A breeze came up. It blew dirt in my eyes.
Wiping eyes. Blink. Opened eyes after blinking, see that the highway has disappeared.
Angelic sky blue surrounds me. Totally surrounds me. I am standing on it, as well as in it and under it. There is no solid ground but the blue is as secure to stand on as any of the Earth’s densest terrain. It is, oddly enough, also as comfortable to move through as Earth’s atmosphere.
A strong but pleasant beam of light sprays right through me, treating me as a transparency. Something nonphysical within me is getting a bath, becoming clean enough to be wherever it has arrived. Whoever my hosts are, they want me to be here but don’t seem to want some unspecified bunch of garbage that has traveled with me.
All this is much less than completely clear. Ordinary sense is on vacation.
Thousands of large white birds become visible. Each brilliant wing is composed of tiny feathers, alternating silver and crystal. Each tiny feather is as sharp as a razor. The wings begin to flap as the birds take flight. As they do so, a wind chime symphony at the volume of soft jazz is manufactured by the clank of silver against crystal. The symphony ends as the birds land in (as well as on) the blue.
“We are Garrruda. Welcome.”
It is impossible for me to tell whether there is one chief bird speaking, if they are all talking at the same time in a combined voice, or if there is any actual voice in the communication. I am hearing, but my ears may not be involved.
“Thank you very much for having me. Where am I?”
“You are in Garrruda. We have watched you for a very long time now, traveling here and there. Now and then we see humans whom we think might benefit from a visit with us. When the time is right, we invite that human. If you are not comfortable, you may leave at any time.”
I decide to stay. Large talking birds with a deified glow that can banish withdrawal pain and lunacy seem fine company!
“I’m honored to be here— wherever here is. Could you tell me, please, where exactly is Garrruda?”
“I regret that we cannot comply,” answer the mass of birds. “There is no such thing as physical location. Not in Garrruda. As you’ve already ascertained, there is no land or sky here. No past, present, or future. There is no up or down. Actually, these things don’t exist in your world either, but that would take too long to explain. It’s enough now for you to know that everything is relative, and since there are no reference points here that relate to where you’re from—no how-far, no which-direction, and so on—I’m afraid it would be impossible to answer your ‘where are we?’ question with an answer that you might find intelligible.”
I need a different question. “Hmmm. OK, let’s try this one. Who are you, Garrruda?”
“Interesting question, my friend. Unfortunately and again, we cannot supply you with an answer that you would find intelligible. At one time I was the consort of a great teacher. Now many consider me a God or Goddess. You might say that I have been many other things as well, but since Garrruda exists in a timeless state, there really is no such thing as ‘I have been.’ Currently it would be accurate to say that I am, and have all ways been, all of those many things. Goddess, consort, and other such names are all references to states of being that occur within moments of time, and therefore these states of being don’t actually exist within the framework of Garrruda’s reality. Therefore, my friend, Iam regretfully unable to tell you specifically who, or perhaps what, Iam. In a very real sense Iam all that I have been. Yet it is also true that Iam devoid of existence—empty, as it were.”
I feel as if two trains of thought are traveling my mind at once. One of these trains is so smart, happy, and healthy that it seems borrowed. The other is the ordinary mind that I have been using for the past year or two.
After a bit of getting used to the better mind, I become much more comfortable with it, as if it had always been my own. At the same time, it seems obvious that my happy state is not completely arrived at through my own efforts. It has been brought into awareness by contact with the flock of deified birds, as if they are making a gift to me of something that I already owned but had forgotten was in my possession. This state of mind doesn’t seem to have any reference point to suffering. It is heavenly.
“OK,” I think to my selves. “A little stranger than usual, but it’s a pleasant strange. This is not my first altered-state experience. We can deal with this.” I make my selves comfortable.
It is also somehow apparent that these many birds are actually one combined energy. This energy displays a presence and beauty the likes of which I have never seen before. It is easy to believe myself in the presence of a Goddess.
My lower self is having a cynical day on Sesame Street. It thinks, “I wonder if I’m ever going to get a straight answer out of Big Bird and company here!”
I think of another question. “What, please, is Garrruda’s purpose?”
“Aha!” sing all the birds in a singular melodic voice accompanied by a symphonic flapping of wings. “That is an easy question to answer. Garrruda is here to protect you!”
“Well, thank you very much. But protect me from what?”
“Garrruda is here to protect you from your denser self. We are here to shelter you from those tendencies of thought informing you that you may never receive a straight answer from Big Bird and company.”
Garrruda gives a soft giggle, this time in multiple voices. It is accompanied by a glance containing such a gentle compassion that it melts my embarrassment.
“This presence that you are now knowing as Garrruda is always with you to protect you against fear, gossip, arrogance, small-mindedness, animosity, and even righteous indignation. It manifests as your courage, conviction, and determination to defeat obstacles to your growth, wellbeing, and evolution. It works as your shield against external forces of ignorance and internal negative, destructive attitudes. It works to dissolve misguided conditioning that has been accumulated over lifetimes of exposure to impurities. It brings these to your awareness and thereby prevents them from becoming a permanent stain on your character and Spirit, as they might if they were allowed to fester unrecognized.”
Two thousand azure eyes dive into my own as a thousand beaks mouth the words, “We are also your will to live.”
The single voice from the thousand beaks continues. “When you hold on to your center and balance, when you have knowledge of what your best course of action should be in any given situation and the determination to implement that course of action, when your motivation for that action and the implementation of your energies reflect a desire to benefit other living beings—that’s when you and Garrruda are, shall we say, on the same wavelength. At that point, Garrruda and thee are one.”
I find another question to ask. “Why doesn’t everyone know about you? Why aren’t you available to everyone? That would certainly give us human Earthlings the edge we need to pull ourselves out of the hole we’ve dug for ourselves and…ooohhh.”
Sudden insights arrive to me before finishing my question.
Garrruda nods. “We see your mind is answering its own question, my friend. Very good. It is as your mind has surmised. Garrruda is available to everyone. But as the old expression goes—the radio station may broadcast as it will, but if people don’t turn their radios on and tune them to the proper frequency, they will not receive the transmission. No one will ever hear the music. Garrruda, to use this metaphor, is always broadcasting. We do not, however, control who turns their humanity on or what frequency they tune it in to.”
Suddenly, a ferocious, deadly creature swoops at my head. It has claws that scream for blood. The beast is more snake than dragon but resembles both. This creature leaves no doubt that it is intent on doing me harm. I somehow know it to be poisonous.
As I stare at it, the creature instantly dissolves. “What the hell was that?!”
Garrruda replies. “Don’t worry, my friend. You’ve already gotten that little bugaboo out from your subconscious mind, where at one time it was a serious danger to you. It is now into your conscious awareness and has been pretty well dealt with already. That’s a memory from your time in elementary school, the third-grade dodgeball championship, to be exact. You were the last survivor on the field that day and won the grade championship for your class. Then your drunken mother beat you when you arrived home. She didn’t care that you were fifteen minutes late only because the game ran into overtime and you had to stay to win for your class.
“Every once in a while you get a residual, shall we say, subconscious drive-by shooting from the psychological remnants of that experience. Sometimes that memory, which aggregated to your Spirit so long ago and associates success with punishment, attempts to surface as you are approaching a door of success. The memory is a defense mechanism based upon previous conditioning. It thinks it is your friend. It is warning you not to succeed because, according to this little piece of history, you will be hurt if you win.”
The memory is a bit unnerving to me. “Yes. I recognized it many years ago and actually remember talking myself out of it! This particular memory was told that it was a bad piece of information and not a valid thought for me to live by. I expelled it.”
The birds smile and flap their wings. After a short angelic wing chime sonata of silver and crystal, Garrruda speaks. “When you recognize and repair dysfunctional conditioning in such a manner, you are at one with me. You are protected from being less than your best Self by your ability to uncover your obstacle and dissolve it. This sort of recognition and repair requires nothing but the courage for self-examination. This process is a secret to many, but common knowledge to Garrruda. Through internal awareness of the root causes of our obstacles, we can neutralize and negate those obstacles. We thereby prevent being bound by them. This is the formula for psychological liberation and happiness. When you perform this fearless effort you are at one with Garrruda.”
This last sentence elicits another animated wing flapping and crystalline symphony from the Garrruda.
For some reason, the whole experience of standing in and on what appears to be the sky and talking to what appears to be a Goddess bird distributed throughout many bodies has not fazed me, up until this point.
A sudden anxiety attack hits me. It quickly begins giving way to the realization that these birds have no ill intent. They mean no harm in any way, shape, or form. The brief fear I feel is in my mind alone and totally unrelated to my benevolent hosts. I walk the anxiety to the nearest open door in my brain and throw it out.
The birds must have “heard” and approved of this line of thinking. It seems they save the most melodic flap of their musical wings for such occasions. In unison the many silver and crystalline wings make the sound of a thousand church bells lined with velvet. As they do so, their many bodies blur, melt, and then join energies to become a singular seven-foot high creature of a slightly altered appearance. This Garrruda looks about the same as all the others, with one exception. Wings, head, legs, feet, and tail are the same combination of white, crystal, silver, and bird-like features, but a human torso of brilliant crimson has now replaced the bird’s body.
Garrruda smiles and wraps its wings around me. Thousands of razor-sharp feathers caress me without inflicting any pain or injury. On the contrary, an electrical charge of wellbeing saturates my body—and then goes deeper than that. My whole life is being energized, not just the body. The sensation reminds me of breathing pure oxygen straight from the tank. There is also a feeling of being encased in water.
Within an instant I find out why.
As Garrruda opens its wings, it dissolves. It disappears slowly, fading from bottom to top with its benevolent smile being the last piece to vanish.
… To be continued.
The Author: Albert Einstein said, “Once you accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” Doug “Ten” Rose has metaphorically worn stripes with plaid all his life. He was born a hundred years too early but is trying to catch up. See amazing biographical and other important information at www.fearlesspuppy.info