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He Who Wears Fingers as a Necklace

Following Starlet's foray into the Realm of Love, she at once became a disciple of Gautama Buddha, and was said to have become an Enlightened One at a young age. She was elevated to be a sort of eldest daughter to The Holy One, and she, along with Ananda and other disciples, was one of his primary attendants. Having already reached the state of enlightenment and because of her eagerness for purity and truth, with the Buddha's blessing she became an ascetic, leaving the community she had grown to love for a life of solitary and constant meditation in a Cave of High Altitude on one of the other-worldly mountain cliffs of southern Asia.

For many decades while living in this ghostly-beautiful landscape, Starlet lost the power of speech. Some may see her experiences of clairvoyance, levitation and many other supernatural states as simply the result of extreme mental and physical hardship, but she believed the loss of speech was a gift that enabled her to understand mysteries and secrets of which she had been unaware. The loss of words allowed the veil of illusion to drop, and she understood life through direct experience. Many of the other-worldly experiences, visions and encounters that Starlet experienced are chronicled in ancient Buddhist texts that are beautifully translated and widely available now to anyone who may care to learn more about the ascetic period of Starlet's life. But this particular telling is a story that immediately follows that time of signs and wonders. It chronicles her reentry into civilization after decades on the mountain. Here is that story.

She floated in the white mist of high altitudes on the mountain for the last time before her toes touched down on a path leading steeply downward, toward an encounter with a man who would change the direction of her life and greatly soften her heart. That person was He Who Wears Fingers for a Necklace. His name is well-known, but his encounter with Starlet is not.

Starlet's life had become a perpetual state of awareness. She glowed as she walked through villages where peasants fell to their knees before her, and begged for food or healing. She stopped when asked, offered what food she had, and healed many people who were near death with terrible ailments. The people began to call her Friend of the Outcast. Starlet accepted this title as token of their love and respect for her, but she didn't realize at the time that a real outcast had caught her scent and was upon her.

There was a charmed boy, in beauty and intellect, who was born into the Brahman caste. At a young age he was sent to boarding school to study under a wise guru, and had become, through hard work and good nature, this great teacher's favorite. This angered the boy's fellow students, who out of jealousy turned the teacher, against his better judgement, against the boy.

Knowing that his request would morally ruin him, the teacher demanded that the boy honor him by bringing him a gift. That gift, said the teacher, was a thousand fingers, each taken from a different person. The boy agreed to do as his teacher asked, having great trust in him. To accomplish the task of collecting a thousand fingers, he became an infamous highwayman, and for many years hid behind a cliff near the village, hurting and killing those who passed by. In this way the boy grew into a man, and as a way to collect his victims' fingers and also intimidate future unfortunate victims, he started to wear a necklace of the threaded fingers. He was a horrible and frightful sight indeed.

Fear was everywhere in the land. It was in this time of great unrest and evil movement of gangs and cults that Starlet appeared on the road facing He Who Wears Fingers as a Necklace. With eyes full of hate, he raised his knife to her face. But Starlet discerned the young man's soul and real motive. She addressed him. "Brother, know that I can see through you, and know you have never desired to deprive a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well." He Who Wears Fingers as a Necklace fell to his knees and Starlet leaned over him, kissing his warm neck, and feeling as if her head had opened into limitless blue sky. And she said unto him, "Go only forward, brother."

And from that moment he would walk only forward, and all peoples of this earth, and others, would know of him.

"Ever and always," the fairies said. "Ever and always."


to be continued...


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