The Chronicle of Belthaeous
by John W. Steele
Rodney Neumann, a brilliant student of mathematics, has earned a scholarship at Columbia University. After years of spiritual struggle he has adopted materialism as his personal philosophy. In graduate school, he studies under, Dr. Adrian Nacroanus, an eccentric scientist who heads the Department of Genetic Engineering. The doctor’s advancements in biotechnology have earned him a reputation as a near-mythological being. In time, he and Rodney form a master-student relationship based on deep theosophical insights that Nacroanus reveals to him.
Dr. Nacroanus has developed a serum called Eternulum that he claims will increase human longevity. But before he can bestow his gift on humanity he must retrieve a mummified angel named Belthaeous, who has lain entombed in the Cave of the Ancients for thousands of years.
Rodney and Nacroanus journey to the Himalayas to find the hidden entity. Deep in the mountains, Rodney witnesses miracles that shatter his understanding of reality and confront him with forces of ultimate malevolence.
Chapter 8: The Guardian
We emerged on a mezzanine composed of the finest ivory jade. So deep was its luster, we seemed to be walking in thin air. A stairwell of imposing grandeur stood before us. The steps were made of gold, with seven sprawling treads. The risers were silver, and embossed with symbols and figures, which included more eyes and the beings in helmets with the rods of power.
Jigme placed his hand on my chest and motioned that he would lead us up the staircase. I searched Adrian’s eyes, and he nodded.
We climbed to the next floor, where two enormous gates stood in the distance. Each door contained a colossal single pearl in a solid gold filigree casing. The pearls were round and perhaps ten yards in diameter. Swirls of pink, rose, and azure energy erupted from deep within their core. Their opalescent sheen soothed the anxiety simmering inside me.
Jigme approached the gateway. From inside his parka he retrieved a tiny, glimmering object shaped like a skull. The eyes of the crystal burned ruby red, and tiny pins of energy erupted from the orbits.
He uttered a word I could not understand and placed the skull in a pocket in the rock. The boom of a gong thundered in the air, and the gates rolled into the portal with the boom of a bull drum.
An opening shaped like a trapezoid loomed before us, and the light in the chamber burned with a teal neon glow. A mixture of fear and reverence gripped my awareness. I wondered if I had died and awakened in another world. One of the Sherpas nudged my shoulder, and I walked timidly through the portal into an austere chamber of vast magnitude.
An emerald desert extended on a flat plane as far as the eye could see. I could not understand how such immensity could be contained, for it was far larger than the entire range of mountains in which it had been hidden.
Scattered on the floor of the expanse lay ancient skeletons, their bones bleached white by a tiny sun that hung in the western sky. In their desiccated hands they held shields, flails, and halberds. Many of the warriors lay decapitated, their jaws agape and the sockets of their eyes locked in a muted supplication for combat.
The cathedral had no roof. Overhead, a smooth velvet sky the color of lapis stretched into infinity. Holes in the sky opened to reveal realms of indescribable beauty. Each dimension ascended in succession like a stairway to heaven. I had only a glimpse of the Astral; I cannot describe the splendor of the separate densities.
Golden palaces and sparkling crystal thrones shone resplendent in the firmament. Life forms I’d never imagined thrived in oceans of matter I could not comprehend.
Form existed within form like reflecting mirrors. Neither words nor thoughts were adequate to describe the visions. Objects were seen as if from all sides at once, the inside of a solid as plainly evident as the outside. I forced my attention from the grip of their awesome charm. I sensed that to gaze upon this energy too long would be fatal.
I pointed at the dimensions and exclaimed, “Can you see it, Adrian? It has to be the realm of the gods.”
He fixed me with a cold eye. “The Astral realms are an illusion, the zenith of the wheel of birth and death. Don’t become attached to them, because we control them as well. Stop searching for paradise. We will create one here on this earth. Now, stay awake. We have much to do.” He looked over at Jigme and winked.
Adrian’s words struck me like a plunge in a lake of ice water. I wanted to ask him what he meant, but he motioned me to be still. The heavenly fantasy evaporated, eclipsed by a vast gate of cobalt-colored mist that formed in the sky.
My eyes fell on Jigme, a cold smile lay etched in his features, and his eyes burned like cherry embers. I sensed he’d enchanted me, and I wondered what else was hidden beneath the veneer of his sincerity.
High overhead, near the western horizon, the tiny sun burned in the void. I marveled that the star was shaped like a cube. Halos of emerald radiance flowed from its six faces, and rivers of cosmic energy swirled from its corners. The cube turned slowly on a central axis, and shafts of light trailed in its wake, much like the splendor of the aurora borealis.
I’d been so transfixed by the heavens that I’d not yet studied the interior of this impossible wonderland.
The Sherpas had gathered before a pillar of astonishing proportion. They sat cross-legged and appeared to be absorbed in concentration.
The column looked natural, like the trunk of a perfectly symmetrical oak tree. The tree surged with waves of electromagnetic radiation so dense they caused my hair to bristle. The hardwood towered far overhead where its sprawling canopy emitted billowing clouds of greyscale mist. The energy flooded the sky like a mighty river pouring into the ocean.
I stared wide-eyed at Dr. Nacroanus. “What is this thing, Adrian? What can it be?”
He gazed at the tree as if watching a movie based on a novel he’d already read. He did not appear amused, and his eyes held no sign of wonder. “It’s exactly as described by the Avatar, Dr. Neumann. What you’re witnessing is the mundi-mendacium, the tree of knowledge that supports the imagination of the physical dimension.
“When our god Mammon superimposed his mind on true creation, he separated himself from the Light. He took with him a branch from the tree of knowledge and planted it in this place. The Gardeners of the Earth, who are the Vulpeculans, have tended the tree according to Mammon’s will.
“The world we know today is designed according to the knowledge born of the tree. Knowledge is power, boy; this is the secret of the masters and the conquerors. We create the world based on the knowledge we choose to reveal and establish as doctrine.”
“I don’t understand,” I said. “If this were the fabled tree of knowledge, it would liberate the world from greed, war, and suffering. But the opposite is true.”
“Rodney, my dear misguided son, the tree gives knowledge of good and evil. The rich men of the world, the sons and daughters of Mammon, have controlled the tree since the downfall. We create reality through the power of the tree. We determine the paradigm of reason and justice that rules this world through the will of our Lord Mammon.
“The Vulpeculans gain strength from the tree and distort truth into Mammon’s teaching. What little true knowledge trickles into his universe is immediately diluted, altered, and twisted until it meets the design of Mammon’s will.
“The Reptoids and the fourth-density organic portals known as the Enukai thrive in this environment. Their purpose is to steal energy from the theomorphic beings that are trapped here. That is how it has been since the evil consciousness designed the counterfeit creation.”
The revelation resounded in me, and a fragment of knowledge fell into place. I did not want to believe what Nacroanus said, and the idea frightened me on a very deep level.
“That’s insane, Dr. Nacroanus. How could the tree be defiled like that? How could the world be corrupted in such a manner?”
He looked at me coolly. “This is not the universe you believe it to be. The Earth and its solar system are a 3-D holographic projection composed of impermanent atoms. Matter was created by evil to serve evil.
“This matrix illusion has no connection with True Light. Mammon barricaded himself inside the black hole of his creation. He then created a demonic race of humanity in his own image. These impermanent beings are the organic portals that control this world. You must understand, my dear misguided son: all men are not ontologically the same.”
His lips curled to a sneer and his eyes blazed like fire. “But we shall survive the separation. We will conquer the Light and enslave every permanent being it created.” His gaze fell on me and sent a shiver down my spine.
“You must be mad,” I said. “How can you gaze at the magnificent forms that exist in the heavens and still treasure this world of suffering? I was not a believer, but I cannot deny what my eyes have seen. Who would not want to return to the splendor of the higher densities after glimpsing their wonder? How could anyone desire to remain in this hell world called earth?”
For the first time in my life, I saw a tear roll down Adrian’s cheek. “The Astral realms are not permanent, Rodney. They are illusory in nature. The Astral is the place where spirits reside when they are not confined in the material dimension. They serve as a brief respite from the trials of the physical universe.
“It is the wheel of birth and death that sustains the matrix. Do you think that, when you die, you are freed from the sentence of slavery?”
He laughed deeply. “There is a war in the Astral, and this war is for the control of your soul. There is no exit, you fool. Once a spirit is trapped in the matrix, there is no escape.”
His face hardened. A look of insanity contorted his features, and he made the sign of the fist. “But I have found the secret of biological longevity, and for this I will be rewarded handsomely. We shall destroy any who oppose us, and Mammon shall rise as the king of kings and god of gods, the supreme ruler of this universe and every other one we choose to invade.
“I will become his shadow on this earth. Have you never studied the works of Milton? It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. This is the reward that has been granted to those who adore Mammon and his treasures.”
From the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a figure treading across the desert. The thing was shaped like a man and wore a black robe with a scarlet hood. The man’s gait was measured and even, and the train of his cape dragged behind him. The creature stopped a few yards before us and peered from the hood of the vestment.
His face was round and held no expression. It shone like a full pale moon in the twilight skies of autumn. His eyes glittered like mirrors, and he stood still as a statue. I recalled a figure I’d seen on a Tarot card called the Hierophant, and the image seemed quite apropos to describe the character standing before us.
The most remarkable feature about him was the window-like lens that sat in the middle of his forehead. His brow looked like a transparent pane of glass. Inside the man’s skull, I saw a miniature reflection of the cosmos; an empty vast expanse teeming with sparks of light.
For reasons I did not understand, my fascination with him turned to fear. We gazed at each other in silence, and I realized that it was not the man who caused my concern. In his eyes I saw myself, and it was my reflection that frightened me.
He stood mute for a long time. I looked to Dr. Nacroanus for guidance, but he locked tight his jaws and said not a word. I’d always been overly inquisitive; the gods have eternity, but my time on earth is short. From somewhere deep inside, a question bubbled forth. “Who are you, and what do you want?” I asked.
The figure raised a gnarled hand and pointed at us with his thumb. In a hollow voice he replied, “My name is Jerus. I am the guardian of the Aeon you call Belthaeous.”
Copyright © 2014 by John W. Steele