Part 3 of the fantastic book from T. LOBSANG RAMPA -
THE CAVE OF THE ANCIENTS
- here in summary.
(some words are translated to norwegian and there may be some wordmistakes here because this is scanned from the book)
In this extract Lobsangs guide first tell him about the roots of Christianity and the western peoples opinion on sex - and how the early Christian priests decided that sex was unclean. Again remember that this happened almost 100 years ago - but the wisdom here is timeless. We read from page 178 now:
"Well Lobsang," said my Guide when we had finished our meal, "tell me what it is that bothers you so?"
"Honourable Lama!" I said in some excitement, "a trader passing through here, and with whom I was discussing matters of some moment at the Western Gate, gave me some remarkable information about the people of the West. He told me that they thought our religious paintings obscene. He told me some incredible things about their sex habits, and I am still not at all sure that he was not taking me for a fool." My Guide looked at me and thought for a moment or two, then he said, "To go into this matter, Lobsang, would take more than one session. We have to go to our Service and the time is near for that. Let us just discuss one aspect of this first, shall we?" I nodded, very eagerly, because I really was most puzzled about all this. My Guide then said, "All this springs from religion. The religion of the West is different from the religion of the East. We should look into this and see what bearing it has on the subject." He arranged his robes about him more comfortably, and rang for the attendant to clear the things from the table. When that had been done, he turned to me and started a discussion which I found to be of enthralling (fengslende) interest.
"Lobsang," he said, "we must draw a parallel between one of the religions of the West and our own Buddhist religion. You will realise from your lessons that the Teachings of our Lord Gautama have been altered somewhat in the course of time. Throughout the years and the centuries, which have elapsed since the passing from this earth of The Gautama and His elevation to Buddhahood, the Teachings, which He personally taught, have changed. Some of us think they have changed for the worse. Others think that the Teachings have been brought into line with modern thought." He looked at me to see if I was following him with sufficient attention, to see if I understood what he was talking about. I understood and I followed him perfectly. He nodded to me briefly and then continued.
"We had our Great Being whom we call Gautama, whom some call The Buddha. The Christians also had their Great Being. Their Great Being propounded (la fram) certain Teachings. Legend and, in fact, actual records - testify to the fact that their Great Being who, according to their own Scriptures, wandered abroad in the Wilderness, actually visited India and Tibet in search of information, in search of knowledge, about a religion which would be suitable for Western mentalities and spirituallties. This Great Being came to Lhasa and actually visited our Cathedral, The Jo Kang. The Great Being then returned to the West and formulated a religion which was in every way admirable and suitable for the Western people. With the Passing of that Great Being from this earth as our own Gautama passed - certain dissensions arose in the Christian Church. Some sixty years after that Passing, a Convention, or Meeting, was held at a place called Constantinople. Certain changes were made in Christian dogma - certain changes were made in Christian belief. Probably some of the priests of the day felt that they had to put in a few torments (piner) in order to keep some of the more refractory (gjenstridige) of their congregation (menighet) in good order." Again he looked at me to see if I was following him. Again I indicated that I was not merely following him, but that I was vastly interested.
"The men who attended that Convention at Constantinople in the year 60 were men who were not sympathetic toward women, just as some of our monks feel faint at the mere thought of a woman. The majority of them regarded sex as something unclean, something which should only be resorted to in the case of absolute necessity in order to increase the race. These were men who had no great sexual urges(drifter) themselves, no doubt they had other urges, perhaps some of those urges were spiritual - I do not know - I only know that in the year 60 they decided that sex was unclean, sex was the work of the devil. They decided that children were brought into the world unclean and were not fit to go to a reward until in some way they had been cleansed first." He paused a moment and then smiled as he said, "I do not know what is supposed to happen to all the millions of babies born before this meeting at Constantinople!"
"You will understand, Lobsang, that I am giving you information about Christianity as I understand it. Possibly when you go to live among these people you will have some different impression or different information which may in some way modify my own opinions and teachings." As he finished his statement the conches sounded, and the temple trumpets blared. About us there was the ordered bustle (travelhet)of disciplined men getting ready for the Service. We too stood up and brushed off our robes before making our way down to the Temple for the Service. Before leaving me at the entrance, my Guide said, "Come to my room after, Lob-sang, and we will continue our discussion."
So I entered into the Temple and I took my place among my fellows, and I said my prayers and I thanked my own particular God that I was a Tibetan the same as my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup. It was beautiful in the old Temple, the air of worship, the gently drifting clouds of incense which kept us in touch with people on other planes of existence. Incense (røkelse) is not just a pleasant smell, not something which "disinfects" a Temple - it is a living force, a force which is so arranged that by picking the particular type of incense we can actually control the rate of vibration. Tonight, in the Temple, the incense was floating and giving a mellow (mild), old world atmosphere to the place. I looked out from my place among the boys of my group looked out into the dim mists of the Temple building. There was the deep chanting of the old lamas accompanied by - at times - the silver bells. Tonight we had a Japanese monk with us. He had come all the way across our land after having stopped in India for some time. He was a great man in his own country, and he had brought with him his wooden drums, drums which play such a great part in the religion of the Japanese monks. I marvelled at the versatility of the Japanese monk, at the remarkable music he produced from his drums. It seemed truly amazing to me that hitting a sort of wooden box could sound so very musical; he had the wooden drum and he had sort of clappers, each with little bells attached, and also our own lamas accompanied him with silver bells, with the great temple conch booming (gjallende konkylie) out in appropriate time. It seemed to me that the whole Temple vibrated, the walls themselves seemed to dance and shimmer, and the mists away in the distance of the far recesses (nisjer) seemed to form into faces, the faces of long-dead lamas. But for once all too soon, the Service had ended, and I hurried off as arranged to my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup.
"You have not wasted much time, Lobsang!" said my Guide cheerfully. "I thought perhaps you would be stopping to have one of those innumerable snacks!" "No, Honour-able Lama," I said, "I am anxious to get some enlightenment, for I confess (tilstår) the subject of sex in the Western world is one which has caused me a lot of astonishment (forbløffelse) after having heard so much about it from traders and others." He laughed at me and said, "Sex causes a lot of interest everywhere! It is sex, after all, which keeps people on this earth. We will discuss it as you require it so."
"Honourable Lama," I said, "you said previously that sex was the second greatest force in the world. What did you mean by that? If sex is so necessary in order to keep the world populated why is it not the most important force?" "The greatest force in the world, Lobsang," said my Guide, "is not sex, the greatest force of all is imagination, for without imagination there would be no sexual impulse. If a male had no imagination, then the male could not be interested in the female. Without imagination there would be no writers, no artists, there would be nothing whatever that was constructive or good!" "But, Honourable Lama," I said, "are you saying that imagination is necessary for sex? And if you are, how does imagination apply to animals?"
"Imagination is possessed by animals, Lobsang, just as it is possessed by humans. Many people think that animals are mindless creatures, without any form of intelligence, without any form of reason, yet I, who have lived a surprisingly long number of years, tell you differently." My Guide looked at me, and then shaking a finger at me he said, "You profess to be fond of the Temple cats, are you going to tell me that they have no imagination? You always speak to the Temple cats, you stop to caress them. After you have been affectionate (hegiven) with them once they will wait for you a second time, and a third time, and so on. If this were mere insensitive (ufølsomme) reactions, if these were just brain patterns, then the cat would not wait for you on the second or third occasion, but would wait until the habit had been formed. No, Lobsang, any animal has imagination. An animal imagines the pleasures in being with its mate, and then the inevitable occurs!"
When I came to think about it, to dwell upon the subject, it was perfectly clear to me that my Guide was absolutely right. I had seen little birds - little hens - fluttering their wings in much the same way as young women flutter their eyelids! I had watched little birds and seen very real anxiety (engstelse) as they waited for their mates to return from the unceasing forage for food. I had seen the joy with which a loving little bird had greeted her mate upon his return. It was obvious to me, now that I thought about it, that animals really had imagination, and so I could see the sense of my Guide's remarks that imagination was the greatest force on earth. One of the traders told me that the more occult a person was, the more he was opposed to sex, Honourable Lama," I said. "Is this true, or am I being teased? I have heard so many very strange things that I really do not know how I stand in the matter." The Lama Mingyar Dondup nodded (nikket) sadly, as he replied, "It is perfectly true, Lobsang, that many people who are intensely interested in occult matters are intensely antipathetic to sex, and for a special reason; you have been told before that the greatest occultists are not normal, that is, they have something wrong with them physically. A person may have a grave disease, such as T.B., or cancer, or anything of that nature. A person may have some nerve complaint - whatever it is, it is an illness and that illness increases metaphysical perceptions."
He frowned slightly as he continued, "Many people find that the sexual impulse is a great drive. Some people for one reason or another use methods of sublimating that sexual drive, and they may turn to things spiritual. Once a man or a woman has turned away from a thing they become a deadly enemy to that thing. There is no greater reformer - no greater campaigner - against the evils of drink than the reformed drunkard! In the same way, a man or a woman who has renounced (frafallt) sex (possibly because they could not satisfy nor be satisfied!) will turn to occult matters, and all the drive which formerly went (successfully or unsuccessfully) into sexual adventures, is now devoted to occult adventures. But unfortunately these people so often tend to be unbalanced about it; they tend to bleat (klage) that only in renouncing sex is it possible to progress. Nothing could be more fantastic, nothing could be more distorted, some of the greatest people are able to enjoy a normal life and also to progress vastly in metaphysics."
Just at that moment the Great Medical Lama Chinrobnobo came in, we greeted him and he sat down with us. "I am just telling Lobsang some matters about sex and occultism," said my Guide. "Ah yes!" said the Lama Chinrobnobo, "it is time he was given some information on this; I have thought so for a long time." My Guide continued, "It is clear that those who use sex normally - as it is meant to be used - increase their own spiritual force. Sex is not a matter to be abused, but on the other hand nor is it a matter to be repudiated (frastøtt/benektet). By bringing vibrations to a person that person can increase spiritually.
I want to point out to you, however," he said looking sternly at me, "that the sexual act should only be indulged in by those who are in love, by those who are bound together by spiritual affinity. That, which is illicit(ulovlig), unlawful, is mere prostitution of the body and can harm one as much as the other can help one. In the same way a man or a woman should have only one partner, eschewing all temptations which would lead one from the path of truth and righteous-ness."
The Lama Chinrobnobo said, "But there is another matter upon which you should dwell, Respected Colleague, and it is this, the matter referring to birth control. I will leave you to deal with it." He rose to his feet, bowed gravely to us and left the room.
My Guide waited for a moment, and then said, "Are you tired of this yet, Lobsang?" "No, Sir!" I replied, "I am anxious to learn all I can for all this is strange to me." "Then you should know that in the early days of life upon earth peoples were divided into families. Throughout areas of the world there were small families which, with the passage of time became big families. As seems to be inevitable among humans, quarrels and dissension's (uenigheter) occurred. Family fought against family. The victors killed the men they had vanquished (beseiret) and took their women into their own family. Soon it became clear that the bigger the family, which was now referred to as a tribe, the more powerful and the more secure it was from the aggressive acts of others." He looked at me a bit ruefully (bedrøvet), and then continued, "The tribes were increasing in size as the years and centuries went by. Some men set up as priests, but priests with a bit of political power, with an eye to the future! The priests decided that they had to have a sacred edict (ordning) - what they could call a command from God - which would help the tribe as a whole. They taught that one had to be fruitful and multiply.
In those days it was a very real necessity, because unless people 'multiplied' their tribe became weak and perhaps completely wiped out. So - the priests who commanded that the people be fruitful and multiply were even safeguarding the future of their own tribe. With the passage of centuries and centuries, however, it is quite clear that the population of the world is increasing at such a pace that the world is becoming over-populated, there are more people than food resources justify. Something will have to be done about it."
I could follow all this, it made sense to me, and I was glad to see that my friends of the Pargo Kaling - the traders who had travelled so far and for so long had told me the truth.
My Guide continued, "Some religions even now think that it is wrong indeed to place any limitation upon the number of children who are born, but if one looks at world history - one sees that most of the wars are caused by lack of living space on the part of the aggressor. A country has a rapidly expanding population, and it knows that if it goes on expanding at this rate there will not be enough food, not be enough opportunity, for those of its own peoples. Thus they make war, saying they have to have living space!"
"Then, Honourable Lama," I said, "how would you deal with the problem?" "Lobsang!" he replied, "the matter is easy if men and women of goodwill get together to discuss the thing. The old forms of religions - the old religious teachings were in every way suitable when the world was young, when people were few, but now it is inevitable - and it will be in time! - that fresh approaches be made. You ask what I would do about it? Well, I would do this; I would make birth control legal. I would teach all peoples about birth control, how it could be accomplished, what it was, and all that could be discovered about it. (70 years after this was said - and 20 years after this book first was published - birth control was decided in Kina. R.Ø.remark.) I would see that those people who wanted children could have perhaps one or two, while those who did not want children had the knowledge whereby children would not be born. According to our religion, Lobsang, there would be no offence (forseelse) in doing this. I have studied the old books dating back long long ages before life appeared on Western parts of this globe, for - as you know, life first appeared in China and in the areas around Tibet, and spread to India before going Westwards. However, we are not dealing with that."
I decided then and there that as soon as I could I would get my Guide to talk more about the origin of life upon this earth, but I recollected that now I was studying all I could on the matter of sex. My Guide was watching me, and as he saw that I was again paying attention he continued, "As I was saying, the majority of wars are caused by overpopulation. It is a fact that there will be wars - there will always be wars - so long as there are vast and increasing populations. And it is necessary that there should be - for otherwise the world would be absolutely overrun with people in the same way that a dead rat is soon completely overrun by swarms of ants (maur). When you move away from Tibet, where we have a very small population, and you go to some of the great cities of the world, you will be amazed and appalled at the vast numbers, at the vast throngs (menneskemengder) of people. You will see that my words are correct; wars are utterly necessary to keep down the population. People have to come to earth in order to learn things and unless there were wars and diseases, then there would be no way whatever of keeping the population in control and keeping them fed. They would be like a swarm of locusts (gresshopper) eating every-thing in sight, contaminating everything, and in the end they would finish themselves up completely."
"Honourable Lama!" I said, "some of the traders who have talked about this birth control thing say that so many people think that it is evil. Now why should they think that?" My Guide thought for a moment, probably wondering how much he should tell me for I was as yet still young, and then he said, "Birth control to some appears to be murder of a person unborn, but in our Faith, Lobsang, the spirit has not entered the unborn baby. In our Faith no murder can possibly have occurred, and anyhow it is, of course manifestly absurd to say that there is any murder in taking precautions to prevent conception. It is just as well to say that we murder a whole lot of plants if we prevent their seeds from germinating! Humans too often imagine that they are the most wonderful thing that ever happened in this great Universe. Actually, of course, humans are just one form of life, and not the highest form of life at that, however there is no time to go into such matters as that for the present."
I thought of another thing which I had heard, and it seemed to be such a shocking - such a terrible thing - that I could hardly bring myself to speak of it. However, I did! "Honourable Lama! I have heard that some animals, cows for instance, are made pregnant by unnatural means. Is that correct?" My Guide looked quite shocked for a moment, and then he said, "Yes, Lobsang, that is absolutely correct. There are certain peoples in the Western world who try to raise cattle by what they call artificial insemination, that is the cows are inseminated by a man with a great big syringe (sprøyte) instead of having a bull do the necessary work. These people do not seem to realise that in making a baby, whether it be a baby human, a baby bear, or a baby cow, there is more than just a mechanical mating. If one is going to have good stock, then there must be love or a form of affection in the mating process. If humans were artificially inseminated, then it could be that - being born without love - they would be sub-humans! I repeat to you, Lob-sang, that for the better type of human or beast it is necessary that the parents shall be fond of each other, that they shall both be raised in spiritual as well as physical vibration. Artificial insemination, carried out in cold, loveless conditions, results in very poor stock indeed. I believe that artificial insemination is one of the major crimes upon this earth." (The Danish "visionary" man Martinus - 1890-1981 - tells the same in some of his books - and more details. R.Ø.remark.)
I sat there, with the evening shadows stealing across the room, bathing the Lama Mingyar Dondup in the growing dusk, and as the dusk increased I saw his aura flaring with the great gold of spirituality. To me, clairvoyantly, the light was bright indeed and interpenetrated the dusk itself. My clairvoyant perceptions told me - as if I did not know before - that there I was in the presence of one of the greatest men of Tibet. I felt warm inside me, I felt my whole being throb (pulsere) with love for this, my Guide and tutor.
Beneath us the Temple conches blared again, but this time they were not calling us, but calling others. Together we walked to the window and looked out. My Guide put his hand on my shoulder as we looked out at the valley below us - the valley now partially enveloped in the purple darkness. "Let your conscience be your guide, Lobsang," said my Guide. "You will always know if a thing is right or if a thing is wrong. You are going far - farther than you can imagine - and you will have many temptations placed before you. Let your conscience (samvittighet) be your guide. We in Tibet are a peaceful people, we are people of a small population, and we are people who live in peace, who believe in holiness, who believe in the sanctity of the Spirit. Whereever you go, whatever you endure, let your conscience be your guide. We are trying to help you with your conscience. We are trying to give you extreme telepathic power and clairvoyance so that always in the future for so long as you live you can get in touch telepathically with great lamas here in the high Himalayas, great lamas who, later, will devote (vie) the whole of their time to waiting for your messages."
Waiting for my messages? I am afraid my jaw dropped with amazement; my messages? What was there so special about me? Why should great lamas be waiting for my messages all the time? My Guide laughed and slapped my shoulder. "The reason for your existence, Lobsang, is that you have a very very special task to do. In spite of all the hardships, in spite of all the suffering, you will succeed in your task. But it is manifestly unfair that you should be left on your own in an alien world, a world that will mock you and call you a liar, fraud and fake. Never despair, never give up, for right will prevail (seire). You - Lobsang - will prevail!"
The evening shadows turned into the darkness of night, below us the lights of the City were a twinkle (glimtende). Above us a new moon was peeping down at us over the edge of the mountains. The planets, vast millions of them, twinkled in the purple heavens. I looked up, thought of all the forecasts about me - all the prophecies about me and I thought also of the trust and the confidence shown by my friend, my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup. And I was content (hadde indre fred).
The wisdom from Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup goes on - here from page 195 - where he starts to talk about the school of life and the planning of the coming incarnations from the spiritual dimentions:
"Lobsang," said my Guide, "does it occur to you that life itself is just a school?" "A school?" I looked at him as if he had suddenly taken leave of his senses. I could not have been more surprised if he had told me that the sun had retired and the moon had taken over! "Honourable Lama," I said in astonishment, "did you say that life was a school?" "Most certainly I did, Lobsang, rest awhile, let us have tea, and then we will talk."
The attendant who was summoned (fremmøtt) soon brought us tea and enjoyable things to eat. My Guide partook of food very sparingly indeed (spiste lite). As he once said, I ate enough to keep about four of him! But he said it with such a twinkling smile that there was no offence (støtende) implied or taken. He often teased (spøkte/ertet) me and I knew that he would never under any consideration say anything that would hurt another person. I really did not mind in the least what he said to me, knowing how well he meant it. We sat and had our tea, and then my Guide wrote a little note and gave it to the attendant to deliver to another Lama. "Lobsang, I have said that you and I will not be at Temple Service this evening, for we have much to discuss, and although Temple Services are very essential things so - in view of your special circumstances - is it necessary to give you more tuition (undervisning) than average."
He rose to his feet and walked across to the window. I' scrambled to my feet too and went across to join him, for it was one of my pleasures to look out and see all that was happening, for my Guide had one of the higher rooms at the Chakpori, a room from which one could look out over wide spaces and see for long distances. Besides, he had that most enjoyable of all things, a telescope. The hours I spent with that instrument! The hours I spent looking away across the Plain of Lhasa, looking at the traders in the City itself, and watching the ladies of Lhasa going about their business, shopping, visiting, and just (as I put it) plain wasting time. For ten or fifteen minutes we stood there looking out, then my Guide said, "Let us sit down again, Lobsang, and discuss this matter about a school, shall we?"
"I want you to listen to me, Lobsang, for this is a matter which you should have clear from the start. If you do not fully understand what I say then stop me immediately, for it is essential that you understand all this, you hear?" I nodded to him, and then as a matter of politeness said, "Yes, Honourable Lama, I hear you and I understand. If I do not understand I will tell you." He nodded and said, "Life is like a school. When we are beyond this life in the astral world, before we come down into a woman's body, we discuss with others what we are going to learn. Some-time ago I told you a story about Old Seng, the Chinaman. I told you that we would use a Chinese name because you, being you! would try to associate any Tibetan name with a Tibetan of your acquaintance. Let us say that Old Seng who died and saw all his past decided that he had certain lessons to learn. Then, the people who were helping him would look about to find parents, or, rather, prospective parents, who were living in the circumstances and in the conditions which would enable the soul which had been Old Seng to learn the desired lessons." My Guide looked at me and said, "It is much the same as a boy who is going to become a monk, if he wants to become a medical monk he comes to the Chakpori. If he wants to do perhaps domestic (hjemme-) work, then no doubt he can get into the Potala for they always seem to have a shortage (mangel på) of domestic monks there! We choose our school according to what we want to learn." I nodded (nikket), because that was quite clear to me. My own parents had made arrangements for me to get into the Chakpori (the monastery/ klosteret der) provided I had the necessary staying power to pass the initial test of endurance.
My Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup continued, "A person who is going to be born already has everything arranged; the person is going to come down and be born of a certain woman who lives in a certain district and who is married to a certain class of man. It is thought that that will give the baby to be born the opportunities for gaining the experience and knowledge previously planned. Eventually, in the fullness of time, the baby is born. First the baby has to learn to feed, it has to learn how to control certain parts of its physical body - it has to learn how. to speak and how to listen. At first, you know, a baby cannot focus its eyes, it has to learn how to see. It is at school."
He looked at me and there was a smile on his face as he said, "None of us like school, some of us have to come, but others of us do not have to come. We plan to come - not for karma - but to learn other things. The baby grows up and becomes a boy and then goes to a classroom where often he gets treated rather roughly by his teacher, but there is nothing wrong in that, Lobsang. No one has ever been harmed by discipline. Discipline is the difference between an army and a rabble. You cannot have a cultured man unless that man has been disciplined. Many times now you will think that you are ill-treated, that the teacher is harsh and cruel, but - whatever you think now - you particularly arranged to come to this earth in these conditions." "Well, Honourable Lama," I exclaimed excitedly, "if I arranged to come down here, then I think that I should have my brains, examined. And if I arranged to come down here, why do I know nothing at all about it?"
My Guide looked at me and laughed - laughed outright. "I know just how you feel, Lobsang, today," he replied, "but really there is nothing that you should worry about. You came to this earth first to learn certain things. Then, having learned those certain things, you are going out into the greater world beyond our borders to learn other things. The Way will not be easy; but you will succeed in the end, and I do not want you to be despondent. Every person, no matter his station in life, has come down to earth from the astral planes in order that he may learn and, in learning, progress. You will agree with me, Lobsang, that if you want to progress in the Lamasery, you study and pass examinations. You would not think much of a boy who was suddenly placed over you and by favouritism alone became a lama or an abbot. So long as there are proper examinations, then you know that you are not being passed over at some superior person's whim (lune) or fancies or favouritisms." I could see that too, yes, when it was explained, it was quite a simple matter.
"We come to earth to learn things, and no matter how hard nor how bitter the lessons which we learn on this earth, they are lessons for which we have enrolled before we came here. When we leave this earth we have our vacation (ferie) for a time in the Other Worid, and then if we want to make progress we move on. We may return to this earth under different conditions, or we may move on to a completely different stage of existence. Often when we are in school we think that there is going to be no end to the day, we think that there is going to be no end to the harshness of the teacher. Life on earth is like that, if everything went smoothly for us, if we had everything that we wanted we should not be learning a lesson, we should just be drifting along on the stream of life. It is a sad fact that we only learn with pain and suffering."
"Well then, Honourable Lama," I said, "why is it that some boys, and some lamas too, have such an easy time? It always appears to me that I get hardships, bad prophecies, and beatings-up by an irritable teacher when I really have done my best." "But, Lobsang, some of these people who apparently are very self-satisfied - are you sure that they are so self-satisfied? Are you sure that conditions are so easy for them, after all? Until you know what they planned to do before they came to the earth you are not in a position to judge. Every person coming to this earth comes with a prepared plan, a plan of what they want to learn, what they propose to do, and what they aspire (streber etter..) to be when they leave this earth after sojourning (oppholdet) in its school. And you say that you tried really hard at class today. Are you sure? Were you not rather complacent(likeglad), thinking that you knew all there was to know about the lesson? Did you not, by your rather superior attitude, make the Teacher feel rather bad?" He looked at me somewhat accusingly(anklagende), and I felt my cheeks grow some-what red. Yes, he really knew something! My Guide had the most unhappy knack of putting his hand on a spot which was tender(sårt).
Yes, I had been complacent, I had thought that this time the Teacher would not be able to find the slightest fault with me. My own superior attitude had, of course, in no small measure contributed toward the exasperation (irritasjon) of that Teacher. I nodded in agreement, "Yes, Honourable Lama, I am as much to blame as anyone." My Guide looked at me, smiled, and nodded in approval.
"Later, Lobsang, you will be going to Chungking in China, as you know," said the Lama Mingyar Dondup. I nodded, dumbly, not liking even to think of the time when I should have to leave. He continued, "Before you leave Tibet - we shall send to various colleges and universities for details about their instruction. We shall receive all particulars and we shall then decide which college or university will offer you exactly the type of training, which you will need in this life. In a similar manner, before a person in the astral world even thinks of coming down to earth - he weighs up what he proposes to do, what he wants to learn, and what he finally wants to achieve. Then, as I have already told you, suitable parents are discovered. That is the same as looking for a suitable school."
The more I thought about this school idea the more I disliked it. "Honourable Lama!" I said, "why do some people have so much illness, so much misfortune, what does that teach them?" My Guide said, "But you must remember that a person who comes down to this world has much to learn, it is not just a matter of learning to carve, not just a matter of learning a language or reciting from Sacred Books. The person has to learn things, which are going to be of use in the astral world after leaving the earth. As I have told you, this is The World of Illusion, and it is extremely well suited to teach us hardship, and in suffering hardship, we should learn to understand the difficulties and the problems of others."
I thought about all this, and it seemed that we had got onto a very big subject. My Guide obviously got my thoughts, for he said, "Yes, the night is coming upon us, it is time to end our discussion for this night for we have much to do yet. I have to go across to The Peak (as we called the Potala) and I want to take you with me. You will be there all night and all tomorrow. Tomorrow we can discuss this matter again, but go now and put on a clean robe and bring a spare with you." He rose to his feet and left the room. I hesitated but for a moment - and that because I was in a daze! - and then I hurried off to array myself in my best, and to get my second best as my spare.
Together we jogged down the mountain road and into the Mani Lhakhang, just as we passed the Pargo Kaling, or Western Gate, there was a sudden loud squall behind me that almost lifted me from my saddle. "Ow! Holy Medical Lama!" yelled a feminine voice just to the side of the road. My Guide looked about him, and dismounted. Knowing my own uncertainties on a pony he motioned for me to remain seated, a concession which filled me with gratitude. "Yes, madam, what is it?" asked my Guide in kind tones. There was a sudden blur of movement, and a woman flung herself to the ground at his feet. "Oh! Holy Medical Lama!" she said breathlessly, "my husband could not beget a normal son, the misbegotten son of a she-goat!" Dumbly (stumt)- stunned at her own audacity (målløs av sin egen dristighet) - she held out a small bundle. My Guide stooped down from his great height and looked. "But, madam!" he remarked, "why do you blame your husband for your ailing (sykelige) child?" "Because that ill-favoured man was always running around with loose women, all he thinks about is the opposite sex, and then when we get married he cannot even father a normal child." To my dismay (bestyrtelse) she started weeping and her tears ran down to hit the ground with little plops, just like hailstones - I thought - coming down from the mountains.
My Guide looked about him, peering somewhat in the increasing darkness. A figure by the side of the Pargo Kaling detached himself from the darker shadows and moved forward, a man in a ragged dress and wearing a definitely hang-dog expression. My Guide beckoned (vinket til..) to him and he came forward, and knelt on the ground at the feet of the Lama Mingyar Dondup. My Guide looked at both of them and said, "You do not right to blame each other for a mishap of birth, for this is not a matter which occurred between you, but is a matter to do with karma." He looked at the child again, pulling aside the wrappings in which the baby was swaddled. He looked hard, and I knew that he was looking at the infant's aura. Then he stood up saying, "Madam! Your child can be cured, his cure is well within our abilities. Why did you not bring him to us earlier?" The poor woman dropped to her knees again, and hastily passed the child to her husband, who took it as if it might explode at any moment. The woman clasped her hands, and looking at my Guide said, "Holy Medical Lama, who would pay attention to us, for we come from the Ragyab and we are not in favour with some of the other lamas. We could not come, Holy Lama, no matter how urgent (presserende) our need."
I thought all this was ridiculous(latterlig), the Ragyab or Disposers of the Dead(de som ordner med de døde), who lived in the South-East corner of -Lhasa were as essential as any in our community. I knew that because my Guide was always stressing that no matter what a person did - that person was still a useful member of the community. I remember once laughing heartily when he said, "Even burgiars, Lobsang, are useful people, for without burgiars there would be no need of policeman, hence burgiars provide policemen with employment!" But these Ragyab; - many people looked down upon them thinking they were unclean because they dealt with the dead, cutting up dead bodies so that the vultures (gribbene) would eat the scattered pieces. I knew - and felt as my Guide - that they did good work, for much of Lhasa was so rocky, so stony, that graves could not be dug, and even if they could, normally Tibet was so cold that the bodies would just freeze and would not decay and be absorbed into the ground.
"Madam!" commanded my Guide, "you shall bring this child to me in person three days from now, and we shall do our utmost to see that he is cured, for from this brief examination it appears that he can be cured." He fumbled in his saddlebag and produced a piece of parchment. Quickly he wrote a message upon it, and handed it to the woman. "Bring that to me at the Chakpori and the attendant will see that you are admitted. I shall inform the gatekeeper that you are coming and you will have no difficulty whatever. Rest assured, we are all humans in the sight of our Gods, you have nothing to fear with us." (They use the word "Gods" - I feel - as a term of the many - higher developed beeings - on the higher plans of existence, who guide and oversee the development of this school-level. They stay in telepathic contact with these Gods - and also through rituals. R.Ø.remark.)He turned and looked at the husband; "You should remain loyal to your wife." He looked at the wife and added, "You should not abuse your husband so much, perhaps if you were kinder to him he would not go elsewhere for solace(trøst)! Now, go to your home and in three days from now return here to the Chakpori and I will see you and assist you. That is my promise." He mounted his pony again and we rode off. Diminishing in the distance were the sounds of praises and thanks from the man of the Ragyab and his wife. "I suppose for tonight at least, Lobsang, they will be in accord(samsvar), they will be feeling kindly disposed to each other!" He gave a short laugh and led the way up to the road to the left just before we reached the Village of Sho.
I really was amazed at this, which was one of my first sights of husband and wife. "Holy Lama," I exclaimed, "I do not understand why these people came together if they do not like each other, why should that be?" My Guide smiled at me as he replied, "You are now calling me 'Holy Lama'! Do you think you are a peasant (bonde)? As for your question, well we are going to discuss all that on the morrow. Tonight we are too busy. Tomorrow we will discuss these things and I will try to set your mind at rest, for it is sorely confused!" Together we rode up the hill…
The lama did cure the baby later on. Then the last extract from this fantastic book is on the subject - the meaning of the colors - in connection with the feelings (from page 212):
….."Honourable Lama, why do we use colours to describe moods?" He put down the book which he was studying and motioned for me to be seated. "I suppose you are meaning those common usage terms about a blue mood, or a man green with envy(misunnelse)?" he queried. "Yes," I answered in even more excitement, excitement that he should know precisely what I was referring to. "I really would like to know why all these colours are important. There must be something behind it!" He looked at me and laughed again, retorting, "Well, Lobsang, you have let yourself in for another nice long lecture. But I see that you have been doing some strenuous exercise and I think that you and I might have tea. I was waiting for mine anyhow - before we go on with this subject."
Tea was not long in coming. This time it was tea and tsampa, the same as any other monk or lama or boy in the whole of the Lamasery would be having. We ate in silence, I thinking about colours and wondering what the implication of colours would be. Soon we had finished our rather meagre meal, and I looked at my Guide expectantly.
"You know a little about musical instruments, Lobsang," he commenced, "you know, for example, that there is a musical instrument much used in the West known as a piano. You will remember that together we looked at a picture of one. It contains a keyboard with a lot of notes on it, some black and some white, well, let us forget the black ones, let us imagine instead that we have got a key-board perhaps two miles long - longer if you like - it contains every vibration which can be obtained on any plane of existence." He looked at me to see if I was following, because a piano was a strange device as far as I was concerned. I - as my Guide had said - had seen such a thing only in pictures. Satisfied that I could perceive the underlying idea, he continued, "if you had a keyboard containing every vibration, then the whole range of human vibrations would be in perhaps the three middle keys. You will understand - at least I hope you will! - that everything consists of vibrations. Let us take the lowest vibration known to man. The lowest vibration is that of a hard material. You touch it and it obstructs the passage of your finger, at the same time all its molecules are vibrating! You can go further up the imaginary keyboard, and you can hear a vibration known as sound. You can go higher and your eyes can receive a vibration which is known as sight."
I jerked bolt upright at that; how could sight be a vibration? If I looked at a thing - well, how did I see? "You see, Lobsang, because the article which is being viewed vibrates and creates a commotion ("støy") which is perceived by the eye. In other words, an article which you can see, generates a wave which can be received by the rods and cones in the eye which in turn translates the impulses received to a portion of the brain which converts the impulses into a picture of the original article. It is all very complicated, and we do not want to go into it too thoroughly. I am merely trying to point out to you that everything is a vibration. If we go higher up the scale we have radio waves, telepathic waves, and the waves of those, people who live on other planes. But, of course, I said that we are going to limit ourselves specifically to the mythical three notes on the keyboard which could be perceived by humans as a solid thing as a sound, or as a sight." I had to think about all this, it was a matter which really made my brain buzz. I never minded learning, however, by the kind methods of my Guide. The only time I jibbed (hånet) at learning was when some tyrannical teacher was whacking away at my poor old robe with a thoroughly unpleasant stick.
"You ask about colours, Lobsang. Well, certain vibrations are impressed upon one's aura as colours. Thus, by way of example, if a person is feeling miserable - if he is feeling thoroughly unhappy - then part of his senses will emit a vibration or frequency which approximates to the colour which we call blue, so that even people who are not clairvoyant can almost perceive the blueness, and so that colour has crept into most languages throughout the world as indicating a blue mood - an unpleasant, unhappy mood."
I was beginning to get the drift of the idea now, but it still puzzled me how a person could be green with envy, and I said so. "Lobsang, by deduction you should have been able to reason for yourself that when a person is suffering from the vice known as envy his vibrations change somewhat so that he gives the impression to others of being green. I do not mean that his features turn green, as you are well aware, but he does give the impression of being green. I should also make it clear to you that when a person is born under a certain planetary influence, then he is affected more strongly by those colours."
"Yes!" I burst out, "I know that a person born under Aries likes red!" My Guide laughed at my eagerness and said, "Yes, that comes under the law of harmonics. Certain people respond more readily to a certain colour because the vibration of that colour is in close sympathy with their own basic vibration. That is why an Aries person (for example) prefers a red colour - because the Aries person has much red in his make-up and he finds the colour red itself pleasant to dwell upon."
I was bursting to ask a question; I knew about these greens and blues, I could even make out why a person should be in a brown study - because when a person was concentrating in a particular form of study, his aura perhaps would be irridated with brown flecks. But I could not understand why a woman should be scarlet (purpurrød)! "Honourable Lama!" I burst out, unable to contain my curiosity any longer, "why can a woman be called a scarlet woman?" My Guide looked at me as if he was going to burst (le) and I wondered for a moment what I had said which had caused him to nearly throw a fit with suppressed amusement (fornøyelse), then he told me, kindly and in some detail so that in future I should not be so unclear on any subject!
"I want also to tell you, Lobsang, that every person has a basic frequency of vibration, that is, every person's molecules vibrate at a certain rate and the wavelength generated by a person's brain can fall into special groups. No two persons have the same wavelength - not the same wavelength identical in every respect, but when two people are near the same wavelength, or when their wavelength follows certain octaves of the other, then they are said to be compatible and they usually get on very well together." I looked at him and wondered about some of our highly temperamental artists. "Honourabie Lama, is it true that some of the artists vibrate at a higher rate than others?" I enquired. "Most certainly it is, Lobsang," said my Guide, "if a man is to have what is known as inspiration, if he is to be a good artist, then his frequency of vibrations must be many times higher than normal. Sometimes it makes him irritable - difficult to get on with. Being of a higher rate of vibration than most of us he tends to look down on us lesser mortals. However, often the work that he turns out is so good that we can put up with his slight fads and fancies!"
I imagined this great keyboard stretching for several miles, and it did seem to me a strange thing if, in a keyboard stretching several miles, the human range of experiences would be limited only to about three notes, and I said so. "The human being, Lobsang, likes to think that he is the only thing in creation that is important, you know. Actually there are many many other forms of life besides humans. On other planets there are forms of life, which are utterly alien to humans, and the average human could not even begin to understand such a form of life. On our mythical keyboard the inhabitants of a planet far, far removed from this particular Universe - would be right away at a different end of the keyboard from that of the humans.
Again, people on the astral planes of existence would be higher up the keyboard, for a ghost who can walk through a wall is of such a tenuous (spinkel) nature that his own rate of vibrations would be high indeed although his molecular content would be low." He looked at me and laughed at my puzzled expression, and then explained: "Well, you see, a ghost can pass through a stone wall because a stone wall consists of molecules in vibration. There are spaces between every molecule, and if you can get a creature with molecules so small that they can fit between the spaces of a stone wall, then that particular creature would be able to walk through a stone wall with no obstruction whatever. Of course, the astral creatures have a very high rate of vibration, and they are of a tenuous nature, that is, they are not solid, which in its turn means that they have few molecules. Most people imagine that the space beyond our earth - beyond the edge of the air above us - is empty. That is not so, space has molecules throughout. They are mostly hydrogen molecules which are widely dispersed, but the molecules are there and they can indeed be measured in much the same way as can the presence of a so-called ghost be measured."
The Temple conches sounded, calling us once again to our Services. "We will talk about this again tomorrow, Lobsang, because I want you to be very clear on this subject," said my Guide as we parted at the entrance to the Temple.
The ending of the Temple Service was the start of a race - a race to get food. We were all rather hungry for our own food supplies were exhausted. This was the day when a new supply of freshly roasted barley was available. In Tibet all monks carry a small leather pouch of barley which has been roasted and ground and which, by the addition of buttered tea, becomes tsampa. So we raced on, and soon joined the throng waiting to have their bags filled, then we went to the Hall where tea was available so that we could have our evening meal.
The stuff was terrible. I chewed at my tsampa and wondered if my stomach was wrong. There was a horrible, oily burnt taste to it, and I really did not know how I was going to get it down. "Faugh!" muttered the boy next to me, "this stuff has been burnt to a frazzle, none of us will be able to cram it down!" "It seems to me that everything has been spoiled in this lot of food!" I said. I tried a bit more, screwing up my face in anxious concentration - wondering how I was going to cram it down. In Tibet to waste such food is a great offence (forseelse). I looked about me, and saw that others were looking about them! The tsampa was bad, there was no doubt about that. Everywhere bowls were being put down and that was a very rare occurrence in our community where everyone was always just on the point of hunger. I hastily swallowed the tsampa in my mouth, and something very strange about it hit me with unexpected force in the stomach. Hastily scrambling to my feet, and apprehensively holding my mouth with my hand, I bolted for the door...!
"Well! Young man," said a strangely accented voice as I turned back toward the door after having violently erupted the disturbing food. I turned and saw Kenji Tekeuchi, the Japanese monk who had been everywhere, seen everything, and done everything, and was now paying for it by way of periodic bouts of mental instability. He looked sympathetically at me, "Vile (gyselig) stuff, isn't it?" he remarked sympathetically, "I had the same difficulty as you and I came out here for the same reason. We shall have to see what happens. I am staying out for a few moments hoping that the fresh air will blow away some of the miasma which this bad food has caused." "Sir!" I said diffidently, "you have been everywhere, and will you tell me why here in Tibet we have such dreadfully monotonous fare(ensidig kost)? I am sick to death of tsampa and tea, and tea and tsampa, and tsampa and tea. Sometimes I can hardly cram the muck down."
The Japanese looked at me with great understanding and even greater sympathy. "Ah! So you ask me because I have tasted so many different kinds of food? Yes, and so I have. I have travelled extensively throughout the whole of my life. I have had food in England, Germany, Russia - almost everywhere that you can mention. In spite of my priestly vows I have lived well, or at least I thought so at the time, but now my dereliction from my vows has brought me to grief." He looked at me and then seemed to jerk to life again. "Oh! Yes! You ask why you have such monotonous fare, I will tell you. People in the West eat too much, and they have too great a variety of food, the digestive organs work on an involuntary (ufrivillig) basis, that is, they are not controlled by the voluntary part of the brain. As we teach, if the brain through the eyes has an opportunity of assessing the type of food, which is going to be consumed, then the stomach can release the necessary quantity and concentration of gastric juices in order to deal with the food. If, on the other hand, everything is crammed down indiscriminately, and the consumer is busily engaged in idle talk all the time, then the juices are not prepared, digestion cannot be accomplished, and the poor wretch suffers from indigestion (dårlig fordøyelse) and later, perhaps, from gastric ulcers(sår). You want to know why your food is plain? Well! The plainer and, within reason, the more monotonous the food one consumes - the better it is for the development of the psychic parts of the body. I was a great student of the Occult, I had great powers of clairvoyance, and then I stuffed myself with all sorts of incredible concoctions (brygg/drikker)and even more incredible drinks. I lost all my metaphysical powers, so that now I have come here to the Chakpori so that I may be attended(påpasses), so that I may have a place where I can rest my weary body before leaving this earth. And when I have left this earth in just a few short months from now, the body breakers will do the job - will complete the task - which an indiscriminate admixture (vilkårlig tilsetning)of drinks and food started." He looked at me and then gave one of those queer jumps again, and said, "Oh yes, my boy! You take my advice, you stick to plain food for all the days of your life and you will never lose your powers. Go against my advice and cram everything you can down your hungry gullet, and you will lose everything, and your gain? Well, my boy, you will gain indigestion; you will gain gastric ulcers together with a bad temper. Oh ho! I am going off, I can feel another attack coming."
The Japanese monk, Kenji Tekeuchi rose shakily to his feet and tottered off in the direction of the Lamas' Quarters. I looked after him and shook my head sadly. I should very much have liked to have been able to talk to him much longer. What sort of foods were they? Did they taste good? Then I pulled myself up with a jerk; why tantalise (plage) myself when all I had before me, was rancid (harsk) buttered tea and tsampa which had been really burned so much that it was a charred (forkullet) mass, and in some way some strange oily compound had got into it. I shook my head and walked again into the Hall.
Later in the evening I was talking to my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup. "Honourable Lama, why do people buy horoscopes from the pedlars (dørselger) down on The Way?" My Guide smiled sadly as he replied, "Of course, as you know, there cannot be any worthwhile horoscope unless it is individually prepared for the person to whom it is alleged to refer. No horoscope can be prepared on a mass production basis. The horoscopes sold by the pedlars on The Road below are merely so that they can get money from the credulous." He looked at me and said, "Of course, Lopsang, the pilgrims who have these horoscopes go back home and show they have a memento from the Potala! They are satisfied and so is the pedlar so why bother about them? Everyone is satisfied." "Do you think people should have horoscopes prepared for them?" I asked. "Not really, Lobsang, not really. Only in certain cases such as your own case. Too often horoscopes are merely used to save a person the effort of adopting a course of action upon his own responsibility. I am very much against the use of astrology or horoscopes unless there is a definite, specific reason for it. As you know, the average person is like a pilgrim threading his way through the City of Lhasa. He cannot see the road ahead for the trees and the houses and the bends and curves in the road. He has to be prepared for whatever is coming. We here can look down upon the road and see any obstructions for we are at a higher elevation.
The pilgrim, then, is like a person with no horoscope. We being higher in the air than the pilgrim are like people with the horoscope, for we can see the road ahead, we can see obstacles and difficulties, and thus should be in a position to overcome difficulties before they really occur."
"There is another thing which is troubling me greatly, Honourable Lama. Can you tell me how it is that we know things in this life that we knew in the past?" I looked at him most anxiously for I was always rather afraid of asking such questions as really I had no right to be delving (grave) so deeply into matters, but he took no offence (foreseelse), instead he replied, "Before we came to this earth, Lobsang, we mapped out what we intended to do. The knowledge was stored in our sub-conscious and if we could get in touch with our sub-conscious - as some of us can! - then we should know everything that we had planned. Of course, if we should know everything that we had planned, there would be no merit (fortjeneste) in striving to better ourselves - because we would know that we were working along a predetermined plan. For some reasons, sometimes a person will go to sleep or will get out of the body while conscious, and will get in touch with his Overself. Sometimes the Overself will be able to bring up knowledge from the subconscious and transfer it back to the body on earth, so that when the astral body returns to the flesh body - there is knowledge in the mind of certain things that happened in a past life. It may be as a special warning not to commit a mistake, which may have been committed for life after life. Sometimes a person has a great desire to commit suicide - as just one example - and if a person has been penalised (straffet) life after life for doing that, then frequently they will have a memory of something about self-destruction in the hope that such a memory will cause the body to refrain (avholde-) from self-destruction."
I pondered upon all this and then I walked to the window and looked out. Just below there was the fresh green of the swampy area and the beautiful green of the leaves of the willow trees. My Guide broke into my reverie. "You like looking out of this window, Lobsang, does it occur to you that you look out so frequently because you find the green so soothing to your eyes?" As I thought about it, I realised that I did instinctively see green after I had been working at my (school)books. "Green, Lobsang, is the most restful colour for the eyes. It gives ease to tired eyes. When you go to the Western world you will find that in some of their theatres there is a place called the green room where actors and actresses go to rest their eyes after having been subjected to smoke-filled stages and bright glaring (skarpe-) footlights and floodlights." I opened my eyes in amazement at this, and I decided that I would pursue (forfølge) this matter of colours whenever the opportunity presented itself. My Guide said, "I have to leave you now, Lobsang, but tomorrow come to me again because I am going to teach you some other things." He rose to his feet, patted me on the shoulder, and went out. For some time I stood looking out of the window looking out at the green of the swamp grass and the trees which were so restful to the eyes….
Some of Rampas books can still be purchased from webshops - but the prices varies - so look at many and compare.
Search for Lobsang Rampa on the fine search-engine FAST - (link here) - and you will find link to different bookshops where some of his books can still got hold of.
Link to my LOBSANG RAMPA page
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