Heaven, Not Hell
"A Lovelight Story"
By John Pirillo
-- In every corner of the world there is a heart that beats with life, with love, with hope. Let us not disappoint them." -- From Lovelight's Autobiography
Twists of metal lay strewn about the battlefield, along with burning mounds of shattered plastic, glass and cloth. The remains of a battle fought too often, too hard, and for too long. It was a miasma of hatred, anger, futility and despair.
Lovelight kicked back from the game she had been playing on her computer and rubbed her eyes. She couldn't figure out why these kinds of games fascinated her so much, except maybe the strategies and stealth the taught throughout their variations of combat scenarios. She pressed the 24 inch screen monitor screen off button on top the Viewsonic LCD panel, then used her mouse to flick up the shut down button in her Windows 10 operating system, waited for the computer to cycle down, its heavy hard drives whirring angrily from the heat of movement she had put them through earlier, then listened as they came to a stop.
Most people would only hear the computer turning off, but she could hear every part of the computer's system shutting down, the code making its connections, the transistors shooting out the correct binary code, CPU dividing its tasks, then shutting them down, hard drive spindles slowing, more and more.
It was unnatural. For others, but not for her.
She gathered her long hair into a pony tail; rubber banded it, and then leaned on her elbows to glance out her bedroom window. Her computer was set so that she could watch the screen and for any view of her Mother when she usually arrived in her car, got out, looked up, waved and she waved back, and then Mom would enter the home.
A routine. But one Lovelight lived for each day, knowing preternaturally, that one day her Mom wouldn't be coming home. Call it psychic intuition, prophecy, whatever, it was a certainty within her heart. Not one she fed, but one that hovered in the back of her consciousness, reminding her that nothing of this world or in it was permanent.
Then she grinned...except for death and taxes.
School was the usual. Get there. Stay quiet so the teachs don't notice you. Text under the table or in the lap. Slip the browser window with music beneath the one you're doing class work in and pretending to be innocent when you're caught. "Oh, did I really? I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that."
Then feeling like an ass when the teach springs his usual look of anguish, shakes his head, then storms off to the next fire in the room, where another student is chewing gum and exchanging notes with a boy.
The usual school.
She slammed her locker shut and leaned against it, watching her fellow classmates drill out from the English class, heading off in all different directions. Some talking happily. Some glum. Some miserable. Some just plain out of it. Drugs. Abuse. Home problems. Periods. You name it. School was a melting pot for all the emotional dramas and traumas that existed in the world. She was learning a lot about herself by watching the other students.
And yes, she still felt bad about sneaking the latest song from CrushMe on her computer headphones. CrushMe wasn't hip-hop or shrug, the latest gangster motivated rap disguised in pretty harmonies. They were a group that sang about what was good in life and about life. Sorta like the Beatles did in their time. Some even claimed that the leader of the group was a reincarnation of John Lennon. And he was about the right age, but she didn't believe the other one was George Harrison, because he was too wimpy and whiny, when he wasn't performing. So she put her bets on John, but held off on George.
Ringo and Paul were long gone now, both settled off in a sunset of applause and tears, especially by her mother, but were too recently gone to be incarnated in the group she loved, unless you believed that nonsense about some souls reincarnated into already alive bodies. Sounded more like possession, then incarnation, she thought to herself, as she eyed a football jock who was being harassed by about a dozen of them at the same time.
She watched him especially closely, because his discarnates were brutal and mean. They knew she sensed them and oftentimes she would have to duck from his way when he came, because they would draw his attention to her. And the last thing she wanted was this guy's attention. At least until today when he stopped in front of her and then broke down into tears.
She was flabbergasted. Speechless and stunned. The last thing she wanted to do was comfort this creep who her fellow girlfriends had intimated date raped. But the pathetic look on his face touched her heart anyway. She sighed and touched his thick arm. "Hey big guy!"
He suddenly recoiled, as if struck by a hot flash of lightning or fire. "What da hell you doing, ho?"
He looked like he was ready to strike her dead on the spot and the discarnates around her, their ugly faces grinning with delight, were urging him to do so, thrilled at the possibility of eliminating a possible threat to their existence.
And threat she was.
Lovelight felt pulses of light rush up her spine, and then her hand lashed out like a whip and grabbed his fist. He tried to pull away, but couldn't. He stood there frozen in horror as lances of bright green and gold light shot up her arm, along her wrist, fingers and onto his arm, then across his chest and up and down his spine and inside his heart.
The boy dropped to the floor as if struck by lightning.
Girls and guys about her looked on, stunned.
"Hey!" The Hall Monitors shout reached her, and then she felt arms grabbing her and pulling her away as several teachers ran to the fallen jock and tried to resuscitate him.
As she was led to detention she heard the sound of sirens growing from outside the open doors of the hallway. She didn't care. It was over. She had once again done what someone much stronger and more powerful than her had demanded. She didn't feel anger or remorse, only relief.
She sat in the detention room, listening to the Dean blaring at her, demanding to know what kind of drug she had given him.
She looked into his face. He didn't care for the truth. She could see it in his eyes. This was his opportunity to score a big one for his resume, if he could nail her for drugs.
"You know what?"
"What?" He demanded, thinking he had her at last.
"I don't think you're going to like what my Mom is about to tell you."
"Your Mom is not here yet. And I don't care. You hurt that kid on purpose and I'm going to prove it."
"No, you won't." Her Mom said, stepping into the room, her eyes blazing with anger. "How dare you accuse my daughter of dealing drugs? How dare you try to blame her for what that child did to himself. He was cruel and mean to so many of your students, and you did nothing because he was a sports hero. Well that stops now! You hear me? Now!"
Before the stunned Dean could shut his mouth that was hanging open like a Venus fly trap, the door to the detention room flung open and the jock rushed in. He was weeping. He rushed to Lovelight and hugged her tight to the surprise of all, including herself.
"Thank you!" He said.
She didn't know how to respond at first, but when she saw her Mom nod her head slightly, she hugged him back, feeling the wet of his tears course down the back of her neck. For once she didn't mind holding someone that was so mean. Because he wasn't anymore. They were gone, she noted with relief. His aura was clean and pure. They had gone, shocked, and angry that she had exposed them to the Light. They had fled, fearing the worst. Fearing they would go to hell.
She could have laughed at that thought. Because she knew there was no hell, except that which people made for themselves when they refused to go to God, refused to let go of this earth and be at peace with their brothers and sisters on the Other Side.
She let go of the jock and he fell back, smiling. He didn't say another word.
He stormed out, as fast as he had come in, probably embarrassed at what he had done. But as he exited, all the students who had been looking inside from the glass of the room and outside in the hallway broke into applause, further embarrassing him, but he didn't retaliate. Instead he gave them all thumbs up and everyone broke into cheers and further applause.
The next day when she returned to school the Dean she had been confronted by was gone. He had been fired. Maybe he would learn his lessons somewhere else, she mused.
She also learned that the jock had turned himself into the police, admitting the crimes he had done. That shocked her, but strangely enough, the girls he had harmed didn't flock to convict him, but instead stood up for him. For he had changed. He had gone to each and every one of them and dropped to his knees and begged for their forgiveness. Unheard of!
She sat with her Mom that night at the kitchen table, both of them watching the setting sun, a cup of Golden Dawn tea in their hands.
"Why did he turn himself in? He was free of all those nasty people. He didn't have to go to jail."
"A conscience." She answered quietly, sipping at her tea.
Her Mom set her tea down and clutched Lovelight's right arm gently. "The guilt that had been buried had to be freed, just like the discarnates that were trapped in his body. He had to let it go and for him that was admitting his guilt. And for asking forgiveness. He set a good example by doing this, not only to the girls, who had begun to hate men, but to all the other boys like him who might have followed his path or were about to."
Lovelight sighed her frustration. "Why do I have to be the one to do this? Why always me?"
Her Mom laughed. "It's a nasty job, but someone's got to do it!"
Lovelight laughed too, and then sighed inwardly. It wasn't easy being the only person she knew of, besides her Mom, who was aware of what the true stakes of the world were. Then she smiled. She saw the jock again, his face radiant and smiling. But then again....
The first fractal flame is, in my mind, exquisite and of a rare beauty. It has just the blend of gradations to make it seem ehtereal, otherworldly, and of another dimension that when one first sees it, it is almost hypnotic in nature, drawing our senses deeper and deeper into its spirals of beauty.
Below is something from wikipedia that I thought might help you to understand why these kinds of images are so special.
The information is a bit on the technical side, but at least you can get an idea of just how complex this kind of artform is, as well as how extremely demanding it can be in time and patience.
Fractal flame From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fractal flames are a member of the iterated function system class of fractals created by Scott Draves in 1992. Draves' open-source code was later ported into Adobe After Effects graphics software and translated into the Apophysis fractal flame editor.
Fractal flames differ from ordinary iterated function systems in three ways:
Creating the histogram First one iterates a set of functions, starting from a randomly chosen point P = (P.x,P.y,P.c), where the third coordinate indicated the current color of the point.
Set of flame functions: In each iteration, choose one of the functions above where the probability that Fj is chosen is pj. Then one computes the next iteration of P by applying Fj on (P.x,P.y).
Each individual function has the following form:
where the parameter wk is called the weight of the variation Vk. Draves suggests  that all :s are non-negative and sum to one, but implementations such as Apophysis do not impose that restriction.
The functions Vk are a set of predefined functions. A few examples are
P.c := (P.c + (F_j)color) / 2 After each iteration, one updates the histogram at the point corresponding to (P.x,P.y). This is done as follows:
histogram[x][y][FREQUENCY] := histogram[x][y][FREQUENCY]+1 histogram[x][y][COLOR] := (histogram[x][y][COLOR] + P.c )/2
The colors in the image will therefore reflect what functions were used to get to that part of the image.
Rendering an image To increase the quality of the image, one can use supersampling to decrease the noise. This involves creating a histogram larger than the image so each pixel has multiple data points to pull from.
For example, creating a histogram with 300×300 cells in order to draw an 100×100 px image. Each pixel would use a 3×3 group of histogram buckets to calculate its value.
For each pixel (x,y) in the final image, do the following computations:
frequency_avg[x][y] := average_of_histogram_cells_frequency(x,y); color_avg[x][y] := average_of_histogram_cells_color(x,y); alpha[x][y] := log(frequency_avg[x][y]) / log(frequency_max); //frequency_max is the maximal number of iterations that hit a cell in the histogram. final_pixel_color[x][y] := color_avg[x][y] * alpha[x][y]^(1/gamma); //gamma is a value greater than 1.
The algorithm above uses gamma correction to make the colors appear brighter. This is implemented in for example the Apophysis software.
To increase the quality even more, one can use gamma correction on each individual color channel, but this is a very heavy computation, since the log function is slow.
A simplified algorithm would be to let the brightness be linearly dependent on the frequency:
final_pixel_color[x][y] := color_avg[x][y] * frequency_avg[x][y]/frequency_max;
but this would make some parts of the fractal lose detail, which is undesirable.
Density Estimation A demonstration of Density Estimation. In the above half, you can see the noise and individual samples. On the below half, rendered with Density Estimation, the noise is smoothed out without destroying the sharp edges. The flame algorithm is like a Monte Carlo simulation, with the flame quality directly proportional to the number of iterations of the simulation. The noise that results from this stochastic sampling can be reduced by blurring the image, to get a smoother result in less time. One does not however want to lose resolution in the parts of the image that receive many samples and so have little noise.
This problem can be solved with adaptive density estimation to increase image quality while keeping render times to a minimum. FLAM3 uses a simplification of the methods presented in *Adaptive Filtering for Progressive Monte Carlo Image Rendering*, a paper presented at WSCG 2000 by Frank Suykens and Yves D. Willems. The idea is to vary with width of the filter inversely proportional to the number of samples available.
As a result, areas with few samples and lots of noise get blurred and smoothed, but areas with lots of samples and low noise are left unaffected. See https://code.google.com/p/flam3/wiki/DensityEstimation.
Not all Flame implementations use density estimation.