Instant recap: Avice Fairfield is a Berkeley coed in 1964. She’s joined a group called the Solarians, a code-name for white people aware of their racial-spiritual heritage, and taken a new name: Venus. She is enamored of their charismatic leader, Marcus Christianson, even though he’s married. In the last chapter she moved into his commune, and the plot quickly thickened.
6. Love in the Labyrinth of Time
Odalisques ~ Adolphe Weiz & Leon Francois Comerre
In bed with Gail that night, Marcus said, “We’re faced with an impact on our relationship.” She was silent. He looked at her and said, “As you feared.”
“What really happened between you and her at the table?” she asked. “I mean, you were staring at each other like long-lost lovers, and then we hear that she turned into Aphrodite ~ the real Goddess Venus ~ and saw you as Mars. That made an impact on me, all right!” She folded her arms in a dark pout.
Marcus was silent so long that Gail was finally drawn to glance at him. He was looking at her with the big radiant eyes of unconditional love. She jerked her face away and covered her eyes dramatically, saying: “Oh, no you don’t! I refuse to be melted until you come out with it ~ what the hey is really going on? And how am I supposed to live with it?”
He said, “I love how you don’t get sucked into profanity even when you’re really upset.”
“What? Oh, you mean….”
“Most people would’ve said, ‘What the hell’ ~ at the very least.”
She spluttered, trying to suppress a laugh. “It’s just my holy-roller upbringing. But don’t change the subject, Marcus!”
“Okay, I promise,” he laughed; “but bear with me. Do you remember the very first thing we ever talked about?”
“You mean when we met in the pitch-black bush that night outside of camp?” He nodded, and she continued: “I remember our first kiss, but not so much the actual conversation.”
“Really?” She thought a moment. “You’re right, now I recall. I couldn’t believe you took it seriously. Of course all I knew about the subject at the time was Bridey Murphy. But I was impressed when later you told me how your guru awakened your memory of a life as a Hindu warrior.”
“Would you like to remember your own past lives? Or probably just one for a start.”
“I’m open to it and curious, but isn’t this changing the subject?”
“Not at all. You and I and Venus find ourselves in a deeply challenging triangle, so it must be rooted in relationships in our past lives.”
“Wow! That makes sense ~ well, assuming the basic premise of reincarnation. I have to admit I’m not completely convinced. There could be other explanations.”
“Granted, but nothing is more convincing than the experience itself, the living memory. So are you up for it?”
“You mean right now? Do you have to hypnotize me or something, like Bridey Murphy?”
“I would psychically evoke an altered state in you, but I don’t think my powers are great enough yet to get it deep enough for past-life recall ~ except by using the method of maximum energy.”
“And what’s that? Oh ~ sex!”
“Yes ~ we can make love, and the tantric trance may take us there.
As always, Gail's orgasmic peak carried her up into the infinite divine Oneness, brimming with its unconditional love. And as always, it coalesced into the body of Marcus, which she clutched in melted ecstasy, beyond the power of speech or thought. When her mind finally became capable of forming concepts, she remembered that the purpose of this particular love-making session was to enable her to recall her past lives ~ or at least one. She began to cast her thoughts in this direction, but nothing materialized; I guess it didn't work, she thought. She opened her eyes, and found them to be in contact with the wonderful eyes of her husband and lover. She carressed him and he reciprocated; then inevitably they began to relinquish their embrace.
As soon as she looked away from Marcus' eyes, Gail got a shock: his face looked different ~ in fact very different. It wasn't Marcus!
Her mind recoiled and her body froze. The man she had evidently just made love with looked surprised, and asked in concern if everything was all right. It took her a moment to realize that
he hadn't spoken in English, but in a strange tongue she had never heard ~ yet she understood him perfectly. What in the name of God was going on?
He touched her arm gently, and said, "Fear not, my lovely lotus blossom. With the skills taught me by my Acarya, I sense that you are having a disruption in your inner flow of time. But our bond of love is strong ~ it has lasted through many lifetimes, and will continue ever on." Gail's senses were still reeling, but she began to feel reassured ~ not so much by the words but by the eyes of this man ~ for they were surely the eyes of Marcus. He looked at her very pointedly and added: "We will be together again as lovers in future lives, just as we were in past lives."
Her eyes widened in astonished comprehension: this truly was Marcus speaking to her, as a man whom he was in a past incarnation. She was not merely recalling one of her own past lives, but re-experiencing it totally, vividly, physically. She was really here, wherever it was ~ and whenever. And she was no longer afraid, because the man she loved was with her.
He kissed her, and said: "Very good, Nitya ~ I see that you understand. If anything else upsets you, just come to me as always, and we will make it right."
"Yes," she said in the language that she strangely knew how to speak, "it's all right now. Thank you, my Lord." She bowed her head, surrendering intuitively to the habit-patterns and behavior she must now have as... Nitya. My name. She started, realizing that she didn't know the name of her man, her Lord ~ or did she? She touched his arm with a carress and said, "Pravahan, my love!" They kissed again. This was the man of whom Marcus had told her in recounting his own past-life memory. Thus she knew that they were in India, sometime in the first half of the nineteenth century.
"Now", he said, "it's time for you to get dressed and go into the anteroom. And please tell Anushia to come in."
"Yes, my Lord," she said, and put on a filmy sari that had been draped over a chair. Why must I leave? she was thinking; don't I get to spend the rest of the night with my husband? She struggled to get her Gail-mind to recapture the knowledge and memories of Nitya.
The anteroom turned out to be a lush chamber with tapestries on the walls, statuettes of Gods in strategic niches, and heady incense filling the air. Two women reclined on divans, one singing a sweet melody and the other accompanying her on a sitar. They finished the lyric, then looked at Gail/Nitya. Her mind flooded with the realization that they were also wives of Pravahan, and that she was a member of his harem.