Sunday, June 30, 2024

Not Even Not Zen 359: Biomythography - Note 98: Religious Experiences, Pt. 2

Religious Experiences, Part II

Night 2:

Many nights as a teen, I stayed up late, usually reading paperbacks. The short ones, I flipped through at a rate of one every two hours. I hated to stop in the middle, so I read to the end of each book and slept a bit less each night. And maybe that's why I had no recollection of my unconscious world, normally. 

On the night after my odd afterlife dream, I managed to put down an Agatha Christie paperback. I drifted off before midnight. I was surprised to find that, almost immediately, I fell into a continuation of my previous night's dream. For a while, I even retained an awareness of being asleep. Once more, I beheld my vision of the afterlife. And although I moved through the milkiness of my cloudy existence filled with mostly-white, bright stars, I noticed that color had crept into my perceptions. 

There were hues in the brightness. 

I had the sense that the difference came from how I had become accustomed to my work. I was immersed in it, a full citizen of the afterlife. It was not a matter of the blank world gaining colors so much as it was my comprehension growing more mature. I was able to interpret small differences in the shades of reality. Some of the 'angel' stars burned blue-white. Some of the 'soul' stars burned yellow-white. 

My ability to tell the difference aided me. It gave me direction. The souls were the ones usually not in the right place.  

The souls of the dead were somehow warmer than souls that had never lived. They were bigger, usually, and more complicated inside. I liked working with them. Sometimes the angels questioned me as I worked, though. They didn't understand what I was doing. To be fair, I seemed to be a self-appointed fixer of things that seemed wrong to me. I didn't mind the questions. I had them, too. But I kept working. 

I fixed and fixed, built and built. The structures I created grew more complex and yet, sometimes I corrected them so that they could self-assemble into entities that were more simple. I leaned back, surveyed the results, felt satisfied, and looked for more disorganization to organize.

What are you doing? asked a yellowish star. I grazed my intent over another group of lost souls. Sometimes, the individuals were meant to be on their own, I knew, but not most of these. I could tell at a glance. And the yellowish star, too, had been observing the lonely souls.

When I turned to the yellowish one that had spoken, I saw it was the biggest and most complicated soul I'd yet encountered. Merely to touch it gave me an sense of its deepness and greatness. Inside its fire, I detected a hint of orange. Truly, this one was different. 

I knew what to do. Earlier, I had built a structure with a sort of hole in it, a gap I had perceived as necessary to exist even though I hadn't known the reason. Now I understood. This soul belonged there. 

Please come with me, I said. I was dragging the soul even as I talked. Amused but suspicious, the soul allowed me to move it.

When I added it into the structure, where it leapt into place voluntarily, the newly-created conglomerate shivered from the inside to its outermost reaches. The belly lit from within, sourced by the great soul. The fire of it, everywhere, grew warm. This had been another good deed.

And I kept working. 

"Oh." In the middle of the night, in the mundane world, I awoke. My bedroom lights hummed over my head. I had fallen asleep so fast I hadn't risen to turn them off. For a moment, I felt exhausted by the work I had been doing in my afterlife vision. But I felt satisfied, too. In the afterlife, I had been getting better. 

I was improving. 

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