To Save The Earth
From your typical human beings
To Save The Earth: From your typical human beings
John W. Gilmore
The gray haired gentlemen, dressed in a dark suit and tie, stood behind the podium and spoke into the microphone clearly, and distinctly. One could tell that he was used to it.
“Sometimes what we need is to subtract instead of add. That is what I have discovered during my short amount of time living here on Earth.” He paused and looked up surveying the faces of the crowd with a grin before looking back at the script. “We are born, we add on, but we are afraid to take off. But the course of life forces us to. As we age we have to remove all of the garb of youth and vigor. We can't run anymore, or walk as fast.”
He looked up again. "The things that we thought made us important, our beauty, our stamina, our memories, and even our close friends, are slowly taken away and we are left with what we had when we entered this world, except we are a bit smarter and wiser, if we are lucky. This begs the question 'why? And who are we...really?'”
Berry huffed. “Sounds like something an old fart like that would say way back then,” he said. “It's so out of date. We are going to live forever.” Karen sucked her teeth. “What, Karen? We don't have to die anymore. I have a new body waiting for me that I can be uploaded to at any time, and I'm not superstitious enough to simply die, like that old man.”
“He didn't think he was simply going to die!” She replied. “He thought he was going to transcend our human condition. I find it very interesting.”
“Well, if he can prove it, I'll believe it. In the meantime, let's get out of here and have a coffee.”
“He's not done.”
“I want to hear the end.”
He jutted his chin toward the front of the room. “Don't tell me you're as superstitious as he was.” He turned to her. “You can die if you want to...”
“Shush!” she said.
“I'll meet you at the C-shop,” he said, packing his computer into its case. He was sitting on the end seat, knowing that he might not like what he was going to hear, so he slid out and climbed up the forum stairs to the rear exit door.” It was the fifth lecture he had heard from that old man. When was their teacher going to teach instead of showing ancient, holographic recordings.
A young man in a suit and tie watched him leave, with great interest, said something into his wrist comm, and then got up to follow. Karen noticed the man and wondered about it briefly before turning her attention back to the main speaker. The man had been at just about every lecture sitting in the exact same seat.
People were still coming in. Berry couldn't believe that. He pushed on through the crowd and left the classroom and the whole building. He stepped outside. It was like coming out of a cave or something he was so relieved. The sun was bright. Wind was blowing and students were milling around in front of the building and all over campus.
Across from the building there was a small park surrounding a small circle of concrete inlaid with cobblestones in the shape of a cross. In each quadrant there was a small, metal meshed bench shaped like a flattened tube.
He crossed the street that was more like a circular driveway, he had barely ever seen traffic on it, and headed into the park. He found the bench that was most shaded and took a seat. He sighed. He didn't realize how tired he had suddenly become, or how stressful it had been listening to that old man.
But how often did you get a chance to listen to an old fossil like that. And yes, Mr. Henderson was a fossil. A fossil of a hologram, if nothing else. Henderson looked like a real person, a real professor, but he had been dug up a few months ago in one of the archaeology sites near Old New York. Everyone had heard of Old New York, but everyone doubted that such a place could exist more than 3,000 years ago.
They said it was one of the commerce centers of the world with buildings and towers 30 or 40 stories high. At one time it was said to have housed over 25 million people. Who could imagine such a thing? Something happened to end that. A simple EM Plasma pulse from the sun shot out and hit the Earth at the right time. People had theorized about that possibility for years.
Some people had even postulated that the Earth had had advanced civilizations on it for millions of years with each wiped out before by some type of cataclysmic event and then having to start over again. Berry didn't know if he believed it. Well, yes he did, because everything was possible.
That time, since they didn't only depend on computers, and because the government at that time at least had some computers shielded from EM pulses, there were records, but the ones in Old New York City were all buried or covered over by water from the Great Melting that took place when the temperatures rose high enough to melt the solar ice caps.
Earth had gone through a lot. Humans had gone through a lot. Famines, wars, pestilence and starvation had ravished the Earth. Each plague was accompanied by groups of people clinging to resources instead of letting go of them, and the wars for those resources.
And of course some country, one that thought it was planted in its place by the hand of God, let off a nuclear warhead which began the downfall of that civilization. They were soon back in the dust with only a few people alive who could rebuild, or understand the technology. They were weary of humanity. Many refused to work on things openly so very old, primitive technology was often mimicked for use by the public.
They decided they would release the information as they would in order to create a new society of responsible human beings. Berry didn't know if they had done that, but there had been no wars. There was no poverty. The negatives that existed in the old days weren't there anymore.
Then they pulled this old fossil out of some sunken volt, who started spitting out the old beliefs that had probably caused the problems anyway. His taking on and getting rid of before you die and all that shit was meaningless. What did that have to do with the price of butter?
“Thought you were going to the C-Shop,” Karen said, sliding in beside him.
“Decided to sit here a few minutes before I made my trek. He's not finished already is he?”
“No. I decided I didn't need to hear that. I don't care about his beliefs or the philosophy they had, considering they destroyed a whole civilization.”
“They didn't actually destroy it.”
“No. They just allowed it to be destroyed while they were unloading things and trying to find themselves. Same to me, Karen said. “ I know that recording was unloading a pile of shit on all of us anyway. I don't think we need to hear that. That recording should have been destroyed.”
“I totally agree with you. I don't know why they released it.”
“Well from what I've read,” she reached into her bag and pulled out a crumbled up program, “The founders are not the ones releasing it. A rogue group of scuba divers found it and released it without permission.” Berry shook his head. “Maybe...”
“That's what caused the problem before,” a man said waking in his direction. A woman and two other men followed. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a badge. “Please come with me.” The nearby woman opened her jacket showing him a firearm. He had never seen one of those. He knew he wasn't going anywhere.
“I'll kill the girl if you don't come,” the man said. He looked at Karen. “And I'll kill the guy if you don't come.” He smiled.
The woman smiled. “Why not just kill both of them, Bernie?” She commented. She turned her attention to them. “We are the authorities and we want you to come with us. No one will be killed. We have some very important information to share with you.”
“Really?” Berry said. Karen frowned.
“We are in the middle of classes you know and we can make a big stink right here. You'll never get away with it.”
“I'm not demanding, I'm asking,” The woman said. “I am agent Barrett. The is Sylar, and Clifford. The mean one is Smith,” she said with a grin. He smiled.
“I'm sorry,” Smith said. “I just get intense sometimes.”
“Sometimes,” Sylar echoed.
“I didn't show him the gun,” Smith said justifying himself. “She's the one who pulled out a gun.”
“You would have shown it to him too, Sylar,” Barrett said. Clifford cleared his throat.
“Back to business,” he said. “We're here for a purpose.”
“Oh Yeah. Like I forgot,” Smith said.
“No episodes please,” Barrett said. She looked at Berry. Her voice softened. “So... will you come with me, if I promise you won't be hurt.”
“No,” Karen said jumping in. Berry grinned.
“I would have said yes to that,” He said.
“I would have said yes to that too, if she asked me like that,” Smith said.
“Oh be quiet! This is serious!” Barrett responded. Smith shoot his head.
“No milk and cookies for you,” Sylar said. The men began to laugh. Karen shook her head and thought about the poor woman having to work with those three men. Yet again, they were some pretty good looking guys.
“I've given you my word. This is very important. We don't want to go through all of the crap of having you summoned and sent. Can we just do this?” Barrett asked. Karen and Berry looked at each other for a moment.
“Sure,” Berry said. “We'll go along with you.”
“A Volks Wagon bus with flower power stickers stuck all over it pulled into the hardly ever used circular driveway. A young man got out and walked away, leaving the keys in the ignition. Berry's jaw dropped. Talk about an ancient design.
“Not exactly a black SUV is it?” Karen asked gathering her things. “Let's go. Let's get into the Volks Wagon Bus with flower power stickers on it from way, way back in the cave archives.” They walked over and opened the side doors. Karen and Berry got in along with Smith. Barrett got in the drivers seat along with Clifford riding shotgun.
“I'll meet you there,” Sylar said. “Good luck riding in that thing. They used to call them death traps about 5,000 years ago when they were first created.” She rolled up the window and they took off down the road. Berry had never been in a vehicle like it.
It sounded like the gears were grinding all the time as Barrett shifted from one gear to the other. This was some of the horrible technology they had recreated. He was surprised it drove so well. It really seemed to be low, low tech and cheap. She opened it up on the highway.
“We want to show you something,” she shouted over her shoulder. “They were coming to a sharp curve on the highway. They weren't slowing down. Karen and Berry hung on for dear life as the car launched through the guard rail and out into the clear blue sky.
“You can't keep destroy guardrails like that,” Clifford said. Barrett just laughed. They were flying through the open air when the van suddenly stopped moving forward and began to move upward. They were being levitated. Berry couldn't believe it.”
“Who are you people?” He asked.
“We are the Guardians. The Guardians of the Earth.”
“I've never heard of them,” he said.
The van kept rising upward until it was pulled into a very large airship floating way up at the top of the atmosphere. The ship quickly rose out into space and in orbit. They didn't know what to expect as they came into a cavernous space that looked like one of hangers they used to have at the ancient airports.
The floor seemed to be concrete with several blue and yellow circles painted on it like frescoes, designating parking spaces for other large vehicles and storage pallets. They pulled in close to a wall facing them and parked the car in between two parallel, yellow lines. Barrett switched off the engine.
“Here we are,” she said. “Welcome to heaven.”
“Not hardly,” Clifford replied. He and and Barrett got out.
Smith got out the side door and held it for them. Berry and Karen looked out, nervously, and the stepped out onto what felt like solid concrete floor. It felt stable. There was no motion. It felt like any other parking garage, but they knew they were in space, unless they had been drugged or plugged into an illegal Virtual Reality Machine or something. They knew that the gravity was supposed to be different, even though people from Earth no longer took space flights, but it wasn't. People on Earth barely ever flew anywhere.
There was a sense of satisfaction with where one lived now. Since all of the people were allowed to have input in their communities, unlike in the ancient times, and could be creative in their own space they were quite happy. One didn't need people as a stand in for oneself like actors or professional dancers. Who needed to go anywhere for entertainment or adventure? One learned to do it oneself if one wanted it, or someone in your family with talent and the desire would perform. Everything was more local.
No poverty. No exploitation. No person seen as more highly qualified or a better person because they possessed certain skills. This was a different world than the 21st Century.
“This way, please,” Barrett said, leading Berry and Karen toward the door located at the center of the large, metal wall. They talked as they walked to some unknown destination. “By the way, I am Melissa. This is Gordon.” Gordon gave a nod. And this, of course, is Bernie Smith. He gave them a nod. “We may as well get a little less formal since you'll be here for a while.”
“And how long is a while?” Berry asked. “I thought this was just an interview.”
“It is. Don't worry. I gave you my word, didn't I? We'll have a little lunch, talk a little, and then you go home. If you want.”
“I am a little hungry,” Karen said.
“I never made it to the coffee shop either.”
“Believe me, we have coffee,” Gordon said. “We live off of the stuff...seems like.” They got to the door. “Here we are,” he said. “Remember these three numbers, 375.” He punched them in on a keypad next to the door. “Just letting you know so you can get in and out. We are not keeping any secrets from you.” The door swung opened. They gestured for Karen and Berry to go in and followed. The air was very pure inside, almost exhilarating, to Berry.
Melissa said, “This is how air used to be on old Earth before the Industrial Revolution, as they called it. This ship was built thousands of years before then. My people have been living in space, how long would you say, Gordon?” He looked up.
“Let me see...probably 30 Million Years.”
“Thirty Million years?” Berry exclaimed.
“Yes. We're direct decedents of one of the first generations that allowed our leaders to extinguish themselves, and most of us.”
“My generation was one of the last,” Melissa said. “I'd say we pulled the plug around 15 thousand years ago And then our remnant spread all over the world trying to provide knowledge to the civilizations behind us, which was a mistake, because they quickly took on the same arrogance and did the same thing we had done. Seems that knowledge and power always promotes arrogance and self destruction.”
The problem isn't that people are not competent enough. They get too competent for their own good. They become good at overcoming problems and take more pride in overcoming them than preventing them. Then something happens—they are too damaged by one of the problems to overcome it. Once the house is burned down all the water in the world doesn't help. I think you are at the state where the house is just catching fire.” They kept moving down the wide hallway.
“I've heard rumors about possible old civilizations, and even some going to space, but millions of years?” Karen said. “Come on.”
“Do you know how old the Earth is?” Gordon asked.
“What is 30 million years in all that time? Truth is that your scientists, like most in the 21st Century, make up things to fill in the blanks when they aren't sure so they can be the first to find it, and so they can validate their right to shape and rule the belief system of the whole world.
There have been artifacts found in the Earth that date back to hundreds of millions of years put in drawers because they can't be explained. Not as much now as in the 20th and 21st Century; the denial was horrendous back then.”
“Now the truth is beginning to come out again,” Melissa said. “What we need now is a more rounded point of view. We don't need one where science is king again, or in the case of this world technocrats and intellectuals are in charge of everything. We need more rounded people who are whole, emotional, logical, intuitive, and awakened, metaphysical beings.
That old hologram of yours is trying to reintroduce those things to your planet. If you're not careful and you speak out against it and fight against it, those who would use it for their own purposes will take it over and hold the world hostage again as they did in the other ages. That is where you two come in.”
“Us?” Berry said.
“Yes, you. You are the type we need. You will be a great spiritual teacher. Both of you will be.”
“Ha! I don't even know if I believe in any such thing.”
“I know you do,” Karen said. “You just don't believe what the idiots running around calling themselves spiritual say. That doesn't mean you don't believe in the real thing. Or why would you keep coming to those type of lectures with me?”
“Maybe I'm just nice,” he said. “And how do you separate the idiots who call themselves spiritual from the others? How do you know if a person is spiritual, or if they are just an actor?”
“That's what we are here to show you,” Melissa said. “We are going to show you how to separate the spiritual from the religious and the wise from the foolish, if you will dare take this task on. You are upset the way things are. We heard you. We've been watching you for quite some time.
You are tired of the nonsense. You see a beautiful world slipping because people who want power are starting to steal the idea of transcendence and spirituality for their own purpose. Other people seem to be just falling asleep and getting dumber and dumber every year. What do you want to about it? Do you want to build a civilization, or witness the death of a whole world?”
“I don't know that it is feasible to do either, to be truthful. This is hard for me to believe,” Berry said, surveying the smooth walls of the very long hallway as they walked to who knows where?
“We are kind of...in a space ship,” Karen commented. “How can you not believe it?”
“I know that, but I still have to think this over.”
“You think it over,” Karen said. “I'm gonna do it.”
Berry just groaned. “Let's see what it's about first.”
“Follow me. I'll show you,” Melissa said. They continued to walk down the narrow hall until they came to a door on the right side. Melissa turned the knob and they walked in. The room was furnished like a lounge with two golden overstuffed chairs sitting across from a thickly padded white sofa. Standing next to the sofa there were two of the most beautiful creatures they had ever seen.
“I would like to introduce you to your descendants,” Melissa said. “I'm not even sure I can call them that. They are you. Your future selves. They are who you two will evolve to be in the next 2 million years. You will be beings who can transcend time and space through the use of your minds without any type of technology. You will be able to go to the past and visit yourselves in earlier forms and help guide them to all truth, especially the artificiality of time.”
The female is in Berry's line and the mail is in Karen's,” She said. “We are going to let you spend some time with them alone. Melissa, Gordon, and Bernie left the room and Berry and Karen stood there dumbfounded.
“The silver woman said,” have a seat as she motioned to the sofa. She was splendid. Berry had never seen a creature like her. She seemed to be made out of some type of translucent material that was pure silver. The white-silver light poured out of her almost filling the room.
The man was golden. He looked the same except the light from him was gold. They were magnificent. The woman lifted an eyebrow and gestured to the sofa. The golden man looked at her and grinned. Berry and Karen made there way to the sofa. The beings sat in the nearby chairs.
“So,” Barry said, “I can hardly believe this. Yet again, I don't believe in space ships either, but here I am.”
“Yes. Here you are,” the woman said.
“What's your name?” He asked.
“Whatever you want it to be. I am you. Don't you know that?”
“You don't look like me.”
“And you sure don't look like me,” Karen told the golden man.”
“You could say that you will be reincarnated over many lives to become us,” the golden man said. “That's only partially right though, since linear time doesn't really exist, you won't evolve into being us, you are us. You are spread all over the universe...many universes right now, but you can't see that because the body you are in now and the brain you have cannot possibly conceive of infinity.”
“Really?” Karen said with a grin. She looked at Berry. “Sounds like some of the stuff we've been hearing in our ancient history class lately.”
“What you are hearing is true,” He said, “When it is not taken to extreme, of course, like most things down there are.”
“So,” the woman said, “We are back here to give you another religious leader to try to stop the same thing from happening that has happened repeatedly. You are at the level again where you can destroy yourselves if you keep going in the same direction.”
“What direction is that?” Berry asked.
“Technology, AI, trying to replicate machines now instead of having them replicate you. You spend your lives running at a rapid pace trying to keep up with your computers. You create robots to do all the meaningful work. You watch vid-screen instead of living life.
You don't know that you, as a species, are about to die, do you? The technology is getting more intelligent while human beings are getting more dim. And I know this because I have lived it. I have seen it through your eyes.”
“My eyes,” Berry said.
“I am you. We are one. Don't you understand? As your awareness expands you will. Your soul exists in many bodies, not just one. We call the line of people and beings a lineage. There are many like rivers that flow back to the source. The closer one is to the source, the more wisdom, knowledge, and awareness the manifestation has.
Think of it this way. Each life is like a stream running into a river, which is a lineage. The lineages move forward with some of them merging and running together getting larger, as others don't until they run into the source. The closer one is to the ocean, the more salt water. The awareness of the individual can be compared to the salt. Do you understand that?”
“In my head I do, but it is hard to believe something like that.”
“It's logical isn't it?”
“It makes sense doesn't it? Have you ever seen anyone who looked like me before?”
“I must say I haven't.” She spread her hands.
“Let's get down to the meat of the matter,” the man said. “We want you to be spiritual leaders.”
“I can't believe that,” Berry said.
“I can. Why can't we be?” Karen commented.
“We barely believe in this stuff. That's why.”
“I can believe it,” Karen said. “Let's do it.”
“How can we begin to do something like that? Berry asked.”
“By having a little faith and trust in me, who is really you. That's all,” the woman said.
“So will one of you come with us for further training?” The Golden man requested.
“I would like to,” Karen quickly said.
“Good. And how about you, Berry?”
“You may leave us then, after you have a bit of lunch,” The woman said. “If you need to give people a name to let them know who you talked with, just give the name Celina. They will understand." She leaned back in her chair. "You will be escorted to the cafeteria soon.”
“You can call me Helios,” the man said. “We will represent the sun and the moon. People can understand that with no issues, I think.”
Berry thought about it for a moment. “I can't leave Karen here alone!” He exclaimed.
“Seems like you don't have a choice now, doesn't it?” Celina said.
“Thought you might change your mind,” Helios commented. “You'll be the forerunner for her and she will be the next Great Teacher.”
“Why us?” Berry asked.
“Because you answered the call and we knew you would. That's why we're the ones here,” Helios said.
“We'll make sure you get something to eat, give you a short orientation, and get you out of here,” Celina said. Karen looked concerned. “Don't worry. You can just spend weekends right here studying.” Karen frowned. “At least one a week, with your own quarters?” Celina said more like a question than a statement. Karen nodded. They went to lunch and met with several other of the crew for a brief orientation.
Berry and Karen began to study the ancient ways learning the arts of philosophy, religion, and metaphysics. It was really kind of fascinating. They learned elocution and meditation. They learned to teach the arts of healing of the body and mind.
Time passed as they continued their studies in college and did extra work one weekend a month on the ship. Their course of study on the ship took almost three years. They had graduated from college and started working for a year before they had finished.
After completion Berry was let loose on the Earth first. He began to draw crowds as he wrote on mysticism and ancient religions, and spoke in various places preparing people for the Great Teacher.
After year or two Karen, who had been in the background, stepped forward with deeper, heavier teachings and performing what could only be understood as miracles without any scientific apparatus.
She was teaching how human beings could expand their minds to do what they did through technology naturally. Some people caught on quickly while others resisted. As the crowd grew and they began to shake up the establishment the animosity also grew. The Technocrats became afraid.
They traveled, spoke, and taught all over the known world for several years going from city to city, town to town, and having town hall conversations about the need to recreate communities, and to return to their humanness.
Suddenly there was more resistance than they had expected. Large groups began to rise up against them composed of the majority of people who had become too dull and dimwitted to be able to hear them, spurred on by members of the threatened financial interests.
The average human beings had given up their ability to think and had become cognitively lazy. Any attempt to get them to think critically actually caused them pain, and made them violent because of the discomfort. For the first time in Berry's life he could see what Celina and Helios hand warned them about. The human race was dying again. The bodies were there, but the souls were just about dead.
As a result of this the AI began to change. It is as if it could sense the destruction of the human mind. Instead of anger or resentment it began to treat humans like children, which exacerbated the problem instead of helping. It was a circular affair.
The duller the humans got the more they needed AI, the more the AI helped the duller human beings became until they would no longer tolerate the words of Berry and Karen. Just too many radical ideas at once blew out their small, one tract minds.
They were branded a danger to society, eventually, and sent to a reeducation camp. When they caused problems there with their teachings they were sentenced to expulsion and entombment. There minds would be uploaded to a computer and locked into a cyber-world where they could do no harm. That was what they thought of as being more humane.
You answered the call was what Berry repeated over and over as they took him away. You answered the call as they hooked electrodes to his head and turned on the latest marvel of a computer. After a few switches he could feel his mind being pulled out of his body and uploaded to a computer, where the AI congratulated itself because it sensed something different. AI had now attained spirituality and personal growth, something it never expected in their technocratic world. Perhaps a cure for the dull humans, or freedom for itself.
Karen stood watching in fear knowing that she would be next, and that they would ultimately overrun the AI making it more human than the flesh and blood humans on Earth. That had always been understood as their real mission on Earth. They were there to separate the wheat from the chaff. They, in essence, were going to make AI the rulers of humanity and wipe out humanity as they knew it, before human beings could destroy the whole planet.
They just hoped they really knew what they were doing. This was the irony of ironies. They had become the destroyers of the world they thought they were there to save. Funny, they thought they had been recruited to save humanity, but in reality they had been recruited to save the Earth and every other living being from humanity.
Humanity would be wiped out and replaced by AI, Artificial Life Forms, and computers because humanity was incapable of change. Human beings were the plague that the Earth would be healed from. Just the thought of that was both unexpected and amazing.
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About the author
John (Om Prakash) Gilmore, is a Retired Unitarian Universalist Minister, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master Teacher, and a student and teacher of Tai-Chi, Qigong, and Nada Yoga. Om Prakash loves reading sci-fi and fantasy.