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Monday, April 22, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Three, Earth; Chapter Fifteen, Observation


Week 16


After the Indonesia eruption, during the time that Jim was gathering the people together, while he was forming them into enduring tribes, subtle changes began to take shape in the social and cultural traditions of the people.

They drew pictures in the soil with sticks to narrate their journeys, and chart their path of progress.

They understood the world in terms of images.

They were post literate.

They carved their hopes and fears into stones, and the faces of cliffs, in places that became semi-permanent homes. Generations of members would work on a single carving, the task being handed down from mother to daughter, and father to son.

In those carvings Jim could see the echoes of their memories of their previous sojourn among the stars.

Those memories lingered, they were intense.

Jim began to isolate the physical link that joined the current generation to its past in their genetic profile.

The stories they told about that time were confused and entangled with their current journey through the dark.

They mixed colors and painted, projecting images of the future they desired on cave walls, both the things they wanted, hoped for; food and water, and wanted more to avoid; a short life, a dangerous animal, an encounter with a stronger tribe.

They were overwhelming concerned with safety and security. 

They depicted things no one living had ever seen, the memory of which they carried in their genes. Those images became stylized and fantastic, and in those stories, they made their ancestors into gods.

The music of the people, the drums they beat, the rhythms they made, they pushed the stories of each tribe, each family, deep into the memory of its members.

Drums and rhythm these operated as a visceral reinforcement of the memories that the human tribes passed down from one generation to the next.

It changed them on the genetic level, setting up successive generations to recall them, relive them, to transform those stories into a part of their being.

Jim played to this phenomenon, he avidly worked to eradicate any form of written narrative.

He succeeded.

Every tribe developed its own oral tradition. Stories were handed down from master to pupil.

Paintings and images, sculptures, these became objects of religious ritual and devotion. People only engaged in their creation with careful attention.

Music was the heart of the people.

Each tribe found its own interpretation of the musical scale. They developed their own drums, their own pipes and horns and instruments made of string.

This was a great science.

The exchange of music between cultures was often met with alarm, and fear.

All music was recognizable as music. But the form that it could take, the beat, the measure, the timing, the tonal quality, these could create significant psychic disturbances in people when they heard an alien scale for the first time.

For thousands of years Jim worked to exasperate those differences, before finally bringing them together. The result were new traditions of overwhelming beauty and complexity. Which not only captivated human audiences, but enthralled the Collective as well.
           
It was a grand orchestration.

Even before the eruption 72,000 years ago, the culture of these children of the Ancient People, the culture of the humans of Earth had devolved.

They had fallen from star-farer to cave dweller.

Yet their cultures retained a faint memory of its ancestry. The memory of the stars they had crossed had been preserved through the stories they told, and in the engrams of memory encoded in their cells.

For Jim, it was precious little to build on.

He was determined to modify their genetic profile in such a way that it could boost the organic memory retention of their bodies as much as possible.

Jim engineered in himself a bifurcation of consciousness.

In the satellite station far above the planet, he housed the full version of himself hosted in the mechanoid body that travelled with him to Earth.

That consciousness was connected to hundreds of living vessels, versions of himself living on the planet surface doing the work he had set out to do among the people. This was an extreme violation of the conventions.

He was in fact only permitted one organic body.

Over time, he received the materials from the Empire to build a space station. On that station he was able to carry out experiments, to perform the science that would allow him to carry out the augmentations both in himself and the human race that he needed.

There were a myriad of steps to climb for him to accomplish his goals with the inhabitants of Earth, and numerous channels to cross.

Jim slowly, methodically plotted his course and followed it, adjusting only when it was necessary.

Step by step and generation by generation he introduced the genetic changes he required into the breeding pool.

Modern humans emerged from these processes.

During their sojourn to Earth, the children of the Ancients determined what their physical needs would be, long before they arrived at their new home they began to make those changes.

They had identified Earth as a suitable place to end their journey, even while they were still light years away.

At that time they still possessed the scientific knowledge to carry out the task of altering their physiology in order that they might align themselves with the gravity and atmosphere of the distant planet.

They began to mutate their DNA, altering their genetic structure, allowing them to inhabit, and thrive on the wet-blue world.

Destination Earth, it was their last hope for a home and haven.

Over the course of generations they adapted to those new requirements, doing their best to anticipate what their bodies would now require, which they based on a climate and ecology that they could only model through computer algorithms.

It was a process of continual adjustment.

Every time a new genetic sequence would be introduced into the body, they ran the risk of a virus springing up, some of them were lethal.

Many of the colonists were struck down in this process. It was an ongoing tragedy, and while they had prepared for it, it was painful nonetheless. It called for a continuous examination of conscience. It focused the crew on the existential dilemma they all shared.

Some of them wanted to abandon their mission altogether, and simply direct their vessel into the nearest star, bringing an end to all of them in one great conflagration.

The technologies they depended on, which were also the cause of their transformation and eventual triumph, those technologies began to be shunned.

Change begets change, in a never ending cycle.

From one point in time to another, nothing is ever the same. This is true, no matter how finely you measure the distance between points.

Everything is changing.

The Ancient Spacefarers became humanity.

Once they arrived in orbit around their new world, a slow metamorphosis took place.

A new gene was introduced, for their final transformation.

Their contact with the Earth’s bio-sphere presented challenges they had never encountered before.

Life on earth was aggressive.

Through a constant exposure to viruses and bacteria their genetic constitution became compromised.

At the most basic level they converged with the native life of Earth.

They became a new people, the belonged to each other and to their new planet entirely.

This took time. It took many thousands of years, and by the time the transformation was complete, they had lost much of the knowledge of who they were, of where they came from, and the technology they had brought them here.

Their triumphal achievement was the root of their undoing.
           
They left the markers of each change they had instituted in their genetic profile as a road map for Jim to follow in his own breeding program.

When Jim arrived on Earth, he was surprised and bewildered by what he found. Nowhere else in all of the Empire had such a massive cultural devolution occurred. He had barely begun to put the story together before the cataclysm occurred, changing everything for him, and for humanity.

Jim decided at that moment on a course of action that he had long contemplated.

With the gene pool having been reduced to just a few thousand individuals he knew that he had the opportunity to improve on the genetic structure of the whole.

He plotted the future development of the species and began to work out the steps and permutations that he would be looking for as the new species developed over time.

Changes in cognition were the most crucial thing for him to accomplish, along with broadening their access to their genetic memory.

With subtle interventions from Jim, the human brain slowly mutated, retaining properties that were key to the things that he had been dreaming about for a billion years.

He built an inherent capacity to store nanoparticles of key heavy metals, like magnetite, and lithium in the cerebral structure.

Receptors emerged in the organic mind, attenuating the higher order thought processes to the Earth’s magnetic fields.


He established a cynergy between every human being alive, turning the entire planet into a field for cognitive development.

In this way humanity became connected, in the nous-sphere, a collective unconscious emerged. It was atavistic, and unlike any symbiosis that had ever been achieved anywhere else in the galaxy, with the exception of the Collective.

On Earth the collective consciousness emerged as a natural property of the human race in a way that allowed it to go unnoticed by the Continuum.

In that moment of triumph Jim had fully actualized the launch phase of his grand ambition.

The existence of the collective unconscious on Earth was the one thing that the Continuum feared, wanted above anything to prevent, and yet it never imagined that it could happen in this way, therefore it could see it, and could never prepare for it.

Few humans were ever aware of the cynergenic field, or that they lived within the dynamics of the nous-sphere, even though everyone felt it.

Until the twentieth century they did not even have the language to describe it. 

Everyone was entangled in its cynergism.

The nous-sphere was coterminous with Earth’s electromagnetic field, as such, it permeated all things.

Only a small percentage of human beings were sensitive to it.

If an imbalance in their physiology caused them to retain too great a concentration of the particles that attenuated them to the field, or too small, they struck an improper balance, and they suffered because of it.

It gave some human beings clairvoyant abilities, clairsentience, clairaudience, so called psychic powers, extra sensory perception or telepathy.

Those abilities drove many more human beings to madness, schizophrenia and psychosis.

In order for them to understand it they had to wait for the advent of written language, and thousands of years to pass so that they could share the knowledge of it and come to an understanding.

By then Jim figured it would be to late for the Continuum to do anything about it.


Emergence 4.0
Part Three, Earth

Chapter Fifteen, Observation

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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Emergence 3.0 - Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Twelve, Observers; Chapter Four, Corruptible


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Chapter Four: Corruptible

The Continuum viewed people as things. Every element, every substance, everything and everyone was mutable, capable of being elevated and exalted or corrupted and destroyed through the proper application of a change agent.

Members of the Observer Corps were selected for their assignments based on their disposition for disquiet. They were chosen from among the discontent and for their inclination toward corruptibility.

There were always candidates to be chosen from among the Collective.

The Continuum groomed these recruits for their roles over millennia, by reaching into their private worlds and conditioning them through subtle inferences for the appetites that were easiest to manipulate.

It carefully audited their experience of the Collective, it guided their viewing of specific narratives from the Imperial feed. It helped them shape the contours of their private realities, until the time came when the individual member felt the need to experience the flesh again.

The Continuum wanted despots in the Empire, people whose desires were known to it, those who would behave in predictable ways; some as entertainers, others as agents of destruction and oppression.

The consciousness of the members of the Collective was soft, like gold. Like gold it could easily be shaped and polished to bring out its luster.

The Continuum delighted in this work. Shaping the will of the members was a kind of artistry, like sculpting, and through this work it affirmed for the Continuum its view of itself as a godlike being.

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Homily - Easter Sunday (Year C)


2019.04.21 – (Easter Sunday) C

First Reading – Acts 10:34,37-43 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 117(118):1-2,16-17,22-23 ©
Second Reading – Colossians 3:1-4 ©
Alternative Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 ©
Gospel Acclamation – 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
The Gospel According to John 20:1-9 ©
Alternative Reading – Luke 24: 1-35

(NJB)


Listen, and keep this in the forefront of your mind: God does not intervene in creation, or the free choices of human beings.

God does not intervene in our lives, at any point in time and space.

God did not so much anoint Jesus, as did Jesus accept the mantle of sonship to God. Jesus accepted the full burden that this entailed, even to the extent that he went to his death, suffering on the cross.

Jesus was free to reject the ministry that had been laid before him, but he did not. He was faithful to the end. Setting an example for all of us, demonstrating through his life and death the true meaning of the way.

Few people will be called to serve in the capacity that Jesus served; to be tortured and executed for a cause that is right and good.

Few of us have the capacity to love justice so much that they could humbly endure what Jesus endured, and that is why we call him the Christ, anointed with his blood and tears.

If you call yourself a Christian follow Jesus.

Do good.

Love justice.

Be merciful; be a source of healing in the world.

This is the way of Christ

Do the best you can, not for the sake of your salvation, but for the good of your sisters and brothers, for all women and men, for the stranger among you; the migrant and the refugee, even for your enemy.

Follow Jesus.

Do good.

Love justice.

Be merciful; a source of healing in the world.

This is the way.

Do not forget it.

To the extent that the Apostle deviates from this message, he is wrong, he is perpetrating lies for the sake of politics and propaganda.

This is a tragic disservice to the memory of Jesus.

It was not to Jesus of Nazareth that the prophets gave witness; not to Jesus specifically, but to the spirit of God that dwelt within him, and in every other person who has taken to themselves the mission of divine suffering.

Jesus never encouraged us to believe in him so that we could be saved, but to believe that we are saved; by God, ipso facto, out of love, simply because we are.

Saint Paul never saw the resurrected Jesus, but he did see in himself something that was Christ like, and divine. He taught us to see the same thing in each other, the figure of the risen Christ.

He moved us toward grace.

Listen!

It is true that the God is kind, loving, and merciful.

It is true that God always comes to God’s children in the way of kindness, love and mercy, even when God is exercising judgment, and administering justice.

God has no enemies.

God does not dwell behind the walls of a city.

There are no gates barring access to God.

God is in all places, at all times and in the hearts of all people.

God does not favor one child above another.

God is a bringing of life, not death.

God loves peace, not war.

If you meet victory in battle or in any other conflict or contest, do not confuse this with God’s will.

Be mindful of this.

Let us not pretend that life is waiting for us on the other side of the veil.

True life is the life we live here on Earth. We are called on by our faith to live this life as if we believed that the promise of our salvation were true, and already accomplished.

Imagine the holy family of God, of God who created the universe and everything in it.

Imagine living with the holy family in that garden now, at peace, without want or enmity, imagine that place where we can see clearly that our relationships with each other are more important than gold, and silver, more important than anything.

That is the place of true life, and we are called to live that life openly.

We must make a change, go back to our beginnings, to the simplicity of a child’s heart and grow ourselves anew.

Consider the teaching of the Apostle.
For the Apostle; yeast is an agent of change. It transforms us as it does bread.

We are the bread.

The apostle wants to take us back to a place before we were corrupted by the yeast of worldly influence, by the corruption of sin.

In this metaphor, yeast is the power of sin.

The followers of Christ are asked to reject the yeast and return to a state of purity, returning us to the unleavened state, a place that is simple and good.

Adding yeast to the dough allows the bread to rise, it adds flavor and pleasure, but it also corrupts the loaf.

The Gospel reading for the day does not offer a great deal of theology to engage with. The narrative is brief. And relatively straight-forward.

It was dark on Sunday morning, when Mary Magdala came to the tomb. She had been at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified. It was she who anointed him for burial, and she was the first to receive the revelation that Jesus had risen.

It was dark when she arrived at the tomb, but not completely, in the dim light of morning she saw a hint of the truth that would unfold as the sun rose, and fit illed the day with light.

She saw the stone rolled away from the tomb, and found the tomb empty.

At first she assumed that someone had come and removed the body of Jesus; taken and hidden him somewhere.

She hurried to find the others, to tell them what she had found. When the other disciples arrived on the scene and explored the empty tomb for themselves, the understanding of what had transpired began to take hold.

They saw the empty tomb, the burial garments cast aside, and they understood that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

On that belief, and on the strength of their witness the Church was born, but the Church was not built on the foundation of Peter’s faith. It was built on the faith of women; the women who never abandoned Jesus, the women who did everything in their power to make smooth the path that was in front of him.

Throughout his ministry it was the women who surrounded him, the women who always knew, who always understood the power of his message. They were never confused about his mission. They always understood how it would end.

While his male disciples tripped over themselves, doubted him, doubted each other, vied for supremacy, betrayed him, denied him, sold him into captivity; while all of that was going on, the women were steadfast by his side. They anointed him, they witnessed his trial, they stood by him as he was crucified, they buried him, they waited by the tomb, and they were the first to see him risen.

God bless these women, and their faith, it was a comfort to Jesus in his final hours.

After all that they had witnessed those same foolish men put the women aside. Took over the narrative, and did their best to wash their names from the Gospel.

The story of the church became less and less about Easter morning, and more and more about the days and weeks that followed.

The Gospel writers became confused with questions about who Jesus was, about his rank among the prophets, about his historical connection to Moses, about the proof of his ministry that was given in the scriptures/

In their confusion they began to make up stories to validate their claims, and this was all unnecessary.

It was contrary to the Spirit of Truth they were ostensibly committed to serve.

They had learned a great deal from Jesus about the way, but not enough. They continued to fall back on their same mistakes, mistakes that were fueled by fear and ignorance, arrogance and pride.

Jesus did not perform miracles in order to prove to anyone that he was a child of God. He stressed the fact that we are all the children of God, even the leper and the thief, the unmarried woman and the outcast.

Jesus did not come to work magic, to provide signs and wonders, because that is not how God, the creator of the universe, works in the world.

The core truth in this Gospel passage is not the long story about encountering Jesus, listening to him expound the scriptures, offering proofs and arguments.

The signal truth is this, “they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.”

They had the opportunity to see Jesus in the man they encountered on the road, but they did not see him in this stranger.

They had the opportunity to see Jesus in the faith of the woman at the tomb, but they could not understand it, or accept it in the moment

Jesus was dead, and yet the way which he had personified remained in front of them, the way is the living witness of God’s intention for creation.

The disciples were finally able to see the way, when they broke bread with the stranger, they found it in the meal they shared and not the words and arguments that were spoken.  

The way is community.

Jesus is found in the trust we give to others.

The way is sharing things in common.

Jesus is present in the hope we kindle in the stranger.

The way is love.

Love has no boundaries, not even death can stop it.


First Reading – Acts 10:34,37-43 ©

'We Have Eaten and Drunk with Him After His Resurrection'

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil. Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses – we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead – and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 117(118):1-2,16-17,22-23 ©

This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
  for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say:
  ‘His love has no end.’

This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
  his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
  and recount his deeds.

This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The stone which the builders rejected
  has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
  a marvel in our eyes.

This day was made by the Lord: we rejoice and are glad.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


Second Reading – Colossians 3:1-4 ©

Look for the Things that are in Heaven, where Christ Is

Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.


Alternative Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 ©

Get Rid of the Old Yeast and Make Yourselves Unleavened as You were Meant to Be

You must know how even a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Gospel Acclamation – 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Alleluia, alleluia!

Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed: let us celebrate the feast then, in the Lord.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to John 20:1-9 ©

 He Must Rise from the Dead

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.


Luke 24: 1-35

Why Look Among the Dead for Someone who is Alive?

On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering discovered that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there. As they stood there not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee: that the Son of Man had to be handed over into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and rise again on the third day?’ And they remembered his words.

When the women returned from the tomb they told all this to the Eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them also told the apostles, but this story of theirs seemed pure nonsense, and they did not believe them.

Peter, however, went running to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.


They Recognised Him at the Breaking of Bread

Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.

Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’

Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.


Easter Sunday – Easter (Year C)