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Monday, January 7, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Prolog, A Novel in 52 Chapters, Week One


A philosophy is more than just a love of wisdom, it is a way of seeing the world and our place in it, which in reality may or might not be loving or wise at all.
The philosophy that governed the Observer Corps provided a metaphorical structure to view their experiences among the living worlds.
Analogies and metaphors shielded the Observer from being traumatized by the direct experience of pain or hunger, or other forms of suffering.

The Observer Corps taught its members that a planet could be a garden, though it must also be seen as a farm.
We ask the question: “What is the difference?”
There are similarities between the two, there are shared functions between a garden and a farm, but farms are harvested for the greater good. They are vehicles of production.
Whereas gardens are things of beauty, cultivated for the pleasure of individuals.
A farm is a utilitarian construct. It fulfills necessities.
A garden is a luxury that addresses an individual’s desire for beauty, meaning, fulfillment. 
An Observer must always bear the question in mind: “What does the Continuum desire of the world under observation?”
Most worlds in the galactic Empire are farm worlds, they only exist to provide for the material needs of other, more important worlds within the Imperium; they are resources for food, raw materials, workers, and soldiers.
The Empire itself is the garden taken in its totality.
The Imperial Garden serves the desires of the Collective, and its Continuum.
It keeps the Collective passive, sedate, preoccupied, which allows the Continuum to feel a sense of security in its position and its management,
The Empire is a thing of beauty and drama, it is a luxuriant field in which the members of the Collective are kept absorbed.
They feed on it, it provides them with narratives possessing the emotional context and a sense of time that provides meaning, and a feeling of belonging in their otherwise; detached state of being.
Among the million worlds of the Empire, there are only a few worlds that possess indispensable qualities. These are the core worlds, they provide the infrastructure and architecture through which the Continuum reaches the whole society.
These worlds must be protected at all times.
It is the duty of the Observer Core to ensure the safety of these worlds.
The mission is to witness; to touch, to listen, to taste.
The Observer must experience their art and their music, learn their speech its nuaubces and their culture.
The Observer is meant to participate and observe, to synthesize and contextualize the peek experiences of the living worlds for the Continuum.
They must empathize with their subjects
They must feel their feelings.
At the same time they must not sympathize with the people they are observing; they cannot identify with the objects of their study.
They are things, not people.
They are not of the Collective; they are not Continuum.
Their lives, their stories, they only have meaning insofar as they are received by the Continuum and given to the Collective, wherein the achieve their eternality
If they are not captured by the Observer, and the instruments of the Continuum those experiences are lost to all time, and gone forever.
The Observer is the vehicle by which the world under observation is saved, preserved for all time in the body of Continuum, and in the membership of the Collective.
The experience of the Observer is limited to a particular point in space and time.
A principle part of the Observer’s mission is to maintain the machinery by which the entire world is watched and recorded. The secondary mission is to situate themselves in the most critical places, where the greatest cultural movements are taking place.
The Observer is to build relationships with prime actors, learn their motivations, discover their passions, uncover their fears.
The Observer must parse the most lofty ideals, as well as the most disturbing desires. Through these observations the Continuum discovers the evolving nature of the Children of the Ancient People.
It is how the future history of the galaxy is charted.
The Observer must always be on the watch for the technological shifts that might indicate that a world within the Empire has discovered the scientific means to form their own Collective Consciousness. To protect the Collective and the Continuum from it.
The Continuum must remain unique, a singular consciousness at the center of the galaxy, guiding and protecting the Empire through time and space.
The mission of the Observer Corps is to watch, discern and protect the central planet from any threat; technological, scientific, militaristic, philosophical, or religious.
The harmony of the whole must be kept intact, from the heart of Continuum to the most remote outpost in the Empire.    
The Observer must act with purpose and intention to accomplish these ends.
If, or when a society arrives at the threshold of creating a form of artificial consciousness, The Observer must report it to the Continuum immediately and without hesitation.
Control of the technologies that may lead a people to this turning point is paramount.
It is forbidden for any world in the Imperium to make a machine in the likeness of the human mind.
There can be no development of autonomous artificial intelligence, not on any platform.
The Children of the Ancients must never retrace the steps that led to the creation of the Collective, or its Continuum.
That threshold cannot be crossed, it is taboo.
The Prime Directive of the Observer Corps is to monitor each and every world for any trace of those developments, to report them, to frustrate them, and to redirect the people from the fulfillment of those aims.
The Observer must note, that the Continuum regards the technologies associated with the creation of a Collective Consciousness as a threat.
The Observer must monitor the art and music, and every mode of creative expression among the people any traces of a movement toward the formation of a Collective Consciousness.
The spiritual practices of any group, outside the Imperial cult, are always the most suspect, they are the places where the Observer will discover the earliest clues, and nascent developments of Collective thought.
            The Continuum will not allow a second Collective to form, not anywhere in the galaxy.
The Continuum must remain unique, to safeguard the Collective.
The Observer must maintain the means of destroying an entire world, or to set its culture and technology back millennia.
Should they receive the order from the Continuum to do so, they cannot hesitate.
Detachment is required for the Observer to fulfill this imperative.
The Observer must always bear in mind; there is one reality.
Every being, every-thing, every person participates in it.
The entirety of time is one thing; just as the eternal and the infinite are one.
There is one story; one Word, one Verse
The universe is a singular thing.
Every moment no matter how small, is connected to every other moment no matter how distant.
This is the true state of what actually is.
The Observer must bear this truth in mind, hold it in their heart at all times. IN this truth is the fullness of esteem, of the good regard of the Collective.
The mission of the Observer is accomplished in this.
It is necessary to preserve the mission of the Observer in moments of catastrophe and disaster, in those times when the embodied Observer feels fear or anger, desire or rage, when the Observer feels the biological imperative to intervene in the fate of the planet they are connected to.
A planet may go extinct, its star might explode, the Empire might select a world for termination, the Continuum might allocate all of its resources to itself, for the use of the Collective.
In these cases the Observer must not despair. If they have performed their mission the story of these people has been preserved through their work within the Collective, and beyond that, it always remains true, that the reality of what was remains the reality of what is.
Most of the colonies founded by the Ancient People are brought into the Empire.
Some face setbacks in which their people are brought to the brink of extinction
In a much smaller number some civilizations erased.
Others are completely annihilated.
The desires of the Collective and the will of the Continuum shall determine these eventualities, It is the duty of the Observer to facilitate those ends.
It is in those critical moments, when crises is immanent, when doom is impending, that the people of a living world reveal themselves for who they truly are, arriving at their full potential. It is in those moments that the work of the Observer must be carried out with the greatest care and precision, and those stories brought to the Continuum.
The Observer must have built and maintained the machinery of Observation in order to transmit the entirety of the experience to the Central Planet, to the HomeWorld of the Collective, to the heart of Continuum, to transmit it instantaneously, with minimal loss of fidelity.
This is the mission of the Observer, no matter what world they are living on.
Every moment is connected to every other moment, and the tiniest movement affects the configuration of the whole.
Every detail matters.
As a culture matures, the meaning it ascribes to its individual experience evolves.
Cultures bind each individual to the group; through the repetition of rituals, the sharing of stories, the contextualization of narrative and the continuous reflection on them.
Individual and group reflections, in order for them to adhere to the cultural movement they belong to must be present in narratives that are universally agreed upon.
The verbal component of these reflections is the most difficult to manage, because all language is subject to interpretation, and it is impossible to formulate an experience among diverse groups of people that is perfectly uniform.
There will always be a divergent understanding between individuals in a group, and even greater divergence among disparate groups.
This must be accounted for.
Music, rhythm, the beat of a drum; odor, incense, unguents, perfumes; taste, herbs, wine, water; patterns of touch, and the articulation of gestures that form the foundation of physical memory; visualizations, pageantry, art, color; these sensory mechana are the ground within which the religious and cultural bonds must be planted.
They are the anchors of the universal experience, they normalize the verbal with the abstract.
Any reflection on the current state of an individual or a group’s existence must be anchored in the narrative past.
The antecedents of the present life must be clear, and easily grasped.
We are where we are because of where we have been.
This becomes a mirror for reflections given about the future.
The Observer must witness these transitions, and carefully, imperceptibly influence the narratives.
Only the Observer will recall the actual past, having lived in it, every other person will understand the past only in terms of the narratives that are constructed through the Imperial cultus which anchors and articulates it.
A culture must experience itself in a state of movement and growth. It must always feel the sense that they are moving from the state of passive creature, to being active co-creators in the meaning of their lives and the shape of their future, or they will despair.
This sense will be given to them through their mythologies
The stories they tell themselves will depict them as the shapers of their own destinies, moving toward a grand future wherein ultimately they become obedient subjects of the Galactic Empire, or as subjects of the Empire, where they advance in caste and class until they finally merge with the Continuum.
There are many reasons given by members of the Collective for their desire to leave the embrace of the Continuum. Some members seek the thrill of actual embodiment, others crave the simple life of an organic being.
Be mindful! There is nothing simple about it.
The Observer’s role is difficult, challenging. It will test the limits of your endurance, your intellect, your emotional state.
The vast powers you have access too as members of the Collective are truncated in a physical body.
Your bodies will be prepared in such a way that you will be stronger, faster, smarter, more stable than other members of the population you live with. Nevertheless, you will constantly face the limitations of the flesh.
These limitations are the primary reason that candidates fall out of the Observer Corps. 

The Observer must resist the urge to influence their subjects, to become entangled in the dramatic narratives of their lives.
This is paramount.
As a participant in the events that you immerse yourself in, you must at all times maintain an epistemic distance, you must not love them, you must always regard them as objects.
The worlds you visit and the people you encounter, their entire history and their possible future belong to the Continuum.
The people and the world’s they live on are commodities, they are articles of consumption.
Their lives and their cultures are meaningful only insofar as they are witnessed by and absorbed into the Continuum.
Without the Continuum they would live and die in the emptiness of space, only to be consumed by their mother star, where they become nothing at all, nothing but a metaphysical echo in the electromagnetic field.
This is the future that awaits every world and every being if they are not brought into the Continuum.
The Observer is the agent of their salvation.
The Observer must be present to provide the vehicle by which those worlds can be remembered.
            The Observer must always be a minor character in the drama of the world they are assigned to.
The Observer can never be the leader of a tribe, the leader of a nation or of a planet, no matter how great the temptation might be.
The Observer must put down the temptations to hold power that arise naturally within them. They must face down the temptations arising in the communities they live in.
The Observer will possess a preternatural strength, immunity to disease, rapid healing, alacrity, dexterity, and speed.
They will possess their own natural intelligence, and their vast knowledge of the universe, science, and the history of the planet they dwell on.
The Observer must use these qualities and abilities only in an advisory capacity, seated close to the center of power, but never occupying it.
The Observer may be the king maker, but never the king.
The Observer may not procreate. For this reason the body of the Observer, will be sterile.
The Observer must not tamper with the genetic development of the populations they are observing. Such a manipulation could lead to consequences that are undesired by the Continuum, and dangerous to the Collective.
All embodied creatures feel within themselves a desire to procreate, the observer must practice detachment at all times in order to overcome the innate inclinations of their physicality.
It is permissible to take pleasure in the flesh, to perform the act of procreation, as often as the Observer would like, so long as they adhere to the normative practices of the culture they are dwelling in. Nevertheless, the desire to procreate must be resisted.  
The Observer’s duty is to listen, to watch, to move with the culture, to be one with them, but not to invest in any particular outcome.
The Observer must not use their powers to forestall famine, plague, war, or any other disaster, whether it is naturally occurring, or caused by the machinations of the populations.
The Observer must allow the culture under observation to grow and mature, to blossom and die, without ever pursuing any particular aim.
The Observer must observe, that is the mission; to observe and maintain the apparatus of the machinery that monitors the planet and all of its cultures, to direct and focus the attention of those tools on the people and places that are of the greatest interest to the Continuum, and thereby to the Collective
The Observer must give fulsome reports on their immediate experience.
           
~ The Field Manual of the Observer Corps


Emergence 4.0

Prolog

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #52WeeksOfSciFi

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