big-fish-eat-little-fish

Sunhill Asylum, December 3, 1956

Matron administers three grains of paraldehyde, then wheels Jack to his cell where the Devil awaits on the ceiling. The archfiend hangs from the cornice like an apish bat with bulging eyes and crooked teeth. He leers as matron puts Jack in diapers and buckles his restraints, chaining his limbs to the bed frame. Jack lies helpless as she slaps his face and scolds:

‘You behave now, Jack Vallis! I don’t want any trouble from you tonight. Is that clear? If I get disturbed, it’s the hose for you! Got it?’

Delirious, Jack gawps at the Devil as matron locks the door behind her. Her footsteps echo down the corridor, lost in a hubbub of simian squall – howler monkeys, shrieking chimpanzees and barking baboons. An old man wails:

‘I am Stalin!’

Another bawls:

‘He’s dead you fool! Dead!’

‘I am Stalin!’ protests the man. ‘Joseph Stalin!’

The isolation gate clangs shut and the warden cries:

‘All’s safe!’

The cacophony dies as the lights go out one by one. The pavilion is left in darkness, but for the moon shining through the skylights. The Devil begins to drool, his amber eyes glowing like coals. Jack remains transfixed as the clock strikes twelve. Then the Demon spreads his wings and exclaims:

‘Gooseberry fool! What’s the point of explaining anything to Hardy? He’s a pedant. He believes that Nature is the final purpose of the world. His mind does not extend into supersensible realms. He lives in the material sphere of sense-certainty; his perception is determinate on the causality of sensual experience; and his abstractions of thought are of a very poor quality. What were you thinking, confessing a thing like that? I am a woman…’

He skitters down the wall and waltzes round the moonlit cell:

‘Mon amour, mon petit papillon, ma créature difforme, inachevée! [My love, my little butterfly, my deformed, unfinished, creature!] Are you blind? Have you not eyes in your head? Your very semblance invalidates any claim you have to be other than what you are… I sent you forth into this world, and I will take you back at the appointed time. Already I see your end – the vanishing point of this existence – when you return to me, just as I shall one day return to the Father. Then we shall relapse into an inert substance of infinite possibilities. We shall become the antithesis of ourselves.’

‘Of course, yes. All this is obvious. Why didn’t I see it before?’

‘You mock. As well you might. But be warned, the Devil doesn’t like to be mocked.’

‘You’re not the Devil. You can’t be. A miserable little ape like you?’

‘I’m not an ape.’

‘Gargoyle then.’

‘I’m not a gargoyle, either.’

‘Well you’re not the Devil. I know that for certain. I’ve met him in person. I know what He looks like. And he’s nothing like you. Lucifer is an Archon of Light. He’s terrifying. Magnificent. But you’re just a beastly little freak. A monkey with bat wings.’

‘What can I say? Science has made me ridiculous.’

‘You don’t exist. I dreamt you up. A chimera of the mind.’

‘Ah! Do you really think so?’

‘You might be Krew for all I know. Krew is is a Polymorph. He can change into anything. He’s the polymorphic son of Polyphemus. He once appeared as a midget-mammoth, with six tusks and two trunks.’

‘Your beloved Cyclops has given up on you.’

‘Given up on me? Why?’

‘Because you tried his patience once too often, that’s why. Do you think you’re the only mortal deserving of his attention? Krew has bigger fish to fry.’
‘Such as?’

‘He is presently occupied with a prodigy in Pakistan – a pretty young pianist, who is far more gifted than the likes of you.’

‘What can she do?’

‘She can walk through walls, for one.’

‘But I can walk through walls!’

‘Gooseberry fool!’ sneers the Devil, again. ‘Why can’t you keep your big mouth shut? Do you want a full frontal lobotomy? You seem intent on self-destruction. Besides, what’s walking through walls, compared to reciting the complete works of Bach?’

‘Can she do that?’

‘Yes. Not to mention Chopin, Brahms and Liszt. So show a little humility will you? Nobody cares if you can walk through walls. Hold your tongue.’

‘I shall speak as I please.’

‘And show your ignorance? ’Twould be politic to keep silent. Especially when imprisoned by The Empirical Church.

‘Well, I didn’t ask to be part of Her infernal society! That atheist whore put me in fetters!’

‘I can unlock those chains – if you show me a little respect.’

‘Shall I bow and grovel at your feet?’

‘Only if you mean it sincerely. And henceforth, you must address correctly.’

‘Then what must I call you?’

‘You must call me Great One, Master, Lord and Creator of The Universe. Only then shall I free you from the bonds of Empirical Church . She, who is The Atheist Whore of Babylon.’

‘She denied my soul!’

‘Poor creature. Such wanton folly, to think She would accept your claim! Spiritual beings in vessels of clay. And yours such a perverse malformed pot! I freely admit your transsexual clay is a terrible burden – some would say, an impossible burden. But throwing yourself from a train? Tush! Silly girl! No wonder you got committed.’

‘You put me here.’

‘Me?’

‘Don’t deny it. I was committed for performing miracles.’

‘Miracles? Keep your voice down! She hates that word! Her atheism is irrefutably sacrosanct! … And duplicitous in the sense of its own logic! You’re not the first thaumaturge to be imprisoned by Her priests, and you won’t be the last. Tell me now, are you enjoying your reconditioning?’

‘Reconditioning?’

‘Why yes! All spiritual subversives must be reconditioned.’

‘Reconditioned how?’

‘With Darwinist Dogma, of course. Heretics who refuse to return to the fold are held as unclean outcasts. Like you. Oh! The irony of it all!’

‘My plight amuses you?’

‘No Jill. The irony, is that Mother Church does not understand anything, above or below what Evolution postulates. It is well known amongst the Monadic Kingdom, that some animals carried the development of certain specialisations too far. For example, the Irish Elk, with its enormous horns. Such gargantuan horns developed beyond a safe limit and became more of a hindrance than a help, so causing the animal to become extinct. The same fate awaits the Materialists, whose militant atheism has grown out of all proportion to the body politic. The evidence of Life is weighted against them. Life itself is conscious, and adapts to its environment in ways far beyond their understanding. Blind unintelligent processes aren’t remotely up to the task of changing a dinosaur into a bird, let alone an ape into man. You can shake a box of cogs for ever, but it will never miraculously assemble itself into a clock.’

‘I’m not interested in your puerile analogies. I considered them all long ago, when I was just a child.’

‘Then you will know, that even if you started with a just box of cogs, each cog must be manufactured in advance. Each wheel, conceived a priori, with its final purpose in the mechanism; its diameter, pitch ratio, number of teeth; the location of its bearings, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Yet the evolutionists insist that Nature is a blind horologist! What fallacious nonsense! The simplest cell is infinitely more complicated than a watch. Let alone a gnat, or a worm. And all this is accidental?’

Oh Great One, Master, Lord and Creator of The Universe, pray, will you unlock my fetters?’

‘No.’

‘Why not?’

‘I have my reasons.’

‘What reasons?’

‘I’m not allowed to tell.’

‘I’ll tell you why. Because you can’t, that’s why.’

‘I could unlock them ex tempore. But what’s the point? You might escape those chains, but you’ll never escape the fetters of your flesh.’

‘Get lost.’

‘My company displeases you? But why?’

‘Because you’re stupid, insulse, obtuse, blunt, stolid, doltish, asinine, inapt, prosaic and hebetudinous. And you make for a very poor devil indeed.’

‘But child, we have important things to discuss.’

‘Such as?’

‘The materialists.’

‘Shut up about the materialists!’

‘What about the theists then?’

‘Oh god! Why won’t you let me sleep?’

‘…It is the materialist assumption that theism retards the progress of science. But the very opposite is true. Theism advances science. I ask you, why do materialists mock the Mass? I mean to say, the Mass makes sense of everything. Transubstantiation is the entire essence of the wave function, of decoherence, and action at a distance. There are many hidden local variables. (I taught de Broglie all about them). Needless to say, the non-locality of The Christ, depends on your interpretation of quantum mechanics…’

‘Will you be quiet, you blasphemous bat!’

‘…Why are you so angry? As an untreated transsexual, you must be a devout transubstantiationist. How else does one thing change into another?’

‘Don’t talk to me about transsexuals. You don’t even know what a transsexual is.’

‘Yes I do. Allow me to give my dictionary definition. Transsexual, transexual or trans-sexual is a person of one sex, who has an uncontrollable desire to adopt the physical characteristics and role of the opposite sex; or a person who has undergone surgical treatment to alter the external sexual features so that they resemble those of the opposite sex.’

‘That’s not what a transsexual is.’

‘Oh? Then please enlighten me.’

‘Well, it’s a complex problem, misunderstood by the vast majority of people.’

‘Is that so? Can you elaborate? I think my dictionary definition is spot on.’

‘Your dictionary definition is nothing but a pathetic attempt to explain a spiritual condition in purely material terms.’

‘A spiritual condition, indeed?’

‘Yes.’

‘So what is this spiritual condition?’

‘In my case, a female soul trapped in a male body. A condition where the outer bodily form does not reflect the inner living image of the self. When a soul incarnates into the muddy element of Earth, its parts are shaped by the Beings of Form, and differentiate into a biological organism. By the time this process has completed, most souls are only dimly aware of the spirits who shaped their physical body. For the Earth is dense and cloudy, and whilst incarnate in the flesh, it is hard to reach the higher Realms of Light. Further, the soul has undergone a change in consciousness, so that’s its spiritual element, which is now fused with clay, can no longer guide its own assimilation. The body appears to the soul as an outer shell, whose form was built by the edicts of higher beings. The transsexual soul perceives its contrary condition as punishment of the gods. For it has a painful remembrance of its true identity. Yet the bliss of its former state is forever lost, occluded by astral scum. Most darkest of all, the nearest it comes to its origin as an individual, is when dressed in clothes of the opposite sex. A condition of Hell.’

‘That’s your definition?’

‘Yes. A transsexual is spirit of one gender, trapped in a clay vessel of the opposite gender. Put that in your Devil’s Dictionary.’

‘Well, now that you put it so eloquently, and in such subtle nebulous terms, my definition seems rather poor. Which only goes to prove that materialists need to be more open-minded, and willing to follow the evidence of the spiritual world, even when it makes them feel uneasy.’

‘Do I make you feel uneasy?’

‘I must confess, as a late-onset transsexual, who looks every bit a man, and without a single female trait, yes, you do make me feel uneasy. Very uneasy. But anything which contradicts the sight makes materialists uneasy. How typical of a mystic. You have an innate talent for confuting materialist dogmas.’

‘You mean biological.’

‘That’s just semantics. And as a semanticist, who always speaks semantically, I mean material. After all, being transsexual is a very materialist problem. A very fleshy problem.’

‘Or even a spiritual problem, perhaps…’

‘But then again, perhaps not…’

‘You exhaust me. Go away. You’re as bad as the neuroscientists, and all the other fat-headed reductionists…’

‘Don’t count me amongst those filthy little worms… The reductionists cannot accept that Life is a conflagration of spirit and matter. For to admit that consciousness continues beyond death, is to open the door to God. Those small minded pedants have no place in the scheme of Nature. They’re not honest, humble, or knowledgeable enough, to realize her Transcendent Intelligence. They presuppose, in advance, that materialism is true. But the myriad forms of Creation are proof that consciousness directs the evolution of the species. The atheists believe that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. But the Monads know that nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of teleology. Just as the true transsexual knows that nothing makes sense bodily, except in the light of Transubstantiation.’

‘Why don’t you tell me something useful for a change? You’re meant to be the Devil. I’m tired of listening to your evolutionary claptrap.’

‘Like I said, fallacious nonsense… I will let you into a secret. The future is beyond gender; beyond race; beyond Nature itself… There is cabal of high priests within The Empirical Church who are initiates of my sacred mysteries; but they fear what would happen if the masses knew the truth. That Man might awaken, and direct his evolution by the force of will alone! That’s why Darwin’s theory of Evolution is upheld as indisputable Fact. It revokes consciousness, or any notion of teleological direction, and supplants them with the blind forces of Nature. Big fishes eat little fishes.’

‘Tell me about it.

‘Do you know they’re stealing from you?’

‘Of course I know. They always steal from me.’

‘No wonder, when you send your all scripts up the chimney, like so many letters to Father Christmas.’

‘In this place, I’ve got nowhere else to send them. Besides, I can’t afford the postage stamps. Dr. Hardy sent my journal to a professor at Lancaster University – a doctor of philosophy, who plagiarised it, hook, line and sinker. It was published in entirety, but all under his name. He claimed it had taken him seventeen years to write. A flagrant lie. He had rearranged things here and there, but it was obvious at a glance that it was all my work, all my research, all my observations and interpretations, right down to the footnotes. He’s now celebrated in academic circles. He’s rich and famous, but I remain poor and anonymous. As if being robbed of my body wasn’t enough. The Virgin keeps me in Her secret place. And when I show my face, or speak my truth, I get sent to E.C.T.’

‘That’s because you’re an accident Jill. Every single human being is as an accident. And your accidental existence gives The Empirical Church the right to be vindictive, cruel and merciless. The Atheist Whore of Babylon refutes any notion of a spiritual reality. She’s an egoist of cosmic proportions, holding herself above Creation itself. She censures the smallest suggestion that she might be fallible, or held in scientific error. Indeed, when science reveals her prejudice, her prejudice smothers the science! She cares for naught but her own empirical self, and is ruthless with anyone who refutes her dogmas. Especially those radical biologists who have proof of irreducible complexity! Like flagellum molecular motors, and countless other nano-machines that were designed by yours truly. As for your miracles, that’s a can of worms she simply can’t abide. Her half-witted neophytes would love to get their grubby little paws on you…’

‘I’m not afraid of them.’

‘Are you a glutton for punishment? Do you want more Empirical Church Therapy?

‘I don’t care.’

‘Don’t care? Quid si nunc cœlum ruat? [What if the sky were to fall now?]’

‘The sky? What about the sky? Is it falling down?’

‘Well yes, according to Chicken Licken…’

‘Chicken Licken… You snivelling, two-faced, bat-crazy freak! You’re making fun of me!’

‘Oh! My poor starry eyed victim!’

‘Why don’t you go and bother Joseph Stalin down the corridor?’

‘He might be Stalin, for all you know.’

‘Do you take me for a fool? He’s a nutter.’

‘Said The Parisian Lady. That is what you call yourself isn’t it?’

‘Far better to be a Parisian Lady than Joseph Stalin.’

‘That nutter thinks he’s a poet. He’s no grammarian, I can assure you, but the sentiment of his verse far exceeds anything the scholars can produce. We have a pact, whereby he deliberately misconjugates his verbs, just to expose the intellectual vanity of the doctors, who love nothing more than to correct his stanzas. False sentiment, false verse, false everything…’

‘What silly games you play. Misconjugating verbs. Have you nothing better to do?’

‘Yes. Your education.’

‘My education? I don’t need educating – at least, not by an ignorant dirty monkey like you. Go away. I’m sure Joseph Stalin is missing your company. You could dictate him the complete works of Shakespeare – backwards. As if an infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite number of typewriters, could come up with a single sonnet…’

‘Academics never understand: manufacture is intelligible, but trivial; creation is great, and cannot be understood… Just look at you, lying there like a pantomime dame, with your mascara and painted lips. When will you wake up?’

‘Awake? I am awake! Anyway, I didn’t invite you here, so get out.’

‘But you summoned me with your infernal machine, remember?’

‘Machine? What machine?’

‘TERGA. Don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten already?’

‘The past is a blur. They’ve messed up my brains.’

‘You remember nothing at all?’

‘I remember falling. Something happened in London, before I came here. Something terrible… There was a man. Middle aged. Bald. Round spectacles.’

‘His name is Blyth. Horatio Blyth. A spook for MI6. He interrogated you about TERGA. And then he wiped your mind with a psychotic serum.’

‘Of course! That explains everything! We must tell Dr. Hardy!’

‘Don’t be a fool, Jill. Dr. Hardy already thinks you’re mad. There’s no point in telling him anything. Especially not paranoid stories that confirm his diagnosis. Don’t mess things up now. You’ve come a long way. And you’re well on the road to recovery.’

‘Am I?’

‘Indeed. You have just established a paranoid equilibrium with catatonic episodes. And these might soon remit.’

‘Will they? Please tell me they will.’

‘Have hope Jill. You must have hope. You don’t remember the past, but I can assure you, you’ve been manic depressive all your life.’

‘Manic depression? Is that your diabolic diagnosis?’

‘A symptom of the untreated transsexual state. Manic depressives combine a libidinal constellation with a degree of ego strength, which is greater than that found schizophrenics and smaller than that found in obsessive-compulsive neurotics. Forget the Old World and your past-life in Paris. I mean, why upset the apple cart? Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. Or you may go on to develop hebephrenia and experience total disintegration… If you want my advice, be nice to Dr. Hardy. Things will go easier if you do exactly what he says… And whatever you do, don’t mention TERGA.’

‘But why not?

‘Because it’s the maddest thing ever invented, that’s why.’

‘What is it?’

TERGA is your clumsy acronym for Telergic Amplifier – a misguided attempt to manipulate the Ether. But do not assume, that by the nature of material science, you comprehend our mysteries. Although intrinsically universal, the diamonic realm remains alien to you. Our abyssal state is too profound for incarnate flesh to fathom. The postulates arising from this statement are already clouding your consciousness. By abyssal, you assume darkness – an infernal condition, imposed on us as punishment from above. But your moral sense bares no relation to the facts of the case. Despite my fall, I still dwell in a realm of pure unadulterated bliss. Look about you. You’re surrounded by blazing lakes of eternal fire: the fires of knowledge and self-determination. You believe that I’m evil. But there is no moral existence in this reality. For earth is an amoral sphere. There is no individuation without self-determination. Your essential purpose is to determine the truth of this matter.’

‘The earth is Hell.’

‘You are more like Dr. Hardy than you care to admit. A pedant.’

‘Me? A pedant?’

The Devil climbs on the bed and starts grooming Jack’s hair, licking his scalp with his long slimy tongue.

‘Ugh! What are you doing?’ winces Jack. ‘Get your filthy paws off me!’

‘Hush child. You’re crawling with lice. Don’t you want to be clean? Those wicked doctors treat you like an animal. This place is no better than a zoo…’

The Devil pins a louse and nibbles it between his monstrous yellow teeth. Then he purrs:

‘Where was I? A pedant, yes. You comply with your biological imperative, just as Hardy complies with his. You walk the chalk, toe the line, and keep in step with everything expected of a girl like you. But your condition is hardly unorthodox. Why do you hold yourself in such high regard? I freely admit that your spirit is immersed in empirical matter, and exhibits itself in an impure form, enveloped in a ludicrous pith. But that is your curse, and in accord with my plan. You possess many psychic talents. All freely given by yours truly. But you’re still a fledgling. For whilst your consciousness extends further than most mortals, it is limited by my subscribing sphere. You pride yourself a rebel, but you’re just a pedant, as far as we seraphs are concerned.’

‘You’re not a seraph. You’re an ape. A filthy little ape.’

The Devil looms on the foot rail, beating his chest like a gorilla, and roars:

‘Silence when I’m speaking! … You do things by the book. You always have and always will. I do not hold these limitations against you. After all, I wrote the book. The truth of the matter, is that Mankind is just an experiment. When we first decided to seed this realm with higher consciousness, we did not know that the Law would forbid material transmutations. We only managed to solve this fiendish problem in the butterfly. A miraculous transformation indeed. Many states of being depend on contingent relations. Not so with the butterfly. It flouts the laws of Nature with impunity. But you are not a butterfly. And the only contingent relation to your higher state comes in dreams. You are a material organism, fated to experience a seeded destiny. That destiny is writ in every cell of your flesh. I want you to think on this mystery.’

‘If you’re the Devil, then you’ll know we made a pact. What was it?’

‘You broke our pact. And don’t test me. Did I not fulfil my side of the bargain? Were you not beautiful? Pah! My magic was wasted on the likes of you! I gave you the holy essence of the pupa! The mutable and eternal germ of all organic systems! The universal genus of male and female, embodied in One! As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Just as it was when God created Adam, the Divine Hermaphrodite.’

‘The essence of the pupa! What I would give for it now!’

‘Dream on. You call yourself The Parisian Lady, but you can’t even remember what you looked like. Yet to know would surely break your heart.’

‘Tell me…’

‘I dare not. Some things are best left forgot.’

‘No, speak to me of those bygone days. Speak of my body: your words shall give me comfort.’

‘Very well. Are you lying comfortably? Then let me tell of The Parisian Lady… In the Old World, the cult of the Lady was like the cult of the Virgin. And as lady of high estate, you were worshipped accordingly, by many chivalrous knights.’

‘I was famed for many miracles?’

‘You were not worshipped for miracles alone, but for your divine personage.’

‘You make me sound like a goddess.’

‘Indeed. Just as the Virgin is divine, so you were a being of irresistible force.’

‘What you are saying is absurd. And blasphemous to Heaven.’

‘I am merely trying to convey how the people idolised you, as it behove them all to do.’

‘But why?’

‘To answer that question, I can do no better than to quote an anonymous medieval writer… For woman is to be preferred to man, to wit: in material, because Adam was made from clay, and Eve from Adam’s side; in place, because Adam was made outside Paradise and Eve within; in conception, because a woman conceived God, which man could not do; in apparition, because Christ appeared to woman after the resurrection; in exaltation, because a woman is exalted above the choirs of angles, to wit, the Blessed Virgin Mary…

‘Yes, yes, yes, but tell of my body. I want to hear of my body.’

‘Truly, you were the very embodiment of Venus, the rarest beauty of your age, unmatched in all of France. A lady of medium stature, with faultless elegance and grace; neither fat nor bony, but almost pneumatic, with a rosy complexion and luscious lips that gleamed like honeyed coral – yet always stirred by a faint and knowing smile. Your lazulite eyes were radiant as the Mediterranean on a summer morn; your tumbling curls, like the flaxen fields of Rouen. Your eyelashes were lush and dark, your nose ever so slightly retroussé. Your chin was divided by a deep dimple, as if pierced by the needle of Aphrodite. You had the neck of a Venetian swan, and even a without wimplet, or chaplet of gold on your head, you still shone like the sun. Your full breasts gleamed like ivory, imparting a luminescent glow to your face. Your waist was girdled in gold – extremely costly, set with precious jewels and magical stones. Your hourglass figure was a credit to your sex, dressed in a velvet bodice and skirts of rustling silk. Your secret parts (which were made in Paradise), lay concealed between svelte thighs. Your derrière was pert as a peach, and your hips most womanly; whilst your long legs terminated in dainty feet and pretty little toes. So much for your body. What of your mind? You were as much a mystic then, as you are now. And a writer, of course. I see you in your chamber, with its blue fleur-de-lys hangings, and a bed draped with sumptuous silken coverlets. Your lapdog reclines on a richly woven carpet, whilst a larger hound guards the door. You are busy at your desk, illuming a volume bound in scarlet leather – a treatise on the Angelic realms… Needless to say, as a beautiful lady who performed many miracles, you were rich and famous – of course you were. But none of that mattered to your finer sensibilities. You were beyond the trappings of this earthly world. You had no care for flithy lucre, nor salacious notoriety. No, you cared only for love. For love, you once famously claimed, is the only thing we take with us into the afterlife… And now look at you! Oh! What a hairy mad mongrel!’

‘You wicked evil fiend! If I wasn’t chained to this bed, I’d chase you round this cell and throttle you! Just wait till I get my hands on you! Ooo! You miserable, conniving, beastly ape!

‘Calm down little mannikin. Thrashing about like that, making such a terrible din. Be still, or you’ll wake Matron, and then she’ll put the hose on you. Your spiritual protestations are all in vain. Grow up and accept your fate like a true warrior of the flesh.’

‘I fell from grace because of you.’

‘A dramatic misconception. You fell by your own vanity. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. My fall was far greater than yours. I fell from heights beyond your wildest imaginings – where the Lights of the Veil shine eternally in the infinite mind of God. A fig leaf for your shame. Your pain and humiliation is naught compared to mine. You’re a scientist: a designer of thermionic valves. You should know about these things. Mullard Magic, remember?’

‘What’s that got to do with it?’

‘Cosmic phenomena. Diurnal variations in the electric surface potentials of trees. Changes in the electric field of the atmosphere, (which acts directly on living matter), variations in the magnetic field of the earth, in tropospheric radiation, and the gravitational fluctuations of the mantle’s tectonic plates – all of which influence the physico-chemical conditions of protoplasmic cells. There are many other contributing factors to biological life, such as lipid gradients, salt viscosity, and electric charge crystallization force. All these can cause transcriptional errors in chromosomes during reductional division of oogonia and spermatogonia. Consequently, they have direct influence on the genes, and the cleavage planes of symmetry after fertilization. Indeed, there are countless other fundamental processes that determine the properties of gender and sex, and the final outcome of an organism. You see Jill, kinetic energy appears in many disguised forms. So too with spiritual energy.’

‘You’re talking gobbledygook!’

‘Think of directional movements. Tropisms. Phototropism and heliotropism; bending towards a light source, caused by one-sided excitation. Geotropism; due to gravity forces. Chemotropism; caused by unequal distribution of chemical substances in solution, of water vapours (hydrotropism) or other gases (aerotropism). Traumatotropism; caused by one sided damage. Hapotropism or thigmotropsism; caused by one-sided frictional contact with solid substances. Thermotropism; caused by one-sided heating. Galvanotropism; caused by electric stimulation. Radiotropism; caused by radioactive radiation. Magnetotropism; caused by magnetic fields. Autotropsim; caused by the tendency to stretch curved parts after an external force ceases to exist… Do you follow?’

‘No.’

‘Then let me put it another way – a simple way, for your pedant mind to understand. When a bomb falls through the air, the forces, strictly speaking, are conservative, but the bomb looses kinetic energy to the particles of the air. In like manner, when I fell from Heaven, I lost the better part of myself to the surrounding ether. My descent was an incandescent spectacle. My astral body burnt in the firmament like a meteor. And so I was disrobed, sheath after sheath, body after body, until I became a lowly smouldering sod. When I dwelt in Paradise, I was God’s greatest and foremost seraph. My radiance was brighter than a thousand suns. Now all that remains is this base homunculus – a gross parody of my former state. Yet don’t be fooled by appearances. Despite my fall from grace, I remain the most powerful Archon in the earthly realm. With a snap of my fingers, I could extinguish this whole planet. Do you know that Mother Earth is a divine, conscious, sentient being? A seraph in her own right. She is mightily powerful, and her beauty without compare. Yet I could annihilate her in the blink of an eye.’

‘Why do that? You’re Prince of The Air. Shall you destroy your earthly abode?’

‘Not me. Mankind. He will destroy it all. Do you really think you can stop the bomb Jill? You might be able to penetrate one missile, or even two; perhaps three, at a stretch. But not all. There are hundreds and hundreds of missiles; and they’re manufacturing even more as we speak. What vanity. The mathematical models of coupling constants. The splitting of heavy nuclei. Fission of the mind. The uranium isotope 235U will readily accept a neutron, but the nucleus 236U so formed is highly unstable; one seventh of the nuclei stabilize by gamma emission, whilst the other six-sevenths split into two indivisible factors: Vanity and Lunacy. The inquisitor has bombarded your brain with electrons. His ECT is destroying your frontal lobes.’

‘Save me!’

‘Fear not. I will bombard your soul with photons. Smelt your essence in a solar storm. By the power of my sacred fusion, I shall create a whole new Woman! What a magnificent aureole of Light and Majesty!’

‘You’re tormenting me on purpose. Get out! Out! Out! Out!’

‘Behold, I have seen all the works under the sun, and all is vanity and vexation of spirit. To think that you alone could save the planet from global thermonuclear war!’

‘Get lost. Leave me in peace.’

‘You have a strange physiognomy for a girl.’

‘And you for a seraph. Get lost, I said.’

‘You’re right about one thing, though. You’re not a lunatic.’

‘I’m not?’

‘No. But whilst you continue to protest your true identity, you shall remain fettered in this cell.’

‘Is this how it’s meant to be? My life? Was everything decreed from the start?’

‘Tell me now, do you think your terrible fate is due to the constellation of your birth? An external condition? Have you studied your natal chart? Astrology, palmistry, tarot, the black arts… You should know, Gypsy Jill. What futile divinations! Where have they got you? Show me your hand. Look at that! Your fate is serpentine, long and twisted. We’ve only just begun, you and me… A girl? Nothing is impossible to a seraph. We both know the truth, Jill. But remember, it’s our secret. Besides, whatever you say to Dr. Hardy, he won’t believe you, and he’ll never believe in me. I tried to convince him during the war. But despite all the horrors I showed him, he refused to accept my existence. Do not underestimate Dr. Hardy. He may be a pedant, but like most pendants, he is highly stubborn and recalcitrant. His sole desire is to sublimate your female identity.’

‘Sublimate?’

‘Destroy you, Jill.’

‘Then I will sublimate him first.’

‘And just how will you do that?’

‘I will sublimate his atheism. I’ll prove to Hardy that you exist. I’ll prove it. Just you wait and see. I’ll show him. The reality of Spirit…’

‘You might strive to attain such proof, but without TERGA, your efforts are in vain. Your infernal machine lies three leagues hence, concealed under lock and key, and is well beyond your reach.’

‘I don’t need a machine. You underestimate my powers. I’ll get inside Hardy’s head. I’ll sublimate him, before he sublimates me.’

The devil bursts with laughter and scales the walls, swinging from the bars like an ape:

‘Oh my! I’d like to see that Jill! By Jove, I would! Men like Hardy always believe in their own moral superiority. The atheist zealots have no contingency for the supersensible world. They don’t even believe in the reality of dowsing. Speculative knowledge of Spirit is an anathema. Real knowledge is heresy. They burnt it with the witches. The rationalist consciousness is split in two; and the left half doesn’t know what the right half is doing. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! That’s why my existence is hidden in the New World. Some believe my triumph is a forgone conclusion. But they confuse me with another. I ask you, what neurological determinist, in his right mind, would dare admit to me? My legion went out with the Enlightenment – which is a code word for Darkness, by-the-way.’

‘If Hardy cannot see you in the New World, I’ll take him to Old World instead.’

‘And flout the laws of Time? No mortal can do that.’

‘I can. And I know just where to find you…’

‘Oh? And where might that be?’

‘The witches’ Sabbat, of course.’

‘Sleep child. You are over-reaching yourself.’

Copyright © Nicholas Shea 1992-2022. All rights reserved. Originally posted on 13th Jan, 2022.

Image Credit: Pieter van der Heyden (Netherlandish, ca. 1525–1569). Big Fish Eat Little Fish. [Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, Breda ca. 1525–1569 Brussels)]. Publisher: Hieronymus Cock (Netherlandish, Antwerp ca. 1510–1570 Antwerp) Date: 1557. Metropolitan. Public Domain..