Adam Blatner

July 18, 2005
As I write about in the paper on this website on creative mythology, it sometimes is useful to tell stories, make up myths, sort of extended parables that address in more poetic form, with more vivid imagery, some ideas mentioned in other papers--especially those on process philosophy, kabbalah, etc.

Here are some mentioned on this webpage.
How God Works.           Be the Captain of Your Soul         Your Individuality     About Saints and Gurus
An Avatar Story              How Religions and Culture Evolve


Here's creation story from one of universes several dimensions over and a few up and to the right: Once beyond time the god there sort of did a "king" trip: He sat on a throne and presided in a very grand style indeed, judging the souls,  blessing the righteous ("Come over and sit here on my right side"), condemning the wicked ("You can go to hell!), listening to the choirs of heavenly hosts sing praises in the gold and jeweled throne room, the whole nine yards. However, being of a more far-seeing nature, he found this role (which was even there only a projection of a human-like mind, the illusion that king-ing was cool), well, it was boring! Very overly simplistic. This was no role for a truly magnificent presence. So He (really this was beyond gender– no male or female, much less patriarchial contamination – ah, but the present state of your language, sigh, creates a Procrustean Bed for pronouns)... He announced to the collected angels: "Let's have a contest: Whoever can think of the greatest thing for me to do wins." All the angels and archangels wrote up their suggestions and put them in the suggestion box. Reading these, though, something else occurred to Him.

On the day of the judging, God read all the suggestions and announced the winner: "Me!" "Aww," cried some of the angels. "No fair. You're smarter." "Oh, come on," laughed God, "Let's face it, that's true! Gimme a break!" "Oh, well," said the angels, relinquishing their petty strivings and moving on to the continuing adventure, "So what's the answer?" After a dramatic pause, God announced: "I'm going to be everything."

"Whoa! That's an awful lot to be," said one angel, playing the foil perfectly. "I can't imagine how you can be everything all at one time. You'd spread yourself too thin!" "That's just the point," replied God. "I'm the only one who could pull it off. Not that I'd be personally making every decision, you understand. Rather, I'll sort of go along for the ride, implant myself, as it were, as a source of cosmic energy and guidance, and delegate the responsibility for co-creation to every being."

"Every being?" the angel asked, astonished. "Yep," replied God, "every atom, every dream, every poet, every blade of grass, every butterfly. I'd be in every whispered breeze, in every song about whispered breezes, the whole shebang. Everything. I want to experience it all, love it all, help it all."

"But so much of it is so dense, so ignorant, prideful..." another angel interjected. "That's part of the game," said God. "To help it all evolve, to make whatever mistakes it needs to make in order to learn, to take years, aeons of time in order to evolve. I take millennia, billennia to work. I'm pretty patient."

"Why do all this?" cried a bunch of other angels.

"Because it's interesting!" God replied. "It's glorious, it's the biggest production of a multi- dimensional opera I can imagine. The cosmos unfolds, zillions of songs, dances, jokes, tragedies, comedies, ta daaa!"  It's also a challenge. Start with the most rudimentary of particles and basic forces of energy, and see what I can evolve out of this, how many different variations, and also the elegance of seeing if I can get the different elements to then mesh, integrate, work together, and from it all, evolve ever-higher levels of love, joy, and consciousness!

"What about the participants? Are you going to let them stew in their ignorance?"

"I'll help them as much as I can. I'll stay with them, deep in their soul, in every being. I'll whisper the archetypal principles to them, and try to guide them in proportion to what their consciousness can handle. Most of the time they won't listen, because they get distracted, because they don't know what I sound like, because they can't tell my whispers from all the programming they get from family and advertisements and all. But in time they'll learn to discern my guidance from the other types of messages. That's part of what they need to learn. It may take millions of years.

"Will you intervene to help them?" an angel asked.

"No, I don't work that way," God said. "I don't do physical miracles. To the extent they expand their consciousness, attune themselves to the subtleties of spirituality, some may acquire what they consider miraculous powers or psychic phenomena, but these are correlates of consciousness. I have no physical fingers or toes. I work from inside the soul."

"But when they're suffering..." an archangel protested.

God: "Oh, I cry with them, I suffer with them. I stay with them, continuing to whisper. Sometimes they hear me and get on my wave-length. But I can't change the way they're stupid with each other, and I can't interfere in preventing earthquakes and floods and such. I created this universe by instituting certain principles, and all material evolution followed."   In a way, this density of the material, and density of mind, well, that's the game: To work patiently from within, for as long as it takes. (Time is not a problem for me.) The challenge is to gradually work, non-violently, non-coercively, to evolve further, ever further.

A: "What's the point, then?"

G: "Creating, learning to live together in greater harmony, gradually becoming more conscious and aware of me and all other dimensions of mind--it's a wonderful enterprise! What could be grander? And as for that vision of heaven and hell that some folks presume to project onto me and my realms of being? And for the idea that I'm an "unmoved mover," unchanging in all aspects?   No, never happened."

A: "What about the prophets that appear now and then? Are you revealing yourself through them?"

G: "Some are spiritually talented, just like Bach or Beethoven or Mozart were talented in music. Some have a natural inclination to get into more sensitive attunement with my voice and the principles which are intuited or, for some, heard outright. There are hundreds of these in every generation, and some attain fame while most live in situations in which their talents are relatively unappreciated. A few have lived in times or historical settings conducive to their becoming very influential. It's all a process of continued evolution. One may become a teacher, but never attain fame. The student of her student may weave together the influence of several teachers. I mentioned that there were hundreds of major talents in every generation, but there are hundreds of thousands of moderately talented, spiritually alive beings in every intelligent species. This distribution of abilities applies to every quality or skill, and to every species, intelligent or not. It's part of evolution.

A: And the religions that follow these prophets?

G: Ah, they are subject to the process of history, with some followers distorting the teachings for worthy or unworthy motives. Other followers generations later seek to recapture the spiritual truths or particular insights, to undo the natural processes of contamination and degradation that any great wisdom teaching is subject to. Many of the teachings can continue to be used as stimulants in this regard, but they are so vulnerable to interpretation that they are problematic as sources of authority.

A: What are the proper sources of authority, then?

G: The principles of existence, of nature, and the innate guidance of my quiet inner voice and the archetypal principles they suggest. And these alone cannot solve the problems. Each sentient being continues to be faced with the inevitability of dealing with his or her own challenges, moment to moment. There may be a little guidance, but part of that challenge is to learn from others, to become creative in problem-solving, to cooperate and think and communicate, and imagine. This is part of what makes the production as a whole so glorious.


A captain–what does that mean? A captain of an infantry company? Perhaps more a captain of a ship–ah, that's more like it! The master!  Ah, there's the rub! (As Hamlet said in his famous soliloquy in Shakespeare's play). For a distinction needs to be made between being in charge, responsible, and being "in control."

The captain of a ship is the one who determines how the steering will go, and speed, and a few other matters of keeping order and shipshape. Yet in fact, the captain is quite limited in terms of what is actually controlled. Ships are big and cannot stop on a dime, nor can they turn quickly. They have their own momentum as they roll through seas that are a zillion times bigger.

What if the captain is the ego, the conscious ordinary awake self, but the ship is the soul, and the soul is more complex and far bigger than the captain in size. The ship contains a crew that can be managed, but there is always the danger of mutiny, and far more often, passive-aggressive low grade sloppiness, laziness, sulking, and other types of misbehavior. Discipline is not always easy. The ship contains engines and sub-roles that are not always mastered by the captain–engineer, radioman, and so forth. In the mind, the soul, the unconscious, has all sorts of mechanisms that the awakened ego doesn't know how to do voluntarily. Why do we laugh and cry, and how is it that our sexuality is not really under the control of will. Then there's the whole category of sickness, healing, and psychosomatic illness. The psychiatric manuals are full of examples of ways the mind doesn't follow the wishes of the conscious self.

In this metaphor of the captain being the ordinary ego-self, the ship being the soul, even that great complex bulk is but a chip on the far greater vastness of the sea and sky. The sea is the Divine Wholness, and we flow with its eventfulness. The captain has a measure of control, but only a measure, and this varies depending on the weather and waves and winds, and there are other elements that can shift the nature of the journey–sun, wind, snow, fog, heat, cold, and so forth.

The point of this extended metaphor is that we should seek to become as responsible as we can, as skilled a captain as we can, but also we should not edge over into the hubris, the subtle arrogance of thinking that our whim and will can actually control either the ship or the sea. There's a need to be a master within a broader context of humility and receptivity.

A major function of the captain is to harmonize with the ship, its crew, and the elements. To achieve this, he or she must be receptive, it must listen to complaints, attend to needs, even of the lowliest crew and passenger, and become alert to the signs in nature and the messages sent by the wind and waves.

I am captain of my soul?  Perhaps, but it certainly isn't a matter just of giving orders and thinking they'll be obeyed. Captain-ing is a tough job, and the skills of this roles may be developed throughout a lifetime and never achieve perfection.


You're the only you in the world, in the whole cosmos. You're the only one with not only the unique blend of thousands of genes, but also of a peculiar convergence of a variety of other factors:
   The historical era and region into which you were born, and also where you were raised. Each move, each region you moved into, added to this complexity.
    The individuality of your family–their strengths, weaknesses, interpersonal and parenting skills, the individual nature of each sibling.
     The uniqueness of each friend, teacher, and group of friends, and the "chemistry" which characterized their interactions; the norms, rules, morale, of these groups.
    Similarly, other groups, clubs, church, extended family, all had their own chemistry and contributed to your uniqueness.
     Temperament added to this special-ness, and there are scores of aspects of temperament, styles of learning, preferences.
     Abilities and disabilities, strengths and weaknesses, talents, no-talents, and also the degrees to which each talent was cultivated or neglected; and the degrees to which each weakness was highlighted as an occasion for humiliation, or turned into an opportunity for overcoming hardship and the development of self-confidence.
    Special interests emerge from these and also unknown sources–some would even speculate on past lives–so that this person finds everything Chinese fascinating, while her neighbor has a weakness for the art and history of ancient Egypt. We have no idea why this child becomes fascinated with dinosaurs and that one with soccer. Considering all your interests, again, there's a unique blend, because each interest influences the angle of perception or the way you engage in the other interests, even if only slightly.

Anything with sufficient complexity ends up being unique–it's just a mathematical fact. The pattern on the peel of a lemon has enough subtle differences so that in one square foot of surface area, there may be a thousand places where dimples can occur, each at a different depth, width, and slight position variance compared to its neighbors. Thus, every lemon skin shows a complexity like a fingerprint, and becomes unique in the universe. The microscopic membrane of every cell in your body, all 60 trillion or so of them, again is so patterned so that it's like a thousand fingerprints, with a slight twist this or that way here or there that, in its aggregate, leads to it also being absolutely unique in the cosmos. As I say, it's simply a matter of when you compile a sufficient number of items with a sufficient number of possible directions or parameters, what happens is that the number of possible variations approaches infinity! Cell, lemon skin, you.

The moral of this story now shifts from mathematics to cosmic myth. Let's say that God loves good stories, good theatre, and here you are, a story, a life that's absolutely unique. More, the plot of the story is being improvised, so there's no fixed plot line! And that also means that it's a page-turner, a mystery–no one knows how it's going to turn out!  What suspense!

And let's say that God loves you at least as much as you've loved your child or grandchild, with that same curiosity about how the kid's going to turn out. Does this behavior promise a talent in music or art? She's only 4, so it's hard to say, but there is enough showing that it makes you kind of intrigued!  Let's say that your unfolding, too, is held in this cherished field of attention, interest, concern, and curiosity.  Part of this is perhaps maternal, but a good part is also just the delight of a good audience, noticing that this story, your heroic journey, is good theatre! Your life really is most interesting!


Here are some myths about prophets, saints, and other enlightened souls. In south Asia they're also known as avatars or gurus. In some universes, the souls of sentient beings evolve through many lives. Now, just as with your planet's process of evolution, some species seem to evolve faster than others, so that some creatures, like sharks or horseshoe crabs have changed relatively little for hundreds of millions of years, while other species change significantly over tens of thousands of years. Also, some souls develop significant talents or abilities. For some, it's musical or artistic genius. Others are inspired writers or inventors, political visionaries, poets, or gifted in their capacity to understand and even communicate with other life forms.

As part of evolution, some souls develop a sharper awareness, a direct intuition into the nature of deeper or more multi-dimensional reality. They sense it psychically, though this kind of consciousness is not at all easy to express in language that is understandable to ordinary folks who don't "see" or "realize" this deeper dimension. Your philosopher Plato wrote about it in what has become known as the "Parable of the Cave."

The closest analogy is when a child becomes aware not only of her immediate family, but at family get-togethers and events begins to have a feeling for "our family," the sense of kinship with aunts and grandparents, cousins, nephews, and so forth. In time the child may develop also the sense of being part of a church, a social class, an ethnicity, and so forth. This deep sense of identification and belonging operates beyond ordinary reason or consciousness. It's but a step to developing a capacity to feel as much a part of the Great Wholeness of the Cosmos as it was to advance from feeling a part of the immediate family to being a part of the wider family. It requires, only, a general consensus about this belonging-ness, so that it's part of the fabric of the culture–a consensus that on many worlds is conflicted, varied, and under-developed.

Still, just as some kids are born with a sensitivity to music or mathematics, a natural intelligence that often transcends the ability of their parents or even culture, so too some kids are born with a natural spiritual intelligence. Actually, spiritual sensitivity is distributed like other talents–a few are somewhat dense to this realm, most are mildly sensitive, a smaller number are moderately sensitive, and a rare few are "geniuses," especially sensitive, really tuned in with less distortion imposed by cultural overlay.  Also, like other talents, spiritual sensitivity can be moderately developed with training and encouragement.

Note that spiritual sensitivity doesn't make someone ultimately "better" than other people. It's possible to be spiritually sensitive and yet be un-talented in other ways, perhaps tone deaf, or clumsy. However, there does tend to be a correlation between spiritual sensitivity and a relatively high level of ethical sense, simply because the two sensitivities are related, like melody and rhythm in the talent of musical genius-- but not always or necessarily.

Remember, then, that all souls are essentially equal, even if some folks are more aware of the depth of the cosmos than others. Still, in certain cultures, this sensitivity is seen as a touch of madness, and in other cultures, a great gift that is relevant to that culture's philosophy. In cultures where the spiritually sensitive are appreciated, many tend to think that these people's souls have "evolved" a little faster or further than others, or seem as if they were in some sense "ahead" of the others in their consciousness. Another way of thinking of it is that their form of awareness seems "ahead of their time."

Okay, so some of these beings-- and since there is only one self-reflectively sentient species on planet Earth called "people," they'll be called that, or folks or human like names–beings, especially the spiritually sensitive folks have, in addition to having a relatively– note that word, "relatively" – accurate take on metaphysics, the ultimate nature of mind and reality–they also have become aware of their own potential role in the evolution of the world's soul and all the souls in it. Also, and this is a little sticky of a topic because folks in your world don't believe–and those that do for the most part don't really understand what "reincarnation" or "afterlife" or "angelic realms" and the like are really about... but anyway, some of these souls have learned how to exercise some choice in between lifetimes.  They also get a lot of help in this from their spirit guides.  (From our trans-dimensional perspective, every being has spirit guides, with sentient and reflective beings having correspondingly more complex spirit guides, and the simple and rudimentary creatures having relatively simple and rudimentary spirit facilitators.)

Anyway, regarding your question about those your people have called prophets or saints or such–those that you haven't murdered, that is. (Like kingship, certain roles can be fairly dangerous depending on the political and cultural atmosphere of the place and time.) These souls have become dedicated to the task of helping the whole world evolve, to move along the intelligence, consciousness, and spirit a little further to a more creative and harmonic wholeness. There's a term on your planet, derived from the Oriental tradition, called an "avatar," meaning one who is a messiah for an era, an advanced or semi-godlike soul who incarnates into material existence in order to really help humanity work out some major pervasive blockage in the process of evolution. Some people on your planet have claimed that you are due for another avatar soon, others claim that "He"--usually and oddly, it's been assigned a male role there in the last several thousand years--has already come, and the best people can do is to acknowledge Him and follow His teachings. (On other worlds, and increasingly, on your own planet, the more "female" beings are becoming recognized as being imbued with spiritual sensitivity, wisdom, and the potential for prophecy. Of course they always were, but all too often were persecuted for their challenge to the patriarchal culture of the time.)  Indeed, there have been a number of avatars or prophets who have been claimed to be the "final" or ultimate one over the last two millennia–some more "authentic" than others.

On other worlds, however, people recognize this as occurring on a continuum, with some people being leaders in more modest ways, and everyone having the potential to innovate or promote an idea, to function, as it were, as a sort of "micro-avatar."

Another term your species has used in describing this role is "bodhi-sattva."  According to legend, these are people whose souls are so advanced that they're filled with compassion for the rest of creation, and who have vowed to refrain from entering nirvana, that heavenly union with the wholeness of things, until all creation has evolved to that point of enlightenment.

The Prophet's Predicament

What if you were a prophet. Savior is a bit much--it implies that there's a salvation once and for all. Consider that it may be sufficient for you to be If you think of it as a challenge, it's intrinsically a most difficult one: Imagine it for yourself. Let's say that you discover that you have immense resources of cosmic wisdom, and that you become aware that you are a bodhisattva. You are courageous and open. In this scene, you "really" know what the "truth" is, and you want to share it with as many people as you could, so that the message was spread as effectively as it could be. Or, perhaps, you just want to change things for the better. The problem is, what role would you choose to advance the soul of the world, knowing you would likely only move it along a little? Also, having chosen a role, how would you play it?

Now, here's the constraints of the situation: You can pick any set of parents you want. That means picking a particular region and time in history. Let's say, even, that yours has been a serial reincarnational pattern, so that each lifetime follows within months or at the most a few years upon the heels of the previous lifetime. Now, in this supposition, you can foresee only a little, with no guarantees: You're like a clever futurologist who can spot trends with a pretty good perspective, but you can't determine or control the details of what will happen. There are always folks coming up with stuff, whether they be assassinations or inventions, that shift those trends decisively, and you can only foresee them a little. I mean, some folks are just likely to get killed because they live too dangerously, whether they be adventurers or prophets, heretics or generals.

So, there are prices and pay-offs. If you choose to be the first son of royal parentage, for example, you stand the risk that you'll get killed by a younger brother or cousin or military coup. Indeed, lives that you intend to live which will be likely to lead to fame or power are also lives that will evoke the most envy and direct opposition, and as such, more conflict and possibly an early death.

If you choose to be born in an obscure village and teach or preach, you have a good chance of sinking into obscurity, and your pupils, unless you're very lucky, distorting, diluting, and rigidifying your teaching until it peters out of its own inanition. There's always a danger that your good intentions will become the authoritative  or even sacred foundations for the commission of evil acts.

Over the years, you might assess the time and place, and take a risk on what role might be most likely to be influential in the long run. In one lifetime, you might choose to be a general, and arrange to be born into a warlike yet powerful kingdom, one that's on the rise or that shows promise. Perhaps your plan for that age would be to fight what you see as the powers of darkness. Perhaps you could even become a ruler and institute a reign of peace and a "golden era" of philosophy, harmony, and the arts.

You might be an artist or musician, attempting to communicate your message of cosmic grandeur by first attracting the attention of the people to the wonders of your skill and the objects of your contemplation. You may hope in another life to be born into a civilization that is moving toward having drama as its major literary form, and in that context, express your genius as a playwright.

Perhaps you will choose to be a crusading newspaper editor, or perhaps a wandering philosopher and prophet. You may work through a select group of colleagues, disciples, students, or you may take your message directiy to the people. Always you must weigh probabilities, considering which approach might work best in which culture or/and time in history.

If you were to be born into a literary culture, you would be faced with the choice to write direct and clearly revolutionary manifestos, and so risk the wrath of the authorities; or you might choose to write more allegorical tracts, appealing to the imagination of the reading public, especially the intelligentsia--but the risk here is that people just won't get it, and if you try to explain, it will endanger your cause. Also, writing down a set of truths is always a problem, because truths need to be flexibly adapted to each situation, are as complex as the realities they exist in. Truth is best addressed as much by the way the person lives–how do your people say it? "Do they walk the talk?" And truth-tellers need to be interrogated because most of the time they're misunderstood the first or second or third time around.  So writing can be as much of a technology of distortion as it is of transmission.

In our dimension, there's a story of one of the bodhisattvas choosing one time to be one of the first journalists. Well, actually, he chose to born into a family in a culture whose technology approximated what on your planet was, say, ancient Greece, and he arranged to be the grandson of really one of the first journalists. It had occurred to that guy, the grandfather, that it's important to communicate between groups of people.

Now this is not necessarily a widely held value. Indeed, in that culture, people tended to keep to themselves, and those who held the power maneuvered among themselves as best they could. There was informal gossip and people telling stories, but no one had made a profession of it--that is, to get the real story of what was going on and present it widely with the least amount of bias or personal interest. Now this fellow had to be a pretty good story teller, because only the top few percentage of people were somewhat literate, so there were no newspapers or other cheaply produced written material. He had to go around and tried to tell the people what his government was doing, and it didn't take long for them to shut him up. Nor did he have the imagination or the
social network to be effective as a martyr, so, he shut up.

Well, the grandson realized that this kind of journalism was holy work, he realized it even before he was born. He felt that the idea of people communicating about their own politics was important, it was the rudimentary beginning of democracy, self-government. This soul knew that people need to take responsibility for their lives if they're going to evolve, and this required a social norm of increased interactions. Well, in that world, this avatar grew up to take on that journalistic role, and attempted to turn it into a profession. To some extent, he succeeded, too, at least in terms of planting the seed of the idea that people have a right to know, and they need to know what's going on around them, a little past the boundaries of their closest family and circle of acquaintances. That lifetime was full of struggles and ended up without much great success, but some. History books overlooked him, and his own line of those whom he influenced also forgot his name after a few generations.

This is an example of a fairly typical story of the lifetime of one of these medium avatars. Sometimes, they hit it big, and sometimes, they failed. It often depended on who they connected with, who worked to publicize them, or to develop their ideas. Sometimes, the publicity person got a lot of the credit, too.

Occasionally, the avatar chose a woman's role. She might be the mother of a person who might go far, or the wife. Again, there were no guarantees that the situation would work out well, since all the soul could do was to choose the parents. Oh, they had a lot of charisma, and they could influence others perhaps more than the ordinary guy. Once in a while, particularly in some less technological societies, the woman would be able to directly lead or influence events.

There are many possibilities which you might wonder about in or around your time in your world: What might an enlightened soul do in order to most practically stimulate and guide other souls? Would it attempt to work through the mass media or to influencethe theories of education? Would it want to become a truly noble politician, attempting to demonstrate that the pure soul can operate in such a complex and individualistic and competitive system? How about a cartoonist with a national syndication.

Perhaps the avatar would work to refine, spread, and make more relevant an established religion, or perhaps it would want to create a new religion. Would it do this through the organization of the religion, or work outside in a direct appeal to the people. If a truly enlightened avatar appeared, where could he or she spread the truth without being considered a crank or frankly crazy? Would he be expected to make miracles in order for anyone to believe in him?

That's always been a problem for the "avatars" in many different planetary systems. Their consciousness may have been advanced enough so that they could do things with clairvoyance and psychokinesis, read people's minds, manifest objects, raise themselves in the air, heal the sick, etc. In some lives, they chose to do this openly, and occasionally they got attacked for it, in your world, treated as if they were "witches." In other lives, they chose to withhold the use of these tricks, and attempted to arouse people's awareness through the evident truth of their ideas, whether spoken or written. Often, this was simply unsuccessful, and not infrequently, these careers ended dismally.

It just occurred to me that you might have a number of those avatars of moderate or advanced consciousness among you even now, each trying to get the word out, or to facilitate without words, perhaps by example, the way to grow toward more love, harmony, creativity, and other positive goals. There doesn't seem to be any widely accepted consensus on how to recognize them--indeed, when I visit your world, most of you simply don't believe this fairly obvious possibility (at least in other dimensions) could be true for you. Hmmm.


Once upon a beyond-time, there was an avatar. An avatar is a spiritual being who takes birth in form in order to help foster the advancement, the spiritual evolution, of a species. This one decided to join a humanoid species on a certain planet, thinking to see if the role of prophet might be useful.

At this point in history on that planet, women were subjugated, so the avatar chose for this incarnation to be male, hoping to be more effective in the planned role. "He" picked a province in a growing empire of modest civilizational degree, a province which had a tradition of prophecy, so his role wouldn't be too out of place. He arranged to be born to a simple family. There were portents at his birth, unusual phenomena in the heavens and on the planet, but having such cosmic resonances was also the custom of that planet in those days; avatars were expected to have some portents, signs from the heavens, unusual "coincidences" and marvelous occurrences in the region.

As the avatar emerged in the form of a young one and grew older, he became increasingly aware of his own wisdom, its essential truth, and the staggering implications of his potential. This took about six years, from his mid-childhood through his early adolescence. (Of course, I'm translating a lot of elements that wouldn't make sense to earth people, so I am telling this story as if it were happening to a human-like being.). In that other universe, avatars became aware of their missions in a variety of ways: for some it was an epiphany, a revelation, a sudden insight. These usually occurred in young or middle adulthood. Some experience it as if what you might call a "god" speaks to them or through them. Some operated a little like mediums or channels. Others emerged gradually, becoming more and more conscious of the nature of the role of "bodhisattva"–i.e., one who repeatedly chooses to be re-incarnated in order to lead all sentient life towards spiritual liberation. A few, usually less experienced avatars of more moderate advancement, had erred in their choice of family and body, and were born into times, situations, or with a set of strengths and weaknesses that were not up to the role. Some of these went mad, withdrew from the challenge in solitary contemplation, or killed themselves with drink or other addictions. Anyway, in the particular story we're telling about, this fellow discovered his mission gradually.

It was quite difficult, because in his town such attitudes would be thought of as impossibly proud. It was hard even to find teachers who would be able to keep up with him, and when he tried to talk with some of his teachers, they were often put off, experiencing his questions and answers as strange rather than wise. After all, they had an investment in believing themselves wise, and it would take a good deal of imagination for most people in the teacher's role to recognize great wisdom in one of their pupils. The situation was complexified as the young one hadn't gotten it all systematized, worked out, or clearly articulated. Luckily, this kid had an uncle. Well, it wasn't entirely lucky, he had anticipated this problem when he chose those parents. This uncle was also on a "spiritual quest." He had traveled widely in the surrounding countries, learning all the various philosophical systems and psycho-spiritual disciplines. So, he was sensitive to the problems of an emerging avatar, and on his journeys through his brother's  home town, he would visit with his precocious nephew. This uncle also knew talent when he saw it.

Well, when our hero of this story, the avatar in emergence, reached his late adolescence, he wanted to preach, to witness to the truth as he understood it, to "spill the beans." In a way, he was re-incarnationally related to that other avatar who was the proto-journalist, only instead of just publicizing the socio-political events of the day, this young avatar wanted to publicize the metaphysical "rules of the game."

His uncle, who had taken him on a number of excursions to those other centers of wisdom in the neighboring (and distant) countries, had built a sufficient mentor relationship that he was able to restrain the young one's enthusiasm: "Look, kid," he said, "You have an excellent grasp on your subject material, but you don't know your market. Take my advice: Learn what it is to be an ordinary person on this planet. Look, your Dad is a carpenter. So, he's been inviting you to go into business with him. So do it. I'll keep track of you and let you know when you're ready to go public."

Being wise, our young avatar took his uncle's advice. For three years, he withdrew from his spiritual journey and undertook a different kind of spiritual practice: learning how to be a carpenter. He had to learn to master a number of skills, some of which had seemed deceptively simple. Hammering a nail in straight, for example, didn't go as easily as he might have intended, and he needed to practice. A bent nail couldn't be blamed on the hammer or a weakness of the metal in the nail. A hammered thumb was not to be ascribed to a poor hammer design. In short, he learned how to manage his time, organize his movements, and relate in a cooperative way with his fellow workers. This latter was complexified by his being the boss' son, but he learned to handle it with good humor.

After a few years, he was offered the job of foreman. He was bright, eager, but this would require another set of skills. He had to organize other people, manage them, work tactfully with them to bring out their ability, teach them, criticize them, hire and fire them. He had to become a judge of character and to think through a job so that the materials for laying the foundation were in place, say, before the work was done on the interior detailing.

Again he was promoted after spending about three or four years mastering the aforementioned tasks. Now his father, getting older, wanted him to manage the business. He had to contract for the various construction jobs, help design the buildings, negotiate in the community for good prices on materials, in effect having to be shrewd but fair. Now his job included involvement in the community, developing a good reputation. These and many other lessons were learned over the ten or so year period that our young avatar spent "learning his market," as his uncle had suggested.

At the end of this period, the uncle visited again, and the two men agreed that the time had come to carry on with the avatar's ambition, to spread the word. "You've matured, gained a lot of wonderful insights, my nephew," said the uncle. "I hope you'll be successful in getting people to understand. I like your way with words. But these are politically troubled times, and I hope you don't get a reputation as a revolutionary." Well, the rest of the story is complex, and it involves many other stories within that story.

Was he successful? It turned out in that other universe as it has done in your own: Yes and no. According to some of the criteria you have today for a success, he was by no means a success. Many of your celebrities have more sustained careers and become known by far more people. That is, in his own lifetime his success was modest. (Some might even consider it a failure.) Yet in the long run, he was a success, in many ways more so than most avataric experiences. He was able to influence enough people, and a few became significant publicizers. The circumstances were ripe, and his message caught on. Of course, it lost a great deal in the course of telling and re-telling the story, especially by many people who only could understand the externals of his message. There was a good deal of myth-making, elaborating, and some people think that in many quarters his message has been so completely misunderstood as to constitute a reversal of its essential meaning.

Ah, well, that kind of thing has happened again and again in history and among the millions of planets that have reached this stage of evolution. And so the effort continues, little by little, there are beings throughout existence trying to help it along, little nudges, seeds of ideas. Does this story apply at all to your world?


In seemingly un-ending ways, there are those who tell different stories expressing different concepts about God. Different beings have a wide range of what might in the broadest sense be religions--i.e., organized ways of helping people to have a relationship with Higher Transcentential "beings" and beyond those, The Greater Wholeness. some of those religions are surprisingly sophisticated, others relatively simple, and, interestingly, all, if evaluated by others, seem to have both advantages and disadvantages. These religions can be seen to be somewhat adapted for the species and culture they grew out of, and at the same time they do evolve, are revised, as those cultures evolve."

In worlds (such as ours) that are going through relatively rapid cultural evolution, in which--in our world's peculiar situation, because of advances in technology, and the intermixing and collision of different cultures, the result is the emergence of more choices than ever before, almost too many to deal with intelligently. We have a breakdown of consensus about the traditional values and only the hints of beginning a new, emerging consensus. In the meantime, commercial values rule our planet.

Yet, from the perspective of mythmakers in other worlds, the cosmos operates in a decentralized fashion. Each being is in charge of its own destiny. No cosmic king or lord or parent runs the show. The Earth has recently undergone a giant experiment in centralized planning, and it has failed. Yet the danger is that individual and corporate enterprise will emerge as an absolute value, free from all sense of cooperation. On Earth, a major current challenge is ecological, which has yet to become integrated with political alignment. It won't do to "blame" Nature; we need to figure out how to work together with Nature.
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