Lost Souls

All Lives are Worthy

part of: The Hidden Land

by Lora of Many Generations

All Lives Are Worth Living

Robert crouched over his conundrums, knitting them patiently into a web fine as a garden spider’s. It cloaked his brow, hung, sticky, from his shoulders, tangled
his legs. Moira watched patiently, chuckling inside. He was so good at that.

He had asked to go next, his voice quavering with barely suppressed emotion as he spoke. He meant to rant, to rave, to rage at these strange, seemingly omnipotent
beings who had crowded unexpectedly into his life. Who were they to sit up there in their perfect world when this one—one they had admittedly known about all
along—languished in misery. He would find out!

Moira and Marcia watched him penetratingly. They did not fear for their new friends. They did not doubt the scope of their hearts, their intent or their ability to
explain themselves. They feared for Robert—that he might fall off the cliffs of his emotion into intractability, so that no evidence would penetrate, be good
enough, to help him see the whole picture. That particular disease of thought was one of the more sinister plagues ravaging the Wayward Land—one difficult to
resist, nearly impossible to cure. It had been one of the chief diseases disfiguring the human race for 10,000 years.

“We must send him off and hope for the best,” Marcia had whispered to Moira.

“Yes,” she agreed. “If he can calm himself enough to even BE sent.”

“We will find out tomorrow,” Marcia agreed.

And tomorrow came early, the sun igniting the horizon with laughing orange, pink, and purple light that coated the skin of the seven with radiant splendor as they
walked through the trees toward the shrine. Moira stopped and laughed with the light. Early morning was her favorite time. She glanced at Robert. He was calm.
He knew what he knew, felt what he felt without argument. This did, indeed, bring peace.

The seven gathered in the shrine. Robert stood in the middle, knowing himself down to the subatomic spaces of his being….chanting, waiting….in the space
between two breaths it happened…the whoosh, the lift, the streaming, the rematerializing, the giant tree…cool breeze, birds singing. Holding himself firmly within
he turned. He didn’t want to feel them yet. He wanted to see them first.

There they were. His eyes were intense beams of energy probbing them. He was grim, the reaper taking them apart at the seams. They opened like flowers before
him, yielding delicately, minutely to the questions in his eyes.

“Do you prefer thought or speech,” Uhl politely inquired.

Robert was taken aback. They were not the enemy. He saw it right away and relaxed a little. Somewhere back home his sister felt him let go and knew he was still
whole, still capable of seeing.

“Speech,” he said. He wasn’t sure how far inside him he wanted them to go. Searching inside he felt them nowhere.

“It shall be as you wish,” Kierd said softly, his copper skin glowing, his eyes alight with knowing.

They all sat down on the soft moss. Uhl drapped herself over the ground like a pile of furs, fluffy, deep, inviting. Kierd sat tall and straight, as did Arn. Teeka and
Tsoh laid down and gazed up at the sky. Choja lay on her stomach, head propped up on her hands. “Would you like to sit with us,” Arn asked.

“Sure,” Robert said, confused now. He had expected to hate them. Instead, he liked them instinctively.

“What troubles you today, Robert,” Choja asked.

“I wondered why you sit up here in perfection and leave us to our misery,” Robert just blurted it out. “I mean, if you know so much, if you know of our problems,
why don’t you help us?”

The six looked at him blankly for moment. “Well, we will need to address your question in two parts,” Arn said. “First, we aren’t perfect. We have a few tools that
help keep us from certain diseases of thought.”

“Our homeland sits in a particularly fortuitious location, energetically speaking,” Choja added.

“We work with our biology instead of against it,” Uhl noted.

“That working against your own biology is close to the root of your primary disease of thought,” Tsoh noted.

“Indeed,” said Kierd. “Really quite a disasterous illness.”

“It is why you think breaking things will explain how they work,” Arn noted.

“Yes, once you became ill enough to conceive of your natures, your bodies as your enemies, there wasn’t much to be done to help you,” Uhl continued.

“You mean we fell off the cliffs of our hearts into intractibility,” Robert asked, echoing his sisters earlier thoughts.

Teeka laughed grimly, “And your minds…yes, indeed.”

“So, how could we help you given those circumstances,” Choja asked.

“Let me ask you this,” Kierd said. “What would happen if our blue brother, or any one of us for that matter, stepped onto your planet at any time during the last
10,000 years and tried to talk with one of your race?”

Robert stared at the ground sullenly. “You would probably have been killed, enslaved or paraded about like a sideshow freak,” he responded reluctantly.

“How would that help you?” Uhl inquired gently.

Robert just stared at her.

“Couldn’t you just put thoughts in our heads,” Robert asked lamely.

“What kind of thoughts?” Uhl smiled softly.

“Enlightened ones, useful ones!” Robert half-shouted.

Uhl looked at him sadly.

“Some of our Landmates have tried that at times,” Kierd said soberly.

“But your Landmates never really understood what was being given,” Uhl said, suddenly sober too. “Jihads, holy wars, were the usual results.”

“Your Landmates took us for Voices from the Gods meant only for them, signifying their supremacy over all others,” Arn continued.

“An example…..your friends, the Jews, laid waste to the entirety of Palestine, believing the voice of their God had sanctioned their actions.” Kierd said.

“What,” Robert said. “When?”

“After their imprisonment in Egypt,” Uhl continued. “They cleansed Palestine of its inhabitants and took it as their own. Those they did not kill or drive out
became THEIR slaves.”

“They didn’t learn much from their Egyptian sojourn about slavery.” Choja noted.

“Except how to duplicate it,” Tsoh finished.

“So, you’re saying Jehovah was one of you?” Robert asked weakly.

“Yes, in part,” Uhl replied. “But, most of their Bible was the constructs of their priests.”

“There are fine insights there, ruminations on the nature of the Universe, and of course the justifications to enslave most men, women, children and the Land to
certain select males.” Choja added.

“And all of those males were the slaves of God!” Uhl said wryly.

“After that, we were very careful about what we said to you,” Teeka suddenly spoke up.

“Yes, though one of the Vegans decided to visit Mohammed in a dream. A thousand years of jihads has been the result of that. We and they have resolved never
to speak to you again. Unless you develop enough to find us and walk with us, you will never hear us speak. It does more harm than good,” Uhl said, her eyes
dark with remorse.

“And what about the Christians?” Robert asked. “Was Jesus one of you?”

“No. Jesus was a great man,” Uhl said. “A genius, broad in scope, deep of heart, noble of intent.”

“So, the rest of Christianity?” asked Robert

“Doctrine devised by humans, some compassionate, some devious, some vicious, some controlling, some kind,” Uhl replied.

“And the Hindus?” Robert finished.

“Ah, a very old race. We did speak with them occasionally. Indeed some of the Blues went over and walked there long, long ago, isn’t that right Teeka, Kierd
asked.

“Yes, long ago,” Teeka said. “The Hindus have always been more curious, less intractable, less likely to kill first and ask questions later, than the other races. Yet,
they did not fully comprehend what we were trying to tell them either. Somehow all your races used what we gave them to enslave their own kind and the world
around them. Even the gentle ones of the forests and the wilds make and keep slaves. We don’t know how to explain the things in you we believe generate the
disease of mind which produces that behavior. Given what we have seen in the past, we are afraid to try.”

“Our disease of mind,” Robert repeated.

“The root disease of your kind.” Uhl said.

“We have come to see it is something you must understand yourselves. Should you untangle that my friend, you might find a way to cure it,” Choja said.

“Like finding the reason and the cure for cancer,” Robert said sardonically.

“Cure one and you will cure the other,” Uhl said.

Robert stared at her silently for a moment, in shock. “I will think about that for the rest of my life,” he finally replied.

“Yes,” she agreed.

“How old are you?” Robert suddenly asked.

“You mean each of us, individually?” Choja asked.

“Yes,” Robert said. “You talk about things of the past like you witnessed them personally.”

“I am 54 cycles old,” Choja said.

“I am 45,” Uhl laughed.

“And I am 32,” Tsoh said.

“I am 62,” Arn replied.

Kierd said, “I am 34.”

“And I am 94,” said Teeka.

“Our average lifespan is about 120, barring accidents or illness,” Uhl said.

“But we receive the memories of our parents when they die in direct transmission,” Kierd revealed. “We have maintained this practice for the lifetime of our race.”

Robert reeled under the weight of this revelation.

“How is that possible?” he finally croaked out.

“Another time my brother,” Uhl said gently. “Go home now and add our conversation to the web of your conundrums. Figure it out! You can do it.”

Robert stared at her. She was beautiful. Looking around the circle at each one of them, he saw their deep beauty, strange as their outer forms were. Love filled his
heart unexpectedly.

“I meant to rage, to accuse you,” he said. “But I see now it was because I wondered if the sacrifices my clan has made to preserve our connection to you was
worth it. I see that it was. Do you think our race is worth saving, I mean, with all the evil we do, the way we distort things?”

“All life is worth living.” Uhl replied. “That is the only answer. Go and do the best you can. Go and live.”

“Will my race survive?” Robert asked shakily.

“It is almost certain that many of them will die of your primary disease of mind and its consequences. Your ruling classes have stood in airtight circles, not listening
to their Land and their Landmates for so long that they don’t know anymore that anything exists outside the small territory of their enclosure…or if they do know,
they are so addicted to their notions of supremacy, that they will refuse any attempts at communion or healing…the communities they control have been bullied
until they have adopted the fear, greed, and lust for hegemony that motivates their rulers. Yet it is equally certain that some of you here and there will gather into
communities to comprehend and heal yourselves, to succor and hide each other in the quiet among the leavings of your ill-fated comrades and survive the fall of
giants,” replied Uhl.

Robert sighed wearily. He often thought the whole race was a pack of rat-brained idiots and extinction would be good for them, better for the Universe. The phrase
from an ancient movie often came to mind, “nuke them from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure!” But when he looked in the eyes of his neighbors, he didn’t feel
that way at all. He wished with every neuron in his being to be able to reach them, to save them. “I wish there was some way to save them,” he finally said out
loud.

“They must save themselves,” Uhl said softly.

“Only they can take down the walls they have built inside,” Kierd added.

“And what about our Land?” Robert asked urgently.

“It will survive and evolve around you. You may choose to ride along inside Its evolution, or fall out of Its Stream and become nothing but the past,” Kierd
assured.

Robert sighed again. The image of dinosaurs evolving into birds hit him broadside. “So be it,” he said. “I wonder what we will evolve into?”

“Ride the waves of Time and find out,” Choja laughed. “We are very different than we were in the beginning. As are you….as you will continue to be!”

Robert sighed, then laughed. “Yes, we will evolve and be different.”

Then he opened fully and dwelt in their eyes for hours, allowing them to merge with his very bones, flying with them above the Hidden Land, reveling in their
regard for him and the massive expanse of their beings.

He went home a healed man filled with resolve.

to be continued….