I had to be careful now, I didn’t want to get too complicated and confuse Robert. I had had a relatively recent education and my explanations would be probably more in line with what someone like Robert could identify with.
‘First thing then Robert, there is no magic involved in what I will tell you... Whatever you have read or been told---if it involves magic, forget it. Nothing happens without a cause. To put that as simply as possible, for something to happen, someone or thing has to do something to produce an effect. You will probably be aware of Einstein’s famous equation e=mc2 --- it means you can get mass from energy, and energy from mass but you cannot get anything from nothing. It seems strange to me that scientists hold Mr Einstein in high esteem, yet will not accept his theory. They still seem to be convinced that our universe came about from nothing exploding. Are you still with me?’
‘Yes I think so, but I am not too sure what this has got to do with the book.’
‘Okay, I will come to that now. Let’s forget about the old book, it would take far longer than we have for me to try to explain that to you. We will look at the new book. Two thousand years ago not many folk could read---never mind write. They had to be spoken to in a way they could understand. That is the same book that we read today just as it was written. No wonder people have difficulty accepting what they read. Some of it really does seem like magic. If we had a similar visit today do you think it would resemble in any way that visit of long ago? In the last one hundred of those two thousand years we developed the ability to do all the things depicted in the book and many more; for example, the first so called miracle---nothing miraculous about virgin birth these days, is there? Turning water into wine? That is no problem for anyone now. Making the blind see? A procedure carried out everyday. Bringing the dead back to life? Another frequent and everyday occurrence. These things would have seemed unbelievable two thousand years ago---and indeed still did until relatively recently. So we will forget magic and look at logic.’
At this point the guards returned and indicated my time was up. I had been with Robert for two hours. He had apparently other things to deal with. He only had one full day to go and two nights; the execution was to be at 7am. I was offered a small room to stay in if I required,and I accepted; it would mean more time with Robert tomorrow.
‘Did you sleep okay, Robert?’
‘Well I am not surprised---a rather stupid question. Are you ready to continue then? We may not have much time left to talk.’
‘Yes, please let’s go for it.’
‘It is my belief that we are not here by accident, Robert, so that means there must have been a cause, which produced an effect---and we are the final result of that effect. I know this may be difficult, Robert, but just hang on a little longer. Don’t harbour any thought of an old man sat on a cloud playing a harp---it didn’t work that way.
‘Now Robert, think of this, knowing what we have achieved on Earth in just two hundred years: just what could have been achieved by life on another universe maybe two thousand years older that ours---or maybe two million years older, the time is irrelevant. Our creator I believe is alive and well on one such universe. What of this creator? Well, he will be a scientist, engineer, biologist, designer and architect, and also have numerous other skills. He will have a team of experts working, with skills we could not even dream about. His objective to create a place with beings in the ultimate form---his form. It is not difficult to understand that after his amazing work, when things started to go wrong he tried to correct it. It had to be done to our time scale not his---hence the writing in the book.
‘Everyone born since he achieved our perfection of form will have been carefully logged from birth. Each individual will have a DNA thread; at death any one individual could be recreated exactly to fit any time scale--- a perfect person.
‘You may be able to see the analogy now, Robert. No different really to what is in the book, only presented in a modern way.
‘He doesn’t want people who haven’t lived up to his requirements---which by the way have not been too high. But like it says in the book: he did send us a lifeline. Now that’s all I have to say Robert, I have been as honest as I can. You may have a chance, but is it is now over to you. You will have to decide what you want to believe---if in fact you believe anything at all. Anyway, I want to thank you for listening to me.’
‘Can I just ask you this, Charles: what happens to people of other religions?’
‘Each must follow the tenets of his own beliefs. I personally think that all decent humans will be okay, but I’m afraid that leaves many who will be heading for the long sleep.’
I had a plane to catch; the guards had come to take Robert back to whatever he had to do. I said goodbye. I was allowed to approach Robert before I left the room. We shook hands; he whispered to me, ‘Thank you, I am glad it was you that came.’
I didn’t offer a prayer or a blessing---I knew that was not for Robert---but I had a feeling that he might just make it.
I left the prison in a taxi and a buoyant mood…
Read part 1 of this story at Zeugma