III. Vittoria

Illusionary joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.

But at the cost of the lives of how many? At what cost to science? To see these illusions, a mockery of the church's doctrine… to reveal the truth would cripple the church. The faith would be forever gone. What the hell was that bastard thinking?

I don't care what he was thinking. My father was murdered by his hand.

The harmless, innocent cardinals, all tortured and maimed. They, the pure in a cruel and malicious world, must be the virgin sacrifices. There is no justice.

If there is a God, I will never come to understand his ways. There are some things that mathematics and machines will never decipher. Unconscious machines, unable to decipher consciousness—sure, images of electric impulses within a brain, but to understand the substance of the thought? Until a ghost inhabits the shell of a machine there will be no definite proof of anything, and that ghost would be just as lost as any soul.

Feeling is the only validation of some things. But this is madness.

Max, why could you not come to understand that there are some things you cannot prove with concrete methods? Is your mind so closed and mundane to reject the esoteric?

I mourn your death now. Oh, poor, foolish Max, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. You, indulging in the emotions that you so condemn as myth, you having a sense of justice, something foolish and irrational—in the end you died as human as any of us. I think you know this. You must have understood.

Ventresca…  you bastard. I loathe you and yet I pity you. Pointless feelings of loss, vendetta, hatred—yes, you stole my father from me—but you meant well. I still cannot bring myself to forgive you.

In that, God is far stronger than I. Let him be the one to bestow forgiveness.

Seeking the same goal as my father, to get closer to god, to understand—and when he approaches the truth you murder him. You fool. You truly are a fool.

Fools change the world, for they know not what is impossible.

Can you not see that 'God' exists in all things? 'God' doesn't have to be your image of an old man throwing souls into hell, as I told you before you took your own life. The spirit, perhaps the source of consciousness itself, the miracle—what if it is some omnipotent being, the very thread that binds particles? Something that is larger than all of us, what connects us? Are you only secure so long as 'God' is your Church's idea of a God, and to hell with all else?

Only fools close their eyes to what is in front of them. Max, Ventresca, you are both guilty. You are both fools.

I think that 'God' is merely that—consciousness, the common thread that binds. Cardinal in quantum theory, the very evidence of which manifests daily, overloading and confusing the very most advanced of equipment. Only the human mind can comprehend the meaning. It is self evident. All things are self-evident.

Science will be overthrown by pure reason.

If there is a 'God' as the church perceives him, I do not know why he turned his back on a brilliant man whose gifts were entirely spent on glorification of the spirit.

Father…

Father, you would tell me to have faith. You would show me a brilliant bridge between our concrete realities and the divine. You would further close the gap between reason and feeling, to become one—'heart and mind'—as already occurs in many languages. Yes, in Japanese 'kokoro' means both the heart and the mind.

Humans are innately aware that both are interconnected. It is western arrogance and blindness that has lead humans to separate them and create war between their advocates.

Father, you understood that 'God' is in all things. Then why were you faithful to a religion that advocated only blind faith to one interpretation, rationalized only by storybooks?

I will never understand the universe. That truly takes a power far greater than us.

Perhaps that is the origin of religion. The search for answers, a frantic need for understanding, the wish that there is an omnipotent consciousness that understands existence.

Humans empathize because they feel the void in the soul that comes from separation from the full sphere of consciousness. There is interconnection. This cannot be proven, but I know it is true.

I think, therefore I am. Of nothing else I am certain.

Descartes, haunting me once again. I am busy with another man right now. He is still sleeping, exhausted from a great deal of demanding activities. Sins of the flesh, the desperate act of loneliness, the merger of souls through a bridge of matter. Connected matter, connected impulses, the soul being connected without this act—and yet, so primal. That's all it's good for. It's primal and desperate.

Robert, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for dragging you this far, but for what selfish desire I have, I am glad that I was able to meet you, if only for a short while.

I do not know how long we will be together, but we both know that it won't be forever. The brightest-burning candle extinguishes the quickest. When smoke is all that remains the memory of the steam will forever grace our hearts.

Urgh, corny. Cursed be these feminine hormones. Virgin, were you? You're a bit old to be a virgin, Robert, darling. Ah, I'm laughing. Dammit. Don't wake up. I don't want to have to explain myself. How such a brilliant man as yourself could not have women lining up at your bedside makes little sense to me.

Ah, yes, but I am one of the rare few attracted to the mind, not the size of anything… physical. The world is crazy.

The dichotomy between mind and heart is an illusion, for why else would I feel attraction to you? I admired Kohler and felt no lust for him, I could draw clear distinction between the sort of love I feel for my father and the sort of love I feel for you—ah, the mind's discourse. Rambling nonsense.

Closer to god in a moment of clarity.

God, a being about which illusions are painted to simplify its existence, an allegory for something on high painted in frescos and Bibles. The allegory is a tool of manipulation. Let the people fear illusions about something they feel to be confirmed in its most basic faculty—that it exists.

That there is something beyond ourselves. That something is ourselves.

God is in everything. Humans war over how its allegory is painted on concrete mediums. War on how it must be represented. War on how to dumb it down.

Humans are morons. Yet, I still have hope for the human race.

Sin—to the church, this is sin. Succumbing to feelings, to revel in emotions. Feelings are sin, to regard divine anything that is not sterile and confirming of doctrine is sin. To reason, to question divinity in a deity not in their image…

To attempt to merge science in religion, a marriage that would defame the power of the church as ultimate authority? Is wrecking insecurity on the church sin?

If this is sin, let me fall into hell with the sinners. Heaven would be an alternate hell.