The World Beyond the World

Alexandr Belous/

This post was originally published through Patreon on August 4, 2018.

August 4, 2018

A voice calls out to me from the dark of night, and I can resist its pull no longer. For years I avoided its insistent plea, but now my time of turning away has reached an end.

Have you ever tried to hold fire in your hands? I have. It was an accident, of course. I was a child, and my dad let me light a firework for the Fourth of July. I didn’t put it down in time and it singed my fingers. Only the fizzling sparks of the fuse burned my hand—I was lucky—but I’ll never forget the sensation, sharp and instant, like a hot knife slicing through my skin.

That’s what it feels like now, hearing this voice and refusing to answer. Only the agony never fades, because every moment I hold myself back is another fresh fuse, another stinging burn, slicing through my soul, cutting me in places that never heal.

So I’ve turned my back on the world I know for the one I don’t—for the World Beyond the World. I have answered its call at last, and I will keep it waiting no longer.

August 5, 2018

One day. Forty-three years of days have preceded it, but I don’t remember a single one. Today, however, is different. Today has imprinted itself on the contours of my heart to form an indelible mark.

Have you ever felt that there was more to the world than what you could see on the surface? That everything your senses taught you to be true was a lie? That all we see and hear and feel is like plastic, a thin, superficial layer beyond which the unspoken mysteries of the cosmos thrum like a smooth well-oiled engine?

I’ve been to the Edge of the World, and I can tell you those feelings are true, that you and I were made for something more, that there is beauty, depth, and meaning surpassing your wildest fantasies.

I have crossed a threshold beyond which there is no going back, and all I can do now is follow that voice further—into either life or oblivion, I know not which.

August 6, 2018

Resplendent. Transcendent. Light, life, and love made flesh. No words exist that could give shape to the World Beyond the World, only crude approximations, monochrome stick figures instead of vibrant color photographs. The cosmos lie bare before me, an eternal, ever-present canvas onto which the greatest work of art in the history of all existence plays out in ever-changing configurations.

The celestial lights dazzle me, so unlike the stars back home, and I know now that I’m ready to move on.

Other voices have joined the first. A thousand. More. An otherworldly chorus that sets my heart on fire.

I stand before the World Beyond the World and submit myself for judgement. Its ardent gaze pierces me with its knowing light, and I can feel that all my deepest evils are exposed. I am ashamed, but the light is love as well as knowledge, and the light tells me not to be afraid.

There is pain as the light turns into a fire. But it is a purging fire, a healing fire, and I grit my teeth, knowing the pain is temporary, that the impurities within my soul will be burned away so that I might be worthy of entering their otherworldly realm.

There is no more pain now. The fire no longer burns, because what’s left inside of me is also fire and is ready to be one with the World Beyond the World at last.

The cosmos open like the gates of Heaven, and I walk forward into the light.

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