Meditation; or the Way of Escape

A tall tale in which are hidden in the daftest possible manner a host of real occult truths


This story arises out of a question many seekers often ask, which is: "what is the best way to meditate?" Our invariable reply is: "do it thoroughly." In order to illustrate our meaning more clearly we have adapted a short story from Occult Enigmas by J Michaud PhD. We can personally vouch for the perfect accuracy of this tale, as we have full documentary evidence of all the details in our personal and private archives!

On the 1st of April, in the year of our Lord 1200, there was found on the steps of Cologne's famous Cathedral, a new-born male child. You all know that this cathedral, which is over 6,000 years old, has many very tall towers, spires, minarets, cupolas, and other offshoots from the main body, erected in honour of the Saints and Martyrs and other ill-advised beings, and is one of the most impressive edifices in Europe.

The finding of this child created an immense sensation, not only in Cologne itself but throughout the world, and tens of thousands of people arrived in private jets, hang-gliders, tour-buses, steam trains, and even on roller-skates, in order to feast their eyes and satisfy their uncouth and wholly unwarranted low curiosity. There were hourly bulletins on TV and Radio, and the Twittersphere was swamped with tweets telling the world about the phenomenon, and never in the history of this ancient town was there so much excitement, or so much speculation and argument as to how this child came to be where it was found, where it came from, and who its parents might be—if any.

Tales flew about of a huge UFO that was seen during the previous night, exploding with an awful roar right over the holy building and scattering huge sparks in all directions. Could this child be one of the sparks, mysteriously transformed into a living, and howling, baby-boy? Had it any connection with the Loch Ness monster that was terrifying the British Isles, or the dolphins that had been seen swimming up the river Rhine a few days previously? None could tell, but the Town Hall, to which the police had escorted the child, was besieged with the curious mob, and tickets of admission fetched astronomical prices. The best paparazzi had been sent over in special 'planes direct from Hollywood, and the cameras and cell phones were clicking merrily, taking video after video of the child, the crowds, the Cathedral steps, and the municipal authorities, headed by the Burgomeister, who arrived in great pomp to investigate matters. After the city-fathers, the witch doctors, psychic-doctors, ordinary doctors, and other wiseacres, had thoroughly examined our hero, consulted the stars, the livers of sheep, the flight of pelicans, penguins, the Tarot, and other omens, they came to the unanimous conclusion that he had an aspiring nature, would go very far in the world, ascend to the greatest heights of holiness, and would end up in the smell, or odour, of Saint-hood.

As you know, the Germans are very thorough in all their undertakings, but it seems that this particular child would be more thorough in everything than even his very thorough compatriots; always assuming that he was a German, and not some extraterrestrial messenger with a great purpose.

The impression created by the momentous pronouncements of the diviners was unparalleled in its awe-inspiring and terrifying possibilities of wonders to come, and great processions of pilgrims, loaded with costly gifts, and caravans of camels, richly clothed and disdainfully grunting (for did they not know—as no one else did—the hundredth name of Allah?), and monstrous elephants trumpeting in derision, daily came to do honour to the Saint-to-be, and to pray, bray, or supplicate at his cradle. Wise men from the East, with sparkling, coal-black eyes, great fleshy hook-noses and long and mossy beards, did a roaring trade in holy amulets, touched by the child, or sold pieces of his clothing, sufficient to supply the inmates of a thousand orphanages with garments for a hundred years to come. And each amulet was sure to bring you luck and riches, and each piece of clothing, if worn in a little pouch suspended from a chain around the neck, would keep you in good health for ever, and make you wise with the wisdom of the angels themselves. The greatest wonder of all was that these moth-eaten Messiahs did not keep these miraculous relics for themselves!

After the excitement had died down and the ancient city had gradually reverted to its customary twelfth century somnolence, the child began to grow up in a very thorough manner; as was to be expected of him. No doubt the ancient folks of that time, as well as the child, were glad when all the unaccustomed noise had subsided, for in those early days the people were not so used as we are to the hustle and bustle of modern life. But let that pass.

You may imagine—if you wish—that the child was carefully watched during his early years and everything was done that could be done by his guardians to prepare him for the glorious and elevating future that awaited him.

The first outstanding characteristic they noticed was a very thorough and strange laziness. When he was sleeping he was too lazy to wake up, when awake too lazy to go to sleep, when idle too lazy to work, when working too lazy to stop; and the older he grew the more this extraordinary faculty—if we may so term it—grew.

To the hard-working people of Cologne such a thing seemed marvellous in the extreme and had never been heard of before.

It got so bad in the end that finally he made up his mind—when one day he was particularly lazy—that he would never do any work again. And all the people wondered! When he reached the age of eighteen he began to write letters to his relatives, who were spread all over the world, being renowned pioneers and travellers, and he endeavoured to persuade these good people to settle various sums on him, so that he could further train and develop his wonderful genius for being lazy. He thought that whilst he was doing this he might just as well have some money to take an occasional holiday and have a good time; all rest and no play, etc., was a well-known proverb even then.

But, strange to say, he had no luck in obtaining the financial support to which he felt himself entitled, for even in the twelfth century there were many persons just as loth to part with cash as they seem to be today.

So at last the time arrived when his destiny was about to be fulfilled and an extraordinary restlessness came over him, and a dreamy and faraway look was noticed in his eyes at times.


Exactly on his twentieth birthday he secretly crept up the gangway of the giant cruise-liner Cosmic Star, just about to commence its weekly trip to Cancun from Cologne, and managed to stow away amongst the steam engines where he promptly went to sleep. During the two years of this eventful journey nothing happened at all and at last they arrived in the Gulf of Mexico during a terrible hurricane, such as had never been known before in that region, which is famous for its tranquil and perfectly balmy climate.

Slipping overboard unnoticed in the silent watches of the night, accompanied by the bleating of the sirens and the frenzied acclamations, farewells and good wishes of the excited passengers and crew, who were completely unaware of his departure, he commenced his strange journey, lasting for over three-quarters of a century, and in another couple of months he arrived in an exhausted condition on the happy shores of the land of Peru. His long travels had done him no harm at all, and wading through the soughing surf he stepped on land, thoroughly refreshed but tired and fed-up with his unwonted efforts of that week, and his journey completed.

He had reached his happy and predestined goal at last, and now all predictions regarding his glorious future were about to be fulfilled; and very thoroughly too! But before he achieved this desirable end there were still a few tests and trials—as it were—in store for him; for no sooner had he set foot on land than great swarms of wild Peruvian Indians, living in dire poverty and always starving, rose up from the marshes of this entirely flat and utterly deserted country, with the firm but polite intention of handing him over to their famous chefs, world-renowned for their delicate mastery of the art of preparing delectable dishes out of the toughest meats, so that they should be able to practise their ingenuity on our hero and add further glory to their already bursting annals of Lucullian victories.

You will all agree with us that this was a very great honour indeed, and that our friend was to be much envied in every way. But, alas—there is no accounting for the perversity of mankind, and for the first time in our history of him he proved utterly insensible to kind intentions, and in a graceless and entirely selfish manner commenced to protest loudly to his kind hosts that he had not come all this way for the purpose of being turned into fricassees, entremets, or even steak and kidney pudding, but, forsooth, that he was a great Saint, who was about to bring glorious new teachings and blessings to Peru, and that he utterly rejected all gluttonous designs and advances in respect of his sacred person. "Bust-me-buttons and rat my innards if it isn't true!" (You see, he could be quite vulgar on occasion, but where he learned those dreadful swear words is a mystery.)

The poor Indians were quite perplexed and utterly dejected at this rude and ungrateful gesture and went sadly into a council of war, so that this unheard of conduct could be discussed over a pipe of peace and a bottle of cognac.

Many moons passed through the celestial vaults, and the more pipes were smoked and bottles emptied the more puzzled the Peruvians became. And all the time our hero walked to and fro on the beach in the shivering atmosphere under a blazing sun, getting ever more impatient to commence his great work and bring untold and saintly blessings and benefits to his captors. He also wondered what excuse he could make to keep out of that cooking-pot and the puddings, pies, and other confections.

At last the youngest warrior, entirely incapable of smoking another pipe or emptying another glass (for, being only a very young man, he had not had the opportunities, or practice of his elders), rose up, and whispered in a stentorian voice: "Brothers of the Marshes; we have held a long palaver and discussed our problem from every angle, triangle, and square, but we always seem to be going round in a circle that leads nowhere but to our starting point, no matter how many times we recommence our verbal journeys, and I wish to suggest that we place the problem before our high-priests and our Lord the Emperor, to abide without a murmur by whatever they may decide. Will all those in favour stand up if they are able?" With much staggering, swearing and creaking of joints the brave and dauntless warriors rose to their aching feet and loudly hiccoughing, they acclaimed the wisdom of the ancient sage who had made this very remarkable proposal.

With three loud groans they set in motion and with our hero in their midst proceeded on their endless journey, at the end of which they reached the golden capital, hidden amongst the mountains, gorges and crags of Peru.


The long journey sobering them all, they soon arrived at last in the gorgeous and jewelled city, the richest and most opulent in the world, where feasting and rejoicing went on day and night, and presented our hero to the smiling and friendly torturers, the high-priests, and their amiable King.

After all the facts had been placed before his Majesty he had a strange and marvellous inspiration and asked our friend what he intended to teach the good people of Peru. Already they knew all there was to know about plundering, fighting from cunningly laid ambushes, torturing of the most refined sort, sacrificing both friends and enemies in the most worthy and long-lasting fashions, so what more was there to be learned?

Did he know of a new form of prolonged torture of which even they had never heard, and if so, what was it, so that they could show their kind intentions by trying it on him, before finally handing him over to the master cooks. Surely he realised that no man could expect a higher bestowal of honour in Peru.

Amidst the breathless and expectant silence of the King and the assembled multitudes our hero rose slowly to his feet, and, fixing his Majesty with a dreadful and awe-inspiring holy glare, he told them then his purpose in ringing tones.

He had a mission to fulfil. His mission was to teach them "The Way of Escape," by saintly meditation on a mountain top.

The Way of Escape? Meditation on a mountain top? They had never heard of such things in Peru. And if he was going to escape—which was not so very likely—or to meditate on a mountain top, what was he going to meditate about? As he had never before given the subject a thought himself, he could not, for a moment, think of a proper answer, but he got out of it by saying that he would meditate on "Nothing." Being so thoroughly lazy he also thought that if he had to meditate on a mountain top (if they'd let him—anything was better than being made into an omelette), meditation on nothing would require the least effort. It would put off for a time the unpleasant idea of personally appearing as the tit-bit in a dish of pork and beans!

The starving population were much against this plan; their native shrewdness suggesting a whole swarm of flies in the ointment, and a threatening murmur ran through the assembly, like the wind over a cornfield. But the King stilled the wave of unrest and suspicion with a royal gesture of command, often called "cocking a snook," and he went into a deep discussion with his priests and other highly placed and wise personages. They and the Peruvian professors of the Freudian theories of Psychology, Philosophy and Metaphysics, the theurgists, magicians, prophets, and the diviners with sticks, stones, tea-leaves, and other miraculous appurtenances, were enchanted with this novel and entirely modern experiment and they persuaded His Majesty to give it the "once over." So with great pomp, the Salvation Army bands, the Grenadier Guards, and many xylophones, iPods and other tuneful devices of musical exuberance conducted him to the mountainous regions in the marshes, and hoisted him up, and placed him on the thinnest point of the tallest pinnacle of the highest mountain; and there left him to his lazy meditations on "Nothing." In this manner, part of his high destinies were beginning to be realised; he had truly risen in the world.

Whilst the Peruvian Indians dance sacred ceremonial dances at the foot of the mountain, at the same time keeping a wary eye on him, so that he shan't slip away on the sly, he sits there on that thin and sharp point, and deeply and thoroughly he meditates on the "whatness of the nothing." He does it so thoroughly that for a space of thirty years he never leaves off. Nor could he, for the anxious population have surrounded the mountain foot in truly Indian style, so that not even a flea's flea could escape without being seen and eaten! For we should always remember that these people were a hungry people, and loth to lose a good dinner for the sake of a mere bit of meditation; even if it is a saintly one.


At the end of the thirty years the Indians climbed up again to fetch him down to learn what he had discovered during his long and thorough vigil. But when they reached that thin point at the top they discovered that his thirty years of meditation had so emaciated, desiccated, and finally annihilated him, that all that was left was a tiny speck of dust on the apex of that thin point he had sat upon for so long.

Reverently they took it down, placed it in a crystal vessel in the golden shrine of their principal temple and still worship his memory and ashes as Saint Ayasamona, which means: "The man who meditated so thoroughly and so long on the 'Whatness of the nothing' that at last he became IT and had a thorough realisation of what it meant."

And that is what you can achieve by meditation, if you do it thoroughly; and the Way of Escape will be open to you too.


If you have enjoyed this story you may also like The Adept and the Imp and The Broken Violin — two further tall tales— one of temptation, devilry and magic and the other a fable about discord and harmony. Both tales contain a number of concealed Occult teachings, as well as descriptions of the many subtle ways in which the powers of darkness tempt us.

We discuss the right and wrong way to meditate in the penultimate article in our occult studies course: Occult studies and meditation.


Story and commentary © Copyright J Michaud PhD &
First published 31 October 2014. Updated 5 March 2023.

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