“Oh Pete, you are troubled.” The gentle light radiating through Lisa’s glossy black skin faded temporarily. Her wise, elegant face showed concern yet somehow maintained its reflection of her deep inner peace. Pete stared at the angel for a few seconds, basking in her goodness as if warming himself beside a fire on a frozen night. Already, his difficulties seemed more distant, less important. The angel smiled, her playfulness returning. “Now Pete, you could make a girl feel quite uncomfortable staring like that.” She played with her long, voluminous hair in mock awkwardness. Pete came to, startled.
“I’m so sorry Lisa, I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, it’s just, being with you, it’s…” The angel threw back her head and laughed exposing her perfect white teeth.
“Oh Pete, you should know me by now. I’m only teasing. You were having a little bask, weren’t you?”
“Well, yes I suppose you could say that.”
“It’s alright Pete. Heat flows out to warm the cold, and love and goodness do the same thing. As above, so below. You may… bask some more,” Lisa raised her immaculately shaped eyebrows in feigned regality, before failing to stifle another burst of laughter. “Sorry Pete, what can I do for you?” she enquired solemnly as she remembered herself.
“Heat flows out to warm the cold, and love and goodness do the same thing. As above, so below.”
“It’s the hostility. The endless hostility to the truth.” Pete sighed as his intense blue eyes gazed past Lisa to the corner of the lecture theatre where they both stood. “Wherever I go, whoever I tell, it ends the same way. I tell them that there’s no death just stages of a journey back to the supreme being, they call me a God-botherer. I tell them that the only objective of life is to love as much and as indiscriminately as possible. They call me a do-gooder. I tell them that anger felt towards others can be metamorphosised into pity and a desire to help. They call me holier than thou, or even names that I shouldn’t really mention in front of an angel.” Pete ran his fingers through his short, close-cropped hair. “I mean, it’s all good news isn’t it? Gospel literally means good news, doesn’t it? Yet it makes people angry.” As often happened, Pete had quickly moved from gentle, unwitting charm to unsettling intensity within seconds. Melissa, placed her immaculate, slender hand on the young man’s shoulder and looked deeply into his eyes.
“I’m sorry Pete,” she said gently, “all that you’re telling them is true and it is nothing but the most wonderful news possible, we are all aspects of one immortal being and eventually over countless lifetimes, we will all begin to realise it.”
“But, the look in their eyes,” said Pete shuddering. “I see the desire to hurt me. To really hurt me. But, sorry, I interrupted you.”
“It’s okay Pete. You humans have feet of clay, powerful parts of your brain are built on mammalian and even reptilian responses to bad news. These responses are usually aggressive.”
“But we agreed it was good news?”
“The good, higher parts of the mind see it as good news, but to the lower parts it’s a threat. When not controlled, the earlier, lower parts of the mind send up responses of anger and aggression to what is an insult to their pride.”
“What insult?” said Pete, genuinely puzzled.
“That there are many beings fundamentally higher than them, and one who is infinitely higher than them. You see? Base, evolutionary impulses are satisfied by feelings of dominance, by being superior and therefore safe from predators. You make people that are still controlled by these parts of their psyche feel small and they see it as a threat, which is confused with a vulnerability to predators and a naturally violent response in order to survive.” Pete pulled down a chair on the front row of the lecture theatre and sat heavily, staring gloomily out of the window. Everything outside seemed slightly vague and ethereal, as if the environment was generated in response to Lisa, which in fact it was. The angel pulled down a seat next to Pete and also sat, all be it more delicately. “All I can do Pete, is take you to some people that have overcome far worse in the line of truth telling. Would that help, do you think?” Lisa already knew the answer, but asked for the sake of Pete’s comfort.
“Let’s try it,” said Pete, with barely supressed dejectedness.
“Okay, well cheer up Pete, you’re going to meet one of the greats!” said Lisa staring wide-eyed with the pseudo-excitement a parent extends before treating a young child.” Pete couldn’t help smiling.
“OK Lisa, who have you got?”
“Have you ever head of Mani?” Pete wrinkled his nose.
“The drummer from the Stone Roses?” he said doubtfully. He turned to see Lisa with her face buried in her hands, shaking with silent laughter.
“He‘s the bassist actually” she replied eventually. “But I’m talking about an Iranian prophet from a thousand years or two before your time.”
“Ah, so close then,” smiled Pete ruefully. Lisa giggled.
“Close Pete, but not quite close enough. If you’ve not heard of him, it will be harder for you to find him spiritually, so I’ll need to give you a little push, but you’re used to that, me borrowing a little bit of your mind for a second?”
“Yes, Lisa, please do.” (continue)