I drew a bath and collected the oils so as to sanctify my body. As I slipped into the pool I thought of my training up to this final hour. . .
"Every action is preceded by a want that comes to your awareness after you have begun it."
I could feel the Second Sphere around me in the water. Master tells me that the Final Rite -- my Tuning -- would loosen the Second Sphere from my body. I wondered what this would feel like. Master's words again echoed in my Mind.
"We are all born with a Soul Caul. Our Order has perfected the Art of removing this Caul, whose tail is located around the back of the Brain -- the organ that houses your Mind. You will practice our Order's many exercises to sense and push against this Second Sphere.
"You will feel a pinching and then a pulling as the skin is opened in the back of your skull. You will then feel a hammering and a grinding as we apply the Trephine to the bone."
I reflected on the majority of this past year's training. The many Ordeals were designed to tolerate greater and greater amounts of pain so as to loosen the psyche under the Soul Caul -- that I may Flow following the Tuning.
I tried to nap while soaking in the pool, but sleep would not come. I could feel the energy in my Gross Form already preparing itself for the Order's Surgeons. "They are preparing the Ritual Chamber," I thought. I imagined the table I would be secured to. I imagined the leather and metal restraints they would need as my body seized while they pulled my Second Sphere by the tail away from my Gross From.
Bringing my hands to my face, I felt the Gross Form of my face. My fingertips reached to the back of my skull. "Soon, my own Tuning mark will be there." I remembered the pride and far away stares on the faces of my older cohorts.
"It is time." Master had entered the room without me noticing.
Suddenly, the Order's Surgeons were upon me. The slipperiness of my limbs were no matter as they had loosened their Unseen Servants, doubling the arms restraining my Gross Form.
"I had no plans that it would be like this!" my Mind wailed! But Master's Unseen Servant was upon my face, holding closed my mouth and nose. My lungs stretched and flattened. My Gross Form rebelled and then Seized as all went Black.
"Wake, child." Master's voice.
"The Final Rite, the Tuning, will now commence. You will be Awake for this. You will feel pain. We will rip the Soul Caul from the insides of your skull. You will be Free."
As Master spoke to me I felt the pressure of a razor upon my head as a Surgeon removed the hair from my Gross Form's head.
"Many have come before you. Many will come after you. All have undergone the Ordeals as you have. Not all survive the Tuning."
Panic inside. But it was too late to turn back now.
I now felt the pinching and pulling as a Surgeon removed skin so as to target the correct location of the Soul Caul's Tail. Coldness drooled down to my face as the Surgeon continued cutting. . .
"Now the Trephine."
I heard the clattering of a large metal instrument. The Trephine -- the machine that makes us More Than Others and Less Than Born.
"Child. You will be with Us no matter the state of your Gross Form." Master addressed the Surgeons. "Begin."
It felt like falling on the back of one's head. At first there was a stop. But then the falling continued. Falling, falling, falling. . .