writing chapter 2.8
“So, what do the various teachings look like?” Portia asked, ready with her notebook. “What can we teach that everybody can learn in a couple of sessions?” Everybody had an answer, every answer differed from every other, but were infuriatingly the same – vague and all-encompassing and taking lots of effort – and she quickly gave up writing down anything but keywords.
“Jedi training is a ten-year apprenticeship,” a Star Wars fan said. “It involves lots of self-mastery bullshit, but you develop the abilities to control, sense, and alter your world.”
“That goes for Bene Gesserit training, too,” said a Dune fan. “A decade of inner observation and outer instruction. Lots of meditation and physical training. And they start at birth.”
“Magical training lasts for a year and a day,” a Wiccan offered, but a wizard interrupted with, “The training is endless, with numerology and Qabalah and rituals, and all that mythology. You never get to the bottom of what you need to know.”
Portia summed it up. “All the methods teach concentration, breathing, meditation, physical exercises. They all develop imagination and willpower. Lots of academics – language studies, culture, history, philosophy, science, medicine. But self-mastery is the basis.”
Some weren’t happy with this. “Are you saying they all boil down to self-discipline? Like an army of superheros all marching in lockstep?”
The boy answered. “It takes a lot of maturity to learn these things,” he shared. “Everybody has lots of bad habits, and it can get pretty ugly. I know.”
“Mainly the reason for discipline is so you don’t abuse your powers,” someone said. “That’s why they’re called secret teachings. Not everyone should know this stuff.”
“The angel said to teach it to everybody, I’m pretty sure. Didn’t he?” Portia turned to Josh.
“Yeah,” he said, suddenly remembering. “He was pretty insistent about it. The important thing was to touch as many people as possible. We were tossing games into the crowd like it was raining.”
“We should charge for it and weed out the unworthy,” said one, and another retorted, “Then you’d just get the psychopaths.”
He said weed, the boy snickered. “Don’t forget the chemical pathways to higher brain function. Substances can put you there and teach you how to be. The whole training part is learning how to get back there on your own.”
“And there are the altered states you can reach thru sex,” said Fairy from the door, coming in and looking appreciatively at the packed room. “These are all valid ways, and there are loads more, because they all have to do with being conscious.”