The Gladiator — Book 1
The Gladiator was exhausted, but was still able to bring his shield up to parry the triad as though he were reaching for an apple from a bowl of fruit. Though the body was depleted the mind was disciplined, he did not panic. This block had been in time, but he was slowing down. He felt it absorbed into his forearm then glance off of his shield, instantly he countered with the gladius in his right hand bringing it down and across at a 45 degree angle, lurching forward with his right foot after the swing, too late, the Retiarius was far removed. He circled around to Spurio Pompili ‘s left side, feigned another thrust, stepped back, then thrust the triad at his face with lightening speed, Spurio Pompili was barely able to avoid it with a combination of a rising block with his shield and bending his knees while ducking his head under it. Close! There was no counter this time the two combatants circled each other warily in sand that burned under the scorching sun. Spurio Pompili , sweating profusely was losing the battle of attrition. He was the heaver and more powerful of the two, but was less agile. He was well accustomed to suffering the wounds of combat under the intense heat of Roma’s sun, he had been trained well. Discipline and indifference wove a sturdy pattern in the Gladiator’s psyche, but training also taught that the body had its limits and Spurio Pompili knew that his was fast approaching its own. Sweat stung his eyes and he could no longer ignore the screaming cramps in his legs, making them ever heavier by the second. The Retiarius feigned to his head again which brought his shield high again, but the effort was enormous, his left shoulder burned. When he dropped the shield too low a point of the triad found its mark again piercing the forehead, making it bloodier. He was locked in a downward spiral toward a slow death of a thousand cuts. Spurio would make a life or death decision, on his feet, with blood burning his eyes and cramps setting in. He would likely regret either action, but he had to decide and training took over again, he dropped the shield, it fell with a muffled sound into the sand.
Without his shield Spurio Pompili was free to move about, but was exposed to the Trident. Now the retirarius swung the net at his head, forcing Spurio Pompili to duck his head, but now he saw an opening as the retirarius’s follow through exposed his rib cage and Spurio did not hesitate he jabbed his gladius at the open ribs like it was a piece of meat. As the blood poured, Spurio Pompili hoped he had broken a rib, but he had only bruised it. The retirarius feeling as though all of his ribs were broken brought both elbows in to protect the badly punctured ribs. It was involuntary leaving him momentarily rooted, exposed to Spurio Pompili ‘s a sword, but he was too exhausted to follow-up.  Instead he moved around to his right, keeping a safe distance while desperately trying to take control of his breathing.  It was something he would not regain until one of them was dead. The Retirarius however seemed already to have endured the worst of it as he cast the net over Spurio Pompili’s head and moved closer with the Trident while the net was still in the air. Spurio Pompili sliced at the open net, collecting up harmlessly to the ground and in one move parried the Trident at the last second. The retirarius deftly spun back, reached his net on the ground, and returned to face Spurio Pompili squarely. The near misses were taking their toll.
Exhausted Spurio Pompili moved back, circling to his right trying to buy time, but the retirarius had much different intentions, he pressed the attack. Stepping backward Spurio Pompili felt the net wrapping around his left ankle, calmly he lifted his leg stepped in and thrust his sword, but the Retiarius moved back out of range and deftly countered with his three-pronged spear. Spurio with his shield long since dropped could only block it by jamming the point of his sword in it between two of the three prongs. It was a close call and he could feel the clinging of the three-pronged sphere against the iron anklet of his left leg. Spurio clenched his free left fist and delivered a crushing blow to the Retirarius’s jaw. The Retirarius staggered back and dropped his spear. The instinct was now for Spurio to plunge his gladius deep into his opponent’s chest, but fatigue from an hour of combat beneath the scorching Roman sun made him hesitate. It was fatigue that forced him to drop his shield, and it now intensified allowing the swifter Retiarius to roll on the ground toward his trident and come up with it standing. Spurio was as disheartened as he was astonished. He had to retrieve his shield.  Facing his opponent squarely, in a left forward stance with his sword firmly in his right hand Spurio shifted to his left, the Retiarius would not so easily allowing him to. This time the when the fishermen threw his net around Spurio’s left ankle it latched on, and he pulled it straight. Spurio staggered but caught himself. But the fishermen buried the center prong of his Trident into Spurio’s straightened left knee. The excruciating pain electrified him, but it lasted only long enough to intensify his pain. Spurio looked at the blood gushing from his leg that was bent backwards and fell back hard between his shoulder blades.  He lay on the ground in the position of a man being crucified.  He was going to be skewered. The Retiarius moved to Spurio’s left and was standing between him and his shield. He moved incautiously for the kill, making sure that Spurio was too injured and fatigued to counter him. Satisfied he began his approach, but when  he moved in Spurio saw something that made him fear both life and death and doubt all that he had till this moment believed and known. It made him lift his head and through distraction and fatigue his training held sway, the gladius was still in his hand. So, as the sky behind the Retiarius began to drop out of existence Spurio had to make a split second decision, was death the greater disaster or was it life. When a black lightning bolt sliced across the late afternoon sky it seemed that death, was more welcome, but a second after when whole black chunks of the sky were ripped away showing only starless space behind, that was most uncertain. From his back Spurio brought his sword across his body and the Retiarius lost his left leg above the knee, on the backstroke it was the right leg that ripped away, just below the kneecap. Spurio never saw that which he had done in less than a second, he couldn’t keep his eyes off of the sky falling away as though the earth like a room in the sky, whose walls were crashing down revealing the total darkness behind them. They may as well been made of papaya. Then he put his head back down, and as a light sprinkle of blood dappled around his body he turned away and shut his eyes tight hoping that the darkness inside his lids could protect him from the darkness on the other side of them.
Lucilla couldn’t unclench her eyes, fully expecting that when she opened them the Retirarius would have skewered her husband to death. She never would have reopened them, except for the faint cries of her husband’s name. Pompili ? Pompili ? She could believe that he had won again even less than the crowd. Slowly, cautiously, not to be deceived she opened them focused. Her jaw shuddered as she strained in the distance to see the unthinkable, her husband, alive.
She was in no condition for rational thought as tears streamed down her face and drool unabashedly dribbled from the corner of her mouth, her love for her husband matched only by her pure joy to see him alive. She brushed back tears only to confirm the vision. Then as he lay there prostrate on the ground about the length of her thumb writhing in agony her joy became enmeshed with his pain. His pain, it was an altogether new experience for her, to him for that matter. The joy was not subdued, but added to by his pain becoming hers. She could see her husband’s body and feel his pain, but she could not see the darkness he had just seen, could not know that for him everything had changed, and changed much more than if the Retiarius had just killed him.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%  Lucilla and Jesus  %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
She was on her feet, moving down to where they were taking her husband. Her only thought was to rush to her husband, to tend to his wounds. She needed to comfort and take care of him, though even that was selfish of her. But for now the Romans and iron gates still separated her from him. But Lucilla blamed Jesus not the Romans for her husband’s slavery, her separation from him, and the horrendous tortures he endured, suffering which she could not even think about, along the brutal trail that led him from intellectual discussions on to spiritual enlightenment in Judea, to a bloody gladiator pit in Rome. Now, she was pleased that he had been crucified; now she felt he was deserving making her less guilty of it.  Even in death it was Jesus not the Romans separating her from her husband. But just one more victory and that would be no more, Vettius had sworn it personally and contracted legally. Just one more victory and her husband was again a free man to be with her forever. That sweet thing, she and her husband together, it was so close that it was almost real, she could almost touch it, but with tears still streaming and her body wracked at once by both agony and rapture, as she watched her husband screaming being carried away she knew that for now forever would have to wait.
Moving down she kept her eyes only on the stones beneath her feet.  She bumped shoulders and slipped in between one faceless person, then another. Moving in and out of the light as she descended men stared at her as she passed unaware. Someone else moved her body passed the debauched fanatics intoxicated by wine and blood of the games; she was merely a passenger in it.
She was completely in the shade now though the air was still hot having been cooked by the sun all day. A fight broke out between two men gambling, but it sounded vicious like lions that had been fighting to get earlier.  Others gathered round and the violence spread. She stared hypnotically at the conflict before her, but in her mind’s eye she was back in Judea, to the time when first heard Jesus as he addressed his fellows in the temple, regarding another kind of the debauchery, that of the money changers.
It was violent then as well as a riot broke out against the money changers. Lucilla felt protected standing close to her husband’s huge body.  Spurio towered over all men in Judea. So, unaffected she could observe Jesus as he addressed his followers when they overturned the money changers tables, and scattered their coins about floor.
The bankers or money changers created a special silver coin, called the half shekel of the sanctuary. Even the poor had to have some of these coins to pay their temple tax. So, the monopoly allowed the money changers to charge whatever the market would bear and they gouged the market.
Lucilla and Spurio looked at each other, and then heard Jesus speak, saying, “Judge them not”. “But they (the money changers) are stealing from the poorest Jews, on their holiest ground, no less”, cried the others. “They are evil”, others persisted. Jesus waited for a calm to ensue, and then patiently instructed that no one is good or evil and that nobody was victimizing anybody. “I tell you the truth that everyone acts in service of their own perceived needs. Everyone acts selfishly.  The money changers, attempting to maximize their profit on every single coin, as were the poorest Jews attempting to pay as little as possible, for each coin. To each his motives are moral, but each acted so that need his needs would be met first, each acted equally selfishly in service of those needs. And we each act equally selfishly, we each act completely selfish in the service of our needs.  Even the martyr is totally selfish; there is nothing else he can be”.
To Spurio this was an obvious truth, to Lucilla it was an unpleasant one which she easily denied, but to the money changers it was a most convenient one.
Lucilla judged the money changers and misjudged Jesus’ non-judgment of them, but she was astonished when Spurio was amazed. She watched as Spurio in his clean white linens walked over to Jesus and said, “I will look for you here”. Jesus turned around and looking up at Spurio replied, “I will find you first.” Both men smiled at each other and walked away.  To Lucilla that is how Jesus invaded her life.
She was at pit level now, the clanging of slaves in their shackles, grunting gladiators clashing, and from down the long corridor beneath the seats she could hear the anguished sounds of men in pain.  In her heart, there raised the sickening certainty that somewhere down there, her husband languished in agony. She wrapped her slender fingers around the bars that separated her from the long corridor, which separated her from her husband.  She struggled to peer into the darkness and around the corner to glimpse a piece of Spurio, or isolate a fragment of his agonizing cries from the ensemble, the vain attempt making her heartbreak even more bitter. She remained there, hopeful and heartbroken, until there were no more slaves clanging in the shackles, until the sounds of men suffering subsided, until the day waned and she finally realized her husband was no longer down there, there was no one else down there. She was alone.
Pensively she left the arena, and walked alone down the cobblestone street. It was nearly dark now, but all of Rome seemed to be out, still intoxicated by wine and blood of the games that ended hours ago. There were more faceless people to not look at, and more lusting men to not see.  She paid less attention to the outside world than she did even her own body, it she was vaguely aware was hungry for not having eaten all day. Nothing registered until the street opened it into a courtyard, but when she glanced up it was to see Jesus in Judea once again. This time she and her husband listened as Jesus addressed his followers in the temple, regarding a tiny mad idea.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%     The tiny mad Idea %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
“In the beginning, which is the end, and at all times in between, of which there are none, there is God in Heaven, and you the Son reside there with him now. God Is, anything else is not. So, let us simply say, “God Is”. Together, God, and the Son of God lived in oneness so perfect, that there was no place where one began or the other ended. Between them, there is no distinction except that God is first cause, the Son is second. You resided in the pure permanence of heaven until there came into the mind of the Son an ill informed, infinitesimal, question. Not a question so much as a little miscreant partial thought or a tiny mad idea. The son asked of God, “Is there something else, something other than God”? This is the thought of separation and it drove the Son of Man insane.
The Son waited for God’s answer, but He didn’t. Not because He couldn’t answer, but He wouldn’t. To God it was a not a question, because there is no such thing, it would be like asking, what it would be like to live in a place that does not exist. There is no such thing as something else so; there was no answer from God. The non-answer from God to your non-question was new and incomprehensible to you. It terrified you.  So, the panicked mind of the Son went wild in desperate search to make sense of that which made none, to answer a question that was never asked.  And of the myriad and multitudes of random wild ideas the mind of the Son settled upon that which is most insane, that God was angry at him for his tiny mad idea.  The Son equates the thought of leaving Him with the usurping or murder of God. This is original sin, the belief in separation from heaven and murder of God. The Son mistakenly believes he murdered God. The mistaken guilt anticipates true retribution. The Son mistakenly believes that he is guilty, and yet that God will catch him and kill him, and he behaves in kind.  This is the projection, where the world comes from, from the guilt riddled mind of the Son.  So, in his insane mind, with blood on his hands and guilt in his heart, the Son expects, indeed all of mankind, demands severe and merciless retribution for a crime that never was. This is the root of Evil.
Evil is not a demon or a devil, but a device of your mind.  Evil is the part of your mind that makes up and protects the tiny mad idea of separation from God.  Evil tricks you to believe the separation is real, and then terrorized you into believing that God will murder you for usurping him.  Then Evil tricks you again by giving you a solution, a place to hide from God, which is this world, the Moon Sun and stars in the sky.   It is in this infinitely vast place in which to hide your miniscule self from a relentless and merciless God. You look upon it with awe and feel safe. Ridiculous, could we really hide from God?
Finally, Evil seduces you by giving you others on which to focus, others whom we love and hate, who do to us and we do unto in return. But this is all deception, good and bad, friend and foe alike.  All these aught but to keep the Son distracted from seeing Heaven. These others suffer as we do from the only source of pain there is, the false thought of original sin and fear of retribution.
So, the false world that we fill with cruelty, inhumanity and bloody wars, with all of our self centered, senseless, vicious acts of violence against ourselves and each other is because Evil has tricked you into thinking that God is angry at you for leaving him. This makes you angry, at God, but you will never take this anger out against God, rather at yourself. But even that is subtle, to keep you distracted, looking outward, you unconsciously displace this rage at the rest of the world, even though it’s not really there, and blame someone else for that which was never done. You anticipate and create the universal backlash that you receive from the outside world. It’s Evil’s trap to keep you here.
You will know Evil as you know a tree, by its fruit.  Evil’s trap is projection of self hatred, but his nature is hate. He hates. It lies.  It is vengeful, unrelentingly vengeful.  That’s not what it does rather what it is. It hates all that reminds you of your true self, which is pure bliss and love. In Heaven there is only love, your true self even here, is pure bliss. So, hate and misery are not real, but that you make them so for yourself. But Evil hates all that we call life even here in the illusion. It hates the Son and will try to keep him in hell. Remember that: Evil hates you and tries to keep you here in the dream.
So, we make our world real by giving credence to thoughts of unreality. Via Evil we project our hidden hate onto our brother then crucify him for them, happily unaware they are in us. Evil hates us and wants us to hate our brother, blame him for our sins, and keep the illusion alive. So, to see beyond the dream you must forgive everything in it, as being a dream. Forgiveness just means undoing that which was never done.  It is the Son’s only task, while Evil has only one purpose, to prevent you from it.
“Why”, someone asked?
Evil like anything else even in the dream wants to survive, once you see the light of heaven, he is instantly undone. No one will choose this world in place of Heaven.
“What happens if we never wake-up”, someone else asked?
And Jesus answered saying, “the Son of Man has been redeemed one and all”. I have already undone that which was never done.
Redemption is the realization that at-one-ment still exists, the separation never happened. Thus, it is as it was, the only way it can be. God Is and Heaven is a timeless state of being in perfect oneness with God, unaware of anything that isn’t God. Redemption has been and it shall be realized by the Son of Man one and all, and all at once, and then the world disappears and there is only heaven.
Jesus, though speaking to none spoke to all, and many were amazed, among them the money changers.  They heard Jesus’ message of nonjudgment, and conveniently projected it back as acceptance they are greedy deeds.  But Jesus neither rejected nor accepted their behavior, anymore than he judged that of the poorest Jews.  To Jesus, the perceived victims and their perceived victimizers suffered equally from the unconscious guilt of original sin. Their behaviors were simply different expressions of the same source of pain, the only source of pain, the Son of Man’s insane response to a tiny mad idea that never truly was.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%   End The tiny mad Idea %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
By the time Lucilla entered the apartment that Vettius had provisioned for her, it was well past dark. Roma, was the center of the world, the hub to which all roads lead, but here in her dark apartment on the top floor corner of a stone building Rome, disappeared and the anguish of her broken heart was all she had fill the emptiness.  She walked past the fireplace, which she had never seen burn to light a candle on the bedside. She hesitated at the edge of the bed, staring as if not sure what to do, as one would test the temperature before entering a bath. Gradually, ineptly she curled her tiny body into its center and stared blankly at the flickering shadows in the room.
The last time she could remember curled up in bed like this, it was with her husband’s big, safe body behind her. She remembered gently caressing the hairs on his arm about her waist, and feeling is comforted by his presence as she was frustrated by Jesus’ message. “I try, I try” she explained,” but try as I might, I can’t get it, I can’t understand.  Jesus is the tiny mad idea”.  Then her husband, as though he were moving a pillow, effortlessly turned her to her back, brushed the hair away from her cheek, “you will, you will” he said in a tone that was as gentle as any she had ever heard, and then she looked up, catching his eyes, that revealed a certainty, and the seriousness that his voice did not. That view of Spurio she’d had a thousand times, had it burned into memory. His dark eyes were white, with tapered brows riding a finely sculptured ridge that balanced a nose of the gentle Hebrew variety. He was the one who understood Jesus better than anyone.  And then they made tender love.  She didn’t care one bit about Jesus, but oh god, how she needed Spurio now. But on this night she wasn’t reassured, nor did she make love to her husband, she fell asleep alone and lonely.
———————– begin ——————  Many Lives Masters and Slaves  ———————————–
In the temple Jesus spoke about the nature of good and bad.  Those who heard him and those who heard of him were amazed and mystified, but for his perceived defense of the money changers many others were outraged and they vilified him. Jesus patiently corrected that he neither condoned nor condemned the money changers; rather that he condoned forgiveness and condemned only condemnation itself, for judgment is the tool by which Evil distracted us from our true purpose, which is to reconnect with the Source and reawaken in Heaven.
“I tell you the truth that good must have evil to lean against or else it falls down.  Good and bad define each other, and the predator depends on the prey as the master is bound to his slave. When you judge another you judge yourself, but in the Father there is no duality, only the pure permanence of unity”.
To Spurio this was an obvious truth, to Lucilla it was an unpleasant one which she easily denied, but to the money changers it was a most convenient one.
The money changes were there to persuade Jesus to promote their cause that their business tactics were moral and just. Jesus perceived their treachery, but judged it not and provided a valuable forgiveness lesson for Spurio that might just lead him all the way to Heaven. Spurio told Jesus that indeed it was difficult for him to forgive the money changers while it was almost impossible not to favor the poorest Jews who sought not profit, but only to pay their temple tax.  But Jesus instructed that it was to be expected because duality is Evil’s most subtle and potent device. We become wholly and unconsciously absorbed in the imagined battle of good versus evil.  The untrained mind will not even notice its involvement, just like getting lost in the forest you never know just when it happened.  But once the mind is focused on that which isn’t Evil stays alive and the light of Heaven is lost. But they, the money changers and the poor Jews come from your mind for it is the Evil in you and put them there to keep you here.
And should you still be inclined to judge them, Jesus continued remember this.  It takes many dreams of many lifetimes to train the mind to ignore Evil and listen to only the Holy Spirit. And in the myriad of dreams and lifetimes in the multitude forums of joy and horror they bring, at one time or another we each play the others part, we are each master and slave, we are each predator and prey, we are each everything there is to be many millions of times over. I have come to ease your burden, to reduce your number of nightmares, and to free the master from his slave, but follow or ignore the word it makes no difference, everyone makes it, everyone already has.
Lucilla looked dismissively away from Jesus, but to Spurio his words were profoundly healing and significant. For the first time Spurio thought he might just make it, and make it this time.
———————–  end ——————  Many Lives Masters and Slaves  ———————————–
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   begin Captured   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
At the same time that Spurio contemplated enlightenment, the money changers who had also heard Jesus were contemplating treachery. They barely saw Spurio’s massive frame as the focus of their narrowed eyes settled on Jesus who did not adopt his message to suit their needs.  Rather to their minds he had refined it in the other direction. As Jesus had said everyone acts in service of their own needs and the money changers were contemplating doing just that.
Jesus had never been sent to the world to suffer and pay for the sins of mankind.  According to his teachings mankind had no sins to pay for, nor could his guiltless mind suffer. According to the teachings of Jesus, nothing, in this world, save God in Heaven is real. God Is, the rest is not. Everything that you see, and feel, and know is illusion, all the world is but a dream within a dream a million times over.   Instead Jesus said he had come to shine a light and shorten the journey that we had each of us completed before it was begun. Jesus taught rather than to judge the world to Realize Atonement, and Redemption, by seeing it through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, instead of the eyes of man. That was the message that he was unwilling to alter and it was gaining Jesus some powerful enemies.
Whereas Jesus came to pass non-judgment Lucilla passed judgment freely and harshly upon Jesus not his enemies. After all her being here, in Rome, had as much to do with Jesus as it did with her husband, and one could not contemplate  Spurio without contemplating Jesus.  Between them there was no space, certainly not enough for her.  Her deep grief erased the defenses so long held erect, so that finally not deny the seething rage smoldering within. Finally she could no longer deny her part in Jesus’s crucifixion, that he was crucified because of her. Not because of her greed or her cowardice, those reasons had been attributed to Judas and he hanged himself for it.  No, Jesus was crucified because of her treachery.  This is what she finally had always known, but could no longer deny.
Before today she had never seen anything as brutally ugly as the crucifixion of Christ. Before the crucifixion she had never seen anything as brutally ugly. But wasn’t all this his fault, didn’t he deserve to be crucified?  Why didn’t he just stop?  All that Jesus had to stop.  Instead he kept pushing, pushing against forces that knew only how to push back, speaking craziness that repulsed many and challenged all. Jesus was as insane as the tiny mad idea.
She told herself she done it for Spurio, but she’d really done it for herself.  For her Judas was convenient.  His lechery she tolerated as a matter of course, but now she told herself that Judas took advantage of Spurio’s good nature and something must be done about it.  He would never say such things to her were her husband not so gentle. Yet it was his stupidity which she would wield against him.
When the Romans came to her she knew both where Jesus was and what the Romans intended with him.  But she said that Judas would tell her.  So, she went to Judas who was drunk and aroused him.  One of the Romans took off his uniform and listened nearby.  She asked Judas where was Jesus as he drank from a bottle of wine.  He answered lowering the bottle with wine on his chin, but you know where he is.  And she implored him to tell me anyway.  So, Judas told her what the Romans wanted to hear and she already knew. Then the Roman spy stood up and paid Judas 30 pieces of silver that he never wanted for doing what he’d never knew he had done in Lucilla had washed her hands of the cleanly.
Jesus told Spurio to leave.  Spurio knew why instantly.  This was a difficult moment for Spurio.  Bonds of attachment grow and bind us stealthily to the nightmare.  His impulse was to implore Jesus to leave with him, but Jesus had no impulse to do anything because there was nothing to be done.  This was the lesson Jesus was teaching him.  Standing in the middle of the temple with the Romans closing in sure and the knowledge that whatever might happen has already happened and happened for the best.  Spurio was transfixed.  It is for that reason which he never fled.  It had always vexed Lucilla.  So terrified of losing Spurio to Jesus that she lost him to the Romans and she lost him by her own hand.
The Romans came for Jesus in the age old way that old order comes for the new. It was an age old act.  Armed troops arresting those armed with only words.  It was the money changers who sent the Romans for Jesus, to crucify him, and imprison his followers. But Romans don’t take prisoners, Romans take slaves.  The one thing that Lucilla could never foresee was that by the time Jesus was nailed to a blood soaked cross, Spurio would be shackled in the hold of the slave ship set sail for Rome.
When Lucilla went to the temple looking for Spurio she could not know that they were already separated by years and thousands of miles.  She could only hear the throngs screaming crucify him, not unlike the masses in the gladiatorial arena.  She moved to wait eagerly to the front, but when she saw the bloody mess that Jesus had become standing next to Pontius Pilate she fainted.  It was a sharp impact of her knee caps on the ground which woke her.  She looked back up at Jesus. “How could this happen’’, she asked herself? Grief for Jesus said in deep and instantly.  How could they have done that to him such a short period of time?  But as she would see the Romans were just getting started with Jesus.
Lucilla somehow managed to capture Pontius Pilate attention, being beautiful had some advantage, it was impossible to change the course of some events once set in motion.   She beseeched him to stay his hand, but he was just beginning to wash them.  He looked directly into her eyes as he dipped them into the bowl.  “You can wash the blood, not the deeds from your palm’s” she screamed though he didn’t hear. Then she looked at Jesus, he heard every word of it. The blood was thick and crusted around his eyebrows, but still oozing from the top of his head, and down beside his face. Though his lips never moved it sounded like he said to her, “I know.”  She looked at her own palms, then buried her face in them and dropped to her knees thinking, what have I done?
The guards pushed Jesus down the stone steps.  She heard him groan, and fall off each level to the next one with a sickening bloody thud.  Jesus was thrown to the stones in the center of the Villa and the people disbursed around him.  Spread out on his stomach he was whipped, but not so much to incapacitate him.  He still had a cross to bear.  Then the guards cleared away to the fountain, and taking Jesus by the feet dragged him to it. They set him up right and pushed him back against it.  His head hung down in the guards grabbed it and set a crown of thorns upon it.  Blood poured from newly opened wounds as they did.  Next they threw him on his hands and knees and brought the cross. They put it across his back and wrapped and tied his hands around it. They commanded Jesus to carry it, but Jesus was weak. His right leg quivered and he put it down again.  Lucilla heard a whip whistle through the wind and rip more flesh from Jesus side and back. Jesus felt the pain, but his body was too weakened to react.  Slowly, unsteadily Jesus rose to his feet and slowly began to drag his cross behind him.
It’s quiet here Lucilla thought.  She was on her knees when she opened her eyes.  She could not believe that so much blood had come from one man.  Even the water in the fountain was red.  She pulled back her hair and put it behind her head, and then with her skirt tried to soak up Jesus’s blood as though she would give it back to him.  She could hear the sounds of the tormenting crowd following Jesus up the hill to where he would be crucified.
Lucilla came to her feet and staggered off after them. She walked through the streets then in much the same manner as she had left the arena.  But it was the first time she had ever known such a feeling.  Such a feeling as what, it was a strange to her as it was indescribable.  Since then she had not experienced anything other.  Now it was as familiar as it was indescribable.
She arrived as Jesus was being nailed by the palms.  She thought he was unconscious, but when the Roman drove the spike through Jesus woke up screaming. Lucilla could feel the friction of every inch of the nail in her own body.  The anguish didn’t stop with the one hand, a guard rammed spike through the other. She was standing at Jesus’s feet, she wanted so desperately to help the same man she had sought destroy. But what could she do?  She went towards him, but the guard pushed her back.  Jesus lifted his head to look at her to speak.  His voice was a raspy whisper that said, “Do not blame yourself for this, Spurio will never know of it.”  But in her despair she heard, “it’s your fault Spurio will know of it.”  She did not blame Jesus for what he did not say, she deserved it.
Then the guard crossed Jesus’s feet and drove the spike through them both. Initially his body tensed, but then Jesus gained control of it, of the pain. “The uncluttered mind cannot suffer,” she remembered.  Even when they drove the huge silver spike through his side Jesus remained calm.%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Lucilia though that Juses suffering was so great that it encompassed the pain of all of mankind, but when she put her ear to his split and bloody lips the last words she hear him say were, “I see peace.”


But when they hoisted the crucifix upright the wind blew cold from across the gorge behind it. Jesus looked up, but the sun was still in his eyes. Lucilla could not imagine his pain.  Looking up at him she could only hope that he would soon give up the ghost. Behind her she saw Mary, the mother of Jesus weeping. The wind blew hard and it lifted Mary’s dress and pushed her back.  She didn’t see the bolt of lightning but the sudden crash of thunder told her it was close. Besides she and Mary and the Romans there was almost no one else. She looked back up at Jesus, the sky behind the crucifix was black.  The rain came sudden and hard.  Another bolt of lightning struck diagonally across the sky and the thunder shuttered the ground.  Jesus looked up and screamed something which she could not hear, and then he gave up the ghost.  His body hung on his arms as limp as string. The rain splashed loud against the ground and was suddenly drowned by the wind.  A guard stabbed Jesus with the spear.  His body did not move but blood gushed from his side and ran down to the base of the crucifix in a torrent.  It will never run dry she thought holding herself up against the wind is but she could.  When she looked up the entire sky was raining blood red.  What she heard next was louder than anything she ever had or would ever hear again.  A thick powerful bolt of lightning electrified the air instantly before striking the crucifix.  The blast lifted her into the air and threw her down 100 feet away.  She looked back up at the crucifix as another lightning strike lit the night, and in the electric light all she saw was a silver spike on a bloody cross. The body of Christ was gone.  For split-second there was a dark dead calm.  Then the rain came down horizontally and ripped at her skin.  She didn’t leave that place until it became impossible to stay.  The wind seemed to push her back down the hill and so she went.

Lucilla returned to the temple in the same manner she left it, alone.  She was soaked to the bone and shivering from the cold, but when she learned that Judas had hanged himself she got even colder. She staggered now rather than truly walked. Spurio she thought  suddenly realizing that she hadn’t seen him all day.  Where would he be?  He wouldn’t be here in the temple.  So, she went to where she knew he might be.  There she found Peter and Paul and Mary Magdalene and others.  From their manner she could tell that something was dreadfully wrong.  After all that had occurred on this day Lucilla thought that she was emotionally broke, and could feel pain no more.  She was certain that she was cursed by Jesus, and in that certainty expected and demanded punishment.  But she never dreamed that Spurio would be taken from her and when she learned that he was a slave she discovered how badly she could truly hurt.
Lucilla was certain that she was cursed.  In her certainty she expected even demand punishment, but she never expected for Spurio to be taken from her.
At the same moment that Lucilla was looking up at an empty bloody cross, Spurio awoke gagging and coughing as the salt water went through his nose and down his throat.  He had been knocked unconscious three days prior, but the water woke him instantly to panic.  He found himself shackled to the bulkhead of a slave ship that was sinking.  Already his lungs were burning and his only thought was that, “I need to breathe”.  But then Spurio instantly remembered that, “I don’t need anything.  My body needs to breathe, but I need nothing.  Then he was at peace.  The burning in his lungs intensified as did the anguished screams of men afraid to die.  But Spurio was not afraid of anything realizing that he was not going to die, but rather had never been born at all.  It would have been that way except that Jesus came and told him, “Spurio I have been crucified. I have made it, but you have lessons to learn if you wish to make it this time.” “Jesus”, Spurio asked, “How did you get here”? And Jesus replied in a light tone that asked don’t you already know, “I walked”. Spurio smiled as his head dipped under the water for the last time.  Down there he remembered that all this was put there by his mind. All this could be removed by his mind.  So, it was.  Unconscious his head rose up and bobbled in the water against the bulkhead.  The storm still raged and waves continued to break over the deck, but somehow the sailors managed to keep the ship afloat until it subsided.  He took three more days for the ship to make Rome.  They were three horrific days of starvation, disease and constant threat of sinking again.  But Spurio knew of none of it, until he awoke in a rock quarry in Rome.
For most of Rome’s male slaves taken near and far, there are only two possibilities,  swift and certain death by attempted escape or a slow death by slave labor in the rock quarries. For Spurio there was a third.
But Lucilla was stunned when Jesus told her not to worry that he would never tell Spurio what she had done.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   end end Captured   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It was the same with her husband. The pangs of his separation interspersed with the horrors of his crucifixion. Her mind tortured her bouncing from one inconceivable thought to the other. She could hardly conceive that there would be an even more unthinkable idea that she could not not think about.
But not now, now she was just too weak.  Now desired and dreaded to be alone.  Or maybe she thought, “I’d be better dead.”
When Lucilla woke up first thing she sought out was the ludus to see her husband.  That little urgent of a man Vettius had promised that they could be together, if Spurio won.  What he really meant, was if Spurio lived.  She had not seen in that light until just now, its impact was just making itself felt.  The impact of just what a gladiator was, the violence and carnage was beyond that which she could comprehend.  Jesus’ tiny, mad idea was insignificant to the insanity which her husband was condemned.  The insanity Jesus condemned him to, that she condemned them to.
She hadn’t seen her husband since, since he had forsaken her for Jesus. It had been since the night before that that they’d last made love
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% The Quarry%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
To the workers concentrated there the quarries were a place of desperation, a hopeless pit in which none could emerge.  The feeble and the old broke soon.  The young and mighty took longer, providing more labor for the Romans.  But starved and worked to death no one left the quarries, sooner or later they or their bodies all broke. For eleven months Spurio watched his body wintering. When he was arrested with Jesus, he was powerful and stocky, now he was tall skinny and starving. Spurio knew that the end for his body lay at the bottom of this pit, and he knew it would be soon. But Spurio also knew that he was not a body.  That awareness made the destruction of his body acceptable. Spurio put his head down, nearly naked and completely exhausted, wondering, wondering how many more months, two or maybe three. He knew that he would be dead by now, had they not doubled the rations the past few days and he casually wondered why.  He had no idea that the following morning he would find out.
The next morning there was a buzz in the camp. Today a Lanista would visit in search of gladiatorial talent.  To some men it meant a way out, most simply meant a better way out, to all many things better than this.  To all save Spurio. His body, though far from frail had been greatly emaciated.  He doubted that any Lanista would choose him.
When the Lanista did arrive, all the men stood eagerly in line, while those with the strength, hoped. But the Lanista went up the line in front, and down the line behind, selecting no one.  It was like he wasn’t really even looking, no one caught his eye.  But one man intended to make him look.
Spurio was watching the Lanista leave, when he shockingly felt his head snapped back so far all he could see was blue sky as a charging bull slammed into him from behind. When he hit the ground his face was in the sand, but he had no idea what was happening.
He was able to get his arms up underneath him, and with dirt dripping off his face roll over to see Vibius raining down punches on his face.  This was odd indeed. Vibius was the only man in camp nearly as large as he, they had never spoken, and every man in camp was worked too hard to engage in extraneous violence, until now.
Spurio bucked his hips wildly throwing Vibius forward, forcing his hands on the ground to keep himself righted. That allowed him to wiggle free, and get to his feet. Vibius stood and charged instantly, clenched tight fists at the end of windmilling arms, but seemingly made Vibius is dangerous to himself as anyone else. Spurio was able to duck under the first salvo, but he did so with his eyes closed.  He could not react to Vibius second attack.  Initially standing on his feet seemed to be the correct strategy, but when Vibius granite fists dug into his ribs Spurio rethought the ground strategy. So, Spurio wrapped his still massive arms around Vibius body, arms and all, and gave a mighty hug.  It broke Vibius like a huge oak, and as he grunted they both crashed to the ground.  And here they were again, but this time Spurio on top.  He had an intuitive sense that it was the superior position, but no idea how to take advantage of it, and Vibius was wiggling free. Reflexively Spurio pinned the other man’s alarms under his knees, and then with his left hand he turned the the other man’s head so that the right side of his face was pressed hard into the sand. This was well and good but control was tenuous so, with a sense of urgency Spurio drew back his huge left fist and prepared to drive it home, but someone pulled him from the elbow behind.  It was the Lanista, he had decided to take a look after all.
Spurio rode in the rear of the cart with his hands hugging his knees, Vibius, sat front diagonally across, with his legs outstretched, suffering from cramps. The two men were not allowed to speak so Vibius glanced askance at Spurio for any clues, but Spurio was deep in consideration of what had just happened.  He had of course perceived Vibius’s motives, but what he contemplated now was his own.  The attack was a complete surprise. He had defended himself reflexively and instinctually, the suddenness and ferocity of the attack left him no time to think. His body had taken over.  But now he was at peace, he judged neither the attack nor the attacker.  In fact he had forgiven it without judgment. In fact, in this moment riding in the back of an ox drawn cart with the man he had just fought, he was as indifferent to everything in the past as he was to what could be in the future, as indifferent to his own well being it the fight as he was toward, gaining his freedom in the gladiatorial arena, or dying in the rock quarry. Spurio did what he always done, the only thing he could do, forgive.
The two didn’t speak until they stopped at a riverside, and Spurio assured him that all was well. Both men were too parched to urinate, but Vibius condition improved soon after he drank.  Spurio was not thirsty, he was aware  however that his body was so, he drank until it had enough.
***************************************The Ludus*************************************
she had made it alone, but without him she never could’ve made it.%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%[9:50:49 AM] ROBERTA: those are there in a battle of dark forces and light forces to keep the world of duality going
[9:51:06 AM] ROBERTA: the results of their battle is the shift in magnetismwell, that’s part of it – I think the elite you’re talking about is the puppet elites – they’re just puppets anyway
[9:49:56 AM] ROBERTA: global warming is occurring, but not because of the atmosphere, because of the inside of the earth
[9:50:16 AM] ROBERTA: so what counts is not the elites that you know about, but the elites that run the world
[9:50:49 AM] ROBERTA: those are there in a battle of dark forces and light forces to keep the world of duality going
[9:51:06 AM] ROBERTA: the results of their battle is the shift in magnetism
[9:52:13 AM] ROBERTA: they need to use the collective consciuosness anyway to run their light and dark worlds, otherwise they can’t do anything
[9:52:44 AM] ROBERTA: so they use your silly puppet elites to influence the collective consciuosness by creating fear
[9:53:36 AM] ROBERTA: they use this fear to build the illusory planet we live in and everything else in the universe (big bang universe)

there is no past