Stories from Mount Khajeh
When constructing the ancient temples, location was everything. You had two basic options: a dominating hill overlooking a town or city, or something in the middle of nowhere with splendid views and great feng shui.
Mt. Khajeh is a black basalt plateau rising up on an island in Lake Hamun like a flat-top mushroom. According to the Zoroastrian religion (which pre-dates Judaism, Islam and Christianity), this lake is the birthplace of the true prophet.
Three hundred years before Christ, this was one of the largest temples in existence, although a string of them stretched from Iraq to India, all dispensing the same sacrament. After arriving by ferry at the dock, one might have been greeted by beggars, musicians and a vibrant trading circle, where spices, foods, fabrics, sigils and icons could be obtained. Some might be exchanging their city outfits for the signature psychedelic tunic tied with a simple rainbow-colored hemp rope.
Om circles would be breaking out in groups along the trail as you approached the temple. The walls and temple towers would have been painted with blazing psychedelic frescos similar to today’s graffit art. “I love you” and “we love you” would be heard wafting up and down the footpath, as well as “welcome home, brother.” People who didn’t know each other would be sharing hugs and gifts. The well-healed visitors would be hiding their gold rings and earrings as these would be a badge of oppression. Expensive sandals would seem gaudy and out-of-place, lost in this barefoot army.
Drums and chanting from inside the temple could be heard from a long way off, but nothing prepared one for the explosion of energy once you passed through the arch and confronted the courtyard filled with musicians, chanters, spinners, dancers and performers. If you were lucky, a gigantic OM circle might break out as you arrived. These were scheduled for regular intervals and signaled by playing a ram’s horn.
Everyone at the temple is stoned and drinking soma, which is hot milk with cannabis and cinnamon. It’s available for free inside the temple, although most people leave a temple donation. Many sick people have come for treatment, and the critically ill have their own rooms next to the temple. There’s a free kitchen that runs on donations that feeds those who work for free in the cannabis fields and end up sleeping in the courtyard. They are temple monks and many work harder than slaves keeping this temple running, and refuse all pay as they consider temple work its own reward.
Over the centuries the rich will get control of this temple, and the psychedelic tunics replaced by black robes and real slaves will return. When this happens, only the rich will be allowed access to soma. And eventually, people will forget about the magic plant. Until someone named Moses comes along and speaks with a burning bush. And then the cycle will repeat itself again across the centuries from Moses to John the Baptist. But no matter how much the rich try to crush it, the truth just keeps coming back.