Carl opened his eyes and stretched. His body felt stiff and awkward, like something out of sync. He sat up, slid his legs over the side of the divan, and began to flex arms and hands. There was a strange numbness throughout his body, but as he continued his movements, he could feel vitality begin to surge through him.'Like putting on a glove' - he thought. After a few minutes, he arose and included deep knee-bends into his routine. Breathing deeply in rhythm with his movements, he soon felt clear headed and vitally intact.
Finally,he arose,walked to the edge of the balcony, and looked down into the courtyard. The fog had dispersed. The air was fresh and cool. The courtyard was still partially in shadow of the buildings, as the sun was yet low behind them. Only the edge of the plaza was tinged with a glow of early morning light. The encircling roadway was shining as smooth as pearl. Beyond it rolling countryside was vivid with intense contrasts of deep emerald hollows, and soft amber risings. The low angle of morning light provided such extremes of shades and angles that the scene looked more like the canvas of a surrealist artist than the actual terrain he knew it to be.
"Amrishi"...the word welled up within him, and flowed of its own volition out into utterance. "Amrishi" ...this time he spoke the word by will, finding pleasure in the sound of it. Sensations of rippling harmony and well-being passed through him as he spoke the mysterious word. He could not recall where he had heard it, nor any exact meaning. But he knew he knew it.
Clear memories of the night began to return. He could envision the chamber, the pillars, the people. He could see the discs clearly in his mind. The wondrous tones of their concord echoed through his memory as clearly as when he had been in their presence. The impressive figures on the platform, their attire, and the stately, regal figure of the speaker, returned. The import and wonder of his message Carl knew deep within somewhere, but he could not clothe the knowledge in words, or even formulated thought. It was a mystical knowing. He only knew that he knew more than he could clearly formulate. Someway, it all explained his position, and much,much more. Now, all his previous apprehension was replaced with interest, and glad anticipation.
He turned and crossed to the Eastern wall to view the sunrise. A great golden globe bathed the horizon in roseate waves, and extended invisible rays to touch and transform drifting clouds into pennants of color. In the still air of morning, he could hear clear, free singing of birds in the stand of sun-washed trees. He could even hear the faint whispering sound, as members of the flock took to high airs. A rippling breeze that moved through leaves with a whisper; the quail mother calling her chicks, all the minute, veiled stirring of life awakening to a new day, brushed against him as a palpable surge..
His thoughts turned again to the remembered discs, and the response of the smaller ones to the throbbing of the larger. How like the response of multitude lives to the rising sun ! By extension, he thought of the stars, each one a sun; and the planets, like the smaller gongs, each resonating in its specific tone, conditioned by its special properties. Perhaps together all producing a great Cosmic Chord; one Universal Tone ! He had heard vague references to " Music Of The Spheres". Was this early morning 'vision' a hint of what was meant by that phrase ? A few days ago, the awesome wonder of it would have stunned him. Today, he was so open to it that it renewed him. He was filled with a calm, joyous pride, to be a 'participant' in such grandeur ! It was a pride in his unity with all Life, and so was, paradoxically, awareness of that true humility which is freeing.
Since leaving the cabin, he had not bathed, nor changed clothing. Yet, he felt neither soiled nor rumpled. He touched his chin thoughtfully, and was surprised that it felt smooth; not even a stubble of beard. He pondered these things awhile, and decided that changes had occurred with himself, as well as the environment.
He was feeling a normal hunger though, and moved to the well-spread table. As he munched a patty, and sipped at a goblet of the golden liquid, he recalled in brief summary the events since he had left the cabin. He no longer felt disturbed that the cabin had disappeared. He did have a healthy curiosity about 'how', as well as details about other matters. However, he had that strange assurance that all would be clarified in time. For the most part, it was a pleasantly detached and peaceful review.
He began to hear sounds in the courtyard, and moved to the west wall to look down on the scene. Several small groups of people were seated, or casually strolling, around the pool. The faint sing-song of discussion among them, the very ordinary sound of laughter, and the tinkling, chiming of the rotating fountain, all reached his ears with reassuring wholesomeness. They were sharing breakfast in the usual, warm spirit of fellowship.
Recalling his resolve of the night before, he placed the emptied goblet on the table, and began to consider return to the plaza. The obvious place to begin his search for a way down, was the cubicle lift in which he'd arrived at tower top. This proved much simpler than he expected. As he entered the lift, he could hear, and feel, a faint hum, which suggested it was activated. He had little difficulty in 'intuitively' locating a slim pressure bar on the lift's inside wall. This fitted into a narrow, raised band, which ran around the inside wall about half the way up from floor. In his distressed state yesterday, he had simply overlooked it. It was divided into two sections with up and down arrows etched into its surface. The bar was now lighted as if in readiness. He pressed the down arrow, and the cubicle began to descend.
Arriving at ground level, another small mystery was solved. He had been perplexed as to how he had entered the lift, and even wondered if he had leapt through the viewing window. Now, he saw that the inner wall of the lift, which had opened onto the balcony, now opened on an inner walkway. Just like a familiar elevator. It was evidence of the severity of his confusion the night before, that so simple a matter had been so perplexing.
He walked out onto the portico. Sunlight was spreading across the courtyard. Only a strip close to the buildings was still shaded. He watched the normal activity of those moving about the courtyard, or seated in groups by the pool. The younger ones smiled and nodded a warm, friendly greeting, but made no effort to approach him. Among them, he recognized the young man who had tried to show him the gleaming vehicle yesterday. He seemed awkwardly shy as he nodded hesitantly to Carl. A bit embarrassed himself, Carl made a special point of smiling warmly, to assure the youth that all was now understood, and was rewarded with a relieved grin. The young ones had made special effort to show Carl that they too now understood.
Etanai appeared quietly at his side, smiling warmly. His rich, musical voice soothed Carl - "Kar-al - did you have a good night's rest"?
Carl was glad to immediately address yesterday's confused reactions, and apologize. "Yes - thank you, Etanai - I hope you can forgive my erratic actions of yesterday. I'm afraid I had a few more unexpected experiences than I could healthily handle".
Etanai touched Carl's arm with a gentle gesture. How kind and quiet the Elder's reply. "My son, we do understand. You must forgive the impetuosity of our younger members. They too understand now."
Motioning toward the table, he added, "Come, have breakfast with me". Carl explained that he'd breakfasted before leaving the tower, but added he would like another glass of the beverage he'd found so refreshing. Etanai selected his breakfast, and Carl poured himself a glass of the beverage. They then made their way to a couple of the awninged divans. It both amused and surprised Carl to find that he was now feeling quite at ease in their midst. As they walked along, he cast sidelong glances at the Elder, and grew more and more convinced that it was Etanai who had been his guide in last night's 'dream'. He decided to mention it whenever a likely opportunity arose.
They settled into the divans, and shared for some time that comfortable rarety, companionable silence. It was one of the surest indications of inner accord. Carl was mindful of the fact that, in all the memory of his life, he could not recall another instance of such undemanding fellowship as he felt for this person he had met only a few hours ago. As they sat in the peaceful morning sunlight, again the 'word' arose from deep wells of his being. It soared and turned in his mind. Quietly, he sounded it in a softly musing tone ... "Amrishi"...
Etanai did not stir. Continuing his quiet mood, he gazed across the plaza, into the distance. In the same quiet tone, he echoed Carl's voice ... "Amrishi"... How strangely musical, and powerful, the sound was. After a moment, Etanai spoke, as if in answer to Carl's silent wonder as to where he had heard the word, and what its meaning was.
"Amrishi is everywhere, and nowhere", the Elder began. "It is everywhere, because it is all-pervading. It is nowhere, because it is not a 'thing', but a 'condition'. My people call it the "Ever-Present Uncaptured". He paused and turned to Carl with a warm, benevolent gaze. "This is as you would say it in your language - at least, as close to our meaning as I can summon."
Carl was now sure the Elder was aware of his thoughts, and he began to suspect that he was also much more receptive to the Elder's thoughts than he had been aware of until now. He made a mental note to try to more consciously develop this sensitivity.
Again, as if in direct response, Etanai spoke. "You have many questions in your mind , Kar-al. I'll try to answer some for you. Later, when you are more fully attuned in Amrishi, you will know for yourself, with a much more satisfying knowing. For now, we can try to answer some of those questions in a limited way." He paused, as if waiting for reply.
Carl smiled, aware of what the Elder expected. He said only - "The fog" ? Etanai settled back, as if expecting discussion of some duration. He stared thoughtfully into the distance, as if to shape his thoughts, and began.
"Our name for what you perceived as a strange 'fog', is 'Gitas'. In your language this would mean something like 'kinsmen'. Gitas are our kinsmen, but they live in another density-dimension from us, even as you do. They would most often appear to you as vapor, mist, or fog. To us, they are perceived in forms, for we have levels of vision which you have not yet developed. However, there is a present condition of 'overlapping', and they may, at times, be visible to you as we see them.
Etanai studied his hands a moment, gently stroking a ring which Carl had not noticed until now. It was a very simple gold ring of the style of signet rings. He could only catch a glimpse of some engraved insignia, but it was sufficient to convince him that it was not anything familiar to him.
Without looking up, Etanai continued. "Their work and ours is similar, but differs in the vibratory level at which we work. Perhaps the term 'frequency' would be better to describe it in your language. Actually the term 'density-dimension' is much more suitable, if it is properly understood. The difference does involve both density and dimension, both of which involve vibratory variations, resulting in various levels of Earth biosphere, and beyond. "
Again, he paused thoughtfully, then continued. "You have no doubt seen blades of a fan rotate at such a speed that one can see through them. Extend this, and imagine molecular substance vibrating at such a speed that one could not only 'see' through it, but also 'move' through it without any sensation of having passed through material substance. - Something one obviously cannot do with the fan blades ! -"
Etanai chuckled softly with the last comment, and raised his eyebrows in exaggerated expression. Carl felt this simple evidence of humor, showed the ability of Etanai to put him at ease. Etanai then waved his hands in a gesture of frustration. "Forgive me if I seem to oversimplify ! You must use extension of imagination , and not take these similes too literally. We must imagine a much more rapid rate of motion; one presently out of range of measurement by your material science. However, this imperfect example should at least help you envision the concept of differing vibratory levels, to which I refer. However. these levels do interpenetrate, and all are 'Amrishi'."
It was a simple simile. Carl felt sure he had heard it before, but couldn't recall an instance. It had been somewhere in that very 'concrete' world of his everyday life though. However, as Etanai spoke, Carl could visualize it so clearly. There was a dimension of 'awareness' beyond the mere intellectual concept. It was non-hypothetical, indisputable fact ! Although he would have been at a loss to explain it in any more thorough way than his mentor had, he did, at that moment , comprehend acutely, and intricately, how the principles involved operated. It changed his view of everything.
Having allowed Carl a space to assimilate his words, the Elder resumed his explanations. "We do co-mingle with the Gitas at times. To do so, we each alter our vibratory rate to a point of equalization . This is one aspect of the 'overlapping' to which I refer. It is one reason for the strange occurrences and changes in environment you have experienced. When our conference has been completed, the overlapping will disappear, and your familiar surroundings re-emerge."
"The town you call "The Springs" is still here. It is just at another vibratory level, and not perceived by you now, due to your altered state. Several of the Gitas who have come to the conference are from there." Carl stirred in surprise at this last remark. Etanai smiled and continued. "Does that surprise you ? The Gitas work in areas of springs, lakes, rivers, seas, and islands of your world. Other levels intercede only in co-operation, when there are problems requiring special aid. The approach of the Gitas is always welcomed by us as a time of reunion. At other times, when concerned with our specific work, we each limit ourselves to our special strata. We close ourselves to all but our immediate field of operation. However, at any time needed, fuller awareness is instantly accessible."
Etanai paused and sat up in the divan, placing his feet on the ground. Carl had been listening intently, and as the Elder was speaking of the Gitas, an image of the dark-haired Official in deep blue appeared to his inner vision. He could see the strong aquiline features, the deep bronze skin tones, and the intense, penetrating eyes. He felt sure this image was an Official of the Gitas.
As if to confirm it, Etanai turned to Carl with a steady gaze and nodded. "Andrah" - he said in an introductory tone, "an Official Emissary of the Gitas. At times the Gitas bring tidings of happenings in their realm, and we send messengers to them for the same purpose. This is as a Representative from another country might bring to Officials of your land tidings of events which will soon touch your country; as the lapping waves of one ocean touch many shores. At this time, Gitas bring troubling news of serious import. Serious enough that representatives from many levels have convened for a discussion of possible solutions. Actually, related problems, such as those encountered by the Gitas, are increasing at all levels." Etanai shook his head solemnly, and added - " It is a sad situation, but not beyond remedy if the necessary combined effort can be evoked in time."
Again the Elder paused. This time, an unusual solemnity lingered on his face. He sat silent for some time. Carl had an inner sense that there would be no more talk of the matter for now. His mentor appeared weighted with a somber pondering, and disinclined to elaborate on details of the problems. Knowing that he should not pursue the subject, Carl seized the opportunity to satisfy his curiosity about another matter, and perhaps, ease the weighty moment also. Glancing quietly at his companion, he asked - "Etanai, were you my guide last night?"
Simply and quietly, the answer came. "Yes - Kar-al".