I pushed it just a bit and went to an Indian buffet yesterday. I should have held off another day at least. The food was excellent. I did go back for seconds, though I didn't fill the entire plate and I basically skipped dessert (only one gulab jamun!). But it was too much for my stomach, still dealing with the red meat from Friday. I was kind of knocked out the rest of the afternoon and skipped dinner altogether. I'd still go back, but probably not for another few weeks.
Anyway, I was seated next to two middle aged women who started off by
talking about how Trump supporters viewed him as a kind of god, who
would do for them what they couldn't do for themselves, but this was all
a lie of course. While I didn't really want to think about Trump over
lunch, I was completely astonished where the conversation went next.
They started talking about the gnostic beliefs including how hell was
just basically another purgatory (i.e. not truly eternal damnation)
where one's sins were burned away. They weren't sure about the
gnostics, but they were both convinced that the soul was indeed immortal
and that one returned to earth many times to take on an earthly body
(in between times when one cavorted in the extra-dimensional ether) and
chip away at the ego. It was a bit strange to say the least, since they
had just finished talking about Trump supporters as such dupes.
Coincidentally, I recently wrote a piece (the last that will be going up
in my staged reading) about two members of a Scientology-like cult (the
Sisterhood of Cosmic Understanding, Last Testament) and what happens
when they try to find converts at the Last Chance Saloon. (This was
partly based on my temptation many, many years ago to try to corrupt a
very cute Jehovah's Witness who came to the door (alone!) in Ann Arbor.
I decided that it wasn't really worth it, no matter how cute she was.)
Also, outside Union Station, there are Seventh Day Adventists or
something, and I cross paths with them most days and wonder what might happen if their beliefs were truly challenged. Hence this piece.
While my piece is probably already long enough, perhaps I should give
the Sisters just a bit more time to explain their theology, perhaps
inspired by what I heard over lunch yesterday. That might balance the
piece a bit more. After I make the tweaks, I'll post a link.