A Walk Off the End of the World – Part 2 of 2 by John J. McNally

Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal
August-September 2000, Issue 13

A Walk Off the End of the World – Part 2 of 2
by John J. McNally

Continued from Part 1

I awoke to the sound of my serving maid telling me breakfast would be ready soon.  She wanted to know if I preferred to eat in bed.  I answered no and rolled out of bed to dress quickly.  For a moment, I was disoriented.  My body felt strange.  I looked down at my breasts as if I’d noticed them for the first time.  They were quite large for a girl of 15, all the young men took notice when I went out.  I suppose this is what mother meant when she told me that it would take time to adjust to my body’s changes.

I walked downstairs to the dining room and found my parents there already eating.

“Well my little darling, I’m glad you found time to join us.” Father said with a smile.

“Are you feeling ill dear?  You don’t look quite yourself.”  My mother’s face was a mixture of concern and curiosity, as if she could see the awkwardness that I suffered from.

“I’m quite fine, Mother, really.  I just had trouble waking this morning.”

“You weren’t up late last night writing again, were you?”

I grinned sheepishly.  Mother knew well that I had been, for she had come to my room after midnight and chased me to bed.

“Emily, you must get your rest.”  Then imitating her Aunt Agnus’ screechy voice she said, “A young lady needs a proper 10 hours of sleep or she shall age horribly before her time.”

“I suppose Aunt Aggie never received her fair share then.” I answered mischievously.

“Emily, please!” interrupted Father.  “After all, she is my sister.  Though I admit sometimes I wish it otherwise, it’s still proper to talk about your aunt with respect.”

“I’m sorry, father.”

“I, too,” said Mother. “After all, I instigated it.”

“Accepted and finished,” said Father cheerfully.  “Now, I’m going to the college today to pick up fresh writing supplies, would anyone care to join me on my journeys?”

“I believe you know the answer to that already, Father.  When have I ever refused?”

“When you were too sick to leave your bed last year as I recall,” he answered.

“That hardly counts, besides I still wanted to go, mother wouldn’t allow it.”

“Have you catch your death from a cold, of course I wouldn’t allow it!” answered Mother.

“It was bad enough having you sick, but then I had to have your Aunt Agnes telling me that it was the Lord’s just punishment for not marrying you to Lord Thomas.”

“That 60 year old man!  Death would have been preferable!”  I was furious at the thought, the thought of anyone trying to control my life that way.  And yet it happened all the time, Elizabeth, a girl I had played with for years was chosen to marry the old Lord instead.

“Would you care to join us as well, my dear, you can help our daughter sort through her potential suitors.”

“No thank you.  However, I do need some more canvases, so please remember them.”

“Of course, my dear,” he said, kissing her briefly as he rose.  “With such an abundance of talent in this family, it’s a wonder that I don’t go broke.”

“Well, you could try to show some of our works, but it was your fears that keep them hidden away,” said Mother.

“It’s a great deal more than fear.  Even as we speak there are good people suffering abominations in the Archbishop’s prisons.  The ascent of James to the throne has created a terror throughout the land.  No artist or scholar is safe as long as he holds an original thought in his head.  And if they knew for a minute that my daughter writes poetry condemning the just torture of witches, or that my wife painted pictures of a pagan nature, we would all burn at the stake.  It further worries me that the church has found a new way to expand.  Throughout Europe landholders such as myself are being tried as witches, and regardless of the outcome the church takes over possession of his properties.”

“That’s horrible!” I exclaimed, shocked.  “When did you learn of this, and why haven’t you told us before?”

“Three days ago I received a letter from a man I’d met, when I was abroad.  He was a minor noble from the city of London.  He related to me a tale of his brother’s persecution as a witch.  Now it seems the Bishop there has turned his attentions to my friend and his family, as well.  Oddly enough, both brothers are joint landholders of a wine producing estate.”

“Why did he write you of this?  Was he seeking help? Or refuge perhaps?” Mother was concerned, she often felt father wasn’t charitable enough.

“He asked me for a letter of support, attesting to his character.  It seems that his acquaintances in France are having trouble remembering him.  And before you ask, my dear, yes, I did write the letter.  I will gladly play the part of the church going simpleton; however, I will not under any circumstances turn my back on an injustice, even for a man I hardly know.”

“Nor would I want you to.” Mother said proudly.  “But if it is so dangerous, is it wise for us to continue painting and writing?  Even your private histories, the ones you haven’t published, could be considered heresy.”

“In the eyes of the church, my dear, they are indeed heresy.  That’s why I never hire a servant who knows how to read, and I always keep the doors locked when my sister is about.”

“Father, how long will it take your letter to reach your friend in London?”

“Two to three weeks, I suppose, after all, it’s not travelling by King’s Messenger.

“And if after receiving it, the church decides to investigate us?” There was an apprehension starting to build inside me; a dread of certainty that I couldn’t explain.

“Another week at the most.”  The church can afford the best messengers.  Why do you ask?”

“Well, I think we should use our time to prepare as best we can.”  I was anxious, speaking rapidly.  “Perhaps we can hide our works away, where no one can find them.”

“It wouldn’t matter,” said Father with resignation.  “If they decide to investigate us, they will find us guilty, even if we were the perfect models of Christian efficacy.”

“Let’s not dwell on this however, for we have a long trip to make, and a fine day awaits us.”

“I must prepare myself.  I’m still a wreck!” I started immediately for the stairs so that I might change to more suitable clothing.

“Ahhh, do I hear the heartsong of a certain young lady, for a certain young man whom always seems to turn up when we go to the college?”

“Why Father, John is a student there.  He lives there most of the year round.”

“So do a thousand other young men, yet they don’t all turn out when you visit. Then again,” he paused, reconsidering, “I suppose at least half of them do.” I couldn’t think of a good answer, so I continued rushing upstairs, allowing my Father to have the last word for a change.

During the carriage ride into town, I couldn’t shake the growing feeling of dread that encircled me.  Even the thought of seeing John again, was like a small candle’s flame, in the face of a gale.

“You’re very quiet, Emily.  Composing a new poem?”

“No, Father, at least not yet.  I just have the oddest feeling that something is terribly wrong.”

“I share that same feeling. I’ve exposed you to a sickness of the land, to which we have no defense.”

I thought about this in silence the rest of the way into town.  How could there be no defense, no out cry, against injustice and outright evil? Were all of us really helpless in the face of the church’s power.  Someone, somewhere must be able to successfully withstand it.

The college was strangely quiet as we entered.  This was a Saturday, and classes ended early on Saturdays.  Father had always chosen a Saturday to come, after I met John.

He should be down soon, I thought, but just as quickly, I knew that he wouldn’t.  Something was terribly, terribly wrong.

Father and I entered the Apothecary’s shop first.  As we approached the shopkeepers, his delivery boy left in haste.  He was openly frightened and his voice shook as he asked us what we needed.

The shop keeper was taking an awfully long time getting the 3 items which father had asked him for, I glanced at Father, and say that he had opened his coat, pushing it behind him, exposing his sword.

The shopkeeper finally appeared with our order and hastily took the money from my Father.  I made sure to politely bid the timid man a good day, particularly since Father hadn’t and as we stopped out again into the Autumn air, we saw three church soldiers, and a Priest, Father Michael from the college, to be precise, standing by our carriage.

“Good day to you gentlemen.” Father called out cheerfully.  “Is there some service I can do for you?”

My father’s voice boomed across the small space, overflowing with cheer.  If I weren’t certain he was acting, I would have believed him myself.

“Are you Sir George Collier, holder of the Wevshire Estates?”

“Yes, Father, I am.  You have me at a disadvantage.”

“I am Father Michael, one of the instructors at the college.  I am afraid there have been several accusations made of your family name.  Is this your daughter, Emily?”

“Yes, it is.  What sort of accusations, might I ask?”

“It would be better, Sir, if we could speak of this privately.  If you would kindly accompany my men to the school, we can discuss this in my offices.”

“Dear Father Michael, had you come alone and unarmed I would gladly accompany you anywhere.  When a man brings three armed guards with him, I accompany him nowhere.  If you have an official warrant for my arrest, then present it to me here in public; otherwise, step away from my coach, and return to me my driver!”

Father Michael spoke quietly, compassionately, “The warrant isn’t for you, Sir George, it’s for your daughter.”

“Preposterous!  What’s the charge?!”

“Witchcraft, sir.”

“This is absolute nonsense.  What proof have you?!”

“We have a document which was discovered on the person of one John Cunningham, a former student here, who has also been accused.”

My heart sank immediately – John, arrested!  My poems in the hands of the church!  I looked at Father in horror, but his gaze never left the priest.

“And what does this document say?”

“Well, Sir, it’s apparently some form of poetry, containing several heresies against God, and one specific mention of magic.”

“If my daughter has accidentally offended the church, it is a matter between her and her confessor.  No poem is enough to convict a person of witchcraft.”

“It is not that simple, Sir, I have orders for her arrest.”

“Father Michael, I consider myself to be a fair man.  And as a Knight, my word can certainly be trusted.  Therefore, I will make you this generous offer.  For each of your men, enough coin for his own horse and a new sword.  For your school, a new wing for your terribly overstocked library.”

“You cannot buy the church, Sir, nor your daughter’s soul.” Father Michael stepped aside and the guards moved to arrest me.

Like lightning, my Father drew his sword and stepped between us.  The armored soldiers outmatched him quickly, once disarmed, they forced him to his knees.

“You may beg forgiveness and save your soul,” said Father Michael grimly.

Father spat at him.  “Never! My soul is my own, and not for you to forgive!”

“Do your duty, Sir,” Father Michael seized my arm and pulled me away as I saw the soldier thrust his sword into my Father’s chest.

Our screams were one! No louder or more horrible a sound had ever been uttered.  I felt weak all at once.  The world faded.

I awoke as they placed me in a cell, around me my cellmates looked like demons from Dante’s Inferno.  I tried to scream and shook my head, gasping.  The room reeked of urine and excrement, the floor, the people were covered and streaked with it.  As my senses became clearer, I realized most of them weren’t streaked with excrement, it was blood.

I felt dizzy again and held the wall for support.  It was slick, slimy with some form of mildew.  I was stunned that humans could even survive under these conditions.

I shared my cell with a half dozen other women, most of them looked old.  All were lying down or leaning against the wall.  Many had fresh wounds, some openly bleeding, others looked pallid as if death would come momentarily.

The memory of what had happened came back slowly.  A cold numb fog slipped over me.  The world’s edges felt less sharp, less real.  I should cry, I thought, but nothing was there, no remorse, no sadness, no pain, nothing.

I awoke to a kick, a guard wrenching me to my feet.

“Let’s go, witch, His Excellency made a special trip to meet you!”

“Water,” I begged.  I was terribly thirsty.  How long had I slept?

“You’ll be needing a lot o’ that where you’re going,” he laughed.  His accent was either Scottish or Irish; his tone was callous, devoid of all feeling.

I was half dragged from the prison to a church like structure across a courtyard.  I could see that one wing contained a small chapel, the rest was a low squarish building with a minimum of decorative architecture around the windows and corners.

I was led into a long dark room, well furnished with rows of candles to supply its only light.  At the end was a desk with an officious-looking priest behind it.

Next to the priest was the Bishop, in his full splendor, with robes flowing over a very large abdomen.  Off to the right side of the room stood Father Michael, and the Monsignor, who ran the school.

“Bring forth the accused,” the bishop spoke softly, but his words filled the room with their resonance.

I was brought to a rail, which ran across most of the room, cutting off any direct access to either the priest or the bishop.

“Read the charges.”

“On the day of September 19th, in the year of our Lord, 1597, one John Cunningham was arrested on the charges of witchcraft and heresy.  Found on the young man were documents written by the accused, which contained several heresies against the church, and one outright statement claiming a magic of love possessing the young man.  In her own words, Your Excellency, she bragged of capturing his soul from its righteous path into God’s service.”

“And how does the accused plead,” the bishop’s eyes looked both tired and kind hearted, perhaps this man would listen to reason.

“Your Excellency,” I managed my best lady like demeanor.  “I plead innocent to these charges they have brought before me.”

The bishop held up the sheets of paper on which I had written both a letter and a poem to my poor John.

“Do you deny that these documents were written by your own hand,” His eyes sparked a hope; if I say yes, he might spare me.

“No, Your Excellency, I wrote them, I believe that their meanings were misconstrued however; they are not about witchcraft and stealing souls, but instead about the beauty and the joy of love.”

“There is no love greater than the love of God.  Your poem lies in direct conflict to that.  Your letter promises to lead young John away from a dull and dutiful life.  Both of these are proof of heresy and it is my opinion that supernatural coercion may have been used to lead the young man astray.  Do you deny this?”

This time, there was no hope, but challenge in his eyes.  “Yes, Your Excellency.  I deny the charge.”

“See if torture won’t bring the truth out.  Return her to me in a week, unless she confesses earlier.”

Torture?  Me?  My mind reeled.  “Please, Your Excellency, I’m innocent!  I swear it!”

“Then you have nothing to fear, child.” He turned and left the chamber as I was dragged by two guards’ back to my cell.  Once there I had to relieve myself on the floor.  I felt disgusting and dirty.  An hour later we were given some filthy, vile water to drink.  I spit it out immediately and the guard said, “That’s holy water, missy.  Now we know where we really stand, don’t we?”

The rest of the inmates drank the water with no complaint, save for one who had been asleep or unconscious since I arrived.  A short time later the guard returned and put my wrists into a heavy iron shackle.

“Don’t try to do anything suspicious, witch, or I can run you through right here.” He led me through two thick wooden doors to a darkened room with only one candle burning.  A voice from the far corner of the room said, “Strap her in the chair and remove her shackles.  She has no power on holy ground.”  The guard looked fearful, but obeyed.

“Good.  Now tie her arms tightly to the arms of the chair, then you may leave.”  His voice sounded dry and gentle, but my heart raced at the thought of what he had in store for me.  My head was strapped to the back of this monstrosity we well, so I couldn’t turn to see my attacker’s face.

“Such a beautiful young lady.  It would be a shame to have to mark such beauty.  And, as you can see, I am a man who understands beauty.

I froze, speechless, as he stepped into view; I had expected a monster.  Instead I was looking into one of the most handsome faces I had ever seen.

“I really don’t want to hurt you,” he said, checking the door and then barring it with a board.

“Perhaps you and I can become friends.”  His hand brushed my cheek gently, then slid down and cupped my breast.  Inwardly, I cringed at his touch.  I still couldn’t think of a word to say.

“You don’t like me?” He had noticed my face.  “I’m truly hurt.  Perhaps I can persuade you to like me.”

I strained desperately against the leather bonds, letting them cut deeply into my flesh.  Suddenly my body no longer felt paralyzed.  Suddenly I wanted out, and now.

“Easy there my new love.  There’s no need to cause yourself excess pain.  You will have more than your share in a moment.”

He took a pincer from his table and held it affectionately.  “Such a simple device, and yet so good at its job.”  He walked over to me and stroked my right hand gently.  “Tell me that you love me, and I won’t harm you.”

Should I? What harm could a lie do?  Then I realized, if I say I love him, he will take me as his willing lover.

“No.”

“Such a pity, and such lovely nails too.”

I balled my fingers together but he was prepared for that.  He slammed the pincer against the back of my hand and I screamed.  He forced my index finger open and the world exploded.  Such excruciating pain!  Was that really my voice screaming?  It sounded so hollow and distant, like I’m drifting away from it.

Things wavered and I was standing at the smoldering ruins of a building.  My Father was there.

“Father, please help me!”

“I can’t.  I’m sorry, my darling, Emily, but I cannot reach you now.”

“I can’t go back.  The pain! I can’t!”

The world snapped back suddenly.  I was still in that horrible chair, looking at my torturous smiling face, and the bloody mess of my finger.  The pain was now a constant throb racing up my arm.  My neck and head hurt as well from straining against the chair.

The torturer spoke words to me, soft words, over and over, I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying.  Every so often he demanded that I answer; I began by saying no, then he pounded my injured hand with a hammer.  Anything, anything to stop the pain.  I shrieked.

He asked me if I was a witch, I said yes.  He asked about my parents, I said yes, they were witches too.  He asked if I had enchanted John Cunningham, I said yes.  He asked me if I was a virgin, I said yes.  This brought another pounding.  Through tears I admitted that I had fornicated with the Devil himself many times.  Then, he asked me if I loved him, and I said yes.

“Excellent,” he hissed between his teeth.  He released me from my bonds and lifted me from the chair.  I had no strength to resist.  He laid me on the table and tore off my undergarments.

He raped me.  Over all it was the least painful thing I had experienced.  I no longer cared what happened to my body.  If I was to die then let it be done with.
I spent untold hours lying in my cell.  All I could think of was how pallid and lifeless some of my cellmates looked, and realized that I was the same.

Finally, I was brought again before the bishop.  My confession was read and I was asked if I wished to change my plea.  I said yes.  I was guilty of everything.  I confessed to anything they asked and begged for God’s forgiveness.  If part of me wanted to be strong, it had been silent or dead for days.  All I longed for was death – the quicker, the better.

“The accused has plead guilty to the charges of witchcraft and heresy.” She is to be burned at the stake, midday.

“Burned at the – please, Your Excellency, show me mercy.”

“You will be given the proper mercy shown to those who turn against the Lord.  Your confession gives you the right to be forgiven for your sins.  It does not change your punishment.”

The words meant nothing to me.  The world wavered and I felt myself being carried back to the cell.

The wait seemed eternal, and yet the guards came all too soon.  I made no effort to resist them, perhaps if I were a man, and trained in fighting too.  The images of my Father being run through came back to me with sudden clarity.

“Oh, Father!” I wailed. The tears finally came.  Had it been days or weeks since his murder – I wasn’t sure.  Without windows in this damned dungeon there was no way to keep track of time.

The guards were blissfully silent as they walked me to the center of the courtyard.  I was stunned at the massive amounts of people that turned out.  There were hundreds gathered around the center podium – the eagerness so obvious on their faces was nauseating.

“Bring ’em out” A man’s voice cried.

“Burn them.  Burn them,” chanted several people over and over, like a perverse litany.

Behind the podium were two large stakes that had been pounded into the ground.  Next to them were blackened rings with broken, angry stumps stabbing up at the air.  A little further off were the piles of kindling – broken trees and branches that somehow looked as unwilling to join in this ceremony as I was.

The stake, which was basically the body of a tree, roughly hewn, and untreated, scratched at my arms and neck as my hands were tied behind me.  Then, a length of chain was brought.  Beginning at my feet, the guards wrapped it tightly around me, stopping at the breast level.

“A shame to ruin those, isn’t it.” The guard squeezed my right breast hard, causing a cheer to rise up from the crowd.  I fought back the urge to say something; I knew that anything I said or did was merely entertainment for the masses.

After securing me, an old woman was brought out and fastened to the second stake in a similar manner.  She begged and pleaded for mercy.  Her body showed scars of many beatings.  For what?!  I thought.  To suffer longer in there and die this unthinkable death here anyway?  To give torturers and jailers their sport and weaken yourself just to avoid the inevitable?

“That one’s too quiet – rip her dress down!” shouted one lout, pointing at me.

God, am I really a human being?  Am I truly the same as this pack of animals, sitting and waiting for their prey to die?  Perhaps this is what beings of better stock meant, and better breeding.

Finally, a priest stepped up to the handmade podium.  He silenced the crowd with his hands.  “Good people!  These two women who stand before you have been found guilty of witchcraft and heresy against the church.  Let them serve as an example to those who wish to stray from the flock; lured by the sweet voice of temptation.  The Devil’s path is a false one and those who follow it must face the sword of God’s wrath!”

As he spoke, the guards had gathered a large pile of branches around the two women.  I was surprised at the amount they had gathered for it was as high as my waist and looked almost a yard’s length thick.  Behind me one of the guards coated the stake with some sort of liquid, when it poured over my hands it felt like oil.

The priest finished his sermon and blessed the people.  He asked the guards if they were ready; they answered yes.  He turned to us and pronounced, “May God have mercy on your souls.”  And he signaled the guards to begin.

Two torches were brought forward – I couldn’t believe this was happening.  The guard lit the wood in three places around me.  The onlookers cheered.  Across from me, the old woman shrieked once and slumped against the stake.  She’s lucky – I wish I could faint.  I could start to feel the heat as the flames climbed.  It was comforting at first, and that scared the hell out of me.  It continued to grow and get closer.

“God, please, oh, please, stop this madness!”

More cheers from the crowd.  Searing heat up my back and my hands.  Oh, God!  My hair is on fire.  No.  The pain, it’s too much!  My hands, my God.  The smell.  My hands are cooking! I can smell them….

I was nowhere, in an empty space.  There was no more pain, no burning.  I felt as if it had all been a bad dream.  In my hand was a cloth sack, it felt like it contained grain or seeds of some sort, but I knew that it contained my poems.  I had to give them to someone for safekeeping.  Someone who would keep them hidden until it was safe to share them with the world.

I stopped floating, my feet touched ground, all was black though, I could see nothing.  I walked on in utter darkness for hours, finally there was a speck of light on the horizon.  It was a man bent over a small cooking fire.  As I drew closer I could see that he wore some form of robe.  But, what sort of world is this, with no stars, and no trees, no wind, and no water?  Is this hell perhaps?  Is that Satan waiting for me?

No, somehow I know that this person is not evil.  He looks at me as I approach, why does he look so sad?  His eyes are gray, like my Father’s, where is my Father?  Can I reach him from this place?

“I’ve brought you something,” I said, holding out the bag of seeds.  “You are to protect and nourish these, never let them die.  They are the core of my being.  Preserve them, and keep them safe, until someone comes who is strong enough to claim them for himself.  Then, guide him well, show him their real beauty so that he can bring them back into the world.”

As I said this, the stars began to shine over the world, one grew particularly large and surrounded me in an aura of light.

“Come,” said a voice.  “You’re home now.”

“Father!” I exclaimed.  It was his voice, I was certain.  I let go and found myself floating upward into the starlight.  The light’s brilliance increased until all else faded.

*   *   *

“Welcome back,” the voice was familiar, and I realized I was looking at a mirror image of myself.  Well, not exactly a mirror image; he looked bigger somehow, healthier, more robust and energetic.  There are no proper words for it, but he’s more me somehow.

“I am what some people would call your higher self,” he said.  “However, I prefer the term more complete self, for a higher self implies that there is a lower self, and that is serious misconception.”

What does one say to a higher, I mean, more complete self?  “Uh, hi, nice to meet you.”

He smiled pure radiance.  “It is nice to meet you too.  I believe you summoned me here to answer some questions.”

“I did?  I do have questions but I’m not sure how I summoned you.”

“With this,” he said, holding up the flute.

“Oh, of course! Then it was the Monk who summoned you.”  The monk looked at me, and shook his head in the slightest negation.  My more complete self just smiled and said, “We will discuss that in a minute; however, why don’t you start your questions.”

“Okay, what exactly is this place?”

“It is a living metaphor of your soul, and quite a good one I might add.  You began it in your after life as Emily, and it’s held true until now.”

“Okay, I can accept that I was Emily, and Marlena in other lives, but how come the Monk is here and Angelica?”

“They are portions of yourself as well, portions from which you have created artificial barriers.  In order to continue growing, you must accept them back into your life.”

“How?”

“When the time is right, you will know how.  It will come naturally.”

“That’s not very helpful.”

“I’m sorry, sometimes I have to be vague or it will ruin the essence of the experience.”

“I have another question.  If I’m really Emily, and Marlena, and I’m also the Monk and Angelica, then who am I?  I mean, I’m John, I’m a whole person, not just some link in a chain.”

“Indeed you are a whole person, and so is each of the people you have mentioned, yet every whole person is composed of many parts, far more parts, than you realize.”

“I’m confused.”

“Perhaps some more examples will help clarify things; you enjoy bike riding, have you ever wondered why?”

“No, I just enjoy it, it’s my way of flying.”

My more complete self smiled broadly.  “That’s exactly what another aspect of yourself thinks, when he sees bicycles go by.  He is paralyzed and restricted to a wheelchair; your life is the reality of his dreams.

“In your world, your dog Dusty is paralyzed.  Through your interactions with him your other self learns of the difficulties involved with caring for the physically challenged, as he calls it.

“He doesn’t remember these experiences directly, but occasionally remembers them in the dream state.  It’s an important lesson for him in patience and compassion.

“But back to you, or at least you as you perceive and therefore limit, your individuality.  You’ve already learned that your writing ability was a gift from Emily, but what about your respect and love of nature, your unique ability to communicate with animals, and as you’ve so recently learned, plants?”

“I never thought about it.”

“In linear time, there is an aspect of yourself who lives as a Druid around 1000 AD.  He longs for a son with whom he can share his knowledge; you are that son.”

“But what’s mine then? Is there anything out there that I do myself better than my other aspects?”

“It’s not a question of better, or who did what first.  That’s like the ancient riddle of the chicken and the egg.  The only real answer is that it doesn’t matter, both exist in harmony with each other.

“If you find it more comfortable, I’ll tell you where your dreams travel.  There is an aspect of yourself who became a professional bicycle racer.  He was and is inspired by your competitive nature when you ride.

“Another aspect of yourself is an astronaut, from you she learned a great deal about computers, and she shared your passion for exploration.  She learned a great deal from you, and sees you in her dreams as an old wise man.

“But if all these people are part of me, and I suppose that I am a part of them, where does one begin and the other end?  I remember some of Marlena’s life, but not Angelica’s.  She was my daughter, not me, so how can she be a part of me?

“Ahh, I think we are approaching the real problem.  You are afraid of losing yourself, your uniqueness, as you learn about other aspects.  Now, before I answer your question about Angelica answer me this: Do you accept the notion of non-linear time?”

“Yes, as best I can.”

“Good. Now if time were linear and you lost your identity with every reincarnation, as you think of it; then the present person known as John McNally would cease to exist at the moment of his death. And the next link in the chain, let’s call him Bob Smith, would be born.”

“Yes, that’s…. that’s… That is exactly what I’m afraid of, losing my identity!”

“This is a common fear, but a very important one to come to terms with.  Now since you can accept the idea that time is non-linear, what does that do to the sequential reincarnation theory?”

“I thought about that for a moment.”

“It throws it out the window,” was the best answer I could think of.

“Good, then you are ready to accept the truth, that Emily and Marlena still exist and have moved onto different experiences.”

“But have they moved on as Emily and Marlena?”

“Yes.  The identity they possessed on Earth is still a part of them; however, as each person grows, they take on new characteristics.  Are you exactly the same person you were 10 years ago?  5?  Or even 1?”

“No, I’m not.”

“But you still know who you are.”

“Yes.”

“Then you can relax, and remember that it will continue in the same manner after physical death.”

“Now, onto your questions concerning these other two fine entities here.  First, Angelica: When Marlena felt that her life was becoming hopeless, she poured a great deal of her own life energy into becoming a child again; a chance to start over if you will.  By then, she had already planned to leave the Earth, not believing in her personal strength to change her life.  She hoped to have a happy life as Angelica, only as you already know; Angelica’s life was far from happy.”

I broke into tears. I couldn’t help it, I knew the words he said were true, and I was filled with tremendous sorrow for such wasted lives.

“It’s okay, we’re going to make things better now.”

It was Angelica, putting her arms around my legs and hugging me.  I put my hand down and mussed her hair a bit.

When Emily died she knew that she needed someone to protect and pass on her gift when the time was right.  She didn’t realize though that she created the Monk, and gave him life with her thoughts.  Now you are here as her legacy, and the Monk is ready to move on.”

“So in order for each of us to continue growing, we must accept each other back into our lives!” I exclaimed, “It makes so much sense now, why did it take me so long to understand?”

“You had to let go of old fears, and negative beliefs, these things are not always easy to accept.”

“Now I remember what that funny triangle is for!” shouted Angelica.  “It’s called a tryne, and it’s composed of three equal parts which give each other strength and harmony!”

“That’s exactly correct.  Now do you know what to do?”  The more complete me asked.

“Uh-huh.  We three join hands and relax.”  She took my hand in hers and together we joined hands with the Monk.  I could feel the warmth spread as a glowing light encircled us.

“Now,” asked my other self, “What are you going to do with this experience?”

“Write it out, of course.  I’ve always had trouble finding stories.  I don’t think that will be a problem anymore.”

“And so the first new tree blossoms in the void,” he said.  Then to Angelica, “And what will you do?”

“I want to be a little girl again, but in a happier family this time.”

The more complete me smiled and turned to the Monk, “And you, my friend, where shall you go now that your task is finished?”

The Monk smiled at the other-me and answered in a quiet voice, “I think I would like to be a singer.”

Then, as we laughed, the glow increased and we wished each other a fond farewell.

I found myself standing in my bedroom, fully dressed as if nothing had happened.  I looked at the notebook in my hand: “I took a walk one day off the end of the world.” it began, and to the best of my ability I finished transcribing the rest of the story.

©2000, John McNally.   Printed in the August-September 2000 Issue of the Conscious Creation Journal.  http://www.consciouscreation.com (Feel free to duplicate this article for personal use – please include this copyright notice.)

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