Preview of Chapter 19
Generally, the two souls shared a mystical worldview. In their years on Earth, in separate bodies, each of them had shown open and unapologetic disdain for their respective societies’ inclinations to hyper-reductionist delineation of reality. Government, religion, cultural values – even notions like race, gender and nation – had been abhorrent to both of them, and both had made names for themselves as fierce social critics in their professional careers.
This shared perspective: this notion of the world as a single, organic, dynamic, indivisible system that was at odds with the popular, pervasive mechanical, building block misconception of reality was their common ground. It was the means by which they could overcome just enough of their other differences. It was the bond that transcended their otherwise remarkable incompatibility as souls that could functionally co-inhabit the same corporeal body.
But if their mystical perspective was the foundation upon which their kinship was built, disagreement about how such a perspective should be interpreted, and so should inform personal action, was in perpetuity, a source of animus that threatened to tear that kinship asunder.
Twain’s mysticism had developed as a compulsion to art that found expression and satisfaction in the inner realm of his own imagination, which he communicated in-turn through writing to the inner realms of others.
Crowley’s mysticism became the will to self-actualize through the sort of extreme sensory and physical stimulation in the outer, material realm that became possible when consciousness transcended the false, arbitrary and ultimately limiting delineations and restrictions of culture, society, morality, and law.
Unified by a penchant for mystical awareness, the two souls that shared the robot form notorious across all reality were estranged in the means by which each undertook to manifest that awareness as action.
In their lives on Earth, both men saw all things as connected and so had undertaken to bring no harm to other beings. But, in having succeeded in his lust for immortality, Crowley increasing regarded the material body – at least one in the possession of another – as less important than the soul. Over time, as his access to true sorcery beyond The Rim expanded his power and perspective, he came to regard corporeal life as impertinent in relation to the longer journey of the soul. Who should live and who should die? So long as it wasn’t him, why did this matter? How could he possibly judge the relative value of the lives of other beings? Why should he bother? Indeed, if liberating souls from their bodies would served his needs, was he not providing mutual benefit by facilitating the transmigration of a soul to its next life? After he had come to inhabit the Atlantean robot body constructed for him by Tesla, after he had achieved immortality, he had come to see himself as having emerged from a chrysalis – of having shed the last of thr naïve morality imposed by the limitations of mortal thought. The biological imperative to covet and protect life in general no longer applied to Tin Prince Twain.
Situations change, consciousness evolves, and perspectives that inform the will to self-actualization transcend their former limitations.
In his new, immortal mind, which was of course to him the mind of a god, he had come to see the lives of the mere mortals he had left behind as inconsequential.
Mark Twain, suffice it to say, had both deeply resented, and consistently expressed powerful opposition to this sentiment. It was the primary point of contention between the two souls. But subconsciously, unbeknownst even to himself, Twain also longed for the return of the sensations of the flesh that Crowley so strategically sought. Though he was dismayed be Crowley’ means, he was not (at least below the surface) really all that opposed to the ends they might achieve. This buried compliance with that which he outwardly despised clawed at the dreamer’s mind from its depths.
It could be said that though Crowley’s lusts and passions were many and excessive, they were completely under the discipline of his will, but that while Twain’s lusts and passions were fewer and more demure, like most good men, they were not sufficiently acknowledged and so evaded the adequate regulation of his intentions.
One brought dark discipline, the other whimsy and light. One brought primal hunger, the other principled restraint.
And so, Tin Prince Twain it was whispered –by those few who knew him well – was not so much a menace forged of steel as he was a menace forged of irony.
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