A person called my name, and I stepped out of the line. How long had I been waiting? I could not say. On one hand, I had been there for all eternity, patiently listening for my turn. On the other hand, I had just arrived, and now I was being summoned ahead of all the others standing there. None of them objected.
No matter how hard I might try, I could not describe the person whose voice had pulled me from the line. I could see them as clearly as I could see my own hand, but I have no idea what they looked like. When they spoke, the words were the sound of crystal.
“You have been granted an audience. Inside, please.”
He gestured towards a door I hadn’t remembered seeing before that moment. Without hesitating, I approached, and the door swung wide. Inside was a clean, well-lit hallway. No one else was present, but I knew exactly where to go. After walking for only a moment, and forever, I found myself before another door and again walked through.
I was now in the presence of Everything. Before, I thought I knew what doubt was, but in that moment, there was no such thing anymore.
Speak. There was no voice, only the word.
“Others have been here longer, waiting.”
They, too, are being seen.
“So there’s more than one of you?”
The words were not angry or impatient. They just were. Perhaps there was kindness, but I suspect that is simply what I wanted to hear.
“I don’t want to take up too much time . . .”
“Okay… Can I ask… Why?”
For your own sake, be clearer.
“Why? Why put us through all of that. The pain and suffering. The fear and anger? The hatred and misery? It is overwhelming. Is there really some plan? Is it actually malice? Do you just not know? Or not care? Why . . .” At that moment, my voice gave out. All the horror of the world came pouring out in my tears, in a scream, in a shudder. There was no response until most of it had worked through my system and I recovered some measure of composure.
Would any answer satisfy you?
“Don’t you already know?”
Yes, but do you?
And I considered it, perhaps for the first time. I had heard so many answers and none of them had ever seemed even remotely plausible, let alone satisfactory.
Except one, which I thought precluded the Reality before me now.
“We did it to ourselves.”
Once more, perhaps it was simply what I wanted to hear, but there seemed to be compassion in the words.
“We chose it. All of it. And you let us.”
It is not my place to choose for you. Perhaps you would prefer to be eliminated from reality . . .
“Sometimes I wonder.”
I know. But it is not possible. You are sentient. You are a locus of reality. Where you are, so is everything. You can no more be eliminated than I can, than reality can.
It wasn’t what I had come looking for, but despite myself, I did feel a sort of comfort in those words, in that truth.
“So what now?”
There was an atmosphere of a smile.
Whatever you choose.