Ex nihilo nihil fit, from nothing, nothing comes.
To foment revolution is to cultivate a thing, to do it successfully the revolutionary must play on narrative; with ritual, symbol and myth.
Every moment in the story of the revolution must be recorded and preserved for its narrative power.
Through cultivation of the story, even the most mundane moments can become the most powerful symbols. When ritualized they can become memories of oppression, or songs of triumph.
A simple meal, a breaking of the bread, such instances can form the archetypal basis of a religious experience, experiences that when reenacted, when relived through ritual will echo through the millennia and shape the course of civilizations.
To cultivate this thing requires that people see themselves as heroic, no matter how insignificant their role in the revolution is, they must see it as a quest and themselves as the agent of change, the eternal-champion.
They must view their contribution as meaningful, as necessary.
Reality is imbued with fantasy, until the revolutionary cannot discern the difference and they are able to see themselves at the center of everything.
When you have convinced the people that the order of the universe is upheld by the rituals they perform, then the order of the universe is susceptible to ruin.
If we are able to tear apart the symbols that keep and define the narrative, when we are able to destroy them, then and only then will the revolution succeed.
The control and management of symbology was paramount. This is why the priesthood was elevated over the military.
The symbols of rebellion are dualistic; good and evil, love and hate, light and dark, hot and cold, they are binary configurations with a zero-sum resolution.
According to the symbolic narrative, an individual is either one thing or another, though in reality every person was mixed, having qualities of each.
The motivating force behind the rebellion is the quest for justice, the triumph of law, the elimination of despotism and the eradication of tyranny, this was the power behind the wave, propelling it toward its end.
The wave itself is a revolutionary image, churning and curling from trough to crest, sweeping away everything in its path, cleansing the shore where it crashes, leaving nothing behind except clear smooth sand.
There could be no compromise from the point at which the battle ensues, victory must be absolute.
It must reach a place after the climax where the survivors feel a sense of peace, of safety and security, as the promise fulfilled.
Any pretense to compromise prior to the actual engagement must only ever be a ruse, a tactic of negotiation, a series of steps made for the sake of taking advantage of the field of combat when the battle comes to a head.
A rebellion needs both a hero and a villain, it requires both an object of hope and an object of wrath.
These are the sacred vessels through which the energy of the revolution must be channeled.
One vessel contains a healing salve, a balm to ease our pain, the other is poison, represents chaos, disorder and the reign of monsters.
One vessels is raised as a fetish for veneration, the other is cast down swept away and sent to the fire.
A rebellion requires agency among its autonomous participants.
Rebellion does not spread by the experience of injustice alone, whether from the direct experience of a victim or from the experiences of those who bear witness to their ordeal.
The experience of suffering and the witness to it have no more relevance than the voice of someone screaming in the vacuum, unless and until the story is told.
Rebellion spreads by the narrative that is constructed around it, by the stories we tell about those experiences.
It is through narrative that the experience and witness of injustice metastasizes, becoming a cancer in the body of the villainous society.
People do not enlist in a rebellion because they want to see the realization of certain ideals, they enlist because they want to be a part of the story.
People want to belong to something greater than themselves.
Those narrations must be rooted in truth, there must be an actual historical referent to them, but the narrations must be told with flourish, generating empathy among the listeners. Every single person who hears the tale or listens to the song must be able to see and feel themselves in the place of the victim.
They must identify with them and with the hero.
It is through narrative, reinforced by the beating of the drum, through harmonics, by striking the sacred chords that we are able to transfer the experience of the individual, to the hearts and minds of the whole.
There is no other way to perpetuate a rebellion.
The revolution will wind down and disappear without it, becoming just another ghost story to frighten children.
Without the continuing power of narrative the story of the rebellion may even become co-opted by the powers of the corrupt.
Religion is the ligature that binds civilization together, from the family unit to the Galactic Empire, without religion there is nothing.
Ritual is the life-force of religion.
Rituals shape the entire context of a person’s life, from the moment they are born to the moment they die, each and every day is marked by ritual.
If a society loses its ritual structure it falls apart. When the individual abandons their ritual behaviors, their life loses its meaning and they quickly perish.
In the Galactic Empire, and even on Earth, both the patriot and the rebel shared the same songs, the same history, they shared the same stories narrated in the same way. The only thing that differentiated their use of these ritual forms was the different ends they were pointed to.
Everything else was the same, because the people were the same, sharing the same hopes for themselves and their families, their friends and their villages, the same hopes for their worlds.
Heroes were interchangeable with villains, victims with martyrs, with the proper ritual any crime could be forgiven
Any character could be redeemed through the ritual power of narrative, they could be purified and forgiven.
In the end, the only thing that mattered were the stories that were told.
This is why all of the power resided in the priesthood, they were the arbiters of the myths, they spun the webs that connected the Empire together, from end to end, from the tiniest world to the throne world and its portal to the Continuum.
The promise of eternal life, of immortality, this promise is a powerful motivator. It reaches everyone because all people are afraid of the unknown and no-one wants to die.
To be willing to sacrifice themselves for causes that were merely exercises in futility, as most revolutionary actions were, the rebel had to be able to see their revolutionary movement in a mythic context.
Their participation in the rebellion must generate a deep sense of esteem for them, coming form those who witness their deeds.
While the promise of immortality works well, it becomes far more tangible when the perspective of the individual’s view of immortality is shaped by songs and stories, when it is folded into the ritual narrative of the group mind.
Rebels have to see themselves, their lives and deaths as part of a greater movement, as a thing beyond their immediate identity, they have to be able to view their sacrifice as something of worth, something that magnified the value of their own lives, something that would elevate them in the imaginary world of the afterlife, but more importantly to elevate them in the hearts and the minds and the memories of the people.
Ritual remembering was a key component for this type of conditioning, the celebration of the honored dead, the recitation of names, the communion of saints. All of these structures were the building blocks that a successful rebellion had to utilize in order to progress.
All of the major religions of Earth were engineered to support these structures, they were focused around ancestor worship, the carrying forward of the past into the present and the projection of that present into the future.
Jim prepared the vessel he was searching for by layering these expectations into the popular consciousness.
The humans of Earth were natural born revolutionaries.
The commitment to revolution had to be seeded in the human consciousness, with the quest germinating in perpetuity.
To motivate the people they had to be convinced that they were seeking a resolution to the injustices they faced, a resolution that they might never experience for themselves, but which would fulfill them simply by pursuing it.
It was not the destination that mattered it was the journey, it was not the getting there it was the going.
Rebels and revolutionaries had to believe they would find the object of their hope beyond themselves. In this regard, the programming of human consciousness for revolutionary activity was completely in synch with the Imperial religion.
Jim was able to hide his agenda within this framework and so it went unnoticed by the Observers who had been assigned to watch over his work, in this way it escaped the attention of the Continuum as well.
For the revolutionary, the quest must never end, the virtuous life consisted of the pursuit of justice, not its realization. They had to be satisfied with this, like King Pelinore on the hunt for the questing beast.
Jim placed all of these motifs in the collective mythology, he stirred them up continuously. When he arrived at the end game of the breeding program, the vessel he was searching for had to be conditioned by these paradigms, the vessel could not question them.
He required the sacrifice of the vessel to be voluntary, the vessel had to willingly endure the psychic trauma of billions of people crying out in fear and pain and confusion, dying all at once in a singular moment of sheer agony.
They vessel had to be able to channel that trauma, through Jim, and drive it like a stake through the heart of the Continuum.
A revolution is a turning of the wheel.
Every revolution had a predictable outcome, a return to the beginning.
If the revolutionaries succeed in their ambitions the survivors must move quickly to consolidate their power, to set themselves up as the new overlords. To do this they must rapidly quash all dissent. The most effective means of doing this is the complete eradication of the remaining enemy forces.
The old order had to be swept away, cleansed completely, man woman and child, the entire family along every extension, to the seventh generation, everyone must be put to the sword and consumed in the fire.
The revolutionaries had to a fully actualized tyrant, ruling by fiat, or the old order would reassert itself. Once the last vestiges of the enemy had been rooted out, they had to cleanse their own ranks.
There was no other way.
Cabal’s had to be snapped, columns had to be broken. Leadership could never be shared by those who are perpetually hungry for power, as all revolutionaries are.
Sometimes this happened within a single generation, at other times it takes two or three, but the transformation is inevitable. A revolutionary movement will always transform itself into a despotic regime.
It becomes what it beheld, content that it has done right.
A new rebellion will foment, it will concentrate under pressure, and without fail the wheel will turn again.
There is no escaping it.
It is the basic dilemma of being.
Part Six (a), Rebellion
Appendix Chapter Ten, Earth
A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week
#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek
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