Friday, January 18, 2013

Seeking Shambhala

Can you smell it in the air? A spike in hospitalization, an increase in vaccinations, chills, fatigue,  fever.... Flu season has sprung. So far the aggressive virus has not broken through this brick wall. (pounds chest and points to the beach)

No one is safe from nature's savagery, therefore I am packing my bags for Shambhala.

Shambhala is a Sanskrit word describing a mythical land whose exact location is hidden behind snow-capped mountains, where peace reigns, wealth abounds, and there is no illness. This Tibetan-Buddhist kingdom is ruled by a semi-divine king who peacefully presides over a population of intelligent, long-living subjects who possess both magical powers and knowledge of advanced technology. I'll take a one-way ticket plz.

Like Atlantis, believers in Shambhala have speculated extensively on the exact location although it is often placed in central Asia, near Tibet.  



Shambhala is said to have outer and inner meanings. The outer being that it does exist as a physical place, but is only accessible by individuals with the appropriate karma. The inner meaning was interpreted by the Dalai Lama in 1985 as being a pure land within the human realm that can only be reached spiritually.

Unfortunately, the Dalai Lama had not yet mastered spiritual time travel back to the 1920's to inform Gleb Bokii, one of the Soviet secret police, and friend, Alexander Barchenko, as they prepared to embark on a quest to find Shambhala. Their reason? Well, to merge Shambhala and the ideas of Communism of course, as any trusty Soviet would do. Similarly, a German expedition was sent to Tibet throughout the 1930's seeking the same treasure. Later occultists, noting the Soviet/Nazi link, viewed Shambhala as a source of negative manipulation by an evil (or amoral) conspiracy.

These men were on a quest for Bolshevik ultimate power. And what better way to give their party power then to attempt to use Buddhist wisdom to conjure a divine era of Communism? They wanted a land that would serve as the beacon for all humankind, where the inhabitants had god-like capabilities. They were excited at the possibility of a hidden trove of advanced knowledge and technical know-how. A victory for Bokii and Barchenko meant obtaining the keys to an all-powerful ideal society. We all know how that worked out for the Soviets.



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