Narrator – on the way


During my first wintering in South Spain I didn’t need much. My camping equipment was sufficient for my stay at a winter camping in Malaga near the Mediterranean Sea. In the spring I woke up from my winter stay. First I hiked to Granada and then to Cordoba.

In Moorish times around 1000 AD, Cordoba was one of the largest cities in the world with at least half a million inhabitants. At that time Cordoba had the largest library in the world with over 400,000 books and in addition the Mezquita (Mosque) was built with more than 1000 marble columns. In the Catholic times the middle part of the mosque with associated columns was removed to make room for a Cathedral [1].

Mezquita[2]

In the Cordoba mosque with the Cathedral inside, I thought of a Buddhist question from the book received as farewell gift from my late American beloved:

 “The ancient  Buddha’s are merged with the open pillars – what level of activity is this?” When everyone remained speechless, the master himself said for them: “On the South Mountain rising clouds, on the North Mountain falling rain”. [3]

Upon my departure from Copenhagen I left the book behind in the University Library, because this collection of questions did not fit in my backpack. Before I handed the book to the librarian, I read the Buddhist question:

 “When the fire at the end of time rages through and everything is destroyed, is this destroyed or not?”  One master answered: “Destroyed, because it goes along with this”. Another master answered: “Not destroyed, because it is the same as this”. [4]

Apocalypse[5]

During my first wintering in South Spain, I retired. After my life as idol in Amsterdam and my years with my beloved in Sweden and Norway, I had received my income from playing in jazz ensembles and due to my limited share in the work of Raven. In Cordoba my savings were depleted. I had fled from the world of secret services after my safety net was gone with the death of Raven, and in Southern Spain there were no jazz ensembles that were waiting for a percussionist without congas.

A part of my income I got by magic and with telling of stories. The other part of my earnings came from alms. Quite young I was depending on a simple form of pension through a pay-as-you-go system that was in use for many centuries in several parts of Asia. When the role of men or women in a household was finished, they moved to another area where the local people provided them with food during their daily round for alms. The rest of the day they spent on the spiritual life of themselves or the whole universe. The men were called Bhikṣu and the women Bhikṣuṇī; the vulgar Dutch word “bikkesement” for “food” is probably related to this way of begging [6].

Bhikshu[7]

In addition to my night watch for the spirits of the deceased villagers, I started a day watch for the whole universe after my first wintering in South Spain. I began walking in the footsteps of my late American beloved. In the libraries of the large cities in Europe I studied the Holy Scriptures. For access to several books on South Asia, I visited the University Library in Heidelberg.

Heidelberg[8]

In Heidelberg, Raven had studied Philosophy and Linguistics before World War II. In this city I felt the nearness of this beloved who did penance for his actions constantly and who was always on guard for the unveiling of his loyalty and betrayal.

Raaf[9]

After my visit to Heidelberg, I held my nightly and daily vigils for him too.


[1] Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%B3rdoba,_Andalusia and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosque%E2%80%93Cathedral_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

[3] See the koan “Yunmen’s Pillars” in: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 137 – 139

[4] Free rendering of the koan Dasui’s “Aeonic Fire” in: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 131 – 136

[5] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhu

[7] Source image: http://jv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhiksu

[8] Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universit%C3%A4tsbibliothek_Heidelberg

[9] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Raven

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