Climbing the Levels of Consciousness

“How did you get in here?” I asked.

“Is that really the first question you want to ask?”

“Don’t worry. It won’t be the last.”

“Very well. I think the term you humans use is teleportation.”

“You teleported in here?”

“Well, the door was locked.”

“And you couldn’t have just knocked?”

“Not so much couldn’t,” he shrugged. “Just didn’t want to.”

“Where’s your partner?”

“He’s around.” Iman stood from the chair and made his way to my desk without seeming to move his feet. He picked up the last remaining empty bottle of beer and sniffed it. “Interesting beverage.” He gently touched the side of my head. “Does it hurt much? You look like you’re in pain.”

“Pain? Of course I’m in pain! First, you set me off on this impossible mission, then you did whatever it was that you did to me in the park…”

“An Estralarian mind meld,” he explained.

“Whatever!”

“How has it been working?”

“How has it been working?! I was reading people’s thoughts! I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster! I realized that I’m completely inept. And you two just disappeared on me. How do you think it’s been working?”

“Well, at least you can see me again so I suppose you’re making progress.”

“You call this progress? Why did you guys leave me yesterday?”

“We never left you,” he said. “You just weren’t in the frame of mind where you could see us.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s one of the repercussions of the mind meld. It’s a bit complicated. How is the book coming along?”

“I’m finished.”

Iman looked at my desk then back at me. “Really? You’ve finished without writing a single word?”

“I’m done,” I proclaimed. “I can’t write this book. I don’t know enough about marketing. I’m completely ill-equipped for the task. All of the reviews will make me look like a fool. What happens when people realize that I’m full of it and won’t buy the book? And even if they do buy it and it becomes the success that Lester Prince says it is, I’m still going to be screwed.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because Lester Prince has set me up as some kind of marketing leader, when I’m anything but that. You’ve got me reaching celebrity status where I’ll be publicly flayed. Because you’ve lined me up with the likes of The DaVinci Code. Do you realize how much flack that author got? And here you want me to come out with a book about alien marketing? No thanks.”

“I see,” Iman said, scratching his chin. “You’re in that stage, are you?”

“Stage? What stage?”

“You humans, in your struggle to make it through this life, have certain stages of consciousness that you utilize in order to gain better comprehension of the world around you and to aid you in reacting to it.”

“Huh?”

“Well, they’re not stages really. But in some respects they are places that you perform from. They’re more like phases. Or perhaps you could call them interludes.”

“I don’t understand.”

“No, but you’re getting there. Your imagination is intact, and that’s a big step.” Iman paused for a moment and went on. “You see, the Estralarian mind meld is used by many celestial beings to undergo the human experience, in a sense.”

“I was doing fine with the human experience without your help. Thank you very much.”

“The way it works is that it initially strips you of all of your mental faculties and allows you to build your way back up the ladder of consciousness to pure understanding.”

I leaned back in my chair. “You don’t say.”

“Of course I do. You have received that faculty back, haven’t you?”

“I hear you. Go on.”

“Like we said before, humans generally use only ten percent of their brain which is why we have to go through the stripping process to reach their level. For many of us the process takes quite awhile. In your case, it only took a few seconds.”

“Hey!”

“What did you feel when you became depleted?”

“Then, when I was looking at people, I felt… I could read their thoughts. I could sense their worst horrors about themselves. I felt… shame.”

“That’s the lowest stage of consciousness. Unfortunately, humans don’t always think very highly of themselves. We think it’s part of the reason you use so little of your brain. So many of you feel that you’re not entitled to use more. What happened next?”

“Then I passed out. When I came to, this guy took me out for breakfast.”

“Could you read David’s thoughts?”

“No. Hey, how do you know his name?”

“Are you not getting the whole `alien’ thing?”

“Oh, right,” I said. “Sorry.”

“How did you feel when you spoke with him?”

“I had a strange sense of guilt for awhile. Was I getting that from him?”

“Him, and a number of other people in your vicinity. Apparently, you had a disconnect,” said Iman. “If you hadn’t passed out, you would probably still be able to read thoughts now. As it was though, shame is a tough one to make it through so you blighted out the conscious recognition while still working through the stages in your subconscious. What happened next?”

“I went for a walk on Island Park, and for a while I just didn’t care. I felt hopeless.”

“Apathetic?”

“Yeah.”

“Good. Good.”

“Apathy is good?”

“Not necessarily, but it’s a far cry better than guilt,” he explained. “What happened next?”

“I headed back toward home. As I was driving though, I started feeling, I don’t know, a different kind of hopeless. As if the world was just falling apart. Just all kinds of grief.”

“And yet you still managed to help someone in trouble. That’s a good sign.”

“I could definitely feel her grief.”

“Then what happened?” he asked.

“Then I started thinking about what lay before me. I felt… afraid.”

“Of what?”

A sense of hope erupted within me as I started to understand my feelings as of late. “Everything. Getting stranded. Writing the book. Failing. Succeeding. I was afraid of everything.”

“Fear takes no prisoners,” Iman said. “Are you afraid now?”

I checked myself mentally. “No, actually. I think I made it through. I feel a lot better.”

“Okay, then,” said Iman. “Start writing.”

This is an excerpt from How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. Come back weekly for the next part or order your copy in ebook or paperback today!

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