Paul | Invulnerable pt 1 ch 5

Paul the Man remembered

INVULNERABLE

Part I - Safe

Chapter 5 - Paul


Dr. TomDr. Baker:

I wish we'd had the idea to do more tests before. But we were, I was, so busy! We were about to change the world, so the how of the phenomenon took a back seat. Even for me.

Science — it was still important, just, not as important as saving everyone. So we missed out on that opportunity for rigorous testing.

What we did observe, in neuroimaging afterward, is that we apparently all had surprisingly highly-increased activity in the amygdala, which would normally indicate active fear and anxiety. There was also an inexplicable re-arrangement of some of the most- and least-active regions of the brain (see Appendix A). No chemical changes, other than those explicable by the state of ecstatic joy, could be found.

In logic, in law, it's hard to prove a negative. Just because no one's got proof of Bigfoot, or Santa Claus, does not disprove their potential, theoretical reality.

Similarly, lack of phenomena, health for example, does not innately tell you why or how it is happening, in the way that an imbalance, the sick organ or broken bone, reveals why it interrupts order. Order is the mystery.

Why did Lucy not get hit by a bus that day? Why did we not get hurt when that old ceiling fell in while remodeling the building? Accidents not happening is the norm. The only real indicator, constant and reliable, was statistical. 100% of us unharmed 100% of the time.

No one got sick.
No one got hurt.
No one got in trouble.
No one fought.
No one argued.
Well, little children could still be fussy.

Dialectical discussions arose.

Trying to understand this material — mental — emotional miracle — reconcile it with science, philosophy, faith.

As always, Paul might listen in now and then, but took no part, offered no hint. He would usually just be out there, meeting new people.

Many took to emulating him in that, and taught that was The Way, not arguing theology,or so they argued theologically.


AndyAndy:

After I met Paul, my only remaining concern, really, was for Paul. I'd watched him, through this whole thing. Nobody, not even Dr. Tom, had spent more time with him.

Paul was absolutely overjoyed every time someone new Found Out, as we came to say it. Paul was always on the front fringe of the outward-pushing community, always as delighted as a child with a new toy to see that person turn around and, quite often in a new way, pass along the gift of invulnerability.

When he played with young children, or saw people doing new things because of the Gift, he was clearly happy then, too.


Dr TomDr. Baker:

I was never jealous of Paul, that kind of feeling was no more, but looking back, I am a little envious that, lacking anything — tools, training, technique — because of something about him, he positively affected, directly and indirectly, more people than an army of me could have helped in a lifetime.

He was always a mystery. No past. Didn't talk about himself much, just to say he knew he had to come spread the strange thing that had happened. Which, of course, we could all understand.

From what I could deduce, he had a severe trauma — I speculate that it may have accompanied his conversion — and is amnesiac, or in deep denial, about his past life.

The only time his mood faltered from nigh-ecstatic was when I pried into his past, or his inner state beyond the superficial. As Andy Walsh suggested to me, I think he doesn't know, or isn't telling us, his real name. There was never a real last name. A nickname of Paul the Man started as a joke, and stuck. Not to his face. He really had a child-like innocence — and remarkable ignorance — about his unique position, not just as the origin of our revivification, but revered as the one who brought this gift to us all.

For some, this reverence became admixed with their theology.


AndyAndy:

Some, like a certain young girl in particular, became Paul the Man groupies. They thought he was divine, one way or another. A number of people came to revere Paul as a prophet. Some hinted at Messiah or Christ Returned.

But Paul was so lacking in any areas like theology of some sort, or any personal charisma! He was a nice guy, but what you see was what you got with Paul, a smiling boy, maybe with some kind of bad hurt in his past, but all he wanted, all he ever wanted, was to share this gift of joyous liberty, security, and safety, with new people.

So I didn't hold much with the folks who played him up. I loved him, but, no.

One thing was clear to everybody, though. Sharing usually worked, but not always.


Dr TomDr. Baker:

We found that some kind of similarities — genetic relationships perhaps — were a determining factor of sharing success. Not everyone could help anyone Find Out. Close relatives, pretty near 100%. The less related, the less similar, it seemed, the less the effectiveness.

Of course, usually, there would be more than one of us evangelizing in teams, so in case of initial failure, second attempts by another member of the team were usually effective.

Only Paul's rate was 100% of the people, 100% of the time.


AndyAndy:

Since Paul was what Dr. Tom called Patient Zero, and since Paul had, you know, a perfect score on bringing people in, some folks began to idolize him, not as the Christ or anything, but just as, well, the Bringer of Peace.

We began to realize, talk among ourselves about, how this seems to have no end. How nearly everyone comes to be free. How this was rapidly contagious. How this might really be the beginning of world peace!

Once we thought about it, once we talked about it, nobody really doubted it. We all knew. This was the Great Beginning, or New Era, or something for history to name.


Dr TomDr. Baker:

Reasonably, the folks who began teaching about Paul — that he was The Peacemaker, or other titles — reasonably, these efforts must've been intrinsically harmless. We were not just free from harm; we could do no harm. It was definitionally impossible.

This — knowing that the reverence for Paul was not possibly harmful, persuaded some people of the truth of these growing threads tied to Paul. His unknown origins led some to speculate he was incarnate as an adult. Again, the spread of such ideas must have been safe.

I found it hard to form an objective analysis. Paul was unique.

But I'm sure he was human.

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