I sit outside a Jack in the Box restaurant with Yal-hune. I notice the signs have gotten exponentially bigger over the years. I actually recall the old clown and the menu that fit on the box his head was perched upon. I also note that one of the old sandwiches from that time is back - the Bonus Jack. I would tell Yal-hune that I remember the old clown - but she already knows this. With her age and the time differential, it probably seems far more recent for her than for me. Perhaps that's something I find attractive about Yal-hune - her complete knowledge of my life. It would take another lifetime to get someone up to speed about all one has done, felt and experienced. Yal-hune knows it all, and more clearly than I do. What is really cool is that these memories are getting clearer and clearer all the time - and I don't know why. Every little nuanced detail my brain observed has been coming back to me. I recall specific ant trails in the front yard of my childhood home. I remember the most bizarre minutia and suspect there is some reason for it and that it likely has to do with Yal-hune.
"Hi, how are you today?"
"Great, thanks...and you?"
"Fine. How can I serve you today?"
"I'd like two Bonus Jacks, two bottles of water and two small french fries."
"That's two Bonus Jacks, two bottles of water and two small fries?"
"Yes, that's it."
"Your total at the window will be $10.49, thank you."
I pull away from the enormous menu/speaker set up and for a moment wonder at what passes for progress. I suddenly realize it has been almost 30 years since the clown had been blown up and the Bonus Jack summarily dismissed from the menu. If someone told me that I'd be ordering a Bonus Jack in 2009, back in 1980 I'd have laughed and thought it preposterous. 2009? By that time fast food places would be obsolete and technology would deliver mega-healthy foodstuff to your home via teleportation, synthesizers or some other wonder. I look around and the shopping centers, cars and small details may be different, too much is alarmingly the same.
"Yal-hune have you been following my thoughts?"
"You would like some commentary? Sure. You see the similarities and differences and judge progress based upon how much has changed. This is a poor measure of progress. I see the people and their mental prospectus. The physical trappings of the planetary infrastructure are of considerably less import than how those serve them in broadening their horizons. And where you see stagnation, I see something that challenges those who live here and is currently matched with their development. Bonus Jacks may be available in 2190, from a restaurant little changed from this one. The menu may grow yet again. None of these events, were they to transpire, should be interpreted as bad. All things serve a useful purpose."
"Hi, that'll be $10.54."
"Here you go."
"Thank you. Your order will be ready in just a minute."
"You can't help yourself. You see through an enormously complicated lens by which you categorize all things, people and character traits as good or bad. Each person different from you and who may reside on a different level you burden with your biases. Yes, you burden them. When you bias them, that energy creates all these little imbalanced wave forms and you drop that imbalanced charge right in their laps. It's a particularly pernicious thing to do because when one carries an extra charge, these folks have a tougher time unloading this burden you deliver."
"Yet everything is good, right?"
"Yes. They will grow stronger after they finally manage to unload the burden. Or they may go down with it and sink down with it until someone can assist them who is a bit more developed. However, for you, this biasing diminishes your intelligent structures and threatens to rip apart the garment you have worked so many lifetimes to weave. You make it easier for the overshadowers to burden you with their imbalanced thought forms."
"I never thought about that."
"I know. Everything you look at and evaluate with the surface of your consciousness is tied to you by an invisible string. When you bias that something negatively you send those little negative waveforms on that string to those things. Then when you understand that each action has an equal and opposite reaction, you must prepare for negative waves - ones you can't handle - that will be delivered to you. In your instance, the more you dump on others, the more the Norchans can dump on you."
"Here you go sir! Have a nice day!"
"You too! Thanks!"
I try to beam a little more positive energy as a result of Yal-hunes well-timed words. Not because I'm afraid of the Norchans - but rather because I realize that Yal-hune, indirectly, actually made it quite clear that I'm acting like a Norchan and my biasing others is just as harmful.
I put the bag on the console between the seats. Yal-hune digs in and emerges from the bag with a Bonus Jack. She unwraps it partially so she can hold the burger in its wrapper as she takes a good size bite.
"Mmmm. It's good!"
I probe her thoughts and am momentarily surprised to realize she really means it. She may have delicacies beyond compare on her world, but she finds just as much to bias positively and enjoy about a fast food joints 3 dollar burger. I see her take on life is much healthier than mine. I realize I may have been in SDAI too long, as I am completely conditioned to see the world as a unending list of things that need improvement or to be changed.
"Yes. Loving life and others comes much more naturally when you don't bias. This is a good lesson for you to remember."
I park the car near a wispy desert tree. I grab a burger out of the bag and try not to see it as an unhealthy diet selection or x amount of calories. I fight these views and try to enjoy it the way Yal-hune does - by seeing it with balance and loving it for what it is. I take a bite.
"Mmmm. You're right it is good!"
Yal-hune laughs. "It's going to be a lot of fun teaching you to love life again."
I bend over and give Yal-hune a kiss on the cheek. For the first time I realize she tastes good. Something in her chemistry is very compatible with my taste buds. My taste buds have a quick conclave and decide whether they want another bite of the Bonus Jack or to taste another delicious kiss upon Yal-hunes pink hued cheek. The cheek wins. Yal-hune catches me with her hand and pushes me back into my seat.
"Your sandwich will get cold."
Her words say one thing, but her eyes are sparkling like Rigel and Pollux and the taste of her skin is still fresh on my lips and in my mind. It's like a chemical catalyst. It awakens portions of my brain that I am sure were not being used or used completely.
She's laughing now and I don't know why.
"If you knew the worlds that orbit Rigel, you would have chosen another star to accompany Pollux..."