Part 79 of the ongoing saga of The Great Being, the One Self that manifests as each of us.
In the space of a few hours, two native Earth men — one picked to be exceptional, and the other a Rebel whose brain had gone native — had gotten used to miracles. The obstacle in their minds had been completely vanquished. Melchizedek and Layla were impressed with how quickly they had gone from Sniike dropping the phone to flying the boat. If Sniike could be turned to their side he too could be an exceptional emissary.
But now as the boat rapidly closed the distance to the island, Atlantis rose taller and taller by the second, until one felt the tension in the back of one’s neck from the necessity of craning one’s chin way upward to see the top, more than a mile above. Athenius and Sniike became more awed by the second as the enormous scale at which these new people had been able to construct something became apparent, as impossible as it would have seemed seconds earlier.
The detail of all that was going on within Atlantis, all visible at once through the mostly-open architecture of the city that had built itself outward, was enough complexity in one sight to overwhelm the senses of both natives. The boat slowed sharply to avoid a collision and glided smoothly in a specific direction no one on board had willed. The boat simply was finding its way home until advised otherwise.
As they slowly passed families living out their lives and playing games with their children on their lawns or in their backyards, markets with active trading going on, streets with shops, business areas, lovers strolling through parks, a court in session, a government area — the whole gamut of human experience seemed to be passing before their review. Looming above, seemingly going all the way up into the sky as far as heaven, must surely be where the ruler of the universe sits, said all of the superstitious instincts of the two visitors to Atlantis. Nothing in their experience or their imagination had ever prepared them for this moment. The expression on Sniike’s face was back to where it had been when he first saw the phone. Athenius’s face was too controlled to read but the way he was sitting appeared defensive and stiff. Melchizedek and Layla could easily feel what they were feeling, which was a vast sense of inferiority.
“You feel as if all of this is far bigger than you, but what we will demonstrate to you is that each of you is far bigger than all of this,” Melchizedek said, and was met with disbelieving stares.
“No, really,” Layla said sincerely, “it’s true, you’ll see.” Athenius and Sniike were both quite taken with Layla so when she spoke they relaxed a little, as if out of deference to the lady.
The boat slowed as it glided down over a little park, and as it cleared the last trees it came to a stop and sank to the ground in a charming garden next to a rambling house with many windows. As they looked around they could see a large swimming pool half inside the house and half in the garden, and in it, two small children at play, splashing one another. Coming toward them out of the house were a man and woman about Melchizedek and Layla’s age, the man large and muscular and the woman — actually as she came closer, she was probably in her late teens — a beauty from the East, with ebony hair, light skin, and full lips — both smiling broadly in delighted greeting.
“Athenius and Sniike, I’m Adam and this is my wife Eve, and those kids in the pool are our son PlayAllDay, and our daughter ThinkAllNight. Welcome to Eden!” Templegard in his current form said, and Athenius somberly gripped hands with each of them, followed by Sniike’s reptilian slithering of hands that was his version of a handshake. Melchizedek and Layla came up and hugged Adam and Eve.
“Eden is the name of your estate here?” Athenius asked Adam, who nodded and said, “Yes, the whole property, although we spend most of our time in the Garden, as the weather is usually so fair.” They had been ensconced on the island for only about a month and in that hemisphere summer was just beginning.
“This Eden Garden is certainly beautiful, you’ve planned it well,” Athenius said to Eve, who smiled modestly and said, “Atlantis did all the work.”
“Atlantis — I thought that was the name of this island,” Sniike found his voice.
“The island, the city, and the consciousness behind them,” Maitreya said, stepping out of nowhere and surprising them all. The kids saw their Grandpa and came running to hug and soak his legs and once he picked them up, the rest of him, and those standing nearby, as they kissed and murmured baby talk to him.
“Father!” Eve called and hugged him and the kids, getting herself wet, with Adam, Melchizedek and Layla in turn following suit. She then turned to introduce Maitreya to the guests.
“Father, this is Athenius from Hellas, and Sniike from Parsa. Gentlemen, this is my father and the governor of Atlantis, Maitreya.” The men shook hands in their own ways.
“What did you mean about Atlantis being not only this city and this island, but also — conscious?” Athenius asked.
“Everything is made of consciousness — you and I, the stars, the sun, which is just a nearby star — everything around us, everything in the whole universe is a single consciousness,” Maitreya said. Athenius and Sniike looked skeptical.
“I have heard other theories just as strange,” Athenius said in an effort to be polite and fair to this new bit of speculation. In Hellas there were many people with many theories about what the world was. He felt right at home, just landed in Atlantis and already having a metaphysical conversation.
“This one’s not just any old theory,” Adam put in. “It’s also the fact.” Neither visitor appeared convinced by this bald statement. Sniike vaguely remembered discussions of this kind and knew that in his heritage there was a different view, something about a usurper creator who trapped his co-creators into a world of his choosing. He tried to find the words to explain this view but while he was working on it the conversation continued around him.
“The thing about philosophy is that as much as it is stimulating to the mind,” Athenius commented, “ultimately it leaves you without knowing who is right and who is wrong.”
Maitreya smiled at them. “Let’s get our guests comfortable before we jump right in to all this. Athenius and Sniike, we’ll continue to answer all of your questions shortly, but for now, go take a look at your rooms, freshen up, get settled in, look around, and when you’re ready we’ll all come together again.”
This was agreeable and Adam and Eve showed Athenius and Sniike to their palatial rooms. Each was open to the vast ocean view seeing all the way to the mainland on the horizon. Neither had ever spent a night in a place as wonderful. Clothing of strange kinds but seemingly in their own size was hanging in closets and sitting in drawers. They each looked around their rooms in amazed silence, and then Athenius took a thinking posture in a chair on his terrace, while Sniike threw himself on his bed, both attempting to assimilate their uncanny experiences.
TO BE CONTINUED
Best to all,
Image: The Garden in Eden. Photo by CKNiver