THE MYTH OF ETAN

Posted: November 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

The smell of dread bellowed in the air, engulfing the terrain with an ensnaring smile. Etan attempted to control his fear as his horse galloped with steadfast precision. Etan’s senses narrowed to a pinpoint accuracy. All he could hear was the ferocious thundering of the Tongamey’s approach sounding like a gigantic avalanche crunching everything in its path. The sky darkened, as Etan grew weary of his frantic retreat. He and Lohinito were the only remaining warriors left in his tribe. Just yesterday, the Tongamey massacred two hundred of his fellow Modeleno warriors in a deceptive ambush. Among the slain was Etan’s chieftain father, Konosko.

Earlier that month, the Tongamey, a malicious and war-bent neighboring tribe, called upon the Modeleno to join in the Tongamey’s annual La Guerra de la Montaña Festival. This annual affair pitted the best of the Tongamey’s youth against each other in a series of shockingly brutal combats, providing the winners a rite of passage into the Tongamey warrior cast. The grueling struggles seamlessly intertwined with celebrations of food, dancing and merry-making making the La Guerra de la Montaña Festival the height of the Tongamey year.

The Tongamey rarely invited outside tribes to the festivities and were very guarded about their tribal rituals. Konosko, the Modeleno head chief was surprised to get an invitation and at first was skeptical, although he reluctantly agreed to join the Tongamey.

The first day of the festival came and went without incident. However on the second night of the festival the Modeleno were deceived. A vicious hoard of Tongamey warriors pounced on the Modeleno warriors killing each one to the man, except for Etan and Lohinito. Etan and Lohinito left moments before the slaughter to water the horses and when they found one of the horses sick, they walked to the edge of the river for water. When they heard the screams of their fellow warriors, they instantly knew what had happened. Etan and Lohinito grabbed two horses and rode bareback to the hills as fast as the horses could run.

Etan sent Lohinito ahead to warn his people to escape to the mountains where they would be safe. After Lohinito was gone, Etan sat on his horse alone on a hillside. He was able to stay hidden from the Tongamey, in part because they did not know he escaped, and in part because of his intimate knowledge of the country’s terrain. He had spent his whole youth embracing the natural surroundings of his land, and now the familiarity was paying off.

The Tongamey forces were galloping toward the Modeleno village to impose a death sentence on its people. The Tongamey were noted for their greed and avarice and wanted the rich Modeleno’s lands with its abundant hunting grounds, fish filled rivers, bountiful deer and swarms of quail.

Etan gazed over the edge of the mountain cliff and saw the Tongamey hoard galloping their way towards him, his village and his land. The question in Etan’s mind was whether to remain and somehow fight the Tongamey or to escape to his people hiding in the mountains.

Although he had proven himself a mighty warrior in times of hunting and battle, the idea of one man fighting against a vast hoard of Tongamey warriors brought dread into his bones. He fell to the ground and then leaned his back against a protruding boulder, pondering on what to do next. He knew that escaping into the mountains with his people was suicide, and that a one-man army fighting alone against the Tongamey was insanity.

As the sun set over the mountain, the Tongamey hoard halted at the river’s bend where a large meadow, small brook and grazing land provided their horses with food, drink and rest. In camp, they could chart their final strategy to overtake the Modeleno land. They sat and laughed together knowing there was no need to rush headlong into slaughter without rest. Their swords would become heavy with savage butchery and they needed their strength. They toasted to their success and fell into a deep sleep on the dusty ground.

Etan decided to move to a higher point up the mountainside above the hoard and set-up a make shift camp. The sloping ridge and steady wind allowed him to set a small fire out of the enemy’s site. As Etan’s agitation calmed, he began to feel the need to resolve the despairing options in front of him. One thing his people had taught him was the necessity of meditation in the face of danger. They taught their children that the alignment of soul, spirit, body and mind with the Great Spirits of Heaven and Earth was the only way to find a path away from danger.

Etan delved into a deep meditation, closing his eyes to his inner being. His fear slowly began to thaw, and the darkness in his mind began to illuminate with calming light. He crawled his way into a deeper sanctum in his soul and rested there in warmth and comfort. He knew that if death knocked at his door it would find him in this sacred place.

Suddenly loud sounds made Etan open his eyes. There in front of him was a large pack of wolves descending into Etan’s small camp. They were strong and walked in steadfast steps, eyes glowing in the dark and their gaping mouths revealing large sharp teeth. A bright, glowing light shone above the packs heads. As he began to focus on the light, it transformed into twelve angelic warriors clothed in armor of gold with wings of cascading radiance. Their enormous bodies were pillars of strength, and their eyes glared with such force that transgression itself would faint from fear.

The wolves and the angels walked in unison, as indigenous mountain animals of every type moved forward with the exactitude of Truth. Ravens, snakes, eagles, birds of every type, deer, elk, boars, a pride of mountain lion, swarms of bees, and more animals hovered behind the wolves and angelic warriors. Etan intuitively gestured to the wolves a welcome with open arms. The angels and wolves drew close to Etan when the alpha wolf stepped forward and spoke.

“You are a brave soul Etan. In this moment where confusion reigns and self-preservation wants to overcome bravery, instead the Great Spirit designated you through duty to fight against the malicious Tongamey. There are times on Earth for statements of courage overcoming fear, allowing future generations to learn how to face and overcome adversity with their inherent strengthening of soul.

Your people always lived with us and honored the potency of heaven, earth and spirit in perfect harmony. We know that this invading army comes only to destroy and steal the richness of your heritage.

A battle line occurs at these critical points in time. The heaven born leader must fight the onslaught with vigor and courage. Yet, no person alone can avenge a malevolent enemy. A grain of sand cannot consider itself a beachfront nor can a single drop of rain claim to be a raging river. However, when all the forces combine in harmony, then rocks crumble, earth shakes and mountains move.”

The wolf continued. “Each malevolent mind nurtures a latent fear of shame. Evil does not squirm without remorse. The actor becomes susceptible to guilt, remorse and terror.”

Etan took a deep breath as he listened to the wolf tell his plan.

“Here is our strategy,” the wolf continued. “Our pack will encircle the meadows, along with the ravens, snakes and all the animals of the mountain. Then the angelic warriors of heaven will swoop down above their heads, causing horror and panic upon their sight. As they run into walls of contempt, they fall into oblivion.”

At that point, one of the angelic warriors flew in front of the speaking wolf with a huge conge in his hand. The alpha wolf continued, “You will take the conge to the top of the mountain and bang it each time you hear the ravens call out ‘it is time to cong your conge’. Maintain your stealth as we initiate our assault.”

With that, the alpha wolf moved back into the darkness along with his avenging army, vanishing invisibly into the landscape. Etan sat in silence for a long time holding the conge in his hands. Although his mind could not fathom the reality of what he just experienced, he knew that the forces that govern this planet joined to ensure the good heart survives in the midst of the overwhelming darkness of iniquity.

Within the hour, you could hear the howling of the wolves, and their fierce growls echoing from the valley below. The sound was terrifying. Soon after the ravens began to screech and taunt the camping warriors. Suddenly great gusts of wind hurled over the large camp, as the Angelic Warriors swarmed down armed with gigantic swords raised high above their heads. The whirling winds spilled the Tongamey’s pots and pans, toppled their tents and sent a horrendous uproar of sound through the camp. The frenzied horses began kicking and ripping themselves from their tethers. In a growing unison, a chorus of groaning men began to scream in confusion.

The ravens turned toward the mountain where Etan positioned himself and called out, “it is time to cong your conge”. With that, Etan struck the conge as hard as he could. The conge created an eerie, scary sound reverberating through the valley below. The Tongamey warriors began to lose their balance, falling and tripping over themselves.

Then hundreds of snakes poured into the camp, slithering among the men, biting them and causing them much pain. The wolves started to tear at the men on the periphery of the camp, ripping their limbs and shredding their bodies. Animals of all sorts pounced on the men, biting, tearing, scratching, and creating intolerable anguish in the scampering men.  They screamed with absolute terror as the orchestration of sounds, attacks and winds reached a shrilling crescendo.

Then suddenly there was silence. No sound emanated from the valley or the air, the snakes slithered away, the wolves departed and the other animals disappeared into the night. The winds died down. The Tongamey warriors patted themselves up and down, looking around in confusion and bewilderment. Men grabbed the fleeing horses and rode with furor away from the camp.

As the night fell into complete silence, Etan built a large fire and began to meditate deeply in his soul. He wanted to thank the heavens and the earth for what they had miraculously done.

Then Etan heard noises coming from out of the dark. Emerging from the night the pack of wolves, the angels, ravens and snakes moved slowly toward him and formed a semicircle around the fire. The alpha wolf came out as he did before and spoke, “The efforts of a common man cannot quell the dangers of the earth. Safety of your brood requires the safety of all that share your land. When they work in unison and harmony then the plan of the Great Spirit comes into play and all live long and well.”

With that, the conge gravitated upward into the hands of the angelic warrior who originally had given it to Etan. The snakes squirmed away, all the animals vanished, the ravens dispersed in every direction, and the wolves and angels turned and walked away.

When Etan returned to his empty village, he felt distressed by the possibilities that a great harm had fallen on his people. Suddenly he heard loud yells coming from the mountain. It was Lohinito yelling out his name. Following Lohinito were the villagers, safe and sound, although some shivered from the cold night.

They spent the next week in chanting, dancing, hugging and rejoicing. The wolves cried out in the night, the ravens cawed in the day. The sky winds blew and the rivers gave up a feast for the festival of thanksgiving and salvation.

Over the years, when the people would gather around the fire, Etan told the story of what happened to the warriors, his father, the wolves, angels, snakes, ravens and conges. He spoke of harmony of spirit, alignment with the Great Spirit and the forces of nature and heaven. He spoke of the challenge of death and the insurmountable insignificance of one human being. He explained how the multiplicity of influence gathered to strike fear into the heart of evil, and how he chose to meditate in the face of unfathomable danger. The people listened in awe at his tale and continue to listen to it up to this day as “The Myth of Etan”.

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