So now let me pick up where I left off at my visit to The RET. As you know, or might have determined by now, my primary purpose for going to The RET this time was to deliver the Symbol of Iron into the maw of the Cosmic Brain Vine.
Also, I’m sure many of you have an inkling of why I wanted to do this, but stay with me here, and hopefully all will come clear.
So there I was. I had just finished assisting Pandit Magnneson with his "energy transfer." Then there was that uncomfortable moment, or perhaps I should say awkward situation, in which Pandit tried to grope the Goddess Waitress, which I clumsily thwarted.
Pandit appeared none-too-happy with me, and I was not sure what to expect – some kind of retaliation?
But instead, Pandit quickly adopted a pose of, of … I don’t know … I’ll call it sardonic languor. That was what his body language was saying, anyway.
After a moment, Pandit spoke:
Pandit: “I will now make you an offering in exchange for your assistance in my energy transfer.”
Me: “Pandit, that is not necessary since I consider the situation to be in balance. After all, I absorbed the energy of the green sea tuber, and also gained knowledge of its nature and existence as a bonus. I consider the whole event synergetic or perhaps symbiotic, and thus in balance.”
Pandit: “Nevertheless, the situation as yet in a state of imbalance, but partially for other reasons entirely. I am required at this time to provide you with your talisman.”
Me: “What talisman is this you speak of?”
Pandit: “The token of your brutal friend, Philip.”
Me: “I don’t follow you, Pandit. Who is this “brutal friend” you speak of? Philip?"
At this point, the Pandit avatar reached into an inner robe pocket, retrieved a small gold coin, reached toward me, and I was surprised that a gold coin emerged through the metal surface of Pandit Magnneson. The coin dropped and rattled on the table in front of me. When I saw it, I was astonished!
I swooned! I almost lost control of the dream state, feeling The RET waver around me!
With effort I regained control, however, and gazed at the coin in wonder. Here is a picture of what Pandit Magnesson gave me, or I should say, a coin almost identical to this one:
It’s a coin from ancient Macedonia. It depicts Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. It dates to about 356 B.C. The chariot celebrates the victory of Philip’s chariot team at the Olympics.
As it turns out -- and this is why I was so stunned upon seeing the coin -- I have been carrying around a fake version of this coin in my pocket for more than 40 years! Mine is made from cheap gold-painted aluminum. I have had it since I was 11 years old.
How I got the coin is a long story, but I’ll sketch out a few details.
I grew up in a Minnesota village where my mom and dad owned a small grocery store. We lived in the same building. There was an apartment in the back of the store. Next to the store was a dirt parking lot, which was also owned by my father.
Every summer on the 4th of July a small carnival came to town featuring some small, basic fair rides and some food booths, including a cotton candy stand. The carnival owners were two old men, and they would get permission from my dad to set up their operation in the dusty parking lot next to the store.
One of the old carnival guys also always came over to the back of the store to ask if I wanted to work for him, either running one of the rides or manning the cotton candy stand for the two days they staid in town. Why I always agreed to work I’ll never understand -- because it meant a long day of hot sweaty toil twirling paper cotton candy cones over a blasting, sticky swirling cotton candy machine. But more than that, it meant that I was not free to run around our little town and to enjoy all the 4th of July festivities, like the parade, fireworks, and all that stuff. All my friends would be having a great time. I would be working. But my choice was in sync with the basic work ethic of my mom and dad, I suppose.
But anyway, the summer of 1970 was a year-and-a-half after I had been nearly killed after being shot through the stomach in a hunting accident, an event which caused me to experience a Near Death Experience, which shattered my world view, and which basically launched me upon a lifetime of endless strangeness. (I’ve written about my NDE experience elsewhere here at UM).
So there back 1970, I was still struggling to assimilate the “cosmic journey” I had been on after nearly bleeding to death on a 15-below-zero January day out on a remote, frigid field of hardened snow
Since my NDE event at age 10, I had become extremely susceptible to “Divine Invasions” (to borrow a term from the great sf writer Philip K Dick) – and as it turned out – working the whirling, circular steel of the cotton candy machine -- (which in retrospect I now know was a happenstance Mandala) --caused me to confront one of these massive “Divine Invasion” events.
I wrote a short essay about this experience when I was a young man many, many years ago. Here it is, and I would advise everyone to pause and give this a read before proceeding through the rest of ths post:
What I don’t mention in that essay is the strange event which happened after I, and finished was 14 straight hours of making cotton candy, and during which I confronted The Loom of Heaven.
I was walking home across the dusty, dirt parking lot, and something shiny caught my eye on the ground, in the dirt. I stooped over and picked it up, looked at it, and put it in my pocket. I have carried it around in my pocket ever since these past 41 years.
Here is a picture of my Philip of Macedon cheap-ass replica coin made of aluminum:
At the time I picked up the coin, I was staggering with exhaustion and covered head to toe with sticky cotton candy. I was woozy and bleary from the Divine Invasion experience.
I squinted at the coin. It glinted in the garish glare of fluorescent fair lights tinged with the purple of the mercury-vapor street lamps. As I eyed the coin, my thoughts swirling, I heard a voice. This is what is said:
“Payment in full, you clever little b******!”
Surprised, I whirled around but could see no source for the voice. It was odd, yes, but when you are 11 your mind is highly pliable and forgiving, and I had no concern for where the voice might have come from. I was too exhausted to care. A pushed the coin in my pocket, went home and went to bed.
Now back at The RET:
Me: “Pandit! What is the meaning of this! I recognize this coin! I have carried one very similar to this for more than four decades!”
Pandit: “Take it up with Philip. My obligation has now been discharged.”
Me: “Are you saying I knew Philip of Macedon in a previous life, or in some other dimensional existence, or what?”
Pandit: “All this is none of my concern.”
Me: “But, Pandit, explain to me the connection between this replica and the coin you have proffered me just now. This one before me, in what is essentially a Dream World, appears authentic and fashioned from genuine gold. The version I possess in my base reality is aluminum.”
Pandit: “This discrepancy is no concern of mind. I fulfilled my obligation on behalf of Philip. The coin is yours. It’s gold. It is legal tender in Philip’s Realm.”
Me: “All well and nice, Pandit, but I cannot take this gold coin with me back into my base reality – at least I don’t know how to! Let me ask you this: Did you just now send a crummy knock-off 41 years into my past where I would find it as an 11-year-old boy?”
Pandit: “A clever little b****** like you should understand these things.”
Me: “Perhaps, but I must say, your characterization of me as a b****** lacks grace! You tarnish the luster of my dignity, but more importantly, such usage detracts from your own dignity!”
Pandit: “I only affected balance. You impugned my character by suggesting I replaced a gold coin with worthless metal, when in fact, you have the gold coin before you now. I am not responsible for alterations resulting from exposure to the energies of inter-dimensional transfer.”
Me: “A convenient explanation!”
At this point, I was growing irritated with Pandit Magnneson, but also getting hopelessly distracted from my primary mission, as it is so easy to do in the dream world.
My primary mission on this trip was to find the Cosmic Brain Vine, deliver the Symbol of Iron into it, and specifically into the hands of Father Reston Vromin, whom in turn, I would manipulate, making him give the symbol to Dr. 58.
But for now, I was distracted by Pandit.
In my mind, the sting of Pandit’s insult – calling me a b****** – represented a minor, but nonetheless – legitimate imbalance that I must redress.
I considered picking up my now-empty wine goblet on the table beside me and smacking it across the spherical surface of Pandit – however, I took control of myself before I could do anything rash, and which might create an “arms race” (so to speak) between Pandit and me.
Instead, I picked up the gold coin bearing the likeness of Philip and his precious Olympic chariot. I looked around and decided to throw it into the “Weird Area” – as a way of making a statement. (Impulsive and Childish, I know).
I stood up, turned around, and heaved the coin into the madness of the Weird Area – but this resulted in an astonishing event.
For as the gold coin of Philip went sailing into the Weird Area – an emaciated, sinewy, scrawny arm covered with sickly grayish-white skin – reached out from behind a large, rather wide stone pillar – a little larger in girth than a phone booth, say – and intersepted the coin with a boney hand!
I was stunned, and here’s why:
It was because I would recognize that particular boney arm covered with parchment skin anywhere! It was the old hag!
I had not seen the old hag in maybe five years!
Over the years, I have confronted the hag numerous times in many dream scenarios, but for some reason, she has been absent from my dreams for a long time, at least four or five years.
The old hag's name is False Bliss Chablis.
I have been trying to help her for almost two decades now, to no effect.
I approached the Weird Area carefully – I was not eager to enter it, nor did I intend to. Fortunately, the massive stone pillar from which False Bliss Chablis’ arm came from behind was positioned on the edge of the Weird Area, adjacent to the floor of the solarium area.
I stepped up to the dividing line on the floor and stopped before the Weird Area. I carefully peered carefully around, and there sitting inside a hollow carved into the structure of the stone pillar was False Bliss Chablis, the old hag, the same as always – sitting on a pile of frozen snow, surrounded by the ice-cold rock, completely bombed out of her mind, holding her usual magnum of wine on her lap.
She has long, gray scraggly hair. Her eyes are half closed in the drunken false bliss of intoxication.
She is not dressed for sitting inside a pillar of cold rock, encrusted with snow. She is wearing a light tank-top, arms and shoulders bare. The tank-top is made from the thinnest of rags. She wears pants that look like shabby wool. She is barefoot. Here feet are long, narrow, white and bony.
She always drinks the same brand of wine: “False Bliss Chablis.” (And thus the name I have come to call her by).
The label on her bottle of wine is always the same. Across the top in bold calligraphy-style letters is:
False Bliss Chablis
In the center is a pen-and-ink drawing of what looks to me like a Forest Goblin dressed like a monk. The Forest Goblin monk is jolly, has a pot belly, pointy ears and eyes, bald, and he is grinning proudly as he holds up a bunch of grapes.
Beneath the line drawing of the Forest Goblin Monk with his grapes are the words:
So I see False Bliss Chablis pathetic figure sitting there. She has my Philip of Macedon commemorative Olympics gold coin clutched in her hand. I shout at her:
“False Bliss! Give me back my coin! It is not for you!”
As usual, False Bliss Chablis is 100% oblivious to anything I say. Over the many years, I have tried to speak with her many times, and have tried to save her from her False Bliss, but to no avail.
But now I was seriously worried I had committed a major blunder. In my childish anger over the slight of Pandit Magnneson, I acted in haste and had delivered a gold coin of great value into the hands of the last person who should have it.
I was worried that, at the first opportunity, False Bliss would use my gold coin to buy not only more False Bliss Chablis, but maybe now she might even be able to up the ante, and possibly get her hands on some False Bliss Heroin, or maybe some False Bliss Meth.
I didn’t want to be responsible for that.
In case you are wondering, this was clearly more than just a matter of me stepping up and taking the gold coin back out of her hand – my past experience with False Bliss Chablis has taught me this would not be easy to do, and I won't go into that here.
But the even worse complication was this – I threw the gold coin away – and this could be looked upon as a willing relinquishment of the coin, and perhaps making False Bliss Chablis it rightful owner now.
That means taking it from her would create a major imbalance, the implications of which I did not want to think about.
I stepped back and thought over the situation for a moment. I looked over at the table where the Triad of the Nine sat. Their three ugly heads were still sitting on the table. The middle “normal” heads were in charge, and they were all bent forward – the three of them had their hands on an oracle which was moving across an Ouija board.
(Those who have read my other accounts of the Triad will know that they occasional use the Ouija board at The RET).
Upon seeing the Triad with an Ouija board – a plan formed in my mind.
I suddenly had a crazy idea about what I could do to get my gold coin back from the clutches of False Bliss Chablis.
I decided to approach the Triad of the Nine and explain my plan to them. I'll continue in my next post.