The pennants fluttered in the breeze……… the red sun rose from behind the snow capped mountains throwing fearsome shadows among the warriors…..
Icy fear gripped my intestines, the heaviness of death chilled everything, the horses reared nervously, snorting out plumes of condensation into the cold air…..
Today tempered blades would be severing many a spirit from incarnation and sending them back into the void…..The generals sat motionless astride their mounts like icons of power, their eyes narrowing behind ferocious war masks, maintaining a continuous growl of ‘Ki’ from their Tandens filling the space between us and the enemy with our power, claiming ground in spirit first…..
The Gods of the Earth prepared the ground for the bloodletting and fallen corpses to rot into eventual rebirth……The Gods of the Air prepared to guide the wandering souls, severed in battle to the Sun Goddess Ameterasu…..The Gods of Fire stood ready to fan the flames of battle, enacting change at Man’s desire….The Gods of Water were already wailing at the human condition and building the wave of emotion for the aftermath, sending ripples out to every relative of every person there….
The ‘growl’ of Ki was picked up by the ranks and built up into a blood curdling scream, what had taken place on the spiritual was now about to take place on the physical….. I invigorated my hairline, sent power through my spine and projected from the Tanden with a Kiai that joined life and death….
Thousands of tempered bloodletters slipped effortlessly from their sheaths and took on a bloodlust of their own….. The gap finally closed with a run to add momentum to the cutting power……
Time stood still as once again human spirit joined together in mutual sacrifice to create a space between the world of man and the realms of the Gods where both survivors and victims learn how the joining of spirit and body is both tenacious and tenuous….
In the midst of battle we stumbled over the dead and dying, slipping on spilled intestines and tripping over dismembered limbs, my legs felt like lead, my arms were too heavy, my chest and shoulders were heaving and I just couldn’t get enough air in………
Suddenly I was facing a dismounted General from the other side…. He still looked immaculate and calm….. his feet gripped the floor as he inched forward, with hips lowered he raised his blood soaked katana smoothly to ‘Jodan Kamae’ and hissed through his teeth behind the ferocious war mask…… I moved forward with a feint to draw his cut and my intention was to sidestep it and cut his neck, he didn’t react to the feint and as I rotated I could not help but open my neck to his waiting blade………
I felt no pain….. only a burning sensation followed by an intense weariness…… as it got heavier and heavier I felt myself loosen from the cloying stickiness of incarnation, suddenly I was free and carried no weight…….
”Warrior…….” The tones were soft and silky and very familiar, they carried a clarity beyond incarnate hearing…
”Where am I?…. Am I dead?”
My guide laughed……”No Warrior, because you are still incarnate elsewhere learning from this experience…….”
”So I’m not dead?”
”Death is a creation of life……. so when you cease to be alive death also ceases to exist because you transcend duality…….”
”So how real was the life and death that I just experienced?”
”As real as the one that you are just going to.”
”Then which one is the illusion?”