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Excerpt from "That Other God"

From Chapter Ten

by David Richard Beasley


The pilgrims lay in blankets, chatting in low voices, swallowing beer, or roasting chestnuts.

Suddenly, a deep voice reverberated through the night air. "La ilaha il Allah."

The unexpected cry of Ory Baskan startled and then hushed the pilgrims for they had been informed by Abel at the closing of his speech that at the first chant of Ory, they were to become silent and meditate hard on the idea of love of their fellow men. The voice in the dark heightened to dramatic intensity.

"La ilaha il Allah."

Since Abel's speech, the pilgrims treated the mass meeting with more reverence, which contrasted with their earlier disrespectful and hilarious behavior. It was not that their reverence was based on anything new or profound that Abel had said. Yet he had succeeded in making a deep impression on his listeners, as if he had expressed a truth they had always known.

"La ilaha il Allah."

The people stirred with curiosity, for they knew not from which direction the voice came, but they remembered Abel's instructions and fell silent.

"La ilaha il Allah."

Each succeeding refrain sounded as if in answer to the previous one. Cain sensed that the pilgrims, like himself, were following the mysterious notes with rapt attention and had taken them as a cue to begin their meditation. A quietness reigned throughout the encampment, broken only by the crackling of the wood.

"La ilaha il Allah."

A restful air settled upon the campers, soothing their nerves, which had been excited by Abel's speech, and which beer, food, and Church service did little to subdue. Ory's voice seemed to beckon to their spirit, it made them contemplative, inner directed, and calm in the center of their very souls.

"La ilaha il Allah. La ilaha il Allah. La ilaha il Allah."

Cain regarded Ory Baskan sitting cross-legged in front of the fire on the common ground. As the dervish sang, he rocked from side to side, and his aquiline features strained skyward. The firelight caught his white hair in flashes of silver and flickered across the back of his white robe casting the front of him in black shadow.

Pilgrims who lay outside neighboring tents sat up to watch him with curiosity at first, but soon Ory's chanting lulled them and they sank back to listen with more concentration. Cain, resting his forehead on his knees, which were drawn up with his arms about them, probed the atmosphere mentally. His soul seemed to slip away from him and to hover over Ory's voice, sustained but not absorbed by it. He was at one with the whole atmosphere yet remained outside of it as its guiding principle. Softly, cautiously, he came into forceful contact with the spirits of others. It was as if he were gathering power from their collective concentration and leading them out of a dark cave into the open light.

Then Aksiz, sitting near him in the shadows at the extreme edge of the common, began to play the flute. His accompaniment reinforced Ory's chant and added to its sense of mystery and serenity. The dulcet notes of the flute stirred the spirit and carried it forward on its journey through the labyrinth of its subconscious universe.

Cain, too, stirred with the entrance of the reed sound, which quickened his perception like a ray of light in darkness.

All about him stirred spirits awakened to the voice of Ory and to the sound of the flute. They seemed to rise to meet his and drift together. Now he must disperse them, send them out to all corners of the world with an even pulse. Cain knew he had to gain control of them by gathering them to him as a guardian would his wards. His spirit must take ascendancy over the flute and the voice; it must persevere and direct those fellow spirits along their own spontaneous paths.

In his deep concentration, Cain saw the myriad spirits as numerous little lights like fireflies around a fragrant bush. With a great effort he pushed the tiny lights away from him. He saw them slide outwards from the center of his being. The farther they journeyed, the more steady they became, until each of them contacted other spirits and drew them into a sphere of their own and pushed them out as Cain had done. Soon, the gentle throb of spirit responding to spirit grew stronger and stronger until the gigantic network of spiritual consciousness quivered in the air. Cain was no longer in total control. His power now came from the others just as theirs came from him. He was merely one in a sea of spirits. Yet he was their center of consciousness and it was only through his supreme efforts that each of them in all their scattered paths was able to know and feel their commonness with each other and with the true spirit.

Cain did not know how long he had remained in his trancelike state, but gradually he allowed his mind to emerge from the depth of the subconscious world, where he had been in communion with the spirit of his flock. Through his power of concentration, he had held the collective spirit of the people in perfect control. Then, summing up the resources of all his power, he directed each spirit back to the inner vast unknown of the individual to whom it belonged and which lay like some magnetic field below that individual's consciousness. Each became aware of the depths of his own soul, yet each knew and felt that he was a part of the whole. A death-like peace descended upon everyone, and one by one, each was transported out of himself and spiraled into the higher heavens, where each mingled and mixed with the other spirit in harmonious brotherhood. Each felt the warm security of the true knowledge of love as the darkness below melted away, leaving each to fuse one into the others until they formed a massive colorless light unknown to the material world. How long they remained in this state of nothingness that was everything, no one could tell, but each knew he had been in touch with his center, that he had glimpsed the source of existence, and that this knowledge was timeless. Each had been in contact with the other and with the Infinite, and the aura of love and goodness stayed and stayed long after each returned to consciousness.

David Richard Beasley lives in Simcoe Ontario. Born Canadian he lived in Europe and Manhattan for 40 years, has a PhD in political economics, worked for years at the New York Public Research Libraries where he was the president of the union of library workers. He has written over a score of books in all genres including biographies of Canada’s first novelist, of North America’s greatest actor, of the great artist Clay Spohn, of the curator Douglas MacAgy, a major force behind modern art, historical novels of WWII in Burma, escape from slavery in North America, child abuse in 1805, and 19th century Hamilton Ontario, a trilogy of acclaimed detective novels set in New York city, travels by donkey in Turkey and canoeing down a Canadian river, a political-economic study of the invention of the automobile, light entertaining social novels, short stories, novellas and Episodes and Vignettes; an Autobiography. He earned a PhD in Political-Economics at the New School for Social Research. He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his writings. .

PRICE $25, POSTAGE $10. CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE OUT TO DAVID BEASLEY, 7-190 ARGYLE ST, SIMCOE, ON, CANADA N3Y OC1 OR THROUGH PAYPAL or credit card ATWWW.DAVUSPUBLISHING.COM


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