“Meet Me on a Starship!”
Three years ago, my friend decided to die. He said he’d had enough; eighty-six was plenty of time spent in this world and needed some rest from it. A week later, he was gone, just like that.
It was not the first time I saw someone setting their mind on departing and succeeding. I had seen it before in old age. All seems good, and suddenly people decide enough is enough. In a few days, their bodies shut down quietly, and they pass peacefully. I was amazed at first. I thought humans have no control over it.
I never expected this from my friend, though. An octogenarian with a clear, brilliant mind. A man who changed his life after an out-of-body experience at a crossroad in his forties. A professor of English, history, maths and religion, a computer geek and a guy who loved to play the piano.
A man capable of speaking about everything, because he had a solid base and in-depth knowledge about the whole lot. And a curiosity about everything that always incited and made me wish to be just like him in my eighties.
I was half his age, but that was never a barrier on either side. The ease with which we started a conversation from “lovely weather yesterday; I took a long walk” and delved into metaphysics made me addicted to meeting him.
We talked heaps about what we transform into when we leave our current shape. What was before Jericho, even farther, before the last ice age. In which society has religion first become monotheistic. The meaning of number three beyond mathematics. What entities govern the known Universe.
How music is mathematical precision, parallel dimensions, how bending light waves relate to time travel and so on were recurrent topics in our conversation.
For a few years, we met quite often and always had mind-boggling dialogue. About converging spaces, parallel universes or how many universes are there. How come you visit a place for the first time and know it well. You don’t need a map to explore it and look for specific corners, knowing that something significant happened there, only not in the current existence, since you never set foot there.
Our favourite discussion topic, close to our hearts, was always history. About how it is never what they teach us in school and how it is often biased. About how wrong we are to fool ourselves that we are the most evolved society that ever existed just because we made it to the present day and have a PC on our desk!
About how so few people understand Maria Gimbutas‘ Kurgan theory that places the cradle of the current civilisation precisely on my homeland – coincidence! About how only a few think farther back that a couple of thousand before our era, about the Pelasgians and Boreans. About giants. Because they are phantasmagorical characters in children’s books, right? Of course, the three-metre long skeletons discovered last century in a cave in Romania are a figment of the archaeologists’ imagination.
One of us will throw a random thought and then will delve into details as if the world depended on it! We would debate, for instance, that not many left detailed records of how they lost a battle, a throne or how a war or another had crushed their entire society, but all the victors embellished their wins perhaps more than needed.
Then we would appreciate all the information carved in stone for thousands of years. At least it survived until today. And will still be there, unless a cataclysm hits the entire planet.
Our civilisation has a great chance to disappear from the face of the earth without a trace. It suffices a collision with a big enough asteroid and poof! Adios Google and co! It takes a gap, a discontinuity and all the information will be lost. Like a cassette in the ’80s: you need a cassette player to listen to it. It is good that you found a dusty cassette in the attic, but who produces cassette-players today? How are you going to listen to what is on it?
We don’t carve our daily lives in stone; we’ve stopped doing this for a few millennia. Not that a serious blast won’t wipe away our ancient rocks, too. For the argument, though, let’s assume history will still follow its course post any calamity (great chance one will happen; as a species, we are prone to auto-destruction.)
How will others, in a distant future, be able to understand anything at all about a thriving society that self-destroyed with no technical support to read anything? They will stare at the funny-looking tiny chips found next to skeletons (assuming they won’t melt!) that would be so ancient and meaningless!
If we meet with a catastrophic end, we will be the dinosaurs of our future species. They will only presume this and that about us and our fleeting existence on this planet. We will be their Palaeolithic!
Naturally, Mars and how quite possibly we could share a common fate would be the next topic. Then the Indigo Children would commonly pop up into our discussion. I will not give details here; the point is to make you curious enough to research for yourself if you don’t know yet.
Deeply metaphysical conversations were always our favourite. Where have we been before, in what form? Where was our starting point, and is there a finality to it all? Where do we go when we transcend from the current existence?
We would talk extensively about how we almost lost our spirituality as a species and became highly materialised.
We often spoke about the great minds that lived before their time. Not only Nikola Tesla, to whom we owe everything we plug in our homes today and who always said the electricity should be wireless and free for everybody. But also about the outstanding thinkers, the brilliant philosophers such as Helena Blavatsky, whose open mind delved well beyond physical entities. My favourite book of hers, Isis Unveiled, should be on the mandatory reading list in high school! The teacher in him said it would be way above average and won’t make sense to many. I still have hope in our species!
We agreed that religion, history and philosophy are intertwined, and one cannot speak of Jesus without thinking of Mithras, Zalmoxis and Apollo.
And all the books we reviewed, oh, my! There was not a single one I mentioned that he hadn’t read!
He had this gift (because he had been a teacher most of his life) to ask questions that would allow in-depth analysis, corroboration of facts and sources, and endless hours of dialogue. He told me I was an old mind in a younger body, and at his age, I’d be twice as wise as he is. I was sceptical. But I sure wish I’d be at least half as smart as him at any point.
He always said that we had undoubtedly met in another life and I was always sure that we had. We could not explain it, but we needed not to explain the obvious to us; it was just there.
He asked me where would I want to go if I could time-travel, and I replied that I would press the button for Prehistoric Dacia without a second thought. Then I would like to see more of the 200,000 years of human traces on earth of which we have no clue. And that I would not care at all about travelling to the future.
Maybe I had been there already since the time is not linear anyway. And if I had, I have a nagging feeling that I was not impressed. Unfortunately, today is not a good indicator that the future will be too bright.
He laughed and said he was confident he would meet me again. Funnily enough, I had the same feeling. Not sure though if somewhere in the past or the future. Not that it would make any difference. We will not have a recollection of this moment, of now. But we will absolutely have again this strange feeling that we had met before.
He hit a difficult time when he lost his lovely wife to dementia. I knew that he needed something to help him cope with such a tremendous blow. I had reservations; I did not want to pester him when he was hurting. But I could see that he was looking for some little purpose, for something to occupy his overactive mind.
I asked if he would proofread something I wrote. It was a historical fiction novel I published in the end.
Later, my friend admitted he was suicidal, and my manuscript gave him a life-line. I was shocked by both facts. I made him swear that if he ever had suicidal thoughts again, he would speak with me or anybody else about it. I almost scolded him that he was about to disturb the cosmic order so severely with such an extreme gesture and pleaded with him to share any funny ideas he might have in the future.
And he did. One late morning, out of the blue, he said that he had had enough and it was time for him to go. His brilliant mind was residing in an old and weary body; he saw no purpose in carrying on.
So, he held my hand, reminded me to look for him, maybe on a starship, and said goodbye. It was the last time I had a conversation with him – the most painful of my life. He was saying goodbye, and there was no way I could change his mind, for as hard as I tried.
I was choking with tears, my vision was blurry, but I saw him smiling. He had a peace etched on his face that I have not seen on anybody, ever.
I told him I have this hard to explain feeling that next time we will meet he will be younger and wiser and I’ll be older and bonkers.
Transcendence and its profound meaning did not make it easier for me to tolerate his absence, but I hope it made his journey intriguing.
Until we meet again and possibly exchange thoughts about whatever experience we might have passed, I can only imagine that he met his lovely wife once more, that his soul found some peace or a nice place to land next time and wait for our ways to cross again.
There is no doubt we will recognise each other! Twin souls are predestined to meet over and over again, be it in whatever temporary shape, in whatever Universe or maybe on a starship.
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Head image: Enrique Lopex Garre, Pixabay