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29E - Atonement/Apotheosis Redux - The Temple of This and That

Two weeks passed before I had the mental fortitude to go back into that subconscious world. What happened when I did was…well…almost unbelievable. My mind cooperated with me, and revealed so much to me, but it would months before I figured out why and what it all meant.

My team and I emerged from the tunnel at the top of a vast, well-lit and fertile expanse that was dozens of miles in diameter. The space showed stepped agriculture on all sides of the domed space for miles around. At the bottom was a massive city, with a river running through the middle of it. We started walking the narrow pathways that wound down the cliff-face. Not too long into our journey we met an old, Asian-looking man and a small boy – probably his grandson. The boy panicked when he saw us and took off running in the opposite direction down the trail while the old man stayed behind to talk with us. “People from the surface! I’ve heard tale, but never met any before!”


We ignored him and chased after the boy. We soon came to a small shanty village that was carved into the cliffs, with only about a street’s width of room in front of the make-shift shops and apartments before a sheer drop of thousands of feet. The people, who each looked like an ethnic mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Korean seemed scared of us, but I did my best to assure them that we meant no harm.

The barmaid and I noted to each other that some of the people could use the ancient tech, and did so, mainly to close up their rickety shops and hide from us in the side of the mountain, which served to further expand the amount of space we had on the “street” that was cobbled together from random planks of wood and corrugated steel. Just then a group of seven men appeared at the other end of the thoroughfare. Six were tall and muscular, wearing dark robes, wide rice hats, and shinobis that covered their faces. The seventh man was dressed the same, except he wore no hat or face covering. Even though he was thin, and half the height of the others, it was obvious that he was their leader.

I tried to tell him we were only looking to get to the city for answers. He activated a console, causing the street to extend hundreds of feet over the cliff, and for the wall to turn into a domed ceiling, turning the street into an enclosed arena. The men separated from each other and took up positions around the rim of the now round space. We readied our guns, but once the men started charging at us, we found that they didn’t work, due to some sort of magical field within the space that stopped them from firing. The men attacked at us and we fought, but my companions’ skills did little to stop the assailants. Even Id was having trouble fighting off more than one of them. I was still able to summon the blue energy, and I used it to great effect for not only myself, but for my companions - raising the deck and flinging the attackers around with ease. Still, I lost to the leader who was faster than I could account for and got behind me. But just as he had a blade pressed to my neck, he let go and agreed to give us the answers we sought.

He waved his hands and his soldiers stepped back. One activated a console and a round, black pit formed in the center of the room. The leader jumped in it and we followed. We slid down a dark tube for a moment and ended up in a large rave club, strobed with pink and blue lights. There we sensuous women and men everywhere, scantily clad, dancing, groping, and humping each other all around us.

I shouted to the man over the music, “What is this place?”.

“The bottom.” he answered, “Look up!”

That’s when I noticed we were in the city at the base of the expanse. I could barely make out the town we had come from on the cliffs above us, now miles away.

“Where are our answers?” I probed.

“Here, on the dance floor.” He said as he pointed to a very sexy, scantily clad couple in the middle of the club as everyone else moved away.

“I can’t. I can’t dance.” I shouted over the music.

“If you want answers, you will.” He said as he disappeared into the crowd.

I did my best to move with the music, dancing in ways I know that I can’t seem to manage in the real world. The man and woman both danced around me, thrusting and grinding with the music. Suddenly the music ended, and I was confronted with the barmaid directly up against my face. Our eyes went wide, and we pushed off each other. We looked around, embarrassed, only to discover that the club had turned into a massive temple.

“It’s a temple!” I exclaimed.

“Are you surprised?” our opponent-turned-guide said as he walked to the far end of the grand concourse, “It’s the Temple of This and That. It’s the point of balance…one of many.”

The place was structured like a medieval cathedral, complete with a pair of transepts two thirds of the way to one end so as to resemble a cross. The nave was supported by twelve massive, granite pillars, the last of which stopped about twenty feet before the transepts opened. The entire floor was covered in a rich, red carpet, which made the granite walls stand out even more. At the very center of the crossing was a wooden, flat-topped altar with an ionic-styled cap that stood roughly waist high.

Roughly a hundred feet beyond the pillar was a large stage that went back a further thirty feet with five steps across its front span. It was flanked on either side by a set of winding stairs cut into the granite walls that each lead up to a balcony the same width and depth of the stage, lined with a waist-high railing made of thin granite pillars.

As we walked after him, we noticed that in front of each one of the twelve pillars were women, and a few men, in exotic bondage. Some were attached directly to the pillars while others were on crosses or suspended on wooden trusses in front of them. It seemed that those on the right side of the temple from us were there against their will, as they all struggled and pulled at their bindings, attempting to scream against their gags. On the left side, however, they seemed like they not only accepted their situation, but they wanted to be there – hanging or standing in a calm and serene state.

The Guide ascended the staircase to the right of the stage and came to stand in the middle of the balcony in front of us.

“Do you know what the blue energy is?” he shouted down to me, “It’s your creative willpower. It’s your greatest power, connected to the lowest impulse. If you want to ascend, you have to go down. The Creator is one messed up creature, isn’t he? The sacred and the profane. The high and the low. The corrupt and the divine. Your body, your heart, your mind, your soul. Do you see the pattern yet?”

I looked around to see that my companions and I were standing in the middle of the chamber at right angles to each other. The barmaid and I opposite to each other, Ego to my left and Id to my right. Suddenly, a great, white energy rose up from the floor in between us as a swirling tornado. The whisps of white essence then formed into pink and blue glowing balls, and projected thin, white lines in between each other at right angles to us in a slanted space, like a tilted cube made of light. Along the white lines, more pink and blue balls appeared, equally spaced from each other along the spans they sat on.

“Conscious, subconscious, and unconscious.” The guide continued, “There are many more spaces to fill before you have anything resembling mastery. You are here because balance is the point of the hero’s journey, and you need to achieve a greater level of balance. Balance is everything, and you need to think about it beyond two dimensions.”

I found myself getting extremely tired within the vision world and my head dropped. I soon “woke up” in a dark, dingy room, like something from the movie Saw, with my companions all crudely bound to stakes, asleep behind me in the same order they had just been standing in the temple. The guide stood before me and opened a magical door in the air, I stepped through it into a bright, beautiful garden. I could see my companions through the portal behind me, still asleep. The guide showed me a much more ornate wooden alter upon which sat a large tome. As my eyes adjusted to the brightness around me, I could see that I was standing in a massive library, with grass and flowers for the floor. It was structured exactly like the temple I was just in, except instead of granite walls and pillars, everything was made of a richly stained cherry wood. The wooden pillars and walls rose about fifty feet up into a night sky, bright with stars and colorful nebulae.

“This,” the guide began, “is your place of memory. Everything you’ve ever learned in this life, and in all the others, is here. You can access it anytime, as long as you believe you can, and as long as you accept that you are worthy.”

The vision ended suddenly, with no outside stimulus to break my concentration, and I was left in my room, baffled.

Hero’s Breath:









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