***UPDATE – a slightly more polished and beautifully typeset version is part of the MORE LOVE book.

(made available to read online for free once-in-a-while or generally with a donation based password.)

[ a short story ]


The Community

As far as the eye reached, that land was theirs, beautiful, fertile patches of woodland, hills and pastures. The climate was moderate, with all the four distinct seasons. They could grow whatever they wanted and shared enough scientific expertise among their group, to expect a healthy harvest year after year, even if it meant to go greenhouse for some time. Some of their botanists and zoologists had been to all the top universities, and so despite never having to stoop down to chemical compounds to boost the yield, their cherished traditional methods from times immemorial allowed them to even sell their collective knowledge to some of the ‘concerns’ that made their money outside of their own ‘world’.

City-planned along a clean and crisp river whose once-upon-a-time sacred spring was within their land, up on the highest hill, or ‘mountain’, was their settlement. After more than twenty years, a couple of extremely fascinating architectural experiments had been erected, although they’d designed their communal co-existence to be based on single huts, or rather kind-of low-key family houses, rather than endeavoring to build higher multi-storey dwellings, in the perhaps more economical foresight to serve, all at once, the many. It was a constitutional, or conceptual, decision of how they’d like to consider their original cells, or foundational units, to grow from and prosper into a multitude.
Only their communal spaces, like for instance the central forum where they discussed and negotiated any larger decisions, or the hospital (where also a research lab for traditional ancient medicine was attached to), as a well as a kind-of auditorium, or better theatre, which served as a central hub for any of the community’s leisure-time amusements (and which hosted at once several different stages for various levels and facets of cultural entertainment) – all of those were built with a larger architectural frame-of-mind, and a more enterprising scope projected forward into the overall layout of their little village-city. ‘Practice-led but intelligence-driven’ – as they had an internal motto going among the leadership.
This leadership consisted of a couple of Elders, men and women, of whom most were initiates in some of the major mystery teachings. But there were also a couple of ‘gifted’ people among them, people with supernatural abilities, and they would freely and unconditionally serve with their skills for the well-being and the prosperity of the community. These Elders were empowered to either choose or dispense of a leader fully at their discretion.
Yet, for the past sixteen years now, their chosen chief came out of a Jewish-Christian fellowship with roots to the Essenes, the famous Pythagorean-Mosaic mystery school, who’d afterwards also spent a few years of yogic Buddhist studies in the far East. His name was Pierre. When people made jokes about him, owing to his similarity with what everyone understood as a Jesus-like saviour-figure, he’d always lower his large pitch-black sunglasses and fasten his wooden trowel on the ceremonial calf-skin belt, and then ask, “and now?” – after which people would usually refrain from any further silly remarks.
Pierre was loved by everyone, and his wisdom, combined with the just hand of a great king, made him the prefect leader. He was very strict about his liberal open-door policy. Whoever wanted to see him was given a meeting, no matter how busy he was at times. His lofty and yet down-to-earth personality, together with his profound spiritual knowledge, turned out to be sufficiently authoritative for people to not take advantage of his otherwise boundless generosity. After his first two years or so, of getting to directly know everybody in the community, for the most part, nobody afterwards bothered him anymore with their day-to-day trifles.
Really, if one looked down to it, and considering the rather blissful state of every single individual within their little society, it was probably something that everyone would’ve agreed to without the slightest hesitation, that theirs was the reality of a sheer Perfect World. Well, at least, as perfect as a perfect world could be on this plane, the plane of the merely mundane.

But also, they were of course, not alone. Their little world was obviously part of another, greater outer world, and that other world was perpetually surrounding them. It was clear from the moment that their place had been obtained and founded, that no matter how liberal the system around them might turn out to be at any given time, due to the nature of the human condition, its frailty, struggle and inherent pettiness, and due to the constant celestial change of the overall cosmic climate, they could by no means expect their ‘perfect world’ to be everlasting and unchanging. Life threatening problems would inevitably one day come knocking at their door.
Now was such a time. The Elders sat on the raw-hewn central clay floor of the town-hall in a large circle, positioning themselves, as usual, among the zodiac engravings that ran around it, according to their presently most prevalent astrological constellations. Everyone brought with them, as an established tradition of theirs held it, their own floor mats and favourite beverages. A couple of virgin maidens went every so often around with hemp biscuits, carrot cakes or oat bread as nibbles.
“What it boils down to, if I may feel free to say so, is that we have to seriously consider a fundamental relocation”, one of the Elders said. He was a native Indian, wearing his traditional feather-crown passed down from a long trail of forefathers, and he was continually smoking a long maple-wood pipe containing purifying herbs, laced with mind-unhinging diviner’s sage. People sitting near him seemed also slightly unhinged.
Usually, everyone in the round calmly sat cross-legged for the most part. Yet this time, a couple of them constantly changed their position, rustling and bustling, and some of them began to unscrew or uncork their brought bottles into the couple of minutes of silence that followed.
“It is probably a solution to our problem which might turn out to be the only one left for us to do, really, if we’d like to get through such a change unimpeded in our constitutional integrity”, Pierre eventually said. A few heads in the round hung forward and looked down to the floor. Such a tremendous change might easily signal the end of their ‘perfect world’. It might not only be life-changing, but life-ending.
“We could still find a way to circumvent those new government regulations, if we really stick our heads together and put our minds to it. In my view, it would actually be a great test for our professional expertise to come up with a suitable alternative solution. And at the end of the day, we’d also have our friends in the government. We surely know how to present a final package in a dignified way to the right people at the right time.” Annabelle was a beautiful French-Candian woman with waist-long silvery hair and elegant Madonna-like facial features. She’d worked in politics most of her life since she was very young, and therefore knew the game inside out. She also knew that such a thing would definitely be a fatal test, the ultimate one to pass, for the power of their group wisdom and ultimate group coherence.
Pierre looked around to see a couple of determined and hopeful expressions on some of the Elder’s faces. The option of relocating was of course totally devastating. Spending more than ten years, twenty years even for most of them, building up a life and a family and a position for themselves, a workable daily routine and a definite life’s purpose, surely were attachments, in the Buddhist sense, that could not that easily just be dismissed. Even he, having no family and only rudimentary dwelling, and for whom any ‘positions’ anyway being only transitory and without the slightest relevance to the problem of finding one’s true self, would find it very hard. But, of course, it was definitely doable.
“Well”, he finally said, “we’ve heard the various expositions and different takes on it. Let’s go away with this and come back to it in two week’s time. Those who have the knowledge and expertise to counteract the new government regulations can meanwhile stick their heads together as well. Thanks.”
He got up from his floor mat and asked the maiden who just happened to pass-by whether there were any ‘live’ ones among the hemp cookies on her tray. She smiled at him and pointed at three cinnamon-coloured crescent-shaped ones, lying separate from the others on little finger-shaped leaves. Pierre smiled back at her and took two. Beautiful girl. He swallowed one while he went out into the open sun. The day was perfect to go for a swim. Should he dive into the communal pool in town-centre or pilgrim to the forest-lake an hour’s walk away? He swallowed the second cookie and then decided to go for the walk, as he certainly needed to think over things a little bit more than usual. And walking, for him, on dope, was sheer perfect for that.



The Boy

Mother and father were talking business. The news of town. “You know I’ve told you this would happen about a year ago”, Jonathan said to them. He didn’t wear any pants and indulged in the refreshing draft breezing through the living-room cell of their clay hut. On top, he wore a woollen, loose-knitted t-shirt that his mum had made for him, showing a full-on sunny smiley in front. He was a happy kid, always had been.
“I know”, his father admitted and stared through the roughly circular window of their robust house straight into the bustling core of the village-centre. His own parents had lived here and been here from the very beginning, seeing through this very window the same centre, much smaller and less lively, twenty-five years ago.
His mother turned round from the kitchen sink and stroked Jonathan’s head gently, brushing away the cheeky fringe from his forehead with her soft and warm thumb. “It’s something that one doesn’t readily want to believe, is it, baby?”, she said.
“We’re both very aware of your gifts, Jon. Pierre and the Elders are also very keen to see how you’re progressing. But to prophecy our ruin …“, his father said.
Jonathan very much liked his father, he’d always thought that he was a really cool guy. Everyone in the village basically liked him and his wife behaved openly very affectionate towards him, which to Jonathan was a sure sign of ‘true love’, or at least of what he, a boy of twelve, knew of it.
“… how would you feel if someone told you that you’re finished”, his father asked him, now facing him and somewhat smiling.
“I don’t know. Probably take it to heart and think about why someone would bother telling me.”
“Hahaha”, his mother laughed and turned back to carry on cleaning the dished. The clinkering sounds echoing back and forth from the clay-walls really felt very comforting, and Jonathan jumped into the bright-coloured bean-bag hanging down from the ceiling in the middle of the room.
“Government bastards”, his father said, as well as to himself as to both of them. He lit up his little pipe and casually leaned on the frame of their doorless entrance. Every now and again, he nodded his head and smiled when one of the passersby’s said ‘hello’ to him.
Jonathan bounced his naked legs back and forth to put the bean-bag in motion.

The wilderness they had was every boy’s dream, really. Jonathan had plenty of friends to play with, and at times, they stayed outside, setting up camp overnight. Even though he was barely twelve, his parents weren’t worried. Every kid in the community already gets taught in nursery school about what the parents call ‘survival’, but what to the kids was just plain fun and common sense, really. Nonetheless, Jonathan oftentimes liked being on his own. Just him and the birds and the trees. Just him and the rabbits and turtles and fishes and all the little racoons saying hello and goodbye again. Their land was apparently one of those extremely rare ones that didn’t have anything poisonous on them, as they’d heard their teachers boast in school, always.
On that particular day, Jonathan was just walking further into the woods, after he’d had a quick swim in the forest pond (Pierre was also there and as usual very nice and friendly), when he came upon his favourite glade. It was a bit up on a hill and it allowed you to overlook a large area of their land. It was unusually calm here today, the sun was silently – almost clandestinely – scorching the grass dry and crispy. No wind whatsoever rustled through the feather-light leaves of the trees surrounding the glade.
And there the apparition came. A girl who he’d actually seen before in a dream, not much older than him, perhaps thirteen. She was made of light and stood there, in the centre of the glade, at the very top of the hill, and she smiled at him and waved for him to come over.
“Hello Jonathan”, she said. She didn’t move her mouth but Jonathan clearly received her voice in his head in ‘plain stereo sound’, as his father would’ve said.
“Hi”, he replied and held up his right palm in an impulse of greeting. He wasn’t scared or defensive. Having apparitions felt normal to him. That he now came to meet one character of his personal, secret world right in front of him, not only in flesh and blood but even in full light and splendor, meant that something extremely important was about to happen.
“The place where you are now”, her sweet voice almost whispered in his head, “this isn’t your true home.”
“I know”, was all he said.
“It will come to an end very soon. And the place surrounding it will also come to an end.”
Jonathan kept listening. He’d heard something along those lines just before, about their place, and he already felt in a similar way about everything else surrounding it. Yet, deep down he knew, that what the girl was talking about, really referred to something unimaginably larger.
“Everything here will come to an end and something completely new will take its place.” The girl made a wave with her arm to show what she meant by everything. She kept smiling. Nothing that Jonathan had ever seen was more beautiful, nor could it possibly be.
“But you, Jonathan, you will return Home and everyone who will hearken to what you can say from now on, will also return to their rightful Homes. The place where we are is by far more splendid and perfect than this filthy place is here, no matter how beautiful you think that it is here.”
“I understand”, Jonathan said and looked at her with eyes wide open. He wasn’t blinded in the least by all the light that was now consummating everything else in front of him.
“I will have to go back now but will return back to you soon. Meanwhile, you don’t need to be afraid of sharing what you saw or heard. It is all good. Whoever else is good will understand this.” And then the girl turned away from him, still smiling, and raised both her arms up into the sky whereupon she lifted off the ground, became larger, like a gigantic balloon without losing her magnificent form, until her being slowly dissolved to leave only the sun as the single light to face him. For a good while, it seemed as if dawn had suddenly broken. But after he rubbed his eyes and opened them again, he saw that the sun was as pristine and vibrant as it had been before and nothing at all had changed in the glade. Except that the girl wasn’t there anymore.
Soon afterwards, innumerable birds slowly began to sing in countless polyphonic melodies, and a mild wind swept through the tree leaves, rustling them gently. Jonathan felt himself floating, as if stepping on puffy clouds under his feet, when he made his way back with these news. He thought very hard about what would be the best way to deliver them. How not getting everyone only more anxious and unsettled than they already were? His father’s words still in his ears, he tried to imagine how he himself would react if someone had told him stuff like that? How difficult was it, to understand that this place was not their true home and that no matter how beautiful they might take it to be – suffering, transience and decay were always and forever inevitable? And that the time for all of it to end has finally come now – well, hasn’t it already been proven to them, if only symbolically? But, worst of all, little boy that he was, that was what he understood rationally and most clearly – who could ultimately afford to take seriously what he had to say, if it was just a little boy saying it? All in all. It was a lot.
And then of course, looking at the other side: what a beautiful girl. I wonder what her name was, Jonathan thought. Do Goddesses still get married?

Pierre wasn’t too keen to hear, so much was clear. Jonathan decided to approach him first, at least that’s what he thought that somebody grown-up would do.
“And the vision was real, I mean, not imagined? You’re saying the person stood right in front of you? Person or ghost or Goddess or whatever”, Pierre asked him. They sat in a cooling, slightly mint-scented chamber adjourning the central meeting-room in the Town Hall.
“Yes, the Goddess was a real Goddess but younger than most people imagine. And she said that we’re mistaken, expecting to find Utopia anywhere on earth. This isn’t our true home, she kept saying. I’m sure you deep down also know that. And she warned us that this is all going to come to an end very soon.”
Pierre thought this over for a while. He looked through the open door into the empty circle of the main hall with its astrological carvings on the floor. Of course, he knew this wasn’t their true home. That’s why they all considered themselves to be cultivators of some sort – ‘transcend’, ‘enlighten’. But to still live a peaceful life in happiness – what was wrong with that? Who could expect anything more from this mundane life? Of course, he’d read and heard about people ascending, some in broad daylight. But at the end of the day, who could venture to say that they truly went ‘home’?
“I grant you, Jonathan. Our home isn’t here but as long as we don’t have a path laid out in front of us that can deliver us from here – let’s say to our ‘home’ – we might as well make the present dwelling place as bearable and dignified as possible. Don’t you agree?”, Pierre said. He truly liked the boy. And he believed him.
Jonathan didn’t take very long to reply. “But maybe all your past teachings, and perhaps even all the teachings so far, had ultimately missed the final, essential point? That maybe everything has only ever existed, and had ever its whole purpose in that, to finally make it until where we are right about now.”
“Okay.” Pierre took the trowel from his belt and started to draw a circle into the clay in front of him. “Maybe that’s true as well. So if we are in this circle, and reality, the ‘true reality’, entirely takes place outside of it. What are we supposed to do now?” He struck the trowel into the centre of the circle and looked up at Jonathan.
“I don’t know. The Goddess will appear again. For now, maybe just accept the idea that we’ve been chasing a silly dream, all of us. And now it’s the time to become real”, Jonathan said and felt that an adult couldn’t have put it more maturely.
“I’ll put this to the Elders. Let’s see what they think. Of course, I don’t blame you. But this is quite heavy stuff. Funny, it happens when we’re already facing a lot of trouble. Anyway, let’s see what they say and I’ll get back to you.”
Jonathan exited the room and went back into the sun, leaving behind their esteemed guide and leader, totally with himself, alone.

Of course, the Elders were at a total loss. How to drop everything, all they knew and believed in and just follow a little boy? Despite their benevolence and composed, well-mannered demeanour, Pierre had to listen to things like, “are you out of your mind?”
“Well, I don’t know what to believe. But what Jonathan says is sound. The boy couldn’t be more righteous. So regardless of what I’m thinking, I’m asking you”, Pierre said. They sat in their usual circle. Not everyone came, though. Maybe some felt, they couldn’t be bothered to consider such a ridiculous fairly-tale in the face of the real, imminent danger they were currently facing.
“I do grant, the signs would all indicate, that what the boy says is correct. We’ve indeed come to an end here, it seems, and that’s considering that the world outside had already come to an end a long time ago. That a deity would appear at this point and tell us to wake up and let go of all the baggage that’s left …”, Clarissa said, a fortyish woman with blond hair and the tiny, slim body of a fairy.
Edgar interrupted, “you’re just saying that because the deity was a woman.” Some Elders laughed nervously. Others said, “how can we be stirred by an internal challenge like that in the face of what we’re otherwise, externally, going through? If we consider such preposterous pubescent claims, wouldn’t that mean we’ve done everything in vain? Rather than lifting us up to our so-called ‘true home’, wouldn’t that in actuality completely destroy us?”
“Maybe it would destroy us. But that’s perhaps the whole point. Maybe whatever we’ve done so far was just a step, nothing more and nothing less.”
“Stone or not stone. The boy would be causing a revolution of our beliefs and values. Who’d be sacrificing them just for the sake of listening to one of our little ones?”
“Yet, what he’s saying is true. Except we don’t know any better. If we only had more signs and proofs to make things easier.”
“Aren’t our imminent relocation and the apparition of a live deity enough signs?”
“Signs maybe, but how many of you would be prepared to surrender their whole existence to them?”
“Haven’t all traditions talked about this? That this final day would eventually come to be? The end of all that has ever been? The beginnings of something entirely new?”
It went on-and-on and back-and-forth like that for a long time. Pierre, somewhere between, really felt inclined to chuck it all in and just hearken to the words of a little boy. Yet, the vote in the end decided 9:5 that what Jonathan says will be ignored, at least until further signs proved more truth to his words. The more acute problem that was more openly threatening them, needed to be dealt with with all their available authority and faculty of their minds. It was a rational, calm decision, and delivered by the spokesman of the Elders entirely matter-of-factly.
Pierre acknowledged the decision, he anyway had to in his role, and dismissed the round again. He went off straight to the temple and sat down there for a couple of hours in deep meditation. Maybe some more insights would occur there. Or at the very least, his calmness would recover from the multitude of blows over the past couple of days, and particularly hours.


Alone in the World

For Jonathan, it was entirely clear that what he was asking of the village was too much for them to bear. But – he didn’t actually ask them anything. He was rather passing on a message. He himself felt as wonderful as never before. The Goddess wouldn’t leave his mind anymore and the power of righteousness, and of locks of ancient memories about to break open, made it easy for him to even cope with the increasing hostility that he now also got from his parents. Of course, he also understood them. They happened to have a son who’s caused such major concern in their community. Such unbearable, irresolvable, neck-breaking news that meant to sacrifice all of their so-called ‘good causes’. Why would they, the ‘good guys’, be in danger if everyone else outside of their world was so much worse than them? Wasn’t goodness enough? What more do the Gods want?
In the beginning, it was a silent rejection, nothing was brought out into the open anymore. There was a knowing part which certainly understood that they’d all lived their lives in vain and invested their hopes and aspirations on the fake premise of creating a so-called ‘better world’. But except a few select individuals among them who kept for their part silent, parting from their beliefs and values and purposes was something out of the question. Who or what were they, if they let go of the most fundmental thing? Their supposed sense of Self!
And so it happened that Jonathan, keeping his good spirits unhampered and true, gradually became altogether avoided by the people of the community. Until the avoidance became so habitual and ingrained with them, to turn into more and more outright scapegoating and hostility. After a couple of weeks, it wasn’t an option anymore for Jonathan to go out and play with his friends. He had to take his lonesome state as the true bottom-line of his being.
Since even his parents couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable around him, his stretches of sleeping in the forest and strolling about on his own became increasingly longer. Until – from the viewpoint of the village – something unwanted thankfully just faded away. And from his viewpoint – he’d just entered his new life. He was going back home.

It was after he’d fully realised this, that the Goddess again appeared to him. This time, she just floated there, waiting and smiling, when he crawled out of his tree-house one morning.
“Hi”, Jonathan said, and received sensations of unknown bliss, running throughout his whole body, while the girl just kept smiling at him.
“You are now receiving a red and blue Taiji wheel. It is something that formed Aeons and Aeons ago and belongs to the Primordial Dao”, the Goddess said in his head with her now familiar crystalline singing voice. While she said it, Jonathan could feel something beginning to spin in his belly and it felt wonderful. “My teachers will guide your cultivation for you from now on. You’ll go out and suffer everyday people’s taking advantage of your goodness and beauty, and you’ll continue to stay who you are, yet use everything that is arranged for you to become ever purer and truer. Sometimes soon, when the promised end is about to commence, you will return to your place in Heaven. It is your rightful place, Jonathan. You once were an enormous King in heaven and now it’s time for you to return.”
He listened with utmost respect and humility and on a branch of the tree sat down before her.
“I see you were well ready for this to be made known to you. I knew.” She paused and continued to smile at him. “It won’t be easy out in the ordinary world but this is the real world, the mirror of the place that you’ve since been. You already got a little taste of it before you departed from your parents and people. What you will have to go through will be harsher and more pressing. But the wheel will protect you and so will one of my masters, the one who vowed to look after you. Whatever is going to happen, it all has to do with what you owed others, and is arranged for you to pay back and come out purified and cleansed like that. Knowing your steadfastness and righteousness …”, she continued and at that moment Jonathan received a glimpse of a world in his head, where he was constantly under observation by beings above him. He was being given scenes of some of his past conduct in flashes of vivid memory, that seemed to play back in realtime but that, when the girl continued, he understod was only an instant, like a dream.
“… we are all very optimistic that you will make it through, Jonathan. Should you ever seriously struggle, rest assured we shall do our best to find a way to get you through. And that is it for me, beloved brother. Fare well and we all hope to have you back on board very soon.”
And then the Goddess was gone.
Jonathan needed to adjust his eyes again by closing and opening them. Then he needed to fully digest his utter loneliness in this world for the very first time, as he sat there, in the forest, now left entirely on only his own devices. The sensation in his belly became suddenly stronger, and when he looked down, he could see red and blue luminescence radiating and rotating from there, and he could see the luminescence reaching very far, farther than his eyes could reach. It went by far farther than the land of theirs, at any rate.
He understood then, that he wasn’t the same boy anymore. He’d been given tremendous divine powers and with them the ability to ‘see’ permanently. Now it was his turn to prove to Heaven that he was indeed worthy the honours bestowed. He got at once all his stuff together, put it in his little backpack, and headed off to do his cultivation proper. It was both his duty and pleasure. No matter how hard it was going to be, he couldn’t have been more determined to make it through until the very end.


And So it Came to Pass

Over at the community, fate took naturally its course and crushed every single one of their petty ambitions. Pierre for his part never got Jonathan out of his head again, and he would’ve even been ready to follow him, no matter where to. It was goodness and righteousness that drove him, so much he knew. And it was all that he needed to know. He’d seen his share of ‘masters’. He knew the score.
Yet, involvement with a fundamentally democratic group process kept driving the community forward as a whole, each member only being a responsive particle within, responsibility- and conscience-stripped, on its final predestined course. They did have to relocate. They did have to leave everything behind from before and simply start everything anew. But that wasn’t all. The change brought with them also the realisation that not only was their new world not a place of the same natural abundance and purity – it couldn’t have been, their old place had been unspoilt and perfect. They also brought with them all their unresolved pretenses, those that had never been looked at before, and hitherto ignored, like the boy they’d dispelled from their midst, in an unconscious group effort to avoid looking at the real picture of themselves.
Since everyone had to start anew to settle the affairs of their family and other related self-interests, they brought along with them, and into the open, also their unconscious burdens and karmic debts. All their hidden entanglements with each other surfaced right there and then. Infighting began over the best spots where to build up their improvised tents and new homes. About what exactly and where exactly to build up something new again. About who is doing what and when and for what purpose.
Through their new standards of interaction, it became clear that almost everyone only outwardly acted righteous, that they were only feigning their supposed cultivation. All it was, was that they just believed themselves to be better than the ordinary people of the world ‘outside’. In reality, no matter how ‘good’ they thought they were, they were all empty shells only, devoid of any real and genuine content. Everyone was only going through the motions. That was all it was. And since everyone else was doing the same in their entire group effort, they’d spent their entire lives self-ingratiatingly believing themselves to be truly cultivating, improving and elevating their true selves and beings. No one bothered – didn’t even contemplate – to follow a true teaching that would ultimately deliver them from their fatal state of tragic humanness, from their doomed state of eternal imprisonment. All they did, and had ever done, was to just follow and believe a ‘silly dream’. Like the boy said. A childish, ridiculous hope of Utopian peace and happiness.
How ironic, therefore, that they now had to pay for the fact that they extracted – or metaphorically ‘killed’ – the only child among them, their true spirit in a sense, who was actually mature and adult in this regard. And paying they did, since their internal quarrels and downward-spiralling social interactions were nothing compared to what was really in store for them.

The End was swift. A wave of light breaking through the molecular curtain into visibility and tangibility, consummating everything within one magnificent solar embrace. Before it happened, everybody in the community had warped quasi overnight into a headless batch of bitches and crooks. Any rationality that had once been there, all the guiding principles at their foundation, the grand hopes and aspirations – all of it decayed into the abyss of inescapable darkness.
Only Pierre kept wary. After the relocation, it was about the first thing he did, that he disposed himself of the leadership. He took a back seat. He resorted to increased meditation in solitude.
He’d never been with a woman before. His vows and initiations made him decide that for this life of his, here at this place, that was the wiser choice. He did like to look at the maidens, marvel at their grace and beauty. He also understood their lot, and had great compassion, for being born into such suffering as to be saddled with the tragic ageing of a female body. It was just that he didn’t feel the need to in any way ‘surrender’, as well as he didn’t feel the need to have any children.
But he did think back of Jonathan as if he were his own son. And it never ceased to pain him to the extreme, that he didn’t have the power, despite his so-called leadership, to protect the boy and silence and restrain all the malicious ignorants and scoffers.
At other times, he felt like a brother for him. There was something about Jonathan that made him feel again like a boy, himself. It was a certain innocence and purity that would usually get lost during the process of becoming a so-called adult.
So – while subsequently everything around him began to decline at such a rapid pace that he could observe it almost on a daily, sometimes even hourly basis, Pierre naturally took this as the final proof that everything Jonathan had divined has finally come to pass. And he duly repented. Of course, he wasn’t the kind-of lamenting guy. Or sentimental in any way. He’d gone through decades of utterly serious and oftentimes painful initiations into ancient traditions. He knew about the Gods, he knew about magic, he knew about the transient meaning of this place and about the magnificence of Heaven.
So it was more a case that from the bottom of his heart, Pierre solemnly vowed to the Gods during his meditations, to do whatever was necessary to atone for his ‘sins’. He asked forgiveness but didn’t expect it to be granted. He was hoping to be given a chance to make up for letting Jonathan down. For not hearken to him as his conscience would’ve wanted, or even ‘commanded’. He didn’t expect to be spared of the final dissolving that was to happen any time now. And he took up fasting and meditation until that day finally came.

When it did come, he wasn’t among the multitude of other beings who were consumed into the eternal fire of a waning cosmos. Instead, like waking from a dream, from one moment to the next, he felt unburdened of the weight of his body, and while sitting still cross-legged, as if nothing had happened, he suddenly woke up in a place that was holy and pure.
It was at the very same instant, when he understood that he’d been granted life and the transition, that he also understood where he was now. He was Home. He was being granted the status of a sentient being in a heavenly kingdom that was like the place where he’d also been a king once. He was truly and forever saved. He was now an Immortal. His suffering had finally come to an end.
He opened his eyes.


The Kingdom

Everything shone in golden effervescent light and was almost entirely transparent. Pierre stood up and all around him were the most magnificent beings, both large and small. Most of the ones having a human form, or better Divine one, were very young in appearance. They all welcomed him, smiling. And then a large group of heavenly maidens scattered flowers for him, to follow a golden transparent path that stretched forward from where he was. It still extended as he walked, and more flowers were strewn. And while he carried himself forth, amidst myriads of beings who paid tribute to him and welcomed him, the colour changed into a translucent undulating purple. It was a red carpet rolled out for him, and he knew where it led.
Right in front of him was the throne. Next to Jonathan, who still looked the same like when he last saw him, was the most beautiful girl, his queen. Both of them rose when they saw Pierre approaching their thrones. They didn’t speak but welcomed him mentally. Pierre understood that now he wouldn’t need to speak anymore, either. All it was, was just a single thought.
“I am so glad you made it through”, Jonathan said to him in his head. “Everything is pure here and you might stay as long as you please. But know that your Fruit Status is actually higher than where you are now. When you were given the chance, you did not follow your true call. So you might wish to go back one day, in order to cultivate to your final destination. The place we left behind is now different and solely exists for cultivation. But your mind will still have to be wiped clean and it will be awfully tough. There is therefore a chance that you might not make it. It is entirely up to you. Ha ha, you now have an eternity to make up your mind.” Jonathan smiled. No being could’ve been more graceful and benevolent. Pierre felt undeserving of such mercy.
“I cannot thank you enough. No matter how long eternity will be, I will never be able to return the blessings you’ve bestowed upon me”, Pierre thought mentally and Jonathan received it with a smile and a nod.
“At this place, you need not worry about debts, my friend. We all have a clear conscience. Perhaps you will decide to go back and suffer, one day, and perhaps you might find that you can save more people that way and maybe pay back some. It is not me you have to pay back, though.” Jonathan made a wave with his arm that almost was identical to the one the girl now next to him had made when she pointed out the scope of earth in his first apparition. “The Universe is simply enormous. We are only one single and humble kingdom, my friend. It is up to you how far you will go. It is about how much you can suffer.” He smiled and paused. “Yet, you might as well find peace here at our place already.” Jonathan looked over to his queen. “We have found our peace”, he said. And the queen lowered her eyes. She looked like thirteen and her beauty was so shattering that Pierre really couldn’t even for a moment look at her. He bowed instead. Thanked them both again and then parted.
Yes, he’d found a True Home and he found Eternal Peace. He knew how blessed he was and that was enough for him to go about in Heaven. And for the first time ever, actually start to live.

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