Copyright © 2010 by William R. Mistele. All rights reserved.
The Airplane Pilot Mermaid—Or, Writing the Modern Fairy Tale
Boarding the plane, I find my seat, stow my carry-on in the overhead bin, and sit down. It is a six hour flight. Placing a newspaper in the seat pocket in front of her, a woman sits down next to me. She is tall, at least six feet, and slender. She looks friendly but immediately opens and starts reading a thick, ring-bound manual of some kind.
She has that look of someone who is doing mental calculations as she reads each line. Yet her body shows no strain or tension even as she focuses with single-minded concentration. At the same time, there is a light, uplifting quality about her like that of a four year old playing on a swing. Perhaps, I speculate, she grew up outside the United State; maybe in Switzerland beside a lake where she spent summers sailing and hiking with friends in the mountains.
One minute later, she turns to me and asks, “Is that your water bottle?” referring to a small, unopened bottle of water on the arm rest between our seats. “No,” I reply, “Help yourself.” She nods in appreciation opening it and taking a drink.
She then takes the newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, out of the seat pocket in front of her and says, “Would you like something to read?”
Ah, I think, she is generous and thoughtful.
I reply, “No, I have my own copy in my carry-on.”
“Do you do investing?” I ask. I like to share my investing experience. Of twenty different investing strategies I pursued over three years, they all failed since the stock market did things it never did before in its history. But I discovered a new strategy as a result. But so far no one has shown any interest in a strategy based purely on volatility.
Replying to my question about investing, she answers, “No. I picked up the habit of reading the Journal from my grandfather. He used to read it every day. The reporting seems fair and balanced. But this copy came with my hotel room.” She then turns back to her manual.
She reads the Wall Street Journal for general news. I can not wrap my mind around that concept—information on business, yes. News? No. But her body language is clear--her attention is engaged elsewhere.
I am a spiritual anthropologist. I study people, their auras, their life stories, and I seek to grasp anything they have experienced that is unusual or unique. And sometimes the people who sit next to me on planes are very unusual. So I take the liberty of sensing this woman’s aura. I do this by concentrating on my right hand which precisely replicates her energy field. Her energy is strong, firm, intense, highly integrated, and very stable. This is an individual who obviously is living a productive and successful life.
Then I focus on her “inner aura,” that is, the more hidden side of herself that supports her outer life. This energy, by contrast, relates more to water and to feeling. But it is carefully controlled as if it is being held in reserve. It is also magnetic which indicates a high level of self-motivation—that the individual is not dependent on the external world for emotional support or self-validation. But again, it is hesitant and restrained. It does make its presence known.
Okay, here is a woman who may have strong water within herself in a way that doe not show up in her outer life and personality. But it is there.
I pursue this further by asking my psychic intuition, “What is the water in her or her special gift in life?” The cabin of the airplane vanishes along with the chair and even my own body. I am confronted with the open ocean. The energy is a vast watery expanse and I am there out on the ocean far from any continental mass.
This vibration is typical of what I call the hard core mermaid women. They do not just feel sparking and pure like a mountain pool, peaceful and serene like a great river, inviting and relaxing like a small ocean bay. They have that vastness and depth of the seas of the earth in their auras.
The plane has finished taxing down the runway and we are in the process of taking off.
I catch the woman’s eyes and say, “You have a lot of water in your aura. You must have no sense of time?”
I ask that question because it is typical of hard core mermaid women—they almost always say something to the effect that time is not real. She replies, “Actually, I am very impatient.” She turns back to her manual.
This is called cognitive dissonance—I am confronted with facts that contradict my basic assumptions. I tell myself, “This is great; a new type of mermaid woman.” I want her story.
The immediate problem, however, is that it usually takes me one to two years to get an interview with these women. Once they trust me, they will tell me anything about themselves. But it takes time and patience. I do not have time. At best, I may be able to ask her about one question per hour on this six hour flight. Push too hard and I risk appearing invasive and rude. And I hate rude, even in the pursuit of a noble purpose.
I settle back into my chair closing my eyes and going into a meditative state. I shift part of my consciousness directly inside of her. This is not an effort. I can do this quicker than a businessman can turn a page in the Wall Street Journal. After all, air is inside of everyone and water, heat, minerals, love, hate, desire, inspiration, memories, experience, and vision. Like the sylph Cargoste, I have had moments when, like him, my awareness is everywhere where air exists on earth. After experiences like that, individual identity, personal boundaries, and the autonomy of the ego seem to be either illusions or arbitrary social conventions.
And as a spiritual anthropologist, this entire planet and everyone on it are part of my research. I know a mermaid woman who has been placed in a human body just to observe and record human experience. The mermaids are concerned that we will not be here much longer; and we have nothing in our civilization even remotely close to their ability to capture and communicate the essence of life experience. In telepathy and clair-feeling there are no boundaries to perception. Bear with me on this.
As I enter her aura, once again I feel and see myself out on the open ocean. But now a woman comes toward me walking on the water. She stops about ten feet away and just looks at me.
This is different. Usually mermaids extend their auras through you if you are this near to them. They flow energy in and through anything around them. Like water, it is their nature to give and to receive, to exchange energy freely. For mermaids, joining souls is the best and most appropriate form of social interaction.
But the woman in my vision does not do this. As she looks at me, there is a silent question in her eyes—“Why are you here?” But it is not, why are you bothering me or why are you inside of me? It is not, what do you want or what is your purpose?
The “Why are you here?” is the curiosity of nature itself. She is surprised to encounter a human in her realm. And so naturally she is asking what energy within or underlying nature do I embody?
When interacting with a real mermaid you have to approach her through the language she speaks: feelings, pure sensuality, love, oneness, and flowing energy. Again, to meet another in the mermaid realm is to be a part of each other without barriers or boundaries.
By asking, Why are you here? she is actually asking, Why are you not already a part of me and everything that I am? What constrains you to hold back from becoming one? It is a good question.
Mermaid women are naturally empathic. It is spontaneous and without effort. I have to concentrate to attain their level of sensitivity. I have to think, reflect, meditate, and contemplate. I can get a mermaid woman to sense that I feel what she feels. But to arrive at that place I have to search for words and images that resonate with pure feeling, otherwise what occurs quickly passes beyond the boundaries of my conscious mind.
So here I am. In my mind, I have identified a hard core mermaid woman sitting next to me. Yet she has done nothing to indicate who she really is. I have observed nothing concrete or tangible in her behavior and she has said nothing to remotely suggest that she is other than as she appears—a woman traveling between cities rather than what I perceive—a female spirit who possess a duel passport granting her entrance to both human and magical realms. And I am also surprised that she does not sense that I am reading her aura.
If I had done this same transference of consciousness inside of my Tai Chi Chuan master during class, he would walk across a room full of students, come up to me, and correct my form. If I do it with a Zen master while we meditate in a group, he will turn to me after the meditation is over and say with a slight hint of compulsion, “We should give a seminar together.” But these are human beings. They possess none of the empathic powers of mermaids.
What is going on with this woman? What kind of mermaid woman is this? What is her connection to the realm of mermaids? Is she aware that she is different from other human beings?
Exploring further, I first focus on her akashic body. Everyone is aware of having a physical body with its vitality and health. We all are aware of the astral body with its ability to feel alive and engage others and life in a way that brings happiness and satisfaction: the astral is not just the perception of a sunrise; it is also the feeling of newness and wonder that the birth of light conveys. And we are all aware of having a mental body through which we think, reflect, plan, and make decisions.
The akashic or spiritual body is more elusive. It is the source of conscience and the inner voice. It is our source of intuition into the deeper purposes of life—why are we here, what lessons are we to learn, what tasks are we meant to fulfill.
The akashic body is like a supervisor; it grants an overview, the big picture, and a sense of urgency about doing whatever we are supposed to be doing in life. The energy of the akashic body is detached and yet engaged. In effect, it says, “You have been granted a certain amount of time; discover something worthwhile and valuable that changes you, others, and the world around you.” Hot, cold, light, or heavy in sensation, it always has that voice of consultation about it.
The girl next to me has no akashic body. There is nothing there—no color, no image, no sensation, no vibration. Nothing. This woman sitting next to me on the plane does not have a human soul. She is an actual mermaid—the real thing—inside of a woman’s body.
Now do not take this the wrong way. There is no certification process or Manual of the American Psychiatric Association that I can turn to in order to confirm my conclusion. I am writing fairy tales. God alone knows who has what kind of soul. But that limitation does not prevent me from doing research.
And I am an artist. If I say she is a mermaid I have to build my case. I have to write an interesting story that tells how she came to be in a woman’s body. And the story must be entertaining.
The story should suggest in a subtle way that the author knows more than he is sharing. This is because I write the story from both sides—from the perspective of human beings and from the perspective of mermaids. In other words, if you read the story carefully, the story opens a gate: you might sense that you are looking beyond the human and directly into the realm of mermaids.
When I say this woman does not have a human soul I am not saying she can not learn new things. Mermaids are more human than we are in the area of love and feeling. They learn new things easily because they have no ego to interfere with the learning process. There is no self-doubt or worry and conflicts and contradictions do not bother them.
I review the known mermaid women traits. If I can get a woman to admit she has just two of the twelve or so traits, she most likely embodies most of them. This has been my experience so far. I was hoping it will be that easy. But not this time.
I turn to my imagination as I glance into her past. I ask myself, Where and how did she make the transition from mermaid to woman?
And this moment is where the ethnography and spiritual anthropology leave off and the fairy tale begins:
I see a mermaid sitting on rock off of a small coastal town. It is night and it has been raining steadily for two weeks. The town and people are drenched in water. The air is full of fog, the clouds having come down and drifting over the ground.
For the mermaid, it feels like the town is part of the ocean. Water is in the ocean and water is here on the land. The waves breaking on the shore are no longer a firm boundary.
Stop. I come out of my meditative trance. The flight attendants are offering refreshments. We put our trays down. I take orange juice. The girl asks for another bottle of water. I am ready with my next question for her. I try to be casual and natural even though I have not laid a foundation for my question.
“You grew up next to the water?” I ask.
“No,” she replies in a matter-of-fact voice, “I grew up on a farm in Nebraska.”
I reassess my vision of a mermaid next to a town on the ocean. “Perhaps,” I tell myself, “I am seeing the time when she originally made the transition from mermaid to woman perhaps in another life time.” Viewing it in that context, I can still use my vision. But now I have to account for what happened in a different life time and why she has continued to incarnate as a woman.
We are done with our peanuts and drinks. I am feeling lucky. I sneak in another question: “You spent a lot of time in water as a child?” This is another trait of mermaid women—they spend huge amounts of time in water as children.
She replies, “How did you know? My mother ran us through all sorts of sports when we were little. Swimming was one of them.”
Now I am having difficulties. How can she have so much water in her aura and not have been self-motivated to seek out and be in water as a child? There are a few exceptions I have run into. A human woman may have an internal conflict with the water in her aura. The water gives unusual sensitivity and empathy. The woman may decide she does not want to be psychic.
In such a case, the woman represses or simply ignores that side of her self. She may not even like being in water. Deep feelings may be for her like a darkness that she does not want to enter.
Another hour passes. She has gotten up and gone to the bathroom twice. I am starting to get desperate. I return to my vision of her mermaid-human origins—the town by the ocean.
I see and feel what the mermaid in my vision perceives from her perspective—There are ocean waves surging about my waist, the rock on which I sit, the dark, cloudy sky, and the rain-soaked town.
With, in, and through her, I extend my mermaid awareness onto the land. The animals appear to me first. A very wet dog, birds snuggled among the tree limbs, mice in the ground, a house cat, horses in a stable.
The dog winds his way on a familiar path. He would like a bone to chew on. The cat, in-doors, is content as always to watch and wait for food, play, or something to hunt. All the same, in the back of her mind, the cat remains attentive to the rain outside. Being indolent or idle does not imply she assumes the world will return to normal. She reclines both relaxed and vigilant.
The crow on the tree limb—he also waits for the rain to abate. Occasionally he forages out for food as the thinks in his own way, “Something to eat, if nothing else a berry will do.”
And the grove of trees and the forest beyond—different from seaweed and coral. They are sentient in their own right. They just do not express themselves in such overt ways as animals. So much life is hidden within them, so much wisdom, patience, and so many songs that remain unsung.
And the human beings. A man with a dark raincoat and waterproof hat walking down the main street. Occasionally grasping and rubbing his upper arms to stay warm, the vibration in the mind is of a man who neither likes rain nor night. The world for him is cold, not just in temperature but also in his soul.
It is not that his caregivers were bound by greed; rather, they had to struggle to meet their basic human needs. They lived their lives in a cage whose bars were made from what they lacked and what they could never have. Because they could never satisfy or change their desires, their creativity became the art of waiting, delaying, and denying what was hidden in their core.
And there is a woman. She is cooking. She is wrapped about in the light of a kerosene lamp. There is the smell of carrots, onions, and beef broth. There is sound of the soup boiling and an ache in the middle of her back. Her teeth are bad and also her digestive track. But the light spills out through the windows tracing faint shadows while the wet tree bark glistens slightly in shades of yellow and brown.
There is preacher in the church who meditates. His mind has grown complex because of the people whose lives he guides. He reads from the Bible. He pauses. Then his mind stops thoughts as if he has stepped into an empty room without light where he listens until the darkness itself shines with its own inner light. Gaining for himself a sense of being guided, he lays out his sermon like a chef in a restaurant planning appetizer, main course, and dessert.
The food for the soul must be neither too rich nor too dull, but nurturing and balanced. The goal for the preacher is to leave an aftertaste as his congregation departs. And he know in the end the sermon must be reduced to one simple thought—in this case, sweet has no meaning without bitter, and joy would be without taste if there was no sorrow to establish its cost.
And up toward the hill behind the town in a large house is a woman attended by two midwives. She is about to give birth to a girl. And touching this small gathering with her mind, the mermaid makes that shift in which she travels though time. She feels not just the labor and the fetus in its struggle to be born held tight, and yet, with the contractions, it faces the inevitability of change.
The mermaid let’s go of her oneness with the ocean. She becomes that first breath—light, smell, sound, taste, and touch—being born in another world in another form.
This is not at all like entering the awareness of a squid, a jellyfish, a shark, a whale, a dolphin, or an eel. They all exist within the sea. In them, nature unfolds in its own way.
But to be a human baby—to truly make your way you must create. And if the mermaid were to express in words her reaction, it would go like this: “For humans, life is cloaked in loneliness and pain. The isolation at times, defines and shapes their being. But not for me. I am of the sea. Going deep inside at my core is love; going out into the world there is also love, because this entire planet exists to celebrate love.
“Human beings are not yet aware of this. Perhaps, like a man trying to swim across the sea, they would drown in the ecstasy if they but tasted the love I taste in every moment.
“But that matters not. The child’s first breath—hidden within it, disguised in darkness, suffering, loss, pain, and separation, is a great wonder waiting to take birth.”
And here is one of the differences between mermaids and us. The mermaid does not need a reason or a purpose to commit or to act with courage and daring. She is like water that flows without having to reflect and yet every molecule and vibration in its being is in the present moment responsive, alive, ready to give and to receive.
She makes the leap. She leaves behind her mermaid form--eyes still closed, she takes that first breath and rejoices from the depth of her mermaid soul, a soul now hidden within and yet expressed outward in the form of the child.
The girl has returns from the restroom. As she sits down, I turn to her and ask her, “What are you reading?”
She replies, “I am a pilot. I am studying for her next pilot’s exam. I fly for the military and a different airline.”
I ask, “Are you qualified on this plane?”
She answers, “Not this one. But others close in size. My husband is piloting this flight. Whenever either of us is free, we ride along so we have more time together.”
I am stunned, but I quick draw and fire off a question while I still have her attention. “You must be good at sensing the weather.”
Her reply is terse, “Radar helps.”
“One last question,” I say to her. “Did you meet your husband in flight school?” I know that mermaids can join with a man so deeply that they can acquire the other’s abilities. Maybe that is what happened. She met a pilot and absorbed the vibration of his mind and his aptitude toward flying.
She replies, “No, a mutual friend introduced us. We were both already pilots.” And then she is gone, as if I am not here and she and that training manual are the only things that exist in her awareness.
A mermaid that pilots commercial airlines—the idea is mind boggling. It does not fit any preconceptions I have of mermaids. Lying back in the reclined seat, I go again into deep meditation searching in the darkness for a ray of light. I am looking for a way to salvage my fairy tale and to make sense of a mermaid who flies planes:
The child grows up in the small town by the sea. With an emotional aptitude similar to the adaptability of a cuttlefish that changes its appearance to blend with its environment, the mermaid woman quickly learns to act like human beings. Her particular talent is in so aligning herself with the soul vibration of those around her, that indeed, if a family trait is being impatient, then she also feels and acts the part.
If they are hard working and severe in outlook, so is she. If her friends are competitive and demanding as she grows up, she learns not just to mimic them but also to outdo them in coming out the winner when being a winner was needed.
But if you watched carefully, you would notice that unlike human beings, she is never mean or selfish. And she is never lonely or sad. Still, at times it is hard to tell if she is acting. It is like she is engaged in a game of poker and is simply playing her best hand.
What is the right question that captures the essence of this mermaid’s life in the form of a woman? Whatever the question, the answer is that she was blending in, going with the flow, and adapting. But beneath those things she was observing and waiting, because for her something was about to happen. After all, other than expressing love, for a mermaid the essence of life is wonder.
In that first life time as a mermaid woman, she met a man who understood her powers of empathy and the depth of her feeling. And this is truly an amazing thing, for as all mermaid women know or else quickly learn, when it comes to love men are nearly incapable of understanding anything.
How did they meet? And the first moment? The first eye contact?
He was from a neighboring town. And they meet twice, first at a wedding and the second time at a funeral.
But there is something here I do not understand. He sensed her before she sensed him. And he was no merman. Though not indifferent to others’ needs, love and kindness were not at the top of his priorities. He was industrious, hard working, and, at times, inventive. But when it came to the mermaid woman, he never lost his focus.
For him, it was like this. He sensed that she was so malleable and receptive that she would fit inside himself. It is conceivable that you can get human women to obey, to align themselves with your heart and soul, like two individuals dancing together listening to the same music and experiencing the same rapture.
But the souls of women are not fluid like water. They do not extend outward like a stream of energy that can flow in and through another. The mermaid woman could do precisely that. He knew this the first moment he glanced back in the church and looked into her eyes. He felt he was no longer in a church made of stone and wood but a grove of trees at night with the moon shining above.
When the people were filing out of the church, he found her and introduced himself. He squeezed her hand. And in that moment she knew she had found her man.
And so life time after life time, these two incarnate and find each other so they can be together again. It is a nice story, romantic even, but what am I missing?
The flight is well into its descent. I sense the nose of the plane dropping slightly in relation to the earth’s surface. I am now desperate. I need some sort of confirmation that she is a mermaid. I can not create a story and hang it on nothing. My fairy tales involve real people who embody wonder, power, and mystery mixed together.
I pull out the stops. I focus on the undine queen Istiphul in my mind. And I say to her, “I could use a little help here.” After all, the seating on the airplane was designed by the Other Side. I was supposed to meet this woman. But unlike her I am a human being. And so I ask Istiphul, “What is the purpose behind this encounter?”
How can I ask an undine queen about purpose when mermaids do not need purposes in order to act and to plan? Actually Istiphul is a grand master of identifying the deepest desires in your heart and then presenting you with a totally captivating vision that feels one hundred per cent real—a vision of what you are meant to become.
The plane is approaching the field. The girl turns to me and says, “You mentioned you sensed a lot of water in my aura. My whole life and even until just recently I have had the worst problem with empathy. Sometimes when I am in a group of friends, I feel I am in a dream. I feel so much a part of the other people I am with that it is like I am inside of them—like, if I were to wake up from the dream, I could easily be one of them instead of me.”
I review for her how the mermaid women all at some point as they grow up have to learn how to limit their empathy in order to survive in this world. She does not agree with me. She says it is not that easy to do.
And then it comes to me. I see it in part because of another mermaid woman who has been following my train of thought through her powers of telepathy. She points out that there is a beam or bar of red energy extending out from the woman’s abdomen to the pilot, her husband, who is flying the plane. The two have a powerful internal bond that he has created that draws them together life time after life time. .
I study his aura briefly. He possesses a laser like concentration that was hired wired into his soul from birth. He too is not a human being, but what I call a Persian. He is a member of an advanced race of souls that are here at the invitation of on earth. They are meant to replace Homo sapiens should we become extinct.
For that race, it is not unusual to bond with another so that the two souls are joined together from within. It is an act of power that is natural for them because it is part of their immense capacity to adapt and to change.
[Think of it like this. Men spend an enormous amount of time trying to attain balance. It takes an effort to relax, to unwind, and to feel happy. They need entertainment, coddling, support, self-validation, repose, satisfaction, someone to talk to, and an intimate connection to distract them from their acute isolation. .
But a Persian has a different capacity to bond a woman. As one such woman put it—“My husband and I share the same soul.” The man feels the woman’s presence, life force, and soul energy inside of his own body. He is that connected. Human beings have not yet learned how to accomplish this.
The result is that this frees up a Persian male so he no longer has any personal needs. He has internalized his opposite, the female, by making her part of himself. There is a lineage such as that of Swami Rama who transmits from master to disciple the experience of internalizing the feminine within oneself. This establishes the feeling of being united to a woman from within.
But the Persian internal bond is with an actual woman. He thus gains life force and soul energy far more easily. The Swami, however, can compete with the Persian by practicing a life time of strenuous yoga. But the internal bond with an actual woman offers far more experience with feeling and intuitive insight than any yogi typical gains. To put it simply, the Persian’s internal bond with a woman gives him five times more energy.]
But mermaid souls are different. They freely flow love into anyone and everyone around them according to each individual’s capacity to give and to receive. They do not “bond” with another. It is never appropriate for a mermaid to have a man imprint his desire upon her so that her entire life, at least in terms of love, revolves around him.
My answer to why this woman is sitting next to me? The mermaid queens themselves put this woman next to me on the plane knowing that I would sense that her soul was of water. And in writing my modern fairy tale I would arrive at the place where I realize I was being asked to intervene. To either mediate or arbitrate a resolution to a conflict that arises out of the interaction of these two non-human races.
The plane has landed and is approaching the gate. I tell the girl that I will have another book out in a year and I will have a story in it about her and her husband. She asks me the name of my book that was just published. I tell her and say that if she emails me I’ll send her a copy.
I have done this for other mermaid women. I wrote an essay on the social conflicts between mermaid women and the men they love. One such woman had her boyfriend read the essay. He already knew she could do things with energy and love he had never seen anywhere before. But he had always been uncomfortable with that fact that she could let go of him in any moment and not feel loss. The essay helped him understand how to accept their differences.
Perhaps reading this story together the mermaid pilot and her husband might work on their differences. She can unite with him by flowing her love in and through him. But in her very essence she is also united to the sea. He has taken that away from her. For the undine queens, beauty is something to respect and to love. But you never want to bind it to the will of another. Beauty, like the sea, is always wild and free.
The vibration of water on this planet possesses wonder, beauty, and love to such an extent that only in the far future will a race appear that fully aligns itself with the deeper purposes of the earth. The undine queens know this. The human race and the next race, the Persians, do not.
My fairy tale is now complete. To summarize, in another life time a mermaid enters a newborn child. She grows up and meets a man. Their love is such that they find each other life time after life time in order to be together again.
But she only has one mermaid personality trait—her powerful empathy—that indicates she is something else than a normal human being. But this is almost impossible. A real mermaid in a woman’s body always embodies the traits of mermaid women, except in one circumstance—where a magician has take possession of the mermaid and changes her soul vibration through the power of his will.
This situation is similar though it does not involve a human mage. The reason her other mermaid qualities are hidden is that she is under the spell of a man who has the soul of an advanced race.
But now the mermaid queens have asked me to intervene. They would like a mutually satisfying resolution of the conflict.
I know how to proceed. I know the exact meditation. It is something I specialize in. I will reunite her soul to the sea reestablishing her natural state of being. Then she shall again be free to love in accordance with her true nature without being bound and caught in her lover’s gravity well of will.
When she took that first breath as a human being long ago, she opened herself to taste the wonder that was there for her to discover; but it was not her intent to surrender and be consumed by the needs of another.
A human woman in a similar situation would, after a long period of time, eventually get angry and then burn so hot she would break the bond with the Persian. Romance is nice, but independence is essential for loving another. All human women know that.
Love can go either way. It can keep you focused on this world so that you overcome life’s limitations and make the most of the opportunities that come your way. But for those who are from the Other Side, this world is always less real than the astral plane from which they come. And so love, real love, is knowing how and when to let go. That is, there is a time to realize that this world is only a small part of what your feel inside.
As for the Persian, he will come to understand that to touch life with tenderness requires greater skill than is present in the power he now commands. And if it should be that he needs a referral to a member of his own race, I know a few women who will do, who can match his will every step of the way with equal skill.