Disintegration: Highway 911
I had a dream. It is rare that I dream so intensively that I awake with tears, and more so that
I remember the details long past the moment of awakening. This dream was such an exception. It seemed as if a year's worth of dreaming had been all rolled into one. I remembered everything as clearly as if it really happened; though I wished I hadn't. I wouldn't have had to deal with the dream vision then.
Perplexed by it, and somewhat afraid that the details would fade from the mind before I understood their significance, I told everyone about the dream. I described every step of it as soon as we got together for breakfast. They all listened quietly, Ross, Heather, Sylvia, Tony, Dag, Al. They all agreed that the dream needs to be kept alive, because no one could tell off hand what it might mean.
The dream was as strange as dreams often are. I was living with my dad on one of the top floors of a building several hundred stories tall, a golden tower situated on the crest of a mountain ridge. It appeared that we occupied an entire floor. We were surrounded by sunshine all day long, not by clouds. We lived above the clouds. Our world had become a world of easy living, of sun-filled days that had become taken for granted, and at the center of our world appeared this thing. It seemed to be visible in some form everywhere one looked. 'The Thing' was literally everywhere but also nowhere. Everybody knew it, not just us. Millions had seen it, but no one had ever been able to touch 'The Thing,' or one of them, nor had a single specimen ever been captured. It just was, and was always out of reach. It wasn't a machine, so it seemed, or a biological entity, but it had a definite shape and color. Its 'color' seemed richer than the rainbow, and its 'shape' seemed so profound that it was echoed in works of art, such as paintings, sculptures, and stories, even in public art in the parks and plazas.
'The Thing' had appeared first on television a long time ago. It had appeared time-sliced between the ads. People were puzzled at the time, as I recalled, but then they let it be as one of those things that simply can't be explained. Nor could its effect be explained.
The effect that I noticed was that the television became bigger, and its picture clearer and brighter. Everything seemed to be effected by 'The Thing' in some way. Our world became less confined, richer, and brighter. Our houses became bigger, the world cleaner, the cities more beautiful. And above all of that, which our world became, loomed 'The Thing' like an all-pervading ghost that no one knew precisely and yet everybody 'knew' instinctively from the bottom of their soul for the simple realization that the world had been transformed by it.
We learned in later years from astronauts that the universe itself was being transformed by it. They had spotted 'The Thing' on Mars, and by the time they came back to it the barren planet had become a green oasis with an Earth-like atmosphere, and soon thereafter it became ripe to be colonized with people.
Many people revered 'The Thing' that had no name. They revered it and gave it noble names, but by and large its name remained simply, "The Thing," just as everyone had called it from the beginning.
Some people also feared 'The Thing'. They feared that that the boundless development it caused would overburden our planet and thereby destroy it. However, those were but a few and their fears were ignored in the sunshine of the joy that this profound development unlocked. The joy became like the sand on the beaches, an ever-present reality that gets into ones hair and clothing, except in a nice way, that would be missed if it didn't.
Still, the people who feared 'The Thing' tried to defeat it. They tried to turn the world back to the way it was before 'The Thing' emerged on the horizon. Since they couldn't capture 'The Thing' itself, they bulldozed down some of the houses that had become wonderfully spacious and beautiful in its presence. They did their attacks secretly at first, in the night, right with the people sleeping in their houses, the very people who had benefited the most from the influence of 'The Thing'. As far I could tell from the dream nothing happened that changed anything in the world. No one protested. No one interfered. The sun kept on shining. Still, something did change.
Something struck me as odd one day a long time later. It was something that didn't seem to be linked to 'The Thing' at all in any particular manner. I found it strange, because I hadn't noticed it before. I recalled that I needed new running shoes at the time and had mentioned the fact to my dad in passing. He nodded and said something about "accounts" and within moments a list of financial portfolios and their value flashed onto the TV screen in white letters. Seconds later the figures vanished and dad replied to me sadly that the shoes would have to wait for a week. So I didn't think much more about it, and in a week the new shoes were provided.
Another thing also struck me as odd some time later. It seemed to me that the images of 'The Thing' that were always time-sliced between TV ads appeared less frequent than they had before, and were also less seen everywhere else. I also suddenly realized that this trend had actually begun before the incidence with the running shoes. I had dismissed the new trend at first as insignificant, until it became glaringly obvious one day that the images were no longer appearing as frequently as we had become accustomed to seeing them. I mentioned the fact to my dad who simply laughed and said that this was a good sign, adding that we wouldn't be bothered with "this nuisance" anymore.
Nevertheless it seemed odd that something that I had grown fond of had gradually disappeared until it could no longer be seen, except on rare occasions. All of my nagging concerns about this trend came to the foreground one day when our TV stopped functioning. The incidence of the failing TV had sorely upset my dad. He had lost access to his portfolio. In a rage of his temper that had become more intense and always seemed linked to his portfolio he pounded his fist on the TV as if to jolt it back to life. Instead of coming back to life however, the whole thing simply disintegrated.
We rushed out immediately to buy a new one, an even bigger one than we had before. We were fortunate that we did, because when we returned the entire huge building in which we had lived had collapsed and crumbled into dust. Nor were we the only ones so affected. As we beheld the catastrophe and cried over it, we looked into the valley blow us, and there too, even while we looked down onto the city where we had just come from to purchase the new TV, as if an Earthquake had struck the whole world, the entire city in the valley disintegrated before our very eyes into a pile of rubble and dust. We suddenly found ourselves without a place to go to, forced to be living in dust and shambles, scrambling to find things to eat in the forest and to cover ourselves with leaves as shelter from the cold.
I awoke in tears from this dream. I cried for our tragedy, but mostly because 'The Thing' that had made everything beautiful could no longer be seen anywhere. Its images seemed to have been erased throughout the universe as if they had never existed.
"What do you make of this?" I asked everyone.
"You may have seen our future as it might be," answered Sylvia.
"But what was this thing? 'The Thing' was a profound presence that had no name, that no one could touch. It had been everywhere and had made our world bright. Then it diminished and was no more to be seen. What was it that we called, 'The Thing?'" I asked. "Is there such a thing?"
"There used to be a lot of things in our past that might be described in that manner," said Ross. "Call 'The Thing' love, honor, integrity, intelligence, industry, humanity, sublimity. Call it all of that."
"When did the change begin to occur in your dream, I mean in your experience of it?" asked Heather. "Go and 'rewind' your dream and replay it. What was the first thing that struck you as odd? Was it your dad's financial portfolio? Had you ever noticed that concern before?"
I said that I hadn't, but Ross said that this was only a symptom. Ross said that the real change began in my experience when the images appeared less frequently, which nobody really noticed except in retrospect. Ross pointed out that it all started with the bulldozing of the houses and the killing of people in them. "That's when the world was beginning to be flipped upside down," said Ross. "It started with the willful destruction of what 'The Thing' had accomplished, in order to get at 'The Thing' itself and to annihilated it, to deny its existence and its foundational role in civilization."
"That's already happening in the real world on a large scale," said Heather, "and it has been happening for some time on an ever greater scale. The financial portfolios appear to be secondary. They are merely among the first visible signs of a civilization crumbling into dust."
"When did the joy disappear?" asked Tony. "It probably began to disappear when the images of 'The Thing' became less frequent. Am I right?"
I answered that it was so.
"All sorts of alarm bells should have gone off right there and then, in order to stir up a search for the cause of the disappearance, both of the 'The Thing' and the joy in living," said Tony. "But where are the alarm bells going off in our world where the same signs are everywhere? Is anybody rewinding our waking dreams? How far do we have to go back in real terms to locate this missed opportunity in understanding our history? When did we begin to loose our joy?" Tony asked emphatically. "When was the axe laid at the root of all that is profoundly human? Was it when fascism was laid upon the world to protect the British Empire against the freedom of mankind that the USA was founded on? Or did this loss begin earlier when the religious wars were unleashed by Venice to destroy the Golden Renaissance? Or do we have to go back still further to Aristotle whose philosophy of natural slavery became the platform of the Empire of Rome that nearly destroyed civilization? Or do we have to go further back to the ancient priests that perverted the Mosaic Decalogue into an instrument of power with which to isolate humanity from one-another at the grassroots level and enforce this isolation with the death penalty? How far back to we have to go?"
Ross suggested that if one is faced with layers of mud, laid upon other layers of more mud, one has to deal with the whole mess to get a clean slate. He also suggested that the bottom layer might hold the key to the whole mess, since everything else is piled on top of it. He suggested that the top layer may not bear the faintest resemblance to the key cause, so that one has to dig deep to get a flavor of what the whole mess is all about.
Tony just nodded. I think he did so for all of us, since none of us had a clue of what my dream really meant.
"That's the trouble with us," said Sylvia. She almost scolded us suddenly at this point, as if to start the alarm bells ringing in us. "We give up too easily," she said. "At the first impasse we throw in the towel and walk away from the ring where we should be fighting for victory. That's what we do in dreaming, too. Dreams are scary images that we conjure up when the mind is asleep. We dredge things up that we know, but which we don't want to look at in real life, images which we block out. That is why dreams can sometimes tell us more than we want to know. We should look at them for this core reality that we don't want to look at, whatever it is, rather than throw the dream away. I would say, let's get into the wrestling ring on this issue and fight, just as any wrestler would."
"Dreams don't solve anything," Heather replied instantly.
"Of course they don't," Sylvia defended herself. "Nothing is ever resolved when the mind is asleep. I have never known a person who discovered a profound universal principle in a dream, or even applied a principle in a dream to uplift an unfolding tragedy into a victory. We have to do this when we are awake. But the dreams may tell us where our impasses are. In dreams we ruminate over the lack of a solution. I think our dreams sometimes are our alarm clock, as Tony suggests, that jolt us into recognizing what we have evaded. I think Peter had a profound dream. It tells us of something that we have tried to hide from ourselves. So let's put our heads together and find out what it is. Let's find out why we prefer to lie to ourselves rather than accept the truth."
Ross nodded in agreement. "All right," said Ross. "Let's look at it. Pete was a child in the dream, and the world that he lived in grew into a gigantic and beautiful construct. He lived in a golden tower that was several hundred stories high, which suddenly collapsed into a pile of dust. What could this dream image represent that we already know? The child represents mankind, doesn't it? We are still growing up. And 'The Thing' that became associated with the golden tower is our dawning humanity. It is science, art, music, technology, and intelligence. Those may be its names, but the thing itself is the principle beneath all that, the Principle of Universal Love. The Principle of Universal Love has been a part of the human scene since the dawn of civilization and long before that. It was first seen in a discernable way with the agricultural revolution 7000 years ago when a few people were able to provide food for many so that time could be devoted to cultural pursuits and improvements of the human condition. This 'Thing,' the Principle of Universal Love, was seen again and again in a big way during the Greek Classical Era, the era of Homer, Pythagoras, Solon, and so on. And later we saw it reflected again in the humanism of Socrates and Plato, and then in the Christian era as the sacrament of Agape. It appeared many times in the background. We saw it reappearing after Rome had nearly destroyed civilization. We saw it unfolding anew in the Islamic Renaissance, and later in the Golden Renaissance in Europe, and more profoundly so in the subsequent great Renaissance of the 17th Century centered on the Treaty of Westphalia. The Principle of Universal Love was reflected in all of these developments of renaissance. The Principle of Universal Love was 'The Thing' that Peter saw. It gave us the golden towers of the richest civilization we ever had.
"The reversal began with World War I," Ross continued. "'The Thing' was feared and hated by every empire that ever was. Human progress has always been feared and hated by empires, because this progress would challenge the empire's illegitimate existence. World War I brought the first big attack on humanity. With setting up this giant war the British Empire literally bulldozed the house down that 'The Thing' had built. World War II was set up from the same background, but was escalated onto a bigger plain. Then came the Cold War. Most people regard the Cold War as a nuclear weapons standoff between the USA and Soviet Russia. On the surface it was that, but in real terms this hyped up rivalry was a secondary issue, a kind of smokescreen to hide the real war. The real Cold War was a cultural war, and that war hasn't ended. Cultural freedom they called it in the beginning. It promised freedom in culture, but really meant freedom from culture. It inspired society to claim freedom from its humanity, freedom from the Principle of Universal Love. It meant promoting the globalism of inhumanity, the globalization of looting and slavery. In this artificial inhuman environment 'The Thing' began to disappear. That's when the economies began to disintegrate and the financial system of the world began to become but a hollow shell. Pete saw mankind's golden tower crumble into dust. We have seen many such images already, haven't we? Each one was a symptom of society killing 'The Thing' in its own heart and soul. Mankind was killing itself by aiming to destroy 'The Thing.'
"The first golden tower crumbled in New York," said Ross. "The tower wasn't brought down by terrorism. We all saw it go down, but none of us, as most people, had realized at the time that what they saw was not the result of a terrorist act, but a symptom of a collapsing world, a collapsing civilization, a collapsing society without humanity, a world without 'The Thing.' When Pete looked into the valley below in his dream, and as he looked he saw the whole city in the valley likewise disintegrating into dust. We have seen that happening too, haven't we, when the ruling world-finical and economic system disintegrated. That's the mess we are in."
"Mankind's Golden tower was brought down by the fondi," interjected Fred and paused, evidently searching for how he might continue.
"In the shadow of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the British East India Company became the first private World Empire, the first completely private empire in history with a near global reach," said Fred. "The government and the crown became largely intertwined with the Empire, each in its own subservient capacity. But most of all the Empire owned the banking system. Most of the world's financial power became all privately owned. The Empire was really the empire of the fondi. And as the Empire expanded, more and more of the various nations central banks became privatized and quietly added to this private financial empire of the fondi. Like it was said in the novel of Dune, whoever owns the 'spice' controls the universe. So in the real world, whoever owns the financial system owns the nations. The USA resisted being pulled into this fold, but in 1913 it capitulated when it created Federal Reserve System as a private club that owned the nation's currency and credit creation from that day on. That's when the golden tower that Pete had lived in, in his dream, began to be endangered. In real terms it collapsed almost a century later, in a world that became hopelessly bankrupt. The Empire had lived on a foundation of looting, instead of on a foundation of universal economic development. Every empire shuns the development of the human potential of society, and sabotages it at every possible opportunity. When unemployment was dropping, the economy was said to overheating. Consequently interest rates were cranked up to kill off whatever economic progress was made. And so society has been looted and destroyed in a world focused on stealing in a process that mushroomed with ever growing intensity for 250 years, to the point that there is nothing left for the imperials to steal, by which the Empire bankrupted the very source that it depended on. And so it bankrupted itself. From this point it had no options left but to use force in a quest for world-dictatorship status. It needed something spectacular in order to justify the force that can shut down civilization, imposing a global fascist police state dictatorship. Well, the fondi got their wish. The collapse of the financial system was more than spectacular than any collapse of any building in history. The world-financial collapse didn't just bring a house down. It turned the whole city into dust, the whole country, entire nations, the entire Western World."
"We all knew that this collapse was coming. We have all seen the writing on the wall, just as Peter has seen 'The Thing' vanishing from his dream world. But we didn't want to acknowledge what we saw, did we? We didn't, because if we did, we would have had to respond and react to save ourselves. And so we found it more convenient to keep on dreaming. It seems to me that Pete found this paradox disturbing. He dream might have been an outcry for a solution, if it hadn't come too late."
"The whole world was dreaming that dream and still is," said Heather. "I have seen it myself. I have been fighting this trend with Nicolai. I have been traveling around the world with him just for that, giving lectures on humanist economics, hoping to wake people up."
"But was that enough?" asked Sylvia. "The world still says there is no empire. Everything will be fine. We ignore the tragic aspects that we know, even those aspects admitted by the fondi themselves. Peter has met the people from the fondi. We have all heard the tape recording of his interview. They told us years ago what their plans for humanity were, and they did so with a disgusting openness and arrogance, as if nothing could stop them. They told us, as if the idea were laughable, that none of us could stop them. As you all know, we behaved accordingly for a dozen years as if we fully believed them, playing our trivial games that accomplished nothing. We behaved exactly as the fondi had wished us to behave, living in fear and tied up with impotence. When Nicolai finally began to do something to turn the ship around, it was too late."
"Still, the fondi can't alter the reality either, that they are bankrupt too," said Heather.
"They are fully aware of it," said Ross. "That is why they are determined to re-stage the world again with another big war. They failed on this count, so far, but the fondi will never give up their fascist attempts to save their empire, even if it means destroying the whole world to do it. Saving their empire's existence is no longer just about money. It is more and more about power. The man of the fondi told Pete in Venice that the empire has no name and every name, and has no face but every face. Yes, it owns all the private central banks, it also owns numerous secret societies that cook up the nut-cake ideologies and the strategies that shape our world, and will continue to do so until we stop them. The fondi have put their case squarely onto the table of the nut-cake societies, which take the imperial case and regurgitate it as ready-made policies put forth by their own numerous so-called international policy-forming organization from which the elite of the world in government and elsewhere receive their marching orders. Of course the public receives its public opinion via the same channel, through so-called free press. The whole nut-cake apparatus operates freely within the fondi-defined limits, but not otherwise. The enormous global power structures that result from this setup, which the fondi will utilize since they own them implicitly, will 'force' the public to pay the horrendous cost of the present bankruptcy of the Empire in the style that Hitler forced Germany to pay. That's the earthquake that Peter witnessed in his dream, that society cannot survive. We have already seen the beginning of it. Our world has become a world in which everything crumbles into dust to such an extent that not even the fondi can survive. Peter saw this in his dream. Mankind's golden tower crumbled, and so did the city in the valley. None of that is anything new to us, is it? It is already happening in so many ways. We are just not yet prepared to recognize the evidence for what it is. We have lived with the knowledge that 'The Thing' has vanished, which civilization was built on. We have lived with that knowledge for a dozen years and haven't raised a finger to counter the trend in any significant way. In Pete's dream the alarm bells went off since the evidence is ever-harder to ignore."
"But what have we got in us to throw into the fight?" I replied. "We know we have to fight to save the world. We knew this from the first day we met. That's what brought us together. But what have we got to fight with, except the underlying principles of the universe, the Principle of Universal Love and every other principle that we know that is related to it? We have to get 'The Thing' back. And this, too, we have known from the beginning. We only didn't know then that 'The Thing' is all that we have to get our civilization back. That's all we've got to fight with. We've got to bring 'The Thing' back into our world. There is nothing else we can resort to. The Principle of Universal Love is 'The Thing,' the only thing. Historically we have rallied around 'The Thing' in countless different ways and built a civilization with its substance. Now we are going the other way and are loosing everything, if indeed there is anything left to be lost. The man from the fondi that I spoke to is right on this one. We haven't got a hope in hell to fight the fondi on any possible political platform. They own every platform. They own the political world completely. We'll never solve our problem by fighting on their level. We have to fight from a higher level, the level of universal humanist principles, which they don't own. We must bring 'The Thing' back into our world and protect it. That's the only platform that they don't own, which they can never own, which in fact they are hell-bent to deny its existence. And that's our flank. Our only hope for getting the thing back is to uplift the individual people of fondi together with everyone else, onto this higher level of universal humanist principles as a framework in which they too can become useful to society and supportive of it. When this happens, we'll have our joy back. If it doesn't happen, civilization is doomed and will cease to exist."
"It may already be too late for that," said Tony. "Pete's alarm clock may have gone off far too late. Maybe Pete recognized that, and this is what caused his dream. Still, I agree. We have to fight with what we've got, even though we haven't done anything significant with it so far. We allowed ourselves to drift into a rut and have a party, the dullest party in history I might add, which had lasted for twelve years. We are just beginning to dig ourselves out from that, just barely. Except, it may well be that we started too late."
"Sure, we have given the fondi a free reign," said Sylvia. "Maybe Peter also realized this in his dream. But I say, it is never too late to begin fighting for civilization and its universal principles. Even if the whole world were to crumble into dust, which is already happening, it is never too late to fight for the platform of the universal principles of our humanity, the principles of science, technological progress, and universal love. No matter how far we have fallen behind in our duties as human beings towards one-another, the Principle of Universal Love is still the only platform there is for building a new civilization on. That's all we've got, even if we have to start our building in the dust of a total collapse. The Principle of Universal Love can get us out of the dust. The potential to get back on track always exits. It exists even at the moment when the whole world spits at this principle as a worthless piece of trash, or even a "nuisance" as it is called in the world of the imperial dreams."
We all praised Sylvia for her profound realization when we had breakfast together this morning on Ross' balcony, where we analyzed my dream. Once we were satisfied that a solution had been found, the dream was laid aside and once again forgotten, because the Principle of Universal Love was something we were already working with. Thus, we were once again contend that the solution to the problems of the world was already in progress of being developed. Should we have done more? Did we even recognize the infinite shape of the horizon that were looking at, through the looking glass of The Principle of Universal Love?