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Wendy Laing

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Spiritual Rites
By Wendy Laing
Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Last edited: Tuesday, February 08, 2005
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Wendy Laing
· Washed Up!
· The Ticket
· The Lowlander
· Reunion
· Barbie Doll
· Hettie, the Hearse
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           >> View all 12
A tale about the sprits of the 20th and 21st Centuries - at the change of the millenium, with a touch of philosophy thrown in!
Spiritual Rites

The old and wise one was called 20C, the young and unwise, 21C.
20C sighed, then transferred the following thought to 21C,
You donít know what youíre in for young one!
It thought back over the past one hundred years that it had the privilege or perhaps at times the anguish of observing. 20C was a member of the ĎRites of Passage Spiritual Society.í This society of spirits had roamed the planet Earth, unseen since the world began. These spirits surpassed any human notion of time and space, form or sex. As spirits they were in fact, sexless. But they held unique and great powers.
20C had created from within itself one hundred spirits during its rule. The first, 1900 had a rather shaky start. The last of 20Cís spiritual family was 1999, a bit of a technology freak who was arrogantly confident that technology would conquer all Earthís current problems inherited by the predecessors of 19Cís rule over the Earthís spirits.
20C was nearing the end of its rule and glad to release its spiritual responsibilities to 21C. It wouldnít be Ďretirementí in the human sense, more like an opportunity to relax and philosophize with the rest of the Spirit Societyís former rulers and their individually created offspring. The Societyís elders ranged from 19C back to such venerated elders as 3,000,000BC and beyond, to the beginning of time in this Solar System when the planet Earth was created.
The end of each year was always an interesting time when the Sovereign Spirit of the Society at the time, currently 20C would create the next yearís Spirit.
The end of the century was a much bigger occasion. 20C had to create two new spirits. Firstly one to be known as 2000 to supervise the first year, then one to be heralded as the new millenium, namely 21C to rule over the spirits of the Earth for the next 100 years.
Just like unpredictable human nature, the spirits could inherit a many faceted nature. As the centuries and milleniums passed the inherited features were becoming more complex and more unpredictable. It was essential therefore that 20C passed on as much knowledge and wisdom as possible to 21C before the bewitching hour of midnight worked its way around the globe on 31 December 1999.
20C worried about what might face 21C. How may more wars, violent storms, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, depleted forests, melting of the polar caps and resultant damages of human violence could the Spirits precious planet of Earth tolerate without causing its total annihilation.
On hindsight, the last century of 20Cís had seen amazing progress in technology, the birth of flight, space exploration, computers, medical advances, scientific research, and globalization. Each had been beyond 20CíS wildest visions. Such progress were the proudest memories of its existence. On the debit side it remembered its time of rule with sadness and contempt. Wars, genocide, millions starving, the Ďfat catí dominant class wallowing in unnecessary wealth, the degradation of the earthís resources, pillaging of the oceans and the damage to the precious ozone layer.
Sigh! Why do only a few of the humans on Earth take heed to our conscience transference messages?
20C pondered upon what it was passing on to 21C. Optimistically, better medical knowledge, technology advancement, education, literacy, but pessimistically a huge human potential for irrational, intolerant selfish behavior, which often led to destruction. 20C felt that such warnings left unheeded by 21C and its creations, especially 2000, the first and most important, could be the beginning of the end of the Spiritís and their beloved planet Earth.
20C decided that the first advice to 21C was to encourage 2000 to become proactive instead of reactive. As the Sovereign Spirit of the new millenium, 21C had to become a spiritual conscience that would have greater influence on human nature and desires during the next century, in order to preserve this priceless planet and itís population regardless of biological shape, form or purpose.
20C realized that Earthís clocks would shortly start to strike the twelve strokes of midnight, signaling the earthlings euphoric celebrations of entering a new age. This new century of 21Cís had to be full of optimism and hope, advancement, conservation and the destruction of greed, corruption, avarice, crime, hatred, wars and genocide.
Sigh! What an impossible task, given human nature!
But 20C taking 21C into its aura of Spiritual enlightenment was hopeful that the ĎRite of Passage Spiritual Societyí although invisible, unfelt and unknown physically to the human race would triumph with gentle conscientious persuasion via moralistic thought transference from the Spirits into each human mind. Hopefully humans would heed their conscience. Perhaps at the beginning of this new era, humans will spend time looking back at what happened in 20Cís time and try and at least start to amend some of the negatives and add more of the positives to 21Cís time of rule.
It seemed such a pity that earthlings didnít seem to learn from historical events and their causes and effect upon the planet. It was only the earthling spirits, after death, who eventually joined the Spirit world and met the Rites of Passage Spiritual Society who realized what needed to be done. But for these human spirits, it was already too late. Time had already caught up with them. Their new found spiritual knowledge and wisdom was only hypothetical and not of practical use to the current physical world around them.
20C finally heard the first clocks striking midnight on 31 December 1999. The time had come to unite its aura with its successor. 21C was now ready to embark on its reign with its newly created spirit, 2000. 20C observed them contentedly. 21C had a determined and confident spirit and would be ably supported in the first year by the enthusiastic and energetic spirit of 2000.
Strangely for the first time in 100 years, no profound thoughts or wise doctrines effused from 20C at this moment. Only the rather lame parting wish of, Good Luck, emanated as 21C and 2000 transitioned from one era to the next, into the world already noisily celebrating the new millenium.

Wendy Laing © 2001

Web Site: Wendy Laing  

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 2/8/2005
well done

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Wendy Laing

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