Object 473

The Holder of the Bardo

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. Go to the front desk and ask to speak to "The Holder of the Bardo". The worker will stare you down. Do not flinch. Everything around you will begin to vanish and fade into nothingness, including you. Do not be afraid; that will only make it worse.

If and when you come to, you will not be able to make sense of what you see. It will appear as if scores of bursts of light are appearing, one after another, some vanishing into themselves and others dimming down, as if to seem less threatening. You will see people accompanying these bursts. Do not interact with them, but feel free to look around; this realm is true reality, and its mind wants you to learn what it is. You will notice that the people who didn't merge with the first forms of light are having "bubbles" formed around them comprised of images from their lives. Get close to one of these ones if you can, but be careful not to get caught in their "bubble", because you will have to watch their lives flashing before their eyes, and it will slow you down, at the very least.

While you are accompanying the person on their journey, you will come across a group of deities who want nothing more than for their charge to have a safe and prosperous journey into death. Some people, still holding on to their quickly-fading fear, draw this phase out long enough to incur the annoyance of these "peaceful" deities, often bringing out the raw rage and wrath of the divine, as a way to send a message that the petty fear the person is feeling is nothing compared to what is really happening. The Holder is among these beings. Whether they are in their "peaceful" or "wrathful" state makes no difference, as long as you ask this question: "Can they truly be changed?"

In response, the Holder will stare you in the face with a cold, burning expression; this alone is enough to drive many Seekers to join their fellow dead just for the sake of never having to face that look again. The Holder will open its mouth and vomit. You will be splattered with the vomit. Allow its acidic bite to dissolve your "body", but remain steadfast and fearless, because this is merely an illusion. Your awareness will remain.

Eventually, your mind will have expanded in size and scope to a point where you have a definite form once more, but you will not recognize yourself, nor will you have any sense of identity. Amnesia is not an accurate way to describe it; you will remember everything, but you will realize that you are, and have always been, an illusion. Nevertheless, you must keep your cool; the Object is calling. You will be behind the mental institution. There will be a wooden rocking cradle in front of you. Take it and go.

The cradle is Object 473 of 2538. It is now up to you to decide whether or not the one who belongs in it should be born.