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 I saw my birth, and, as one would expect, my parents were there in the hospital, with doctors and nurses overseeing the procedure.  What surprised me was that I saw Raphael, his hair shorter and golden, with Gambiel and Mara.  They floated above me, and I felt my heart sing when Mara floated down to the baby me.  She had loved me since the beginning.

            I saw Azazel appear, and the gifts.  I began to understand my life, and how I had been conflicted between using my rational mind, trusting my heart, and seeing both what was good and evil in every situation.  All my life I had been torn about how to choose, how to know what to do, and I understood that these three had been part of that struggle.  Azazel had equipped me to feel a need to take evil actions, even if Raphael and Gambiel’s gifts had been working against that impulse.  I always saw all paths of action, and often became indecisive about what to do as a child.  Now I understood why.

            I saw how the demons and angels influenced my life in big and small ways.  They were involved in even the smallest details:  my mother once told me a story to explain why I started liking Superman, a DC comic hero, when my father only read Marvel comics like the X-Men.  She knew he liked comic books, so, when she picked wallpaper for my room as a baby, she bought a kind with superheroes.   Unfortunately for my father, she picked the wrong company, and from the heroes on my wall, I picked Superman.  In my visions, I saw that Mara had played a part in this, whispering into my mother’s ear unheard suggestions, and telling me as a child which books to pick up.

            It made sense.  When I took my archetypes class with Mr. Gould, I did my final paper on how Superman was a Christ figure:  He came from the sky, saved lives, there’s even a series on his “death” where a character called Doomsday puts him in a coma, so the world thinks Superman died, and then he “resurrects.”  My favourite comic was a painted series called “Kingdom Come,” a future story where Superman helps save the world.  The entire series was painted, not drawn, and was based on scripture from the Revelation of St. John, making the Christian symbolism of Superman’s myth quite obvious.

            All my life, agents of God had been influencing me to follow the Lord.

            I saw Mara save me when I fell in the kitchen as a child, saw demons attempt to infest my mind and soul.  They followed me like shadows all through my childhood, influencing my worst and most selfish decisions.  I saw Mara struggle with her anger, anger towards Raguel and Heaven’s rules as well as rage against Azazel and his ilk.  I saw my love suffer, and my heart went out to her.

            I saw my whole life as if it was a film, and it was quite odd to be an audience to myself.  I saw Mara encouraging me to begin the Camelot game, and she even influenced my selection of companions.  I saw how demons could crawl inside a person, infesting their soul, leading them to do evil, as they caused my growing anger at the world.  I saw one of the few times I had resorted to violence, a summer where I attacked a bully who had dared to approach Evie, and how that furious moment had been as much a demon’s puppetry as it was my own choice.

            How do I explain this?  Human beings have free will, the right to make choices, but my visions made it clear that the angelic and demonic influences of our life push us in both directions.  A tug of war, with our souls the prize.  When we choose to hear one side over the other, it’s like pushing in the same direction to help that side win.  The demons don’t take away our choices, but encourage them.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.

            What I’m trying to say is that I was responsible for the choice to do evil, I hold myself accountable.  However, the severity of the actions taken could be influenced by demonic presence.  We are all responsible for ourselves, but at the same time forces pull at us.  The task is to stay centred.

             Perhaps the single most moving image I saw in that early montage of my life was when Mara came to the graveyard, rescuing me from the blizzard.  As I had begun to suspect, it had been her all along and not Hope.  I had given up, had resigned myself to death, and she called me back from the brink.  Her voice alone inspired me to live, and I held on long enough for my mother to find me.  She called my father and neighbours over, and they got me to the hospital.  The whole ride, and all through my convalescence, Mara was there comforting me.  I mistakenly attributed her loving attention to Hope upon awakening and discovering my friend at my bedside.

            Mara had saved me, Mara had loved me my whole life.  The tremendous love I felt for her back grew with every image, as I understood just how long she had been a part of my life, that she loved me even in my darkest moments.  I found my faith and love for God growing as well, as the Lord had given us to each other, and loved us through everything as well.  Silently I thanked Him even as I was drawn on to new visions.

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