Apocalypse for a Dissociated Creator
by Bertil Falk
|4. The Fourth Seal|
At Deneb, Hamilton’s organ crackled like a retired aurora borealis. It had propagated in slow waves of frozen fire ever since the creation of the world. In parallel coats, ripples of black crystals lingered on the surface of genesis and a vernal hint of budding spread about carpets of small shining asterisks across the firmament.
Like a footnote of the galactic awakening of consciousness, Deneb reposed in the completion of its own birth on the turntable where the locomotive of eternity — excuse the metaphor, but it is justified here — irrevocably changes direction.
Is this a dream? Or was Swedenborg on the track of something when he maintained that if this is a dream I am dreaming, then perhaps my waking condition — the one called life — is just a dream? Life is but a dream. Well, Calderón as well as Shakespeare had said that before him, and Strindberg, the copycat of copycats, had repeated it. Love for the Most High, perhaps?
Alas, stars... stars, not in conformity with Time, one of the adopted conceptions’ favorites. Yet people have thanked their lucky stars, people’s stars have descended, people have had rising stars, people have been stars in that way as well as this way; yes, people have aimed at stars (per aspera ad astra) and they have been born under lucky and unlucky stars. And stars have been born, killed and died!
But out here in the slow rapidity’s relative spheres, the stationary beauty of the brilliantly colored comets and spectral-analyzed atmospheres exists, as do rotating cavities and black clouds, the lower parts of which are illuminated by cosmic spotlights. And the stubborn, lilac giants and the unresisting pink dwarfs should not be forgotten.
This apparently stationary fireworks display is an optical illusion, induced by distance. Had we been more shortsighted, we would have seen that the constellation that is like an indelible watermark on the firmament consists in reality of elements rushing away from each other at insane velocities in all directions.
Had we, had we... To be in constant motion and still as if being glued to one place is one of the relativistic modes of expression of existence. The doubleness is not a Kierkegaardian either/or but a downright Swedenborgian togetherness.
Orvar Chan felt how the northeast monsoon caressed his cheek with its damp sponge and swept away all evil. He had as usual talked to the spirits and seen an unlawfully crowned Swedenborg with a laurel squirming like a worm, hanging baited from a fishhook before the miracles of Jesus. Where the heck do you think they got that first scene of The Return of the King from? Not from Tolkien, they dare say, but they can be wrong.
Orvar had made a fool of himself in the eyes of his brylling Teresia Nightmare by releasing Anders Palm and his wife from one of the time segments in her collection. Orvar had returned to Mumbai, the old capital of Earth, with its mandirs and mosques, gurudwaras, churches and skyscrapers, subways and airways.
In his analytical eagerness, Swedenborg had faced enormous problems as to the confounded miracles Jesus had performed and which could not be hidden or explained away, since it was not possible to rationalize them causally without renouncing the divine. There, the Buddha of the North, who otherwise possessed full command of the arguments, tripped over the sacred texts.
Orvar gladly forgave his master. He used to talk to him while he strolled along the Queen’s Necklace, where the children built castles of sand while the waves dashed in over the banks.
Orvar Chan was aware of being a chosen one. He knew that his mission of historical and religious significance was at hand. Like his master, he had spirits holding his arms. If they left him, he had difficulty in breathing, as his master did. This evening, the Queen’s Necklace was doing full justice to its name. In the tropical Oriental darkness, the street lamps along the semilunar gulf were glowing like a necklace in the dusk of the monsoon.
The windshields were lowered in front of the old yoga institute along the cricket field. It was an oblong area that had long stood vacant until some time in the 110th century, when it was built over with skyscrapers. However, these buildings were demolished in a big slum clearance project when the original character of the place was re-established as a recreation area.
Mumbai was not older than innumerable years; that much was known. But before the city exploded in all directions and came to resemble a piece of shaped jade on the Indian West Coast, it had been a simple fishing village. For how long was not known. Perhaps another as many innumerable years back in time.
Why were its origins unknown? To begin with, research had more important questions to investigate. And since nobody had gone back in time and found the answer, and no permission for a project of this kind had been given — no one had applied for a research grant — it remained a minor secret that interested no one anyway.
Orvar Chan was a persevering adherent of the Swedenborgian church in Mumbai, where he was head of the linguistics institute. He had personally taken the initiative in creating the current project of translating the Apocalypsis Revelata into some universal languages.
Among these languages was an odd one spoken on some Sirian planets, and a gargled speech in the constellation of the Lyrebird, as well as the mentally transmitted language — or method of communication or whatever it was — practiced by the thought-reading and thought-receiving individuals in the vicinity of Andromeda.
The discovery of the sin-free rascals and their mentally conveyed contacts reminded Orvar of oddities that had caused such an excitement in religious circles many years ago. They were a tasty discovery for him. On the whole, he considered languages conveyed intellectually, mentally or by other methods as a sign that the Swedenborgian mirror-idea had in some way found a foothold in the material world.
Not that Orvar could explain it or had any evidence to show for it. It was just an acute feeling. He had as yet not had an opportunity to meet Xäzyåwä, but he would call on Xäzyåwä when convenient.
As Orvar strolled along the illuminated curve of the Necklace, he was entertained by considerations of things of the spirit. At home he could see messages in the folds and pleats of his pillowcase. He was led through life by instructions and reminders that told him he was on the right track or had gone astray. He lived in a room in the institute, which reminded him in a not insignificant way of a certain magnetized room at Hotel Orfila, situated elsewhere in the space-time of existence.
One day, melodies came leaking out from somewhere, and Orvar listened without realizing it. It was not until at the end of choir-singing by the Galatrisms that he was startled:
and love’s dream and kisses hot dogs
hell and damn, how I love Britta’s Orvar
It was a sign. Britta? Which Britta? He had to keep a lookout for her. For it had to be a sign!
He sensed a double responsibility. On the other side of Life there was Death, and on the other side of Death, the other world was the same as this one, equally evident and yet different. And Dad’s voice spoke through Time. Just think! Emanuel had a Father who composed immortally. Perhaps out of Charity for the Most High? Orvar’s mind had a sticky viscosity, a sluggishness of movement that permitted reflection, but he never reached new dogmas.
Das Ding an sich. Kant, who fell out with Swedenborg and called him a dreamer devoid of sense and reason and characterized Swedenborg’s experiences as ghost visions — Träume eines Geistersehers. But Fichte fell out with Kant and denied the thing in itself. Oh, all philosophers at loggerheads with each other, digging their dragon-teeth into each other’s throats.
And still, Orvar could do nothing else but admit that he scarcely thought of anything less angular than the prophetic Zum ewigen Frieden in the world of philosophy. Therefore, with a certain amount of hesitance and a not infrequent escape clause, he forgave Kant. During his conversations with Swedenborg, he realized that Kant had had problems explaining himself over there in the spiritual world.
That was the situation the day that Orvar Chan would fulfill his religious and historical mission, somewhat out of step with the prophecy from Patmos, it has to be admitted, but who can declare that John was infallible?
In truth, he saw the visions he saw. But as has been demonstrated, everything in life or in the world of visions is as it seems to be, so we cannot be too critical of John. He described what he had seen as well as he could. And we all know how his yarn has been reinterpreted from pulpits over the past 13,000 years.
Orvar Chan was still talking with Swedenborg when he arrived at the institute. He found to his surprise that the door was locked. He never used to lock that door. He could not even recall that there was a lock. And he had no key.
“Unlock!” Swedenborg said.
Orvar Chan leaned forward and saw that there was a lock. Without thinking, he raised his hand and put a key into the keyhole and turned. Out of the institute, a deathly pale dragon dashed and on him sat Death and with him were all the torments and anguish of Hell, and that hand brought redemption.
Orvar Chan thought he felt a pat on his back after his effort and he was convinced that it was the very hand of Swedenborg himself that had materialized out of the spirit world.
The man from Cassiopeia had had one thousand years to prepare. It was like a night watch, but all the planning was arranged. He had succeeded in preventing a series of canonizings during that night watch. Now it was time to crush the structure, slit the organization’s throat, and abolish eternity!
He looked out at his forces in the secret caverns, had a bubble bath, looked at the plans for hitting the mark with a rocket. His smile was unmistakable.
And evening and morning were the fourth day of Mother Saulcerite’s pontificate.
Copyright © 2002, 2009 by Bertil Falk