The year is 2025 and an International Space Station has been built–funded by a anti-elite crypto-currancy would-be world leader. A group of the greatest scientific and social engineering minds have congregated to discuss the culminating wars, famines, and environmental issues on Earth–where mighty factions still have power to rule…
Saito was a very open-minded man, a Buddhist, who did not “believe” in anything. It wasn’t that he didn’t accept the fact that an infinite number of persons, places and things actually “existed,” it was just that he understood the nature of the mind itself.
In the truly spiritual sense—or, within the feeling-intuition of the mysterious conscious state of awareness that transcends everything, altogether, yet includes it—the mind was revealed as merely a construct; a conditionally patterned and repeating appearance, a “karmic” vehicle. It was the same with the body—an even grosser sensibility, indicating previous patterns of addiction, seeking and release. In Saito’s understanding, both the body and the mind only generated illusions—“maya,” or repetitious conditional existence.
The body/mind complex could only provide interpretations of reality, in the form of images, which typically bound the laymen to his or her own peculiar-patterned subjective story—just like Narcissus—the ego-image metaphor and myth that best summarized the truth of every person’s nu-inspected life.
And, no matter how “well-intentioned” the limited awareness of any person’s body/mind was—even its most humanistic or, otherwise, self-serving conquests—one could never be “perfect,” or perfectly “knowing,” or perfectly “right.” The transcendental nature of reality itself was prior to the concepts of good and evil. It was only blissfully radiant…
Such were the constant contemplations of Mr. Saito as a true spiritual aspirant.
He had spent his youth in monasteries in Tibet, Eastern Europe and the Americas. He was ordained as a monk when he was eighteen years old and went under the tutelage of Lama Yeshe Rinpoche.
One day in his 33rd year, his master—who was then seventy-nine years old (and died a year later while sitting peacefully in meditation)—surprised Saito by telling him to join the New Horizon—the controversial anti-elite organization that built an enormous space station, a literal hub above the world where only the greatest minds were invited.
His master was a wild, “crazy-wisdom” teacher, who had served him with many bizarre and difficult—yet always humorous—tests for over two decades. Such a method of instruction was one in which the master made a theatre of sorts around him to reflect students back to themselves. For a spiritual aspirant, this was an extremely unconventional or “crazy” environment in which to gain the “wisdom” of the master, but, in Saito’s experience also the best—as long as one was both humble and brave and never took anything personally. Indeed the time-honoured relationship between the Guru and his or her devotee was a very unconventional, often controversial, and generally misunderstood paradigm of spirituality from the outside or worldly point of view. It was only for the truly sincere and daring type of spiritual aspirant. “Sunday School” was for everyone else.
A serious student, Saito did not waste his or the master’s time. He always intelligently applied with his own will and discrimination, to do exactly as the master told him. The master would have it no other way: it was always a matter of a student’s own conscious choice to accept instruction, or not. A disciple was never forced to do anything he or she did not agree to do willingly, with profound consideration. And that was the quality of Satio’s submission to his beloved master. He was not a “sheep”—even though his master was quite a lion!
In any case, his master was absolutely unwilling to have blind followers merely culting around him, searching for something that didn’t exist, that they were unwilling to learn about even if it did! The true guru does give the gift, but devotees must do the practice—it’s up to them.
Saito loved his master with all his heart, and surrendered to him the way a person surrenders to God. Yet, Rinpoche’s direction to him to enroll in New Horizon was very strange indeed. Neither he nor the master ever had the slightest interest in the organization.
When Saito humbly asked his guru to help him understand his request, the master explained that his destiny was not to remain in New Horizon for his entire lifetime, but that he would not realize his true purpose without being in the service for some years. That was all that the master was willing to say about the matter.
But, Saito knew: always trust the master, only the master knows. So, he signed up.
Of course, it wasn’t that easy. New Horizon was not the sort of army-place you could just enlist in. You had to pass though an endless amount of trials first, competing with thousands of others to gain a placement in any given year. But, Saito managed to do that. That was the first test he passed to fulfill his master’s calling for him, which, at the time, he was still very unsure of.
Then he underwent the basic training program at the Horizon Academy, which, he found quite easy, compared to the regimens and teaching styles of the monks at the ashrams of his youth, and he was usually top of his class. He also had the advantage of being a decade older than almost all the other students, the maturity factor. And, afterward, New Horizon’s First Council suggested he should do a an additional degree at the Transpersonal Psychology Institute.
Again Saito was one of the top students, although, a better term than student would be “participant.” The course of study there was quite fluid and exploratory. Teachers at the institute were not necessarily formal masters, or gurus, like Yeshe Rinpoche, although such true adepts did come from time to time to give a “talk” to students about various topics, and occasionally, some of the visiting masters would even grant Darshan.
The word “Darshan” came from the Hindu derivative of the Sanskrit “darshana” which literally means “seeing,” or “sight of,” or “vision of.” The greatest gift a devotee could receive was simply given by being in the guru’s company. The master would simply sit contemplatively with his disciples and wordlessly transmit his or her state of freedom to everyone in profound silence. Saito was always ecstatically grateful for these rare and precious events, especially since he had been so spoiled by his own master’s Darshan for so many years.
Many of the instructors there were, like him, a devotee of some special being, and were therefore very qualified to give “dharma”—or teachings—even though they were not necessarily, themselves, transmission masters like their gurus, or, at least not as “evolved”—so-to-speak—in terms of their own Realization. There was “talking school” and there was “practicing school,” and the difference between them was vast; like sleeping vs. waking. At the Institute, Saito was happy to experience the best both mental and spiritual worlds had to offer.
As a boy in Tibet, he had been very fortunate to grow up in a culture that did not have prejudice about the guru/devotee relationship. The materialistic “western” culture that overtook the Earth over time was mostly ignorant about the ancient and necessary spiritual need for the guru. Many students at the Institute were put-off by the devotional feelings and gestures that he and some fellow classmates would make towards the masters who visited the school. But most of those soon learned that this was just a fearfully ignorant reaction on their parts, because the true guru was one that inspired a great love-response in people. And because the guru was love itself, it was natural for devotees to adore him or her. And whatever love was directed to the master was returned ten-fold to the student. It was a beautiful thing. It was how people could actually have a real relationship with God in their like-form.
But the authentic master was never in the business of congratulating the ego—it was a difficult relationship for the student to endure. It was a matter of “tapas” or heat, fiery. More often than not, most gurus were intensely critical beings—a major turn-off for the ministerial conditioned Sunday-School-types of mere consolation-seeking believers.
The true guru serves his or her students to break free of their limitations for the sake of the pupil’s Realization. They cared nothing for themselves—they were already happy! But even though the guru gives the gift of Realization the student must understand everything about him or herself, until the final knot is loosed. When a person makes a vow of practice to their guru, the guru will do whatever he or she can to enlighten the student.
Saito observed how many secular people were offended by the unconventional ways many masters worked with students, how they failed to understand the mutual sacrificial relationship between the guru and the devotee. It was always plain to him how his own master literally ate his karma for breakfast! However difficult it looks for the student, it was far worse for the master.
Saito often tried to explain to people how true masters were not at all cultic figures, in spite of how it might look sometimes with all the energy and weirdness that can be occurring around them, or how their “devotees” might indeed be wrongly oriented to them – at times dramatizing their merely religious enthusiasms, seeking emotional consolation or mystical experiences, ego-recognition, or neurotic “salvation.” Rather, rightly understood, such spiritualist beings were windows to the very soul of every one. The guru is not separate from the disciple—or anything at all. The student, in giving his great love and adoration to the master is not worshiping some ego-personality or some creator-god idea in human form, but the Self of all and All. Saito always compassionately noticed how difficult a concept this was for non-practitioners to accept, especially those governed by the “Western” mind—which was virtually every human being who lived anywhere on Earth for the last 400 years!
But, each to his own, Saito always thought.
Everyone had their own path, and way of making it. He was not in the religion business. He was not a proselytizer. Not a “believer.” He was just a devotee. He loved God. And because he loved God first, he was able to love others, without conditions, without prejudice. There were many ways to practice loving. But not without being love.
Saito poured some weak green tea for refreshment, and began to review the disk of information that Commander Petrav had given him which contained a cross-section of material regarding Earth’s 20th Century accounts of what were commonly called UFOs, stories of alien abduction, cattle mutilations, crop circles, landings and crashes, government cover-up conspiracies and so on. There was also a plethora of attached readings concerning the obvious influence of extra-terrestrial races on human evolution and religions as depicted in ancient cave drawings and sacred literature from both east and west. Such understanding was key to have if the power structures on earth were to be at least fundamentally recognized.
As he read, Saito began to feel his destiny emerging before him. Not the karmic “fateful” one that anyone could intuit based on their “personal experiences” which would—if not inspected—be inevitably repeated, but his true life’s purpose—beyond the conventions of life and mind. This was the Ultimate life purpose—same for one and all.
He did not follow his spontaneously arising thoughts and feelings through to the unavoidable interpretations made automatically by his ego-self. Rather, he allowed all the images that came to him to simply pass, falling like rain into the reflection-pool of Narcissus.
Saito had already looked up from the pond a long time ago. He was always, only, looking at his master. Such was his devotion, and the esoteric secret of his blissful state.
Saito understood the law of existence: You become what you meditate on. The devotee always meditates on the guru who is the light of reality in the world. By meditating on the guru the devotee realizes the guru’s state—which is light itself, unconditional happiness, the Divine. Paradoxically, this is the same state that everyone is already arising in, but habitually forgets by the error of seeking itself! The guru, however—Saito knew, without a doubt—was his greatest friend who always showed him how not to forget.
Saito understood that the guru was the greatest secret of all the religious traditions. A moment’s devotion and service to the guru was greater than lifetimes of mere independent seeking. A moment of sitting with the master, receiving his Darshan, was worth infinitely more still. Without the guru, Saito knew, he was automatically fated to always look only at himself, and his illusions of separation, never understanding his failure to love as love.
A famous Buddha—and the only Buddha from the west, indeed the greatest Buddha ever, the all-completing Buddha who came in the darkest time of the materialist culture of the late 20th Century, as anciently prophesied and promised by all the Realizers before from all the traditions of humankind—once said: “Love is the only goddamned god there is!” It was one of Saito’s favorite quotes, one that he enjoyed laying on anyone who thought he was an uptight, prim and proper sort of Buddhist—no way!
Saito simply knew that he was loved. And, he knew that he was a lover, and, because of his master’s constant gift, he knew he was love, itself, that there was no separation between him, his master, and the Divine. They were One Person, arising mysteriously as all of creation.
And so, after he dutifully concluded his study from Commader Petrav, he simply swooned in the Ultimate Presence that he felt was living him, taking him beyond himself, beyond his confines of body and mind. He entered into states of infinite Bliss, even whilst remembering all his mortal friends, his crewmates, and above all, his beloved master who was always with him, loving him, in and as the Heart of Reality Itself.
He changed out of his meditation robes and into his uniform, readying himself for his journey, finally into outer space, to the station. And because Saito was a spiritual practitioner, not a mere talker or believer, he was able to continue his contemplation of the Great One, even as he left for work. His work, of course was his service; his gift to the Divine. His orientation was far from ordinary even as he humbly embraced ordinary life.