Death of a philosopher

Part 3
Part 1

Ankar: Look old boy. I'm sorry if on your first job I'm not being very inspiring but the truth is the truth — even if it slaps you on the face!

Monkar: Back to work. How do we count Bahram's highly spiritual moments? Like the pain and anguish he felt when his son was in the hospital, and him praying to save his life.

Ankar: Ok. I'll cross out one masturbation for that.

Monkar: You must be joking. I know I'm a novice but I'm really going to take this to a higher authority and protest.

Ankar: Oooooooooh! I'm really frightened now. Do you honestly think that I would have been in this job since man was in the early Stone Age and looked like a baboon and still be here if a twit like you could really complain about my foul mouth to a higher authority! Besides any desperate man would pray to God when he is facing a dead end; any fool could do that. Look why don't you take a break, go off and have a rest and calm down.

Monkar: I'm not the one who needs bloody calming down. It's you who needs cooling off, but I will go not to cool down but to report your bad team spirit. I'll be looking from up there is no cheating on the calculations.

Ankar: The guy is going to sleep on the sofa till death gets here. What kind of cheating could I possibly do? What do you take me for? I'm a professional.

Angelic Arbitrations office

Judge: You don't have to tell me anything I was watching the entire argument.

Monkar: Look I think we are simply not professionally compatible. I refuse to work with a faithless angle. This is unacceptable! I've had to listen to his nonsense for the last sixty-five years and he is driving me nuts. I'm beginning to lose my faith thanks to his chitchat. Judge, please save me before it is too late; he sounds just like his pal, and his big hero Lucifer. It is not as if my sanity is medically insured with this job is it?

Judge: I can see that. It looks like Ankar is not the only one whose faith needs to be rescued. Besides you were sent to judge man and not each other.

Monkar: Well some of what he says makes sense. I don't know if it's my lack of experience or if he is deliberately messing with my mind. It is not as if we get an end-of-day bonus for sending a soul to heaven or hell!

Judge: I'll call Ankar over and have a chat with him. Meanwhile I want you to cool off in God's spirit cellar. Perhaps talking to the cellar keeper can give you the bigger picture of why things are the way they are. Ankar! Get up here at once. I want to talk to you.

Ankar: Hello Judge. I won't deny it. I'm sick of this job. I sit there, and watch man licking his mind Candy from birth to death. It starts with Barbie dolls and action men and ends up being watching porn and hours of Bay Watch and Xena the Princess Warrior on TV to pass his worthless life.

Judge: Well what is wrong with Bay Watch or Xena? I watch them sometimes.

Ankar: Judge, you rascal! I didn't know you went for female Domino mortals in leather gear or bouncing silicon breasts!

Judge: Have you no shame angel? Have you forgotten your place and to whom you are talking?

Ankar: But seriously, man's entire life has ended up being a freak show, judge. He hears about a murder and it's just another extension of a detective movie he has seen. How can he sin when he has no grasp of reality? I'm sorry. I can't take it anymore. Look what having man's share of eating the forbidden fruit has done to me. I'm sorry I can't do this job. Please transfer me and get me out of this misery. Destroy my existence if you must; just get me out of this job.

Judge: Look. I'll make this your last assignment. You just have to wait for Death to come and finish the job off. Just keep your sanity together. Promise me that much please, we are currently short of skilled labour. I will make sure that after this we will take away your burden of all that you have had to bear. You will not remember a thing.

God's spirit cellar

The keeper: Is this your first visit down here?

Monkar: Yes. I'd heard of this place but I had never seen it with my own eyes. It's huge! How many spirits are you keeping here?

The keeper: I don't know. I've lost count. So why did they send you here?

Monkar: I'm ashamed to say, but I'm having a crisis of faith.

The keeper: Oh yes. I should have guessed. So you are after the meaning of man's life.

Monkar: Yes. It just seems so pointless. Man goes through life and he accumulates so much love, hate, knowledge, joy and pain, then he dies and his grey matter holding that little Universe simply rots away and ends up as a gourmet dish for maggots.

The keeper: Then you have come to the right place. Open your eyes. What do you see?

Monkar: Endless rows of wooden caskets.

The keeper: Yes, we lovingly bottle and preserve man's spirit in these wooden caskets, and corked with space-time. Each one with its own flavour of seasons and the crushing of the grapes of fortunes. Fortunes that he made for himself and that he made for others. Taste this spirit, tell me what you feel.

Monkar: I taste the innocent joy of a small child running on soft wet grass, crushing the daisies and chasing a crowd of pigeons that fly away.

The keeper: Now try this one.

Monkar: It tastes like the unbearable longing of a teenage girl who is in love. She has tasted love for the first time. Her heart is pounding out of her chest and her blushing cheeks are rosy. She still feels the tingle of her first kiss on her lips and the hardening of her nipples when her lover touched her. She is wondering if anyone else has noticed her first step towards womanhood.

The keeper: This is one of my favourites. Try it.

Monkar: It's a mother holding her baby and breast-feeding her. They are having a picnic by a waterfall. Her husband is eating a sandwich and pouring the pickle on his shirt. She is laughing.

The keeper: This one is an old man telling a bed time story to his grand child and wondering if he would live long enough to see the child's wedding one day.

Monkar: Did he?

The keeper: No, he didn't, but he always remained a part of that grand child, on his wedding day and on the day that the grand child read a story for his own grand child; the day he wondered about his own death. Now try something less sweet.

Monkar: Pew! What was that? That was disgusting!

The keeper: That was abhorrence, ignorance, conceit, lust, and envy. You need to know its taste to appreciate the sweetness of love, loyalty, purity and humility.

Monkar: I'm sorry but this does not help me with my lack of confidence in what has been given to man as far as divine guidance is concerned. How can I trust in the path of man and do my job of judgement if I do not have faith in a fair guidance handed down to him?

The keeper: I once had your job. I saw the look of anguish on the face of those whose loved ones never came back. I saw dreams that were never fulfilled, and the innocents that were crushed. I did not lose my faith in man; I lost it in God. That was a big burden for an angel. One day I was put in charge of a tribe of idol worshippers. As little children, they would make a small clay image of a man. Then they would colour and fire it. They would then hold that idol in their right hand for the rest of their lives. They would not take their gaze from the idol. They spoke to it and prayed to it. In times of trouble they gained strength from it and when they died they would be buried with it. The fingernails on their right hand would grow into their flesh and they would not let go. Their child would drop in the water and cry for help and they still would not let go. Sometimes the ones with a red idol would fight with those who had blue idols. One day I saw one of these men accidentally dropping his idol; he then turned to the broken pieces and said if you loved me you would not let me let you go! He then pulled a sabre and cut his own stomach and died. I then learnt about Faith and its significance for mankind.

Monkar: I'm sorry I don't understand. How could a faith for something completely fake be beneficial to man?

The keeper: Come I'll show you why. This area is a restricted zone. Not many spirits get here. It is what we call the seven-cities-of-love vintage. This is our best because the spirits have fizz and turned to quality champagne. I'll tell you about the process; keep in mind that this is a secret recipe. Sometimes given very ordinary men in the right season we crush them like grapes in the burning desire of quest for the truth. Such spirits are shown the breath of oblivion but instead of oblivion they just breathe the air of their own ego for they do not know what they seek; that is the first stage. The second stage is love. The spirit is engulfed in love and it is the love that pulls that spirit, not the spirit that pulls the love. In this love, a saint becomes a sinner and a sinner a saint. There is no East and there is no West. There is simply the rope that drags you in darkness. The third stage is the stage of wisdom, for you become aware of the rope of love that pulls you even if it is difficult to see it in the darkness. The fourth stage is that of fulfilment for here the spirit breaks the bonds of the desire for desire. The fifth is that of oneness and in separation of all that there is from God. The sixth is that of wonderment. This is like burning in a fire, and every breath you take is like blades that pierce your heart. You do not know if you exist or if you do not; for you are and you are not, and existing is very painful. The seventh is poverty and oblivion. Here you lose all that you are.

Monkar: Why would oblivion benefit man?

The keeper: It is not about benefit; it is more to do with getting an answer. Have a look at that dusty mirror.

Monkar: I see an image of myself.

The keeper: Would you recognize God if you saw him? Would you recognize yourself for what you are?

Monkar: You are not suggesting that I'm God, surely?

The keeper: No. Man, or angel in your case, is a spirit that sits in the dark. When man's burning desire to find meaning to his life takes him towards God then the best that he can hope for is this.

Monkar: Is what?

The keeper: If God popped his head from the sky and says “Hello here I am” could man ever trust what he sees to be “God the creator of the Universe” and not think that this is an illusion?

Monkar: Perhaps, if he sees miracles. Maybe, I don't know.

The keeper: No. Those David Copperfield tricks are for the simpletons. The best that man can ever hope for is to remove the question. He frees himself from the question by reaching oblivion and through love would see God in everything that there is and he would no longer see himself for he is not separate from what is in the path of his sight. Remove the observer, become one with what you see and you will not ask any more questions. So, a man looking at this mirror would not see himself, he would see God but then again such a man does not see a mirror to see reflections.

Monkar: Is that not simply fooling oneself? How is that different from your tribe of idol worshipers? Is that not misguided faith?

The keeper: Faith is faith. If it is not faith in God it is in something else. Life is an illusion so man needs faith to leap his spirit in a Universe of emptiness and make his existence bearable.

Monkar: Is that not simply being misguided? This opens a path to charlatans to turn men into slaves, surely? Surrender to me entirely and I shall show you the way and hold your hand in the darkness; that is the opening line of most con artists. Isn't it?

The keeper: I'm not talking about a handbook on how to live. That is the whole point. There is no handbook, for every man must follow the path that he must.

Monkar: Are we talking about destiny? If we are then how could a man be responsible for his actions if he is destined by God to take such an action, and if he doesn't then what of that God that has no control over this Universe or worst turns a blind eye!

The keeper: There is no punishment as there is no reward. There is only God. What God does he does that to himself. There is no separation of beings. You are everything else and yourself. For the self is an illusion, but you simply “are” which is why you say, “I am”. There is no day and night, love and hate black and white for all of these things are part of the same things and illusions. Everything is an illusion and the only way to be free from that is not to be, even if that oblivion really means oblivion. The Universe is a soup of matter, and man's simple yet disillusioned but conscious mind is the croutons.

Monkar: So does this mean that these seven cities vintage spirits are simply empty bottles?

The keeper: Yes and No. They are empty because God drank the spirits. They are not empty for they make up everything that there is, this wall, this mirror, you and I. Then again you must not “be” to see that for yourself! There is the paradox.

Monkar: I came here to find some answers but I'm beginning to feel that I will go away even more confused.

The keeper: Then in that case come to this room and I will show you your true face.

Monkar: But this is back to Bahram's living room.

The keeper: Yes and it is time that you remembered who you really are, and who I really am.

Monkar: I don't understand. What are you talking about? I'm Monkar, the judgement angel.

The keeper: Stop hiding from yourself Bahram. Stop hiding your face behind the mask of Monkar, come out and show your face to me!

Bahram: If I'm not Monkar then who are you?

The keeper: I'm your death.

Bahram: So why is it that you are hiding your face from me. If I can show you my face then you should show yours, at least I deserve to see the white of my killer's eyes.

The keeper: If I do that then it would bring you suffering for eternity.

Bahram: If I have seen my true face then I deserve to show yours. I'm not an angel of judgement, I'm a man. Face me like a man. I deserve to see the truth, if there is a God, then at least he owes me that much.

Death: God does not owe you anything. First you must be judged >>> See
Part 1


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