If anything makes sense to me, the Chodana does. Not the way Lyle taught me, though. The way I thought it could be, should be. I'm finding more people that agree with me than with Lyle, but he's not unique. Not entirely. I don't think even the harshest of the other Euthanatos I've met, though, would treat the Chodana the way Lyle did.
He made me memorize it, of course. And drilled me in his interpretation, though I never thought it was right.
The Indian names, Sanskrit, I guess it is, those I can't say right, I don't think. But I try.
Prevabhnava: We testify to the existence of a Cycle of birth, death and rebirth that pervades the cosmos with its rhythm. We testify that the souls of humankind and all animate beings are conducted through this Cycle toward an eventual end. We testify that this Cycle is the Law of the universe. We swear to support this Cycle, and prevent its stagnation or corruption.
Lyle laughed at this one, but I think it scared him. Maybe it was something from his last life, or maybe he was afraid he'd pay in the next life for what he's done in this one. I don't know. I don't know anything about past lives of mine, but I believe in them. Is that a religion? I don't know, I didn't grow up with a religion. But everything else comes around. Like in school they tell you about how water cycles around through the ground and then becomes part of a river or a sea and then evaporates and comes down as rain, and it goes through living things, but the water just keeps going. And plants do that, too, they die in winter and come back in spring. It's the way the universe was made, right? So why wouldn't people be the same way? What's the point of all the fighting and pain and grief if you don't go somewhere because of it? If you can't take it and make it better, somehow, the next time around.
Hiranyagargha: We believe in the fundamental unity of all that exists, and that Creation springs from One original source, to which it will return. We further state that all animate beings carry within them the pure seed of this original source, no matter how corrupt their outer shell might be.
Lyle didn't believe in any gods or religions. He said all they were for was to keep people stupid, and get money. He said this wasn't about any god, but it was about Avatars. That everyone has one, and everyone could Awaken, but not everyone does. I believe in the Avatar part. I see mine in dreams, mostly. But does this original source thing go to a religion as well? I don't know. Maybe it is the basis of religions, people knowing about Avatars, even if they don't understand them. Lyle said that this made killing alright, because it freed a corrupt person's Avatar so they could come around again, and get things better next time. I can see that one. But I think sometimes the Avatar might learn more if the person gets a chance to change in this lifetime, and we should only kill if there's really no way the person will learn. Deciding that there's no other way is the hard part.
Kala: We avow that Decay and Entropy are part of the natural Cycle, and that all things must eventually decay to dust so as to return to the womb of the universe. We accept this as a part of our existence, and vow that we shall not cause ourselves undue pain in a futile battle with this principle. Rather, we shall harness the endless Wheel of Time and the secret Web of Fate as our allies in guarding the structure of the universe.
Lyle liked this one. Way too much, I think. He said we should enjoy decay and things breaking down, because it's natural, and right. Natural and right, okay, but enjoy? He liked to watch things die. Plants and animals and stuff. He talked about the beauty of death while watching things die. I think he went too far. There's a difference between accepting it, and getting that into it. The same with the part about harnessing it. Using Entropy to work with luck, yeah, but to make things decay? Just to watch them fall apart? It's not necessary, I don't think. I think this means that we should use Entropy to help the Cycle, to keep it flowing, not to push it along the way Lyle wanted to.
Gopaya: We have been given our insight and power for a purpose: to be guardians of humankind and of the world. This is our sacred duty from which we will stray only on pain of death and the loss of our souls. We will guard the Wheel and those caught in its thrall, regardless of the danger to our mortal existences or the suffering it may cause us.
Lyle laughed at sacred, but he used this Spoke of the Wheel to teach me about pain. He said you don't learn without hurting. So he'd beat me up if I said things he didn't like, or didn't learn as fast as he wanted me to. He also said this one means that we have to obey the Elders in our Tradition, or they'll kill us. I think that's crap. I don't think that's what this means at all. I think it means that we shouldn't hesitate to risk our lives to preserve the Wheel. I think it means that we should love the Wheel and the whole world, and protect them from anything that might hurt them. Lyle said the bit about getting our power for a purpose meant that we were better than anyone else. I don't think so. I think it means that we have more responsibility. I think Lyle had a fucked up idea of responsibility.
Sadhana: One cannot remain pure without being controlled of the senses and the spirit. Hence, we vow to always seek our own spiritual betterment. We shall practice the rites, sing the sacred songs, and subject ourselves to trials to strengthen the body and will. We will resist the temptations of desire, no matter in which form they come to us.
Lyle laughed at a lot of this one, too. He said most of it was out of date. He said nobody believe in the rituals and sacred songs and stuff like that anymore. He said that this was about discipline and obeying Elders and being in good physical shape. He said it also meant being intelligent, too. That's why he made me get my GED. Okay, maybe that part was right, kind of. But he was messed up on the rest, I think. Especially the last part, about temptations. He laughed that off and said no one believed it anymore, and did whatever he wanted. That kind of scared me, a lot of the time. Because it is responsibility to do what we should do and not what we feel like. I don't know about the rites and sacred songs bit. I don't know any rites or sacred songs. But I want to. I know people now who really truly believe in sacred things, and religions and stuff. I want to learn. Because that is spiritual betterment, like it says in the Chodana. I think learning sacred things would be spiritual betterment. And I think its something I'm really missing.
Daya: It is impossible for us to complete our duty if we close our hearts to the suffering in the world around us. To attempt such would be to open our doors to corruption and evil. Thus we must never close our eyes to the pain of others, or to the pain our own actions cause.
Lyle made me memorize this one, because it's tradition, he said, but he said nobody believes it anymore. I think that scared me more than anything. He said we had to be cold and merciless and ruthless, and that this one was crap. I think Lyle's ideas were the ones that were crap. And I think maybe it means that Lyle was open to corruption and evil, because he did close his heart. He laughed at me when I said I thought it was important. Then he beat me up. I don't care. I still believe it's important, at least as important as any of the other Spokes, if not more so. And I'd rather get beaten within an inch of my life a dozen more times than ever change my mind about this!
Tyaga: Since action done for pleasure and one's own gain carries with it always the danger of corruption, we shall forego such actions. Our duty shall be done in the name of the cosmos, and offered in sacrifice to the cosmos. We shall eschew action that is created purely by our desires, for such action would threaten our souls and our duties.
Lyle said that this meant we shouldn't use Entropy to get rich, and we shouldn't let things we want to do take us away from duty like watching for corrupt people to kill. I think that's true, but it's not all this is about. I think it's also about thinking about anything we do, even when we're relaxing. I don't think it means that we shouldn't ever have fun, but that we should be sure of what we're doing, no matter what, and care more about the Wheel and the world than about what we enjoy. And that we shouldn't do things because they would make us important, but we should do things because they're right.
Diksha: One can not properly enter a new life without a death, and one can not serve that which one does not understand. All who care to join our number, as part of their rite of entry, before they receive their names or their mantras, or their sacred tools, must walk on the other side of life. They must lay curled within the belly of death and return to us before we will count them in our number.
Lyle found me before I knew about it. He was watching me. He knew I was Awake, even though it had just happened. He knew when I went to that game that night that something was going to happen. I think maybe he even said something to the guys who were running it. So they said I was cheating though they didn't know how, and they beat me to the point of death. Lyle found me, but he was waiting. And after I'd been through death he brought me back and told me this was what I had to be now. Or he'd kill me all the way, and send my soul back to the Wheel. Every time he beat me close to death, he said it was Diksha, and that I hadn't learned properly yet. It used to scare me more than it does now. I don't want to die, but because I'm only nineteen, and I'm not done yet. I can do a lot for the Wheel in this lifetime, and I want the chance to do it. But the fact of death doesn't scare me as much. I know after death I'll be back. He pushed me so close so often, it feels familiar, like a friend. But a friend I can wait to meet again, unless it's necessary.
That's the Chodana, the Chakra-Dharma. I think it's the most beautiful and right and true thing ever written.