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Adi & Praja 129

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 129: Bamboo

From now on music would be played, no feast would be celebrated without the ‘xylophone’ as we call it, or the spirit of the bamboo as they called it.


(the spirit of the bamboo)

Of course this new invention became known to other villages in no time. Every child and many grown-ups wanted to try it. They came from everywhere. Shano built a few more of these instruments for other villages. Unawares Shano had changed the world: consciousness of harmony, and an aspect of God that people had only experienced automatically, and to which they had lived automatically and happy, but they had never been aware of it mentally. And for now, only the positive side of this knowledge was applied: to have better feeling, more respect for Nature and an awakening of consciousness of spirituality behind the external world. Believe in spirits and invisible beings had always been there, but now the idea dawned of the presence of intelligence and something greater than being human (or animal, etc.) must be there in the invisible world. So far these ideas had been inherent in Shano’s stories derived from his book, but now some people began to grasp the meaning and feel some of the reality of it. Most of the people did not understand anything mentally or did not even understand what was beautiful about a tone scale, but still they felt the aura of goodness hanging around it all, and therefore they too felt happier than before.

Shano, after much deep thinking, explained that the spirit of the bamboo was a very special spirit. But because he felt that the feeling he had was akin with the feeling that raindrops and babbling brooks had invoked in him, he understood that all these things in Nature were akin to the spirit of the bamboo, each in their own way. So he explained that the spirit of the bamboo was only special because of its perfection, but that he felt that the same spirit was there in nature and culture everywhere. All existing things seemed to dance and sing and play and grow according to that great harmony.

The people never thought of “the opposite of the spirit of the bamboo” The idea of disharmony was an invention of many centuries later. Even unpleasant things, like the harsh sounds of some animals or a baby crying like Dudu, even the black magicians, were part of the whole. They were all part of, created by, the same great Spirit of Harmony. Of course people understood that everything you do has an effect and that everything that occurs is due to some earlier reason. Haphazardness as a concept had never arisen in their minds, least of all in that of Shano. There were creatures, most of them humans, who caused pain to others, but they were not seen as criminals or disharmonious souls. Of course the bad people and ferocious animals were avoided, but because there was no concept of disharmony they were rather seen as we regard musicians in a symphony orchestra who by mistake (or due to playful naughtiness) play a wrong note, but would immediate correct themselves to become part off the symphony again. So punishment did not exist in that society, though out of anger and emotion people would sometimes beat and kick and fight or even kill. Such things were highly regretted by the whole community, and if the evil spirit revenge got hold of some people’s minds, the misery could continue for several generations. Still there was no crystallized or even mentally formulated awareness of good and evil, or harmony and disharmony. What we would call good and evil were natural emotions, rising from within as sudden as a storm on approaching rain, and they where natural and would be over after some time. Mental and intellectual self-control was but slight. They believed that here was but one forest and One Spirit and One who had created it all. There could be no evil in the created universe.

Their religion was ecological rather than ethical. They knew about the invisible spirits of the river, the forest, the creeks and the tree tops. They knew those who were mainly roaming on the ground. They also knew than some had been men and women who lived only a few years ago among them, and they were expected to come back as a new baby sooner or later. These were concrete experiences. Some little children remembered the past, and some old people recognized an old friend from their youth in a child, and if they recognized each other the little child and the old granny could become great friends. The ‘new religion’ – though it was never given a name, or recognized as ‘new.’ – which had entered the forest through Shano, was not really new. It did not not overthrow their old believes, but it added a very much wider dimension of which nobody could have dreamed of: a vast universe, a greater harmony and intelligence, a Great Invisible but Very True God above all all other spirits and humans and animals, and great confidence in the goodness, guidance and protection of the higher Being above humanity. It extended the intelligence and widened their vision tremendously – first with a few, later everywhere. It went natural. There were no historians these days to make it special.

Nor the ‘old’ nor the ‘new’ religion had dogmas and ethics. Ethics existed unconsciously as the habits of Nature and the inner emotional impulses of men. ‘Should’ and ‘Should not’ and rules commandments and moral prescriptions did not exist. It was natural to become angry sometimes, or happy, or sad, or drunk, sleepy or wide awake. Punishment was not institutiobalized, but out of emotion and love mothers or would sometimes beat their children, or fathers would confront them with difficulties to solve for themselves. Birth and death, being young and oldness followed each other in natural rhythms, like the drums of the musicians. If someone suffered he or she was helped and supported by all others. There was no ‘punishment of God’ or ‘karma.’ They had never thought about such things. All Nature was like that. It had never come to anyone’s mind that ‘God’ would be different.

In later ages, centuries later, this all changed. Good and evil were invented to explain emotions that were fortunate or unfortunate for yourself, as well as the equivalent of the word disharmony. People would be divided into those who in tune and those who were not in tune. Those who were not in tune should be suppressed or wiped out. They did not realize that in fact those who thought of themselves as ‘in tune’ and took the right over others, were the actual ones who were most out of tune. This came only with the further development of a mind that because it became so blinded by its own ideas that the direct perception of harmony began to be lost. Even in our days this problem has not been solved.

There is a reason why later great teachers brought ethics with rules, commandments and prescriptions. This brought great misery – because what does it mean for someone’s psychology if he or she ever has to fear God. Even the Highest Being of Universal Goodness can not be trusted and can punish you even when you are aware that you did anything wrong. Teaching of ethics in the form of rules and sanctions by rewards and punishments destroy all pristine happiness and innocence. They are said to be meant for liberation, but many feel themselves rather in jail because of them even though they walk around freely.

Then what is the reason for Ethics, usually the very core of later religions? It is because it is the inherent right and destiny and promise given to humankind that they can become gods themselves, God themselves, and that is where the sons of the Sun wish to guide them. Once humanity is aware that one can become much more than a mere reincarnating ego, we will ask: “How can we become gods, how can we unite with out own son of the Sun, who are the Sun himself.” Then help is given to train the mind to direct itself towards the divine and to turn away from the animal within us. Then ‘normal things’ within the ecological religion, such as anger and uncontrolled emotion can become obstructions, and weak goodnesses such as helpfulness and empathy can become strengthened. Punishment than means nothing else than self-imposed limitation (not that of a jail with iron bars) and reward means emancipation towards greatness and trye spirituality or godhood. That is why there are ethical outlines or aphorisms, and stories about rewards and punishments in heaven or hell or in future lives. If man and woman naturally follow their higher nature, exemplified by the sons of the Sun and the Sun himself, they will grow as natural and happy into divinity as an unfolding flower, and suffering can be much avoided. The golden rule among all ethics is compassion, to take suffering upon oneself for the sake of kindly awaking others from their illusions, their dogmas, their limits.

But, turning back to our forest, it was only a little less than paradise, as far as possible among humans and animals, plants and spirits.

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