I would like to think that if I had lived 2,000 years ago, I would have the good sense to visit Jesus Christ soon after His birth. These days, I am a clinical psychologist, and a good one at that. But this isn’t about me. This is about an unusual client of mine, a young man of 23 years who has recently disappeared. Our paths originally crossed on a night when I went up to my apartment roof to think, as I do from time to time. There I found him writing some graffiti— writing his name: Padawan. We made great conversation, and agreed to continue our talks once a week, always on that same rooftop.
I came to learn a lot about Padawan. He truly embodies the archetype of the young man full of potential, yet plagued. He was undoubtedly intelligent, strong, creative, good-looking— but he possessed this violent strain of pure angst! Deeply troubled by the prospect of his guaranteed death, he yearned to know what his future had in store— “What is going to happen to me?”— and this sort of thought would leave him prostrate, child-like, trembling with terror. He was obsessed with Divination: the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. He asked me to help him achieve it. Back then I did not believe that this sort of supernatural fortune telling was possible, and I was upfront with the boy about my doubts. But I did have a suggestion. I told Padawan that if he wanted an idea of his future, then he ought to practice being absolutely honest with himself about his self— from the stream of intrusive thoughts that creeped within his head, to every utterance and action he committed. I said that a truly honest person knows what his future holds. He knows what he will be like 5 to 10 years down the road if his bad habits take over, just like he knows what he would be like if his best qualities were cultivated. This sort of knowledge only comes from an individual’s resolve to organize himself. In order to do this, one must practice articulating the inner life of the mind. I warned Padawan that this wouldn’t be an easy task, but, eager for truth and clarity, the young man complied.
Like all men, Padawan was a monster, and the storm brewing over him grew in proportion with his feelings of shame at being a man. He would articulate the worst of his thoughts to see if he could take it, and he could. He spoke of how he would often ruminate on the concept of entropy, and death, and on the most brutal things people have done to survive. These notions left unspoken will cripple a man. Padawan was crippled. His problems were made worse by the fact that he coped like only a 23 year old idiot copes— by regressing into a primal, rum-suckling, marijuana-puffing, blood-sport fanatic. However, through the outward articulation of his inner-psyche, we concluded that his badness was not all bad. In fact, it had the potential to serve as the fertile soil that his greatness could eventually grow from. His primal behavior was a natural response to the apparent meaninglessness of life, and it had gotten him this far. And, so far, he wasn’t an awful person, he just had his troubles like everyone else.
Our rooftop sessions had been going well. Once a week, Padawan would spill his guts, I would hold a bucket underneath, and at the end of the night the boy would feel more at peace with himself and his future. But, after months of this bloodletting, something occurred that nobody could have predicted— Padawan began to claim that Divination was actually happening. He told me that every night, as he walked that line of limbo between asleep and awake, he saw his future. I know it sounds like insanity, but, according to Padawan, God Almighty was creating images and transplanting them into Padawan’s mind— images of the boy’s future. Padawan said it was as if God was showing him a movie of his life, one chapter at a time. “He shows me His many faces, and Heaven, and Hell, the truth of my current circumstances, and the one future I am bound to act out. He shows me all of this on one condition: that I transcribe His word and share it with the world.” I asked Padawan if I could see what it was that he was transcribing, but he wouldn’t show me on account that it wasn’t finished yet— specifically, that Divination in its entirety wasn’t finished yet.
From my count, Padawan engaged in these midnight talks with God for approximately three weeks. Then, one night, Padawan showed up to our meeting absolutely distraught. “I can’t stand how it ends— Heaven is vague, while Hell is all too clear! The future is clear!” Padawan cried and cried and cried. I tried to calm him. but he was absolutely inconsolable. Eventually he just walked off, apologizing for what had happened. That was the last time I ever saw him.
After several weeks of zero communication, I went looking for Padawan at the address he had given me. Nobody answered the apartment door, but luckily it had been left unlocked, so I entered. There was a stench of rotting food coming from the fridge, and hardly any clothes were in his dresser or closet. But, what he left behind is astonishing. In his bedroom is a 7 foot tall wooden board covered in paint splatter. Nailed meticulously into this board is a collection of Padawan’s poetry— or, as he claimed, transcriptions of the word of God. Next to the board was a box filled with copies of his transcriptions. These are are the very writings I present to you now. There are 16 poems in total. The first seems to serve as a cover, like Padawan is introducing himself. Then there are three distinct sections that contain five poems each. These sections are entitled HERE, HEAVEN, and HELL— I have come to think of it as a poetic triptych. In HERE, Padawan writes of himself as he is in the here and now: a young man deeply troubled by his violent, primal, overwrought nature. In HEAVEN, he writes of himself as he is in the near future: his best self, a Christ-like figure aligned with that which is godly— the Man who leads men towards salvation. In HELL, he writes of himself in the distant future, where his worst self manifests due to repercussions from the past— the classic fall from grace.
I had the good fortune to know Padawan well, and to experience that young man reveal the depths of his inner-psyche. It is an experience I won’t soon forget. I am a mere messenger, writing this letter in order to properly frame what has happened. Whether Padawan’s work is a byproduct of genuine conversations with God, or a byproduct of genuine insanity, I do not know. Nonetheless, I now share it with the world. I have no idea where Padawan is, or if he is of sound mind and body. My gut feeling says that he is acting out what has been written, for better or for worse. I believe this work ought to be untouched and untarnished, stumbled upon rather than purchased, made available to the layman, although the elite ought to take notice as well. I can only hope that this thing will be found by unknown friends, those who can truly appreciate the magnitude of what has been accomplished: Divination, by Padawan.
Along with Padawan’s writing, I found a several other objects of interest in his bedroom. There is a wooden cupboard near the foot of his mattress, and inside the cupboard is a sort of shrine. I will not bother describing the shrine here, and will instead share the photos of it that I have taken.
In addition, I found a tape recording that Padawan left behind. I have listened to the recording several times, and I find it absolutely fascinating. Padawan attempted to record himself reciting aloud what he had written, but it did not go as smoothly as he would have liked. He was distracted and frustrated by someone who seems to be in a neighboring apartment. The two engaged in this banter between their shared wall that is absolutely bizarre. Unfortunately, I must admit that I have lost this tape recording. I will try my best to find it, and, if I do, I will release it for the public to hear.