All the world sat singing.
They were all dressed in white, and they sang a hymn of praise to the All. For the All had finally conquered the Me and won the victory, and the people were glad. All the world sat singing, and their song was a single melody repeated incessantly—“Glory to the All, for we are All”—repeated incessantly. There was no harmony; there was no need for harmony. The crowd was dressed in white, sameness folds of linen woven in one piece, never a seam to break the flow. There was no color; there was no need for color.
All the world sat singing, and their hymn of praise to the All was never-ending. But in the heart of one small figure in the back of the people there blossomed a note of difference. She was small of stature and big of soul, and her hair was as black as a raven. And to herself she whispered, even as she continued to chant with all the world—to herself she whispered, “Why is there no harmony? Why is there no need for color?”
All the world sat singing, for the All had finally defeated the Me. And though some sages said that the Me would never die, they either changed their thinking or were done away with. For they who said such things were rebelling against the All, and the All must be victorious. The small figure with the big soul and the raven hair knew what happened to the sages, and silently had learned.
All the world stood singing, and their hymn of praise to the All was cloying. The small figure with the big soul and the raven hair chanted with all the world, but the blossom of Me within her was growing. It thrust deep roots into her big soul and drank of its joyous life. It captured her, overwhelmed her, filled her, and burst forth from her mouth in a harmonic jovial cascade. It did not attack the All with its harmony; it joined with the All and enriched it and deepened it, and all the world wondered.
All the world stood wondering as the hymn of praise to the All welled up stronger than ever, not helping the harmony of the Me, but seeking to drown it with sheer volume. But as the small figure with the big soul and the raven hair heard the hymn grow stronger, so too did she raise her voice and the harmony of the Me grew stronger also. And now, somewhere else in the crowd of people, another blossom of harmony and Me burst forth in full bloom in another section of the people, and another, and another. The hymn grew greater and more magnificent as the All was once more dissolved into the Me, and the Me blended to become an All—not the All, but an All. And as the All dissolved, all the world grew afraid and fell silent.
All the world stood silent, the hymn of praise to the All dying on their lips. A few brave souls still sang their harmony, but it was as fine embroidery without a tapestry. The threads of glorious harmony fell down into the wells of silence, distant and dry. Only the small figure with the big soul and the raven hair could still sing, and her voice was dying. She struggled, for she knew that if the song fell silent, the world would perish.
All the world lay dying; the small figure with the big soul and the raven hair could no longer stand upright. She falls to her knees, gasping out the life-giving chant, but she knows that it is hopeless. She totters; her breath comes in great heaving gasps; the dying people around her silently beg with their deafening silence for her to save them, for at least a moment more. She wavers—she falls—a strangled cry from her lips, and all is silence.
All the world lay dead. The All had finally conquered.