When I was 12, one night after reading a UN report speculating on the fate of our species when fossil fuels ran out, around 2060, I woke up and wrote a sort of quick process description of the rise and fall of civilization. My oversimplified description (forgive my hebrephrenic reasoning) went like this:
Twelve-year-old’s cycle of civilization
- Necessity created a desire to communicate. Tribes.
- Communication allowed for an increase in reliable resources. Hunter-gather.
- An increase in reliable resources required a need for defense, and culture. Agricultural.
- A history of defense and culture precipitated power hierarchies. City-states…
- Leaders of hierarchies battle for resources, like animals. Nation-states.
- Super-organisms engage in free will like passengers on boats in a tempest – they can turn their heads and look where they please, at the tumult above or below, or the dim and erased horizon. Feudalism.
- Advances in communication and production define the separation of peoples. Industrial age.
So I’m in the water, and the fish swimming in spinning, pipelike cylinders are tightly packed, as if they were inside of glass tubes, with seemingly no room to even move their fins so tightly they are packed so tightly how could they possibly know who is the leader and suspended in the water are tons of people. They float effortlessly, they are suspended, but they move, pragmatically, as though they were inside the facets of an inward facing series of jeweled surfaces. The fish look like windsock fish, flesh, like kites, all brightly colored; bone, sky, pumpkin, ash marigold and crimson. The water is clear as glass. I am floating below a bridge.
- The map is complete after Eurocentric Age of Discovery. There is no escape. A final push for dominance, fractured. Modern age.
- The sky is the firmament. The earth plundered. The sea impossible. We ready our escape having depleted our resources, as a worm tunnels through dirt, we prepare for multi-world colonization. Space age.
- We plan our escape and become a global hive mind. Information age, ideological age.
- Information becomes weaponized, truth a casualty. We become the mask we wish to pierce. Noosphere. An age of pure data, quantum, entangled, .
- We become light, pure energy. I always thought we would eventually escape the biological constraints, the mortal coil.
- We would simulate what happened and become something new. Unknown.
That’s thirteen stages, lunar awesomeness. Moonkind on Scatworld.
Dream – Suspension
I am thinking about civilization. The water is lit from below. The water is clear. The water is not water. The bodies have sharp yellow glow on them as they tumble around the pylons. Crowds of them move without resistance every which way. These are the leaders of antiquity. They wear suits made of clay and verdigris and I can smell them, the Annointed, for whom forests are reduced to pulp.
This cycle of annihilation is tattooed on my brain. The abyss is real. Sometimes I can feel it between the heartbeats, in quiet meditation. The emptiness within, the emptiness without, separated by the scrum of a greasy moment on the skin of rocky planet in nowhere. I am moving through clear resin, effortless holographic movement. This isn’t human movement.
My body is a cycle, not a vessel. It is the cycle of the creation and breaking of vessels, it is the ocean with its waves, not the crest and spray of histories in the winds of time. I am aware of pain, slight pain, and glass shards sprinkled in my hair, sliding into my shoulders, into my breast pocket, tumbling onto the blood in my lap. The gentle sensation is all there is, like fat drops of summer rain. These are trivial echoes of the shores. The chatter of melting mountains and the beings crawling upon them, trampling them down. In my mind, I see my human form moving within an eigenshape of existence.
The short rips of life, the long tear of energy from the sun, and its derivatives stirred on earth, pokers in embers, pounded to sparks, gas, smoke. Think that, in a million years, a distant set of eyes will see our sun form and wonder if there is intelligent life.
Participation in a religion is fulfilling until you participate in competing religions, then they become crutches. Philospophy, shabda, what of it? The body, the monkey-robot, it craves warmth and ease. It gets none, in spite of brain. Because of brain. In the dream, it is difficult to tell if my body is real.
My relationships dashed away by decades of chimeric transformation, nomadic, restless. I am dreaming I am approaching another Door, another partition. It’s getting old, or I am. I’m getting Strauss-Howe smoke, chocolate and berries. The legs are firm and the nose lingers.
RTA in the hizz – Space, Kham, Form, Akara, Time, Kala and The five Elements, Prakriti.
Jane Jacobs on the mike – community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation and government; and the self-regulation of the learned professions , all in decline.
My eyes are mouths, and they are talking to the undead through ropes of spinning wraiths of fish. All about me in the water are animated corpses.
There is a sensation of cold, but it is not unpleasant. Arcs of electricity course through the water. As these santified bodies carried by our culture, these ethereal icons are enveloped with cages of crackling light, I am made aware that these leaders will repeat themselves, like sprites across a virtual screen, over and over.
I have a whirlwind of fish on a pole extended before me like a flashlight of spinning, glowing scales and bubbly eyes.
And I can see I am hovering over a canyon, canyon, cacaaonyonyoncaconoy onanco nonyo nyocnaynon. I am climbing down a dead-fall suspended over the canyon like a drooping petal of an iris from a long stalk on a hot day, The stem must be enduring summer, because the dead-fall of wood, guardrail and steel cable are drooping. Pieces of car and road are falling into a yawning abyss below me. I can see it through the shattered windshield, my own blood caught in a hole punched through it. I can see hair and meat in its web. What a crafty spider.
am dimly aware people are shouting. I climb out onto the hood of the car, waving my fish at them above me. People are linking arms, risking their lives to reach me in my perch beyond the precipice. They are gesturing for me to come back to the rim of the canyon, their voices are urgent and frightened. Back to the surface, the clever solidity of the cycle of history. Suddenly a man, a Green Man, sprouting vines from his arms is entangling everything in a growth of sweet-smelling, sinewy vines that taper to bright lemon tendrils below.
The endless search, the torch from hand-to-hand, passed in the gloom. Onward. A pulse, a photon. It’s just an excitation of inanimate matter, viewed by a state vector before its collapsed, “viewed” being an active component of the generalized simulacra that I create and loose upon the world. Waves of babies, waves of graves, the noise and adventure of it, horrid, beautiful, mesmerizing. So this is what it is to become old…to forget the struggle…to turn away. Why should I be spared the misery?
His arms are catching the mess of material poised to slip into the canyon below. He wraps his arms around a boulder, and the last teeth of the guardrail that have been biting heroically into the roadside above give way with a snap, and the vines groan. Some begin snapping. The entire structure is now beginning to swing pendulous because of the weight of the car as it tumbles to a clutch of steel cable and vines knotted below it like a baseball glove.
I slide from the car and the fish roll me in a tornado of slimy fins.. There is a loud snap, and it inches downward, beginning a slight turn. I can see the bodies below in the water, suspended in the clear water. I am both in the water a hundred feet below the rim of the canyon, and yet suspended above it, there are crows landing on the vines, which protest. The car slips from the vines and drops. The wind whistles and and increases around the car, which emits sound as from a throat. I am bouncing slightly on the vines in a tornado of fish. They engulf me, and disgorge me upon the roadway above. I realize I am never going to fall into the trap of believing in the zombie leaders caught in clear suspension in the river below. The car becomes an explosion of paper-mache art as it hits the surface of the water, and it slides away in all directions with a satisfying shuffling sound. The people on the road are fine without the leaders. It is a silly dream.
I wake up thinking about the flying fish tubes. Gradually the other details emerge. It would be nice to see such clear water. The platitudes mean nothing. Clear, clean river water would be everything. I feel like spirits of the river were speaking to me, if that is imaginable.
There are all sorts of tired old ways I interpret the dream. Why do I keep marvelling at fish in the dream, and why do I find myself thinkinga clean, clear water? Water is more valuable to me than history. I’m not a tardigrade. I need water.