Chapter 24

How does Josh change Juan Misi’s necklace?

 

©iStock.com/stevanovicigor

©iStock.com/stevanovicigor

The first part of this answer is easy: Josh allowed a small Dome of Lashani to form between his cupped hands. A Dome of Lashani is the most intense form of lashani, and its effect on kanuf is always the same, regardless of its location or size:  it vaporizes it. Since Chris’s grandmother added the band, the beads, and the paint using pride (orguk), which is one form of kanuf, these elements exploded (the bright white light) and disintegrated.

The second part of the answer is more complex. Josh set up a miniature creation-friendly environment within his hands. He then exercised his Deón creative ability to restore the necklace to its original condition by manipulating the materials on a subatomic level in order to restore the original artwork. In doing this, he had to first undo the deteriorative effects that had occurred over time before he could restore the original necklace. He chose this route because he knew the necklace would one day be returned to Juan Misi (third book) and he wanted Juan to have his original trophy back.

When I asked Josh this question, he actually went into more detail than what I’ve documented here, but I didn’t understand the rest well enough to explain it. He did say that he usually employs sound waves (his voice, generally) when he exercises his creative power rather than doing it entirely through mental processes, as he did with Juan’s necklace. But no matter how advanced our knowledge of physics, you and I could never learn to do this — it’s one of those areas solidly in the realm of Deón special ability. In this case, as in others, I quickly learned the same lesson Chris did: Sometimes you just have to accept that Josh is able to do what he says he can do, even if you can’t understand how he does it.

 

What’s going on with Susana during this scene?

It would take another book to do justice to Susana’s side of this race, but we must understand that she is also battling self. Even though she’s farther along than Chris in some respects, we get a glimpse of one of her struggles during this conversation, where she’s almost gloating in her greater knowledge as compared to his. Ironically, it is this very confidence in her own knowledge that limits her ability to see bigger truths, making her view of the Deón almost as small as Chris’s.

The two runners are quite different, and their respective races reflect this difference. Chris’s big battle is with the whole concept of giving anyone else, including Doug, control over his life. In his case, the problem stems from his lifelong guilt over Eddie’s death. This has him convinced, on a subconscious level, that he can’t trust anyone else to do what’s best for him since he feels he isn’t worth such consideration. This results in him wanting to run on his own, using Doug’s gear when it’s useful, but making the decisions himself. Nevertheless, once Chris surrenders his life to Doug, it’s an all-or-nothing enterprise for him. He gives Doug everything he’s conscious of, and Doug generally only has to point out something he may be unconsciously withholding for Chris to give that up, too. If life were a game of Monopoly, Chris would be the player who tenaciously holds on, refusing to concede until every last deed is mortgaged and every dollar spent. Once he’s beaten, though, he will conscientiously hand everything over. If the winner points out that a couple of mortgaged deeds have gotten pushed under the edge of the board, Chris would say, “Oh, I forgot about those—here you go.”

Susana’s struggles are quite the opposite. In that same game of Monopoly, she would concede defeat as soon as her impending loss became clear, but, when asked about those hidden deeds, she would stubbornly claim that the win doesn’t include mortgaged property; that goes back to the bank. It’s the same idea here. Chris sees Susana as a near-perfect runner because the very problem that is so hard for him—giving Doug control of his life—is really rather easy for her. In her mind, there’s no question but that she’s better off with Doug in charge of the big decisions. However, what Chris doesn’t see is how she struggles over certain details. Doug can have her life, but that doesn’t include her favorite little red dress (the one that’s kind of provocative) … does it? And she’s already given him every minute of every Rest Day; can’t she have just one hour for that weekday TV program that Debora says is too slushy? This problem actually continues to plague Susana for many years after she finishes the race. Even though she leaves the big picture in Doug’s care, she often has to be reminded to quit worrying over certain details.

The detail that’s currently troubling Susana is the better-than-him attitude that she developed after the painful break-up with Chris. Debora has confronted her about this (which is why Susana withers at Debora’s pointed looks and comments at the table), but Susana’s having trouble letting it go. Later today, the two will have another long talk about the subject, and Susana will finally surrender it, thereby clearing the way for her and Chris to not only reconcile, but to enjoy a happy relationship based on mutual respect.

So, if the transmitter is required in the process of the Awakening, can people who have been separated from the transmitter by decapitation or cremation still be resurrected?

Another thing that the tsuma chain does when it senses death or near-death is to collect some skin cells, which contain DNA, within some tiny compartments designed for this purpose. It is actually on this DNA that the processes of the Awakening are carried out. Therefore, the presence of a body or skeleton is unnecessary, although it can be used in forming the recreated being if present. As Stan and Camille know, even chopping off a runner’s head to separate him from his transmitter won’t prevent the person from being raised by Doug’s voice.

 

Then why can’t just anyone be raised in the Awakening by putting on a transmitter, even if he never uses it?

The short answer to this question is that a person must have experienced the cellular changes associated with Surrender in order to have a restorative (vs. destructive) reaction to the intense levels of lashani surrounding Josh at the time of The Awakening.

What’s that—you wanted the long answer? Okay, then. Buckle up. We’ll need to understand something of the pathophysiology of kanuf in order to do it justice.

Kanuf is the broad term for a number of different bits of genetic material that invade the cells of an organism—something like viruses. These bits of genetic material join themselves to the DNA of the host and, once embedded, act as though part of the host’s original DNA, becoming part of new cells and even being passed on to offspring through the reproductive cells.

Just as with other genetic information, kanuf has both a genotype (the actual genetic code) and a phenotype (the expression of that code), and these two things are not necessarily the same. For instance, Chris’s genotype includes genes for both brown eyes and blue eyes (from his mother and father, respectively); nevertheless, only the brown eyes show up in his phenotype—in his case, very dark brown eyes that appear black. In this example, Chris has no control over the phenotypic expression of his genotype. Likewise, he will have no control over some aspects of the kanuf he’s inherited from his parents—he no longer has the potential for living several centuries, for example, as did his distant ancestors.

However, there are other aspects of his phenotype that he does have some control over. For example, he has inherited a predisposition to develop both diabetes and coronary artery disease from his father (both are examples of kanuf being passed on to descendants). Nevertheless, he can decrease the possibility of developing these diseases through his choices regarding diet, exercise, and weight control.

Red gene in DNA

©iStock.com/ Osuleo

Although kanuf acts as part of the person’s DNA—indeed, it becomes part of the person’s DNA for all practical purposes—it always retains a chemical marker that differentiates it as something foreign to the person. It can, therefore, be identified by chemical agents that recognize this marker, even if the addition/change has been passed down through dozens (or scores, hundreds, thousands …) of generations. Three such agents exist that recognize kanuf as foreign: mij dinósh, sinje, and lashani. We’ll consider briefly how each of these works.

Mij dinósh. Since mij dinósh isn’t important in understanding The Awakening, we won’t consider it in detail here. (It becomes important in the second book and will be discussed more there.) For now, suffice it to say that this enzyme, found only in Paradisian elder brothers, cleans off any foreign matter, including that bearing the mark of kanuf, from the host’s original DNA blueprint. Being a safeguard against mutations, mij dinósh is only active during cellular replication.

(Spoiler alert: The following 2 paragraphs explain happenings in the 3rd book.)

Lashani. The quickest way to completely eradicate kanuf from a host is to place the person within a Dome of Lashani (the most intense form of lashani), which immediately vaporizes all kanuf. The only problem with this method is that, if the kanuf-marked bits of DNA are still intimately associated with the host’s own DNA, the original DNA will be destroyed as well. When this occurs in every cell, the result is the vaporization of the infected person. Not a pretty picture. This is what happens after the second mass resurrection—what the Deón call The Rising—when those still infected with kanuf are returned to life. The Rising, which occurs 1,000 years after The Awakening, is accomplished using viv alone (as opposed to The Awakening, which is accomplished with a combination of viv and lashani). The effect of The Rising, therefore, is that all remaining human DNA—which will be that belonging to kanuf-infected individuals—is activated and these people are revivified. However, because their DNA still possesses the kanuf they died with, they are destroyed when later exposed to Josh’s Dome of Lashani.

Sinje. That brings us to the third agent: sinje, or “surrender,” which generally requires a longer time frame to undo the effects of kanuf. Nevertheless, it does provide a means whereby kanuf can be destroyed by lashani without destroying the host DNA. It does this by recognizing kanuf-marked fragments and stripping them from the host DNA, while inserting a protective marker on the host DNA. Once this is accomplished, lashani can safely destroy the kanuf-marked fragments without destroying the host DNA—or the host. Tsoli (“choice”) facilitates this process as well as aids the person in blocking the phenotypic expression of some types of kanuf.

The Awakening. Now to The Awakening, where sinje-modified DNA is exposed to a concentrated form of lashani (though not a Dome of Lashani, which is the most concentrated form). The result is the destruction of all kanuf and restoration of the original DNA blueprint. One fragment of kanuf (K-66) modifies the genetic code for auditory function, making the host insensible to lashani wavelengths of sound. Because of its position in the genome, this fragment is one of the first to be stripped away by sinje. Therefore, the ability to hear Doug’s untranslated voice is a sign that sinje is active in that person. This is why Josh specifies that anyone wearing a transmitter and able to hear Doug’s voice through the receiver (his natural, untranslated voice) will rise at The Awakening; this ability demonstrates that sinje has prepared the person’s DNA for the concentrated lashani surrounding Josh at that time. (This intermediate level of lashani will not destroy kanuf still intimately associated with DNA, thereby preserving the DNA of those who have not experienced Surrender. However, while this intermediate level will not destroy kanuf-infected individuals, it will “kill” them, as mortals define death. Only a Dome of Lashani will absolutely and completely vaporize kanuf, along with all DNA it has infected. This is the only state the Deón recognize as true death, but they allow no one to experience it until all phases of the final judgment have been completed.)

Aren’t you sorry you asked for the long explanation?

Just to be clear, let me add that the DNA banked in the tsuma chains cannot, of itself, be used to resurrect runners from the dead. This would be roughly the equivalent of suggesting that a really good drawing of the runner could trigger her resurrection. Like a drawing, DNA is only information. The spark of life that allows the person to come to life is a separate element of the equation. As Gabriel explains to Chris in the second book, the Deón themselves are the only source of this spark of life. They can endow a body with that spark using their breath, their touch, or even simply their voice, as happens at the Awakening.

Why does Josh suggest that Doug is different than him—aren’t they the same?

The three Deón are different in certain ways, although they are manifestations of the same being and are the same in character, goals, and motives. Debora, for instance, is the only one among them who has the ability to be physically present in multiple places. As we learn in the next book, she does this by physically duplicating herself. She can do this an infinite number of times so that she can literally be with millions of people (or more) around the globe at the same time. (By the way, this is why she doesn’t lose her British accent. She daily hears British-accented English as well as the versions from America, Canada, Australia, etc. Josh, on the other hand, spends most of his off-island time coaching runners on the racecourses, which are in the USA.) Josh, who has accepted many of the limitations of humanity in order to better identify and work with humans, is now the Deón with the least number of “powers.” This limitation has occurred by his choice and with his full consent, something like a human choosing to donate a kidney. It in no way diminishes his status as Deón.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: