Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
the story continues…
The desire to love and be loved is an integral part of our need to bear children. We see it all around us, in nature and among humankind. This desire is at the heart of Spirit and feeds the continuation of creation in all things. I hope you enjoy this portion of the novel. If you are reading for the first time, you can go to the Search bar and type in the book title for previous chapters. If you are kind enough to be following the book thread, I appreciate you and thank you so much. Please leave me some feedback or a message in the comments box. I am so happy to be here to write on another day, to feel the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and the love of the universe in my life. This is indeed a roller coaster ride, but the thrills surpass the scary moments. We all struggle and are all the same, no matter how it seems on the surface. As we join the story, a plan has been put in motion to bring a new human life to Dohman, one that will hopefully unify the twin aspects of the soul which were separated at the time of the Original Thought, leaving a rift in the soul, an empty space that seems undeniably hungry….
Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
XX Licking His Wounds
While the Light Beings in Eternity were busily planning the new addition of life to Dohman, they paid little attention to Ar’tine and his world. It was not for lack of Love; but the dark god had sequestered himself within the damp mists and gray vapors of his Dohman Eile, trying to quench his unending thirst and longing to forget the pain of destruction he had brought down upon his Creation. Although he would deny it throughout mankind’s existence, his soul was dying for the companionship of the others. It was a slow, agonizing death; and the more he tried to deny the speck of Light in his core, the greater the fire in his breast flared upward, searing all that he looked upon, all that he touched. In a moment of shallow victory, he found a way to neutralize this terror-by squelching all of his feelings. If he ignored the Light completely, he felt no lack from it. The only sensation which remained was bitterness, and it tasted sweet in the empty cup of loneliness that he had fashioned for himself.
Mor continually tried to reach the Son of Mac, to send Love and guidance, but the wall of flame he had engulfed himself in through his own rage was impenetrable. And still he harbored the mistaken perception that he was more. His lack of communion with his Eternal Family was replaced by long tirades which he displayed before the living things on his world. He created and destroyed life at will, but it was not enough. These creatures were too easy to control and provided no challenge to his power, leaving him unsatisfied in his victory. He consoled himself by watching the others from the shadows; and veiled from the Thought of Mac, Ar’tine was very aware of the plan to bring new life to Dohman. Wasn’t it his plan after all? Even Mor had implied that it was. They had taken away his chance to prove his greatness and were now trying to steal his glory. This dark and gnarled vine which sprouted anew on the tree of deception which was his core was the ugliest yet. This one he had unwittingly turned in upon his own Essence in the form of Self Deception.
If one could not lie to another, then perhaps it was best to simply lie to Oneself. It was so much easier deceiving oneself after all….then the rest would follow.
He watched from his black domain, observing the changes that were taking place on Inion’s World, changes even She had not noticed in her total immersion with Light to create this perfect human they so longed for. Through the murky depths of his Lake of Visions Ar’tine watched the Keepers of Dohman changing, becoming restless in their anticipation. They ventured out in separate ways more often now. His instincts were keen, for certainly the first couple was going through a change.
Fireann began feeling a strange sense of lack when M’na swam in the ocean, staying away from him for too long. What wonders did these places hold that He could not share with her? His need for appreciation and power was beginning to peer over the horizon of his soul. M’na herself recognized a new sensation that arose in her heart each time she saw his fallen face upon returning from one of these journeys. The empty space within her was whispering to be noticed, to be filled. It’s name was Guilt. Had she not always been there when Fireann needed her? Did he not run with the wolves and explore canyons among the mountains for many sun cycles before returning to lay by her side? She always tried to bring something back with her that would please him and he could share her experiences in this way. These gifts always pleased him, of course, and never was He angry or disappointed.
She never intended to abandon or to forget her beloved; but As the Daughter of Dohman, she felt the need and desire to live and move with all of its Creation. It was the darkness, the split, that told these lies to each. The shadow of loneliness that had grown since the Separation from Original Thought was manifesting in these two beautiful humans. It brought Ar’tine great satisfaction to see this breakdown in the Paradise that his rivals had created. And he could sense a window of opportunity beginning to open…
Mor also sensed the changes within Dohman’s first couple and decided it was time to move forward with their design. It did not wish any of Its Creations to suffer, although suffering was still experience, and It would not deny them any experience. It also knew of the Watcher from the shadowy realms of Eternity. Mor knew all.
XXI The Beginning
It was time for Inion to prepare Dohman’s first couple for the gift of life. Details of the plan to bring a new human life to Dohman were shared with M’na and Fireann. Most importantly, this new life brought with it the hope of rejoining both masculine and feminine into one, thus creating a being which knew no lack and would manifest in the flesh the same completeness that Mor knew in Spirit. Both were eager to welcome another human into their world although they were not certain how this would happen or when.
From the gray mists of Dohman Eile, Impatience overwhelmed the Watcher. “Just do something already,” sneered Ar’tine. This slack in Creation was annoying him greatly. He may have been forbidden to create from himself on his own world; but nothing could stop him from experiencing all of the other goings on in the Eternal realm-and on their precious Dohman. He thought how marvelous it would be to actually experience that place-so full of life, even though it was bright beyond tolerance. Perhaps someday, he thought; but what had been forbidden by Great Spirit would be considered not worthy of his mourning at this moment. He had his own ways of being involved, after all.
Ar’tine’s greatest secret was not that he longed to destroy and desecrate all that he touched. The truth was something he himself would find intolerable and so refused to acknowledge that his hidden desire was to be with the others, to be accepted as they were by Mor. Alas, the shadow that was now his soul covered up all true knowledge; all avenues to Original Thought and Unconditional Love were now damned up by tangled vines of emotion and ego reasoning. The one thing he readily admitted-the one Light he allowed to warm his cold Essence-was the Love he had felt for his As’me. He knew she was gone from him, and he had no idea if all thought of him would be erased from her consciousness. He held out hope that somewhere, in the very core of her, she would always have knowledge of him.
With nowhere to direct this love lost, misguided though it was, he turned it towards his own twin creation, the Goddess Bandia. It was another of his great Secrets. All that she had done and all that she was impressed him greatly, even overriding his jealousy of her relationship with Eternity’s family. How he wanted to implore her to join him on his dark world, to add her own touches to its Original beauty. The god of darkness longed to assure her that together they would quickly rise to greatness far exceeding that of their own Creators in the eyes of Great Spirit.
Still the delusion took center stage in his dream, the idea that anything was more in the Thought of Great Spirit. Even in his darkest moments, Ar’tine was loved by Mor, if not even more greatly at those times. Unfortunately for this dark God, the ugly sensations created by his lack, his emptiness, pleased himself more than the beings of Love and Light.
It would be his need for more of these experiences, along with his sense of abandonment that would keep him plunged in the shadows of his nightmare. At this point he didn’t know the difference between the sensation of Eternal Love and the ecstasy he felt when he was expressing great power.
On Dohman Bandia was preparing her children for the arriving new life that would be their prodigy. Until now they had moved upon the World at will, M’na shifting form to be with the creatures there as whatever being she desired; but neither had appreciated the physical differences between them. M’na was blessed with the Feminine energy of Inion while Fireann had been created with a stronger form and greater male energy from Mac, yet their bodies remained without specific gender form for it had not seemed necessary. Soon all of this would change, and they accepted this knowledge wilingly for they had no idea what it truly meant. Yet.
There was great consideration concerning the gender of this new child, for it would be human in all ways including personality, temperament and physical form. Should it be male or female? With the understanding that the new soul of this child would be as balanced as possible, it was decided that the natural process of life on Dohman would decide its physical gender. Then all would follow its course because this child would bring unity through Spirit, leaving its physical identity of little consequence.
Pure Thought with Unconditional Love, having faith in the Eternal. How quickly humankind would forget the faith of their Creators with just a little influence from Darkness.
XXII A New Leaf
Meanwhile, a great transformation was taking place on Dohman Eile. Ar’tine, in his time of contemplation, had begun to take stock of his situation. Admitting that he could not exist in isolation throughout his Eternity, even if he wanted to, he decided changes were in order. In an effort to win back the acceptance of Mor and the admiration of his Father and Eternal companions, he had begun to make miraculous changes to his World. A bright new Moon hung low over the dark, slated hills of Dohman Eile; and while it was not the same burning sun that sustained all manner of living things upon Inion’s world, it was lovely indeed as it cast a silvery glow across the bleak lands. The oceans took on a mirrored look beneath the light; and new life sprang up in tones of deep blues and greens, reaching upward to the gentle Light that smiled upon it. The thick, noxious vapors which hung above the ground faded into mists of cool rains that quenched the dry, cracked mountains and valleys. The creatures that could not withstand the Light were extinguished by it, but many others began to rise up from the once tarry surface.
All these things filled Ar’tine with a great sensation of pride, and there was warmth within him that had been missing since they took his As’me. They took his As’me. The Light within flickered, as the threat of snuffing it out altogether surged quickly upward. Just as quickly he recovered and calmed his Spirit, for this was not the moment of revenge for him. Not yet. And this was all so invigorating after all. What would the others think of the changes to his world? And to himself? Ar’tine had indeed been in deep meditation, learning to keep the fire that burned within him to a smoldering ember so that his Essence was brighter, more balanced and acceptable in the glow of Eternal Light. This made him feel very powerful indeed-to be able to control his own urges, his own energy. His secret remained his own, knowing that once he felt secure in the deception he presented to the others, he would go to them. When they took him back into their midst, he would gain ultimate control, and be greater than any among them. They would Love him for what he could do for this world and any other they could imagine.
Mor, of course, knew the trickery with which Ar’tine was deceiving his own soul and denying its true desire in his attempt to reconnect with the All that Was. However, great was Its Love for one of Its Creations and great also was Its hope that the Light would grow strong enough within him to overcome the emptiness that had become his Tormentor.
Soon Ar’tine was allowed to leave the surface of Dohman Eile, rejoining the group of Creators in their final efforts to bring this experiment of Balance to fruition. He was careful not to intervene with his dark ideas or motivations. He kept them so well hidden that Mor was indeed impressed with this god’s ability to control himself. Inion was not so impressed and remained suspicious of Ar’tine’s intent; and yet, so great was her desire to please her Father and so deep her love of her twin, that she quickly stifled her fears and Loved him with all that she could find within her.
Mac was more eager to accept the changes in his Son for Ar’tine was, after all, his first human Creation. He thought it would please Mor so much to see that all was not lost, that Mac could indeed Create as well as his Twin. Though weakened, this envy remained hidden in His core and urged its host to accept these changes within its son as authentic.
It was all for love of Bandia that Ar’tine put forth his greatest performance. It was She who he truly longed to gain acceptance from. What passed for Love within his dark core had grown to a great intensity for Bandia since he had lost As’me. He watched her from within the reflections of the Lake of his own World, slipping in and out of Eternity at will, still free to mingle with her own Creations, lovely and loved. Yes, he loved her. He wanted to possess her, to have her with him always, to feel that love, to know what it was to be in that kind of ecstasy. Still grasping from without, still damping out the Light that was his own to claim and know at any time, Ar’tine was convinced that if he could just be one with Bandia he would be full once more.
As for Bandia’s thoughts, she had always desired a companionship with one such as herself, for she was alone as she had been created, caught always between the Eternal and the Physical. Knowing another such as herself would surely bring a sense of completeness she was certain had been missing. Until now. In Ar’tine’s presence she knew a greater sense of her own Essence, like as like.
Truly the Dark One felt the warmth of Unconditional Love when he was near her. How easy it would have been to succumb to such sensations, to bask forever in the glow of such a Light; but the voice of Darkness spoke more loudly than that of reason. It whispered how mighty he would be with this Goddess by his side, creating with him, residing with him upon his own Dohman Eile. He worked diligently to keep this thought deeply hidden, for his plan would never work if any sensed he was not in total remission of the darkness that had consumed As’me and destroyed his glory.
(Nothing remained hidden from Mor who sensed all, experienced all, and waited for what would manifest.)
It was during one of these times, while alone with the Goddess, that Ar’tine ventured to suggest they might work together at some point-after the great birthing of course. He had accepted his fate of sterility (for the time being) and now sought to know the fulfillment of at least sharing in the creation process through one so talented and loved as Bandia was.
(Is it necessary to name the branch of the Tree of Deception which sprouted with great gusto at this moment? Of course it must be said. ‘Vanity, thy name is Bandia’. Her Feminine cup was ever longing to be filled)
The satisfaction alone, that this God had noticed the beauty that she was and had created, gave Bandia a renewed sense of trust and confidence in him. Of course she conceded that when the time was right they could join together in creation, if it were approved of by Mor. Oh, yes, that of course, he acquiesced..what trials he had to suffer on his way to Greatness, he thought to himself.
XIX In the Garden
M’na and Fireann prepared a place for the coming new life, after observing all the living creatures on their world and watching how they brought forth their offspring and cared for them. They were being prepared in Spirit by those in the Eternal Realm and were more than ready to share their love with the new soul being sent to Dohman and placed in their care. Their bodies had undergone changes over time, things which they knew were necessary for the creation of human life.
When the moment arrived for the beginning of their roles, Bandia went to them. They were counseled regarding the nature of this new soul, that it would be the most balanced that had been brought forth in Creation and would be as a great treasure to all human beings that came after it. Mor had no desire for any human to rule over another, but this soul was being delivered to begin a lineage that would serve to guide, to protect and continue the balance of Original Essence across Dohman. Its gender would remain unknown until it took its first breath and presented itself with the form that nature decided upon.
There would be no question of its strength and goodness, no doubt of its loving tenderness and objective discernment if either male or female. This was the goal. Above all else It would be a soul overflowing with Unconditional Love, one complete enough to encompass everything around, above and below it, all within and without. She advised that this child might even cause them-its parents-to question their own worthiness at some point in the face of its wisdom and tolerance, but they could not allow themselves to be consumed by these emotions. Their own roles were great, ordained and blessed by all of Eternity.
“Come with me, my Leanai,” Bandia whispered. With a single breath she gathered them up and brought them to a place they had never seen before, although it felt familiar. All around them was perfection, unlike even the perfect world they now knew as their home.
“Mother, why have we not seen this Garden before?” they asked of their Goddess. Gently she answered, “It has always been here as a source of comfort and strength, but your eyes have not seen it before because it was not necessary. It has always been within your souls, going with you everywhere. Now I have made your inner Garden a part of your physical world, outside of yourselves, so that you may come here in times of need whether it be for comfort or guidance. You will bring your new life here for blessing and purifying before presenting it to the rest of Dohman.” This was the most splendid vision either had ever known. The very grasses seemed to whisper prayers as they walked, the Light was a perfect hue-neither too dim nor bright-and the air had the sweet fragrance of a flower they could not name. It filled their heads and numbed their physical senses, bringing with it an instant peace and understanding of all that would come.
The goddess led them to a cool spring whose waters flowed over a pure white stone that was glaring in its brilliance. The source of this spring was not visible, but its gentle rushing made a sound like that of breathing, as if it were the heart of the Garden itself.
The water was clearer than that in which M’na first observed her reflection in those lonely days before Fireann came to be with her. She leaned over and peered into its depths, but this time she saw more than her outward reflection. This time she knew she was seeing her own soul. It was as a prism, spinning and vibrating in brilliant colors, even ones she had not seen on this Dohman. She knew her deepest desires and felt the Light of Unconditional Love all around her.
When Fireann knelt beside her and looked over her soft, white shoulder into the pool of water which collected there below the white rock, he too saw himself with a clarity he had never imagined possible. He was aware of his strength, he felt the intense Love with which he was brought forth as companion to M’na, and He understood the great responsibility that he had accepted with such a gift. His heart beat true, and the sound of it was like a drumming in his chest. He saw his soul as a ball of fiery energy mingled with sparks of Essence that held it in place. Both were in awe of this experience of pure ecstasy; and it seemed an endless time they stood, gazing into the drink, seeing themselves through the eyes of Great Spirit.
Eventually Fireann spoke, “Mother, how will we ever thank you for this perfect gift?”
The goddess simply replied, “Treasure the true gift which lies within yourselves and offer it unconditionally to one another, to the Eternal Spirit and to the new life which will soon join you.”
It was M’na’s soft voice which offered the next question, “And how often shall we come here to this place? In truth, at this moment I feel I never want to leave.”
Bandia tried to explain the miracle to them. “My children, this is but a glimpse of the Eternal Realm as I am able to present it to you. The perfect peace found within these shady groves is truly within you always if only you quiet your thoughts and emotions enough to remember it. It is where you came from; and you can have this physical garden as long as you remember the Source, as long as you work and walk in the Light and understanding of Spiorad Mor’s Unconditional love for all of Its creations, and as long as you hold it within creation.”
In a far corner of this place stood a simple tree, straight and tall, with smooth, cool bark and large leaves that looked as though covered in fine hair. There was a fruit growing under the leaves. It was large and oval-shaped and colored like the sunset. “I created the tree for this occasion and placed it here to mark your Garden. It will be a part of working this miracle. There is no other like it on all of Dohman.”
Then Bandia broke off a small, sharp branch which grew near the base of the tree and with the pointed end stuck it deeply into the tender bark. Immediately there began to ooze a thick, sticky sap from the fresh wound, and she collected it in one of the tree’s large, cup like leaves.
“You will take this with you; and before you lie down to sleep you must both drink of the life flow from this tree. Its sap and fruit carries the gifts of Creation and Knowledge. This is a gift from Great Spirit and is not to be taken on your own at any other time. It will awaken a fire within both of you, and you will understand its purpose. Your union will bring many overwhelming sensations. These will lead to the miracle that brings forth a new life, the one we hope will bring a greater sense of wholeness to Creation through your humanity. We will be with you in all ways-always. Remember you can call upon your Goddess Mother, Inion, Mac or Mor for help at any time; for we are all here for your strength and comfort.”
Fireann vowed to his Mother, “We understand, Mother Bandia, and are pleased to be chosen to be the bearers of such a gift. We will honor all guidance from Spirit in our thankfulness and Love. Is this not so, M’na?” He placed an arm lightly across her shoulder.
Feeling overwhelmed with awe at that which was being revealed, she could not find her words, so M’na simply nodded her head in agreement. Bandia motioned that it was time to go; but as they turned to leave the Garden in the waning light of day, M’na looked longingly back over her shoulder. She could already feel the comfort and peace of the place being distanced from her soul, even as she still viewed its beauty. ‘Remember it is within you,’ chanted the voice of Light within her soul.
Bandia returned to the Eternal realm assuring the couple that she was always near. As she left she gave the two humans one last instruction, “You must never eat the fruit of the tree. For if you do, then surely you will know the end of your days.”
to be continued…….