A rebellion is not a protest, it is not a single act, or even a set of actions aimed at a particular end.
A rebellion is comprised of a sustained series of actions, both covert and overt, aimed at overthrowing the entrenched systems of power.
Rebellions does not emerge spontaneously. They are led, they are fomented, they are fueled by grievance and they are organized through tragedy.
Suffering is the bread and water of the rebellion.
In the great Galactic Empire, a rebellion might engulf a planetary government and destroy it, though it is exceedingly rare for any rebellion to succeed. If they do, that success is quickly erased, even if the Empire has to destroy an entire planet to quash it.
Planetary governors on occasion have rebelled against the Imperium, drawing entire star systems into the conflagration with them. These were great dramas which delighted the Collective and could keep them occupied for centuries.
People do not rise up against their governments and rulers for no reason.
They will not risk life and freedom on a lark, not without at least the hope of success, the belief that their circumstances could change.
The soil has to be prepared to receive the seeds of rebellion.
Outrage must be generated, the rebel has to be conditioned to see something in the rebellion that is worth the cost of their lives, the lives of their families and everything they held dear.
They had to see beyond themselves.
Inasmuch as Jim was a scientist and an explorer, he saw the work that he was engaged as analogous to farming.
The seeds of rebellion were ideas, they were simple-beautiful constructs. They were ideals planted in the hearts and minds of the people. He cared for the seeds, nurturing them through the dreams of those experiencing injustice.
He carefully prepared the field and then he planted the ideas.
Jim did not foster systems of injustice for pleasure or from indifference. His aim was strictly utilitarian. Some would have to suffer and many would die, but it was all for the greater good, for the greatest good distributed to the greatest number.
The vessel he was looking for had to carry within her or him a visceral reaction to the experience of suffering.
For a rebellion to flourish, the people required the expectation of justice, for it to grow in strength the people required the experience of injustice.
Like a seed planted in the dark soil, the people and the vessel that would emerge from them required the experience of darkness and despair, they needed these in order to condition them to reach for the light
Just like the shoots of a plant springing from the earth, the spirit of rebellion requires the wind of adversity to blow against, this will transform the fresh green stem into a tall and sturdy stalk, capable of supporting the weight of its fruit, long enough for it to mature and drop, scattering thousands of tiny new seeds.
The field had to be turned over, made new, rotated from time to time and let to be fallow.
There was a rhythm to the work he was engaged in, a subtlety that the Continuum could never appreciate, and because of that it did not notice, Jim’s work was made safe in this way.
Jim was not alone in his understanding of the power behind the experience of injustice.
The Continuum used the experience of injustice for its own purpose, but only for the sake of the drama that ensued from it. For the Continuum there was no greater end, there was nothing beyond suffering…the end was suffering, and the vicarious enjoyment of it by the Collective was the purpose it served.
Injustice was promulgated for the pleasure of the few.
Only the narrative mattered.
The experience of injustice nourishes the rebellious spirit like water soaking the roots of a great tree, feeding the heart of the revolutionary until it grows so large and beats so painfully that it bursts, but the experience of injustice could never be enough. The story had to be told, and the narrative reinforced.
Too much water and the organism will die, just enough and it will thrive, it will multiply until the towering tree it becomes a mighty forest, beating with a million hearts, it becomes a barrier to its opponents while protecting those within, it become more than a wall, it becomes a force field, a sheltering spirit that can strike with power at any who approach it.
The experience of injustice is nothing if the story of it is never told. Everything has to be laid out in context.
The experience of injustice does not occur in a vacuum, it is always a pattern of behavior, of action and reaction.
No event is isolated, everything is related.
If the experience of injustice cannot be tied to an earlier predicate, then it is merely an accident, it is forgivable. Therefore the first story that is told of it, the first witness must connect it to the continuing grievances of the people. They must weave it into the fabric of the tapestry.
The principle agent who first experienced the injustice, and the witness who observed it, must both see the event in the same light, even if the witness and the principle do not agree on the predicate, they can be drawn together through the power of the narrative.
All histories have three dimensions; the events as the actually happened, which includes both the intersection of actions and intentions that are the material and formal causes of the events themselves, and the consequences which flow from them, these form the first dimension; the second dimension is perception, how the events are perceived and remembered by those who actually experienced them; the third dimension is the narrative, the story that is told.
The narrative is what holds people together, embracing them in the common experience, the narrative is where they find their sense of belonging.
Knowledge is power, it can be wielded like a weapon, or it can be withheld to the same devastating end.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a small amount may be just enough to provoke action among the masses, but when shaped and edited, a little piece of knowledge can be used to channel energy, like water under pressure, it can be used to cut through solid rock.
If knowledge is light, then with the amplification of light through narrative, it can become like a laser powerful enough to cut through the hull of an interstellar ship.
Exposing injustice, naming it, this is a sacred obligation. Everyone with a grievance is like a priest in the temple performing the liturgy, the re-visitation of grievances through story, like the sacred rites, they must be officiated every day
The narrative must never cease.
Those engaged in this mission, carrying the light of truth for the sake of their brothers and sisters, they must suffer, they must visibly suffer when they give the narration. Their suffering must be real, discernable and palpable to the people.
Their suffering must be felt, personalized in a way that allows the receiver of the narrative to identify with it and make it their own.
The rebel was taught that they should never lie, to be moderate at all times and let the light in slowly. Such cautionary words must guide the people. The people must be on fire with their grievance, but like a lamp that is slowly replenished with oil so that the light is always burning and never go out.
If the fire comes in to quickly it will shatter the lens and burn them. At such a point it is possible to become inured to the light, or to fear it, even to become hateful of it.
A revolution is both a turning of the wheel and an expansion of the circle. It is like an ever widening screw boring into the bedrock.
A rebellion moves outward from its center in waves, moving in concentric rings that grow larger and more powerful until they crash against the bulwark of power, eroding it as water swallows the shore.
The spirit of the rebellion is like the wind, ru’ha, it is the energy that propels the revolutionary movement, just as wind fills the sail, pushing the people to find resolution in justice and satisfaction in its administration.
It provides them with the esteem that comes through the fulfillment of purpose.
Energy must pour into the center with constant-steady pressure in order to ensure the power of the revolution continues unabated. Each wave pushing the preceding wave in a relentless exercise of will.
Without that spirit the rebellion will die; the spirit of rebellion is fueled by sacrifice, by witness and by narrative. The rebellion requires its story to be told, to be set to music and beat on drums.
A rebellion requires constant renewal.
There can be no end to it.
A rebellion has an objective that is constantly moving. Each generation must hunger for and experience justice in their own time.
The good rebel is empowered by loss and tragedy, they feed on it.
There are no set-backs, only changes in direction.
There is no victory only progress.
There are no problems, only challenges.
There is no peace in the heart of the rebel, only a desire for renewal, the lived experience is a tapestry of cycles and patterns.
Each and every one of the living worlds that comprised the Galactic Empire, experienced these cycles in unique ways; in its patterns of weather, in the rotation of the planet on its axis, or the lack of it; in the orbit of its satellites, whether they are natural or artificial; in the orbit of the world around its parent-star.
These cycles established a season for everything, each season was unique to the lived experience of the people on that world.
Those cycles and patterns established rhythms that governed both the conscious and unconscious aspects of the lives of the people; their hours of sleep, their time to eat, even the beating of their heart, and the pulse of their blood as it flows through their veins.
A revolution is like a harvest; it comes in its season, each according to the cycle of its home world.
When the harvest comes, those who have sewn injustice reap the same.
The harvest is just one phase in a cycle that repeats itself endlessly. The cycle is different on every world, but the lived experience of every world shares the cycle in common.
They are different but the same.
This is the natural state of every civilization, and though the Collective had been spared this cycle for billions of years, nevertheless, the Collective retained a memory of it in the far reaches of its subconscious.
Those memories were augmented by their voyeurism, and their vicarious experience of these cycles through the observation of life in the Empire
Jim was determined to ensure that its time had come, the revolution was at hand, and the Collective would feel it in force.
He had become actualized to fulfill this purpose.
Fire is the universal symbol of purification.
As we pass through fire we are refined; our impurities released and our essence brought to its purest form.
We become light.
When the fruit of the field is ripe the people bring it in, they commence with the harvest and light the fields on fire. They dance in the glow of the burning fields, in the disintegration of the chaff and the stalks. They dance in triumph and thanksgiving.
This is the natural end of the rebellion; the revolution ensues and the hands of justice turn the soil over. We bury the old ways of corruption deep in the earth, sending it down with all of the dead.
Through this ritual we are cleansed. The revolution is hallowed in the celebration of change, the celebration of its constancy, of return and renewal.
The glorious end of the revolution is to start fresh at the beginning.
We generate fresh narratives to gloss over all of our crimes and to absolve ourselves in the great conflagration that will ensue.
Fire is the symbol of the beginning and the end.
We are born in the heat of our mother star.
In time we will return to her.
She will reach out and embrace us in the super-nova, immersed in showers of fire.
Part Six (a), Rebellion
Appendix Chapter Nine, The People
A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week
#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek
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