In my book: American Phoenix, I write about the collapse of civilization, followed by an interval, before a more steady-state “civilization” appears. This stead-state “civilization” is dominated by machine-like hives, of enormous scale. If seen from space it looks like a couple dozen huge spiders, ravaging the Earth, and devouring it to the core.
In these mega-cities, most human being are slaves, each possessing a mechanical interface called an “inceptor”, through which daily contact via an inceptor booth, the machine tests for everything possible, and then delivers “adjustment” chemicals.
In accord with the legend of the Phoenix first there is fire of collapse, then life in the ashes as matters settle down, then finally rebirth. While most live in the mega-cities, there are many small places, like the town of Sanctuary, where magic knowledge keeps the Hives more or less at bay.
The middle “chapter” four (see outline below) called Rider’s Tale, has a story in it told by an unusual man, telling from that time’s point of view, the inner nature of our present day collapse. This story is next, where the character teller-of stories tries to help some people who are survivors of a recent terrible battle. The survivors have been saved, and are now there way to …
Everybody dreams. Night dreams and day dreams are not the same. In night dreams I entertain visitors. In day dreams I entertain myself. In night dreams the dead visit. In the day, I am among the living, even when dreaming.
Fantasy is good for the soul. The before-time died of too little fantasy and imagination. The story tellers tried, but the number lovers did not listen … they were too busy counting their gold.
A spirit-mind wrapped in numbers is cold and has no heart. A civilization without a heart commits suicide, in one way or another. Loving numbers is to already be dead to life.
The newly dead will visit us all over the next months. Out beyond us was a great sacrifice. Many of you here loved those who died out there. That love is a warmth they will seek. They will not be ready right away to leave the earth-time for the star-time. They will need us, and we will need them.
So in the night dreams we will entertain visitors.
But to do that rightly we have work to do. To help them and to help ourselves we have to remember, even the things we don’t want to remember.
In the before-time no one much understood about the dead. Few believed there was life after life. So the dead were not important, and the living suffered for ignoring them. A science of just numbers and no imagination killed civilization as surely as did the gold counters. So too a religion of stale ideas, frozen in time and space.
The before-time got old and then died. We of today live in the in-between-time. We live after the before-time, but not yet in the new-time.
We live in chaos and anarchy – the burning fire before the new Phoenix rises from the cold ashes of destruction.
For the new-time to come, we have to remember the imagination, and lose our attachment to dead and cold ideas. So in the next days, once we get to what might become your new home – the place we call Sanctuary – we have to start to remember those who just died.
So when you get to the campfires in Sanctuary be ready to tell stories about the life you were leading. Even the bad things, even the horrible and terrible things. Especially the awful things, the things we most want not to remember.
It will be easier than you think because the dead will come and visit in the night and remind you.
Some times we call these kinds of dreams: Nightmares. They scare us, and we might even wake up screaming. But I promise you, if you tell of the scary dark things that visit in the night, over time they will visit less and less.
They want to leave, but before they can leave the earth-time to go to the star-time, they need to finish something. They need to finish finding out who they are. They got lost in life and didn’t find out who they are, and so when they die they don’t know, and they depend on us to tell them.
The great majority of the before-time civilization didn’t know what a human being was. They believed we were just things, bits of stuff, bound up in rules over which we had no powers. We came out of stuff, lived as stuff and then when we died, the stuff fell apart – dust to dust was the old saying.
Problem was the before-time civilization didn’t know how to count things of the heart, or count things of the imagination. That civilization taught us confusion and unreality, all the time claiming they were giving us reality. Why did something, to be real, have to be able to be counted?
So there will be work to come, but no hurry to do the work. It is work because it is hard, although at the same time it is play. It is hard because we are not used to doing it, not used to living out of the imagination and the heart to the degree we need to so live. We have to learn to stretch our imaginative and heart-string muscles as it were.
The place you are going – this Sanctuary place – a lot of people there have traveled roads just as hard as yours. They will know what you have done, and what you have yet to do. They will help you be patient. They will help you not do, and teach you how to take time. They have been lost themselves and are still finding themselves and know a lot about all of that.
While we travel to what might become your new home, there is no need to talk, unless you want to talk. Rest, day-dream, eat good food, get better. If you have night visitors, share that or don’t share that. There isn’t just one way to do this finding yourself. There is just your way, your truth, your dreams.
Remember though, none of this we have to do alone. That’s why we are on earth and in same-time together – to learn to share and to be good company.
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below is a list of “contents”:
Life in the Ashes: Confession and Contrition: Chapter four Rider’s Tale