The atmosphere rumbled away, the eye of the storm swirled above the ocean, shooting bolts of lightning, exploding with occasional thunder.
"See now," Kelly said. "Your shadow remains."
Maitri turned his head in the direction she pointed; he strained to see the figure who blended with the darkness of the terrain. The figure stood far beyond Kelly's radiance, which would have otherwise illuminated it to reveal its features.
“It’s the final veil before your awakening, Maitri. Come on, let’s go face it together.”
Maitri nodded, took Kelly’s hand and led; they walked toward the dark figure.
The figure sat above a mound. Its head was that of a black goat with enormous horns; from the center of its cranium was a third protrusion that was a torch emitting grayish light so dim, it was impossible to detect it from a distance. Its eyes were black and ferocious. It opened its wings of black feathers, and closed them again. Perhaps it was a reflex response in anticipation of the arrival of guests. It had a human body with human arms, was bare at the chest and abdomen revealing a male chest on one half and a female breast on the other. Though its loins were clad in black cloth, its goat’s feet were visible. It leaned on a caduceus-staff with both its human hands.
A deep rumble emanated deep from within the chest of the being, and Maitri realized that it was its voice. It spoke in the English language. “Ancient travelers who have stepped down below, so you have done that you may ascend,” it said. “I am Baphomet, the goat of the dark Sabbath, holder of the key of chthonic shadows.”
“I’m—” Maitri began his self-introduction when Kelly tugged his arm; Kelly shook her head.
“Don’t engage. Just listen.” Kelly put an index finger to her lips.
Baphomet extended its wings and closed them again. Maitri felt its palpable force field; his breathing became irregular, he felt as if he was inhaling when he was exhaling, and vice versa. It exuded a negative force field that turned the focus of energy and thoughts into their flip-side, their shadow dimension that was inherent in everything. Doubtful thoughts and suspicion crossed Maitri’s mind. .... Maitri shook his head in fury, and blinked his eyes.
Kelly smiled at him. “That’s okay, let those thoughts come up. Face them, don’t be afraid. Don’t run from them,” she whispered.
“Seeing with goatlike eyes, beings grovel in ignorance and are driven by their instincts,” Baphomet rumbled. “When that thick veil is lifted, they see the world of Two’s. Before the veil of Two’s to be truly lifted, truly, all must acknowledge the shadow. Such is the path of initiation.” It raised its left hand and pointed above.
“Alas, alas, so few have the courage. They scurry away from the shadow and hide in the light. They gawk like masturbating monkeys at the shadow, for they feel safe in the light. Others fall into the shadow, for they fear the light. They are fools, one and all. Some view matter as the shadow. Some view matter as the light. They are fools, one and all. Some view the mundane as the shadow. Some view the mundane as the light. They are fools, one and all.”
The light of Baphomet’s torch on his cranium grew brighter; without warning, its effulgence became as the sun; it was Maitri’s reflex to shield Kelly and himself.
The splendid brilliance illuminated the entire realm, revealing the details of the roiling black clouds above; millions of hungry ghosts floated and wriggled in the swirls, and they screamed in unison at the sudden emanation of light that they’d never seen before. Shocked hungry ghosts fell like rain from the storm clouds to the ground. The color of the entire landscape was that of dried blood, which reminded Maitri of one giant scab. The great river Sanzu was illuminated as far as its murk would allow, revealing nothing but floating refuse, entrails, waste, and pollution. Not a single living being swam in its waters.
Baphomet’s torch dimmed again. The hundreds of thousands of shocked hungry ghosts that fell floated back up into the swirling clouds like balloons, as if they had helium in their spherical bellies. Maitri felt relieved that it was dark again; better that the place stayed dark.
“There is mercy in darkness, there is mercy in light,” Baphomet said. “Light does not always dispel darkness, darkness is not always the absence of light. Darkness can enhance the light, the light can enhance the darkness.”
Baphomet pointed up with one hand, and pointed to the ground with the other. “Face yourself. If you fear the shadow, face it. If you fear the light, face it. Expose everything hidden unto yourself, whether they hide in the shadows or hide in the light. Even the shadows give light to those of wisdom. Then will you be ready to lift the veil of the Two.”
(From Cittabhumi: Book Omega, Beyond Apocalypse by C.J.J. Crow)