Sage Pontiff ( @CosmicBodhisattvaSpeaks ) IG Live, 09/23/2022
“Namaste, ohayou gozaimas, chounachim, and a beautiful morning to everyone.”
Clearly we’re handheld, and the black bars on either side of the screen indicate he’s streaming from his phone. Outside of a well-produced vignette, we can really take him in–he’s tan and blonde to a degree that you see in professional surfers. His hair is in dreads, some of which bear beads that cause them to hang with more weight than their beeswaxed brethren. Lightly bearded, he clearly has been scarred multiple times, but they only seem to add to his magnetism. But the strongest visual pull this up close are his eyes. Glassy, looking like he sees past the edges of time, and most notably heterochromatic: one hazel, one storm blue.
“This is your daily reminder to greet the day, drench your chakras in the sunlight, and to feel the energy invigorate your blood.”
The view gets shaky as he gets to his feet–he’s crouched over, clearly in the back of a converted van, the windows and ceiling covered in tapestries and miniature flags that run the gamut from Wiccan to Buddhism to Sacred Geometry. We can hear him undo the latch and pull the sliding side door, and the sunlight that bathes him is so clear that it washes the video out entirely for a moment. When the camera refocuses, He has set it up on something to let it show what he is doing hands-free. He strides to a clear section of grass, amidst trees which are likely in some manner of national park. Seeing him in motion is quite the thing, really. He’s not all limbs, but they move with a fluidity, like he’s slowly swimming through the air itself. He has likely stayed shirtless most of his life, and is appreciably lean in his musculature, but without the hard movie-star cut that denotes a lifetime devoted to calorie counting and cardio. Instead, as he demonstrates, he gets his workouts from other sources: beads and locs hanging and jostling, he executes half a forward roll before raising his legs up in a fluid motion, until he is balances on his head and elbows, executing a perfect Salamba Shirshasana, the headstand. The king of all asanas. His eyes are closed, his breath steady. When he speaks, there’s the barest hint of strain in his voice.
“Inverting your body after a night’s rest, especially in the sunshine, redistributes your energy throughout the body. Shaking up the chakras from rest is never a bad thing, and you’ll find that after doing this you are more open to fresh frequencies and new ideas and thoughtforms.”
Slowly he lowers his legs, showing off remarkable core strength, before raising them again. He lets their momentum continue until he is bowed backwards onto his crown and the balls of his feet, arms crossed. We can hear him, over the wind rustling the branches around him, executing deep circular breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Finally, he twists to his stomach and rolls forward to a seated position, his smile easy and charming. Absently he pushes a few of his locs from his face, and it’s now that we have a more complete, still view of his body, we can see the knuckles on both of his hands are scraped up and raw. And not just fresh, the rough treatment of a novice. The dark circles around the wounds seemingly indicate injury and re-injury. But it doesn’t seem to bother him. In fact, he pays it zero mind.
“Of course, there are other ways to shake up the chakras, to loosen backed up energy, and to connect more directly as a conduit of the psychosphere. But remember, the most important thing is not how you travel to the destination. The most important thing is that you take the time to travel. Be kind to yourselves.”
The man unfolds his body to standing and strides over, grabbing his phone. He throws up the classic double fingers.
Just outside of Toiyabe Forest, Nevada. Date unknown. Nighttime.
Is Adam Ellis an enlightened man?
I asked myself that as soon as I saw the booking sheet.
But I do not ask it to stand in judgment.
I am but a traveler. I’ve got no reason to judge, and I take no real joy from the act.
But I ask myself if he’s an enlightened man. I ask you, Adam, if you’re an enlightened man. Have you spread your consciousness to the farthest reaches of this sphere? Have you looked through eyes that weren’t your own, lived lives that weren’t yours? We’re about the same age and yet…I feel it, Adam. I feel this chasm between us, between our experiences. When I look at you it’s like I’m looking through a window into a house in a neighborhood that I can’t make sense of.
“All are equal in birth and death. Differences arise only in the interval.” The Vedas teach us that.
So do I consider myself superior to you, Adam Ellis?
Under no circumstance. You’re my brother. For we are born the same and we shall shuffle away the same. If anything, I feel a tremendous sense of love towards you, right? We’re both collectors of experiences and pain, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, where we are, names across from one another before our bodies follow suit. There’s a certain poetry to that, like the booking sheet is a prophecy that we know will come true.
But my mind, Adam. It keeps wandering back to that window.
And you’re my brother.
And I can’t stomach the idea of you continuing to live a life without the wonderful psychedelic halos of enlightenment in it, man. I really can’t. I know you think you don’t know me, but you do. We’ve seen one another before, in different times and different realms. And what I’ll be doing when we meet is an act of love. You may not see it that way at the time, but you will see it. Your eyes will be opened. All three.
“As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.”
In. I am ascendant. Out. You are in my heart.
In. I am ascendant. Out. I must help my brother on his journey.
In. I am ascendant. Out. Won’t you join me?
In, Adam Ellis. Say it with me. Say it and will it to be true.
I am ascendant.
In, Adam. Deep.
We are ascendant.
I like the sound of that.
We are ascendant.
Let’s break that window. Together.
Death Valley Rainbow Festival, 09/26/2022
When the children of this culture descend, it’s like a day-glo bloom takes hold of the land.
Tents, vans, campers, school buses, and a bevy of Subarus all pockmark the landscape. Though it’s a baked day, all sunshine and dust, it seems to not stop those who would define themselves as flower. Yoga is being done, vendor tents being attended, frisbees being thrown and kites being flown. Amidst all the conversation and regular noise, a steady pulse of drums can be heard from somewhere.
And underneath a popup, there he sits. Resting on pillows and Nicaraguan rag rugs, he is having a relaxed conversation with more than a few people. It’s not lost on us that a majority of them are women, all clad in the clothing of this culture, seemingly uniform in how slapdash it is. He is speaking to them, but his words aren’t heard–and they trail off as something catches his eye. Someone is walking up to them, but it is not with the ease of gait that would mark him as curious or a friend. He seems…new to this, his hair barely to his shoulders, his accouterments too new and sparse, his sandals too clean. And his walk is a tight fidgeting thing, as if he is unsure of his next move.
Sage holds up a hand to silence whoever was speaking to him, and waves the newcomer over.
The man stands, his muscles tight. When he asks “Are you Sage Pontiff, the Bodhisattva?”, it is stilted and far too quiet. But the seated man smiles and nods in a warm way. He is.
The man takes a moment and then drags his gaze kicking and screaming from the ground to Sage’s eyes. He begins undoing his shirt. Once he has pulled it off, his spine straightens. He is clay as yet unformed–if he were old enough to buy beer, it would be a shock. When he speaks now, it is with more volume, but he is still shaky. But the words have confidence in them. He’s practiced for this moment.
“I am ready to ascend.”
Sage nods at him and stands as well. He strides over, further illustrating the differences between them–his motions are the definition of smooth. He grasps the nervous newcomer by his shoulders before pulling him into a proper embrace. For a while they hold onto one another, before they finally separate. Sage brushes a stray lock of hair from the newcomer’s face and looks at him with warmth that feels familial. They spend an inordinate time in this position, and the soft motions of the Bodhisattvas eyes make it unsure if he is looking for deeper meaning behind this man’s gaze or considering him romantically. Perhaps both. The newcomer’s brow furrows in worry. He opens his mouth to say something on unsteady lips, but Sage places a finger on his mouth to shush him. When he finally speaks again, it is with an authority that seems beyond his years.
“Yes you are. Let’s bleed together.”