“OK, you old hallowed teachers, you.” I blurted out. “I’m sure not
getting it here. What is this all-mighty-most-important-thing?”
I don’t think they were expecting me to say anything. Their heads popped
up like two Jack-in-the-boxes. Domano stared at me through his right eye
like a giant parrot. “You are saying your elders are wallowers? No
French coffee for you. Don’t they teach you respect in this country?”
“She’s just talking about your big old holes in your head,” said Chea.
Domano looked at her with disbelief. “Holes,” she repeated. He laughed
and they smiled at each other.
“Kay,” he said turning to me. “Sometimes I sure have to tell you many
times. It is a good thing I am so patient.” Chea poked him with her
elbow. “This is serious here.” He looked as though he was shooing a fly
the way he was flapping his hand at her. “I have to be serious.”
“This thing,” the smile slipped off of Domano’s face, “is something
nobody wants to see. Its importance must step in front of everything. If
you really ‘see’ this, nothing will be the same. I tell you again. This
thing is about your world. You know very well your world is collapsing
in a cycle that feeds on itself: disrespect-force-revenge. How does that
“Yea.” I was fishing for their sympathy. Maybe they would take pity on
me and just tell me the point. “That’s kind of hard to not admit to.
About our world and all.”
“How does that happen?” Domano said again. “Think. Look at it. What do
you feel in there?”
“No,” he directed. “You are letting it suck you in and control…”
“There’s nothing I can trust there.” I interrupted him, a habit that was
getting worse with time not better. I always felt so childish when I did
“Underneath. Under all that garbage. Not splashing around in it.” Domano
thrashed his hands as though he were digging something out from under a
huge, smelly mess. “Playing in the pucky is not it.”
I couldn’t help laughing. While he was busy teasing I wondered what he
meant by “underneath the garbage.” What could possibly be under there?
Chea and Domano had always said that to perceive something accurately
one needed to clear the jabber out of the mind by turning one’s
attention into the feeling experience of one’s own spirit or essence,
“one’s own Song” as they called it. This feeling state then becomes
one’s center and place of clear perception. I tried to clear away my
thoughts once again and feel my Song, to perceive from there. My mind
kept burping up a long parade of ridiculous items that could be under
that garbage. It was hard to be serious. I tried to hold back the
giggles but couldn’t.
Domano just ignored me. After a few moments as I watched him digging
away at his slime heap it seemed as though there was something heavy in
the air above his arms. I strained and refocused my eyes and it was
still there. I could actually see his slithering mountains of garbage.
There were thoughts inside - millions, no billions, of people’s thoughts
woven as the fabric of this cycling creation. And there were many
thoughts and ideas outside the amassment feeding it - an endless trail
appearing and moving eventually into the great bulk that was our
Bits of haze from the refuse began to drift through the air. It was
disgustingly foul. I couldn’t avoid the taste of it getting in my mouth.
My tongue twinged. It was pushing my gag reflex.
I was starting to feel very uncomfortable. The noise of it was
relentless, grating, assaulting. It made me feel dirty just watching it
but I was so mesmerized at what I was seeing I couldn’t stop. Unexpected
scenes popped into my head complete with driving, insistent emotions.
Inside the scenes of the weaving there was strong agreement to
purposefully take actions for personal convenience or gain at the
expense of others even when it meant their victim’s total annihilation.
Images of wanton destruction with no notice or remorse were disturbingly
common. Condemnation was used to manipulate people sometimes overtly but
more often in the most constant and subtle of ways. I detected
purposefully and strategically placed fear and paranoia worming its way
through the mass. I couldn’t find any feelings of respect for one’s self
or anything else. Everywhere I looked there was a desperate craving,
like the withdrawal of an addict, for enforcing control over others.
Everything bent toward gratifying the grasp for control, convenience and
wealth in the present with no concern for what would be left behind for
the future. To think outside this “box” was not an option. There was
purposefulness here. Deliberateness.
“Ugh!” I gasped. “Ugh! It’s been planned! Directed! It’s all been
Domano calmly asked again, “How does that come about? How do they
“I don’t know. Why would anybody create that on purpose?” As I broke
away from the experience my own feelings came to the surface. I felt
tricked and violated by my culture. My sadness distracted me.
“How do they do it?” Domano persisted.
“Who cares?” I knew our society was unstable and had a lot of problems
but I had never seen it quite from this perspective before. I felt like
I didn’t want to waste my time with this endeavor any longer. “What’s
Chea held up a pen. “When you know the workings of a thing, you know how
to control it or change it.” She wiggled the pen in front of my face.
“You have its power.”
I was feeling especially powerless and impotent at that moment. We were
all caught, stuck in the middle of this perpetual garbage heap. “That
cultural construct is immense. I’m small. End of story.”
Domano tapped his fingers on the table. He wasn’t at all concerned about
what I said. “How do they make it?” he said again to me. “How do they
keep it going? What is under the garbage?”
Right. Underneath. The image came back in my mind even though I was
fighting it and as I contemplated its structure and movements my
attention kept returning to how the participants of the weaving adhered
to its tenets with such fervor and without question. The mounds behaved
like a living creature consuming the forms outside the main body. Then I
realized that the forms outside the weaving were actually being emitted
from the main body in what began as barely visible precursors to their
final shape. As more of this ethereal material was emitted the
precursors assumed their final form and were eventually assimilated.
I mumbled out loud, “There must be a correlation.”
“You are not making sense,” Chea said.
I was too deep in the experience to answer her. The picture was making
sense. The woven mounds were thoughts. The outside forms were thoughts.
The participating people created these thoughts. The thoughts were full
of ideas and the participants held to the ideas as if it meant their
very existence. These ideas were all they knew. This was their entire
world, a world created from their unshakable belief in these ideas. This
was carefully nurtured, dogmatic, blind belief - a believing that kept
them in a kind of unaware, drugged half-sleep. This was an ingenious
machine systematically maintained by a knowing elite.
“I got it.” I said. “The controlling factor sees that the necessary
ideas are always fresh on the minds of the participants and that they
hold such a charged belief in them that they can’t see anything else.”
There was silence.
Chea finally asked, “What are the workings? Where is the power?”
“The key to the workings of the machine is blind belief. The stronger
the better. That way they won’t be able to wake-up,” I answered. The
full experience, the full understanding, of it all was still hitting me.
I think I was slipping into shock. “Why?” I added. “Why would anybody
“That’s the lesson for a later time.” Domano patted Chea’s leg. “Let’s
go now. Let’s find some of that French espresso coffee.”