It was first thing in the morning, and the staffroom was full. When Mr Whitcliffe walked in there was a sudden silence, followed by some hasty attempts to fill it. He noticed this, but had more important things on his mind.
‘Could I have your attention, please?’ he announced to the room at large, and a hush fell.
‘Yesterday I was summoned to see the Head about the Meditation Club.’
The teachers were aghast. To date, they had tried to keep from Mr Gladiolus anything that might disturb him or encourage him to make decisions, because he wasn’t any good at it. Most of the decisions he’d made so far had had to be reversed, at the cost of a great deal of trouble and paperwork – mostly for Mr Burke, but sometimes for them, too.
Which is why, for example, they had never allowed Mr Whitcliffe’s mental deterioration to come to his notice. Or their concerns about Rudi and the Meditation Club. But now, without warning, the Headmaster’s erratic mental powers were being brought to bear on Mr Whitcliffe and the Meditation Club at the same time. This was definite cause for alarm.
Within each head a check list was rapidly scanned. Had the English master sought supervision for Rudi’s essays? He had. Had they kept an eye on Rudi’s blog? Certainly. Had they carried out spot checks at the Meditation Club? Of course. Had they checked with the Caretaker? They had. Had evidence of wrongdoing been found? No. In short, were their backs covered? They were. Whew! That was alright, then.
Mr Whitcliffe now had their full attention.
‘Mr Gladiolus tells me that the Meditation Club has strayed from its mandate, and been used as a front for the development of psychic powers.’
‘You know, Teleportation, Telepathy, Levitation, Telekinesis, Healing, Clairvoyance, and so on. I can testify to the Teleportation, Telekinesis and Healing from direct experience, though I didn’t understand what was happening at the time.’
‘So that’s it! We knew something was going on.’
‘And it’s real? It works?’
‘Oh yes, it works alright. A parent caught them at it and there was a Letter Of Complaint. And the Headmaster has decided to close the Meditation Club. My own view is that it might have been better to consult the other parents first, but the decision wasn’t mine to make.’
The teachers were still open-mouthed. The information was astonishing, but the calm, clear manner of its delivery was more astonishing still.
‘But I very much doubt if that’s the end of the matter. A lot of people have benefited from the club, myself included, and I suspect there will be more Letters Of Complaint once the parents are told. So I wanted to bring it before you, and see if we can develop a strategy to – ah – assist the Headmaster in dealing with a complex situation. I know you have classes to go to, so can I suggest a short meeting after school tonight? And I suggest we invite Mr Burke to join us.’
As instructed by the headmaster, Mr Whitcliffe had decided on a punishment for Rudi. It was to research and write an essay entitled, ‘The Importance of Forgiveness in a Changing World.’
Had he known, Mr Gladiolus might have considered this an unfortunate choice of punishment, with a tendency to, as it were, undermine the whole spirit of punishment itself. But he didn’t ask and Mr Whitcliffe didn’t tell him.
As for Rudi, the moment he started thinking about forgiveness he remembered – and wondered how he could ever have forgotten – that forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving anyone else. And that beating yourself up inside – as he had been doing lately – was just as bad as putting other people down. It lowered your vibration, attracted more darkness, and did no good to anyone.
So he needed to forgive himself. Urgently. And Mr Gladiolus too, of course.
But how amazing that Mr Whitcliffe should have hit on the subject of forgiveness, just when it was most needed! Was he far more astute (and sane) than Rudi had ever given him credit for? Or was this simply Synchronicity at work? Either way, thought Rudi, I’m being looked after. And a great surge of relief and gratitude flooded through him, warming him from his head to his toes.
When the letter from Mr Gladiolus arrived, the reaction of Rudi’s parents was not at all what he had expected. They weren’t angry with him; they were furious with the Headmaster. They immediately started making phone calls and drumming up support for a protest.
Meanwhile, Rudi’s elder brother Paul demanded a demonstration, so Rudi took him outside and levitated the rubbish bins, then teleported up and down the garden to cries of, ‘Wow!’ and ‘Cool, Ginge!’ and ‘Way to go!’
Soon Mr Gladiolus was deluged with Letters Of Complaint from all the other parents of the Meditation Club boys, and had to endure several loud phone calls. There was indignant talk of high-handedness and lack of consultation, and expressions of regret at the termination of a club which had been the source of so much benefit to so many. (It had also kept the boys out from under their parents’ feet, but they didn’t mention that.)
A Special General Meeting was called, with two main items on the Agenda: A Proposal for A New Curriculum, and The Meditation Club.
When Rudi stopped avoiding people’s eyes, he saw that most of them were twinkling at him in a conspiratorial sort of way.
Rudi’s parents brought him along to the Special General Meeting. Strictly speaking they shouldn’t have done, but in the circumstances they were blowed if anyone was going to stop them.
Mr Gladiolus had a chesty cough, so Mr Burke was in the Chair, much to everyone’s relief.
The part about the Curriculum was more interesting than Rudi had expected. Mr Burke explained that since Disclosure had demonstrated that most of the Curriculum was either wrong (e.g. History) or hopelessly out of date (e.g. Science), it was proposed that they should have a Referendum to decide whether to continue with the old Curriculum, or draw up a new one, more in line with the new reality. There was some general discussion about this.
‘What about exams, though? What about jobs?’ asked an anxious parent.
A new voice answered as follows: ‘It looks as though jobs are going to be a thing of the past. With the new technologies, nobody will have to work for a living. Instead, they’ll be able to pursue whatever interests and inspires them. We’d like to help the boys to start doing that now.’
It was Mr Whitcliffe! Rudi was astonished that such a sensible little speech should issue from his mouth. And delighted to hear the noises of approval from all sides.
‘But what about the Government? Don’t we have to obey the law when it comes to the Curriculum?’
‘Well, as you know,’ continued Mr Whitcliffe, ‘all the laws are going to be revised in consultation with the people. And that can’t happen till the advanced communications and voting systems are in place, so everyone can have a voice.
‘But we don’t have to wait for that. Our boys need those changes now. All over the world people are taking back power over their own lives. Why don’t we join them?
‘Then we can feed back our own experiences into the new Government. After all, democracy is supposed to be for the people and by the people, isn’t it? If we behave as if it’s true, we’ll help to make it true.’
A few more minor points were raised, but it was really just anxious parents wanting reassurance that they weren’t going to get into trouble and their children weren’t going to be disadvantaged – and that was just a hold over from the bad old days. A vote was taken, the motion to hold a Referendum was carried, and they moved on to the second item.
There was general discussion about the Meditation Club, and strongly-held views were expressed for and against. For example, Mr Hanson spoke fervently about the dangers of attracting demonic influences by meddling with the occult.
‘Are you saying that anything that can’t be explained by our current science must therefore be demonic?’ asked the Head of Science. ‘A lot of people said the same thing about flying saucers, before Disclosure. Now we know it’s just that mainstream science is in the dark ages, relatively speaking.’
‘And I would like to point out,’ said the Head of Religious Instruction, ‘That Jesus was supposed to have walked on water, healed people, and changed water into wine. Are you saying that was demonic? If not, could someone please explain the difference?’
Rudi was on his feet before he realised it. ‘Can I just say something?’ he said. ‘The world is changing, and we are changing with it. These abilities aren’t just for a few special people. Everybody will have them soon. They’ll be normal – just part of being human. We’re getting the hang of them early, that’s all.’
‘And look at the benefits!’ said his father, standing up beside him. ‘Do you realise, children have been healed of asthma, short-sightedness and stammering already. Just think what the potential is.’
‘Yes, I’ll grant you the Healing’s okay,’ conceded another parent, ‘But as for the rest – they’re just party tricks so far as I can see. And dangerous party tricks, too.’
‘What about the saving on petrol, and wear and tear on parents?’ said another parent, to general laughter. ‘I don’t know about you, but I spend half my weekend ferrying the children around. If they could get there by teleportation, I’d be well pleased.’
His wife wasn’t convinced. ‘But what if they end up in the wrong place?’ she asked. ‘In the middle of a wall or the middle of the sea?’
‘Can I just make a couple of points here?’ said Mr Whitcliffe. ‘As Rudi says, the world is changing, and changing fast. And we want our children to have all the skills they need to fully participate in it.
‘Yes, there are dangers, I agree. But please bear in mind that the boys from the Meditation Club already have these abilities. They’re not going to go away, and they are going to be using them, with or without your permission.’
A storm of protests nearly drowned him out, but Mr Whitcliffe was undaunted.
‘Yes, I’m sorry, but we do have to face the reality here. They are going to be using them. Would you rather they used them in a haphazard fashion, in secret? Or openly, with supervision and safeguards? What I am proposing is the introduction of a new subject for the Curriculum – Psychic Studies, we could call it. With a proper syllabus, proper tuition and proper supervision. And a spiritual context which ensures that these powers are developed in a positive way, with the purpose of serving others rather than serving the ego. I personally would welcome input from of all shades of opinion – religious and secular. And I would suggest some intensive planning to make the practice as safe as possible.’
After further discussion it was proposed that the Meditation Club should continue for now, but only under the supervision of Mr Whitcliffe. The psychic practices would be suspended, pending the introduction of a New Curriculum. A vote was taken and the motion carried.
The following day, Mr Whitcliffe met with Rudi’s parents.
‘I realise what I’m asking is a bit unorthodox, but there are no precedents for the times we live in. The fact is, I’m going to need help with drawing up a Syllabus for Psychic Studies, and developing safeguards. And your son would be ideal. I’d understand if you said no, of course.’
They didn’t say no. They said yes.
Rudi could hardly catch his breath. How quickly things could change! And how much better was this new situation than the one he’d lost. He wasn’t on his own any more. It wasn’t all his responsibility. He was part of a team, which encompassed his family, Mr Whitcliffe, and even the other teachers.
The next day, Mr Whitcliffe caught Rudi after school.
‘By the way, Rudi, I’ve been meaning to ask you. Did the Meditation Club send Healing to me, by any chance?’
‘Yes, sir.’ Rudi was suddenly gripped by doubt. ‘Was that alright?’
‘Well, it’s one of the things that we need to establish protocols for, certainly. Should Healing be sent to someone without asking their permission? Oh, don’t look so worried, Rudi, I’m not complaining. Not at all. And I was hardly in a position to make a decision anyway, so I’m very glad you just went ahead and did it. And anyway, I didn’t mean to raise all that stuff about protocols right now. I just wanted to find a way to say thank you.’
Rudi looked up into his teacher’s face. Now that he was well, the real Mr Whitcliffe was shining through. And what a nice man he turned out to be – kind, perceptive and wise. And someone who liked to get things done and sort things out, like Rudi did himself. Rudi knew that he had helped to bring this transformation about, which was thrilling in itself, but look at all the benefits that Mr Whitcliffe had brought into his life as a result! But then, maybe that was how the Universe worked. After all, he thought, we’re all One, aren’t we?
And now Mr Whitcliffe wanted to find a way to say thank you! It was almost funny.
‘Don’t worry sir,’ he said, grinning, ‘I think you already did.’
© Sue J Davis 2015
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