(Story begins here) “Congratulations Peter, you are now an angel,” said Baba, “involution and evolution have parted company, you no longer need a physical form. Rather like a lunar rocket jettisoning its fuel tanks once away from Earth’s gravitational pull, your consciousness has blossomed to the point that it can liberate itself from the burden of collected impressions. As above, so below. Essentially, when there is nothing new to experience at a human and super-human level it turns away from the gross world, to the subtle sphere and beyond that, into pure consciousness.
“Universal compassion is the only true desire. It is the simple, pure light shining behind the discolouring egotistical film that your mind plays in your head.”
“It feel’s incredible,” breathed Pete dreamily, “the peacefulness, the joy, the love. I just want to stay here.”
“Sorry Pete, there’s the final and most important stage. Are you ready?”
“Not rea_,” but Pete was silenced by a feeling of incredible acceleration, many times that of a rollercoaster. He felt like a firework that had just ignited. Without a head to crane upwards, he somehow directed his vision above him and saw the radiant swirling light of the Over-soul hurtling towards him. Pete closed his eyes as the bliss enveloped him, but then they exploded open in shock as a fork of laser-pure light shot out from the Over-soul and struck him like a lightning bolt, sending him reeling. Baba tossed his signing board and caught the ball of consciousness that Pete now was. “What… happened?” the young man managed. Baba held up a finger, swam after his signing board and returned.
“You just got an idea of what it feels like to become a perfect master,” he signed, “your consciousness merged with God’s. Like a dry dock when the sea bursts through the gates.
“It felt like, like being struck by lightning.”
“Yes, it does rather. Huge amounts of energy, whether spiritual or electrical suddenly discharging into something much less charged. As above, so below. Obviously, you haven’t really become a perfect master, there are no short cuts to that, just unfathomable amounts of time spent in samsara, but hopefully you got a feel for what it’s like and understand the general idea of involution.”
“Yes, thank you, Baba. So what would happen next if that had been real?”
“Good question Peter, one of three things. You either stay up here and enjoy it, you go further, past the over-soul to be absorbed fully into God or you go back to help people.” Pete screwed up his eyes and could see a small, pure white light shining through the borealis of coloured lights. He was filled with an indescribable longing for what it might be or what might be beyond even that.
“Can I, go on?”
“Oh Peter, that question should remind you that this is only a demonstration of being a perfect master. Someone arriving here truly would have had the layers of selfishness and desire peeled away to see the truth.”
“Which is?” said Pete sheepishly.
“Universal compassion is the only true desire. It is the simple, pure light shining behind the discolouring egotistical film that your mind plays in your head. Whilst people of this spiritual rank have earned the choice, none ever go straight back to God, no matter how much they crave that unity with Him. They want to come back to lower levels and help people. Buddhists call these God-realised people Bodhisattvas, Hindus call them Satgurus, but the principle is the same.”
“So if there are five people on Earth of this status, why do they not do more to prevent suffering?”
“They do their work Peter, in ways that even you cannot yet understand, but suffering must not be prevented altogether. Sometimes a body’s stomach must empty itself by vomiting to eject poisons. Trying to suppress the vomiting with drugs may ease short term suffering but could be fatal if they prevent the body removing the poison. It is the same with suffering in samsara, without it, souls could not progress towards involution, so sadly it must not be fully prevented. But remember, whilst incarnated minds will not always understand why they must be subjected to suffering, deep down, their souls know that difficult journeys must be endured to reach wonderful destinations.” The nineteen-thirties colonial sitting room rematerialized around the two men and Pete reluctantly found himself back in his more familiar form.
“So, what happens to a soul between lives?”
“An excellent question Peter,” signed Baba, “let’s go and meet a friend of mine to help explain.” Pete shielded his eyes as the room once more evaporated and the pair found themselves on a beautiful Greek island beach beneath a scorching midday sun. Pete curled his toes into the hot yellow sand and savoured the feeling of the warm sea running over them.
“This is nice, where are we?”
“Syros,” signed Baba, “around 550 BC.”
“Crikey, that is going back a bit.”
“Indeed, but it is worth it to meet a very important philosopher of whom you will be very familiar, Pherecydes.”
“Ferra-who-deez?” For the first time, Baba looked mildly impatient, but his tranquil smile soon returned.
“Peter, we are talking about a truly staggering mind. A giant in the development of western philosophy. He bridged the gap between the myths of the poet Hesiod and pre-Socratic philosophy. That means philosophy before Socrates.” Baba added, anticipating Pete’s question.”
“But I’ve never heard of him and I did philosophy A-Level.”
“Scandalous! He discovered the truths of reality and taught them to Pythagoras.”
“I’ve heard of him.”
“Who indirectly passed them on to Plato.”
“Really? I thought Plato figured everything out for himself?”
“Oh no Peter, even a giant like Plato was standing on the shoulder of giants before him. Most philosophy courses skip over that part, otherwise even a basic philosophy course could easily last a lifetime.”
“I’m still surprised he’s so obscure if he’s that important,” said Pete sceptically.
“Glad someone still appreciates me, no?” The men turned to see a tall wiry figure striding towards them from the direction of a cave high up on the hillside. (to be continued)