The Hunters of Health had their special place in society. They supported society well, they were its backbone. Here’s a story for one of them:
Big Hum was always renowned for being the best in picking up “goldlen”. No matter from where, he would always pick more than the others. No heat, no rain, no snow, no wind would prevent him from always coming back with more than the others.
This was the most important resource for the city and the society. Everything measured up to it. It was the healing richness of nature that each flower yielded. It was the most valuable ingredient, the one which creates and maintains life. No wonder everyone was so high on the wonderful and miraculous July Herb.
Other than being as rare as it was, it was also very hard to extract. It was more valuable than gold, because it could heal. As the years went by, everyone started calling Hum – the Big Hum, because of how much he was able to collect each year. Everybody knew him.
Some admired him; some envied him – all of those things can happen to an average member of society. Hum let the praise pass him by and extended a helping hand to envy, because they know the people who envy him are unhappy. He was always smiling, friendly and visibly balanced.
All of them thought he was casual, which strongly contrasted with his good results. His body was slim and muscular, not very flexible, but strong. Big joints and dark, thick hair. Well-groomed, but rough hands, which were able to give a handshake that was firm and a careful at the same time.
Society has expected of him to be harsh and “successful”, but deep within himself, Big Hum was still a young boy, a young kid. He was sad because of all the suffering all over the world; he lived through it and often was afraid of the future. Outlandish on the outside, but delicate and kind, he still preserved the flame of child innocence. He could play like a baby, but there were fewer and fewer people he could have as much fun with, without restrictions.
Big Hum realized the reason for the hassle. He understood quite well that stress is constantly defeating everyone, not unlike how waves break down a rock. It happened to him as well. He had been helpless in the fiery ocean of stress before.
With time, he mastered a few techniques he was able to use to center himself and push himself forward. He tried to share them with the others.
It was an interesting fact that one could find goldlen anywhere in the world, coming from all sorts of medical plants, but one would be sick sooner or later. He would treat them, but they poisoned themselves with worry, wrong way of life, wrong perceptions and they fell sick again. This is how they lived their lives; this is what was considered normal and no one wanted to change. They all thought that’s what this all was and that is how the world worked. Many even used goldlen from plants that made them dizzy and created in them a false sense of comfort.
Big Hum wanted to change that. So this year he decided not to get the most goldlen, but the most healing goldlen. He wanted to find goldlen that would create societal harmony.
This is how his search started. He consulted with doctors, scientists and witch doctors, so that they would tell him what herbs to look for. Everyone kept telling him things he already knew. Drugs already have been created and tested from all of these plants they mentioned. Despite all this, Hum felt it is not possible that it can all be doomed. He thought and read about it every day, so that he can figure out the cause of all woes and diseases.
He was looking for a word to describe what he was looking for. Everything was so busy, everyone was flying, buzzing, roving about and one day they would lie down and never get up again. Nobody stopped, and there was no way of stopping, this is how the World worked. In the old language of the ancients, there was this word, which described a condition not dissimilar to the one people used to relax just before they died. The ancient texts said this condition could be practiced while people were still alive and it was named calm or calmness. The root of the word is “calm”, and this is where the expression “the final calm” originated from.
Of course no one knew this expression any longer and they did not know what it meant. Old texts in libraries know, and Hum found that this is the recipe he has been looking for. It turned out that back in the day, everybody practiced calm and they were healthier.
Hum thought for a long time and came up with the idea that there had to be goldlen, which made people “calm”, but not in the way that would make them zombies and put them to sleep. Where to look for it, though?
One day, on his way to an herb-picking spot, he met a stranger.
– Hi! – Hum answered.
– Friend, the thing you’re looking for is not there!
– How do you know what I’m looking for?
– I know it is not there! There is this plant that only monks know how to pick, but you need to find your way to one of their settlements.
– Who are you? – Hum asked.
– I was like you once; it was there that I found what you are looking for.
– How do you even know what I’m looking for?
– You are not looking for something just for you, boy, so I’ll help you! They live two days of flight away from here, in this direction, toward the mountain. When you reach its northern foot, enter the forest. There you will discover monks living in their small villages. They only collect the strongest goldlen, but they do not trade with it, instead they use it to live. They will tell you what to look for!
Right then, a whole score of children going to school passed them by. There were so many of them that the two strangers lost eye contact. When the kids passed them by, Hum was alone in this space and his interlocutor had disappeared.
He was very puzzled by the meeting and did not know whether he believed or he did not. Anyway, his search was facing an obstacle. He looked toward the mountain and in a few moments he was already rushing toward it.
It was not an easy road. There were winds and the night outside was cold, but it was also quiet and calm, unlike the night he would have spent in the bustling city. On the second night he arrived at the foot of the mountain.
A dense forest was going through the ground and raced up, as if every tree wanted to look for the top of the hill.
Night took their colors away; they are as good as black… It’s not scary… not at all… it just looked like another World…
These were the few thoughts that traversed Hum’s mind. He felt physical exhaustion and mental easiness. It was then that he realized he hasn’t delved in thought and worries for a long time.
Maybe this is something like being calm…, he thought. Then he found shelter in the hollow of a huge tree. He soon fell asleep as he was listening to the song of the river.
In the morning he felt insecure. He did not know what to do and where to proceed. He assessed that in order to find the monks, he would have to either find their village or look for them where they would be collecting healing plants. This inspired confidence in him and he started doing what he did best – look for goldlen.
He spent almost a day looking and he did not manage to discover any unusual herb. Finally Hum decided to stop. He was a bit disappointed. However, fatigue somehow blunted this feeling. He soon got up and continued to buzz and look for them. He felt this was his duty and he was almost deprived from emotions, he was just acting.
It was then when he felt this strange feeling. It was as if someone was observing him. His ears were ringing and he shivered with a warm, pleasant feeling. He felt light and happy. He even smiled. Then he heard a calm and soft voice whisper his name:
– Hum! Hello! I am glad you came by!
He looked around, but did not see anybody …
– Do not worry! – the voice said…
A silhouette appeared in the distance. He was far away, but his quiet voice whispered things in Hum’s ears. Hum kept wondering how he was able to hear it.
The stranger was dressed all in orange and he moved lightly and freely. His face was radiant with an innocent smile.
Hum did not realize how this was possible, but he realized he had discovered one of the monks. After their exciting meeting together, they went to the bottom of a waterfall and camped there.
They ate in silence and the monk started talking to Hum soon after:
– Discover the herb of tranquility. You may have seen it in the lowlands, but the one that grows here is quite different. This Mountain is the soul of our world. It is directly connected to all of us. Every single one of us! Suffering starts with the wishes and the aversions. Therefore, if you have a wish or an aversion, it grows in the form of a stalk of this plant. We call it Naval-Alud, which means the Oil of Gods. If you talk goldlen from it, it dies and never appears again. Only new wishes and aversions will make it grow again. You have to get every single stalk in the mountain; this is the only way of bringing peace to everybody.
– What do you mean when you say that our wishes and our aversions are the cause of our suffering?
– The mind always looks to where it cannot reach. It gets one thing and is already looking at another. Wishes would never be satisfied. I say wishes, but I mean not just wishing for objects, but achievements, ambitions, position, etc. The aversions are things we do not want to happen to use and they create fears in us. To not have wishes and aversions does not need to be idle and become a hermit like me. Impassivity means doing and completing everything in your everyday life and be dedicated to it with all your heart, not less! Then you can be calm! Then you know you gave it your best and you can be calm that everything is going as it should be.
– How will the world develop if we do not have any ambitions?
– You can only have ambitions about something you have doubts about… You do not become ambitious to brush your teeth every day, do you?
– This is rather confusing… What should I do with the goldlen? –Hum asked.
– Once you gather all of Naval-Alud, you can use it to prepare a medicine. One drop is enough. There would be enough for everyone to treat their mind!
– How do I get it from everyone, how am I supposed to know I was able to get goldlen from all plants?
– They only grow in once place in the Mountain and nowhere else.
– What does it look like?
– It’s a low level plant, it develops in tuffs with with small leaves and long stalks, it blossoms with small purple flowers, around twenty from a stalk, and it has a nice, soft and deep smell. It will be easy for you to recognize it; it’s a rather different from all other plants.
– Where can I find it?
– Do you see those peaks right over there, son?
– I do.
– When you climb on top of those, you will see that these rocks form a ring and in the middle, surrounded by these natural walls, there is a valley. It is there that you should look for it!
The next day, while it was still dark, just before the dawn, Hum prepared himself and started going up on the first path up toward the steep crag.
Around an hour later, a little after dawn, he put his foot on the top. A beautiful view revealed itself to him. The rocks continued to the left and to the right of him. They rushed forward and gradually merged into one another in the distance, creating a shape not unlike a circle, which reminded of the crater of a volcano. In the lower parts, clouds and nebulae glided on top of one another. They pressed themselves into one another, they scattered around and they merged together. It was like a sea, a white sea.
Perhaps this is the valley I am looking for, he thought to himself.
A bit lower, the tops of the tallest trees were visible. He discovered something like a path and started going down to the valley. In approximately quarter of an hour, clouds dispersed and light disseminated the grey morning. The still damp forest was gradually leading him down, and the slopes became increasingly sloped. Soon the end of the forest started to show through. The son was sneaking between the sharp edges of the “crater”, still red. The tender light was softly caressing. Hum looked at all plants, seeking one that looks different compared to the others.
All of a sudden, the eyes saw it, a little bit on the side. It was where the sunrays between the dense trees fell.
– The plant! The plant! – He shouted, exhilarated.
It was exactly what the monk had described – it was beautiful.
He continued looking and saw some more.
One here, one there.
A stalk here, another one there…
Hum knew he had a lot of work to do, but so far this did not look impossible.
Without any delay, he carefully started collecting the valuable pollen. The moment he was able to get the goldlen from the first stalk, the stalk immediately withered.
Hum was startled for a moment, despite the fact that the monk had warned him about it, but in a few seconds he continued to do his duty.
Soon after he got up and looked around.
He gazed forward between the last trees and saw something that puzzled him. Between the tree trunks, he saw the sunlight reflected into blurry lilac spots. He rushed that way and the closer he got, the more he slowed down, because he could not believe his eyes.
The lilac flowers were getting more and more into focus and as he was walking out of the forest, he realized this was a whole valley with Naval-Alud.
It was an endless field! You could not see, let alone collect goldlen from it.
So many tuffs, so many sprigs, countless, endless! A whole Universe!
Hum could not realize.
He turned back and realized the road behind him had disappeared. He was in the middle of an endless Universe and a meadow. The field was merging into the horizon from all directions.
It was right then that I opened my eyes and I saw the dark room…
What a dream …
But to me, it seems as if the meadow is very real …
It seems that I have a lot of work ahead of me …