The Revolutions of Time, Chapter 14
Past and Future
I have no recollection of how long I stood there staring blankly into the void, for the sun was hidden behind the darkened sky. I have no memory of that period until I saw two short forms coming towards me in the distance. They walked slowly and methodically, as if they were not hurried on by any physical concerns. As they drew near, I saw them to be Onan and Zimri, the Lords of Past and Future. When they arrived I was awakened from the trance that I had fallen into, and I gave them a slight bow, for I was still standing upright. The look on their faces was one of sorrow, for no matter how many times they had seen the destruction of humanity, each time it brought only fresh, poignant sorrow.
Onan was the first to speak, breaking the silence with a long, hopeless sigh, "My dear Jehu," he said, "This age has come to a close."
I could say nothing, for Bernibus' face was still gazing at me in my memory.
"Do not be saddened by grief or guilt, Jehu, for it is what has always happened. It is not your fault, for the events that you have witnessed do not have their roots in your time or in this one, but in the very foundation of the world. It is not your actions that caused this, but rather the accumulated momentum of all the ages of humanity, for they are history, and history reigns by influence. There were no right choices and no wrong choices for you, for the power of the kinsman redeemer is not in himself, but in the way that those around him react to what he signifies. In every age before this you have done the same, as you will in every age after this as well. You were humanity's last chance, yet it is not up to you to change their course: it is up to them to change their own."
Here I raised my head from its dull droop and looked questioningly into his eyes. "What do you mean," I asked, "That I did not prevent it in any of the other ages? How could I exist in any other age but this?"
"Then you do not understand?"
"Why else would I ask?" I faintly smiled.
"These are the Ice Ages, the end of an age of history. Every time that the temporal continuum revolves around eternity, it has a new age, much like the years of the earth as it revolves around the sun. When the atomic anionizers went off, they did on a large scale what they were designed to do on a small scale: reverse the poles through an extreme electric charge, by injecting countless solitary electrons into the atoms. But with so many of them exploded at once, they did this to the earth itself, reversing its poles. It was a theory at your time that the poles reversed about every 170,000 years, this is because that is how long an age is.
"When the earth's poles were reversed, it brought all to desolation, excepting you, for you were protected by the suit. But while this is the ending of all life on earth, in a way it is also the beginning, for you see, Jehu, you have just witnessed the Big Bang. In a few days, at the longest, you will die yourself, for there is no food or water for you here, but inside of your anti-electron suit, your remains will be protected. Slowly the earth will regenerate, and when conditions suitable for life have been once more returned, your suit will be blown against a rock somewhere and broken open. From that little hole, the atoms of life, your life, will escape into the atmosphere and grow and evolve until they become like what things were before you were born. Then the process will be repeated. You are not only the one who symbolizes the destruction of humanity, but also the one who symbolizes the rebirth of humanity. You are the beginning and the end, in a sense, a descendant of yourself, simultaneously the father and the son. You will be born again through your own descendants, and will once again become the kinsman redeemer. It is your destiny, there is no other way. You are the White Eagle."
"You only confuse me more, what is this White Eagle?"
"Do you remember when we first met, in the Chambers of History? On the dome of the ceiling there was a sculpture mural, and in it was a White Eagle, holding many lords and ladies in its talons while it soared far above the lands, and those on the land were worshiping it. You are the White Eagle. You hold all of humanity in your hands, for you are the father of all men, they all descend from you, including you, yourself. You were the White Eagle, for the altar had no power, the power was only in you.
"Those who worshiped you were those who worship time, in either of its forms, past or future. Those who worship the past recognize the influence of history, and they understand that there are taboos and traditions created through mutual experience. These traditions reign in humanity by keeping men from actions that lead to pain and suffering. But they do not understand that while it influences mankind, the past does not control them, for it is gone, and it will never come again. In their strict keeping of traditions, they focus on the physical act of the tradition, while neglecting the spiritual principle behind the tradition. If you keep only the physical form of the principle, you have nothing.
"On the other hand, those who worship the future neglect the past and the valuable lessons that it teaches. They believe that there is some moral advancement that places them above those that have come before, they believe that the people of the past were blinded to the truth, and that the revelation of the truth in the present supersedes the traditions of the past. But they are wrong as well, for humanity is humanity, and those of the past were no more ignorant than those at present. The people of the past fell into the same traps as the those in the present, and both suffer the same consequences.
"While one group remembers only the physical display of the spiritual truth, the other rejects the spiritual truth because of its physical display. Those who worship the future break taboos because they recognize that the mere physical manifestation of the truths is not their entire essence, but they reject the spiritual truth as well. When taboos are broken, there is nothing gained, but everything lost, for the physical traditions at least lead to the knowledge of the spiritual laws to those who seek such wisdom. One taboo is broken, but as there is no satisfaction in the breaking of taboos, every one of them is broken in succession. Then there is no limit to the immorality that is left to freely roam the hearts of men, and when immorality, the breaking of the spiritual laws, is widely propagated, there is spiritual suffering. When this spiritual suffering begins to accumulate and is translated into physical suffering, the people see what is happening, how their very society is crumbling to ruin around them. Yet instead of recognizing the truth of what is happening, they see the traditions of the past as the cause of their problems, and continue to make their plight worse. This downward spiral continues until at last we find ourselves where we are now, at the end of an age."
"But what else is there to do?" I asked Onan, 'If both the past and the future lead to ruin?"
"The answer is in the present, my dear Jehu, for if one focuses on the spiritual laws that bring good or evil, and acts according to them, instead of their physical counterparts and manifestations, then things will thrive and become prosperous. What is evil brings evil consequences, and what is good brings good consequences, over time. The ends define the means, just as the fruit shows the tree to be either good or bad. These spiritual laws become known and remembered, not why they are so, but simply that they are so. No one can question why, for morality is observed through its effects, just as science is. When people observe that one thing brings good and another bad, they remember to stay away from the bad things and cling to the good. Over time these evolve into taboos and social restrictions, not meaningless laws enforced by tyrants for their own reasons, but rules that are observed by all because the are the laws of the spiritual realm and govern physical life. But when the people forget what the traditions represent, then all is lost, and either of the two paths that present themselves lead to ruin."
"But why do not men see?"
"Because they are rooted too strongly in the physical realm, and cannot, or will not, see the spiritual. What they see as happiness is not the spiritual matter that is happiness, but the physical actions the represent happiness. What they see as love is not love in the spiritual sense, only its manifestation in the physical realm. When they see the happiness that comes from a spiritual connection, they seek after it. But they do not seek after the actual essence of the spiritual connection, yet after its physical counterpart, marriage. This they take and defile, and when they go through the physical actions of the spiritual marriage but forsake the very thing that makes it bring happiness, they are left without any real sense of satisfaction, without any real happiness.
"You must understand that the physical manifestation of the spiritual force is not the spiritual force at all, only a bland deception. If you only focus on what you can see directly, than you chase after only the representation and not the object desired. If a bird is flying through the sky at noontime, casting a shadow on the ground below him, and a man comes along, and in the hope of catching the bird chases after its shadow, it is evident that he will never catch it, for when he does reach it, he will find that there is nothing there at all, only the shadow of what it was he desired. So it is with the spiritual!"
"Yes, I think that I am beginning to understand."
"Excellent. If only I could tell you more, but I must go, my dear Jehu, for Father Temis is in mourning for his children, and I must go to comfort him."
"I thought that you and Zimri were his children?" I asked.
"You are all his children. He is patient, ever so patient, but still they fall by the wayside, too caught up in their false perception to rest in him. Fare thee well, Jehu, may you be blessed ere you must die."
And with that, Onan and Zimri turned and walked away in the other direction, never to be seen by me again, in this age. I took a look around me, and could not bear to remain any longer in a place of such ill remembrance. Turning slowly and despondently to the westward, I began to walk over the lifeless mass of what had been the ocean not too long ago. For how long I walked, I could not tell, but in due time I reached Daem, though it was no more hospitable than the mainlands, for all was laid to ruin by the Big Bang, all was equally devoid of life.
When I came to what had been the center of the savanna, I came across something that had survived the blast, being unearthed from its previous burial hole by the force of the anionizer's explosion. It was a two foot by two foot box, made of a strange metallic substance with an intricate etching along its top. Written there in its center were these words:
"Temporal Anomaly Box, Number 12, Location: Central Savanna"
I took the lid off carefully, though it was in perfect condition and I did not need to treat it so, and looked inside of it. There was a notebook and a pen there, both capable of producing a large of amount of enduring text. This was one of the boxes that had been taken back through time in the experiments of the Zards and Canitaurs, designed to withstand any conditions, and to hold its contents for countless ages, until they should be retrieved and studied. I sat down on the ground and began to write my story down, in order to assist whoever takes the job of kinsman redeemer in the next age. I knew that it would have all been forgotten, so I made sure to carefully record it, for it could mean the difference between the life and death of humanity.
This was only hours ago, and now I have reached the end my tale. If by any chance you come upon this in some subsequent age, I beg you to take heed, for what I have written will surely come to pass once more if something is not done to prevent it. There is nothing else for me to say, for this is the end of my story, and within the next day I will also pass over to the spiritual realm. What, then, can I say to bring this to a close, for this is neither the end nor the beginning. I suppose all that can be said is this:
Deja Vu (the End)