Emergence 4.0 – Part Six, The Empire; Chapter Forty-one, Tradition

Week 43, 2019
El became a living exemplar of the faith, a flesh and blood narrative of what the people of the Empire hoped for.

His story sustained them, like food for the hungry and water to the thirsty.

The stages of his life symbolized what the faith of every citizen held to be true, what they were led to believe through the teaching of the Imperial Cult, and in its way, because of the hope he represented, he also perfectly articulated the fears of the ruling class.

His early life demonstrated how a person and a family could be caste down and caste out. As he transitioned from plebian to criminal, to outcaste and ultimately a rebel.

The story of those transitions took on the quality of an epic myth, characterizing the decent that everyone feared might be waiting for them and those they loved, the expectant judgement awaiting them in the timeless place before rebirth, if they did not fulfill their duties faithfully.

Even in his decent he demonstrated qualities of virtue and integrity that were supposed to be redemptive. The narrative of his life, which virtually every citizen in the empire was familiar with, was in a constant state of editing, of simplification and refinement for the purposes of propaganda.

People on a million worlds followed him, put their hopes in him, believed that he was a child of the God’s, of the Continuum, a divine being sent to live among them, a hero to share their pain, to lead them out of the worlds of suffering and chaos.

He was a demi-god, myths regarding his origins circulated among the people, carefully crafted by the Imperial Cult, for maximum exposure.

El’s life story became a new vehicle of control and exploitation.

During his long life whole generations had been born, and died adoring him, they set him on a pedestal, ignorant of the danger that they were merely preparing him for a mighty fall.

El participated with full devotion in the great charade of temple life.

He never let on that he did not believe in the things he studied or the things he taught, after all, he was the subject and the beneficiary of the greatest miracle that had ever been engineered in the living memory of the Empire.

He had returned from the dead.

The perception of holiness mattered more than the reality, his safety and security depended on it, but more importantly the safety of the woman he loved depended on it.

Every affectation of pietas was a charade, pageantry, performance art and deception.

This did not bother him.

The most important thing to the hierarchy is what people believed about the priesthood.

The rituals were like veils, they obscured reality but they were also translucent. If you practiced mindfulness you could peer through them, remove each veil, one by one, while advancing in knowledge.

Image was everything; rhetoric not logic, not truth, rhetoric was the measure of the day.

The truth, if it was known, would only harm people, confuse them, or so the priestly cast believed.

It would tear the Empire apart, El was sure of that.

Given the powers belonging to the priesthood, it was a relatively easy task to deceive the masses.

The priesthood controlled the Imperial Schools, and more importantly the cultic rituals that governed every moment of the day to day lives of the citizens.

The controls the priesthood exercised were not taught as vehicles of deception, but as a guided rituals, intended to slowly bring people to a place of sanctity. They were preparation for the next life and the world to come.

Everything was theater.

El was a grand performer.

He had an intuitive sense for the fact that he was being watched at every moment, filmed, studied, reviewed.

He did not think about it, and yet it never left his awareness.

In the rituals of the priesthood every gesture was important.

The complex movements of the customs and rituals reenacted a narrative and reinforced a story that encompassed the history of the Empire and its million worlds.

The rites fostered a sense of belonging in the people.

It was an incredible drama, the story of every planet was told, of every class, every victory and every crushing defeat.

The rise and fall of worlds was recounted in the liturgical cycle.

The glory of the Imperial house and the part each person played in the construction of that story was told and retold, both to terrify and to instruct, to delight in and give hope.

The group participation in those rituals, led by the priests, sent waves rippling through the lives of the faithful, binding them as by the successive movement of concentric rings.

El played his part flawlessly.

He became the singular focus of every nearly every person in the Empire, whispers began to take shape that he would lead the people to a new way of life.

El did nothing to counter those narratives. He himself wanted to believe it was true.

The imperial system was held together by class, rank and ancestry.

Only the outcaste was free from it, and while they were free from the oppressive weight of the conforming belief systems, they were absolutely without rights, without representation in government or standing before the courts.

Nearly every citizen clung to their place in the hierarchichal order with vicious determination.
They knew they were constantly under watch, scrutinized from the moment they stepped out the door of their dorm, their home or apartment, they were under constant observation.

Most of them suspected, but few of them knew the extent to which their private lives were monitored.

There was no privacy.

There were few limits to what a person would risk, merely to advance a step or two in rank.

Inasmuch as every person was inextricably bound to the system of rank, they also longed for a release from it.

They were conditioned to see release only through advancement, by forward motion, through reincarnation, and countless lifetimes of struggle.

Even death was not seen as a release, merely a transition to a new mode of suffering.

That is what the cult taught them, to always look ahead, to see themselves as one day filling the role of village chief, of captain, of high priest, of abba; to hope that they could advance so far that they and theirs would ultimately occupy the highest place of all, to ascend the steps of the curial throne and be welcomed into the Continuum, to merge with the divine Collective, find peace, to ultimately become the god of their own private world.

The immediate goals for the ordinary citizen were advancement, to climb above their neighbor, to move beyond their current station.

The realization of hope was perpetually on the other side of a great divide, it was tantalizing, ephemeral and just beyond their grasp,

Everyone believed that freedom was waiting for them. Independence was just a few paces away, if only they could have a perfect day for themselves, or engineer the failure of someone close to them.

This system pitted every person against their neighbor, children against their parents, workers against their supervisors, soldiers against their generals, and acolytes against their masters.

It pitted world against world.

The secret desire of every person was to live autonomously, free from the responsibilities of their station, or the pressure of seeking esteem from their families, peers, and colleagues.

The heavens were imagined as worlds beyond time and space where each person became a god, ruling with absolute power over a creation of their own, as dark or as light as their imagination would allow it to be.

Autonomy was an illusion, private property, self-direction, they were all lies. There was not a single point in the chain of being where a person was ever free.

What differentiated one world from another, one caste from its subordinate, was only the type of work that consumed them, and the relative degrees of comfort or luxury attending to it.

In truth, everything and everyone was fully socialized and owned by the state.

The Empire was absolute, holding power over every living thing, over life itself, even the lives of an entire world could be sacrificed in a moment at the whim of the Emperor, or for the malign purposes of the Continuum.

It was possible for an individual to be at peace in the Empire, millions of citizens were. Theirs was the peace and comfort of the acquiescent.

Acquiescence masked itself as transcendence, passivity as mindfulness, unquestioning as understanding, silence as self-realization, and acceptance as actualization.

People were conditioned to obey, they found satisfaction in it.

To be at peace in the Empire a person merely had to accept the view that their happiness was an integral part of the whole. An individual did not have a right to their own immediate and personal sense of joy. They had to look beyond themselves, to the wholeness of their family, to the security of their village, to the prestige of their world and beyond.

This was referred to as the globalist perspective, and it was normative.

The sound perspective, what was most helpful was to look beyond their immediate conditions of their lives, to look to the next life, to a series of a thousand lives, to the long-slow turning off the wheel of life.

The immediate present could not be changed, only accepted and accounted for.

Individual happiness did not matter, what mattered was the happiness of the whole.

It was a trick.

Most of the population of the empire had been bred to accept this, with those liabilities reinforced by their education in the Imperial Schools and their worship in the Imperial cult.

The citizens understood the reality of the Empire, a million worlds, stretched across the galaxy, but the vast majority would never leave the world they were born on.

Interstellar, travel was mainly the province of the soldier and priest, with the exception of the outcastes, who were likely to be gathered up and sent off world to the serves in the mining fields scattered throughout the Empire. They were the expendable labor force and they were used as such.

Nevertheless, the people held an image of the Royal worlds in their minds, hoping one day to go there, or be reborn there.

It functioned in their consciousness like a beacon, a light to guide them…a false hope.

Every person desired to see their lives as meaningful. Even those citizens whose station in life was fixed in drudgery. This cognitive impulse, to ascribe meaning onto even the most ordinary and mundane activities was instinctual, a genetic imperative.

The mode by which the individual person shaped the narrative of their experience was simple, it involved the projection of everything they did outward toward the universal, reshaping the context of even the simplest and most routine tasks.

This was a categorical imperative.

The Imperial cult ensured that every vestige of the religious rites that the people engaged in, every movement, every word they uttered, conditioned them to believe that individual fulfillment came through the great chain of being, through a series of incarnations, and re-incarnations in which each person experienced life at every station, rising or falling in rank according to the merits by which they lived out each one of their lives.

The journey of the individual entity was depicted in the sacred text like the revolution of a galaxy, billions of stars turning around a massive gravity well, the fixed singularity of a black hole.

It was a cosmic dance.

Planets and stars, turning around the center, until one by one, each was consumed by it, drawn to the point of no return, merging with it, passing across the event horizon, becoming one with the singularity itself.

This example, drawn from nature, was especially poignant to the people.

The common end which it proclaimed, the final calculus of all existence spoke of equal justice for all.

The singularity was depicted not as the end in itself, but as the entry point to another state of being, a gateway to another dimension.

The Continuum was depicted as analogous to this fixed point in nature, and it was a black hole, the material end of all things and that of the soul’s journey, both located in the same terminus.
Emergence 4.0
Part Six, The Empire

Chapter Forty-one, Tradition

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

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

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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 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Fourteen, Conspiracy; Chapter One, Unease

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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 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Twelve, Observers; Chapter Six, Principles

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Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Chapter Six: Principles

A belief system is like an alternate reality, a virtual world. It may be in synch with reality or it may be askew. It may closely reflect the world as it actually is, or it can be wildly divergent.

A belief system is most often a fluctuating mixture of these, comprised of fabrications and fancies of the imagination predicated on truth but free to deviate, in the same way that mythological heroes are almost always rooted in a historical person. There is no difference.

The rebellious had to believe in their ideals, they had to believe in them absolutely, or their devotion would be weak, and their link in the chain of action would break apart.

A belief system was the forge that held their movement together.

A rebel had to subjugate their desires in favor of their ideals, in favor of their need to realize the fulfillment of those ideals. There could be no competing desires, nothing at all to rob their movement of its vital energy,

The rebel could want other things; the love of a partner, a family, comfort or prestige, the respect of their peers, but those wants could not compete with their desire to see the movement succeed.

Nothing could be more important to the rebellious and because of this, nothing was easier to manipulate than idealism. A subtle change in language and symbol could redirect centuries of momentum.

A movement spanning a thousand worlds could be undone with a single phrase, with the right word the entire thing could collapse on itself.

An investment in symbols was a vital necessity, holding them together through the waves of time mattered more than anything.

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Nine, The People; Chapter Six, Harvest

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Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Chapter Six: Harvest

A 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 star.

These cycles established a season for everything, each season 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, the pulse of their blood as it flows through their veins.

A revolution is like a harvest; it comes in its season, and each harvest according to the cycles 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.

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Six (a), Rebellion; Appendix Part Nine, The People; Chapter Four, Light

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Monday, April 1st, 2019

Chapter Four: Light

Knowledge is power, it can be wielded like a weapon, or 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, the re-visitation of grievance like the sacred rites must be officiated every day, the narrative must never cease.

Those engaged in this mission, of 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, experienced as real, 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 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. Then it is possible to become inured to the light, or to fear it, even hateful of it.

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Seven, Kathy; Chapter Five, Miraculous

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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Chapter Five: Miraculous

Jim found himself operating on two distinct tracks.

On one track he was fighting against time. The super-volcano in Yellowstone was going to erupt, and when it did it would kill tens of millions of people in a matter of minutes, hundreds of millions within hours and billions within days.

Through the power of his sensors and monitors he knew when the blast would occur, he had timed down to mere minutes, he would be able to control the timing within a matter of seconds with the explosives he and his team had situated in the critical structure of the volcano’s magma chamber.

He could make it happen sooner if necessary, but he could not delay it.

This filled him with a sense of urgency.

On the other track he delighted in watching Kathy grow, learn, stretch her muscles, and mature.

Kathy proved to be a miracle, she was genuinely psychic, with the tell-tale signs of cognitive gifts that would aid her in her development and prevent her from falling off the precipice into insanity.

She was connected to the cynergenic field, and rooted in her genetic memory at one and the same time.

Jim surmised that the presence of her ancestral past within her, something which every human being possessed but which Kathy appeared to have unique access to, he surmised that this dimension to her personhood stabilized her, and this filled Jim with hope for her.

She was both centered in herself and expansive, she was grounded and open to everything, and there were mysteries within her which slowly unfolded for Jim.

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Five, Spymaster; Chapter Three, Cloak

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Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Chapter Three: Cloak

Secrecy was everything.

Jim had to be able to conceal his work from the Continuum. He had to be able to endure its scrutiny at each and every cycle in which he was required to report back to HomeWorld, exposing himself to the Continuum and sharing his first-hand experience with his brothers and sisters in the Collective.

This task was filled by a replicant, a version of himself who was completely committed to the mission Jim had claimed for them all. To pass through the ordeal Jim had restricted the experiences of this replicant, controlled them, making it so that he had precious few secrets to hide at the moment his consciousness was exposed to the powerful examination of the Continuum.

He had to conceal his movements and machinations from the mechana of spycraft that the Continuum had required him to position all around the world; satellites with powerful tools for audio and visual surveillance.

He had to be even more careful in consideration of the living spies he knew the Continuum had sent to Earth, his fellow members of the Observer Corps who were sent to watch over him and report back to the Continuum covertly.

When Earth entered the digital age, he had to be even more mindful of his actions because he knew the Continuum and its spies had penetrated the information technologies of nations states, and could use their technological resources to sort massive amounts of data at incredible speeds, thereby increasing the likelihood that he would be discovered.

Jim orchestrated the development of his international organizations, personally managing the traditions that would allow it to progress, pulling the cloak of secrecy over it, and stretching its shadowy tendrils into every facet of human society; the Templars, the Hashishim, the Jesuits, the Illuminati, they all belonged to him, served his bidding, fulfilled his purpose, operating in the shadows, well beneath the notice of the Observers.

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Four, University; Chapter Four, Truth

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Monday, February 25th, 2019

Chapter Four: Truth

Jim expended incredible efforts at the habits and practices of concealment. He risked everything if he was discovered.

Jim had to be careful with how the genetic properties, and psychic qualities he was engineering into the human race manifested themselves in the population.

If the Continuum were to discover these, even if he was able to hide his role in engineering them, planet Earth and the Human race would be doomed.

In order to conceal his work he also had to be on the lookout for spies from the Observer Corps, for any manifestation of the machinations of the Continuum interfering in his work.

He introduced subtle changes into the genetic profile of the human being.

There were moments when he used the transmission of a virus to affect widespread mutation, and at other times he was more precise, changing the genetic profile in targeted ways, family by family. He then monitored the families he was experimenting on for generations following them, normalizing the changes he introduced before spreading those changes outward.

It was the most intricate of all puzzles.

He pieced it together under extreme duress.

All the things he was aiming for had to be kept in a state of constant tension, with multiple trajectories kept isolated from one another until they were ready to be blended with other parts of his study.

He was busy, and everything he did had to be guarded, kept secret, the systems that he put in place to protect them were themselves artificial and unnatural. They were so extensive that he ran the risk of being exposed, simply by virtue of the fact that he was taking measures to protect his work.

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Emergence 3.0 – Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Four, University; Chapter Two, Logic

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Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Chapter Two: Logic

Logic was the icon he knelt beside, Logic was his Grail, his object of devotion.

He drilled his fetish for logic, the adherence to it, deep into the structures of the institutions he built.

The institutional bias was always logic, dispassionate and utilitarian.

There was safety in logic, there was predictability. The power of logic was demonstrable, and belief in its power was ingrained into every level of the vast structures of the schools he founded.

People are not logical by nature, they had to be conditioned to it, The languages they spoke created modes of thinking that were more and less suited to it.

Jim left some groups to be wild and never touched them with the machination of logic. Other tribes were built around intricate webs of logical assumptions.

At different points in the development of a society he engineered disasters which took away the institutions the undergirded the transmission of logic. He starved those societies of it, allowing them to regress into natural states of animal emotionality, of fear and suspicion.

Then he would bring it back like a healing balm and watch while they transformed themselves through the use of it.

Within the great-stone walls of the institutions he founded, he formed secret societies to protect and carry out his work. This allowed him to focus his attention all around the globe, guiding the development of civilization with a slow-steady and invisible hand.

He layered control devices into their collective memory, repeated through the stories they told and the lists they memorized, in the tropes they wrote into their hearts.

He controlled them through the archetypes they bonded with, through the myths they constructed to give meaning to their lives.

His work was art.

His art was a weapon

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