Star Travelers Through the Portal, Part 10, Anya Meets the High Council
Vocabulary: visage, duality, free will, regalia
Word understanding: Clear up the origins of these words: physics, metaphysics, philosophy.
As you are reading this passage look up words you are not familiar with even if they are not on the above list.
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Meeting the High Council of the Cosmos
Anya of Earth rocketed through the portal with magnificent life expanding, exploding, and energized all around her. It seemed she could reach out and touch the stars; as if she had become part of another universe of sound and color and music. She felt she was a part of everything and yet nothing at the same time — as if she had entered the silence between heartbeats.  It was like traveling a long tunnel of fantastic lights that poured over her like a rushing river or wild wind. 
It felt like being born and dying at once; like being disintegrated and completely whole all in the same instant. Sound moved through space creating psychedelic patterns. Colors swirled and jumped and played. Whether or not she existed at all in that moment was an unthinkable thought. In that brief cosmic hiccup she both did, and did not, exist.
Finally, there came a complete stillness and she knew she had arrived. After listening to Philomena explain meeting with the High Council of the Cosmos, she had imagined she would arrive to see Great Masters sitting high upon great thrones with endless regalia; sparkling crowns, perhaps even enjoying parades for show. Instead, she saw no one. She found herself completely alone atop the magnificent mountain, looking out over a vast expanse. Delicate snow quietly fell around her and covered everything like a softly knitted blanket of white, letting through tufts of hearty yellow flowers shining in the soft pink light.
Somewhat stunned by all this, she felt the wind, whirling in waves of patterned motion. But it was only when she looked down to see her hands did she realize that they were not there. She was un-materialized!  She looked around for her body but it was not there. No hands; no feet — she looked around a bit to see if she’d left her body somewhere, but no; She was soul-only!  
“Surely, I have passed and this is heaven,” she thought. As she wondered about her circumstance, she heard the most beautiful music. It emerged from the valley far below to above the mountain crest and sounded like dolphin songs or an angel’s notes. It filled the cool air and moved in the wind.
It seemed to speak to her; she could understand the voice though it spoke inside her mind, ”Hello, Love. Yes, I guess you could say this is heaven – as you might imagine it to be.”
Feeling puckish at the freedom of being body-free, she answered back in her mind with a mischievous air, “If heaven is what I imagine, then just let me see,” she thought in response, challenging the voice, to see if the High Council was as powerful as she’d heard Philomena describe. 
So, she imagined her favorite song. It began to play! Music wafted through the air.
She imagined the flowers as dancers and the flowers lifted their petal arms up to the sky and choreographed flight in time to the happy tune! 
She imagined her friend, Paul. His visage appeared in the clouds before her!  He was smiling as if to say, “Welcome, I am so glad to see you!”
“If this is what I imagine, then let me dance and fly,” she commanded. At her instruction, her body materialized instantly. So, she danced a jig — just to see what it felt like to dance at the top of a mountain in some new world, somewhere in space. She ignored the Council for awhile. She danced the Tut, the Moonwalk, hip-hop, Bhangra, Flamenco and the Jump Shuffle Slide. She danced with an arabesque; she danced flying high in the air. She danced forgetting all of her cares. She flipped. She jumped. She flew. She spun. Until at last, the voice returned, “So you have said, so it shall be. Everything is open to you.”
“I love you! This is fantastic!” She wasn’t even tired, she could dance in the sky forever; what a great place!
“So, my child, you came before us with a question. What a fool you are! You are already your answer.”
“But wait! You haven’t answered! I haven’t asked!”
“No need to explain.” The voice inside her mind seemed to speak with a smile. 
“But the earthlings… the Earth people!”
“We are not interfering with the progress of the Earth.”
“Why?”
“Learning is achieved by experience, you see?” In that response, it was as if this whole world were taken into the belly of a laughing master. The voice was laughing and with it, the whole world shook uproariously. “Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
Anya started laughed, too. “I am not sure why I’m laughing. How can it be that I am laughing?” But she was swept up in the beauty and wonder. “What a magical place,” she called out loud, “Thank you! I love everything!” And she danced some more to the music, filled with laughter, feeling welcome and free. 
At last she paused to listen carefully to the words of the High Council who spoke telepathically, directly into her mind. “Child, we know in a duality such as on Earth there are appearances: light and dark, right and wrong, happiness and sadness. These are realities. Follow them. Let them lead you. Explore, learn, enjoy, taste and view. Do not be afraid of anything.”
“But,  but, but that doesn’t help me, now! The other Federations… Earthlings may be extinct! You’re supposed to help me!”
“Never fear. Everything on Earth sways to the energy of Earth herself and can be influenced by your energy, too. Of course we wish for her freedom and for the continued creation of life. But the journey of humanity is one where humanity must realize they are Earth’s protectors. Humanity must choose to act in harmony with Earth, or even protection of humanity will be impossible. Even for us. We do not interrupt free will. 
“Ask yourself,” The voice spoke softly directly in her mind, “What do you want? What song do you sing? All potential patterns exist. You are the composers for your own song. Just as you have seen…”
Anya tried to answer but she felt the wind, the dance, and the music fill her far beyond the limitations of space or time in which a conversation might occur. It was as if she were enormous — as tall and as wide as the mountains, or even more!
She just stood there, her hair lifted by the wind and her soul filled with music. As she looked out to the sky above the purple mountains she saw the visage of a being who was part man and part eagle, high up in the clouds. His face was familiar, his headdress, Eagle. His wings filled the sky as he approached.
The Great Eagle spoke to her. “You are needed. Join us — Guardians of Earth.” 
Before she had a chance to question or protest, he lifted her and carried her on his back. They flew over the valley and toward the mountain crest.
Comprehension 
Write an essay on this topic:  Should students study metaphysical philosophy in high school? How is the study of philosophy relevant in our world today?
Be sure to research first and correctly define what is philosophy and what is metaphysics.
When writing your essay, be sure to establish your thesis in your first paragraph and include examples of how the study of philosophy would or would not be important for students today.
Here are some articles you may find interesting while doing your research:
Branches of Philosophy
http://importanceofphilosophy.com/FiveBranchesMain.html

What You Need to Know as an Educator: Understanding the 4 Main Branches of Philosophy