at the mouth of the cave looking out at the rising sun. During the last eight decades he has known the world. Each blade of grass, each critter and insect, each cloud and wave, each human soul, he has partaken. Dukha experiences reality through their being still.

The sage now enters his meditation upon the Sun in the morning sky. He merges with the blazing entity and knows its power and majesty. He dances in its flaming waves. He travels the light beams which fan out and radiate those bodies which circle in their orbit. He shines with the Sun upon the earth.

From the fiery mass he beholds his own form, setting in the cave, looking back at him with tired eyes. His body is but a shell of his former being. The years have drained strength from his limbs and marrow from his bones. His fleshly tent is sad and broken and he does not wish to return home.

He follows the light beams to other worlds. He will know these places as well. Through the air and to the ground he merges and connects. Through the rock and soil, into the center burning mass and out to the other side he travels. He flies.

The exploration of his home star system continues for cycles. Time has no meaning for Dukha anymore, until he feels the ebbing of his fleshly shell, which still sets in the cave. Time, yes, time. His mind is free but his body belongs to the time stream of his world. He senses the weak cord that tethers him to his ancient home, his physical body.

In respect he bows to his dying shell. He gives thanks for the life lived in this human vehicle. And time, yes time. It is time to move on. As his body breathes its last, Dukha slowly pulls away and returns to his journey through the outer bodies, still riding the rays of the sun.

A comet from another system leaves its glowing trail for Dukha to notice. He sets his focus upon it and merges with the distance traveler. He journeys now to explore other systems and galaxies.

The comet’s long trek allows its passenger to hitch rides with other moving objects. Millions of cycles pass as the being Dukha, now explores the Cosmos. He will know it all. This is his purpose. This is his being.

Birth and death, love and war, growth and withering are experienced on many worlds he visits. Throughout the universe familiar patterns and processes are repeated. Dukha examines the very structure of the fabric of reality.

Now billions of light years from his world, he witnesses its death. The star of that system still shines, but not in the manner as it did when he dwelt there. His galaxy of origin spins even after it collides with another. A new and larger galaxy is forming.

Eons flow by and Dukha continues connecting, absorbing and experiencing all that is in existence.

He knows everything. He experiences everything. He has become everything.

Now Dukha can see the edge of universe. He stretches for it.

The being formerly known as Dukha has reached the limit of all that exist. He has connected and merged with all that has ever been. Every particle which experiences reality, throughout the entire universe, is known by him. The being ponders all that it knows. The being is tired of knowing and wishes to rest, to finally sleep. To enter the eternal dream, this is his desire.

With deep intention, the being once known as Dukha draws in and all the worlds and galaxies which are expanding begin to flow towards him. Stars collapse, and their light and energy flow toward the entangled one. Dimensions unfold, and beak down at the summoning of the being once known as Dukha.

Everything is drawing into him, and he shrinks the matter smaller, pulling with all of his might, that he may end it all. That he may know, no more. The Cosmos rushes toward him in broken pieces, even the molecules break apart as the being formerly known as Dukha forecloses on the Universe.

As the final elements flow into the ever shrinking vortex, the being hears a distant sound. A memory flashes in the destruction of all that is. The being pauses and remembers. The memory is crystal clear. Echoes of ancient sounds stir the heart of this last being. A wind chime sounds. A cat meows. The being formerly known as Dukha smiles and closes his eyes.

The place where he existed, where his energy radiated, the spot of illumination now shrinks away. It fades. It blinks out. Nothingness has replaced all that was.

A low hum vibrates from the passing of everything into oblivion. The hum vibrates faster into the emptiness. Deep within the hum, an ancient consciousness dreams. The dream is of love and peace, death and destruction. The dream is of birth, of starting anew.

From the place of disappearance, where the last spark went dark, a tiny speck of light appears. It burst forth and energy rushes out seeking to fill the void. Swirling masses of burning clouds spread across the empty expanse filling it with countless possibilities. Time is born anew.

Collisions of particle filled gases create masses of burning material which blaze out in all directions. The Cosmos is born violently and colorfully. White stars, blue stars, yellow and red, dot the panorama of the universal stage.

Ages roll forward and galaxies are formed. Worlds arise. Creature move from the muck to the land. Civilizations come forth, empires are born that shall fall when others begin. Forward the universe spreads.

The ancient consciousness stirs from its slumber to behold the resurgence of matter and energy. This time will be different. The being will not know everything. The being will not entangle again, it will observe only.

The being gazes out at all that is. He takes in the sight of colors and light. He sets back to watch it all, he notices a world that has activity. A civilization is already advancing and taking to flight. The being beholds two faint points of light rising from a distant world. He wishes them well in their endeavor.

He sets in meditation. Breathe in, breathe out. Chest rise, chest fall. Blood flows, heart beats, the universe expands. He resist the urge to expand with it. Let it flow. Cosmos is so busy. Let it go. Back away and only observe. Watch it from afar. Breathe in, breathe out with nothing to know.

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