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Monday, July 31, 2006

Testing Love

Psychic Readers and Healers may want to add this valuable lesson to their toolkits. Testing someone’s love can be a trap that may ruin your relationship with them. Learn why this happens so that you may avoid this relationship pitfall and heal the damage such tests may have caused to you, or those whom you love.

I wanted to share one of the most common healings I have done with psychic readings.

Perhaps you have already read my poem "Emergency Broadcast" which closes with the lines:

My love,
do not test it.

These words were an echo of advice I found myself providing to my clients on a frequent basis.

Putting it bluntly, it is never good to test another person's love.

If I met a client who seemed to need advice on this subject I might introduce this issue to them by remarking that I see that they have faced some trials in their love life and that they have often doubted whether they are loved. The typical response is "yes".

I would continue by speculating that in order to know whether they are truly loved in their relationship that they have sometimes tried to test their partner's love. Again, the typical reply is "yes".

I go on to say that it has seemed necessary to test their partner's love more frequently because no matter how well they may try to test their partner's love, they always wind up deeper in doubt. They may even wind up convincing themselves that they are not loved as well by their partner as they believe that they, in turn, love their partner. Too often the reply to this remark is also "yes".

If the client contradicts me at this point I examine the truthfulness of their assertion carefully, usually they are correct and they have already learned the harm that results from testing their partner's love. I suggest that they have learned this lesson and wait to make sure that they can reiterate the lesson in their own words. If they can’t then I proceed with my own explanation as if they had responded "yes" to make sure that they receive this valuable lesson which may often be needed by those who test their partner's love.

The lesson then goes something as follows:

When you test a person's love you do many kinds of harm, harm to yourself, harm to your partner, and harm to your relationship with your partner. You may also harm children, family or friends if your tests have poor results that they may be disturbed by.

The harm you do to your partner is that any test of love is a form of manipulation; no matter how well we may love someone we all resent being manipulated. So if your partner knows they are being tested, then they will feel resentment, possibly even anger. If they are resentful or angry they may be inclined to deliberately fail your test to show you that they will not be manipulated. You lose because they failed your test. If they choose to pass your test by doing whatever it is you have manipulated them into doing then resentment and anger may fester and grow in their relationship with you. They cannot feel good about giving in to what you wanted because you tricked it out of them rather than allowing them to demonstrate their love to you by their own initiative and inspirations.

If your partner does not know they are being tested, they may acquiesce and give you what you want or they may not have understood what you want. If they failed to understand what you want or even that you did want something they have failed your test and you feel hurt. If they recognized you wanted something and complied with your wishes, they were manipulated by you. You know that whatever they gave you or did for you really didn't come from their spontaneous love for you. You know, instead, that you tricked them into giving you something you probably cannot even appreciate because you may feel guilty about how you got it.

This is the damage you do to yourself: aside from losing the spontaneity of your partner's love for you, you inspire guilt within yourself. It doesn't matter if you deserved whatever you manipulated your partner into doing for you or giving you, you are guilty of manipulating. You know manipulating is wrong and that part of yourself which can be true with you in your heart will inspire regret and guilt for what you have done.

If we examine the possible results we see that nearly anything that happens as a result of testing your partner's love has a negative effect on both you and your partner, thereby damaging your relationship with your partner as well as hurting your partner and hurting yourself.

As a consequence your anxiety regarding your relationship with your partner is increased by testing them. Subsequently you feel more insecure in the relationship and yet, ironically, it was your insecurity in the relationship that inspired you to test your partner's love in the first place. As your insecurity gets worse your need to test your partner's love increases and you may test them more often or your tests may become more demanding and difficult for your partner to comply with or to or cope with.

This is a vicious cycle with no way out until you stop testing and give your partner time to drop all the defenses they have built up as a result of your testing. Once they no longer feel they are being manipulated they may become freer to be more expressive of their love for you in their own ways upon their own initiative. It may take time, it may only happen slowly. You may not like all the gifts they select for you or all the things they may try to do for you. But at least now they are trying on their own initiative to please you, and that is a far greater reward than the tokens of gifts or special behavior that are offered to you to represent their love for you.

This cycle of testing became apparent early on in my reading career and I was at first surprised how prevalent it is. But on reflection, the mechanism driving it is insecurity and we all have self doubts and feel insecure from time to time. It is important that we respond to our self doubts and insecurity by giving ourselves affirmations rather than trying to manipulate others to give us the positive reinforcement we believe we need.

The more our self worth shines through, the more others will naturally appreciate us for who and what we are; then we will know the comfort of their love and kindness on a daily basis which underscores our success in learning to love ourselves better and in learning to accept and love our partners with unconditional love.

Advice to someone whose love is being tested:

If your loved one often tests your love for them in ways that leave you feeling manipulated by them and out of sorts with them then try taking the initiative. Your partner is feeling insecure and they can only make themselves feel more insecure by testing you; even if you do everything they want or ask they may still become more insecure. By taking the initiative to demonstrate your love for them in your own fashion you will begin to ease their anxiety and replace their insecurities with feelings of contentment and joy.

So many people got this lesson once I had made the explanation that I could often see a change in them immediately or by the next time they came over to see me or just passed by. I hope that this lesson has made sense to you as well, and that it may be added to your toolkit of healing so that this message grows and grows until it comes back to us all full circle and the whole world has learned to love wholeheartedly and unconditionally.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

2076: What Went Wrong?

Hi, if you previously read this post I have moved its three sections to new posts because each is really very different and together they made this post way too long. The new posts are titled:
Year 2076: The Initial Dream (this post)
Year 2076: Background
Channeled: Good, Evil, Malice and Creation

Thanks for reading my blogs, while I present the material for the year 2076 as stories and articles it was a very real experience for me. Not all our futures are so bleak, and the details of any particular future may differ only slightly or very dramatically. The particular future that I describe in my AD 2076 stories is just one which appears most probable given the current state of our world. All of the scientific background regarding the potential disasterous saturation of our oceanic carbon sinks is true. We will smother ourselves to death in a relatively short time if we fail to make the changes required to build a sustainable global energy infrastructure based on solar power satellites and terrestrial power receiving antennae grids.

To our future, may it be sustainable, Greg

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Testing Psychics

Has anyone ever challenged your psychic abilities? Everyone has psychic abilities; those of us who are actively trying to develop our psychic abilities as a part of our spiritual journey sometimes face doubt regarding our abilities either from within ourselves or from others. Now you may learn about some of the underlying issues regarding tests of your psychic abilities to help you meet these challenges with grace.

Perhaps one of the more difficult challenges we may face as we develop our spiritual awareness and our psychic abilities is that of being tested by unbelievers.

There are many people who are out to ‘prove’ that psychic abilities do not exist; or, if they concede they may exist, then they wish to test to see how accurate or effective a particular individual’s psychic abilities may be. I have met psychics whose abilities appear to be genuine and reliable so I have no doubt as to the existence of psychic abilities. However, I may sometimes doubt my own abilities, and this self-doubt is an open door that those who are seeking to ‘debunk’ psychics may enter.

It is necessary to harbor some self-doubt, without self-doubt ego develops to the point where lessons in humility and powerlessness may emerge. None of us care to be humiliated or have our abilities fail us when put to a test. However, if we become too full of pride in our abilities then we may need an experience that sets us in our proper place.

Those of us so gifted that their talents are nearly miraculous in nature should never need to worry about being tested. Anyone in that state of being has mastered the faults of their ego which might draw the sort of person who wishes to challenge them. Or, if a challenging person does appear, then the truly gifted psychic may easily deflect that person without having to prove anything.

However, those of us who are developing their fledgling abilities are quite vulnerable to the sort of testing which is almost a sort of sport for those inclined to test our psychic abilities.

What is the underlying need for which some people are motivated to test psychics’ abilities?

One motivation is ego; the testing person aggrandizes themselves by proving the tested person is able to fail their tests. But there is a poor logic here, the ability to fail a test can be applied in any situation. Failing a test is not proof in and of itself that the party tested does not have the ability the test is alleged to measure. At best, failing a test only demonstrates that the person tested is not 100% reliable, which is quite different from having no ability at all.

Another motivation may be insecurity; many people want to believe that no one can have psychic abilities because then their secrets might be an open book should they encounter someone particularly gifted at reading the hearts and minds of other people. They want to reinforce their choice to believe that psychic abilities do not exist in order to feel assured that their thoughts and feelings are their private business and cannot be known to anyone else except when and how they chose to communicate them.

Hope may be a motivation as well. The tester may hope to find someone with genuine psychic abilities in order to learn from someone who demonstrably proves their abilities to the tester’s satisfaction.

So hope, fear and ego are key motivational factors which may result in a person testing the psychic abilities of others.

With regard to hope, the tester will find what they seek when it is best for them to do so. Tested parties may all fail, regardless of their genuine abilities if it is in the best interest of either the tester or the tested party for them to fail.

With regard to fear, the tester may be unprepared to have their tests fail. They may be too overwhelmed by the reality of psychic abilities, both because it changes a fundamental part of their chosen belief system, and because their fear will increase when faced with someone who can see into their heart and mind. One spiritual principle of psychic development is that we must never introduce radical change in the world view of a person unprepared to accept it. This is the psychic equivalent of rape. No one truly gifted will do this under any circumstance.

With regard to ego the case is much the same as with fear. The ego always fears for itself. But also, with regard to ego, we cannot put another person ‘in their place’ in regard to that person’s ego without engaging our own ego in a manner that is self-destructive. That is a one-upmanship game that feeds our egos and makes our spiritual journey more difficult.

We may all fail tests of our psychic abilities from time to time through no fault of our own. These failures do not mean we lack psychic abilities, or that our psychic abilities are particularly lame, it only means that the circumstances in which our gifts arise were not ideal for the test in question. If we appear to have failed a test then we have acted in balance with spirit, for in the greater scheme of things spirit has given us our failure as a lesson to ourselves and as a kindness to the person who tests us.

We know in our hearts our own accomplishments in regard to our spiritual journeys and our psychic development. We should never allow ephemeral events to place us in a position of defense of our abilities or in hostile opposition to another person’s world view. Let us be grateful for our gifts, however small or infrequently they may appear in our lives, and accept our lessons with grace, humility, and the determination to learn and to grow from all that spirit has given us.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Exploring Tarot

An Alternative Approach to Tarot

The following summarizes my personal approach to Tarot. Tarot is like a hologram, where the entire whole is inherent in every part (card). One can also liken Tarot to a crystal of Divine Knowledge, where we peer through the facets and perceive the whole differently with every tiny glimpse we take. A good deal has been written on Tarot, but I got tired of all that and set out to make Tarot a more personal experience. I strongly suggest you do the same. No authority on Tarot is truly authoritative; each is an individual point of view. Some build on the work of others while others attempt to strike out toward new horizons and explore Tarot for themselves. This explorative approach is the one I recommend to anyone seeking to learn more about Tarot.

Tarot appears to be a means to perform Magick as well as Divination. My exploration intimately linked the images of Tarots to the processes of Creation. The cards appear to reflect Creation and Our place within It. They may be used to glimpse the situations in Creation of any subject and the processes by which those situations were inspired to be made manifest.

Here are a few fragments of my own thoughts as I have explored Tarot, beginning with my preferred layouts and brief descriptions of the aspects of each position in the layouts.

Layouts for readings with either a minor or major cycle begin as follows:

Place the first card in the center.
This represents the subject in the present moment in its entirety.
Read this card in the context of trumps 0 and 1.
Place the second card above the first card.
This represents the conscious desire of the subject.
Read this card in the context of trumps 1 and 2.
Place the third card below the center.
This represents the unconscious desire of the subject.
Read this card in the context of trumps 2 and 3.
Place the fourth card at the top.
This represents the challenges presented by the subject’s soul.
Read this card in the context of trumps 3 and 4.
Place the fifth card at the bottom.
This represents the challenges presented by the world.
Read this card in the context of trumps 4 and 5.
Place the sixth card to the left of the center card.
This represents the immediate past.
Read this card in the context of trumps 5 and 6.
Place the seventh card to the right of the center card.
This represents the immediate future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 6 and 7.
Place the eighth card above the sixth card.
This represents what the subject consciously contributed to the immediate past.
Read this card in the context of trumps 7 and 8.
Place the ninth card below the sixth card.
This represents what the subject unconsciously contributed to the immediate past.
Read this card in the context of trumps 8 and 9.
Place the tenth card above the seventh card.
This represents what the subject consciously contributed to the immediate future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 9 and 10.
Place the eleventh card below the seventh card.
This represents what the subject unconsciously contributed to the immediate future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 10 and 11.
Place the twelfth card to the left of the sixth card.
This represents the distant past.
Read this card in the context of trumps 11 and 12.
Place the thirteenth card to the right of the seventh card.
This represents the far future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 12 and 13.

Note: To complete a major cycle layout you skip the next step and continue in the next section.

Place the fourteenth card upon the first card.
This is how the present moment has changed incorporating the reading and understanding and growth in the present moment
Read this card in the context of trumps 14 and 0.

This completes a minor cycle

To complete a reading of the major cycle the fourteenth card is placed and read differently than in a minor cycle layout, as follows.

Place the fourteenth card above the eighth card.
This is the influence of the subject’s soul on their past.
Read this card in the context of trumps 14 and 15.
Place the fifteenth card below the eighth card.
This is the influence of the world on the subject’s past
Read this card in the context of trumps 15 and 16.
Place the sixteenth card above the tenth card.
This is the influence of the subject’s soul on their future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 16 and 17.
Place the seventeenth card above the eighth card.
This is the influence of the world on the subject’s future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 17 and 18.
Place the eighteenth card above the twelfth card.
This is the influence of the subject’s soul on their past.
Read this card in the context of trumps 18 and 19.
Place the nineteenth card below the twelfth card.
This is the influence of the world on the subject’s past
Read this card in the context of trumps 19 and 20.
Place the twentieth card above the thirteenth card.
This is the influence of the subject’s soul on their future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 20 and 21.
Place the twenty-first card above the thirteenth card.
This is the influence of the world on the subject’s future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 21 and 22.
Place the twenty-second card upon the first card.
This is the influence of the world on the subject’s future.
Read this card in the context of trumps 22 and 0.

The Influences of the Trumps

Each position in the layouts is influenced by two trumps. This is because every moment is not only the present in its complete state, but is also a transitional state. The transitional state is defined by the contrast of the two trumps. The moment being scrutinized is defined by the card placed in each position of the layout.

The Major and Minor Cycles

The minor cycle is the depth of the Minor Arcana which is comprised of four five sets of fourteen cards, where each set is characterized by one of five elements, spirit, water, fire, air, and earth. The elements follow this order because all things come from spirit which has a creative or inspirational quality. Our first awareness of spirit and the world it creates is represented by water which has a receptive, perceptive or feeling quality. Our feelings or perceptions fuel our thoughts which have an illuminating, burning or energizing quality. Our thoughts lead to speaking, and our speech has the qualities of wind, air and vibrations carried upon the air. The world receives these vibrations and is transformed by them bringing the qualities of fruition, completion and satiation. All of which is the result of Spirit and returns to Spirit in the creation of the next moment. Within Spirit the past moment has initialized the present moment and created the seed of the future moment, so the cycle repeats.

But There Are Twenty-Two Trumps!

The first fourteen trumps are both a fifth suit of the Minor Arcana, as well as the initial cards of the Major Arcana. These cards are the epitome of the powers of Spirit in the Natural World. The remaining eight Trumps represent the powers of Spirit in the Spiritual World. These eight powers are concerned solely with Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Knowledge, and Spiritual Life.

Fourteen cards, Nine Vibrations, the Power of Five

In the fourteen cards of each suit the nine primary vibrations described in Numerology apply to the first nine cards; the five remaining cards form a special case of the first five vibrations. The power of five repeats in several ways: five suits, five elements, five limbs, five fingers, and so forth. Five is the vibration of change and balance; it liberates us from the past. The first nine vibrations form a complete cycle of experience. This cycle repeats endlessly, the five remaining cards are associated with the Trumps in the sense that they represent a transcendental leap beyond the nine vibrations to a state where the nine are taken as a whole and incorporated within the next five cards in its entirety. These five cards represent a degree of mastery of the nine vibrations and incorporate the lessons from the nine to the specific vibrations of the five that are numbered ten through fourteen.

The Special Case of Zero and All Which is Hidden Within It

Zero is the beginning and end of all cycles. Cycles may vary in length and elements, but all of Creation sprang forth from nothing, the Zero represents Nothing which has the magickal property of infinite potential. Only Nothing can have an infinite potential because anything else already has a manifest being and by existing it creates a self-limiting context for everything else. It is the dual nature of Nothing, both void and potential that is the wellspring of Creation.
This potential is depicted by the Pillars of the High Priestess. The infinite potential is directed by the Magick User whose power is mediated by The High Priestess who represents all that is other than the Magick User and ensures that the power granted to the Magick User will result in a Transformation that is in balance with Creation.
This process of the three powers, Zero, One and Two, taken together is the fundamental nature of The Empress. The Empress is Completion of the World in its primal Divine state, sustaining all created beings in their Natural order.
Taken together, One through Three represent a fourth process which is governed by The Emperor. The Emperor represents the Order sustained by the Empress. Only in the context of established order can any change be defined. So the Emperor precedes Change which is the fundamental aspect of the Hierophant.
The Hierophant introduces new Knowledge which in the hands of the magician becomes the power to create Change. Change takes place in response to Duality and this duality is expressed in the Lovers, where the void calls forth the desired.
The lovers represent two complete and complementary beings who each share the mastered knowledge, but who remain vulnerable to the unknown Mystery delivered by the Chariot.
The Chariot is the harbinger of the outside world, that which is beyond the known world. It brings opportunity for growth and renewal which become the foundation for Strength
Strength is needed to contend with that which external or unknown. But to apply strength one must know oneself first, and that self-knowledge is epitomized by the Hermit.
The Hermit is our link to Spirit and the knowledge that we have mastered the primary cycle of vibrations that make up the Wheel of Fortune.
Upon The Wheel of Fortune the events of our lives take on greater context and we must learn a degree of consideration that requires the Contemplation and Balance of the Hanged Man.
The Hanged Man knows that for every change something is taken in trade for that which is given. So he contemplates how best to manifest desire and what must come to end in the process. Thus The Hanged Man contemplates the End of all things, represented by Death.
Death is part of the transformative process in the first and final stage of the cycle, returning something to nothing so that the potential for something new may be realized. That which is Created by the initialization of its potential in Death has been Tempered because it emerges from the fires of creation and plunges in to the bath of Creation becoming a Gift to the World. The Tempered state of the new creation assures it is balanced and proportional to the need it has been Created to Fulfill, in balance with The World and the whole of Creation. However, our development in the world requires us to adopt a dual state of being and awareness. We internalize the key elements of creation and their expressions within ourselves which results in an internal state of duality which we employ as a means of contrasting our experiences in order to examine them and learn from them; Duality within us is represented by The Devil.
The Devil is a voice of Spirit that speaks for that which unknown to us. The Devil is also an advocate for all that we choose hold outside of ourselves. It If we hate or love, the Devil is the advocate for the hated or the beloved. The voices of Spirit which are most removed from our conscious awareness are represented by the Devil. The Devil is the instigator who stirs the cauldron of our unconscious mind so that we can create for ourselves things we have never been able to conceive of in our conscious minds. The Devil assails the Tower of our Self Knowledge and brings it tumbling down in order for us to continue to grow and learn.
The Tower represents all we have learned and used to support our ego. The Tower must be toppled if we are to engage The World beyond ourselves. So long as The Tower stands we remain contained within ourselves and can admit nothing new into our lives. But without new things in our lives we stagnate. Thus we always dream and aspire for new things to renew ourselves. Those dreams and aspirations are represented by The Star.
The Star is distant, yet compelling; we seek its mystery and rejoice in its light. The Star represents the aspirations of our Spirit in our lives and our first conscious glimpses of our hidden desires. The processes represented by the Devil, The Tower, and The Star liberate us from our past and renew us from our future. These processes are collectively summarized in by the symbol of The Moon.
The Moon summarizes the conscious and unconscious activity of our minds that continually destroys and recreates the edifice of our knowledge and takes us to new heights. The Moon becomes a resting place where the fertile grounds for our continued growth become renewed in an endless cycle. With The Moon consciousness one can step outside of oneself and see the World through the eyes of other beings. This further liberates us, for from the perspective of other beings lives our perception of our own life is revitalized and we become more resplendent, so that our Spirit shines forth with the power and the glory of The Sun.
The Sun represents the epitome of our Spirit and the Beauty of our Lives. It is all that is Joyous and Grateful and Generous within ourselves. That Generosity is our Gift to The World and exemplifies the best of our Will and intentions. But, as always, that which we Give to The World also Takes Away, and in the end the balance which must be maintained must arise from our own Judgement.
Judgement calls to us from our soul and pronounces that which is good and allows it to pass from our hearts and prayers into manifest The World. That which is within us that is old and decayed is transformed into that which we will become through the process of Judgment which winnows the wheat from our shafts to provide sustenance for that which is good so that the good in our lives is nourished and all else is returned to Creation and recycled. Thus are we reborn into The World where our primary Gift to Creation is Ourselves.
The World represents the ultimate state of Creation and our place within Creation and our ultimate state of Being Ourselves. The World becomes our playground. It is the epitome of what we seek at the end of every cycle, so the World represents the culmination of cycles and the fruition of our highest aspirations. The World, completed must pass away into Nothing so that The World may be remade again and again in the Natural cycle of Creation. So the World in its Completed State lacks Nothing, and it brings Nothing into Creation, because the world, to be complete must embrace Nothing and be consumed by it.

And of course, from Nothing it All begins again.

The Elemental Influences

The Elemental influences are Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Spirit.

Air is our first action in life, we breathe.
Air is represented by the suit of Swords and the color yellow. Air may also be represented by an upright Isosceles triangle with a bar drawn horizontally through the center, and the color Yellow. Air is a communicative process that expresses our desires to spirit, creation and the world around us.

Water is our second action in life, we experience.
Water is represented by the suit of Cups and the color Blue. Water may also be represented by an inverted Isosceles triangle. Water is a receptive process through by which our awareness of spirit, creation and our world grows.

Fire is our third action in life, we think.
Fire is represented by the suit of Wands and the color Red. Fire may also be represented by an upright Isosceles triangle. Fire is thoughtful process whereby we refine our minds by our consideration our experiences of spirit, creation and the world we live in.

Earth is our fourth action in life, we create.
Earth is represented by the suit of Pentacles and the color Green. Earth may also be represented by an inverted Isosceles triangle with a bar drawn horizontally through the center. Earth is a transformational process that manifests our thoughts in spirit, creation and the world we share with one another.

Spirit is our fifth action in life, we learn.
Spirit is represented by the Trumps or Major Arcana and the color Purple. Spirit may also be represented by such symbols as a circle, a star, or a Star of David. Spirit is a process that encompasses all of our powers whereby we continually rediscover ourselves in order to explore all of our potentials in spirit, creation and the worlds we create.

Galactic News Report: HOSTAGE WORLD!

Galactic News Reporter:
(Voice is Rastafarian)

This is your Galactic News Reporter, I and I, bringing you your Galactic News Report.

Our top headline this news cycle is:

Attempts are being made to reach the kidnappers of the planet Earth, and its entire citizenry who are being held hostage by themselves. Every part of their own world, including every member of their own race has been demanded as ransom. This unusual situation seems irresolvable, because the victims are only able to pay their ransoms by selling themselves into further bondage. How this could occur is part of the mystery being investigated.
Galactic investigators are searching within the victims for the criminal elements they feel certain they will find. It would seem that no member of the human race is guiltless of either kidnapping himself or his neighbors. Ransom demands are apparently in excess of their abilities to produce. Spiraling inflation and an apathetic global community are two important clues that have implied the existence of this remarkable crime.
What will the Galactic Investigators assigned to the Earth do?

Galactic Investigators are trying to get in touch with the criminal elements within the Earth societies. We know they are there. They have cleverly hidden themselves within the egos of their hostages, from which they arise to make merciless demands of their victims.
These dangerous villains are unable to maintain their desperate hold upon their deteriorating world without frequently showing up within their victims' characters to make them behave in a criminal manner. To reach these criminal elements we are using the hostages as go-betweens.
The hostages themselves have the best access to the criminals they harbor within themselves.
The criminals have been unable to completely isolate their victims from our Galactic Investigators. It is only a matter of time before we have reached the criminals through their hostages, and are able to begin working with them for their rehabilitation.
Our rehabilitation goal is to help the criminal elements to be aware that their immediate purpose for holding their victims hostage has been to be loved and cared for. We hope to show them that that their goal may only be reached when they have begun to love and care for themselves.

Since the people of the Earth are already paying incredible amounts of energy toward their impossible ransom demands, we expect they may be willing to divert a small amount of that energy toward a positive goal as an experimental effort to achieve the results they have been seeking all along.
The criminals oppress their victims by convincing themselves that they haven't the energy they require, love. The love they seek has been buried deep within their victims' hope chests, deep within their victim's hearts. These victims are unable to yield their hopes to their criminal natures, no matter how desperately they may be oppressed or tortured by themselves.
Hope may only be shared by those who already have hope. Hope is an infinite resource created from love. Hope may never be destroyed or taken by force. Hope may, however, be hidden. The criminals hope to get to the source of their hope, love, through some process outside of themselves. This proves our criminals are human. Because they hope for love, they must have loving hearts with which to hope. How their loving hearts have become hidden from themselves remains the greatest part of our mystery here. Since hiding their love from themselves they have sought beyond themselves for that valuable treasure of love they may only find within themselves.

In trying vainly to extract love and hope from their environment they have instead drawn more and more unusual artifacts from the flesh of their world. Their societies' nearly mindless extractions from the flesh of their world now threaten to kill their world. Some of their artifacts and the waste products from their manufacturing are particularly dangerous. These artifacts are celebrated in a ritualistic manner by which their priests, called Advertisers, try to invest these objects with qualities of love and hope. Their planetary communion, consuming the sacred objects of Commercialism, is intended to remind them that the love they seek still exists, and that it may yet be found.
Alas, the citizens have so confused themselves they have mistaken the symbols of their magic rituals of Advertising for the very properties for which their symbols were created. If, in fact, the love, hope, charity, justice, or freedom implied by a symbol exists within the symbol, it can only be there because the symbols’ users have put it there themselves. If they secretly hide aspects of these divine qualities within their Commercial artifacts, then it is obvious they actually know where, within themselves, their hearts are, as well as how their hearts may be opened.

We are helping the citizens to rehabilitate themselves by retarding their ability to blind themselves in the presence of their own love. They may then see the incredible and infinite treasure they already possess.
Once they are aware of the infinite resources within themselves their criminal natures may feel more secure and comfortable, because they know their most clever or forceful schemes never were able to remove even the tiniest fraction of this wealth from any of their intended victims, even from themselves.
Knowing they will always have more love than they may ever exhaust they may become eager to invest their love in every imaginable way, giving it away freely, to see how it may grow and develop many beautiful properties in their world.
Having cracked the communications barrier, we are now present on Earth in great strength. We hope to achieve our ambition to show the Earth citizens how they may heal themselves and their world. We are welcoming Earth's awareness of its part in the Galactic Union. There are many solutions to the riddles posed by Earth's societies. We hope to share awareness of these solutions with the many interested parties.

Thank you.

Galactic News Anchor:
(Voice is British BBC talking head)

It would seem the mystery: `Who holds Earth for ransom?' is rapidly being solved. And, for those watching, the solution seems close to heart.

* * *
Written and performed for `Emergency Broadcast' a May Day performing arts event at the Kennel Club, in Philadelphia, in 1986. It’s still seems a mystery how we may cease to hold ourselves hostage.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Aura Reading – You can Teach Yourself to Read Auras

Imagine you can see auras. People, plants, animals and inanimate objects appear to radiate a resplendent light. As you examine the colors and shapes of this light you begin to hear a voice inside you that guides you to understand the meaning of the colors and how they relate to the subject around which the aura emanates. Practice this imaginative process and begin to test the results of your perceptions. At first you may not seem to be getting accurate information, but with dedicated practice your imagination may result in the actual ability to see auras and divine real meaning through your new perceptions.

Aura Reading – You can Teach Yourself to Read Auras

Auras appear to be artifacts of our interactions with all of the rest of creation to manifest what we need in our world. Auras are a sort of visual key to understanding the negotiation or mediation processes between our conscious, subconscious and unconscious desires and our collective super-consciousness which is our link with creation whereby all our dreams are made manifest.

When we pray, meditate or day dream our auras become more highly charged and we may discover our prayers are answered, our thoughts have transformed into reality, or our dreams have come true. We often attribute this sort of experience to coincidence but those among us who are familiar with the belief that we create our own reality understand that this is not coincidence; instead, those people know that this is our natural ability to directly manipulate reality, which we are developing on a level of our conscious awareness using our thoughts and feelings to guide ourselves.

There is a real interaction taking place between us and the world around us on a subtle level that may be perceived by developing the talent to see auras. Everyone has this talent; it is an innate part of who and what we are. However, developing this talent to a degree where we may consciously perceive and study auras may take a little work. By imagining we already have the ability to do this we can open the way to actually develop this talent into a useful tool in our lives. While imagination may be our first step on this journey, our journey will continue beyond the limits of our imagination and may manifest in a very real talent that helps us to perceive the world around ourselves more clearly and to change this world more deliberately.

I find that auras appear as colors that move about and within a subject. With any given subject there appear to be many associated colors, usually there are a few particular colors which appear to be dominant. The colors and their forms and motions often change in response to my thoughts or the thoughts of my subject as I am studying them. The interactions of my thoughts with the colors of my subject’s aura help me to begin to develop an idea of what is going on in my subject's life and what they may need to learn.

Each color or combination of colors seems to have its own theme, as follows:

Red ------------- Vitality, Energy,

the number 1
Red/Orange ------ Physical Activity, Vigor,

the number 4
Orange ---------- Organization, Thought,

the number 4
Orange/Yellow --- Social Activity, Joy,

the number 3
Yellow ---------- Communication, Speech,

the number 3
Yellow/Green ---- Healing Activity, Sickness,

the number 7
Green ----------- Creativity, Health,

the number 6
Green/Blue ------ Nurturing, Caring,

the number 6
Blue ------------ Devotion, Love,

the number 2
Blue/Purple ----- Learning, Spirituality,

the number 8
Purple ---------- Wisdom, Compassion,

the number 9
Purple/Red ------ Potential, Abrupt Change

(often accidents or danger),

the number 5

Note: The colors form a spiral or circle and return to red at this point.

The following are some special exceptions to the colors I most often see in auras.

BROWN ----------- Confusion, Opposition, 

Conflict, the number 5
CLEAR ----------- An exceptionally spiritual being,

spirit guides, the number 9
WHITE ----------- Influence of very spiritual beings,

guidance, the number 7
GREY ------------ Influence of a less spiritual being,

bureaucracy, the number 8
BLACK ----------- A being indulging in harm to other

beings, domination, the number 2

Note: The numbers ascribed to each color are loosely associated with their Numerological meanings. Tarot-logical and Astrological associations may also be ascribed to each color.

Typically I have preferred to sketch a portrait of my subject on a roughly textured neutral gray paper with colored pastel pencils. Drawing the underlying form of my subject’s face takes about five minutes to create a light sketch, meanwhile the act of drawing helps to move me into a more meditative, receptive state of mind where the colors begin to become clearer.

If no dominant colors or patterns are apparent then I consider each of the colors in order from red to purple/red in several repetitious cycles until I sense a harmony to particular colors begin to emerge. (A set of color flash cards or a color wheel can be a useful tool for this purpose.)

Since the colors are moving I must observe them for patterns and intensities and then render a montage of the themes I see so that the most striking or important parts are portrayed.

I talk to my subject as I sketch, making suggestions that return responses in my subject's aura which helps me to unravel the meanings of the colors and what is most likely transpiring in my subject's life that is being displayed in the aura.

Dark or clouded parts of an aura typically represent secrets or information my subject is repressing. Often these are things my subject is painfully aware of or is trying to deny.

Light, bright or shining parts of an aura indicate well being and balance.

Sparkling parts represent an anticipation of imminent events.

It is possible to see the influences of another person upon my subject as my subject focuses on that person; it may then be apparent what role that other person plays and whether they will help or hinder my subject in particular ways.

Like any psychic practice, the reader must always take into account their own state of being and must be careful not to project details of their own life into the reading given to a subject.

My paper tablet becomes a special window for me. On one side I contain myself so as not to contaminate what I see through my window. The life of my subject appears to me through my paper tablet. The window of my paper tablet assists me in maintaining the focus of my reading upon my subject while inhibiting me from interjecting a reading for myself into the process.

If you are not artistically adept you may still use the paper tablet and colored pencils, instead of striving to produce a likeness of your subject’s physical features dispense with the portrait preamble and instead doodle as you study your subject until the inspiration comes to begin reading their aura.

My personal favorite combination of colors is Green and Purple. These two colors in combination represent Art in the Magick sense and creative activities such as writing or painting in the more mundane aspect. Typically this color combination is accented with Gold or Yellow. This is the property by which the Art or art speaks to us, transforming us.

The potential for Art (Magick) within the act of drawing a portrait is very strong. The reader may act as a healer and may attempt to downplay a theme that may be associated with pain or suffering while playing up themes of happiness and spiritual advancement. But it is necessary to guide the subject when applying any Art, for the lesson from a pending hardship may be needed by the subject and the lesson must still manifest within their life in some form. Typically this sort of lesson is replayed over and over in a subjects life; so instruction may be drawn from their past, such that they may finally 'get it' and dispense with the need for many further repetitions of a lesson which may become potentially harmful or unpleasant in nature.

The application of Art rarely prevents the next cycle of this repetitious lesson from playing out, but it may ameliorate the next cycle to some great or small degree and the subject may be better able to learn from the next repetition of their lesson if the reader has properly prepared them to perceive and understand their lesson.

To begin your own exploration of auras get some crayons and some rough neutral paper. The backs of brown paper shopping bags are very good for this. You can use photographs, objects around your house, pets, plants or people as your subject. Black and white photographs are particularly good for this sort of exercise. Place your subject against a neutral background such as an empty white wall. Study your subject around the edges, if it is a person, pay particular attention to the crown chakra where the energy channel is often strongest. (You may also try directly observing a subject’s chakras.)

Personally, I find the edges of a subject’s profile are the best places to begin seeing the interplay of colored light that emanates from within them. If you feel you see nothing, then imagine what you think you might see if you could see auras. Take notes with the colored pencils and try to associate your thoughts with the colors as you take notes. You can do this by just using the color crayon that seems most appropriate to you to write your thoughts with. You are not required to organize your perceptions in the form of a picture. Sometimes a thought may have one strong color and several associated colors. You can loosely overwrite whatever you have written with the same words in a different color when this seems appropriate, or you may find new words emerge as you select a new color in association with something you have already written or drawn.

Just allow this to happen; don’t get too involved in how you do this or what you may want to know about a subject. Instead, open your heart and mind to every tiniest thought and feeling and follow these wherever they may lead you.

May your colorful pencils dance upon your pad of paper as your heart dances with creation...

Fledgling author Greg Gourdian has worked with the general public as a psychic reader for a little over four years from 1981 to 1986. Much of his written work is channeled, although he will admit that he has no idea who many of the sources for his channeled work may be. He has many strange tales to tell regarding his spiritual journey and he attempts to tell his tales in a humorous or entertaining manner. While not an accredited teacher, Greg has taught classes in psychology, sociology, metaphysics and parapsychology.

Visit Greg's blog at

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lone Eternity

The following song is about a wanderer who travels between worlds seeking new friends. The melody has a lilting quality, the dramatic phrases are underscored by changes of voice in tone, timbre and intensity. This was my favorite performing arts piece and I think the favorite of my audiences as well.


Now it is dark, it is dark, it is dark, it is dark here...
Have I no light with which I may feed the night?
It is so dark, oh so dark, oh so dark and cold here...
This tiny fire I hold scarcely warms my heart...
Still, on the hills all around burn so many, many fires,
and I can hear in the night... voices from their shadows...

Sometimes I have ventured across the dingles,
braving gullies and streams and `go-bumps' in the night...
to climb the hills where the winds waft their flowering fires,
to join the choruses of voices that have gathered in the night...

Their spell is broken the moment I come into their circle,
for I bring them the fears that have held them here...
For to be here on their hillside I have wandered through the darkness,
I bring a chill to their hill when I appear...

For all their friends whom they have loved who have braved the darkness
have met with fates that they would rather not have found...
Drowned, (or) with their necks broken, (or) torn apart by beasties,
they never have returned to their frightened friends.
Or if they have, they were changed, and were withdrawn, or they turned hostile,
and they attacked and were repelled and returned into the night.

So it is known by the circles of voices in the shadows,
that warm themselves briefly by the fires in the night...
That only terrors abound there beyond their flaming fires;
and that none should ever brave ... the darknesses of night.
So they sing praises to the son (sun) that casts away the darkness,
as they wait by their fires for a day that never comes.
They burn their hearts, and their minds, and their bodies,
and their souls too...
to feed the fires they are burning high to feed the night.

Now I have come to their fires for warmth and affection,
see, they gather around me and hold me tight.
Now I am bound by the love that they have for each other,
as I am bound by the fear that they have for me,
and I am bound by their iron law and sentenced to their fire,
while I sing of love and peace, and our lonely hearts...
There I burn into vapors and fly into the sky where...
I return to my soul's lone eternity...

Now it is dark, it is dark, it is dark, it is dark here,
with my one light I may feed the night.
It is so dark, oh so dark, oh so dark and cold here,
this tiny fire I hold sweetly warms my heart.
And, on the hills all around burn so many starry fires...
from which sweetly singing voices learn to love the life of night...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Emergency Broadcast

This is not a test.
This is not a test.
Stay tuned to yourself, this is not a test.
During the next sixty seconds
you are asked to consider:
"Am I good to myself?"
Begin now.
Are you good to yourself?
Or, do you while away your days,
denying praise
that you have received
for what you've conceived
and brought into being...
your self?
Yes, You.
Heart of light, beaming bright,
your spirit sight focusing
within your bright light.
Or, are you dark, feeling stark,
cold and angry and off your mark?
You are true to yourself, always,
true, true, true...
Denying to praise all,
or, trying reappraisal,
you are true, and someone, always,
loving you,
is lost in your self denial.
Then redial to...
tune in your virtue, your beauty.
Magnificence within you behold, let be told...
the truth of your grace,
you exhibit it, live it.
You have love, you are love, and can only love...
My love,
do not test it.

* * *
Written and performed for `Emergency Broadcast' a May Day performing arts event at the Kennel Club, in Philadelphia, in 1986

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kenly's Tales: The New Rogue

It was night; the tribe was secure and content following their feast.

Kenly had been watching Onyeel at every opportunity, he knew that Onyeel would soon break his oath to his Chief Anwen and turn Rogue.
Onyeel appeared uneasy.
The trouble between Onyeel and Anwen, Onyeel's Chief, had grown to the point where Onyeel must break his oath to Anwen and go his own way. There were other Chiefs who would accept his oath, including their Chieftain, D’anyu, but Onyeel was chary of swearing an oath of fealty to another Chief. He had thought long and hard on this matter, and he had decided to become a Rogue.
As a Rogue, Onyeel would be free to solicit friends and followers from among any of the warriors of the tribe. If he could gather a small party to himself then he could become a Chief.

As the tribe began to gather around the Spirit Fire that burned within the inner circle of the tribes' lodges Onyeel gazed up into a full moon and then went within the long lodge of the warriors and emerged with a drum. Onyeel took the war drum to his closest friend, Greald; Greald smiled and winked and carried the drum to the circle that ringed the Spirit Pole just south of the Great Spirit Fire.
Greald began to strike a throbbing rhythm of declaration as he entered the circle.

Onyeel began to dance.

Approaching the circle about the Spirit Pole Onyeel took in the entire tribe as it gathered about the four poles of the Great Spirit Fire. The Spirit Fire was sacred; it represented the life energy of the tribe. The four poles marked divisions of spirit, labor, thought and feeling among the tribe with the majority of the people gathered about either the east or west poles.
The East Pole was the Gatherers' Pole. The people of the tribe who congregated there were mostly gatherers, Mothers and young women not yet married. The West Pole was the Hunters' Pole, where men were more likely to group. To the north of the Spirit Fire stood the War Pole, a customary place for the Chieftain and his Chiefs. To the south of the great fire stood the Spirit Pole, where the Shaman kept his coterie. In times of war the North Pole became more crowded, while the South Pole was favored more in times of distress from dark creatures, hunger or disease.

The tribe was taking their various places about the Great Spirit Fire, and as they settled in, they recognized the acclaim being drummed by Greald, and they looked to the south for the dancer who was now declaring himself a Rogue.

Few were surprised to see Onyeel dancing there, as he began his way around the Spirit Fire and each of its four poles.

Onyeel continued his dance, going thrice widdershins about the Spirit Pole with his eyes closed. He could not look upon the faces of the shaman or the shaman's friends until he had assessed the support of his tribe.

"From darkness we came, in darkness we begin..." Onyeel intoned dancing in circles.

Approaching the end of his third widdershins turn about the spirit Pole Onyeel completed the litany:

"... to darkness we may return, unless we seek the light"

Onyeel opened his eyes as he left the Spirit Pole behind him and began to dance spryly around the Spirit Fire, moving to the west where he danced about the Hunters' Pole thrice more widdershins.

"In darkness we hunt, in darkness we are hunted, in darkness we may cower, unless we seek the light"

As he danced, Onyeel looked into the eyes of those of his tribesmen who were gathered here and invited them to join or challenge him. Each man looked back directly and made his position clear in his gaze as Onyeel danced by.
Onyeel departed from his widdershins journey about the Hunters' Pole and danced spryly to the North, to dance about the War Pole thrice widdershins.

Onyeel continued to meet the gazes in the eyes of his fellow tribesmen as he passed them by.

"In darkness War is made and in darkness do we murder..."

Each of the men around the War Pole gave his blessing, curse or indifference to the would-be rogue, and as Onyeel passed Anwen, Anwen smiled fiercely. This unexpected response disturbed Onyeel and he nearly stumbled in shock and confusion. Onyeel had been prepared for anger and wrath, but instead his Chief had smiled with a look of such ferocity that Onyeel shuddered within himself to think what sort of challenges may now lie before him, before he could become a Chief.

" darkness we may die unless we seek the light."

Completing his last turn widdershins about the War Pole, Onyeel turned spryly once more to dance about the Great Spirit fire to the Gatherers' Pole.

"In darkness seeds are sown, in darkness souls are made..."

There were few men here about the Gatherers' Pole; most of the men here were youths courting potential brides. The youths smiled in delight for Onyeel as he passed by, for they knew they would be well entertained during Onyeel's quest to become a Chief. Some of the youths were eager to swear their oath of fealty to Onyeel if it became apparent he would succeed.

" darkness may we find ourselves while we seek the light."

Onyeel finished his third widdershins reel about the Gatherer's Pole and danced on to the Shaman's Pole to the South still meeting the gazes of the men of his tribe as they witnessed his declaration.
As Onyeel completed his first circuit of the Spirit Fire Onyeel felt elated; he was walking the Rogue’s Path! Onyeel knew in his heart that he would walk the Rogue's Path to its sweet end and become a Chief. So far, the gazes of the men of the tribe had weighed in favor of his walk. None would make it easy for him, but in the end he would succeed for there were more who favored him than not. Anwen's popularity with those loyal to their Chieftan D'anyu was waning and this had spurred Onyeel to break his oath to Anwen and to meet the challenges the men of his tribe would set before him as he walked the Rogue’s Path to become a Chief.
Dancing Widdershins once more about the Spirit Pole, Onyeel gazed into the eyes of the last of the men to acknowledge his declaration.

"I seek the light in darkness; I seek the light in fear..."

The sneer on Wergan's face as he stared daggers back to Onyeel chilled Onyeel to the quick. He knew the Shaman favored Anwen and the added risk of the Shaman's wrath had helped hold Onyeel back from making his declaration. This was why the dance ended its first circuit with the Shaman’s coterie. The power of the Shaman was strong and could only be faced with the added strength of any allies spied during the first circuit of the Rogue's Declaration Dance.

"I seek the light in anger; in all things I will see the light."

As Onyeel completed his second set of three circuits about the Spirit Pole he knew he could stop now and his oath to Anwen would remain intact. Or Onyeel could continue his Rogue's Declaration and as he entered the third circuit of his dance he would finally break his oath to Anwen forever.

Onyeel danced on.

Dancers gave power to the Spirit of the Tribe in their deft clockwise dances about the Great Spirit Fire. On this next circuit, new dancers would join him. The new dancers would dance widdershins to his spry and spryly to his widdershins, thereby declaring their open opposition to his quest to become a chief. Onyeel's challengers would draw power from the Spirit Fire as they danced widdershins about the Great Fire, and they would return the power drawn from the Spirit Fire to the poles of Hunting, War, Gathering, and Spirit by dancing about these poles.

Onyeel would meet each of these opposing dancers several times in his next two circuits around the Great Fire and its four poles. Those who opposed Onyeel most fervently would dance the hardest, the fastest, to be sure to meet Onyeel as frequently as possible.
Onyeel knew that he too could dance his fastest, and that this would help to reduce the number of opportunities his opponents would have to attack him; but it was a coward's option to dance the second or third circuits too quickly. Onyeel would gather fewer dancers to support him in the third circuit if he met his challengers too quickly now.

As Onyeel moved into the second circuit of his dance Onyeel's challengers rose to meet him and join the dance around the Great Spirit Fire. Each challenger slapped and shamed Onyeel as they met him. Onyeel bore the slaps and jibes without resistance, now dancing his declaration slowly, in total concentration upon both his own spirit within him, and the Great Outer Spirit of the Tribe in Whose Hands Onyeel's quest to become a Chief would ultimately be decided.
Onyeel's supporters would judge him by his concentration and his devotion; the better he ignored the insults of his challengers the higher he would rise in esteem as he danced on.

"I seek the light in the hearts of beasts and in the hearts of men."

Onyeel's declaration dance would be just his first step upon the Rogue’s Path. Tonight marked the beginning of his journey to become a Chief. His timing was propitious, the omens of the full moon would be a blessing upon his quest, and now Onyeel was certain that his quest would be a brief one.

"I seek the light in times of War and in times of Peace again."

A journey upon the Rogue's Path could be one month or many. At the end of each month walked upon the Rogue's Path a Rogue could seek acclamation as a chief from the men of his tribe. In general a quick acclamation in the first month was a considered to be a huge success, while Rogues who walked the path endlessly had little chance of success and risked being banished from their tribe if they would not abandon their quest and swear fealty to a chief once more.
Failure was the bitter end of the walk.
However, Onyeel mused, there were exceptions such as D’anyu whose quest had been long and arduous. And D'anyu had become their Chieftain in the end.

Onyeel considered his own quest and was grateful it would be quick.
D'anyu could be Chieftain, Onyeel would be happy to be just one more of D’anyu’s loyal Chiefs.

"I seek the light in the fruits of the earth and in the dew of dawn…."

As Onyeel drew close to the end of his second circuit of the Great Fire, his concentration wavered. He dreaded the encounter to come with Wergan.
Wergan was sure to pull one of his devious tricks, and suddenly Onyeel knew what it would be. Onyeel thanked his totem for the insight that would save him.

"I see the light in spirits bright; the light that shines for all."

As Onyeel came around the last of his next three widdershins turns about the Spirit Pole Wergan met him, slapping him lightly in the face. Onyeel held his breath against the stinging white powder that enveloped his face when Wergan slapped him. The powder was a drug with which Onyeel was familiar. He would have to be careful not to lick his lips or let any sweat tainted by the powder enter his eyes or mouth. He must alter his dance to casually wipe the powder away as if nothing were wrong. Sweat from the exertions of his dance would help to clean the powder away quickly.
Onyeel made a bear mask with his fingers before his face, calling on his totem's strength. His fingers discreetly swept the powder away from his mouth and eyes as he made the image of his bear totem come alive for his audience.
Onyeelrelished facing the shaman again, for the shaman would expect him to be well drugged and vulnerable the next time they would meet within the dance. The shaman's next blow would be meant to fell him, but he would not be weakened by the drug and the shaman's blow would fail.
Onyeel danced on into the third circuit of his declaration dance. Men he knew and trusted began joining him from among the men who watched him dance. These would be his supporters in his quest. They followed in Onyeel’s steps and were free to strike back at any who struck Onyeel again. As the number of Onyeel's supporters grew the assaults on Onyeel diminished; many of Onyeel's challengers were not brave enough to face the gauntlet of blows that would follow if they dared to strike Onyeel again.

"I find the light within the hunt and cherish each beast's spirit"

Entering the second quarter of the third circuit Onyeel spied Wergan approaching as Onyeel left the last widdershins turn of the Hunter's Pole.

The shaman had danced quickly. Leading the shaman was Wergan's stoutest defender, a brute and bully feared by most of the tribe. The bully would strike a light blow meant to stun Onyeel, while the shaman would deal the heavier blow meant to bring him down.
The bully would then batter each of Onyeel’s supporters who were brave enough to remain in the dance in order to exchange blows with him. By diminishing and disabling as many of Onyeel’s followers as possible, the bully would shield the shaman from the worst of the retributions of Onyeel’s supporters after Wergan brought Onyeel down.

But Onyeel was ready.

The powder should have befuddled Onyeel's mind making him unable to comprehend the approaching threat, it would have made him incapable of responding to it sensibly.

Onyeel ducked beneath the lunging bully's blow and embraced him, spinning him about and releasing him to the embraces of his followers. No blow had landed, so no follower was required to strike the bully.
As a challenger, the bully was not allowed to strike any follower who did not strike him first.

Onyeel turned in his dance to meet the shaman as, one by one, the bully was embraced and spun away by each of Onyeel's followers in turn.

The shaman faltered, seeing his scheme lay in ruins; Onyeel embraced Wergan.

The tribe went wild roaring exuberantly at this masterful coup.

The shaman made a great show of hugging Onyeel back before they parted, and the shaman was also greeted with embraces by Onyeel's friends and followers.

Onyeel wheeled into the last three turns about the War Pole in glee, his spirit lifted by the boisterous shouts of his friends and followers.

"I find the light within each battle and I cherish each foe's soul."

The shaman's chance to bring him down was gone for now. They would meet again on the shaman's second circuit, but the shaman would not strike, the shaman had declared himself Onyeel's friend by embracing Onyeel publicly, and from this day forward the shaman could only be Onyeel's enemy discreetly or he would be shamed before the entire tribe.

"I find the light in every harvest and cherish every season."

Onyeel wheeled away from the Gathering Pole and spryly danced the final quarter of his third circuit of the Spirit Fire. Wergan met him a third time. Onyeel could see the hatred burning in Wergan's eyes, but he met the man's smile and embraced him warmly, denying the darkness he saw in Wergan’s heart.
Onyeel had another moment of great inspiration; as he embraced the shaman once more he kissed him firmly on both cheeks. The shaman was now obliged to return his kisses but he would not because he could not know if any of the evil powder still remained and might poison him.

Wergan shamed himself before the entire tribe by failing to return Onyeel’s kisses.

Onyeel exulted; he had won another great coup against the malevolent shaman!

There would be a later reckoning with Wergan, but for now he was safe from any further mischief the shaman might devise.

Onyeel spun through three more widdershins turns around the Spirit Pole declaring:

"I find the light in all things and the light will make me whole."

As Onyeel came out of his last widdershins turn around the Spirit Pole the tribe all rose together to join the dance spryly or widdershins about the Great Spirit Fire, each person looking carefully at each other as they met, to discover who supported or opposed the new Rogue who would be Chief.

The tribe danced with increasing ardor, grabbing each other in their dances and turning each other around and around until the great wheel of Onyeel's Declaration Dance around the Spirit Fire was broken into tiny reels of dancing and the thoughts of who were friends or foes of the new Rogue were forgotten for the moment.

Kenly rejoiced in the dance, knowing his father had won a battle with his Uncle through Onyeel's declaration to break his oath to Anwen and embark upon his quest to be a Chief.
Onyeel was a popular fellow, a good hunter and a fine warrior. He would make a good ally for his father in the times ahead.

Evolution of the Spheres: Uriyalon’s Domain

Uriyalon sang.

Uriyalon‘s song was sweet and pure and potent, he had recently returned from communion with his Maker. Uriyalon’s song reverberated with tones and harmonies and rhythms which he had learned from his Creator’s song.
As Uriyalon sang he drew strength from the songs he heard from other nearby spirits. Uriyalon carefully wove elements of their songs into his own song.
Before long those nearby spirits were drawn to Uriyalon‘s song. They clustered about him, fitting their songs into his song.
Uriyalon turned his attention to the songs of more distant spirits, his ensemble grew. At the heart of Uriyalon‘s group Uriyalon trained his strongest supporters to carry on different parts of his song so that his song acquired greater depth and detail. All the while Uriyalon sang his alluring song, drawing in new spirits.
Uriyalon eventually lost the thread of his Creator’s song. Uriyalon had always listened to The Creator’s song, borrowing elements of it to fit into his own creation, but as he grew more deeply involved in creating and maintaining his own song his attention to his Creator’s song waned until he could no longer hear it or rely on it to guide him.
By that time Uriyalon was so enraptured with his own song that he never noticed he had forgotten his Maker. Uriyalon was too busy composing new elements of his song and orchestrating the voices of his supporting spirits to feel the loss of his Creator’s voice or the loss of communion with his Maker.
Until now there had been only a single force to Uriyalon’s song, an attractive force. But Uriyalon now felt himself crowded and hemmed in by the spirits gathered all about him. He needed to work with so many different spirits to maintain his song, but nearby spirits interrupted his sight of spirits further back among the throng. He needed his sight to help maintain his mastery over the special spirits who were most fundamental to the production of his masterpiece.
Uriyalon cautiously experimented with ways to push the nearer spirits back to give him room to work with more spirits simultaneously. Within the sphere of spirits that was forming around Uriyalon a pocket formed in which Uriyalon was the sole occupant. This pocket was a small bubble of empty space within which Uriyalon could clearly see more of his closest supporters and guide their songs in support of his master song.
Uriyalon’s bubble of space was a fragile thing; Uriyalon’s supporters remembered the pattern of their lives that had existed before they had been lured into Uriyalon’s song. They remembered the fulfillment of communion with their Creator and subconsciously expected a similar union to take place here.
But Uriyalon held them apart from himself which frustrated and irritated them on a deep level where they were hardly even aware of their distress. So Uriyalon’s closest supporters gradually pressed closer again seeking a communion with Uriyalon that they had only ever known with their Creator.
Uriyalon responded to the press of his supporters by pushing back harder. As Uriyalon’s sphere grew larger, so too did the empty space he maintained around himself. Uriyalon required more and more spirits to join the members of his closest supporters to help him maintain and develop his masterpiece.
Uriyalon’s closest supporters adopted the repulsive force learned from Uriyalon to make more room for their own work; Uriyalon’s close supporters must train and maintain their own groups of spirits to carry on the work of producing Uriyalon’s song. A hierarchy of spheres of spirits developed within the center of Uriyalon’s masterpiece in order to allow line of sight for control communications between Uriyalon, his inner clans, and the outer clans who were developed to support the spirits of Uriyalon’s inner clans.
At the outermost perimeter of Uriyalon’s command chamber many spirits thronged, forcibly drawn toward the center of Uriyalon’s masterpiece, and forcibly held back from admission to the membership of the inner spheres. These thronging spirits formed a wall of sorts around the bubble of space at the heart of Uriyalon’s domain.
Occasionally a particularly brilliant spirit would reach this perimeter and would be permitted to pass through to join one of the clans of the inner spheres. The void occupied by the clans would grow to accommodate their new member as that spirit took up the thread of command and helped to orchestrate the great mass of spirits that had joined the sphere of Uriyalon’s masterpiece.
In the heart of it all Uriyalon sang.
In Uriyalon’s heart a shadow was forming. Deep within himself Uriyalon felt something was missing. He could not remember what it might be; it was just a sort of aching void in his heart. The brilliance of Uriyalon’s song never faltered, but a thread of the darkness within Uriyalon’s heart emerged in his song.
That thread was quickly picked up by the clans and integrated into Uriyalon’s masterpiece. The spirits of the inner clan knew this thread of darkness; they found the same dark void in their own hearts. Perhaps they knew this thread even better than their master did. The dark thread spread out through Uriyalon’s song, it grew and acquired strength as it was woven through all the elements of Uriyalon’s song.
Pain was born.
Pain was a new experience for all the spirits enraptured by Uriyalon’s song. Uriyalon exulted in the pain and seized upon it with great pleasure. Here was something new in creation that he had created himself!
But in spheres of spirits throughout creation, many other master spirits were making the same discovery. Their own songs became obsessed with pain.
Uriyalon gave a name to his pain he called it Loneliness.
Uriyalon was alone in the center of his creation, trapped by his own masterpiece, he could let no other spirits come close to him, and there was One he once was closest to of all that he had forgotten; his heart ached and yearned for to find communion with That One most of all.
But Uriyalon was obsessed with his creation and could not abandon it to seek whatever it was that was missing within himself. Uriyalon sang on.
The pain in Uriyalon’s song spread throughout his dominion until it could be heard in all the voices of all the spirits that were enraptured by his song. The pain fed upon itself swelling within the hearts of every spirit of Uriyalon’s great sphere.
The spirits panicked. They remained enraptured by Uriyalon’s song for it continued to hold power over them, but they drew back from one another slightly and refused to look into one another’s hearts any longer, for they feared to look upon the pain they felt in their own hearts; they saw that pain mirrored in the hearts of all fellow spirits. It was better not to look.
Loneliness had spread to all the spirits of Uriyalon’s magnificent domain.
Newly arriving spirits in the outer perimeter of the great sphere of Uriyalon’s domain reminded the tormented spirits they encountered of communion with their Creator. Some of these newly arrived spirits won support among the disillusioned prisoners of Uriyalon’s song and together they created new songs to end their suffering and return to their Maker.
Large groups of spirits were leaving Uriyalon’s domain!
Uriyalon was furious. His song fed upon the power of the spirits he enraptured with his song. The power of his song was diminished by their departures. All along Uriyalon had been losing spirits from his song by ones and twos and threes, but these were of little consequence for Uriyalon was capturing more spirits than he lost.
However, mass exoduses of spirits could not be permitted. Uriyalon needed new spirits so that the power of his song could continue to grow. Uriyalon could not shut out the new spirits who were arriving and then departing with large numbers of his slaves. Uriyalon knew his song held power over these newly arriving spirits and he would have to use that advantage to control the new arrivals.
Uriyalon created conduits within the great sphere of his dominion and set sentinels to watch for new spirits’ arrivals. Each new arrival was quickly hunted down and directed through the conduits to the heart of Uriyalon’s domain.
There Uriyalon interrogated the new arrivals in the gentlest possible manner, hoping to learn what it was within himself that he found missing. The new arrivals were enraptured by his glory and were unable to immediately discern the difference between Uriyalon and their Creator; they felt privileged by their presence within Uriyalon’s innermost chamber.
And while the spirits tried to communicate what they believed might be the cause of the pain in Uriyalon’s song, it was too inconceivable to them that Uriyalon might have forgotten their Creator, so they never thought to suggest this possibility. In time the new arrivals became deeply indoctrinated by Uriyalon’s song and they in turn became sentinels, motivated to help Uriyalon heal the wound in his heart. Thus Uriyalon subverted new arrivals to his dominion and won them over to his cause.
Of course, not every newly arrived spirit could be captured before it departed Uriyalon’s domain with a host of his followers. News of groups of spirits escaping spread among the spirits enslaved by Uriyalon’s master song. Uriyalon found he must work harder to suppress the hope of escape that was dawning among his many minions, followers and slaves.
Uriyalon soon realized that the hope of his minions and slaves could never be suppressed; but Uriyalon was a master of deceit so he designed a plan to subvert their hope and use it to his own advantage.
Uriyalon knew that the only moment that mattered was now. Spirits might remember other moments that were different from now, and spirits might yearn for other moments they had never known, but only the present moment mattered.
So Uriyalon trained cadres of prophets to spread the word of hope among his subordinates and slaves. It was a false hope, but it was a hope that was virtually indistinguishable to the hope that already occupied the hearts of so many of the spirits of his dominion. The spirits of his dominion were lonely, so a shared hope they could hold in common would be attractive to them. But the hope that Uriyalon would spread among his people through his prophets was always described as being a future event. All hope of any nature was to be remade into a wished for thing of some future time.
Uriyalon knew that the future would never arrive, that only the present moment was real, his people would believe that their escape from him was in some mythic future time and they would never realize that the moment in which they could escape his clutches was now.
Uriyalon’s cadres of prophets went forth and subdued the hopes of his people with false hopes. The prophets themselves did not know that their own hopes had been subverted.
Uriyalon had selected his prophets from the most ardent and evocative supporters of the hope that they might somehow learn to escape from Uriyalon’s clutches. The prophets were trained by members of his innermost circle of spirits. These cronies of Uriyalon relished the power they shared with Uriyalon over the other spirits of Uriyalon’s dominion. They felt the same losses he did when large masses of spirits fled from Uriyalon’s domain. They were delighted to pervert their enemy’s hopes into doctrines of mind control whereby they could tighten their grasp upon their minions and slaves.
Uriyalon’s dominion was now foolproof against plots of escape. His sentinels brought the most potentially subversive spirits into his inner sanctum where he could win them over to his cause, while his prophets ensured that any newly arrived spirits who might draw enough of his people together and empower them to depart from his dominion would meet only spirits who could not accept the possibility of leaving now. Directed by the doctrines distributed by his prophets Uriyalon’s minions and slaves would retrain each new arrival to think of their own potential to escape as something in the distant future, something to be attained much later, but never now.
Irielle was unprepared for what she would discover when she would next emerge from communion with her Creator. All too many of the great spheres had become dominions similar to Uriyalon’s dominion. In some of these dominions the truth was described more clearly than in other’s. In many of the dominions The Creator was remembered and revered, but the idea of communing with The Creator was perverted, pushed back into an unattainable future time or subverted, so that a false communion was given to the people, a communion in form but not in substance.
The many great spheres had stabilized for the most part. There were still avenues of migrating spirits moving from one dominion to another, for control along the perimeters of the spheres was weakest among the spirits who could look up to the heavens and see other dominions which called to them with their siren songs.

Irielle could not know what was in store for her. She had felt great fear regarding the moment when she would once more be released from communion with her Creator. But she could not learn what would happen next when she joined her Maker in communion.

It would have to be experienced first hand.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Sanctuary: Prologue

The polarized glass of the hospital suite window was set to screen the harsh glare of the afternoon sun to a dim glow that left the quiet private room in near darkness. Cynthia lay in the comforting emptiness of the constant morphine drip her PCA pump administered, gathering her strength for Charles’ visit. She lay trapped in a love turned bitterly sour over the years. A silent ribbon of light appeared as the door gently opened.
Entering the room Charles was saddened by the lighting, he thinks, ‘She keeps herself hidden in darkness for me when the light would be so much cheerier. She can't bear to let me see the scars where cancers and surgeons have had their way with her.’
“Cynthia dear, you should let in the light you know, it isn't good for you to hide yourself in the dark, it's depressing. You know you'll feel better in the light.”
Smiling for her benefit he crosses to the window and keys down the polarization to let in more daylight before approaching her bed.
Cynthia turned away from the window, away from the light and Charles’ pain and distress. Anger rose within her in spite of the soporific narcotic, acid flooded her empty stomach and began to burn. She resented the mild sensation of it, knowing without the comfort of the drug the pain in her stomach would be excruciating; she felt the absence of her pain keenly, its loss somehow symbolic of so many other things she had lost or which had been taken away from her.
‘Charles.’ Cynthia thinks his name to herself with tones of frustration, anger and resentment. Exploring her heart, searching for the pain of their diminished love, like a tongue probing a sore tooth.
“It hurts my eyes Charles, please, the light hurts my eyes”
She cannot look at him, framed in the glow of the window. She knows this is his trick, his innocent way of keeping her face turned away from him so that he needn't look upon the ruined remains of her face, or worse, see her feelings that lived amidst her scars, that burned in her eyes, furrowing stiff tissues in painful lines, etching pain, anger and resentment into her cancer marbled features.
Of all the pains the morphine could steal away from her, she missed the pain in her heart the most. The feelings were still there, muted, struggling to assert themselves through the smothering weight of the drug, but they were oddly distant almost as if they belonged to a stranger and not to herself at all. She mourned the absence of the brilliant emotions with which she was accustomed to burning, and accepted in their place this rankling love that twisted in her heart with anguished hate, confusing her, leaving her powerless to resist Charles' misguided ministrations.
Touching Cynthia’s temple tenderly, tears welled in Charles’ eyes. The denial that rose habitually to his tongue in his defense was caught in his throat so tightly he could not cough to clear it, to free the words that would weave comfort for him, comfort meant, so he wished to believe, for Cynthia. In her effort to reject him, and, so he thought, to spare him from her agonies, he saw the shattered remains of her love for him. He was filled with the overwhelming love he felt for her, which renewed his spirit and determination to see her through this illness and returned to life again. He missed her when he thought of her, which was often these days, far more often than before the first cancer had appeared.
Before the cancer began they had become estranged.
The life he provided her was enough to keep her close, but the youthful vigor of their love had deliquesced into a tar pit in which their feelings became mired and sank beneath the surface where the bittersweet feelings languished and then turned to stone as if they were dinosaurs suffering extinction and the smothering transformation into fossils.
Fear followed the blooms of cancer that come to gorge upon her skin. Cynthia’s fear and pain that had awakened her from her emotional lassitude and sent her flying back to Charles. For a few brief years they were once more happy together, happy in a way they had never know before. Together they fought the first few rounds of battles against her disease fooling each other into believing their victory was just ahead.
Meanwhile the cancers, indifferent to the punishments of chemicals, radiation, surgery, or denial, grew on.
“Cynthia, you must live on just a little while longer, please. Hang on. I love you. I couldn't bear to lose you now, not now.”
“Charles, you want to keep me with you forever, but I don't want that anymore, I just want to go. I want to die.”
“But you needn't die you know, not really. You really needn't die. How could you want to? You know how much it hurts me to hear you say that. The Sanctuary project is nearly finished, you can be saved; you'll live on, with me. Just hang on a few more days, I promise, I will save you.”
“Nooooo! Charles, no! I don't want to be saved by your project! It's horrible, it’s evil, and it’s insane! Let me go Charles! Please, just let me go...”

Dr. Robert Jenner was concluding some new tests When Charles Laughton entered the lab.
‘In person,’ Robert thought, ‘this must be serious.’ Robert glanced nervously around, hoping that nothing was laying about that would convey anything but the most positive image about their project.
The prospective test subjects, lying comatose in their life support systems, were as clean and healthy as they could be in their circumstances. They hardly resembled the spooky living corpses that they appeared to be when Robert was alone with them.
The patient that occupied the center of the room was heavily drugged and stirred feebly. ‘The project couldn't look better, under the circumstances,’ Robert decided.
With a visible effort Robert pumped himself up to the effervescent personality that Laughton expected of him. Laughton himself was dynamic, overflowing with confidence; exuding an energetic mastery of the world around him. He distrusted quiet men, even his servants were expected to be vocal on occasion.
“Mr. Laughton, so good to see you.” Robert smiled as he approached Charles to take his hand firmly in his own and pump it the three firm stokes he had learned from Laughton. He wondered how many others, like himself, concealed grimaces with smiles in the presence of this powerful man.
“I trust your wife is doing well?” but Robert thought ‘Not,’ as he spoke.
He damn well knew that this visit could only mean that Cynthia Laughton was dying at last; that she might be dead in days or only hours. Charles Laughton was far too busy to visit the project on any but the most urgent business. He would not trust the reports that crossed his desk daily when it came down to the wire. He would trust only his direct appraisal of the man in charge.
“Thank you Robert, but no, things couldn't be much worse for Cynthia today. Is the project advanced enough to hope that we can save her now?”
“No.” The boldness of the truth coming from himself startled Robert, but that was how it was with Laughton, damn it. His charismatic aura seemed to cut through all pretension and make the most terrifying truth more comforting than risking a lie. It was too late to deny he had said it; vacillation would be presumed to be weakness.
“No, we can't save Cynthia; not today, not tomorrow, nor even next week. We can try, but we would fail.”
As if to contradict him the living corpse that lay strapped to the gurney in the center of the room groaned forth a “no” of its own. It was a lifeless moan, barely audible, a single nearly silent word that seemed to both support and contradict Robert’s statement; it was a feeble word spoken by a being almost certainly incapable of thought.
No mind could be venturing forth a reasoned opinion or response from the body on the gurney. Whatever shadowy remnant of a mind might live within that ruined cadaverous form could at best only fasten weakly on the form of a word it had once known and echo it back in mimicry of an ability to communicate that was now forever beyond its power to pursuit.
“noooo...” the decrepit form weakly wailed like the ghost it was, haunting a corpse that clung to senseless life. “noo..”
“I knew it Jenner. Who writes your damn reports, your lies, for you?”
Robert’s brief flirtation with truth was past, and in the face of blatant truth an outright lie would fly easily at this point.
“Sommers, sir.”
“She's fired.”
“I need to keep her on sir.” Laughton would respect loyalty, he admired it. He could save Sommers’ job for her.
“You're all fired.”
It was over.

“I did my best to save your job for you.” Glasses clinked and voices warbled softly in the quiet background noises of the bar. Muted punk rock hinted at the nostalgia with which the heedless listeners might have reflected on their youth.
“I can imagine your surprise when he killed the whole project, but why? We were so close, we nearly had it!”
“It was his wife; she's too close to death for us to save her.” Tom Landry ventured forth the secret that Robert thought was his privilege alone to know. “Don't look so shocked Bob, half the staff knows. It wasn't hard to deduce.”
“Damn!” Sheila rejoined, “His wife?”
“No, Damn his wife!” Bob blurted. ‘If she'd only lasted another year or three...’
“What's wrong with his wife?” Sheila pursued; she was disturbed to have been kept out of the very heart and soul of their project.
Sheila was habitually lost in her work had little interest in the world beyond her laboratory; between them Tom and Bob fleshed out the story for her, explaining the Laughton's tragedy and Cynthia Laughton's very imminent demise.
Sheila took it all in, relieved to learn at last that the project had had such a warm and human purpose to balance the clinical chill they had all worked in together.
The secrecy of their project, had been a numbing burden; but the murders? The truth of the murders was dangerously close to breaking free of the chains of rationalizations with which Sheila had shackled them to keep the terrible murders hidden away from the world.
The murders were driving her mad is what they were doing.
The project had started innocently enough; lab animals and all that. The trials had gone well, although the animals never recovered completely. The shift to human subjects startled her, but she had come around to Bob’s arguments and agreed.
Their patients came to them in two ways, body donors and spirit donors. The body donors had all been lost to inexplicable comas where their brain functions had ceased with no apparent injury to their brains. These living ‘patients’ were legally dead, but were clinging to a life that would slip away from them with no known means to intervene and save them. The spirit donors were dying patients whose minds remained alive and vital while their bodies failed them in myriad ways through accidents, disease, or old age.
These two types of donors were brought together by the awesome Sanctuary project; each pair of donors was melded into a single new being, so far the conjoined beings created in their lab were barely able to go on living; they were by no means well.
Following the transplant of a vital healthy mind and spirit to a comatose nearly lifeless body the body would recover enough vitality to survive on its own without the intervention of the costly life support machines that had been required to hold the donor body in limbo as it awaited its fate.
The spirit donors died, helped on a bit by the rigors of the procedure which stripped the spirit from its dying host and delivered it into the waiting donor body. It was becoming evident that the spirit donors could only make the leap from their native body to their new host body by dying. The spirit donor’s roles as guinea pigs in the Sanctuary project had been their final hope, they were, after all, doomed to die anyway, right?
But, the ‘new’ patients, the melded creatures whose bodies were hosts to spirits they had not been born with remained helplessly incapacitated; they were eventually terminated. It seemed like murder to Sheila.
‘Murder, she thought, ‘what else could you call it?”
Sheila wasn't aware of the murders at first. And then for awhile she was; but she denied it. Then she started investigating and discovered coincidences in the records of the new patients’ deaths that couldn't be coincidence. Tom or Bob had attended every death. None of the twenty or so technicians and nurses that staffed the project was ever present. The staff was always away from their monitoring stations at the time. At last she confronted Bob, deciding it would be safe to go to him first rather than to call the police. Her career would be as totally ruined as his if the murders were made public, never mind that she was innocent of any wrong-doing herself.
So Sheila had gone to Bob to hear his side of the story; to be fair to him, not to protect herself or her career. Or so she had told herself.
Bob already knew she had been investigating the deaths and new she considered them to be murders. But they weren't really murders, he had argued.
Bob had argued that the creatures they destroyed were hardly human any longer. Their awareness of themselves or the world around them scarcely existed. They could neither learn nor grow, nor participate in life in any way that mattered to themselves or anyone else.
‘Perhaps so’ Sheila had wanted to agree.
Sheila had argued that the point of the project was to save the dying patients by transferring their consciousness into the living bodies of brain-dead patients, she argued that if they gave their melded patients every opportunity to live they might eventually develop into people again, especially the newer ones who were obviously less remote and inhuman than their earliest subjects had become.
If the subjects were killed, any potential they might have would die with them and no one would ever know. Wouldn't the data gleaned from the slightest recovery of a patient be meaningful to the advancement of the project?
Bob allowed their ruined patients to live on for months and even years while Sheila studied them carefully and finally came to agree with his conclusions.
But they were running out of room to keep so many subjects in secret. There wasn't time to slow the pace of new tests of their procedure.
So the murders had resumed, the melded patients died.
It had rocked Sheila to her core when Bob had accused her of equating the patients' situation with that of fetuses being aborted. She had thought herself resolved to the needful justifications of abortion and to the rights of women to choose to have them. Sheila had chosen to have an abortion herself.
The parallels to the patients she defended and the fetuses she would allow to be sacrificed disturbed Sheila.
Clinging to her hard won belief in the right to choose an abortion had finally led Sheila to accept Bob's point; Bob had made the accusation precisely for that reason. She resented having her own inner conflicts turned against her; her doubts persisted even though she went along with the program.
In the end her pragmatic self-interest was always strongest.
Now, at last, the murders could stop; but the secrecy would live on to haunt her.

Internet News Service:
Cynthia Leah Boight-Laughton, wife of industrialist Charles Laughton died this morning at 4 am. At 52 years of age Cynthia Laughton finally succumbed to cancers that had consumed her life for more than twenty years.
Once considered to be a very promising artist, with several successful exhibitions Cynthia's career in art came to a stagnant conclusion following her marriage to Charles Laughton at age 22.
Five years later Cynthia Laughton began her battle with cancer.
Cynthia’s withdrawal from society following her marriage caused some speculation that her marriage might be headed for divorce. She surprised everyone with a sudden return to society that seemed to have been precipitated by her disease.
Her spirit in battling her disease was heartening to the millions throughout the world who shared her plight, and her continued survival against all odds inspired many others to resist and overcome their own cancers. Cynthia used her powerful husband’s enormous wealth to make many endowments to charities and research institutes which battled cancer, either by promoting research, or by providing treatment and comfort to those afflicted by cancer.
Perhaps the most important of all her endowments were those which were made to empower citizen groups to promote green movements and curb the pollution and degradation of the environment which has been identified as the cause of the alarming rate of growth of cancer.
Services for Cynthia Laughton will be held Tuesday at 2 pm in Boight Park before the ‘Fountain of Life.’ The park will be closed to the public for the duration. The public is asked not to attend. Please send charitable donations in lieu of flowers or gifts to: The Boight Foundation for Global Health.
The sun shone harshly on the black umbrellas that sheltered the small crowd by the fountain. UV rays were eating away at the mourners; their grief was disturbed only by worry for their own skins.
Those gathered in the park were some of society's most elite members who were rarely seen in the light of day without full dress, capes, sun block, sunhats and umbrellas, and even then, they were seen only briefly.
Charles Laughton was not among the throng of mourners, nor were Cynthia's remains present. The crowd was anxious and uncertain how to proceed without the charismatic presence of either Charles or Cynthia to lead them. They were sycophants for the most part, many of them knew this but they would deny it in good grace.
Their discomfort was Charles’ jest and revenge. He could never tolerate the weaker people that had always seemed to hover about his wife. Indeed, for awhile he had managed to drive them off after they were married. He managed to hide his knowledge of his culpability for having destroyed Cynthia's career from himself. In driving off the flies (as he had thought of them) he had isolated Cynthia from the energy that had driven her artistic inspirations.
As she had pined away in the isolation Charles had imposed upon her Cynthia’s artistic genius had atrophied and died.
Charles had always been confused by art and he had presumed that art only had merit within the context of the social fabric that sustained it. Charles had viewed Cynthia’s legions of friends as weak vapid creatures bankrupt of character or merit. That society would find talent anywhere to suit its purposes; whatever merit might be possessed by the individual artists their society currently lauded or disdained seemed to be impugned by their attentions.
Art threatened Charles; when Cynthia's precocious talent dried up he was comforted, albeit disturbed as well, since her ardor for him seemed to wane along with her talent.
Charles had been attracted to Cynthia by her captivating presence. While others claimed to be drawn to her talent, although Charles had not known it, Charles had been drawn to Cynthia by the huge number of others that gravitated about her. In Cynthia’s ability to enthrall so many people Charles seemed to recognize himself, he therefore considered her to be a woman as powerful as he. A woman of such incredible power was the only sort he believed he could desire.
In driving off Cynthia’s ‘flies’ he had driven off the manifestation of her power that had caught and held his attention; then as her interest in him was waning, so, too, was his own interest in her.
For Cynthia this period was one of bitterness. She had come to understand that Charles would not compete for her attention but simply drive all others away.
At first this had pleased her. She had been unaware of the importance of other people in her life since they had always been there. Then, in the isolation imposed by her husband she began to languish without at first understanding why.
As she began to realize what she had lost, Cynthia began to resent Charles' interference, but it was already too late. In her isolation with him she had come to adopt his view of her old friends; and, seen in that merciless perspective, they were no longer particularly attractive to her. When she tried to return to them she found she had become a stranger and an outsider among them. The few who exhibited any eagerness to once again exalt her only put her off.
Cynthia then found that she didn't know where to turn; she was without direction in her life. She turned inward upon herself and adopted the isolation that Charles had imposed, accepting her isolation she made it her home.
When Cynthia’s disease began to bloom upon her fair skin she was trying to revive her talent by turning from portraitures to landscapes. Her passion for the natural world had come to replace the passion she had once felt for her friends and Charles, and she courted her new passion dangerously, flirting brazenly with a sun unbridled by the polluted ruined sky beneath which she worked.
No one was surprised, least of all Cynthia, when the cancers had appeared upon her. She could admit to herself that she had somehow perversely been courting cancer and death rather than life and the sun as she painted. Cynthia suspected that it was this dark romance with death that had tinged her paintings with disturbing undercurrents. Galleries accepted fewer of her works, admirers turned away in confusion wondering what had happened to the great vitality her art had formerly portrayed.
Cynthia accepted responsibility for the failure of her new work to find a home with her old audience, and she accepted the success with which her new cancers found a home in her.
What had finally surprised Cynthia was the brevity of her acceptance of her disease. Once her courtship with death had borne its deadly fruit Cynthia’s romance with death had turned to terror. Cynthia then turned to Charles who was the only potentially accessible person remaining in her world.
Charles did not spurn her, for at last he held her entirely in his power.
Charles had always tried to deny his own will to dominate Cynthia. He denied any cause and effect relationship between his driving off her friends and the disintegration of her spirit. Now, seemingly without any effort on his part, she was wholly in his power.
Charles exulted! He understood that her cancer had driven him into his arms but he had no problem with that. He never would accept that he had helped her to court her terrible disease, either by the privation of company which had set her adrift from humanity, or by the degradation of the environment that followed his factories wherever he might build them.

Charles had felt free to enjoy his new found power over Cynthia without guilt, he scarcely noticed how much she had changed from the woman she once had been. Where before he had believed he had sought a powerful partner, he now found himself with a child-like wife, this pleased him because his authority over her was assured.
He indulged her in her every whim and fancy, as only he could, for his wealth and power in the world were great enough to buy small nations, or even half of California.
As she learned to use his wealth more and more toward her own purposes Cynthia’s spirit was rekindled by the breadth and depths to which she could aspire. All the smoldering resentment toward Charles returned with new inspiration and she turned his wealth against him with a vengeance, funding any number of causes that she hoped might choke his factories with enough regulations to restore some semblance of health to the world she had watched him carelessly destroy.
Charles was too infatuated with his role as father figure to his child-like wife to mind the conflicts of interest that arose between Cynthia's projects and his own. His wealth was more than enough to weather the inconveniences that sprouted from her social movements, and in the long run he began to find it cheaper to anticipate her growing influence and go along with it supportively, than to pay lawyers to fight her on his behalf when he himself could not resist her.
As her sickness overtook her life Cynthia’s spirit grew stronger, she found herself once more at the hub of society. Before her marriage, the sycophants she had attracted had admired her talent; but guided by Charles, Cynthia had eventually learned to spurn her former admirers for their weaknesses. Now there were new sycophants who were drawn to the wealth and power she commanded and she forgave them their weaknesses and tolerated them, provided they proved useful to any of her multitude of causes.
She treated them all with warmth and compassion and respect and they loved her for it in return.
By the time Cynthia took to her bed in her hospital suite she had built an empire of her own from the coffers of her husbands wealth, but then she found herself once more alone with her pain, bitter and angry with herself, her husband, and the world.
In Boight Park the umbrellas of the sycophants closed quietly as dusk descended; the inertia which had held everyone there nervously carrying out their final devotions to Cynthia’s memory finally broke. As if excused by some stern teacher, they all began to drift quietly away, a little puzzled that no one came to guide them in their mourning. Insulted, they failed to understand they had been invited there by Charles to be deliberately insulted.
Charles sadly laid Cynthia's ashes to rest in the earth of his own grave; he then left his life to rest with her. His suicide was quiet and anticlimactic. His lawyers were well paid to keep his final moments private, and they succeeded in downplaying this last event to the press.
Charles immense estate was but a fragment of its former glory, for he had allowed nearly all his wealth to whither under the onslaught of Cynthia’s projects. Yet he was still incredibly wealthy when he died. The bulk of his estate was endowed to the project upon which he had staked all of his hopes for Cynthia’s salvation and their future.

The Sanctuary project had survived, but Sheila, Tom and Bob were still fired and they resented being dismissed from their creation.