The Cauldron By Charles Goodwin Chapter 17

The Founding of Chiron

Chapter 17

The Community of Light

The three crammed days allocated to explore and devour the excitement and expanse of multi-cultural Sydney had, as expected, sped by.

Rebecca, relaxed and a little sunburnt, sat in the shade on the balcony of the serviced apartment and patiently awaited the return of Monica and Justin from their amble along Manly’s foreshore.

‘Be... before we leave today, I... I was wondering if I could talk with you alone for a half an hour or so,’ Justin had nervously asked Monica that morning. Rebecca thought the request a little humorous, as Justin and Monica had been alone together a great deal over the previous three days. ‘Mmm, I wonder if my hunch is right,’ she pondered to herself.

The suitcases were packed and ready. Checkout time was supposed to be 10am but the manageress had kindly granted the extra hour.

Rebecca couldn’t help feeling a little surprised at herself. Considering the level of excitement and expectation she felt in her heart of the prospect of at last ‘seeing’ Wakonda in the physical presence, she felt strangely meditative. A peaceful acceptance had becalmed her Mercurial nervous energy. In her mind she found herself repeated the saying ‘life is learning to let go’ and she knew that encapsulated within those simple words could be found the golden key to total freedom and peace.

‘Life is learning to let go,’ she now whispered. I don’t ever want to feel the limitations of being attached to any material possession, belief system or person ever again, she added in her purged mind. Australia, this ancient land of the dreaming, seduces the very soul into spiritual non-attachment.

She lazy minutes drifted. The cooling breeze penetrated her thin cotton blouse and skirt sending a delectable shiver up her spine. She stared dreamily out at the white foamed topped breakers.
Amid the soothing roar of the waves she could hear the distant laughter of children as they chased the flocks of seagulls over the golden sands. Her gaze shifted to the road and she sighted the now inseparable Monica and Justin walking arm in arm up the street.

Monica spied Rebecca on the balcony and waved with exuberant high-spirited energy.

Rebecca stood and returned the greeting.

They look so happy together, she thought as images of Paul came into her mind. To experience such love without any feelings of attachment or possession creeping into the relationship - certainly a tall order - yet an order which each soul is destined to transcend upon the path to enlightenment.

It wasn’t long before Monica bounded breathlessly into the room and leapt into Rebecca’s arms, her eyes glistening with exhilarated tears. ‘Oh Rebecca, Justin has asked me to marry him. And I accepted. Look!’ She proudly held out her hand and showed off her sapphire and diamond engagement ring. ‘Tell me you are happy for me. Please say you are. Tell me Rebecca!’

‘Of course I’m happy for you. I suspected Justin was going to propose when he asked to talk to you this morning. Oh God I’m happy for you!’

‘Well it took me completely by surprise,’ cried Monica as Justin gingerly entered the room.

‘Congratulations Justin. Monica is a beautiful human being. I wish you both all the happiness in the world.’

‘Thank you,’ he answered shyly. ‘I’ve never been so happy in all of my life.’

‘When is the big day?’

‘We... we were hoping that Wakonda might marry us. I guess the date will be up to him to decide.’

‘As soon as possible, as far as I’m concerned,’ added Monica.

‘I’ll start carrying the suitcases down to the car,’ said Justin, picking up two of the heaviest cases as he spoke.

‘We’ll follow you down with the rest,’ replied Monica.

Once alone Rebecca hugged Monica. ‘He’s a lovely man. You are a lucky girl.’

‘I know and I’m so grateful.’ Tears of joy now streamed down her cheeks. ‘And I’m grateful to you for bringing me to Australia. Without you I’d still be stuck in Amsterdam.’

‘I think Wakonda had something to do with that,’ replied Rebecca with purposeful understatement. ‘Perhaps you should channel your gratitude to him.’

Sadness momentarily came to Monica’s eyes. Her serious expression showed deep concern. ‘I hope everything works out for you too Rebecca. I know you love Paul dearly. When he receives your note I’m sure he’ll contact you.’

It was Rebecca’s eyes that now sparkled like dew drops. ‘Please don’t worry about me. You never know, I might have a little surprise for you very soon.’

‘Hey, you’re pregnant Rebecca,’ exclaimed Monica wide eyed and intuitively. ‘Why that’s absolutely wonderful!’

Monica’s sudden loud outburst caught Rebecca off guard. ‘I might have known you’d guess,’ she finally replied. ‘I’m still awaiting confirmation - but it certainly looks that way.’

‘Oh Rebecca, I knew everything would work out perfect. Paul will definitely come running now.’

That’s if I decide to tell him, thought Rebecca and then she said, ‘Let’s not keep Justin waiting. It’s after eleven. We best check out and be on our way.’

Monica nodded playfully; haunched her shoulders and patted her stomach. ‘And don’t worry. We’ll keep it our little secret.’

‘Thank you. I would appreciate that,’ replied Rebecca smiling.


‘The main towns of the Blue Mountains are Katoomba, Blackheath, Wentworth Falls, Springwood and Glenbrook,’ said Justin, an hour out of Sydney and once again revelling in the opportunity to play tour guide. ‘We will turn off the highway a few kilometres past Wentworth Falls and head north to the community.’

‘Why are they called the Blue Mountains?’ asked Monica half-heartedly from the front seat. ‘I thought all mountains appear blue from a distance.’

‘That’s true but the atmospheric blue that shrouds the Blue Mountains is a far deeper hue than found elsewhere in the world. The terrain is heavily wooded with various eucalypt species. The eucalypts release fine droplets of oil into the air. These droplets cause the blue light rays of the sun to be scattered more effectively. The usual light refraction phenomenon which causes distant objects to appear blue is thus greatly intensified.’

‘I read in the brochures at the motel that the phenomenon is known as the Rayleigh Scattering,’ added Rebecca.

Rebecca had indeed studied the tourist brochures - and with mixed feelings. A heart felt sadness now began to merge uncomfortably with her profound sense of ‘coming home’. She had read that The Blue Mountains rise majestically from the coastal plain 65 kilometres west of Sydney (less than two hours drive via the Great Western Highway). Their highest point being 1100 metres above sea level. The incredible Blue Mountains National Park covers an area of 216,000 hectares. Much of the terrain is still inaccessible, except to skilled bush walkers.
This mysterious mountain range boasts a unique blend of superb mountain scenery and outstanding geographical features. Visitors, whether they be tourists or spiritual aspirants, are greeted by spectacular cliffs, high precipices rising from densely wooded valleys, deep gorges, narrow canyons, expanded rivers over shingled rapids, rarefied healing air and wonderful early foggy mornings.

The brochures also proudly showed pictures of the native animals. The Koalas that feed on the Forrest Red Gum and Grey Gum eucalypts leaves, the Eastern Grey Kangaroos, the Red Necked Wallaby and Swamp Wallabies, the Wombats and the Brushtail Possums.

And the pamphlets highlighted the ‘history’. How the seemingly impenetrable mountains had resisted until 1813 all the early attempts of the colonists to discover the crossing to the coveted rich pastoral lands believed at the time to be on the other side of the mountains.

Yet, Rebecca thought, the pamphlets failed to mention anything about the Blue Mountains’ original inhabitants, the Gandangara, the Daruk, and the Wraduri peoples. The British had conveniently declared Australia ‘terra nullius’ - land belonging to nobody - so the million plus Australian aborigines, along with their rich and beautiful spiritual culture fell victim to European diseases and genocide. In excess of twenty five thousand years of history and ancestry were utterly ignored. (Some estimates have dated Aboriginal artefacts found at Jinmium, near Kununmarra in Western Australia at an incredible 176,000 years.)

And it was the successful land rights claim by the descendants of the Daruks and the Gandangara people coupled with the new found spirit of reconciliation in the Australian society that had resulted in the grant of the 10,000 hectares of the Blue Mountains National Park back to the Aboriginal people. Just ten percent of a single National Park, yet it was upon part of this land that Chiron was miraculously founded.

Eighteen months prior to the claim being presented, a revered aboriginal elder named Karadra had a series of mystical visions within which Wakonda had appeared as a spirit being from the Dreaming. In these visions Wakonda had instructed Karadra to initiate the land claim and had accurately prophesied the outcome.

‘A portion of this land will be known as Chiron, the Community of Light. Chiron will become the spiritual heart of the new beginning. Those who have walked upon this continent in previous lifetimes will once again be guided by their higher selves to return to the land of the eternal dreaming. Peoples from all religions, races and colours will be drawn to this sanctuary from all continents of the world. I will exchange my aesthetic life of prayer and meditation in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota for the Blue Mountains of Australia. I will become the guiding beacon of light for humankind. My auspicious mission is to re-awaken the latent Divinity in the hearts of those with ears to listen, and to guide them in the years of tribulation and transition that are about to descend upon this planet.’

‘Justin, does Karadra still live within the community?’ asked Rebecca. ‘I’ve heard he’s becoming more of a recluse.’

‘Who’s Karadra?’ asked Monica interrupting.

Justin answered Monica’s question first. ‘Karadra is a seventy two year old Aboriginal mystic. A holy man. They say he became enlightened at the feet of Wakonda.’

Without taking his eyes off the road, Justin turned his head slightly and spoke a little louder to reply to Rebecca. ‘Karadra now lives alone in a small hut between the community and the Aboriginal settlement. He grants personal interviews daily between 8 am and 11am. Karadra is endowed with the wisdom of the ages and tells beautiful spiritual stories of the Aboriginal Dreaming. He is loved by everyone who meets him.’

‘Does he still read past lives. I was hoping he might read mine,’ added Rebecca thoughtfully.

‘If he feels your spiritual progress will be hastened by the knowledge of your past lives, and if you request the information, he will tell you. But he claims that the timing of such knowledge is most important. Some people have been waiting months, even years, and he still tells them to be patient.’

‘Has this Karadra told you any details of your past lives?’ asked Monica playfully.

Justin deliberated before answering. His moistened eyes began to radiate devotion. ‘Yes, Karadra answered the question most dear to my heart.’ Justin held a finger to his forehead. ‘He touched my third eye area with his index finger and I instantly recalled being in the Holy Land. I was then a six-year-old orphaned boy. There was a crowd gathering in the market. I squeezed my way to the front to see what all the commotion was about. The Master Jesus walked by. For a split second Jesus glanced down into my eyes and zapped me with this tremendous love energy. That’s all it took to shift my consciousness - a split second - and I’ve been devoted to Christ ever since.’

‘Why Justin, that’s a beautiful story. I can just imagine you as a cute little orphan boy.’ Monica turned to Rebecca and added. ‘Isn’t that gorgeous?’

Rebecca smiled and her smile was a personal smile of confidence. Perhaps over confidence. The little child inside her was certain that Karadra would not keep her in suspense. In fact, after the visions that she’d experienced and the love she’d felt flowing from Wakonda, a part of her expected Wakonda to be there waiting to greet her at the entrance of Chiron. The spiritual father heralding the return of his long lost daughter. After all, she thought, I have travelled half way around the world to be here.

That is what a part of her thought. Her ‘ego monkey mind’, still desiring parental attention, recognition. Setting herself up for yet another disappointment. Another expectation to be shattered.

Enlightened Masters will always give what an aspirant needs, not what an aspirant ‘wants’. To the unenlightened, their ways often seem mysterious, even at times, illogical. Their motivation, born out of Divine love, is beyond time and limitation.

‘So how does an ex-Catholic priest come to accept re-incarnation?’ asked Monica as they neared Glenbrook. ‘I thought re-incarnation was a no-no to Christians.’

Rebecca pricked up her ears at Monica’s off the cuff question.

Justin again took his time replying. ‘That what is endless must in logic be also beginningless. The Catholic principle that eternity somehow begins at birth is ludicrous. Also the Master Jesus did not deny re-incarnation. He even said that John the Baptist was Elijah. There are many esoteric references to karma and re-incarnation in the Bible. ‘What soever a man soeth, that shall he also reap. He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.’ One lifetime obviously could not balance these cause and effect laws.’

Monica nodded her agreement.

‘When did you begin to accept the concept of re-incarnation?’ asked Rebecca. ‘I mean, was it while you were still a minister or was it after you left the priesthood?’

‘Like most people on this planet, I guess deep down inside I’ve always known I’ve lived before. My love is for the esoteric Master Jesus. The compassionate Master. Not the uncompromising man made dogmas of the early church politicians. It was my innate love for Christ that originally led me to the Church. And I know from first hand experience that I am not the only priest who’s opinions on reincarnation differ with the official view.’

‘Then why does the Christian Church still deny prior births?’ prompted Monica.

‘Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to become a Christian, called the Council of Nicea in 325 AD to define Christian orthodoxy. He decreed to the Bishops according to his own political ambitions what was acceptable and what was to be considered heretical. The principle of re-incarnation meant that even he, the emperor, might return to the Earth as a pauper. Naturally that prospect was unacceptable, so he decreed in his wisdom that two lives only were possible. One worldly, the other in the form of the resurrection. Henceforth to believe in re-incarnation was heresy. In 380 AD heresy became a crime punishable by death.’

Justin’s voice now faltered and became emotional. His painful inner conflicts between his love for Christ and for what he saw as the shortcomings of the Catholic Church were still largely unresolved. ‘From that date on millions of innocent people would be butchered in Christ’s name. The beautiful esoteric words of the Enlightened Master instructing us to ‘love our enemies’ and to ‘turn the other cheek’ were to be scattered to the four prevailing winds.’

‘And it’s ironic,’ added Rebecca, ‘that in Buddhism, where the doctrine of re-incarnation and the bardo state is embraced, a war has never once been fought in the name of Buddha.’ Rebecca paused momentarily and then asked. ‘Justin may I ask you a hypothetical question. I’d understand if you’d prefer not to answer.’

‘I’ll try to answer. Go ahead.’

‘As I said, this a hypothetical question. Christ has just returned to Earth. Each and every member of the clergy is told individually that they must make a profound personal decision. On a desk in front of them are two buttons. A red and a black. By pressing the red button, Christ would stay and complete his mission. Alternatively, if they were to choose the black button, Christ would leave and the status quo would be maintained without any personal repercussions being incurred either in this world or the next. I would like your opinion as to what percentage of clergy would press the red button for Christ to remain and what percentage would choose the black.’

Justin was about to answer but Rebecca had not quite finished.

‘Naturally if they were to press the red button, they would have to accept the possibility, and in my opinion, probability, that Christ might order the whole existing Christian hierarchy to be disbanded and that all of the assets sold and given to the poor. The cardinals, bishops, archbishops and priests may well be out of a job. Their authority and power base would be utterly destroyed along with all of the rituals and belief systems they have helped to perpetuate. All of the different Christian denominations would have to drop their differences and unify under the living Master. Even the label ‘Christian’ would be considered divisive and no longer have any significance.’ Rebecca paused for a moment and then added, ‘So given what I have said, what do you estimate the percentages to be?’

A prolonged silence ensued as Justin considered the ramifications of Rebecca’s question. Christ may well dispose of the Church and start again, he thought. He tried to imagine his ex-colleagues having to choose between the Church they have lived by and the Christ they never really knew.

Monica glanced at Rebecca and exhibited an expression that was somewhere between a grin and a perplexed frown. ‘Rebecca, that’s hardly a fair question to ask. How could Justin possibly know what is in the hearts of each of the clergy? Besides, how long would Christ survive in today’s world? He probably would be murdered at birth!’

‘No, I will try to answer the question,’ said Justin softly. ‘Of the twelve disciples, one of their number betrayed Christ. That is, even among the disciples who lived with Jesus one of the twelve betrayed him. So it would be logical to surmise that the proportion who would vote to retain the status quo would be significantly higher. To risk the investment of two thousand years of tradition and exchange it for the unemployment line may be a little too unnerving for many of the clergy.’

‘Ah, but how much higher? That is the question,’ pursued Rebecca.

Justin paused and then took a stab. ‘Perhaps a quarter or a third. Maybe even as high as a half would choose the known over the unknown. I just don’t know. But I can see the dilemma many would face. But why would you ask such a question?’

Rebecca replied smiling. ‘As a teenager in England, I befriended a young Anglican priest. One evening over a dinner I posed the same question to him.’

‘And what was his response?’

‘I recall his exact words. He said,’ Rebecca feigned a strong British upper class accent, ‘Oh no, no, no. Completely out of the question. That would not do at all. We couldn’t possibly allow a new age radical guru to take over our conservative Anglican Church. By God, it was embarrassing enough having to take orders from the Pope.’

Justin laughed. ‘He was joking of course.’

‘No on the contrary, he was dead serious. I realised then that being religious, doesn’t necessarily mean one is spiritual and being spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean one is religious.’

Monica leaned over and kissed Justin on the cheek. ‘In a way you’ve already faced the decision, haven’t you Justin? Your conscience forced you to choose between your Savoir and the Church and you chose to reject the trappings of the Church. I think you were very courageous.’

Justin blushed and his blushing betrayed his embarrassment. He fidgetly turned the airconditioner off, opened the window and took a deep breath. The pure mountain air breezed into the car.

‘Wow! Smell that air. It reminds me of a pine forest,’ exclaimed Monica excitedly. ‘No wonder people come to the Blue Mountains to recuperate from illness.’

‘Not far to go now. Another twenty minutes and we’ll be there,’ replied Justin, somewhat relieved that the topic of the conversation had changed. ‘You’ll have time to settle into your allotted accommodation before evening darshan.’

‘What’s darshan? Do you mean dinner? Asked Monica innocently.

‘No of course not,’ answered Rebecca laughing. ‘Darshan is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘being in the presence of a holy master.’

Monica shrugged and giggled. ‘Well I am beginning to feel hungry. It must be the mountain air.’

‘What time is darshan?’ asked Rebecca.

‘This time of year, and weather permitting, Wakonda gives darshan daily at 7 am and 6 pm outside the Mandir,’ replied Justin. ‘Incidentally, we refer to the prayer hall by the ancient Sanskrit term ‘Mandir’ so as to avoid using terms such as church, temple or mosque. The use of such terms may mistakenly give the impression that Wakonda is favouring one religion over another. Wakonda’s private rooms are attached to the Mandir.’

Monica nodded politely and Justin continued.

‘The crowd quietly assembles and sits in meditation on cushions and mats for a half hour before Wakonda is due to appear. He then walks among the gathering giving his blessing and healing the sick. He receives people’s letters and patiently answers questions that are put to him. Often he gives the answer to the aspirant’s question even before being asked. Darshan is a profound and holy experience. Many are reduced to tears as soon as they see the physical form of Wakonda.’

Justin eventually turned off the main highway, drove a few kilometres and turned left onto a gravelled road. The steep descending road narrowed to little more than a single lane, canopied by the towering dense forest of various eucalypts, White and Black Ash trees and wattles. The small flocks of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos and Crimson Rosellas seemed unperturbed by the slow moving four-wheeled visitor.

The air became noticeably chilly but it wasn’t the cool mountain air that was affecting Rebecca. She’d noticed the sensation as soon as the car had turned off the bitumen. The strange feeling felt as if her heart was being firmly but lovingly held. As if an exterior energy force was overwhelming her being, causing her to gasp for air. She had read that the powerful auras of the Masters could be felt for miles but had dismissed the notion as fanciful. But this was really happening. Tears of devotion began to trickle down her cheeks. She fought hard to resist the urge to break down uncontrollably.

‘Are you all right Rebecca?’ asked Monica looking back at Rebecca and breaking the silence.

Rebecca sniffed, pulled a tissue from her bag and still sobbing, blew her nose. ‘I... I can’t stop the tears. I’m feeling so much love from Wakonda. The energy... it’s so incredible!’

‘I can’t feel anything except hunger,’ replied Monica, a little disappointedly. ‘I’m obviously not as spiritual as you are.’

Justin laughed. ‘It has nothing directly to do with levels of spirituality - or vibration rates for that matter.’

‘Then what it is caused by?’ asked Rebecca humbly.

Justin answered in a caring voice. ‘Wakonda compares a human heart to a hazel nut encased in a hardened shell. The shell is created from the accumulative painful experiences of many lifetimes that falsely serve to protect the ‘nut’ from being hurt. The immense love of a Master smashes this ego-shell and flows directly through to the vulnerable spiritual heart. The pressure you are no doubt feeling in your heart chakra right now is caused by the last of your emotional barriers being dissolved. Simply let go. Wakonda often reminds us that life is learning to let go!’

Rebecca didn’t answer because she couldn’t. Justin’s words, culminating in the exact same saying that she was pondering on the balcony imploded her defences. The torrent of cleansing tears now flowed freely, uncontrollably.

Justin motioned to Monica and whispered. ‘Leave her be. Whatever Wakonda is preparing her for must be pretty important. Spiritual development around Wakonda is usually a far more subtle and prolonged experience.’

‘You mean he’s putting her through some sort of a crash course!’

Justin nodded once, his expression sedate. ‘That’s exactly what I mean. At the community we refer to the phenomenon as being ‘sentenced to Wakonda’s workshop.’

At a t-junction Justin steered the car to the right and the gravel road now followed along side a picturesque free flowing river boarded either side by steep densely wooded mountains.

‘We call this river the Wandjina River. Wandjina is an Aboriginal term for the Creator. The river is fed by a permanent spring as well as the rainfall. Just ahead this narrow gully suddenly widens to the beautiful fertile valley of Chiron.’

As Justin spoke Rebecca began to regain partial control of her emotions. The beauty of the Wandjina River was hauntingly familiar. Memories of her visions whilst in Amsterdam stole through the corridors of her mind.

‘I... I know this place. In my astral visitation, Wakonda stood by this river. And... and now... It seems I am finally here,’ she sobbed and her acknowledgment brought about yet another flood of tears.

Monica leaned over and held Rebecca’s hand consolingly. ‘We are all so blessed to be guided to Wakonda. Our deliverance has been a miracle.’ Her eyes widened as only Monica’s could. ‘A supernatural miracle.’

‘Excuse me ladies,’ interrupted Justin turning off to his right as he spoke. ‘I’m about to take a slight detour up this mountain to the lookout. The views over Chiron and beyond are simply breathtaking.

And ‘up the mountain’ were the operative words. The 4-wheel drive’s engine laboured at the steep, seemingly impossible, almost vertical incline.

‘God Justin is this safe?’ gasped Monica. ‘The car isn’t going to back flip is it?’

Justin gritted his teeth and sat stiffly erect. ‘There’s no turning back now. We’re ok as long as the engine doesn’t stall. Hold on!’

The rear wheels began to lose traction with the surface of the gravel and spin precariously. Justin dropped the gears to bottom. The craggy ruts in the track caused by storm run off became deeper as they ascended. Monica glanced sombrely at Rebecca.

Rebecca flinched her eyebrows before speaking. ‘I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.’ But the uncertain tone in her voice failed to provide the consolation Monica was seeking.

‘I’ve driven up this track twice before,’ reassured Justin but then he added, ‘Though admittedly on both occasions the track was in better condition.’

Monica gulped.

The track narrowed to a car width and contoured around the summit of the mountain. Monica peered straight down over the edge. A sheer drop of some hundreds of metres to the now intimidating valley below. Her complexion suddenly changed to the colour of sour milk. She closed her eyes and wondered what would happen if they met a car attempting to drive down the single lane track at the same time.

The tumultuous minutes dragged.

‘We’ve made it. You can open your eyes now Monica,’ sang a relieved but jubilant Justin pulling into a small parking area almost atop of the mountain. ‘We’ll need to walk the last one hundred metres to the lookout.’

‘Thank God. At least my hunger pains have mysteriously disappeared,’ quipped Monica still decidedly shaken.

Once out of the car Justin hugged her. ‘I promise you the view will be well worth the fright.’

‘Then all I can say is that it must be some view,’ she replied tongue in cheek.

The walking trail meandered to the top of the mountain at a gentle incline. Justin showed Monica and Rebecca through two ghostly caves that had been weathered out of the layers of brown and yellow sandstone. The sandstone walls were interlaced with grey shale and course grained granite rocks. In the half-light he pointed out the ancient faint Aboriginal rock paintings depicting Wandjina and the spirit beings of the Dreaming.

‘This whole mountain is one of the many Aboriginal sacred sites in the region. Karadra says that in times long past a tribesman would periodically ‘go walk about’ and often spend days up here in solitude and meditation.’

‘Go walk about! That’s a strange term to use. Climbing up this mountain on foot would be some fete,’ remarked Rebecca.

‘Hell it was bad enough by car,’ added Monica. ‘Besides it would give me the creeps to stay up here overnight alone.’

‘To go walk about’ is virtually the same as the ‘Vision Quest’ of the North American Indian,’ explained Justin. ‘There are many similarities between the Indian and the Australian Aboriginal. Both were conquered by the same people. Both had their land, their cultures, their spirituality, their self-respect stolen from them. And tragically both the Indians and the Aboriginals were systematically subjected to genocide by the their so called Christian masters. By his presence in Australia, Wakonda has purposefully merged the two spiritual cultures to bring about a necessary healing to the planet.’

The trio made their way around to the lookout. Monica was the first to reach the summit.
‘Oh my God, my God... Oh Rebecca, take a look at this. It’s so... so beautiful. It’s like we’re on top of the world looking down on the whole of creation!’

Rebecca remained silent, awestruck, sanctified. Her heart totally immersed in blissful overwhelming love of thanksgiving. Celestial love borne from the Divine Creator. A resplendent Godly welcome to Chiron.

The panoramic views stretched forever to the horizon in a 360-degree circle of scenic wonderment. Transforming light patterns, as clouds fleetingly sheltered the sun, created a kaleidoscope of mutable colours and shadows upon the sides of the spectacular mountains and rocky outcrops. Winding rivers flowed lazily between the deep gorges and canyons to the distant golden plains. The eerie wind, whistling like Pan flutes into the ethers, added to the hallowed mystery of this sacred ancient retreat.

Justin guided Monica and Rebecca to the further side of the lookout and pointed down into the sheltered valley at the foot of the mountain. He reverently whispered. ‘Look, Chiron!’
The road upon which they had been travelling, led to a large stone archway, the entrance to Chiron. On the other side of the arch began several hundred acres of lovingly tendered lawns and gardens. At the end of the gardens stood the huge Mandir.

Rebecca’s first impression of the Mandir reminded her of ‘Tales from the Arabian nights’ or perhaps even the Taj Mahal. A gleaming white marble building with a massive pale blue domed top. Upon each corner, tall decorative golden spires reached heavenward. The Mandir was surrounded by rectangular, moat like, lily ponds. And from the ponds, an array of fountains provided a sparkling display of imposing fluid beauty.

‘The gardens are known as the Meditation Gardens,’ explained Justin. ‘The prayer hall section alone seats over a thousand people. The carvings on the spires depict the symbols of the World’s major religions. Wakonda often tells us that ‘all religions are one’.

Commencing a short distance behind the Mandir and dotted either side of the banks of the Wandjina River could be seen several hundred log cabin style buildings part canopied by towering eucalypts. And even further a field, the rich agriculture lands, the food basket for the fast growing community.

Rebecca sat on top of a boulder for quite some minutes and meditated, soaking into her soul the incredibly peaceful magnetic energy. 'And to think that this heavenly valley will be our home for the foreseeable future,’ she whispered unheard into the wind and then silently she offered heartfelt thanks to Wakonda for delivering her safely to Chiron.

Slowly her fleeting thoughts evaporated.

Drifting - eyes closed.

Drifting, ever deeper into an altered state of consciousness.

Drifting, drifting ever deeper.

Oneness. Supreme awareness. Total peace.

Merging into timelessness.

Being, awareness and bliss... Sat Chit Ananda.


Rebecca felt Monica tapping her gently upon the shoulder, stirring her from the deepest of meditations. Monica’s voice sounded distant. ‘Rebecca, we’ve been here forty minutes. It’s time to leave. Rebecca, can you here me? Wake up.’

Rebecca opened her eyes, turned, and looked blankly up at Monica. She refocussed her consciousness and still partly detached from her body, heard herself speak.

‘I am... I mean, was out of my body! I felt as if I was everywhere, merged with the sky... and the hills and... and the trees. Monica, it was so beautiful. So peaceful.’

Monica put her arms around Rebecca’s waist and helped her to feet. ‘God Rebecca, your face is as white as chalk. Take some deep breaths.’

‘No, I feel fine. In fact I feel wonderful,’ answered Rebecca shaking her head slowly and still coming to terms with her experience. She gazed glassy eyed at Justin. ‘Thank you for bringing us up here. You were right, the detour was well worth the risk.’

Justin shrugged. ‘Rebecca, there wasn’t any risk attached. Wakonda told me to bring you up here first.’

Rebecca’s jaw dropped. ‘What did you just say?’

Justin smiled. ‘No one is allowed up here without Wakonda’s express permission. This is a revered sacred site. You are very blessed to receive his authorisation.

Rebecca dumbfounded, felt the now familiar emotional release in her heart. The flood of cathartic tears streamed down her cheeks yet again as she stumbled her way back to the car.


The sign on the left pillar of the sculptured sandstone arch read:

Welcome to Chiron
The Community of Love

The sign on the right pillar read:

Love is the essence of all Creation

Justin parked the car in the parking area just inside the community grounds. ‘This is where we get out. Except in emergencies, cars aren’t allowed past this point.’

‘Does that mean we’ll have to carry all our luggage?’ asked Monica a little disappointed. ‘It seems a long walk, even to the nearest cabins.’

‘No, not at all,’ answered Justin. ‘At the accommodation office I can borrow a moped with a small trailer attached. I’ll return for the luggage later.’

Rebecca bounded out of the car, kicked of her shoes upon the lawns and twirled around with arms outstretched. ‘Chiron, here at long last. I feel like pinching myself in case this is all a weird and wonderful dream.’ She stopped abruptly and gazed at the beautiful ethereal lines of the Mandir. ‘And to think Wakonda lives in that very building. I wonder if he is there now?’

Justin looked at his watch. ‘It’s ten to three. I would say he’s either giving interviews in the Mandir or visiting the construction site of the new hospital. He often visits the site in the afternoon to check on the progress.’

‘I didn’t see the hospital from the lookout?’ queried Rebecca, framing her statement as a question.

‘No, you can’t see it from the mountain. It’s nestled between two hills further down the valley midway between Chiron and the Aboriginal community.’

‘How big is the hospital?’ asked Monica. ‘Perhaps I will be able to work there. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse.’

Justin didn’t reply immediately. His expression became suddenly withdrawn.

‘What is it Justin. You look sad. Did I say something wrong?’

‘No, you... you didn’t say anything wrong. When you asked what size the hospital is, your question triggered concerns within me, that’s all.

‘I don’t understand. What do you mean?’

‘The hospital project is mammoth. The buildings are being completed at a furious pace. Prominent architects and builders are giving freely of their time and a long list of volunteer specialists are on standby to serve in the hospital’s various departments.’

‘I still don’t understand. Surely that’s wonderful.’ Monica was perplexed. ‘Well isn’t it? So why the sadness?’ She turned to Rebecca and shrugged.

Rebecca spoke sensitively. ‘I assume what Justin is concerned at, is why the need for such a huge project? And why is it so urgent? It seems Wakonda is preparing for the worst.’

Monica glanced back at Justin hoping to hear his denial but her hope was short lived. Justin held her safely in his arms.

‘Darling, now that I have found you I want to spend time with you. However, I’m scared that for many of us there may not be a great deal of time left!’

Monica kissed him lightly upon the lips. Her reply was determined. ‘Then you must tell them at the accommodation office that I intend to move in with you right away.’

Justin glanced at Rebecca but Monica interrupted his gaze.

‘Justin, you don’t need Rebecca’s permission. Rebecca can take care of herself. And further more, in case your fears are warranted, I don’t want you to spend our valuable time wallowing in misery over what might happen. Right now we have our health and we have each other - and besides, we are with Wakonda - what more can we ask for?’

Justin was silent for a moment and then smiled. ‘I guess you are right. Wakonda says that reality is in the ever present.’

‘Good then that’s settled.’ Only at that moment did Monica dare glance at Rebecca. Rebecca immediately looked away, fearful that her eyes might betray her muddled feelings. She picked up her shoes, retrieved her handbag from the car and began to walk aimlessly in the direction of the Mandir.

Monica whispered to Justin. ‘I need to talk with Rebecca alone for a few minutes. She’s obviously feeling put out. She’s on cloud nine one minute and the depths of despair the next. Give me a few minutes head start.’

‘You’ll need your passport for ID at the accommodation office.’

‘Oh... Could you do me a favour and bring my maroon backpack with you. It’s in the boot.’

Monica sprinted and within seconds caught up with Rebecca. Rebecca wiped the tears from her eyes. ‘Isn’t the sound of the river and the birds relaxing? It’s so incredibly peaceful here. No wonder they call these gardens the Meditation Gardens.’

‘Rebecca what’s wrong? Are you upset with me again?’ As usual Monica’s questions were piercingly to the point.

Rebecca held Monica’s hand but continued walking, all the time gazing watery eyed in the direction of the Wandjina River. ‘No I’m not upset with you. I’m just an emotional mess. I feel hormonal, desperately alone and pregnant. It’s as if Wakonda is making me suffer for some reason known only to him.’ She stopped and turned to Monica. ‘When you display that confident part of your personality, I immediately feel insecure, unwanted. Why is that?’

Monica wisely refrained from answering directly. ‘Please be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to settle in. If my hunch is right, even Wakonda might ignore you for a while to allow you the time to get in touch with your own feelings.’

‘God, the last thing I need is to be ignored by Wakonda. I need someone to love me, not ignore me.’

‘If Wakonda ignores you, he will ignore you because he loves you. And besides, I love you. And Paul loves you.’ She paused before adding. ‘Even Justin is becoming rather fond of you. I can tell by the way he speaks to you. I can’t discuss all this spiritual stuff with him like you can. I’m too simple minded.’

Rebecca suspected a hint of jealousy in Monica’s voice and she felt annoyed at herself at gaining some satisfaction from the prospect.

‘Monica, you know I would never come between you and Justin. That’s absurd.’

‘You wouldn’t consciously.’ Monica chose her words carefully. ‘But all the same, you can’t blame me for being a little protective of him.’

‘Am I detecting a hint of jealousy?’

‘Yes I am a little jealous. As a matter of fact I am proud of it! After all, in nature the animals and birds jealously guard and protect their mates and their young. Are humans so superior?’

They ambled barefoot upon the pathway. The wood chips and pine needles under their feet felt soft and revitalising. Passers-by smiled warmly and nodded their welcome without speaking.

When Rebecca spoke again her voice was quieter, reflecting the solemnity of the gardens.

‘Perhaps I should have been more protective of Paul. In his own way, he’s as naive as Justin.’ She glanced up at Monica and added, ‘Do you know, sometimes I think you are far more spiritually aware than you like to make out.’

Monica’s disarming smile streaked across her face. ‘No, not really, I’m just a simple clayfoot.’

‘You’re not a clayfoot,’ poopooed Rebecca. ‘A clayfoot is a hypocrite who assumes an air of spirituality for ego or financial gain. To the clayfoot, religion is either an ego trip or big business, a commodity to feed to the masses.’

Monica shrugged. ‘You see how simple I am? I told you all this spiritual stuff is beyond me. I’m more than content to live my life to the full each day and let the all mighty God sought out the details. I trust in God to look after me and in the mean time I’ll take good care of Justin.’

Rebecca was silent. Monica’s pearls of wisdom could not be argued with.

As they passed the fountains and neared the Mandir, other community members, many dressed completely in white, could be seen taking advantage of the warm sunny afternoon. A few were sitting in the lotus pose upon the marble steps meditating while others were busy writing or reading. Rebecca and Monica paused in front of the towering columns at the front entrance and waited for Justin.

‘Some wigwam!’ exclaimed Monica. ‘Wakonda is obviously not an Avatar of simple tastes.’

Rebecca couldn’t help but to laugh. Monica had voiced what she hadn’t until now dared to question. The Mandir was mysterious, beautiful, even enchanting but it was overtly extravagant. Surely the fortune in construction costs would have been better utilised feeding and housing the poor.

‘So what do you think of our Mandir?’ asked Justin announcing his arrival. ‘Impressive isn’t it?’

‘Wakonda must have won the national lottery to afford such luxury!’ fired Monica teasingly.

Justin was visibly embarrassed. He looked around to ensure that no one else had heard Monica’s echoing outburst.

‘At the risk of also sounding heretical, where did the money come from to pay for such a building?’ asked Rebecca partly in defence of her friend.

‘Karadra, the Aboriginal mystic, had the Mandir built as a gift to Wakonda. The Aboriginals receive royalties from many of the vast mining operations that go on in Australia. They do not worship money like many in the white society and wanted to offer a building befitting an Avatar. Their motives were pure and unselfish.’

The answer more than satisfied Rebecca’s curiosity and in her mind she scolded herself for falsely judging Wakonda.

Justin continued. ‘Wakonda lives in extreme austere conditions. At his request, his small rooms are simply furnished with no luxuries whatsoever. He owns nothing except a few robes which the community members make for him.’

Rebecca tried to mask the guilt she felt by changing the conversation somewhat. ‘Where did the unique design originate from?’

‘It seems, after a long search, Karadra was guided to an architect in Sydney by the name of Tarraz. Tarraz happened to be of the Baha’i faith. The Baha’is also believe that all religions derive from the same essence. As you can see, the design is influenced by early Persian architecture. The interior incorporates many of the symbolic features found in churches, temples and mosques. Wakonda affectionately calls the Mandir his wigwam.’

Both Rebecca and Monica broke into laughter leaving the surprised Justin to ponder over the reason for such exaggerated gaiety.

‘So when can we see inside?’ asked Monica composing herself.

‘Immediately following darshan there is an hour session of chanting and devotional singing inside the Mandir. Often Wakonda will sit at the front of the gathering giving his blessing. The incredible energy that is built up over the hour has to be experienced to be believed. Also at 4 am each morning there is a meditation session with chanting.’

‘I can’t wait,’ whispered Rebecca to herself as her heart once again began to glow with devotion and longing.

‘The accommodation office is not far from here. We best get you booked in as soon as possible. You’ll want to unpack and wash up before darshan.’

‘And eat,’ enthused Monica, her appetite returning with a vengeance.

‘And eat,’ repeated Justin, smiling lovingly at his fiancée and at the same time winking at Rebecca.




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