A Gnostic Tale of the Soul’s Journey into Time and the Struggle to Return to the One
By Joan d’Arc
The automatic doors of the SpeedyMart flew open with a swoosh. Out into the dense fever of a dog day afternoon stepped Adam Kadmon. His ass hit the seat of his beat-up Honda just as a diminutive creature resembling a gargoyle climbed into an eyeball-shaped sidecar attached to his rear passenger door.
Kadmon checked over his right shoulder and saw not the bulging cranium of his mighty demon brother but the vacant blackness of the blind spot. He pulled out of the parking lot into the life of twitching traffic. The third dimension displayed time to all dogs as the corners of houses turned to become lines, then flattened to surfaces again.
As he sprinted into his apartment building the Jinn called Aamar followed him, hovering on his right about three feet in back of his head. As Kadmon opened the closet door in his bedroom, an ultramarine radiance lit up both their impish faces. Inside the large walk-in were shelves containing about a hundred ecstatic marijuana plants.
In the next few hours he packed the plants into trash bags, and just before midnight began loading them into the back seat of his car. As Kadmon drove north on Route 95 from Providence, Aamar sat low in the evolutionary eye-pod his ancient ancestor got by wishing for it.
Just across the Massachusetts border Kadmon pulled over near a wooded area. He sat for a minute as a couple of cars sped by. When all seemed quiet he got out and began to rummage through the trash bags looking for his shovel. As inopportunity had it, a cop car cruised by and the officer inside got a fleeting look at Kadmon’s silhouette in the back seat.
The cop pulled a U-turn in the median strip and radioed a dramatic call for assistance. “I got a white male on 95 near exit 34 getting ready to dump something weird in the woods. Could be a dead body.”
“Jesus F. Christ!” Kadmon swore as he ran around to the driver’s side, fumbling to get the keys out of his pants pocket. The car lurched as he put it in gear. Aamar hunkered down in his Lamarckian joyride for the thrill of a century. There was a wild look in his eyes, which he had acquired perhaps not from his fiendish lineage but from Kadmon’s batty French Canadian ancestors.
A mile down the road, the spinning lights of two cruisers danced in his rearview mirror. Kadmon let up on the gas and pulled over to the dirt shoulder. A grainy muffled speaker ordered him to get out of the car with his hands in the air. But he couldn’t move.
Instead he looked over to the passenger seat and saw a pair of old pliers with red handles. He thought about how he could use them to commit suicide.
Kadmon grabbed the red pliers and jumped out of the car, pointing them at the officer. Bullets flew from one officer’s gun in the second cruiser, shattering the windows in the first. Three cops began pumping metal until the space between law and despair was crammed with bullets. Kadmon looked down in bewilderment. Not one of them had entered his body.
“You’re not dead!” Aamar informed him.
“I’m not dead!” he mimed.
With barely another thought his legs took off in long strides into the woods. Trees hummed past and branches whipped his face, but the pain was nothing compared to the sharp sting of the bullet that pierced his shin. He made his way deep into the forest, which slowly turned into swamp as night burned into morning.
Kadmon plopped exhausted behind a large oak holding his leg wound tightly to stop the bleeding. The swamp crawled with disgusting wet noises of unseen life forms. The terror of a snake crawling up his back competed with the horror of a police dog baring its fangs in his face. He passed out with the sound of gruff canine snuffling in the distance.
Aamar ran his genetic imprint processor in the background as usual. This was going to be an extraordinary event. He’d never seen anything quite like it, although he thought he’d seen it all. He knew all the quirks of Kadmon’s ancestors and how they got into the messes they got into. But he could never talk much sense to them. They’d just keep on doing what they were programmed to do.
Kadmon didn’t know it, but he was descended from a long line of herb cultivators who learned their tradition straight from the tribes. “The problem is,” thought Aamar, “not enough of you protested when growing the medicine leaves became illegal. You get what you ask for when you shut your mouth.”
It wasn’t the first time Aamar ran his condemnation through the memory wheel. “To make it easier for yourselves,” his tirade ran, “you humans will enslave your descendants under a tyranny of thickheaded legalese.” “You, with your short life span and chronic amnesia,” he pointed at Kadmon, “you’re lucky if you can see your hand in front of your face.”
He had Kadmon knocked out for the moment. He was watching over him. Or maybe he was pretending to. He was itching to get high. He had addictions to be fed. Nightmares to exude.
Kadmon’s cell phone fell open on his lap and electric images danced out of the cerulean screen. The figures of long dead ancestors reanimated the woods like data rumours. Aamar began to play a dirty little game that can only be played by omniscient observers. It was the Glass Bead Game on a pornographic scale. He satiated his hunger on the thought worlds of a procession of pitiable humans, back to the beginning when his Qareen was first assigned to Adam Kadmon’s.
A steady stream of strangers in a strange land passed in front of Aamar on their way from labor in the cornfields back to the farmhouse; from their backbreaking existence on the third plane to the place they called Home; back to the One, the Twin, the soul mate waiting on the shore, only to whisper goodbye again, float around the fallopian bend in little egg ships and take the miserable wet plunge into linear time; into ego and effect; into individuality and chaos.
Aamar sucked on their thought forms like eating meat off their bones. His life force was revived as the ghostly memories of gone humans flooded his hard drive. He felt not one hair above a sin-eater. He was both disgusted and high, trapped in a hideous existence from which he could not even imagine escaping.
Black shadows screeched overhead and shat their dinner on the earth’s face. The wings of giant bat-like creatures fanned the deafening flames of hell’s transcendence to this plane, as nature’s hand impartially plucked aloud each atom of human agony. The figures of fantastic rumours fought and fucked, gave birth and perished. Blood poured from all conceivable orifices. Women wailed in the medieval labyrinths of raving inquisitors where no right answer echoed off crimson stone walls.
With massive hard-ons the wizards of idolatry tortured mothers and daughters in the name and celebrity of a perfect deity. The palpable wound on the christ’s side became a gaping vulva into which a gathering of mighty demons inserted gargantuan phalluses. The blood soaked scene put Aamar in a frenzy of euphoria.
Adam Kadmon’s foot jerked as he dreamed the schizoid tape reels of the Jinn. Childhood memories of his parents’ incessant arguments mixed with unrecognizable signals from another time and place. A spinning globe of brilliant blue cacophony flew in and hovered above his head like a neon orchestra. The luminous logo bestowed upon him absolute knowledge of music and mathematics, of astrology and agriculture, of medicine and architecture, until he was data-trashed to the verge of madness.
A small tube was lowered from the azure symbol and a white cord appeared. He was instructed to touch the string, and as he did so he was sucked instantly up into the ductwork of a clanging banging super machine. As he climbed out of the other end of the duct another one appeared above his head even smaller than the first. This one also had a white line dangling from it. He wondered how he could possibly fit through this small opening but as he touched the cord he found himself climbing out the other end of the tube.
A third time Kadmon touched a white string above his head as he instantly emerged into a dark watery world. As above so below and before him—the unbelieving didn’t matter. To his left and to his right a canal wound its way toward Adam Kadmon, and when the waterway reached the place where he stood it turned a corner and flowed away before him like his dismay. In the distance the two rivers merged and emptied into a great sea of extraordinary shapes and penetrating colors.
On his right Kadmon could see little half-egg cups connected like children’s boats and in each egg sat a human being. They seemed to be stuck in a traffic jam. In the last egg a man stood up and began to rant about the meaning of this absurdity. Kadmon looked closer and saw that the irritated man was he.
Two human forms appeared as through a shimmering veil across a splendidly decorated table near the immense ocean. Adam Kadmon sat down at the great table and clicked on the TV monitor. In a circle in the middle of the screen a ballerina danced the import of the words being conveyed by the two people. In another circle a robot minimalist shortened their conversation into universal slang. In a third circle the Mother-Father archetypes came into focus.
Kadmon touched the screen for “human trans” and turned up the sound, realizing he’d arrived in the middle of a heated dialogue. “Who cares how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?,” said a glowing golden figure, as he took a swig from a green boy scout canteen.
The ballerina spun around like there was no tomorrow. “Que sara sara,” quipped the robot minimalist.
“But this is the best angel you ever made,” said a black Amazon priestess wearing a massive python around her neck. “Don’t you remember how you loved him when he was a baby?”
“Yes Sophia,” the figure beamed brighter when he laughed. “Cute little shit.” “It took him a long time to walk though. Falling all the time.”
The ballerina tripped over her own feet and got up and tripped again. The robot laughed corn out of its nose.
“It’s not his fault he’s falling all the time!” implored the First Mother. “He’s born innocent. You give him no help at all! You make promises you never keep. You booze it up from that canteen every Saturday.”
“He’s innocent, my ass!,” the Infinite Godhead jeered. “He’s a devil! He’s not made in my image!”
The ballerina wagged her index finger and shook her head as she balanced on her big toe. “Dum de dum dum,” the robot droned.
“That’s not true, Yahweh. There are copies of the designer children spread out in all quadrants now,” said Sophia. “And they are all Imagio Deo. Even you can’t tell them apart.”
The Absolute One was smashed again at 3:00 in the afternoon on the sixth day of creation and had left the program running on its own. Beyond the two figures Kadmon could see the primal Archons at work: banks of faceless entities with fingers flying on colossal keypads. They were adding more space continuously.
It was tricky. They had to make it look like the image was moving out and away, and super objects were growing further apart. But when the eye zoomed in on the smallest particle, it stood still and looked back at you. It mimicked your own thoughts. It made a copy of you. It was a feat of brilliant programming.
“Incubus! You always had to be on top!” roared the absentee Father.
The robot didn’t get it. “Wa?” The ballerina did the shimmy and humped the floor.
Yahweh stood and pointed his finger in inebriated fury. “Demon bitch! Night hag!,” he sputtered. “You knew the first one was a mistake! He was supposed to be destroyed!”
The ballerina pulled herself low to the floor and made herself as small as she could while holding her thumb in a menacing position above her.
“Splumpf,” said the robot minimalist.
The Father’s Light flickered as he cursed the Adam of the First Mother’s tribe: “You stole him from me in the night to live unaware of my divine will! His bones will rot in the diseased mud of your tribe. He’ll have to find his own way back now!!!”
The robot tapped his foot and whistled Dixie. The ballerina grabbed herself by the neck and ran around the stage as though looking for the door.
But Sophia wasn’t finished. “Divine will? You gloating bastard! You think you’ve got it all writ out to the end of time and you can just sit back and get sauced!” she hurled.
The translators worked to keep up. The ballerina shuffled and leapt into the air and came down hard on her ass pretending to look for her car keys. She was doing a bang-up job as far as the robot was concerned, so he just added a “cuckoo”.
“You turned your back on him!” blared the black bride. “He’s got no handshake or high five to get through the gate! He knows not the answer to any riddles! No myth now carries him back to the eternal twin of light and sound… Just words and images skewed by the patriarchal tongue of kingship and phallus!”
The robot said “splumpf” again. It was good enough. The ballerina gave a high five, performed a lewd maneuver with her tongue and stuck out her pelvis.
Rising from her chair, Sophia chided, “You fell asleep on your own watch. The data patch was necessary. He is the spawn of technology now. It’s his only way off this prison planet.”
Adam Kadmon could not take his eyes off the fearless woman who was giving his father lip.
“Your Logos has expired! You are defunct!,” screamed the First Mother.
“That towering lie will never lift him off the ground!” the Father bellowed, red in the face. “He will die in the tidal waves of the seventh rapture as Asan’s hand lifts for take off! No demon seed takes to heaven from your vile alligator swamp!” The infinite Godhead quaked in exasperation as the Universe inhaled.
The ballerina and the robot were out of their league on this one. The station broke for a commercial message. An old earth song played something about the hills being alive with the sound of music. A warm backlit image of a Garden remained frozen on the screen.
A set of golden scales appeared on the table and with trembling hand the Father began to balance them.
“You’re drunk, Yahweh! And you’re still trifling with your obsolete tools,” Sophia snapped.
“Enough of your razmataz, woman!” shouted the Father.
There was no sweat on the First Mother’s brow and no quivering lip as her monstrous black wings fanned out behind her and she rebuked the Father’s curse. “Who wants to live in the stately mansions of your fraternity anyway! They are only fit for animals who shit where they eat. Kadmon will find his way back by the light of his own forehead, you old bastard!”
The kitchen radio blared in a machine-like tongue, reading off blocks of numbers followed by high-pitched beeps. After the first signal new numbers followed in a different pattern. Kadmon took out his pocket calculator and did the secret arithmetic his mother had taught him. He knew the codes were instructions to gigantic mother ships pulling into the docking stations in the L-5 orbit of the moon. More life forms were coming every day, but not all would make it through the electronic cage of the custodians. And they were the lucky ones, who got to simply inhale and exhale with the One for eternity.
And so the machine read the numbers while little bumper cars shaped like half-eggs weaved through the watery realms of the great Archons, the archangels of creation; the custodial minions of the omitted program creator. And as the first sunbeams put life in motion, Aamar awoke his brother, saying, “Pick up your body, I’ll pick up your throne. And then we’ll make the next move together.”
In the wink of an eye, Aamar spun a vortex from the tip of his finger and gathered up the litter from his emotional gorge-fest, forming a gelatin mold of the bones of memories past. He honed it into the shape of a mandrake root and shoved it into Kadmon’s ear the split second he awoke.
A tiny gob of goo dribbled out of Kadmon’s ear as his eyes popped open. And as his ego touched his eyeballs, the thoughtrons of present time began to mingle with the molecules from his dream space. Over there, information is color. But here, where every choice has a consequence, information is pain. The color bled from his face as anguish took its place.
“Good day, master! I always liked that deer in the headlights look on you,” said the wiseass con man.
Kadmon stood and whizzed off the edge of a rock hiding his manhood from the Jinn as his forebears were instructed. He stared through garbled nothingness, seized by dread. Old thought patterns resurfaced. Fear loomed large in this brown shitty place. The path of least resistance was again the death card.
His mind reeled with the foul cinema of dreamtime: His sisters wailed over his pallid corpse stuffed into an old high school suit as the lid of the coffin was closed shut. The pallbearers dropped his coffin down the steps of the church and chunks of brain slid out of his eyes. Just then a tidal wave swept the coffin up into a twirling funnel and returned it to the tree from which it came. He would be snug there in the womb of first nature. One way out of this bizarre trap was to become comfortably dumb.
Kadmon wobbled as he stood and realized he’d lost blood during the night. He leaned against the big oak for support. As he scanned the area, several mounds of rocks invoked a discernible pattern of an old burial ground.
The Jinn pulled a rusted tin can of used wish particles out of his ass and waved it under Kadmon’s nose, teasing him with the three wishes routine. Kadmon spun around, setting his gaze on a dumpster in the distance on the edge of the woods behind the SpeedyMart.
Limping over to the stinking pit, the Primordial Man surveyed the discarded choices of human souls on their journey through red lights, green lights and the tempting yellow ones that symbolize free will. This was the grab bag of the Universe. He grabbed a yellow 12-pack of Twinkies and dashed under cover of the woods with his breakfast.
The Primal Son gorged on the stale yellow cakes until a heaviness permeated his soul. He felt the weight of his actions in this world compounded by another malevolence seeping in from somewhere else. It was more than just bad decisions added up. It was like someone was playing Monopoly with his soul.
Then it came in waves and he had no control over it. It seemed punctuated with a question, then a feeling of intense nausea.
“Walk with me along the path of error!” screamed the sin eater.
Kadmon heaved out dry cake to his left. Above him a crow cried out.
Then it came again.
“Walk with me on the Left Path, my brother!”
Kadmon wretched a mouthful of cake to his left side.
“Abandon your Father who does not love you!”
Kadmon puked in the air a third time and rose, dragging his dead leg in the direction of the SpeedyMart. He walked in and began to shop for various items. Pepsi. Slim Jims. Cigarettes. Matches. And some rope. He’d sling it over the tree limb and they’d find him dangling from it.
He had seen the picture in his mind and he was curiously distanced from the image. It didn’t matter anymore because it wasn’t really him. His real Self was somewhere beyond all these meaningless trials and tribulations. He was sick of playing out the same rote behaviors. Perhaps a new child would be born in his place, under different circumstances, with different parents.
But he’d already blown his death wish on an ancient family dispute over stale breakfast. He’d been tricked again into making a choice by default – the only choice left after running out of choices. The slick illusion of free will shackled his ankles. What good is free will where there’s time, choice, and a corner you can’t see around?
As he stood in line with an armload of sundries the young woman behind the register eyed him with a look of absentminded recognition. He looked away suddenly realizing he was sporting his night in the woods. Muck covered his shirt and blood stained his pants. He had pine needles in his hair. The woman’s smile faded as she walked over to the manager, whispering without moving her lips, “That’s the guy on TV they’ve been looking for all night.”
Kadmon stepped up to the counter and put down his last supper, dropping the Slim Jims on the floor. As he bent to pick them up Aamar whispered in his right ear: “It’s up to 200 million this week.”
And give me two quik picks, said Kadmon to the fair maiden behind the counter. Feeling suddenly very foolish, he put down a twenty dollar bill and said, “Keep the change.”
Together the brothers walked out into a parking lot full of red lights flashing. “Get down on the ground!” were the first words out of the bull horn. Kadmon pushed his face into the pavement as Aamar stood over him with his arms crossed. He’d already taken several bullets for him. He wouldn’t have minded a few more but this seemed a better solution.
Aamar hovered over his brother, protecting him as best he could. He knew damn well the laws of operation in the world of the fallen. Man’s laws are the only laws here.
Copyright Joan d’Arc 2011. Written in 2007.
Copyright Joan d'Arc is the author of Space Travelers and the Genesis of the Human Form and Phenomenal World, published by The Book Tree (www.thebooktree.com). She is the previous publisher of Paranoia: The Conspiracy Reader (www.paranoiamagazine.com).