As is often the case with busy people, their schedules were filled to the brim. Barb and Braxton had no time to see each other for 2 weeks, and ordinarily, the whole thing might have fizzled out by the time they could meet again, but neither of them wanted that to happen, so they communicated via their voice presses; it was almost as good as being there, but the visceral experience of being in the presence of a real person still could not be rivaled. 

In person, they could smell each other’s scent, and since the olfactory sense is the most profound of the senses, even the most subtle, barely detectable aroma was intoxicating. In person, the proximity of flesh next to flesh made the hair on their skin rise. The energetic, electromagnetic frequencies of the actual person were much more powerful than the holographic frequencies of the Voice Press. In person, one could detect the subtlest of inflection or intonation in the person’s voice, and see micro-expressions on the person’s face. In person, he could be excited by his flesh on her flesh. Voice press just wasn’t the same experience as being there, in the flesh. 

Nonetheless, since they couldn’t be together in the flesh, Voice Press was the next best thing to being there. It would have to do, for a while, but every day seemed like a week. Even though they had only met for coffee that one day, being apart was agony. They spoke every day. They spoke about politics and movies and sex and music. They spoke about science and past relationships and early childhood. Sometimes, they spoke about nothing at all. But, what they didn’t speak about, was their work in any great detail. They hovered around the subject, as if there was some unspoken rule, they somehow avoided it. 

When Braxton first came to 7-D, he had no frame of reference. After visiting so many times, he was able to ‘see’ the landscape and the beings that inhabited it. Eventually, he was able to communicate with them. 

“So, how do I know that I’m not in a virtual reality?” Braxton asked Gabe. 

“I realize how much it means to you, Brax, to have these experiences make sense. I’m just concerned that too many of the earthlings will make their way to 7-D before they are ready. The video avatars don’t concern me because they aren’t really interacting with us, but when you cross over, you’re actually here, with us.”

“Why is this a problem?” Brax queried. “Isn’t it phenomenal that we can finally bridge the worlds?”

Gabe spoke slowly and deliberately. “Brax, many beings in both dimensions have had the ability to visit between the worlds. There was good reason for it. Part of our job here in 7-D is to assist the earthlings.

But it’s not supposed to be the other way around. At least, it never has been that we know of. And now that all these people might have the capacity to enter 7-D, I’m not sure what kind of havoc that will wreak? Can they handle the higher dimensions? Will their circuits fry? And if so, will they be useless in 3-D?” Unable to function? 

Braxton countered, “Perhaps it’s a good thing? Maybe it’s time that people on earth moved into higher dimensions. I think they need to raise their consciousness; perhaps that will help them become more harmonious and more centered.”

Gabe retorted, “I’m not so sure. Humans have consistently abused almost every path to higher consciousness, from ceremonial medicines to the study of mystical teachings. As it turns out, humans are like children who want immediate gratification.”

“What’s wrong with immediate gratification, actually?” Brax asked, knowing quite well the answer. 

Gabe replied, “immediate gratification does not allow the being to fully absorb the lessons it is taught. Immediate gratification is akin to infatuation. It does not foster responsibility.”

“I’m confused,” Brax interrupted, even though he instinctively knew the answer. “Why did you use infatuation as an analogy?”

“Because,” Gabe answered, “infatuation is immature. It is pure passion, but does not consider the consequences. Infatuation is hedonism, love is enlightenment. Infatuation is narcissistic, whereas love is compassionate.”

Braxton was silent for a few moments, pondering the repercussions of the goggles, when Gabon punctuated the silence.

“I’ll tell you what. You’re not convinced that we’re not in some sort of video game. I’m going to work a few miracles, as you people like to call them, and enter your world so you’ll know that this is the real deal.”

Now Braxton was really confused. “Why? You just said that it was a mistake to give people easy access to the other dimensions and planes of existence.”

“Yes,” Gabe said. “But I also want you to see that this is real. Otherwise, you’ll put those goggles on the market and who knows what will happen.”

“You do know,” Brax offered, “that once something is invented, it’s pretty difficult to stop the train. And besides, why did you give me the mathematical formulas so I could create the goggles? You make absolutely no sense, and here I thought you were supposed to be the enlightened being. I’m utterly confused now.” 

“It is necessary for a certain portion of your population to cross over, and vice-versa. And it may be necessary, as you mentioned earlier, for more and more people to make the leap, so their consciousness will grow, but I hadn’t counted on the lack of preparation and multitudes of people who would come at once. I am not that savvy in all of the business deals you make on earth, as you call them. To be totally honest, some of us here in administration thought it would be rather fun to get to know you better. We are intimately connected, after all.”

“What exactly do you mean by intimately connected?” Braxton asked with a cautious curiosity.

“Well,” Gabe continued, “some of you think that we are angels, and some of you think that we are spiritual guides on the inner dimensions…”

“Is that what you are?” Braxton jumped in, excitedly. “I never really believed in those things, but…”

“…we are actually…” Gabe attempted to continue but Braxton kept interrupting, in disbelief.

“What” I’ve never been religious. Have I been wrong all along?”

Gabe took a deep breath, causing Braxton to pause. “Braxton, calm down a moment, please. Let me explain what I know. Each dimension has specific parameters. No dimension has dominion over the other. I can’t tell you how we were created or why we exist. I’m not that savvy. I can simply explain how some things work on the dimensions, and we, on the 7th dimension, each have several beings on the 3rd dimension that we are sort of…attached to, shall we say. For instance…”

Brax could be silent no longer, his mind flooded with questions. “Why the 7th dimension? Why are you not in the 5th dimension, or the 11th?”

“Because,” Gabe said, “the 4th dimension is time, the 5th dimension is what some call the astral plane, which is actually an expanded view of the 3rd and 4th dimensions and allows sentient beings to dabble outside of their density. Frankly, I don’t know much about the 6th dimension, except that it is a stepping stone to this one. I’ve actually never been there, but some of my colleagues have.

 And then, there’s the 7th dimension where we reside. There must be a good reason why your souls …”

“Souls!” Braxton shouted. “I thought this wasn’t about religion!” Braxton was a confirmed atheist and the concept of souls offended his scientific sensibilities. Dimensions made more sense; dimensions were a way to explain matter and energy in more depth, but souls, religion, angels, gods … they were merely a way for humans to explain the inexplicable. Now, listening to Gabe, Brax was afraid that he might have been wrong and he wasn’t prepared to accept that.

Gabe continued, calmly. “Brax, you needn’t get concerned. Your comprehension of reality doesn’t have to be compromised. I use the word souls in a neutral way. We need to have a common language, and the soul, as I understand it, is the energetic life force that spans the dimensions. It…”

Brax butted in again. “Do animals have souls? Do plants have souls? Or only sentient beings like humans, or like you?”

“Every life force has a soul, even if it is not sentient, so yes, plants have souls.”

Brax cut in again. “What about rocks? What about viruses?” His head was spinning.

Gabe replied, “well, everything has an energy signature but only entities with life force seep through the dimensions. Which leads me back around to us. I am attached, in a way, to you and several other entities in the third dimension. I’m not exactly sure why, but my purpose is to assist you, guide you, meld with you so that your soul, or spirit, or whatever nomenclature you would like to assign to your life force, can remain balanced throughout the dimensions or planes, as some would call them.” Gabe could barely believe that he could speak without interruption.

“Are you done?” Brax asked? 

“Yes, why?” Gabe queried.

“I have been told that sometimes I interrupt too much,” Brax admitted.

Gabe graciously feigned surprise. “No, I realize that you are excited.”

As they spoke, Brax was reminded of how he felt about Barb, and how he had used the word soul, rather arbitrarily. For some reason, the word sounded right. 

Barb rolled off Braxton onto the bed, burying her face in his shoulder. “I wish we never had to get out of bed. I wish we could be right here, feeling like this, forever.”

Brax just grunted, satisfied, not wishing to speak. He squeezed her harder as a reply. 

They lay in silence, reveling in the ecstasy of bliss.

Twenty minutes later, Barb made the first move, stretching and extricating herself from Braxton’s arms. “I have to get back to work, Babe. I’d love to lay here all day, y’know, but duty calls.”

“What could you possibly have to do on a Sunday?” Brax whined, his feelings slightly hurt but mostly annoyed. “You should take a day off, don’t you think? All work and no play makes Barb a dull girl.”

“I played,” Barb retorted. “I’ve been playing with you for hours,” she said after dressing and plopping back down on the bed.

Braxton grabbed her and tickled her. “I’m not letting you go. You’re staying right here. I insist.”

Barb laughed and wrestled with him. “Quit it!” Then, she tickled him back.

Braxton ripped her shirt off and fondled her, but finally, Barb got away. Putting her shirt back on and grabbing her shoes, she threw him a kiss, let herself out and made her way over to the lab across town. En route, she got a call from Brax.

“What is it you do, exactly? You haven’t told me. Are you keeping secrets from me, my sweet woman?”

“Actually, yes, I am. But, if you’re a good boy, a very good boy, I might just let you in on the secret.” Barb needed to figure out a way to tell Brax about her work without actually giving away her secret until it was ready for market. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him, but she was legally bound. 

“Oh, I’m very good, alright,” Brax joked. 

They laughed, and they hung up. 

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