Stairway to heaven backwards

Stairway to heaven backwards

At last, a well-deserved summer vacation. For every single college student, it is a heavenly rest in peace awaited after weeks and weeks of hard work, few hours of sleep, insane studying, and angst for good grades. I guess I should be glad this last semester at college is all over. Strangely, it feels like I’m not. It seems like I consider the upcoming university years as even worse than what I’ve experienced so far, which I believe – and probably anyone will agree on this – are, in fact. That’s why these days, I enjoy going back to my childhood past and watch dead cartoons and T.V. shows like "Angela Anaconda," "Courage the Cowardly Dog," "Dexter’s Laboratory" and all those good memories…

Around my 19th birthday, I was visited by my cousin. She is about to finish high school. On that day especially, she brought me memories of high school as she goes to the same school I used to go to when I was her age. On that day, I asked her if she was part of any committee or involved in any particular group for school. So she told me how she had joined that little science group and how the teachers were dumb and didn’t know anything about science and yadayadayada… Then, speaking of these little committees, I suddenly remembered something that I thought I had forgotten long ago. I asked her if the “Wise Ones Club” was still featured on the school board, to which she replied that the club was terminated the year she entered this high school, thus the year I was entering that two-year college.


I don’t know why I remembered this little club. To be honest, I wish I hadn’t. During high school, I was kind of a loner and never really talked to many people, I had very low self-esteem and I would hate school; you know, the usual loner profile. However, one day, as I was walking around the cafeteria, Patrick, the spiritual animator of the school, suddenly came to me, saying he had something important he wanted to talk to me about, that he needed my help.

Without a lot of explanations, he told me he needed me for the “Wise Ones Club”. I’ve always had a hard time saying “no” to people and provided this guy was one of the nicest and most respectful man in the school, I accepted, as it probably meant I would be spending time with him and, perhaps, develop my up to then unsteady spiritual life, which I would always strive for during high school, only to be discouraged by the “evil” temptations of girls and friends and, you know, anything that is part of a teenager’s life. Today, I’m a very spiritual person and I wish I was during that time.

So the meetings for this “Wise Ones Club” were scheduled on the school board during lunch time. We had to bring our lunch and head to the “Spiritual Room” where Patrick would often gather classes to have them meditate for a minute or two and other things like that. On the first meeting, I could see who were the members of this club. Most of them were loners just like me I had never seen before. The first activity was to introduce ourselves and to tell the others about what we liked doing and so on and finished the meeting by having us fill in the blanks for the Beatles song “All you need is Love.”

It wasn’t too special, even though I’m a huge Beatles fan, but it was an opportunity to meet new people and, perhaps, make friends. So, I decided to go back on the next meeting as well as all the others, too. It was fun, actually, at least, until the spiritual animator became sick and had to leave school for some time. There wasn’t any meeting for the club until some time when a rumor spread that the club was taken in charge by a protégé of Patrick’s. We then went back during lunch time for more meetings. When we first saw the new animator, it felt completely different. She was a middle-aged lady who wore pretty eccentric clothes. Her name was Lily.

The first thing she had us do was to listen to a song and fill in the lyrics on a piece of paper. The song was “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, a song I knew was supposed to be more spiritual than most rock songs. After comparing our answers, she handed us another sheet with lyrics on it and of course, blank spaces we had to fill in. Having a little glance at the lyrics that were there, it seemed they didn’t make any sense. She told us to listen very carefully and “embrace” the music. Then the song played. It was the exact same song, but played backwards. Until then, I was never really into listening to songs backwards, as it’s obvious that it can never make sense besides Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” which was kind of funny. However, as we listened to the song, it seemed to make absolute perfect sense.

I was speechless. The worst thing is that I had already watched all the famous videos showing the lyrics of that reversed version of the song and it only sounded like gibberish, but this time, it sounded like concrete words, as I could understand them all. Also, the words we had to write on the sheet all referred to devil worshiping and other occult stuff. When the song was over, Lily told us about Jimmy Page’s interest in the occult and anything pertaining to the irrational. She said that spirituality and the occultism were all about the irrational and that we had to embrace it, to see every side of it to know where to go in our personal spiritual life.

Lily also told us that the former animator was showing us the more popular spiritual path and that she was sent to show us other paths, for we had the right to choose the way we wanted to manage our spirit, so we could become wise. Then, she let us go and told us the time of the next meeting. From then on, I was a little confused, as she wasn’t at all like Patrick. At first, when I saw the hippy clothing, I was sure she would talk to us about peace and love and all that sixties creed, but looks can be deceiving, as the old saying goes.

The next meetings were even weirder. She had us watch old and really creepy films in the public domain from the 1960’s like Carnival of Souls (1962) and Night of the Living Dead (1968) which both had disturbing themes and endings. Then, she divided us in groups of two. One after the other, we had to describe our biggest fear to the other and the latter would make a drawing based on it.

After these weird meetings, I became afraid of somehow losing my soul or going to hell. You know, they say we always get what we have coming to us, but what if this would happen after we die, as let’s face it: most greedy people who made others suffer to make them richer usually die in safe hands, so it would make sense that there could be some kind of punishment after a life of luxury and sin. This fear had always inhabited me, as like I said, I had an unsteady spirituality.

Then, when I was finished, the guy in front of me showed me his drawing. It was of an astounding quality, even though the guy had told me earlier that he couldn’t draw for a penny. Then, as it was his turn, he told me about his fear of seeing his parents die in a car accident. I know how that could feel, as my parents divorced when I was young and since then, I’ve always been close to my mother whom I couldn’t survive seeing dying. As he was telling me his fears, it seemed my hand would draw by itself. Not that I wasn’t aware of it, but it just drew like I had never drawn before.

I guessed it was the beginner’s luck, but such realism in the drawing? I was stunned at the horrors I was drawing and still today, I just can’t talk about it, as it made me have nightmares. When we finished this exercise, Lily told us that our drawings were magnificent and that if we wanted, we could either keep them or have them put onto one of the walls of the Spiritual Room. Most of us refused and decided to keep the drawing only to throw it to the garbage afterwards, but some others decided to keep it and to cherish it, as it had seemed to give them a better self-confidence, especially in drawing.

One day, on the school board, there was a message from Lily who told us that, provided it was the end of the year, she wanted our final meeting to be a little special, so she invited us on a school night to her house in order to have a little party. At that point, I was scared of her and started to look at songs from the sixties in a totally different way, so that’s why I decided to refrain from going, as did most of the others. However, those who had kept their drawings decided to go.

Then, at the end of the year, I was really happy that this had all ended and was looking forward to this two-year college we have to attend here in the Province of Québec in order to go to university. Some days after, I received a message on Facebook from one of the girls who used to be with us. She had received a video from one of the few who had decided to go to Lily’s party and decided to show it to me, only saying: Oh… My… God.

I then watched the video and it showed the four guys and girls naked and then Lily’s voice telling her to “feel the vibe”, as she was playing reversed sixties songs, to which they replied, “Yes, dear Lilith.” Then, they started indulging in sexual intercourse. The way they did it wasn't out of fun or while being drunk, but rather out of the most evil physical desires a human can possibly feel.

It was so disgusting and perverted and it ended up in such an orgy that Lily intervened and started to whip them and gave them knives to punish themselves. That’s when they started cutting themselves and bled. When there was enough blood on the floor, she told them to stop and, using a paintbrush, she drew a pentagram on the ground and asked each one of them to sit at a corner of the star. Then, she started chanting and, after some static, the video ended. I was completely shocked. The video was deleted shortly after due to the content similar to Luka Rocco Magnota's horrible murder footage. From this day and on, I've still never heard of these guys and girls who were with us along with Lily or Lilith, which could be due to the fact that after high school, most people go their own way and part from one another. Or it could also be due to something far worse...

The following months and years, I started changing. I have learned something from this experience: the irrational does exist. We may feel secure in our scientific world without technology to prove everything, but there are things we simply cannot explain scientifically, things that are out of our imperfect human control, like what happened in that video, but also other things which words cannot explain like love and I’m not talking about that cheesy and short-lived carnal love between men and women, but that transcendent love between individuals, between humans, this benevolent link that unites us, this inhuman love from above which takes the name of Christ, Bouddha, Krishna, Allah and so on. That is why I have embraced this part of the irrational and forgot about the “Wise Ones Club” until now.

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