Chester sat on the donkey that was taking him away from the hidden valley where the Master and Sanjiv lived in. The gentle rocking of the donkey brought back memories of when he had ridden a donkey into the secret lair of a master of mystic learning. He had spent two years learning truths and mystic secrets from a Master who claims he had been waiting for him all of his life. To his atheist sensibilities that made no sense to him. But what really didn't make sense at all was how over the years, the Master had painted detailed scenes from his life that really stood out in his memory. That made his brain go tilt. Since he was quite drunk when he first saw it, when he woke up the next day hung over from the drinking binge he had abused himself with the night before, the last thing he was thinking about was the impossible painting of his past thousands of miles away from where the incidents happened.
But he hadn't had any alcohol in twenty-four months, but he had been meditating and doing tai chi and yoga while learning forgotten treasures of how to become one with the divine. But the best part, for each truth he had learned and could demonstrate to the Master that he understood, he received a gold coin that was thousands of years old. In the beginning, he hung around the old man for the gold, but after awhile, what he learned actually made sense from a scientific viewpoint. He was a computer programmer who specialized in Fortran and assembly language for the purpose of using high-powered computers to simulate and solve some of the most perplexing problems in math and science. He knew several other computer languages and was familiar with most of the operating systems that computers used. But when the Master taught him the seven wisdoms, they resonated with his scientific sensibilities. That was the first seven heavy gold coins he earned. When the Master offered to give him a coin for each time he learned one the 21 laws of Karma, before he knew it he had stayed two years.
Each coin weighed an oz or more and that meant a small fortune for him. They were individually wrapped, making for a heavy and a thick load in his backpack. Sanjiv was leading the donkey. He had left his luggage 2 years ago at his hotel and had no idea where it was. Somehow he had to arrange transportation back to the United States with very little cash and no credit cards and nearly two pounds of gold.
The knowing hit him and made him feel disoriented. His vision rippled ahead of him, and some how in his mind's eye he saw many paths before him. He vividly saw himself get arrested for trying to smuggle antiquities out of India without a license. As soon as that timeline flashed before his mind it was as if he was remembering in advance a specific life composed of the possibilities. In another timeline he was startled to see his future lay in a psychiatric ward. Somehow, insisting the gold coins were antiquities made powerful enemies. They shut him up by convincing a corrupt judge he was insane to believe the coins were genuine antiquities. In another future, he was mudrededand the coins were stolen from him. Timeline after timeline flashed intensely in his inner mental vision center, each one worse than the other.
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He noticed a pattern. Each future had one thing in common, him trying to get 28 gold coins out of India. In a flash of insight, he imagined a future without the gold. He saw himself giving the gold back to the master and staying and learning even more incredible truths with even. Certain death, or prison or declared mentally insane, or staying in a secret cally and learn the greatest secrets in the history of reality. The choice really was that obvious. Sanjiv looked shocked when he realized, Chester was serious, he wanted to be taken back to the Master. Shaking his head in a look of amazement, Sanjiv turned the donkey around and headed back to where the Master lived.