Hmmmmmm Should I continue to post these?


The anger of Bai Tuomu made him feel like a viscous animal and he evoked a growl and a grimace showing of teeth. “Shit stick!” he screamed at his abuser.

A man at the head of the procession cut away from the lead and returned to Bai’s position on the ground. Without a word being spoken he stood and looked down at the visibly shocked Bai with the stern eyes of a punishing god. Bai immediately pressed his palms together and placed them tightly against his forehead bowing in obeisance before the Mandarin’s procession leader.

Bai had entered the walled city of Canton in the hopes of finding his cousin Feng Yunshan. It was reported that Feng was traveling with Hong Xiuquan, the man who was telling every eager listener of his meeting with the Christian God and his son Jesus. The streets within the walled city were paved with slabs of granite, each one intricately fit together like a jig-saw puzzle. Each street had its own gate that was locked every night and posted with sentries whose responsibility was to guard that sector of the city. In the section that contained the inhabitant’s homes, your eye is brought quickly to the line of roofs jutting in and out, in every conceivable angle attempting to capture proper Feng Shui. The roofing tiles are of many colors and stab jaggedly against the background of a bright blue sky. The streets containing the mercantile quarter are all but eight feet wide in the widest of sections and are bustling with sellers and buyers, people stopping to talk, to eat and drink or to quibble over the weight of a fish or the price of some other coveted item.

With shouts and shoves the crowded street parted to make way for a procession led by four men dressed in heavily padded red silk garments leading a palanquin borne upon the shoulders of eight bearers. As the crowd attempted to yield, pushing themselves into whatever available space, Bai found himself tightly against a booth selling salted duck with hanging fowl bobbing about his face. As an elbow slammed into his ribs Bai bent forward in reflex, and found himself knocked to the ground.

“Shit stick,” seemed forced from his lips and left him at the mercy of the Mandarin’s lead man. The lead man stepped away from his position as the procession stopped and the crowd stilled. As Bai bowed deeply, the man’s foot caught him under the chin and rolled him into the booth of swinging ducks. Having pronounced judgment, the procession reformed and went on its way. The narrow street resumed the day’s business as Bai stood to regain his composure. The duck vendor decided to launch his own assault and began shouting for payment for disturbing the now swinging ducks many of which fell from their moorings. Pushing through the crowd and passing the street’s gate, Bai made several turns moving right and left until he found an open street with access to a less frenzied mass of people. Bai entered a street designed to sell coffins. They stood forth in all shapes and sizes. Incense filled the open air and his eyes fell upon a man deeply saddened by grief. The man’s face was contorted with emotion and he wailed with lament. The grieving man surprised Bai by seizing him by the arm. His hand was strong and pressed deep into Bai’s flesh. He looked deeply at Bai Tuomu and cleared his tears to speak.

“To see the right and not to do it is cowardice,” the bent man imparted to Bai.

“Why do you bother me with this? Am I known to you,?” asked Bai.

“Show me a man of violence that came to a good end, and I will take him for my teacher,” the man recited, his face contorted no more, his eyes clear and shining.

Bai stood still as his peripheral vision began to reveal the tapestry hanging about the man. The man’s status as a diviner sent a shiver of fear up Bai’s spine. Bai turned to speak to the man and found that his words stuck like vomit in his throat. Bai looked down upon the smiling man, and felt himself go faint and felt the world began to spin. After a brief moment Bai slowly opened his eyes. The vendor of salted ducks yelled curses and threats of arrest. Bai stood to his feet to let his head clear. He appeared to be still within the duck vendors booth and in a confuesed effort to distance himself from the strangeness of the day’s experiences he headed without the city to continue his search for cousin Feng.


My primordial nature has no liking for the life in the cities.
To be free from the noise I built a little thatched cottage.
Far away in the depth of the mountains.
Wandering here and there I carry no thought.
When spring comes I watch the birds.;
In summer I bathe in the running stream;
In autumn I climb the highest peaks;
During the winter I am warming in the sun.
Thus I enjoy the real flavor of the seasons...
Shih T’aoAlign Center

In the autumn of 1847, at the age of sixteen, Bai set aside the anger and insecurity of his youth. He effortlessly exchanged it for the joy and confidence that came as the result of being a part of the “God Worshiping Society,” created through the words of his cousin Feng and through the vision of the Heavenly King, Hong Xiuquan.

Bai traveled with Hong and his cousin Feng to Thistle Mountain some two hundred and fifty miles west of their home village. Hong and Feng spent their days studying, writing and teaching. In the year prior, Feng had lived with the family of Zeng, studying every translated piece of Christian teaching that was available while they spread the message of Hong and his vision. Their writings were distributed over the area around and about Thistle Mountain and converts were added daily to the society’s numbers. There was a feeling of excitement knowing that God was going to rid the world of evil and that the society was chosen by God for the task.

Hong retold his story over and over to every eager listener that he approached. In 1837, as his story went, he became ill and found himself escorted to heaven. He was shown ,any illustrious things beyond all description. Hong was welcomed into heaven with music and fanfare unmatched by anything he had ever seen or heard. Hong found himself being carried along in a procession in a multi-colored chair set upon the shoulders of several attendants. Hong had his organs removed and replaced with new ones. He was introduced to his “Mother” who bathed him in a river in preparation to meet his “Father.”

Hong’s story continued in explaination of how he met his Father and an elder brother. How it was that h,e began to receive instruction from them reminding him of what he once knew yet had forgotten as the result of his journey to earth. His Father showed him that the earth and it’s people were given over to demons and idols. Hong tells his listeners of his grief and anger upon hearing this prodding Hong to ask of his Father why he would not show his wrath and decide to destroy all the inhabitants of the earth. Hong's father patiently explained that the demons have infiltrated heaven itself and they first must be destroyed there. With his Fathers permission, Hong and his elder brother began to battle the demons that had infiltrated the thirty three levels of heaven. That after many lengthy battles the demons were driven out of heaven and battled themselves back unto the earth where they still helf power. After having endured many long battles Hong was allowed to rest with his heavenly wife who was preparing to bear him a son. Hong spent his days in heaven in the study of the scrolls of heaven and basked in the loving-kindness of his wife and new son. Hong continued to tell his listeners of the beauty and contentment he had shared with his wife in heaven. He had no ambition to ever return back to earth but as his contentment reached it’s zenith, his Father instructed Hong that he must return to earth to continue the battle and instructed him to “behead the evil ones, spare the just, and ease the people’s sorrow.”

Hong continued his tale of awakening finding himself back upon the earth. His father and brothers upon the earth tried in vain to assure Hong that he never left them. That all he had envisioned was the result of his illness. Hong concluded that his experience was beyond the demon suppressed minds of his family and became silent. Hong struggled to understand the meaning of his “vision” and shares his tale with only those that had "ears to hear and eyes to see." While Hong sought to regain his place within the family, he also began to prepare for the examinations again. The complex revelations contained within his vision haunted Hong daily and he sought to know their meaning or wait for their fulfillment.

In 1836, a year before his illness and his visions of heaven, Hong was given a set of nine tracts collected into one book entitled, “Good Words for Exhorting the Age” written by a Chinese Christian convert named, Liang Afa. After Hong’s first set of examinations he encountered two missionaries outside the gates of Canton and after a brief conversation with them which seemed wholly forgettable they left him a set of tracts, of Christian teachings which Hong placed among his things for the long walk home. Hong put the book of tracts aside and did not look at them for another seven years. In 1843, Hong was reintroduced to Afa’s words after he had lent the tracts to a friend. Upon hearing of Hong’s story of a journey into heaven the friend shared Hong’s puzzlement as to it’s meaning but upon reading the borrowed Christian tracts the friend found confirmation of Hong’s vision within them. He steadfastly returned to share the book’s words with Hong. It was at this moment that the meaning of Hong’s vision was made clear. His father, who he had met while in heaven was God and his elder brother was the Jesus revealed within this book. Hong realized that he had a task to fulfill and this epiphany showed that he must immediately prepare himself.

Hong studied the tracts over and over gleaning every morsel of information regarding the message of God. Upon sharing his revelation he began to gain early converts, one of whom was Bai’s cousin, Feng Yunshan. As Hong and Feng set out to spread the word of Hong’s vision it was at this time that Bai was invited to accompany them.

The autumn of 1847 at Thistle Mountain was the happiest time Bai had ever known. Although much of their time was filled with prayer and teaching he had never before possessed such a feeling of safety and security. If he strayed too far from the protection of the mountain Bai had the protection of knowing secret words and hand signals which were known and honored by all of the hill people be them bandit or mercenary, friend or foe as recognition of the important work undertaken by the God worshipers. The mountain was an exercise of all of one’s senses. Steep climbs revealed hidden waterfalls and unusual rock formations. The water was as cold and clear as any water that Bai had ever seen. In the pools that collected, amid the huge and hidden rock walls, mountain streams were forged. Bai could see rocks on the pool floor at a depth of sixteen feet as well as he could see them at three. On the mountain’s higher level there grew pines that stood alone among the rocks twisted and spiraled into a flat green top. There were hundreds of migrating red beaked birds singing furiously as if in praise to the mountain. With the many varieties of flowers still in bloom, Bai stopped to enjoy every one of them. This appeared to Bai as heaven on earth. A plan was constructed to leave the mountain tomorrow for an adventure to an unfamiliar mountain of temples and demons a day’s journey away. Bai felt a mixture of fear and excitement fluttering about his stomach. Tomorrow was to be an important day.

With two sons of the Zeng family leading the way, Hong, Feng and Bai, and another local God- Worshiper named Lu Liu, made their way through the dense mountain foliage. Bai watched as Hong walked with an intense and single-minded look while Feng still found moments to laugh and act playful. Bai felt the strength of his legs carry him higher and higher through the winding mountain passages. The trail led sharply upward and then as suddenly it led downward, all within the span of twenty paces. Bai observed a careful placement of rocks and stones within the several breaks of foliage along their way, looking as if someone were playing a stone game of balancing one stone upon another.

Knowing that the God of Heaven was leading the steps of Hong Xiuquan lends itself to a feeling of utter awe. Bai has known no other time in his life when he has felt so strong and invincible.

“The Temple of King Gan is below this group of trees. Can you see where they clear?” asks the youngest of the Zeng brothers. Everyone slowed and peered over the narrow precipice to glimpse the clearing at the base of the next rise. “We can climb over the south slope and there we will find a shallow stream that we will have to cross. Do you think we should make noise and alert anyone of our approach?”asks the younger Zeng.

“No!”, states Hong. “We are the hand of God on earth and we will fear no one. No harm can befall us. Only believe, and our Father in heaven will not abandon us.”

The Temple of King Gan was built for the man named Gan, who placed his trust, not in the one true God, but in the local magician. In an effort to ensure that his line of descendants would continue after he had died, Gan inquired of the magician for guidance. The magician directed Gan to purchase this site and consecrate it with blood and Gan did as he was instructed by killing his own mother and having her buried there. There were multiple stories that accompanied the name of Gan. There were many tales of the power of this temple site that struck awe and fear in all of the local inhabitants and it most avoided.

With the light of day quickly diminishing, they agreed to rest for the night and visit the temple at sign of first light. Hong led them in prayer while they sat quietly preparing to eat the provisions brought for the day’s journey. When finished, everyone sought out a comfortable place to lay their heads in anticipation of tomorrow’s mission. Billions upon billions of stars shone upon the black canvas of the night sky as the moon had yet to rise. “Cousin?” Bai looked over at Feng. “Do you think we will be attacked by demons, tomorrow?”

Feng looked through the dark and sought out Bai’s face. “We have heard it said that all manner of assaults have overtaken those that refuse to say Gan’s name in fear and in reverence We need not have such fear, for we are the keeper of God’s commandments.”

In the morning as they assembled their belongings Bai looked at the mountains and valley areas that surrounded them. Rings of fog clung like collars upon all of the hills and towering mountains. It was eerily quiet as Hong and Feng took the lead positions. The pathway was covered over by a thick grouping of trees creating a canopy that could block the brightest noonday sun. They waded across the shallow stream and followed a narrow pathway to its end. As the canopy opened a large cleared area at the base of a hill was revealed. Before them stood a wide and imposing shrine made of wood and stone. The roof was covered with bright red tiles thirty feet at the peak. It was not more than six paces in depth with showed a statue of King Gan sitting in it’s center. Hong moved forward with his staff in hand and began to speak as if he and the image of King Gan knew each other well. Bai watched Hong recite a list of reasons as to why the temple is immoral and ungodly. Hong fiercely spoke directly to the idol of King Gan. “Do you recognize me?” shouted Hong. “If you do, you best return to the hell! Hong began to beat at the idol. In frustration over his lack of damage, he dropped his staff and grabbed the idol in an attempt to topple it over. With the righteous anger of the group of God-Worshipers coming to a frenzied pitch they all begin to grasp, push, and pull at King Gan until he toppled to the floor. With the determination of an angry mob looking to extract justice, they began to kick, pull and gouge until the idol was beyond repair. Pieces that could be carried were thrown into the stream. Bai placed the eyes, which looked to be carved from jade, into the pocket fold of his garment. As they assembled for the day’s journey home they wrote poems of defiance to leave in the idol’s stead. Hong signed a large unfolded banner that read, “ Taiping Heavenly King, Ruler of the Great way, Xiuquan”. On their trek back up the mountain slope for the return journey home, Bai pulled forth the eyes of King Gan and examined them discreetly. Noticing that his coveted prize was undiscovered by the others, he placed them back within his pocket. The group traveled jubilantly back to Thistle Mountain with agreement that they have only just begun.


just an i said…
I love all the allusions and allegory.

Excellent writing.

Of course you should continue to post these!
baroness radon said…
Hong Xiuquan: the first alien abductee.

Waiting for Chapter 6.