The World Beside

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The teacher placed a pyramid before her student and asked, “What do you see?”

The student replied that he saw a pyramid. All the triangles of the pyramid were the same size and each face had a different color.

“Very good,” she said. Walking around the student to stand behind him, she leaned in close and asked again, “What do you see?”

Puzzled, the student repeated his earlier description placing emphasis on the individual colors of the pyramid faces.

After a brief pause, she asked, “Can you see the green side as it sits before you?”

“No,” the student replied, “I cannot see it because the pyarmid is resting on its green side. I can see the yellow and blue faces,” he added, “with the red face on the back.”

“Can you  see those three faces at the same time?”

“No, teacher, I cannot.”

“You will.”

Time passed. The student felt a bead of sweat crawl its way down the outer edge of his face. It lingered on his chin for an eternity of silence before dropping to the floor.

“Look again,” the teacher intoned, “you can see the yellow and blue and red pyramid faces because you know that they are there.”

For a long time, the student stared at the pyramid. The sweat that first began to appear as random dots began to form a small stream. Tears began to well in the students’ eyes. They also joined the river hurtling toward the floor. At his chin, the drops fell faster and faster.

“I see them!” the student shouted. “I see all four faces of the pyramid!”

The sweat streaming from his chin disappeared into nothingness before hitting the floor. A dot of blood appeared just above his hairline and stretched into a ribbon of red as it moved toward the river of sweat and tears.

The teacher was pleased that the student had progressed much farther than her expectations. She asked herself if he had really said that he saw four faces instead of three. She dared herself to push his talents and submitted another challenge.

“What is inside the pyramid?”

Three more dots of blood appeared on the students’ head. The red ribbon was more distinct now. His face betrayed no sense of strain, only a look of contemplation and a half-smile on his lips.

“I see a box,” said the student.

The teacher’s smile grew broader. She was quite impressed with her apprentice. He has progressed farther that she had at this point in her training. She began to entertain ridiculous thoughts about the power her student possessed.  She wondered if she was the teacher prophesied to give birth to the Master of the World Beside.

Dispelling her foolish notions, she refocused on the purpose of her training. She had brought him here to teach about their common heritage. This temple was the place where the ancients meditated. In this place, the ancients pulled knowledge from the Word Beside. This knowledge brought enlightenment to the world and saved their kind from destruction and ruin for hundreds of generations.

“You have the Prapatra and Chayda,” she told her son. “You can see things as they really are.”

The boy betrayed a bit of excitement at his mother’s words. Pursing his lips, he reached toward the pyramid.

“Let me take the box,” he said.

The mother had turned her back on him while she was lost in thought. Turning back at his words, she cried out to stop him from making a grim mistake. He had not learned enough to find his way back.

NO!

His hand disappeared into the blue face of the pyramid and grabbed the box that sat inside. Finding it too heavy for one hand, he reached the other toward the box. His other arm sunk up to the elbow into the yellow face of the pyramid. With a great pull, the edge of the box emerged from the red face of the pyramid.

His mother was not using the Prapatra and Chayda, so she did not see the box emerge on the opposite side of the pyramid. She stood helpless, hoping that her son would find his way back. She knew that breaking his concentration now would kill him for certain.

“One more pull,” he said and the entire box emerged on the opposite side of the pyramid. His arms and hands reappeared out of the left and right faces of the pyramid. His entire body appeared whole again.

Closing his eyes, he broke his concentration. Before he could open them, his mother’s hands covered them.

“Do not open your eyes until all the colors pass.” she said, “Your life depends on it!”

As the rich colors of the rainbow cascaded in his perceived sight, he felt a slight pressure on his entire body, inside and outside. There were voices in his mind. Some were whispering, others were talking in a language he did not understand. What began as a great noise soon faded into a single whisper.

“Beware,” said the voice before it disappeared.

As the colors faded into the dull light of his eyelids, the pressure disappeared. When his mother removed her hands from his eyes, he opened them to see her sweat-rimmed face.

Forgetting his place, he asked, “How did you get in front of me when you were covering my eyes from behind?”

Relieved, she only said, “You will learn this and many more things in your future training.”

She handed him a cloth to clean his face and chin. The ribbon of blood on the cloth reminded her of the dangerous journey her son had just taken.

“Now, my son, let’s go see what’s in the box.” Ω

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2 thoughts on “The World Beside

  1. When I revise this story, I’ll make it more clear that when the student is pulling, he discovers yet another spatial dimension. This is how the pulling in one direction appears to push the box in a different direction.

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