The First Sign
The world he was in was like nothing he had ever known. It was a dry place with little vegetation. In the distance he saw a village, yet it was made out of tents and cloth rather than from the materials of the Earth. As he drew closer to the village, the stench of death overwhelmed him and he grew sick. He could hear children crying, the moaning of elders and the sounds of sickness and despair. Piles of bodies lay in open pits awaiting burial, their contorted faces and frail frames telling of death from starvation. The bodies appeared more like skeletons than flesh, and children, adults and elders all looked the same, their once dark-brown complexions now ash-grey. As Grandfather entered the village, the horror of living starvation struck him deeper. Children could barely walk, elders lay dying, and everywhere were the cries of pain and fear. The stench of death and the sense of hopelessness overwhelmed Grandfather, threatening to drive him from the village.
It was then that an elder appeared to Grandfather, at first speaking in a language that he could not understand. Grandfather realised, as the elder spoke, that he was the spirit of a man-a man no longer of flesh, but a man who had once walked a spiritual path, possibly a shaman of this tribe. It was then that he understood what the old one was trying to tell him.
The elder spoke softly. "Welcome to what will be called the 'land of starvation'. The world will one day look upon all of this with horror and will blame the famine on the weather and the Earth. This will be the first warning to the world that man cannot live beyond the laws of Creation, nor can he fight Nature. If the world sees that it is to blame for this famine, this senseless starvation, then a great lesson will be learned. But I am afraid that the world will not blame itself, but that the blame will be placed on Nature. The world will not see that it created this place of death by forcing these people to have larger families. When the natural laws of the land were broken, the people starved, as Nature starves the deer in winter when their numbers are too many for the land to bear."
The old one continued. "These people should have been left alone. They once understood how to live with the Earth, and their wealth was measured in happiness, love and peace. But all of that was taken from them when the world saw theirs as a primitive society. It was then that the world showed them how to farm and live in a less primitive way. It was the world that forced them to live outside the laws of Creation and, as a result, is now forcing them to die."
The old man slowly began to walk away, back to the death and despair. He turned one last time to Grandfather, and said: "This will be the first sign. There will come starvation before and after this starvation, but none will capture the attention of the world with such impact as does this one. The children of the Earth will know the lessons that are held in all of this pain and death, but the world will only see it as drought and famine, blaming Nature instead of itself."
With that, the old one disappeared, and Grandfather found himself back at the mouth of the Eternal Cave.
[Author's note: This is the great African famine that inspired the Bob Geldof "We are the World" Live Aid relief effort.]
Grandfather lay back on the ground, thinking about what he had witnessed. He knew that it had been a Vision of the possible future and that the spirit of the warrior had brought him to it to teach him what could happen. Grandfather knew that people all over the Earth were now starving-but why was this starvation so critical, so much more important than all the rest, even more important than the starvation that was taking place now?
It was then that Grandfather recalled that the tribal elder had said that the entire world would take notice, but that the world would not learn the lessons of what the death and famine were trying to teach. The children would die in vain.
Grandfather looked out across the barren land that surrounded the Eternal Cave to try to re-establish the reality of his 'now'. He said that it was still hard to discern between waking reality and the world of Vision, but he felt that he was back into his time and place.
He told me that the Eternal Cave was always a place to find Visions of the possible and probable futures, and it was not uncommon for the searcher to have a Vision at the mouth of the cave, not just inside.
In a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, Grandfather fell into a deep sleep, but it was in this sleep that the warrior spirit appeared to him again and brought the remainder of the first sign to completion.
In his dream, the spirit spoke to Grandfather. "It is during the years of the famine, the first sign, that man will be plagued by a disease, a disease that will sweep the land and terrorise the masses. The white coats [doctors/scientists] will have no answers for the people, and a great cry will arise across the land. The disease will be born of monkeys, drugs and sex. It will destroy man from inside, making common sickness a killing disease. Mankind will bring this disease upon himself as a result of his life, his worship of sex and drugs, and a life away from Nature. This, too, is a part of the first warning; but, again, man will not heed this warning and he will continue to worship the false gods of sex and the unconscious spirit of drugs." [Author's note: This is presumably a reference to AIDS.]
The spirit continued. "The drugs will produce wars in the cities of man, and the nations will arise against those wars, arise against that killing disease. But the nations will fight in the wrong way, lashing out at the effect rather than the cause. It will never win these wars until the nation, until society, changes its values and stops chasing the gods of sex and drugs. It is then, in the years of the first sign, that man can change the course of the probable future. It is then that he may understand the greater lessons of the famine and the disease. It is then that there can still be hope. But once the second sign of destruction appears, the Earth can no longer be healed on a physical level. Only a spiritual healing can then change the course of the probable
futures of mankind."
With that, the warrior spirit let Grandfather fall into a deep and dreamless sleep, allowing him to rest fully before any more Vision was wrought upon him.