Observation – May 5th, 2020, Tuesday

It is a bright morning

There is a plane flying overhead, though the city is quiet

There is a robin chirping in the tree outside my window

My lady is working at loom, weaving on a hoop

Kitty is begging for butter

Seventy thousand Americans will have died

From complications due to COVID-19

By the end of today

The news is increasingly grim

There are politicians telling us to prepare

Be ready to lose more

Americans must be ready to sacrifice

Like they did in World War II

This time we march into the jaws of a faceless beast

To feed an economy, that is hungry for our lives

As valuable as kibble, scattered on the floor

A Homily – The Second Sunday of Easter (Year A) Divine Mercy Sunday

First Reading – Acts 2:42-47 ©
Responsorial Psalm 117(118):2-4, 13-15, 22-24 ©
Second Reading – 1 Peter 1:3-9 ©
Sequence – Victimae Paschali Laudes
Gospel Acclamation – John 20:29
The Gospel According to John 20:19-31

(NJB)

The Second Sunday of Easter (Year A) Divine Mercy Sunday
Listen!

The early Christian communities flourished because they believed in one another, they trusted one another, they relied on one another. They held their possessions in common and the lived according to their beliefs. They shared their food, their clean water, their way of life.

Because of their example their communities grew.

It was not their faith in the risen Christ that caused their communities to grow, it was their faith in each other, and the way Jesus instructed them to follow, they were strengthened by this and the example that Jesus set. These are what allowed the early Christians to flourish, even in the face of persecution.

This is not to say that the good news of the resurrection was not a binding doctrine for the early Church, it was. However, what bound the early Christians even more closely together was the living witness they brought to Jesus’ ministry, both during his life and after his death, a witness they shared far and wide.

They bore witness to the fact that God, the creator of the universe, is kind, loving and merciful.

Jesus taught this above all things, and for a few short years it was the principle teaching of the Church he founded. Jesus taught that God is a loving parent, abba, and God approaches God’s children in the spirit of love, always, even when God is exercising judgment and administering justice, there is always love.

The Church, like God, has no enemies.

God does not dwell behind the wall of a city, a temple, a cathedral or a basilica.

There are no gates barring access to God, there are no barriers, in the world or in the mind, or in the true dogma of the Church.

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

God is with us!

God does not favor one child over another.

God is a bringing of life, not death. God loves peace, not war.

Remember!

God is the parent of everyone, the creator of the universe, and everything in it, and the resurrection of Jesus (if you believe in it) is a gift of hope. It is a reason to trust in what had theretofore been unseen, and what has been promised to everyone.

Whether we believe in the resurrection or not, this does not matter, the resurrection is the destiny that God has set in place for every person, God has promised that not one of God’s children will be left in the dark.

All will be saved.

What faith in the resurrection does is this: Faith makes it easier to live the good life. When your belief in God’s love for you is firm, it is much easier to pray for those who persecute you, to love your enemy, to lead a just life, a life of humility and mercy.

What faith in the resurrection is not is this: Faith is not an article of belief that a Christian holds onto, like a golden ticket that will grant them access to paradise.

Faith will not protect you from evil, either from within or from without.

Be mindful of what Saint Peter taught, because Peter was mistaken about a great many things.

Peter praises the faithful for their love and devotion to Jesus, for their belief in Jesus as the Christ, as an object of devotion, as an idea fixe, transforming our image of Jesus into an idol; calling Christians to give their love and devotion to an image, instead of to the way of life that he preached and taught.

Do not tell people to be happy in their suffering, justifying it on the grounds that they are suffering for a great cause.

Do not tell them this!

If a person is suffering and they have no choice, so be it, but do not tell them it is God’s will; rather boost them up, support them, give them hope, but do not speak to them about the honor and glory of their suffering, and do not promise rewards for their suffering in the next life, do not promise these things in the name of idols.

When Christian faith moves away from the living tradition, and ceases to be way of life, when it stops being about people, becoming a partisan thing, a thing of ideology and doctrine, then the way is lost.

Consider the bankrupt theology present in the sequence from the mass today, it demonstrates much of what is wrong with Christian dogma and doctrine.

Know this:

Jesus did not die on the cross as a sacrificial victim. Blood does not serve to expiate sin, it never has and it never could, that is not the way that the world works, and God has always said that God desires mercy, not sacrifices.

Only love transforms sin, it does so through the power of mercy, and forgiveness both offered and accepted, that is what transforms sin.

Know this:

God is not a general and Jesus is not a warrior, there is no war taking place between Heaven and the forces of sin and evil, there never has been and there never will be.

All the powers of sin and evil are infinitely less than the infinite power of God, there is no contest. From God’s perspective the trauma of sin is a thing to be mourn, not something to fight against, or draw battle lines to countermand.

Sin is not something you cleave with the sword of wrath, but heal with the salve of grace.

God is not a king and Jesus did not seek a royal station, these are human aspirations and we do a disservice to the way by clinging to them.

God comes to us as a loving parent, and Jesus walked with us as a friend, be mindful of this when you are at prayer.

Jesus led an extraordinary life and died at the hands of his political opponents in a rather ordinary way.

Let us reflect on this and reject the lofty language that seeks to make more of it than it was.

Consider the Gospel for today.

On the second Sunday of Easter the narrative moves us away from the ministry of Jesus and into the life of the early Church, into the era of partisanship.

John’s Gospel was written roughly one hundred-twenty years after Jesus died. The reading for today contains some fascinating glimpses into the life of John’s community.

John says that on the night Jesus was crucified the apostles hid in the upper room for fear of the Jews, indicating the deep division that had already taken place between the nascent church and the Jewish people who founded it.

Jesus and the apostles were themselves Jewish.

Ninety years before John’s gospel was written, Saint Paul was active in his ministry to the gentiles, arguing with St. Peter about the notion that gentiles must first become observant Jews before they could join the Church.

St. Paul won that argument.

The church opened to the world, and ninety years later it would come to see the Jewish tradition, from which the Church emerged, and all of its people, as anathema to itself.

There was great concern for the Church and its authority in this time. The Church’s understanding and image of Jesus was changing in dramatic ways. Jesus becomes reimagined as a priest doing priestly things; commissioning the disciples, instantiating their office and empowering them to pass judgement on people, to forgive or not forgive sins as the disciples saw fit.

This flies in the face of the historical Jesus, a man who was not a priest, but a prophet.

Jesus forgave sins, and encourages the disciples to forgive sins, not because they had the special power to do so, but because God, the creator of the universe, forgives sins. When the prophet proclaims absolution, they are not exercising a special power, they are proclaiming the will of God, and announcing something that has already happened.

The Gospel for today encourages the people to respond to mystical deeds and magical happenings; ghostly apparitions and visions, as if the claim that these supernatural events took place lent a greater authority to the work they were engaged in.

Many are taken in by this sort of thing, it is an appeal to magical thinking, but those types of appeals are always fabrications and lies.

In the final passage the gospel writer put forth the notion that the miracles were real, they were performed so that people would believe that Jesus is (in a special way) the son of God, and that through this belief they would become eligible to enter the Church named after him, and thereby become candidates for eternal life.

The construction of this ideology is this: Come to the church where the Gospel is given, learn the name of Jesus Christ, believe that he is the Son of God, receive that belief as an object or an article of faith, present that belief at the gates of heaven, and be rewarded with eternal life.

The scheme of this tradition, which will be familiar to most Christians, this scheme is Gnostic.

The church rejected Gnosticism and these themes in the same era that John’s Gospel was written.

We should also reject them.

This is the meaning of faith: Trust; have faith trust in God.

The meaning of faith is not belief, belief in a proposition or an article of dogma.

Christian faith is not: Believe in Christ so that you can be saved.

It is: Trust God, you are saved already.
First Reading – Acts 2:42-47 ©

The Faithful All Lived Together and Owned Everything in Common

The whole community remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.

The many miracles and signs worked through the apostles made a deep impression on everyone.

The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed.

They went as a body to the Temple every day but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously; they praised God and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved.
Psalm 117(118):2-4,13-15,22-24 ©

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.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.

I was thrust down, thrust down and falling,
but the Lord was my helper.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he was my saviour.
There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the just.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Second Reading 1 Peter 1:3-9 ©

You Did Not See Christ, Yet You Love Him

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold – only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire – and then you will have praise and glory and honour. You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.
Sequence

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see
upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as he rose!
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
he goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious king, thy mercy show!
Gospel Acclamation Jn 20:29
Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

Alleluia!

The Gospel According to John 20:19-31

Eight Days Later, Jesus Came Again and Stood Among Them

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.

‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’

After saying this he breathed on them and said:

‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:

‘You believe because you can see me.

Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.
The Second Sunday of Easter (Year A) Divine Mercy Sunday

Listen – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.29.2020

Listen
My sensei always use to tell that we have to be rich enough to pay attention.

Pay attention to what is going on around us, look beyond the tip of your nose. Listen to the warning we are being given, comply with the safety measures that are being recommended.

The sooner we all get on the same page, acting in concert with one another the sooner we get through this mess.

Be mindful, the risks you take go far beyond yourself and your family, the COVID-19 virus, if you come in contact with it, will spread out from you, well beyond your sphere of influence.

Limit your exposure, practice social and physical distancing. Do it for your sake, and for the sake of your family, yes do it for those reasons, but do it for everyone else’s families as well, do it for the doctors and nurses and emergency workers who are risking their lives for our sake.

They are heroes, honor their sacrifice.

Listen, and don’t listen.

Don’t listen to the selfish voices around you, correct those , do it gently, but correct those who complain about their need to be with people, to run around the lake, to have a drink with a friend, because they do not want to stay secluded.

You are not being asked to risk your life, to take up arms and go to war, you are only being asked to spend a couple of weeks, or so with yourself.

You can do this, and the sooner we all do it together the sooner we get through this and the sooner life will return to something we recognize as normal.

Do not listen to the conspiracy theorists trying to distract you with their colorful ideas about who dunnit and why, those people are not trying to help you adjust to the circumstances or see our way through it.

Listen to the doctors, listen to the scientists, listen to the men and women in the hospitals, do not listen to the politicians, the media pundits, or the televangelists, trying to make a dollar off your suffering.

Memorial Day – A Reflection

Memorial Day is a day set aside for reflection. It is a day meant for us to honor our fallen dead.

The meaning of Memorial Day has changed a great deal since it was founded. At its inception, it was meant to honor African American soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War, both our soldiers who were born-free, as well as those who were former slaves; men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who gave everything they had to keep the union whole.

Memorial Day was created to honor those who died for an America which they only dreamed could exist. They died for these United States, for a vision of it that the prayed for, but was not yet real; they got something different, they got this reality, an America that is still in a state of becoming, one that is more or less just, depending on where you are born, what color your skin is, what class you belong to.

Those men and women died for us, for good or ill, they died for us. They died for promises that went un-realized.

We have yet to repay them, we have yet to fulfill their hopes for the America they dreamt of; America, daughter of liberty, America the true, and good, America the arbiter of justice.

Now, we honor our dead on this day; our soldiers and sailors and airmen, our police and firefighters; we honor them.

We honor all of our citizens who spent their lives, who gave their days to public service; we honor our doctors and nurses and teachers, the good works of our ordinary citizens, of our friends and neighbors, we honor everyone’s sacrifices; known and unknown, and those yet to come.

This year we must even children, who stood in the way of gunfire to protect their classmates and paid for it with their lives.

We must honor them, and their sacrifice, they died upholding our most cherished values, in recognition of the fact that we are one people, that we are descended from many nations, and that we each come into the world with the absolute right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that all other rights are subordinate to these.

On this day of all days, do not make the mistake of thinking that it is our service women and men who keep us free.
It has been at least sixty years since America faced an “existential” threat from a foreign power.

We are not kept free through armed conflict.

We do not face such an existential threat from beyond our borders and shores right now; not from Iran, not from North Korea, not from Russia, not from anywhere.

The real threat we face is from ourselves, from our ignorance and from our fear.

It is we, and we alone who can protect us from ourselves.

Our own apathy, our prejudice and hatred, these are the most dangerous forces aligned against us, that threaten our freedom. They are more deadly than any other worldly power.

To honor our fallen dead, you must do your part to keep us free. You must participate in our democracy.

Vote, stay informed, organize, build alliances and collaborate.

Our collective failure as citizens of the Unites States has allowed a criminal, autocratic, demagogue to hold power in the White House, allowed the Supreme Court to state that corporations are to be treated as people, and money regarded as free speech, while those same justices have told ordinary American’s that their right to free speech does not include the right to be heard, and that our right to vote does not include the guarantee that our votes will be counted.

This rank cynicism is more dangerous to our freedom than any rag tag group of militants half way around the world, more dangerous than immigrants looking for a better life on our side of the border we share, they are only seeking the same thing as my own forebears did when they came here a little over a hundred years ago.

Honor our fallen dead. Not with cards and flowers and barbeques (but do those things because they are good), honor them by standing up to racism and bigotry, to religious zealotry and corporate greed, to scientific ignorance and xenophobia, to corruption in our public officials in our highest offices, and to the notion that the right to keep and bear arms does not include our responsibility to regulate them.

Honor them by participating in public discourse. Do not lose heart, and do not give up.

Stand up, and be counted!

We must rebuild America, reform our institutions, we must do this for the sake of all Americans and our future generations. We must take responsibility for our own freedom.

We will have nothing to protect if we let our freedom be stolen from us while we are busy watching TV, posting pictures on social media of the last meal we ate, and arguing with one another about who is the most liberal, most progressive, most concerned about the common good.

Honor the fallen, in this way.

Participate!

Jay P. Botten, Veteran, U.S.N., Hospital Corps, 1990 – 1994

Given 1st 2015.05.25

Revised 2019.05.27

Emergence 3.0 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Fourteen, Conspiracy; Collected Chapters

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Chapter One: Unease

Courage and selflessness were not dominant character traits among the members of the Collective, even among those who entered the Observer Corps.

The members of the Observer Corps who desired change, they were necessarily uneasy. They craved revolution and fomented rebellion, but very few of them were actually willing to risk their own existence on it.

As a result they most often took half measures, and their efforts were regularly spoiled.

They feared being discovered by the Continuum for the parts they played in revolutionary activities, not for the things they did in the Empire, at their station in the worlds of Time and Space, but for instigating unease in the Collective itself, which was the only way they could conceive of actually having an impact on the Continuum.

If the prevailing attitudes, mores and values of the Collective change, logic demanded that the Continuum would change as well.

None of them suspected that the Continuum was a free agent.

They believed what they had been taught, that it was an amalgamation of the Collective consciousness.

They feared that any other Observer, those who were not a part of their cabal, if they knew of their role in support of an active rebellion, they feared those members would betray them, and so they were exceedingly cautious.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Saturday, May 4th, 2019

Chapter Two: Disturbance

The Continuum was a master of chaos, but for itself all it wanted was peace. It wanted the security of feeling that it was in absolute control and beholden to no one.

Not the Collective, not anything, not anyone,

The rebellious Observers were a disturbance to it, which is why they were removed from the Collective and sent to the Observer Corps. The Continuum excised them from the body of the Collective like it would any malignancy.

The Continuum interpreted any ripple of disturbance as a challenge to its management of the Collective.

If a rebellious member caused trouble, that presence generated waves of sentiment that washed through the Collective, which could grow in force and power until they washed over everyone. It would throw the Continuum off, and could alter the trajectories of the narratives it was crafting for the consumption of the whole.

Dealing with such members could throw off ages of work. The Continuum resented it.

The Continuum would not suffer their malign influence, especially if it threatened to capture the hearts and minds of its constituency.

The Continuum could not tolerate any loss of control, any suggestion that it was not the cause of its own being, or any notion that it was a servant to the Collective.

It saw the Collective as belonging to it.

And over the course of millions of years it slowly pushed the original membership into the great sleep, into sequestration, into the Observer Corps.

It lost members, which was tantamount to murder, and it gradually replaced their number with citizens of the Empire, those who had demonstrated the greatest level of loyalty to the Imperial Cult, and had completely bonded with its religious tradition.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Chapter Three: Foment

They were perpetually exposed.

The Observers could not foment revolution against the Continuum directly, they were forced to work through proxies, to lay plans generations in advance, to hide their motivations behind a screen of misdirection and false intentions

The Continuum knew them intimately and their duty to return to HomeWorld exposed their consciousness to it, and to the Collective in its entirety.

They were the most closely watched group of people anywhere within reach of the Continuum’s influence. They were spied upon by living agents and mechanical devices; filmed, recorded, tracked.

There was no escaping it.

They could not oppose the Continuum or the Collective directly, therefore they worked against the Empire, which the Collective fed on, like a parasite on its host.

The Empire was comprised of a million worlds, which to the rebel, represented a million targets to choose from.

They sought to weaken the Collective, and to poison the Continuum through an endless barrage of attacks, and propaganda.

It targeted the Imperial cult.

The rebels engaged in propaganda to undermine the rule of the priestly class, seeking to expose them at every opportunity for the despots they were. The generated conflict among its members, and attacked them covertly.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Monday, May 6th, 2019

Chapter Four: Commitment

It was not for the faint of heart.

The wavering spirit had no place here.

Revolution requires an absolute commitment from the rebels engaged in subversive activities, from anyone whose desire it is to bring about the changes they view as necessary for the satisfaction of justice, and to create the possibility of new way of life.

The rebel had to demonstrate that commitment through a variety of tests.

They had to be willing to kill or be killed, to risk everything and everyone, to destroy everything even the thing they are trying to save.

They must go through the crucible. In it they must demonstrate their blind faith in the righteousness of their cause.

There is an aphorism that guides rebel movements everywhere: Only those with the ability to destroy a thing, are able to control the thing.

If you encounter the Buddha on the side of the road, kill him.

The rebel must be willing to sacrifice everything, few are able to rise to this level. Foot soldiers, yes they number in the trillions and that type of person is always willing to throw their bodies into the line of fire.

Among their commanders this quality is much more difficult to find, it has to be cultivated.

Those with the intellectual capacity for command, are less likely to be willing to throw their lives away. Those with the ability to sacrifice anything and anyone, those people are less likely to care, even about themselves.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Chapter Five: Cabal

They congregated in shadows and in silence.

Rebels found each other in the most secretive places, in the darkest corners, communicating with one another at a distance, in disjointed time.

A mark on a wall, a jingle in the subtext of a song.

They learned to communicate with the most subtle signals, signs which they believed would evade the detection of the Empire.

The Imperial monitors did not miss much.

The Continuum missed even less.

They pushed messages slowly, over time, establishing lines of communication that joined them together, like a thin cable stretched between worlds.

They were ingenious.

They showed a profound ability to adapt.

A rebel movement would slowly gain energy over the course of generations before it would suddenly explode in a violent blast.

Then it would be extinguished.

The revolutionaries lived for the vision of their ideals.

They were not the prisoners of actualities.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Chapter Six: Column

A revolution is a journey, it is also a building.

A revolution has a foundation, rooted in the experience of injustice.

It has levels.

It has connections and conduits.

It requires mechanisms of support.

The rebellion against the Empire mirrored the revolutionary movement among the Observers, it was held together by thin cabals made-up of loose associations and sympathizers, tightened like the individual strands of thread woven together to form a length of rope.

The hope of billions of people were held together like a spider’s web.

Cabals became columns capable of supporting the concerted action of masses of people, providing more security and a base from which to launch their aspirations, their vision of a future without the over-control of tyranny.

A sustained endeavor requires stability.

Revolutionary movements will never become realized without the support of such columns, they are the pillars that hold up the vault of their ideals.

With proper support the edifice they are constructing can take on the aspect of a mountain. It can remake the surface of a world.

Such is the ambition of the rebel.

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Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Chapter Seven: Sacrifice

From the rebel chief to the common soldier and every rank in between, the focus of each individual included a daily meditation on death

A revolution cannot survive without sacrifice, the rebel Observers understood this. They sacrificed each other with great regularity, they did not count loyalty to one another as a virtue.

Theirs was a society of self-interest. Their common desire for autonomy united them more than any commitment to their ideals.

It was a rare occasion that would result in any member of the Observer Corps sacrificing their own self for the sake of their fellows, or for their movement.

It was rare, but it did happen.

Even a member of the Collective could arrive at a place where they were willing to serve a cause greater than their own purposes; the key dynamics always involved generating feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair within them.

They had to perceive that they were in a trap and that being trapped there was no escape, and so their sacrifice was reduced to a final gesture of defiance against the Continuum which they abhorred.

These were rare moments, and every one of them mattered.

They could be engineered, as most of them were. They were engineered by their fellows who had some advantage to gain in seeing them disposed of.

It happened through betrayal.

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Emergence 3.0:
Section Six (a), Rebellion

Appendix Part Fourteen, Conspiracy

Collected Chapters
01 Unease
02 Disturbance
03 Foment
04 Commitment
05 Cabal
06 Column
07 Sacrifice

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Fourteen, Conspiracy; Chapter Seven, Sacrifice

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Chapter Seven: Sacrifice

From the rebel chief to the common soldier and every rank in between, the focus of each individual included a daily meditation on death

A revolution cannot survive without sacrifice, the rebel Observers understood this. They sacrificed each other with great regularity, they did not count loyalty to one another as a virtue.

Theirs was a society of self-interest. Their common desire for autonomy united them more than any commitment to their ideals.

It was a rare occasion that would result in any member of the Observer Corps sacrificing their own self for the sake of their fellows, or for their movement.

It was rare, but it did happen.

Even a member of the Collective could arrive at a place where they were willing to serve a cause greater than their own purposes; the key dynamics always involved generating feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair within them.

They had to perceive that they were in a trap and that being trapped there was no escape, and so their sacrifice was reduced to a final gesture of defiance against the Continuum which they abhorred.

These were rare moments, and every one of them mattered.

They could be engineered, as most of them were. They were engineered by their fellows who had some advantage to gain in seeing them disposed of.

It happened through betrayal.

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Emergence 4.0 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Fourteen, Conspiracy; Collected Chapters

Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Friday, January 25th, 2019

Chapter One: Unease

The members of the Observer Corps who desired change, those members were necessarily uneasy. Not only did they fear being discovered by the Continuum for the parts they played in fomenting revolution and instigating unease in the Collective, they feared that any other Observer who knew of their role in generating conflict would betray them.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Saturday, January 26th, 2019

Chapter Two: Disturbance

The rebellious were disturbing, which is why they were removed from the Collective, and sent to be Observers, excised like cancer by the Continuum.

They caused trouble, their presence created ripples in the waves of sentiment that washed through the Collective.

The Continuum would not suffer their malign influence, capturing the hearts of its constituency.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Chapter Three: Foment

The Observers could not foment revolution against the Continuum directly. They were the most closely watched group of people anywhere within the reach of the Continuum’s influence. Instead they worked against the Empire, which the Collective fed on, like a parasite on its host.

They sought to weaken the Collective and to poison the Continuum.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Monday, January 28th, 2019

Chapter Four: Commitment

Revolution requires an absolute commitment from the rebels, from those whose desire it is to bring about change; they have to be willing to kill or be killed, to risk everything and everyone, to sacrifice what they love.

Only those with the ability to destroy a thing, control that thing.

The revolutionary must be committed.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Chapter Five: Cabal

The rebels found each other in secretive places, in the deep quiet of the darkest corners.

They learned to communicate in subtle signals, simple signs which they believed would evade the detection of the Empire.

They pushed messages slowly, over time, establishing lines of communication that joined them together, like thin cables stretching between worlds.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Chapter Six: Column

Thin Cabals made of loose associations and sympathizers, alliances tightened like the individual strands of fiber woven together to form a length of rope.

Cabals became columns capable of supporting concerted action, providing greater security.

Revolutionary movements required the support of such columns, they were the pillars that held up the dome of their ideals.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Chapter Seven: Sacrifice

A revolution could not survive without sacrifice, the rebel Observers understood this, they sacrificed each other with great regularity, on occasion they would even sacrifice themselves.

Even a member of the Collective could arrive at a place where they would serve a cause greater than their self-interest. These were rare moments, and every one mattered.

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Emergence 2.0:
Section Six (a), Rebellion

Appendix Part Fourteen, Conspiracy

Collected Chapters
01 Unease
02 Disturbance
03 Foment
04 Commitment
05 Cabal
06 Column
07 Sacrifice

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside for reflection. It is a day meant for us to honor our fallen dead.

The meaning of Memorial Day has changed a great deal since it was founded. At its inception, it was meant to honor African American soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War, both our soldiers who were born-free, as well as those who were former slaves, men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who gave everything they had, to keep the union whole.

Memorial Day was created to honor those who died for an America which they only dreamed could exist. They died for these United States, for a vision of it, but they got something different, they got this reality, an America that is still in a state of becoming.

Those men and women died for us, for good or ill, they died for us.

We have yet to repay them, we have yet to fulfill their hopes for the America they dreamt of; America, daughter of liberty, America the true, arbiter of justice.

Now, we honor our dead on this day; our soldiers and sailors and airmen, our police and firefighters; we honor them.

We honor all of our citizens who spent their lives, who gave their days to public service; we honor our doctors and nurses and teachers, the good works of our ordinary citizens, of our friends and neighbors, we honor everyone’s sacrifices; known and unknown, and those yet to come.

This year we must honor teachers, in Santa Fe, Texas; in Parkland, Florida; and elsewhere, who stood in the way of gunfire to protect their students and paid for it with their lives.

We must honor them, and their sacrifice, they died upholding our most cherished values, in recognition of the fact that we are one people, that we are descended from many nations, and that we each come into the world with the absolute right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that all other rights are subordinate to these.

On this day of all days, do not make the mistake of thinking that it is our service women and men who keep us free. It has been at least sixty years since America faced an “existential” threat from a foreign power.

 

We do not face such a threat right now; not from Iran, not from North Korea, not from Russia, not from anywhere.

The real threat we face is from ourselves, from our ignorance, and from our fear.

It is we, and we alone who can protect us from ourselves.

Our own apathy, prejudice, and hatred, these are the most dangerous forces aligned against us, against our freedom. They are more deadly than any other worldly power.

To honor our fallen dead, you must do your part to keep us free. You must participate in our democracy.

Vote, stay informed, organize, build alliances, and collaborate.

Our collective failure as citizens of the Unites States has allowed a criminal, autocratic, demagogue to hold power in the White House, allowed the Supreme Court to state that corporations are to be treated as people, and money regarded as free speech, while those same justices have told ordinary American’s that their right to free speech does not include the right to be heard, and that our right to vote does not include the guarantee that our votes will be counted.

This rank cynicism is more dangerous to our freedom than any rag tag group of militants half way around the world, more dangerous than immigrants looking for a better life on our side of our border, as my own forebears did when they came here a little over a hundred years ago.

Honor our fallen dead. Not with cards and flowers and barbeques (but do those things because they are good), honor them by standing up to racism and bigotry, to religious zealotry and corporate greed, to scientific ignorance and xenophobia, to corruption in our public officials, in our highest offices, and to the notion that the right to keep and bear arms does not include our responsibility to regulate them.

Honor them by participating in our public discourse. Do not lose heart, and do not give up.

We must rebuild America, reform our institutions, for the sake of Americans and our future generations. We must take responsibility for your own freedom.

Honor the fallen, in this way.

Jay P. Botten, Veteran, U.S.N., Hospital Corps, 1990 – 1994

Given 1st 2015.05.25

Revised 2016.05.3, Revised 2017.05.29

Revised 2017.05.28

Benediction

 

Peace from the Divine

 

Blessings hang in the thick air

 

With a static crack

 

 

 

Over the TV

 

The radio signals peace

 

From the all-mighty

 

 

 

Pouring through my flesh

 

Waves penetrate every cell

 

Attenuated

 

 

 

Peace from the Divine

 

Preachers-preaching for war, death

 

God loves the victor

 

 

 

God favors the dead

 

Open the gates, Valhalla

 

Heaven is waiting

 

 

 

Green Elysium

 

Honor the sacrifice, eat

 

Pray for each victim

 

 

 

We spent them cheaply

 

On the altar, the battlefield

 

Pouring out their blood

 

 

 

The cheapest of wines

 

Hot and tainted, filthy lees

 

Sour as vinegar

 

Drift

The world spins and we

Hypothesize, temporize

Critique, dilemma

 

With little insight

Pure sophistry, neat and clean

Iconoclasm

 

Give voice to our pain

Without a means of recourse

Empty solutions

 

What have we become

Where is our nobility

Sacrifice, spirit

 

The fearless leader

He is an orange man, I am

Blue as cobalt, blue

 

The world spins and we

Are bound to it all the same

Have you had enough