2.1 Latent Luminance

“Well… hello there Pete” Lisa’s husky voice could have sounded almost flirtatious but to those attuned to such things, her playfulness was ripples on a great oceanic swell of pure love which radiated from the angel’s very being.

Pete pulled down a seat in the lecture theatre and sat down heavily. “Oh, hi Lisa.” Despite entering Phaethon with the full hope of meeting the angel, Pete was always rather star-struck to be with her. It’s hard to act casually around a being when an almost fragrant light is radiating from her every pore.

“What are you thinking Pete?”

“Well, er, just that, well not much really.” Lisa chuckled.

“It’s no good Pete, I know what you’re thinking.” Adopting his faltering middle class tones in gentle mockery she continued “how can all that beautiful light be emanating from skin that’s so black. I should ask her, no, wait! That would be rude, maybe even racist, oh no, she’s going to ask me what I’m thinking!” Pete blushed, dumbstruck by this spoken truth. Lisa came over and placed a hand on his shoulder, immediately the embarrassment evaporated, and Pete felt intense peace flow into him. Lisa blew away some red dust from her hand.

“Sorry Pete, I can’t help myself sometimes. All better now?” Pete smiled.
“Yes thanks.”

“Like all spiritual truths, the answers are simple, yet the opposite of what you might expect.”

“It’s a simple answer Pete, the light is real, it is essence, what you see as my body is not real, it is merely the projector screen on which the light shines. It’s the same with everyone’s body of course.”

“But back on earth, people’s bodies don’t emit light.” Lisa smiled.

“Oh, they do Pete. Let me show you something. The lecture theatre faded and was replaced by a crowded operating theatre. Pete forgot the beeping machinery and hospital smell when he saw a tiny patient on an operating table. Concentrating furiously, a masked and gowned woman was painstakingly moving surgical implements inside the tiny torso. “Do you see the light from her hands Pete?” asked Lisa.

“Light?” asked Pete.

“Surely you see this all the time, she’s mending a hole in that baby’s heart. Surely you see the light radiating from her hands? She’s one of the best in the world. She turned down a job offer which would have made her a millionaire and an end to the shift work which she knows is starting to gravely affect her health. She did this simply because babies like this need surgeons like her. Those hands are powered directly by God’s grace which she has channelled through herself. The light simply bursts out.”

“She sounds like a wonderful person,” said Pete thoughtfully, “but I don’t see the light.

“Alright Pete, let’s try again.” The operating theatre dropped away, and Pete flinched as a scorching heat enveloped him from a burning house right before them in the night. A chimney teetered and fell through the roof and bright, vicious flames shot up through the hole. The lower floor was shrouded in acrid black smoke, and the young man gasped as a firefighter burst through it carrying an old lady hanging limply in his arms. “Look at the light…” breathed Lisa.
“I don’t see…”

“From all over his body, brighter than the fire itself,” the angel murmured in awe. “His colleague went in for the lady, but didn’t come out, our man here overhead his final scream on the radio, but he rushed straight in to carry on his work. Old souls emit beautiful light even on lower realms like earth.”

“Are you sure? I’ve never seen that,” said Pete in puzzlement as the scene shimmered back to the lecture theatre. Lisa chuckled.

“Bats only see in black and white, but they would be wrong to conclude that there is no such thing as colour,” she said cryptically, but continued when Pete’s only response was to slowly rub his jaw in bafflement. “You’ll see the light shining from good people as brightly as you see my light, one day. It sounds like it will just take you a few more thousand lifetimes for your soul to be attuned to that degree.”

“Well, I’m sure it will be worth the wait,” smiled Pete.

“So what can I help you with?” beamed Lisa.

“Well, I got asked a difficult question about the big bang.”

“The big bang…” Lisa mused.

“Yes, you know, the beginning of everything.”

“I’d say it was more like the end of everything.” The angel flashed a dazzling smile. “Like all spiritual truths, the answers are simple, yet the opposite of what you might expect.”

“I see,” said Pete, not seeing. Lisa giggled.

“No point lying to an angel Pete! I’ll take you to see a couple of friends of mine that will explain things in a little more depth. Have you heard of Laozi?”

“Wasn’t he some old Chinese guy? Came up with lots of good sayings?” Lisa raised her eyebrows in mock indignation, but a snort escaped her as she failed to stifle a giggle.

“Oh Pete! He was an incarnation of a highly venerated and old soul who gave the ancient East a massive spiritual injection with his peerless wisdom through the pages of the I Ching no less. Whilst he has the humility of all old souls, might I suggest that when you meet him, you don’t start with ‘hey, you were some old Chinese guy weren’t you?’ Pete had to smile.

“Fair enough.”

“You know what to do Pete…”

Pete closed his eyes and felt the customary acceleration. Feeling cool fresh air, a gentle evening light and the sweet fragrance of lotus blossom, Pete opened his eyes. He was on a beautiful high mountain peak, with other peaks poking out of the clouds like islands in the sea. Sat cross legged before him in a simple un-dyed cotton robe sat an east Asian man in his early eighties. His wise, gentle face was framed by long snowy white hair and an equally lengthy oriental beard. The old man observed the younger with interest. “Greetings honourable Peter,” he said at length. (continue)

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