Albert worked in the Lightcone. It was all he’d ever known. The hard whiteness of the Highest Light broke into fragments far above, and bounced off crystal walls. It created a spectrum of infinitely clear hues, which filled the cone with endless brightness, like the heart of a jewel. Everything was illuminated everywhere, and shadows were simply not possible. The Highest Light seemed a vast jewel itself, so intense was its fire.

“Howdy, brother,” Albert said to his fellow worker.

“Howdy, brother,” the worker replied, and bumped Albert’s right fist, then his left fist. This was the only interaction encouraged between workers. It was a hard job seeking the perfect jewel; casual distractions and unnecessary affiliations were forbidden. The penalties for disturbance were not harsh, but the shame was strong, and the knowledge that you had lost a week of searching; a week in which another worker could have found your jewel.

Albert’s job was seeking, selecting, and grading the finest jewels. They had flaked off the crystal walls for millennia, and lay scattered in patches around the cone. Access to these areas was restricted to Jewellers; strong men like him whose fathers had done likewise, and their forefathers, back to the beginning of the Lightcone.

Each Jeweller had a general purpose and also a specific one. His general purpose was to serve society by offering it the finest jewels, used in factories for cutting weapons, traded for spices and metals, and used to decorate holy temples and shrines. His specific purpose was to search ceaselessly for his personal jewel. Some jewels – not necessarily the biggest or brightest – held the same vibrations as people, the same awareness as their soul. Albert’s life would be complete once he found his jewel. He would take it to the Temple to be tested and approved, and then begin the great journey to the top of the Lightcone, the journey that was the highest honour and greatest ordeal.

He recalled the pride he’d felt when his father had found his own jewel. “Son, I have completed my life’s purpose,” he had said to twelve-year-old Albert. “The priestess has confirmed its vibrational match and blessed my life force. Now I will climb to the light, as my father once did, and all of our forefathers.”

Albert recalled the dark, muscular figure, clad in short white tunic, begin to climb the rock-cut steps around the Lightcone’s rim. For three days, they saw this white speck rising higher, reflected as multiple specks in the crystal walls. It was as if his father had become many fathers. The higher he climbed, the more he multiplied, till it seemed to Albert that the cone was filled with fathers, all looking down. When he drew near the Highest Light, he diffused; he lost all separation and definition; he merged.

Albert’s mother had comforted him, saying, “Come son, let’s go to the Transparent Temple. There we will look into the Great Jewel. Maybe your father will send us a message.”

“I don’t want to go to the Temple,” Albert had said. “I want to go home.” In truth he wanted to run up the rock-cut steps after his father, and join him in the Highest Light. But it was a dangerous way on slim paths, along loose cliffs, through jungles, past waterfalls, along rope bridges, and where they were broken, crawling and grasping across gaps. Only a man who had found his jewel – and within it, seen his holy vision, and heard his holy vibration – was ready to go. Not boys like him.

Albert knew that it would be unforgivable of him to not attend his father’s rites. He went to the Temple with his mother. His extended family sat around the Great Jewel; the younger members an even mixture of boys and girls, but the older ones mainly women whose husbands had already undertaken their holy journeys. They looked into the Great Jewel together. Maybe they imagined it, but as the Highest Light poured onto the Great Jewel, they witnessed Albert’s father lighting the heart of the gem.

“He’s made it,” said a Great Aunty, hugging Albert’s mother. Other Great Aunties did the same.

Twelve years later, still a young man, Albert found his jewel. It was a fist-sized, grainy gem, with clear streaks running through its core. It seemed to throb with the same vibration as his heart. When he looked deeply into its clear channels, he saw his father walking and himself as a child crawling behind him, rising within the Lightcone together, towards the Highest Light.

“Don’t tell anyone,” his mother said. “You’re too young to go.”

“But mother, I have had my calling,” he said.

“But you haven’t found a wife or had children yet. It’s too early. I won’t tell anyone. Just put it back somewhere. No one will know.”

“Mother I will know. It must be so.”

After bumping fists with his fellow workers, Albert said farewell to his family and began to climb the rock-cut steps. He rode the slim paths on loose cliffs, went through jungles, past waterfalls, along rope bridges, and crawled and grasped across gaps.

When he reached the Highest Light, he realized that there was no light there. It was the Lightcone itself that was the source of light, reflecting itself endlessly. He had emerged from the Lightcone, which was now a glowing well beneath him. The realm outside was one of darkness, where the only light present came from his glowing hand. Holding his jewel before him, Albert wandered into this strange gloomy landscape. He now understood the higher purpose of his people. It was to spread their light here.


2 Responses to “Lightcone”

  1. Quite wonderful. /—/
    My granddaughter, visiting from Brazil, brought me as a gift a 1kg cut and polished transparent quartz crystal with a beautiful white and brown inclusion. There is a hole through which one can see there are cavities around the inclusion. She also brought “Searching for crystals Journey”, a DVD made by my grandson-in-law in Brazilian crystal mines. They are both rather attuned to the spiritual aspect of crystal.
    May I send them a transcript of your story, for them alone, not to be passed on?

    • javedbabar Says:

      Yes please send them the story in any way you wish to. I look forward to seeing the mighty crystal filled with infinite Bobs

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