6 LUKE

[ Setting: The old swimming hole ]

LUKE:       Okay, this all seems very nice if it’s real, and I do not want to offend you, but I just can’t buy that I’m dead and on my way to heaven. This must be some crazy hallucination. It is simply impossible for me to be where you say I am.

ALLEGENTIA:       Then what could it be? What do you think is possible?

LUKE:       Okay, you say I am dead. And I do remember being old and sick. And now I find myself as I was when I was young and healthy. Maybe I am just dreaming, or in a coma; or maybe I am having one of those near death experiences. I just do not remember dying.

ALLEGENTIA:       You have the same options here and now as you had back on Earth. You can believe me when I tell you this environment has been configured out of your memory, with some embellishments of my own or you can believe this is a fantasy of your making – or even someone else’s dream; fantasies can take many forms. I know you will give this experience final approval as truly real only after we get to our destination and you are re-embodied.
     As for your remembering your death, you were one of the lucky ones who died peacefully in your sleep. But consider what you are saying. If you had remembered your death it would still not prove I am not a figment of your imagination.

LUKE:       I guess I could be dead. My kids always said I was too stubborn to die. But like you say I have no proof.

ALLEGENTIA:       So, what are your alternatives?

LUKE:       I could ask you to let me go back to sleep. But if I am just talking to myself I would be asking myself.

ALLEGENTIA:       And how would you answer yourself? Would you really like to be unconscious?

LUKE:       I would rather be conscious than unconscious. And if I am in a visual coma, maybe I could entertain myself for a while. But if this is all true and we really are on a journey and many years from our destination, I suppose I would get very bored. However if you can create all this you could entertain me for a few years.

ALLEGENTIA:       I am not here for your entertainment; I am here to give you information. If that information amuses you, it will still be good for you to know. It is your decision.

LUKE:       Okay. I might as well stick around and chat a bit. I may learn (or teach myself) something.

ALLEGENTIA:       Do you want to go on the assumption you are having an internal dialog?

LUKE:       I guess it really doesn’t matter if I am speaking with an angel or I am just talking with myself. You seem real enough but how would I know?

ALLEGENTIA:       You should be able to tell if you are conversing with another person. If you had had a disease producing vivid hallucinations you would be more prone to disbelieve what is happening now, but from what I can see of your soul you were always sane. You know what a dream, even a vivid dream, feels like. The separation from one person to another is natural and apparent.

LUKE:       If I did want you to prove you were telling me the truth what would you do?

ALLEGENTIA:       Not much I could do. I would never try to fool you so I could not use any subterfuge by planting proof. And if you are talking to yourself then the proof would be just yourself wanting to believe what is happening. Any phantasmagoric visions would more likely seem to you as if you were in some physiologically altered state. Well, you certainly are in an altered state of consciousness, death will do that to you. But the fact of knowing what is real is inherent in the foundations of every mind structure. So we could just talk and you can take what I say with a grain of salt or you can give it some serious thought. Either way, you will remember it. When you need it, you will recall our conversation and it will be of use to you.

LUKE:       This is so weird. But I guess I am stuck here. Or am I? What if I try to walk over there?

ALLEGENTIA:       I will come with you. We can walk. But just like on Earth you are stuck in your mind. You can go here and there, you can believe this or that, but in the end the best you can do is to expand your mind and soul so you will have a bigger field in which to work and play.

LUKE:       And this will be the same on the other side?

ALLEGENTIA:       Not this limited mind space we are in here. It will be like your earth consciousness only sharper. Expansion of your mind, your personality, and your soul are the primary goals, and always have been. With all this growth comes more consciousness, more possibilities, and more understanding of what is really Real.

LUKE:       Well, that sounds okay. And I get this expanded self when I get there?

ALLEGENTIA:       You do not get it all at once. What you get is to continue from where you left off. The Universe provides a place and the tools to do the learning and growing. You would not appreciate it or learn it as well if it was given to you without your participation.

LUKE:       That was not my idea of heaven.

ALLEGENTIA:       The overall experience of your previous life – physical, social, religious, political, economic – all blended together to give you a concept of life, unique to your composite experiences and attitudes. This, in turn, has given you a limited idea of heaven, but heaven is much more than you have imagined.

LUKE:       Don’t I get to choose?

ALLEGENTIA:       Your choice is all that does matter. But do not think the rules of reality will change because you want them to? Wishing is the not same as choosing and you do not get anything without effort just by dreaming or hoping. There is no magic. But as you choose and act, you experience, and then what you have worked for is yours forever.

LUKE:       Working for it was what I just left. I was a farmer and I know about growing things but I thought heaven would be different. But I guess I will see when I get there, or at least I hope I will.

ALLEGENTIA:       Your glorious notions of a better place will be more than fulfilled. Don’t worry, all will be as it should be. You can go back to sleep now and wake up when it is time.

LUKE:       No! Wait! I don’t want to go to sleep. I am afraid I will never wake up again.

ALLEGENTIA:       You just told me you had an idea of heaven. Of course, it is very disconcerting not to remember the end of your life, but I can tell you honestly, you will wake up again – after all you just did.
     I have an idea; having a key personal memory would be a good indicator of what is going on now. I can help you become aware of how your death occurred. In your soul is an impression of your last conscious minutes. We can bring that up. True, you may think I am – or you are – just making this up so you will feel better, but you have to believe something.

LUKE:       You can do that?

ALLEGENTIA:       With your permission.

LUKE:       Okay, go ahead.

ALLEGENTIA:       (Daughter telling him to just go to sleep, tearfully letting him go and telling him it will all be better on the other side. Fade out.) How did that look?

LUKE:       That was exactly how it felt.

ALLEGENTIA:       Those images came directly from your soul’s memory. You will be reunited with your new mind and full memories on the other side. Now I will contact your guardian angel and we will together give you a gift. She was there until you died and she can show you what transpired. Okay?

LUKE:       Sure.
(Daughter calling family to come to the nursing home. “Daddy has slipped into a coma; he will die soon.” When everyone was there, they chatted among themselves and held his hand and each in turn said their good-byes. When he stopped breathing there was a minute until all brain activity ended and then they knew he was gone. They hugged and cried and went on their way.)

LUKE:       That seems like what would have happened. But I think there was something else too. I did not see a light or a tunnel like they say, but I did get a picture. It seemed like a strange picture because it was a story but not a movie; it was my life.

ALLEGENTIA:       I am glad you have accessed this vision. This will give you some of the proof you were craving. That picture is the life flash. An all-at-once impression of who you hag become. Not what you did but the person you really are at the moment of death, your soul-self.

LUKE:       Yea, that was it. An impression that was an image of my life. Now things make more sense. I’m not afraid any more. And I’m much obliged for your help.

ALLEGENTIA:       My pleasure.