Papa Idris


What actually happens when we die? It’s crazy to think that there is something else, and the biggest reason for that is…can you imagine your own mind being a totally different person? Is it scary to think that your mind, or your soul, could end up transplanted in a new body, with a new name, new life, but it’s still you? Even moreso, continuing in a new life like this, and still being you, but losing all of your memories, your experiences? In that way, I guess it may not be a big deal to some, because if you have nothing, no point of reference, when you start over, what does it matter? Nobody knows that for sure, because past life recollections are a very real thing, and they are almost always accurate, as accurate as a memory that you or I, the living, would have. I’ve had them, and you probably have, too. Odd knowledges and impulses about things that you, in this body and life, have never experienced.

In short, souls are a pretty unique thing. I’m going to tell you a story about Ohio, so you can understand how it is that I know what I know.

I’m not proud of it, but my dad’s side of the family has always been extremely religious. My uncle Jim, the most accomplished on that side of the family, has several theology master’s degrees, and for a few years, worked at the Vatican as a consul or advisor to the Pope. My great grandfather, Idris, apparently had the most interesting time, though.

My mom didn’t tell me this story until I was around 18, and my dad hasn’t ever spoken of it. Apparently, Grandpa Idris presided over a local church in the 1920’s when he came to America from Wales, and in 1924, he was contacted to do the unthinkable; A young couple in Bratenahl, a very wealthy suburb about two hours north, had contacted the church and had been approved for an exorcism, but their only trained exorcist in northern Ohio was away in the French Riviera for two weeks, and this couldn’t wait, so they called the next person who was known as being familiar with such…my great grandfather.

I’ve never been told how he learned to do whatever it was that he did, but on a fairly chilly September day in 1924, himself, his friend, father Joseph Siegel, and several other of the church’s more loyal volunteers took a train to Cleveland from southeast Ohio, and eventually made it to the young couple’s home.

The “possession” was fairly straightforward, I guess. The family, only in their late 20’s, had a young daughter who had met a kindly old fortune teller at a carnival. The fortune teller apparently took the young girl’s hand, began gripping tighter and tighter until both of them were screaming, and then, the teller told her to beware. Of course, this frightened the young girl, and days later, the possession began.

I won’t go into too much of the possession, it’s irrelevant here, but the exorcism apparently went well. The gentlemen, including the man of the house, celebrated with a night of card-playing (though no gambling, of course.) The details get fuzzy here, but it’s said that Papa Idris (as we called him) suddenly began having a sort of seizure, which he had never had before, and initially, everyone rushed him to the hospital, believing he’d had a stroke.

Even hospitals were relatively primitive at this point, but Idris had regained all of his motor function instantly, which ruled out a stroke to the doctors. He wasn’t given any medicine, but was asked to stay in the hospital overnight. Father Siegel stayed by his side for the evening,

Idris hadn’t said a word since he entered the hospital, despite being awake the entire time. Around one in the morning, Papa Idris finally spoke up to Father Siegel. He asked him to get some paper and a pen, which he did, and told him something along the lines of, “Joe, I saw something that changed my life.” He then began dictating his experience to Father Siegel, who wrote it down.

Now, before you get too excited, the original writings were lost, but they made their way through my family before being lost around the late 70s. Papa Idris left the church after this experience, and only Father Siegel knows completely why, but the main point was that, what Idris had seen disproved much of what he believed in, religion-wise, namely, what happens when we die.
It took my mom 18 years to tell me, but I’m glad she waited, because I wouldn’t have understood it otherwise. The biggest point was that Papa Idris had some sort of vision, an epiphany. He believed that it wasn’t “induced” by the demon, but he believed at first that this new knowledge was a sort of “reward” from God for doing his work, until he realized that his vision contradicted the bible. I believe the story, because I’m not sure if a mortal could conceive what I’m about to tell you.

There are no Heavens or Hells to speak of. There are good or bad things, but they are entirely random in occurrence. Being “good” won’t get you a better afterlife. The most bizarre part is that…the same number of souls have existed for as long as time has. Souls were around before the human body, and through some magic of the cosmos, souls happened to be the perfect “fuel” to drive the human to achieve more than other mammals. That isn’t to say that animals other than humans don’t have souls. The soul of a goldfish is just as capable of greatness as one of ours, but they don’t have the vessel to accomplish it. This is also why most animals have much shorter lifespans than humans. Lifespan is cosmically proportionate to the potential of the vessel holding a soul. Humans have the biggest capacity for greatness and creation, because we’ve spent centuries learning how to teach things to humans, and teaching humans how to discover new things for themselves.

Regardless, nobody knows the exact number of souls that exist, nor do we know if it’s possible to run out. It won’t matter if we do, though. Life after death does exist, in a way. A soul is like matter, it can’t be created or destroyed, only changed, and that is exactly what happens. When a human body dies, the soul does indeed move towards a light, if they’re lucky. That light, today, at least, is often the light of a hospital delivery room, where their soul has been placed into a fresh, new body. This process doesn’t erase memories of one’s “past life,” but it represses them, because it is assumed that this new body will need to learn different things than the past one.

Now, what about the souls that aren’t immediately reincarnated? Well, that’s a blank spot in this story, because I never heard anything much about it, other than the souls “wait” until it’s their turn, basically. We know these waiting souls as ghosts.

Expanding on that, the amount of ghosts in our world is proportionate to the world’s current population. There are maths that one can do to figure this out within a few percent, but I don’t know why you’d want to. The waiting souls, or ghosts, lessen in numbers as they are taken back to Earth, reincarnated. There is no rhyme or reason to who gets chosen for what, as I said before, and I don’t want to get too graphic, but the secret to reducing the population of wandering souls, if you will, is reproduction. Human is best, obviously, but any animal is fair game. Past lives are common here, as well. Obviously, there’s no way to definitively prove that a garden snake has memories of being a doctor, but based on this system, it’s certain possible, if not guaranteed.
So, there, now you know. Papa Idris went on to retire after the exorcism in Bratenahl, but always remained of good health and sound mind until the day he passed away. He wasn’t crazy, and it took awhile for me to realize the impeccable detail in some of the stories he told my dad as a kid (which were passed on to me,) but now, I understand. Papa Idris had been around for a very long time.

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6 years ago

So… jellyfish, cockatoos, turtles, some fish, some whales are all have more potential than people?

7 years ago

This story is actually what I believe about life, souls.. reincarnation. It was actually on the bible, until a roman empress (if I remember it right) ordered reincarnation to be removed from the bible ( the one that is currently printed). I read this on a book about reincarnation as I have researched about this subject before and truly believed it. If you look at the bible carefully, you will still see traces of reincarnation there, especially about their prophets. As an additional, a soul ‘in waiting’ can actually choose what his next life would be, depending on what they would like to learn next and pay their due karma as well. its part of the soul evolution process.

7 years ago

I liked this a lot, I enjoy pastas based on religion and it’s OK to put this on here. The story about the egg is somewhat similar in regards to reincarnation and stuff and that was a good one too. Nice job, this really makes you think!

8 years ago

The Bhagwad Geeta, the holy book of Hindus says all these things and more. If you like this story you should really check out the book. You can get it from any library in the religion section. You won’t believe the things that are mentioned there, better than any science fiction ever written.

Mistress-Of-Darkness avatar
8 years ago

Not really scary, but the way you wrote it is quite good.

8 years ago

If lifespan is proportionate to potential… Then giant tortoises and jellyfish will soon rule the world?

hearshot avatar
8 years ago

Wow, that was a refreshing read. The length was nice and, as far as I could tell, very few grammatical errors. It was existentially scary, if that makes sense. Very thought provoking. Keep up the good work! (: 10/10

DemelzaRequiem avatar
8 years ago

I love the concept of this story and the writing is sold. I just wish it was scarier …

8 years ago

I like this. I can’t decide if this is the place for it, because it’s in no way creepy, unless philosophy gives you the jeebies, or you’re too religious, but I like it. Yeah, case and point, this isn’t the place for it. Good story, wrong site.