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We’re all someone’s character in a story they made up...

The Great Beyond - Chapter IV
Brodie Parker continues his exploration of life beyond death.

We didn’t actually move; not that I could tell. There was no sound or light. The drink Urimaru gave me had removed all tactile sensation. Without lungs, I had no use for breath so there was no odor. Without cells to supply with glucose there was no need for ingestion, therefore there was no taste. I was completely cut off from every sense I had ever known, but I didn’t care. I was way too drunk to care.

There is no way of knowing how long I was in this state. Ten seconds? Ten thousand years? Comfortable blackness, all enveloping and utter, was all I knew. Without your senses you become truly introspective. I gradually became aware of places in my mind that I hadn’t explored in years. I began to recall with perfect clarity even the most insignificant details from my past. My memories went farther back than I had ever thought possible. I reviewed several scenes from my childhood with an odd detachment that sometimes comes when you drudge up old time. I suppose everyone romanticizes their own story to some extent or another. Looking back on myself objectively left a bad taste in my mouth, (so to speak). I was watching my first fencing match over and over, making note of all the mistakes I made; crappy posture, sloppy footwork, horrible timing and wild, unpracticed swings. Engrossed as I was, it took me a while to notice something itching in my mind somewhere. I stopped concentrating and plunged immediately back into the still blackness. The itch was still there, and when I pushed at it with my mind suddenly Urimaru appeared in front of me. The itch stopped, but his face wrinkled slightly and I felt another start up in different place. When I touched it his voice resounded in my mind.
"That’s better. You’re coming along nicely. Some people take forever to find the itch. I love taking on students like you; it’s so rare to find a pupil willing to take some initiative."
"Where are we?"
"We’re still in my study. I cut off the senses that the spirits didn’t take care of, and watched while you explored your mind. You’re developing quickly, a surprising number of people have trouble navigating their own consciousness. When you were ready I pushed on a part of your mind that you had to find and connect with. It’s a part that you’ve never used before, so I couldn’t just barge in and drag you back through. You had to open the door, I just knocked on it."
"What part did I open?"
"You aren’t seeing me with eyes right now. You don’t have eyes any more, and there is no light for eyes to see here. Light is not the only vehicle which may be used to get visual information to your mind. It’s the same with your ears. They’re gone, and so are sound waves. What you are hearing now is what you would call telepathy. All the senses you had in your body and many, many more can be received by your mind in a nearly infinite number of ways. You are bound only by your own imagination, which is infinite in and of itself. Your old brain was capable of many of these…shortcuts, if you will, however, it was far too finite a space to stuff all of your consciousness into. Now you are able to freely explore all of your mind, though it will speed things up considerably for me to help you discover some of the less obvious aspects."
"When do I get the perspective you mentioned?"
"In a moment. First let’s work on your control." He stood behind me and closed his eyes. His mouth didn’t move, but I could hear him clearly in my mind. "Picture a saber in front of you."
I immediately called up an image of a full tang, single edged piece of Toledo steel in my mind. I pictured it with a simple cross guard and a razor edge. As I concentrated, I could feel the itch along unfamiliar places in my mind. The process was very fluid; the itch seemed to run along exact pathways and like before it vanished as soon as I poked at it. When I finished, the weapon was suspended in the void in front of me. I could see every detail in perfect clarity.
"Good. Now lift it by the hilt, and get familiar with manipulating it."
"I don’t have a body anymore. What do I lift it with?"
"With your will. When you had a body, you exercised your will on your physical form to manipulate objects. Lifting a sword with your hand is a perfect example of the fact. But now, instead of using neurons and muscles you’re going to leave out all the unnecessary flak and do it the easy way."

I could sense his patience. He had obviously done this several times before, but there was no ridicule for my inexperience or annoyance at even the slowest points of my progress, and absolutely no hurry. He was a perfect teacher.
"So this is telekinesis?"
"If you want to call it that. One thing this exercise is intended to help you realize that physical matter is more illusory than your soul. The sword in front of you is now real. It wasn’t there a moment ago, then you thought it up and now there it is. You have a great deal more license to create when you can use all of your potential."
"You mean my body wasn’t real? Or my house or my car or my dog?"
"No, it’s all real. I mean that the world you create for yourself is more real, more visceral than the one you were born into; that was somebody else’s world."
"This should be freaking me out, but I’m still wasted. How long does this stuff last?"
"Until I tell you how to turn it off. Don’t let the universe get to you. It’s always been like this, but now you know about it. There are stories within stories within stories. Each new creation spawns a dozen more. Don’t shut out the truth, just make it your own. We’re all someone’s character in a story they made up, or are making up as they go."
"Is there any way of knowing who?"
"I don’t know, I’ve never tried to find out. Maybe it’s God. Maybe it’s that nut-job I ran into during the Six Days War. Maybe we’re doing it to ourselves. I don’t think I care to know just yet. We all grow and learn at our own pace. If you try hard enough I’m sure you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for."

I had been brandishing the saber, slicing at the blackness with finely edged steel controlled entirely by my volition. It felt natural and effortless; as free flowing as thought and as fast. Behold I am become death…
"You’re learning quickly. We can move on as soon as you’re ready."
I placed the sword in the empty space where it hung motionless. "O.K." I felt ready for anything. He moved in front of me, and told me to look into his eyes. They were empty and as black as the void around us. I concentrated on the blank space; let myself be drawn into it. I felt myself pulled sharply into a rapport with him. His voice told me soundlessly to hold on to my hat. What followed made me understand Urimaru’s reason for getting me drunk first. I felt us move outward in all directions at once; growing larger and larger and taking in more and more of the great cosmic wonders of space and time. We passed through star systems, then galaxies then farther outward and stopped suddenly at a point where we could enter eternity, rolling out in both directions. Had I been sober when we did this I would most probably have gone mad. I was clinging tenaciously to the comforting buzz and looking into a large section of space and time which included the creation of Earth up through the end of my mortal life.

In this cross section, I could observe any point in history at any place, and was astounded in no small degree to discover that it all touches all the time. I took some physics classes in college and some astronomy. I had heard some lectures about cosmology and quantum physics, and while I thought I had a handle on it, I was grossly unprepared for a first hand view. I gaped awe struck at the mechanics of the universe and felt new respect for the people who dare to try to get a serious handle on what I never could have guessed at.
© Brodie Parker June2nd 2004
Only in Hackwriters…
Missed Chapters One & Two of our serialised novel - it begins here
Chapter Three here

Chapter Four here
Chapter five here

Chapter Six here
Chapter Seven here
Chapter Eight here
Chapter Nine here
Chapter Ten here
Chapter Eleven here
Chapter Twelve here

More Fiction in Dreamscapes and First Chapters

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