Recently saw the movie Li of Pi (excellent, btw), which may be why I had Indian gods on the mind.
Sometimes, during the day, I fall into hypnogogic trance states. I can’t control them. They just happen.
Last week, I fell into one and I saw the following story played out before me. Though I’ve added some details and dialogue in order to clarify the story’s theme, the heart and message of the story remain essentially unchanged, in my opinion.
There once was a king who ruled his kingdom with an iron fist. He was a terrible tyrant. Both the people and the land suffered under his reign.
Living in this land was a little boy, who happened to be friends with the god Krishna.
One day, while the little boy and Krishna were walking together, the boy said, “Krishna, our land is ruled by a terrible king!”
“It is indeed,” said Lord Krishna.
“Can you help us?” said the boy. “You are a god and a mighty warrior. Surely you must be able to do something about this.”
“Yes,” said Krishna. “I will help you. But this is what you must do. You must take up a sword and cut off my head. Once you have done this, put my head in a box and send it to the king as a gift.”
“But Lord Krishna, what good will that do?” said the boy.
“Only do as I command,” said Krishna. “And you will see.”
So the boy took up a sword and cut off Krishna’s head. He then put the head in a box and had the town messenger deliver it to the king, just as Krishna had instructed.
Now one night, the king threw a mighty feast. He was seated at a table, surrounded by his noblemen and women, and they all drank and ate and sang songs and laughed.
During the feast, the town messenger arrived and knelt before the king, saying, “You Highness, I come bearing a gift!”
“A gift from who?” bellowed the king.
“Why, from one of your subjects, your Highness,” said the messenger.
“And what is this gift?” said the king.
“It is the head of the god Krishna.”
The king laughed, half in surprise and half in anger. “The head of a god?! Is this a joke?”
“Not at all, your Highness,” said the messenger.
The king pointed to one of his noblemen. “You! Open that box and look inside.”
The noblemen took the box, opened it, and looked inside. His eyes grew wide.
“Tell me,” said the king. “What do you see?”
“I see the head of Krishna!” said the nobleman.
“Impossible!” said the king.
“On my life,” said the noblemen.
“You!” said the king to one of his noblewomen. “Look in the box.”
The noblewomen looked into the box and gasped.
“Tell me!” said the king. “What do you see?”
“I see the head of Krishna!” said the noblewomen
But the king still didn’t believe it. So he had everyone at the feast look into the box.
“Tell me!” said the king to each one of them. “What do you see?”
And they all responded, “I see the head of Krishna!”
Finally, the king said, “Well, since everyone seems to agree that this is Krishna, it must be so. What a great gift! Has there ever been a king who possessed the head of a god? Come, hand me the box so that I may gaze upon my new trophy.”
A servant handed the box to the king. When the king looked inside, he turned pale.
The head inside of the box began to speak. “Tell me,” it said. “What do you see?”
“I see my own head,” said the king.
So this story came to me, and I was all like, “Okay, what does this mean? Is it a message about oppression and divine justice? It is an indictment of the inverted totalitarian state that we currently live in?”
You know. Really trying to get to the bottom of it.
Until it occurred to me that maybe, since this story came to me, it might be intended for me.
It might be about my own totalitarian attitudes towards myself and the world I live in. It could be about my refusal to acknowledge the Divine at all times. I think about all the times I’ve tried to shut down my connection to the spirit world (which I feel primarily through my crown chakra).
By closing that connection, I’m basically trying to cut off my own head.
I thought I was doing myself a favour. I thought that by doing this, I’d be taking back control of my life. In reality, I’m guaranteeing more chaos and disorder. And this is not only having an negative impact on my life, but on the lives of all the beings around me – visible and invisible.
No one is an island. We all live in relationship to one another. The things we do, even if we think they’re solely for our benefit, impact everyone and everything else.
And at the core of everything is the Divine.
Gave me a lot to think about as I move into the next phase of my life.