“The Shadow Master Knows”
Commander Blevins’ homecoming was not as eventful as Mrs. Frumpwooler’s. He reached his apartment tired, bewildered, soaked with sweat and collapsed into his overstuffed chair without turning on a light or taking off more than his coat and jacket. If he had turned on the lights it would have been futile. There was no electricity.
600 Page Street was structurally unaffected by the earthquake. The contents did not fair so well. In apartment 307 the kitchen and dining room were covered with broken glass, most of it brown. On the top shelf of the high cabinets at the far end of the kitchen, Commander Blevins kept his small bottle collection. During the first year and a half of his illness he had taken large amounts of vitamin C. Later he cut down to more normal levels. It was one of the first tools he had found to combat the ongoing cycle of virus symptoms, and he had used it with his normal approach to life: taking it to an extreme. The vitamin C did help with the symptoms, for a while, but his body was knocked further out of whack by the heavy doses. Balance was still proving to be a tough lesson for Commander Blevins.
The entire collection of little and medium sized brown bottles–all with their labels soaked off and the black lids stored separately in a yogurt tub–flew out of the top shelf when the first jolt hit. Either the bottles knocked the cabinet doors open or the doors were flung open themselves by the quake. Whichever way it happened, for the quarter minute the earthquake lasted, the kitchen had become a war zone of shrapnel from flying and bursting little brown bottles.
All the adding machine parts from the kitchen table were scattered like sewn seeds. The earring supplies from the china cabinets were also spilled onto the floor. They had hung on for several jolts, before the doors finally open, and then slopped onto the floor like someone had emptied a wastebasket in an unusual place. The containers of jewelry cleaner and grease solvents were on their sides, but sealed.
The main room was disheveled, but not dangerous. Commander Blevins was a sparse, functional decorator and had no brick-a-brack to break in his apartment. There was a large pile of papers and magazines scattered all around his desk, near the window. The walk-in closet was now a wade-in closet and the little wicker cabinet in the bathroom next to the tub was on it face. Bath Therapy was spilled across the floor.
None of this, however, had made an impression on him. It was too dark, to see, he was too tired to even go to the bathroom, which he needed to, and he was now sound asleep and heading directly toward morning and a backache.
It was a wild night on Page Street in the Lower Lower Haight. Few people wanted to go inside. Women were propositioned openly. Men were threatened. Drugs traded hands. Many people who lived there went somewhere else that night, to be with friends, or just to be somewhere else. Some did not come home until two or three days later. There was a feeling in the air that tonight was the last night. The big one had come and now civilization was toppling.
Commander Blevins slept on. He tossed and turned. He snored, which he rarely did. And he dreamed. In the last dream before waking up in the middle of the night, he was with a black haired young woman. They were about to get in the shower together. She had told him Zoider was waiting outside. It had been years since he had seen his old friend and yet only a day since he had showered with Andi…who was now Zoider’s wife. He knew why Zoider was there. “He will
wait,” he said to the black-haired girl. They got in the shower and started to soap each other. The phone rang in the distance. He stepped outside of the shower and found himself standing by a coffee table in a living room. Zoider was laying on the floor at its end, propped up against the edge of the sofa, asleep. Commander Blevins prepared himself to face his old friend and the consequences of the night before. He now wished he had not given in to the temptation with Andi. But he could not remember the prelude to getting into the shower with Andi. He only remembered being there with her. Zoider opened his eyes. They were set farther apart than normal and were cat-like slits. Clear, light grey eyes stared out at him. They shone with pain and murderous anger.
The phone rang loudly. Commander Blevins came out of his sleep and stared around him, caught between two realities. The phone was at his feet. That seemed unusual. It was on the hook. He answered it. It was a wrong number. He hung up and sat still in the darkness. He could hear voices and rap music from the street below. He drifted back into a not-here, not-there haze. His body was throbbing with a hard jarring pulse.
Running water filled his head. His Inner Vision did not open, but the sound filled him. Water tumbled over rocks in a stream; it fell from a high waterfall and crashed into the boiling pool below; it gurgled from a water fountain, it rushed from a fire hose: it became a torrent of sound. Finally the sound settled into one sound, the sound of water filling a tub.
He opened his eyes. The room around him was dark. There was no light coming in from outside and the din from the street was barely audible. From the foyer, however, came the distinct sound of a tub being filled with water. His tub. He got up gingerly. His body ached.
He hobbled across the main room, kicking something along the way. His laundry was still in the foyer and he bumped into it. There was nothing to fall or break in the hall leading to the bathroom, so he did not hit anything on his way to the bathroom door.
He could see the bathroom door, he realized. Or at least the outline of it. There was light coming from the edges all the way around it. Did he leave the light on this afternoon? He felt along the wall and found the hall light switch. He clicked. Nothing. How…? His mind stumbled, but was caught, before it could crash or panic.
He put his hand on the bathroom door, thought he heard someone singing softly, and pushed it open.
A strong male voice jumped through the open door, sounding much louder than he expected. It sang, “…a golden heart is all…” then stopped singing and said, “Well there you are! I wondered how long you would doze out there. You must be a little sore.” It was a very familiar voice.
There was a man in his tub, soaking in a hot bath. The water that had been running into the tub, stopped. Commander Blevins looked at him and back at the faucet. A last drop fell into the bath water. The water was a rich blue-green, covering the man’s body under the surface. He did not know what to say or think.
“Don’t just stand there, come in! You’ll let all the hot air out. You do like it warm, don’t you?”
Commander Blevins nodded and realized he was freezing. Though dressed for outside, minus his coats, he had been sleeping in his overstuffed chair with no heat in the room. He wasn’t aware of all this, but he knew he was cold. He slipped into the room, closed the door behind him, and sat on the toilet seat cover. Staring back at him was a pleasant face with close cropped wiry blond hair and a full beard, trimmed neatly. The man’s eyes were so blue it took Commander Blevins’ breath away when he looked into them. There was a shimmering twinkle that dance in the eyes and reached out toward him. The center of his chest begin to feel warm.
“Come, now, I drew this bath for you.” The man stood
up. As he did, the water fell away from him and he looked completely dry and refreshed, not as though he had just risen from a steaming bath. He wore a sea-green robe and– Commander Blevins noticed as he stepped out of the bath– sandals that laced up his legs.
There wasn’t much room in the bathroom. Two people could hardly stand and move around in it at the same time.
The man gestured for Commander Blevins to get in the tub and said, “Don’t worry about taking your clothes off. This isn’t that kind of bath. Just climb in.”
Commander Blevins did as he ask. He did not have any strong feeling of wanting to or not, he just did it. There was no problem in moving past the man and when he lowered himself into the tub, it felt warm and natural. Having his clothes on did not seem to make any difference. He realized the light in the room was coming from the man, not the ceiling light.
Then questions, thoughts, aches and pains, recent memories, expectations: all washed away from Commander Blevins.
“I had forgotten how good a hot bath can feel to a physical body,” the man said. “Now, the reason for my visit. You are at a crossroads” His voice was clear and deep.
Commander Blevins sat straight up in the tub and looked at the man’s blue eyes again. The man was sitting on the toilet seat cover.
“There is much work to be done. For you to do. You can put it off for a few more lifetimes, if you wish, but you are about to move into a position in this lifetime that will enable you to work through much of what is holding you back. If you choose to.”
Commander Blevins’ mind broke through. “Who ARE you?”
The man chuckled. “That you can learn yourself. When you do learn it, you will know.” Commander Blevins opened his mouth to speak again, but the man held up his hand. “Please, be patient. There will be a time, soon. We are not strangers to each other.” Commander Blevins’ eyes widened.
“Now, your crossroads. You have been given a gift in this lifetime–a gift which you earned, by the way–and it is time you learned more fully about the it…if you choose to. Your choices, so far, have kept you in a circle of lower Karma. It really isn’t as bad as all that. That’s how Soul learns, how It matures. When you travel to the Inner Worlds with your Clients, you find yourself knowing things you didn’t realize you knew. That’s how it happens when awareness expands. It is a very natural process.” The man stopped. Commander Blevins’ heart and chest were burning and he opened his mouth, about to say something. He closed it, however, and remained silent.
After a minute, the man continued, “Soon you will be asked to share what you have learned with a group of your contemporaries. It is for that reason that I am here.” He pause for a moment and appeared to be lost in thought.
Suddenly he spoke again, “You have been using your gift for material gain and traveling throughout the Psychic Circus. The effect on your Clients has been dubious and unpredictable, at best. There are enough Charlatan’s around today without you wasting your gift adding to the confusion. We pay for everything we do and get. Cause and Effect are not negotiable. To enter the Higher Worlds of Spirit requires a pure heart. The motivation must be to serve God. There is no other.” The man smiled gently and Commander Blevins felt his heart soar.
“When someone surrenders to Spirit and puts their full trust in God, they find that they have all the material resources they need. Of course, if someone does this only to acquire wealth, they are playing a game that can only come back to them in kind. Each person that wishes to move on, must do all they can do for themselves and learn to remain detached from the things of the material, emotional and mental worlds. They may fully enjoy whatever is given to them, but if separated from loved ones or belongings, they must be able to detach swiftly. The Inner Bodies, of course, need some time to adjust. When someone keeps their awareness as Soul, it is easier to experience a brief amount of pain in the Lower Bodies, and then move on with love. Soul, of course, is a happy being that cannot be harmed and never dies. But you know that.” He smiled, winked at Commander Blevins, and then continued.
“These–and other–subtleties, though, can be complex until the tools are developed to work comfortably in the Inner Worlds. That is where you both have a good start and are confounding yourself.” He stopped. Commander Blevins had followed him throughout, but felt nearly overwhelmed. His whole body, now, was on fire.
“I have digressed. Balance is essential. The act of balancing is ongoing. When extremes are chosen, like a metronome set to full swing, balance is passed through only so often. When the swing to each polarity is shorter, balance is passed through more often.” The man stopped and stood up. “There will be more soon. Rest-up for now. May the Blessings be.”
Commander Blevins was alone in the bathroom. It was still lighted, though and he looked around for the source of light, now that the man was gone. He stood up and stepped out of the tub. The water feel off of him as it had the man earlier. He was dressed in warm blue long johns, top to bottom.
A couple minutes later, as the room began to dim slightly, he realized that he was the source of light. His physical body was radiating white light. A deep tiredness rolled through him and he walked into the main room. His futon was laid out in the middle of the room, made up and its covers turned-back. He got into the bed and slipped between the covers. He slept immediately.
He awoke late in the morning. His clothes were neatly folded and stacked on the love seat. He started to get-up, then the memory of the night before returned.
He lay back down, then sat up straight again and shouted, “LyrrTur!” A deep love washed through him. Awareness unfolded and he saw beyond the Inner Worlds of his travels to the Higher Worlds of Pure Spirit where he had spent many periods of transition with LyrrTur, his teacher and dear friend. LyrrTur’s voice of the night before, saying “There will be more,” echoed through him and filled him with unspeakable happiness. He realized why it had been familiar.
“There will be more!” he said outloud.
LyrrTur’s voice then filled the apartment. It was full of love, firm and clear and called Commander Blevins by his true spiritual name. Commander Blevins smiled and self- recognition flowed through him. LyrrTur’s spoke again, this time in a fading whisper, “I am always with you. Like a Shadow. A Shadow of light.”