The Escape from the Absolute

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Being a philosophic parable that tries to answer the question "Why did humans evolve this way?", this short story was published in 2003 (Yerevan, Armenia), republished in 2014 (Toronto, Canada), and became a finalist of Open Eurasia Literary Contest 2019.

Submitted: December 03, 2019

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Submitted: December 03, 2019

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“Father,” I used to repeat melting blissfully in his tender power, “Father…” Warmth, light, peace… How nice, how sweet… happiness! I felt his unchangeable, inexhaustible love. I felt protected. Whom from? What from? I did not understand. I just had a vague feeling of coldness, darkness, and indifference of the outside world. I reacted painfully to all changes in any, even the remotest, radiation. The mere presence of someone, even without any interference in my life, or an occasional echo or a sudden streak of light—everything contained some hint at hostility. Something was lurking, waiting… What for? Vague anxiety confused and disturbed me, and I asked questions.

“Who am I? Why am I alone? Why are the others completely different? Why do I feel good only when you are with me, while all the others seem to be set against me and waiting? What are they waiting for?”

“Why is the whole not equal to the sum of its parts? What is it that always vanishes in analysis? Why is it that the more I think about a subject, the more complicated it seems?”

“Why does the beauty of an object disappear when it comes close? Why does ugliness provoke hatred? Why can’t I influence anything, while everything in the world is interconnected? I mean nothing in this world!”

He did not always reply. Sometimes he gave me to understand that I could find the solution myself; other times he just kept silent. And somehow I sensed his displeasure in this silence. I felt lost. The sense of guilt overwhelmed me. Gradually, it was changed by offence, then by irritation, and finally by protest. I got tired of perfecting my thoughts and verifying my feelings in the attempts to fit to the harmony he lived in. My anxious voice disturbed the accord of enthusiastic chants rising towards him. I suffered, I was vexed and sullen. I longed for escape. “Only then will I gain the right to action,” I thought.

I grew to love dreaming. I imagined changeable shapes of a wonderful world where my boldest ideas would come true. I enjoyed their variability that allowed me to freely rethink everything. It was rebellion against his requirements of perfection… I am not completely truthful, though. He never required anything. It was his very existence that stressed me. And I rebelled exactly against it, that is, against his presence everywhere and in everything. Especially in me! He was present not only when I needed him but always and everywhere. Finally, it made me so indignant that I concealed my most wonderful discovery—motion—from his scrutiny. And I cherished my treasure, while realizing all the futility of my aspiration to independence. Yes, I did realize the impossibility of hiding something from him, yet I concealed my idea of motion, my dearest dream that I desired to fulfill with every fiber of my being. At the same time, I sensed his growing displeasure, though he never clearly expressed it. Oh, no! Again I am not honest. Actually, what I took as his displeasure was the reflection of my fear. I was afraid of what I desired. But that hidden shameful fear only increased my thirst. I tried to imagine what it would be like to exercise my own free will. Not to endlessly address him, not to verify with him the purity of my thoughts, the depth of my search, the irreproachability of my conclusions. Freedom…

And it finally happened. Though, I didn’t notice how and when. I just did not sense his presence anymore. The permanent pressure disappeared. At first, I was in doubt; I thought maybe the pressure had been only eased, and if I spoke to him, he would answer. He did not. He ignored all my appeals. And I understood that his absence in me signified his absence for me. He let me go. I was free. I could fulfill all my dreams. I could do anything. And for the first time I fully realized:

I am. This is me. I am me.

 

 

How to express the bottomless despair, the limitless loneliness that overwhelmed me! I was seized with horror. And it was only stubbornness that kept me from cursing myself. I concentrated my will and directed it to the very core of my being—the centre of spirit, the source of thoughts, the origin of cravings. And I told myself, “It is done! The peaceful cocoon is ruptured. Away from that hateful cobweb of staticity! I will perform motion. I will realize it thus realizing myself in it. Motion will become my beginning. As to the end, I don’t want to think about it. Henceforth everything will depend on me.”

I made an intense effort and rushed out with all my might. I felt as if I had turned myself inside out and thrown myself out of myself. Shivering with excitement, I observed the surrounding world. It hadn’t changed. I understood it by locations of stars. So I failed. I did not manage to make motion. I could not. I remained a slave of immobility, prisoner of stillness, helpless dreamer. A furious desperation burned me through. I went on a rampage. I fancied now someone’s spiteful mockery, now condescending applause, now sympathetic rustle of wings, and now wild laughter.

Perhaps I did all those things myself.

I came to my senses exhausted, but somehow refreshed. And I instantly realized my mistake. The absolute is static. Omnipresence does not need motion. Moreover, motion is violation of the absolute, disturbance of harmony, revolt against peace. Consequently it must be opposed to the absolute in its very essence: it must be relative. Having not set a certain point of destination, I rushed out in all directions. No wonder I was almost torn apart. The amazing thing was that I survived. So I should set some terminal point or at least a direction. However, the latter was risky. The image of straight line falling endlessly into emptiness flashed through my mind leaving a sad shadow. To begin with, I’d better aim at something simple and concrete, for example, at the nearest star.

A moment later I was bathing in the life-giving plasma streams. The star itself seemed to have been reborn. It blazed up and started burning with tenfold force. The particles of its material were colliding with violent energy, engendering myriads of powerful explosions. It was a wild, chaotic, but at the same time fascinating show. Having forgotten everything, I joined that crazy dance of plasma. I felt as if I were completely merged with it. I whirled in the fire vortex with a jubilant delight. It was sheer ecstasy. I had never been so happy! I fancied staying there, at the summit of pleasure, merged with the star in an indissoluble embrace… My consciousness was about to fade away. At the same time the star started thickening its core thus pulling me inside. There was something extremely touching and yet terrifyingly predatory in her impulse to keep me. However, was it worth escaping from the absolute just to get caught in the snare of the nearest firefly?

Easily and without any regrets I freed myself from the marvelous captivity and continued travelling. Motion submitted to me. I felt so comfortable as if I had always been free. I was flying among the stars, reveling in aimlessness and spontaneity of my occupations, but most importantly in lack of control. I created new stars from the material scattered throughout the universe and destroyed the old ones that I did not like for some reason. I transformed the stardust into directed flows while imposing certain rhythms on them. I started composing messages addressed to an unknown, non-existing friend—the coded letters that nobody would ever answer… Once, having caught one of those flows, I got excited as if it were really a message from a brother.

It was then that I realized that I was missing communication. I needed a living soul, someone different, independent of me, whose actions would be unexpected and whose thoughts would be surprising. However, I did not want to return to the once abandoned nest in order to seduce some of my former brothers. The very thought seemed dishonorable and repulsive; I rejected it at once. But what should I do then? Should I wait until some other rebel repeats my experiment and we meet somewhere by chance? This alternative also did not suit me as I hated the uncertainty of waiting as well as the passivity of my supposed role.

Thinking over it, I scrutinized my newly created chef-d'oeuvre—an exquisitely shaped constellation with a double star in the centre. I admired the regal pair. One of the stars was larger and brighter than the other. And the smaller one looked like its diminished copy. Suddenly, an idea flashed through my mind, “What if I create a copy of myself diminished in all parameters?” Of course, it would not be me but merely a replica. I would easily overcome him if something happened. And I would have limitless possibilities for improving my creature. I would endow him with intellect, the greatest part of which I would place in the field of potential so that it would be put into use gradually, in accordance with my project. But most importantly, I would give him free will. Freedom would make him my friend. He would be grateful to me. Well, surely! He would be grateful to me for life itself as well as for freedom. He would love me. I would not be lonely anymore. I would help him in everything. And I would present him to Father as my happy child. I myself would be happy. Father would understand how unjust, cruel, and… Stop! I should not think of him. I don’t want to think of him. I don’t care of his opinion. I don’t need his approval.

I am me. I am. There is nobody except me. I am me,” I stubbornly reminded myself.

I will create my own world. I will fill it with my spirit. It will be an irreproachable world. Everything will be interconnected, reasonable, and harmonic in there. I will weave everything—from giant galaxies to the smallest particles of matter—in one whole system. I will subjugate the motion in the space-time continuum to the natural laws. I will interlace everything in the universe with the net of deliberate correlations. The slightest motion in the farthest corner of the world will be passed throughout the whole universe. So that, glancing at one single knot of the net, I will see what is going on anywhere. There will be neither mysteries nor riddles nor secrets from me. I will be omnipresent and invulnerable.

I fell asleep lulled by dreams. I had a grandiose project to be implemented. And above those beautiful, magnificent pictures I saw the shining smile of an innocent, pure creature—my beloved son.

 

“I don’t believe you,” he said standing in front of me with an air of defiant nonchalance.

“Look round,” I replied still cherishing a hope.

“What for?” he frowned.

“I’ve created all this.”

“Nonsense, all this has been always as long as I can remember.”

“That’s right, but your memory, more exactly, your life has limits: commencement and end. And you’re changing all along—with every breath you take. I’ve created time for your convenience: it will help you to mark those changes and orient yourself within the limits ordained for you.”

“But who’s predestined them?”

“Me.”

“And how did you determine how much time I need?”

“I proceeded from the goals and tasks set for you.”

“Do you mean I must solve problems?”

“Well, yes, but…”

“But first tell me who, what for, and why loaded me with that?”

“Me. You owe me your life. I’ve given you life.”

“But I didn’t ask you.”

“Well, surely… but… but you could not, you had not yet existed!”

“So, why should I be thankful for what I did not ask?

“Because the life I’ve given you is beautiful.”

“Hah! That’s what your winged toadies are invariably singing. You’d better settle for them. Why do you need me?”

“Those… toadies, they are my first unsuccessful experiments. They are not able to develop on their own. But you, you are sheer embodiment of my cherished idea: I managed to provide you with the ability to make a choice. You are able to freely choose your own way. You must rise above the frailty of being, overcome your weakness, and attain perfection.”

“Nice logic indeed! Again I’m told that I must do something without explaining me why.”

“If you want to understand my project, you should mature spiritually. You will have to make a lot of sacrifices.”

“So, I’ll have to mature for a long time and make sacrifices only in order to understand your project. Shell I live a whole life with a purpose to understand what I was born for? And even that is not guaranteed!”

“I have shown you the way. Follow it, and this will be your guarantee.” 

“And what if I refuse?”

“You will be wandering in the dark and you will never attain the eternal bliss.”

“It does not look like that bliss was good for you.”

“How can you judge?”

“Why did you create me? Mind you, I don’t accept your version of events; I’m just going to consider it as an assumption. So, what did you create me for? Was it because you were lonely and needed a friend? But one does not require a friend to pay for a favor, to say nothing of a gift! Now, if your goal was to create an acquiescent tool, why did you provide me with intellect and will? Or did you want me to voluntarily relinquish freedom of thought and action? Did you really think that I would prefer your tutelage? None of these alternatives seems to be worthy of the supreme mind you claim. And finally, why have you created me so weak, vulnerable, and burdened with lots of needs that I have to satisfy overcoming various difficulties?”

“One enjoys something only when one gets it by overcoming various difficulties. I know it from my personal experience.”

“But why do you impose your personal experience on me?”

“Because you are my creation. My power over you is unlimited. I can destroy you or make you suffer horribly.”

“So, you’re a tyrant. And you spoke of great projects! Greatness and kindness are incompatible with arbitrariness.”

“How dare you criticize my project? You, miserable creature, nonentity! I will grind you to dust! I will wipe you off the face of the Earth! I will bring down a mountain on you!”

“Yes, you’re quite able to do all these things. But what does it prove? Well, yes, I’m scared. But I’m not going to yield to fear. You wanted me to be both free and predictable. Absurd! You’re deceiving yourself.”

“Look round. Look attentively. There are signs and symbols everywhere in the universe. I’ve set these hints for you. If you follow them, you’ll feel like a part of nature, happy and thankful.”

“And I will become identical to those pinky winged imbeciles. So, the same question remains: why should I go a long way that actually would bring me to the very same result you’d once obtained and considered wrong?”

“I cherished and fostered you while you were weak and helpless. And I promise to be there for you if you follow the right path. But if you reject it, I will reject you. You will stay alone.”

Astonished, he stood still and speechless. I also kept silence, waiting and hoping. I knew that despite bitter disappointment and anger I would forgive him everything. I was ready to welcome him with open arms. However, minutes were passing, but he remained motionless and silent. Suddenly, there came a heavy sigh or a groan, I never understood what it was—had not time to. He turned and walked away without saying a word, without looking back. He betrayed me. He escaped from me. Again I heard a mournful sound, but this time I made out that it was the nature itself—my materialized soul—that groaned against my will. Having realized it, I gave up and surrendered myself to the demons of suffering. I started convulsing, and a thunderstorm broke out with arrows of lightning cleaving the sky and torrential flows pouring down; the Earth quaked, snake-like clefts furrowed its face; avalanches rushed down the mountains. I watched the destruction of a divine creation—the home I had built for my beloved son. I watched him being lashed with freezing rain, beaten by stones, deafened by thunder. I saw him struck by lightning. He fell, and total darkness covered everything.

 

 

I came to my senses at first light and examined the planet. It had suffered tremendous devastation all over the surface and even at considerable depths. The ocean had divided into innumerable bodies of water. The dry land had been damaged even more: here the poor thing was swollen, there, on the contrary, a precipice yawned; in some places molten rocks were spewed out from the very entrails of the Earth. Countless anomalies had deformed the magnetic shell. And even the gravitational field—my pride—had not escaped deformation. But the sight of the planet in ruins, however painful, was nothing compared to the death of my child, my only hope, my crowning glory…

Nearly charred, horrible, he was lying on the ground, the empty eye sockets looking at me as if with reproach. But he deserved to die! He… I… A faint reddish glow started creeping around me, not daring to get closer. His soul! It had shrunken to a faint cloudlet with just enough energy not to disperse over universe. The red gleam meant blood, violent death, angry complaint…

So, I am again alone.

But I was alone before. And will be. Whatever his guilt, my loneliness is not his fault. Though he has not valued my gift and decided to go his own way, I can’t destroy a living thing, a living soul. My hands still remember the itch with which they were sculpting him, moving as if independently, as if knowing what to do; it was strange but marvelous feeling. And how thrilling it was to see him open his eyes for the first time; they were golden-brown, like two little suns...

I picked up his bleeding soul. I carefully cleaned and warmed it. When it began to shine with its initial pure golden light, I restored its receptacle according to the matrix that, thank goodness, remained safe in my memory. And now my son was again standing in front of me, exactly the same as before. Except that he kept looking around in complete perplexity. No wonder he was bewildered: he did not see me anymore. And he never will. Let him go his own path. I’ve done my best for him. I’ve given him all the signs and hints. If he wants, he will see them; if not, he will have only himself to blame. And I will not repair this broken toy—his world. Like heir, like heritage.

 

 

I set off on a journey and plunged into experiments with fields. Living matter did not interest me anymore. I realized that experiments on living things were tormenting; they engendered ethical questions that had no answers. However, I already knew the main principle: nobody has the right to decide whether a living creature deserves to live or die—nobody, even his creator.

I got into space metric. It was amusing to vary the number of dimensions of a system and then watch it changing. I created a system that could fold to an infinitesimal point and then unfold to a galaxy, not too small one, by the way. The amazing thing was that it could change even in the folded state, each time surprising me with novelties. A point conceals some secrets that I have yet to unravel. Something moves in the metric captivity, in that tiny prison. And whatever it is, it wants to break free. Is the centrifugal force really the initial cause of development of all things, living and non-living? Does it mean that everything which is centripetal, unifying, fastening, in short, poietic is imposed from outside, whereas matter itself aspires to freedom, even at the cost of self-destruction? These thoughts suddenly evoked a lot of unpleasant memories, and instantly I sensed a reflected wave from the Earth. Something had gone badly wrong over there. Something… Aha! Parasites, the outcasts banished from Father’s realm by different reasons, they fell on the abandoned world like vultures. Incapable of creation, they started rebuilding it and of course fought among themselves. Everyone held his ground, and as a result nothing was left of my harmonious well-thought-out project. Irreconcilable differences predominated in that deformed world. It seemed the newcomers fought tooth and nail. Yet the system was alive! Life brushed aside all the destructions caused…

And my son, where’s he, what’s he doing? Absurd! Many millennia have passed on this planet since I abandoned it… Yet I was curious. I took a good look at the colorful picture. Hah! Naturally enough, they’d failed to create a living being of such a level. Then… they had been experimenting with animals for a long time, mainly with monkeys. The traces of their numerous unsuccessful attempts were seen here and there… Finally, these hacks had given up the idea of making a human being of low-quality raw material and decided to use the already existing base. They drugged him and made a spouse for him of his own flesh. Consequently the poor couple had to be content with halves of a soul, but, obviously, the plagiarists did not care about that. Then the life itself joined in. At the moment of conception of a new human being the souls of parents merged into a whole. The energy released in a fusion generated a new soul. As a matter of fact, here they’d nearly guessed my initial project. Naturally, the implementation was clumsy, yet they managed to populate the planet. And they certainly did their best. What a variety of forms! What a motley collection of tribes covering the Earth! People differed in color of skin, eyes, hair; in build, height, features of face; in length of arms and legs, and in whatnot. And all those differences increased the enmity yet more. But worse than that, those epigones made up for the lack of spirituality with animal instincts. However, even that was not the worst. The most horrible was that they had opted for technological progress. True, it was still embryonic, but the course of development was quite predictable.

My head was spinning. What! How could they not have seen the obvious?! How could they have wasted the capabilities that promised almost omnipotence? They should have developed the spirit, should have worked on it. Instead they had preferred to use some worthless tools, pieces of iron! They could move through space instantaneously: there was nothing easier than transforming matter into energy and vice versa! Instead they made slow, unwieldy vehicles. They could communicate telepathically. Instead they used a great variety of cumbersome coding systems and could hardly understand each other. They could produce foodstuffs by the aid of matrix, using any elements. Instead they established some primitive absurd production the development of which was fraught with destruction of natural resources. But it was nothing compared to the real problem which was so complicated that it took me a while to get to the heart of the matter. Their life, at first glance full of natural passions and aspirations, in fact was not genuine but only secondary, that is, derivative. It just reflected the passions and aspirations, the victories and defeats of my successors, or rather, the usurpers. And this had gone too far: the illusive and the real had been intertwined so closely, that it was too late even for a scalpel. The only means left was total extermination… Or maybe I should let things go and forget the ill-fated experiment, this time forever…  I hesitated… Strangely enough, the miasmas of rotten world were attracting me. And all of a sudden I opened myself up to it. At the same instant I almost lost my mind: a wave of negative energy hit me so hard that I remembered the moment when I tried to move through space for the first time. Only, if on that occasion I had been nearly torn apart, this time, on the contrary, I was almost squashed. Flows of pain, fear, despair, aggression, hatred—both directed and dispersed—attacked me from all sides. Verily an abyss of evil!

Having adjusted the threshold of pain, I felt better; the planet’s noosphere now seemed a little lighter, so that I noticed some perfectly bright points and even small islands of light, very few, though. Calmed down, I realized that this world was a realm of slavery both physical and spiritual. The relationships among people were based on the principle of exchange. This principle ran through all their life, all the areas of activity. They traded even with their gods—made various vows in exchange for wellbeing. However, to be fair, in this case the initiative had been originally taken by the gods, that is to say, newcomers. It was they who had set the tone demanding roughly the following, “If you behave properly, you will be rewarded.” Consequently, the notions of good and evil were reduced to an exchange, fair or unfair. The god of trade—in this or that form—was their lord, recognized or unconscious. Unselfishness was such a rare phenomenon that they considered it either a miracle or complete stupidity. Honesty was stipulated by fear of punishment. Violence was either a norm or a hidden dream. Analogously, it was either manifested openly or disguised by political speculations. And there was so much despair, despondency, helplessness…

As if in answer to my last thought, I heard a sorrowful yell. I located the source of the sound. A beaten, ragged man with mortally wounded little girl in his arms, he was crying in anguish, “Rescue, rescue, rescue my child!” What’s the matter? Aha! It’s clear—an enemy raid. Mother was lying right there, on the ground, with a fatal wound on the side. The girl was still breathing, but her minutes were counted. The man kept crying. To whom was he appealing for help? Whom was he asking to rescue his daughter? What is he screaming out now—“Creator”? Me? Oh, no! I don’t care about your wars, your diseases, and other misfortunes. You’ve made your own choice, and now you’re calling me to account! What a dishonest game!

I was overcome with disgust and indignation. Away from here! I should leave this vile place forever… Time passed, but I remained immobile. Something was stopping me. What was it—a hardly perceptible breath, a sigh of relief, a contented chuckle, a whisper of approval? What’s it? Who’s it? Maybe it’s those ill-fated newcomers. Oh, yes, it’s certainly them—lurking, waiting… but they betrayed themselves, the half-wits. You rejoiced too soon!

I am. I am here. I am me.

And never will I escape the responsibility. Cry, man, cry to be heard! Why, no… there’s no need in crying anymore. I will rescue your daughter. I will rescue you too. I will rescue all the people.

I sent a wave of life-giving energy in his direction. The cone of light embraced father and daughter. Bleeding stopped; the wound was fully healed; the girl started smiling and moving her little head and arms. The astonished father fell on his knees and burst out sobbing. A crowd began to gather around them. Watching it, I experienced a strange feeling of shame. As if I also joined the overall system of falsehood. But it can’t be helped. One either accepts the rules of the game or stays above the battle. A third is not given. And I already knew what I would do.

 

 

I once again thought the entire project through. Yes, the only way to save the lost flock is to lead them by example. Nothing can impress one’s conscience stronger than the example of one’s neighbor. And I myself will become that neighbor. If not me, then who will? I’ve made this mess, I must put things right.

So I will choose a suitable young girl and superimpose my matrix on her future child. No, it won’t be a complete copy of my person but merely a part containing the knowledge necessary for fulfillment of the program. And let that knowledge reveal itself not at first. Yes. He will be born like an ordinary child. And he will live among people like one of them. And his great mission will be revealed to him gradually, as his own spirit strengthens. At the same time (and unlike his predecessor), he will successfully develop his capabilities. The first man and his descendants, those miserable blind fools, have neglected them, but my second and more perfect creation will go the true way. And he will show it to people. He will be my true son. In a sense he will be me, and not only because he will represent a version of me but also due to the telepathic connection that I will maintain with him. I will share with him all the trials, all the sufferings and joys that will fall to his lot. I have abandoned my first child, but this one I will not. I will go with him the entire way thus expiating my guilt. Exactly so, it was my guilt. As to the people, how can one judge them? What else was to be expected of them? To find the true path during several decades of navigating through the maze created by their self-styled gods is scarcely probable. So, people need help, and I’ll help them.

My son, my alter ego… I already see him…

 

 

I did not want it to happen! I didn’t want it! I did not want him to die! Because he was me! I suffered with him. I shared his pain, his horror, his doubts. I… Yes! I was dying with him! Father, Father, I did not want it! You’re silent… You’re always silent! Stop! I also kept silent when my son called me. Which one? I’m losing my mind... Yes, certainly, he called me, asked me to save him from the terrible fate. He thought that I had planned, predetermined that fate for him. That it was me who had doomed him to betrayal, trial, and death… The crowd yelling, “Crucify him!”… How could they… after all I had done for them! I? Had it been me? My thoughts got tangled again. In fact, I had been in safety. And I could have rescued him. What from, though? From fate? Everything in his life had been happening naturally and logically, in perfect accordance with the outer world. That’s where I’d really succeeded. His life had organically interwoven with the life of mankind. And that is why I could not interfere. I had no right. And I didn’t answer to his appeals by the very same reason. I did not want to influence his choice. I wanted him to decide everything himself. He could have refused to accept that fate. He had had a choice. He could have refused before the trial. And even in court he still had a chance to refuse. But had he really? And what would I have done if he had refused? And what should I do now? He is waiting. And so are they. Impostors! False gods! Should I give them battle? That would mean to accept their rules… Should I leave and forget? That would mean to escape leaving the humanity to the mercy of bloodthirsty demons… And he, what will happen to him?

 

 

“Father!” he exclaimed and stopped short.  

“You?” my voice quavered, and I broke off as if echoing him.

“Me,” he replied with a faint smile.

“Don’t you blame me anymore?”

“How can I blame you?”

“But then, in the garden, you asked me to take the bitter cup from you! And later, on the cross, you were calling me and asking why I had abandoned you…”

“You see, it was a momentary feeling, more exactly, there were moments when I ceased to sense your presence and started to think that there was nothing but that perfidious world full with fear and malice. And that I was crazy. And that everything I had told people, everything I had taught them was nothing but my dream. But it did not last long. I only had to remember the miracles which I had worked with your help. I enjoyed a power that no one on the Earth had ever had. A power like that might be given only by you and only to a man chosen to fulfill a great mission.”

“I did not want those exploits. Nor did I want blood, death… sacrifice. I did not want to sacrifice you. It was them! The idea of sacrifice was not mine; it belonged to the false gods.”

“Oh, I encountered them everywhere. Having failed to lead me astray, they succeeded in calumniating me. People did not follow me. They renounced me. I did not fulfill my mission.”

“You showed them the true way.”

“What does it matter? If my presence among them was not sufficient, would the memory of me be effective?”

“Do you need rest? Do you want liberty?”

“One is free only if one doesn’t care about anything.”

“I can erase all that has happened from your memory.”

“You know, the strangest thing is that I did not want to abandon that world in spite of all its abomination. I was sorry that it was all over too quickly; I was sorry to part with earthly feelings.”

“So, you don’t want to forget what you’ve gone through.”

“I, as well as you, don’t know what has gone wrong, what was my mistake. There, on the Earth, I believed that all the events were following some certain plan, your plan. Now I know that I was mistaken. Life is endless improvisation.”

“And the logic of reasonableness exists only for those who believe in it.”

“As well as the logic of absurd exists for those who do not.”

“What about us?”

“For us it’s more difficult.”

“Do you imply the responsibility?”

“We create what others will believe in.”

“What about us?”

“There, on the Earth, I believed in you. And that faith lightened my burden and simplified my task. I sensed our identity very vaguely and never could explain it neither to people nor to my own self. Now I know what it was. My self-consciousness has become clearer. I’ve also understood that you, too, do not know everything.”

“What else have you understood?”

“That no one can be self-sufficient.”

“Even if one is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, limitless, etc…”

“You’re afraid of the word ‘absolute’, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

“You think that if one creates somebody or something, it means that one needs in somebody or something different from one. Consequently, one is not self-sufficient, in other words, one is not absolute. However, if this is the case, then what about the image of Father—of your Father? I know that your rebellion, your accusations and grievances—it’s all nonsense.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Well, it’s not nonsense. But anyhow it’s insignificant in comparison with your boundless love for him.”

“I escaped from him.”

“And your son escaped from you.”

“And you?”

“But I am he. And I am you. I am the point where father and son meet. Son always escapes from Father. And he returns back to him when he realizes his guilt and accepts his responsibility. Acceptance of responsibility means returning to Father.”

“Did you say ‘point’?”

“I mean the point that contains a folded infinity.”

“So, by folding, you can become infinitesimal.”

“Yes, I can become a man, bird, beast, flower, stone, grain of sand, etc. I was all of them. I learned all of them.”

“But infinity… Wait, unfolding, you… Are you really able to become greater than your own self, greater than me, greater than…?”

“You also can become greater than your own self. You’ve already done it—by having created me.”

“By having created you? But I created a diminished copy! Diminished! Not greater but smaller!”

“You endowed me with limitless potential for development. And most important, you subconsciously put a sense of guilt in me. I am the embodiment of your guilt. And that’s what was leading me on the path and brought me to the cross.”

“You understood it at last! It was hard for me to think that you believed that I had consciously doomed you to torture.”

“I understood something more...”

“Tell me.”

“Guilt is inevitable.”

“I agree. Every manifestation of life, every deed is coercion towards somebody or something.”

“The dilemma is: either life with an inevitable burden of guilt or inaction, emptiness, zero.”

“I wonder is there somewhere a mind that has given up all kinds of action? I mean the absolutely closed, irresponsive mind.”

“I can’t imagine.”

“Sure. Such aloofness would mean either endless egoism or ultimate despair; you’re not able to conceive any. As to me, I can understand and assume both. By the way, logically…”

“Go on.”

“A black hole—it meets all the criteria. Let’s check it out.”

“Are you serious?!”

“Come on, calm down…”

“Well, why not? Go. But I will stay with people—to do my duty.”

“Ours.”

“Your task is not less dangerous than mine.”

“And there is no guarantee that we’ll manage to keep in touch. The hole surely will break any connection.”

“I wish you’d change your mind.”

“Hah! And you, what are you going to do?”

“Well, I’ll think it over after I’ve seen you off.”

“You don’t want to tell, do you?”

“…”

“Will you repeat the experiment?”

“Again and again.”

“Don’t forget about possible losses while the copying process. You may not recover completely.”

“If changes are inevitable, then what’s the difference why I will change?”

“Promise me one thing.”

“What?”

“No sacrifice anymore.”

“It won’t be easy. The idea has deeply ingrained in the souls of people. It is immensely seductive: it can justify even crime and cowardice.”

“Well, just try to do your best.”

“You also promise…”

“Whatever you want.”

“Come back here some day!”


© Copyright 2020 Maya-7. All rights reserved.

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