The Ritual of Souls was held at the gates of Adenon, in the Temple hall we knew, with the faithful standing among the pews before the altar. This hall became the gates of Adenon when, once total darkness was created by shutting off all sources of light, including the two oil flames on either side of the altar, the mother officiate, that evening mother Nicole, after having spoken the ritual phrases (“Great Soul, welcome and protect us in your womb, etc.”), invited the faithful to dematerialize simultaneously along with her. From her dominant position on the raised gilt-wood altar all draped in white velvet, wearing the stylized gold mask depicting Mother Estrogen, she began the rite.
At the moment of collective dematerialization the gates of Adenon glowed with a blinding daylight which was simply the light of those souls, now in communion with those of all the other females that had come forth on Mother Earth and in the entire universe. The feeling was one of a symbiotic, pantheistic ecstasy: the whole belonged to each of those souls and each of those souls belonged to the whole. Their happiness was immense. Each soul felt like artificer and part of the universe, in an ecstasy of empathy that not even the most altruistic soul on Earth could imagine being able to experience!
That light, together soft and dazzling, on Adenon’s gates was the light of billions of souls that now belonged to the dimension of the whole world. All the souls knew and participated in the joy and the pain of all the others, in an immense collective impetus registered by the peaks of light caused by the flux of emotion, like the flow of blood circulating through that immense, universal, ethereal body. And that light was simply the manifestation of something far greater and immense than itself. In the cavern it was not the light that shone, but the whole universe asserting itself, or rather “Transubstantiating” itself, becoming the soul and body of all, wanting to love and breathe in unison with all and for all, taking part in it as if all breathed together! Oh!!! that immense feeling of happiness; that immense sense of candor and purification those dematerialized souls felt then and right after, when they had materialized! No, in all this, in this ecstasy so intense and redeeming as to grant a full sense of purity and integrity, it would have been difficult if not impossible to give it up … This heavenly harmony in which each soul was a star that shone of its own light and at the same time shone with the harmony of all, delighting in the euphony of that divine concert, would certainly be something unforgettable … nevertheless, after the Rite, Diane felt confirmed in her purpose, as if the other souls, having become aware and participating in her love, felt that that love was as pure and wonderful as the universe itself could conceive!
I think all you readers are now wondering about the end of this story, after the departure of Space Endeavour and the last goodbye between Diane and Matteo. Luckily there was no scandal about the latter, because reasons of state put the whole matter to rest. For our p.r. the flirt with Commander Paraggio was a painful memory that she always did her best to forget, something she managed to do with less and less regret. What contributed to this was the full happiness that suffused her menage with Rachel, sealed with the birth of two beautiful girls, alert and affectionate like their two mothers. After all, love is like a bath: there is no room for others as long as it’s occupied. When it’s free it can take on another! And maybe the female gender is much more pragmatic, much more capable of finding reasons to go ahead and be reborn, even in the face of the most terrible defeats and/or misfortunes. And, while loving love more than the male gender does, it is more capable and more concrete in discarding loves that seem or are impossible: fantasy at the service of concreteness and not fantasy as an end in itself, without any solid project. And not even concreteness devoid of fantasy.
As for Commander Margaret Smith, she had a brilliant career as Minister of Security, also because she had managed to solve the thorny issue of the landing of the hominids. And above all, she continued to cut a swath through female hearts, in spite of her wife who in order not to lose her accepted her constant escapades. And of the hominids and Adams she maintained a memory that made her bosom swell with pride for how things had gone, and the judgment they had of her.
As for Paraggio and Space Endeavour, all news was lost, nothing was known of their fate. It can only be surmised with reasonable certainty that in Matteo the memory of Diane and that love remained forever an open wound. Nonetheless, a glimmer of hope and well-wishing for their salvation can be gathered in the speech that the Commander gave the crew in the operational meeting in the “square.”
“Dear fellow crew members of Endeavour, forgive me if I give you a kind of pedantic college lesson, but try to remember the time we came through the wormhole that brought us back to our Earth, now for us a stepmother! Remember, we were going in the opposite direction to our goal of Perseus-Pisces. And do you know why? I’ll tell you, as a professor of physics! We had gone off course because the technical staff of the mission had committed a blunder in calculating our direction … Ah yes! The first thing I used to teach in the physics classroom was that moving faster than light meant winding up in the opposite situation from that of everyday reality, which is below that speed barrier and not above it. Normally we first observe causes and then effects; first we throw a rock at a window and then we see it shatter; first we eat a sandwich and then we feel full. When exceeding the speed barrier of light, as happened to us time travelers, this perspective is reversed because first the effects come and then the causes: first we see the broken glass and then the rock being thrown, etc. If we had experienced it, though unfortunately in our time capsule we can’t perceive exceeding the 300,000 km/sec barrier, all that would have looked familiar! And declaring that causes come before effects or effects before causes would seem as relevant as saying that Mark is the father of George or George is the son of Mark. Unfortunately, this lack of familiarity led our technicians to commit a fatal error in their calculations: they failed to see that with our spacecraft exiting from time we’d find ourselves in the same situation as when you go faster than the speed of light, and that this would mean having to reverse the result of our calculations, that is consider as a result their opposite value! This explains why instead of re-emerging over time in the direction of Perseus-Pisces, we emerged in the opposite direction, namely towards the Centaurus supercluster; because, by the same token, the memory of entering and leaving the wormhole was like playing a film in reverse; because when we left the wormhole the ship was not in full transparency mode, and after, on entering, we regulated it that way; because we left the wormhole the same way as we entered it, that is, as if we had returned backwards to square one; because the miracle of the wormhole, in the light of mathematical probability, seemed so, which was actually all less than a miracle … and ….”.
It seems superfluous to repeat the rest of what he said. I think you can imagine it without any logical effort or imagination … And if their efforts to return to our beloved planet, when the civilization of Mother Earth had not yet been established, succeeded; or if they succeeded in the light of Paraggio’s new physical-mathematical insights, in calculating the correct course toward the Earth2 planet of Perseus-Pisces, and maybe in finding the right conditions for a new life, no one knows, and we can only hope!
Salerno, February 23, 2010