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Friday, June 23, 2006

The Sevenfold Rhythm

All of my stories have been neglected a great deal. I try to work on them from time to time but there is pain associated with all of them and sooner or later I hurt too much to go on. The Sevenfold Rhythm is one of my more neglected stories.

My friends and I were studying metaphysics in our early teens. Many of us would have been nerds or geeks, had nerds been invented then. At that time geek had a very different meaning than it has today, and we were none of us quite so peculiar as to qualify as a carnival side-show attraction.
We had all sorts of dreams of traveling to other worlds and we speculated about how to design a starship, wondering how UFOs might work. The thing about day-dreams and fantasies is that they can often take on a life of their own, especially if enough people share them in a sheltered context.
Secrecy can be paramount to making your dreams come true, for there seems always to be people who would thwart the dreams of others, and the nature of consensus reality locks out many of the potentials of our minds because those potentials border on god-like powers, and the methodology of consensual reality does not ordinarily allow individuals to assume unusual powers above or beyond the normal powers shared by the majority.
My friends and I operated in secrecy, our dreaming minds meshing together and discovering through play that we could reach far beyond the limitations of conventional reality. Unfortunately, we were still bound by laws we did not understand, both physical laws and spiritual laws. So while we learned to break free of Earth and travel to distant worlds, our earliest methods ended in disasters.
In the beginning we cooperated in building spaceships. We had our pilots, navigators and engineers; the mechanics of each role were secret. We did not delve into how one or another of us could perform their function, often we did not know how we did what we did, operating at an intuitive level and feeling our way along unlikely lines of probability that we could manifest through cautious observation and manipulation.
We shared a conviction in the possibility of our dreams and we maintained a secrecy that sheltered our efforts from the intrusion of mundane reality. We modeled our spaceships upon the designs we saw in science fiction tales such as Flash Gordon, or E E Doc Smith’s stories. The physical structure of a starship seemed to be an enabling factor in our confidence for our success; it offered a womb-like security against what we imagined would be a hostile environment, the cold dark depths of space.
But as our spaceships landed they inevitably disintegrated, and all aboard would die as we disintegrated along with our ship. These disintegrations were very slow at first, on our shorter journeys, they could take a relatively long time to complete, so sometimes it was possible to explore about a bit. But more often our disintegration was more rapid and might take only minutes instead of hours.
Always these disintegrations were very painful. And although we always reintegrated back in our homes on Earth, it became harder and harder to proceed for fear of the pain that seemed to be the inevitable result of each voyage. We ranged farther and farther away in our efforts to accomplish a successful voyage and we learned that the speed at which we would disintegrate was directly related to the distance we traveled. Ultimately our disintegrations came with the speed and ferocity of an atomic explosion and we knew we had to abandon these efforts and find another way.
We learned that there are unique properties to time and space, such that bringing elements of two distant space-times together caused a sort matter/anti-matter reaction which was responsible for our disastrous results. It helps to think of these space-time properties as vibrations or rhythms, and it was through the application of rhythms that we eventually succeeded in reaching distant worlds intact.
We abandoned our spacecraft approach at this time; we didn’t need the over-head required to maintain them, and as we grew more familiar with our roles the projected elements of our operations became less complex and were mostly internalized. Important elements of our journeys were secrecy, will, imagination and perception. But the key element turned out to be a psychic bridge.
We needed seven members on our crew to effectively translate space-time. But we needed an eighth member as a focal point to build our bridge. The eighth member was always someone living on a far distant world who could mediate our translation from our world to their own, providing the rhythms we needed to integrate ourselves with their portion of the space-time continuum.
In our meditations we practiced our individual rhythms in a syncopated beat. Each meshing of our independent rhythms within the syncopated entirety brought us closer to opening a gateway to another world. When a gateway appeared it was always infinitesimally tiny to begin with, but as our syncopations ascended the gateway would grow. At the size of a softball or a small melon we could pass it around to one another like a game of ‘hot potato’.
When it was the size of a basketball or a bit larger we could begin reaching in or sticking our heads in. At this point it resembled a void inside for it was still in an intermediate state of translation and it did not yet open on another world. It would continue to grow as we practiced our offbeat rhythms until it was large enough to engulf our entire group. At that point we began to translate from our world to the distant world where our host, our eighth member waited.
The gateway had to grow to infinite size to complete the translation. Fortunately this did not appear to require infinite time. As our syncopating beat ascended it became faster and faster, until it reached a critical speed where it became independent of our party and merged with the universe. At this point we arrived at our mysterious destinations.
Wherever we went, three things happened. A member of our team died. Our host or hostess, the eighth member of our team would join us to bring our crew back up to the required minimum seven, and a war ensued as soon as it was understood that aliens had arrived.
It seemed we always represented access to technology that would revolutionize our host world and forever change the balance of power among the people living there. We would struggle for diplomacy amid tensions that could only end in violence. In each case we eventually departed, disappointed. But our departures could never be hasty and required much meditation, for we needed to find an eighth member for our crew to depart as we had arrived, or else destroy ourselves and possibly destroy a great deal of the world hosting us in the process, by remembering the rhythms of home and allowing ourselves to drift out of phase with our host world and disintegrate.
Only one world we visited leaves a strong clear impression on my memory today. Small cities floated through the air of that world, cities built into bubbles of a plastic-like material. The top of each bubble was given over to agriculture. Inside water was carried for domestic use and ballast. Further ballast was provided by the dripping plastic, which made each bubble take the form of an upside down tear shape. This lower part was extensively carved out to provide living room for the inhabitants. The refuse plastic was recycled to build other features, such as the ladder-stairs that wound around the outside of the bubbles linking the parts below with the parts on top. Ponds of rainwater on the top of the bubbles held water used for agriculture. The fresh water ponds were also used to replenish the interior pools of domestic ballast water.
Microbes in the interior of the bubbles converted select small pools of water to hydrogen, locking the oxygen in a nitrate form that was incredibly explosive. The nitrates were dumped by means of valves when the pools became too full of nitrates to continue to produce hydrogen.
The bubble cities were navigated by means of increasing or decreasing altitude to gain access to different currents of wind in the atmosphere. When we arrived on our host world the city bubble we arrived in was tethered to several other bubbles for social intercourse and trade. These were typically happy times, for it was not easy to bring these great bubbles together; the populations of each bubble were small and isolated from any larger community for most of their lives.
However, as news of our arrival spread through the chain of bubbles political tensions rose and our governess, fearing these tensions would lead to war, had our bubble cast free from its tethers and lift away, seeking a strong current to carry it far away quickly before the other bubbles could decide to pursue us.
Ballast was precious and difficult to come by; the expense of lifting quickly to a high altitude would mean we would spend a great deal of time at great altitude before we gained enough new water to descend. The high altitude currents, while strong, were very dry, they drifted above the wet currents and our precipitation nets would gather very little water for a long time to come before we could achieve a lower altitude and perhaps enter a storm.
We gained a fair amount of time and distance this way, and were able to journey far and meet many other bubbles and people before the news of our party spread far enough that each new bubble we met now knew that our bubble harbored aliens, and each wanted to destroy us if they could not achieve exclusive access to our knowledge.
By then we had had time enough to build a new bridge and we departed under the shadow of a large fleet of bubbles determined to possess us or destroy us. We may have doomed everyone aboard the bubble that hosted our visit, for the governors of that bubble armada would not be happy to learn their prize had escaped.
In the final hours before our departure we learned of a mutiny in progress within our host bubble, and our hostess, the daughter of their governess, finally resolved herself to our departure with this news. As our hostess was now an essential member of our team we could not have departed without her; but she had been balking, distressed at the prospect of losing her familiar family, home and world.
Our traveling group eventually disintegrated. Team members who had died on distant worlds had returned to Earth heart-broken and resolved to leave our company. One by one we found too much pain in all our efforts to discover new worlds and went about the more mundane processes of life on Earth where some of our crew may one day encounter this blog and remember, as I have.

Auf wiedersehen