Thursday, April 01, 2010

One Future Of Mankind
Article 01:
The Story Of The Hall Of Time

[Please note that this is essentially a first draft, with further drafts in the future]
When I was 13 years old, circa 1970 - 1971, I had experienced many thoughtful books and much of the wonderful television programming of WNET and PBS, the USA Public Broadcasting System. As I kid I gathered a remarkable amount of my culture from these sources. I'd had Jacob Bronowski, Joseph Campbell and Kenneth Clark teach me about humanity. I was also a fanatic of science fiction and social fiction, therefore much enamoured with the work of Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke and the early work of Kurt Vonnegut. I wanted to comprehend humanity as well as write about it creatively. This was the year of the birth of my mature creativity. The Hebrew faith has the bar mitzvah ceremony celebrating the arrival of manhood. My rite of passage was a dream.

Asleep, I was flying about amongst the stars. Ahead of me I saw floating a long rectangular hallway heading off into the distance. I wanted to go there. I arrived with the opening of elevator doors and stepped out onto the red carpet of its entrance way. I was standing in a wide area that telescoped ahead to the width of the long hallway. Before me were a few steps a pair of handrails dividing them into thirds. Beyond the steps, on each side of the hallway were doors and doors, leading onward down the hall as if to infinity. In contrast to the red carpeting, the walls were all papered in a deep indigo blue.

Wondering what this place was, I set out to explore. I chose a door a few yards down the hall, opened it and looked inside. I wasn't sure what I was seeing inside. Running or flying a distance down the hallway I checked a few more doors until I began to understand that I was looking at a sequence of developing life on what I assumed was Earth. Running back down to the very start of the corridor I opened what I believed was the first door and at last understood that I was looking at the very formation of the first form of life. I was fascinated! Traveling back up the corridor I checked a few more doors and decided to see what would happen if I stepped through into one of them. I didn't see anything in particular before me but a sort of dark haze. I stepped forward through the door and was immediately pulled backward again into the hallway. What was that about, I wondered? Presumably the doors could be used to actually go somewhere. Perhaps this was the response of the doors when one didn't know exactly where one wanted to go! Therefore, there was no point in my trying to enter any further doors. But I did continue my exploring.

On and on the corridor lead, to the point of monotony. I decided that I wanted to travel on down as far as the corridor would go to see if I found an end. And with that thought I was there. What I saw shocked and saddened me.

There was one last door in sequence to my left. Beyond that point it appeared as if a great hand had reached out and torn off the rest of the corridor. The end of the walls and floor were jagged with broken beams sticking out at the sides and corners, ragged pieces left behind sprawled at angles indicating a violent end. What was I seeing? What had caused this shattering finality?

Being my usual explorative self, I stepped to the edge of the chaotic precipice and looked down. Out of the murk I saw a strange sort of room hanging in limbo. There was a stairway down to it on the far left of the broken edge. Looking straight ahead I could see some yards ahead something that looked like elevator doors that opened to what could be an continuation of the hallway. But they were closed. In the expanse between these two places was the sunken floating room.

I took the stairway down to the floor of this in between place and looked around at what was there. All I found was a flat surfaced lectern, the sort of place a teacher would stand with table space before him for demonstrations. Is anyone here, I thought to myself?

Arriving from a lighted area on the left side of the room was a man in a classic sort of silken robe, the same indigo blue as the walls of the corridor but with reflecting star patterns all across its surface. He seemed like a young man, perhaps what we would perceive as 30 years old. He was entirely kind, friendly and helpful in demeanor. He was there to answer my questions! So ask I did.

He verified what I had surmised about the hall. He told me that it was a representation of the sequence of years of life on Earth, with each door representing one revolution around the Earth's sun. These door allowed one to travel to any one of those years.

What happened to the end, I asked? Why the twisted wreckage? He explained to me that life on Earth had entirely ended during that final year represented by the final door of the corridor. I didn't understand, so I asked if I could look through the last door and watch what had caused the end of life.

Looking back on my dream today, I recognize this request, asking for this choice, was an inevitable outcome of my innate caring about life on my planet. But more than that, it represented my deep need to inquire and understand life even to its deepest and darkest moment. When I opened that last door and looked inside, my childhood, my child spirit was itself at an end. Having to know, and not regretting knowing the worst of all horrors, was the profound step into my serious, maturing and growing spirit that would be with me forever thereafter. I had no idea of the significance of this moment at the time. It was just another curiosity for me to satisfy. And yet no further choice in my life would have such impact or importance.

Without fear, but with trepidation I opened that last door. I watched what transpired.

It appeared as a very simple scene. It was, I realized, the same room, the floating room, I had found beyond the edge of the corridor. There was the flat surfaced lectern and not much else. I vaguely sensed there was something like a television on the opposite wall were events were being visualized. On the lectern was a simple box with simple control switches, knobs and buttons. Two men stood in the room with robes on that were very much like that on the person I had met in the floating room, except with design patterns I interpreted to be Persian. The man to one side of the lectern had dark hair, eyes and beard. He had some sort of unusual hat on that I didn't recognize. Overall I had the sense that he was of Arabic culture. The other man stood directly behind the lectern with the switch box within reach. He dressed very much the same, except he was clearly a Westerner. Apart from the robe he looked exactly as if he had stepped out of an American business boardroom. Then he spoke to the other man and seemed to verify my assumption.

I could not understand anything they said. But they were commenting about what they were watching on the screen on the opposite wall. There I saw ensuing battle carnage. I could only interpret it as a battle between distinctly Asian soldiers and men from this apparently Arabic culture. The circumstances of what I was watcher were never clear, left entirely to interpretation. But it was clear from how the two men in the room were speaking that the Westerner was the leader of the two. The darker man was there as a collaborator, a lieutenant to his general.

This is how it all ended: The leader, a desperately maniacal look on his face, came to a decision and instructed the second man to push a button on the control box. The leader stood there, in front of the controls and watched while the second man reached across and did as he was asked. Then there was nothing more to see or hear but wind rushing across scorched earth. I could only interpret this to be the nuclear termination of the final world war. The Master and given the order. The Servant had carried it out. Between the two of them they had destroyed everything of value on my planet. They had wiped out all life for whatever cause they had considered worthy of the deed.

Whether what I saw was real, realistic, symbolic or just a dream, it's important to keep in mind that my generation was the one that grew up with the thread of nuclear annihilation in our minds every day of our childhood. We were the pathetic kids of the "Duck And Cover" culture. My parents had stocked our basement with supplies for surviving through the fallout of a nuclear attack. I was taught to run down there should anything happen. I was shown where everything was for when we were forced to stay down there. Everywhere I traveled as a kid there were stocked and ready fallout shelters, all over town. Every few months during elementary school we would not only have fire drills, but duck and cover drills when when we were taught how to properly hide beneath our desks, or we would all be marched into the gymnasium where we would all duck down along the edge of the room with our hands covering out heads. It was all taught to us as calmly as possible by our teachers. There was never a panic. But neither was it ever explained to us exactly what this utter nonsense was for. Everyone was oblivious in those days to the realities of what just one nuclear explosion would mean. It wasn't until many years later that films were presented in public depicting the actual aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.

We were also the generation that was taught actual, factual modern science regarding how mankind was affecting both his own survival and the survival of the planet. By 13 I already understood that overpopulation was mankind's driving force toward extinction. I knew the first so-called 'Green Revolution' of agriculture was an unmitigated environmental disaster. I was aware of the free flow of pollutants onto our land, into our air and our water. My generation was the very first in history to be exposed to the facts of mankind's ongoing destruction of the Earth. We were also the first generation to experience just how desperately certain people are to deeply bury their heads in the sand all for the sake of short term gain and long term extinction. The ramifications of each nuance of what we were taught about the future came true before our eyes. My generation in school was known as the first sad and serious generation. It showed in our faces and in our behavior. Then toss on top of that the total insanity of the Vietnam War and I have to wonder how any of us escaped chronic depression. Maybe having reality shoved in our face explains the endless reels of anti-depressant ads in the media. We were the Future Shock generation.

Therefore, considering my dream, keep in mind how I am the product of my times.

Everything beyond the doorway now being dark, I closed the door and climbed down the stairs again to the floating room. You'd think I'd have awoken shaking and sweating in my bedsheets. But instead I continued the dream by asking my guide the most crucial of questions:

What is the worst enemy of mankind?

What is it that would drive mankind to be so insane that it would deliberately destroy itself and living thing with it?

I was given two words and an image. The two words were 'zunipus stargo'. Conjured as an image above the lectern I saw a face to go with the words. It was the face of a man with dark hair, eyes and beard.

Having been brought up a Christian, I had of course had plenty of exposure to the accompanying pagan mythology contamination known as 'The Fallen Angels", or Satan, or Demons. Looking at the dark image of that face above the lectern I immediately associated it with some evil spirit that was out to get us, that cultural paranoia regarding unseen and unseeable spirits that undermine our aspirations.

But just as quickly I saw that I was wrong. It was only the face of that flunky who had pushed the final button.

What about those two words? What did they mean? I didn't yet understand.

At that point I was ready to ask my guide: What is this Hall Of Time was for?

This is where the dream goes strangely abstract, possibly into the irrelevant. But here goes. My guide told me that the hall was there as a gift given to mankind after 'the end of the world.' It was a way to repair the path of mankind and thereby repair the end of all life. He explained the system to me very carefully. There were people whom, after death, had joined with those hoping to repair time, and volunteered to go back and live another life with the purpose of altering the timeline. There was no way to simply step into time and make a change here or there. The only way to make a change was to live an entire new life.

This concept threw my mind out of gear. Imagine the time it would take, one full lifetime at a time, to elicit change! Meanwhile, still being a romantic teeny kid, I immediately thought how cool it would be to step through one of those doors of time and affect someone I really liked back there in time. Just recently my mom had taken me to see a musical show about the life of Coco Chanel, staring Katherine Hepburn. It had been enchanting, beautifully done, lovely music, lovely acting, a wonderful illusion about the art of human appearance. I had a romantic thing going about Chanel. And like a little dweeb I asked if I could join up with this time repair crew, in another 50 years from then, and come back as Coco Chanel's male lover. (I know. Taunt me. I had just as much sexual incoherence as any other 13 year old kid). Instead of slapping me out of my dream, my guide very kindly agreed and thanked me for my offer. It was why I was there. It was what they had hoped I would ask. The deal was set.

So if I die at age 63, wouldn't that be amusing.

Then I awoke.

What I dream, I thought to myself. What to make of it! I had never, ever, had such a vivid, intelligent, directed dream. That's creativity at work, I realized! I can dream THAT?!

But the dream wasn't really over until I figured out those two strange baby talk sort of words I'd been given: Zunipus stargo. I considered them in reverse. Stargo was obvious. Think about the imagery in the dream. Stargo was the dream itself. Star go. (Yeah, kind of like 'Go Dog Go!' I said it was baby talk!) So, having figured that one out I thought about the context of the word zunipus applied to stargo, the events applied to my dream. Snap, I understood. Zunipus meant deceptive. Put them together and the phrase explained exactly what I had asked to know.

What is mankind's worst enemy: Deceptive Truth.

Mankind is his own worst enemy. The process is the assumption of knowing absolute 'TRUTH'. What is the fundamental cause of each and every 'evil' thing mankind has ever done and will ever do? His own deception. Mankind sets up TRUTH then acts in its cause. The examples are as long as the history of mankind, in every nook and cranny of destruction. Holy wars, unresolvable arguments, victimizing systems of one man versus others. Power. Greed. Vanity. Ignorance. Go down every deadly sin. Examine every divine commandment. What is that mankind consistently trips over and falls: Deceptive 'Truth', or what we all foolishly consider to be 'Truth'. What I can only these days call 'beliefs'.

Reconsidering the accompanying image that went with those words, the face of the man who pushed the final button; He was someone whom I would describe as 'The Sucker'. Both victim and violator. Believer and betrayer. The Lost Man.

Having had that dream, having understood what I asked to learn in that dream, I was immediately put in the position of being displaced from everyone I knew and from all my surroundings. I hadn't simply done the 13 year old adolescent rebellion thing. I'd separated myself in a fundamental way from all the rest of mankind as I perceived it. Now what? What do I do with this? What am I, that I am one of these deception driven animals myself? How am I supposed to live my life knowing that I am consistently wrong in some way or another? How does one live with the fact that, as I say, We Never Know Everything About Anything?

I actually didn't deal with it well at all. Being an adolescent is freaky enough as it is, having your sexual cortex, as I call it, turned on in a wallop. Not to mention the over-responsibility syndrome I was stuck with, being the eldest kid in a family of 4 sons. Not to mention my figuring out my bisexuality with not a soul to talk to about it. Not to mention my greatest skill set was for technology and philosophy that hadn't been invented at that point. Not to mention the shockingly prescient dreams and daydreams I was having after that point. I was one f*cked over kid!

The curse of Cassandra.

Is anyone reading this familiar with Clive Barker's story 'The Hellbound Heart' or the first two of his 'Hellraiser' films? Is it any surprise that my subconscious went into shock after seeing the first of those films? Open the box and get a surprise you weren't expecting? One that carves you up into something you no longer recognize? In a very real way that was the result of my Hall Of Time dream.

Some foolish people say 'Everything Happens For A Reason!' As a student of creativity, choice, entropy, patterns and systems I can only laugh. Nonetheless, I've accepted that there are events that happen for a reason, if and only if we can pay attention and put those events to work as tools in our lives. Chaos or creativity, I put my dream to work.

This thing was foundational to everything I've considered important hereafter in my life. It was my turning point, mile stone, touch stone, nexus, beginning, blossoming, starting gun.... It never stops informing me every step of the way in my further wishes, wants and choices in my quest for growing.
© 2010, Derek Currie

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