Story 15 - In the Flow of Life.
Next went by a huge tablet of black granite. It carried no picture, only an inscription in gigantic letters carved very deep into the stone and filled with no coloring, except the shine of black pitch: "IMF=death," it read.
Behind the tablet lay the ruins of ancient temples, and the ruins of cities of featureless glass towers surrounded by barbed wire fences that had kept humanity in.
At last I came to the draw gate, almost relieved, but exhausted.
I was puzzled by the inscription on the draw gate. It read: "Divine Science understood and acknowledged."
"We are the light of creation," I reasoned with myself. "We are also the IMF," said a voice within. "We have created death. We must go backwards over our nakedness and rebuild the image of man as the image of the creator of the universe in which we live.
We must educate the whole of humanity with the truth, and heal it. The image of our fellow man is our own. We must acknowledge that which is true. This is love..."
The gate keeper interrupted my thoughts. "There is a law in this land that only more complete individuals may pass..."
I raised my hand to stop him and said that I knew all of this already.
"I cannot let you pass, turn back!" he said in a serious tone of voice as if a teacher failed a child in school for its own good. "I cannot let you pass, because you cannot hear the language of the people in the land beyond. And without knowing the language, you cannot see the truth, nor the path on which you are going. Return to the temple. If I let you pass, you would become hopelessly lost. Turn back!"
I replied that I would go back, but I stalled him long enough to observe the people of the land behind the draw gate. They were a strange people, as of one mind, but in a dialog with each other and with themselves. They were working as a teem, but no one was leading them. They were enlarging their tents, their doors opened wide. They called their tents a church, a laboratory of living, and its purpose was to break taboos.
I looked at the gate keeper and shook my head.
"I cannot let you pass," the gate keeper repeated. "You have a vision, but your vision is incomplete. This land destroys philosophers who do not wish to think; who prostitute themselves to other people's opinions; who babble out what people treasure, right or wrong; who are empty inside. Be kind to yourself, turn back."
This time I rejected the demand to turn back. "I will not turn back until you answer
one question that makes my coming here worthwhile!"
The gate keeper smiled. "Congratulations my friend, ask away!"
"If I were to turn back, how would I ever know when I am more
complete? How can I be complete in something that cannot be defined, and know
that I am complete?" I asked this thing in exasperation.
"That's easy," the gate keeper replied and continued smiling. "You will know that you are not empty of the truth, when your life becomes empty of what it is not. Ponder about what you saw. Where the images true? Or where they but images that you have accepted?"
I turned from him, disappointed and sad and
apparently not any wiser. Why did he speak in riddles?
I was intrigued, though, by the people that I saw behind the draw gate, and by what the gate keeper had said that I could not understand. As I turned back, I found myself in the Temple again.
Bewildered, as at all times before, I faced the gate to the West, the last of the four gates. "This gate leads to the golden shore of love and the peaceful sea of harmony," said its inscription. The river was called Euphrates, and beneath the title was a mile long description that said something
about a new kind of science, called divine Science, the science of our divinity
that can take us beyond our limitations even while we seem to be bound to it.
I was puzzled. I looked towards the West, but I saw nothing but the empty sky and the sun overhead.
I also realized that the West is where the sun sets. Is this the Golden Shore of
Love where our love is mirrored in the golden glow of the sunset, when we have
lifted ourselves above the fog of earth-bound living? This, the sunset is not so
much a portal to the darkness of a night, but to the peace of a well earned
I found myself pondering if I was prepared to pass through that final gate, for
that final journey. Was I ready to face the struggles and agonies along the
river, just to be rejected again, and be turned back?