"The woman, while picking up the decoder and holding it close to her face, and, except for not having a jewelers loupe or monocular eye-magnifier, carefully looked at it similar to how a diamond merchant might examine a fine diamond. Then scrutinizing the decoder further in small sweeps front and back almost as if it were a cookie she was about to eat, used her other arm to brush aside the remaining articles on the table, with some even falling to the floor. Without changing her head position or hand position after steadying her arm, she shifted her eyes from the photo in the decoder to my eyes and back several times. She then placed the decoder in the center of the table face up. While I was putting my belongings back in the bag she pointed to the photo, lightly tapping it a couple of times with the index finger of her curiously enough, non-farmer-like soft hands, asking me to tell her about the connection between the boy and the decoder and myself. I pretty much reiterated what I have presented above that the decoder at first belonged to my older brother and I appropriated it without approval --- causing so much trouble that my mother sent for a second one. I went on to say my uncle found it in a box belonging to his mother upon her death and recognizing the photo as being me as a young boy, sent the decoder to me.
"It was between those two times, when I first took it from my older brother until it showed up at my grandmother's and my uncle sent it to me, that the woman was most interested --- and what she wanted to know about --- curiously enough, as though an emissary, the exact same period of time and information that the Zen master back at the monastery wanted to know about. I responded that I was unable to tell her, explaining that even though the decoder must have been with me during that period otherwise it would never have ended up at my grandmother's, my mind regarding that time of my life was blank. Standing up while sliding the decoder badge across the table toward me she suggested we go outside for a walk saying, 'We shall see.'"
The Code Maker, The Zen Maker
Captain Midnight Code-O-Graphs were pretty much considered a toy. They were a small, functional palm-size gadget usually made of metal with a series of numbers and letters conjoined in a circular grouping to a variety of turnable knobs and dials. When used in the intended fashion they gave the user the chance to independently and on their own create secret codes that only someone with a duplicate or like device, preset in the same way, could decipher.
The blueprint framing the target audience for Code-O-Graphs was the largely fictitious yet apparently real or actually there, All-American boy of the era. Code-O-Graphs were generally obtainable to and by almost any savvy American kid, be they boy or girl. In that the decoders were given away at no charge, they were typically not available to the general public through the open market place such as a store, market, or five and dime, but only via a special marketing method known as a radio premium offer. More specifically, as it applied to Code-O-Graphs, over the years, since they weren't sold in stores, they were available exclusively only through Captain Midnight's Radio Premium Offers 1938-1949.
The Code-O-Graph model that influenced me the most and that played such an important role in my life personally, was the second of the premium offers released in the series. It was different from all other versions of Captain Midnight decoders for two reasons. First, called a Photo-Matic, it was designed to allow the owner to insert a photo of themself in a small open square at the top of the badge, replacing the photo of Captain Midnight that came with it. The idea for doing so was to create a personalized identification badge like those used in defense plants of the era. Once the picture of Captain Midnight was removed and the owner substituted it with a picture of their own, they were supposed to push down the four metal tabs at each of the corners so it could not be removed.
Generally, as a promotional item, Code-O-Graphs had been designed to be replaced one after the other year after year to keep the user buying Ovaltine. However, the advent of World War II had an impact on the Code-O-Graph availability. At the time that Code-O-Graphs first came out they were made out of brass. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which propelled the United States into World War II, caused the U.S. Government to impose restrictions on a variety of manufacturing materials. Copper and brass, considered critical materials, were part of those restrictions, so most if not all of those materials were diverted to the war effort, in turn precluding brass being used to manufacture novelties such as radio premiums.
The Photo-Matic version of the Code-O-Graphs, although not distributed until 1942, had all been manufactured prior to any of the governmental restrictions. Also, because of the popularity of the first model, powers that be had increased the number of individual units manufactured, thus having more completed Photo-Matics available for distribution. So too, unlike later models that had year-dates stamped into them as part of their raison d'etre, Photo-Matics were undated, so instead of having the need of being replaced by a new one within a year, their use could be and was extended throughout the entire duration of the war, nearly three years, making it the Code-O-Graph with the longest service life.
Which is the second reason why Photo-Matic Code-O-Graphs were different than all others, at least as far as I was concerned. Just at the time I came along to be impacted by them, for most of my childhood growing-up Code-O-Graph life, as fate or karma would have it, I just needed to own, learn, and use only one single type --- something I became very, very adept at.
As well, although NOT all Captain Midnight decoders were badges, the Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph was because it had a pin that went through a little hook on the back so it could be pinned on and worn like a badge.
The badge from my childhood that I had been carrying with me for so many months as an adult in the Army had in the square not a picture of Captain Midnight like it came with, but had instead a picture of me as a young boy for as long back as I could remember --- and continued to have that same picture of me when I arrived at the ashram of the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Crossing the ashram proper I came across a dusty little boy, barefoot, with curly hair and quite obviously white, sitting alone in the shade along a low wall making sketches in the dirt with a stick. For no other reason except to do so I sat next to him opening with a "Hi," but he just sat there silently looking toward the ground making a series of markings in the dirt as though lost in a meditative state. When I went to sit down the following happened as found in the source so cited:
"Without knowing it, apparently as I fiddled with the decoder while walking, the pin became unhooked. In the bending down motion to position myself on the low wall next to the boy the sharp point of the pin went right through the thin material of my pocket and directly into my leg just as I was finishing sitting down, jabbing me with a sharp jolt of pain through the upper front of my thigh.
"I pulled the decoder from my pocket rehooking the pin and in the process the boy, probably jarred from his gaze because of my sudden, seemingly inexplicable jump that accidently messed up a good portion of his dirt sketch, turned his gaze from the ground to making eye contact with me then to the decoder, which by then, seeing his interest, I began holding toward him almost instinctively like a police detective does when flashing their badge.
"No sooner had he seen my decoder than, without a word, he took off running across the compound scaring the peacocks out of his path and disappearing between the buildings beyond."
The Code Maker, The Zen Maker
Although the Captain Midnight decoder badge took the overwhelming precedence concerning the events of the moment, possibly the rest of the day, and maybe even throughout time, that is, the boy running off as quick as he could immediately upon seeing the decoder, thus setting into motion all of the downstream ramifications, what was lost in the shuffle was the sketch he was making in the dirt. While it is true I accidently messed up a good portion of his drawing, only milliseconds before, thinking what he was making might be nothing more than the markings of a mere child in the dirt to possibly something much more sophisticated, even imbued with some deep spiritual meaning, I took notice of what he was doing the best I could --- only to be interrupted in the process by the decoder badge pin suddenly jabbing me in the leg.
You may recall from THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER that when I left the monastery with two monks travelling into the hinterlands we came across a woman in a farmhouse who, upon taking my shoulder bag, dumped the contents onto a table. She went through the contents until she found the decoder badge. In the process of her search, uninterested except for clearing the table, she brushed everything else aside, including a small metal pin, with some of the other items even falling to the floor. The pin was a World War II German U-boat 2d Flotilla cap hat pin given to me when I was a young boy by a POW who had been interred in a German prison camp in the U.S. during World War II. The thing is, the pin had long since gone missing, having been lost by me somehow when I was just a kid. So said, the pin wasn't with me when I was drafted, while I was going through any or all of my Army training, or left on my journey to the monastery. It only showed up one night when I was outside the monastery walls meditating. The following is the result of that meditation session, half of which was done outside the walls of the monastery and half of which was done a world away in a creosote ring, and how, through those interactions, the Flotilla pin came into my possession only to end up in my shoulder bag.
The half a world away found me out in the middle of a huge ancient creosote ring located just below the mountains of Big Bear Lake in the burning hot Mojave Desert, all alone, sitting in a Bhumi-sparsha Mudra fashion, the earth-touching gesture. No sooner was I aware than my hand touched the earth, or the sand as the case may be, and in the process of that touching my index finger hit against something metal barely laying below the surface. That something, which I scooped up into the palm my hand while allowing the sand that came with it to filter back between my fingers, turned out to be the German U-boat 2d Flotilla cap hat pin given my by the POW and long since lost. I must have had the Flotilla pin with me on the day I was at the creosote ring for the first time years before when the old prospector found me.
Somehow the pin, those so many years before, must have fallen into the sand and relative to those who knew of it, me for example, rendered itself missing:
"No sooner had I grasped the pin and fully closed my fist around it inside the palm of my hand than I was suddenly overcome by an onslaught of involuntary electrical-like muscular contractions, undulating back-and-forth and in-and-out throughout my whole body. As fast as I was wracked with one spasm than another would hit me just as intense, overcoming the one previous. One instant, as the young boy that I was, I would be sitting in the hot desert sun inside the creosote ring when in the next, overlapping at almost the exact same moment in time, I would be sitting in a like position holding the pin in the same fashion, only as a full grown man in the high altitude cold night outside some ancient Himalayan monastery, knowing full well the thoughts and facts in the heads of each of us as if one. Although it seemed as though there were hundreds of back to back contractions one after the other, as suddenly as the totality of them started they ceased just as quickly, leaving me exhausted, wiped out, and collapsed face down on the the ring floor, sans the Flotilla pin. The pin that had been missing all these years that was found and in my grasp, in a total disregard of the back and forth unstitching in the fabric of space-time followed by a reweaving or healing of the hole, was just as suddenly gone, the adult me in some future or past place apparently having it."
The Curandero and the Magic of the Mojave Desert Creosote Ring
So, how is it I, as a young boy, could end up sitting in the hot desert sun inside the creosote ring in the first place, which in-turn allowed for, supposedly in another time or times, an overlapping at almost the exact same moment the sitting of a like position holding the pin in the same fashion, only as a full grown man in the high altitude cold night outside some ancient Himalayan monastery? The above mentioned back-and-forth almost electric-like event so described as having transpired outside the monastery late one night was the resultant outcome of a second time occurrence finding me at the creosote ring. The first time I had only just returned from India as a very young boy and inadvertently stumbled across, within minutes of it happening, the suicide of the man married to my mother's sister, after which, when the confusion died down, I was discovered missing, ending up miles and miles away with the following results:
"The old man was driving along Old Woman Springs Road located down and behind the mountains from Big Bear Lake on the high desert floor when he noticed an unusual group of vultures circling in the thermals. They didn't seem to be zeroing in on an unmoving carcass of some kind, but moving their circle as though following something possibly injured but still alive. Reading the signs of the desert like a book and using his intuition as much as his curiosity, the old man turned north on a dirt road that led toward the old Bessemer iron mine thinking he might be able to get closer and get a better look. When he reached a point about even with the general eastward movement of the vultures he pulled over to the side of the road and standing up on the seat of his open top jeep peered out over the desert with binoculars to see if he could see anything. Sure enough, visually sweeping the area under the vulture's circle through his binoculars he saw some distance off the road what looked like and turned out to be, a young boy all by himself out in the middle of nowhere walking along almost if he had no clue as to where he was or what he was doing. However, the old man said, such it would seem, was not the case. It was as though the boy knew exactly what he was doing, but why he was doing it was a mystery.
"If the boy was following the vultures with them acting as guides or they were following his lead it didn't seem to matter as the young boy walked straight to and into, only to then sit down in the middle of, one of the most unusual features in all of the Mojave Desert, a creosote ring. But not any creosote ring the old man said, but a specific one, with a huge diameter the likes of which he had never seen. By all description and location, without knowing it, the young boy had walked to, selected out, and sat down in the middle of what, after it's discovery 30 or 40 years later, turned out to be, and has since been given the name King Clone, the oldest known living thing on Earth, dated as being over 11,700 years old."
The Last American Darshan
In the main text I write about crossing the ashram proper after having arrived as an adult when I came across a dusty little boy, barefoot, with curly hair and quite obviously white, sitting alone in the shade along a low wall. I also allude to him drawing in the dirt in the opening paragraphs as I sat next to him. I then go on to say I addressed him with the brief salutation "Hi," but he continued to sit there silently looking toward the ground making a series of markings in the dirt with a stick as though lost in a meditative state. The drawing he was making, as fully explained elsewhere, was of a World War II German U-boat 2d Flotilla cap hat pin. As it turned out, one of the same type pins, albeit long since lost or having disappeared, had at one time fallen into his hands as a very young boy as found in the quote below and as previously mentioned, coming into my possession during meditation outside the monastery only to end up in my shoulder bag:
"(A)s the three POWs entered our camp, one of the men, apparently not seeing me clearly in the dark, stepped on my foot. What I didn't mention at the source --- because I really didn't want to get into it at the time --- was that the same man, when they got up to leave, stopped to pin something on my jacket. Because it was so cold and he had no gloves or warm clothes on, he was shivering so much he was unable to pin whatever he was trying to pin on me, even dropping it a couple of times. The third attempt he just handed it to me, patted me on the head and left with his buddies. A few hours later one of the three was shot dead, two captured and one of the two wounded."
The Spiritual Elder and the Santa Fe Chief
THE SECRET OF THE CODE-O-GRAPHS
While at the monastery I spent many a cold night meditating outside and on occasion pondering the stars. The aforementioned German prisoner of war who found himself on a freezing cold night in the middle of the New Mexico desert, also on a crystal clear night, unlike me nearly a half a century later and a half a world away, didn't have the same pondering the stars luxury as made available to me. Matter of fact, within a few hours of having received the pin from him as a young boy and he having left our camp, with survival no doubt foremost in his mind, but caught in the web of his stature being that of an escaped POW, and with no connection back to the pin or me, he was the one shot dead. But for me, to whom would have the pin gone?
After the above incidents in the desert had long dissipated, with thoughts of same as well, except for those revived by the pin that had long been covered over becoming eroded away, me, having gained through the years a familiarity and strong working knowledge of astronomy, it dawned on me because whatever the time difference that occurred or didn't occur inside the walls where I was and that of the outside world --- unless it was a mind game --- there would have to be a difference in star position, if by nothing else the 26,000 year precession of the poles or precession of the equinox, however slight or minor, between the two. From that difference, if there was one, one's place in time could then possibly be determined.
After passing through the doors into the monastery I went around to the outside front of the monastery and measured off a respectful distance and spent several nights observing the stars and taking note of their positions. After so many days I exited through the monastery doors to the outside world and measured off the exact same distance, sitting in what would duplicate the same spot, again spending several nights observing the stars and taking note of their position. When someone took notice I was doing 'something' I was strongly and harshly reprimanded by the Master and in so many non-understandable words told to cease and desist.
As for any differences in star positions caused by the celestial motion of the 26,000 year precession of the equinox that I thought might manifest itself between the inside and the outside of the monastery grounds and environs, my suspicions proved correct.
Notice in the above graphic the pole star for our era, Polaris, is placed at the very top center of the precession orbit while curiously enough, of all the stars that could be, straight down and directly below, Vega just happens to be at the very bottom center, one half way away in the 26,000 year precession cycle.
Vega was the northern pole star around 12,000 BC and will be so again around the year 13,727. The creosote ring is dated as being over 11,700 years old, which for all practical purposes is 12,000 years, making it's very inception on earth beginning during the exact same period of time Vega was the north star. During my meditation periods on the monastery grounds outside and in front of the doors prior to any passing through into the monastery, the nighttime sky north star was Polaris, indicating a present day time frame reference. After passing through the monastery doors and exiting outside and around to the front, the nighttime north star was Vega, indicating a time frame reference around 12,000 BC, just at the end of the ice age ... OR in the future as stated above 13,727 AD, making for the creosote ring (and just as important) one full 26,000 year circumnavigation of the precession of the equinox.
PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOX AND THE CODE-O-GRAPHS
Take notice of the circular design, look, and similarities between the Code-O-Graph and the precession of the equinox image. There just happens to be 26 one-thousand year increments on the precession image while the Code-O-Graph has 26 increments, one each for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Both the precession of the equinox AND Code-O-Graphs figured predominantly in the goings on of events as they unfolded in the Curandero page and The Code Maker, The Zen Maker.
THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER
RETURN TO THE MONASTERY
Most people who have read through all that I have presented, with the thousands of interlinking footnotes and all, have had enough. However, every once in awhile there are those who come forward interested in the jump between the two paragraph quote below and how it was closed. That is to say, how did I, as an adult at the Ramana ashram return to the monastery. We know I ended up in Tiruvannamalai in some fashion with the help of the woman on the farm because I met the young boy with the Code-O-Graph there, yet nowhere does it show up how it was I ended up back at the monastery. It is clear that I did because in Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery I write that I was abducted by military irregulars outside the walls one morning and taken back to civilization
After meeting the young anglo boy in the ashram that day and exchanging photos with him he immediately ran off only to return with, not leading, but instead being towed, yanked, dragged or pulled by one arm and his wrist across the ashram grounds, twisting on his knees while dragging the tops of his feet and toes trailing behind him in the dirt, by a nearly wild-eyed white woman who was basically running in my direction pointing a bony-like finger toward me while holding the decoder in that same hand and turning back to look at a white man some distance behind hurriedly trying to catch up --- two individuals I was sure I didn't want to meet or talk to at the time.
"I scooted as quickly as I could across what was left of the ashram grounds between me and the gate and out onto the street, melding into the small milieu of what counted as crowds in those days, disappearing.
"Years passed and one day a friend of mine helping me go through a few things ran across my rather loose knit so-called collection of decoders that were sort of doing not much more than just floating around in an unconnected fashion in a drawer."
The above sentences as found in the above quote are the two closing sentences at the end of Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery. Although the physical visual-space that separates them is small, the gap between the two as related to the passage of time within the context of the sentences is huge. One moment, when all the trials and tribulations that have been laid out from childhood through to the Army, the monastery, the Himalayas, et al have ended, I walk away from the ashram, suddenly jumping to many years later, apparently comfortably safe back at home in the United States as though nothing ever happened --- simply hanging with a friend sorting through a bunch of decades-old Captain Midnight decoders.
Lets just say in more ways than one, it involved war torn Burma, the Japanese invasion of India, the crash of a C-47 high in the rarefied air in the Tibetan area of the Himalayas after being lost on a flight from Calcutta, and a U.S. Army captain who flew over the "hump" from China only to end up visiting the Ramana ashram at the same time I was there. That same captain, who had been called back into the Army to serve in the Korean War, during the throes of battlefield decimation going on all around him, as written in his tome A Soldier's Story, experienced a deep Spiritual Awakening not unlike those afforded the ancient classical masters.
RETURN TO THE MONASTERY
BEFORE LEAVING CALCUTTA-----------------------------------------------------AFTER LEAVING CALCUTTA
THE SPIRITUAL ELDER AND THE SANTA FE CHIEF
CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT'S RADIO PREMIUM OFFERS
CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT: THE CODE-O-GRAPHS
TIME TRAVEL: MEETING YOURSELF
ANALOGIES IN TIME & PLACE
TIME TRAVEL MYTHOLOGY
MAHABHARATA: INDIA, CIRCA 400BCE
THE MOBIUS STRIP
ON THE RAZOR'S
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.