I Meet the Oracle

After several hours of hiking over some of the most beautiful moonlit terrain I had ever seen in the Himalayas, we came to the Oracle’s temple. It was perched on the side of a cliff. In the pale moonlight it looked very old and had seemingly fallen into a state of disrepair. Mortar had fallen from the sides of the building’s entrance, and the red and orange paint around the wooden entrance had heavily faded.

Master Fwap told me that just below the cliff monastery there were wheat and barley fields. He said that on a clear day it was often possible to see beyond the fields to the rhododendron forest, where tigers and other exotic animals roamed freely.

Master Fwap walked up to the temple door, opened it, and walked inside. I followed in his footsteps with a great deal of trepidation.

The entrance we passed through led into a small meditation room that was lit with dozens of red and white candles in open-topped jars. The altar at the front of the room was filled with old Buddha statues. A large, faded Buddhist painting of some gods and goddesses joined in sexual union hung above the altar. I had never seen anything quite like it in the other temples that Master Fwap and I had visited in our previous travels. After looking at it, I suddenly felt like getting laid.

Unlike the clean, neat, and well-kept temples Master Fwap and I had visited on our previous adventures together, the Oracle’s temple was definitely, in my opinion, in need of a heavy makeover.

Master Fwap smiled as he watched me look over the scene, then he began to speak in a soft but purposeful tone of voice. “I think you have an expression in your language about not judging a book by its cover, don’t you?” he inquired rhetorically. “Well, the Oracle and his temple are different from anything you have seen in Nepal yet, so postpone your judgment of the surface reality you see around you and listen carefully to anything he says when he arrives, if he chooses to speak with you.”

Master Fwap gestured that we should both sit on some meditation cushions in front of the altar. We had been sitting for only a few minutes when the Oracle noiselessly arrived.

He was tall and thin and was wearing an ochre monk’s robe with a red sash wrapped around its middle. He was younger than Master Fwap. I judged him to be in his late forties. He wore several sets of heavy white and black stone beads around his neck.

His eyes darted back and forth between Master Fwap and me, and his facial expression seemed to change every few seconds. He would alternately be calm, then laugh, and then shout something in a language I couldn’t understand, and then be calm again. Then he wept. He got down on his knees and bowed his head, touching the floor with his forehead, in the direction of the altar at the front of the room.

He looked crazy to me.

I glanced over at Master Fwap, looking for a cue from him as to how I should act or what I should ask, but he had closed his eyes and was engaged in meditation. I was at a complete loss as to what to do. One thing I knew for sure was that I was definitely out of my league.

The Oracle lifted his head from his bow, stood up, and excitedly ran over to me. I was so surprised that I fell backward off my cushion! Both the Oracle and Master Fwap started laughing hysterically as I got up off the stone floor and sat back down on my meditation cushion.

“At last you have come, at last, at last,” the crazy monk mumbled to me in broken English. He stared directly into my eyes. It was intense. His eyes were filled with light; they were like two diamonds on fire. I was mesmerized by them. Then he laughed a crazy loon-like laugh and ran around the room three times.

He then stopped in front of Master Fwap, bowed to him, and said in perfect English, “Welcome, Enlightened One, to my humble home. I see I have scared your young disciple. You have not told him about my ways, evidently. Another one of your practical jokes, perhaps?”

Then both he and Master Fwap started to laugh together until tears were streaming down their faces. All I could do was watch in amazement.

The Oracle suddenly became silent. He closed his eyes and seemed to be meditating. As I watched him standing in front of Master Fwap, the room felt as if it were becoming charged with static electricity. Then what I perceived at first as a vague blue electric light began to emanate from and surround the Oracle’s body.

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, but it was still there! The Oracle’s entire body was surrounded by a clear and well-defined electric azure blue aura.

The Oracle opened his eyes slowly. He suddenly turned and faced me. His eyes had lost their diamond-like brightness and instead they now appeared to have grown cold and bird-like. He began to chant something in another language that I couldn’t understand.

After chanting for several minutes, he began rhythmically to rock his body back and forth as if he were in some type of trance.

Then he spoke. Rapidly, and with a singsong tone, he said he now embodied an ancient master, a master who wished to speak to me, a master who used to live in India and Tibet and who had been my master in past lives. He said he had a message for me.

At this point, I didn’t know if the Oracle and Master Fwap were having a joke at my expense or not, but the Oracle’s sparkling aura, coupled with the electric charge I felt in the air, convinced me that something highly unusual was indeed happening and that I had better pay attention. I sat up straight and listened carefully to what the Oracle said to me.

“You have come to the Himalayas to see and feel all of the beauty and ecstasy that are within you. It is easier here, where there are fewer human auras and the interdimensional planes can still be accessed.

“You might ask yourself why you snowboard. When you snowboard you purify yourself. You are concentrating while you are on the holy mountains of power and you are unconsciously merging with the higher dimensions as you snowboard through them.

“But you must now go to the Annapurna range—the dimensions are closing there now. You must go in several days. I will accompany you, as will Master Fwap. With our combined power we can still open the dimensions there for you and show you their secrets, but we must go soon or it will be too late.”

His head dropped and his eyes snapped shut. The blue aura that surrounded his body gradually faded and then disappeared. The Oracle opened his eyes, raised his head, and then ceremoniously stood up. He left the room, walking swiftly and lightly and with great dignity, leaving Master Fwap and me alone.

“What was that all about, Master Fwap?” I inquired hastily.

“Oh, that,” Master Fwap said thoughtfully. “The Oracle gave you your first insight. You must do as he says, we both must. We shall accompany you to the Annapurna Himalayas. There the two of us will open the dimensions, and you will discover their secrets.”

“But wait a minute here. With all due respect to you and your friend, I came here to snowboard, not to learn about any missing dimensions.”

“You will have plenty of opportunity to snowboard where we are going. But tomorrow, after you have slept in the safety of the Oracle’s temple, you must return to Kathmandu. Stay there for several days and rest and enjoy yourself. Oh, by the way, while you are in Kathmandu, you will meet someone, a woman you knew in several of your past lives.

“After you have rested and have had your encounter with her, come to my temple on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The Oracle and I will be waiting for you. Oh, and the Oracle gave me something for you to read between now and then. I think you might find it helpful.”

Master Fwap reached inside his robe and pulled out a small cloth-bound book. As he handed it to me, he laughed and said, “Don’t worry, it’s not written in Sanskrit as it once was. It has been translated into English by one of the younger monks.”

I looked down at the book, and in the temple’s soft candlelight I could barely make out its title. In black, handwritten letters it said, The Handbook for Enlightenment.

I didn’t see the Oracle again for the rest of the evening. Master Fwap escorted me to a room at the rear of the temple where he said I could spend the night.

The room was small, clean, and comfortable. It had a tiny cot, an altar with a Buddha statue on it, and a small dresser for clothes.

On all four of the walls were Tibetan thangka paintings, which depicted various beings engaged in sexual congress. I decided it would be best to wait until another time to ask about their religious meaning.

I was curious about the idea of meeting a woman in Kathmandu in the next few days whom Master Fwap said I had known in many of my past lives, and I also wanted some time to myself.

The Oracle was simply too weird, and I was beginning to suspect he and Master Fwap had cooked up some type of scheme to get me to join their Buddhist order. I was definitely not interested in anything like that. I had come to the Himalayas for the ultimate snowboarding challenge, not to be converted to Buddhism.

I undressed quickly after Master Fwap left my room. I washed my hands and face with some water that was provided in a bowl on the dresser. Then I quickly slid into bed and covered myself with all of the old woolen blankets that were at the foot of the cot. The room was freezing.

Before blowing out the candles in the room, I took a look at the book the Oracle had given to me. On the surface it didn’t look particularly impressive. I opened it and saw that it was all handwritten and in English. It appeared to be more of a diary than a book. I was just about to start reading it when Master Fwap slipped into the room.

He stood over me without saying anything for a moment, then he asked me if there was anything that the Oracle had said that I hadn’t understood.

I thought for a minute and replied, “Yes, there are a couple of things. Both the Oracle and the voice I heard up on the mountain today talked about the dimensions changing, about their being missing, or closing, or something. Can you explain any of this to me?”

“Yes, surely. It is not complicated at all,” he replied in a soft, soothing voice. “You see, the universe is filled with an endless number of dimensions. Most people are aware of only the first three. In Buddhist yoga we learn about, travel into, and experience many, many other dimensions.

“The problem is the earth’s population. As you and I have discussed before, every human being has an aura. A person’s aura acts like a radio transmitter. It sends impressions into the psychic planes of our planet. If there are too many auras in one place, they tend to pollute the psychic environment of an area, like the smog often does to the air in your Los Angeles.”

“I know exactly what you mean. On a clear day in L.A., I can see the San Bernardino mountains from the 405 freeway, or if I am surfing at Zuma Beach in Malibu, I can see Catalina and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. But most of the time it is smoggy in L.A. and I can’t see them. If it weren’t for the occasional clear days, when the Santa Ana winds blow, I would never even know that they existed.”

“Exactly!” Master Fwap said in an exalted tone of voice. “So it is the same with the dimensions. The population of the earth is now almost six billion and increasing faster every day. Some dimensions that we used to see have literally become invisible. You can walk up to them and not even know they are there, let alone be able to enter into them, learn their secrets, and have enlightening and empowering experiences traveling through them.

“The Oracle and I have power. We have been Tantric Buddhist monks for many years, and we were taught by our masters how to travel into and through the interdimensional planes. It is your karma to learn this art, to enter into those dimensions and learn their secrets. But we must do it quickly, because even with our help, it will be difficult. There are things you must learn here in the Himalayas. Your past karma in Buddhist practice has caused you to return here to regain your enlightenment from your past lives. You are what we Tibetans refer to as a tulku.”

“A tulku?” I asked. My fatigue had suddenly vanished. I sat up on the cot, wrapping the woolen blankets around me to hear his explanation.

“A tulku,” he replied, “is an advanced soul that has practiced yoga and meditation in many of its former lives. Some tulkus are enlightened, some are close to enlightenment. In your case, as I have told you before, you have been enlightened in many of your past lives. But you must regain your past-life knowledge and enlightenment.

“It is the Oracle’s and my job to help you accomplish this. It is the dharma, which is a Buddhist way of saying this is simply the way it is. Both of us have seen this in our meditation.

“Your snowboarding is a type of meditation for you. When you snowboard down mountains with powerful auras, you are in a state of total concentration. This causes you to access the aura and power of the mountain, in much the same way a Buddhist monk does when he sits in meditation on such a mountain and concentrates on the dimensions.

“The Hindu Kush, particularly around Annapurna, is rapidly becoming aurically polluted. Many trekkers and mountain climbers who do not respect these sacred sites are, as you would say, ‘trashing’ them.

“It is imperative we take you with us there, immediately. With our combined power we can open the dimensions around Annapurna and allow you to explore their secrets. If we wait much longer, it will not be possible. The area is becoming more and more polluted every month. It will be challenging for the both of us to do this for you even now.

“Get some sleep. You have quite an interesting encounter waiting for you back in Kathmandu,” he said with an all-knowing grin. “Study the book the Oracle has given you between now and then. It will help you understand a great deal of this. Now sleep. You have a long journey ahead of you tomorrow.”

Master Fwap left the room unceremoniously, gently closing the door behind him.

After he left, I picked up the handwritten book he had handed me earlier. It looked innocuous enough. I opened The Handbook for Enlightenment and flipped to a page in the middle of the book.