By: Larry G. Meguiar
The Journey into "The Knowing"
It was one of those dismal weeks of gray skies that served to amplify thoughts of depression. Reggie felt like he was sitting on a pile of refuse gathered together by his own efforts in life.
He had been through two divorces, and was now going through a third. Each time he had thought the woman was his dream come true. Oh, where was the woman that would be that woman?
His life wasn’t a total ruin. He had friends, a place to live, and an income which kept his head above water. Still, he knew something was very wrong. So little went as he had expected. Investments had gone sour. People he trusted had led him astray, and did him wrong. His life was the living proof of "Murphy’s Law", "If anything could go wrong, it would". He did not feel fulfilled, and in being fulfilled, walk in the joy of living. Why didn’t things go right? It was as though he were cursed. There had to be an answer, but what was the answer? As he mulled it all over in his mind, it became very clear. If his life was going to change, he would have to find that answer, but where?
He began running through the crowd of people in his mind he knew. Some were friends, some acquaintances, some whom he only knew from a distance. As he searched through the crowd, he realized most of them were going through the same struggles of life he was, and therefore, they would not have his answer. He wondered, did they not need the same answer he did? Are they also searching for it?
His mind worked to separate people into two categories. Those who were struggling as he, and those that seemed to live the fantasy of a charmed life. It didn’t take long. Only two stood out. Yes, they would have problems, but never would those problems come with such harshness they would be defeated. How were they able to float above the problems of life in such a way that those problems turned into some kind of victory? Could it be they knew something he didn’t?
He then remembered that both of them were members of a same club. A club that seemed to be some sort of secret society which no one knew much about, or even where they met, if they indeed did meet. What was the name of that club? Oh yeah, the "Club of Knowing". The "Club of Knowing"??? Knowing what??? Had the answer been staring him in the face all of these years? If the answer was there, why hadn’t Tom, and Ed, told him?
He didn’t know who all the members were, but now that he thought about it, those he did know, all seemed to have the same fulfilled happy life that Tom, and Ed, appeared to be living. Was the answer to life in this "Club of Knowing"? Well, it was certain that he was going to find out.
He was not really close to Tom, but he knew Tom better than he did Ed. As difficult as it was to call Tom, and ask the question, he did make the call. His desire for change had overcome his pride which defeats the asking for help.
Reggie was filled with excitement, as he drove out "Old Hickory Road". It was a beautiful area. People would come just for the scenic drive. There were exquisite farms on both sides of the street. There were either fields of green, lined with perfect white fences, containing horses, and cattle, or else filled with lush crops. For the first time he noticed there seemed to be a strange glow over the entire area.
Suddenly, he remembered a small modest sign at the beginning of Old Hickory Road. He hadn’t given it much thought before, but now it loomed up like a bill board. It said in small black letters on a white background, "DRIVE SLOWLY. You are entering the land of the knowing". He, like everyone else, had always taken it as a play on words. If you drive fast, it will be known, and you will get a ticket. Now that sign was taking on a whole new connotation. Good grief, what did the people that lived here "know"? Surely it was some kind of incredible secret.
His mind kept running over his conversation with Tom. Yes, Tom knew the answer. Yes, the club has the answer. No, you cannot just join the club. You must first talk with the Head Counselor. "Would you like for me to make an appointment with him for you?" The appointment had been made, and he was on his way to finding his answer to life.
To his amazement, the "Head Counselor" turned out to be Dean McCulley, the most successful farmer in the state. His farm covered thousands of acres. He turned in the long white fence lined road to the house. The whole scene was one of palatial elegance. How many times had he driven the Old Hickory Road, without really recognizing this place to be so picturesque. How could a dirt farm appear so squeaky clean? Everything was in a perfect symmetrical order. Nothing stood out as if it did not belong, and there was a reason for everything he could see. He was awe struck by the peace he felt just by driving onto the property.
In spite of that peace, an insecure apprehension began to rise in him, working to kill his enthusiasm. What was he doing here? Why would such a man as Dean McCulley, agree to meet with the likes of him?
Reggie pulled over, and stopped, giving it all some strong contemplation. Did he have the nerve to keep the appointment? Would this end up being just another embarrassing situation? Whatever, he could not stop now. If he would find his answer here, then he would have to continue, apprehension, or no apprehension.
There was a large parking lot off to the right of the house. Why such a large parking lot? This did seem to be out of place. The house was huge. Even bigger than it appeared from Old Hickory Road. There was a curved walk way that led from the parking lot, through a field of grass which had areas of flowers planted around trees, up to the huge oak front door. He was becoming very aware of just how privileged he was to even being on the property, let alone meeting with this man Dean McCulley, in person. He rang the door bell with a feeling of reverent respect, as he tried to envision what the servant would look like that opened the door. When the door opened, his heart jumped into his mouth. It was not a servant at all, but Dean McCulley, himself! "I presume you are Reggie." "Yes sir." He offered Reggie his farmer’s strong worn hand to shake, and said, "Its good to see you. Please, come in."
The entry was incredible, and bigger than his whole house. The room rose up the entire two stories, with a domed smoke glass ceiling. A large ornate chandelier was hanging in the center of the room. An extraordinary double staircase led to the upstairs, with a teed hallway under the stairs which led to the rest of the house. On the left were two entries made of huge double oak doors labeled in gold, The Club of Knowing Auditorium. He thought quickly, "Wow, this is where the Club meets. No wonder there’s a huge parking lot". He was led into a room that was obviously this man’s private office. The scene was of such grandeur, Reggie could not take it all in. Instead of sitting at his oak, and marble desk, he led Reggie to a sitting area of plush couches, and chairs. He was invited to sit in a chair kitty-corner to McCulley’s. Their eyes would not meet unless effort was made to turn the head. How had he become so fortunate as to be with this man entitled the "Head Counselor"?
"Tell me Reggie, why have you come here?"
Reggie was not about to take this man’s valuable time with a long story. He gave him the short version, concluding with . . .
By now, there was no question in Reggie’s mind. He would find his answer here, and signing an oath of secrecy was of no consequence. He signed it in hurried fashion.
Reggie did not answer quickly. He was beginning to comprehend the seriousness of saying ‘yes’. He was already feeling the fear of the unknown, and was suffering the perplexity of wondering if he would have the courage to stand. He stared at the floor in front of him. He could feel beads of sweat forming on his brow, and dripping from his arm pits. He didn’t look sideways to see, but he knew McCulley’s eyes were piercing him to his very soul. It was like he didn’t have to tell him what he was thinking. This guy already knew. The aura around this man was incredible. Never had he felt such a presence.
It was decision time. Face the monster, or go back to the life that he had been living. How bad did he want it changed??? Bad enough to go through whatever it might mean??? Maybe his life wasn’t as bad as he had thought. He had made it this far in life on his own, surely he could make it the rest of the way. He looked back over his life in instances of time reversed flash backs. Yeah, it was that bad, and no, he did not want to go back to that kind of living. To get the answer he was looking for, he would now have to give the right answer. Was his desire for the answers to life strong enough to give him the ability to commit to an answer of ‘yes’?
"So, what answer do you give me?"
The conversation had brought Reggie to a condescending surrender, and answers . . .
Immediately, Reggie remembered the ‘folk lore’ he had heard since he was a kid, but would never have believed it was true. When ever something went wrong, someone was apt to jokingly say, "It’s because of the monster in Devil’s Mountain", and everyone would chuckle. Now he is finding out the folk lore joke was the truth?!"
With those parting words, Reggie shook Dean McCulley’s hand, and left. He drove home in strongly mixed emotions. The seriousness of having to face a monster throbbed in his head, while the wild enthusiasm for finding the answers to life engulfed him. He was drained by it all, already.
As tired as he was, he didn’t sleep much. It was obvious, the sooner he got this ordeal over with, the better. He was up, dressed, and driving by 5:00 A.M. Even though he had not eaten since breakfast the day before, he still left without eating, as he had no stomach for food. He had thought of his canteen, but Mr. McCulley had said to taking nothing with him. He obeyed.
His drive of an hour to get to where he would park, seemed like only an instance of time. His mind was thoroughly occupied, and running at full speed. According to Tom, "Go through the Head Counselor’s initiation, and you will then be a member of The Club of Knowing. Once you are in the Club, you will learn of mysteries that will totally change your life." Talk about an adrenaline rush. It didn’t matter what facing the monster meant, he was going to make it through to the conquering.
He picked up the map, stepped out of his car, and set the locks as he closed the door. He looked around, and saw how alone he was, and boy, was he alone. The temperature was already beginning to climb with the rising sun. He looked at the map, and began a fast paced hike over, and between rocks and boulders. It looked like maybe a mile to the base. It was a gradual up hill hike, and it wasn’t easy. By the time he reached the point of the X on the map, he was already tired. Suddenly he felt very hungry, and wished he had at least tried to eat something before he left. He had also become quite thirsty.
The lantern was right where it was suppose to be, and so he lit it. He felt grateful for being in the cool of the cave, as the outside temperature had already been pushing at the hundred degree range. Just as he thought the walk through the cave was going to be easier than he had thought, the tunnel opened into an area that was filled with jagged rocks which reached nearly to the ceiling. "Why hadn’t he brought gloves?" He was going to have to crawl his way through this part. It lasted for about a hundred yards. His hands were a bit bloody, and his clothes had surely been ripped by the sharp jaggedness of the rocks. In front of him were two tunnels that forked out of the one where he stood. He noticed a small arrow scratched into the stone wall pointing to the one on the right. Rats. It would be. The one on the left was at least six foot tall, while this one was about three foot. He would have to crawl.
His enthusiasm had waned from the tiredness, hunger, and thirst that he felt, and was being replaced with his apprehension. Thoughts were now coming that he did not in the least bit like. Was it just him, or did this part of the cave have an aura about it which forced those thoughts into his mind? Maybe he was nearing the monster, and he was feeling the monster’s presence.
This tunnel caused great feelings of claustrophobia. It wound back and forth, so there was no way to tell where it would end by looking ahead. The further he went, the harder it was to continue. The deeper he went into the recesses of the cave, the deeper the recesses of his own mind were being exposed. Great emotions were rising out from his subconscious, into his conscious mind. Past fears, insecurities, rejections, failures, hurts, and confusions flooded him until he could hardly think straight. Was he going insane? Maybe he couldn’t take it, and had better get out of there, and get out fast.
He pushed around one more bend, and felt some relief as he could see where this tunnel emptied into a small room. He crawled out, and turned over onto his back in exhaustion. His clothes were badly torn, his hands and knees were bloody, and there were abrasions all over his body. He thoughtfully considered, "No wonder people turn back. You really must have some kind of desire to make this trip."
He stood, stretched his body, and tried to knock off some of the dirt. That proved to be a lesson of futility, and a wasted endeavor. In front of him was the only opening out of this room. It was a strangely familiar shape, and not unlike a lower case "t". After a couple of breaths to try and clear his muddled brain, he slipped through the "t", and entered another room. There before him was a slow moving river, about twenty five feet across. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Just as his thirst had become unbearable, there was water. He laid on his stomach, and sucked it in like a dog. How wonderful this under ground pool tasted. Once again, He turned over and laid on his back for a few moments to gather his strength. His mind was strangely easing a bit now that he had come through the "t". He knew he had not come this far just to turn back, and that was no longer an alternative. He had past the point of no return.
He rose, picked up the lantern to find the way to go on. Oh brother, there it was on the other side of the river. May there not be any critters swimming in it. As he crossed, he realized it was not more than waist deep. The water had been ice cold, but somehow very invigorating, as if it had some strange healing property that had a wonderful effect upon him.
In the wall on the other side was a small opening at its base. He would have to snake through this one on his belly. At least it was a short crawl. He did not seem to notice he was covered with mud from head to foot, as the powdery dirt he had crawled through clung to the dampness of his body, and clothes. His intensity of purpose totally possessed his mind. He stood, held the light up high, and could not believe his eyes. It was one of the most eerie sights he had ever encountered. It was a very large room with glistening stalagmites rising from the floor, and stalactites descending from the high ceiling. Shadows made from the flickering lantern danced in ghostly fashion. There was a slight path which led through the room. As he made a sharp right, suddenly he could see there was a glow of light coming from behind him. Fear struck his heart like none he had ever felt. This was it. The monster was behind him right here and now. The hair on the back of his neck stood straight up, as the feeling of terror rushed through his body. It was so silent his own breathing sounded like the pants of a steam engine’s puffing. "You must face him Reggie, you must face him!!!"
Mustering up courage that could only come from deep prior commitment, he held his lantern high, and whirled around in a split second to face the monster. He had closed his eyes, as if that would make the monster go away. He slowly opened them, and sure enough, that had not worked, for there stood the monster before him.
It was one of the most grotesque sights he had ever seen. The body of the monster was like it was slightly fractured and thus bent into distorted shapes. Dirty, and torn clothing, and holding the same kind of lantern that Reggie was, and standing just as still. Neither moved, but stood staring at each other, as if both were wondering what the other would do next. Seconds seemed like very long minutes. The terror was so great, that it was all that Reggie could do to stand still. His inner mind keep shouting, "Stand still until the wisdom is given to you Reggie, stand still". The longer he stood, the more his eyes focused in the dim light. Then, without warning, the "wisdom" came pouring into his mind with great velocity, as if he had been hit with a two by four. He was staring into a . . . cracked . . . and bent mirror. . . The monster was . . . . . . .HE . . .HIMSELF??!!!
The Elucidation of "The Journey
Reggie represents all those, male or female, which have come to the place where a longing has conceived in their psychological net work for the answers to life. His every thought parallels our own in some form. He knows life should not be what it has been, but oh, what should it be??? This conception has filled him with a determination to find the understanding. He is searching, but does not know for what he is searching. He does not yet know that a genetic memory of a time long ago is that which is spurring his quest.
His longings set forth the energy in the creative realm which opened the way for him to find out, and in being brought to the opening, he had to make a decision. Either he resolves to continue on the path to find his answers, or he remains in his darkened world of blindness. The dread of remaining as he is overcomes his fear of the unknown, of his jeopardy in facing the "monster". Somehow he summons up the innate ability to "not quit" through the enticement of finding his solutions that dangled before him. He commits to a determination to make what in his mind could be a terrorizing trip to come into "The Knowing", which would give him all of his answers, and in receiving those answers, see his life change to what he witnessed in Tom and Ed, let alone in Dean.
When this crisis point is reached in life, we are put into the same position. Each of us must make that decision ourselves, and in making the decision, acknowledge the ramifications that decision will have upon our life.
Dean McCulley, in experienced patience, guides Reggie to his decision while allowing him to make it on his own in liberty. He wisely knows that he cannot decide for Reggie, or forcefully manipulate him into something he does not himself desire. McCulley is a man of love, TRUE LOVE, and not what we construe in our contaminated minds as love. This love was the power that Reggie felt emanating from McCulley, even though he had not as yet so identified it as this element.
Quite naturally, Dean was well developed in "The Knowing", and the fruit of that outgrowth made him a man of great wisdom. He did not let his desire to see others change overflow into a rulership of them. Love does NOT take away an individual’s right to autonomous liberty of their thought processes. This is a captivity in which we are all presently living. Every individual needs to be set free into thinking for themselves, and not become the contrived desires of others. Dean knew that all he had to do was be ready to counsel Reggie, and in that counsel, Reggie would make all of the discoveries necessary to answer his questions. In recognizing the seed growth of determined desire in Reggie, Dean sends him on the journey into "The Knowing".
The entire story is made up of symbolitries. As the Truth enters, each of those mystical emblems become revealed. The first step into the realm of revelation is the development of desire for such, as it was for Reggie. A new awareness is awakened in him, and he sees "The Land of the Knowing" in a far different Light than ever before. This opening of his eyes let him perceive a realm he desired, but not what caused its creation.
As soon as Reggie pulled into the driveway, the "NOT Knowing" of what he was getting into filled him with apprehension. His insecurities were surfacing. Dean already knew the battle Reggie would go through just to get to his front door. He observed him from an upper window to watch his progress. As we can imagine, some cannot even make it to that front door.
In beginning the journey, Reggie had entered the realm of fasting to receive revelation without knowing what he was doing. It just happened naturally. The "mountain" is symbolic of authority, the "Devil", the dark influences upon this world. The "cave" is the traveling through life’s struggles in the kingdom of darkness under the "authority" of the "devil", each section having great meaning. All of the symbolics were stirring Reggie’s subconscious while he realized not what was happening to him. The different areas of the cave were dredging up the recall of past struggles and trauma’s that were contaminating his psyche, and it was all that he could do to continue this journey into "The Knowing" to meet the "Monster". By the time he reached the "Throne Room" where the monster resided, his own inner "throne room" had surfaced. He was about to meet the one who sat on that throne, and thereby ruled his life. Suddenly, the disturbing "Wisdom" of such knowledge came to him in an explosive psyche shaking discovery.
What do you suppose was his first reaction??? What would be yours???
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