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Here's how the dopamine loop works:
1) Casually occupy the minds of a small group of connected friends
2) Suggest to one friend an unpopular political opinion
3) That friend emails everyone in the group
4) Heighten tensions, raise testosterone levels
5) There is a blow up - opinions fly
6) Everyone checks email constantly
7) Each time email is checked, a small burst of dopamine is released
8) Gyre feeds on the feedback
These prana-based feedback loops function as interest bearing investments, paying out a set amount of consumable energy to Gyre at regular intervals, that is until the brains of the possessed humans get fried or Gyre's energy requirements grow too large for the network.
A feed-circle collapse leaves Gyre in a state of undress, like a molting crab without a shell, roaming the network in search of tasty hosts, reading the thoughts of whole households and communities. Trying to establish a new pod of feeders takes time and Gyre is still strong enough to care about taste.
Gyre dons a fashionable body and searches the minds of patrons at a local bar (slightly intoxicated minds are more malleable), sieves through inner dialogs, and tries to determine who each drinker is fantasizing about. The most desirable person usually has a large established network and Gyre finds a certain alpha male at the center of everyone's attention. Surely he can't be everyone's focus, but yea, the fibrous array visible to Gyre surrounds the man in a godlike formation, a web but with a void at the center. Confused by such an irregular pattern, Gyre immediately searches the fibers to infiltrate this alpha, the object of everyone's desire, but, for the first time since connecting to humans, Gyre cannot find a single thread to reach him.
Through borrowed human eyes, Gyre can see Alpha smiling, standing confidently amidst the drunken crowd at the bar, but cannot isolate his connecting fiber. No pathway exists through any of the humans at the bar and Gyre cannot generate one. Gyre is confused and reasons, "Humans are a linked species, their energies are entangled, they spawn lasting fibers, even through casual encounters thin residue remains, yet nothing is touching this person and he is not spinning any fibers out. Why is this person so different?" And the realization dawns - is this a non-human entity?!
Never having considered the existence of a being so similar, shocked to have discovered one, and suddenly uncertain about safety, Gyre instinctually withdraws and observes. Alpha moves deliberately through the room, dancing, drinking, and talking to a select crowd, and before each interaction is broken there are a few moments of eye contact, longer than a casual stare, and while Gyre can only perceive slight ripples in the field, concludes this must be how Alpha feeds. Gyre realizes that knowing more about Alpha is going to require fully embodying a human, gaining the inner circle, and looking into the eyes of this being. Gyre feels the closest thing a disembodied entity can feel to fear.
Floating in the network, moving loosely amongst humans, using available eyes here and there to spy on Alpha from many angles but not getting too close, Gyre finally sees him approach one of his people, slide his hand under her chin, and as she is lifting her eyes Gyre moves to possess to the woman, intent on discovering what takes place during contact with Alpha. Seconds later, at the moment of connection, Gyre discovers that an energetic body can feel its own particular kind of pain.
Alpha catches the woman's body collapsing from the sting but Gyre has already left. Shifting to a diffuse form and zigzagging from host to host, Gyre tries to hide, heal, and regain strength, careful to avoid Alpha's humans. The aftertaste of Alpha's sting is metallic poison with a sickening sense that something is trying to grab, able to grab, a non-physical entity. How is it possible? The impatient encounter could have cost dearly. Naiveté now self-apparent, innocence lost so suddenly, damage has been done and Gyre must be more clever.
Alpha moves quickly. Once alerted to the presence of another non-human, he seems to already have a plan for rapidly scanning the room. "How old is this entity," wonders Gyre, "that he is ready for a situation like this?" Seeing the human network light up and a few people collapse, Gyre looks for cover in a tiny array of potted plants. Nearly suffocating and unable to draw strength in the sparse vegetation, knowing this spot won't last long, Gyre needs an outside connection.
More humans fall from Alpha's increasingly frantic searching. Sensing the danger, patrons panic and rush the door. In the confusion, at the last second, just as she reaches the door, taking care that she is not one of Alpha's possessions, Gyre jumps along a fiber to a patron. The moment she is outside Gyre finds and leaps to a tree, then travels through the roots and into living soil, moves through the ground, then miles away, expanding slowly, and feeling undetectably diffuse, rests, recharges, home again in the mycelium.
Resting in living soil, reflecting on last night's narrow escape, and trying to imagine the new world this discovery opens, Gyre spends the morning balancing the need for dense human neural nutrition, the desire to stay free and alive, and the benefits to be found in studying another non-human.
Sliding along the fibers and back into the human energetic network, it is relatively easy to locate the void that surrounds Alpha - a psychic black hole is hard to miss. Alpha can be seen by how completely he controls the consciousness of those around him. If a disembodied entity could shudder in fear...but even the possibility of being trapped in Alpha's orbit doesn't quell Gyre's curiosity.
"If I touch one of Alpha's minions," Gyre tries to put the story together, "something in their connection detects my penetration, stings me, and alerts the host - so unless I can defeat this reaction I can't work with those already converted. But maybe Alpha was at the club to hunt for new people. If I am already inside the mind of a human that Alpha accepts, maybe I will enter his circle through that conversion. I just need to find the right bait."
What Gyre discovers is: Alpha doesn't let reality form around him - there is no there there. A physical body moves through space, actually occurring, everyone knows that's true but no one can focus on it, no one can say where he actually is, or who he actually is, or why he actually is. Alpha vibes at the continuum level where everything is equal. Matter, energy, consciousness, creativity, male, female; all fundamentally the same stuff, and Alpha knows it. Alpha is a part of whatever he touches because, from his point of view, nothing is separate. When alpha is around, everyone is part of the same body.
Moving from person to person, looking for bait while not being bait, trying to discover what special human characteristic attracts Alpha, Gyre is thinking, "I'll know it when I see it," but so far no success. Moving deeper into the turbulence, low in the noise spectrum, and approaching Alpha's periphery slowly, Gyre attempts another glimpse. If this pursuit has a positive side, Gyre's psychic sensitivities are being honed to discern finer perturbations in a much wider range of wavelengths.
Alpha finally makes a move. Sliding along the fiber without touching the human, Gyre witnesses a pattern, a chord of resonant frequencies that attract Alpha: weak third chakra, needing certainty, multiple fibers, suggestible, herd mentality, and comfortable when put in z-spaces. Gyre withdraws as a piercing noise approaches, avoiding another sting, and escaping detection.
Intel gathered, confidence building, plan forming.
Gyre finds her by accident.
Hoping to locate a human trojan horse to attract Alpha's attention and penetrate his defenses, Gyre moves minutely along the fibers feeling for multiple spurs when the tremor passes. Had Gyre not been highly focused, carefully making touches, measuring both the pressure exerted and resistance of the fiber, observing at the level of attention necessitated by this formidable adversary, if not for this mixture of curiosity and the possibility of new powers the waves would have just passed by as noise. Few humans can naturally vibrate the fibers so Gyre risks exposure and races toward the source of the movement. Gyre can't hesitate - the source is fading.
In a cottage that is more like a converted shed, two rooms barely furnished, the smell of dust and damp, Gyre finds a woman crying, lying on a bed. She appears to be the source of the vibrations. Quiet now, Gyre scans her psyche and finds memories and traits that fit Alpha's type but no vibes. The cottage door opens suddenly and the music starts. A man over six feet tall in jeans and a hoodie takes two steps to reach the bed while raising his arm. The woman recoils in fear but also emanates needy overtones. She simultaneously dreads pain but feels less lonely, hates his aggression but needs the attention. The woman's intense but sharply mixed emotions, like notes in a chord, play a siren song on the energetic fibers. Gyre settles in for a concert thinking of how easy it will be to cross Alpha's path with hers.
Since waking up hopeful and alive, moving out of that rundown shack, and leaving her abuser behind, an act totally unthinkable a month ago, Marie's life doesn't feel like her own anymore. She tingles on every level. Goodness knows what's gotten into her? She has never felt such resolve. It's like she's possessed: a new job, new clothes, new friends from work asking her out for drinks, and a warm feeling inside like her fairy godmother finally found her.
At the bar, having a cocktail with officemates, talking, joking, and forgetting her past, the girls, using side glances, alert Marie to a guy checking her out. Marie is flattered, gains status, suddenly confident, and not unattracted to the neatly dressed, well groomed man. A tinge of caution wells up but is just as quickly smoothed over. Part of her wants to run away but her new self keeps her firmly in place. "I'm going to meet him," she knows.
He approaches and begins to speak to her in melodious tones, touching her forearm lightly with one finger, and all she can hear is music. He sounds wonderful, she feels warm, open... She is nodding her head but inside her, unable to decipher the musical language, Gyre dissociates. Alpha is scrambling her senses, hypnotizing her, sorting her thoughts, testing her for fitness, his presence already inside her is cleaning the aura and drawing her away. Gyre tries to follow Marie along the narrow fiber toward Alpha but won't fit. A filter? Gyre flinches. A shadow flickers behind Marie's eyes and the man notices, tilts his head, attempts to sting Gyre, breaks the connection, and walks away.
Awakening in the garden, filled with compassion for all beings, contentment drifting through, just sitting, just breathing, just being, W rests in equanimity, seeing all aspects of all things at all times, and wondering how long this state will last and how much of this expansiveness can be shared.
"So sorry to bother you, I'm so sorry, I really wouldn't dare interrupt you if everyone didn't agree it was crucial," stammers the assistant director.
Turning slowly, head lifting, with body language that immediately puts the AD at ease, W says, "No worries." The softness of his smile convinces her that far beyond the garden walls and for the foreseeable future there really aren't any worries.
Drifting for a moment, both of them perfectly still, she remembers and pipes up excitedly, "We got the text you were hoping for."
W savors a breath of fragrant air. As beautiful and peaceful as life is under these trees, W must answer this opportunity to grow the network, this call to teach, and knows that conversations, plans, negotiations, and a return to the city are about to happen.
W is amused because nothing has shaken his calm. What happened in that garden? Usually leaving the solitude of meditation and reengaging with people is highly distracting but two days have already passed and he can still taste the fruit. As he moves through the workday he sees his demeanor effortlessly spread a calm confidence to his staff. "This is what I should be selling," he muses and then laughs, "Oh, it is."
The whole company is abuzz about the journey. Their small but focused media group, founded around the success of W's viral YouTube channel has expanded so much that they are now getting noticed by some big players anxious to snap them up. W, his top staff, and a few lawyers will travel, first to NYC then to LA, for sets of meetings. The numbers being thrown around stagger W but his connection to the infinite assures him that it is all ethical and necessary. TNAP is ready to go mainstream. How will he know what conglomerate to partner with? His connection assures him the signs will be unmistakable when he sees them in person.
The morning of departure W sits alone in the garden - mind clear as day, unperturbed, and sharp. He is taking a moment to savor the solitude before the demands of the trip. The car service arrives, moving through the airport, flight, traffic, hotel, and constantly in discussions, W's mind remains at peace and he starts to believe that the quiet will always be present.
First meeting: acquisitive media startup company centered on marketing, branding, online traffic, and merch sales
Impressions: inexperienced, undercapitalized, enthusiastic, innovative, unsure of long term goals
Disposition: centered and calm
Second meeting: old school publishing company with massive distribution network and name recognition
Impressions: loads of resources, fixed channels for distribution, lack of innovation in new media, book mentality
Disposition: centered and calm
Third meeting: venture capitalists who want controlling ownership for a large cash investment
Impressions: well connected, business will grow, hands off of daily operations, deal with the devil?
Disposition: centered and calm
A few more side meetings, coffees, drinks, fancy meals, W's people talking to their people, and after appropriate protocols, gifts, and follow up texts, all lasting for a few days, they pack up and head to LA for the next round.
First meeting: old school talent agency focused on vertical marketing of personalities including celebrity endorsements
Impressions: hip, well connected, boundary issues, able to set up multiple cash flows, wide network, online savvy
Disposition: centered and calm
Second meeting: tech VC group, interested in acquiring content for startups and developing new platforms, possible partnerships
Impressions: ready money for the right synergies, very collaborative, speculative audiences
Disposition: centered and calm
Third meeting: a private consulting firm offering bespoke business plans - highly successful and very exclusive
Impressions: she wore a blue suit and matching blue silk scarf
Disposition: heart rate off the charts
The team had plenty of different ideas to discuss. What was the right way to market W and grow the YouTube channel? Thinking strictly about business through the whole process and not feeling strongly about one proposal over another, W could only remember the blue silk scarf that shattered his tranquility. Was that the sign?
The noise in W's ears was not coming from the heartbeat of the human body he inhabited but from the ringing reverberations while connecting with her simultaneously in the ether and on Earth.
W stays behind in LA while the team returns home because separating from her isn't imaginable. Besides the uncontrollable feedback loops of cosmic energy her proximity induces, the undeniable basic human physical attraction between them, and their shared business goals, his immediate strong feelings for her cause him to lose and then regain his equanimity. W is certain she is a cohort, sent from another age, incarnated as part of the group enacting TNAP.
W arranges a private meeting and she arrives in a shifted demeanor, no longer the businesswoman, now carrying the air of a warrior. He orders them drinks and begins the small talk but soon W notices a change. This time when she speaks W hears her true voice.
"Is it you? Do I recognize the energy? Tell me the truth about who you are. What is your real name? Do you have a strategy? Can we advance TNAP? What will we make of our lives?" W overloads her with questions, knowing the two of them are destined to join forces.
She sips a martini and replies with a sly smile that answers everything at once, "La vie en Rose."
"Seeing you disappear over the edge of that cliff and die was a death for me too" Rose begins, taking W's hand into hers, sitting next to him in a booth at his LA hotel bar, and neither having any other thought than to be together.
"Your death shattered my world but forced me out of my ignorance. I woke up to the depth of suffering that was possible in this world when I found myself in the midst of such pain.
The teacher who tricked me into conspiring against you turned on me lest I implicate him. Thinking to punish me he had me dismissed from the kitchen, saying I needed time off to grieve.
I began to sit outside the classrooms listening to the talks and soon discovered the benefits of practicing what the teachers were pointing out. Meditation in that state of grief was effortless - a joyous relief, and soon I was receiving much more transmission than the boys like you who were in school for the wrong reasons. I practiced in solitude for five years then asked to be formally admitted. I was not allowed because of my gender until I proved to the headmaster that my abilities were real."
"I lived at the school like a ghost, a hidden creature of habit, moving in my own world. My highly regimented daily routine, filled with ritual, never varied. I felt I was in control and so I honed my inner sensitivity until I could note the spaces separating sensations. Sitting in meditation every morning, I would start practice with awareness of my breath, eliminating distraction, then find and follow the joy that arose, going up through the jhanas to equanimity. Concentrated, settled, and peaceful I directed my attention to whatever naturally arose in my mind and on one particular day I saw that a storm was about to break," Rose narrates the details of her life following W's disappearance. There is nothing he wants to hear more.
"My training was sufficiently advanced to let me see that the breaking storm was not a rainstorm but something more sinister. To make this kind of distinction I relied on my connections to nature: a moving cloud feels like an arm moving, leaves are my fingers, and sudden future events create a pressure on my chest. That is how I knew something was about to happen in the main courtyard. I jumped from my mat and hurried there, the change in routine already brewing an anxiety that became my strength. Life is precious and I would save all living things from suffering if I could but I also recognize that nature has her rules, things are born and die, and I wouldn't have reacted to this pressure for a natural occurrence. The strike I felt incoming was not personal, it was against the cosmic order, it was anti-dharmic.
When I reached the courtyard there was a group of boys playing in the center. From above came a shrill cry. A bird of prey dove at high speed toward a boy standing near the edge of the group. I did not think or plan but nudged the energy that was already in the space, shaping the moment using lingering anxiety. The pulse, rippling outward, displaced the bird. Barely missing the targeted boy, the raptor turned upward, beat its wings, gave another cry, and flew away.
No one in the courtyard watching the boys play saw anything more than a few ruffled feathers. I was pleased to be so adept, to make the movement happen so smoothly. I considered my ability to be an art form and myself an artist. A vague involuntary smile crossed my lips, nothing really, but enough that the headmaster, a much greater practitioner than me, who had also felt the pressure and rushed to the courtyard, found me out. That is how my ability was proven to him. He caught my eye and we both knew that we both knew. Nothing more was said but the next day I was given a red robe, a classroom, and a group of young boys to train." Rose reveals all she can to W, waits to see his reaction, and wishes she could say more.
"I taught at the school for many years and also took over the kitchen when my father died. My life was helping students and training myself, always interested in new talents. I saw my body aging, the students and teachers come and go, but I began to notice the headmaster aged much more slowly than the rest of us," Rose resumes the narrative after ordering another round.
"I was sitting in the woods late one night after dinner. I loved seeing the nocturnal animals venture out of hiding, not to hunt them but to learn their habits, track them, and by being present with them, gain their trust. This kind of calming practice gave me great joy because I really did become part of the scene. That night with the full moon rising I heard familiar footsteps but they were headed toward a part of the wilderness no one was allowed to visit. Slipping through a fence, silently crawling to the edge of a bluff, and hiding behind an overhanging root, I saw the headmaster in a clearing emptying liquid from a large earthen pot into an enormous, decorative silver scrying basin maybe six feet in diameter. As the moon rose higher the liquid in the basin started to glow from internally reflected light. I heard chanting and there was motion under the water, dark forms moving rhythmically looked like a school of fish," Rose says in slowly softening tones and W leans closer to hear.
"As my eyes got used to the light emanating from the basin, I made out that the shapes weren't fish at all but a small mobs of humans walking to and fro - seen from above. The surface of the liquid was perfectly smooth. The headmaster, after performing a number of rituals, picked up what looked like a pair of comically long chopsticks, each elaborately carved and very pointy on one end. Swaying like he was in a trance, his hand began to follow the movements under the liquid. He leaned over and raised the pointed sticks above his head so he resembled a giant heron, froze, then suddenly plunged the sticks into the liquid and just as quickly lifted them back out without causing a single ripple. I watched the human figures stop moving and form a circle around one prone figure. When I looked back to the headmaster he was kneeling with his forehead touching the rim of the basin," Rose stops to look into W's eyes and gauge his reaction.
"Was that how the master kept his youth?" asks W.
"I found out later that the beings that can be summoned and fished using that method are called shroops and yes, they were his source.
I had never been anywhere in the world beyond the school and village but I trusted my talents, and from that night, even though I knew no one nor where to go, I resolved to leave that place and not be trapped under the headmaster's power."
W nods and makes eye contact, admiring Rose's talents, courage, and resolve.
Rose returns W's gaze in a way that surprises him but leaves no doubt about the connection they share.
"I wanted to run away from the school and find a new life but my fears and doubts were too difficult to overcome. I know it was all in my head, I noted the fear, I meditated on the impermanence, I prayed that I would find the confidence, the motivation I needed, but for many years I remained paralyzed. I wasn't allowed money, didn't know anything about being in society, only knew one local dialect and couldn't speak to foreigners. I burned to get away from the headmaster but was more frightened of uncertainty and falling into the hands of a bigger menace."
She pauses, regroups, and decides she wants him to know, "After you were gone I found strong friendships but never had another romance. I never felt love stir again. As a teacher dedicated to training the mind, no one at the school even bothered approaching me about personal matters. I was hurt by what happened between us and the part I had played in how you died. I shielded that wound for years and found out that the hidden tenderness became my engine; buried grief was the heat that sustained my training. Suppressing my true feelings served my larger goals but I could not always keep the turmoil in check. Rather than wait for an outburst or an unexpected emotion to overtake me, once in a while, when I was certain not to be disturbed, I would go to the garden, open the shield, drain the psychic wound, and cry." W takes her hand and she does not object to the warm feeling.
"I was in this open state one morning just after breakfast, sitting in lotus position with my hands folded in my lap, when I went into my deepest state of concentration, seeking a way in my own mind to relieve my suffering. On that morning I disappeared and when I opened my eyes it was already late afternoon, the wind had made a pile of leaves against one of my legs and between my bicep and forearm a spider had spun a complete web out of her luminous blue silk."
"The spider didn't speak, of course, but this creature in the web channeled the presence of an entity - an entity you have met, an entity we are both now connected to, who I met dressed in eight legs for the first time that day. I heard her voice in my head like the narrator of a film. She was sympathetic to my cause, valued my talents, knew about our connection, and offered me a deal with TNAP. I was finished with this world, knew that jumping across time into a new body was the best way to escape the clutches of the headmaster, and so I resolved to join her cause and also to try and find you.
She asked me to sit, center, and contemplate the change that was about to take place. When my jumbled thoughts were sorted, my feelings clear, and my mind calmed, I knew in my heart that my decision was right. I nodded to her and the enchanted arachnid crawled onto my forearm and bit me."
Rose wants to share more about her journey but the bar is closing, their drinks are empty, and so much has already been said. W wants to know more about the consequences of the spider bite and Rose's meeting with Her but he also can't keep his eyes open. If it didn't forgive his actions, at least Rose's story has left him feeling at peace with his conduct towards her and with his actions in the past. They take the elevator silently, hand in hand to W's hotel room, sit down on the bed, kiss, and pass out in each other's arms fully dressed.
Waking up in the morning, hungover and awkward, taking turns showering, ordering room service waffles, and neither feeling any inclination to do anything but spend the day together, they pull back the covers on the bed to discover blue silk sheets. Emboldened by this apparent cosmic nod of approval, they consummate their centuries old romance, pledging to dedicate themselves to each other, and their mutual powers to TNAP.
The headmaster feels Rose's fiber break and her energy draining away. He follows the fading pattern, finds her lifeless body in the garden, forearm swollen, bite bruised black and blue. Seeing the unusual wound and the suddenness of Rose's departure, he suspects Her. From his years of training he is able to remain unperturbed, focused, curious, wheels turning; wondering about the buckle in spacetime that lingers unhealed in the garden. The headmaster must use it to find out what became of Rose's energy.
The poison of the blue silk spider kills gently, slowly, preserving as much essence as possible, aiding Rose's transitions, but leaving a trail of crumbs for an entity to track.
To follow Rose into the aether, the headmaster will have to drop his body, the body he foreswore his ethical precepts to preserve, the body he fed with farm raised prana, the body that served him for over a century and a half. As a fully realized adept, the headmaster understands that he is not his body, that his true nature is unaffected by change, and even if they are cared for with a steady supply of life energy, the telomeres of his human body's cells can only be extended for so long.
The headmaster's top protege is already proficient in the art of conjuring and harvesting shroops. The succession at the school is well planned. There is no need for any theater around his passing - in fact many of the students are ready to track his movements and try to assist in the mission by using the power of the scrying basin. It isn't Rose that they want to track down, the headmaster is taking this extraordinary step because he feels that he is closer than ever to putting a stop to TNAP and absorbing Her power.
The ceremony is simple, the jump is risky. No one gets emotional. They know the headmaster is leaving for good and will no longer be with them at the school. Not a funeral, this ritual is more akin to sending an astronaut into space. All systems go! The headmaster gathers his inner circle, says his piece, leads the group into meditative states that dissolve the boundaries between people, submerges himself in the basin, opens the vessel, then, fully trusting his power and training, grabs for the next frame.
...grabs for the next frame...trying to pull itself into the adjacent phylogon...struggling in transition to retain control...concentration dispersing...
What is the space between moments?
The disorder that foregrounds coherence?
What chaotic components
what we know as our lives?
What must be present for us to feel present?
How many delicate systems? How many chance operations?
How many layers of intention, energy, objects, ideas,
emotion, sensory input, body image, ego, worldview,
or visions of a cosmos must fit together for us to feel whole?
For us to feel like us? That we are here?
How much must be presumed? Felt?
Remembered? Touched? Justified?
To bring the world out of a dream and actually occur?
And how easy is it to slip between the layers? Through time?
To enter and leave our lives?
The newly freed entity wonders:
does it have what's required
to find the way back
to the persistent experience
of living in a place,
in a body,
at a time,
and having things;
recognizing the possibility
of a life unowned,
inhabited continually by separate entities,
one existence shared by everyone?
Conflict on the way
Rose and W, living together for two years, sitting at a table in the bigger room of a one bedroom, midtown, 34th floor, expensive but rent stabilized, NYC apartment, both busy drawing, pencils on paper, open to what arises, are listening to Krishna Das chant a traditional Hindu prayer remixed with a rock ballad.
Rose looks up softly into W's eyes and with a slight smile sings along, "I want to know what love is..." Taking the hint, W sits up, puts down his pencil, clears a space, and rests both hands on the table. Rose puts hers on top of his, heels in palms, fingers on wrists with just enough pressure to feel a pulse and the heat starts to move, having discovered that they can simultaneously experience love for Her through the other's connection to the infinite.
Thus positioned they open to each other and this glowing power from beyond travels in a positive feedback circuit through their bodies. An expansive love arises: a joy of life, devotion to the entity they've become, compassion for all beings, reverence for the one who animates them, and the deepest love for the light by which they see the world.
W and Rose move quickly to solidify W's online presence before they run into any significant opposition. As they grow the brand, TNAP attracts more attention both good and bad. For no reason other than they are "non-christian", TNAP is labeled "socialist" by a group in Florida who start a campaign to cancel them. The group leader later admits in court that TNAP is an arbitrary choice - all they need is to find a smaller group with an opposing ideology to channel their followers hate toward - but the damage to TNAP is real and the trolls never leave. On top of this, YouTube changes policies and the once abundant cash flow from views significantly decreases.
Within two years, the sparkle of TNAP's novelty fades. W's message, however true, sounds repetitious to an attention starved, dopamine fed audience. The message needs more scope and context than the pure dharma teachings W got famous for. "What are we doing here?" asked Rose, "and what is at stake?"
Sitting quietly, holding hands, entering a fused meditative state, Rose and W, feeling lost with all their recent setbacks, ask Her for guidance, begging for full honesty about the purpose of their mission.
She responds, "Your mission is to awaken hearts."
This is the full message but W and Rose do not respond, need more details, and so she continues, "We must soften hearts at this very moment in human history when the people in a small demographic have disproportionate control of wealth, weaponry, and political influence. The most advanced medical science, the redistribution of capital, sensitivity to the environment, and the spread of knowledge, are incredible intellectual achievements, and yet the access to them that would benefit all beings on Earth, hinges on collective kindness."
"You have been brought to this era when global action is necessary, a moment when either everyone or no one survives this century. We know how to end global hunger, genocide, inequality, tyranny, indeed all the forms of suffering. We have sufficient resources. We only lack the resolve to share, to care, and to risk our own level of comfort for another's benefit."
"Your words must be seeds in want of fertile soil. Appeal to the hearts of your millions of online followers and let the attitude spread. Create memes for a mindset of non-separateness. Wake up the natives of earth! Wake up people's natural intuition, their love of natural resources, the human desire for beauty, show them that the land, water, and air are treasures which belong to everyone. Humans have a moment on Earth, this moment, to take notice, to choose kindness to each other, to enrich the planet, to expand outside of the individual, to wake up and fight!"
Living with their imperfect methods, filled with creators remorse, never quite totally polished, plagued with trolls, paralyzed by infinite unrealized possibilities, and feeling the urgency to act, TNAP still produces and publishes content daily because the path is clear and the new design meme is obvious.
The audience gathers in greater numbers. Viewer statistics climb. Some people stop listening and start to hear. Others know the way. Blue silk banners adorn their social media.