Instant recap: In the intensity of their mutual orgasm, Marcus and Venus fell into the opposite sides of the cosmic mirror and emerged as the one being who dwells forever in loneliness in the void. It was Marcus' second trip to the Abyss, and this time he made the opposite choice: instead of life he chose death. He rose again in glory as the Infinite Creator, whose essence descended to the glade as a radiant androgyne, which redivided into our hero and heroine as it condensed into matter.
15. The Eternal Troth
Alex Grey ~ Lovers
The Sun was getting low, and a cool breeze roused them to get up and put on their clothes. They sat down again on the grass tete à tete and hand in hand.
"It wasn't a dream," said Venus ~ "I remember it all too clearly and it was so real. Though parts of it were like a nightmare. I mean, why in the name of God did I turn into Kali? I only knew about her from my Oriental Mythology course."
"She's universal," he said.
"Like a Jungian archetype?"
"Exactly ~ and he knew too that the Gods are real, but he had to cast them in the psychological cloak to speak to the modern mind."
"Okay, I get it. So if Kali was in my unconscious, what made her pop out right at that crucial moment?"
"You flinched at the troth. You couldn't give yourself up to it unconditionally. You had reservations, a big unconscious blockage."
"Wow, I remember that now, or most of it. I said something about the Sun."
"It was the Supernal Sun, who we worship as Solarians. It's the Infinite Creator, with whom we just attained perfect identity, at least while the experience lasted."
Venus gasped as the memory flooded into her and verged into a re-experience. They hugged each other sideways and looked at the Sun in the west, bathing them not just in light but Supernal glory. When they pulled apart and resumed their talk, they sat in a residual nimbus of the divine radiance.
Marcus resumed: "You weren't being asked to give up your personal relationship with this. That wasn't the issue."
"I see that now. But what was the real issue?"
"The same one you described with your previous lovers, and very succinctly with Roger."
She thought for a moment, then said, "Dominance and submission?"
"That's it. Our conscious desires are not always the ones that drive us from the core of our beings. You wanted a dominant lover, but when you finally got him your own lust for dominance found itself thwarted."
"Oh yeah, I see it! And so my... inner Kali reared up and tried to take over!"
"Right. She always had her way with the other guys, so there was no need to get ugly about it."
This made an impact on Venus, and she paused to reflect. At length she said, "So the kind of relationship we're going to have will be a whole new experience for me." He nodded with a broad smile, and she continued: "It turns me on just thinking about it, but my conscious mind knows that it's only the bottomside of my sexual desires. And I also know from painful experience that when certain kinds of erotic fantasies come true in real life, instead of just in the bedroom or the sex club, there's a weird psychological flip that makes it awful, unbearable. Like if it were the Middle Ages and some barbarian captured me and made me his slave. Nice fantasy, horrible reality."
Marcus made a face of mock horror. "So do you think I'll brutalize and barbarize you?"
She giggled and squeezed his hands. "We're One in the Sun. How foolish if I feared you'd do that to your other half!" The divine light drew them into a tender hug and kiss. After another reflection she said, "But you have the power to do it. This is the scary new thing for me. And though you'll never abuse your power, you might use it in ways that are... very unpleasant for me. Like, hard to deal with."
"And have you never had a hard taskmaster in your young life?"
"My father sometimes, but only on hardcore issues. He's a real sweetheart ~ I'm blessed to have such a father."
"Sounds like a good precedent for your romantic sweetheart." They laughed and kissed again. Marcus said, "There are more big memories that haven't popped back into your conscious mind since the experience."
"What, things that happened up there in... Heaven? Or on the trip back to our bodies?"
"There was something that came up in our conversation in that other physical vehicle, the Range Rover."
"Oh! Our cosmic orgasm was a big disconnect from all that. But let me cast back to it." She sat and thought, and her face went through several changes of expression, until finally it lighted up. "Oh my God! The ménage à trois!"
Marcus' smile had a slight ironic twist at the corners. "You were so overwhelmed by our new love-bond that you forgot you'll have to share it." She was still stunned, and her mind refused to clarify the implications, so he continued: "'Ménage' is no longer the appropriate term ~ it has a casual ring to it, as if it were something illicit. But as it turns out, we got married here."
Her face softened and her hand pressed against her heart. "What a miracle! I'll never forget the scene with the Gods, even though it was spoiled by the... ugly part. But then the real climax was becoming One. Now I know what the Pranksters meant when they talked about merging into the White Light and becoming God. And we didn't even need acid!"
"But won't you feel like you missed out on the traditional trappings ~ standing at the altar in a gown, and all the rest of it?"
"Not a bit! The white gown is the symbol, the White Light is the reality."
Marcus did a double-take, and beamed at her. "I can see that the experience was very enlightening for you. Not many put it together so quickly."
"I know I'll never be the same! And I'm looking forward to finding out what other ways I might have changed."
"I know it'll be all for the good! But the important thing right now is that we both know that we're really married, even though no church or state will recognize it. So what does that make our triadic relationship?"
After a pause she said: "A polygamous marriage."
"What a mind-blower! How are we going to deal with it? I mean, apart from the illegalities and such. I'm just thinking about you and me and... Gail. Whoa!" Her face was a huge question mark.
"There are precedents," he said, "and models. As you must know from your studies, polygamy was practiced in a lot of past cultures, and still is in a few today."
"Let's see, " she said, "I know that upper-class Muslims are allowed to have four wives, and the Hindus even more, but that pretty much got squelched when the British took over."
"Ah! Interesting that you bring that up, or even psychic. Remember our talk by the creek about reincarnation?"
"Hmm... yes I do. You said that your guru helped you remember a past life."
"That's right ~ it was in India, and I had four wives. You were one of them." Venus was blown away again. He continued: "Actually I remembered that part later ~ just last night, in fact. It happened when I helped Gail to remember her last life, which was with me in India as another one of my wives."
It took a few moments for Venus' mind to unboggle, helped by a hug and a kiss. At last she said, "So none of this is any kind of accident or coincidence. We're being led along by some kind of larger destiny." Again he was impressed by her acumen, and his big-eyed smile encouraged her to continue: "I guess it'll be easier for the three of us to work things out if we really were in it together before."
"It'll make something else easier too. There's another big memory, from right before we, um, recoagulated."
This time she got it instantly: "I'm going to have a baby!"
They hugged. He said, "Sorry the tantric birth control got derailed."
Through joyful but ambivalent tears she said, "That... that's okay, it was part of the larger destiny. But what a change in... my plans, my ideas for how my life would shape up."
"The biggest change in the plan was when you met me."
"That's really true. So now you were saying that... the collective marriage in the commune will make it easier to deal with raising the baby."
"It sure will!" He pondered whether to reveal Eric's past-life identity, but shelved it for later.
Perhaps she was still tuning into the tenor of his thoughts, for she said: "The past life thing ~ for the three of us it'll be sort of like picking up where we left off. Is that the purpose of reincarnation? So people can have different kinds of relationships over a really long period of time?"
"Yes! That's one big purpose, among others."
"Wow! I can see that relationships like that could get pretty deep. It also helps to explain why some people can get deep really fast ~ like love at first sight. It's actually a reconnection from the past."
"I think our love goes back a very long way. Do you remember what you said as the Goddess?"
"That our union would be invested with an adamant... something."
"'The adamantine bond of our agelong love.' And then it got even better when we rose from the dead and came down from Heaven. Our marriage troth is rooted in that everlasting Oneness beyond space and time."
"We won't have to die again to get back to it, will we?"
"Not at all. That was the last covenant we worked out, when you gave me the power of your own free will. This created a bond that will keep Kali under control."
"So I've still got her, then?"
"You need her ~ she supplies a lot of your fire and driving force. But if she ever gets out of hand again, the fiat you gave me will enable me to deal with her on your behalf, and it'll never need to get ugly again. The shadow will loom over us now and then, and we'll have to struggle, but never again in a deadly battle of wills."
"Oh, thank God! So to get back to the luscious Oneness, we just have to..."
They kissed, but drew apart at the first sign of arousal, for the Sun was about to set, and they still had to trek through the tunnel and up the hill. They gathered their things and set off, and the evening twilight seemed more like a glorious dawn.
The End of the First Tale