…and more to come
I have to focus on projects that are getting pushed into the background. Firstly, I’m writing a sci fi novel ( there’s a taster ‘prologue’ here in this post). Secondly I have music projects. So some discipline is needed and I will now have a writing and music schedule each day. I am a chaotic Piscean; I must impose routine.
Those of you who appreciate my work and know that I appreciate yours, I look forward to catching up with your blogs after this little break. The many ‘followers’ I’ve accumulated over the last year… well most of you won’t even notice because I now understand that wordpress is becoming like facebook… people ‘follow’ you presumably so you ‘follow’ back. I think this is because people regard ‘number of followers’ as a token of worth. I refer you to the anarchic and ‘blasphemous’ movie ‘Life of Brian’ if you want to know about followers. (old movie but still hilarious). I think there are 10 to 15 people who visit my site to read what I’ve written, and whose sites I visit. We’ve become internet friends, I value your friendship, thank you. You know who I speak of, of course!
My Blog started out as a record of my writing, for me. And my son, when I’m dead. He likes my creations, as I do his. So the number of followers I have… ? I don’t give a toot, couldn’t care less. But it’s a pleasure to share with you who enjoy reading, as it is my pleasure to read your stories and poems.
THE STORY: A sci fi story which mixes my love of all science especially cosmology, particle physics and quantum theory for dummies, all biosciences, lizards (!) …. all this… and Yoga. The story spans across three different cultures at different stages of evolution; the science is ‘biocentrism’, a concept explored by some quite eminent thinkers, having it’s roots in quantum theory, but also for me, in yogic sciences … the body is the vehicle for consciousness and is the means by which an understanding of the Universe can occur, beyond the limited logical capacity of the mind. Therefore the body and consciousness can also be the means by which that physical universe is manipulated.
If you like the prologue that follows, then I’ll publish more on this blog. I’ve written about 8 chapters so far (and I love it!!) but I want to finish before I publish more. So let me know if you like it!
They still have chat shows in the 22nd century. Sure the transmission & viewing technology is pretty sophisticated compared with the origins of the genre back in the 20th, but the format’s never really changed. Affable host, usually inflated by fame, interviewing people the folks are going to find interesting. That’s it.
Pallo Saffrios was the most famous chat show host. Everyone wanted to be on his show. So something of a surprise that evening when he announced ‘One of my guests took quite a bit of persuading before he agreed to come on the show tonight. I’ve met him on several occasions in the past, although generally he’s a bit of a difficult person to pin down and certainly impossible to find when he doesn’t want to be found! His conversation always fascinates me, he has a refreshing simplicity in the middle of this increasingly complex world in which we live. Please welcome Janus.’
Polite applause as Janus walked over, shook Pallo’s hand, sat in the offered seat. Age impossible to tell, smooth olive skin, dark eyes in expressionless face. Most of the audience had no idea who he was. They knew the next guest though and greeted him enthusiastically. Mission Commander from the ‘Near Systems’ branch of WorldSpace with the glamour of the space hero, looked the part with craggy face and bearing of authority. The first part of the show talked about the Mars colonies.
Finally Pallo turned to Janus, but addressed the audience. ‘Most of you will never have heard of Janus. I myself only heard of him through some of my more adventurous friends; Janus was kind enough to respond to my letters…..Yes folks!… words written on paper transmitted by couriers. That was the only way I could contact him.’ It was well known that Pallo was not just a shallow celebrity, but hung out with philosophers, cosmologists, artists, not the kind of people you’d expect a chat show host to hang with. He had a depth of understanding that most of his guests relished, and some dreaded. ‘I will let you see for yourself why I invited him onto the show. To my amazement…’ turning to Janus, ‘…you accepted, so my first question to you is, why did you agree to come when, reputedly, you lead such a reclusive life?’
Cameras focussed on Janus’ face for the big side screen close up. Face still impossible to put an age to, even close up, except for wise eyes and air of someone at ease with himself, both of which tend to go with someone who’s been around for a while.
‘I’m not really a recluse,’ a brief smile, ‘I probably just don’t hang out in the places you do. As to why I came, well…. you asked me.’ A much brighter smile lit his face, a brief childlike giggle and immediately the audience were warming to the man. Murmurs of laughter rippled across the studio.
Pallo felt the excitement that comes with uncharted territory. The show was live and this was only the second time he’d had someone on that he hadn’t agreed the agenda with first or had his researchers vet thoroughly (the first had been that moron fundamentalist politician with the engineered-clean history; when several of his children from dark liaisons showed up, the show had ended in shouting chaos which did nothing to mar the already stellar ratings.)
‘Oh I like that answer,’ Pallo was grinning broadly, ‘I was in awe of you on the two occasions that we actually met, guess I didn’t think you’d come on the show. But anyway, let me start by recapping for the audience how I’d heard through a particular grapevine that you had interesting ideas on extra-terrestrial civilisations. You gave me some tantalising ideas at the time but always retreated when I pushed you about where you had gained the understanding which you seemed to have. Your impromptu discourse on evolution of civilisations to myself and a group of my astro-biologist friends at that coffee shop in Beirut was quite remarkable. I presumed it must be theoretical but was nonetheless rigorously argued. And then when we arranged for you to come on the show, you intimated that you’d be willing to take the subject further…?’ Pallo left the half-question hanging.
Janus spoke again, ‘Yes, the timing is good for me. Earth’s civilisation is on a cusp. We finally began to see that we needed to act together after the Disaster Avert congress of the last century; it was a question of learn to live together or die together along with all life on the planet. That was the big one, deciding the priority was learning how to manage the climate, population and resources instead of managing politicians’ egos. And we did it, you know, even though we’re still learning how to manage a global community, we got over that massive hurdle. The second point I’ll make though is you assume my knowledge of evolution of civilisations is theoretical. I’ll just say this, On the important issues I only tell of that which I know to be fact.’
The astronaut wished he could just get up and leave at this point. He knew what was coming. People who ‘knew’, rather than just gave their theories an airing, were impossible. Locked in their world of certainty they assimilated anyone weak enough to succumb to their rhetoric until their cloud of craziness had enough momentum and substance to block out the sunshine of reason. Worse, he couldn’t retreat into his own thoughts as Pallo was now talking to him directly ‘Ok to talk facts then, you’ve been part of the solar system project but I know you’re well informed on the WorldSpace program exploring evidence of civilisation in the near galaxy…..’
The craggy jaw thrust forward, ‘Yes that’s right. Our limiting factor though is …. it doesn’t seem likely the universe allows faster than light speed travel. Sure, early quantum theory showed apparently instantaneous connection between particles over astronomical distances but it’s not possible to use that to create a propulsion system. Our current understanding allows the concept of near light speed propulsion systems in the future, but that would only be enough to explore our own local area of the galaxy; we could get to the Alpha and Proxima Centauri group in under a decade, even under 5 years depending on how close to light speed we got. The 21st century speculation on black holes as “wormholes” looks like a theoretical dead-end especially as we can’t even get anywhere near one. That is if anyone happened to be so careless with their life that they wanted to jump in and become the first person to merge with a singularity. So I really don’t know how we can speculate,’ he emphasised the word, ‘on other civilisations without more concrete evidence from the programs that we have in place’.
Pallo turned to Janus again, ‘And yet you talk of other civilisations in quite a definite way…?’ He was aware the topic was becoming a bag of snakes, and now he was undoing the cord that kept the neck of the bag closed…
Janus smiled ‘Your astronaut scientist here is already bracing himself for an onslaught of craziness.’
The astronaut winced at being so transparent, Janus glanced at him briefly and continued, ‘I think the problem is that your quantum physics is taking you to some halfway house between a sterile mechanical world view, and the strange worlds of metaphysics with living beings at the core. As you’ve pointed out,’ looking at the astronaut, ‘physics seems to limit us to light speed. And current theories of the universe like “panels” theory which seems to be very much in vogue, are too generalised to have any input on this level of detail.’ Janus looked directly into the camera, ‘ This is why we have to enter the world of something which I will call “life fields” in order to cheat the dimensions of the purely physical world and find out whether the universe out there is sterile, or in fact teeming with life.’ He stretched his legs out, crossed his ankles and gazed down at them, waiting for a response.
The astronaut couldn’t contain himself, ‘With all due respect sir, I am a scientist at the leading edge of my science. Sure I’m not a biologist but to get where I am you have to understand in depth all aspects of the physical sciences. And I can assure you there are no “life fields”, as you call them, which are going to transport us to far off star systems. The only such fields are faint electromagnetic ones which we see turning off when biological systems close down after death of an organism. So I beg you, please don’t cloud the issue with some personal theory based on nothing other than a whim. The time for obscure religious groups ended over a century ago surely, and as you yourself said, we deal only in that which we know, and I emphasise “know”, to be true.’
He hurrumphed his way back into a settled position in his chair then leaned forward again to play to the audience, turned to look at the silent Janus still gazing at his ankles, ‘Again with respect sir, If you can teleport yourself across the studio with your life fields I guess that’ll do for starters, then I’ll be all ears’.
The studio audience laughed, but in a muted, nervous way. Pallo held his breath. Janus smiled. His bait had been taken hook, line and sinker.
In front of a focussed camera, a studio audience of a few hundred, and a world wide audience of many millions, he instantaneously vanished.
Janus re-appeared on the opposite side of the studio. He walked back to the stage area and casually paced to and fro. That was the only sound in the place apart from a sudden slightly hysterical laugh from the back of the audience which stopped just as suddenly. Gently he spoke to the astronaut, a man of action used to responding to all manner of emergencies, but who appeared utterly lost in this situation. ‘This is no longer a matter for debate or speculation. Forgive my simple demonstration but I needed to get your attention,’ then at a gasping sound behind him, he turned to address Pallo who was doing a good impression of a beached fish, ‘Please don’t be concerned by this demonstration of a natural phenomenon, in fact be flattered that I chose to open up the possibility of advancing your science, on your show!’ Janus’ laughter allowed a shadow of normality to edge it’s way back into the studio.
Pallo was the first to speak in the pin-drop silence, ‘Janus, just who are you, how did you do that…. what….is happening..?’
Janus put his hand re-assuringly on Pallo’s shoulder. ‘Ah my friend, don’t worry about anything. Who I am is an emissary of peace. I have lived on your planet for a long time,’ a peal of childlike laughter which disarmed even the astronaut, ‘ you could say I’m more an inhabitant of this planet than any of you! I was there behind the scenes at that conference a century ago. Don’t believe those old movies that say the advanced civilisations won’t interfere in the evolution of a younger culture. Of course we do. But the important thing is that you made the decisions yourselves and did all the work. We just facilitated a few things. We’d have got out fast if you’d decided to self-destruct.’
The audience was spellbound, only afterwards would they realise the pure magic of having been there the first time an extraterrestrial civilisation announced it’s presence.
Janus became serious. ‘We cannot give you advanced technology. You’ve only just made it out of, forgive this hard truth, your centuries of savagery. But we can be on hand if you wish it, to advise you on how to evolve yourselves biologically, how to develop the huge untapped potential in your physiology and your neurology. That’s what we did, millennia ago. We are different to you. This form is only one of many that I can assume though I will not play games here unless you need further proof, ‘this looking directly at the astronaut with such a depth of unearthliness behind the eyes that the latter shook his head dumbly. Janus’s voice had a kind of singing resonance to it now which seemed to waft through his mind like a gentle wind. That more than anything seemed to take him to a place in himself which was both strange and familiar. He needed no proof. He roused himself enough to ask a question, prefacing it with an unexpected humility.
‘Please forgive my ignorance and accept my thanks for honouring us by being here. I’m in a state of turmoil as you may expect from turning my world upside down. But I will ask you this, what line of research would benefit us, if you cannot advise us directly on technology? I understand that we are still too young, as a civilisation, to be trusted. But if what you say is true even if you are centuries old you must have transcended light speed to get here… and from where?’
Janus smiled at the astronaut, ‘There’s no ignorance to forgive. You have a great intellect but in the same way that I could not unlock some of the secrets of the universe if my ancestors hadn’t already done it, you can’t be expected to leap forward into an understanding of these things. There will be an evolution if that’s what you choose as a race. We decided that the timing is right, now the dust is settling from the great cultural changes of the last hundred years.’
He paused then addressed the camera, ‘ Where I come from is not important right now. Within this galaxy is all I’ll say. Another reason we won’t give you the good stuff is because on my home planet we rarely use technology, as you would relate to it. Most of our systems are biological in some way. You are a different race though we’re obviously both carbon based. Your ways will be different. Find your own way. As to research, all I will say is start to find the thread that runs through all living things. That is your key. As you earlier advised me, ‘ a gentle smile at the astronaut, ‘obscure religion is a thing of the past, but many of your race have perceived something of which we speak. It’s up to you to find some threads, weave them into your science, see where that takes you. Oh and by the way we are, and will be, among you on this planet as your friends and perhaps occasional advisers. I have left a book with a friend of Pallo, an account of an earlier time on your world when we first arrived. It was written as a ‘folk tale’ relating to that time but contains detail which you will find interesting. Me, I now go to spend a long time back home. Do you know what we mostly do?’ Janus turned to address the audience who were spellbound, silent, hanging on his every word. ‘We play’.