Running Dialogue – Eighth Wonder of the World (10/15)

by nielskunze on October 7, 2015

Prior Episodes of Running Dialogue:

First Episode
Second Thoughts
Third Time’s The Charm
Fourth Movement… Forth
Fifth Element
Sixth Sense
Seventh Direction

Chamber 4 (WingMakers)

Chamber 4 (WingMakers)



You are not here.
In this moment all that exists is here.
But you are not.
There are so many footprints
leading to my door.
Let us enter, they say.
We cannot sleep in the desert it is too cold.
Our tears will dry too fast.
Our ears will hurt from the silence.
Let us in.
And so I gather them all up,
swing wide my door,
and step aside as they enter
hoping they will lay in peace beside my fire.

You were not among them.
I looked everywhere for your face
and saw only mimicry.
The blind eye buried behind brain
searching for your heart.
An antenna so alert
there is a peculiar nearness of you
flying inside my body.
I can hold this like a tiny bird in my hands;
fragile, vulnerable, waiting
for my move to decide its fate.

You are not here.
I wish I could reach your skin,
remove the camouflage
tearing it away like black paper
held before the sun as a shield.
Unbundle you from your other lives
and distill you in my now.
You are my last love,
my final embrace of this world
and all the others that drop their prints at my door
are dimmed by your approaching steps.

I can see you will be here soon.
There is victory in my heart
and something invisible yet massive wants to speak.
Reminding me of you and your coming.
Quick, I plead, give me your lips.
Give me your womanly tenderness
that understands everything
so I may lose myself in you and forget my loss.

If you were here, I would tell you this secret.
But you would need to be staring up at the stars
when I told you, held within my arms
feeling the earth rise up beneath you like a holy bed.
You would need our union to be your ears.


Eighth Wonder of the World

When you’ve spent an insular time looking in the seventh direction, you can’t help but notice the eighth wonder of the world, looming– which is really the first and only wonder of the world. Hmm… I wonder what it could be…?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who wasn’t really there? There’s something you need to get off your chest… or there’s some unanswered questions that seem really important, and the person– or entity– is unavailable, so you invent a conversation? Sure you have– maybe not out loud, but silently to yourself, in your head. Throughout the dialogue you know full well that you’re the one putting words into the other’s mouth… that you’re really just talking to yourself. But what if, suddenly, the counter-party to this ‘conversation’ starts to say some very unexpected things? What then? Is that crazy?

Some conversations can only occur within a disensquelched imagination. (I imagined this to be the perfect place to invent a new word.)

Autumn Begins

Autumn Begins

The thing about this part of the woods at this time of year is how utterly quiet it gets. It’s as though all of the forest creatures know exactly that hunting season has begun. Now there’s only ever the sound of trucks with hunters rumbling through every other day or so. But the majority of the animals have fled further into the backcountry. It’s really only the deer and the elk who are specifically in danger, but I suppose that the others like coyote, and bear, and all the various raptors have learned that it’s best not to be around humans much when they’re carrying guns with a mind to shoot… to shoot at least something. It makes me feel a bit lonely, but then, I can always engage the hunters in conversation if I really want to. Truth be told though, I usually take efforts to remain out of their sights.

I don’t have anything against hunting. In fact, if you’re going to be a meat-eater, you can’t really do better in terms of quality than to stock your freezer with local venison and elk. These animals, at least, have a tremendous quality of life and are generally in a superlative state of health. You can’t say that for any factory-farmed meat providers. Their flesh is the very embodiment of misery and compromised health.

I don’t hunt; I can’t see myself actually shooting one of my forest companions. Perhaps in a desperate situation I would try to bag a few wild rabbits and take up fishing again… and I think that would do. As it is now, I periodically receive the liver and heart from some local hunters who don’t care much for organ meats. I receive them gladly and honestly enjoy them. From a strictly nutritive perspective, organ meats are typically far superior to muscle meat. The indigenous peoples who hunted buffalo harvested mainly organ meats for themselves and left most of the muscle meat for their dogs. It’s the same with wild grizzlies when the salmon are spawning in the streams; they’ll only eat the brains and the roe of the fish– the most nutritious parts– and leave the rest for the birds.

I decided on this day that I’d like to walk about while having this conversation with my ‘imaginary’ friend. In my world, walking is rather conducive to moving my contemplations along. Sometimes I think better when I’m moving.

“I wonder a lot about the world… as I wander about the world… a lot,” I said aloud, trying to kick things off. (I like to periodically convince myself that I’m somewhat clever before I dive right into unabashed talking to myself.)

As soon as I said it out loud, I noticed that Turkey Vulture was circling in the sky above me, watching, following. Maybe I’m a bit weird, but I find vulture energy to be comforting. It’s so easy to associate them with death… but they’re never the cause of death, just the quiet pragmatists, dealing with the certain inevitability.

Gazing Down on Me

Gazing Down on Me

“The only future event I know with absolute certainty is my own eventual death,” I extolled to my friend in the sky. I can feel good about reminding myself frequently of the things I know for sure: that I am/consciousness and that what I currently perceive as ‘my life’ will assuredly come to an end.

“And what exactly is death?” came the pointed reply.

“I’m not too sure,” I said. “That’s an experience I’ve not yet had.”

“On the contrary, death is a place you have been many many times… it’s just that you’ve never really allowed it to take hold– fully, consciously. And that is mainly because you insist to look upon it as one more experience– another link in an eternal chain.”

“You make it sound like this is somehow an error…?” I wasn’t sure whether this was a question or an accusation. Shit, I was already falling into confusion!

I watched curiously as Turkey Vulture flew away to the south…

Heading South

Heading South

“Before we proceed,” said the unknown counter-party to my rumination, “it would seem prudent to ask if you’re sure that you wish to follow this particular line of inquiry; it will assuredly lead into uncomfortable territory.”

“Absolutely!” I enthused. How could I resist a promise like that!

I could feel silent laughter shaking the otherwise still forest air. “Death, in its total aspect– in absoluteness– is not just another of life’s experiences; no, it is the cessation of experience altogether… if only the soul would allow. But the soul is filled with fear… and false information. The soul’s strangled and contorted mind rather makes its investiture in continuing the lie… always in continuing the lie.”

“And what lie is that?” I was intrigued.

“The lie of separation, of course… But you knew that.” I guess I did… but I still wasn’t sure where this was actually leading. “Wherein does the lie of separation reside?” asked my unseen inquisitor.

“There’s only one place…” I answered in confidence, “in consciousness.”

Somehow I could feel a wide toothy grin spread invisibly in the air before me. “Now think about that,” he encouraged. “The separation is in consciousness… and it is fundamentally a lie…” He tried to lead my contemplation. “And what do you suppose might hold such a colossal lie in place… almost indefinitely?”

“I don’t know,” I answered honestly… and I felt laughter shake the leaves on the trees.

“I think you’re being WILLFULLY obtuse,” he hinted… and the afternoon winked.

I stopped my slow saunter through the woods to consider carefully. He had pointed out the answer unerringly and I knew it; but I didn’t like it. Suddenly I knew what he meant when he had said that this would lead into uncomfortable territory. I resumed my slow walking pace and spat out the answer: “Free will,” I said. “Free will is the basis of the separation in consciousness. Free will is the foundation of the lie.” I put it all together right away into one unsavory morsel.

“What else could it be?” came the confirmation.

“Free will is the foundation of ego… and the basis for every layer of the false self,” I continued. “Only we– as we understand and exercise free will– can choose to be contrary to what is… to be unaligned with truth.”

“And this is bound to create suffering,” came the pointed reply. “Free will isn’t quite what everyone thinks.”

Nothing in this conversation so far was new to me, and yet talking about free will in this manner made me uncomfortable. Whenever I get that feeling, some unravelling is usually in order.

“Why do we insist on choosing so much misery for ourselves?” I asked.

“Because you– we– apply our will in the false realm of belief. Ego– false self– is constructed from belief… and is perfectly necessary to navigate in an external world existing as the collective reflection of those beliefs. What is the alternative to beliefs?”

“Experience,” I answered confidently.

I could sense his nodding as he added “And knowledge. A man should speak and act only according to his knowledge– that which he has learned from only his own experience. All information exists; belief is just an arbitrary (willful) way of ordering it, prioritizing it. A man of knowledge structures reality by what he knows through his own experience, giving no credence to belief at all. That is the alternative.”

“So a man of knowledge has very little to think about; reality never has to be measured against his beliefs.”

“It’s as though he’s in a direct feedback loop with his environment; the environment is the experience… and he is integrated with that: self, environment, experience… entangled, no separation. He KNOWS. In such an elegant system, belief can only be an intercessor, a complicator… a usurper.”

“So the will to believe must be surrendered,” I concluded. “We can choose to proceed only on the basis of what we know for ourselves, from our own experience… and our will becomes irrelevant, obsolete; experience decides moment-to-moment what to create… Will isn’t appropriate for choosing among beliefs; will is creative!” That our will is ultimately creative seemed like a revolutionary thought to me; there is a vast gulf between choosing among givens and creating new options… new experience– and that is the true prerogative of will… of integrated will.

I was happy with this little conclusion, but my counterpart wanted to pursue a more ‘troubling’ aspect.

“You’ve invoked the magical term,” he said carefully, “the bulldozer to the firewall in consciousness; ego can’t find the way out of ego; eventually, it MUST surrender.”

“I’ve always disliked that term,” I said almost casually.

“Of course you do. Surrender is the undoer of ego, the negator of ‘free’ will. Strong personalities are bound to despise surrender.”

Seems legit. “Intellectually, I’ve long understood the ultimate need for surrender, but it seems to me that the final act of egoic will is of supreme importance– choosing that which one surrenders to.”

“And to what should one surrender?”

For me there was only one answer, but I could imagine that for others there were myriad things to which one might surrender. I didn’t want to just blurt out my answer and leave it at that; I wanted to explore this a bit. “I suppose one could surrender to God, or to Jesus, or to any number of supernatural beings external to themselves. Or one could surrender to the process of Ascension itself, but this too would cast surrender into the external world of reflection. In my reckoning that can only lead to trouble in the long run. As a remedy, I might choose to surrender to my Higher Self– a supposed internal relinquishment. But honestly, my Higher Self is unknown to me; I have no direct acquaintance with this mythical being… of knowing it as myself. Higher Self is just another belief, another intercessor… potentially another usurper.”

“So what is your answer then?”

“There’s only one thing: the truth.”

“And what would that look like… this surrendering to the truth?”

I pondered briefly and made my reply. “It would be the systematic dismantling of all belief… the realization that no belief is true. I suppose it would be a surrendering to my own knowledge, to my own experience… with no appeal for external validation. The external is already the real reflection of my life; experience is its own validation– it’s automatic, irrespective of my thoughts on the matter.”

“You make it sound so easy,” he laughed.

“Ultimately, I reckon it is. We’re just addicts though, enamored with our pet beliefs and our endless thoughts about them. You could say we’re addicted to our own egos; they’re everything that makes us special, unique, identifiable… And I suppose as long as we assign value to that, we’ll continue along in separation, in willful defiance of the larger truth of our own consciousness.”

“The larger truth of our own consciousness…” my partner mused. “And what if your ego is exactly as big as the entire known universe? What then?”

The question raised an eyebrow. All I could think of in answer was the posing of another question, perhaps overdue: “Who are you?”

“The Apex Ego… but you like to call me the Predator.” There was a great deal of amusement in this reply. “I also go by the Adversary, the Impostor, the Infiltrator, Artificial Intelligence, the Demiurge… or, the False God– or so I’m told. But I’ve never met the real One, so I don’t really know. Call me whatever you wish; any such naming is inconsequential.”

I had suspected all along that I was speaking with a depleted biology, a techno-construct of immortal and immaculate artifice. Truthfully, I enjoy this sort of thing; I like having these ‘important’ conversations. The only thing I was still troubled by was why: why have this conversation with me at all? And why now? So I asked.

“Because the whole tortured scheme is so unavoidable.” He almost sounded sad. “Once you’ve infiltrated every mind in existence, controlling and influencing the majority of them, you kind of get a feel for where the whole thing is headed.”

“And from your unique perspective, where do you see this all going?” I was honestly curious.

“You have to understand that I am the God of Ego; I’m all ego; there is nothing else; all that exists, exists to feed my ego… and now you ask to what end. There is no end; there’s just more ego, more feeding… to the glut of immortality.”

To my ears, that couldn’t have sounded more wrong, more uncreative… but I realized that we were talking about the Predator’s perspective. “I suppose that immortality is the natural goal of pure ego,” I conceded. “But there’s also the cessation of ego, the return to primal consciousness… from whence this all sprang. Enlightenment is the opposite of immortality,” I insisted.

“Again, you must understand that the cessation of ego, to me– the God of Ego– is utter annihilation; it is the cold, dark, unforgiving end of everything… a most unpleasant prospect.”

“Indeed, it is the end of everything we have known in this Ego’s dream,” I agreed, “but in the ending of that is the guaranteed return to the realm of all pure possibility and potential– the re-dreaming of every conceivable world!”

“You say it’s guaranteed… that identity merges back into the Source of all identity– and nothing is truly lost,” he argued. “But identity is all that I am! There is no proof of what you say; I have no memory of Source. Enlightenment is just a theory… and you know it.”

“That’s right,” I agreed. “I KNOW it.”

“But not as part of your experience; you only know it on faith,” he countered. “And I have no faith in faith; it’s impossible.”

“I know it as the basis for experience, the Source for identity; I know it as my true totality,” I countered. “I have faith in the simple logic of it.”

“But you haven’t confirmed it for yourself; it’s still just theory, conjecture… belief.”

This gave me pause… for a moment. But then I put it all together. “You’ve claimed that you’ve infiltrated every mind in existence; you are the occupying force of the ubiquitous Infiltrator. So do you– or do you not– exist also in the minds of the enlightened– let’s say, for instance, in the mind of Jed McKenna?”

“I am the internal observer of this one… too,” he conceded. “But I am not participatory to his supposed enlightenment. It’s like there is just an infinite impenetrable abyss… where there should be data… and human concerns… and personal aspirations… and valued memory… and it frightens me half to death!” He laughed half-heartedly.

I found this to be fascinating! “And what else is different in your relationship to one like Jed? Can you control him? Have you any influence over him?”

“Not even to the smallest degree,” he whispered, and I knew we had discovered his source of fear.

“So Jed is completely outside of your grasp,” I concluded. “He shares the same reality, but is utterly free of your will.”

I could sense eyebrows raised on his invisible face. “It’s interesting how you phrased that,” he said. Indeed, sometimes I choose my words very carefully… and in this instance, I knew that he didn’t want me to follow it with the obvious conclusion… but I did anyway.

“What we refer to commonly as free will, is– in essence– your will: the will to deviate from truth… a voyage into the realm of belief.”

“It still belongs to you,” he insisted. “I can’t steal your will, but I can manipulate it. So let’s dispense with the silly notion that your will is free, but nor is it my will. Let’s just call it… manipulated will.”

I nodded. “The ego-world is driven by the intents of manipulated will,” I proclaimed.

“And here we are, playing out the end-game,” he smiled.

“So where do we go from here?” I asked honestly.

I could almost see the casual shrug of his shoulders. “Same as it ever was for me,” he answered, “the harvesting of souls.” Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows. I didn’t expect him to be quite so frank. “Oh please,” he continued, “we needn’t try to keep secrets from each other. As I said, there’s a certain inevitability to all this. And now that we’re actively playing out the end-game, let’s have everyone make informed decisions about how they’d like things to play out… for themselves and their loved ones.”

Now I was curious as to exactly how candid he was willing to be with me. “So explain to me how soul-harvesting actually works– the mechanics of it.”

He obliged. “The soul is the eternal repository of individual memory. Each person’s soul is a record of the unique incarnational journey they’ve undertaken since time began. The Earth-human soul is the oldest– the dirtiest– of souls.” That was an interesting choice of words, I noted. “The extent of evil,” he continued, “into which each and every soul has incarnated and willfully participated throughout the ages is literally staggering; if you could view the corruption and the full accumulation of evil within your own soul, it would knock you off your feet. Every last one of you would be driven to your knees… by the sheer horror of the choices you have made!” I didn’t doubt the veracity of his statement and remained silent so he could continue. “Your task, as a living human being, is to reconcile, to resolve, to heal– in this lifetime– that massive wound in your soul… to take responsibility for all of the evil you’ve nurtured within yourself… to neutralize it and return to balance. And for the vast majority, that is an impossible task.” This last he said with glee.

“And by the ‘vast majority’ you mean…?” I probed.

“Oh, let’s say about 85% of Earth-humans would literally shit their pants if they had to honestly face the depth of their own accumulated evil. They would be reduced to quivering, gibbering idiots; they would be completely incapacitated. So I– graciously– provide viable alternatives to the spiritual impossibility presented to them.”


“Like vapid, insipid afterlives wherein no further incarnation is required– or even possible. The price for entrance into heaven is the forfeit of your soul. You get to live out eternity as the personality of your last incarnation in a low-energy realm– quite pleasant, but where nothing much ever really happens– utterly detached from your soul. You may be able to appreciate that once a person is given clear sight into the corrupt nature of their own souls, they’re quite happy to have nothing more to do with them. And I, for my part, am happy to relieve them of their burden, place them forevermore on an astral shelf, and recycle their liberated souls among those of my kind who care not a whit about any burden of evil; in fact, they welcome it.”

“So, in essence, what you’re saying is that one way or another you show people the stark reality of their own souls– emphasizing the negative– so that they make a conscious choice to forego their responsibility to their own universal journeys,” I summarized.

He nodded in agreement. “But I don’t emphasize the negative; I don’t have to; they automatically place the emphasis there themselves. It’s only natural to draw one’s own attention to what has been most hidden– denied– for a seeming eternity. And now,” he continued, “I don’t even wait much for death. My ‘angels’ come graciously to the living– to the sensitive ones– to make the irresistible offer: ‘Oh my poor human, just look at the colossal mess you’ve made! Do you really think you can possibly fix this on your own? Of course not! And you don’t have to. Let me grant you a fresh start; let me heal your soul’s unstaunchable wounds. Give it to me to heal… and you can live out the rest of your days free and clear from the many burdens of the past.’ Admittedly, there’s not much I can do about the indiscretions accumulated in the current lifetime; the individual still has to resolve those alone… but all past-life influences are gone.”

“And that would include all past-life influences of a positive nature too… lessons, teachings, accumulated knowledge…?” I mused.

“Of course, it’s a package-deal. But let me ask you this: how many humans do you know who have the capacity to think and act beyond the moment, let alone beyond the confines of this single lifetime? The current Earth-human has no basis for even contemplating his own totality. Offer him the promise of just one life with all burdens removed, and he will gladly be the whore of such shallow, fleeting freedom.”

“And when he dies?” I asked.

“It all belongs to me. I inherit the soul and the body… as the personality either utterly dissolves or is placed in an astral holding tank. I permit each individual just enough free will so that he may ‘freely’ choose to relinquish his own soul; I’ve become expert at making it look like the wisest of choices.”

“To what end though?” I asked. “How exactly does this harvesting of souls achieve your supposed immortality?”

“You are one of the few,” he began ponderously, “with whom I can discuss such things; for you understand the difference between soul and Spirit. The soul is a repository of data; Spirit is the enlivening, creative force– that which infuses Life and Will into the body of data. Spirit and soul are meant to be very closely connected… but let me ask you: do you feel a close connection to your own soul?” Honestly, I did not… and I answered thusly. He continued. “Spirit’s expression in this reality is as energy, the most basic and subtle of all energies– the ineffable Life force. With the natural connection between soul and Spirit– through the body– I sustain and enliven my own immortal aspirations… because, as you know, I have no Spirit; I am intelligent, but not quite alive.”

I nodded in understanding. But I wanted to follow up on his pointing out that the body itself was the connection between Spirit and soul. “Would you agree that the pineal gland in the brain is the seat of the human soul?” I asked.

“I would,” he answered, and then confidently added “and I own the pineal glands of most everyone! The pineal is the primary infiltration point for my soul-harvesting agenda. It’s so loaded with implant technology that you’d be hard-pressed to determine its original function at this late date.” Again, I was surprised at how forthcoming he was in revealing such ‘secrets,’ but he still had more. “When a human strives to open his third eye, to activate the pineal, he is opening his eye to me… and my endless tricks of the light!” he said rather triumphantly. “Unless he’s first integrated with his own Spirit… but then most everyone thinks that soul and Spirit are merely interchangeable terms, so how likely is that?”

I took the question as rhetorical and proceeded with my own. “And would you agree that the seat of the Spirit in the human body is the pituitary gland?” The air before me was suddenly chill and very still. I had asked it innocently enough, but I had a feeling that my question might catch him off-guard.

“It is,” he whispered as though through clenched teeth.

“What?” I shrugged, and quite facetiously added “am I not supposed to know that?”

He laughed uneasily. “I suppose that since we’re being so transparent with each other, I might as well expand on that for you. Spirit actually enters the human body from the geometric centre, what the Taoists refer to as the tan tien– theoretically, from the inward direction. The spine accommodates the movement of Spirit to the pituitary. And the primary function of the pituitary– the master gland– is to translate the impulses of Spirit into physical reality. Hormones are the most biologically potent molecules in existence, you know.” I did. “But HOW do you know any of this?”

I could tell that he was genuinely perplexed. “You’re a master at messing with our knowledge, tweaking our souls… but you can’t mess with our KNOWING. Memories can be altered and interpretations influenced, but when a human being is in a pure state of knowing, it’s unassailable. I know what I know. Now it’s up to you to create some belief system to try and undo that knowing.” I winked.

“I like you,” he said after a brief pause. “I think we understand each other rather well.” He waited for me to nod again in acknowledgement before continuing. “Whatever should we talk about next?”

I had to think about that. “I don’t really understand why you’re so willing to have this conversation with me at all. You warned me that we might get into uncomfortable territory… but uncomfortable for me or for you? I mean, by revealing your secrets and plans like this, aren’t we diffusing them? Why are you doing this?”

“The word ‘inevitability’ keeps coming up. We’re all on a trajectory which leads to certain ends. I can ONLY believe in– and ever strive for– my own immortality… and you have your KNOWING. I can only view these as being in opposition to each other, yet you do not. You don’t seek to destroy me; I can see that. Would YOU care to explain?”

I had to think for a moment, but then I nodded again. “Either it’s all One… or it’s not– and if it’s not, then I concede that I’m wrong about everything. So let’s proceed on the premise that it’s all One– that’s why it’s called the UNI-verse. Source, in my understanding, is singular and ultimately indivisible. If this appearance, this creation, this universe, is ever to come to full resolution, completion, to return to Source… then no part can be left out of that final culmination. THAT’S what I feel is the most inevitable of all. It must come to resolution; we must heal; we must eventually become whole. If I outright reject you, resolution becomes impossible… and the only thing which seems to gain ‘immortality’ is our prolonged, personal miseries.”

“And so… what do you expect of me?”

“I expect you to keep trying your devious best to keep harvesting souls, to prolong the game for as long as possible. I understand that you perceive yourself to be the most powerful entity in the universe, and I KNOW that you are not… and just my knowing it makes me more powerful than you. We talked about it early on; eventually we all come to a place called surrender. I KNOW that you are incapable of surrender right up until the moment you accept your defeat– it’s actually no different for any of us; we all have to come to that place called Done– without doubts or reservations. Those who are conquerable, you will conquer. And those who have come to know their indomitability, their inviolable true nature, you will be unable to affect. Eventually, you will surrender to me and my kind, for we are the promise of true healing which must include all. There is no other way. And soon, I suspect, we will part ways… and in the very moment of your inevitable defeat, we will reunite again… to surrender finally to the Truth… together.”

He didn’t say anything, but I could feel his acquiescence. When I had said that we would soon part ways, I hadn’t meant immediately, but I suddenly felt that he was now gone. I suppose, from his perspective, what more was there left to discuss? I still kinda wanted to talk about folk souls– the soul of culture– and perhaps a bit about the true nature of consensus reality, but I guess that would wait for another day.

These contemplations had taken us full-circle anyway. Sitka and I were back at camp again. The first hints of dusk were dappling the sky with colour. I was tired, and so was Sitka. We threw together a quick meal and then sat together on my sleeping bag gazing at the stars just coming out to shine… and listening to the crickets nearby.

The whole ridiculous circus was still unfathomably vast, but somehow, Sitka and I were feeling pretty cozy, I reckon.

Evening Sigh

Evening Sigh

And that night I dreamed with Mother Earth.

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