A long, flat prairie appears before him. A few trees in the distance. An empty plain for running smoothly under the cool harvest moon. The full-grown man smiles in relief. A respite now, a healing, easy time in safety. And, no Sage in sight!
Humanity Mankind has made a few adjustments. Strapped his hands together to prevent their annoying habit of grabbing at his feet to rig elaborate lassos of his laces. He only takes the handcuffs off for meals. He now runs with a board between his legs so the right foot will forget about his left. It’s not comfortable, but Hey! It keeps them down to business. He’d like to sleep, but finds he can’t afford it. Unmonitored, his body is its own worst enemy, more dangerous than lurking lions.
But in a plain like this, where nothing threatens, he puts himself on automatic pilot and indulges in a dream. The world is his…no matter how he got it. He owns it all! He is its Master! Let those who doubt that fear and quake.
Here comes THE MAN!!!
Suddenly, a thundercloud, a stab of lightning, the crack of thunder. Rain and hail whip down with little warning. The moon is veiled and later, dark. He cannot see the rocky ground before him; but has a memory of comforting, endless plains. This, too, shall pass.
A lamp, held high, stabs through the fury.
“That Sage again? Will He never fail to torment me in all my darkest hours? He mocks me with His Presence, as if to say I cannot find my way. Well, I’ve come far enough without Your lamp, Old Man! Do You think a summer storm can frighten me?”
The Gate was open, but he shot the Sage anyway, just for being there. Just for blocking his way.
“Preposterous! Watch out for who? He always talks such nonsense! It has no meaning…never has. He’s just a lunatic who never seems to die; but I wish He’d pick on someone else. His lamp blinds my eyes. What? Here’s another Sage! Two in the same night? What IS this world coming to, anyway? There ought to be a law to keep them off the streets.”
This Sage is tall. He speaks a warning. The thunder cracks like timbers falling. A bolt of lightning strobes the land.
“A chasm up ahead? You must be joking. This plain is flat and vast, spread out in all directions. I’ve been running for a very long time and this is the best place that I have ever seen; the very best place in my very wide experience. I do not need You, Sage, nor do I want You in my life. What sort of man runs with an old attendant to put the light before his feet? I’d be the laughing stock of all. I am a REAL man! My name is Humanity Mankind! And if I’ve told You once, I’ve told You a thousand times…LEAVE ME ALONE TO RUN IN PEACE!”
Having made the longest speech of his life, the man beats Baha’u’llah on the bottom of His feet and throws Him in an underground pit, filled with vermin. He runs on, his handicaps threatening to mutiny at any moment. But, there’s a large patch of skin above the heart that calls itself Baha’i.
This skin immediately sends out an S.O.S. to its universal self…its plastic, elastic, sweating, breathing, heating, cooling, stretchy-sided grapevine. Skin’s telepathic message says:
There IS a chasm up ahead! We’ll be there any moment. It’s okay. These crazy legs DO have the strength to leap the leap. But, they need to know they’re going to. They need to learn how a man can fly. In tattoo now, right here above the heart, there is a map to show the way and plenty of instructions. Now, when it happens…when the chasm comes…just be calm and pray and do the following list of things. We will survive! Make no mistake! But, how is up to us. So, listen gang, let’s stop taking these stupid potshots at each other.
THAT’S our problem, not the chasm. Let’s get organized and let’s get set to fly!”
(To be continued…)