Warrior of the Soul

Book 3

heeding the call


David Pratt

© July 2003


Part 1    Duty bound
Part 2    Lost within
Part 3    Fatal encounter
Part 4    Elemental journey
Part 5    Convergence

Part 1   Duty bound

~ 1 ~

Khanat’s heart pounded noisily. He peered out from behind a rock, and watched five shadowy figures run, crouching, through the desert sand towards the Great Pyramid of Giza.
    The men waited for the guards to move out of sight. Then they scurried out into the open, dug a shallow hole at a preselected spot, and gently placed the small home-made bomb inside it. After activating the bomb, they covered it with sand, then swiftly and silently retraced their steps.
    Khanat waited till they were well out of sight, keeping a close watch on the movements of the guards. Then he ran to where the bomb was buried, cautiously uncovered it, and shone his torch on it. Despite the bitterly cold desert wind, sweat was trickling down his face and he was shaking with fear. He had watched his father make bombs many years ago. He took hold of two of the wires in his trembling hand, then gave a sudden wrench . . .
    Time seemed to stand still as he waited for the dreaded explosion. But nothing happened. His racing heart began to slow rapidly as he placed the deactivated bomb in a bag. He filled in the hole and beat a hasty retreat. His father would get a surprise the next day when he pressed the button on the remote control and no tourists got blown to bits.
    Khanat set off back to his parents’ home. He would now have to confront his father and was not looking forward to it. His father had spent the past eight years in jail after being convicted of planning another attack. On his release, his hatred for the Egyptian regime was more intense than ever. He had told his wife and two children that he did not intend to get involved in any more terrorist activities. But secretly he had plotted his revenge. It was only by luck that Khanat had overheard him talking to another man about an attack on the country’s most famous tourist site.
    Khanat had considered tipping off the police, but was afraid they might not have acted on the information. What’s more, he knew how badly political prisoners were treated and didn’t want his father to go back to jail before he’d tried to persuade him to change his ways. He had decided against confronting his father before he had planted the bomb because he was unsure what the outcome would be. The approach he had adopted had at least enabled him to prevent at least one bloody attack. Perhaps he had made the wrong decision. Only time would tell.

When Khanat arrived back at his parents’ home at two in the morning, no one else was up. Perhaps his father hadn’t got back yet. He decided to go straight to bed. As he lay dropping off to sleep, his mind mulled over the day’s events, including a visit to a mosque with his archaeology teacher . . .
    Suddenly Khanat threw back the covers and sat bolt upright, as if electrified.
    ‘Holy shit!’ he said aloud. ‘It was Jintar I saw! Jintar! After all these years!’
    That morning, while Khanat was crossing a busy street, a young man, slightly older than himself, had brushed past him. He had caught a glimpse of a turquoise stone hanging round the man’s neck. It looked familiar somehow but he couldn’t immediately place it and had other things on his mind. But now he remembered very clearly . . .
    It was seven years since his last bizarre encounter with Jintar and his two companions. That strange and unforgettable day had marked a definite turning point in his life. At the time he had been living with his mother and eleven-year-old sister in one of the poorest districts of the city. One afternoon, shortly after his fourteenth birthday, he had been wandering the backstreets when a hysterical young woman dashed past him. Then he had heard frightful screams coming from a small, derelict outbuilding. As he approached he had seen a foreign-looking man leave the building and stride off in the opposite direction.
    On the floor of the outhouse Khanat had discovered a fifteen-year-old youth called Jintar lying unconscious, with blood pouring from wounds to his back. He had been savagely beaten with a piece of barbed wire. Khanat was sure the youth was going to die. He had used his T-shirt to try and staunch the blood, but it kept on flowing. It took more than fifteen minutes for the bleeding to slow to a trickle.
    Deeply shocked, Khanat had then left the building to seek help. Almost immediately he had bumped into a young man called Sahula, who turned out to be Jintar’s friend. The first thing he had done was to put the turquoise stone round Jintar’s neck, saying it was his lucky talisman. Khanat had fetched a donkey and cart, and they had placed Jintar on it and covered his body with sacks. Then they had set off in the direction of the Giza plateau where Sahula said he and Jintar would be rescued.
    On the way a tourist policeman had stopped them and asked what they were carrying on the cart. ‘Potatoes,’ Sahula had said. Khanat feared the worst. But when the policeman pulled back the sacks, both he and the policeman had indeed seen a pile of potatoes! They continued on their way and when Khanat had looked a second time, he had seen Jintar’s body lying there again.
    At that time Khanat had been obsessed with ‘aliens’ and UFOs. He was convinced that Sahula must be an alien himself, or at least a hybrid, the product of alien-human interbreeding. But Sahula had told him he was a member of a secret organization on earth that was working to promote human brotherhood. Shortly afterwards Sahula had stopped the donkey in the desert sand, about half a mile from the Great Pyramid.
    Suddenly a figure in white had appeared out of nowhere – a guardian angel, Khanat had assumed. He had allowed Khanat to make a wish, and Khanat had wished that his mother would regain her eyesight. And the figure, who was called Dazak, told him that when his mother woke up the next morning she would be able to see again. Then he had picked up Jintar from the ground and vanished on the spot!
    Khanat had been so overwhelmed by this incredible series of events that he had burst into tears. Sahula had then taken him aside and they had sat down beside the cart, out of the burning rays of the sun, while Sahula explained certain things to him.
    He had stressed that he was not an alien and told him where he originally came from. Dazak and Jintar were members of the same human Brotherhood as himself. But Dazak was one of the higher members and had gained a certain mastery over the forces of nature.
    ‘Will he really be able to cure my mama?’ Khanat had asked.
    ‘If he says he will do it, he will,’ Sahula had replied.
    Khanat then questioned Sahula about his favourite subject – aliens.
    ‘Even if your Brotherhood are not aliens, do you believe in them?’ he asked. ‘Aren’t they invading the earth and trying to take it over? Aren’t they abducting millions of people to create a hybrid race? And aren’t many governments in league with them?’
    ‘No, the earth is not being invaded by beings from outer space and governments are not in league with them,’ Sahula had replied. ‘Do you know who humans’ worst enemies are?’
    Khanat shook his head.
    ‘Themselves – their own lower, selfish natures! Government authorities, the military and scientists are actually very ignorant about what UFOs and aliens really are. And that’s because they have no understanding of the invisible beings and elemental energies that inhabit the psychic world surrounding us.’
    ‘You mean like angels? I believe in angels too,’ Khanat had said.
    Sahula nodded. ‘Elementals can adopt a variety of shapes, which are sometimes seen in dreams or visions and sometimes manifest physically. They tend to copy the forms they see in the collective human imagination, including our own minds. So they may appear as angels, fairies, demons, and so on. Or in the modern space age, as aliens. They can also be moulded into different forms by the various intelligent beings – high or low – that exist in the unseen realms. Sometimes they appear as balls of light, dancing and playing in the sky.’
    ‘I think I’ve seen an elemental!’ said Khanat excitedly. ‘It was a few months ago and I was near here with one of my friends and I looked towards the Great Pyramid and there was a bluish light swirling round the top. My friend couldn’t see it, but I could. Honest!’
    ‘I believe you.’
    ‘I thought it was a sign that the aliens were finally going to land. But it was really an elemental, wasn’t it?’
    ‘It sounds like it could have been. The Pyramid is one of the earth’s power points.’
    ‘It’s very special. I’ve always known that. But some people claim it was built to bury one of our kings!’
    Khanat started laughing and Sahula joined in. Khanat put his arm round his new friend.
    ‘Do you often come to Egypt? If so you can stay at my house. My mama won’t mind. She used to be a very good cook before she went blind. You can sleep in my bed, because I don’t mind sleeping on the floor. Then you can tell me more about elementals, and your Brotherhood, and the pyramids, and I’ve got lots of questions about other things. Like Atlantis. It did exist didn’t it?’
    ‘Yes it did. There have been many past civilizations, some on sunken continents.’
    ‘I know.’
    ‘Where have you heard about these things?’
    ‘On television – we haven’t got one but a friend of mine has. And sometimes I go to an internet café. Does your Brotherhood have a website?’
     ‘No, but many of our ideas can be found on the internet, amidst all the junk – everyone has to learn to distinguish truth from falsehood. And what do you think would happen if the highest members of my Brotherhood were to appear publicly and start proclaiming the truth about the mysteries of life?’
    ‘The government would probably lock them up as madmen! Or crucify them – as is said to have happened to Jesus. I used to think he and Mohammed might be aliens. But maybe they were members of your Brotherhood instead. And maybe Jesus could control the elementals, and that’s how he did all his miracles.’
    ‘He was certainly a very great spiritual teacher.’
    ‘He wanted us all to be good to one another, but now we’re on the verge of war again. It’s very worrying. Do you think they’ll be a nuclear war? Can’t your Brotherhood stop it?’
    ‘Humans are not our puppets. It’s a law of nature that we must all reap the consequences of our acts, life after life. But we do what we can. And as long as there are helpful and peace-loving people like you around there’ll be hope. But people learn slowly and that’s why it takes us many many lives to become truly human.’
    ‘Do we really have many lives? I heard that our Koran says we only have one life. But I’m not sure bibles are always right. They’re a bit like people, aren’t they? Can you tell me how many lives I’ve already had?’
    ‘Thousands and thousands probably.’
    ‘Was I an Atlantean?’
    ‘We all were.’
    ‘Was I good Atlantean or a bad one?’
    ‘What you are now is partly the result of what you were then. So take an honest look at yourself and work it out for yourself. But we can’t change the past so it’s best to leave it alone and concentrate on the present. What do you want to be in this life, when you’re older?’
    ‘I might become an archaeologist. And I also want to be a guide and tell tourists the truth about the pyramids and Atlantis. But first I need to finish school. Our family is very poor, you know, so I hope I’ll be able to find a job.’
    Khanat was silent a moment then he said: ‘I’m afraid I’ll have to go soon as I have to do the shopping and my mama will be wondering where I am. Please will you come and visit me sometimes?’
    Sahula smiled. ‘Unfortunately I live very far away. But it sounds to me like you’re already very wise. Continue on the same path, learning about the world we live in and helping those around you and you will be contributing to our common cause. And even if we don’t see each other again in the flesh, I will often be with you in thought.’
    After Sahula had given him some final words of advice, they had said goodbye to one another. Khanat had ridden off on the cart, and when he looked back a minute later Sahula was nowhere to be seen.
    But things were not over yet. For what would the night bring? Was his mother really about to regain her sight?
    After they had all gone to bed and his mother had fallen asleep, Khanat crept into her room. He was determined to stay awake all night if necessary, in the hope of seeing Dazak again and thanking him. He had managed to stay awake for three hours when his mother suddenly woke up and called his name. He ran to her and asked her excitedly if she could see. She told him not to ask such stupid questions and to fetch her a cup of water. After doing so, he dejectedly went to his own room. Perhaps Dazak had changed his mind. Or maybe he was waiting for Khanat to get out of the way. So he got into bed, said a prayer, and quickly fell sleep.
    He dreamed that he was in a mosque with a large crowd of people. Then he found himself outside the mosque in front of a tall tower built of precious stones. He had begun to scale it, but the ascent was slow and laborious and he had stopped on a projecting ledge to rest. Then he had heard a familiar voice calling from the top of the tower: ‘Allahu akbar, allahu akbar!’ He looked up and saw his mother, dressed in resplendent garments . . .
    Khanat awoke with a start. It was indeed his mother he could hear calling. He and his sister ran to her.
    ‘It’s a miracle, a miracle!’ she cried. She hugged her two children and gazed upon their faces as tears of joy streamed down her face.
    This was the happiest moment of Khanat’s life. He looked up towards the ceiling, his mind in an emotional whirl, and silently thanked his unseen friends, vowing that he would work for their Brotherhood for ever and ever.
    His family’s fortunes had taken a turn for the better after this miraculous event. His mother had been able to start a market stall again and a year later they had moved to a new flat.
    Khanat often thought about the experiences of that day, and regularly went back to Giza to look for the place where he had said goodbye to Dazak and Sahula. But he could never locate the exact spot. He continued to study hard, and to earn a little money doing odd jobs whenever possible. Eventually, after passing his exams, he had gone to college where he was studying archaeology.
    And now, seven years after their last encounter, he had caught a fresh glimpse of Jintar!

~ 2 ~

‘You interfering idiot! You traitor! All that work and planning for nothing! You have betrayed your own father, and you have betrayed your own people! Do you think the authorities are going to listen to reason?! To pretty little words?! Are you really so naive? They will cling to power by every means at their disposal. They are vicious thugs. And they are thoroughly corrupt – in the pockets of western companies and western governments. I will not stand idly by while they continue to impoverish and exploit this once great nation!’
    Khanat had the distinct impression that his father was not pleased.
    ‘If I hadn’t disarmed the bomb, you’d now how the deaths of several innocent people on your conscience,’ he said.
    ‘It’s time you realized that there’s a war going on, and . . .’
    ‘There is not a war going on. That’s nonsense. You are trying to start a civil war. And that’s criminal! And deliberately targeting civilians is doubly criminal. “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you” says the Koran. And Mohammed said, “There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.” ’
    ‘I believe in these ideals just as much as you do,’ declared his father. ‘But you’re forgetting that Islam also preaches the right of self-defence. We have a right and in fact a duty to protect the poor against their oppressors and to defend our religion against those who are trying to destroy it.’
    ‘It’s those who try and use Islam to justify acts of savagery who are destroying it! No cause or grievance can possibly justify killing innocent civilians, and it certainly has nothing to do with self-defence. In fact it’s a capital offence in Islamic law.’
    ‘Tourists are not innocent civilians,’ his father protested. ‘They’re helping to keep us in chains, whether they realize it or not. If we destroy the tourist industry, the economy will collapse, and our current rulers will no longer be able to bribe their henchmen and supporters.’
    Khanat shook his head.
    ‘Of course we need wide-ranging reforms, but indulging in cruelty and bloodshed is not the way to achieve them.’
    ‘The western powers have never hesitated to bomb and sacrifice civilians if they thought it was in their interests to do so,’ his father retorted. ‘Look at the wars they’ve conducted against several of our brother-states.’
    ‘That’s no reason to imitate them! Cold-blooded murder can never lead to progress. And why do you want to put ignorant mullahs in power who will crush individual freedom in the name of Allah?’
    ‘Don’t be blasphemous!’
    ‘What could be more blasphemous than killing people in the name of God? You can’t seriously believe that deliberately maiming innocent people is going to advance your cause?!’
    ‘The violence of the oppressed is regrettable but it’s the only way forward.’
    Khanat shook his head in despair. They weren’t communicating; they were simply talking past one another.
    ‘Do you believe that everything that happens is God’s will?’ he asked.
    ‘Yes. And I firmly believe I am doing His will.’
    ‘So why did he have you thrown into prison and tortured?’
    ‘Who am I to try and understand God?’
    ‘Well you’ve got a brain haven’t you? Why did God allow me to disarm the bomb?’
    ‘Stop asking stupid questions. I don’t understand it all and nor do you. But I do know that sometimes our faith is tested by hardship. The problem with you is that you’re being sucked into the system. As I see it, the whole system needs to be replaced.’
    ‘There are no quick, magical cures for our country’s problems – just take a look at the performance of other Islamic regimes. And blowing people up is certainly not going to bring about worthwhile change – it’s not a short-cut to paradise but a short-cut to hell.
    ‘It’s true that the Koran talks about the right to fight a “lower jihad” in self-defence,’ Khanat went on, ‘though it insists that no noncombatants should be killed. But the main message is one of peace and brotherly love. And what about the “great jihad” that Islam speaks of? An internal struggle to control our own lower instincts – such as greed, lust and cruelty – and to purify ourselves spiritually. Trying to bring about peaceful reforms, while doing what we can to help one another and to correct our own faults seems to me to be far more worthwhile than indulging in indiscriminate killing. The end does not justify the means, and evil means can never bring about lasting, positive results.’
    ‘Do you think I haven’t thought over all these arguments for myself?’ asked his father angrily. ‘Where we disagree is on the type of struggle required and the definition of “innocent civilians”. Tourists and those who are addicted to decadent western ways or sympathize with them are part of the enemy, and that’s that.’
    ‘So according to your simplistic definition I too am your enemy,’ said Khanat, his voice shaking with emotion. ‘Do you have the courage to kill me?’
    And with those words Khanat pulled out a bag from behind his chair and placed it on the table. ‘That’s the bomb – detonate it, if you dare.’
    ‘You’re being ridiculous!’ said his father. ‘You may have gone a little astray but you’re still my son!’
    ‘Does that mean you only believe in killing and maiming other people’s children? If so, you’re a coward and a hypocrite. I challenge you to kill me! You’ll at least have disposed of one of your “enemies”. And what could be more noble than to sacrifice your own life for your “noble” cause?’
    Khanat looked at his father tearfully. Then he took the bomb out of the bag and slammed it down on the table.
    ‘Be careful with that thing!’ his father screamed. ‘It’s not a toy! It could go off accidentally!’
    ‘What do I care?’ retorted Khanat, struggling to hold back the tears. ‘You’re no good to any of us if you go back to prison. I want a father I can look up to and respect, not one who thinks he can advance the cause of justice by murdering people. I’d rather we both died now if it will at least spare some innocent lives.’
    He took hold of the bomb and started to reconnect the wires. His father rushed forward, seized the bomb, and pushed Khanat backwards.
    ‘You’re crazy! You could kill both of us!’
    ‘It’s better to die ourselves than to inflict suffering on others.’
    Khanat made another attempt to grab the bomb, while his father held him off with one hand.
    ‘Ok, ok, I’ll reconsider, I’ll reconsider!’ shouted his father. ‘Just keep away from the bomb!’
    His father hastily dismantled the mechanism completely, and then said: ‘I’d rather you didn’t mention anything about all this to your mother.’
    ‘On one condition,’ said Khanat.
    ‘What’s that?’
    ‘That you will never try to kill anybody else unless you kill me first.’
    ‘Ok, I promise. Just keep away from the bomb. You’re dangerous.’
    ‘It must run in the family,’ said Khanat. Then he wiped the tears from his eyes, and marched out of the room and out of the house. He needed some fresh air.
    His father sank into his chair, his face wrought with emotion, and buried his head in his hands.

The next morning Khanat was sitting in a café opposite the hotel he had seen Jintar enter two days earlier. He had been sitting there for an hour but had not seen him again.
    His thoughts turned again to his confrontation with his father. Things had got a little out of hand, but at least his father had promised to mend his ways. He had already persuaded the other men involved in the foiled bomb attack to suspend their activities for the time being. ‘Why is so much blood spilt in the name of religion?’ Khanat lamented to himself. ‘True religion is about spreading love, peace and justice, and about treating all humanity as our brothers and sisters.’
    A man was walking towards the hotel on the other side of the street. Yes, it was Jintar! Khanat could clearly see the turquoise stone around his neck. He pushed back his chair, rushed outside and ran across the street. He bounded up the steps of the hotel into the reception area and looked around him. There was no one in sight except the female receptionist.
    ‘Can I help you?’
    ‘The man who just walked in – can you tell me which direction he went in?’
    ‘I’m sorry, no one has just entered the hotel.’
    ‘But I saw him walk up the steps.’
    ‘I can assure you no one has come in. You must be mistaken.’
    At that moment the telephone started ringing and the receptionist answered it. She looked at Khanat.
    ‘Is your name Khanat? If so, it’s for you.’
    ‘For me?!’
    ‘Hello,’ he said, taking the receiver.
    A puzzled look descended upon his face. After a few seconds he looked quizzically at the receiver and handed it back to the woman.
    ‘The world is full of mysteries,’ said Khanat.
    ‘So it would seem,’ said the receptionist.
    Khanat left the hotel. The voice on the other end of the line had sounded almost mechanical and had simply stated a day, month and year – a date two years hence. Had he just reestablished contact with Sahula’s Brotherhood? He would have to be patient and wait and see.
    When thinking back over this incident before he went to sleep that night, Khanat realized that it involved another strange element. He had seen Jintar on the opposite side of the street. Yet he had been able to see Jintar’s talisman as if he were only a few yards away. Something else for him to puzzle over.

~ 3 ~

Two years had passed. The date mentioned by the mysterious voice on the phone had arrived. As it was a Sunday, Khanat did not have to go to the archaeology institute where he now worked. He was happy in his job. It involved a lot of study and research but also plenty of field work. And sometimes he earned extra money by acting as a tourist guide. He kept to the ‘facts’ about the sites they visited and explained what the current official thinking was. But he always managed to spice up his commentary by quoting ‘speculative views’ from ‘alternative researchers’ about his country’s past and its archaeological treasures. His immediate superior at work was not entirely closed to more radical ideas on Egyptian history. Khanat had to tread a tightrope, but by adopting a good-humoured, nonantagonistic attitude and repeatedly emphasizing the distinction between facts and theories, he had so far managed to carry it off successfully.
    He was still living with his family as this enabled him to keep a closer watch on his father. He had used his powers of persuasion to get his father a part-time job doing maintenance work at the institute where he worked. His father had always been skilful with his hands, and his current work was certainly more worthwhile than making bombs.
    His mother now seemed very contented with everything, though she and her husband sometimes expressed concern about their teenage daughter and her somewhat westernized ways. Khanat spent much of his time acting as go-between and trying to strike compromises to keep all sides happy. In fact he had little time for a social life of his own. He had some close female friends but was not dating anyone. He was too busy for the time being with all his other activities.
    Khanat stayed at home all morning, wondering what, if anything, was going to happen. He had been told the date, but no place. In the afternoon he decided he would make the pilgrimage to the spot near the Great Pyramid where he had said goodbye to Jintar, Sahula and Dazak nine years earlier. He would take exactly the same route. In earlier years he had done this several times a month, but nowadays just a couple of times a year. It put him in a pensive mood and helped him to reflect on the deeper mysteries and meaning of life.
    Khanat admired the three great pyramids in the distance. Their majestic forms and dimensions had many more secrets to reveal. Of that he was sure. They had challenged the greatest minds for millennia and would undoubtedly continue to do so for many millennia to come. Perhaps one day records would be found which would shed more light on the culture that built them. But he was sure that such revelations would only happen when enough people were sufficiently open to new ideas. He hoped he would live to see the beginning of such discoveries.
    Khanat stopped at the junction where they had encountered the tourist policeman. He understood that what we see is not always what really exists in the material world around us. He had read on the internet about the Indian rope trick. One such performance was captured on film and was most revealing. Two psychologists together with several hundred other people saw a fakir or holy man throw a coil of rope into the air, and then watched a small boy climb the rope and disappear. They described how dismembered parts of the boy came tumbling down to the ground, how the fakir gathered them up in a basket, climbed the rope himself and came back down smiling, with the intact boy.
    Others in the crowd agreed with most of the details of what happened. But a film record which began with the rope being thrown into the air showed nothing but the fakir and his assistant standing motionless beside it throughout the rest of the performance. The rope did not stay in the air and the boy never climbed it. The crowd had been caught up in some sort of collective hallucination. The fakir had apparently been able to project his own mental images into the mental spheres of his audience.
    Khanat saw no reason to doubt that such things were possible. Sahula, perhaps aided by Dazak, had apparently performed such a trick on that long bygone day. Hence he and the policeman had seen potatoes instead of Jintar’s body. He wondered what other onlookers, at a greater distance, would have seen.
    There was so much more he wanted to ask Sahula and his friends if he ever got the chance. Especially about shape-shifting elementals, which – as he’d discovered on the internet – had been spoken of by numerous philosophers and mystics belonging to the age-old theosophical tradition. Yet maybe it was better to think about these things for himself for a few lifetimes. He was naturally impatient to know all the secrets of the universe, but was he really ready for them? He surely had a long way to go yet.
    Khanat strode through the desert sand. This was the part of his pilgrimage that had never been totally successful. Sahula had stopped the donkey on the edge of a deep hollow. But Khanat had never managed to find the hollow again. He had built a small pile of stones at the approximate spot and this is where his pilgrimage always ended. But now, for the first time, he couldn’t even find the pile of stones. Perhaps someone had dismantled it.
    Khanat looked up at the Great Pyramid. He felt a rush of excitement as he saw – for the second time in his life – a luminous bluish vapour moving round the summit. He stared at it, mesmerized. It seemed to be very close-by whereas it must actually be half a mile away.
    There was so much he didn’t understand! Where did illusion end and reality begin? Or was all of reality just varying degrees of illusion? After all, the atoms composing the seemingly solid world around us were mostly empty space. In fact, if all the empty space in the molecules and atoms composing a human body were eliminated, the body would be reduced to a minute speck of dust. It was only the dizzying speed of the orbiting electrons of each atom that created the illusion of solidity.
    Colours, tastes, smells – all these qualities were generated by our minds. Colours were merely the way our mind interpreted the light frequencies impinging on our senses. Other creatures might see different colours, or be able to see different octaves of the electromagnetic spectrum, beyond the single small octave visible to humans. For all its pretensions, official science was unable to explain how purely physical nervous currents reaching the brain produce the images and sensations in our mind. Khanat was convinced there must be subtler worlds of mind and consciousness hidden within and behind the physical world.
    He felt that there must always be deeper processes generating and sustaining the relative ‘illusions’, or finite, transient, apparently independent things we see around us. Perhaps the universe was just one vast interplay of interacting vibrations. But how could there be vibration without something to vibrate? Perhaps there was a medium of finer, etheric substance in which vortices arose to create particles of denser, physical matter. And such an ether must in turn consist of atoms generated by vorticular motion in a medium of even finer matter. And unless there was a ‘bottom level’ to reality somewhere – which seemed unlikely – there must be ethers within ethers, worlds within worlds, ad infinitum.
    And where did consciousness fit into all this? Khanat couldn’t believe that the movement of matter – whether physical or nonphysical – could somehow create consciousness. He did not believe consciousness could be explained in terms of anything else: it was the ultimate, unfathomable mystery. Perhaps there was really only one infinite mystery, one eternal boundless essence, whose various facets we called consciousness, life, substance, force, energy and space. If so, he was happy to think of it as ‘God’ or ‘Divinity’.
    Khanat was now thoroughly entranced by the blue light. He seemed to be immersed in it. He was suffused with joy, wonder and humility. He was just a tiny speck in the immensity of the cosmos. Yet he felt such a powerful sense of oneness with everything around him that it stirred the very depths of his soul . . .

Khanat opened his eyes and found himself lying on the sand. Looking at his watch he discovered that an hour had passed. What a weird experience! He got up and walked a few paces towards the Great Pyramid. And then he saw it – the deep hollow! How could he have missed it before? This was exactly the place where he had last seen Sahula. He ran down into the hollow, which seemed to be just plain sand and rocks, but surprisingly cool. He walked back up to the top and sat down.
    Suddenly he heard a high-pitched whistling sound. He turned his head to look back down into the hollow and as he did so his eye caught sight of something on the sand beside him.
    ‘Holy shit!’ he said aloud. Next to him lay the most beautiful crystal he had ever set eyes on, sparkling with iridescence in the solar rays. He picked it up. It was about seven inches long and five inches wide, and extremely lightweight. Had it just materialized out of thin air? And if so, who was behind it?
    He sat there for another hour, admiring the crystal, and hoping someone would come and explain the meaning of all these unusual events. But no one did. He decided to take the crystal home with him and to guard it carefully until he learned what he was supposed to do with it.

His life went on with the same busy routine. Briefly he dated a young woman, but it was impossible to fit her into his busy schedule, so it had to end. His mind was on other things and he couldn’t be bothered with all the rituals of dating. His passion for knowledge was simply far stronger at present than his longing for female companionship.
    Six months after he had found the crystal, he had a vivid dream. He was in an unknown place, carrying the crystal, standing in front of a large stone platform. He had placed the crystal on top and it had begun to radiate an intense, blinding light. Then he woke up. The platform made him think of Peru, but if it really existed he did not know where. Every week or two the dream recurred, but he did not manage to identify the platform.
    Then one evening three months later – nine years and nine months since he had last seen Sahula – he was watching an archaeology programme on television when he saw it – the very same platform. There could be no mistake about it. He almost leaped out of his chair with joy. It was located on a famous island in the Pacific. He felt that he should go there. But after making enquiries, he discovered that the trip would be far too expensive, given his meagre budget and all his commitments to his family. Disappointed, he abandoned the idea, at least for the foreseeable future. But he never ceased to hope that somehow, someday, he would be able to travel there, with the crystal . . .

Warrior of the Soul - 3: Part 2

Warrior of the Soul: Contents