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Arico Chronicles contents contents Wai Z contents


THE ARICO CHRONICLES

1) The Down

The old man was near death when he found him, he had seen death – they all had. He had not ventured so high up before, there were rumours that there were these old guys who had hidden out on their own to escape persecution. Carjo came from Tratrap, a small village where they mostly stayed under the radar hoping to survive the dark times. How these old guys stood up filled him with admiration, but coming from the village he could not believe that anyone could have survived - especially up high. Even though it seemed those desperate times had gone, many were still fearful of leaving the village and they certainly didn’t spend time away like Carjo did. Although things were easing up now.

The man seemed hardly able to breathe, and he bent over to give him water. Gratefully accepted, a smile came to the lips and as the water brought life back into the old eyes that life asked “Are you the one?” Carjo just nodded, and smiled back. He had a few nuts with him, and the old man tried to chew them; it seemed difficult. Carjo looked around and found pakbung, he could mix that with some water and feed the pulp to the old man. He took the lid off his flask, and put the leaves in, added water and then mixed. The rough texture turned to pulp, and the man was able to digest it.

Gradually life returned to the rest of the old body, and Carjo wondered what to do. Bring the old guy back down to Tratrap we will look after him – to live out what little time he had left. He would have stories to tell of the dark times, they could listen around the fire. But this presented difficulties. Maybe it would take him three or four days going down the mountain to the village but carrying the old guy – far longer. Others would help, but going back down and coming back with help – maybe the old guy would be dead. He would have to help him get back on his feet first.

“Where do you live?” Carjo asked. The man lifted his arm and pointed. Lifting him up Carjo took most of his weight on his shoulders – although he was now much weaker he could sense there had been much strength here. “Is it far?”, and Carjo caught the almost imperceptible negative. As they began to struggle on together he felt the strength gather in the old frame, slowly he needed less support.

“You are recovering well, old man,” smiled Carjo, reciprocated gently by the wizened face. They continued walking and only occasionally did the old man need Carjo’s support.

“We still have a way up to go,” mumbled the old guy “I had come down the mountain to find the one. Are you the one?” he asked and smiled knowing the sound of his craziness. Carjo ignored it as age – old guys.

But he began to get surprised, they kept moving up – this had been a long way he had travelled. The woods gave way to a more craggy terrain, and climbing became more difficult. He began to sweat but he watched the old guy – it was as if every step in altitude the more nimble he became.

I must stop thinking old guy, smiled Carjo “What’s your name?”

“Arico” was the brusque reply, “and yours?”

“Carjo, is it far now?” he asked.

“Not much further,” Arico answered “you must climb up between those rocks.” Carjo looked up to see a rock face, what did Arico mean between? “Go nearer,” Arico urged, and as he did he began to see a crag in the rocks turn into a barely perceptible gap. Moving closer he could see there would just be room for him to squeeze through – so he did. And he could see how Arico had survived. During the dark times the marauding bands would not have come up so high, and even if they had they would have had to come up close to see that there was a passageway. They would have had to know it was there, and Arico would be the only one to know. Before he squeezed through the gap he looked around. No human signs. There was some vegetation, but very little. Maybe there were a few animals up here but it was quite cold. Yes he was beginning to feel cold, but he also felt admiration. Arico had chosen his home well.

Arico was down, these phases of down fortified him – fortified him now as they always had done – before he had to go on his own to survive. Back in the day he worked, his Path fortified him as he struggled to keep to it. But there were times when he just gave up – and cried. He spent his life fighting for truth, and they just ground you down – ground you down. And you cried. You had to, it was just so hard when they ground you down, you just wanted to curl up in a little ball, and find some way not to think. Down, so down.

And then you had to get up to work – put on the front. Into work and front. In his life work had become harder as society distanced itself from the Path – and he became increasingly aware of that distance. Holding to the Path was his only raison; sometimes it felt such a little raison to hold onto – flimsy, unreal. What results did you see, when you were down none. You look and all around you just turns you to tears. But you have to hold on, you have to care, you have to be humane. Else what is there?

So few people knew that was the struggle – being human, caring. The struggle showed itself as fighting the rich in many, ideas upon ideas said fight the rich. Fight, fight, fight. But what are you fighting? Only you, me, us, the ONE, And when you are fight, when you hold onto the ideas that cause the fighting the Web of the ONE gets less and less, the Web that holds you to the Path gets weaker and weaker; with no Web there is no ONE, separation is complete, competition wins and then life will just degenerate into murder, mayhem and chaos. ONE. People never saw the ONE, they never saw what ONE meant – and even that was divisive. They never saw, he did – separation. This is what the down does, it increases separation.

Down remembers the happiness, but it can’t hold to it. The down grabs you and takes you further into it. All the wisdom, all the strength that the Path carries you on, is a distant memory, as there is just down.

The downs start when they suck you in. The Path knows that it has all gone cock-eyed. Even relationship – and I don’t mean couples, family, just relationships. Neighbours, colleagues, it can go well. Then it hits you, another jolt of separation, another barrier to truth, and you shout it out. But there is no listening. Don’t be divisive, it’s all that matters – no separation, ONEness.

You get lulled. As you get further on your own you rely on yourself, and happiness. The Path. Then your underbelly shows. Comfort comes in. You meet humanity, and you feel good; maybe even meet some understanding. Even more you meet someone talking of ONE. And your guard goes down, and the downs hit. Why me? I don’t hurt others. I give. I help. I have compassion. I try to help with insight. And so the downs hit. You drive yourself deeper on the downs, it is so unfair. Even in your worst moment you don’t treat people like this. You feel sorry for yourself, and you create division, you create separation. It is all you, self. ONE is not you, ONE is not feeling sorry for yourself; you know. But you drive down and down, and then why? You stupid fool, why do you play their game? There is no need for down, just let go. Do they have the Path? Do they know how to enjoy life? Do they know happiness? Do they know the Path? Yes there is separation, still many, but you’re coming out of it - coming out of the downs.

You see the downs are about you. Only you. People can hide in we, but it is you, you is where there is hope. Not in we. There must be family – species and all that, but you are the solution. When there is no you, when there is ONE, there is happiness.

The Web can be so slender especially if we let emotion destroy it. Emotion is you, but where are the triggers? The downs blame the triggers, but the triggers are always there. There are always triggers but let them go. But when you get slack, when you get complacent the triggers gain strength. Don’t give them strength, ah but it has to be it is human weakness. You give the triggers strength, and then you climb into the down. You want to come out, you want to forget the triggers, you know the triggers are not important in ONE but you give the triggers strength and back into down you go.

Anger is another emotion that Arico let drive the downs. It’s so unfair, so unfair, so unfair, he would moan when weak. When the triggers hit Arico his anger gives them momentum. That emotion just drags him down. It is people. Don’t they see it is their greed? Why not be nice to each other? You know the 1% will just screw you but be nice to each other. But then at the first opportunity people don’t help each other, they just take. Not all but too many. And it could all be so much better if people were nice.

And it goes on dragging him down. That mind chattering, chatter, chatter, chatter. At these times diversions are important. If he is still and silent the chatter just screams unfair and angers him. Diversion – escape. It had been drugs but thankfully he overcame that. But addiction is not the issue it is the mind, the mind chatters and controls, drugs lessen that control. With drugs time passes, with diversion the time passes so the down is not so strong. But silence brings with it the down because the mind turns back on the unfairness.

And as the anger went down, it dug into him. He could feel a growing centre of anger deep inside. That had to go, it always had to go, it had to be released. But it had to run its course – drag him down, otherwise you release and it comes back. OK that’s good, but you don’t always learn.

And there is never anything Arico could do especially when working. As life went on he wasn’t caught in their money trap. Compassion and women laid claim to his livelihood. People hurt and he could help. But then they turn round and stab you. Compassion is like that. It says you want to help, and when you help you are vulnerable. And with vulnerability comes the pain, the heartache, he was helping why were they exploiting him? Down, down, down!!

You had to learn. These downs were soft, you had gone soft. You had lost the edge, the awareness, the Path. Why feel sorry for yourself? Why don’t they feel compassion? They’re not lucky enough. Why do they want to hurt? Because they are not lucky enough to know what compassion is. You become vulnerable because you become soft, because you get lulled into the falseness they offer. At these times one of his tricks was to look at the strength of others in real adversity. Nothing had happened to him that compares to the adversity of war, of wife-beating, of false imprisonment on matters of conscience, nothing like this had he experienced. He complained of racism, racism that was real, but that racism compared little to the KKK, little to the racism that tries to overpower so many in the world. But when his ego had gained control the little adversities became big. He was not alone in this, he heard how people made mountains out of molehills and how these molehills gained control that way. And because these molehills were often agreed to by society they gained reinforcement and became hard to remove. Yes he was lucky, he never had that, society never had that control over him; maybe that is why when he let it in society sought its vengeance. Whatever the triggers were retrospectively he could always see where he had let them in. At work he had always been forced to compromise, the 1% never pay for hearing the truth. Throughout his working life that compromise had always left some vulnerability, and sometimes triggers got through.

It is when these triggers hit and hurt happens it becomes hardest to follow the Path. The Path is compassion, and when we are hurt when injustice strikes compassion is so far away because of self. Self hurts, we are hurt, we becomes important and compassion becomes distant – becomes a memory. This compassion is a hard battle – when he is down he thinks it is the hardest, but that is only self. When this world is designed for suffering, suffering that is caused by people, it seems easier to join the flow – to give up and join the flow. To join in with what they do, to agree to all their objectives, to compete with them so that you have more – of what they want, this sometimes feels easier. But doing that means you have to live with yourself, to take that pain and suffering and make it part of you, that is what they want – unknowingly. They are suffering. When we look at their greed we see our pain, but we don’t see their pain. Their pain has to be because their greed is so inhumane. When we feel envy for what they have, we don’t see their pain. But when we are down we know pain, that temporary pain is something they live with all the time. Imagine that the hurt that is driving him down and down at these times is what they live with all the time. The suffering they cause becomes pain inside them, how do they live with it? They cause more pain. Is that what you want? To do what they do is to cause suffering to others, is to cause pain to yourself. The answer is not in what they do but in compassion. Compassion is the only way out of suffering but when you are hurt it is hard to see that.

And the pain has to be dealt with, you can’t forget it; it gets “stored”. When you hit down and come back up the pain is still there – unless you get rid of it. Don’t forget the pain. When you see the rich they are in pain, they create suffering, internalise pain, and they have to deal with it. So what do they do? They turn away from the causes of pain, and hold onto what they agreed to – they hold onto wealth, power and family. It sounds great, doesn’t it? Wealth, power and family? What we all want? Not when pain comes. No matter what we surround ourselves with outside, we are still prisoners to what there is inside. And if you close your eyes and all you see is pain, what life do you have? Running, running away from the pain.