OUT OF ESSEX – Chapter 24
“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.”
In Leigh-on-Sea, 12 adults looked at the mess of white lines criss-crossing the heavens. Siddharta had sat the group in the new centre’s garden. He told them to observe the firmament while he brought them each a glass of water.
The sky made her feel sick, said former bus driver Jess. Stan compared it to a five-year-old let loose with an Etch-a-Sketch. Sally said it was “a geometry lesson gone mad”.
After listening to his students, the Buddha insisted they inhabited a world of illusion. He called it Maya, explaining in his kindest voice. “Our thoughts, labels, beliefs and personal imaginings all interfere with our direct perception of what is.” What they were examining, he said, was a giant shield of reflective metals sprayed by planes. “Is it to counter global warming? Is it to bounce back the sun’s ultraviolet and infrared radiation? For sure is that people are getting sick with autoimmune disorders. They are absorbing the nano-particles. Too many people are experiencing chronic pain.”
Sid paused, observing learning speeds. Sally was lightning-fast. He told how both the CIA and the American Air Force had openly stated a goal of ‘owning’ the weather. “You may be looking at the largest science experiment in history, of which your similes and metaphors capture flavours. For us, the point of focus must be the exposure of human beings to strontium, aluminium and barium. We will be learning to purify air, food and liquids.”
Over the next two hours he taught out the techniques. The air purification involved the imagination of a three-bladed fan, and another new Sanskrit mantra. It was the second week at the centre. The first had mixed advanced meditation techniques with a crash course in how to dream lucidly. When Mary Fawkes arrived, to discuss the centre’s administration, he clapped his hands and told them to go enjoy the day. “Back by four please.”
Puppies off the leash, they crooned Happy, by Pharrell Williams, while walking up the hill to Leigh Broadway. They had clubbed remnants of their waning money for a visit to the cake and coffee shop, Stop the World. Sid encouraged singing. That, and the yellow and red robes, made locals stare.
“You just want to be around Sid,” said Sally, lustfully eyeing the New York vanilla cheesecake and moccacino brought by a white-topped waitress. “It’s like you take in his energy,” grinned Jess. Her café latte, with double espresso, sat next to billionaire shortbread finger. “Which kind of makes it easier when your mind gets blown yet again.” On the far wall, a French waiter in a poster heralded La Merveilleuse Journee.
They talked about the ‘chemtrails’ in the sky, adding to the waves of morning conversation rolling through the shop. Stan romped through raspberry Bakewell, with double Americano, dwelling on more of Sid’s advice. “If we wish to find a hero, we must start by taking responsibility for our own lives.” Stan had loved James Bond as a kid. War epics, cowboy films. Goodies and baddies.
There was no predicting Sid’s teaching. He had jumped from heroes to a new astrological era, the 2,160-year Age of Aquarius. “Some astrologers believe this began on 21 December last year, which would place our little community in frontier territory.” The sole constant in his instructions were lotus flowers littering the meditations. Sid promised that their pineal glands – or third eyes – were opening. All Jess could think about was last night’s dreamtime tryst.
“I totally stopped dreaming when I was unemployed. With the debt collectors knocking.” She looked up at the ceiling’s odd tapestry of fans and electric pipes. “Last night I took control of the dream, like Sid taught, by looking at my hands before falling asleep. When my fingers started disappearing, I knew was dreaming.”
Joyful that his kidney problems were a thing of the past, Stan stared at the mahogany counter, counting cups. Several times he had achieved lucidity, only to be woken by his excitement.
Jess had controlled hers. “I went into my old neighbour’s house. He’s well handsome. I walked right through his front door, his shut front door.” Her pupils were dilating. “Up a staircase, then down a hall. Knew I’d find him. After trying rooms on my left, he was on the right. Under a white sheet, I could see the shape of his body. I walked over, sat on the bed, and started stroking his dark hair. He woke up, staring, like he knew me. Then pulled back the sheet, and invited me in. Oh my God. I can tell you now it felt amazingly like the real thing, almost as real as sitting here, but somehow it was……I mean, did I have actual sex?”
Sally saw danger. “Are you leaving yourself unprotected Jess. Astral sex, or whatever you had. It could be any rapist or abuser in another dimension waiting to take advantage. Maybe attaching onto you on the way back to our realm.” Jess admitted she had told Sid early that morning. “He was cool. Said there was nothing to fear, because I was created by God’s mind. Am always loved. And can do nothing wrong.” Sally guessed Sid quietly threw a nightly ring of protection around their dreams.
The Buddha had told them that a mastered dream could produce outcomes beyond anything they had ever imagined. “You can enter the minds of others. You can go back to examine history. Even without mastery, you can reveal the future in immense detail, from multiple angles. Dreaming and prophecy once walked hand in hand.”
Very early on, Sid made it clear that the training was designed to forge “spiritual warriors” who would help balance the world’s acidity. “Every human passes through material worlds to glean lessons. However, some have very distinct missions.”
At four o’clock, he seated them in a circle. “In the days and weeks ahead, we will be learning healing, to help cancer patients and others. And clairaudience, where messages begin to flow down from your higher self and your spiritual ‘team’”. Stan asked what that was. “All of your spirit guides; loved ones who have passed; angels. You may even hear mumblings from God herself.”
“There’s something else, isn’t there?” said Sally. Sid broke into a broad grin. He had been waiting for her to ask. He strode to the shrine at the end of the room, to light incense, and then candles to counter the dying light.
“Buddhist practices target an inner awakening; and helping others. But we do have other work ahead in connection with the external world.” He reached in his pocket, finding a remote control. He manipulated the buttons. A screen lit the wall opposite the shrine. A series of images followed, consisting mainly of old men. Then various geographic locations. Stan recognised London, Rome and Washington DC, maybe Jerusalem. But not the slightly medieval-looking city on a broad river. “That is Basel,” announced Sid, playfully tousling Stan’s hair. “In Switzerland.” Sid sipped from a mug of tea. “Sally, what do you take from these pictures?”
Her instincts went back to Elysium. “That there is probably some kind of separation going on, steered by these people? They think they are the best qualified to run the world, which is becoming, maybe……..a sort of two-tier globality?”
“A big notion”, smiled Sid. “Jess, did those images make any sense?” Since Sid had treated her back pains, Jess had learned to relax deeply. “Two things came to me. The number 10. Is that, like, how many of them are running the show? And then really, really horrible images. Of abused and dead children.” She shuddered.
He ran the question around the room, pleased at the evolutions. Especially one answer, that they had witnessed “a hidden college of corporations”. Stan focused on the Washington picture. “We’re seeing the heads of a rogue military entity pretending to be civilised.”
Sid cocked his head. “You are already seeing more than most. Pay enough attention and one comprehends that there are no nations, no West, no democracy. Those notions are drenched in Maya. A ‘club’ of sorts has a grip upon much of your planet. They do feud with one another, but broad consensus is expressed through certain administrative organisations. The IMF, World Bank, European Union, NATO. The United Nations less so. The leaders of this ‘club’ practice magic, of a sort far darker than anything taught here.”
Sally spoke. “Which means we have massive work to do.”
“Remote viewing,” nodded Sid. He described the significant gaps in the Akashic files. “The ‘club’ I referred to has learned to block nearly all scrutiny. But there is a way in, because we are all inter-connected.” He explained how remote viewing was teachable: used extensively by the US military. “It is public record that the CIA sponsored a remote viewing of Mars in 1984.”
He said the technique created the potential to deeply experience and describe anyone or anything anywhere in the universe. “Through flashes and patterns that piece together.”
In essence, he said, you relaxed, focused on a visualisation target, and let thoughts come naturally, drawing these with a pencil. “Let your consciousness do the work – your DNA serves as an antenna,” said Sid. In initial practices, the images were generated by thoughts from a nearby colleague. As the discipline developed, one was able to reach anywhere in the world, and beyond. “Let go of doubt,” Sid advised.
He told Jess that while she had already learned to steer a balloon through a cloudy sky, remote viewing would give her “a plane to fly to a specific destination”. He said it was even possible for an individual to remote view spiritual targets such as the first moment of creation, or their own past lives. “But, for practical purposes, missing people or pets can be located, as can those who wish to remain undetected.”
Satan’s pet cat, Bob, was stretched out on the Highway to Hell. Next to him lay Rosie, her belly full of Bob’s kittens. “What’s Earth like?” she asked him.
“What’s it like? You feel so dizzy when you arrive, in a toilet that stinks of male waste. It was lovely to get outside in the sunshine and wind. I was then given a saucer of whisky. That made me go to sleep. Later, there was nice white fish, beautiful flakes. I tried talking to another cat, but it wanted to fight. It was all over too quickly.”
“That was the day when you seduced me.”
“The whisky made me frisky.”
“I’m glad it did.”
Rosie asked about Maggie. “Has God changed her mind? Is Mrs T’s mission aborted? I don’t really like the look of her, but feel sorry for the poor soul. She looks so confused and frustrated some days.”
“Who knows,” said Bob. “This is a guess. I have seen her reading the New Testament. Totally absorbed in it. I think she wants to talk to Jesus. But sometimes I don’t see him for weeks.”
“That’s because he’s constantly with Mary Magdalene. Maggie should go and see them both.”
After her meeting with Sid, to discuss monthly expenditure, Mary Fawkes found herself walking up the hill to Leigh Broadway. At the top she cut through the churchyard, stopping to examine ‘A Calvary statue, to the men of Old Leigh’. Jesus had brown hair, and an insufficiently dark face, topping his plastered body.
Mary felt split. Part-time at work since June, dividing herself between the two Southend centres, but never fully occupied at either. One of her proudest inputs had been to insist on recipes, for the park’s café, that used the online ‘Girl Named Jack’ blogs, which were helping trim family food budgets nationally. That day’s pasta meal worked out at £0.22 per portion; and was perfectly capped by mint leaves growing in pots around the park. Tomato and basil soup for the evening meal: £0.14 a serving.
Another positive was the expanding camaraderie. Sheena’s friend Ruth had moved into the park yesterday, bringing a double dose of new skills. The community’s children would benefit from Ruth’s dance classes to augment junior yoga sessions provided by Sarah, Dave’s wife. Ruth’s second talent – a legacy of the London College of Fashion – was about to enhance the clothing emerging from Gandhi’s sewing centre. Mary looked down at the slogan on her tee-shirt. “Grow food – survive the political ice age”. The words sat above an image of a colourful allotment alongside another of the UK Parliament compressed into an iceberg.
A further new friend was Pippa, who had formally begun teaching the park’s 20 or so children, with her partner Sam. Teachers in Birmingham, touring the Essex coast, chancing on the new community, they liked what they saw and had stayed. “So many of us hate their jobs now,” Pippa had told Mary. “An excellent education encourages independent thought, not regurgitation and standardised testing.” She talked of her attempts to use “magic and imagination” at her school in Ladywood, where grandparents were increasingly acting as primary carers. “Young people aren’t being shown life’s beautiful journeys,” Pippa moaned. “They need guidance to embark on real adventures, not bloody careers.”
In Leigh Broadway, opposite Stop the World, Mary paused by the Atelier Gallery, where canvasses of windsurfers and abstract art sat side by side. The biggest hurt was being unable to spend much time at home. Rose seemed to be OK though, looking after Edward.
Was the adventure beginning to wear off? Siddharta had seen her doubts. He recommended patience, after she had opened her heart. “If only 1500 people in Britain awaken fully, linking their hearts and minds into the morphogenetic field, it all changes. Everything. In the meantime, let’s all be kind to each other.” But autumn was imminent, and then winter. Without money, in the new environment.
Thankfully, Satan kept her amused. That morning Mary sat by the lake with Sal, who had insisted over coffee that she consider the links between wearing a suit and the notion of respectability. “If you dress aiming to be respectable, do you perhaps ‘respect a bull’? Do you in fact ‘honour a bull’? She loved these conversations, where Sal would drift away on clouds of connection.
He termed it “interesting” that the Catholic Church issued decrees and communications known as ‘bulls’. “Would you also believe there is a sculpted bronze bull outside the New York Stock Exchange? Some say it resembles Moloch, the horned entity that demands the sacrifice of children.”
Satan naturally deconstructed words into sounds that provided alternative explanations. “Bankers charge interest. This makes their profit, and allows them indoors, ‘in to rest’, while the rest of the world continues to strive,” he conjectured, or perhaps clarified.
“Alter and altar have a lot in common,” he contended. “Contemplate, also, that you live, whirled and whirred, by words, in this world. All ‘taught’, as we all become increasingly, rigid, or ‘taut’.”
She especially liked his take on people’s jobs, or occupations. “The Biblical character Job – who God and I argued over hugely – did little but suffer. When most humans take jobs, their ‘occupation’ is just that – an ‘invasion’ of their freedom, in order to acquire worthless bits of paper.”
Dan had spent the morning sitting quietly by the caravan. Tasked with reporting on Cameroon, for a private client, he ended up reading News from Nowhere, written by the polymath William Morris. The book’s narrator fell asleep and awoke in a future agrarian society based on common ownership. No private property. Big cities had gone, as had courts and prisons. The monetary system was no more than a bad dream.
Dan sipped an orange juice from a batch Micky Gaze had bought in bulk from a Lakeside cash and carry. Dan and Micky had agreed that all the park’s caravans would be fitted with solar panels in coming weeks, but Micky had marriage woes. His wife Crissie showed no interest in the new community. “She wants people to know we’ve got money. I tell her she half-owns a park and she does her nut! It came to a head last night. Crissie threatened to walk if we don’t get a hot tub and a soft top Mercedes.”
Dan shut his eyes, absorbing the weaker sunshine, thinking for the umpteenth time about money. The “free market” that banks advocated, for example. Not just payment protection insurance rip-offs and rigged Libor and foreign exchange rates. But insane bonuses, driving the reckless behaviour which required the bailout. Gandhi had insisted to Dan that the work of an accountant, lawyer or banker had the same value as a barber, dustman or a sewage worker.
Yet Chancellor Osborne was challenging the EU cap on bankers’ bonuses, as if the government had a Faustian pact with the financial system. Few mainstream journalists ran with that possibility. If he had to read mainstream news, Dan kept it short. He took in the headline and maybe two paragraphs before scanning the comments section. The real story was there, in the ungagged opinions of readers, almost in real time, and often contrary to the original article.
Dan noticed that when a story ran too hot, editors would pull the comment section. Presumably because it was undesirable that a gradually larger section of society saw through the bullshit. The comment section had disappeared in several newspapers in March, when the US Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers that large banks might be too large to prosecute. “If you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Holder said.
Reluctance to upbraid the financial terrorists was similarly evident in Britain. When the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority had recently regulated payday lenders, who were like a Wild West version of banking, it failed to address interest rates which could reach thousands of per cent. In late 2012, an adviser to David Cameron, Jonathan Luff, left to become a lobbyist for Wonga.
The payday loan companies were among various creditors that visited the park, chasing outstanding debts. They were always sent to Satan, who explained calmly that the area was a money-free zone, with any collateral held communally under trust. He then gave them one minute to leave and spelled out what he would do if they returned.
Eyes closed still, Dan remembered Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit’. “That song is about staring the Devil straight in the eyes, and knowing, no matter what you do, he’ll get the last laugh,” said Thom Yorke.
Dan’s mind drifted on, recalling rookie days reporting in the City. He had sat outside the Bank of England, feeling physically sick. Similar nausea when reading glossy magazines about finance. Some way to earn a crust. He was planning a park newsletter to carry the message of an alternative living model, after the national media’s deliberate misrepresentations of the experiment. “Well at least we got in the public consciousness,” Dan mumbled to himself. On her cross-trainer, God heard him. “Go on my son,” she cheered, checking calorie readings.
Much earlier that morning, Mike Burper and Satan had watched the sun rise in a gloriously red wash across the east horizon. Footsteps echoed across water. The wiry figure of Alex wandered along the opposite bank, in jogging pants and fleecy top. He crossed the bridge, pulled up a chair. With a shiver, he took a shot glass from a pocket. Poured himself a measure of Springbank.
Then he let it all out. How Chanelle’s ticket to a shared life had vanished when he ditched the night security job. How, when he announced his intention to work, unpaid, in the new community, her upset was uncontainable. After he asked her to join him, she lost it completely. “What? And live like a bloody refugee!” she had screamed. “No telly or heating and eating lentil soup alongside dropouts, wasters and hippies? You think that’s a place to be bringing up children? I’d rather carry on nicking food from Tesco. Or join up with the pikeys.”
To distract Alex, Sal talked of Steph’s 21st birthday celebration the previous evening. Each meal was served across six sittings, due to the café’s size. Dave Dawson had brought out a cake half a dozen times. And cajoled six bursts of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Alex wasn’t listening, so Sal re-wound to God’s last rant about the Catholic Church, when she cracked a screen with a high decibel lambasting of the Pope’s restrictions on contraception. “There were an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics at the end of 2011, and the world’s resources are looking highly finite,” God had bellowed, scaring away cats and frightening several timid angels. “So the Holy Sodding Father, in his wisdom, decides that it still remains against natural law to limit one’s offspring.”
Satan told his two cohorts that when God alighted upon the subject of the Catholic Church’s support for the Nazis, she became incandescent. When she touched upon its refusal to fully condemn thousands of priests that had sexually abused children, her rage breached the Richter scale, sometimes causing earthquakes. Alex thought of Chanelle. It seemed God was equally scathing on how the Islamic religion suppressed women, and the Hindu religion’s concept of ‘untouchables’ propping up its caste system.
Alex finally perked up. “You told us the Buddha’s view that those at the very top of human society have stacked up merit from past lives. Does that mean that Maggie Thatcher was a decent human being in other incarnations?” Sal savoured the malt’s juxtaposed sea-salt and peat flavours. Before he could answer, Mike said: “These conversations are like a bloody dream. How do I know I’m not barking mad?”
“You’ll know you’re mad if ever you see a tree doing the Okey Kokey,” chuckled Satan. “And if you hear a cat laugh, you’ll know it is a dream.”