Sunday, June 28, 2015

Anamnesis, or the idiots guide to time-travel

Returning from his time-traversing adventures, Dr Mbomo was at once besieged with questions - 'have Australia won the World Cup yet?', 'have aliens landed?', 'did the oceans rise?...and so forth...

'Friends' he replied, 'there is much to tell and little time, for the future that lies ahead of you is a dangerous one, and I suspect that it is my role to forewarn you and forearm you on this account. You will remember that, as is stated in the charter of intergalactic time-traversers, I am limited in what I can reveal,,,for the future is a strange and contingent thing. Where I have returned from is one future, one possible future, that at this moment is destined to occur, but what I say now may well change that, and in truth it is very difficult to discern the nature of this possible change. One learns from time travel very quickly that well intended words often yield unforeseen and unwanted consequences.'

The crowd was very respectfully silent as it waited for the eminent Doctor to continue, for it was comprised of many brave freedom fighters, both women and men, young and old, who had devoted their lives to the cause of liberation...they listened now with all their attention, for they suspected that the success of the noble cause they had sacrificed their lives to now hung in the balance and could be brought to fruition or dashed to pieces on the news the good doctor had brought back with him.

'...And it follows', the Doctor rejoined, 'that ill intentioned words and actions often yield unforeseen good. Such is the nature of Chaos.'

At the speaking of the holy word the crowd (and the good Doctor) automatically genuflected and intoned as one, 'we have faith in Chaos, for she is the mother of all order'.

'So what then is my role as a traverser, you may well ask, if I cannot foresee the future effects of my words clearly. This is a question I have wrestled with since my days at the academy, and what I have learned, through careful thought and much experience, is that the trap is to presume an understanding where none is possible. My role is to provide an anamnesis, to remind you of what you have forgotten, of what becomes clear when one effectively lives for thousands of years. My role is to see the bigger picture and to communicate this picture to you always. It is when one concentrates on the details that the devil gets up to his tricks.'

'What is this bigger picture? It is the picture you have held in your mind that has allowed you to risk life and love in the service of a dream.'

The crowd was pregnant with expectation now, sensing the moment of truth was arriving.

'...and you are waiting to hear if that dream is in vain, or not'

The crowd as one felt a slight uneasiness, as if gently chastised, for though the good Doctor's words were delivered with all gentleness they contained a truth that betrayed them, that betrayed their own doubts. These freedom fighters, these brave men and women now felt shame; the good Doctor had revealed to them their own lack of freedom, a need for an external confirmation and consolation....How could they expect the world to ever be free if they did not believe in it themselves?

All this transpired in an instant and wordlessly and was shared by all as only those heightened moments of clear vision can be.

The good doctor waited until the emotional wave had retreated before he went on, and when he did so he was smiling very broadly.

'Yes, that is right my brothers and sisters, the world and its future do not matter, that is beyond our control,,,as it must be....what we are fighting for is not the future, nor even each other, what we are fighting for is our own destiny, each of you is fighting for the right to be a time-traverser.'

With that the good Doctor left the stand and walked slowly to the exit, before which he stopped. Turning round he raised one hand to the sky and placed the other upon his chest and spake the ceremonial greeting and farewell: 'the heart is the doorway to the heavens', and then he was gone.

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