I understand the mathematical odds of humans being the only intelligent life there is. There must be other beings out there. I truly believe there are, and that they are tied to God as well.
Evolution: The Long Journey Home is a story that holds many truths. God exists and He loves us being the greatest.
In all ways I hope your journey is a blessed one.
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The Long Journey Home
By Jeri Travis
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Jeri Travis
All rights reserved.
The Days of Jey
The beautiful sun streams in my window as I slowly open my eyes. As my sleepy senses awaken, I sit up, stretch, and yawn. Another day in paradise begins.
I imagine myself perfectly groomed and dressed in my favorite indigo suit, and I am. My dark hair is now wound in a long braid down my strong back. I could be in the dining room simply by thinking of it, but instead I walk to the stairs and descend using my physical form. We are taught from an early age that while we can do or have anything merely by using our minds, we need to utilize our physical forms as well. To live only by the mind reduces the quality of our lives to the point that life loses all meaning.
I am one of a long-lived race. Our history goes back to the very beginning of all there is. In the beginning we evolved from primitive forms. As time went on, we evolved into beings that stood upright, bipeds. We eventually became humanoid in all our forms. We have evolved through many eons, and now change comes rarely. We live in a structured, peaceful society. We are governed by our priests and a council of elders, and we live by a set of rules called the teachings. Life is truly paradise; at least, I hope it is.
I hear my mother's lilting voice calling up the stairs, "Jey, breakfast is ready." I love my mom, but sometimes she takes the teachings too seriously. Though she could sense me coming down the stairs, she still needed to speak to me.
My little sister comes bouncing up to me as I enter the dining room. She hugs me and says, "Morning, Jey-Jey." As I look down at her I can see the beautiful woman she's turning into, a perfect blending of my mother's pale skin and red hair and my father's dark-reddish skin and black hair. Trinny stares up at me with her beautiful green eyes, her strawberry blonde hair pulled back at her ears. Today she is wearing a crown of white flowers, and her attire is in shades of green. Earth tones have always been her favorite, and she chooses a different flower from her gardens each day to adorn her hair.
Breakfast with my mom and sister is one of my favorite times of the day. The view from our dining area is amazing. I stare out to the expanse of our parcel. Our home is built on the highest point of our property, and the scene from the dining room is panoramic. We are on a cleared plateau complete with a huge pond and perfect landscaping. The weather is warm and tropical. As I look to the distance, the green lushness of jungle rolls on for as far as the eye can see. The rising sun gives a shining hue to it all. Mother says that we are always closest to God in the early morning, and looking at this beautiful scene with my loving family, I believe she is right.
Trinny's happy chatter brings me out of my reverie. The conversation is usually light and playful, but today is different. I will be sixteen in a couple of months, and my studies have become increasingly intense. My stress has affected my mood, and my family feels it as well. In our society, when a person turns sixteen, he or she goes through a trial—a test. It's called the journey. As my day of journey approaches, my apprehension grows. While my studies have advanced, no one speaks about the journey. Even my parents will only say it's a personal experience, different for each individual. It is the most profound experience any of us will ever go through, yet no one speaks of it. My fear and frustration grow with each passing day.
The breakfast conversation starts off light and playful, Scrabble with no dictionary rules. Suddenly it turns to cutthroat cribbage, and my opponent has miscounted by eight coming down Home Street. My mother follows all the teachings to the letter. She can recite every quote, and she follows all the scripts. My sister, being young, is still an angel, believing every word my parents say. As an informed youth, I realize that not all of the teachings may be right. I get tired of the elders proclaiming their rules as "all there is." No proof, only the teachings. Elders all conforming, no thought, almost a brainless response to life. The more I learn in my studies, the more I doubt. There are all these teachings but no reasoning behind them; there is only this unreasonable faith. Is it a brainless society or a brainwashed society? The young are awakening to the truth. We are not willing to follow the teachings blindly as our elders do. We feel we are a new breed, smarter than the elders.
My mom and sister know my opinions, and they disagree wholeheartedly and usually very loudly. Today's breakfast conversation is as heated as any we've had. I watch as my mother's face flushes almost as red as her long, flowing hair. Her temper is always apparent, and often it's quite fiery. I try to explain to my mom that I am sick of the teachings and that I don't want to go to my studies today. My mom says that with my journey coming up, I cannot miss any of my studies. I argue that missing one day wouldn't affect my journey. It would be one day of playtime, like I had in my youth. My mom's response is, "Yesterday is but a memory; tomorrow but a dream. We must do what is right today, for today is all there is."
Well, it looks like I'm off to my studies. When Mother quotes the scripts, it is always the final word.
I walk to my studies today—anything to put them off as long as possible. The walk to my school is a nice hike. Because we live on the hill, it always an easy slope, and the path winds through some of the most beautiful scenes we could imagine. Because we design the landscape we live in, beauty is everywhere. The fauna is thick and diverse. Birds of every hue flit from tree to tree. Bushes shake as small animals rustle around. We no longer need to eat the flesh of animals; we simply manipulate molecules and build the food we need. We have memories and traditions and still eat meat, but no animal ever dies to feed us. With habitat being so plentiful, wildlife of all kinds thrives. A vivid pack of yellow finches decides to investigate me. They have no fear and follow me down the path. This truly is paradise. The path winds to the bottom of the plateau, and now I gaze up at the cliffs that tower over the path. The path to town levels off and my mind begins to wander.
I take this time to contemplate the journey. I should probably avoid this line of thought; all it does is increase my fear. I can't help wondering what the journey is all about. They call it a journey, but the candidates enter the cathedral and reemerge months or even years later. Where do they go? How can it be a journey in the cathedral? Why is it months for some, years for others? And why, why, why can't anyone give me some clue as to what to expect?
A couple of my friends and I have pondered these questions. We are all turning sixteen in the next few months, and we are all afraid. We all suspect there is a reason no one talks about his or her journey. We have begun to wonder if it might have something to do with the elders' unfounded faith in the teachings. Many of us have begun to question the truth of the teachings. Our scholars are aware of our increasing doubts, yet they offer no explanations, no rationales, nothing. They don't seem the least bit concerned about us questioning their faith. This really bothers us. All we want is the truth, and we know they are holding something back. We have begun to consider the possibility that the journey is some type of brainwashing. It would certainly explain the elders' unwavering belief.
While I worry about being brainwashed, I have a hard time believing this could be done to anyone in our society. Our minds are extremely powerful. We are immortal, and the power of our minds increases as we age. It seems anything done to us at sixteen years old could not affect us for the many years we live. But then my mind worries again. Maybe the brainwashing is a one-time thing that affects us for the rest of our lives. If someone could just give me a hint about what to expect on my journey, maybe some of my fear would be relieved.
At last, I arrive at the cathedral and this nerve-racking train of thought can finally end, for now.CHAPTER 2
Only recently have I disliked my studies. With my journey coming up, I feel the need to relax and have the final fun of youth. The pressure of my upcoming journey and the reality of my adult life to follow make me long for the simplicity of childhood. While I dislike the teachings, they are but a small part of my studies. I learn many other things as well: the history of our race, science, mathematics, and my least favorite, language. I find each subject to be interesting and worthwhile. Even the tedious rules of language has its merits
The teachings are the simplest studies we have. Many are basic expressions of common sense that can be summed up in just a few words: do what is right, be honest and trustworthy, and be kind and loving to everyone you come in contact with. When I put it like that, I realize our disbelief might be unfounded. A brainwashing conspiracy would not be built on such simple ideas. I suppose what bothers us most about the teachings is the lack of proof or reasoning behind them. History, science, math, and language are all very structured, with reasoning and proof to back them up. They make sense. While the basic ideas behind the teachings need no proof, many of the nuances sound made up. No one questions these, though. Any time I ask an elder for an explanation, the response is always the same: "You'll understand after you've had your journey."
There are times when I tire of even the basic teachings. In our society, every person receives different gifts. Some receive intelligence, charm, or physical beauty. For others, the gifts are much harder to discern. To be loving and kind to everyone you meet can be a real chore. I often feel like I break the honesty rule every time I encounter a wretched individual. My mother tells me it will be easier for me after my journey. I highly doubt anything could make me love many of the people I meet. I find it hard to believe brainwashing could change my feelings as well. Who knows what the brainwashing will change? Only those who have been through the journey, and they're not talking. And now I'm ending my day just as I began it: worrying.
My fear begins to rise like the high tide, and suddenly my little sister, Trinny, appears next to me. "Hey, Jey-Jey. Thought I'd walk you home."
Trinny has always been a different child, even by our society's standards. When she was very young, we assumed she was severely disabled. She never used her mind to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. Young children utilize their minds whenever they want. They must be taught to live in the physical realm, to use their bodies and hands as tools. The first time we realized Trinny could use her mind power, she amazed us all. While we are immortal, we can be severely injured, to the point we might as well be dead. Father travels to geologically important planets for work, and he is often far, far away. He once traveled to the planet we originated from, a small blue planet called Earth. We now live on the planets of our choosing, but many still choose conditions that mimic our home planet.
Due to our near perfection at terra-forming, we can use virtually any planet within the correct distance from a star. In the past, terra-forming was an extreme process. It took decades to analyze the exact properties of a planet and to determine what elements were needed, and in what proportions, to effect the change we wanted. We then would shoot a rocket containing the elements into the planet and wait for the atmosphere to stabilize. This project took centuries.
We have evolved since then and have a greater ability to manipulate matter. Matter and energy have become one. We simply move the molecules by projecting our energy into them. Once we had mastered this ability, terra-forming was easy. We could simply look at a planet to analyze it. We could now alter our own matter and travel to any point in the universe. We could travel directly to a planet. Once we analyze a planet, we simply project the correct elements directly into the system. The change is instantaneous. Our ability to shape from a molecular level ensures that life takes hold quickly and in any form we desire. In the past, we made mistakes somewhere along the line, and planets were not created exactly as we had planned. Now we can "landscape" our planets any way we wish.
The planet my family lives on is slightly warmer than Earth. It's an absolute paradise. When my parents were married they chose their plot. A five-hundred acre plot is allocated to each couple. With so many beautiful planets to choose from, there is never a problem with overcrowding. Most choose a new planet and they are essentially given a blank slate. They then design their perfect home from scratch. Some married couples choose existing planets to be near friends or relatives. There is always plenty of room for people to live wherever they want to. Being far away is not a problem anymore. The ability to travel anywhere in a short time has changed how we look at distance. The furthest distances require people to make multiple jumps, but the time spent is still negligible.
Father is an archaeologist of great fame. He studies past cultures, and understanding past mistakes is his specialty. Life sprang from planets other than Earth, and he has studied many of them and learned something from all. We all have a sense of our loved ones. As with all gifts, it is stronger in some than in others, but distance always affects it; most of the time, we can't feel him at all.
Trinny was five years old and had never used her mind for any purpose, as far as we knew. We simply assumed she couldn't. One night, a short time after going to bed, Trinny awoke, screaming, "Papa! Papa!" I arrived at her room just as she disappeared. I was terrified. Papa was on a distant world, on an archaeological dig, and he couldn't have pulled her to him. She must have had a nightmare and was somehow pulled into the void.
The void is a cold blackness at the edge of the cosmos. It is a very rare occurrence for a child to project into the void, but it is known to have happened. The child is then lost forever. Nothing has ever returned from the void. We all know where the edge is, but young children don't always understand the danger. I was trying to explain this to my mother, and suddenly Trinny was back, and with her was Papa. The dig had collapsed and buried him under tons of rock and debris. Mother and I were shocked. Trinny had felt his pain, gone to him, and returned them both over a distance that no one in our society could possibly have traveled. Even at short distances it's difficult to carry another, yet here they were. To this day it still amazes me.
Trinny still rarely uses her mind to do anything. For her to appear next to me both surprises and kind of frightens me. I half expect a big rock to fall on me. I peer at the cliffs above my head just in case. I love Trinny but ever since the day she carried Papa millions of miles, I have had a healthy respect for her. Trinny has always had an odd understanding of the teachings as well, often without their having been taught to her. When she encounters wretched individuals she treats them with love and respect, and unlike me, she means it.
"Jey-Jey, you have to stop being so afraid of your journey," she says. "It hurts me. The journey is nothing to be afraid of. It is a wondrous, natural experience, and being fearful helps no one." We walk a while in silence. I so wish I had her faith. I now understand why she popped in on me. It wasn't the threat of a falling rock that prompted her to appear; it was simply my fear that drew her. "Trinny, I promise for you I will try." She looks at me and smiles a sweet, knowing smile.
Excerpted from Evolution by Jeri Travis. Copyright © 2014 Jeri Travis. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. The Days of Jey, 1,
2. Trinity, 6,
3. The Journey Begins, 11,
4. The Slowing, 16,
5. The Joy, 19,
6. The Priestess – 15,300 BC, 23,
7. The Temple – 5076 BC, 27,
8. The Queen – 1985 BC, 32,
9. The Washerwoman – AD 79, 36,
10. The Servant – AD 299, 39,
11. The Black Death – AD 1350, 41,
12. The Tribe – AD 1670, 44,
13. The Minister – AD 1780, 48,
14. The Doctor – AD 1930, 51,
15. Father's View, 54,
16. The Homecoming, 56,
17. Assessing My Past Lives, 64,
18. The Descent, 72,
19. The Contemplation, 78,
20. The Change, 86,
21. The Camp, 97,
22. Armageddon, 105,
23. The Second Coming, 122,
24. The Advancement, 128,
25. Level One, 140,
26. Level Two, 148,
27. Level Three, 156,
28. Level Four, 169,
29. Level Five, 179,
30. Level Six, 185,
31. Level Seven, 189,
32. Omega, 195,
33. Trinny, 197,
34. Jey's Return, 208,