The Transcendental Train
The transcendental train is not like any other train – it is sublime in its existence, not built to convey people or possessions from A to B, but rather to only exist between points it travels between.
Esoterically, in serene beauty and silence it passes over and along the tracks without a clack. It emerges from tunnels, the darkness of walls fall by the wayside, replaced by the darkness of night. It is forever between, not quite there to grasp, more to sense in concept as it moves metaphysically on a path that cannot be measured. It crosses bridges flying through the dark, high above the ground, out of grasp of conscious thought.
Is it possible a transcendental thought could catch a transcendental train? Or is it bound to miss the connection? Or is it dangerous to make jokes about the metaphysical, and risk being imprisoned where there is literally ‘nowhere’ to escape. Caught ‘in between’ for eternity – which, as you know, is a very long time.
Or maybe it is more metaphysical to think about the train catching the thought and holding it carefully between compartments transcending beginning to end. How carefully do you need to hold a thought, undisturbed between the points on a journey from here to there?
in chasms measurelessly deep, across a wide blue infinity, stretches arched roofs that form limitless caverns along the way of blurred passage, taking a cloud of indistinguishable points not touched nor thought as of this world or the next but passing through at speed, the train so horizontal is also travelling vertically through a wondrous world of flow, fluid coiling off the wheels stoking up speed all the time so that the distance between the points never changes but grows shorter in time or is it longer in space – does the train ever stop, or only transcend worlds of different times and being
I dreamt and in my dream I was a butterfly. I woke, or was it simply that, weary of the sky, some butterfly was sleeping and dreamed that it was I. Old Chinese Proverb attributed to Chuang Tzu. 369 – 286 BC
The butterfly seemingly blinkered and fluttered blind in the dark, a chaotic chase out of mind banging into surfaces some soft and some hard: it flew in a spiral, bounced across his face, the worst earth landing since the trip to Venus.
That such a seemingly random flight should lead to an event so serious that it seemed to defy logic, that such a small entity could lead to such wide ranging ripples spreading so wide.
From the flutter on his face, his soft cheek, to the huge mushroom, crumpled buildings turn to rubble as they fall to the ground, the result of the fearsome expanding chain reaction.
The events start with one sort of chain of one link after the other, but ends in another where matter reaches fever pitch, each collision results in two more, increasing until meltdown.
The first link in the chain was the egg of the butterfly, which was connected to the caterpillar, which was connected to the dormant chrysalis, which was connected to the whirling beautiful butterfly that took off in the dark, disturbed from its sleep to fly that fateful path that led to the kiss in the dark, the kiss that was connected to the thought that led to him getting out of bed, which was connected to him thinking of her which was connected to him going in to launch the Armageddon that destroyed us all.
Some say she was the cause of the ultimate weapon being unleashed, the doomsday bomb released upon the world but we know the real cause was the egg being born. How else would he have felt the butterfly kiss on his cheek?
Just one more time after she was gone but the trigger that left nothing – once pulled there was no going back only forward down the slope of final destruction, with quickening pace the chain reaction takes us to the final incline down in to the depths of fiery hell where all that is matter turns to plasma so nothing matters any more.
Even time ceases to have the same meaning, the butterfly’s life is short, the race on to find a mate and procreate, but that is all gone in the far beyond where time is stretched out so long and thin the evil takes an eternity, there is nothing left of goodness. So we will have to wait and see if a butterfly phoenix will rise up and set off a big bang to start it all off again.
A long wait in a place where time is a forgotten form, with many near misses on the way from nothing to something. Nothing from before, something new from under the foot of the butterfly.
Land of Minds
Imagine the land of minds. Your imaginations are the entities of this land, as are all the minds I will conjure in your mind, these minds are similar to yours. Without your mind of course, you would not imagine. To help describe the composition of the minds I will begin with a short journey in to the study of minds.
It was no ordinary door, it had taken a long time to develop, finally ensuring that it shut out all mind-waves. On the door was written:-
Department of Mindology – This door is to be kept closed during working hours.
Behind the door, years of dedicated work have led to instruments of detection and measurements being invented and refined. The door with the walls were vital in this pioneering work; only by excluding extraneous mind-waves could work really begin to map out the land of minds. For a long time it was understood that brains reside in heads. What was not clear until relatively recently is that brains cause minds. Or indeed what a mind really is. In the study of minds, their anatomy, their psyche – it is necessary to extend consciousness to meet the subconscious. To describe a mind needs in-depth analysis of mental, emotional, motivational and even the physical nature of the mind. At this point, I think it might be best to look at a few everyday examples. Not surprisingly, each mind has characteristics unique to that mind, analogous to shape, size, texture, colour and so on. In the Department of Mindology, techniques have been developed to detect and measure these characteristics. Finally instruments to observe native minds in the field have been developed. As yet these do not work as well as the more precise instruments behind the door of the Department of Mindology but they will suffice to explore today.
The first mind which I wish to describe is neither common nor rare, but sleek and superficial, staying mainly at the surface. Quite happy to be blissfully unaware of complexity. There are very few blemishes on this mind as it is rather unaware, not only of others but also of itself. This particular individual I wish to describe is a rather beautiful hue of purple gold. It can be quite difficult to work out gender from the mind alone but I feel that this one is fairly obviously a male and called Purvis. A keen golfer, which I have nothing against, but in Purvis’ case limits conversation to holes.
The next mind to describe is a might ungainly one which may have sagged slightly through lack of use. Faded blues and pinks shimmer on the surface but give the idea of strong vibrant colours within. With the smell of roses. Self-conscious and of diminished ego through constant belittling over the years I have a feeling that she is a female, called Belinda, slightly past her best – which was probably when she worked in a bank about five years ago.
Purvis knows Belinda slightly and is rather taken with her, not noticing the sagging. He sees her in the street and says.
‘What a fantastic day – would you like a game of golf?’
‘Well, er, I do not play golf,’ replied Belinda taken aback by the question but flattered by the attention.
‘Well, today is a terrific day to learn – I could show you how.’
I can see the two minds reacting – Belinda turns deeper pink and loses her blue with excitement and fear of making a fool of herself. Purvis’ surface seems to become more rigid and gold – he has run out of golfing partners and Belinda would be ideal to beat.
At the golf course, Colin is working out the games and teaching rounds for the day – this mind is like a series of interlocking prisms, steely grey; his mind has little empathy and thinks there is only one worthy goal in life, to win. There is a faint whiff of leather and rubber together with a stronger smell of hot metal.
He catches a glimpse of Purvis and Belinda coming into the Club – he stops in his tracks and speaks with the brutal cruelty.
‘For Christ’s sake, can’t you find a partner your own size?’ he says to Purvis.
Belinda’s mind flips into an inverted jellyfish, like some sort of whipped dog begging for sympathy. The pink excitement fades away and blue embarrassment sets in.
Purvis bursts into laughter and says, ‘I’m sure she will be putting all the beginners into the shade in no time at all. Just you see.’ His mind hardly changes at all, looking only slightly more slippery than before.
Colin nearly slips into the trap of offering to play Purvis himself but just in time his mind snaps shut, turns dark grey and spiky as if to repel borders.
Sally is in the office but is keeping an eye on what is going on. Her mind is like a cornucopia, plenty of flowers and fruit combined. Vibrant colours, yellow, blue, red and deep purple. Smell of freshness and growth in the spring. Generous to a fault she goes out of her way to help everyone, not just the worthy, but also complete losers like Purvis.
‘Hello,’ she says to the incongruous couple, ‘have you brought a new member to join us?’ Sally’s mind is idling, radiating good will; Belinda’s mind responds accordingly, losing its deathly blue sickness and slowly being restored to hopeful pink’. Purvis’ mind remains more or less unchanged but basks a bit more in the presence of the two women. Slowly and reassuringly, Sally completes Belinda’s provisional membership. By the time the shiny new membership card shoots out of the machine, Belinda has found the confidence of a timid rabbit and her mind is glowing pink with a hint of blue here and there, amongst the sags. Purvis and Belinda head for the putting area. Purvis’ grip on the vulnerable mind increases with each step.
Sally looks benignly after them, thinking thoughts of romance and true love ending happily ever after, rather than the more likely twilight of drudgery and self induced misery for Belinda. I see her active mind turn to more hopeful topics – her mind radiating with excitement and pleasure. I cannot tell what she is thinking but it is clear it is a lovely thought.
Warlords at the Dinner Party
Few people could remember what peace was like. It was twenty, maybe thirty years, since all semblance of civilisation had slipped away. All that was left now was war torn urban areas, mile after mile of wrecked and ruined houses, schools and factories. Wrecked railways and broken roads.
All hope of peace had gone when an unexpected invitation came from the chief of the salvage union – known not unkindly as Chief Scavenger Sebastian. An invitation to sit down, civilised, to eat, drink and talk about peace, went to all the warlords, an invitation to re-introduce peace. It took some time and a lot of patience to arrange this dinner party. All other hope had receded over the horizon.
Finally they all agreed to meet, hosted on neutral ground, at the Scavenger Hall. Either the warlords would come to some agreement or the fighting would continue to a final and irreversible destruction.
Not all the warlords were men but most were. Of the eleven that Sebastian let in, nine were men and two were women. Checking the women for weapons had not been as tricky as Sebastian had feared.
When each warlord arrived, at agreed 10 minute intervals, Sebastian would let them in through the outer door, but the inner door would remain locked until Sebastian was satisfied that the warlord had removed all weapons and placed them in a secure box, for safekeeping until after the meeting. The first woman warlord was slim, she took her cloak off and placed it in the box. She stood before Sebastian dressed in what appeared to be a suit that had been painted on her body, a mixture of blue and green, glittering as she moved. She passed through the scanner without a murmer. The other female warlord was a huge bodybuilder of a woman, small breasts perched on her muscly chest. She stripped off without demure and went through the scanner while Sebastian checked her cloak carefully.
The men came in all shapes and sizes, generally fit and not shy about stripping in front of Sebastian while he carefully checked the clothes passed to him. These were war torn people many with scars, one small warlord had a scar running from below one eye down across his body and on down to the opposite thigh.
When the final guest had arrived, Sebastian followed him into the main chamber to serve drinks. Unlike most dinner parties there was not much noise, no sound of chatter or laughter. Sebastian served drinks and offered round snacks. The table for twelve was set at one end and after a while he ushered them down to take their places. As they ate the starter of crispy locus Sebastian heard them grumbling about the difficulty of getting a good supply of weapons. Later as he led them to collect the main course, of jugged rat, the subject had moved on to the difficulty of getting new recruits.
Sebastian had arranged the seating; he looked round the table at the groups that had formed from the positions he had placed them in. At the top of the table were the three most powerful, these three held the most land and the biggest armies. You might have expected that the fiercest battles would be between these three but in fact they spent more time and energy fighting with the smaller factions, having come to a tacit agreement that it was best not to fight each other. It was this that Sebastian hoped could be built on. Two of the three were craggy, wary, battle scarred veterans, but the third was smooth, urbane slightly younger and a more persuasive man. As Sebastian looked round the he saw the odd groupings being formed. They all knew each other but over dinner the vestiges of civilisation showed faintly through. ‘
At the end of the meal Sebastian picked up a loudhailer. ‘The people are fed up with this continual fighting. You have four hours to come to a solution. If you do not achieve a workable plan in this time then the food you have eaten will kill you – one by one. If however you produce a lasting agreement that ensures peace I will give you the antidote. Remember I have eaten the same food as you and I could be the first to die. Do not waste your time tearing me apart but rather react to the gun I am holding to your head and come with a solution. Let me start with the first assertion – does anyone disagree that we must find a lasting solution to this war?’
Not one of them did.