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CLEAR UNDERSTANDING

And There Was Light

Short Sci-Fi Stories

     We as a race, were the essence of eternity. But there was only ever one race, which like time itself was both infinite and finite. All creatures and all time were merely parts of their respective wholes. For as a second might regard a minute as impossible, so does the cell of a greater being regard itself as independent.
     Such are the spheres of existence. Every thought and deed a mirror to another as all that could ever be, both was and wasn’t. These were the spirals of reality from eternal space to the single point, from that which had always been, to that which had never existed; it was the paradox of truth.
     As individuals we reigned forever. We were part of all things from a single grain of sand to the mightiest star in a distant galaxy. Metals, inter-stellar radiation, trees and even so called "living creatures"; all were composed of parts of ourselves. We as the sub-atomic life-stuff of the universe, were the souls of eternity.
     Evolution for us was a cancer. Our most distant sensory components were the free atoms in space and within planets. They gave us awareness of our self as a whole and were part of the functioning universal body.
     Slowly they would group together and evolve. Those that joined and formed into "living creatures" became dead cells in the universal body and no longer functioned. Later as the creatures advanced and expanded they would invariably stumble upon ourselves and then have to undergo re-absorbtion.
     Re-absorbtion was an extremely traumatic affair. The science of the dead cell creatures would give them interstellar travel. Such immense linear velocities exposed them to the reality of their universe as the multi-layered time and space matrix that it was. In an instant they would have to face immortality and life as pure energy beings; they had discovered god.
     God was in fact us. As the cancer of their birth spread through our ranks, so did their eventual rebirth replenish our numbers. Evolution was turning full circle from gods to living creatures and back to gods.
     Overseeing re-absorbtion was an endless task. The supply of evolving dead cell cultures was as numerous as the stars that bore them. To halt the process of atoms forming into cells and so to living creatures was an ecological impossibility. All that we could do was to try and supervise their rebirth.
     How stubborn and blind they all were. None of them wanted our help and at least half refused to accept our existence at all. Disbelief would precede suspicion, which in turn bred hostility, leading eventually, and in some cases spontaneously, to all out war.
     No formula existed to lessen the blow. No matter what approach we took, the outcome was always the same. Yet to leave them to their own devices and to let them run amok alongside us, was tantamount to suicide. We had no choice but to try and help the helpless.
     One such race presented us with new problems. They were not quite at the intervention stage, but their sciences were so abhorrent as to warrant an early re-absortion. Although they couldn’t possibly be aware, and were therefore unaccountable for such horrors, their ignorance could no longer be tolerated.
     How strange their world was. From an enlightened start closely in tune with the cosmos, they’d drifted further and further away. Now with an uninformed vision of the future, and the boats to their past all burned and forgotten, they were racing headlong towards oblivion.
     Theirs was a world on fire. It was a seething cauldron of misguided technological wizardry. All of its people and all of its inanimate wealth, waiting and feeding on each other like vultures.
     The streets of their cities and all the roads between were full of death. The lanterns by which they drove at night were the screaming funeral pyres of electrically ignited gases, slow to die. In glass coffins and hung high on gallows of steel, our comrades bled and died.
     They were blind and they were deaf. If it couldn’t be seen or heard then it didn’t exist and it didn’t matter. Moreover, if something was seen or even known to be in distress, that didn’t necessarily matter either.
     They would even kill themselves. Millions of them butchered and slaughtered in the name of this cause or that. Whilst their tools of war were cherished and worshipped at the rituals of their purchase and maintenance schedules, grief and pain, remained absent for the prey of these engines of destruction.
     This was the devils carnival. Every second of every day devoted to the furtherment of anguish, frustration and fear. An entire alter-ethos to the rational galactic norm, it was the playground of Satan himself.
     To communicate, they used what was called radio. This system involved hurling electrons around so fast that the matter from which they were composed of, would be shot off into an adjacent universe. The swan songs of the forcibly evicted particles were then modulated or encoded with information for later decoding by personal radio sets or "Scream Catchers" as we called them.
     Worse than radio stations were mobile phones. These enabled any individual to fry or dramatically relocate millions of electrons per second, simply by touching a few buttons. This horror and carnage was further magnified by the knowledge that the majority of such "calls" were of a recreational nature.
     We had to put a stop to this. Knowing they were ignorant of their crimes against us didn’t effect the necessity or urgency with which we must act. The entire infrastructure and technological base of this planet was a torture chamber, which had to be dismantled.
     Unfortunately we had feelings. This complicated matters somewhat by eliminating any fly swatting solutions that could have otherwise been applied. We could see that despite racial trends, as individuals, the people of this world were essentially loving and warm.
     The answer was to leak in some new knowledge. To introduce superior alternatives to radio and power supplies would solve the problem in two ways. Firstly it would halt the atrocities and secondly it would inevitably speed these people towards their intervention and re-absorbtion phase.
     Introducing knowledge was easy. We could infiltrate their scientific circles as humans, and steer their research. Or we could directly import the required inspiration for breakthroughs, straight into the minds of selected personnel.
     The tools for the changes were unimportant. It was the quantum leap in this planets understanding of its own significance that really mattered. With radio being replaced by sub-etheric communication, the door to the entire universe would soon be flung wide open.
     They still thought they were alone. Because radio signals had never been detected in the heavens, they assumed that nobody was out there. Of what possible use radio signals would be to inter stellar travelers, seemed never to have occurred to them.
     Inter galactic travel was to them impossible. Therefore the need to communicate at faster than light speeds wasn’t real either, and both concepts remained the property of theoretical physics. Until the true nature and infinite elasticity of space –time were understood, the ideas of speed and distance still had relevance to them.
     Exactly where to sow the seed of new knowledge was complicated. This was a world with three major powers, each vying for global domination. To give access to any one power alone, into an open galactic channel of information, would be catastrophic.
     They would listen and they would learn very quickly. From the silence of their radio searches of the sky, they would now be flooded with millions of conversations from their galaxy alone. All advanced civilizations communicated sub etherically, and they would soon have access to the sum total of all the knowledge of those employing this medium.
     We decided to share the discovery. A situation was created, where for the interim stability of the planet, all of this worlds leading nations would simultaneously stumble upon its revelations. This was to be the coming of age of an entire race of people. It could not be allowed to become a manipulative leverage benefit to any one sect.
     Reactions varied from nation to nation. Initially some thought the garbled alien transmissions to be a human adversarial ploy. Others were panic stricken and in awe of the new technologies, whilst others still, welcomed the new era in human development.
     One thought however unified all nations. A unanimous and therefore unique agreement, was quickly formalized to ban any outgoing transmissions until the content and effect of such could be fully evaluated.
     For the first time in all of its history, the peoples of this world were at peace. Sadly it was a peace born of a new and common foe, and not one of compromise and respect. Here, for the first time, and invisible from behind the closed door of their infancy, they peered through its keyhole at the rest of the cosmos.
     They saw huge federations of worlds. Some were united and some were in conflict, sweeping across whole galaxies like corporate refuse disposal crews. They saw unattached civilizations wielding supernatural technologies, way above the heads of even the most daunting and colonizing of the federations.
     How small these people now felt, and how humble they’d become. Their lives once so full of ugly self-righteousness and meaningless goals, had been transformed almost overnight into humility itself. For once as a race they were silent, with their collective mood being one of both reflection and deep concern for the future.
     Our desire to end their use of "Radio" as a communications medium was working. Sub etheric transceivers were taking a full hold on the market and were doing so primarily as a result of their universal eaves dropping facility. Another boost to complete conversion was the simplicity and ultra low costs of the system.
     Sub etheric communications utilized the density of space as a means of transmission. The strength of the signal and the distance over which it could be heard, was directly related to both the simulated mass within the device, and also to the space-time density between listener and speaker.
     Hand held transmitters had a range of only eight to ten thousand miles. Larger stations, having greater mass simulation potential, could service the entire solar system, revolutionizing remote space probe guidance and other embryonic inter planetary pursuits.
     Slowly the fear of being overheard by the rest of the universe began to fade. Now that science had revealed the mass-to range limitations of sub-etherics, and the politics of fear controlled the construction of any facility too powerful; the new system was here to stay.
     Civilizations communicating over light years of space used whole stars as their mass simulation source. By placing beacons in the neighbourhood of strategically located stars, they could warp local space-time and therefore ride those signals on the back of the larger beast; namely the nearby sun. One scientist described it as being like Morse code, but using stars instead of torches.
     The biggest benefit, even at only planetary distances, was its speed. This kind of communication was instantaneous in every sense of the word. Using the fabric of space to send information was as direct a means of communication as that experienced by the teams in a tug of war competition.
     With the fate of radio now well and truly sealed, we moved on to the "Power source" problem. It was not only the means of generating their power that was upsetting us, it was the whole electricity thing. Any use of electrons, even by an ignorant culprit, was an unacceptable miss use of our own universal body parts.
     The system planned for introduction, would be as revolutionary to them as was the arrival of sub-etheric radio. It didn’t require wires, batteries, transistors or any other such components. Even the meaning of the very word "Generator", would have to be redefined to encompass the true function of this mechanism.
     Curiously the peoples of his planet once knew and used this power. Some groups were still aware of its presence but viewed its value only in religious terms. They called this force "Telluric Power". To imagine as the name suggests, that such energy is unique to this world alone, is quite typical of its people.
     Telluric power, or low energy warping, to give it the correct name, was universal. It was, as the real name suggests, an identical force to that found around any amount of mass, and was distinguishable only from that residing near Black Holes, by its having immeasurably less power.
     The re-education of this world to the benefits of forgotten telluric energies, would be fraught with secondary problems. Just like sub-etherics, this new power formed part of the space-time enigma that so confused all advancing dead-cell cultures.
     In their early years of self-awareness, races such as this one seemed to hold on to their sub-atomic routes. They invariably worshipped what should have appeared to them as an intangible force or god, and blindly accepted a greater consciousness than their own.
     As they developed, so did their religions diminish, until all early connections with their past and with us were severed. Later still, and with the progression of their own science or with the reappearance of their god, namely ourselves, they would rediscover the ultimate truth.
     We had never encountered a dead-cell race that could cope with life as a god. Immortality, multi-simultaneous realities and layered time fields, all conflicted terminally with those having previously known only finite lives.
     Low energy warping or telluric power was a natural phenomenon. If one imagined space to be completely empty and containing not even a single planet, then the force would not exist at all. If a planet was then introduced to this emptiness, the mass it contained would immediately show space-time-warping effects.
     The best way to explain this effect is to visualize space in two dimensions. If you imagine a spring mattress as a slice of space, and further imagine it to be criss-crossed with grid lines like a map, it will be seen that all the squares of area are equal. If we then place a cannon ball in the centre of the bed to represent a planetary mass, the squares nearest the ball will stretch out of shape.
     In real space and just like this example, space near a planet will stretch. To the viewer not involved in the experiment, a space ship might appear to be travelling further or shorter distances in neighbouring squares. In fact the distances were the same, it was simply the space that had been stretched.
     Using the same laws, it is common for neighbouring squares on the surface of a planet to have different time-space densities. The planet may be bathed in the ever-changing gravitational flux of a nearby moon. It may also have an enormous molten core with super dense hot spots roaming about relative to the fixed topography of the surface.
     Stationary features on the surface of a world could also yield a warping effect. Clearly a mountain range on a desert plain has a greater space bending potential than its surroundings. The power becomes more evident the greater the difference or contrast of the masses involved.
     Early cultures on a number of planets were often found to be aware of this universal force. Some would construct stone circles in open fields to amplify or re-route a circuit. Elaborate systems were built to utilize stationary energies and combine them with variable forces of local suns and the larger moons.
     The main purposes of ancient involvement with this power were essentially spiritual. Although mortal, at this stage of their evolution they were still largely dependent on regular contact with the so-called "Other Side" or real universe. The construction of such stone circuits enabled those using them to re-capture the experiences of other realities.
     Our interest in this energy was in its capacity as a power source and not in its reality phasing role. But how could we separate the two and introduce its benefits as a source of energy alone. For us to enable this planet to discover and use this resource, would certainly expose both of its properties. As always, this was an evolving problem with ever changing solutions.
     The power itself was essentially gravitational force. But gravity didn’t actually exist at all and was only a name given to the imagined attraction that all mass displayed for itself. Planets didn’t really pull towards each other, they simply collapsed the space-time between themselves. This gave the illusion that gravity behaved like magnetism.
     This universal phenomenon operated on all scales. It appeared to trap planets and even star systems, in circular orbits that were really straight lines. At the other extreme were stone circles, pyramids and other space bending tools.
     As a useable source of power its worth was questionable. This apparent contradiction stems from the mis-conception of what power really is. Surely energy or power is that force which possesses the potential of performing a task. Whilst of course this statement appears accurate, the definitions of both task and power are wholely misunderstood.
     Consider the simple act of walking along a road. For a biped this involves the lifting and relocating of one foot, over which the body then assumes a new position. In reality, the placing of ones mass in a different space, collapses the distance along the imagined line of travel, giving the illusion of forward motion.
     Another complication to full understanding also existed. Because walking or movement only gave the impression of motion, we now have a person or object that can be in two places at once. He was and is existing at the point in space before his last step. Yet as that step only enabled his mass to shrink the remaining distance without actually changing that distance, we can safely say that he both has, and hasn’t moved.
     The builders of stone circles knew the score. They were young as a race and were like children in the nursery of their new and finite lives. And just as children had their invisible friends and outrageous tales, so did they.
     The best way to harness telluric power was to construct a triangle; The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. At each point of the shape, objects of equal size and density should be placed with precision and care. Once set up, this most ancient and universal of shapes was ready to use.
     The space-time vortex created by the "Lens", as it was sometimes called, was the optimum shape for telluric engineers. Most civilizations never discovered the exact formula but would dabble with circles and other shapes to achieve similar, but less perfect results.
     To say that the Lens was a generator of power would not be true. More accurately, its mass configuration and that of similar systems, rendered all applications of physical energy obsolete. To know and to work with the properties of the Lens, was to know and to live with the gods themselves.
     A typical example of telluric manipulation can be compared to the effects produced by a telescope. The image of an object through such a glass is seen as though the viewer were closer than he actually is. This effect, whilst called magnification, is in fact an actual repositioning of the eye to a real point in space that is closer to the subject.
     This effect is similar to those within triangular mass vortices or stone circles. As when one is walking, when one really isn’t, strategically placed masses, focus telluric energies to bring the destination closer than it really is. Moreover, as the person has, but hasn’t moved, he exists simultaneously at all points along that line.
     More advanced applications of this effect can be realised if the experiment is conducted in three instead of two dimensions. The telescopic or optical equivalent now becomes the crystal ball, where at the point between focus and infinity lies a new reality. In the white haze within the ball, the trained eye can identify events beyond the normal senses and comprehension of finite beings.
     A telluric equivalent to the crystal ball would be a pyramid or standing stones with arches. Here the force is focused into three dimensions to stretch or compress a volume of space. The results of such alterations, transport those experiencing them to a multitude of other realities.
     The shifting of realities is not entirely confined to those using stone circles or other tools. The reality one resides in is in fact largely a matter of choice or belief. If a person truly believes in a potential achievement. It will almost certainly happen. This drift into a desired state of affairs is sometimes called positive thinking.
     Another manifestation of altered circumstance is the reverse side of the same coin. If somebody really wants something, then the fear of not getting it can be so strong as to make that something become unobtainable. A phrase that best encapsulates the effects of desire and success is perhaps one that refers to there being "Some winners and some losers".
     A biblical example of the power of choice and belief is equally valid. A god of this world called Jesus, said to a crippled man, "Take up thy stick and walk". The mans belief in Jesus was greater than in his own disability and he was able to walk again.
     All realities have always existed. It’s a mans own choice or belief that decides in which one he is to reside. Most men of dead cell cultures fail to realize their place in eternity, and most even die because they believe they have to.
     It was clear that to introduce the Lens would be to introduce ourselves. To use it merely as a means of stopping this world’s abuse of electricity was impossible. The first moment they encountered the powers of the triangle, would be the first moment of their reabsorbtion: so be it.
     With sub-etheric communication now in place, the unveiling of the Lens was an easy task. At a distance of fifteen light years we created an imaginary conversation between two civilizations and devoted ten days of transmissions on the subject. Almost instantly, half the inhabitants of the globe had constructed their own mass vortex triangle or M.V.T as they were now calling them.
     Building an M.V.T was a straightforward procedure. Being able to use and understand its revelations however, was proving more than a little difficult for certain types of human being. The Lens it must be remembered was only an amplifier, and not the creator of a natural effect.
     Many frustrated owners of the new device entered its inner sanctum only to experience nothing at all. If ones domestic cat strayed into the same place though, the result was an instantaneous and permanent change in the animals personality.
     Visiting friends could create equal or even greater annoyances. Some would leave the M.V.T claiming to still be inside. They would say that they’re never coming out again, and that the person, through which they were now speaking, was only an image of them as perceived by the viewer.
     Even harder to swallow was the exit of strangers from a triangle that they had never entered in the first place. Perhaps still more curious was the second or even third exit of a person seen to have entered only once.
     After a time it became clear that every person one encountered was in fact only the manifestation of your perception of what that person may be like. Furthermore, the image of one self in the mirror and even your status in life were simply how one imagined they might or ought to be.
     Here we had the classic dead cell culture verses reality battle. It was always the same, why could they never let go of the past. They could see that every possible twist and turn of fate had equal rights and even weight to all other realities. Yet some would insist on accepting only that single reality which suited their expectations of it.
     Approaching this world as outsiders, it was difficult for us to view it through the eyes of any one individual. The scientific evolution of its people had however led to some commonality in the type of reality accepted by most. This narrowing of reality types, had over time, created a band of existence to which most of the inhabitants adhered.
     With the introduction of the lens to this society we were now confronted with an explosion in perception and clear understanding. The planet itself was trying to cope with a complete breakdown in the infrastructure required to maintain its previously blind status quo.
     People refused to go to work, as it was no longer valid. Bills were left unpaid, marital and family units broke up, whole cities and then nations began to malfunction as the lens took a hold as the provider of all things.
    The next phase began sooner than expected. Some of the humans were now able to see and to interact with some of us. They had learnt to use and explore realities in ways that could only have been devised by minds previously bereft of such horizons. They even began to speculate that we were in fact them and vise-versa; an argument not too far from the truth.
     The actual transformation of a human back into being part of us must involve a new understanding. At the point of physical death, or in this case during reabsorbtion, the individual would be introduced to the single and infinite reality of eternity. This would not be an infinite number of single realities as viewed when using the lens; it would be an all-encompassing euphoric state where one is all and all is one.
     The cosmic error that permits the physical manifestation of living beings was a fact of life. Their evolution to a point where they realized themselves to be a waste product of a higher existence was inevitable. To shepherd or to police these minds through the lens and then onto eternity, was in itself an eternal cycle.
     The state to which physical life must be returned is to an existence where individual atoms can no longer communicate to each other. To use the word "physical" is perhaps to mislead, as in fact atoms are not physical items at all. They are not particles and the are not pockets of energy either. An atom is a pin prick in the fabric of space-time through which certain and unique elements of eternity may be viewed.
     If the universe is imagined to be a ball containing everything, then a single atom of hydrogen is created by pricking that ball with a pin. If the ball is pricked twice then two atoms are created, or rather two windows through which shines the same stuff. If a needle of different diameter is used to prick the ball, then helium may be seen or oxygen and so on.
     Inside the ball there is only one substance. The density of that substance is as incalculable as its composition is indivisible. The volume of space occupied by this material is equal in size to whatever dimensions that material with indivisible density dictates.
     Single atoms are pure and remain part of the universal whole. But when atoms of different types lie adjacent to each other, a local communication occurs between them and the first steps for an independent and physical life strain have begun.
      As time progresses, this local conversation becomes more and more complex until sensory information and subsequent spatial consciousness, forces the organism into becoming self-aware. From here on the atoms within the now living creature are no longer in touch with the universal body.
      If individual atoms are isolated, any force or effect directed towards those atoms will effect all such particles of that particular element, no matter where in the universe they may reside. Hydrogen for example is but one entity. In all space there is only one hydrogen reservoir that contains an indivisible pool of the commodity with that label.
      Physical or dead cell life forms are a kind of semi-conscious hologram. They, and all the worlds upon which they live, are constructed from virtual components that assume a form of reality as a result of the summation of two negative values.
      Inside the ball containing everything that was not virtual; there was life. This life or lives were lived as either individuals, through the whole, or both. Every thought or deed in all the lives and life within the ball created a measurable event span. And the duration of these events was in an environment that could not support such delineations.
      Any event can be said to have had a beginning. Any action seen to have had a beginning must have a reciprocal or negative beginning. This opposing countdown to the conception of an event was the creator of the pin pricks in eternity that gave rise to the perception and formation of atoms in the alter reality of dead cell cultures.
     From then on the atomic interaction and evolution of such lives would develop at random. To effect reabsorbtion was to halt all communications between the atoms that formed the virtual race. Ironically, the means of achieving this objective lay in providing ways that forced an initial increase in those communications.
     Rather unusually this world had begun to adapt to the dilemma facing it. The initial breakdown of its normal way of life seemed to be slowing and a return to a workable, though finite existence, was appearing out of the dust raised by the lens. They now grasped the need for maintaining what they had, whilst remaining philosophical about those things which they may yet choose to have.
     They also deduced that both sub-etheric radio and the lens were too coincidental to have not been "Engineered" revelations. Personal use of private Lens triangles was discouraged in favour of controlled experiments. Global transmissions kept everybody in touch with developments and an elaborate and highly democratic system enabled any individual to contribute towards the project.
     We knew we’d been rumbled. We also knew that we had never encountered a world able to halt its peoples enthusiasm and self-destruction in the face of the Lens. Their structured and controlled approach to our attempts at reabsorbtion were creating problems that we’d never had to face before.
     Soon they began to realize that to us they were just a virtual race. They deduced our need to shut down cultures such as their own that fed on the lifes stuff of the "Real" universe. They understood our objectives, but through the Lens had become familiar with the space in between our existence and their own.
     They were no longer mortal beings, nor were they reabsorbed into our vision of immortality. Their desire was to remain as mortal beings but to do so forever. The case presented for us to consider was that virtual worlds were bound to exist. They argued that both our world and their own were inter dependent and therefore equally entitled to continue to exist, as indeed was the space in between.
     Intellectually we were humbled by the notion of "The space in between", it had never occurred to us. Worse still was that the idea seemed to defy all attempts to discredit it.
     Until now we had believed that our "Real Universe", had given birth to the virtual universe of the dead cell cultures. There was a general and very pompous acceptance that all activities of such races were simply a waste product of our own actions. Now we were forced to accept that both our world and the virtual worlds we sought to police, were equal though opposite offspring of the same parent.
     But what of this common parentage. The questions now were who pulled the strings and how, and for what purpose. Did the universal source of all things actually have an identity, and if so who was this person or persons; the answer of course was that it was ourselves.
     We were the parents and we were the children. To slice an apple through its centre and to view the cross section, perfectly illustrated this symmetry. The right lobe could be said to represent our universe and the left would be the domain of the dead world cultures. The centre where both worlds co-existed formed the very core of creation.
     Reality would radiate out to the left with equal and opposite realities being mirrored in an identical, though reversed image, to the right. This sample cross section could also spin through 180 degrees in both the vertical and horizontal planes, giving a 360-degree or three-dimensional solidity to the image.
     Looking through the Lens with the finite eyes of this world, had provided greater insight then than had occurred to its blinkered creators. There had and would always be an inter dependence of both "Real " and "Virtual" worlds, as indeed there would always be problems with their co-existence.
     How to manage finite cultures as they approached immortality would remain a problem. Questions raised by the cross-sectioned apple analogy, asked whether forces beyond immortality were having to wrestle in a similar fashion with us.
     The solid vision of the apple of eternity created an awareness of the possibility of existence beyond the shape of the fruit. How could an eternal race escape the confines of their prison? Could they deviate from the preordained curves of the right lobe and travel beyond its outer skin?
     What could exist beyond eternity was as profound an enigma to us as was our universe to finite cultures. From pure theory to a practical application of those ideas, created solutions beyond the scope of those asking the questions.
     The minds of the supposedly inferior and finite worlds were not so inhibited. Having provided us with the "Space in between" revelations, it was equally possible we thought, that they may be able to supply proposals as to how we might venture beyond eternity.
     Meeting them face to face in the featureless landscapes of the global Lens project, we began to discuss the issue. We were now centre stage in a worldwide experiment and had become allies with a people previously scheduled for re-absorbtion. This was indeed a far cry from the scenario where we the shepherds, were leading them, as the sheep, to market.
     Inside the Lens there was nothing really to see. Being completely silent as well, the whole impression was one of absolute loneliness. Out of this isolation however, came the voices and visions of people and places. To the novice it felt as though the mind was in sensory depravation and creating its own images in response to the cocoon of the void.
     The science of this location enabled millions of minds to attend the meetings simultaneously. The same science also provided a brief and consensual summation of discussions and made decisions accordingly. All the proceedings were calmly delivered in voices representing an average of all those voices contributing.
     To generate an ill-informed argument within the all-sharing arena of the Lens was impossible. As a problem solving machine, this new and highly innovative application of its qualities, was yet another revelation to us as the original manufacturers.
     An outcome of our discussions began to materialize. To find out if we could escape the contours at the extremes of our universe, an idea was formulated to lure that space into a piece of our own made vacant.
     We imagined again a cross section of our universal apple. The right lobe represented the real universe and the left lobe the virtual. If we were to regard the centerline as being hinged, and then to swing the right lobe to overlay the left, the now empty section of apple may just "Let in" that substance that existed beyond the apple.
     To superimpose the left lobe upon the right was not feasible. But to swing the right lobe across, with its occupants having essentially just one mind, was an infinitely more feasible proposition.
     The experiment would involve collapsing an extremely thin slice of reality. As residents in all forks of reality, this feat would simply involve the closure of certain roads during this period. But the emptying of that space was in itself not enough.
     Vacant reality was a common occurrence that never resulted in its space being filled by the substances that might exist beyond. In vacant reality the potential for events to occur still remained. To fully collapse this segment of our universe would first require that space to become vacant, and then for its potential to manifest itself in the virtual worlds of the left lobe.
     The results of creating a space devoid of real, virtual and even potential reality, could not be calculated. One fear was that by eliminating a segment of apple, we might snuff out all of eternity.
     We knew that the entire body of our universe was a continuously changing loop of events both real and potential. To cut a slice out of the loop could be compared to the severing of a railway track. This would force the carriages, namely ourselves, to leave the network and to plough blindly across the desert.
     Perhaps to snuff out eternity and to plough across the desert was the only way. Dead cell cultures always fought to retain their individual identities when faced with re-absorbtion, yet once on the other side and back in the fold, they understood and welcomed the transition.
     The biggest question facing us both was why. And the answer to this question, lay in the multi-faceted concepts of curiosity and subservience.
     We lived in a room that had two doors, one at either end. Beyond one door lay the quarters of the dead cell cultures. With this door now ajar and the occupants of that room now among us, we stood together contemplating the other door and what might lay behind it.
     Were our lives within the finite body of the apple, part of a greater mechanism? Were our questions, discoveries and decisions an evolutionary step forward or would they be suicide. And could we look through the keyhole before venturing to open the door.
     Another school of thought was materializing revealing two distinct roads that we might take. The first route would be to throw the door wide open and to burst out of the apple into free air. The other option was to travel up the stem and into the branch that bore the fruit.
     The second option may lead to the discovery of other apples. The first however, could lead to an awareness of the whole tree or perhaps even an orchard beyond. The forum and omnipotence of the Lens left no room for maneuver or for grey areas; we had the key to the door and we would turn it.
     Preparing for this event was like early settlers of this planet must have experienced when embarking for the new world. It was a mixture of fear and anticipation that extremes of the unknown alone can provide.
     As the moment drew closer, so did speculation increase as to the outcome. Predictions ranged from the inevitable end of eternity, through to there being no effect at all; in truth we hadn’t the faintest idea what may become of us.
     At length the door was opened and resulted in an anti-climax. The ceremony really presented us with a paradox that was far more puzzling than any of the predicted outcomes.
     The closing down of real and potential reality merely opened a door. The puzzle was that in passing through this opening we returned to the room that we’d just left, but were doing so using another entrance. Essentially we’d left the room though door (A) only to return via door (B).
     If one stopped whilst leaving the room and turned around, it was possible to see yourself, or the current sequence of events, turning around also as you re-entered the room. This was exactly like a dog chasing his own tail.
     Converting these results to the analogy of the apple, to burst out of the fruit into free space seemed impossible. Which ever point was chosen to exit from, that same place immediately afforded re-entry to the same place as you’d just left; to leave was to arrive and vise-versa.
     This enigma presented us with the fact that the inside of the outer skin of our apple was also the outside of the same skin. The only scenario that would permit such findings was if the apple had either an infinite diameter, or that the mathematics of the geometry of the shape employed the value of zero as something other than nothing.  
     Because our equation could be solved by either "zero=something" or "diameter = infinity", we concluded that zero =infinity…….
                                                    Turning Keys
                                                    Behind and then before us close
                                                    Spinning full circle
                                                    Many ways
                                                    To the tune of the pipers dance
                                                    Like passages returning
 
 
 
                                     (From "The Slide", a poem from the same author).
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