Lupelius The Dreamer

Visibilia ex invisibilibus

Lupelius is a forgotten philosopher whose work faced total destruction by the Vatican church.

He was a seeker of immortality, and he lead his students to extremely difficult situations and survived without getting harmed, and by doing so he was showing the presence of potential immortality within themselves.

In the new era, his vision will be one with our vision, all esoterica revealed, scarcity unified, wealth, created instantly. The new era is now, so it has been.

1 Chapter II Lupelius 1 Encounter with the School It was late morning. I was going down an elegant street full of antique shops. A hot sun behind my back seemed to push me towards an open space that you could just make out at the end. I noticed that I was walking at a brisk pace as though hurrying to an appointment without knowing where it was, or whom I was going to meet. The pavement I was walking along led to an Italian café and the open space turned out to be a large piazza, one of the most beautiful I had ever seen. The Dreamer was sitting at one of the little tables, in the best spot to admire the square and enjoy the spectacle of the people passing by. He was surrounded by a small cluster of waiters who were obsequiously intent on serving Him and listening to his recommendations. I arrived as they were drawing up a second table and looking for space to set down the contents of two large trays. There was always an aura of prosperity around Him. He sought out refinement in every detail and loved abundance but his approach was marked by the sobriety of a Macedonian warrior. And his dietary regime went far beyond frugality. He seemed pleased to see me again. With a slight nod of his head he both greeted me and invited me to join him. From that moment on the Dreamer’s attention seemed entirely focused on the little cakes and delicacies of all descriptions which had been arranged neatly on the tables. I had not seen Him since our last encounter in Marrakech. I had been waiting impatiently for this moment. Now, in His presence, a thousand questions crowded my mind. Some of these questions had 2 echoed for centuries and had been raised throughout the history of the world, without ever finding an answer. Religions, schools of thought and prophetic traditions, generations of scientists, researchers, philosophers and ascetics had tried in vain to find the answers. I reflected on the fact that modern man, the most recent link in this chain of research going back thousands of years, remained as naked as ever in the face of the enigma of his own existence, like Oedipus before the Sphinx. They served us tea. The Dreamer followed every detail of this operation with scrupulous care and directed the waiters according to a ritual known only to Himself. He barely even touched the food. The Dreamer seemed to derive nourishment from His own attention, His impressions and the harmony and rhythms of each tiny movement. After the tea there was a long pause. I waited impatiently for Him to begin speaking. In the meantime I had opened my notebook and my pen was at the ready. When His voice sounded, its tone was solemn. “With me by your side you can leave the tracks of your inflexible destiny – He said – by my side you can break the automatic cycle of your routines, your feelings of guilt…by my side you must give up doubt, fear, your destructive thoughts…you must abandon the lie that binds you to a mortal description of existence. In order to change, you must fight your indoctrination! - He continued – You must overturn your way of seeing things. Only in this way, and through hard work, can you change your destiny... But a man can never achieve this alone.. You need a School.” The emphasis He gave to the word ‘school’, and the context in which it was used, made me realise, intuitively, that it held a meaning which went beyond the conventional. I felt as though I was hearing it for the first time. I discovered in this a power that I had never felt before and the sweetness of a long forgotten promise. An idea crossed my being like a shiver and came to my lips in the form of a question. “What is the ‘school’?” I asked. My voice was trembling and I found myself surprised by my inexplicable emotion. “The School is your return journey,” said the Dreamer. His dark eyes were glowing with a secret joy: “The School is the quantum leap from multitude to integrity, from conflictuality to harmony, from slavery to freedom. Finding the School means harnessing yourself to the ‘Dream’ with a steel cable…it means being able to access the highest levels of responsibility. Only the fewest of the few can endure such an encounter” He concluded. Those words and His gaze triggered something hidden inside of me into action. I physically felt the mechanical click of a gear changing. With a stabbing pain of regret, I realised the immorality of having lived for years “away from home”, and how miraculous it was to find myself with something, someone, that I had been desperately searching for. “How does one go about finding the School?” I asked, with a whisper of a voice, full of reverence, feeling the exceptional nature of that event. “Don’t worry… the School will find you.” replied the Dreamer. Then, seeing me at a loss, He softened His blunt response adding: “When a man is irremediably disappointed by his life…when he realises his incompleteness, his impotence, when existence grips him in a vice 3 so he cannot breathe, only then will the School appear.” 2 “The world is an oft told tale” Sitting in the café in that unknown city, I listened to Him, accumulating pages of notes. I had the feeling that my apprenticeship, which had started in that unusual house, and then continued in Marrakech, was following a secret educational course, the uninterrupted lines of a design. “Meeting the ‘school’ is the most extraordinary event in the life of a man…the only opportunity to escape collective hypnosis – explained the Dreamer – to understand that everything that you see, everything that surrounds you is not the world…but only a description.” “But I am listening to You, I can touch this table…I see people passing by…and know that every one of these men has a life, a job, a family…how can all this be just a vision of mine?” “The images that fall upon your retina are not the world, only the story that you have been told… - responded the Dreamer laconically – The world has been described to you.” I marvelled at what I was hearing but was even more astonished when He added in a whisper; “The true creator of the reality that surrounds you, is you!...you have only forgotten…” “What have I forgotten?” I asked. A trace of hostility in my voice signalled a distance growing between us. “In order to exist, the world needs you…You have forgotten that you are the creator, the inventor, and you have become the shadow of your own invention.” His tone of voice bridged that distance that had begun to develop between us, and brought me back into line, like a schoolboy. “The world is subjective, personal!...It is the mirror image of our being…Vision and reality are one and the same thing, the only thing dividing them is the ‘time factor’.” I would have liked to say ‘yes’, to have accepted His vision. Yet, something inside me objected. The rational part of me faltered, but did not give way. How was it possible to face the same object, landscape, event or person, and have different perceptions? “But surely there is such a thing as an objective reality!” I declared, to shore up my long held convictions – “After all, a thing cannot be anything other than what it is…” I was still trying to defend ‘my’ beliefs, but I knew that, no matter how deeply rooted they were, they would not hold. They were bound to be overturned by contact with the Dreamer’s vision. This time too, as on every other occasion, the unforeseeable miracle would occur; everything suddenly clicking into place so that in His company I would inevitably understand things without ever being able to know when or how. I wanted, and expected, this change. When finally it came, I felt the walls of my being expanding vastly to make room for a clearer, freer, and more intelligent vision of the world. 4 Seeing me still perplexed, he unleashed another decisive blow against my vision of the world, and added, “We can only see that which we are.” Then, with His inimitable and subtle humour, touching on sarcasm, He said, “If a thief encountered a saint, he would only see his pockets”. This joke was enlightening for me and for a few moments I dwelt on that comic and instructive image. But the Dreamer had already resumed His lecture with a scowl, as if this digression, albeit minimal, had held him up or caused him to deviate too much from the purpose of our meeting. “Only contact with the School will allow you to escape from the rigidity of the vision held by common minds. Only ‘school work’ will one day enable us to ‘see’ the world behind its false description. Only a ‘man of the school’ will one day be able to access a harmonious vision, a state of wholeness. And only a harmonious and complete vision will heal the world.” 3 A School for overturning The Dreamer revealed to me that training Schools for exceptional men had always existed, in every age and society. Apart from the philosophical and cultural differences that seem to distinguish them from one another, these ‘schools’ were, in actual fact, just a single School. Its voice remained as it had always been, and its thought had crossed every age and civilization. He called this school the ‘School of Being’, a forge, a universal hotbed of dreamers, where visionaries and luminous utopians had always refined their intent. “A school of transformation” further defined the Dreamer, and then paused. He breathed in deeply the aromas that spiralled up from His tea, and then, in a hushed voice added: “The School for Gods…where before governing others, one learns to govern oneself.” His voice made my spine tingle. It had become the martial howl of a warrior in action. “A School for overturning – He said – where ideas and beliefs are overthrown…and first and foremost, the idea of the inevitability of death. Death is the ultimate resistance to truth, harmony and beauty. Death destroys whatever is incapable of becoming truth. If we are true in every cell of our body we will never die.” I thought back to the classical tradition, before the age of Homer, which divided humanity into two species vastly removed from each other: the heroes, who were the champions of a dreaming humanity, individuals capable of making the impossible happen, and an indistinct and faceless multitude without will and without dreams. The former, guided by Fate, were destined for a great individual adventure and the latter, ruled by the laws of Accident and Chance, were fated to a life of insignificance. I was enlightened by the thought that the great myths, from the most ancient times, in reality narrated the actions of men who had encountered the ‘School’. Their adventures, their battles against monsters and giants, sung by the aoidoi, the wandering poets, were the stages along the way, part of an ‘inner journey’ back into the depths, into the most obscure and 5 secret recesses of the being. The Dreamer explained that it was there - in the most hidden corners of existence, where the river of destructive thoughts and guilt courses, and negative emotions fester - that one found the source of all those monsters, the evil origin of coarseness, of death, and of all our failures. “You need, above all, to cast out the enemy within your own flesh. And you will have barely finished routing him out when you will find him confronting you again even more merciless, more cruel and more powerful …. The antagonist grows with you! There are not thousands of enemies, there is only one, and your victory is also one…conquering yourself.” “The ‘journey of return’ is the great opportunity for a man to heal his past” He said, as His gaze slowly surveyed the piazza; the twin churches, the patrician palaces, the statues around the ancient obelisk. He looked at the people who crowded around it. “The world is the past.” He pronounced, coining one of His most admirable maxims – “Whoever you meet, whatever you encounter, is always the past. Even if it appears to be before you at this moment, what you see and touch is only the materialisation of your inner states…The past is dust. The world you see and feel, in this precise moment, is the materialisation of all that you have been…There is nothing that can happen in your life that has not already been accepted in your thoughts. The world is dust. Blow upon it, and dispel it. The Dreamer moved His chair slightly to suggest that we should rise. His movement distracted me abruptly from the effort I was making to keep up with Him and these new ideas. I had a knot in my stomach. I would have liked to have poured this exuberant and irrepressible new wine, into the old cask of my convictions. I wanted to contain this ocean within the limits of my rationality that was now crumbling and yielding under His blows. I became lost in empty, intellectual posturing to hide from myself the evidence that His teachings were penetrating ever deeper, becoming more dangerous, even fatal for my old equilibrium. In the meantime the Dreamer had stood up. With a nod, He invited me to follow Him. I was reluctant to leave that quiet corner where the air still rang with His words. It felt to me as though I was leaving an ancient temple, a venerable ark of knowledge. Every detail of that meeting would be forever fixed within my cells, including the carefully laid tables, the movements of the waiters, and even the freshly baked rice pastries. I crossed the piazza with Him and followed Him into a church. Passing between the transept and the altar, beyond the central nave, we came to a little chapel. I could make out two giant canvasses in the semi-darkness, one facing the other. I glanced around; from our position, the church seemed completely deserted. The Dreamer asked me to put a coin in the meter. A strong light shone onto the two works of art. He suggested I look at them from the centre of the chapel, from a point at an equal distance from both. I followed His instructions, and carefully examined the two masterpieces. The painting on the left showed Peter being crucified upside down; the other was of Paul’s fall on the road to Damascus. “It is not a coincidence that these two paintings are facing each other -He said- They 6 are indissolubly linked by a single message”. The Dreamer stopped talking and we remained there in silence. I took this pause as an invitation to reflect and to try to discover the secret of the symbology. However, the minutes ticked by and beat my futile efforts until the Dreamer released me from my bewilderment by revealing that the two works were the most powerful iconographic representations of the idea of ‘overturning’ . “These works transmit the breadth, the amplitude of thinking of a great School of responsibility – He said – Only such a School can fight prejudice and age-old beliefs so as to overthrow the mental paradigms of the old humanity and heal it forever from its conflictual thinking and free it from pain…Vision and reality are one and the same thing. The world is your reflection. Overturn your beliefs and the world will follow like a shadow. Reality will take the shape of a new vision. The timer ran out, the lights switched off and the paintings sank back into the darkness like steel blades put back in their sheaths. In the semi-darkness of that atmosphere that smelled of candle wax, I listened to the Dreamer’s extraordinary story of a School that had remained silent for more than ten centuries. He paused a long time before announcing enigmatically that it was time to hear its voice once again. I was astonished. The idea of a thousand-year-old School reappearing after centuries of silence to carry on its mission dazzled me. It was then that the Dreamer told me about a legendary warrior-monk and a precious manuscript that had been lost. “For you, and for those like you who believe they can find the truth in books…it would be useful to seek out the traces of this ancient School” He said. Then His voice became imperious. “Find that manuscript!” He commanded. Beyond the roughness of His voice and His peremptory attitude, I felt He was assigning me an important task. I was grateful to him. A decisive ‘Yes’, solemn as a court judgment, echoed in my chest. I would dedicate all my efforts to this task. The more I thought about it, the more my enthusiasm grew for this enterprise which promised to project me into a familiar and congenial world. The Dreamer noticed I was reverting to my old habits, falling back into the cliché of the scholar, and said, “One day you will realise that there is nothing you can bring in from the outside, that there is nothing you can add to what you already know…that teaching and experience do not add anything to your understanding …True knowledge can only be ‘remembered’. Man’s knowledge cannot be greater or smaller than he is. A man ‘knows’ what he ‘is’, and never the other way around. To know means, above all else, to be…The more you are, the more you know.” Later, the Dreamer would talk to me about a memory beyond time, a ‘vertical memory’, made up of states and levels, the container of infinite knowledge. This is the inheritance of every man; we all have it, but we have lost the key…Re-member. The ancient mosaics on the floor began to expand, and the distance between us began to increase, imperceptibly at first and then visibly. I felt a desperate sense of loss as I listened to 7 His final words. “Knowledge is the inalienable property of every man…it is as old as he is’’’ One day, you will realise that there is nothing to add…but a great deal to be eliminated…if you wish to know. I drank in those words as though I had been waiting to hear them all my life. I recognised them. A slight tremor under my skin underpinned the sensation that I felt of containing all things. I was a perfect, universal measuring system. I experienced a sensation of wholeness, of understanding and connectedness, with all and everything. I experienced the inebriation of the Dreamer’s invulnerability and faultlessness. Nothing could erode or corrupt that integrity. “Find that manuscript!” He reiterated austerely. The outline of His face had already begun to fade away. I had just enough time to hear him add with the sweet tone of a promise “When you have found it, we will meet again.” 4 Lupelius That same day, I started my research on the ancient school and began my hunt for the manuscript of which we had spoken. The work He had asked me to find, ‘The School for Gods’, had been written in the ninth century by the philosopher-monk Lupelius, a free spirit of the Dark Ages, who was a native of Ireland - in those years a refuge for learned men, a land at the crossroads of cultures and traditions, tormented by every war and conflict imaginable. Little is known about the life of Lupelius and what information exists is uncertain. The documents I was able to find were few and not always reliable. Since his youth Lupelius had been trained in the arts of war by his father who hired the greatest masters available and brought him up under the strictest discipline. When still very young, he embraced the monastic life and sought solitude in the mountains of Bet Huzaye, today called Kazakhstan, which was at that time a favourite destination for Anchorites from all parts of the Christian world. Of his religious and spiritual training, it is known that he entered the nearby monastery of Shaban Rabbur, where, cloistered for years in its formidable library, he fervently studied the sacred Scriptures, the Greek Fathers and the great mystics of every time and place, from Origen to Giovanni of Apamea, and the Fathers of the Desert. In the weeks that followed I was able to speak to a few scholars of medieval philosophy who confirmed that all traces of Lupelius’ only work, and of the original manuscript, had been lost for centuries. I researched the libraries of the great universities, contacted various institutes of philosophy and met with scholars and researchers. I extended my search to the rest of Europe, without success. Finally, in Ireland, at the Dublin Wrighter’s Museum, following yet another trail, I ascertained that they had kept a copy, the only known one in existence. However, it turned out this one too had disappeared years before, swallowed by the sands of time. The obstacles and difficulties I met increased my commitment and determination. Every 8 clue, every new encounter on the trail of those lost teachings, was bringing order to my existence. As if following the lines of a precise drawing, the fragments of my life, once scattered pieces of an unknown mosaic, were now coming together, each one finding its rightful place. Finding that manuscript and going back to see the Dreamer became for me one single task. There was no other way of seeing Him again. This thought constantly rekindled my energy to continue the research He had entrusted to me. From the information I was slowly gathering and the elements of Lupelius’ philosophy that I was able to piece together laboriously, the thought and character began to emerge of a great School with principles as powerful as the walls of an immortal city. After more than a thousand years, the fragments of those teachings still shone forth a light at odds with the social and moral dissolution of that era. The figure of Lupelius, servant to the world, immediately made a great impression on me. From the beginning of my research I had felt a growing admiration for this unknown philosopher. The closer I got to him and to his mission, the more I saw this thinker towering alone above people and events. His School stood out like a rock in a sea of ignorance and superstition. His thinking hung like a fine gold chain across a history filled with crime and misadventure. I was unable to learn much about his life apart from the period of time he spent at the court of Charles the Bald in France. Undoubtedly Lupelius was an unusual character, a philosopher and man of action unlike any other. He had no habits or routines. It was said that he could stay awake for inordinate amounts of time. In any case no one had ever seen him sleep. “Sleeping makes you weak, in your mind, and in your body,” he said to his followers; and with his typical Irish humour, added, “Sleeping is just a bad habit.” One of his more peculiar customs was to wander around the markets in the most dangerous and disreputable parts of the cities of Europe. There, in the most apparently unfavourable conditions, he initiated his followers into new ways of thinking and feeling, overthrowing conventional and narrow minded views of the world. There, his shining madness transformed that world of cheats and criminals, of snares and ambushes, into a school of flawlessness. He used the cleverest tricks to eradicate their ingrained beliefs and erase the emotional slime from their minds. His school forged remarkable men and invincible warriors. Lupelius made use of creative methods for teaching and purification which he himself would constantly invent. He would disguise himself as a slave, a vagabond, a politician, a banker or a wealthy merchant and he would use these roles strategically. Whether it was the crown of a king or the robe of a monk, Lupelius wore them and had his disciples wear them too, teaching them how to ‘become’ the character they were inhabiting, to explore and understand every detail and every secret, but without ever forgetting that it was a game and becoming trapped by it. He took them into the Souk where he involved them in wild intrigues with bandits and criminals. He encouraged them to enter the most deprived sectors of society, he pushed them to undertake the most desperate of voyages, almost beyond the point of no return. The Lupelians joined up as 9 mercenaries in absurd wars, revolutions and feuds in distant countries without even knowing the reasons for these conflicts. They went into battle, not to defend the weak or the oppressed, not to support abstract principles or ideologies, nor to defeat external enemies or seek revenge but to become masters of themselves, the authors of their destiny. Real warriors do not fight for supremacy or control over others. They do not fight for glory, nor for any possession or reward, but to gain the only thing which really matters : their own inner freedom. The battlefields were for the Lupelians the most practical way to apply the principles and the ideas of the School – the real proof of their conscious transformation and understanding. Only he who had conquered an inner integrity could remain unharmed by any attack. The Lupelians’ invulnerability sprang therefore from this flawless integrity – death, though near, could neither take hold nor enter. Lupelius’ teaching was a discipline of invulnerability founded upon the development of the will. His aim was to achieve freedom without limits. ‘Free forever from all human conditions and natural limitations,’ the Lupelians practiced the art of “self-mastery”. The supreme victory is to ‘conquer oneself’ and not permit any external event or condition to produce internal wounds, to tarnish one’s being. Lupelius trained his disciples to maintain their serenity and calm under the most extreme conditions. He urged them to seek offence and encourage hostility in order to test their integrity. Even when crossing cities or regions afflicted by epidemics and contagious diseases, they would always emerge unscathed. “Incorruptibility and purity make a warrior invulnerable, impervious to attack from even the most feared of evils,” he would say. I tried to tackle the question of the difference between impassivity (apathea) advocated by the stoics, and the indifference of the soul towards passions and external thoughts championed by the mystic Lupelians. For Lupelius, impassivity was characterised by the recovery of integrity, by that unity of being which is a natural condition forgotten by man. From the vacuum that the soul creates in freeing itself from the ballast of external and carnal objects, without any illusion that there is anything outside of ourselves, is born a state of being that is a continuous, natural motion towards eternity, immortality, and infinity. “All that we synthetically call ‘world’, the events and the circumstances of our life, are but our own projections. If we are aware, we can project only life, prosperity, victory and beauty. If we are alert and attentive we can project freedom, a world without limits, without constraints, without old age or sickness, or death”. The School of Lupelius had enchanted me. I studied it and loved it passionately. I felt as though I was breathing its air. It was in my daydreams. Those visionary men and women, student warriors, lone heroes of an ineffable spiritual battle, were extraordinary beings in my eyes, incomparable models of courage and determination. I secretly observed their shining madness and feverish quest in steadfast pursuit of the conquest of the self. I continued to search without respite and found persuasive evidence that many of the mercenary heroes of that time, in the turbulent years after Charlemagne that saw the slow dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, were his disciples in disguise. Without ever revealing their true identities, 10 those warrior monks were the legendary protagonists of unparalleled epic deeds often capable of turning a defeat into a glorious victory. My research reached a deadlock. For weeks I was unable to add anything more to that small amount that I had already painstakingly gathered. I gave up hope of ever finding that legendary manuscript and, with it, the way back to the Dreamer. However, one day, during one of my many sorties on the trail of this lost teaching, I came to hear of a vastly cultured Dominican father who would be able to help me with my research. He was, moreover, the author of an encyclopaedic work on the medieval history of the Church. 5 The Meeting with Father S. I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment with the person who, after so much searching, had been recommended to me as one of the living fathers of the Christian doctrine. Father S. lived in an ancient Carmelite convent. A tribe of tiny nuns, strict and protective, watched over his scholarly meditations and his contemplative old age. Two of these nuns ushered me into a small ante-chamber where I stood and waited. From the half-open window I could see a corner of the delightful cloister. The green colour contained in the geometry of the arcades and the quality of the silence gave renewed intensity to the sensation I had experienced as I passed through the ancient gates; rather than just crossing the threshold of a convent, it seemed that I had crossed into another time. In an instant my mind flew back to the courtyard of the Collegio Bianchi, in the heart of Naples. The air rang with the sounds of footsteps, of shouting and children chasing each other under the arches; I could smell the food from the refectory and thousands of memories came flooding back to me of my childhood with the Barnabites. Permission to enter was granted on time. I was sorry to leave that enchanted island and the small crowd of my schoolmates that had run to greet me. Their smiling faces faded and returned to their place among the neurons in the mysterious forest of the memory. “Father S. is finishing a new volume of his immense work on medieval Christianity” said one of the miniature sister-guardians who escorted me. I guessed from the austerity of her tone that she was issuing a veiled warning to make sparing use of my host’s time and patience. I went up a narrow spiral staircase made even more constricted by the walls of books surrounding it. Rather than going up steps I had the impression I was climbing a metaphor. Every detail of that symbolic interior seemed a warning to me. I was about to meet one of the great thinkers of Christianity. This idea filled me with a reverential awe mixed with the slight pain experienced when touched by regret or a passing melancholy. This was the kind of life I had wanted for myself, dedicated to research and study. I felt a sudden resurgence of my old, blind faith in teachers and books. 11 The harsh and providential words of the Dreamer interrupted these thoughts “There is nothing you can add to that which you already know…True knowledge cannot be acquired, it can only be ‘re-membered’”. I recognized my sickness: the propensity to depend on the world, and in particular, to idolise knowledge gained from books. Once again, I was making the external world into my god. Coming face to face with some fetish was enough for me to elect that man to be my leader, although I had never met him. I imagined Father S. to be the epitome of a mankind trapped by intellectualism, a humanity that had stopped dreaming. The champion of a Christianity that has forgotten and has placed bookish men and intellectual pride at its summit. “All the world’s books are contained in a single atom of the being – the Dreamer had said to me - They cannot add anything to your knowledge… books cannot lead you to life. Knowledge depends upon being…the more you are, the more you know!” A powerful, psalm-like voice reached me from above, as though it had broken through a breach that had opened up in the rows of books. “Come in” it said. The intonation resembled that of a liturgical passage. The invitation echoed very close to me as though giving me advance warning of the modest dimensions of the place I was about to enter. As I climbed up the last steps, I felt my clenched being gather and compose itself like a warrior approaching a known danger. The words of the Dreamer broke in once again: “Every man occupies a rung on the ladder of human intelligence and is an ineludible guardian to the higher levels. If you remain intact, every encounter will be an opportunity, a rung to step on and go beyond. If you forget, you will find yourself trapped in an external, virtual game which will throw you back into the infernal disorder of your life.” Father S. was a portal of existence. This was who I was really about to meet: a guardian examiner, a very strict judge who would infallibly assign me the post I deserved on the ladder of being. The large head of an old man, bald and clean shaven, emerged from behind the waves of books that covered the table. He scrutinised me for a long time. His dark eyes appeared so extraordinarily young to me that I had the impression they were not his own but had been borrowed and placed in the face of an old man. It seemed as if, by some extraordinary circumstance, those eyes had found some way to avoid the ageing process, leaving all the rest to its biological destiny. He must have realised that I had noticed this. Slowly, he lowered his eyes. He sheathed his eyes like a tortoise. When he opened them again, his gaze was that of an old man. This impression was reinforced by another contrast; the ceremonial expression of someone who welcomes a guest with the stern frown of a master. This ambivalence was the constant background of our encounter, as if to remind me of the distance that separated us. His tone of voice, his clothes, and his gestures were setting the rules for our meeting. Father S. apparently wanted to establish the purpose of our encounter as soon as possible and the limits within which it would take place. 12 I shook hands with him. I felt the same energy I had seen in his gaze. Father S. was studying me. His smile barely concealing the fact that he was gathering and evaluating information so as to classify me. His visitor was not an academic animal but looked more like a young businessman. The type of man that Father S. probably did not encounter frequently. “The only thing I know about you is that you are interested in moral philosophy and that you come from an American university…from New York…if I’m not mistaken,” he said, pronouncing the word ‘only’ with an almost reproachful tone, revealing his nature and professorial attitude. “I specialise in Business Ethics” I corrected him courteously, as I handed him a copy of the letter Fordham University had sent a few days earlier. That document confirmed that I was a researcher, a scholar of business ethics. It was the letter of introduction that I had used to set up this meeting. I felt perfectly at ease in this role. I remained silent. I preferred not to give him any more information about me for the moment and leave him on the edge of that feeling of slight unease, caught between curiosity and unfamiliarity. I didn’t want to make his task too easy. As he read, I noticed an expression of growing interest on his face. He gave a visible start as he read about the studies I was pursuing on Lupelius and my hope that our encounter would help to further my research. With great self-control he contained his emotions at this discovery and only allowed himself to express mild surprise at my choice of topic – such an extraordinary school of thought, so far from the familiar scientific themes. I did not tell him anything about the Dreamer and I justified my interest in Lupelius by talking about the importance his ideas might have on modern business theory and for the training of a new generation of leaders. I told him about the high expectations I had of that branch of studies, which advocated the application to the world of business of the educational methods, the value systems and the philosophical principles that belonged to the ancient Schools of being. What I had found of particular interest were the teachings of Lupelius and his research into invulnerability and invincibility, because of the relevance that these qualities could have today to the challenges of modern economics, no less difficult or fatal than military ones. His research and experiments on immortality conducted in his School could be extended to modern enterprises. For a long time, students of economics had been helpless in the face of an alarming phenomenon of planetary dimensions. “Companies die young. Companies all over the world have too short a life cycle, just a handful of years – I told him - Even the giants of finance and the economy, the largest multinationals on the planet, struggle to survive for more than forty years.” Drawing on the Dreamer’s teachings, I passed off as mine the idea that a durable company is born from a durable founder and that an immortal company can only be born from the dream of an immortal being. Once, while talking to me about the polarity of love/fear, the Dreamer had revealed that the true meaning of love amore could be found in the etymology of the Latin word, ‘a-mors’, which means the absence of death. Not by chance, the name ‘Roma’, the eternal city, is the anagram of a-mor. Its destiny to be immortal was codified in its roots and sealed into the name given to it by its founder. I cited Rome, which 13 had recently celebrated 2,800 years of uninterrupted life, as an example of a long-established enterprise that could not be explained without reference to its founder and his qualities as an immortal being. (Romulus was deified and worshipped as the god Quirino). I gave Father S. other examples of extreme longevity in business, from the thousand year old House of Windsor to the largest multinational on the planet, the Catholic Church itself. Again drawing on the teachings of the Dreamer, I maintained that a rich economy was always the expression of immortal thinking. Vision and reality are one. Just a fragment of eternity is enough to broaden a country’s vision, to expand the horizons of its economy. The concept of immortality is sufficient to raise the financial destiny of individuals, organizations and entire nations. This was the direction my research was taking. I claimed that these discoveries would soon change the way business was done and would revolutionise teaching and scientific research in all universities of economics. The interest of Father S. grew visibly as I spoke of economic theory related to immortality and of the little I knew of Lupelius’ philosophy. The global economy stood out against the backdrop of an immense battlefield where every day entire nations, companies as large as huge regiments, confronted each other to establish the new economic frontiers to their advantage. Only one victor emerges from these conflicts. All the others, that are defeated, are chained to his cart and condemned to slavery. To survive, they have to adopt the habits of their new owner and learn his language. They have to serve him. Encouraged to continue by a gesture from my host, I carried on telling him everything I had discovered about the mysterious monk-philosopher. I did not conceal the fascination I had for Lupelius and his extraordinary teachings. I quickly reached the point where my research had come to a standstill. I also told him about my efforts, thus far entirely fruitless, to find the manuscript entitled the ‘School for Gods’ and the mysterious disappearance of every single copy. I didn’t hide my astonishment at what seemed to be a deliberate attempt to sweep away all trace of Lupelius’ work and of his School for immortal beings. 6 The doctrine of Lupelius Father S. listened to me intently, his head bowed on his chest. When he raised his head he was glowing. Once again I saw those extraordinarily young eyes which had so impressed me when I first came face to face with him. This time he made no attempt to hide them but continued to fix me with his gaze. His face took on the expression of someone expecting to be recognised. I did not retreat from the game and concentrated on his gesture. The solution to the riddle came suddenly and was as dazzling as a flash of lightening tearing through a dark sky. I felt dizzy. That man disguised himself as an old man…but yes…he used his apparent age as a 14 mask…a strategic mask…Father S. was a fake old man. My heart leapt in my chest. Father S. was…a Lupelian. I was certain. I could hardly contain my emotion at this discovery…I felt subtle pleasure at the complicity that was being established between us…A ten centuries-long cord linked us to that race of warriors who knew how to live strategically and understood the art of disguise. His chameleon-like talent had allowed him to live among the folds of his order, hidden in the bosom of Christianity. A tunnel had opened in time and more than a thousand years had been compressed into an instant to lead me to the doors of the School. Before me was perhaps the last of its immortal custodians. A question pounded at my temples, pulsating with my arteries. Did Father S. know the Dreamer? …I was tempted to tell him about my encounter with the ‘dream’ and the extraordinary adventure that I was experiencing in those days. “Lupelius is the prophet of physical immortality, the birth right of every man – revealed Father S., interrupting my feverish thoughts and dropping his initial reserve – A right that we have relinquished and which we must reclaim.” Then, as if he were taking cues from an invisible book, rather than quoting, with his eyes closed he read the following words: “The body is the spirit made flesh. If the spirit is immortal, so then is the body.” The joy he felt as he remembered the School and listened once again to the words which he himself seemed not to have heard for years, was evident. He told me that Lupelius had been banished from Christianity for his ideas and that it was a miracle that he had avoided being burned at the stake. The worst threat posed by Lupelius was his faith in the immense power of the individual and in the final victory of life over death. For the Catholic Church, and for all religious institutions aimed at the masses, there could not have been a more dangerous philosophy: the ‘revolution of the being’, the rebellion to which every man is called to overturn his fragility, his mortal destiny. A struggle against demons, dragons and inner chimeras, against psychological monsters and giants which men have called doubt, fear and pain, which for Lupelius were the true cause of every evil, of every misfortune. It was not surprising that such subversive ideas should have resulted in persecution and attempts against his life. In effect, every trace of Lupelius and of his work had disappeared. Now this seemed to me to be the effect of a deliberate strategy on the part of Lupelius himself rather than the result of implacable hostility towards him. To be accepted by his School meant to be put to the most severe test and living with him required being able to withstand great effort for long periods of time. Lupelius wanted his followers to have direct experience of physical immortality and of invulnerability, by experiencing how it was possible to survive the gravest of dangers unharmed. In effect, having left with his blessing, not one of his men ever returned even slightly grazed. I asked to what he attributed such an extraordinary thing. “A man’s shield is his purity, his love of life and for his Master” said Father S., his eyes half closed. Rather than reflecting on how to respond, it seemed to me that he was remembering “For Lupelius, purity is the fundamental quality of a man, and the way to achieve physical immortality: the supreme asymptote of the human parabola”. He paused for what seemed to me an extremely long time. I had noticed that whenever he referred to Lupelius Father S. 15 always used the present tense, as though he were speaking about a contemporary…or about someone who had never died. In the conversation which followed he led me by the hand into the extraordinary world of those few men and women who were ready to do anything to push themselves beyond the unviolated boundaries, the Pillars of Hercules of the common description of the world. “In the school of Lupelius every effort is made to free the mind from the belief that death is inevitable and invincible – said Father S. –everything forms part of a strategy of purification intended to conquer within oneself that mysterious desire to die which in the common man takes so many forms: it imbues his psychology until it becomes second nature and an inevitable part of his life.” The belief that death is invincible is unhealthy for humans. Your longevity is determined by your mental state, by your life urge. “Your longevity is determined by your mind – asserted Father S., summarising Lupelius’ thinking for my benefit – This means that if you die, you are the only one responsible!” A tiny nun quietly came in, carrying all that was necessary to serve us tea. From the looks of astonishment which she would furtively cast in my direction while transferring the cups and teapot onto the table and pouring the steaming tea, I realised how rare it must have been for Father S. to spend this much time with a visitor. My host remained silent throughout this entire operation. Only when the nun had left did he resume his point, explaining to me how the Lupelians knew that to question the inevitability of death, even only ironically, would weaken its power. “For his assertion that immortality is the right of every man, for his struggle to denounce death as the most horrible and unjust of all human prejudices – announced Father S. with an epigraphic tone – Lupelius will be remembered as the most important mystic of physical immortality.” He continued, claiming that Lupelius’ thinking was connected to that physical, bodily religion which was the original Christianity and had become its epigone, at the same time a herald of spiritual materialism and of its message of the indestructibility of the body. “Lying, hiding, complaining, and evading responsibilities are the psychological stigmata, the indelible marks of a man who has fallen into immorality, into fragmentation; of a man who has forgotten the reason for his existence – said Father S. in a conclusive tone – Once man has abdicated his birthright to immortality and forgotten his integrity, he ‘invents’ death to put an end to his misery. Man prefers to die rather than take on the immense task of conquering himself and his incompleteness… In any case, death is not an answer. A man always starts again from wherever he has left off.” Lupelius created the School for Gods, a school of responsibility, to show the fragmented man, the way back towards simplicity, integrity, and his buried will. 7 “Offer a cock to Asclepius” 16 Through the fragments I had been able to gather of the lost works of Lupelius, and backed up by the words of Father S., I recognised the Dreamer’s inspiration ever more clearly and could hear His voice. It was louder and more ancient than that of Lupelius. I thought of him with gratitude. Father S. was now reading some phrases to me from a little book which he handled with reverence and which he evidently always carried with him. His voice trembled with emotion. His impassioned tone gradually became more intense as some of the more scandalous of Lupelius’ beliefs came to light from this treatise, truths which were unacceptable to any rational mind or canon law. As I listened and wrote these down in my notebook, I felt the impact of their unsustainable difference and their striking contrast with the most deeplyrooted, universally accepted beliefs. “Old age, sickness and death are insults to human dignity, the pillars which for thousands of years have supported an illusory description of the world”. Evil is at the service of good. Always!...Everything comes to heal us…even physical death is actually healing. The last chance!” This statement, Lupelius’ unbearable paradox, set off a secret mechanism. My mind returned to the words pronounced by Socrates as the hemlock was about to reach his heart and stop it beating forever. Their meaning exploded within me with an intolerable brilliance. It lasted only the blink of an eye and then disappeared but it was enough for me to grasp. For over two and a half thousand years the meaning of Socrates’ last wish had been an unfathomable mystery. Surrounded by his closest acolytes, Socrates swallowed the hemlock and the paralysing effect of the poison was proceeding from his legs rapidly towards his heart. He had only a few seconds left to live. In that supreme moment he uttered the following words: “We are debtors owing a cock to Asclepius: give one to him and don’t forget.” How could Socrates ask his friend Criton to offer a rooster to the god of healing when his life was slipping through his fingers and death was by then inevitable? For twenty-five centuries these words have represented a riddle for generations of sages, learned men and exegetes. Lupelius’ philosophical statements had ripped open an impenetrable curtain and now, from the depths of time, the meaning of that message and its enormity was finally emerging. Like a castaway putting his message in a bottle to save it and pass it on, Socrates had entrusted his understanding to the ocean of time so that it would eventually reach us. Sealed in his last words is the fruit of his tireless search: even death is healing…it is the ultimate medicine! It comes when all else fails. As a consequence of the extraordinary circumstances of his death, Socrates reaches a state of inner unity never previously achieved, a height of integrity that allowed him access to the greatest of all secrets: why mankind still has to die and how one day this would no longer be necessary. Behind Socrates’ last words towers the dream of a future mankind which would be healed and made whole and would never again need that extreme act of purification. 17 “Death is the last resort to which existence turns when every other attempt to heal and to become whole has failed –the Dreamer would one day tell me – Socrates used death to understand! In the supreme moment he discovered that it was just one step on the road to healing, another step on the ladder of wholeness. And this was the last, and greatest, of Socrates’ teachings.” Socrates was the epitome of a mankind still caught between two visions. He was a researcher, an explorer. He was not able to overcome death but at least he used it to understand. He showed the way. 8 It is forbidden to kill your inner self “Wholeness of being is only the beginning for a mankind that has chosen to live forever – summed up Father S. – Like attracts like. Death attracts death and cannot affect anyone who is connected to life.” Armed with their wholeness, the Lupelians would return unharmed from their most audacious exploits. No instrument of war seemed able to touch them, as if connection with death had been erased forever. Without proselytising, and without advocating any philosophy, Lupelius’ warrior-monks knew how to rise up, and knew how to make men and events rise up around them, to a higher level of being. They had won before they had even started to fight. Winning meant conquering themselves, overcoming their doubts, fears and ignorance. External victory was only a sign of their internal victory. Thus, by taking care of their own being, by ensuring their own flawlessness and making themselves impervious to evil, they would meet impossible challenges and carry out astonishing feats. “The first cause of death is precisely our separation from God, the fact that we have expelled the divine and transferred it outside of ourselves – said Father S., taking a piece of paper out of a drawer and making a note on it. Then he went on– Lupelius says: You can hate God because you’re sick, because you are suffering or because you’re poor, but I can assure you, the reason for your illness, suffering or poverty is your separation from God.” “Men have forgotten this and they have transformed the planet into a world of death. They have made death into their reason for living. Every thought they have and every action they take is dedicated to it.” “Love and serve” is the motto…To serve mankind one must love…and before anything else, one must love one’s self and one’s own life…” At this point Father S. lowered his voice. I guessed he was about to confide in me the most secret of teachings, the most unacceptable teachings of the School. “Lupelius would remind his followers” – he said, pausing for a few interminable moments. His lips were trembling as he prepared to quote his master’s words – “You are gods who have forgotten…you are gods in a state of amnesia.” 18 “Even orders centuries old can forget” and the eyes of the old man became moist at the thought of the warrior spirit who had inspired him to become a monk – and forgetfulness weakens the warrior in every man –Once we Dominicans were vegetarians, we ate just once a day; we cultivated the body and the spirit as one entity…The message of Christ and our Mission was very clear to us: the victory of life over physical death.” Only unceasing work on himself allows a man to overcome death. I detected in his voice a nostalgia for the discipline of times past, for the memory of the buried brilliance of the School. I admired him and was happy. I did not think that men like Father S. could still to be found in the bosom of the Christian faith, crusaders dedicated to the holiest of wars: the putting to death of death. “Schools and churches, religious orders and government institutions stopped training responsible individuals years ago. Today they only produce polluted minds and bodies” said Father S. He finished covering the page before him with crabbed handwriting. Then he folded it several times and handed it to me without saying a word. Symbolically this gesture seemed to me like the passing of the baton in a never-ending relay across the centuries. He was entrusting me with a piece of the race that mankind had been running for centuries, in search of an escape route from its prison. When we parted at the door of his tiny study he gave me a smile and winked, infecting me with that joyful and inviolable complicity that I had only ever found amongst the little warriors, the bright Neapolitan street urchins of my neighbourhood. I asked him to tell me which of Lupelius’ commandments best represented the sum of his research, the secret formula for defeating physical death. “It is forbidden to kill your inner self!” – said Father S. without hesitation –It is the thousand psychological deaths that undermine us every day that lead to physical death…Believing death to be invincible is what kills us. The belief in its inevitability is the true killer.” 9 The School for Gods I had climbed the steep slopes of the plateau as far as the peak of its imposing volcanoes. Through the clear, dry air, across the vast expanse, my eyes swept over the vegetation of the steppes, a landscape without trees. Once I reached Everan, I left the statue of Mashtots behind me and crossed the square towards a bunker-like structure of grey basalt which was at the top of a bare hill. I was in the heart of Armenia. I had arrived here faithfully following Father S.’s instructions and I was now heading towards a severe looking building which housed the ancient library. Here, in thousands of books, was stored the memory of a people who had lived for centuries on the verge of extinction. Here, where copyists and translators were venerated like saints, from the second half of the fifth century until the present day, thousands of classical, Christian but also pagan works had been conserved or copied. Seminal texts and masterpieces now considered lost forever had been saved by being faithfully 19 translated into classical Armenian. Everan was my last hope of finding Lupelius’ manuscript, or at least a copy of it. I spent many days questioning the archivists and exploring entire sections of the library in great detail. I walked down endless corridors with walls lined with books and dusty folders, like an archaeologist in a buried city. Two young librarians were assisting me in my search. They had been assigned to me by the curator but I am not sure whether they were there to help me or to watch over me. With them I went into labyrinths of papers, I examined parchments and yellowed rolls of sheepskin, bringing them out into the light for the first time in centuries. Whenever I thought I had identified something promising I would select the volumes or the rolls and the two young scholars would take them off the shelves and open them for me. They never touched those precious relics with their bare hands but only with a preciously embroidered cloth, following an almost sacred ritual. One day, in the catalogue of the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, I discovered that an original copy of a volume without title was conserved under register number 7722. Having been ransomed for its weight in gold from the hands of the Seljukians in 1204, it had been kept and protected in a monastery perched in the craggy, snowy peaks overlooking the Black Sea. By the end of the eighteenth century it was part of the collection of spiritual and asceticmystic texts belonging to Paisij Velichovskij who had a Slavonic version printed in Moscow. After many vicissitudes it was again miraculously saved from destruction at the hands of the Turks and brought to Everan in 1915. I felt the heart beats in my chest become as strong as a hammer when rolls of parchment densely covered with the author’s handwriting emerged from the safe. I immediately knew that it was Lupelius’ work. I only needed to read a few lines to be sure of it. I could hardly contain my joy as I avidly explored its content. The language of Lupelius revealed itself to be a mixture of vernacular English and Latin, a kind of European Esperanto of striking inventiveness. These words had the power to cancel time and to transmit intact, after more than a thousand years, the precious energy that had inspired generations of warrior-monks. During my stay in Everan, I made friends with a couple of Welsh scholars. The man was a historian and his wife a Latinist. It was to them, in the small lounge of the inn where we were staying, that I revealed my discovery that evening. We talked about it excitedly for most of the night. Their help would turn out to be providential. Only the Dreamer could have arranged such an extraordinary ‘coincidence’. The one thing of many which seemed most surprising to these researchers was not the way in which I had tracked down the book so much as the fact that I knew its original title. A title which had been lost for centuries and that no-one knew. With their help I immediately started to transcribe some passages and began work on the translation. We studied the manuscript together for weeks. The more I read, the closer I felt to Lupelius’ philosophy and the more I felt a passion grow for that forgotten teaching. The interpretation of one of the passages, the exegesis of a symbol, made me cross the sacred threshold of that school of men and women, indefatigable seekers in the quest for immortality. I commissioned expert copyists to produce a faithful reproduction of ‘The 20 School for Gods’. The result was a genuine masterpiece: a fine leather bound edition with pages of vegetable parchment identical in every detail to Lupelius’ original work. I kept that copy with me at all times. At night I kept the book under my pillow as Alexander used to do with the Iliad. It was a present for the Dreamer and I could not wait for the time to come when I would be able to give it to him. I knew that day by day, every small advance I made in my understanding of His principles brought me closer to Him. I was often overcome by uncontrollable enthusiasm which sometimes culminated in moments of real ecstasy at the thought of the wonderful outcome of my enterprise, at the limits of the impossible. I had ‘miraculously’ found Father S., I had found the original manuscript of ‘The School for Gods’ and I had met two students who, with boundless devotion, were working on the translation. I had no doubt that I would soon find the Dreamer again. For the moment, nothing existed for me other than immersing myself in the manuscript, delving into King Solomon’s mines every day, going down those venerable tunnels and ceaselessly digging to extract ‘precious matter’. In order to choose life, we must choose the thought that death is not invincible. And so, we must find the principles of aliveness, longevity, and eternity in our being. This and other rules which I learned from Lupelius’ manuscript would one day become the cornerstones of all my future activities and the fundamental principles of many enterprises in the world of international business. An enterprise is only as vital, rich and long lasting, as the ideas and principles of its founder. For Lupelius the real inequality between men, the root from which every other visible difference arises, is that they belong to different levels of inner responsibility. Differences in the quality of thought places men vertically on different levels of the ladder of being. There exists an inner hierarchy that no war or revolution can ever erase because the true difference between men does not depend on wealth, creed or race. It is a difference in states of being. It is a psychological, vertical, evolutionary difference of rank. For this reason, it can only be overcome by a radical change in the way a man thinks and feels. A real improvement implies a change of being. A real improvement means evolution or growth towards unity of being which is the result of a new way of thinking and the abandonment of the old, mortal mentality…Only a change of being can raise a man to a higher level of freedom, understanding and happiness. 10 Mea Culpa 21 For Lupelius the Earth was a cosmic penitentiary, a prison as vast as the planet itself, where men lived like convicts on death row. Instead of drawing from this vision the conclusion that defeat was final and irremediable, his brilliant madness devised the most audacious plan. Lupelius dreamt up an adventure for man which took him beyond the boundaries of the possible: an escape from the laws that govern the planet, a flight from his apparently inexorable mortal destiny. Man could break through the confines he himself had established, he could defy nature and cross over those limits which, like the Pillars of Hercules, he dared not go beyond even in his imagination. Lupelius gathered around himself a few brave men and prepared a detailed plan of escape. You always encounter the same events because nothing changes in you! Like attracts like. A particle of paradise moves towards paradise, a particle of hell towards hell. According to Lupelius’ philosophy our states of being attract the events that correspond to them, and events cause us to return to those same states. Only the will can stop this endless circle, this never-ending mechanical game and break the hypnotic cycle in which man’s existence is circumscribed. Thought is creative. Thought creates. Events are the materialisation of our thoughts, of our states of being. Therefore, states and events are the same thing. States are produced in the being of every man and events manifest themselves in his life, over time, and seem to originate independently of his will. In reality we are the ones who have intensely invoked them and unconsciously created them. Whether positive or negative, a man’s thoughts are always creative and unfailingly find a way to materialise. Our thoughts, like hand-written invitations, sent and then forgotten, attract events that correspond to them. In due course, when we are no longer even thinking about them, circumstances, meetings, events, problems and accidents, downfalls and failures, knock at our door, unwelcome guests with a secret and longstanding invitation nevertheless. Only neglect of our states, which are the true cause of such events, makes them appear to be sudden and unexpected. Anything sudden always requires a lot of preparation. No external event can happen to a man without his consent, albeit unconscious. Nothing can happen to him without it first going through the filter of his psychology. Therefore thinking is a very powerful process. What we then call facts, events, experiences and all manner of occurrences in one’s life are states of being which are already marching towards those who are in tune with them. States are events just waiting for the right occasion to happen. The quality of our emotions, the breadth of our thoughts and the states of mind that we experience this very instant will decide what will become visibly manifest and the nature of the events that will materialise in our lives. Thinking is destiny 22 The higher our thoughts, the greater our life The fundamental tenet of Lupelius’ philosophy is that inner states and events are two aspects of a single reality. This does away with any distinction between an external and an internal world, thereby making it possible for every man to guide his own destiny, through knowledge of his own inner states and self-mastery. Existence is our own invention and as such depends on us alone. Guided by Lupelius, I was discovering for the first time the vertiginous power, the ‘concreteness of doing’, which lay hidden in the Christian mea culpa. For thousands of years, as though locked in a treasure chest, the very epitome of human intelligence had been conserved in these two Latin words. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Only now did I recognise this as the most concise and potent expression of the idea of responsibility. Mea culpa. This formula, capable of harnessing the universe, from the hierarchy of the planets to the movements of the atoms, holds the secret of boundless energy. Modifying states of being can transform the events that happen to you. This is how a man, by studying himself and changing his way of thinking and feeling, can transform his horizontal, temporal existence. Existence on Earth is our great School. A School of life which in the eyes of ordinary men appears to be a prison. We need to learn how to overturn our vision. Whatever men normally perceive as difficulty and misfortune, whatever they curse and try to avoid at all costs, is actually the most valuable material which can enable them to transform their psychology of death into a psychology of life. Life through this world is a School for Gods. Confusion, doubts, chaos, crisis, anger, despair and pain are all excellent conditions for growth. 11 States and events 1 A man’s being is made of states and his life of events. Our existence therefore runs along two parallel tracks: the events which are the sequence of circumstances that come towards us during our life on the conveyor belt of time and space, and our states which are the impulses of our spirit, our moods, the emotions which arise within us in a mostly unconscious way. A 23 man’s personal history is therefore made of events, horizontally, and of states, vertically. However, people usually think about their life and talk about it as if it were only made up of external events. In reality, the type of events which occur, and consequently the quality of a person’s external life, depends upon the quality of thought and on the states of being. Life is thus made of events but even more of states. We all believe, for example, when we go to a conference or to the theatre, that we are the ones to choose our seat; we are all sure that this morning we chose what we were going to wear. In reality, the choice of seat and clothes was not made by ‘us’ but by our states of being. Everyone has a suit, a shirt, or some other item of clothing in their wardrobe which for some reason they never feel like wearing. However they do not throw that garment away because they know that, sooner or later, they will find themselves in a state of mind, a mood, a level of being, which will be in tune with it. When we ‘feel’ that way, we ‘choose’ that garment. The relationship between states and events, inner circumstances and outer events, the mysterious relationship between a man’s psychology and the things that happen to him, are at the core of the question of free will and the age-old enigma of whether destiny is determined by chance or necessity. Around this enigma, over the ages, men have accumulated the knowledge of a great science that today is unknown. The ancient Greeks maintained that there was a causal relationship between inner states and external events. This archaic civilization firmly believed that a man’s destiny was the projection of his inner world, of his being. They founded a science and an art on this conviction that for them had the highest value. In the pre-Homeric age, a wise man was not someone who was rich in experience or who had great knowledge but someone who could show what was unknown, who could predict the future. For the Greeks, shedding light on darkness, defining the uncertain, was true knowledge and also an art. Other civilizations also exalted divination but no other people elevated it to the point of becoming the central tenet of their lives. All over the Hellenic world sanctuaries sprang up dedicated to the cult of Apollo to whom, more than to Dionysus, was attributed the dominion of knowledge. This was understood as the knowledge of human destiny and its manifestation and communication. This Greek vocation and the art of predicting the future found its greatest expression in Delphi. This is why the god of Delphi was a unifying image for that civilization and a symbol of Greece itself. The pilgrim who often travelled great distances and faced grave dangers to ask the god about his future would find the Delphic inscription ‘Know Thyself’ engraved on the tympanum of the temple - as if to say, ‘Do you want to know your future? Then know yourself!’ In this apparently mocking paradox the Greeks set out the solution to the oldest riddle of humanity, the secret of all secrets, the answer to the age-old question concerning the existence of free will. A question that led all the philosophers in the world to ponder feverishly whether to follow a fatalistic view of a predetermined and inevitable future or the belief in the homo faber, man as maker of his own destiny. Sculpting this Delphic motto onto the very temple dedicated to the most sacred art and the greatest of sciences, divination, the 24 Greeks revealed the secret relationship between the inner and the outer world, between states and events. They entrusted this discovery to the ocean of time, like a message in a bottle, so that it would reach us. The man who knows himself, his own being, the container of his thoughts, ideas, and attitudes, also knows his own future, because whatever we think is connected to the world; our psychology is our destiny. Thinking is Destiny. Apollo is the symbol of the world as a mirror of man’s inner self. The world is our reflection. Classical tradition tells us that Homer was a blind prophet and this is yet another message that has come down to us from that age of wise men that came to an end with the death of Socrates, the last of the sages. The blindness attributed to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two great bibles of the ancient world, is emblematic of the attention paid by the Greeks to psychology, to self knowledge and states of being. Looking inside oneself is the key to knowing the world, the road to understanding it and foreseeing its events. Noticing how some men were capable of exceptional deeds and of undertaking enterprises well beyond ordinary limits, and observing how they seemed to enjoy some special protection, even in the most dangerous circumstances, and how their lives seemed to be at the centre of extraordinary events, the ancient Greeks recognised that these men had a special nature, a luminosity of being and inner qualities that were almost divine. They therefore concluded that there existed two species of men: heroes and semi-gods, on the one hand, common men on the other. In the age of Homer only semi-gods and heroes, thanks to their extraordinary deeds, could gain the right to an individual destiny. Their unique and original lives were not ruled by any divinity and were free from chance and the quirk of events. All other men were condemned to a repetitive existence. They were ruled by the laws of Accident and Chance and their lives, whether short or long, as well as their actions, were without purpose and destined to leave no trace. For Lupelius the difference between these two kinds of human beings, and between men in general, was that they belong to different levels on the ladder of being. Wherever they meet, for a few moments or for years, men inevitably form a pyramid, arranging themselves on the different levels of an invisible ladder, according to an inner, mathematical order, like planetary hierarchies organised according to their brightness, mass, orbits and distance from their sun. We may not be aware of it, but our destiny, the quality of our lives and the events which affect us, must respect this hierarchy. Understanding how everything emanates from the being and that the individual destiny of men, like that of an entire society, is nothing but a projection of the being, the classical Greeks used every possible means, from religion to politics, from science to philosophy, art and even war, to raise the spirit. The wonderful architecture of cities like Athens and works of art like the masterpieces of Phidias, displayed in public squares, were machines that transmitted 25 messages of beauty, pride and harmony to the being so as to elevate it. Only the Ancient Greeks had a word for poetry (poiesis) in which we can unearth the secret, sealed within its etymology, of doing through being; and all Greek theatre had a therapeutic, cathartic function for society to purify audiences and free their souls from burden. For the Greeks the ultimate aim of the tragedy was the purification of the passions to achieve, through this, the elevation of the being. 12 States and events 2 Many times, as I reflected on the significance of this information and on everything I was learning about states and events, I considered how absurd it was that we should spend a quarter of our lives at school and university and let our entire life slip away without knowing anything about “being” and the power our states of mind have in determining the events and circumstances of our lives. The first education we receive does not provide us with any sense of the distinction between what is external and what is internal, nor does it prepare us to manage our thoughts or be aware of our emotions. Without any deliberate intent, ordinary culture has relegated emotions, feelings and thoughts to the ephemeral and intangible sphere of myths, fables and dreams, considering them to be separate phenomena and extremely far from what is commonly called ‘reality’. Following the path of classical civilization, discovering its mythology - more useful and reliable than history in every respect - and studying Lupelius’ manuscript, I made the thrilling discovery that in reality, between states and events there is no relationship of former and latter or of cause and effect, but only of total identification. States and events are two sides of the same reality placed on different levels of existence. They are the two ends of the same stick positioned vertically. What prevents us from seeing that states and events are the same thing is that they are separated by the factor of time which acts as a sort of shock absorber. Between our inner states and the occurrence of the corresponding external events there is a lapse of time and, like a smoke screen, it prevents us from recognising that events are nothing but the materialisation of our inner states in time-space. Thoughts, emotions, feelings and all our states are like invitations which we are constantly sending out and, even though we may forget about them, they never fail to attract the corresponding events. To be more precise, they are already events. It is only a question of time before they happen. It may take more or less time before they occur, in one place or another, but they invariably reach us. A man’s emotional states are in reality events seeking an opportunity to happen and become visible. Time distances states from events and masks their biuniqueness. Time paints its sepia over the events which hide and lurk behind the screen, taking us by surprise when we have forgotten, or never even realised, that our states alone were responsible for them. Nothing happens suddenly. 26 What we perceive as unexpected always needs extensive preparation. There is nothing that a man could possibly encounter, no event that could possibly happen to him without first having, knowingly or unknowingly, journeyed through his being or psychology. The world is connected to our emotions, passions and thoughts. They are the drive belt between the inner and outer world. By managing our emotions and thoughts, along with everything that we feel and experience in a specific moment, that is by mastering our states, we can take over the helm of our existence and set the direction of our destiny. This is where the Roman concept of fortune and of homo faber had its roots, in contrast to the Greek and Middle Eastern vision which represents Fortune as a blindfolded goddess distributing events at random and directing them according to her whim. It is commonly believed that external events condition our attitudes and determine our moods. Something happens, we meet someone or receive some news, and we believe that the psychological state we experience - irritation, anxiety or surprise - is a result or a consequence of that event, meeting or news. In the same way as, until the invention of photography, it was impossible to determine the exact sequence of the hooves of a galloping horse as these movements were faster than the eye could follow, so thoughts, emotions, perceptions and feelings travel like electronic flashes through the mysterious forest of our neurons at speeds close to that of light, making it seem impossible to establish the exact temporal sequence in relation to external events. Something happens and we believe the psychological state we feel to be the result of that event. So we justify our state of being by reference to that external event while in fact exactly the opposite has taken place. In reality, it is our states of being which announce and determine the external events of our lives. Our negative emotions in time metamorphose into the adversity of which we then complain. To encounter a certain kind of event, be it good or bad, I first have to create the conditions within myself which will create such an event. Man’s biggest illusion is to believe he can change external conditions and change the world. We can only change ourselves, work on our own attitudes, modify our reactions and not express the negative emotions we feel. The universe is perfect the way it is. The only one who must change is you! We are convinced that a man’s energy and good will count for very little compared to the events that happen to him in life, which appear to be largely fortuitous and inevitable. The torrent of events that continuously submerge us is too varied and confused to be foreseeable and much too powerful for us to imagine that we might go so far as to direct it. According to Lupelius we need to ‘see’ that our own self always lurks behind events and states. No solution is possible unless we first change ourselves. He who is able intentionally to achieve the slightest elevation in the level of being can move mountains and projects himself as a giant in the external world. By acting on our inner states, on the quality of our thoughts, on the way we feel and on negative emotions - starving some and nourishing others - we will not only change our attitudes and consequently also our relationship with the events which confront us in the external world, that is to say how we 27 react to them, but also the very nature of the events that happen day after day. Our first task must be self observation, observing our thoughts and our states of being. A careful study of ourselves which includes our thoughts, our emotions, our attitudes, our reactions and the way in which we ‘take’ events, would allow us to discover that man thinks and feels negatively. It is only on the surface that man appears to wish for himself wealth, health and good fortune. If he could observe himself and know his inner self, he would hear within himself an almost constant chant of negativity, like a prayer of misfortune composed of worries, sick images and the expectation of terrible events, both probable and improbable. How can we act upon inner states of being, on our own moods, emotions and ways of thinking? Just think how difficult it is to lift oneself out of a bad mood. The physical energy that could move a mountain is not enough to lighten a thought let alone an emotion. The force needed to redirect a thought or to gain control of an emotion is produced at a higher level. In order to accumulate this special energy it is necessary to eliminate all the possible flaws in the system, the thousand weak points through which, like a colander, we lose energy and which consist mostly of negative emotions and wrong mindsets. If an event happens in the external world and I do not connect it to the states of my being that created it, I will have missed an important opportunity. If one observes carefully, many of the events in our lives repeat themselves and it is possible to try to gain a better understanding of their nature by looking at the way they correspond to particular states of being. For instance, take the cluster of thoughts we might call ’being late’. ‘Being late’ triggers a feeling of anxiety in me. Intelligence involves knowing that these external conditions correspond to an internal condition that has not yet arisen. There is a part of my being which connects me to those events. There is no other way to eliminate them from my life other than by modifying this inner condition that I call anxiety, fear and worry, but which in reality is nothing more than a sickness of the being – an inner fault. In one way or another, that kind of event will repeat itself in my life for as long as I harbour within me the psychological states which produce it. Those events are actually the signs which indicate that a recovery is taking place, if we have the power to connect them to the states which gave rise to them. ‘Seeing them’, paying attention to our own psychological states, means pointing the arrow at ourselves, reversing the process and going back from the event to the state which produced it. This is where we can access understanding and the concrete possibility of transforming our own lives. Making excuses, justifying oneself, blaming an external event and not recognising that the cause lies in the shortcomings of our own being, of our inner states and ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, means that we have not understood. Not understanding means that in some way the event will have to repeat itself over and over again. The circumstances may change, the events will present themselves in different guises and we will continue to blame external circumstances and in doing so miss the opportunity to free ourselves from them for ever. 28 Take the blame for everything, accept responsibility for everything that happens to you. The secret of secrets is Mea Culpa. I reflected upon the fact that entire nations live in states of being which attract corresponding events. |For example, in the United States, it has taken tens, even hundreds of years for racial prejudice or the dislike of people who are different for reasons of creed or culture, to be recognised and to create the conditions for these prejudices to be overcome. The martyrs, the leaders who died an early death, like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy, shorten the time and hasten the conditions needed to change the psychological states and ways of thinking and feeling of nations or entire civilisations, so that they become capable of attracting new events and new opportunities. Our states can make us win or lose in life. They can make us rich or poor. They can make us ill or heal us. Self-observation, the study of the self, is the means by which we can know our states. The mere act of observing ourselves makes us more aware and more intelligent. Self-observation is self-correction. 13 “Put God to work!” Reading Lupelius’ manuscript put me in a state of feverish excitement. Leafing through those pages which had been passed down through the centuries made me feel as though I was wandering in the classroom among the desks of the School for Gods. I listened in rapture to the School’s timeless voice. Every day was an intellectual adventure and my research was rewarded with the treasure of an immortal thought. There is nothing that man needs to introduce from the outside…neither food, nor knowledge, nor happiness…it is his birthright not to depend on anything outside of himself…Man can feed himself from the inside, nourish himself from his own intelligence, his own will and his own light. For Lupelius this idea was the central element of physical immortality and the cornerstone of every philosophy and every religion. From a recess in the memory came the most ancient words in the world; the words that man’s lips had pronounced, like those of a child, four thousand years ago, even before he knew how to write them. Thou shalt have no other God than Me!...An understanding grew and spread inside me, initially with trepidation, like a light dispersing the darkness of ages. Then it flared up as powerful as a roaring fire. Thou shalt have no other God… meant that man, unaware of being the creator, makes the external world his God and elects it as lord of his being and master of his destiny…That centuries-old warning handed down the first and greatest of all the commandments: do not depend on anything!!!...Remember that you are the one who created all of this!!!...Believing in a world outside of ourselves means depending on it and being trapped by the laws of one’s own projection. At this point my thoughts overlapped and became confused like the voices of small children excited by a joyous discovery…’Love your Lord God. Thou shalt have no other 29 Gods outside your self’. You are the lord and master, the maker and creator of all and everything. You project all this… You ‘are’ all this…Never again will you be this close to the breath of a more real and concrete God…Here my thought stopped and remained suspended … From the translations I received every day from the team of scholars and researchers I had put together in Everan, emerged a dialogue between Lupelius and Amanzio, one of his warrior monks. Their message darted out between the lines, still alive and fresh, as if the disciple had asked his questions at that very moment. I felt an indescribable sensation in my feet as if I were on the edge of a precipice. Time became compressed and I found myself within the venerable walls of that School. Lupelius: “You have made existence and the external world your god… But existence is not real… it is a device that serves the ‘dream’ so as to help you return to the source to find out what is really real… There is nothing outside ourselves which is not ruled by the ‘dream’”. Amanzio: “Then what about this castle we are in and these rooms which are more than three hundred years old?” Lupelius: “I am a creation of yours…now, in this moment!” Amanzio: “And what about my mother and father?” Lupelius: “They are also your creations… there is nothing outside of you or before you!” Amanzio: “So… then… is man… God? Lupelius: “No!… He is much more!… He has God at his service…” Amanzio: “What does that mean?” Lupelius: “That you could ask him for everything that you desire… and God would satisfy all your requests… without constraint… God is a good servant but not a good master… God loves to serve… he loves to love… God is total surrender at your service… God exists… because ‘you’ exist…If you are not there then He has no reason to exist… God is your will in action”. Amanzio: “I don’t understand” Lupelius: “The mind cannot understand… it can only lie… The mind… is mendacious…The mind which is not mendacious annuls itself and makes way for the totality of the being”. 14 The art of staying awake The battlefield is the Body I read in the manuscript. This authoritative statement by Lupelius echoed inside me like the war cry of a great crusade. The battlefield is our body. Victory is called integrity or wholeness. The goal of a man’s life - his aim - is integrity; the unity of the being. In this way Lupelius summarised the sense of mankind’s millennial quest and explained the very reason for his existence, the meaning of his entire history. According 30 to Lupelius, this achievement is physical. The body is the most visible part of the being. The integrity of the being is a victory that takes place in our cells. There is no war as holy as that in which one ‘conquers oneself’, no greater victory than exceeding one’s own limits. Integrity is the healing of the being. It requires overthrowing age-old beliefs, transforming negative emotions and destructive thoughts, achieving self-mastery and control of one’s eating, sleeping and breathing… Studying this and other passages of ‘The School for Gods’, I perceived the nature of the experiments that Lupelius and those around him were conducting, in that glowing laboratory that was his School in Ireland one thousand years ago. There his warrior-acolytes trained themselves to master sleep and food, reducing their reliance on them day by day - a fundamental part in their training to become invulnerable and immortal. According to Lupelius, sleep was a bad surrogate for breathing, a contrivance that the body had devised, to free itself, if only for a few hours, from insufficient and inefficient breathing. As I delved even further into Lupelius’s thinking I realised that nothing is as close to us, and at the same time as mysterious and unknown, as our breathing. We are creatures living at the bottom of an ocean of air. And although we are submerged in this element and every square centimetre of our body is under pressure from this ethereal ocean, we still absorb an insufficient quantity of oxygen into our lungs. Lupelius made the astonishing discovery that the amount of air we all breathe in is many tens of times less than we actually need. In his manuscript he examined and accurately described this condition of near suffocation to which man has been reduced, referring to it as ‘underbreathing’. The consequence of this strange phenomenon is that, according to Lupelius, there are vital parts of our organism that do not receive an adequate supply of oxygen and are under nourished. Anticipating by many hundreds of years the discovery of the importance of respiration in catabolism and organ regeneration, Lupelius concluded that mankind was seriously polluted. He considered that it was necessary for a man to dedicate several hours a day to breathing fully, deeply and completely, and he predicted that one day every school, organization and community would teach breathing techniques as a way of training people to take in the much greater quantities of oxygen that the body really needs. I noted with regret that, ten centuries later, that prophecy was still far from being realised and that man continued to ‘underbreathe’ unperturbed, behaving as if oxygen were subject to heavy taxes or counted amongst the rarest and most costly commodities in the universe. According to Lupelius, deep breathing cannot be done mechanically but only through an effort of will. From him I learned that the destiny of a man is linked to his breathing by a double thread. The more deeply a man breathes, the richer his reality…If you want to change your destiny, work on your breathing….dedicate time to breathing. 31 One of the cornerstones of Lupelius’s doctrine was that in order to deserve an individual destiny, to be the hero of a great personal adventure, a man needs to breathe consciously and deeply, to be frugal with food and sex and to steal time from sleep. All the necessary efforts should be directed towards this goal. On this subject, I found a letter in the manuscript written by Lupelius to one of his students providing advice in a familiar and informal tone. People fall asleep in the same way as one hopes to die…suddenly…But, whatever time it is, however long your day has been and however hard your battle, make sure you ‘fall asleep awake’…Those who do not know how to manage their energy, fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day, more dead than alive…If you really have to sleep for a few minutes, then you must approach sleep from a state of wakefulness. This will prevent you from falling into the hellish depths. It seemed as if these words from Lupelius were directed at me, indirectly reprimanding me for my then quite frequent habit of falling asleep suddenly in front of the television or while reading a book. Their force and suggestive power was such that upon reading those words I immediately decided to redeem myself and from that day on I adopted ‘falling asleep awake’ as a password and a rule for life. According to Lupelius the way in which a man goes to sleep is like a litmus test – a way of revealing the quality of his life. The moment we feel that we are succumbing, when our eyes are closing and falling asleep seems inevitable, is for Lupelius the time when we must exercise our will, rising up and using every possible means to conquer sleep…Lupelius suggested swordplay, bathing or dancing and had devised all sorts of tricks and strategems that could serve this purpose. According to Lupelius “To sleep is to die!” With his inimitable dark humour, joker of the universe and master of disguises that he was, he claimed that every night men play out the dress rehearsal for their own final exit from the scene. Persevering in their ‘bad habit’ of sleeping, half the planet goes to bed, its inhabitants bidding each other good night without even realising what a macabre ritual they are performing. The philosopher-monk who dared to dream the impossible, the head of the School of invincible warriors, concluded the letter to his disciple with some extraordinary advice on the art of staying awake. “When you know that sleep is the representation of death, you can no longer approach it as you did before…In any case, whatever precautions or methods you adopt, you must never let anyone, not even a woman, see you sleeping…Train in the art of staying awake!...A warrior knows that to be caught napping is to expose his vulnerability…it is like inviting the world to attack and beat us to death”. 15 Bad habits Lupelius had discovered a mystery in man which the mind cannot even begin to conceive. The existence of a black hole which collects a sort of ‘psychological scum’, that pollutes his cells. 32 By using the techniques of fasting and breathing, by adopting a new vision, new ideas and making special efforts, a man can change himself and the situations he finds himself in. He can make the transition from an incomplete being, mortal and ridden with conflict, to one who is whole, harmonious and immortal. Every deprivation, every effort made towards frugality, is part of the preparation for our escape from the hell of ordinariness, freeing us from the emotional encrustations built up over the years. According to Lupelius, only a man from the School, guided by a flawless teacher, can confront such a healing process and overcome the hurdles and obstacles of such an undertaking. Man is generally incapable of understanding the signs that announce and accompany an act of purification. Ordinary men read these in reverse and rather than seeing them as signs of healing, perceive them to be a true sickness. The pain involved in the effort required is something no one wants to face. This is why, according to Lupelius, every act of abstinence is abandoned just when it starts to work. Through his long voyages, intense study and tireless research, Lupelius had got to know the ancient schools of initiation and had met extraordinary men who belonged to the great ascetic schools and mystic traditions. In every age and in all civilizations, otium, the art of not doing, had been the mainstay of every discipline and inner search; the golden thread that kept every man who aimed at the conquest of the highest levels of responsibility committed to the great adventure. Following the ideal map indicated by the manuscript, the abstinence of the ascetic, the solitude of the hermit and the frugality of the monk, revealed themselves to be expressions of a single School, different aspects of one, timeless quest that was connected to the martial disciplines and to the wakefulness of the warrior. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Arriano, one of the two historians who followed the exploits of Alexander the Great, had, in the ‘Anabasis Alexandrou’, summed up the dietary rules and the secret of his boundless energy in a single sentence: “…he had been trained to be frugal: for breakfast, a march before dawn, for dinner, a light meal.” The Macedonian warriors themselves, considered throughout all antiquity to be the unmatched models of bravery and strength, were of legendary frugality. They slept on the naked earth and, even at times of extreme endurance and while undertaking the most daunting endeavours, would eat only a handful of olives. And yet, they were tireless, the most fearsome of warriors, a true nightmare for their enemies. The deliberate elimination of just one gram of food and abstinence from just one minute of sleep were, in Lupelius’ opinion, so powerful as to cast serious doubt on man’s entire system of beliefs and upset his artificial equilibrium. His School advocated the absence of sickness, old age and death as an inalienable birthright and natural condition of man. A diseaseless, ageless, deathless man. Since the beginning of time, throughout the centuries and in all traditions, the quest for self-mastery had required practice and discipline, intended as a means by which to bring to 33 the surface what Lupelius called ‘emotional slime’. It was an essential procedure in order to discover inner wounds and to drive out all the shadows lurking in the folds of the being. One day, while working on the manuscript, I discovered the incredible secret which Lupelius had exposed. His announcement is the manifesto for a revolution in thought that did not appear to be directed at his contemporaries but at a scientific assembly of the future: “…It is time for mankind to wake up from an ancestral, metaphysical sleep…It is time to shake off the dust of ages from its belief system …” The document ended with these forbidding words: “Food, sleep, sex, disease, old age and death are ‘bad mental habits’. We must rid ourselves of them.” In several places in his manuscript these were also referred to as ‘superstitions’ or ‘illusions’. “The battlefield is the body,” said Lupelius. “Every refusal of food, every minute rescued from sleep, is a victory in the battle against death…Physical death is immoral,… unnatural,… unnecessary.” Lupelius believed that lack of frugality in food, sleep, sex or work, was the primary cause of any loss of energy and vitality, leading man to achieve the impossible, making physical death possible and finally inevitable. Throughout the ages, in every civilization and religious tradition, an elite few have awoken from the hypnotic sleep vilified by Lupelius and have tried to follow a discipline which placed the idea of physical immortality at the centre of their system of thought, claiming it as the origin of all prosperity and longevity. The Dreamer would one day say to me that the idea of physical immortality was a fundamental element in the psychology of a new humanity, and of leaders in particular. Unless he passes through these Pillars of Hercules, a man will sooner or later be put under severe pressure by his limitations and succumb. And if that man is in charge of an organisation then the whole enterprise folds with him. The idea that death can be defeated uproots every constraint from our psychology, increases our responsibility and is an essential requirement for the establishment of a vital, prosperous and durable enterprise. According to the Dreamer, the philosophy of physical immortality should be taught in all schools, universities and institutions. The idea of a life without end is the strongest antidote to poverty, crime and death. Leaving Everan and the Institute for Ancient Manuscripts, I returned to new York bringing with me, as my most prized possession, the copy of The School for Gods which I had had made for the Dreamer. From the enormous mountain of notes I had compiled, two words in particular gave me pause for thought during my entire journey: Die less, a recurrent aphorism and perhaps the motto of the Lupelians. These words seemed to me to be the ultimate synthesis of the School’s philosophy. Die less and live for ever. I thought of the devastating discovery hidden behind the apparent simplicity of this formula. Man dies inside thousands of times a day. Destructive states and thoughts and 34 negative emotions burgeon and reproduce ceaselessly within our being while distilling the slow poison that kills us. We may not know where to start in order to live for ever, but following Lupelius’ age-old aphorism we can certainly “die less”. Many times I chanted the Lupelian song of immortality: Eat less and Dream more Sleep less and Breathe more Die less and Live forever. 16 “You won’t make it!” I emerged as if from a journey underground. I recognised the room and the huge painting on the far wall. This time, it was an hour later in the morning in the Dreamer’s world, and the light was such that I could easily observe the architecture of that part of the house. I looked up towards the high ceiling and followed its line to the point where it dropped sharply forming an imposing archway of bare brick. It was in that moment that I sensed a presence. I gave a start. On each side of the arch, two naked people, a man and a woman, were observing me like motionless guardians. A shiver ran down my spine before I understood what was before me. They were life size statues placed facing each other. They were so perfectly made that I thought they were copies of Hellenic originals. The chest of the warrior, so high and smooth and strong as armour, conveyed to me a message of irresistible pride. I stood up and straightened my back as if responding to a military order. I instinctively ignored the steep peperino stairway that led to the Dreamer’s rooms and, without hesitation, took the opposite direction, towards a large door made of glass and wrought iron of an unusual shape. Beside it, a large painting covered the entire wall. I stopped to examine it. I recognised an opulent representation of the myth of Narcissus, depicting him as he admired his reflection in a pond, shortly before being swallowed into it. I gazed admiringly and at length at this work which would not have been out of place among the seventeenth century masterpieces of an important museum collection. Then I carefully pushed the glass door open and stopped spellbound on the threshold of a fairytale setting. Without taking my eyes off this scene, I bent down to untie my shoelaces and left my shoes there, where I stood, as I had done on my first visit. I proceeded cautiously in bare feet across the large terracotta tile floor and went into what seemed to be a large greenhouse. The rich variety of plants, for the most part tropical, and the walls consisting of long rows of glass arches, reinforced this impression. Outside, the deep green of the garden laid siege to it and pushed up against the wooden frame like a sea of plants against the sides of an ark. But the elegance of every detail, the works of art, the valuable paintings and the modern sculptures in white marble, left me pleasantly perplexed as to the true nature of this extraordinary place. The first light of the morning flooded in from two large skylights. I looked at the huge beams which supported the roof and my imagination was captivated by the thought of the titan who 35 had been able to carry and place them there. I explored every corner several times but could see no trace of the Dreamer. I had not seen Him for over a year. Just the thought of meeting Him made my heart race and my breath short. As I carried on I saw an expanse of water in the middle of the hall floor. Rather than a pool, it appeared to be a small light blue pond dug into the terracotta tiles. A constant movement rippled pleasingly across the surface of the water like a shiver. I ran my gaze along the edge until I saw His reflection rippling in the waves. I looked up slowly. The Dreamer was putting a silver flute to his lips. He bent forward elegantly and lifted his face, and the shining instrument, towards the light. The air was filled with a string of notes, threaded one after another, like pearls on a necklace but of varying sizes and value. It was ageless, timeless music, like the villa, like that room, like that moment. I remained motionless as I listened. I felt the joyful thrill of my childhood, permeated with the salty fragrance of the sea, and its forgotten happiness; the foolish races along the rocks, the taste of freshly caught crabs and shellfish, the way my heart pounded before diving off the big rock, the cool shade of our summer house in Ischia, Carmela’s sweaty kisses when she returned from the market… I had found Him again. All that time he appeared not to have even noticed my intrusion. Finally one note remained suspended in the air longer than the others, fluttering on the breath which had created it, playing a little longer with the molecules of air, before freeing itself from the music and becoming a single, quivering, sonorous puff. Suddenly it stopped. For an endless moment the flute was held crosspiece, attached to the Dreamer’s lower lip, and then it softly followed the hand that laid it down on a cushion nearby. He was younger than I remembered Him, and seemed even thinner. He looked up and examined me at length. He certainly knew what efforts I had made to return to Him…he knew about my extensive search for the manuscript and the success of my mission, the passion with which I had studied and which had brought me closer to the thought of the School. Following the stormy meeting which had begun my apprenticeship and the journey of adventure into my past which started in Marrakech, this time I was expecting words of encouragement, if not of praise. I took a few steps towards him. The Dreamer continued to stare at me without saying a word. Initially I felt a vague state of unease that quickly turned into pain. Under His gaze, my attention reversed its direction. I was looking inside myself for the first time. The spectacle was not the most agreeable: a mass of dark thoughts was forming within my consciousness, along with senses of guilt and other feelings twisted into an emotional jumble which was never disentangled. His eyes bore into me, digging up a psychological sludge that I never wanted to see or confront. He stopped just as the pain was exceeding the limits of my endurance. But He didn’t relax his grip. What was to follow would be much more painful. At the end of His examination, as if He had reached a final, definitive judgment, He passed sentence: “You won’t make it!” The silence which followed that verdict flooded into the greenhouse, filling every corner. Disappointment, dejection and anger mingled and merged into a single, quiet pain. I felt myself devoid of all energy. I wanted only to be left in peace and collapse. But I did not dare do that, nor did I ask to. Holding my breath, like an accused man, I awaited the final sentence of this judgement. The pause was cruelly long. Finally, like a researcher observing the results 36 of yet another failed experiment – an expected but no less disappointing outcome - He announced: “No one can make it…It is humanity that can’t make it.!” He was addressing me as if I were a representative of a defeated race, a species on the brink of extinction. “There are too many laws which compel you to remain as you are. You have even turned the quest I entrusted to you into something which feeds your vanity, your egocentricity. I experienced a powerful feeling of resentment, that mixture of loathing and self pity that results from perceived injustice. After months of travelling and research in the United States and Europe, after having found Lupelius’ manuscript, that scholars, researchers and archaeologists had thought lost forever, and after having confronted my tormented past with courage, I did not deserve to be treated in this way. I would have liked to rebut the Dreamer’s words in some way, but the muscles of my dignity were still too weak. Besides, in my heart of hearts I knew that He was right. I tried to conceal my mood behind a false appeasement: “I can’t change” - was all I allowed myself to say. However, my voice betrayed the rancour of my impotence and my tendency to cling and be dependent. “STOOOOP IT! - shouted the Dreamer, drawing out the “o” in a hideous tone of voice. The passing seconds were filled with terror like the countdown to a harrowing event. I felt an empty silence form inside me, carved out by that inhuman wail, terrible as a battle cry heard among the clashing tools of war in the middle of lethal combat. Something in my being was triggered which sharpened my ability to listen. “Do you remember when you used to cry for hours until you were hoarse?” asked the Dreamer suddenly in a low voice but conserving all His ferocity in its tone. Image after image rushed through my mind – points of access to a distant past that overlapped and mixed together like playing cards being shuffled by a conjuror. The images all shared the same characteristics. They all possessed the same light and magical atmosphere of my Neapolitan childhood, where Lares and Penates had even more ancient names, given to them by age-old superstitions. I recognized the old house, Carmela’s room and the wardrobe with the mirrors on its doors. A boy of about six was sitting on the floor, crying desperately, endlessly …It was me. “You are still there, nothing has changed, except that your childish tantrums have become a lasting tendency to complain and indulge in self-pity. He fell silent for what seemed an interminable length of time. “No one changes… it is impossible to change – commented the Dreamer at last. At the age of seven, a child is already recruited into that sad army of adults and, like a little Spartan, he has already received a back to front vision of the world and a complete set of all the beliefs, prejudices, superstitions and ideas which give him right of unlimited membership to that planetary club of miserable souls. A man’s thoughts, emotions and body are concentric universes…everything is connected. Deliberately changing the tone or inflection of one’s voice, straightening one’s back by just 37 one millimetre or modifying one’s apparently most insignificant habit, means changing one’s entire life. It is almost impossible.” He scrutinised me intensely, severely, and I stood up to His examination. I knew that not even the slightest impulse in my soul would escape His notice and that there was no possibility of cheating in this game. I was betting on all or nothing …The possibility that, one day, I might conquer myself, be touched by the ‘dream’ and transform my life into a great personal adventure, or else fall and lose myself forever, with no hope of recovery, was there…the alternatives co-existed. My life was hanging by a thin thread suspended over the mouth of an abyss. One word, a change in inflection, the length of a pause, could make it fall into the swarming mass of a collective destiny. With a quick movement and the agility of someone who keeps their body in trim, He rose from His reclining position. The light blue of the pool caught His movement like the reflection of something in flight and rocked it on its trembling surface. Slowly, He took a few steps in my direction. I held my breath and waited for what seemed an eternity. Then, with a firm tone, but this time devoid of harshness, He announced: “Only if you remember Me will you make it.” 17 “Overthrow your beliefs!” In the mean time, He had settled Himself comfortably, carefully arranging a few cushions around His body. His attitude was like that of someone putting on a brave face when about to resume a momentous task that he had previously considered already complete. “Overthrow your beliefs!” He exhorted me, emphatically. The idea of inviting me to take a seat must never even have crossed His mind, and He left me standing on the same spot where I had been from the beginning of our encounter. I thought this was lacking in consideration and felt resentful and offended. At the time, it was inconceivable for me that one could live every moment strategically like the Dreamer. He did not so much as bat an eyelid without it consciously serving His purpose. Brooding over my resentment, I carried on listening to Him, not moving from the terracotta tile on which I was standing, next to the trembling waters of His pool. “A man’s present, past and future …the events, the circumstances and the experiences he encounters on his way, are shadows projected by his beliefs – continued the Dreamer – his existence and his destiny are the materialisation of his convictions and, even more, of his indulgences… ‘Visibilia ex invisibilibus’. Everything you perceive, see and touch comes from the invisible. The life of a man is the shadow of his ‘dream’, it is the visual manifestation of his principles and of all he believes… 38 Everyone invariably sees come to pass what they have firmly believed in …A man always creates. The obstacles he encounters are the materialisation of his own limitations, his fragmented thinking and his impotence… There are those who have faith in poverty and those who only know how to believe in sickness…There are those who have an unshakable belief in misery and scarcity …and there are those who have staked everything on crime…Man is always creative, even when he is imprisoned in the darkest states of his being.” According to the Dreamer, no man has any more faith than any other. Every man has his own allocation of faith to manage, to invest...everyone has been apportioned exactly the same amount. “What differentiates men…what really gives them a different destiny, is the direction of their beliefs, the different quality of their goals, be they conscious or not …” I was more than a little disconcerted by the Dreamer’s claims. I had always believed that faith was a rare commodity, and, what is more, that it was precisely their varying capacity for faith that essentially differentiated men. One of the ideological plinths which underpinned my vision of the world certainly included the belief that Mohammed, Alexander, Socrates, Lao Tzu, Churchill or Napoleon could be set apart from other men by the strength of their convictions. “But if everyone has faith…and furthermore, the same quantity of faith” - I asked, using the Holy Scriptures to support my case and drawing strength from their authority - “what then is the meaning of the words ‘if you had faith like a mustard seed...’? The discussion which followed imprinted itself forever in my being. Not so much for the memorable words He pronounced, but for the authority with which He delivered them. The Dreamer was not giving me an interpretation of that passage from the Gospel, He was creating it. The dreaming essence of that age-old message and the intelligence compressed in its atoms, was being released there and then, in that moment. The words I was listening to were new and alive. They had never been spoken before in the entire history of the world. “If a man were able to shift the direction of his faith by even one millimetre, if he could only redirect the strength of his convictions towards life rather than towards death…he could move mountains in the world of events.” Like a flash of lightning that tears through the darkness and illuminates what a few moments earlier was buried in shadows, so the evidence crossed my mind and I understood vividly just how much energy was contained in a single atom of faith. I understood that the elimination of the smallest particle of hell would destroy that total faith in death - the most deeply rooted of all men’s beliefs. I also realised the enormity of such an undertaking. Grasping this idea alone required an effort equivalent to a Titan carrying the weight of heaven and earth. For the first time I asked myself what I had believed in ….to what had I attributed value up until my meeting with the Dreamer…His voice reached me while I was immersed in these thoughts and helped me as they turned irreparably towards the dark pit of my past. Although I already knew, it was embarrassing for me to have renewed confirmation of the fact that I was an open book to Him. 39 “Until today your reason for living, the goal of your existence, as for all men, has been to kill yourself inside. Sickness, Old age and Death are the gods that mankind has worshipped for thousands of years…Thus has man painfully renounced life… and his infinite dream.” ‘If you had faith like a mustard seed…’ meant that the slightest raising of our vision, the most minimal change, could have diverted us from our mortal destiny. The dream is the most real thing. To ‘see’ one’s own limitations and circumscribe them, means to free oneself from them! For how long will you be able to remove these constraints and escape this condition of impotence? Man’s life is ruled by negative emotions. The anguish he carries inside is the real cause of all his troubles and unhappiness. The Dreamer rose and, turning His back to me, He took a few careful steps going past the large pool towards the opposite corner of that extraordinary greenhouse. From there He spoke, still with His back to me, and I heard His voice as strong and clear as if He had been right next to my ear. “It is only a question of time…I faithfully wrote down in my notebook – In time we will reach the targets we have set ourselves…In the end we will all win…we will all become what we have believed in…and we will all achieve what we have held firmly in our sights …you, your misery, your immorality, your death…and I, flawlessness, infinity and immortality. 18 The Narcissus syndrome “Your most unshakable faith…your most harmful belief, is that a world exists outside of yourself, that there is someone or something on which to depend, someone or something that can give or take from you, elect or condemn you.” – said the Dreamer. “If a warrior believed, even for a moment, in outside help, he would immediately lose his invulnerability” He said. Then He fell silent and shut His eyes. I tried to fill that moment by writing down what He had just said in my notebook. But the void expanded. I struggled to overcome my discomfort at suddenly feeling irrelevant and superfluous by mentally re-reading parts of my notes. Finally, the Dreamer broke His silence and with His eyes still closed, recited: There is nothing out there… There is no help coming from anywhere at all… “Man’s most serious disease is dependence” He announced in a severe tone. I immediately became very wary. I unerringly felt in my bones the importance of this statement and the central role that I should give to it in my new system of beliefs. “There is nothing worse than dependence on others, on their presence or their judgment…To free oneself from this requires extensive preparation… One must train for it…” 40 As I later recalled my attitude on that occasion and other similar ones, I realised that what I accepted without too much resistance, or even immediately and unquestioningly, when the Dreamer referred to mankind in general, provoked in me a response of unassailable resistance when His criticism was aimed directly at me. “People like you… only feel alive when they are amongst others …they prefer crowded places… they find work in government offices or large companies…wherever they feel the reassuring presence of the crowd…They celebrate all the rituals of dependence and gather in its temples: cinemas, theatres, hospitals, stadiums, courthouses or churches, just to be in a group with others, to escape from themselves and the unbearable burden of their solitude” continued the Dreamer. I had an instinctive defensive reaction. An irrepressible hostility darkened my being, almost as if those words had threatened something vital or upset a plan which had been made long before. Mentally I lined up all the harsh words, like a row of mortar shells I would have liked to lob at Him. By focusing on that reprehensible mob I attempted to clear it away, but only managed to draw a pained grimace on my face. The Dreamer was testing the walls of my resistance. He knew how to breach them. He gave me a ferocious smile, as if He were about to strike me, and whispered: “A man like you falls ill and is willing to be cut to pieces by surgeons…by the shamans of a still primitive science, just to draw attention to himself…” I gasped, as if I had been punched in the stomach. The Dreamer let a few seconds pass as if he were counting me out, as if he were referee and adversary at the same time. “Do you remember the painting?” He asked me out of the blue, completely changing his tone and demeanour. He knocked me off balance every time. I would never get used to these abrupt changes which would be performed with a suddenness and mastery that I had never seen in anyone before. I was amazed by His ability to transform Himself entering into a totally new state of being without transferring even one atom from the previous one. I immediately understood that His question referred to the painting I had admired before coming into the greenhouse where we were now. I recalled the picture of Narcissus admiring his image in the pool moments before being swallowed up by it. “It is the symbolic story of a man trapped in his own reflection” – explained the Dreamer, barely concealing His mirth at my vain attempts to adapt the muscles of my face in response to His sudden change of topic and mood. “The fable of Narcissus is the metaphor of a man who becomes a victim of his own creation” He continued. He revealed to me that, contrary to what is commonly believed, Narcissus was not in love with himself but with the image reflected in the water, without being aware that it was his own. In fact, believing he was looking at somebody else, he became infatuated, fell into the water and tragically drowned. “Once you realise that the world you see is the projection of yourself, you are free of it” concluded the Dreamer. I was in a state of shock. …How had it been possible for one of the most crucial myths of our civilization to be misunderstood for thousands of years? How on earth had it been possible to miss an explanation that was so simple? 41 Alongside the Dreamer, I distinctly heard the voice of that age of giants which ended with Socrates to be substituted by the consolatory invention of philosophy. The echo of that knowledge still crosses the ocean of time to reach us and we continue to misunderstand its eternal fables that reveal the true condition of man. We still present Narcissus as the archetype of vanity, whereas instead his myth is a warning, a signal alerting us to the stupidity and danger of the conventional vision of the world. What the Dreamer had repeatedly tried to make me understand was finally penetrating a little deeper. The story of Narcissus was a message from a School of Overturning which had existed thousands of years before Caravaggio and which had inspired him to paint those pictures of the crucifixion of Peter and the fall of Paul. “To fall in love with something outside of ourselves, forgetting ourselves, means becoming lost in the meanders of a world of dependence…it means forgetting that one is the sole creator of our own personal reality… A world outside of ourselves does not exist – He stated again – Everything that we meet, see and touch is a reflection of ourselves. Other people, the events and circumstances in a man’s life reveal his condition.” Blaming the world, complaining, justifying and hiding, are therefore the surest signs of dependency and the absence of a “true” will. “This is not the only message which has come down to us across the ages and which man has consistently misunderstood in order to escape its unbearable proposition” said the Dreamer. “Like Adam, Narcissus also ate the apple!” He said, catching me by surprise. It was difficult for me to keep pace with Him, as with a single step, He crossed the abyss of time and space between distant worlds, placing the four thousand year old story of Genesis alongside one of most ancient Greek myths. “He too, like Adam, believed in otherness, in the existence of a world outside himself.” Narcissus drowned, victim of his illusion that there was someone outside himself and Adam was cast out of Eden and condemned to death for having bitten into the apple and believed in the existence of an external world. However culturally distant they may have been, in both traditions the message was the same: to believe that the world is outside us means to become its victim, to be swallowed up by it. “The world is created by you, every second!” said the Dreamer. “The pool in which Narcissus saw his reflection is the external world. Believing it to be real and relying on it means depending on one’s own shadow…it means becoming smaller than the world we project. From creator, you become a creation, from dreamer you become dream, from master you become slave, until you are suffocated by your own creation.” It occurred to me that the message conveyed by these myths, as the Dreamer was helping me discover, could also be found intact in modern as well as ancient fables, from Frankenstein to Blade Runner, from the Gospels to Alice in Wonderland. “The fall of Adam and Eve from paradise happens at every moment”, concluded the Dreamer, “we are thrown out of Eden every time the description of the world takes hold of us…when we forget that we are its creators. Then the creation rebels and rises up against us…This is the original sin, the unforgivable, mortal sin: mistaking the cause for the effect. 42 A man that is whole and true… is such because he governs himself…And in spite of the apparent dynamism of events and the variety of situations he knows that the world is his mirror. Whether it is good or bad, ugly or beautiful, right or wrong, everything a man encounters is just his reflection and not reality – said the Dreamer, and from His tone I understood our meeting had reached its end. He was about to leave me. - Everyone always and only reaps what he is…You are both the seed, and the harvest…”. “This is why all the revolutions in history have failed…they tried to change the world from the outside…they believed the image in the pool to be real…”. “Do not rely any more on the world for help. Go beyond it! Only those who have gone beyond the world can improve it.” Here He stopped for a few moments. “Go beyond it!” He ordered and then fell silent once more. Transcend the world - go beyond it! What could this mean? “For centuries man has scratched at the screen of the world, believing he could change the images of the film he himself had projected onto it.” The explanation for the failure of so many generations of men who had set out to change the course of history was being handed to me on a silver tray. That bitterly comic vision summed up the infinite succession of atrocities, defeats and heroics, passing upon it just one judgment: that it had been a colossal useless folly. “You…get out of this madness! – He ordered with unexpected kindness. “Forget about wars, revolutions and economic, social, or political reform… concern yourself with the one who is truly responsible for everything that happens…Stop thinking about the dream and take care of the dreamer in you. The greatest revolution, the most difficult of all undertakings, yet the only one that has any sense, is changing one’s self”. 19 A man cannot hide “Those who depend on the world remain mired in the lowest levels of existence - The Dreamer warned –Your whole life, you have looked for ephemeral certainties and satisfactions and security outside of yourself…constantly suspended between hope and …which are the roots of dependence….” While speaking to me the Dreamer fixed me in His gaze with a severity that did not allow me to blink or to draw breath, as He would do when He had to overcome my barriers and reach me at a deeper level. ”Your life, like that of all those who are dependent, is horrible. It is the life of a slave…Years and years in an office, perpetuating mediocrity and scarcity, without even the slightest desire to escape from that prison.” I took note of what He was saying, like a war reporter, writing amidst a hail of gunfire. “There is nothing out there…there is no help coming from anywhere at all – repeated the Dreamer, to impress this statement within the core of my most deeply rooted beliefs – I will never stop repeating this; 43 nothing is outside of you…What you call the ‘world’ is only an effect…what you call reality is the materialisation, the mirror image of your dreams or your nightmares…”. This vision would reveal itself to be the backdrop to all His teachings and, on several occasions in the future, the Dreamer would elaborate and expand on it, as my ability to understand and support its subversive force developed. I remember how that first time had been a shock for me - a reversal of everything I had believed in up until that moment. “Realise that the world is in you, and not vice versa! What is in the world, or pertains to it, can neither help nor save you!” Then His words became an exhortation, an appeal that I felt was directed not only to me but to every man. His words were laced with the disappointment of one who knows he is offering something of great value to someone who can neither appreciate it nor use it. “Aspire to freedom, leave this crowd of miserable wretches …Impose a new way of feeling upon yourself. Conquer the immensity within you and the galaxies will become grains of sand…” “Broaden your vision and you will see the world become small…Vision and reality are one and the same thing…Look for integrity and what are insurmountable mountains for others will become tiny bumps for you.” I interpreted the pause that followed as an invitation to make a comment and, carelessly, I ventured a few observations. I said something about the difficulty of accepting the idea that we are the cause of every event or circumstance in our lives. I took care to avoid anything contentious and adopted the impartial tone of one who tries to introduce a wise neutrality into a casual conversation with a stranger. Like a blind man, I could not perceive the unfathomable distance which separated the Dreamer’s words from mine on the ladder of responsibility. “It seems impossible to believe that everything that can happen to a man, from a cold to a plane crash, is the materialisation of his psychology” I concluded. I felt simultaneously fascinated and threatened by the Dreamer’s vision. Following the trail of my reflections, I was digging down to the roots of our civilization, as far as those two contrasting positions which have divided our world to this day. Classical Greece believed in a goddess of Fortune who blindly bestowed favours. They represented her wearing a blindfold. The ancient Romans, on the other hand, believed in homo faber. Fortune to the Romans was a goddess who had the most dioptres and respected the virtue of the individual. In my mind I classified the Dreamer among those who supported the Roman conception of the world. However, I hardly had time to formulate this idea, when I heard His voice transform itself into a roar which froze my blood, as in the most terrible moments I had previously experienced with Him. “…Do you think you are here to engage in small talk with some poor schmuck like yourself!...Hear me well – He said, and reinforced this order by tapping His right ear with His first two fingers together, several times, in a slow and deliberate way. ‘The world is a reflection of your states of being’ means that Luisa did not die of cancer. Her death is the theatrical representation of your inner drama, your mortal anguish…That event, like all events, is only a manifestation of your states of being…Even if you try to conceal it by blaming and complaining endlessly, 44 in reality your song of sorrow, like a fertility rite in reverse, has invited all the troubles and difficulties of your entire existence.” Suddenly everything fell silent. I felt an inexplicable anxiety pushing up against a hidden dam/emotional floodgate inside me. A tough and unmoving part of me gave way and a gaping abyss yawned open until it swallowed me up. I felt my heart beating furiously against the walls of my chest and my breathing was blocked by an unending exhalation. I experienced the nauseating dizziness of an endless fall and a silent cry for help… a sense of fear, desperation, shame which echoed in the most remote fibres of my being as if all the pain of my existence had concentrated in one place. Only when He began to speak once more was I finally able to breathe again and I greedily swallowed all the air I could. “A man cannot hide! – whispered the Dreamer, as if passing on a secret teaching. I listened like a child, without disagreement or opposition. “Our most insignificant action, every perception, thought, gesture and facial expression is recorded in eternity”. He told me that the way we live every moment, like a frame in the film of our lives, indicates a raising or lowering of being and puts us in tune with everything that will happen to us. “A man cannot hide!... Here with me you stand alone facing existence…Here there are no political affiliations or trade unions. When you enter this room you cannot bring anything with you from your past, not even the lie of your name or your role in life. Here there is no guard rail for you to hold onto…here you are alone facing yourself…” He noticed that I was trembling visibly. My teeth began to chatter as if I was coming down with a fever, and He said, “Stop being afraid and stop hiding! There is a part of you that has to die because it is absurd. This death is your great opportunity. Only you can do it…” Physically and painfully I felt that the Dreamer was penetrating through layer upon layer of ignorance and psychological garbage which had accumulated over time and become hard as rock. “If you work tirelessly and for as many years as you have previously spent damaging yourself – He said in a whisper as sweet as a promise – one day time will break and a tunnel will open up and guide you to the part of yourself that is the most real and true…a part with which sooner or later every man must reconnect: his dream.” Only at this point did the Dreamer take His eyes off me, allowing me a moment of respite. I saw His figure ripple like a reflection in the water. He was about to leave me. All at once I felt impossibly tired as if I had run a race for miles and miles on a single breath of air. My legs refused to hold me up. I knelt down on the carpet which had just become visible, claimed from the shadows by the first light of the day, and fell to the ground like a dead man. * * * * * * *