During the following days, life for me more or less returned to normal, although my carnal relations with Susan were somewhat less pleasurable than before.  She suspected little from my London trip, and, for good reason, I pretended that nothing untoward had happened during my temporary absence from home.  I gleaned, however, that she was intending to visit the good doctor soon in order to have a pregnancy test, and did my best not to betray any suspicions concerning the likelihood of Richardson being directly responsible, later if not now, for any pregnancy which might arise.  No doubt, her conscience had been troubling her to some extent, and this was but a concessionary manoeuvre, on her part, to allay it where I was concerned.  A surprise really, for I made no reciprocal gesture as regards Philomena.  All I said was that business in the metropolis had worked out quite smoothly, which wasn't altogether untrue.  I could only wonder, however, what sort of pregnancy test Dr Richardson would give her, when she eventually got round to visiting his surgery!

     But I had other things on my mind now, and they included my work for Shead and Lyttleton in painting the mechanical copulator from a variety of angles over the coming weeks.  Susan, of course, knew more about this machine than she was prepared to admit, but I was obliged, all the same, to explain it to her and thereby satisfy her ostensible curiosity.  Whether she would be profiting from this further absence from home each day which my work with the machine entailed, I didn't know.  Nor, in a sense, did I really care, since what Dr Richardson got up to with my wife was his own affair, or ought to be, and not something about which I need cause myself unnecessary angst.  I would have enough trouble, over the next few days, concocting a plausible excuse for going down to London again, when, in reality, I would be meeting Philomena in Cambridge, where she would have driven from London with intent to drive me across to her Gloucestershire property, in order that I could look it over and decide whether or not I wanted to live there.  This much I have understood from a new letter from Philomena, which, naturally enough, I treated with the utmost confidentiality.  She has suggested we make the trip a couple of weeks from now, which doesn't really give me that much time in which to manoeuvre, and seems rather too close to my last business engagement for comfort.  But I guess I had better go along with her suggestion, since I secretly relish the prospect of seeing her again, not to mention getting away from my wife.  Fortunately, I never allow Susan to go through my mail, which, considering the bulk of it, she would have a tough enough job doing anyway, so there should be no difficulty in replying to Philomena in order to finalize things.  No difficulty in replying to her anyway, since she didn't allude to my premature departure from London last week, which I can only put down to consummate tact on her part.  Perhaps she prefers not to jeopardize her prospects of success by dragging Rachel into it?  After all, I would almost certainly refuse her invitation, if I knew for sure that Rachel was going to be present somewhere along the line as well.  Basta!  Let's change the subject.

     The mechanical copulator is becoming paramount in my concerns.  I sit in front of it today with my painting equipment, which includes a small easel on which I have balanced, like a blackboard, my latest canvas, paid for, I should add, by the magnanimous pocket of Lyttleton, my bourgeois patron.  I sit in front of the machine, I say, and study it with due regard to its mechanical complexity, not the least eye-catching aspect of which is the smooth, regular functioning of the plastic phallus.  Were I a Balla, I would attempt to paint it in futuristic motion.  But as, by nature, I'm a classicist of abstract predilection, I can only produce a rather static impression which, to say the least, hardly does proper justice to the dynamics of the thing.  But even this motionless reproduction appears to suit Shead - provided, however, that I do full justice to the dimensions of the phallus, and even exaggerate them a little for the sake of artistic effect.  A little fanciful Expressionism isn't beyond plausibility here, and I get the impression, as I proceed with my task, that Shead doesn't mind whether I paint his brainchild blue, red, green, purple, or orange, so long as it looks sexually appetizing from a prospective client's point-of-view.  Neither does he seem to mind whether I paint the machine from above or from the side, so long as I emphasize its principal assets to telling effect.  I am beginning to like the work, although I must confess to finding it more difficult than my customary abstract creations.  Modern Realism has never exactly been my forte.  I would rather remain a non-figurative idealist any day!

     From time to time Shead comes up from his workshop downstairs to see how I am faring and have a little informal conversation with me.  He is apparently working on another invention right now, which he teasingly and rather coyly describes as complementary to this one, but he still finds time to admire his old handiwork and even to question me about my own.  Dunne I see less of, but that suits me fine, since I know him well enough by now and have already given him a verbal introduction to my theories, both aesthetic and otherwise.  Lyttleton keeps to his factory, where he evidently has his hands full converting the existing vibrator-producing machinery into the necessary productive constituents for a device like this.  He is hardly one to be envied, however, and neither, for that matter, is Shead, who knows next-to-nothing about higher thought, and whose concept of the novel is woefully obsolete.  He is even prepared to consider Camus a major novelist, the dolt, and this despite the fact that only one of that dilettante's handful of novels is longer than 150 pages!  Not surprisingly, his opinion of Sartre is less than flattering.  Doesn't even consider Nausea a novel, since it made him puke the first time he attempted reading it, back in his undergraduate days.  I shudder to think what his opinion of some of my literary works would be!

     But I don't mind discussing aspects of my work, both literary and painterly, with him, particularly as, like all blockheads, he is a relatively good listener.  The subject of God isn't one that he, like most Englishmen, has any constructive ideas about, but, despite his obvious embarrassment whenever I broach it, he appears to take a kind of perverse interest in listening to what I have to say - more out of politeness, I shouldn't wonder, than anything else.  It's as though my revelations are secretly shocking to him, a tree of forbidden knowledge which an Englishman, with his allegiance to the reigning monarch in a state-hegemonic system, should beware of sampling, lest he ends up a subversive malcontent in the company of people like me.  Take this afternoon, for instance.  We had been discussing painterly technique with regard to the advantages of acrylic over oil, when, like a born-again schizophrenic, he suddenly switches the conversation to theology and asks me, point-blank, whether I believed in God, and this after I had already told him, a couple of days ago, that I most certainly don't.

     "No," I reply, "since, for me, God is in the making, not an already-existent fact."

     "But surely the Creator exists?" he retorts, shaping to start a spiritual battle.

     "Oh yes," I half-lyingly concede, not taking my eyes from the canvas on which I am applying a large dollop of blue paint to the over-large phallus I sketched-in this morning.  "But, you see, the Creator and the Holy Spirit are diametrically antithetical, and consequently appertain to the beginning and end of time.  We start out with the Creator and we end-up with God ... conceived as transcendent spirit.... No, forgive me, I'm lying.  We start out with the Big Bang which sent billions of stars flying out in every direction from the one giant star at the root of the Galaxy - as, indeed, of every galaxy - and slowly progress towards the universal establishment of God as pure spirit."

     Shead looks puzzled and scratches his balding head in a confirmatory gesture of the fact.  He has drawn up a seat beside me and sits himself down on it, with obvious intent to get to the bottom of the mystery.  "What's the difference between the Big Bang and the Creator?" he wants to know in an almost insolently sceptical tone-of-voice.

     "The difference between objective reality conceived externally and subjective ideality derived from that reality but conceived internally," I blandly reply.  "The Big Bang, which must have occurred literally millions of times throughout the Universe, gave rise to the Galaxy, in which there's a large governing star and millions of smaller revolving stars, such as the sun."

     "I agree," he says, with rational relish.

     "Well," I say, "that governing star is precisely what it is, whereas the Creator is an abstraction from it and only pertains to the subconscious mind, from which we, at a higher stage of our evolution, are slowly evolving away, in the process of expanding the superconscious part of our psyche.  Consequently, although the Creator was a psychic reality for people at a lower stage of evolution, it cannot be so for those like myself who, in this day and age, are too superconsciously evolved, as it were, to be much under the sway of subconscious conditioning.  Thus I regard the Creator as an idealistic content - or archetype, to coin a Jungian term - of the subconscious mind which, because of psychic progress, no longer exists as a reality for me."

     "Hence your atheism?" Shead responds.

     "To an extent," I concede, "although that would be only a negative atheism and I'm essentially a positive atheist, as I shall attempt to explain in a minute.  The probability, however, that the Creator is an abstraction from the central star of the Galaxy ... cannot easily be refuted, even if it can be proved, as I'm sure it can, that those who so abstracted this deity, formerly in the guise of Jehovah, had no inkling of the existence of such a star.  For by contending that someone or something created the sun, as well as this and other such planets, one would be referring back, willy-nilly, to the big star from which, with the initial explosion of gases, all or most of the smaller ones may be presumed to have emerged."  I pause for breath, waiting for the probable intrusion of Shead's objections to my thesis, but when it doesn't come, continue, still painting: "Now to abstract the Creator from the governing star of the Galaxy is to abstract from the largest and most powerful star there, which lords it over all the weaker ones.  Thus the Creator really corresponds to an arch-devil, being more powerful even than the petty devil which was abstracted from the sun and which exists as a theological opponent, in the guise of Satan, to the Jehovahesque Creator."

     "The Fall of Lucifer," Shead pedantically remarks, and I nod my head, pleased to find that he can connect the emergence of our sun from the giant one at the centre of the Galaxy with the fall of Lucifer and his angels - other smaller stars - from Heaven, as it is somewhat euphemistically called in Old Testament scripture.  "And yet why, if the Creator is or, rather, was really equivalent to an arch-devil, did people persist in regarding Him as God?" asks Shead, not altogether unreasonably in the circumstances.

     "Primarily because, during the lower stages of evolution, it isn't love and peace which people tend to equate with the concept of God, but force and power, so that God becomes a term covering what a more enlightened mind would regard as a sort of arch-devil.  And, knowing this, such a mind won't admit this Creator-God is deserving of recognition as a Supreme Being, much less as supreme being, even if He's patently a Primal Being, given to primal doing, so to speak, but will contend, instead, that the Supreme Being, given, by contrast, to a condition of supreme being in blissful pure spirit, has yet to be created or, more correctly, attained to in the Universe, so that God in any ultimate, superior sense doesn't yet exist."

     "Then what does?" asks Shead, with a worried look on his face.

     "The stars and planets for one thing," I reply, still painting the artificial phallus for Lyttleton's commercial benefit, "and an evolutionary struggle taking place on life-sustaining planets, like the earth, to progress towards this condition of spiritual supremacy in a future Beyond, set in space.  The Creator and the Devil are abstractions from cosmic phenomena and, consequently, they don't exist as realities but only as idealistic contents of the subconscious mind, which, as I said, is slowly being outgrown.  So one's atheism is partly a response to the outgrowing of subconscious idealism and partly a response to the knowledge that, properly so-considered, God doesn't yet exist in the Universe.  We, for one, haven't put Him or, rather, it there, and neither, so far as I'm aware, has anyone else - from whichever hypothetical life-sustaining planet elsewhere in the Universe.  Indeed, even if another people, so to speak, had already evolved to the millennial stage of post-human evolution, and were accordingly on the point of attaining to transcendence, the pure spirit that emerged from them wouldn't be God, but merely a spiritual globe en route to definitive unity.  Which is to say, one of potentially millions of similar globes which would have to merge into one another, through a process of heavenly convergence, in order to establish an ultimate spiritual globe, the sum-product of all convergences from whichever part of the Universe, before God, as complete antithesis to the diabolic inception of evolution in the stars, would actually exist as such.  What began in a fall from the Manifold must culminate in a rise towards the One - that's the infallible logic of evolution!"

     "Phew, this is becoming rather complicated!" Shead confesses, and I can see that his poor Englishman's head is unaccustomed to flying at this philosophical height.  Nevertheless, being something of a masochist, he persists in questioning me about the presumed emergence in the Universe at some future time of transcendent spirit, which he assumes, in rather Huxleyian vein, will emerge from man.  Once again, I have to disappoint him, so in a rather petulant manner he then asks me: "Then from whom or what will it emerge?"

     "From the Superbeings at the climax to the upper phase of the post-human millennium," I reply, and continue with the application of blue paint to my canvas.  "The Superbeings being the new-brain successors of the Supermen, and constituting the highest possible life form prior to transcendence."

     "And what, exactly, are the Supermen?" he wants to know, puzzled anew.

     "Human brains artificially supported and sustained in collectivized contexts," I tell him, although I'm tired of repeating myself to different people on this subject, and am no longer capable, in consequence, of taking any great pride in my knowledge.  "The Supermen would constitute a life form superior to men, whereas the Superbeings, who would be even more collectivized and entirely free from subconscious influence, would, in due course, constitute a life form superior to them - a life form diametrically antithetical to trees, whose myriad sensual leaves are supported and sustained by natural means.  It's only then, with the development of the superbeingful stage of evolution, so to speak, that the world would be at its closest approximation to the transcendent Beyond.  For the post-visionary consciousness of the Superbeings would indeed be similar, albeit weaker, to the transcendent consciousness of the Spiritual Globes, which should emerge from these new-brain collectivizations at the culmination-point, as it were, of their Transcendental Meditation."

     Shead was staring at me open-mouthed, as though I was a lunatic, and, to be sure, I could only regret having embarked upon such a futuristic exposition in the first place.  As usual, I had to face the Nietzschean fact that I was 'not the mouth for those ears', since the process of attempting to explain the Millennium in post-human terms to people like Shead ... was equivalent to casting pearls before swine - bourgeois swine who were limited in their concept of or willingness to accept higher degrees of truth.  Hence the fact that I had an immense backlog of unpublished typescripts.  For the truth would never emerge from the tail-end, as it were, of humanistic civilization, least of all one rooted in power, but had to be reserved for a country capable, with the requisite prompting, of building towards a transcendental civilization as a matter of historical necessity.  Such a country, as I well knew, wasn't Britain, with its brutish traditions!  However, for all his reservations, Shead was at least making an attempt to fathom the implications of what I had just said, even though they contradicted his belief that man could literally attain to God.  "So man is but a link in an evolutionary chain which stretches from the stars to the ultimate oneness of definitive divinity?" he at length remarks, his tone-of-voice betraying some considerable disappointment in the fact.

     "That is approximately correct," I say.  "And the most that man can do is to evolve towards the post-human millennium on the sure foundations of a transcendental civilization - the ultimate civilization, which will supersede the moribund Christian one.  As men, we can never cultivate spirit to any radical extent, since we have too many sensual obligations to honour in respect of our bodies.  But the Supermen of the first stage of the post-human millennium will be in a better position to expand spirit than ourselves, since their brains would be artificially supported and sustained.  They'll exist in an evolutionary context antithetical to apes, man's ancestral forerunners, and will spend much of their time experiencing upward self-transcending visionary spirituality ... as encouraged by synthetic hallucinogens.  But with the advent of the next evolutionary leap, brought about by the technocratic leadership's development of an even more advanced technology, the Superbeings engineered out of them will emerge as participants in spiritual communism, the true communism, or, better, communalism, of the post-human millennium - antithetical, in every sense, to the sensual communism of the plants, with especial reference to trees."

     Shead looks dumbfounded.  "You mean to tell me that the Millennium, as you conceive it, will be a religious and not a political phenomenon?" he stammers, aghast.

     "Absolutely," I reply, briefly mixing some fresh paint for my aesthetic masterpiece.  "That religious context is the maximizing of spiritual expansion, through hypermeditation, in a phase of evolutionary progress leading to transcendence, and so to the attainment, by the Superbeings, of Spiritual Globes, which will converge, in due course, to the Omega Point - the ultimate Spiritual Globe.  Unless one has a transcendent dimension to one's thinking, one doesn't understand the Millennium.  And neither, needless to say, does one understand communism.  With a purely Marxist or, more correctly, Marxist-Leninist slant, one will simply project materialist values onto the Millennium and thereby distort one's conception of it from the truth of spiritual expansion, which, in any case, will remain unknown to one.  One will look upon the Millennium as a kind of equalitarian consumer society, in which people live in a glorified 'Land of Cockayne'.  But that would be well short of the truth of spiritual expansion, and it's my intention, as an intellectual leader, to make sure that such truth at least takes root in one country, over the coming decades, so that it will be protected from reactionary conservatism and eventually spread farther afield, establishing, in due course of time, a transcendental civilization."

     "Hmm, very interesting!" Shead concedes, nodding thoughtfully.  "And also very puzzling and thought-provoking at the same time!"  He draws-in a deep breath and reflects on his puzzlement awhile, thereby allowing me to continue with my painting in peace.  I had more or less completed the phallus by now and was about to apply some red to the seat of the contraption, which I hoped would appear convincingly comfortable, not to say comfortably convincing.  I knew Shead would have some loose ends in his materialistic head from the intellectual sketch I had just given him concerning the nature of ultimate divinity and the path of human destiny, but I could hardly be expected to fill-in all the details at one sitting, so to speak.  If he wanted to study the matter in greater detail, he would have to consult my unpublished typescript, 'The Unadulterated Truth', which was much more thorough than ever an ad hoc verbal explanation could hope to be.  But he would at least now possess an outline of the truth of evolution, as I conceived of it, and could therefore consider himself relatively privileged.  Not many people acquired such an outline from my lips - least of all if English!"

     Having scratched his head for I knew not what reason, Shead then asks: "How long do you expect this transcendental civilization to last?"

     "Possibly 2-3 centuries," I say, having already rehearsed the part in my imagination.  "Beginning in one country and spreading throughout the world, a civilization in which people come together to meditate rather than to pray.  It will lead directly to the post-human millennium."

     "And so to the triumph of the visionary supermen?" Shead suggests, as he leans back in his chair.

     "Yes, as a precondition of the hypermeditation of the Superbeings in the second phase of the millennium in question, the ultimate earthly spirituality prior to transcendence - the necessary prelude, in a word, to the spiritual bliss of the heavenly Beyond."

     "Amazing the way you've worked all this out by yourself," Shead concludes, chuckling deferentially.

     I blush at his flattery, but make no comment, preferring to mix some fresh paint on my rather stale palette.  Shead isn't the first person to tell me this, and I doubt that he'll be the last either.  But if I seem, at present, to have overcome his scepticism, I shouldn't forget that, as an Englishman, his aren't really the ears for my mouth.  I would do better to impart the Truth to someone who was in a position to really profit from it, to set about its consolidation in his own country.  I long for the time when I can return to Ireland, a potential saviour of my country.  Yet everything must await its appointed hour, even given the unsatisfactory nature, from a revolutionary standpoint, of the quasi-bourgeois lifestyle circumstances are now obliging me to lead in Norwich.  Perhaps if I move-in with Philomena I shall feel less frustrated, in the months ahead, about the playing-for-time which both international and personal factors force upon me?  I cannot reveal myself to my chosen people prematurely, but neither need I expect an indefinite wait, and Philomena's company should at least stimulate me and prepare me for my inevitable return to full mental health in the not-too-distant future.  Still, I'm fairly resigned, despite the inconvenience, to continuing in my painterly tracks a while longer.  I'm not, by nature, a one-track mind.  Rather, I see myself as an eclectic, changing from profession to profession as I evolve, building bridges from one vocation to another in a kind of collective or universal spirit not too dissimilar from the ideal propounded by Aldous Huxley in respect of the need to integrate education.

     Yes, I always used to write eclectically, touching upon a variety of subjects from religion to politics, science to art, and sex to sociology.  Then, partly through force of circumstances, I became a painter and photographer, again with intent to embracing diverse subject-matter.  If in the future I become a politician, I will likewise concern myself with a variety of issues, partly in response, no doubt, to my temperament.  Whether I shall thereafter become something else, say a guru or a world teacher, remains to be seen.  But I needn't consider this eclecticism a misfortune.  On the contrary, it's essential to the age, particularly to a post-humanistic age, in which separative barriers should be broken down as people build professional bridges to one another in pursuance of a variety of integrated vocations.

     The old rigid compartmentalization of disciplines and vocations is increasingly becoming a thing of the past, reflecting a diabolic inclination incompatible with transcendental criteria.  For what began in the Manifold must culminate in the One, in response to a convergence of spirit towards the Omega Point.  Doubtless Shead was puzzled by my contention that the Universe didn't begin with a single Big Bang but with many Big Bangs, each one forming the rudiments of a separate galaxy, since his stance would seem to be uncritically drawn from monotheistic tradition.  But, then again, what pertains to the Diabolic Alpha cannot issue from omega-oriented criteria or behave in a divine way, even though divinizing the diabolic, or omegarizing the Alpha, so to speak, is a virtual precondition of completely breaking with it, in a transcendental age.  We, in the West, like to pretend otherwise these days, but that is only because our superconsciously-biased psyches prefer to be flattered with mystical illusions.  Hence our preference for Einstein over Newton - a preference which, traditionally, has not been shared in the Marxist-Leninist East, where pseudo-Newtonian notions of force and mass were apt to prevail, in deference to scientific objectivity.  There, in accordance with scientific communism, it was, and in some countries continues to be, the primal reality of cosmic naturalism that was acknowledged, not the ultimate reality of superconscious idealism.  I, however, do recognize such a reality, and it is my hope that my fellow countrymen will duly come to recognize it in preference to subconscious naturalism.  Then they will have no need of religious fundamentalism, which keeps so many of them grovelling, in humiliating subjection, before the diabolic archetypes of the subconscious mind - victims of a rural past!

     Such archetypes must be superseded by a divine-oriented consciousness which recognizes only religious transcendentalism, in the truest sense of that term, and thus the truth of spiritual expansion in a world which is contracting materially, a world which is no longer taken at face-value but reinterpreted, in accordance with the dictates of scientific subjectivity, along quasi-mystical lines, including those relating to curved space.  The priests have every right, as men of religion, to fear Marxism-Leninism, with its scientific objectivity, but they would be hard-pressed to justify opposition to an ideology dedicated not to the reduction of life to the lowest-common-scientific denominator, but to the expansion of spirit towards a post-human millennium in an exclusively omega-oriented context of religious transcendentalism.  To oppose this is simply to oppose spiritual progress in the interests, presumably, of personal privilege and power - in short, to be on the wrong side of history.  Rest assured that a spiritual liberator would not be merciful towards alpha-stemming anachronisms!  Such a liberator, scorning humanistic criteria, would be the true saviour of his country, the figure chosen by destiny to divide the chaff from the wheat, as he proceeds with the establishment of his kingdom on earth - the 'Kingdom of (omega) Heaven'.

     I cease pondering these invigorating thoughts and glance up from my canvas, anxious to verify that I'm still doing aesthetic justice to the penetrative aspect of Shead's mechanical copulator.  The red I have used on the pictorial seat, on the other hand, is slightly brighter than the actual plastic of the seat itself but, in a way, that is aesthetically advantageous, since it shows off both the seat and the artificial phallus to good effect.  I wonder to myself what Philomena would make of the machine if she saw it, which of course she hasn't.... Although I did briefly refer to it during the latter stages of our conversation the other week, at a time when only natural sex seemed to interest her.  The prospect of sitting astride Shead's contraption with the biggest possible plastic phallus thrusting backwards and forwards inside her sex would be bound to intrigue her, considering that she is no idiot but a highly intelligent young woman for whom artificial criteria would less constitute a blasphemy or perversion than ... suggest the exhilarating possibility of liberation, if only temporarily, from the tyranny of natural determinism.  For Philomena excels most women in the degree to which free will predominates over natural determinism, being something of a major artist in her own right.  She would be perfectly capable of asking me to bugger her for a change - quite unlike Rachel, who was - and probably still is - too bourgeois, at heart, to be greatly taken by anti-natural and/or transcendental options - like, I should add, my intensely suburban wife.  A bourgeois, it goes without saying, lives too close to nature to be capable of overcoming or subverting it to any radical extent.  I understand why they oppose transcendental criteria, but that doesn't mean to say I need sympathize with them.  Evolution has scant regard for those who are simply the victims, and hence mouthpieces, of a naturalistic environment.  It is a struggle, after all, from nature to supernature.  The latter bias will prevail in the end!

     I look up from my painting and turn to face Shead, as if to reassure him that I haven't forgotten about his presence here.  But, to my baffled surprise, I find his chair empty and no sign of him anywhere.  He must have crept away whilst I was engrossed in thought, a moment ago, and returned to his workshop, the crafty old devil!  Just as well really, since his presence beside me was becoming tiresome.  Now I can really get on with my work in peace - without interrogative distractions.