Writing (No Pictures)
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India 2010
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India 2009
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Occasional Stuff
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Travel 2008-2009
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Tuesday
Jun282011

The Little, Nondescript, Ghost....

Now I don’t suppose that you would ever have expected to hear about me again. Even less would you have expected to communicate with me. You are not hearing from me directly, of course, you are having a dream. And when you find these written words, in the morning, they will be in your handwriting, and scribbled, as you tried to remember and recall every detail of your dream.

If you read my friend the cougar’s story, and you did because that is why you are having this dream, you will know that I was known as ‘the little nondescript horse’.  That wasn’t my name of course. I had a number of owners, and a number of names, none of which matter now. Here, I am known as ‘E/Horse, 7 to the power of 11 plus 73,911’. Sounds complicated doesn’t it? The ‘E’ stands for ‘Earth’. I would wager, if I could, that you never imagined that there had been over two billion horses in the history of your world, did you? And they are all here. And so is everyone, and everything, else.

‘Chaos’ you thought, didn’t you? And, dependant on your real character, and real nature, you might be quite close to the truth. Not necessarily, but maybe - you won’t know until you arrive. I am straying into areas that I am unable; you would call it ‘forbidden’, to communicate to you, so at this point your dream will become fuzzy. Let us move on. I will try and express it another way.

You have always struggled to come to terms with the concept of infinity, haven’t you? Understanding of infinity is fundamental to being here. Despite the fact that there are over two billion horses here, I can, if I want, gallop across an endless sunlit plain, with nothing, and no-one else in sight. Well, except my friend the cougar, of course. I know he likes to watch me gallop, and I don’t mind. He is like me, he likes it here, and we tend to stay close.

You can have friends here. You can’t physically interact, of course, but if you want you can communicate with each other, and that applies across all species. Most people have friends among the bees. Selfless insects were the bees, and you retain the same character as before when you come here. Bees are popular, as are quite a lot of the dogs. Us horses tend to have a lot of friends as well. In fact, most of the animals get on well with each other, even with the big beasts that used to terrify us so much

Calm is an essential concept here. I suspect that is why so many of you humans struggle so much. You don’t understand calm. You don’t understand the feeling of content. You like life to be complicated, and you would like your after-life to be the same. Simplicity, and calm, confuses you, most especially your leaders and icons. You care about status, and there is no status here. Just calm.

I don’t suppose that anything is real here. It can’t be, can it? But it feels real. Just this morning, at the last minute, I changed my mind about what I wanted for my breakfast.  I changed from golden midsummer sun dried hay, to orange blossom honey dipped oats, and that is what I got.

Because I am a horse, and I used to interact with humans, I have quite a few human friends. Not the sullen, bitter, ones who hate it here, but the interesting ones. My favourite is a chap who used to be called Robin. He was a kind man, and even on earth, animals loved him. But humans exploit kind, and he was exploited by his employers, and he was exploited by his wife and children. And eventually, they all abandoned him. He had already discovered vodka, but then he discovered cheap, strong, bottled cider, and then others in the same position exploited him. And throughout he remained a kind man. We have everyone who ever lived here, yet Robin is one of the most popular humans, telling the tales of his life with a wry smile. And always with a bottle of the finest Smirnoff Blue Label close to hand.

I am giving you the clearest possible hint, far clearer than I should, that what is to come is very different from what you are expecting. I can tell you that I have met some very surprised clerics - of all denominations. A lot of them are pretty bitter, and of course, hate it here. Not all of them are bitter though. Another of the most popular humans here used to be a Bishop. When he realised how it works, he just threw back his head and laughed, and laughed. Then he set about tracing every single creature that ever crossed his path. He writes them all down, in his neat copperplate hand, in this series of leather bound ruled ledgers. Every butterfly that ever fluttered in his garden, and every ant that ever hid beneath the flagstones on his patio. He talks with them all, he has an easy humour, and mostly, they laugh together. It’s an impossible task of course. Well maybe not, now I think about it, after all he has an eternity to complete it. As unexpected as he found it to be here, he likes it, and he has character and wit, and for him it is a more than serviceable heaven

It all depends upon your character of course. If you need to lead, there is no-one that wants to follow, and nowhere to lead them to. If you are mean, there is nothing to be mean about. And you will still be mean, and eternally frustrated. The robbers can’t rob, and the muggers can’t mug. Hate doesn’t work here either, everyone will just smile at you, and move on, and again, you will be eternally frustrated. Remember, there is no physical interaction here, and thus, no fear. I think that us animals cope with it far better than you humans. Mainly, I think, because we spent our time on earth following our instincts, and we felt no need to suppress instincts that were pre-programmed into us at birth. We felt no sense of responsibility for them, either.

Just the other day I listened to my friend, the cougar, have a discussion with a young deer that he had killed, and eaten. ‘Why’? asked the deer. ‘I was hungry’, replied my friend, ‘And you had strayed too far from your herd’. ‘Yes, I thought so’, said the deer, and then skipped off to join his other antlered friends on their limitless grassy prairie. See what I mean? How many of you humans could have coped with that situation? Without rage, if you were the deer, or without feeling the need to issue superficial apologies, if you were the cougar?

The problem, for you, is that you are manipulative specie. You take great delight in inventing rules, and then an even greater delight in ensuring that others follow them. Then, you define penalties for breaking the rules. Then, someone writes a commentary on the rules, which will bend them one way. And someone else will write a commentary which will bend them another. Then, humans will write commentaries on the commentaries. And then, there are the commentaries on the penalties, and they get as bent and twisted as you have made the rules. Then factions and sects develop, and each faction, and each sect, will have a leader who claims to be the only true interpreter of the rules, and the only true interpreter of the penalties. Just the other day, I was reading what you humans call ‘The 10 Commandments’.  We horses don’t have rules, but if we did, they seem pretty straightforward to me, yet what a ‘potage’ you humans have made of their interpretation and incessant development.

It is for this reason, that for most of you when you get here, it turns out to be an unexpected version of hell. Of course there are no roaring, fiery, furnaces, and it may take you some time to work out that, for you, it is in fact, hell. There are no rules here, you see. Nothing for the interpreters to interpret, and nothing for the fanatical followers to follow. The surprise, for many of you, is that there is no credit, and no debit, for the way that you lived on earth. How can there be any credit, or debit, when everyone, and everything, that ever lived is here? Everyone, every human and every animal, is equally important from the most ferocious dinosaur, to the tiniest ant. Or more likely, equally unimportant. That sums it up really, most humans cannot cope with being unimportant, and hate having the same non-status as, say, a mollusc. That is why most of the popular humans here were regarded as being unimportant when they were alive. Robin, with his wry smile, and infectious laugh is an excellent example. There are others as well, ordinary people who worked hard, and raised families, without causing a single ripple on the pool of human consciousness. They like it here.

Then, there is my friend, the Bishop. He is a delight, and can even make a bear, newly awakened from hibernation, laugh. He called me over to his table the other day. ‘I’ve just had a wonderful conversation with a moth. Do you know that there was a family of them and they spent an entire winter eating a hole in my summer surplice? I have written it all down here’. As it happens, I know that moth, and he tells the story of the Bishop’s surplice quite often, but I didn’t let on. Then the Bishop turned to me and asked ‘Does it ever occur to you, Horse 911, that all of this might just be some sort of giant holding-area?’ Then he laughed, that big booming laugh, the same one that he laughed when he first arrived. ‘No, no,’ he cried between great rollicking guffaws, ‘I am not going there, not with my track record. Ignore that last remark and have a glass of sherry.’ Sometimes the things he says go right over my head, and because we can’t interact, I couldn’t drink his sherry. He knows that, but to be polite, I conjured up a quarter bucket of naturally fermented apple cider and we chatted for a while. He makes me laugh, and I got slightly tipsy.

I have to go. I only get a very small amount of time in this window. In a few moments your dream will peter out, and you will wake up. For a few minutes, you will scribble down what you can remember of this dream, and then you will go back to sleep. In the morning, you will read through the scribble, and shake your head in some astonishment that you took the time and trouble to write it down. Most of you will crush the paper into a ball, and chuck it in the bin. Some of you will describe the dream to friends and family, and they will look at you piteously. ‘Are you telling me that you had a dream about a dead horse?’, they will ask, and there will be an unfamiliarly strange look on their faces. More copies will go into the bin.

But some copies will survive, they must have, for you to be able to read this. There is a spinster in Durban who writes down all of her dreams, and she will file this one with the rest of those for 2011. There are others, also. Not many, but some.

And the point of the dream? Why must there be a point? What possible point could a little nondescript horse make to you powerful, and successful humans?  You only dreamt the dream because you had read the story of my death. Forget it, for now. When your time comes, you will arrive here, and you will be hit by the most devastating sense of déjà vu you have ever encountered. You will remember the dream then, and I suspect that you will be very disturbed. Ask for me – E/Horse, 7 to the power of 11 plus 73,911 – and  I will show you around, and see you settled.