Excerpt from "Light on the Mountain"
by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
This is the legend of the Ancient One, a spiritual being that has been asleep for 1000 years. According to prophecy he awakens to lead the people of the city plain out of despair and oppression. Offering a message of hope and renewal, he sets in motion universal forces, which restore the balance.
This captivating tale parallels the challenges of modern society where wars rage with elusive terrorists, millions are homeless without shelter or nourishment and the rich continue to amass fortune. We are in need of a permanent solution to these age-old problems.
So come join the Ancient One as he brings Light to the mountain and reveals the inherent power of our collective human potential, working together and reaching higher.
Better People = A Better World
People treat others badly
Because they do not know
How to treat themselves well.
The ills of the world
Are correctable only
By raising better people.
One of the ways
Better people are produced
Is through human development systems
That offer higher knowledge.
Higher knowledge is available
If you search for it
And are fitted to receive it.
That is the quandary.
The task of the rightly Guided Ones
Is to tend the flame of knowledge
And under the proper conditions share it.
These conditions include:
Right time, right place and right people.
So you think I am talking in riddles?
Perhaps I am or maybe
You need to change your way of thinking.
Among the people of the city plain and mountains
There is an ancient tale
About a magical, glowing Light.
This wonderful Light appears
From time to time
To help people in need
Or those who are frightened
And have lost hope.
In the darkest hour
When all is thought to be lost
This Light appears
And turns problems into solutions.
Over the years countless people have been helped.
The pure of heart, the broken and the lost
Have been rescued
From seemingly impossible situations.
Tradition has it
By focusing inward on the Light
And saying the prayer of submission
Further it is believed
That when this Light is about to go out
Another will come to take its place.
Herein is the origin of this Legend.
Characters Appearing In Story
Ancient One: Eternal being and Guardian of the Light.
Escobar: Mountain guide and cousin to Loopi.
Rosa: Wife to Escobar.
Loopi: Young girl of 12 years and cousin to Escobar.
Rado: Youngest member of Council of Governors; former friend of Escobar who is sent to search out second Sun.
The Guard: Company of soldiers joining Rado in his search for second Sun.
King: Distant ruler who demands taxes for War Fund; grandson of former King who banished Priests of Unity.
Fortuun: High Priest (Priests of Unity) leader of the people who prayed for the Ancient One’s return.
Mylan, Wylmar: Senior members of the Council of Twelve (People of Unity) working with Fortuun.
The People Of Unity: Group of 200 believers lead by Fortuun, High Priest who helped pray The Ancient One into existence.
The Hour of Change
For millennia the Ancient One slept. Beneath the earth in the subterranean caves of the Oreen Mountains his body waited for the hour of rebirth. Here the temperature preserved the flesh until it was needed again.
During this time of sleep the Ancient One served in other capacities. His soul was of the Anointed and there was work to be done in other forms and worlds. The Light was the binding force which held all things together; he served the Light as few could.
The hour of rebirth was at hand.
* * * *
The people were weary from the wars. Long ago tears dried like morning dew on a hot summer’s day. Most had forgotten why the wars were fought and lost faith in the Governors. It was the Governors who maintained the wars were necessary.
For the people of the city-plain, it was a time of despair. Elected officials lined their pockets with the peoples’ gold and many went hungry. Most of what the people worked to create went to sustain the wars or was lost in graft among the many layers of government.
The people needed change and hope.
* * * *
As the morning sun burned away the mountain mist, the Ancient One took his place outside the caves. The mountains were his friends. Until the hour of service they protected and housed him. As he entered into his meditation, and began to reflect the Light across the hills, a wondrous thing happened. Light began to flow from the Ancient One and the mist evaporated. And as this holy man went deeper into his meditation, the Light began to intensify. Slowly he became a sun unto himself.
And as the people of the city-plain looked into the mountains, they saw not one, but two suns. This morning, the eastern sky had two orbs of brilliance to greet the day; one from the heavens and one from the hills beckoning them onward.
And as neighbors called to neighbors to see the miracle in the mountains, their despair began to lift. This day was greeted by a sun of hope.
* * * *
Escobar beheld the second sun and wondered at its origin. He knew the mountains around the city-plain as well as any. At this point in the eastern slope there was no structure of any kind that might serve as a mirror to reflect the morning sun. All that existed in that location was the entrance to the caves.
Could the caves be leaking a gas that illuminated the slope? That was possible but highly unusual. Escobar continued to stare at the Light. Something seemed to be going on within its energy pattern. Whatever it was, it was calling to Escobar. The energy was pulsating and calling his name.
Escobar the renowned mountain guide stared in amazement. He had never seen anything on the mountains like this and needed to discover its origin.
* * * *
Loopi, a young girl of 12, awoke and looked out her bedroom window. This morning the eastern sky was aglow with two suns. She stared at the horizon transfixed wondering what it meant.
Was the world ending? Or was the world beginning? She was unsure and grew increasingly excited.
* * * *
As the Ancient One continued his meditation, he could feel the Light reaching the people of the city-plain and knew it had begun.
Like a beacon in the night, the Light was calling to those who were in despair. It was his mission to replace sorrow with joy and anger with love.
And as he continued lighting the morning sky, he lost track of time. He was one with the moment and lost in the glory of the Light.
* * * *
The Council of Governors arrived. This morning they were to discuss the tax shortfall. Without taxes, they could not meet their portion of the War Fund and the King expected the Governors, personally, to make up the difference. The King allowed the Governors to rule only if the War Fund was maintained. None wished to anger the King or pay with their own gold. The only option was to get the people to work harder. This was the morning agenda.
The four Governors’ took their seats and instead of talking of revenues, they discussed the second sun. Everyone including the Governors was bewildered by its origin and significance.
Was this Light permanent? Where did it come from? Should it be investigated? Was it a threat to the city-plain? Did it have economic value?
Throughout the session these questions took precedence over the shortfall in taxes.
* * * *
Then just as unexpectedly as the second sun lit up the morning sky it was gone. One moment, an orb of brilliance and warmth calling to the people of the city-plain, and then it disappeared.
The Ancient One ended his morning meditation. The message was sent. As the Light willed people would respond.
* * * *
For those minutes, when the mountain celebrated its own sun, all the city-plain stopped. Every eye gazed upward toward the mountain. Work halted. People stopped in the fields and factories and began to talk to each other. The despair of the long war years was replaced with a song of hope.
Now the Light was gone and for the people the absence of Light signaled a return to work. For most the second sun was a momentary interlude in a dreary day. As they walked to the factories and fields, the people continued to speak to each other about this wonder. Some claimed it was the result of luminescent cave gas; others said the sun reflected off the coats of a herd of mountain goats. These herds were plentiful and the sun’s glare created the brilliant orb. Still others said it was the mountain facing and the sunlight reflected off of the cliffs.
Throughout the day people talked to each other and were caught up in the excitement of the message of hope emitted by the second sun.
* * * *
Since early youth Escobar was a mountain guide. He listened to the others discuss their explanations for the appearance of the second sun. While these were possible, Escobar knew none of them were probable. Something else was going on.
And as Escobar looked around and saw the people excited by the promise raised by this event, he had to see for himself what caused these phenomena. Was this a permanent source of Light and energy? Or was it transitory? Escobar knew the answer was on the mountain and he would find it.
Today the people of the city-plain were filled with hope and anticipation. Temporarily forgotten were the years of war and oppression by the Governors. Again the people were expectant and joyous. If Escobar could find the source of this new Light, might he be able to bring back news that helped people? Intuitively he knew this Light was something good.
If the Light appeared again, in the same location, Escobar wanted to be there. He wanted to examine and learn from it. Escobar asked his wife to quickly prepare food; he had work in the mountains.
For nearly ten years Rosa and Escobar had been married. Rosa was used to her husband leading travelers across the mountains. After all he was a mountain guide. However this morning things were different and Rosa suspected Escobar was going to find the source of the second sun. Although worried she knew none were more qualified.
As Rosa prepared food and got ready to work in the factory, she did not speak of this to Escobar. Rosa realized, that whatever the reason for the appearance of the second sun, their lives would never be the same.
* * * *
Loopi decided she was not going to school. She did not tell this to her parents and went looking for her cousin, Escobar. He was like an older brother and by nature very curious. Loopi knew that he too would want to know more about the mountain sun.
Escobar was considered the best mountain guide. He knew the mountains and their changing conditions. Whenever wealthy caravans had to cross this range his expertise was sought. He studied the weather conditions and the movement of rocks. Escobar had been taught mountain trails and the relationship between plants and animals by his father and grandfather. Over the years Escobar developed an inner feel for the mountains. Loopi was certain Escobar would be able to find the true meaning of the second sun.
* * * *
The Governors were relieved. The people went back to their daily routine. Once the second sun receded people realized there was work to be done and returned to their normal activity. Only minutes were lost from the morning productivity schedule.
Yet as the morning progressed, reports came into the Governors’ Chamber that although people were working they were distracted by this morning’s event. The second sun was being discussed by everyone and affected the workers’ productivity. The morning’s quotas for agriculture and manufacturing were not being met.
As the day continued people remained distracted. The Governors realized something must be done. It was decided Rado the youngest Governor would travel to the mountain to discover the phenomena’s source. The Governors were worried should it persist, that tax quotas would not be met. If the King’s quotas were not met by the people, the money would come out of the Governors’ pockets. The King accepted no excuse; money was needed to keep the War Fund going.
Without hesitation Rado accepted the assignment. He viewed this as a sign of recognition by the older, longer tenured Governors. Rado had some knowledge of the mountains, but to insure success a guide and accompaniment of soldiers was needed.
Rado was to lead five of the Governors’ Guard. This was to assure, if necessary, the new sun’s destruction. These troops were known for their determination and ferocity.
Then Rado summoned Escobar.
* * * *
Escobar was nearly packed and as he loaded his gear, he heard his cousin Loopi approaching. Escobar turned to greet her. “Loopi it is good to see you, but shouldn’t you be in school?” Loopi replied, “Yes, but I have something more important to do.” “What is that?” inquired Escobar. “I have to find out about the second sun,” said Loopi. “Isn’t that what you are preparing to do?”
Escobar smiled and gently replied, “Loopi if your parents allow, I will take you with me.” So Escobar kissed Rosa goodbye and they began walking toward Loopi’s house.
As the two cousins talked, Escobar was encouraged by Loopi’s enthusiasm. It was good to see he was not the only one excited by this morning’s event. If others were similarly affected, the second sun might signal an awakening and positive change for the people of the city-plain.
* * * *
Escobar was surprised how easily Loopi’s parents agreed to the trip into the mountains. They wished they could leave their work in the fields and also join the adventure. When they saw both suns that morning, they realized anything was possible. A glimmer of hope awoke in their hearts.
Both agreed it had been a long time since there was something to be hopeful about. Also Loopi’s going made them feel as if they were going. They could live and experience through her adventure.
So the two cousins began their climb. When next the second sun dawned they wanted to be there.
* * * *
Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, spiritual traveler is an advocate of Sufi mysticism and the perennial philosophy. Professionally specializing in the healing applications of therapeutic recreation, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health treatment; he holds a doctorate in education and served on the faculties of multiple colleges and universities.