Wordcarpenter Books
Chapter Thirty-seven

Touching the Empyrean


            Alone and so high up on the mountain, unseen and unknown to anyone, Thomas fell at noon on Sunday and was discovered by a hiker Tuesday at 2:30 in the afternoon. The hiker noticed a foot sticking out of a bush as he was hiking along the main trail. Thomas was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in critical condition for ten hours, but it was during this time that he experienced a series of mental images. Like a kaleidoscope enriched with bright light and meaning, a succession of mind pictures took him far away towards a light as if to a higher plane of being. The images before him were memories from is past seen in vivid clarity with a fullness of unhindered emotion. Despite witnessing this rapid-fire joy of sentimental recollection of scenes in his life, he cannot, as it were, bring then closer for dissection. It was as if he witnessed it from above, slightly removed, yet completely immersed in each scene's emotional meaning. It was a form of joy he had never known before, distilled and pure, and infinitely personal. The final and most enduring image was him seeing himself as a ten-year old boy running across a meadow full of wildflowers chasing Josh and laughing so much he might explode. It was pure and hopeful and innocent - a moment of Aristotelean happiness that epitomized the innocence of his childhood, a time before shadows of doubt clouded any possibility of pure joy. It was as if it iwa engineered in such a way to create a synergy of warmth that overwhelmed his heart and pulled his spirit towards it. It was a warmth of quintessential equilibrium that calmed his center in a whirlwind all around him that threatened to rip him apart.

            The sharply lighted memories in his life nurtured him. He coveted the absence of pain and the absoluteness of pure joy he felt, so when he began regaining consciousness he resisted. He felt like he was being sucked away from a womb that left him exposed and weakened and vulnerable. The closer he moved to awaking, the farther away he was from the rich light of color and heat that soothed my burning soul. His greatest desire was to remain with the great brightness of pictorial emotion that gave him a timeless and profound exultation and that perfectly matched everything he sought subconsciously. In this state somewhere between life and death, he struggled to embrace the light and color and warmth that healed his injured soul.

            He was aware of all this the moment he regained consciousness in the intensive care unit. As if forced to the surface in the sea by buoyancy, he fought to stay below the surface and savor the beauty and personalized richness of these colors and pictures in a prolonged moment of eternity.

            When he finally awoke, after having his hand on the doorknob to death, he was immediately aware that he had shared his intense experience of recollection with all those whom he loved. Beyond the bluntness of words, he knew it was an entry into a world of pure feeling where absolute understanding brought absolute communication, which in turn brought him into an absolute oneness of being. It was, perhaps, a glimpse of heaven.

            Somehow he had been born again by the unknown power of light.



Part One - Canada
1.      The Twin From the East Returns  
2.      The Sundancer  
3.      Waxing Gibbous 
4.      The Second Coming of the Messiah 
5.      The Sacred Twin Story 
6.      The Sign of the Pahana 
7.      Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya 
8.      Rainbow Thunderbird and Red Phoenix 
9.      The True White Brother 
10.    The Lost Louis Riel Notebooks 
Part Two - Hong Kong
11.    A Mixture of Revulsion and Pity 
12.    A Classroom of Scallywags 
13.    Illegitimati non Carborundum 
14.    The Distant Fire of Empyrean
Part Three - Burma
15.    The Monastery of Sacred Tablets 
16.    The Outpost of Tyranny 
17.    When the 12th Moon Comes 
18.    The Pigeon Left & the Crow Took His Place 
19.    Go North and Find Your People 
20.    Finding Orwell 
21.    Though the Monkey is in a Hurry, the Tree Branch is Not 
22.    The Castle at God's Toes 
23.    The General and Sergeant Betel Nut 
24.    The Tattooed Station Master 
25.    Reverend Crow's Life's Work 
26.    Yield Not to Adversity, But Press on More Bravely 
27.    A Bitter Cuppa Tea 
28.    The Thirteenth Tribe 
29.    When a Lamp is Lit You Must Expect Insects 
30.    John the Christian 
31.    A Guardian Angel Named Hanna 
32.    The Bar Car & Betel Nut 
33.    The Son of Light  
34.    Slipping the Karmic Knot
Part Four - Hong Kong
35.    The Tonsure Warning  
36.    The Phoenix Reborn  
37.    Touching the Empyrean  
38.    Joshua the Gatekeeper  
Part Five - Canada
39.    Lapsit Exillis  
40.    Thunderstones  
41.    The Time of Great Purification

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