A Distorting Influence, pp. 205-206

Opening Remarks
Falsehood draws its material from truth but gives it a twist thereby turning it into a lie. Its action is a distorting influence on things.

Seed of doubt
All glory of life was dimmed, tarnished with doubt;
All beauty ended in an aging face;
All power was dubbed a tyranny cursed by God
And Truth a fiction needed by the mind:
The chase of joy was now a tired hunt;
All knowledge was left a questioning Ignorance.

All our greater and higher possibilities are tinged with doubt, all beauty of form twisted. Power was thought to be accursed by God and Truth a fiction needed by the mind as a comfort zone. What was missing in that world was joy or one was tired of seeking for it since one hardly found it. A questioning ignorance unable to grasp and understand profound truths turned all knowledge, including the highest, into something doubtful and debatable.

A womb obscure
As from a womb obscure he saw emerge
The body and visage of a dark Unseen
Hidden behind the fair outsides of life.

He saw the adverse birth behind the fair surfaces of life, waiting unseen in the wraps and folds of darkness. It emerged as a body and visage emerges from the womb.

Our suffering’s cause
Its dangerous commerce is our suffering’s cause.

It is when we are pushed to act under the impulsion of this darkness held within that we reap suffering as a result.

Ambiguous face
Its breath is a subtle poison in men’s hearts;
All evil starts from that ambiguous face.

This evil emerging from behind besieges us with a dark influence. Its very breath is a poison for the soul.

Menacing energies
A peril haunted now the common air;
The world grew full of menacing Energies,
And wherever turned for help or hope his eyes,
In field and house, in street and camp and mart
He met the prowl and stealthy come and go
Of armed disquieting bodied Influences.

The danger grew as Aswapati moved through those treacherous fields. Peril and menace was felt everywhere. There was none to help, none on which one could pin one’s hope. All the beings and their quarters were filled with stealthy prowl of bodies armed to hurt and slay. There very presence created an unease and disquiet.

Appalling figures and footsteps
A march of goddess figures dark and nude
Alarmed the air with grandiose unease;
Appalling footsteps drew invisibly near,
Shapes that were threats invaded the dream-light,
And ominous beings passed him on the road
Whose very gaze was a calamity:
A charm and sweetness sudden and formidable,
Faces that raised alluring lips and eyes
Approached him armed with beauty like a snare,
But hid a fatal meaning in each line
And could in a moment dangerously change.

Dark and nude forms were there; formidable, threatening shapes, filling the air with unease. Their very gaze was calamitous. Or they came wearing the mask of a charming sweetness with alluring lips and eyes using beauty as a snare to drag the soul towards hell.

Closing remarks
Deception and terror is the law of life in this world. It is a world devoid of natural joy and good.

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