The Questioners

By: Donna Lynn Matthews, December 1998

In the beginning there was darkness and void and loneliness, and the world was without form. And in the darkness dwelt many a frightened and solitary soul, for the closet can be a very dark and lonely place.

And it came to pass that many who dwelt in the darkness could endure it no longer, and they sought to escape from the void.

And they sought out those of whom they had heard only whispered stories, of Elders who had found the truth and the way out of the void. And the frightened set out on their quest, to find those that held the key to their happiness.

After much personal struggle, the frightened found the Elders and gazed upon then in awe and reverence. And with a chorus of voices, the elders said unto the frightened, "Why dost thou seek us out? What dost thou want of us?" And the frightened replied, "We seek key to happiness, to live and be as thou art." And the elders, mockingly, asked of the frightened "And art thou willing to sacrifice for this knowledge?" And the frightened replied, "Truly, for thou are the most blessed and revered of persons."

And the Elders said thusly "There is but one commandment thee need follow, and follow it thou shalt, lest thou be cast aside and plunged back into the void from whence thee came." And the frightened called out "Deliver us, oh Elders, from the darkness of the void, into the light that is the truth of thy word."

And after a time, the Elders said unto the frightened "Listen well to the Word of the Elders" and the frightened awaited the commandment and key to eternal happiness. "Thou shalt pass." Was the commandment of the Elders, and the frightened, upon hearing these words, knew a new fear, for the commandment given was one not to be taken lightly. And they opened their hearts and vowed to live thereby as did the Elders. And by this the Elders were pleased, for they knew that in these newly converted, the Word would live on forever and ever.

But not all of the frightened embraced the Word. Some were overcome as if by madness and plunged back into the void. Still others dared to question the Elders, asking of them "Is this truly the key to happiness?"

And the Elders grew impatient with those who would question the Word. "Thou hath sought the key to happiness which has been given unto thee. To do less than that which hath been commanded is an abomination and a denial of that which is most true in thine self."

But the questioners, scratching their heads, were confused by the words of the Elders. "Surely this can not be the key to happiness!" cried the Questioners; "That of which you speak is not that which is most true. It is a denial of that which truly speaks from within!" And the elders replied "If this be thy feeling, then thou are truly lost. And not again wilt thou call me Shirley."

But the Elders' words were heard not, for the Questioners had long since turned away from the false prophets and their empty words. And as they left, Questioners looked back and saw the false prophets as they truly were: men, not unlike themselves, surrounded by a familiar dark and swirling void, for the false prophets themselves had never left the darkness of the void.

And the Questioners smiled and continued on their journey, knowing that they would again encounter the false prophets many times. But unlike the false prophets, the Questioners had found the key to happiness: "Be not that which thou aren't."

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