legend of Kai – 10: THE GRAND CONVENTION
Posted by lahar9jhadav on September 27, 2007
THE GRAND CONVENTION
It was a warm sunny morning with a strong wind blowing up from the harbour when Phidor stepped out into the crowded streets of Trigas on the day of the convention. He had done what he felt was his duty by Melargo, the historian of the Talmenti Chronicles, the day before. Going back over the main points of his life, he had been careful to exclude all reference to the episode in the Master’s laboratory; the golden fish; his experience in the temple at Efru; or anything else which would indicate the unusual nature of the Master of Trigas and those who worked with him.
“In fact,” he thought, “it was a completely establishment account, unlikely to upset anybody.” He had given posterity what it wanted to hear. His biography would run true to form, giving no hint of the essential secrets that lay behind his life and those of many others who had trodden the Secret Path to Wisdom before him.
Since leaving Efru, the insight Marnu said would occur, had come to him. He now knew that the Ancient Law forbade these secrets to be disclosed to the public, not only because they would not understand, but because they would make his work almost impossible to carry out. Every man or woman had to tread the path in silence, if they were to achieve anything worthwhile.
He looked at the milling crowds around him, everything went on as usual, no hint of the impending world crisis had touched these people. They surged past him, men from all walks of life – priests, lawyers, workers in stone and precious metals, fruit-sellers and weavers. The square he had now entered was full of people being entertained by various itinerant singers or minstrels, who roamed from place to place, collecting and playing the ancient songs and chants of Poseid. The whole place was a riot of colour and sound, as the minstrels played and the flower-sellers passed amongst the crowd with bunches of brilliant red and gold pellas.
In another corner of the square a number of ‘festival sports’ had been set up, such as archery, and wrestling – there was even a game of ‘Tolla’ in progress. It was a curious game played with a lightweight dice which was passed around between the players by means of a net attached to the end of a pole. Phidor watched as the dice was thrown from net to net – knowing that if it fell to the ground a penalty would be awarded according to which number on the dice was face-up. It seemed as if a fairly even battle was in progress, with both men and women scrambling to net the dice. He continued on, lost in thought, wondering what purpose the convention would serve and whether his address later on that morning would have any effect. On one hand he did not want to start a panic but on the other hand people should be warned of the severity of the problem.
As he approached the steps to the hall he could see a number of delegations had already assembled. The delegates from Nochs were assembled near a banner depicting skilled trades, while those from Labruuls were holding aloft a golden banner with a white diamond on it, symbolic of their chief export commodity! On the top step, with his back resting nonchalantly against a pillar, was Parvir. His dark hair drawn back from his face in its customary knot and his face, as usual, revealing little of his inner feelings. As Phidor approached he held up his hand in a gesture of acknowledgement and detaching himself from the pillar stood, back erect and arms folded, on the top step. His dark eyes continued to survey the whole scene with keen interest.
As Phidor reached the top he said: “Well it’s certainly attracted a great deal of interest. There must be at least a thousand here already, not only have the Colonies sent delegates but so have some of the outer lands. In fact I am a representative myself, not just for the people of Gensi but for my people – the Manoans.”
“Really,” said Phidor with a twinkle in his eyes, and then with added emphasis he remarked: “You seem to be a representative for quite a few people don’t you?” Parvir gave him a shrewd look and then said: “So you know?”
“Yes,” said Phidor, “I know.”
“I am glad to hear it,” replied Parvir, “as it will make things easier for me. In the past I had to watch my words when speaking with you.”
“Surely no great feat for a man of your singularly sparse verbal output,” said Phidor, taking the chance to refer to Parvir’s stoic silences of the past.
“Yes. You’re right, for me if an idea can be conveyed in a sentence why use more?”
“Well let’s get it over with,” said Phidor leading the way into the Convention Hall which had been lavishly decorated for the occasion. It was a vast amphitheatre with seats rising in tiers towards the ceiling which, like the walls, was draped in peacock blue velvet, the national colour of Poseid. On the wall behind the speakers platform was the Golden Trident of Poseid flanked by the flags of the Colonies.
As the representatives, ambassadors and consuls gradually filled the hall, Phidor found himself. thinking: “This is a unique occasion. Such a gathering will never be seen again, in our time at least.”
The morning wore on and during a break for refreshment Phidor asked Parvir for his impressions of the convention so far.
“As I expected,” was his cryptic comment.
For Phidor, the morning had proved to be an interesting, but not altogether happy experience. There had been accounts from the various dignitaries concerning their economic situation as a result of the poor harvests or crop losses brought about by the bad weather conditions. Many ships were being grounded in severe storms or running before freak tides which took them way off course. Evidence was also presented on the migration of animals from different areas and how their consequent arrival elsewhere caused crop damage, as well as severe food shortage for the local domestic animal population.
In one case a herd of ravenous buffalo had been on the rampage for weeks in search of food before being captured, though in that time they had killed 10 men and destroyed several acres of farmland – breaking down fences as they went. It was obvious that the Colonies were concerned mainly with, as one delegate phrased it: “How to maintain our good standard of living and our export trade, until Nature becomes her usual bountiful self again,” something which he assured the convention would be bound to occur within a few years. The whole tone of his address was that ‘this can’t last.’ He had continued: “We just need to formulate a plan which will allow us to metaphorically ‘ride out the storm.’ We can’t afford to let our trade contracts lapse, our export drive must be maintained.”
Delegate after delegate rose to speak and the argument continually centred around how to maintain the status quo, though nobody really offered any concrete suggestions on how to do it. The general consensus of opinion was that we are experiencing a poor year in our country at the moment but with more money and effort it will straighten itself out.
The time had now come for Phidor to speak. He walked slowly from his seat and down the aisle which led to the platform. He felt their eyes upon him as he endeavoured to remain composed. Inside he was on edge – what he had to say was so far removed from the discussions that had taken place up to now.
“Honoured delegates of the Colonies,” he began, “and distinguished visitors from other lands. What I have to say today is something which will affect the lives of everyone of you.” A whisper rustles through the packed auditorium.
“As you know, I have spent virtually the last 20 years researching the history of Poseid and its people and to do this I have travelled in many countries. In the course of my research into antiquity, as well as what I have seen in the world at the present time, I am drawn to the conclusion that we are at a critical point in man’s history.” He looked at his audience for a few moments, noting their looks of bewilderment, surprise and profound disbelief. He went on:
“My research indicates that our present world order may well collapse.”
Shocked cries of dismay and then a hubbub of voices ensues.
Phidor raised his hand for silence. “What I have to say is not meant to be a prophetic warning of doom. It is not my intention to induce panic but I must point out that we are not dealing with a small natural event which will just blow over and we can then all go back to our work in a few years time. We are in fact faced with a far more severe problem than that. It is my belief that further research must be undertaken to establish these ideas beyond all doubt – and it must be done immediately!”
At this there is an uproar and voices cry out for evidence. There are shouts of: “Your mad,” and “All those years amongst the babarians have turned your head,” and so on.
The Chairman intervenes: “Ladies and gentlemen please. Let him finish. Remember he is one of our most distinguished Sons of Trigas. You have had your say already, let him put his case. I am sure that given a chance he will furnish us with the evidence you require.”
Phidor nods in the Chairman’s direction and continues:
“The men of science among you are well aware that our magnetic poles have been fluctuating over the last 20 years, making navigation hazardous. The poles are moving because the electrical field around our earth is breaking down.
“This electrical field is in the shape of a grid which envelopes the planet, any shift in this grid will cause considerable violent disturbance on the earth’s surface, in the form of earthquakes, tidal waves, changed weather patterns and so on. We have already experienced some of these. The others are yet to come.”
Again an uproar ensues, as more voices shout: “How do you know? Give us proof?” Phidor ignored them and went on:
“As I said, this grid encircles the whole earth, at points where it is weakened or disturbed certain fluctuations occur. If the grid deteriorates any further then we will definitely experience severe earthquakes, particularly in the Poseidon area. My research into the history of Poseid shows that this has happened before. Once Poseid was a large continent which almost filled the ocean between our two neighbouring continents, but it has slowly shrunk over thousands of years due to repeated earthquakes. We are situated, in fact, on a part of the earth’s surface which is prone to such disturbances. This is historical fact. It is also evident from my research that Poseid is on a section of intersecting grid lines which are highly unstable. If severe deterioration of the grid occurs Poseid could be destroyed completely.
“It is for this reason that I advocate further research be done to clarify the matter and the only place capable of carrying out this research, as far as I know, is The Observatory of Kai. It has the equipment, the personnel and the knowledge. It is the most advanced research observatory of its type anywhere in the world.
“If my calculations are proved to be correct, then we can have ample warning and prepare to evacuate our people to other safer lands.”
He stopped speaking and looked around. They were all stunned into silence at first and then things started to get out of hand. Cries went up from all sides. “Where are the delegates from Ta1enos? Where’s Pherandra? Let him speak to us.”
Pherandra, ambassador for Ta1enos made his way to the platform.
“Honoured delegates. I have listened to our eminent speaker with great attention. Although I am not wholly convinced of his argument for I have no proof of what he claims, I can see no harm in informing the Observatory of the proceedings here today and I shall do so when I return. I am sure that the matter is not as urgent as has been made out, and anyway the Observatory has already undertaken a vast research program which would mean it could not begin work on anything new for at least two years.”
The audience signified its approval by clapping Pherandra.
“That’s just what they wanted to hear,” thought Phidor grimly, “they can now sit back and do nothing.” Not sure whether to go on with his explanations, or wind up his address, Phidor was thinking of leaving the platform when the main doors were opened and in walked a tall slim man of about 35. A hushed silence fell on the delegates. The man made his way to the platform and turning to the Chairman said: “With your permission.”
“Of course. Of course,” said the Chairman rising quickly and in a somewhat uncertain voice he said: “I have great pleasure in announcing the unexpected arrival of Kolarkis, Chief Astronomer of the Observatory of Kai.”
At the name Kolarkis it was Phidor’s turn to be shocked. He looked at the man again. He could hardly believe it. How had he got here? The only answer must be the Kedorai. Knowing that a convention was planned and presumably being well aware of the public reaction to his address, someone, probably Marnu had informed Kolarkis in advance, so that he could stage an entrance just at the right moment. But even as he thought about it, he knew it was not an entirely plausible answer, but otherwise how could Kolarkis have arrived when he did? He admitted he was baffled.
Kolarkis stood before them, his face pale and tense. The audience had remained quiet. This man with his long brown hair and pale skin attracted them though they did not know why. They waited.
“I have come here today, especially to talk to you all about the future. As an Astronomer, I am sure you will realise that I am concerned with anything in the skies which will help me understand more about our world and how we can plan our future in it.” Then playing upon the common astrological belief of the general public he went on:
“I have seen a number of new signs in the skies which I believe to be of great importance. There is no doubt that we are entering some important era. Many of you understand the lore of the planets and their relationship to one’s personal destiny. Let me then explain it to you further. Our own earth has a destiny and it too is guided, like ourselves, by the movements within the Cosmos. It is this new movement in the heavens which is causing changes in our world.”
Then extending his hand in the direction of Phidor he said:
“This previous speaker has mentioned an electrical-field around our world which is being altered. This is true and powerful forces in the heavens are bringing this about.” At this last comment, it appeared that Kolarkis had hit home. He had spoken to them in a language they could understand. Many believed in the forces of the planets upon individual destiny but would have no understanding of the science of Cosmology or Astronomy, in this way he had managed to explain an astronomical fact in terms they could comprehend.
Phidor looked at Kolarkis with admiration for his skillful handling of the audience. He had certainly known exactly what to say.
It had not escaped Phidor’s attention that Kolarkis seemed to have an effect personally upon them. “What was it?” he wondered.
Looking at Kolarkis he saw his pale face with the deep compassionate eyes and the gentle expression of his lips. The man emanated compassion but definitely not weakness, beneath the genuine compassion was a determination of character which was based on knowledge, “perhaps a better word would be Wisdom,” thought Phidor as he studied Kolarkis again. As he did so, an old memory struggled to the surface of his consciousness. In all the turmoil of the last hour he had not really paid much heed to the name – Kolarkis – but now: it nagged at him, “I saw it somewhere, I am sure,” he thought.
He was drawn to look at Kolarkis again and realised that he was speaking.
“Therefore people of Trigas and our most welcome visitors, you can see that it is necessary that we at the Observatory should look into the matter, as Phidor has suggested. If the Cosmos is revealing itself to us in this way, surely we would be going against the law of God if we did not believe such signs and seek to understand them.
“If the stars themselves show that such events will occur in the future, who are we to deny it? We must seek to understand what is written in the stars as soon as possible. Only then can we know the truth.”
As he finished speaking the audience rose as one man and clapped and cheered Kolarkis for many minutes. Now they understood. Yes. Let Kolarkis and the Observatory go ahead, the stars would reveal the truth, not the words of mere men.
For Phidor it was a lesson well learnt. He saw clearly where his approach had failed and Kolarkis had succeeded. Kolarkis had brought himself down to their level by phrasing the event in emotional language which had meaning for them. Kolarkis, like himself, knew the real situation but he also knew that the race had not evolved to the stage where they could understand events in those terms. Not everyone was a believer in astrology either, but the Poseidons were superstitious: subject to strong emotions and fears; and firmly believed that there were forces beyond themselves which ruled the world. In many people it was a feeling that was submerged in the scramble of daily living but when faced with the fearful consequences of a possible earthquake, all the partially submerged fears of the unknown quickly rose to the surface.
In that case they were only too willing to turn towards anyone who could allay these fears and were often victims of soothsayers, fortune tellers and a cunning and manipulative priesthood.
Phidor noticed that the audience were so willing to agree to Kolarkis’ proposal that it seemed no one had noticed the one flaw, which was, from the audience’s point of view – how did Kolarkis know the content of Phidor’s address when he had not been in the hall at the time?
They had not questioned that aspect at all. Perhaps they assumed he had read the text of the address earlier on? Probably, thought Phidor darkly: “They were so swept away by what had occurred that this discrepancy had not registered with any of them.”
Soon wild rumours were flying around Trigas concerning the Convention. Some said it was a put-up job by the Elders of Trigas to frighten the people and inhibit the growth of certain trade for their own financial gain. Others said it was some secret plot by the Elders of Talenos, or the scientists of Kai, probably both, to bring about the destruction of Poseid so that Talenos could become the Super Power in the Colonies.
The rumours and speculations grew and grew and the more dramatic the content, the more people believed them. In this welter of confusion, Phidor’s scientific view of the problem became almost completely obscured and even Kolarkis’ interpretation was not accepted by a large majority. Trigas was in uproar.
Meanwhile, safely ensconced in a villa on the outskirts of the city, Phidor, Kolarkis and Parvir sat discussing the turn of events.
Phidor discovered that Parvir had known of Kolarkis’ presence in the city and had made arrangements to find such a hiding place – at his request. Apparently, Kolarkis had known of the intended Convention long before, from the same source as Parvir – which was the Master of Trigas. It was explained to Phidor that Parvir had been in close contact with the Master of Trigas throughout his life and had acted on the Master’s instructions with regard to a whole number of activities, including those of meeting and travelling with Phidor to Ajur, long ago.
Immediately the Master of Trigas was mentioned, Phidor could remember where he had seen the name Kolarkis before. It had been in the library of the golden fish, on one of the ancient scrolls which were given to the Poseidon Adept at his initiation. It was evident that not only was the Master of Trigas one of the Kareshnu (or Initiates) but also Kolarkis. Phidor could now see that a network of profoundly exceptional minds existed, unrecognised by the outside world, consisting of Kolarkis, The Master of Trigas and Marnu of the Kedorai. They were apparently helped by Parvir and presumably others, and that he, Phidor, was now a conscious helper in this network too. He recalled that there were numerous scrolls in the library of the golden fish, indicating that there were obviously a number of men and presumably women who had reached this level of consciousness.
“Were they also part of this network?” he wondered. It seemed quite likely, for powerful as these two men obviously were, they could not act totally alone without others to help them – others who also had the breadth of consciousness they possessed.
He put the question to Kolarkis: “While talking to you, some of my thoughts and ideas have fallen into place. Would you care to answer something for me?”
Kolarkis nodded, looking attentively at Phidor, almost as if he anticipated his question. “I have become aware of the fact that a network of people, minds if you like, are linked together around the world, of which the Master of Trigas and yourself are but two. How many more of you are there and can you tell me more of the purpose of such a group?”
Kolarkis smiled, paused for a while and said: “What a complex question. I know it sounds simple enough to you but it is in fact hard to answer in a few words. You’re right that there are a group of us and we are linked together mentally. Some of us however, are not operating all the time in a physical space/time world, such as this planet. Even I cannot know exactly how many of us there are, because even amongst us, collectively, there are many variations in consciousness. This means that there are some among us who have advanced further than I. They therefore, move in a different sphere of consciousness to myself. We are in effect a hierarchy of minds, some greater in awareness than others. However, the most important fact is that we have a harmonised purpose and that is to help further the evolution of man. To this end we have been striving for countless generations. For some among us when this present crisis is resolved concerning Poseid and the Colonies, it will be the end of a stage. For these Kareshnu it will mean they have accomplished a particular objective and will then move on to other areas of work. In doing so, they will move beyond participation in world affairs from the purely physical level.”
Phidor digested this information for a while and then said: “Are you saying that by participation in earthly events, some among you receive some sort of liberation from normal physical life – what could perhaps be termed a ‘dual liberation’: that is as you liberate us, we in a way liberate you?”
“Yes. Yes. You have grasped the basic idea very well,” said Kolarkis.
“However, I must add here, that participation in human events purely to obtain our own liberation does not work, unless the motivation to help human civilisation is genuine. If one amongst us falls prey to a desire to manipulate for reasons of his own, he cannot become liberated – thus the process has a kind of built-in fool-proof mechanism. There were a few who did unfortunately make that mistake in the past and they are still ‘bound’ while their contemporaries have long since moved into new areas of awareness and life.”
“Quite extraordinary, incredible,” thought Phidor to himself. It had become plain to him that whenever he asked a question with a view to clarifying what was going on, the answer he received just blew his mind open wider than ever. Another question had occurred to him but he wondered if it was even worth asking, as every answer only served to deepen the complexity of the whole situation. Turning once more to Kolarkis he said: “How did such a hierarchy of minds begin? I mean how did they achieve this consciousness? Why, apparently, have only certain people done so?”
“My dear Phidor, to answer that question fully would mean an enormous amount of explanation. I cannot answer this properly now. I suggest you join me at Kai and we will then have plenty of time to expand your knowledge in this direction. Briefly, as every man leaves one state of development for a higher one, he is able to help those below himself. It is on this law that we operate. Always, somewhere in the Cosmos, there are those who are able to understand more than those somewhere else. It is, as you might say, a push-pull method which operates like a massive chain of development throughout time. It is for this reason that we are now trying to help the people of the world in this present age, because we know what lies ahead; what man can become if he develops his intellect further. It is certainly not always a peaceful, happy, process either, and many evolutionary events can be painful, but they do produce growth in the individual and the race. This is what is important. We seek always to stimulate the mind and consciousness of men – not their passions.
“We cannot use force and have no wish to do so, for it takes a long period of time for men to see what lies ahead of them in each stage-and they must see it for themselves, You cannot produce a higher mode of thinking from outside, it must be a process within man himself. On the other hand, he cannot develop in a vacuum either: ideas, thoughts and examples must be present from which he can choose and they must be in accordance with his particular place in the evolutionary scale. If not, he will ignore them and gain no benefit at all.”
“Do you therefore see this as a predetermined process?” asked Phidor.
“Evolution is a predetermined process but how a man moves through it is his own choice. He can move fast or slow and make decisions based on countless possibilities, but this only appears in its fullest degree when evolution has brought him beyond the stage of mass response.
“You saw today how my audience responded. Most cannot decide for themselves. They are borne by the wind this way and that. This morning they were in agreement with me and now Trigas is alive with rumours and they agree with those. At this stage Phidor, we look upon a highly emotional race of people, plagued by fears, superstitious and full of psychism.
“This must eventually be superseded, so that other levels of development can take place.
“There are thousands of years ahead of the race yet and I will not be there to see it, but I know that man’s comprehension and attitude towards himself and others will undergo a marked change in the future. You however, Phidor, will be there to see it. You will be a part of that future race which will be as highly mentally developed as you are now. You are ahead but they will catch up in time but you will not stand still either.
“Your continued increase in consciousness will mean you can help them in ways which I, and others like me, are helping them now.
“The process, though slow, is self-perpetuating.”
Phidor found Kolarkis’ explanation enlightening and it also gave him a frame of reference for the time being, in which to place himself and the world generally. It had given some meaning and order to a mass of chaotic data which filled his mind, as well as confirming some of his own conclusions.
“Well I will take you up on your offer, if I may, when are we leaving for Kai?”
Parvir chipped in: “As soon as the boat can be re-loaded and the tide is favourable.”
A few days later the Colony ship left for Talenos but not entirely without incident. The angry crowds who were still haunting the streets of Trigas, whipped up by over indulgence at the Festival, along with the wild rumours, had decided to go in search of Phidor and Kolarkis – the troublemakers as they had now been dubbed.
Some of the bolder members had broken into the ship, feeling sure they must be in hiding there. This had caused a near riot and a number of people had been severely injured and some had been killed in the fierce counter-attack waged by the ship’s crewmen. Finally, persuaded that neither of their two suspects were on board, the men and the crowd moved on, to create a further disturbance elsewhere.
It was therefore with considerable relief that Phidor later found himself on board ship and heading out to sea – and with no desire to ever return to Trigas again.
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