Lifesaver wasn’t the only one to wonder who Mystery was, where she could find him, how she could love him, or who she herself was. While Lifesaver toiled to catch Earth human in her own forgetfulness, Earth human continued to toil the ground in his. In much sweat, Earth human toiled the ground, battled the thorns, and bent down to remove the persistent weeds.
Exhausted, Earth human longed for a break. He spotted a tree that looked familiar with fruit that reminded him of the tastiest fruit he had ever eaten, the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Afraid he’d certainly die this time if he ate of this twin tree, he dared not eat. Instead, he sat beneath it, hoping to be sufficiently delighted by the mere scent of the delicious fruit. Then something amazing happened: a fruit dropped on his head! This time, without even eating it, the fruit gifted him with yet more new knowledge: gravity! Delighted in this new- found power, Earth human allowed this remarkable force to impart its full strength upon him.
Though initially delighted, Earth human found he could not master this force. Gravity held a mysterious power over him, and he found himself drawn nearer and nearer to the ground. As he toiled, battled the thorns, and pulled the weeds, gravity pulled him from an upright walk to a crawl. The more he drew to the dirt, the less he lived with the earth, and the more he crawled as an animal, the less he walked as a human.
Of dust he had been formed and to dust he returned. Dust he ate and dust he believed he was. No longer did he see himself as Earth human, but now he called himself “Dust animal,” made, he believed, of dust and darkness.
Initially, he found liberation in the new name he gave to himself. By forgetting the divine breath of light within him and remembering only the dust which had formed him, Earth human felt released to live at the ground where gravity had drawn him. “I’m only Dirt animal,” he sighed and freed himself to live as such.
But Earth human could not live as Dirt animal without suffering. Indeed, he could live as Dirt animal no more than an orange could live as an apple. So his toil, misery, dissention with Life-saver, and conflicts with other men he also called dirt animals continued to strengthen. The more he toiled, battled thorns, fought the weeds, and warred with others, the more power gravity exerted upon him. Finally, he called to Mystery to release him to transcend gravity. Sitting in silence for some time, Earth human vowed to pester Mystery day and night for as long as it took.
One day while toiling and crying, Earth human heard a whisper through the breeze, “To transcend gravity, you must die.”
So Earth human tried to tell himself that he was great, he tried to make life choices as if he was great, and he tried to believe that he would live healthy, happy and rich. And Earth human felt better. But he made Life-saver mad, and his conflicts with fellow men also increased.
Whatever was the answer? Could he ever be released? Once again, Earth human cried to Mystery, and, once again, he waited. At an unexpected moment in the field, Earth human heard another whisper: “To be released, you must die.”
“Die?!” Earth human exclaimed. “Here we go again,” he groaned to the whisper, “your talk of dying.” Frustrated, Earth human tried to reason with the mysterious voice: “I want to live! I want to love myself! I want to be released from gravity, and I do not wish to die!”
This time, the whisper replied immediately, and then it left Earth human to ponder its final words: “To love yourself, you must know yourself, Earth human, but to know yourself, you must die.”
To see how Earth human and Life-saver face whisper's challenge, stay tuned for the fifth and final part . . .