Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Kolbrin - The Book of gleanings - Chpt 8 - Hurmaetar Journeysto the Netherworld

Now we have what must be almost the obligatory trip to the other side or the realm of death.  observe though that our hero is exposed to a drug of some sort and that he does all this in a dream state as we have come to expect.
He does meet his friend Yodel and thus has reassurance regarding the after life.

I find it different from other mythological descriptions and all those as well as this appear  unrelated to current near death experiences or with actual descriptions of the architecture of the other side.  It is as if it has all been reshaped along christian and even Hindu lines over the past thousands of years.

Remarkable really and displays the malleability of the after life itself which is unexpected.



Perhaps no man of his day properly honoured Yadol, for he was beyond their understanding, but Hurmanetar loved him and Ancheti never forgot him. Long days the thoughts of Hurmanetar rested upon Yadol, his friend, the companion in the joyous hunting on the mountains. Long he thought, "What manner of sleep is this, if sleep it be, that fell upon Yadol? Has he decayed into dust to become nothing, as my eyes declare? Or does he live in some strange way? Did not the worm fasten onto his body before it was laid to rest, yet he knew it not". Long hours had Hurmanetar sat at the feet of Nintursu the wise, yet faced with the blank stare and deaf ears of his companion he had begun to fear the certainty of death. Like many before him he sought to penetrate the veil. Therefore, having claimed audience, Hurmanetar came before the queen to state his intention. Daydee, having been victorious, was exalted in her own eyes and cared little that the battle had been won for her by Hurmanetar and others. Now the danger was past she dallied with new favourites, not knowing the day of retribution would come, as come it surely did, for she was carried off captive in chains, to become the plaything of a cruel king.

Having come before the queen Hurmanetar spoke thus, "O great queen, exalted above all others, great lady of battles, though dwelling here under your great shadow I am as a cat among pigeons, as a wild boar among a docile herd. Therefore, I would spread my wings, going to a distant place to communicate with my God. I would seek entry into the Place of the Dead. My heart is consumed with sorrow because of the uncertainty that grasps my heart, my spirit is restless. I shall seek to discover if my friend and companion yet lives in the Land of Shadows, or whether he is no more than mere dust, the plaything of the winds".

Queen Daydee answered, "Wherefore must you go to some distant place to communicate with your God? Is He some little god to be found only in one place? Hurmanetar replied, "O great queen, no little god is this but the Greatest God of All. It is not because of His littleness that I seek Him out but because of His Greatness. The handmaiden goes to the dressmaker but the dressmaker comes to the queen". Then Daydee enquired from Hurmanetar as to the nature of this God, for she was curious, he not having previously discussed such things with her. She asked him for which God he fought, but Hurmanetar said he had fought only for her.

Hurmanetar said, : "We have a god you and I, and you have a god and I have a god. The people have their gods and the strangers within your gates have their gods; but bidden behind all these is another God. These lesser gods are no more than His members. It is this God whom I seek.

How can 1, a mere mortal, describe Him? Only this do I know, as I learned it in a remote temple. This God came into existence before all else. He ever was, so none could know Him in the begiiming and none knows His mysterious nature. No god came into existence before Him. How can I even name One who had no mother after whom His name might have been made? He had no father who could have named Him and said, "This is I, your father". None can display His likeness in writing, nor can it be cut with knife in wood or stone. He is too great that men should even enquire about Him.

With what words could He be described to their understanding? No other god knows how to call Him by name, even the greatest of them being less than a servant before Him. Yet this I have been told, that the spirit of man can know this Great God and can even know His nature, therefore perchance the spirit of man is greater than any of the gods".

At this those who stood about queen Daydee murmured against Hurmanetar, but she gave no heed to them, gazing long upon him. Then she spoke, "Perchance, too, this Great God does not exist. Who besides you knows of Him? If He be so great, is it not more likely that He would be worshipped by gods rather than by men? Is it not more likely that lesser gods stand intermediate between Him and men? If a shepherd or husbandman comes to the palace seeking justice or grace, does he see me or an official under me? You say your God is approachable by anyone, does this enhance His stature? 

Which is greater, the ruler who judges disputes between swineherds and listens to their complaints, or the ruler who appoints effective officials to deal with swineherds? Surely the former rules amid chaos while the latter rules with efficiency. Do not both of us believe, as all men believe, that there is One Great God above all gods, but we believe that being so great this Being is beyond approach by mere mortals. Only in this do we differ you and I".

Hurmanetar answered her, saying, "I know Him not as He is, all I know is that He exists. Look about you, you who are enthroned so mightily high that your eyes are bedazzled by your surroundings, so you cannot see the Truth lesser beings discover for themselves. Why, even the lowly worm crawling beneath your palace proclaims that nothing less than an almighty God could have created it!"

"Wise were our fathers in olden times, and wiser our fathers' fathers. Whence came their wisdom? Did it not come from the Great God who holds the key to the meeting place of the two kingdoms which now stand apart?

Who lifted the lofty vaults of Heaven and spread Earth out in wide expanse?"

Daydee said, "Does it matter whether it was this God or that? Your God or mine? Suffice it was some god named or unnamed. These are labyrinthic arguments unsuited to those to whom time is precious".

Then those who stood about the queen set a snare for Hurmanetar, asking him whether the Great Being of whom he spoke was The Mother of All or The Father of All. But Hurmanetar answered, "Let he who has examined the Great Being answer, for I am but a mere mortal man, one not even claiming to be wise. Let the wise among you answer for me".

Then Hurmanetar departed from the presence of queen Daydee. In a few days he left her land, driven by the God-given restlessness that marks the true seeker after light. With him went the youth Ancheti. Tame goats guided them to the border of the land and from thence they followed the Way of the Chariot until they came to the land of Mekan where they rested. In this place dwelt Formana, the strong-limbed, who gave them shelter. 

[ We finally have actual mention of the word chariot and it seems that we do have animal drawn carts at the least and horse pulled chariots able to travel much faster.  Again all early and before their active use in warfare. - arclein ]

Formana asked Hurmanetar whither he went and Hurmanetar replied, "I go to seek the abode of Hamerit, which is set atop a mountain in the midst of this great forest, just beyond the river. There is a door therein which I would open, to which I hold a key". Formana said, 'This is an enterprise doomed for failure, for none may pass that way and return. I who have dwelt here for many long years know the truth of this; nor do I understand this talk of a key, this is a thing new to my ears". So Hurmanetar drew forth the Great Key shaped like a sword but like no other sword, for it could not be gazed upon for more than a moment without blindness striking the beholder. Yet within its strange scabbard it harmed none.

Formana said, "This many-hued weapon is a strange thing indeed and I have no knowledge of its like or its power. But this I do know, it is an unequal struggle when men alone, however weaponed, have to face dread Akamen the Terrible One. This is not all, for first they must pass the fearsome watchman at the gate, and he never sleeps". Hurmanetar said, "I have set my heart on this enterprise because of my friend, also if there is an evil thing lurking within the forest it must be destroyed. I am one whose destiny is already written, I must die that men might live. What a man cannot escape he must face manfiiUy".

Then Hurmanetar left Formana to go apart into a place of solitude where he prayed, "O Father of the Gods, hear me. Hear me O Father of the Gods, for there is evil abroad in the land and men die of despair. Even the tallest of men cannot reach the Heights of Heaven, or the swiftest of them encompass the Earth. Yet men must struggle against things beyond their reach and overcome evils which overshadow the whole land contained within the bitter waters. My destiny is decreed, I alone will enter the gate at the abode of Akamen. O Father of the Gods, when I return I will set up Your Name where now the name of other gods are written, little gods of no standing before you. I v^U raise a great straight monument to your sacred Name, if I could but know it".

"Why did You move me. Father of the Gods, to embark on this enterprise unless I were destined to accomplish it? Why fill me with the restless desire to perform it? How can I, a mere mortal, succeed without aid? 1 sought no more than to know the lot of my friend, yet a greater burden has been allotted to me. If I die it may be without fear, but if I return may that return be glorified by the knowledge of Truth. O Father of the Gods, stand by my side, help me overcome the lurking thing and show it the strength of a son of Sisuda". 

[ an interesting prayer - arclein ]

When Hurmanetar returned he felt strengthened, but Formana tried to turn him away from his intention, saying, "Desist from this thing, put this enterprise from your thoughts. You have courage and it carries you far, but does it not also sweep you along as one caught in the swift river current is swept to destruction? You cannot know what this means, the Guardian at the Gate alone is like nothing on Earth, his weapons are like no others, for they are invisible and strike down from afar. Why strive to do this thing? It is no equal struggle". Hurmanetar replied, "My heart is set on this matter. Though I must journey along an unknown road, perhaps a road of no return, and fight a strange battle, go I will. I fear not the Terror at the Gate, nor that which dwells within the abode of Akamen".

Formana said, "If go you must, then I who have seen many pass this way will go with you to the gate. Even through the forest I will accompany you, for am I not one who has been purified before the Sacred Flame? But is it wise that any other should go with such as we? Surely this youth, your attendant, this young man of few years, inexperienced in things such as we must face, should not accompany us. Is it not more fitting that he remain here to protect my daughters? Is it not better to exchange his inexperience for my experience, his youthful strength for my wisdom and cunning, his endurance for my steadfastness?"

Though Ancheti protested it was agreed that he should remain behind at the dwelling place of Formana.

So, making things ready, Hurmanetar and Formana departed in the morning light, while Ancheti remained behind, a guardian of young women, and his heart was sore. He raised his voice to Heaven, saying, "O Father of the Gods whom Hurmanetar knows, why did You give him this restless heart? Why did you bestow it upon him?

You have stirred his spirit so now he goes into unimaginable danger. O Father of the Gods, of whom I am ignorant, overlook my shortcomings and hear my voice; from this day until he overcomes the Evil Thing and returns, let him ever rest in Your thoughts. Stand by him when he faces the Watchman at the Gate. Strengthen his arm when he strikes at the things that lurk to devour. What these might be or their nature is beyond my imagination. I know them only from the talk of men, each of whom sees them from a different stance. Yet, have any truly seen and lived to return? I know not, but I pray sincerely for him whom I serve".

When Hurmanetar and Formana came to the edge of the forest they were attacked by lions, but they slew the beasts. Then they entered the forest and saw great trees such as they had not seen before. They went sleepless, for dread things lurked in the murky light of the forest. They pressed on, coming to the foot of the mountain where they camped and slept, for it was an open place.

Then, as the sun rose next day they climbed the mountain until they came to a cleared place before the cave known as the Portal of the Dead. Here Hurmanetar took leave of Formana who remained in a hut just beyond the cleared place.

Now, Hurmanetar looked about, seeking the Guardian, for he knew what had to be done before he could enter the cave. Then he saw, to his right and beside the cave, a stone hut and seated before it was a very old woman.

Going up to the woman he greeted her and said, "I am one who would enter the dread place, the Abode of Death, the Threshold of the Otherworld, the Door Replacing the Misty Veil. I am one sanctified, one knowing the Lesser Mysteries, I am an Enlightened One".

The woman replied by asking the three questions which all who would span the spheres must answer, and when this was done correctly she invited Hurmanetar into the hut. Inside she indicated a stool, and when he was seated she spread a cord around him in a circle. Then she placed a firepot before him, onto which she poured the contents of a small leather bag. She also gave him a pot of green water which he drank.

Some time later, after he had slept awhile, Hurmanetar was conducted to the cave and left there at a spot known as the Devil's Mouth, for there an evil breath came from an opening in the ground. He remained there for awhile and again he slept. Awaking he moved forward into a dark passage, but bis movement was strange and he saw as through a narrow tunnel, while his body appeared light and airy. 

[ Description of an out of body experience and perhaps even ayahuasca. - arclein ]

He came to the place where the Watchman kept guard at the gate and beside him the Terror squatted.

Hurmanetar drew his sword and faced the awful pair, he advanced cautiously towards them. Then, when they met the air was filled with a loud clamour, great hissing noises beat at the ears, shouts and screams tore overhead. There was a howling such as no mortal has heard outside of that awful place. 

Hurmanetar drew back a pace then advanced again and, behold, both the Watchman and the Terror suddenly vanished and the hideous clamour was stilled.

Hurmanetar passed through the portal and came to a wider, more open place wherein there was a pool of water.

It was deep, dark and still. He gazed into the water, and surely no mortal has ever seen such sights as he saw pictured in its stillness. He passed it by. Terrifying shadows leaped and quivered over the walls as he entered a narrowing passage, cast by some bidden ruddy light which seemed to dance as though alive. Then he saw daylight ahead.

He came out into the daylight; on one hand the mountainside reared up, on the other was a vast chasm, between the two ran a narrow path and up this he went. Great birds attacked him, eagles and birds with strange heads. He fought them off and continued upward until he came within sight of the abode of Akamen. He came to it after the long journey upward and stood before the great brazen doors, the seven-bolted doors.

Hurmanetar saw no Guardian before the doors, but he heard its voice as it asked the seven questions. He who had sat at the feet of Nintursu remembered well the replies to make, and as each was answered a bolt slid back.

Seven questions were asked and seven answers rightly given. The great doors swung apart and Hurmanetar passed through, entering the courtyard of Akamen.

Within the courtyard Hurmanetar fought and overcame the four great beast Beings which feast on the bodies of men, but the sword of Hurmanetar laid them low. He passed through the Hall of Contest where good and evil spirits fight an eternal battle for the souls of men, coming into the Chamber of Death. Now weary he sat himself down on the stone called the Seat of Makilam, for it was then in this place, and he waited.

Then Akamen the Terrible came and Hurmanetar strove with him for half a day and prevailed, and so he entered into the place where stood the Door of the Spheres. This, Hurmanetar opened with the Great Key, he passed through and entered the Abode of the Dead. He held fast to the Great Key, for without it there was no return, nor could it be held by his own powers alone, but only through the additional powers of those who might come to his aid.

A mist gathered before him, gradually thickening, and as it thickened it gave off an ever increasing brilliant light, at the same time shaping itself into a glorious form of brightness. When the shaping was complete a Being stood there, radiant as the sunlight and lovely as the moonbeam. Hurmanetar heard a voice coming out from the Glorious Being which said, "Who are you that comes hither, wan of cheek and with lowered countenance, heavy-hearted and dejected in spirit, weary from a strange fray? There is lamentation in your heart and surely none such as you has entered here beforetimes. Brave indeed is the one who seeks entry by force of arms".

Hurmanetar answered, "O beautiful vision, indeed my heart is not light, for I have fought an inhuman contest. I have been assailed by hideous things unknown on Earth, things which haunt the night dreams of men and are spoken of only in whispers. I have come seeking a friend, a companion of the hunt, the loyal one of my wanderings. His death lies heavily upon my heart, therefore I have dared to come even unto this place".

The Form of Beauty said, "He whom you seek lies beyond the Waters of Death, but you who have passed the Guardians are permitted to go thence. One thing, however, you must not do. In the midst of the waters grows the plant of eternity, the forbidden tree of which you and all men may not eat, a fruit of which was stolen by the serpent of ancient times. Partake of it now and you will suffer everlasting changelessness, the most dreadful of all fates. Go, tarry awhile, then return this way".

Hurmanetar passed over the still sullen waters to the Land of Waiting where all spirits shine redly. He passed through the Great Doorway and came to the Place of Glory, the Land of Eternal Living. He saw his friend, his companion of the hunt, the loyal one during his wanderings. Behold, there before his eyes was Yadol. 

Hurmanetar knew him though he stood forth in a form more glorious than can be described to the understanding of men. He was here, life was in him, he was here in a bright and flowering place, a place of trees and waters, a place such as no man can describe.

Yadol spoke with Hurmanetar and he spoke of things long forgotten by men and revealed truths unknown since the days when men walked with their Father. They spoke one with the other, they rested in pleasant places, they embraced and they parted. Before Hurmanetar left, Yadol said, "As you have passed through the Portal of Death while yet uncalled from the embrace of the flesh, for no purpose other than gaining assurance that the dead do not pass into dust, it is decreed by the ordinance of this place that your life shall be shortened. Time enough you will have, therefore record the things of which we have spoken, that they may be guiding lights to men. Set them down in two books, one recording the Sacred Secrets, more precious than life itself and for the elect alone. The other recording the Sacred Mysteries for those who sit at the feet of the elect. One will be the Book of Truth Unveiled and the other the Book of Veiled Truth, the Book of Hidden Things".

Yadol continued, "Once men could pass easily from one sphere to another, then came the misty veil. Now men must pass a grim portal to span the spheres and, as the generations pass, this, too, will be closed to men. The secret of the substances which, compounded together, become the horse which can bear men here, will remain with those who know the mysteries, but these will become even harder to reach. As the ages roll by there will be many false mysteries and perhaps the path will become closed or the way lost". These things Yadol said and they talked of other things.

Hurmanetar returned. He passed over the Waters of Death, he was upheld by the Guardians of Form, by those who safeguarded the powers of the Great Key. He saluted the Glorious Being, he passed through the manifold chambers, through the courtyard and the many-bolted doors, down the winding path lit by strange torches, through the cavern and out through the cave. At the entrance Formana still waited; he arose from his watch and greeted Hurmanetar warmly, saying, "I saw you as one dead, lying stiff between the twin flames, and I feared for you. Now, behold, you come forth with shining countenance as one in whom life has been renewed. My heart rejoices for you, but let us not delay, let us depart from this dread place, for I have spent the whole long vigil in fear-enshrouded watchfulness".

They departed the mountain, they passed through the forest. They fought with things that lurked in the gloom beneath the tall overhanging trees. They came through the Gate of Many Cubits and back to the pleasant pastures of Formana. 

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