This is an experience I had near the end of 1993 I believe. Although I’ve written it down to others a few times, it’s not in my formal archives and I have no idea where to find it, so I thought I would record it again for posterity. I remembered it after reading the latest post on the Cobalt Sigil blog.
I was definitely in a trance state, but not deeply; I was resting, having finished email, and was considering what to do about dinner, as I gazed mindlessly out my back sliding glass door. It was still very light outside though evening was approaching fast, and I was feeling a bit languid and didn’t much feel like getting up and doing anything.
It took me a little while to realize that something had just happened. Often this kind of thing actually goes on for a bit before my conscious mind clues in and decides to pay attention. I had just “shared” the experience of an entity.
He had traveled far to make the request. Journeyed among many lands and strange creatures to get to the place where you could make a petition to the Gods. Maybe if you were lucky, the Gods might hear you; there was no other choice, now.
He carried the sword the King had given him personally, and he felt heavy with the responsibility. He carried the weight of worry in his heart, and the fate of his whole people upon his brow.
He had been the Captain of the Guard for the King; the people’s hero; the local Champion. Who else to take on such a task? Who else to show both the honor and courage the Gods might listen to? He had arrived at the temple finally, exhausted, and rested only long enough to hope that he was now strong enough that the Gods, any God, some God, might hear him.
He came from a land in despair. A land some said the gods must have abandoned for some great crime committed against them. The people had fled the borderlands of the South, where the land had become full desert, and had migrated away from the lakes that had shriveled into dustbowls. People had died by the handfuls and then by too large a number to count. Animals died as the fields and streams died, until most of the southern country was now a dry brown mausoleum to the past. The brown had spread to the centerlands, and even the far North of the kingdom, where the King himself lived, had begun to show the warning signs of death.
Nobody could say exactly when the rain stopped coming. They had never had a great deal of it, but the landscape preserved much of what arrived. At some point people realized the rain had began to diminish over time, and it seemed to get worse, until people began to talk in worried tones about it, and finally even the King mentioned it: there was something wrong with the sky: it had ceased to rain.
And one day the king’s men returned from their surveys, and it became known just how much of the kingdom had already died, and how many would shortly, and how the dusty death would be taken all of them, even the King’s court in the far North, before long.
The sun beat mercilessly down on all of them at the ceremony. The young Captain stood strong, proud to be chosen by the King, terrified that he had no idea if the gods were even real let alone would listen to him, grieved by just having heard of the death of his parents, and feeling torn inside between hopeless despair, and the determination to believe in something invisible, impossible, just for the sake of maybe finding it. All the people gathered to put their prayers into their hands and touch him, to give him their power. Maybe there would be enough power in him that his prayers would reach all the way to the gods.
He knelt in the temple on the mountain, alone in the room. The front of the temple was open and the sun was just setting, sending warm splashes of gold along the floor and onto his body. He looked at his hands and wished he had paid a little more attention as a child; he didn’t remember any formal prayers. He had only the scroll, which he pulled from his shirt.
O mighty gods, he began, and then stopped.
His voice was trembling. The exhaustion of the ride, the emotional exhaustion of the last few weeks, the tears still unshed for his parents, and his mortal fear that the gods would not help him, had conspired against him, he thought somewhat desperately, as he forced himself to one of the sword-practice exercises that counted breath. Finally he felt calm again, and felt he could sound more confident this time, and he began again.
O mighty gods, he said again, hear my prayer. He held the scroll up and began the chant in his strong clear voice, the combined prayer of his people. He visualized all the power they put into him with their hands, and sending that power on one of those golden beams of light all the way to the sun, all the way to the gods. He imagined it carrying his voice through to them so clearly that he would echo around them. And while his mouth sang the chant and his mind’s-eye worked the power, in his heart he prayed with love.
He had spent the weeks of his journey letting go of the anger he held inside against the gods for allowing his land such destruction, for the unfairness of it all. He had worked hard to hold nothing but faith. It had been a real stretch for a practical man such as himself, but he had dedicated himself to it fully, and by the time he arrived at the temple, he had been “filled with faith” for days. He prayed that his heart would be good enough to reach the gods, and that if it might not be — for he sometimes doubted this — that the gods would not hold that against his people.
And as he kneeled on the floor of the temple and prayed with all his might, a curious thing happened: God heard him.
And being God, with merely the shift of attention, intimately knew all about him and what was truly in his heart. And his heart moved God; who in turn loved him deeply and powerfully. His whole body shook with the intensity of the rapport.
He kneeled breathlessly on the floor, overwhelmed by the experience, and with joy from understanding that his people would surely be helped: God had heard him. He lay out on the floor, face down and arms out, exhausted and thankful and filled with love and faith.
And God turned to do something about his peoples’ situation.
And the shallow surface focus-personality that God normally wore, which seldom interfaced with the deeper, larger part of God that handled this sort of thing, was more perceptive than usual at that moment, and realized with a shock all that had just occurred.
And that part of God wondered with confusion where the Captain of the Guard concept had come from, because she understood that the Captain’s people were a large collection of cells in her lower right torso, profoundly dehydrated and much of the small system already atrophied, and she needed to drink a great deal more water.
God grieved, realizing she had just fallen in love with a young man who could not possibly exist. And God was in awe, that someone actually considered her … to be God.
Are there whole worlds inside us? Are we merely inside someone else? Is God “in part” composed of everything created in God’s image?
If everything is truly alive, does God have a responsibility to take care of her people?