Category Archives: Introduction

Narrator – One Way, A Biography / Ebook


Instead of a home
The moon and the starry sky
As steadfast mate

Narrator-coverVKMan Leben, Narrator and Carla Drift are the three main characters in this part of the Odyssey “Who are you – A survey into our existence”.

The biography “Narrator Nārāyana – One Way” is composed by Man Leben based upon the bundled posts from September 2012 – March 2013 about the quest to “Who are you”. The biography describes the life of Narrator Nārāyana so far.

The biography is available as Ebook and paperback book on the website of Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher: www.omnia-amsterdam.com/documents

This,
That we are now
Created the body, cell by cell,
Like bees building a honeycomb.
The human body and the universe
Grow from This.

The Odyssey to “Who are you – survey into our existence” is an quest with many stages. The search for “Who are you” is about you and me and all that is in connection with us. Nothing is on beforehand excluded. Are you and I connected or are we separated? What makes you to the person who you are? Who are you before your birth and who will you be after your death? The answer to these questions is currently unknown, but nevertheless we raise these questions.

The progress of this quest to “Who are you” can be read on the weblog of Jan van Origo:www.janvanorigo.com

The following two part of “Who are you” will include the chapters 5, 7 and 0 of this quest.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photos, images, renderings and quotations in the text may be copyrighted by third parties.

Printing of this E-Book is allowed for your own use or for educational purposes. Readers and users of publications by Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher may show their gratefulness by donations to charities of their choice.

Advertisements

Five common realities – introduction


The quest for “Who are you” in the form of a “survey into our existence” is a contemporary Odyssey with 17 stages. At the end, we will look back on our journey. We will notice that everything is fulfilled in one sigh.

Before we resume our Odyssey by entering the world of everyday life, we will give a brief summary of the journey so far.

At the first stage you and I have experienced the perfect oneness from where we travelled via “Solipsism”, “The universe is but a dream”, “Pantheism” and “Indra’s net” to the second stage.

indras-net2[1]

At the second stage the perfect oneness is disintegrated after the initial division of air and earth [2] in innumerable particles. Also you and I were completely disintegrated in an awful lot minimal particles. After a first organisation within these particles we – the main characters Carla Drift, Man Leben and Narrator – returned in human form on our earth after an immense long time.

Atomen[3]

At the third stage, we saw how mutual trust and reciprocal connectedness between people was realised and perpetuated by placing “people, objects, offerings and the word in the middle” between people and/or between the mutual uncertainty and people.

kroning van karel de grote[4]

As preparation for the continuation of our Odyssey – in which we will enter everyday life – there followed an interlude and afterwards the three main characters described each other’s biography. The report of the first part of our Odyssey and the three biographies are available on the website of the Publisher.

carla drift VK

VK1Carla Drift - een buitenbeentje voorkantNarrator-Nordic1

Narrator_one_way

During the second part of our Odyssey we will visit the following five common realities as stages for everyday life, because these points of view provide a good impression of human daily experience:

o Facts and logic

o Intensities and associations

o Void

o Change

o Interconnectedness

Do these five common realities offer everything we need on our quest for “Who are you?” [5]. We once read that:

“If you use the five common realities in a correct way, then you are completely included in the perfect universe. Do you use this accesses in a wrong way, then you will stay a mortal being.” [6]

At the end of these common realities we will look back to see if we still are normal mortals and/or if we are included in the perfect universe.

[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra’s_net

[2] According to Genesis 1:1 – the first book of Old Testament – God created/separated the sky and earth at the beginning of time. The Hebrew verb core “bara” in the Hebrew version of Genesis 1:1 has four meanings: “creation”, “cleave”, “selection” and “feed”.  Source: http://www.qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/genesis/1.html

In the Western translations of the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, the word “shamayim” is translated as “Heaven”. Probably “sky” or “firmament” is a better translation for the Hebrew word “shamayim”. See also: http://www.qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/genesis/1.html and http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/35_home.html and Benner, Jeff A.A Mechanical Translation of the Book of Genesis – The Hebrew text literally translated word for word. 2007

[3] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom

[4] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne

[5] According Buddhism, the five skandhas provide everything that we need for our spiritual development. See also: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence –part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012 p. 172 – 183

[6] Source: The Sixth Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra. San Francisco: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2002, p. 381 – 382. Remark: “Buddha–use” and “Store enveloping consciousness” are rendered by your Narrator as “perfect universe”.

Final word in biography of Narrator


Narrator told me the story of his life told in several parts. In his narratives facts, fiction and faction are intertwined, as in everyday life the separation of the air and earth is artificial [1].

During the narration of the prelude to his life I understood that Narrator’s stories are focused on an universal truth that precedes and goes beyond our existence. This truth is based upon a rhythm wherefrom we originate. This rhythm is rolling through his life in various interwoven cycles.

The first cycle in his life story consists of the four incarnations that Narrator mentioned as interpretation for his life. These four incarnations in the life of the Narrator reminded me of the four seasons [2]. The second cycle in Narrator’s life is the rhythm of vanity, action and consequences [3]. The third cycle is the Northern cycle in which Narrator is incentive and spiritual charioteer for enlightenment and home coming of his American beloved. The fourth cycle is the rhythm of trust and betrayal in Narrator’s life together with Raven and Fox in the mirror world inhabited by the secret services of many countries [4]. And always the cycle of the Moon and the starry sky is the steadfast mate in Narrator’s life. I leave the search for the other cycles in the life of the Narrator to the reader.

It is an honour and a joy to be with Narrator and Carla Drift on the search of “Who are you”. On this Odyssey, Narrator is my beacon and spiritual charioteer, for example at my study Sanskrit – the language of the Gods in the world of men –, when studying Buddhist texts and when reading the works of Rumi.

[1] See also: Quammen, David, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012, p. 219 – 234. In this popular scientific book a study is made on the interaction and life game – sometimes with far fetching consequences – between higher and lower organisms. During this interaction and life game the division between earth and air is artificial; for example in the description of Q-fever that moved by the wind in Noord Brabant in the Netherlands.

spillover[2] See also: The film “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring” directed by: Kim Ki-Duk. This film gives possibly an interpretation to the crimes by Narrator as child soldier in Africa. The youngster in the film committed several crimes as child in naivety, and as adolescent in a zest for life whereby he must endure the consequences during the rest of his life.

Spring[3] See also: The film “Why has Bodhi-Dharma left to the East?” by: Bae Yong-Kyun. This film provides insight into this cycle of vanity, action and consequences, perhaps because a boy inflicts – in an idle urge – a fatal wound to one bird of bird couple. In vain the boy tries to keep the bird alive. The living bird of the couple continues to haunt the boy and gives him a first insight in the fleeting nature of life and death, interconnectedness, passions, sin and fear.

why-did-bodhi-dharma-leave-for-the-east[4] See also: Le Carré, John,  The Quest for Karla. New York: Knopf, 1982; and see also: Deighton, Len, The Bernie Samson series. published between 1983 and 1996.

The manuscript for the biography of Narrator is available for download at:

http://www.omnia-amsterdam.int/site-page/manuscripts

Introduction: Narrator – on the way


Instead of a home

The moon and the starry sky

As steadfast mate

 – free to haiku by: Inoue Shirō

As long as I exist, there have been storytellers in my life. At home, at school, in the synagogue, in the Church, in books, in the classics of antiquity, in the Tanakh – the Bible of Judaism – and in the Talmud, I have heard of the experiences of the great storytellers. Next to my mother, the most influential storytellers in my life are: Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, Siddhartha Gautama as Buddha, Muhammad as the Prophet and Messenger of God in the Islamic faith, Vyasa as writer of the Mahābhārata – the story of India –, Homer the poet and singer of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and Rumi or better Jalāl al-Dīn the poet of amongst others Masnavi.

Before I met Narrator in Istanbul, an extraordinary mathematician was the most wondrous storyteller in my life. With only a suitcase, he travelled from friend to friend for a few days home. Regularly he stayed a few nights with me in Amsterdam. He recounted about the difference between finiteness and infinity, about prime numbers, sets and zero. As a welcome gift he always gave me some of his mathematics books that he exchanged against a few technical books from my bookshelf. At our parting he asked sincerely if I didn’t mind that he had to leave now.

Narrator, I saw for the first time in the Süleyman mosque in Istanbul where he welcomed me with: “Here, air and earth are one”.  I replied: “This, that we are now”, whereby he swirled with rustling clothes.

Suleyman moskee1[1]

Suleyman moskee3[1]

That morning I had arrived in Istanbul on invitation by Carla Drift to start our Odyssey to “Who are you – a survey into our existence”. For the first time Carla Drift and I had met at a philosophy lecture given by Prof. Dr. W. Luijpen at the Technical University in Delft. Hereafter our lives regularly crossed; we helped each other where necessary and we always enjoyed each other’s company.

A few years ago, Carla began her nomadic existence in Europe with a Caravan-Tractor combination. On a clear icy cold night Carla saw a dark cold man in a sleeping bag by the side of the road. After she had saved him from an eternal dream, they travelled to Istanbul where had scheduled to start our Odyssey.

Narrator – εἰς τὴν Πόλιν on the way to “this”


My third incarnation as Bhikṣu or – in the words of everyday life – as wanderer who followed the annual trek of the birds, ended in Istanbul. In this former capital of the Eastern Roman Empire [1] I became part of the “polis” [2] – not only part of the City State with a public secular politics, but at home in the universal community of environment and people

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[3]

My Acropolis was not a temple where in the past the Greeks gave a house [4] to their Gods with all the splendour and exceptional beauty. Although I was at home everywhere, I found no lasting home in a church, mosque or temple.

Akropolis[5]

Between the many churches and mosques of Istanbul I experienced my body and “polis” – in the form of the universal living environment – as the temple of God [6].

Blauwe moskee[7]

In the poem “This we have now” by Rumi I read a reflection of my world in Istanbul:

This

That we are now

Created the body, cell by cell,

Like bees building a honeycomb.

The human body and the univers

Grow from This [8]

During my first three incarnations – first as Kṛṣṇa in Kenya, then as idol in Amsterdam and several Northern cities, and thereafter as Bhikṣu who followed the annual trek of the birds between South and North Europe – I had only seen reflections of “This” within my own living environment.

In my fourth incarnation I wanted to leave the protection of the cave [9] – in which I found shelter until now – with only reflections of the all-encompassing “This” as Plato described in his Politeia [10].

Grot[11]

Slowly at the beginning of my new incarnation I became perfectly included in the universe. In the libraries of Istanbul I read translations of the works of Rumi. Along with his poems I swirlingly began a new existence.

With the new spring – at the invitation of Carla Drift – Man Leben arrived in Istanbul. Carla, Man and I decided to start “Who are you – a survey into our existence”. Before we entered everyday life on this quest, we wrote each other’s biographies.


[1] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polis

[3] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corne_d%27Or

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polis

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

[6] See also: The first letter to the Corinthians 12 – 20

[7] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul

[8] Part of the English version of the poem “This we have now” by Rumi. See also: Barks, Coleman, The Essential Rumi. New York: Castle Books, 1997, p. 262

[9] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave

[10] In English the Politeia is often translated with “State” or “Republic”. See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staat_(Plato)

[11] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave

Narrator – Snow face


Every night a dream carries me away. This icy clear night at the beginning of December a dream led me to another world. At new moon I lied under the starry sky perfectly still in my sleeping bag to avoid heat loss. Every now and then I felt a tingling in my hands and feet and then they were cold again. My breath – a temporal home for the villagers massacred by my fellow militia members and me during the night fire in the forest – watched over me.

It got colder; my body relaxed itself [1] and my eyes blinked no more. The darkness and the firmament sucked me in. I hovered with the galaxies in the universe. No earth, no worries, no sound, completely absorbed in the infinity.

Sterrennacht[2]

From the edge of the universe I heard footsteps approaching. In the corner of my eyes a shadow appeared. The shadow became larger and I heard another breath next to my breath. After an eternity the dark face of my mother bent over me. Her curly hair had turned grey. My mother had come to take me home. In her peaceful face I saw that I was never gone away; within her heaven and earth came together.

In this peaceful state I heard a voice. My mother and my eyesight faded. Someone tried to wake me up. Very slowly my breath returned to everyday world: the firmament and the earth were separated again with the opening of my sleeping bag. I was stone-cold and just barely conscious.

Sterrenstelsels[3]

The voice took me and after an eternal struggle with my stilled body we entered a lit hot room. The voice undressed me and covered itself and me close to each other under a duvet. Slowly I could see again. I saw a woman’s face with curly grey hair. She really shivered from the cold. After a very long time I warmed a little; only halfway through the next day my fingers and feet started to tingle again. I found myself in bed in a caravan.

By evening I could eat and drink a little. She asked me indignantly why I watched outside in this severe frost under the starry sky in a thin sleeping bag. My answer followed a few days later. To my question how she had found me, she replied that during a short evening stroll she saw occasionally vapour from the ground beside the path; this vapour was caused by my exhalation. My breath had guarded me.

One day later we moved together to a winter camping to let me recover. The owner of the camp-site was not happy with my appearance, but my guardian angel took care that we got a place for some nights. The first days she mothered me. She cut my hair, She shaved my beard and she washed my clothes: I was presentable to the world again.

Wintercamping[4]

In the confines of the caravan on the winter camping we told each other the main lines of our life stories. Her name was Carla Drift and she moved through Europe with a tractor–caravan combination. Since autumn her life was empty as the trees in the winter. At the end of the previous summer a man had attacked her honour and life. In self-defence she killed the assailant. Herewith she lost her innocence: a part of her had died.

I told her about my life as a child soldier in a previous incarnation; at the end of one night we had set the forest surrounding a village on fire. Our militia shot on everything and everyone who came out of the forest. I always carried the ghosts of these villagers with me; their breath was my breath and they had guarded me in the bright icy night. In memory of my mother I was on my way “εἰς τὴν Πόλιν”.

We decided to travel to Istanbul together. We alternated driving the tractor; now and then I was again a charioteer in a white winter landscape. The journey of more than 2000 kilometres lasted three months with several resting. The end of winter and the beginning of spring we stayed in Istanbul. During the visits to the many houses of God in this city – including the Hagia Sophia, we admired these buildings with domes as symbol of the bond between earth and firmament.

Hagia Sophia[5]


[1] See also for hypothermia: Stark, Peter, The last breath, the limits of adventure. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001 p. 11 – 24

[2] Each light speck is a galaxy – some of these are as old as 13.2 billion years – the Universe is estimated to contain 200 billion galaxies. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe

[3] Source image: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html# – Hubble Watches Star Clusters on a Collision Course

[4] Source image:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camping

[5] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanboel

Narrator – on the way 2


After the death of Raven I spent every year’s winter in South Spain. In the spring I migrated with the birds to the North wandering the summer season in Northern Europe. The wind, the weather and the people I met on my way, gave direction to the temporary shelter in the northern cities.

Vogeltrek[1]

Regularly I visited Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo. The volatile friends from the past were swept away from everyday life by the mysterious disease that had the name AIDS. Several old friends started another life without place for a wandering Bhikṣu. Usually I lived by the street with magic, storytelling and I had started singing.

My performance of Jacques Brel’s “Ne me quitte pas” [2], moved the audience. Parts of the text about shadows – during the night shadows of murdered villagers and in daytime shadows of lost beloved ones – was applicable on my life.

Let me be

Shadow of your shadow

Shadow of your hand

Shadow of your own. [3]

schaduwen[4]

After 18 years wintering in the South and in summertime wandering in the north, I was an adult in my third incarnation; each moment, hour, day, year was different and the same. Although I carried always the shadows from my previous life with me, this simple life rhythm gave some inner peace.

In the autumn I sang lines from “Ne me quitte pas” for an audience on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam:

I, I will give you

Pearls of rain

from lands

Where it never rains.[5]

After singing the words “from lands where it never rains” I knew that my mother had died. Her commandment to move to Amsterdam and its realisation had ended. I bowed to the audience and in honour of her memory I immediately set off “εἰς τὴν Πόλιν” – to the city – to Istanbul [6]. From Istanbul I wished to move to Konia the following spring. It was time to swirl in the footsteps of Rumi [7].

Come, Come, whoever you are,

Wanderer, idolatrous narrator and worshipper of the golden glow,

Come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,

Come, and come yet again.

Ours is not a caravan of despair. [8]

Derwish[9]

On the road to Istanbul I was accompanied by my mother, like Rumi wrote in a poem:

“My thoughts are in the heart of my mother,

the heart of her will be sick

without the thoughts of me”. [10]

The fourth incarnation in my life had begun. I deviated from my usual autumn migration to South Spain. That year, the winter started early in Middle Europe. Mid November there was already snow. On the way to Istanbul I became adrift by the cold. Early December it froze solid. I had nothing to eat. The next clear night at new moon my breath watched over me. The ghosts and shadows from my life temporary found peace. The frost took me in; earth and firmament were one.

Stone and stilled

Inside and outside

One in the cosmos

Sterrenhemel[11]


[1] Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogelzug

[2] To be listened via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za_6A0XnMyw

[3] Source: Own translation of the last lines from Jacques Brel’s “Ne me quitte pas”.

[4] Source image: http://bat-smg.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abruozdielis:Southwark_Park_Evening_Shadows.JPG

[5] Source: translation of the first lines from the second verse of “Ne me quitte pas” by Jacques Brel.

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

[7] Jalāl ad-Dīn – in the West known as Rumi – was born near Balkh in Afghanistan in the 13th century CE. His parents fled for the Huns. Jalāl ad-Dīn received the name Rumi in the Arab world because he lived in Konia South of Ankara in the current Turkey while writing his great works. This part of the Arabic world was identified with Rome from the Roman Empire. Hence Jalāl ad-Dīn is named after the name of his main domicile in the Arab/Persian world. Source: Lewis, Franklin D., Rumi, Past and Present, East and West. Oxford: Oneworld, 2003 p. 9

[8] Free rendering of verses by Rumi. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi en Rumi and His Sufi Path of Love (2007) by M Fatih Citlak and Huseyin Bingul, p. 81

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

[10] Free rendering of a poem by Rumi. Source: Nicholson, Reynold A., The Mathnawi of Jalálu’ddin Rúmí, Book II. Cambridge: Biddles Ltd, 2001 p. 281

[11] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night