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The Immaculate Perception: A Life's Journey Paperback – May 1, 1998
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About the Author
Karon Aghotte is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. This is her first novel. She now resides in Redondo Beach, CA with her husband, Mike DePrez.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"There are the laws of nature, the laws of man..." Then catching her eye, he changed it. "The laws of nature, the laws of humans and the laws of God." She was sitting on the floor, hands relaxed comfortably on crossed legs. Yahweh was standing several feet away. She was an eager student, a learning disciple, a hopeful human being. "The laws of nature help you understand how the universe was created. The laws of humankind define its character. The laws of God command how you are to live your lives within its scope." He walked back and forth, hand to his chin, concentrating on presenting his thoughts. Sincerely had never seen him so intent. "An example: it is a law of nature that men are generally physically stronger than women. In the wrong situation, this makes a woman vulnerable. Therefore, there must be human laws to determine what is permissible and what is not. My commandments constitute the very foundation of this structure. Do you follow me thus far?" Sincerely thought so and used one of his favorite creations as a metaphor. "In other words, you create the tree, nature perpetuates its growth and we decide whether to cut it down or nurture it." "Precisely, Sincerely! Precisely!" Yahweh clapped his hands once and spread his arms. A glistening tree sprouted and grew ten feet high before her awestruck eyes. Excitedly he moved around it then pulled something from the branches and rushed over. "You must make decisions carefully, for there will always be consequences. The decision whether or not to cut down a tree might seem a simple one, until you look more closely." He held out his hand and opened it. In his palm was a small bird's nest. Inside were three tiny eggs. He closed his fist and opened it once more, releasing three brilliantly colored hummingbirds. It was divine magic! Yahweh looked at her with dark, piercing eyes, his face only inches from hers. "You see? I need not worry about the natural order, for I created nature to be self-sustaining and it is such, when left to its own devices. What frightens and angers me is the human misconception of responsibility. Yes, everything is an act of God when taken within the context of my divine creation. I accept ultimate responsibility. But the human hand makes the fist. When a wife is punched by her husband, or a child is raped, or even when one man kills another, such acts do not constitute my laws. They are not my punishments. These are the acts of a vicious society which does not look closely enough at its intentions. To say such things are the will of God is a catastrophic mistake, for this ignorance allows evil to fester." Yahweh squatted down in front of her. "I do understand it is easier for people to blame me, for they do not come face to face with me." "That's important to remember, Yahweh." Sincerely added. "It's not easy to hold someone accountable when he's sitting at the dinner table, or across from you in a courtroom." "Yes, you are right, Sincerely. So what is the answer?" "You're asking me?" "I am." Sincerely's mind ran backwards over all the things she'd said to the thousands of abused women she'd spoken to over the years. None of it seemed good enough anymore. "I don't have the answer, Yahweh. I'm sorry." He smiled then became serious. He leaned towards her."Yes you do. It's intuition, the ability to know instinctively what is right and what is wrong. It is the backbone of reasoning and it rests inside the soul of every woman. I know this for I put it there myself. You must look inside yourselves for the answers. It is not my desire that you suffer; suffering is not the key to salvation. You need not suffer for me to love you for I have already loved you from the beginning." Yahweh stood and walked to a far corner, facing its center, away from her. He appeared to be meditating. Sincerely stood and stretched, thinking as well. People often used the suffering of Jesus Christ as God's decree of how the agonies of life should be endured. To suffer was to be like Jesus. To be like Jesus was to be saved. How many times had she heard that preached from the pulpit? Suffering is not the key to salvation. You need not suffer for me to love you.... The human hand makes the fist. Maybe God never meant for Jesus to suffer, to die on the cross. God gave his son life. Perhaps man alone gave him death. Maybe there could have been another way.
Then, suddenly, they were standing at the breadth of an ocean on fire. Immense fiery tongues of gold and red seared high into the sky from below the water line. The flames crackled in dense noise and waves of hot air caused their robes to flutter. On Yahweh's face, the reddish glow appeared to be more than a reflection. "I dreamt about this," she said matter of fact. But that was a dream. This was real. He nodded. "It is the sea of life." "And, the fire?" "Purification that will open your heart to a higher knowledge." Her heart? "My heart?" All of a sudden she had a bad feeling. "Come with me." He took her hand and without hesitation began walking into the agitated water. It was terrifying and the heat was unbearable. Sincerely held back. Yahweh pulled her gently but firmly to him. "Come with me," he encouraged once more and she did. For half a moment she thought it would be okay, that it couldn't be real, or at very least, it couldn't really touch them. Then she felt the wetness on her legs, the heaviness of it on her robe, the hotness and she began to panic. "Yahweh, no! I can't!" But he kept pulling her with him and quickly they were surrounded by the fire. Her hair and robe were being singed. She could smell it. She was scared to death. "Yahweh," she pleaded, starting to weep. The water reached above her shoulders, flames towered above her head. She closed her mouth tight fearing the hot salty water would flood into her, boiling her insides raw. Though he still held her hand she could no longer see Yahweh. Have faith, she kept telling herself, have faith. But she was drowning in a liquid firestorm. Abruptly her feet struck something hard and rising, and they were standing on a large mound of rocks, an island of rocks, in the middle of the blazing sea. The heat dried their robes instantly. Sincerely smoothed the material and discovered the most astonishing thing. Her hair: the firestorm had lengthened it to below her waist. She ran her trembling fingers through it and even they appeared longer, more delicate. Everything about her seemed different. Yahweh was different too. His physical appearance had turned more brilliant, literally glowing with light. Tendrils of radiance reached out and wrapped around her, and the tingling feeling made her laugh. He laughed with her, glorifying this moment between them. He came to her and placed his lips around hers. She noticed how cool and smooth they were. And with a temporal, resonant gasp of air, he breathed into her a new life.