Saturday, October 17, 2009

Giri and the 22 Arrows of Truth - Myths for a Modern Age - Part 3

Once upon a time, high in the mountains beyond the mists of time there lived a hidden community of gifted beings.
One such gifted being was Giri.
Giri was an old monkey, blessed with magical insights, grey haired and of kind disposition.

Some years before this story is written,Giri's friends held a most excellent party.The Party was to celebrate Giri's Birthday. One of the guests who came to the party was a Magician. The Magician was now retired, but had once ruled the Fates of Time. Also attending were Giri's friends the Rat, (Giri's dearest friend), as well as all the other beings who lived up high in the misty mountains near Giri's home, including the Tiger, the OX and Dog.

The birthday party was a huge success,and Giri received some beautiful gifts. The Ox gave him a wonderful box of integrity chocolate, wrapped up in steadfastness and honour.The Dog gave him loyalty, and a most beautiful present it was! The Rat gave Giri a little pair of spectacles so that he may see into the darkest places, as he worked. And finally, when it was time for all the guests to leave, the ancient Magician handed Giri a square purple box, wrapped with a large yellow ribbon.
"This is for you, Giri", said the Magician. "I have kept this little present for you for many years, and now that you have become older, and your grey years are upon you, it is time that you received a little toy, to help you play, and re-awaken some of your childhood adventures again."

Giri expressed his deepest thanks to the Magician. Carefully he untied the long yellow ribbon, and opened up the purple box. There, inside, was a little metal wind up Rabbit. The Magician smiled saying, "The wonder of the Metal Rabbit toy is this, Giri. Before you go to sleep at night, wind up the tiny key at its back, then place it on the stand at your bedside. While you sleep, it will help to impart your dreams with some wonderful and intriguing adventures."

Giri thanked the Magician for the beautiful gift, and waving goodbye to all his friends, he settled in for the night, cosy and warm, by the fireplace.

Soon, as the day had been busy, sleep seemed to be the order of the evening. And while the owls and possums outside began to stir for the night, Giri readied himself for bed. Climbing under the warm covers, he spied the little Metal Rabbit, sitting by his bedside.
Giri reached out to the Metal Rabbit present and taking it up gently,he wound the tiny key at its back. The shining little Metal Rabbit began to hop around his bedside table with a quiet whir and slowly Giri began to close his eyes.
As he drifted into sleep he could feel himself being lured into a very different kind of dream state. Once in a deep hibernation the dream proceeded to take its hold………………..

Dark energy waited close by.

Giri, wings outstretched, lifted into the air. Flying high above the mountains he observed the goings on in a large clearing beside a forest.
Shovels worked and gardens were being tended. A Tiger walked amongst the thinning trees confidently watching for on coming enemies to devour. A White Rabbit burrowed around impatiently, whilst a Sage Rat enjoyed home making. Looking over through the bushes, Giri called to his friend the Sage Rat, who was busily sweeping out the kitchen. “Oh beautiful Rat, are you having a nice day?”

“Yes little Monkey, but my ears have been hurting me. I fear that things are not as they appear.”

The Tiger had vanished into the deep forest by now, and his glowing eyes were hidden from all except for the Rat, who could always see easily in the dark.

Quietly the White Rabbit loped up to the friends.
The White Rabbit had recently escaped from a mad hatter’s tea party full of screaming queens and smiling red haired cats. He was not feeling himself, and was trying to find peace in the garden that he was making. The White Rabbit offered tea, smiling in a benign manner. Tea went well and Giri left, a little unsettled, to go back to his home. “Strange dream” thought Giri.

As he departed the garden,night fell. The Tiger began to wail. The Tiger’s wails woke the little Rat, who had been resting and who began to despair that all was not really well.
Roaring and screaming, the Tiger’s glowing eyes became destruction.The Rat fled into the nearby forest as the Tiger’s claws lashed at her, snarling in his pain.Fleeing into the night,she cried “ Giri, Giri! Please use your magic! Help me!”

Suddenly, the Rat was far from the nightmare garden, and was sobbing under a tree as Giri ran to her side. “You poor dear, the night is full of fragmented fear and despair, you will be safe here.” The evening passed quietly at Giri’s home. The little Sage Rat recuperated well from her ordeal. As the days progressed, she became less nervous, finally venturing out to find her way in the world once more, knowing she would always be welcome to rest at her friend, Giri’s, place.

The dream was starting to disturb the Monkey’s sleep by now, and suddenly, he woke up with a fright. This was no dream!

There was the Rat. Beside the fire, still slightly sobbing in her sleep, after her run through the deep forest from the Tiger and Rabbit’s home that very evening……………………...Giri gradually realised that the Rat must not return to that beautiful wild garden where the White Rabbit and Tiger lived.

“Dear Rat, put this all behind you. For your health and sanity, prepare to leave and seek you fortune in the greater world. There is much love and joy out there for you”.

Later that day, the White Rabbit sought to ask Giri’s advice as a professional magician. He quietly came upon Giri in the market place, “Oh Monkey…have you seen my friend the Tiger, or……...perhaps….. The Rat??”

“ Rabbit, you are very clever within yourself. You must know where the Tiger and the Rat are. My time is precious and cannot be taken except for the good of the whole. Be careful what you ask for, Rabbit”
“Well, the Tiger says the Rat has put him under a spell, and I am not sure of how suitable the Rat is to be near the Tiger!” exclaimed the White Rabbit, sniffing tearfully, “I am so worried about them..... um.. both”

Giri patiently tried to help, quietly hoping for the White Rabbit to depart. Then,as soon as the White Rabbit was gone, he frantically searched for the Metal Dream Rabbit, wondering if a dream might provide answers that he was looking for. Giri pondered “Now where have you hopped to?” (and why was the White Rabbit beginning to look like the Metal Rabbit?)

It was all seeming a little like a bad dream again. Giri decided that he could understand more, by asking his Magician Guide. Calling into the high mountain peaks, Giri cried “Please wise friend, help me to unravel the intrigue of this nightmare. I suspect that the Metal Rabbit is controlling my dream. He is trivialising everyone for his own ends”

Suddenly, there was the retired Magician, standing beside Giri.
The Magician Guide said “That Metal Rabbit is asking too much of your good nature, and energy to take care of problems that he himself has caused. Getting rid of the Rat seems to be the undertone of this dream, Giri. You have helped get rid of the Rat, because she has continued in search of a better life. But that is only because you, Giri, sensed that the Rat had much more waiting for it,despite her great love for the Tiger."
(Giri had some time ago, suggested that his dear friend the Rat might be better off away from the little garden and homely life that she had tended for herself and the unhappy tiger.)

Meanwhile, the Rabbit is pestering you Giri, and feigns liking the Rat.
"But Giri, wake up!!!"
"Ask the Rabbit - Rabbit you seem to dislike the Rat, yet you seem to have much control of the unhappy tiger?- Do you notice the rabbit starts to back off, and is no longer friendly to you Giri?”

Giri wondered about this. His kindly magical powers had been enlisted. But used for selfish means? Giri had only ever wanted to help,but now it was looking like a power control trip on the part of that seemingly friendly Metal Rabbit.

Time progressed, the dream continued….. Giri began to fight for sanity as the dream changed again and again.
The selfish Metal Rabbit and the unbalanced Tiger, together with other mischievous animals of the dream state. They all began to overwhelm him with more confusing stories and ever increasing demands.

The retired Magician, by this time, had enough of the dreaming.
He announced “The dream state has been suspended, and all dreaming is halted until the Metal Rabbit stops trying to control the dream. It is disturbing the Spirit World!“

The Magician then gave the Rat 22 arrows of truth in a guilded case.
"Here Rat, shoot these 22 arrows using only love as the aim. The Rat shot off all 22 arrows, with the blessings from all Great Angels of the spirit World, and as each one fell, intrigue dropped from the Monkeys dream. Finally, Giri was able to surface into the real dawn.

Finally waking, Giri looked over to the Metal Rabbit, now back in its little purple box. The tiny wind up key was no longer there, at its back. The little present that had held the promise of many adventures was now just a metal figure of a rabbit, still and shining, but just an ornament.
Feeling sad that it had needed to control so much, Giri went out into his garden. In the morning light,he counted his blessings, then, continued whittling away at the long slender arrows . “21, 22. There, Rat! Now, we’ve just begun!"

Madison Waters 1.5.01

This is the updated second edition(18.10.2009) of this story.The first was written back in 2001, as a much shorter version, and only published in a small magazine (4,000 circulation in SE QLD).

The characters are based on real persons, but given a fictional/mythological context. The Monkey, Giri, still lives in the high mountains, surrounded by wise and loving friends. The Rat did indeed leave to see the world, and is happy in her own beautiful garden now, with a loving husband. The Ox and the Dog continue spreading their gifts of loyalty, integrity, steadfastness and honour. The unhappy Tiger died a sudden death, outside his home, (where he lived, under strict control by the Rabbit.)
The last time I saw the rabbit, he appeared to have become somewhat humbled, as the consequences of his life came upon him and his machiavellian ways.

The Tiger still visits me in spirit, and I always remember his deep love for the Rat, and how he wished to escape the Rabbit and spend his life with the Rat. It was, however,not meant to be. The Ox told me of his death, an hour after the tragedy and I had to break the news to the dear Rat, who was at the time, travelling the world.
The Rat and myself have a friendship that will last beyond time and space. The events have taught me, that no matter how devious the "political" entities, the "developer" consortiums and individual power players in the world are, time will always catch up with them, and their deeds are often watched on by "powers" greater than you and I can ever conceive.

The Magician is still retired, and enjoying a peaceful life. And the arrows of truth have all been released.
"Public Enemies" at ABC Landline Archives 25th October 2009 : a story about the Rabbit in Australia and its Environmental Cost.
Giri: a Japanese Indigenous concept .
GIRI : WIKI article GIRI : Japanese definition .
Machiavellianism at wikipedia

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