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Escape from Heaven cover

Escape from Heaven
A Novel by J. Neil Schulman
Chapter 9

To be perfectly honest, I was pretty shaken up by the Anorexic Party rally. Lucifer was a powerful speaker and a charismatic presence.

A phrase I had learned from reading Ayn Rand, back in my college days, came back to me, “The hatred of the good for being the good.”

Lucifer hadn’t lied about God’s “sexual” motive for creation. The same dialectic of tension-and-release that makes sex pleasurable also makes music pleasurable.

Simply, Lucifer had been putting everything God had done in the worst possible light, rendering no respect or gratitude to God for the simple fact that if it was not for his creative impulses, his willingness to take risks, to be inventive, to take action rather than do nothing, Lucifer would not have even existed to raise her foul-mouthed objections.

After the crowd broke up, I said a quick thanks to the Iceman for getting me into the rally and flew back to my town home to finish reading Satan’s own “Mein Kampf.”

Lucifer was a persuasive writer, but the very clarity of her vision is what made me understand how evil it was down to its very roots.

I understood, perhaps for the first time, that while procreation is driven by the female seduction of the male and the female nurturing of the young, the male willingness to explore, to invent, to face the unknown down, to be “men of action’—all of which require bravery, boldness, and utter risk-taking—were what drove males from God on forward to create the new.

Now I knew why western religions all insisted, counter-intuitively to the observation of nature, that God was male. Real creation is a violent invasion of the way things already are, and females are by nature neither violent nor invaders.

Of course this doesn’t mean that females can’t be creative and males can’t be nurturing. We each contain, to a lesser extent, the attributes of the other gender. But purely for identifying the principles involved, creation is the male principle and procreation is the female.

Lucifer, by any of the names she had used at one time or another—Eve, Lilith, Satan—hated God because by nature he was more spontaneously creative, more comfortable in the role of creator, than she was. Creation seemed easy for God. Lucifer had to work at it.

Lucifer was jealous of God because when it came to composing universes, God was Mozart and she was Salieri.

Lucifer’s own effort at creating a new universe of her own — which she named “Hell” as a compliment to the ancient Greek philosophers — was a good example. I’ve had it independently corroborated that the account she gave in her book, telling what went wrong with Hell, was pretty honest.

After her life on earth as Eve, Lucifer concluded that what she had witnessed going wrong on earth had been the human tendency to focus on the differences between people rather than their similarities. People fell into an “us versus them” mentality. There were your own tribesmen; everyone else was a barbarian, a ferengi, a gaijin, a gentile — an outsider. Men focused on the differences they had from women, and vice versa, rather than each focusing on their common humanity and symbiotic roles. Men, in particular, focused on their differences and fought wars over them against other men.

When she decided to create a universe of her own, Lucifer’s conception was elegant and, in my opinion, very bold. She decided to make all of her creatures hermaphroditic—capable of either fertilizing others or being fertilized to bear children themselves—and to make all of them physical twins to each other. It would be an entire planet of twin siblings whom, she believed, would have no differences to fight about.

Brilliant in conception as it was, Hell was a ­disaster.

The principle of uniformity started out bad and, as it evolved, only got worse. Without individual distinctions, everybody saw everybody else as a spare part, to be thrown away as soon as the slightest defect showed up. The social order quickly drifted into an insect-like totalitarianism that made the liquidations of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot, in our own history, look like the work of amateurs. With no individuality built into the system, there wasn’t a single revolutionary capable of the independence of mind necessary to lead a liberation movement to save that world from its own dead end.

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Lucifer, the Goddess of Hell, found out the truth of that bit of wisdom the hard way—and she felt so guilty over the misery that resulted from her own creation that she decided to start questioning the principle of creation, itself.

It was a short slippery slope from creative frustration to jealousy to a rejection of all she saw around her. It was not by accident that she named her anti-God political movement the Anorexic Party. It was not just that those who rejected God were spitting out the food of life. It was that they were spitting at the king of all invention.


I was so shaken up that I needed to get my mind off politics, even if for a few hours. I got my daughter’s number from the Tree, gave her a call, and made plans with her to attend the violin competition of the Heavenly Olympics that evening. Heaven follows the original Greek Olympics in that events are not only athletic but also artistic.

We noticed a lot of celebrities in attendance, but I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see John F. Kennedy sitting in a box with Jackie. I hadn’t known the two of them were an item again.

The Olympic Violin competition that night was wonderful, with contestants playing everything from Bach to Bluegrass. As usual, the judges were themselves past violin competition gold-medalists such as Niccolò Paganini, Joseph Joachim, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern and Fritz Kreisler. The gold that night went to a rookie, barely up from earth, named Julie Schulman, who brought the stadium to their feet with his bravura performance of Hoagy Carmichael’s third violin concerto.

After the concert, Felony and I went flying into the Sinai mountains for a midnight picnic, and I finally got a chance to catch up with what my daughter had been up to recently. She had written a comic screenplay titled Alas Poor Eunuch that William Shakespeare had committed to direct because she was preoccupied writing another script, and the two of them were in a dispute about casting.

“These Brits are such snobs,” Felony complained. “Bill wants an actor he worked with at the Globe for the lead, but I had Groucho in mind when I wrote the script and I don’t give a damn that Groucho’s not ‘classically trained.’ If Shakespeare doesn’t back down, I’m going to ask my co-producer, George Lucas, to fire him while we’re still in pre-production and see if we can get Nora Ephron.”

When I got home that night at about 0300 CeST, there was a message on my phone from God’s appointment secretary, Ruth, asking me to come back to the palace for a meeting with God at 0900 that morning. I decided I had time for a few hours shut-eye so I set my alarm for 0700 and sacked out.

It seemed to me that I’d only been asleep for a few minutes, though, when I felt a huge crack and my bed started shaking. The first thought in my head was earthquake and my California instincts took over immediately. I flew, literally, under the nearest doorway and waited for the rumbling to die down.

But when I looked out my window, what I saw filled me with horror.

The gigantic diamond palace at the center of Heaven—the seat of the Throne of God — was missing from the night sky … and the streets below where it had been were on fire.


Next in Escape from Heaven is Chapter X.

Escape from Heaven is
Copyright © 2002 J. Neil Schulman &
Copyright © 2010 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust.
All rights reserved.

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Amazon Video. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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