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Commentaries II.2

NOTE: The commentaries on Translations from the Andromedan present snatches of an alternative myth of the prehistory of the earth. The myth is not complete or sequential in these notes, but it can be gleaned from the highlights. Selected themes are indicated in the table of contents in assist in navigating through these notes.

Sloka Two: Walking the Alameda

(Continuing in Stanza 9, Asuramaya sighed.)

Pallas Limb  Second limb counting outward from the galactic core of M31, mirrored in the Centaurus Arm of the Orion Galaxy.

The distance from the sun to the center of our mother galaxy is estimated at about 25,000 light-years. From earth we observe, as if within a bubble extending to all directions, about 3% of the total 220 billion stars in our galaxy, and these are confined to the immediate region of the local Orion arm. The Milky Way is a concentrated band of stars that defines the narrow edge of this limb, seen from within. From the Orion arm we look out laterally along that band to observe the Andromeda galaxy which fortunately happens to be located at a minute degree of angular displacement from the band. Otherwise, it would be obscured by the concentration of stars in the local limb.

Detail of a map provided for skyviewing tours in Santa Fe, New Mexico,
in the early 1980s. Note how M 31 lies just off the edge of the local arm.

Both M 31 and our galaxy conform to the cosmic law of perspective (maya) but different perceptual laws. M 31 is about one-third larger than O 24, but far less dense, and it is perceived differently when you are there: 3-D perspective magnifies outwardly on M 31. Close up objects are three times larger than on earth. Objects and scenes in the middle distance on M 31 are six times larger, and everything viewed in the far distance becomes nine times larger. Also, due to the high porosity of matter on M 31—recently confirmed by detailed photographs showing the extraordinary packed grain of stellar distribution— it is possible to observe through the mass of the encircling limbs. In our galaxy, by contrast, some mysterious factor prevents us from looking through the arms.

Asuramaya and Jill, as they perceive each other up close, are three times as large as their human doubles. Asuramaya is about 16 and 1/2 feet tall, Jill just under 15. Looking out across the galaxy, they see objects in the middle distance, such as the mirrored version of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasovar, three times larger than the earthly counterparts: instead of 22,000 feet, Mount Kailash is 66,000 feet in elevation, more than twice the height of Everest. Looking into the far distance toward the neighboring Pallas limb, Andromedans see it as growing larger in the distance, rather than smaller—nine times larger than a close-up object.

It is difficult to describe such effects in a convincing way, but experiments in shamanic transport confirm Andromedan perceptual physics in many respects. In his later books, Castaneda describes moments of lucid dreaming in which the setting of the dream, although a familiar place, appears much larger, grotesquely magnified, looming over the observer. This does not mean that Carlos and his crew were bilocating to M 31 in these experiences. Rather, the perceptual "distortions" he recounts are actual properties of visual and spatial orientation on Andromeda.

upanishadically   In Hindu religion, a upanishad was a written treatise recording teachings received “at the knees of the master”— orally/aurally transmitted. In sexual Tantra, "oral transmission" signifies acts of origenital adoration prescribed in suppressed and marginally pornographic Tibetan literature such as the Hevajra Tantra in its Chinese redaction and other variants. In a conventional sense, "at the knees" denotes the intellectual attitude that accepts a received teaching from an enlightened master (usually male, hence a guru figure) in humility and without questioning. In sexual Tantra, "at the knees" translates into "between the knees." It designates instruction received or inspired by genital adoration of a woman who embodies wisdom, the goddess attribute.

Although disgust for the female body, its biological role in rebirth, and its sticky and odorous secretions was widely endorsed in the Buddhist institutional tradition, Tantric teachings advise reverence for tabooed delights on offer between the knees.. Lakshimikara's Advayasiddhi 20, 21. 23:

One who knows mantra should generate no disgust for anything... The well-balanced tantrika ought not to conceptualize where one should go or not go, what what should eat or not eat... nor should he have disgust of a woman born of any class (varna) as she is the Blessed Lady Wisdom (bhagavati prajna) dwelling in conventional guise.

10   If silence be the ground of seeing

Let  the  light / fall quite gentle on the hearing  Allusion to instructions for meditation in a classic Chinese treatise, The Secret of the Golden Flower, translated by Richard Wilhelm with a commentary by C. G. Jung. The method relates a superb direct method for silent knowing, or non-conceptual knowing. Look at a radio, the physical object: any object that emits sound is a soundless thing, mute. Likewise, the mind that emits thought like a constant radio broadcast is soundless, made of no thought. You realize this is so when the light falls on the hearing.

“Thus have I heard”  Traditional phrase opening the recitation of a sutra held to have been received and preserved by direct oral transmission.

Jemez Pronounced HAY-mez, mountain range due west of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

La Vereda  “the path, track, trail.” Exclusive address on the east side of Santa Fe, rumored to have once been the site of an Andromedan safe house. Curiously, the current safe house of the Maine terton has the same address: Vereda de los Pescaderos. In the mystical jargon of the Pagan Mystery cults, "fishers" are those who know the signal for calling the Organic Light.

bardo In Tibetan Buddhism, the interval between two states or moments of awareness, also the interval between death and rebirth or between birth and death.

Sangre de Christos Mountain range, southernmost extreme of the Rockies, situated to the east of Santa Fe. The name is, of course, a spinoff of the religious infection of the natives by Spanish friars, especially the penitentes who practiced bloody self-flagellation in imitation of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. But it also alludes to an observable atmospheric effect: when the sun sets in the west, over the Jemez, long lateral rays of waning light that play on the west-facing slopes of the Sangre range produce a dense sheen of velvety iridescent plum-colored light, "the blood of Christ." The effect, which lasts for about twenty minutes, has been known to stop traffic in town.

Sun Mountain, Moon Mountain  In the foothills of the Sangre de Christos Range, two breast-shaped mountains sacred to the indigenous people of the region. 

Where milky light is seeping from the ground  Cf. Artharva Veda, XII, 10:

From this earth which the Divine Twins have measured between them, upon which Vishnu has become spread out, which Indra,
who commands such power, has taken into friendship,
She, the mother-power, shall pour forth milk for her children.

This quatrain from one of the oldest written religious texts in the world attests to intimate experience of the Organic Light. The first thing one notices upon encountering the luminous "mother-power" of Gaia is that it does not radiate through space but wells up from material masses including the earth itself, as if seeping from the ground.

essential to the Dance In the Apocryphal Acts of John the Round Dance of Christ presents a kind of tantric vision of the Last Supper. The antiphonal chorus contains the lines, “Who does not enter the Dance / does not know what is happening” (Edgar Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, II). In a Gnostic view of the Last Supper, Mary Magdalene appears as the tantric consort of Jesus Christ, a heresy that provoked murderous rage among many righteous Christians in the Piscean Age. The Christ-Magdalen coupling imagined along tantric lines might be taken to indicate a subliminal intrusion of Andromedan Dreaming into the religious torment of earthbound humanity.

the Alameda   River that runs from the Sangre de Christos mountains down into Santa Fe and westward where it feeds into the Rio Grande. Also, the name of the avenue that runs along that river.

Galisteo   Street that crosses the Alameda in Santa Fe, running from just off the Plaza due south. Pronounced GAL-is-TAY-oh.

Rupa/Shunya   Ultimate formula of Buddhist wisdom, asserting the unity of form and void, appearance and emptiness. On Andromeda such abstractions are cause for tidal waves of collective hilarity even though they are not syntactically apprehended: as if a joke, mistranslated, turns out to be funnier than its original. To natives of M31 the apposites of form and void are entirely personal: “your form, my void,” or vice versa. The same formulation applies earthside, but only for those who give and take their Buddha Medicine personally.

Shariputra wrote the book The Heart Sutra, the most concise and poignant of all Buddhist treatises, consisting of a single line: “Form is void and void is form.” Hence, the shortest damned Sutra you ever heard

Shariputra was a close friend of the historical Buddha, Prince Siddharta. According to oral tradition, he was one of only three cases of an individual who actually attained enlightenment in the presence of the Buddha. The other two were also close friends, Subhuti and Mayakasyapa.

Late Buddhist sculptural portrait of Shariputra (Theravadin)

Shariputra received mind-to-mind enlightenment by eye-contact at the moment he heard the Buddha intone that single line that would become the Heart Sutra. He heard the words in the auditory sense and simultaneously saw the unvoiced intention of those words. Siddharta's glance, the look in his eyes at that moment, cued the immanence of the enlightened state to Shariputra, so that he heard the words and yet did not hear anything at all, form and void being simultaneous. When he realized that form to him was the Buddha's void, and his void was the Buddha's form, he realized the nature of mind in the perfect melt of the two. This was the paramount instance of mind-to-mind transmission by speech, the middle principle of the Buddhist trinity.

Subhuti, who transmitted the Heart Sutra, attained enlightenment through the principle of body in a most astonishing manner. One day when he and a small troupe of followers returned from begging in the local town, Subhuti remarked that there was something unusual about the way the Buddha sat during the practice of begging. "Fortunately, it was a happy day when Subhuti perceived something extraordinary im the World Honored One and praised him for it" (Commentary on the Heart Sutra, Vajracchedika Prajna Paramita Sutra, The Diamond Cutter of Doubts, in Ch'an And Zen Teaching, I, translated by Lu K'uan Yu, Samuel Weiser, 1970). Subhuti noticed a subtle difference in how the Buddha sat but he could not say what it was. He attained enlightenment when the Buddha explained what his friend had perceived. Expounding the exquisite syntax typical of non-attainment teachings, Siddharta revealed that Subhuti's keen observation of the Buddha's body language while he sat begging was a perception of laksana, posturing or pretense.

The Heart Sutra teaches that everything we do and think about what we do is a pretense, an empty act of posturing: the Buddha pretending to beg. Everything, not just what we presume ourselves to be or think or do, but all that we are and think and do. To realize this truth continuously is to attain the Diamond Mind of heart-awakening.

Mahakasyapa attained enlightenment by the third principle of the Buddhist trinity of body, speech, and mind, when Siddharta silently held up a yellow flower. This act was called the Flower Sutra. At that moment, Mahakasyapa understood that his mind, suspended in observing the act of perceiving the flower, was no different from the mind of the Buddha who observed him observing his own perception of Buddha holding the flower. Mahakasyapa realized that the Buddha intended his enlightenment in this way, mind to mind. This is the third known instance of an individual who attained enlightenment through direct interaction with the historical Buddha.

11 “But the dharma is completely impersonal”

apsara  In Asian myth and iconography, a celestial nymph, usually pictured as a lithe dancing girl in scanty garb. Siamese sculptures of the Khmer Dynasties centered at Angkor in Cambodia around 968 CE present some particularly lovely versions of  apsaras. Often depicted as tree-nymphs, they may manifest as water-nymphs, too.

Philosophically, the Sanskrit apsara derives from ap-sarini, “moving in the waters.” According to Alain Danielou, apsaras represent “the unmanifest potentialities, the possible worlds, which exist in the Divine Mind but may never come to exist physically... They are the essences of waters, beings that take shape within the causal ocean... In later mythology they are represented as water nymphs, eternally young women who are the courtesans and the dancers of heaven. They are called the women of the gods (surangama), the daughters of pleasure (sumad-atmaja.)” (The Gods of India)

Their number manifesting in the human world  is estimated to be 35,000,000.

Left: head of apsara with ornate headdress, from Ankgor Wat.



In their more serious moods, apsaras may appear as spectral women who receive the dying hero, as seen in the death of Allisandra de Monfoucon (next Sloka).

Conclusion of commentaries on Sloka Two. Return to contents.

Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.