The sage did something no one had done before.  He reached the goal the alchemists and the ascetics and the meditants and the mystics had all strived for, each in their own way, all unsuccessfully.  He experienced the Overchange.

He had the strictest of diets and physical regimes, from which he never wavered.  He meditated constantly.  His mind roamed the mysteries.  He took potions of his own devising.

And because he was more exacting, more rigorous, more relentless, keener, than any had ever been before, he experienced the Overchange.

His body became more than mortal.  He could do feats.  He glowed with health.  Because with great care he was able to decay out of the Overchange only very slowly, most thought he would live for hundreds of years.  His mind knew things no mortal mind had ever known.

All men bowed before him.


One night he had a dream.

Image result for sagebrush

He dreamed that he was in a dry plain dotted with sagebrush.  He alone, of all the brush, had painstaking inch by inch grown taller and thicker and made himself into a tree.  All the sagebrush bowed before him.

But in a certain place a spring bubbled up, and beside it in one day grew a mighty cottonwood.  He bowed before the cottonwood.

The next day, he strove in his more-than-mortal mind and ascertained who the man that was the cottonwood was, and where he was.  The sage went looking for him.  He turned down an alley and saw a derelict crouched at the end, weeping.  With a sudden rush of will the derelict looked up to heaven and cried that he was ready to make any and all changes in his life, even unto the Overchange.  In that instant the Overchange came upon him.   Gone was the derelict.  Gone was the human wreck.  There in the shabby clothes of a drunk stood a human god.  He had the strength of ten men.  His body as it was then would not suffer nor die.  His mind unraveled great mysteries.  His glance was so strong that no man could meet his eyes.

The sage bowed to him.  All men bowed to him.  True, without the training and preparations the sage had gone through, it seemed like his Overchange would decay faster.  But the former derelict had risen higher than the sage and had done so in one glorious instant.  Even the sage acknowledged he was greater.


One morning the sage came to the former derelict and said, “I had a dream.”

“Yes,” said the former derelict, “I did too.  We dreamed of a dry plain covered in sagebrush.  You grew painstaking inch by inch until you became a tree and all bowed to you.  Then at the cry of a poor derelict heaven smote a rock and brought forth a small spring, and that same day a mighty cottonwood grew, and you bowed to me.  That was the first part of the dream.”

“Yes,” said the sage, who did not marvel that the former derelict knew all these things, so great was his mind.

“Then,” said the former derelict, “a new plant came to the plain.  A little bunch of grass grew by my spring.  It grew to a moderate height, seeded, and died.  Its seeds spread throughout the plain and over time they seemed to build the soil and retain the rain and plain became less dry.”

“Yes,” said the sage, “but then the first bunch of grass regrew.”

“So it was,” said the former derelict.  “It regrew in a larger and sturdier form, almost like unto a bush.  And it seeded and died and its seeds spread throughout the plain.  They gave shelter to the grass and reduced erosion even more and the plain grew even greener.”

“And then it grew again,” said the former derelict, “and seeded again, and died again.  Each time it grew more glorious and each time the plain grew greener and fuller.  Until in the fulness of time our dry plain was become a towering forest of redwood, and the biggest redwood of all had at its base a tiny little spring, and a dwarfed cottonwood, and nearby a small-seeming sagebrush tree, which two trees bowed before it.”

“And then,” said the sage.

“And then,” said the derelict, “the redwood died, and what grew up next our eyes could not behold neither could our minds comprehend.”


The two Overchanged went to the man who was the small bunch of grass in their dream.  They found him washing his truck with his son.  His son had just bumped into a bucket of soap, splashing it out.  The father opened  his mouth to rebuke, stopped himself, and looked up to heaven.  No words were spoken.  But . . . something. . . happened to him.  It was not the Overchange as the sage and the former derelict knew it.  It was very small.  In the instant of change the father stood perhaps a little straighter and glowed just a little bit brighter.  The changes were small enough that only men with more-than-mortal perception like the sage and the former derelict could have seen it.  The father’s mind still seemed to be unchanged and open to them.  But yet . . . there was something, some hidden little thing, that was now opaque about it.

The former derelict approached him.  “Sir,” he said hesitantly.  “Could it be . . . have you . . . is that the Overchange?”  The father laughed with great happiness.  “Not THE Overchange,” he said.  “AN Overchange!”

The next month, in different circumstances, the father made another appeal to heaven and had the same small effect.  The month after that likewise.  The next little Overchanges were in fortnights.  Then in weeks.  Then in days.  People he knew started to experience them also, very slowly.  Then the father’s came in hours.  Faster and faster.  He was like a flicker.  He shone so bright no man could look at him.

Continue reading at the original source →