THFWS&TTM’s: What is my One True Face?

What is my One True Face?

God gives us but one face; we put on all the others for everyone else.

Ancient Koan

As they stood together, Stan suddenly realized he needed to use the restroom before he left the Sanctuary. He excused himself, relieved himself and washed his hands.

Just as he started to turn to leave, something unusual caught his eye. It was his reflection in the mirror over the sink.

Or rather, it had looked like something behind his reflection that first caused him to turn around, and then face the mirror again. There was a sort of sheen or glow that he perceived in his reflected image that suddenly fascinated him.

He also noticed his pupils were quite dilated and suddenly remembered the expression “Windows to the Soul”. He stopped for just a moment to ponder what he might find if he looked deeply enough with his newly-found consciousness.

As he stared, he did not blink or shift his gaze, but instead blankly stared into his pupils, focused on the twin reflections…two white points of light at the very edge of the blackness just inside the inner edge of the irises.

He became aware of the increasing intensity of the color saturation of the entire frame of view within the mirror, as well as everything else within his field of view, never blinking or shifting his points of focus. It was like watching someone playing with the Chroma controls on a video camera or mixing console. The colors continued to intensify, then suddenly went black and just as quickly reversed to the spectral opposite of the original colors as if looking at a color negative on film.

As he stood there, fascinated by the image, he then saw his face again in the mirror, but everything had a metallic sheen to it or a neon glow that was quite beautiful. He did not shift his gaze or blink, afraid the beatific image of his face might disappear, only to realize that his face was beginning to morph into something or someone else…first he perceived the rapid aging of his face, and saw himself as he imagined he would look as a very old man.

This did not alarm him especially. He found it very interesting. He continued to stare, unblinking and unmoved as he then saw himself with very long hair and a full beard as he watched his complexion change remarkably. He was now transfixed by the rapid sequence of changes his saw in his reflection as he then appeared to himself as he might look as a woman…and a rather beautiful one at that, only to watch that image also age into a wrinkled old crone.

By this point he found himself so fascinated by the progression of images that he had no intention of doing anything to interrupt it by blinking or moving. He was barely breathing at this point.

The parade of faces, all of them his, continued. Different ethnicities, sexes and ages; some appeared ancient, others alien or futuristic, but all of them recognizable to him as his.

Then the faces began to take on a non-human aspect. First a bird, then a dog, a dragon and other visages not even recognizable as any specific breed or species, and all of them nonetheless recognizable as being occupied by his spirit…he saw himself in all the faces, overwhelmed by the sense of connection and oneness with them all.

What took his breath away however was when he suddenly realized he was looking at his face as it would appear as a great ape, much like Frederick, yet distinctly recognizable to him as himself.

As he began to laugh, the images disappeared just as suddenly as they had begun, but the insight remained, enigmatic and prophetic within him.

“Time to go…” he mused.

He no longer cared that he was under the influence of a drug. In fact, he was grateful for the experience, even though he would never have willingly accepted it. If Merle was correct…and it had been his finding that he always was, since the drug could not be detected or traced, and was unknown to the rest of the world…even PharmaCorp, he was safe, and he felt safe, maybe for the first time in his life since he had left his parents’ home.

He realized that he had built his life, his career around an organization that could turn on him like sharks in a feeding frenzy, if it was deemed necessary for the greater good. His intelligence and his talents had protected him thus far, but in his circle anyone may be deemed expendable given the necessary circumstances. He knew this all along, but this was the first time in many years that he felt like he belonged exactly where he was, just the way he was.

There are intrinsic factors in many experiences that cannot be measured in watts, or volts, or even ergs, nor foot-pounds or roentgens, candlepower, or other known forms of measurement. For those who believe that all is measureable, repeatable and finite nothing else exists, but for those who can appreciate that which transcends words or measurement there are many worlds both beyond this one as well as within this one that can only be appreciated by experience, by those with just the right eyes…and consciousness.

Stanley Linderman was now a proud member of the latter group.

 

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