Chapter 7. Voyage to space

They soared straight into a nebula shining brilliantly. Rocco is amazed to see the Earth becoming smaller and smaller. As soon as he saw his house shrinking to a small dot, the shape of Japan, which he often saw in the terrestrial globe in the study of Father, appeared in front of him. It then became smaller and smaller and the Earth slowly showed its entire shape.“I knew it from the globe, but I didn’t expect that it would appear right in front of me with such a big scale. It’s truly amazing! It’s the Earth! A gigantic globe of marbled sky blue is floating without any props in the background painted matte black all over. I’m looking at the place where I was just now from outside of it. Father, Mother, and Kii-chan are all over there.”
The lady hoped for Rocco to understand that the Earth is a very beautiful planet, that it is an irreplaceable planet for the cosmos, that there are countless such irreplaceable planets in the cosmos, and the cosmos is giving profound Love to everything there.
“Rocco, you see the Earth, don’t you?”
“Yes!”
“How does it look?”
“Big. Very big!”
“Well, then, let’s get out of the solar system. Give me your hand.”
Before he knew, he had let go of her hand.
The lady held Rocco’s hand again, and headed further away from the Earth to the outside of the solar system. The Earth was overwhelmingly big, but became smaller and smaller to the size of half, and then its half, as they went further. Rocco felt very sad. He believed that the Earth is special, different from other planet. As looking at the Earth shrinking to the size of a tennis ball, he felt uneasy and perplexed how to understand all this.
Ignoring Rocco’s feelings, the Earth is going away from him further and further. A host of stars are passing Rocco at a furious speed as if they were arrows. Rocco was watching the Earth intently not to lose sight of it, but finally it became a mere dot. The lady told Rocco the names of the planets, such as Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn as they passed by, but these planets also were swallowed by the darkness and disappeared. The entire solar system now became a dot.
As they went further away from the dot of the solar system, a huge cloud appeared in front of them as it stood in their way.
“It’s the Oort cloud. It’s a treasure house of comets.” A host of small fixed stars envelope the solar system. “Now, let’s go further away. When we get out of this cloud, we will be in the world of fixed stars.”
She made a big leap. “Look, Rocco, isn’t it beautiful? All of these stars fostered love very well. They all enjoyed its destiny and completed their role. They are all shining brilliantly with confidence.”
Rocco has never bathed in such a pleasant brilliant light before.
“I know! I’d like to show it to Kii-chan. She will be excited.”
Rocco remembered what Kii-chan always said. “I can’t live where there is no illumination. See, Rocco, in a word, I look very good when surrounded by illumination.”
“Rocco, this is not the end of our voyage. We will go as far as 120,000 light years.”
Rocco doesn’t understand what’s what. He feels powerless. Twisted around her little finger as a stuffed toy, he feels himself boneless.
He cannot see the Oort cloud any more. Since they pushed their way through so many stars at a furious speed, stars’ light overlapped to form a band of light, which stretched behind them. Rocco feels as if he himself became a comet. Then, the lady quietly let her hand go off his.
“It’s the 120,000th light year!”
It looks like a floating floss stretched skillfully into the shape of spiral. When they get closer, they see thick clouds lying one layer upon another and each holding countless stars.
“Rocco, are you seeing what I’m seeing?”
“Yes, yes.”
“This is the Galaxy. A huge group of stars. There are at least 300 billion suns that are always visible.”
“300 billion suns?”
“You see that the center bulging? It is called the galactic bulge. It’s, well, I believe, 16,000 light years thick.”“16,000 light years!”
Looking at Rocco who is responding to and understanding everything that has happened to him, the lady renews her belief that Rocco is more than a mere cat, or even more than average human beings. Every time she communicates with him, he makes great strides in his perception. Meanwhile, Rocco was overwhelmed.
He saw the Earth, which he was gazing at intently, swallowed by the solar system before he knew, and that solar system also enveloped by the huge Oort cloud.
Even though they’ve come out into the space just a while ago, they cannot see the Earth and the solar system that envelops it any more.
There where they are, there are as many as 30 billion suns, which for the Earth is irreplaceable.
In this pitch dark, endless space of the galaxy, nobody would hear even though he shouted as loud as he could.
Surrounded by heavy air, he cannot move freely.
Overwhelmed by too fast development and too high numbers, he felt himself very small and weak.
Rocco was lost deep in thought. He began to feel that everything he had thought important losing its significance. He’s getting on for 2 years old.
He now knows everything about the Father’s house. Even more than Kii-chan. Because she doesn’t know anything about the space in between the ceiling and roof or under the floor.
I was proud of myself for knowing everything about the Father’s house, but…. I don’t know anything about my town, my city, my country, neighboring countries, many other countries, the Earth, and the cosmos. I don’t know anything at all!
This space called the cosmos has such a profoundness. How do I think about it? Wherever I see, upward, downward, or sideways, it’s all deep, black, and heavy, and there is no limit.
Seeing Rocco lost in thought, almost overwhelmed, the lady decided to finish their space voyage to the space and take him to the domain of Love. She wanted him to look at by any means. Also, he will instantly recover from mental fatigue. He is still too young and his imagination already run out.

The lady told him without any preliminary remarks.
“We have arrived at 8 billion light years! This is the first space of the domain of Love, Gateway to Love. Look around, Rocco, countless dots of light are shining as if to attract each other. Isn’t it beautiful?”
Rocco was deeply touched to know that those small dots are all living stars who are working hard to emit light continuously.
“Where is the Earth? How are Father, Mother, and Kii-chan doing?”
Rocco felt somewhat homesick. But as if to throw cold water on his feelings, she said, “Rocco, that dot is not a star. It’s the Galaxy that we just saw.”
“What!”
“Here, a host of stars are attracting each other and becoming part of the construction of systems, groups, nebulas, and the Galaxy. Every imaginable thing which happens in the cosmos is created by the presence of this Love.”
“But I cannot see a thing!” Rocco, who pulled himself together a little by little, asked her cheerfully.
“Yes, you can. Now, look closely.”
Rocco got closer to where she pointed. Still he cannot see anything.
“Rocco” He heard her calling from far away. He turned his face and found her waving at him from far away.
“She is so far away from me!” Rocco discovered that he was left behind alone in complete darkness, and tried desperately to go where she is. But in the condition of weightlessness, he couldn’t move as he wanted. It was like even though he struggled to move ahead in the sea by cat-paddling, he couldn’t move due to the water pressure.
The lady told him with a smile. “Rocco, where you are now is one spot, and where I am is another spot. See? Just imagine intently that moving one spot from another. Never try to picture a track from there to here.”
“From one spot to another! I see.” He took a deep breath, calmed down, and then cried in his mind, “From this spot to that!” He landed right by her side as if he was sucked into a strong magnetic field.
“Look back where you were, Rocco.” He turned around and bent backward in astonishment, screaming.
“It’s just gigantic. An overwhelmingly huge wall is blocking the cosmos. There is no hole in it. It shuts out the shining stars and the pitch dark cosmos. Like a solid concrete wall, it’s bearing down on him with enormous power.
Rocco hid himself behind the lady.
“Are you scared, Rocco?”
“Yeah,” barely replied Rocco in a hoarse voice.
“Well, then, it looks like a huge fort to you, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s it!”
“This Gate of Love is responsible for guarding the second space of Love energy from those stars that neglected to nurture love which was initially given by the heaven. You are still too young to know about love. So, it must have reacted the same way as when a foreign object entered. It all depends how a star played its roles how this gateway looks to it.”
“Is there still anything else after seeing this fort?”
Rocco murmured in a tone that was enough.
“The truth of the cosmos, energy of Love. It sustains the presence, perception, and consistency of the cosmos for 18 billion years.This is the origin of the cosmos and its final goal, Rocco!”
“Oh, really? Then, it’s the end of it, isn’t it?”
“Rocco, you did a good job. I mean it. But you need to look at this domain closely. Human beings will never be able to even approach to it even in 1,000 years time.”
“Wow! Really! But I’ve managed to come here. Am I right in there, right?”
“That’s right, Rocco. You’ve had a very precious experience.”
“But why is it so important to be here? We’ve passed so many planets, stars, and galaxies to reach here. Is it more important here?”
“This place accounts for 80 percent of the entire cosmos.”
“80 percent! That means almost all of it.”
“Exactly.”
“The Earth and the Galaxy are of course inside of it”
“No, in the remainder…”
“In the remainer? You don’t say!”
“The Earth is in the remaining 20 percent.”
“Oh!? I thought I came from very very far away.
Do you say that the part I came from is only 20 percent of the cosmos? I don’t understand it very well.”
“It may not be the precise description of the cosmos, but I’ll explain it to you plainly. Take this chalk and draw as I tell you.”
“On where?”
“Right in front of you.”
“Is it possible?”
“If you wish to draw, you can draw anywhere. You can draw on the blackboard in front of you.”
“Blackboard?” When Rocco stuck out his hand with a chalk, it hit something hard. “Oh!”
“Right? Well, then, draw a small dot in the center. That’s right. Then, draw a circle with the dot as the center. A little away from the dot. That’s right. Let’s regard that dot as the Sun that you see every morning. That makes the circle the solar system. Therefore, planets from Mercury to Neptune including the Earth exist in between the dot and the circle.
Next, draw another circle with the same dot as the center. That’s right. Here there were…”
“The Oort cloud!”
“Exactly!”
And after leaving this circle, we found many planets shining beautifully, like jewels. When Rocco was playing tag with Kii, he accidentally knocked down Mother’s jewel box which was on the shelf, and the jewelry inside was scattered all over the floor.
“Wow!” Kii first raised her voice.
“It’s beautiful. How fabulous!” Even the floor looked proud of itself having glittering gems. Mommy doesn’t have very gorgeous jewelry. She doesn’t take any interest in things new, either. What she loves is good antiques from Victorian or Georgian eras, and that what she collects.
What sprang out of the jewelry box was not flashy but had profound glitter gained from time. Kii and Rocco were looking in fascination at them for a while.
Looking at countless planets scattered in the night sky, Rocco was remembering that incident.
And I need to draw another big circle here. This is where the Galaxy is. And then, we came very very far away, didn’t we? It is 8 billion light years! This, I need to draw really big.

Moving around the blackboard cheerfully, Rocco drew the diagram of the cosmos. The Lady saw Rocco absorbing new things one after another like a sponge in water. Rocco, seeks her responses every time he draws circles and moves around cheerfully. He is still innocent and childlike. The future of the Earth will be left to this little cat, who has to follow the path of a destined child. The Lady who came to tell him that could not help feeling pity on Rocco.
“How should I draw the fort? There’s no space left for drawing such a huge thing.”
“The fort? Oh, you meant the Gateway to Love. Why don’t you get close to it again and see it for yourself?”
“Well, I’m not good at such a dignified thing.”
“You’ll be all right. The cosmos understands you now. Now, go and see.”
“O.K.”
Rocco approached the Gateway. It is a huge wall. He put his hand nervously.
Oh!
His hand is entering into the wall. He tried to keep his balance hastily. The Gateway to Love already understood Rocco’s role and had restored its original state. Now what confronts him is a gigantic net of soft material reminiscent of refined silk thread. However, Rocco now doesn’t feel any fear nor oppression. Rather, he feels comfortable and relaxed more and more. He even caught a sweet aroma. It is a familiar scent.
It is the aroma of amaretto! It is said that this Gateway to Love watches over this vast cosmos from the distance of 8 billion light years as if to envelope it. As Rocco looked up, he noticed that the size and shape of each mesh are varied.
“These meshes have different shapes.”
“Right. I didn’t expect you would notice it. These shapes represent the shapes of love which exist in the cosmos.”
“Really!?”
“Each mesh has a slightly different shape, right?”
“Yeah, they differ slightly.”
“As you see, it is hard to find a non-distorted square.”
“Yeah.” Rocco responded in a very faint voice.
“It means that it needs strong will and courage to foster true love.”
“On the Earth, the emotion called ‘Love’ is running wild without any basis.”
“‘Love’ is running wild? But the Earth is loved by the moon, right?”
“Yes, it used to be. But the moon is now keeping its distance little by little from the Earth.”
“Why? You said that the Earth and the moon are good friends.”
“I meant, there were such times. Now, the Earth is being very selfish and abusing the moon–digging holes and dumping remains of satellites. The moon feels very sad about it. The moon still feels indebted to the Earth. It still does, so it is falling away from it little by little.”
“Does it matter a lot?”
“The axis of the Earth will be out of place. Everything will be thrown off its balance.”
“For example?”
“For example, it will be not so long way off in the future when a year no longer has 365 days.”
“Oh, I thought that was a given.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“Will we have more days or fewer?”
“We’ll have fewer and fewer days.”
“Well, then, what will happen to the Earth?”
“It all depends on the planet itself what will happen to it.”
“It all depends on the planet. Will the Earth be OK?” Feeling uneasy, Rocco cast his eyes to the Gateway to Love once again.
It looked like a piece of huge cloth, which separated the cosmos as if it was a screen that reflects everything in the cosmos.
“Come right here, Rocco.”
He went over to her. It was a netting, as he had thought. He found most of the squares distorted.
“Would you like to see the shape of the Earth, Rocco?”
“Yes, but is it possible to see it?”
“Sure. It is a little far away, though. Now, come with me.”Almost touching the net, they flew at a furious speed to the depth of darkness as if they were heading for the invisible end of the cosmos.
Rocco was feeling that he was thrusting through something. Then, groups of young planets appeared close to the net. They emit millions of rays energetically, which make the net shine in silver and look beautiful. They passed it in an instant and then stopped. Rocco recovered his balance and stood beside the Lady in front of the net. He saw a square right in front of him. It forms a beautiful shape of nearly regular square. But looking closer, he found it frayed a lot. It tells that it has gone through fairly long years.
Rocco was happy to see the Earth, which manages to maintain the shape of square. He didn’t expect to see the Earth in such a manner in this journey. The Earth is more precious than any other planets that he encountered so far, he thought. “Yes, I am a member of the Earth!” Since he came out to the cosmos, he was moved a number of times, but this should be the last time, he told to himself with tears in his eyes.
“Rocco, this is not the Earth. Hang on for a moment.”
“Oh?”
Then, the net started to tremble and something stroked his face and body.
Is it wind? Is there wind in outer space?
“Here we are. We’ve come beyond many dimensions. Here we are in the dimension where the Earth is. Now, we are going down slowly.”
They went down by one row of the net as if going down in an elevator. They stopped.
Rocco caught his breath.
“This is the shape of ‘Love’ on the Earth.”
He eyes were riveted the shape. It forms an unforgettable shape at a glance.The length of four lines varies, which makes the square unstable. It is distorted and looks very different from those squares surrounding it.
Since Rocco came into the outer space, he absorbed a lot of new things and made a great strides. All the more, he was greatly shocked.
He looked around the Earth again.
Everyone else is trying hard to maintain the shape of square, but he didn’t feel such zeal in the Earth.
Somewhat sad, unhappy feeling grew in his mind. He shivered as if his blood was suddenly cooled somewhere out of his body and came back to him.
“Rocco.”
Rocco was too depressed to sort out his feelings.
He even didn’t hear the Lady calling him.
“Rocco.”
“Yes, that’s it! It was a dream! I’ve been in the middle of dream. It has to be so! Well, now I know. I was dreaming. Good.” It is his habit to think it was a dream when something incomprehensible happened.
“Rocco.”
Yes, ah, I think I was dreaming.
“It is not a dream.”
“It isn’t?”
“As I said before, it is an unexplored domain where humans will never be able to come. It is impossible to see it even in a dream.”
“What? I thought you can dream of anything you want.”
I once heard Mommy telling Kii laughing that she dated John Malkovich along the Fifth Avenue in her dream.
Kii also said that she used to dream of getting thunderous applause at an opera theater.
“It is impossible to see it even in a dream.” The Lady said firmly to interrupt Rocco. And then, she said very softly, “It is a place beyond any dream.”
“Beyond a dream!?”
“That’s right. Truth exists where you go beyond dream.”
“What?”
The Lady, who saw that it was beyond Rocco’s comprehension, held his hand and said, “Let’s go back.”
“O.K.”
As he felt gravity little by little touch his weightless body, the Lady told him gently, “Open your eyes.”
“Wow, I’m back now.”
“What I wanted you to understand very well is that the cosmos must always be filled with love. It is the same with the Earth and other planets, too. It is very important. The Earth lacks love very much. In the vast cosmos, there is only one Earth. You have to love your own planet more.”
“I, I think, I love the Earth more than everybody now.”
“Really? You feel that way, Rocco?” The Lady sounded very pleased.
“Yes, probably because I went into the outer space. When I see other planets, I was comparing them with the Earth. I was really shocked to see the shape of love of the Earth. When you said ‘Let’s go back,’ I was excited to go back to the Earth. I didn’t think of anybody, Daddy, Kii, or Torakichi. I just thought of going back to the Earth. I was glad to hear that we are going back to the Earth.”
“You must have been conscious that you are a member of the Earth, since you went into the outer space. Humans lack this understanding of the Earth as a member of the cosmos. They dig holes on the pretext of space development, and dump trash there. They bring their issues outside the Earth. It is causing big problems. But, on the other hand, humans produced something wonderful, too. It is civilization. All humans’ activities lie there. Civilization represents humans. Everything that humans generate, including good and bad intentions, is…”
“Civilization? You mean Love, too?”
The Lady nodded and added.
“In human’s world, there are sins everyone is destined to commit. But for whatever reason, there is one thing that no one should do. Rocco, do you know what it is?” “I once ate a chestnut from Kii’s lunch box before she knew. Kii cried, with tears “My chestnut is gone, where is it?”
“This is one of the sins but it is not what we are talking about now. The absolute sin is to commit murder.
There is no single reason for that. It is not allowed to kill even a single person. From now on, population will increase more and more to flood the Earth.
They will begin to fight for the limited fruit of the Earth, for they have now become very self-centered. Then, humans will become incredibly cruel. They won’t reflect on the awareness of sin, consult with their wisdom, nor question in terms of logic. They will kill other people without hesitation. When a life of one person was violently taken, a small piece of Love will come off from the Earth as if grains of sand fell from the small gaps between fingers.”
“Oh, no, then the Earth will be in a terrible shape.”
“And yet, those who were responsible for murdering hundreds or thousands of people govern a country and sometimes recorded in the history as a great person. It’s just unbelievable that people leave these things going on.”
Deep anxiety and sorrow filled the beautiful profile of the Lady.
“I could not find any sage who can save this cold world. For the past 5,000 years,I’ve sent several sages to preach about Love. But warlike people used them as a cause of war. But I was confident that you would come, Rocco. I was waiting for you.”
“Waiting for me?”
“That’s right. I was waiting for you who would come to this world as a cat.” When he heard the phrase “come to this world as a cat,” Rocco saw in his mind fragments of scenes that he had never seen before as if cards being shuffled at a furious speed. He was taken back to the past.