Many of the guests had begun to doubt that there was a Mr G or whether ther was ever going to be a Party. Others began to concoct strange ideas about what Mr G required of them before the party could begin and formed a number of cults around these ideas.
The installment ended with the perhaps somewhat amusing mantra of the Gazers:
Some of the Gazers felt that the mantra was not really of any use in itself, except to keep the gazer awake. But, this in itself was of great importance. For, if they dozed off, their heads would nod and, since they were sitting so close to the Doors, they would likely touch the wood with nose or forehead. To actually touch the doors was a great sacrilege and any Gazer who did so was beaten soundly on the arms and shoulders with stout, wooden staffs.
It was sacrilege to touch the Doors because it was tantamount to saying to the Big G himself that they thought they could actually enter the Doors in a physical sense, which was a negation of their entire belief system.
The purpose of "gazing" was to stare at the figures until they began to move of themselves and then to follow the movements until they were completely absorbed in the movements and forgot everything about the Great Hall.
Their goal was to "become one with the Door" and thus pass through in a spiritual way, and thus enter the Glories and Blessings of The Great Party.
It was noticed that those who practiced "gazing" diligently and with great concentration became thinner and thinner -- some might say: emaciated. According to Gazer theology, this was because their "essence" was being transmitted "in the spirit" into the Party. Outside observers, that is to say, skeptics, said it was because they got little exercise and less food...
The antics of this particular cult had little influence on the general population of people waiting for the Party-to-Begin.
More serious were the activities of clever fellows who neither believed nor did not believe in the "Party".
Thinking themselves to be wise to the ways of the world, they began to play the all-too-human games of intrigue and power. They staked out claims on parts of the great hall as their "property" and found many ways to enslave the other guests making them work as chattels, performing strange, useless, sometimes even despicable things for the "kings" (as they liked to call themselves). For their service they received a few morsels of food, or half decayed scraps from their burgeoning tables...
Some of those who believed in the Party railed against the "kings" and "queens", saying that what they did was wrong and an anathema to Big G! But they were usually "silenced" in one way or other.
The more clever and "realistic" of the "believers" found it to their advantage to ally themselves with those who had one way or other acquired power.
It was always a difficult task for "believers" to convince other guests the truth of their doctrines for which, on the basis of the used bus tickets and crumpled paper napkins, they claimed the authority of the Big G. In fact, many guests simply laughed at them...
However, when backed by the power and physical authority of a "king", their spiritual authority took on a certain, more immediate reality...
The snotty little "kings" had their benefit from this arrangement. The preachers said that it was obviously "right and just" and in fact the "Will of G" that the power and ownership of so much of the great hall was in the hands of so few. The fact that they "owned" these things in the first place was "proof!" -- else, the Big G would not allow it to be that way!
Events in the Great Hall continued to evolve in this manner for a long time and the situation got more and more complicated. The "kings" and "queens" fought among themselves for more power and "ownership" of more resources of the great hall. There were great battles and many people were killed.
Much of the great hall was destroyed, either in these fights or polluted and stripped of value in order to satisfy the strange needs and desires of those in power.
Although there was still much food, there was hunger and many guests suffered famine and even died of starvation or succumbed to infectious diseases, because of their weakened condition.
I could go on and on -- the story gets longer and longer -- but there seems little point in continuing with details which only get more disgusting and depressing.
Why, the story would probably begin to resemble the story of our own world!
For some reason, Lewis Carrol's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" comes to mind:
"But answer came there none—* * * * * * * * * *
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one..."
Is there a Mr. G? Is there a Party?
Is the Third Galaxy nothing but a great hall, a vestibule, a prelude to another plane of existence?
I do not know -- in truth, I know of no honest person who would even pretend to answer.
Instead: consider the famous "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow: Is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
Perhaps, but if you run towards the end of the rainbow you can see, it will only recede further with each step you take.
If there is a pot of gold, it is at the other end of the rainbow and the other end of the rainbow is right where you are.
And so it is with the door, if there is a door, it is a narrow door, no wider than a heart beat and no higher than the length of a breath.
If there is a Party, here is where you must enter, and if there is a "Mr. G.", that is where you will find what you seek.