by J.R. PETE
The Old One confides in Jaz regarding his past
What's in a Name
500 Cycles A.E.
What did you just ask? The Old One inquired.
Did I ask the wrong question or not ask how I should have? Jaz questioned
What do you mean? The Supreme High One is dead. He perished over 900 cycles ago.
No, I saw it in a dream I just had. You are the Supreme High One and the Old One. You must have forgotten.
The Old One must not have put any barriers up when he was in Jaz's mind. His memories must have contaminated Jaz's inner thoughts. He could just erase what she knows, but that would endanger all the work he just completed. He made the only decision he could.
Jaz, I am both. I used to be the Supreme High One until a force greater than my own took half of the Hydranousians away. There was nothing I could do to stop it from happening as I was injured in an explosion. When I gathered my senses, the remaining population was being mined swept; their minds were altered to forget the disappearance of the Hydranousians who vanished as well as their very existence
My mind alone was left unscathed. I remember everything. Including the emptiness. I took it upon myself to find out what happened and see if I could reverse it. I have been searching for over 900 cycles. No one knows I am the Supreme High One, except for you. I ask you to keep this secret to yourself. I will help you build a barrier to hide the information. No one will be able to see if they look into your thoughts. I will also help keep the barrier up until you can achieve that yourself.
Are you upset with me for finding out? I didn't mean to, it just popped into my head, honest, Jaz asserted.
I know it did. It is my fault, and I am sorry to have burdened you with the information. You are to call me Old One. Did you see anything else?
I did see something, but it has to be a mistake.
What else did you see?
I saw you holding up a crystal and it hit two Hydranousians and sent them to be One with the Planet. You wouldn't do that, would you?
I did. Being the Supreme High One comes with all kinds of responsibilities. Not all of them are pleasant. One of them is to protect all other Hydranousians. The two I sent to be One with the Planet were evil. They were plotting to overthrow the other Elders and me. That was breaking a High Law, punishable by termination. I did not enjoy doing that. All life is to be honored. Many times, I have had to be tough on people for the better good of our society. Do you understand?
I think I do. I hope I never get you angry.
Do not worry about that, Young One. I saw you are honorable. Now, let us move along. We must explore the city of Lewr.
The Old One asked Jaz a question regarding the man who he was looking for. There is an Old One I am seeking. He has different colored eyes. I was told he is currently Out of Phase in a retreat. I was also advised he is at the retreat past the second bridge. Do you know of a retreat in that direction?
Oh, yes, I do know the place you are asking about. I can show you, answered Jaz.
As they walked, Jaz asked the Old One questions about her training and how often she will learn new things.
Allow me to answer your questions. Your training will occur all the time. As we will be traveling, you will have many opportunities to observe and learn. I will be telling many stories, each with a moral. These morals will help develop your mind and what you believe. They will also shape how you treat everyone, analyze every problem for its worth and understanding, and most importantly, who to trust.
Jaz felt overwhelmed. How would she learn all that? What if she didn't learn everything? Would the Old One abandon her? What would she do if he did? She then set her mind to resolve to learn everything she could, and more.
The Old One was watching her thoughts. He was pleased the Young One had made this decision on her own. It showed him she would make an excellent pupil.
Here is the second bridge. We need to go in that direction, as the Young One-pointed left. It isn't very far from the retreat.
Let me share a short story as we walk, began the Old One.
There was once an Elder who thought highly of himself. He would look down on the population and even other Elders. He had no friends because he felt all were beneath him. One day, as he was walking in the forest, he stumbled and was hurt. The pain was excruciating and he couldn't focus well. He knew he couldn't focus well enough to fix the wound or even call for help. As he lay there feeling sorry for himself, a small Young One passed by. She remembered his cruelty and hatred toward all Young Ones. The Elder asked for help. The Young One remembered her tutor and the stories she had told her. She knew it would be the right thing to do, even if she felt distaste for the Elder.
She helped the Elder free his foot from the roots he was tangled in and propped the injured foot upon a rock. She then advised the Elder she would go get help.
Jaz inquired, If she didn't like him, and he didn't like her, why would she help him?
Good question, Young One. You are seeing the truth of how others may think and act. Let me continue.
When the Young One reached her village, she went to the Healer and told him of what had happened. Upon hearing it was the Elder who treated everyone with anger and resentfulness, he was hesitant to help. However, being a Healer meant to him that all beings who are injured or sick deserve to be healed. He asked the Young One to show him the way. After he gathered his supplies, they left.
When they arrived, the Healer saw the Elder was in pain and uncomfortable. He first made the Elder as comfortable as possible and then addressed the injury. The Elder had broken his foot in three places. The Healer knew what to do. He asked the Elder to lower his barriers so he could heal the foot from within. This angered the Elder because he did not trust anyone in his mind or thoughts and told the Healer this.
The Healer expected this and advised the Elder he had a broth that would heal the foot. He removed the crystal bottle out and offered it to the Elder. The Elder, who still was unable to focus, looked at the broth and then at the Healer. Drinking a broth was more acceptable than having lesser beings in his mind.
After the broth had been drunk, the Elder felt more calm and relaxed. His pain was subsiding. He thought he could then fix the breakage on his own. When he began to focus on his foot, he didn't feel it was mending. He attempted to focus harder; however, the same result happened. He knew he could do it on his own, without the Healer helping. When he attempted to focus again, he suddenly felt very tired. He needed to refresh his essence right away. But first, he would rest.
After the Elder went unconscious, the Healer began his work. He had no trouble linking his mind with the Elders. He quickly found the Elder's essence and barriers. As the Elder was not focusing, the Healer went to work healing the broken foot. He made short work of the healing and dissipated the pain. As he was about to exit his thoughts, the Healer saw into the thoughts of the Elder. He saw the pain which has made the Elder so bitter toward everyone. The Healer did nothing more. He left the thoughts and allowed the Elder to wake on his own.
As the Elder began to wake up, he was relieved his pain was gone and he could focus his thoughts once more. He knew he had been awake during the whole process as nothing within his mind had been tampered with. He was smug he could withstand the pain and heal the breakage on his own. The Elder then got up and left."
Jaz was upset, Why didn't he say thank you or at least acknowledge they helped him?
The Old One replied, The Elder could not do either for he considered himself doing the healing. In his mind, he was right and the others did nothing. The Healer knew this would happen but took solace in knowing the truth.
I still think he should have thanked them, Jaz stated.
There is a moral to this story. Can you tell me what it is? Think hard because your perceptions of what happened may cloud your thoughts.
Jaz thought about this as they were walking. After a period of silence, Jaz offered her idea. I think the moral is to accept everyone as they are because we do not know where they are coming from and what has happened along the way.
Very good, Young One. You are opening your thoughts regarding others. You can disagree with them; however, you need to understand they are right in their mind. As the Healer found out, the Elder had something in his past to shape the way he was. It is not our place to judge their experiences, only to accept they are different. Do you understand?
I think so, paused the Young One, That is like your decision to send those two Elders to be One with the Planet. You had your reason to punish them the way you did. You knew something about them to cause you to act the way you did. I need to accept your judgment, but do not have to agree to it.
That is correct. You are learning.
We are here at the retreat for the Out of Phase ones, Jaz stated.
Good. I will go in alone to see what I can find out from the Old One.
After entering the retreat, the Old One placed his strongest barriers up and proceeded to find the Old One with different colored eyes. It was not complicated as there were only two Old Ones there. He easily contacted the Old One he was searching for.
Old One, I have been searching for you. I have been advised of distressing news. One of your former students, named Tay, advised me you were there when the Supreme High One vanished. She also states you remember what happened. How is that possible when no other can remember?
The Old One with the colored eyes responded, Yes, I remember Tay. She was full of questions, but barely able to remember the reason why I told her the stories. She was always plotting to use the information I provided for her gain. Poor Young One. I, of course, was not there. I wasn't even one with the Collective as I was here tutoring. I did hear the Supreme Old One had died but left nobody to place in the liquid eterinite. She probably also talked about the three-headed monster.
What of the explosion did you speak of? Was there an explosion?
No one can remember what happened. Only they woke up. In my thinking, something terrible happened and the Supreme High One placed a very strong barrier up to protect all the citizens and Elders. He must have drained all his essence to do this and became One with the Planet and evaporated.
The Supreme High One had been looking at the Old Ones' memory and thoughts. He saw the deceit he told Tay, his Young One at the time. He also saw the Old One was speaking the truth regarding what he knew about the time of the Supreme High Ones' disappearance. He knew nothing of what happened. While the Supreme High One was relieved he knew nothing of the event, he was greatly disappointed he was no closer to the end of his search.
After the disappointing information from the Old One with different colored eyes, The Old One and Jaz began walking to his cave for solitude and replenishment. He told Jaz about the cave and his previous visits but did not say anything about what he has done there.
How far is this cave? asked Jaz.
It is about a cycle. You will learn much as we walk with no interruptions. You will surprise yourself with what you accomplish, said the Old One.
Jaz proved to be a very astute pupil. She understood the morals of the stories and was able to find similarities with her own life and experiences. She also questioned everything the Old One had to offer.
When you were the Supreme High One, why did you think Eternity would change after inviting her to stay with you at the palace? You just stripped her powers and made her silent. I think anyone would hold resentment for doing that. That is like sentencing someone to be One with the Planet.
As I have advised you before, began the Old One, and I did feel sickened after doing that. I knew what I was doing and would do it again if the punishment suited the crime. It doesn't, however, mean I enjoyed doing it. I invited her to stay partially because I wanted to try and rehabilitate her. I also felt sorry for her. She did not have a tutor who could foresee the harm she would cause and prevent it with barriers or blocks. In a sense, she was a victim as well. Do you understand now?
Yes, I believe I do. Do you have a story, Old One?
I do have one. Once there was a crystal farmer named Zanni near the mountain range of Hibcl. Ziddit was joined with Qanish for 200 cycles. He was a busy farmer because the need for new power crystals was immense. He and Qanish labored all the time, except at times when they were Out of Phase. Even then, as their replenishment cycles were opposite of each other, the crystals would still be farmed.
One day as Ziddit was the one working, his third eye began to falter and he could not focus the power beam to dislodge the crystals. He became alarmed and notified Qanish He was distressed that Ziddit couldn't work. He had always been proud of the amount of work they would accomplish each cycle. Without his assistance, the workload would fall below 40%, an unacceptable result. His name and reputation would be tarnished./linespace}
Ziddit would try to regain his third eye's power beam but could not. He felt awful. Worse, Qanish would provide verbal disdain toward him. He realized his concern was not for him, only for the number of crystals he could produce. After realizing this, he felt alone.
Jaz inquired, Why would someone who is joined not care for the other? It sounds like Qanish never cared for him, only his labor. That seems like a lie.
Yes, Young One it does. Qanish kept his true feelings behind a barrier so Ziddit would think they were happy. In truth, at first, they were both happy for different reasons. One for material reasons and the other for companionship advised the Old One.
To continue, when it was time for Ziddit to go Out of Phase and Qanish to return, their ties were severed. Ziddit was advised by Qanish that he would be leaving to find a more suitable companion. Ziddit didn't know how he could continue alone.
During his Out of Phase replenishment, he began to feel his mind becoming more centered on his third eye. He felt an awaking of something he never felt before. His third eye felt recharged. More than recharged, a regeneration of sorts. He did not know where this was coming from, only he began to feel lighter, more content.
When his Out of Phase ended, he went back to his work site. Once there, he did not feel alone without Qanish. He felt at peace with the separation. He then went into the cave and tried to use his third eye. Instead of failure, the eye responded with more power than before. He could produce such an energy beam, he fabricated three times the number of crystals as before.
I know what happens, began Jaz, Qanish came back and they became connected again.
Let us find out. News of the quantity and quality of the produced crystals became widely known. He was sought out as his work became of superior quality to other crystal farms. He gained followers who would work with him to sort and provide the crystals to the Hydranousians and even Elders.
Qanish heard about his success and went to become his companion again. When he approached, Ziddit heard Qanish's appeal. Ziddit stated, 'You left me in my time of need. You never cared for me, only what I could do. When I could no longer produce crystals, you left me. But I forgive you. You were following your need and I was following mine. They were not together. I am very content in my life now. I still love you but do not need you. Go find someone who shares who you are.'
This caused Qanish to leave, angry he could no longer be recognized for Ziddit's work in the crystal trade. He wondered if the Collective knew of his betrayal and lies. The Collective did know and Quish was forced to begin his new life as a wanderer shunned, without a companion, and alone.
That is justice, announced Jaz, He did not truly care for Ziddit, only his work. He turned against him when he was unable to produce and then wanted back after he regained his third's beam. That was very selfish and hurtful. Qanish did not respect Ziddit enough to honor him for what he did. What is the moral of this story Old One?
You must be careful who you allow into your life. Everyone has their agenda and wants. Before one seeks a companion or trade, one need to know themself. The moral is doubled: know thyself, and beware of ones trying to take advantage of your gifts and affection.
That's a lot to think about. How do you know if someone is true to you?
At first, you don't. Only experience can provide the answer, trust your instincts.
Now, that I have told you a story, it is time to practice your innate powers. Before you protest, know that I am aware of your limitations and will most definitely consider that, announced the Old One.
What will you have me practice? Reading thoughts, barrier set-up, or entering the Collective? asked Jaz.
None of those. For today, I want you to reach into your essence and try to see what your inner self is like. The search for the inner self is difficult the first time you attempt it. Be diligent with your effort and open to what is there. I will be with you, but will not assist in what you are doing. Begin.
Jaz immediately touches the essence that is open to her. As she progressed in her knowledge, her ability to reach her essence increased. The Old One told her she is farther in her training than others her developmental age. When she applied as much will allowed by her consumption of essence, she felt something. It wasn't a barrier. She recognized something hidden just out of reach. She attempted several times to reach for information but always came up short. She knew this was her inner self, hidden from her.
She began to look at the problem at hand. She needed to gain access to the knowledge, but she was the one blocking that from happening. She then wondered what she needed to do to gain that knowledge. She had passed all of the Old One's tests and trials. She knew she has come a long way in her tutelage. She also felt there was more to her than she realized.
So why can't she reach it?
The Old One was watching her thoughts and reactions. He knew this was a difficult test, one usually used only on Young Ones as they entered the last phase of their time as pupils. He also knew this would be a great accomplishment for the Young One. It would be remembered that she accomplished a very difficult test.
As the Old One watched, he saw the formation of thought within her. Jaz was slowly understanding her accomplishments. She knew she has surpassed the Old One's expectations. She knew she started her training after other Young Ones began theirs and she was learning at a faster rate. She also recognized her mistakes and how she learned to correct them so they didn't happen again. She felt she had all the correct pieces, but could not put them together. She wanted to ask the Old One for guidance but knew once she is fully grown, she will be on her own and cannot ask anyone about her inner thought or concerns. She would have to use her instincts, knowledge, and experiences to solve problems such as these.
With that thought, she knew how to reach her goal. She already knew what her inner self was. She was able to touch her goal and opened her inner self. She was amazed at what she felt. Confidence in what she could do. Assured in her knowledge. Wisdom to know she would be able to find answers to her questions when an effort is applied. And, that the Old One's words and teachings would always be with her.
Very, very well done, Jaz. You have successfully contacted your inner self. You relied on yourself and believed you could do it. Your past experiences and your faith in yourself have unlocked your knowledge and commitment to trust yourself. Excellent work! I am very proud of you.
Next, we will test how your powers have already changed and what your future potential may be.
What do you mean, 'My powers have changed?' questioned Jaz. Wouldn't I have noticed if they did?"
Only if you were not prepared. Speaking of not being prepared, I have a short ballad of tragic loss between two joined companions. It goes with our last story.
'The time for goodbyes has not yet arrived, there are a few moments yet for memories. I see your face all smiles with cheer; what lies below is sadness and fear.'
'The time for goodbye is far from now.'
'We face each day as forever, knowing what is in the future. We each say we are doing well, but each knows the other lies. I have been your knight, you my Everything. Thank you for seeing into my Soul.'
'The time for goodbye is not yet here.'
' Before time passes, I wanted to say Thank You. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for picking me to be your joy. Thank you for giving me someone to love, honor, and cherish. Thank you for being my love.'
' The time for goodbyes will soon be upon us.'
'Too soon time went away and finds our parting. One to carry on with an emptiness in their Soul, the other to watch and wait'.
'The time for goodbye is here.'
'Our final goodbye will bring tears, emptiness, and grief. You go one way and I another. I know we will meet again to fill the holes in our Essence.'
' Then time for goodbye will never be heard.'
That was sad, began Jaz, I felt the loneliness of what was happening. Honestly, I didn't have anyone before I met you. From you, I was introduced to the Collective. I now have many Hydranousians who I consider friends. What did it mean, 'I know we will meet again?' Is it referring to being One with the Planet? How can a Hydranousian meet someone when they are One with the Planet? asked Jaz.
Some Hydranousians believe after becoming One with the Planet, their essence lives on. They do not become one with the Collective, because they no longer need the Collective as they are one with the Essence. They have passed into a different reality. Once there, they will remain until their companion arrives, and then they will be together for all of eternity.
Do you believe that? What if you do not believe in this? Does your essence just cease to be?
What I believe is for me to decide. That, Young One, is for you to decide on your own. Do not judge others because your beliefs or knowledge is different from theirs. They have a right to their own beliefs and opinions.
Let us continue by discussing your true powers and potential. As I stated, your powers have changed due to the fact you are becoming more in tune with the Collective, which increases your mental powers, and helps sustain you. With this ability, you are becoming more powerful with your essence, quicker to contact the Collective, and creating stronger barriers.
Haven't I been doing this all along with my training?
Good question. You have been developing your knowledge and ability to contact your essence and the Collective. Now, however, because you accepted your potential, your journey will hasten. Many Young Ones either never realize their potential or, if they do realize their true potential, do not accept it, and become lost in their own desire to be someone they are not. This is what happened to Eternity.
That was another sad story. I felt bad for her at first because of her not wanting to finish her training, thinking she did not need it. If she would have finished it, and her tutor would have been more diligent, her story would have had a better ending. In the end, because she was misguided, she created her own destiny.
It is true. It was indeed a sad tale. One that I have made sure is not repeated.
Do you ever wonder what happened to her in the North Quadrant? The hostile environment surely was too harsh for her. Or maybe she did not go there when commanded. Are you certain she went? She could have gone anywhere.
No, she is there, the Old One said with a faraway look.