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Saturday, September 14, 2013

To Bust the Myth ‘Everything is Big in Texas’

When All Else Fails Raise Hell
My Tiny Insignificance in the Whole of Things

A Rite of Passage 

The Monkey Peoples

While living in Guangzhou China, a Chinese friend and I arranged a visit Lhasa Tibet. His mother is Buddhist Chinese and I have always been curious of the spiritual bounty that may lie in the shadow Everest. The people are quite friendly and self sufficient, although in western terms they would be considered improvised.

            We were invited to tour the summer place of the exiled Dali lama.  We entered the court yard of a small home made of local brick and mortar. The roofs of building and homes in Tibet are traditionally flat, and atop the roof, a vicious guard dog appeared snapping and begging us to just get close enough so he could take a piece of us away. The inside had been maintained exactly as he left it with all the 1950 relics still decorating the interior. We were taken to the Dali lama’s bedroom and shown a large mural on the east wall said to be thousands of years old. The Tibetan guide began telling us in Chinese that the mural was a representation of the beginning of the world—a Buddhist cosmology. I thought this odd because I had been told that the Buddhist tradition rejected these things.

            The mural was a story board arrangement starting at the top and working around to the bottom which told the story of the Monkey Peoples who were believed to be the ancestral roots of mankind. One day, the Monkey Peoples came upon a group of visitors from another world. They were of such beauty they startled the Monkey Peoples so they kept their distance in the thick trees nearby.

            The mural showed a group of people that would not be uncommon today; however, they glistened of white skin and blue eyes- I would say spirit-like or angelic. It was not long for the Monkey People to understand the group to be lost and out of compassion, they came to their aid.

            The guide went on to say that these beings had no way to return to their home; wherever that could be he, did not say. The monkey people befriended the group and in exchange for food and shelter, the visitors taught the monkey peoples how to read and write etc.

            In the spring of the following year, a sickness came upon the visitors and each died of a sickness that up to that point in the world disease was unknown. The monkey people were not affected by this disease and one young woman survived the death. 

She mourned for her lost love ones - day in and out. The Monkey Peoples could not bear her sadness and did everything to lessen her grief. She kept her distance, living alone at the edge of the Monkey Peoples forest.
The Monkey Peoples built her a small home with a garden and did everything they could to relieve her sadness but she isolated herself for years in the hope that someone from her world would one day come to her rescue. The loneliness drove her out of her mind until one day she left her home and moved to the Monkey Peoples village. There she became very happy finding friends and she took her place in the community as a teacher of the arts such as painting, sculpting, and music.
Over time, she befriended one of the male Monkey Peoples and they lived together as a couple. They had many beautiful children together which are believed to be the ancestral lineage of all Tibetan people and the beginnings of civilization.

November 27, 1992 Lhasa Tibet
Gregory N. O’Dell



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