FABLES OF THE 30TH PARALLEL
Among the many wonders of the planet Earth is the 30th Parallel North. What makes it so fascinating is that some of the most ancient centers of the human race that inhabits the planet are lined up precisely along this parallel. Cairo, Marrakech, Persepolis, Petra, Lhasa, Delhi …
Also some of the most famous natural landmarks: Mount Kailas, the Sacred Mountains of China, the Bermuda Triangle, volcanic islands of Hawaii and the Canaries … and the main habitats of the planet’s most ancient species with consciousness – the dolphins and whales.
A strange coincidence. Quite unprecedented. Such a collection of wonders has so far no explanation. Only mythology provides us with somewhat misty one: once upon a time there was an island in the ocean where humans and dolphins had created a marvelous civilization that existed in harmony with the natural world. Then something happened, and within a day and the following night the island seized to exist. The survivors fled in two separate groups to the East and to the West. They oriented themselves by the stars and followed trails were stars were “the same”, i.e. they moved along their ‘native’ latitude. Wherever they encounter other people they taught the locals what they themselves new best: the art of healing, love, joy, miracle-working. As the result great cities and cultures were born.
They were made into legends, people in some places calling them “the seven wise men”, in others – “the nomadic embassy” or “the messengers of Atlantis”. The legends survived, but the knowledge they carried with them has been forgotten and fragmented … It has not vanished altogether, however, as it survives in the genetic code, in dormant capabilities of man, in the real nature of life.
The new Nomadic Embassy has set out to travel around the globe along the 30th Parallel.
FABLE №1: THE MIDNIGHT RAINBOW
On the eve of our journey we had a party on the beach. We invited friends, poured good wines, replenished the tables with viands, talked some lofty nonsense …
Then, exactly at midnight we decided to strike the gong – the first of twelve gongs along the journey, all tuned to the frequency of the Earth. The gongs were produced at our request by the best bell-makers, who used an ancient, secret formula and an alloy of seven different metals. The Universe resonates with them …
We hashed and rehashed the way to go about it, and finally agreed with Arkady Shilkloper that with the first sound of the gong he would start playing in the same key on his alpine horn – the funny six-meter long thing he usually plays. When Arkady is playing rainbows appear, they say. So we ask him: ‘Can you summon a rainbow at midnight?’ He laughs, and says he only blows the pipe, and doesn’t command the rainbows. It is just that coincidences happen.
Exactly at midnight Slava Polunin rolls up his trousers, walks barefoot in wet beach sand towards the spot where the gong is suspended, takes a special mallet in his hand, and with the swing of his arm, he makes the first strike. Arkady starts playing the alpine horn. And there it is: a rainbow.
A rainbow really comes out…
Of course, everything has an explanation: a projector threw light on the gong, behind it the waves in high tide scattered small particles of water in the air, while the powerful sound of the gong – essentially, also a wave transmitted through air – naturally structured the water particles …
There is always some explanation for everything.
It is not, however, why the Rainbow appears.
FABLE №2: A STORY ABOUT TRUSTWORTHINESS
We set out on our journey at noon on the 21st of December, 2012. Not some random day, but the date predicted by the Aztecs: 12.00 21.12.2012. All sorts of friends came to the island to see us off, wish all the best, and wave hats from the quay. However, it is still important for the Dolphin Embassy that dolphins and whales take part in an event like that. We tried our best to ask them about it in advance, but admittedly, there was considerable anxiety about the outcome, for no legal obligations, nor any other forms of guarantee, we humans are used to, exist in the world of whales. The friends, as if in joke, kept asking whether the whales were going to be present. And, of course, we wished for nothing more than for them to be there. One hour before midday we took about a hundred people with us on a huge catamaran, and put out to sea. Music was playing, glasses were clinking, the Nobel prize holders were being photographed, and we are counting minutes. 10 minutes before twelve o’clock Nicole and Pablo went to put on diving suits (it had been decided that if all went well, it would be them who would go in the water). All the others were excitedly joking on the subject of the beautiful coastline disappearing in the distance, but it was only an excuse to nervously examine the vast expanse of water. Pilot whales (called Calderoni in the Canaries) appeared in about a hundred meters from the catamaran at noon exactly. They simply came up towards the surface, forcing the air out in loud puffs. They stayed with us for over an hour.
Yes, we know it could be a mere coincidence. As far as we know, of course.
FABLE №3: THE PROMISE TO BE TOGETHER
When the future expedition was only being conceived, somewhere in Europe we met Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and invited him to join us on our voyage (although at the time we did not even have a clear idea of its itinerary). He listened to us with great interest, and promised to be with us at least at one stage of our journey, without fail. But shortly before the actual start, we, along with his other disciples, received a letter from him, announcing that he was about to withdraw to a retreat, and to cease all contacts with the outside world for three years.
We, who so much hoped to meet him somewhere on our way, were disheartened. The retreat, of course, would have made it impossible for him to join us …
We set off traveling, and one day reached the faraway fabled land of Nepal. We were met by friends, who offered help in finding what we were looking for in Nepal. On the very first day they suggested we go to a monastery hardly ever visited by Europeans, while its inhabitants included one of the oldest Tibetan lamas (98 years old) and the 19 year old Tulku (the Living Consciousness of Buddha).
There are about two hundred monasteries in the Katmandu valley, and we were determined to avoid the ones that sell pre-packaged portions of enlightenment for tourists. We had total faith in our guides.
Soon we found ourselves on the top of a hill overlooking the entire valley. The old lama granted us an audience and permission to attend a ceremony at the temple.
The gong rang, summoning monks inside. We let them all pass and followed them inside the temple, only to stop still at the threshold. Opposite the doorway, in the place usually reserved for the alter we saw a specially lit photograph from which none other than Mingyur was greeting us with a smile on his face.
‘This is our Rinpoche’, we mumbled to our guides.
‘No, he is our Rinpoche’, they responded, ‘The abbot of the monastery. But he is at a retreat now.’
‘He promised to be with us in this journey.’
‘Did he? Then he must have fulfilled his promise.’
We stayed there for several days.
A gong bequeathed by the Dolphin Embassy is now placed in front of the temple doors. And Tulku, the thousands of years old boy, travelled with us when the next leg of our journey took us to the free living dolphins of Egypt.
FABLE №4: A SWIMMER AND THE ATLANTEANS
Beyond many lands, away from big cities, in the middle of the ocean there lies the Bahaman island of Bimini. It is 4 kilometers long and 150 meters wide. If you stand in the middle of its only “street” you can see the ocean on both sides. Along the island’s coast, under the water, runs a road built of giant stone blocks in the times immemorial, nobody knows by whom. It is the road of Atlanteans, people say. Since the days of Atlantis, the waters above it are a favorite playground for dolphins.
Going to Bimini we took an excellent swimmer with us. A world champion, in fact. We thought that as he was so well built and swam so well the dolphins would interact with him quite unlike anybody else.
Prior to this, he had never swum with free living dolphins, but dreamt of it, and believed the dream to be mutual. He imagined how good he would look in the process of interaction with them.
And there we were: our boat at sea, dolphins’ fins all around. The guy makes a beautiful dive into the water, but… he can see no dolphins. While he was making the beautiful plunge, they had left. Apparently, such was their mood on the day.
The next day it happened all over again. And the day after. Mind you, with other members of the team, who did not swim as beautifully, dolphins were only too happy to communicate, but they would not stay with the champion swimmer. He sunk into a dark melancholy. He sat on the shore and read John Lilly’s book about the latter’s dolphin friends, until he reached the bit where Lilly recounts how he used a scalpel to insert electrodes into the brain of a dolphin friend. Well, just to understand it better.
The swimmer stepped into the sea, dropped into the water and just lay there on his back, not too far from the shore. His concern was not about how well he looked, but how to ask the dolphins’ forgiveness. For Lilly, dolphinariums, and all that nonsense of ours …
We could see him from the shore. And we saw how those flips appeared around him. And then suddenly he was playing with them.
FABLE №5: THE LEOPARD MAN
It happened in the desert by the Dead Sea. In the ancient times Nabataean caravaneers leading hundreds of camels roamed the land, and frequented inns, or sometimes whole castles situated at a distance of one day’s travel. Some of the fortresses are still around today, but the rest has long been reclaimed by the desert. New people are doing their utmost to make it habitable once again.
One of them is known as the Leopard Man. It was to meet him that we went there. His real name is Arthur, some twenty years ago he arrived here from Europe, fell in love with the desert (believe it or not), and stayed. After a long time or a short time, he learned to understand the desert and became a guide. By that time he had built a house on the edge of a little village, married and produced a child. Then one day he walked out of the house into the yard where his kid was playing, and saw a leopard. Lean, hungry and full of muscles.
The giant cat was about to make a jump. Arthur jumped first. He thrust his weight upon the leopard and pressed him with both hands against the ground. Had it not been for the extreme, utmost effort the animal would have escaped. They lay like that, head to head, nearly forty minutes.
The child was already exhausted from crying, but there was no one else in the house, so Arthur kept talking in whispers to the leopard. He kept saying that such a beautiful and strong animal could not possibly harm a little child. And that nobody here meant any harm to him. That for those who lived next to each other there was no other possibility, but to live without enmity.
Then all his strength left him. His hands, although they had gone numb, could no longer hold the animal. The leopard rose to its feet, stood there for a moment, staring straight at Arthur, and then walked away into the desert.
It was not the last time they saw each other. Later on they often sat next to each other, silent, and watched the sun go down…
Whether the story is true or false we don’t know. But we spoke to Arthur and saw his eyes. It looks like that is exactly how it all happened.
Although, of course, we were never present to see it happen.
FABLE №6: THE WHALE GODCHILD
There is a wonder of wonders in the world. Once a year, at the beginning of spring, thousands of whales migrate to Hawaii. For about two weeks, however, they can hardly be seen anywhere – the ocean is quiet. During this period the whales don’t play, hardly eat anything, and very rarely come up to breathe, before disappearing again. They hang heads down, under water, at a relatively shallow depth of 30-50 meters, and sing a song. Every year it changes a little, but only once a year. So now we have a premier – this years’ song. It charges the Earth with energy.
We came to Hawaii to be present at these singing sessions. We swam with the whales and recorded their chorus. And every night we saw them in our dreams … and one early morning Nicole saw in her dream that she was holding a newly born whale in her arms. In reality this would be quite impossible, because even at birth whales are already over 3 meters long, and besides, no man has ever been present at the moment of their birth – the whales stay away from humans during this period. Of course, in a dream anything can happen.
The following morning we went at sea. We sailed in a boat quite far away from the island and suddenly saw a whale. It was breathing heavily on the surface and did not go under the water. We thought that if something was wrong, we could help, so we sailed closer, and soon realized that it was a female whale about to go into labor. Whales are born on the surface of water, because, like in humans, the newly born has to take its first breath immediately, in order to survive.
We spent more than four hours with them, and watched the baby whale come into the world, with its mother pushing him to the surface with her nose, and its father anxiously protecting them from beneath. We saw how the little one made its very first circles around the mother, and finally jumped out of the water for the first time, enraptured by the world that was opening up.
We could easily be the first people ever to attend such an occasion, or so we were told. Much more important about all this, however, is the feeling we had that we were witnessing the birth of God. He will live a life, and when he is finally grown up, his eye will be the size of our heads.
Next year we shall see him again, and he will recognize us.
FABLE №7: A MILLION PALM LEAVES
We always viewed fortune-telling and prophecies with suspicion. But we were very interested to come visit the Indian masters of the art of Nadi Shastra. The ones who read your fortune from palm leaves. About a dozen scribes work the entire daylight hours – they may be coping decaying records, or just as well creating new ones.
Deep inside the building, there is a depository of thin leaves, fastened as books, and overwritten with details of people’s destines …
As to whether they were written or only stored here, we did not manage to get a clear answer. You arrive, introduce yourself, wait for your book to be found, then an extremely attentive Indian opens fragile pages and tells you (reads out) details about life – your own and that of people close to you – that you have long forgotten or never had a slightest clue about.
Your brain is subjected to an intensive attack. The world once again appears to be arranged very differently from what you were taught at school. The accuracy of what you are told in this distant foreign land is astonishing.
By the time the reader approaches the present day, the self-preservation instinct makes you stop him. Tomorrow does not exist yet; you don’t want it to be unequivocally spelled out to you. The reader obligingly stops. Afterwards you never stop wondering: what if, in fact, nothing was written there? What if all books are written right to the very moment when their main character enters the depository of palm leaves? Instead of a description of your future you are given a gentle, but precise advice as to what needs to be done in order to fill the future with joy.
There are a great many of those little books made of palm leaves. A million, perhaps … But not seven billion, surely! We asked the custodians about this, as the question seemed pretty obvious.
‘There is no need to have seven billion. Most of them will never come here. We only have those who will come.’
Indeed!.. That explains it all, of course.
FABLE №8: THE MIRACULOUS DOCTOR
Anything can happen, and it so happened that in Japan one of our team fell sick. Some local acquaintances (not incidental ones) referred us to a doctor, whom they called miraculous.
He did not look anything special, except for appearing very young for his age of seventy. His eyes gave him away: it was concentration and non-seriousness in them, combined with the lack of habitual cynical weariness so typical of many doctors we had known. He lit a fire in the stove, heated a metal shovel on it until it was glowing red, touched it (much to our horror) with his hand, and then placed the hand on our friend’s body, on the very spot that contained the problem. The doctor was perfectly all right, while the patient was left with burns on his body. They healed in a couple of weeks. Unlike the problem that brought us there. It seemed to have vanished immediately.
We offered some money for the treatment, but the man refused it. Money is an equivalent of energy, while he was literally dipping the energy out and conveying it to the required place, in front of our very eyes. The fact that the conventional laws of physics would not allow it did not seem to bother him in the least.
We stayed as guests. He taught us how to do what he was doing. Only the basics, of course. Some rudiments of archery, for instance. It trains your arms and eyes very well.
The point is that the bodhisattva Guanyin (called Kannon in Japanese) cured with a potion made of eyes and arms. She healed through her arms and eyes.
FABLE №9: ON NON-LOCALITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
In America we spent some time with Amit Goswami. He is the first physicist who has proven that the nature of consciousness is non-local. That we are linked instantaneously, and that the notions of time and place can be excluded from the formula describing our inseparability.
With his help we reproduced a classic experiment still largely waved away by the orthodox science for one reason: it cannot be refuted because of the resettability of results, and cannot be accepted as truth, for such an acknowledgement would force all current scholars and teachers of the laws of nature to resign immediately. For the experiment we take two people who are really tuned into each other. They are placed in two different rooms, convincingly distant from each other and, preferably, screened, shielded off. One person has electrodes attached to his head, recording the brain cortex activity. The other person is exposed in random order to different sensory irritants such as bright flashes of light, sudden loud sounds, etc. Chronometers in both rooms are synchronized. The encephalograph registers the reaction of various areas of the cortex – responding to visual, audial, kinesthetic stimuli. A flash of light. A sound. A touch.
We are in different parts of the city. The lights go out for a moment in front of one of the two persons involved. The other’s pupils widen immediately, without a moment’s delay.
Do you see? Provided we are tuned into to one another, we all are inseparably connected.
FABLE №10: THE CORRIDORS
In the Gulf of California we wanted to have a sailboat, so that the engine would not interfere with sound recording. And a skipper to whom there would be no need to explain things. And as it was Mexico, it would be nice if his first language was Spanish. Andrea remembered a friend of his, called Jesus. Luckily, he was available, and flew in to join us.
Apart from Andrea nobody had met Jesus before, but, as it was expected, everybody liked him, and he immediately became part of the team. We spent about two weeks together. On the last day looked through the photos that had come out of the trip, and then Rafa decided to show a film about the underwater world he had made two years earlier. At the end of the film, as usual, there were some closing credits. When Jesus, who was looking at the screen, saw Rafa’s last name, he sprang up from his seat. Up to that point we somehow avoided surnames, as we addressed one another by first names.
‘Is it your family name?’ Jesus asked Rafa.
‘Well, yes,” was the answer.
‘A rare one … I went to school with a guy who had the same name. And he was also called Rafael. We were friends, but after finishing school he went away.’
In a word, a quarter of a century ago they sat at one desk. And had never seen each other since. The probability of them ever meeting again was near zero.
A mere coincidence. What else could it be?
FABLE №11: THE FLYING DRAGON
There once was a Dragon who lived beyond blue mountains and faraway woods.
The Sacred Mountains of China is where Taoism was born, and the incredible medicine and martial arts originated, were barely touched by the Cultural Revolution with its destruction on imperial scale. It would be too much trouble to drag bulldozers up the narrow winding paths that monks used for centuries as the only roads to monasteries and hermits’ caves.
We had the constant feeling that the Dragon, this embodiment of energy in the Eastern myths, was still alive there. Everything was pointing to the fact. The monastery’s roof tiles were cast from scales of its tail, clouds above nearby mountain peaks came from its breath, and the peaks themselves made up the sawtooth edge of the Dragon’s back.
In the area where we lived there was a sacred cave – inaccessible, unless you knew the road. But it was shown to us, and afterwards we went there every day. There is something about the place that you can sense with every cell of your body, can never mistake for anything else, but can hardly describe with words.
The cave is a home to ninety year old teacher of Tao, who is said to be the keeper of the spirit of the mountain. We would come and sit next to him and his apiary. From time to time we would ask questions. About the Dragon, among other things. For instance, about the customary fear of dragons. On that occasion he wrote on a piece of paper: “Have no fear, for the Havens have eyes too,” and gave to us as a gift. One day we asked what did his work consist of.
‘I sit here,’ he said, screwing his eyes tight, ‘I don’t know anything. I don’t remember anything. I pay attention to everything. And I expand myself …”
We visited him during the day, and spent the nights in an old hotel halfway down the slope towards the mountain’s foothills. As we drifted off to sleep we could hear the sound of webbed wings cutting through the air.
FABLE №12: IN SEARCH FOR THE ELIXIR
In fact, the entire story of our round-the-world trip started one day in Paris, when in the evening we set with some friends and discussed where to go for Christmas. That was when someone brought along a worn old book he had dug up at les bouquinistes somewhere in Rue Flamel. In a rather old-fashioned French, there was written something about the elixir of life, the philosophical stone and the fifth element. The front page was adorned with a dingy lithograph portraying a pair of mystifiers, who originated all those alchemic fantasies.
‘Go there, I know not where; Find what I know not …’ But our company was suddenly much taken by the bizarre directions … To cut a long story short, we saw it as a challenge, and decided to set out on a search. When many months later the journey was already nearing its conclusion, somewhere in Morocco, namely in the port of Mogador, Moustash (for all we know, he might have made up some of it) came face to face with an eccentric pair who spoke rather old-fashioned French. He recognized them… They appeared to be watching some farcical show at a local festivity, or, perhaps, in some invisible way, they were directing it. Moustash joined them at their table. He told them about the book and the search. They listened attentively, and only asked this:
‘Well, have you found “what we know not”?’
‘We have,” Moustash replied.
‘Uh-huh … Beautiful, isn’t it?’
‘Will you be able to pass it onto others?’
Moustash began to think about it, and in order to gain time walked away to fetch himself a cup of tea at the bar. When he came back to the table, nobody was there.