Sometimes, you don’t need anything more than this. Greater miracles can wait, mightier mountains might be moved in three hours or three years. But, right now, this wakeup is as good as it gets. You should never take for granted such a thing as this: waking up the next morning, and you are still among the living. Forget all of the sorrow of the past, the apprehension for the future. Don’t run to read the latest news, or check to see if someone sent you an important message while you slept. Be grateful you are still alive, and revel in the profundity of it. For, it won’t be this way forever, and you have no way of knowing when your last wakeup will be.
The image is the king that pulls these strings. A switch is flipped, tripped and triggered by the sight of a photo or symbol bearing all the buried dreams dreamt during long, youthful nights. The strings move your puppet self around the room–you dance to the master’s tune. You build walls where none were needed, but it’s the image’s wishes that are heeded. You soak yourself in perfume, because all the fruits of your sweet soul are now completely rotten. You beat your chest with puppet pride, cause all the pounding of your once loving heart is buried, dead and long forgotten. The people that you praise and worship are fellow puppet people pulled by strings affixed to the image king.
The puppets are all but certain that love is dead, God is dead, the soul is dead, viscera and bone are dead…and soon…the third dimension will die a terrible death, and with it, death will die, too, and all that will be left to do is pray peppy little puppet prayers to let you and your fellow puppets become one with him, the image king, and reap the benefits of 2D puppet immortality such a merger will bring.
You are down to your last life, having lived and died the breadth and depth of human triumph and sorrow. Yours is a “switchy soul,” never content at the end of each life to continue to grow as a male or female being. For you, the grass is always greener, the water always clearer on the other side of the gender fence. Waffling to the last possible second when the angels must endow you with your sex, you flit about in each bardo wondering if you even want to come back. The benefits to returning to a human form are enormous, as are the risks. You will walk a line between striving to augment your soul’s sphere of power and working to be more Christlike. The first makes you a friend of Lucifer, and his angels have as much at stake in seeing you succeed at failing as Christ does. Once you’ve completely fallen (and you will), it’s in that moment that you will discover where you’ll spend eternity. You’ll have but two masters to choose from. Your feet can’t take this razor walk much longer. Decision time is nigh.
Change will take place. The day that you stop craving it to happen. The day that you end false hope and let it dissolve into pure faith.
Change will overwhelm you. You might say it is good, or it is bad.
The day you say you want the real changes to take place. I want the real change to arrive, the rest be damned. I am no longer part of my ambitions, just God’s.
Faces. Imagine millions of them watching you. All of their energy is directed upon you.
You wake up, and the faces are there. You go to work, and all around you see the faces staring at you. You are charmed and disturbed by all the attention.
One day, the course of events changed and you went from being nobody to being a demigod. Celebrities and politicians have their fifteen minutes of fame. Uneasily, you realized that you are going to be famous for thousands of years. They will speak about you with hatred and with love.
You got this way because you chose to do your Father’s work, not your own. You put aside your pride, your ego, your self will. Not my will but yours be done. Lean not unto your own understanding. Build your house upon the rock. You can’t serve two masters. What are you going to do?
A smile crosses your face. Your eyes, almost blind, can see from some light within. They shine. The face at the back of the auditorium, in the far corner of the remote backwoods watching you on television, out in space, under the ocean, up on a plane, on a subway—all of them jolt back a bit in kneejerk reaction to the lightning bolt you send.
They call you the prophet president. Some call you the anti-Christ. Some call you Jesus. Some squirm in their chairs with jealousy at the power you wield. The hotseat looks good from all the other chairs, doesn’t it, you say. Every thing you admire and aspire to be feels right from a vantage point. When you become it or it becomes you, you no longer feel the least bit free.
You visited them in dreams because God told you to. You went about the bedrooms of the places of power where the chiefs slept uneasily, unsure of how to cope with their mess. You grinned, and shone on them a million brilliant ideas, all God’s. You told them you spoke from God. They woke up half-remembering, having half-heard.
Each night it was the same, and it stretched on into the next five years. Then, in waking life, they came around to visit you. A question. Who are you, can you help us? We are lost. We all beat our chests with pride, and pound tables, and wave our arms of flesh and atomics. But we are all scared and unsure.
They came to you in secret, of course. None of them would ever admit to being incapable of solving the mess.
You don’t want to be God. You don’t want to be Godlike in this moment of a profound sense of loss. You don’t want to control others with this little wish to have the lost worlds come back to you now and then, if only for a day.
This may be the most unshared secret of them all, the way the loss of the past finally overwhelms the potential of the future, and you can no longer run fast and hard enough to stay one step ahead of that loss.
Remember when booze, sex, drugs and being a “grown-up” were the mystical things? The profound mysteries of life that television talked about, books alluded to, and mommy and daddy tiptoed around…but…none of the secrets impressed you much once they were revealed. You found yourself surrounded by friends caught in an endless feedback loop of chasing the tail of the shallow, empty life. Entertain me, surprise me, delight me…please, I want another clown to spring out of a cake…another magic trick. I know I’m being lied to, being kept a perpetual adolescent, but I want it like this–I want it more than I ever want to grow up.
But, you don’t want to remain a child reveling in clownshows they way they do. You need your moments of levity, your periods of retreat–but, you want to face the Truth head on, in whatever form it takes–and part of facing it is, of course, accepting that you are not a special kid anymore–you are not the center of the universe sitting in wait for the next act to arrive just for you.
There are plenty of people who have long since accepted this, of course. They are not your friends, because their approach is alien to you as well: by keeping up the appearance of being a grown-up, and dutifully hitting all of the life milestones on time, they move like zombies through adulthood, grimly signing mortgages and transporting children back and forth to daycare, lessons, school, camp, etc., steeling themselves against the winter of work by dabbling in fantasy sports and backyard barbecues.
But, all you want is just a day now and then where you can skip work, and completely relive a day from your past. Maybe not the most important days, but maybe a lot of the ones where you traveled somewhere–pausing to gawk at the passerby in NYC 1997 as they moved through the ground level of the WTC. Maybe this time, you’d catch an elevator to the top. Perhaps this time, you’d look at the people around you as universes unto themselves–each an important, valuable world running tangential to this one…none more important than the other. You’d examine your friend Jerry a little closer, as he walked by your side, and ask if the friendship is really worth the investment.
You might take a day to go to Ft. Myers beach 1988 with Mom and Roy, and tell them a little more how much you love them, how important they are to you, and how much you’ll miss them when they are gone. You will appreciate the time, money and attention your mother has invested in you, to give you this experience, to provide you with another show, another moment of entertainment made special just for you.
Just a day here and there, mind you. A day to be back inside your young self with your old eyes and voice. A day not just to relive, but to change if you like. Not just a Slaughterhouse Five jumping about in time, but a day’s worth of opportunities to make things different. Perhaps a day wouldn’t amount to much–once your young self returns the next day, you would go back to being the same clueless, unhappy little brat.
The value of each of these lost moments is greater than all of the gold in the world. Why seek to acquire more material things, more worldly knowledge, more friends, more power, when all that really matters is in the moment, then it’s gone? Is the Void so terrible and great that you would do anything to fill it, even waste the day away with booze and bad television?
You can’t imagine what Heaven really is going to be–maybe it is just you and a billion angelbot souls strumming harps endlessly, singing the praises of the Lord Jesus without ceasing. Or, perhaps it’s a revealing of the Maker’s intellect, all of the highest math, and infinite universes can be experienced in their entirety at any time you like. It’s a lot easier to imagine Hell. Hell is the Void of everything that was truly valuable in life, everything that you let go of in your pursuit of gleaming baubles–you riding expensive Italian motorcycles, and you walking the halls of power at a brokerage firm, mirages of you on the cover of supermarket tabloids and delusions of you sitting in the White House or on the front row of a Lakers game. Hell is a moving away from all the memories that made life special, while the sense of loss keeps growing forever.
You lace up your running shoes, because it’s time to start running again. You’ve got nothing else to do but to keep one step ahead of all this accruing sorrow. There is no money to go make more magic moments in other cities (none, really to make them in this city, either). All you’ve got is your health and your imagination, and the moment at hand.
It is the flickering flame, the nut hanging just out of arm’s reach, the forgotten chamber of your brain, the secret corner to turn and make it all right again.
All you had to do was reach that flame with your kindling to build your bonfire, grab that nut and crack it to yield the meat and marrow, breathe deeply and let your consciousness slip back from your body, and make a higher dimensional movement to trick Time and taste a certain heady glory.
It is somewhere in these stacks of books, lists of sleeping files, words and photographs from faces once young and full of life. There are faces filled with the horror of death but still living, and fresh faces looking hard and far away into their self-made video game of immortality where pain and decay never come to play.
It hides from places like this middle school or doctor’s office where people who look nothing like you congregate and smile, unperturbed by their anonymity, poverty and mortality. People shaped and colored wildly different than you, who smell like no one you’ve ever smelled. You love these people for never having gotten hints of the nut, the flame, the forbidden chamber of the brain.
This is grim work. Surely there’s an easier way.
With a hard lockdown on all of your outgoing channels, with your information filters cranked up as high as they will go, you seek to let only the data essential for survival go out into the universe. The communication required to not end up being completely overlooked when they stop by with the crumbs from the table.
Yet, you find yourself oozing out into spaces, leaving traces like never before. Your identity is interwoven into the fabric of their Luciferian Dream, and you are helping build their pyramidal Beast, whether you do it willingly or not. It is pure torture to shut yourself off completely, and you can’t help but smile and attempt one more time to join their cool kids club.
You leak a womanly characteristic of yourself, then a boyish one. You leak out an old man, a half wit, and offer just a hint of a rock star. These fragments of you become the you they see, and this is terribly vexing.
You are like an old factory yet to be retrofitted with new EPA pollution controls. The people around you gag and wheeze and you think you are still providing something of great value. Did I just say that? is a question you ask too many times each day to count.
You’ve tried so hard to join the chorus of zombie drones surrounding you in cubes, but it’s so painfully easy to lapse back into this old you, this human you.