One day every year, I stand on this dark green cliffside and look down into the mouth of the jungle. I drink a bottle of red wine and say the Lord's Prayer. My thoughts wander back to Professor Mueller with his big jutting jaw, handsome and intelligent blue eyes. He always dressed the impeccable gentleman and carried a dog whip. But more than the man, I contemplate the ideas that were Transcendence 101.
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Most classes I've taken taught me how to conform, systematize my thoughts, doubt and, above all, survive.
Transcendence 101 taught me how to rebel, free my thoughts and transcend.
Two ideas composed the central curriculum of transcendence 101. The first was that organization is untenable. Control is impossible. For instance, man should not try to control nature but rather should let nature control him. Nature is the stronger party in the relationship between man and nature. Imagine our life with nature as sex. Man plays the woman's role and nature plays the man's role.
The idea of giving up control applies to many areas of life. Like a dagger to the heart of naivity, it leaves us jaded but happy. Indeed, although man as a whole has not mastered the idea, he does understand it. For instance, view capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system based on allowing what works to survive and what doesn't to die. In this way, man gives up control of the economy. In exchange, he's rewareded with wealth.
The second and more important concept of transcendence 101 was the simple idea of transcendence. Transcendence is not something that can be explained in earthly terms. The closest synomym is "trump."
Transcendence is an idea that destroys an entire rival system in one stroke. Transcendence is an unbreakable code. It's fixed dice. It's absolute victory. It's Trafalgar.
My classmates in Transcendence 101 were the elite, those who were extremely capable and extremely rebellious, those who'd discovered some truth without Master Mueller.
On the last day of class, we took a field trip to the edge of a huge cliff. Beneath us, a vast rainforest stretched out its paradisical jaws. Master Mueller handed out cigars and brandy. He said, simply, "Today I hand you the final solution. You will transcend."
Instantly, we all knew that he meant we were to jump off the cliff. The crowd of beautiful, long haired students beamed with excitement. Cooly, I lit up my cigar. It was a good cigar. It had that pleasant bitter taste. I felt contained. The brandy was also excellent.
We drank brandy and smoked our cigars slowly. They were very big cigars and took about half an hour to burn down. Meanwhile, we talked.
Master Mueller said, "I've taught you the truth. You should feel no more confusion. There is no death. This plane of existence is a learning experience. Once you've learned what you are to learn, you will move on to a higher plane of existence."
Student 3 asked, "But will we continue to exist as individuals or in some other way?"
Master Mueller said, "You will continue to exist as individuals. The higher levels of existence will merely offer you a more extensive existence. There will be less of fear and pain and more pleasure and mental engagement. Natural resources will be richer. Conscious existence will be less tenuos."
Student 5 asked, "How should we go about jumping off the cliff?"
Master Mueller replied, "If you are to enter the kingdom of heaven, you must do so as a little child or as a submissive, dependent being. You must die not as a man but as a woman during sexual intercourse. Remember that to seek transcendence is a stage up from seeking life. When you seek life on this planet, you seek stability, control, and pleasure. Likewise, seek transcendence."
To Master Mueller, I said, "Master Mueller, what advice would you-"
"Enough discussion, pupils, it's time to transcend," said Mueller. "Before we leave this earth, we should be submissive to it, because defense and not attack is the ruler of this particular world. Tradition is a form of stabilizing. And so I suggest that we pay a brief tribute to the traditional deity of this world, Jesus Christ."
We all closed our eyes and Master Mueller said the Lord's prayer.
"I'll lead the way," said Master Mueller and without ado, he jumped off the cliff. And so did about thirty students. I was the only one left alive.
Calmly, I walked away without even looking for the dead far below. Relaxed, I breathed deeply and swung my arms rythmically. In the master's teaching that defense and not attack was the rule of this world, I took great pleasure.