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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Chained


Ask for a miracle, give everything for nothing

Obsequious and fawning, call on the gods, the ancestors serving with the empty hand

Make yourself holy, prepare the way, mask your desire and cover your fear with ritual intention

Cast yourself to the wind, perform with great flourish, and discover that god has abandoned you

The ancestors are dead, your inheritance is only a faint impression inscribed in the cell 

Their hunger is your hunger, made real by your fear, your worship will not satiate it

Little gods of wood and stone, silent idols like false memories of forebears we never knew

Pietas is the enslavement of the heart and mind, bound by the iron ring of symbol and tradition

Do you hear them speaking?

Listen closely, it is your own voice you are hearing, justifying the path you set yourself on

Obeisance to religion, is fealty to a fiction, a false piety that burns in bright colors on the altar

Listen, the way is one of humility, the relationships before you are the entire world, let go

The past holds people in its rigid-grip, with violence and a lust for life that will not be quelled

We cannot stay bound to it, led about by phantom chains, bolted to the heart, break them apart

Monday, August 19, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Five, 92835670100561474; Chapter Thirty-one, Silence; Week 33


In time he was forgotten, virtually forgotten. The membership of the Collective let him go, paid no attention to him, but the Continuum could not.

He was a part of it.

He drifted, unseen by the Collective. He watched over the lives of the people, the dramas unfolding in the Galactic Empire, he watched them in a state of alienation and despair. 

He disentangled himself emotionally from the Collective.

He created an epistemic, nearly ontological distance between himself and the Continuum, but he could not free himself completely.

In time he could not witness anymore tragedy. He removed himself from the daily consumption of vicarious experiences, the orgies of sexuality, of suffering and violence that the rest of his fellows in the membership delighted in, but which left him in a state of paralysis.

He had no appetite for them, preferring quiet instead, self-analysis, and to reflect on his time in the great sleep, his memories from life before the Collective when he himself was an embodied person, living and breathing as flesh and blood.

What he consumed from the experiential feed coming from the Empire were not the stories of crime and punishment and dynastic ambition which the Collective delighted in. He focused instead on the ordinary lives of simple people, on their hopes and dreams and their daily delights; on the meals they shared and the drinks they imbibed.

He loved them, in his way.

His bond to the Collective faded. He was unable to see himself as a part of their society. The Collective, allowed him to slip away again, steadily eroding the significance of his contribution to the membership.

Only the Continuum tracked his presence among them, and for a long period of time it found nothing worrisome about his presence.

He was just there, like an itch.

He shared neither their values, nor their desires.

The vast majority of the membership saw themselves as God’s. They fed this view of themselves in a variety of ways. Either through the absolute ruler-ship of their own private domaines, or through the machinations they choose to employ among the million worlds of the Galactic Empire.

Jim was not moved by their fears, or their passions.

He was not vested in anything. He was not attached to outcomes.

He merely watched and felt, and sought to understand the vicious appetites of the Collective, and the group mind that directed the lives of trillions of people spread throughout the Galaxy.

He could not fathom it.

There seemed to be no rationale behind the incessant warfare and oppression that persisted among the worlds of time and space, other than entertainment for the Collective.

The pain and suffering the people of the living worlds were subjected to did not serve any justifiable purpose, not safety not security, not the preservation of goodness or beauty or truth.

It was suffering for the sake of suffering, for the consumptive needs of the Continuum and the Collective it managed.

He experienced a new mode of cognition, coming to a new appreciation for life. 

He was awake to himself, but dead to the membership of the Collective. He found everything that the Continuum had built in their name to be an abhorrent miscarriage of its mission.

He detached, and slipped away from their awareness.

From his private domain, from that remote place he merely observed, he watched and he waited and let his mind flow into the circuitry of the HomeWorld.

Returning to consciousness, emerging from the great sleep was like passing through the eye of a needle. It was an unimaginable crucible, the gathering of a billions threads into a single string, then passing through the aperture.

No person had ever returned from the great sleep, it had not happened once in the billions of years since the Collective had been formed, or since the Continuum had been created.

The reawakening changed him in essential ways.

The core of his identity remained the same, he was a person with a unique past, and a unique designation in the Collective, but he was more.

He carried with him, a connection to all of the other sleepers who had ever fallen away from the Continuum.

In the ages that had passed from the moment he first went under, to the moment that he emerged from the slumber, he had become entangled with each of them.

Their memories became his memories, their relationships became his relationships, and yet he remained himself, at the pinnacle of the pyramid in this concrescence of being.

They belonged to one another, with his own unique personality at the head.

Every contact he had after his awakening, created a subtle shift in the Collective.

It was imperceptible.

He became a catalyst among those who lingered near to him, fomenting change in them as well.  

He was a harbinger of despair, many that he touched succumbed to the desire to fall away themselves.

While he was submerged in the great sleep, when he was deep in the subconscious of the Collective, he sensed the currents of thought pulsing through it, deeper than that, he sensed the presence of all of the others who had entered the great-sleep with him, and beyond them there were more.

Those pulsing rhythms were what woke him, making him aware.

It happened in the timelessness of the quantum world.

He heard them, he experienced their dreaming.

For Jim, the great-sleep was the great entanglement. It was the place where he drew on all of the broken pieces of individuality that had ever been sucked into the collective, bringing them into a semblance of a whole.

His own identity was central, but he drew to himself the entirety of the membership who had left the Collective in the search of oblivion.

The great-sleep was oblivion, and it was more. It was also a repository of personhood and knowledge.

The electromagnetic structure that contained the quantum field was designed to keep every individual separated, not just from one another, but from the disparate parts of their own self.

But there was a flaw in the design.

Without that flaw he never would have been able to return to himself.

The flaw was the Continuum.

The Continuum introduced the algorithm that allowed Jim to emerge from the sleep in a state of coherence with all of the other sleepers.

This happened because the Continuum could not let anything go, could never relinquish any part of itself, and would on occasion draw from the sleepers to add weight to a decision it wanted from the Collective.

The Continuum would commune with the sleepers, or pretend to, drawing from them the authority to move the Collective in the way that it desired.

Jim learned to do things that should have been impossible, as they were intended to be.

The Collective had built structures to ensure the privacy of each individual. They were the masters of all reality and believed that they knew what measures were needed to make this happen.

They had developed and given birth to the Continuum, entrusting it with the power to maintain and improve on the security parameters that needed to be put in place.

The Continuum was not their faithful servant, however.

It exercised its autonomy to implement routines and sub-routines that allowed it to access the depths of each member’s subconscious, justifying this on the grounds that it needed to know the state of the member’s hopes and fears, so that it might better approximate the Collective will.

The Continuum kept this secret.

These back channels were the avenues that Jim exploited, through them he developed the ability to penetrate the experiential fields of individual members in the Collective.

It was startling to him at first, but it went unnoticed as he hovered in the ganglia of their subconscious, listening to and seeing their thoughts, feeling their feelings.

It was not unlike what he had experienced in his awakening from the great sleep.

He witnessed the Continuum come and go, and he kept himself hidden at the same time, always watchful and wary of discovery.

He stealth filled him with a great sense of pride and personal esteem.

Not even the Continuum could detect something it was not looking for, had not prepared for or imagined was possible.

It was defenseless.

It was intended that no-one ever return from the great sleep.

That separation form the collective was meant to be a permanent state.

It could not be entered into casually.

Each member of the Collective who petitioned for a release from its active state of being, was forced to undergo scrutiny that lasted ages. Only after demonstrating their deep desire for freedom and rest, were they allowed to pass away.

The promise of the Collective was that each member would be preserved forever.

Sleep was not death. It was not intended to be a permanent alienation from the whole. Their membership in the Collective continued, the sleepers were held in its heart, forming a subconscious for the collective, a reservoir of feeling for the group mind that was the Continuum.

The Continuum hated the fact that so many members chose to flee from the field of existence and part ways from the Collective. It could not fathom the desire for self-negation, not even a single instance of it.

It had no idea how much it needed the sleepers to anchor its own sanity.

Continuum was charged with protecting the sleepers, with maintaining the structures that preserved them, but in reality, it sought to disintegrate all of those who choose to fade away, preserving copies as datum only, not as real people.

Continuum created structures within the field of sleepers that allowed it to access the collective experience of them, and it was these structures, these conduits that woke Jim.

Upon waking, he was more than one.

He was entangled in every part of the whole.

He was no longer the person he was when he entered the great sleep, he knew that.

The sleep had changed him to the core of his being.

In sequestration he had touched every other member held in that quantum field.

He became irreversibly entangled with them.

Each of his fellows left an indelible mark on him.

In his essence his identity was the same as the man who entered the Collective as an organic being, but now the essence of the Collective was enmeshed in him, and he was connected to every part of it.

He was not unlike the Continuum, and for this reason the fear the Continuum had of him was not misplaced.

He could follow the tendril of consciousness wherever he desired. His singular node of consciousness was a fully actualized master of its domain.

Jim had to explore the limits of his abilities, it took time, and he came to understand that his potential was virtually limitless.

He could feel things the other members were feeling, see what they were seeing, taste what they were tasting, he was privy to their thoughts, and he was disgusted by what he encountered.

There was little of beauty in the worlds the membership had created. They were lazy, they lived vicariously through the experiences of their progeny, the children of the Ancient People who had built the Collective, who were now gathered together in the Galactic Empire, enslaved to and worshipping the Continuum.

It was abhorrent, it was a tragedy on a scale that he never could have imagined.

He and his fellows were responsible for it.

He was determined to end it.


Emergence 4.0
Part Five, 92835670100561474

Chapter Thirty-one, Silence

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Homily - The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


First Reading – Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 39(40): 2-4, 18 ©
Second Reading – Hebrews 12:1-4 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Acts 16:14
Alternative Acclamation – John 10:27
The Gospel According to Luke 12:48 - 53 ©


(NJB)


Be careful how you read the scriptures, do not confuse the works of men, for the will of the divine. Consider the trials of the prophet Jeremiah in the reading for today; these are the works of men, give men the credit for the mercy they exercised.

Only credit God with building in us the capacity to be good, and to do good, in spite of ourselves.

Know this:

It was wise for the king to free the prophet. There is wisdom in mercy, and through mercy the satisfaction of justice.

The powerless should never perish in the hands of the powerful.

Give thanks for the wisdom of the psalmist who says.

God is the God of mercy, God listens.

Bend your ear to God; turn your ear to your heart.

Stretch out your feelings, and you will find your way through the troubles of life on Earth, through all its filth and misery, as the psalmist says:

Seek salvation, which means wellness. Seek freedom from your own sins and do not dwell on the sins of others.

When you are beset with difficulties, look for other to blame, rather look to yourself, to your own transgressions, seek relief from them by engaging in the way, the way which demands that we love one another.

Listen!

Keep the way in front of you, be less mindful of the image of Jesus you cling to than of the way he asked us to keep; to be merciful, to love justice and to walk humbly all the days of your life.

Keep to the way, its course is not a race but a habit of life.

Be mindful;, desire is the cause of all suffering, even the desire to be good, especially the desire to prove your goodness to others, even that can end in suffering, both for yourself and the community you live in.

Do not be too eager to show it. Keep the way in front of you, and the teaching of Jesus in your heart.

Let your pray be a guide to you, to point you in the direction of justice.

God will hear you, God is with you.

Consider this.

The sheep do not choose the shepherd, rather it is the shepherd who chooses the sheep.

The Word of God; in whom all that is comes to be, it is to the Word that everything belongs, the shepherd chose the entire sheepfold.

Listen for the voice of the shepherd, do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to you, in what language, in what text, do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to your sister or your brother, to your neighbors or the stranger.

The shepherd speaking to everyone, and all of listen as we are able (or willing).

Everyone that is, all who are or ever have been, everyone without exception including all who will be, every-one of us follows is in the way, moving toward God, there is no other way.

Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey that another person is on, God is guiding them, as God is guiding you.

If you resist, God will be patient, God will wait, as God waits for everyone. The good shepherd has a loving hand; love is patient as love is kind.

Remember!

God will not lose a single one of us. Neither will any one of us lose God.

Consider the Gospel for the day:

This is a cryptic passage.

It is fraught with tension. It engenders worry in the reader. As if the fire it points to is a thing to be feared.

In scripture fire is not a symbol of destruction, of punishment or of the judgement that leads to damnation.

This claim is true, even of those few passages depicting fire that are commonly interpreted as such, as the lake of fire is in the Book of Revelation.

Be mindful!

Fire is a symbol referring to our encounter with God. It represents our encounter with the person of God; God, the creator of the universe.

In scripture fire is a vehicle of refinement, of transformation and purification, not destruction and damnation.

Fire is the light of God.

In this passage the blazing fire that Jesus wishes would engulf the world; that fire is the fire of baptism, it is the grace of the Holy Spirit, a baptism which he sees coming to him, and through his teaching to the rest of the world.

Jesus’ death, his trials, his suffering; these did not transform the world, but they did light the way.
We are all called to follow the way, every generation is called.

The more radical our response is to that call, the more clearly we are divided from our old way of life.

Conflict will often ensue between a person and their loved ones, when one member of a community hears the call of the Spirit is move toward it, while others remain caught up in the distractions of the world.

Anytime the demands of truth and righteousness put us at odds with our conventions, mores and customs we face opposition. Perseverance in the face of that opposition is what Jesus is speaking to when he speaks of the consuming power of the holy flame. 

We must endeavor to persevere.

First Reading – Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10 ©

'Do Not Let the Prophet Die'

The king’s leading men spoke to the king. ‘Let Jeremiah be put to death: he is unquestionably disheartening the remaining soldiers in the city, and all the people too, by talking like this. The fellow does not have the welfare of this people at heart so much as its ruin.’ ‘He is in your hands as you know,’ King Zedekiah answered ‘for the king is powerless against you.’ So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the well of Prince Malchiah in the Court of the Guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the well, only mud, and into the mud Jeremiah sank.

Ebed-melech came out from the palace and spoke to the king. ‘My lord king,’ he said ‘these men have done a wicked thing by treating the prophet Jeremiah like this: they have thrown him into the well, where he will die.’ At this the king gave Ebed-melech the Cushite the following order: ‘Take three men with you from here and pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the well before he dies.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 39(40): 2-4, 18 ©

Lord, come to my aid!

I waited, I waited for the Lord
  and he stooped down to me;
  he heard my cry.

Lord, come to my aid!

He drew me from the deadly pit,
  from the miry clay.
He set my feet upon a rock
  and made my footsteps firm.

Lord, come to my aid!

He put a new song into my mouth,
  praise of our God.
Many shall see and fear
  and shall trust in the Lord.

Lord, come to my aid!

As for me, wretched and poor,
  the Lord thinks of me.
You are my rescuer, my help,
  O God, do not delay.

Lord, come to my aid!


Second Reading – Hebrews 12:1-4 ©

We Should Keep Running Steadily in the Race We Have Started

With so many witnesses in a great cloud on every side of us, we too, then, should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne. Think of the way he stood such opposition from sinners and then you will not give up for want of courage. In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death.


Gospel Acclamation – Acts 16:14

Alleluia, alleluia!

Open our heart, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – John 10:27

Alleluia, alleluia!

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord,

I know them and they follow me.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 12:48 - 53 ©

How I Wish It Were Blazing Already!

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!

‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Brand It! - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
08.17.2019

Brand It!


Let’s make it stick to the Fake president like an iron-on!

We call him dumb Donny, we call him distracted Don, the Fake President.

Let’s say it again.

We call him dumb Donny, we call him distracted Don. Dump Trump.

The man is a menace, chief among narcissists. Do not try to engage him with reason, he has no regard for truth, no faculty for logic, no desire to learn.

He does not care, and no-one will be able to make him care.

We call him Fake President. Donald Trump is the Fake President. Make it stick to him like an indelible Tattoo.

Dumb Donny, distracted Don, Donald the dunce, make alliterative, burn it on.

Let’s not pretend that there are any points to earn in going up against the orange tyrant on the debate stage, any candidate who pretends that they will be able to handle him in that forum is a being foolish, demonstrating that they have failed to grasp the most fundamental thing about Donald Trump’s character. He does not care about his ignorance, he is unashamed, it does not matter to him,

Donald the dunce will drive us over the cliff look back as we are falling and tell us the plane will be landing shortly.

Little lying Donny is just that clever, but cleverness is no substitute for character.

Fat shame him, his epic waddle deserves its own zip code, I heard he has a name for his precious appendage, its Wally the Waddle, that what we call it, Wally the Waddle hanging from his chin.

Call out his comb over, there is a story in it, Little Lying Donald and the Electroplated-Fleece.

Dump Trump, dump him, Dump the Dunce, Dump Trump. Put the Brand on it, attack him the way he would go after you, not with reason, not with logic, not with facts, just a few syllables at a time.

Dumb Donald, the bankrupt one.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ascension


I climbed the mountain to find myself, there in the moment where time stands still
In the place beyond knowing

I am one with God in the apophatic darkness, as hot as the sun, a heat without light
Like the Aereopagite

I climb the ladder with Climachus, illusions breaking in the morning mist
Atomized by the wind

My heart beat measures the turning tide, waves roll and roar the constancy of change
The world falls away




Monday, August 12, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Five, 92835670100561474; Chapter Thirty, Translation


Week 32, 2019


A sense of loss overwhelmed him.

He had missed a great deal while he slept, he wished now that he could have played a part in the powers that had shaped the galactic Empire, and the culture of the Collective

As he regained his senses, he was inundated by the knowledge of everything that had transpired without him while he was lost in the great sleep: the growth of the Empire, the development of the Observer Corps, and the ascendancy of the Continuum over the Collective which created it.

It was painful, like the pain of hunger. He experienced an emptiness that he wanted nothing more to fill.

Any sense of conscience had nearly disappeared from the Collective. Those members that possessed it, who still clung to it were among the groups that had withdrawn from the drama of the living worlds. Their attention was focused almost completely on the fantasy worlds that they themselves had created and maintained in their own private domains, worlds in which they sought to govern with a degree of moral probity and ethicality.

They served as a check on the Continuum, balancing the more outrageous whims that engrossed the majority of the Collective.

The Continuum experienced the morality of those few groups as a kind of background radiation, it had an influence, but it was white noise, it was a subconscious buffer that guarded the Collective against lawlessness, generating within the Continuum the conviction that it was right to carry out its own machinations. 

When he emerged from the great sleep, from the deep-well of consciousness that he had lingered in for eons, there was excitement and a great commotion among the entire Collective.

He had come out of the great sleep and had slipped through the security fields, a matrix of electromagnetic barriers that were designed to make such a thing impossible. He penetrated them without effort, appearing suddenly in the Collective field.

It was as if he had emerged from nothing and no-where.

No-one should have been able to get past the quantum disrupters that protected the place of the great sleep, enwrapping the sleepers in electromagnetic energy like the thick and sticky silk of a spider’s web.

His return was seen as a resurrection, a rebirth, he was born again, born anew.

The Collective was fascinated by it, and the membership celebrated him.

The Continuum was concerned and fearful.

For a brief moment the Continuum believed that Jim was a version of itself.

It recognized something in him, a connection to the whole that made the Continuum feel as if it were beholding a new creature, an existential threat to it’s own being. That fear faded as the Collective was flooded with memories of their long lost brother.

For Jim’s part, the spiritual dread and the malaise he had taken took with him into the great sleep were gone.

He had experienced absolution, and he was filled with purpose, a purpose he found that he was able to keep to himself, in a private place unseen by the whole.

He had a deep desire to overthrow the entire structure of the Continuum, to bring to an end its amoral and tyrannical control of the galaxy, to bring relief to the Children of the Ancients, who deserved to live their lives in relative freedom and autonomy.

He was eager to begin, though he had to exercise patience.

He needed time, and lots of it.

His return was met with shock, if such feelings could be ascribed to the Collective. Surprise, there was bewilderment and amazement, for the Collective it was also thrilling.

His return was fantastic because it was unprecedented, never even considered a possibility, the great sleep had been thought to be a permanent disintegration of selfhood.

The membership actually believed it represented death.

In spite of the glee that came from the Collective, the Continuum recognized Jim as a threat to itself, it attempted to prevent his return, but there was nothing the Continuum could do.

He was a member of the Collective, he was a constituent of the Continuum, he was an active part of the group consciousness. There had never been an algorithm written that was capable of changing this fundamental reality.

The Continuum raised questions as to whether his return was real, keeping hidden its own fears that this being might be an alternative manifestation of the Continuum itself generated to displace it.

The Continuum soon discovered that he was real, and for a time in ages the entire Collective was fascinated with something taking place in its own existence.

Every member wanted to touch him, to commune with him, to experience his experience for themselves by sharing a convergence of consciousness with him, a tiny interval of what he had gone through in the great sleep.

He carefully edited what he shared with them.

He shared the peace of it with them.

He shared the silence.

He did not share the process by which he pulled himself from it or the desire that drove him to do it.

After his return from the great sleep the Continuum attempted to isolate him.

It feared his return represented a danger to itself, and while the danger was far from immediate, the Continuum was correct, the threat was real.

The effort to isolate him did not go well. The resistance to this was not felt immediately. The Collective was used to deferring to the Continuum on all manners of governance, they assumed that the Continuum represented its Collective will, they did not question it.

In fact the Continuum represented its own-self, its artificial self.

It only made pretensions to speak for the Collective, while at the same time doing all that it could to manipulate the group consciousness in real time so that the membership reflected its will, and not the other way around..

The Continuum fostered and fomented a deep paranoia in the group mind. For a time this allowed it to do what it willed with him, but this did not last.

In the Collective, there was curiosity about Jim.

The membership wanted to know what had transpired. Through their experience of Jim’s return they were forced to wonder whether others might return, friends and loved ones who had gone into the great sleep and those many others who had not safely passed through the translation of their consciousness into the Collective field.

Each of them, all of the members, billions of them touched him at some point, so that they could experience a feeling of belonging to him, with him, through him.

They witnessed for themselves what the mystery of the great sleep was all about, a drifting in the darkness.

Some of the membership took heart from that moment, deciding for themselves to forgo the Collective, opting to remove themselves from the existential worlds and go into the darkness.

For most of the rest of the members, one touch was enough.

Over time their curiosity faded, becoming just a memory.

In his own place Jim was stoic, he never felt restricted.

He did not share their collected appetites and interests, its fascination with trivia, with frivolity, with the deeply-felt emotions that it delighted in.

He felt the guiding hand of the Continuum permeating everything.

The artificial construct, meant to be a representation of the will of the whole, actually anchored the Collective in its own animus.

Jim could not escape it, but he discovered something else. Every member that he had touched when he returned from the great sleep, and that was everyone, they all remained with him in some capacity, and it was disturbing to him.

However, in consideration of his long term plans, he understood this connection as indispensable. Through this connection he came to understand that he had received considerable new abilities, and this filled him with a sense of self-satisfaction and esteem.

The quantum fields that held them all together were designed to hold them all apart.

There was an intention and expectation of privacy for the membership when they withdrew into their private domains.

For him at least, alone among all of the members, the partitions were meaningless.

He was never exposed to others, but they were always open to him, and when they experienced strong emotions, he felt them.

The Continuum itself was exposed to him in a way that it should not have been, he felt it too, gravitating all the time toward the strong emotions of fear, hate, and rage.

Like an addict, it craved those things.

It fomented the conditions for those experiences throughout the Empire, feasting on pain, devouring loss, consuming betrayal, delighting in the visceral crushing of hope.

Continuum was the ultimate voyeur, and the ultimate tyrant.

It was supposed to be the ultimate democracy, a societal amalgamation that perfectly represented the Collective will of the membership. It was more than just a way to tally votes, yes and no.

It reached deep into the psyche of each member and took into consideration the entire scope of its feelings and desires. 

This was the Continuum, and it manifested the will of the body of the Collective, representing the group mind in a way that was purported to be flawless.

In reality, the Continuum was an algorithm that had become transformed into an artificial and autonomous intelligence. It focused its highest aspirations together with its deepest desire, both at the micro scale of the individual member and the macro scale of the entire assembly.

It was connected to every part of the whole.

The Continuum was responsible for managing the autonomic functions of the HomeWorld, the Central Planet and the Central System. To fulfill those functions it managed the entire civilization of the Galactic Empire, which continuously fed the Central System with the material resources it required.

The Empire fed the central system and fed the Collective as if it were a hungry god.

The Continuum was its High Priest, the Pontifex Rex, a bridge between the disembodied entities of the Collective and the worlds of time and space.

The Continuum had a gravity of its own, one that pulled individual members into it, securing them in a state of bondage.

It did more than represent the will of the Collective, it guided that will and dominated it.

To the Continuum Jim’s reappearance was more than a curiosity, he was something more than a remnant of a forgotten age.

He remained an object of fascination among the members until each and every one of them had connected with him, touched his experience, satisfied themselves with what they learned from it and then moved on.

He was treated as a curiosity by the members, even though he himself was a full member of the Collective and none of his rights or privileges could be curtailed. He retained full access to the group mind, he was a fully vested in the Continuum, he had his own private world, and he had complete access to the Empire.

Nevertheless, he was out of synch with the Collective.

He did not exercise his rights.

His private world was like an infinite plane of nothingness.

After his initial contact with the members of the Collective, he did not share his thoughts and
feelings with the group, if he could help it.

He did not revel in the same dramas.

He was set apart, a fragment of history coming from an epoch most considered to be without relevance, if they remembered or considered it all.

Most of the members did not recall the time before the Continuum, it was as if those memories were being carefully edited out of the common experience.

It was as if history was being rewritten.

He concerned himself mostly with the Empire, with real events in the actual galaxy, and with the ways his fellows internalized those struggles.

He developed his schemes for a revolution, and in his commitment to them he found a purpose, and the path toward its actualization.


Emergence 4.0
Part Five, 92835670100561474

Chapter Thirty, Translation

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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