Loving Oneness Now

LOVERS OF THE DREAMTIME

CHAPTERS TEN THROUGH THIRTEEN

[Page L4]

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CHAPTER TEN

 

Rehearsals Are Held

 

The team searched far and wide and deep to locate a planet which contained nearly every type of known element and molecule. Elohm had pointed out that, in a new-ground scenario like this, in which they did not know what they would need down the line, they should make sure everything would be available. He suspected that, in the future, direct manifestation of material objects through the agency of Living Spirals and Devaminds would not be in keeping with the “allowed” physical parameters of this darkness project. Any needed objects, he surmised, would have to be physically made by the androids the hard way, so they would need to have every type of resource available. Even the long-term evolutionary growth of the androidal costumes would have to incorporate only substances already existing on the planet so as to allay any suspicion that outside Minds, such as his own, might be involved with the plans, designs and manipulations of matter behind the scenes.

A complete planet was what they needed, one which was not only well balanced in terms of resources but also relatively new. Numerous planets they had inspected almost met all their criteria. The group had agreed to vote intuitively on the rightness of each planet visited, with the understanding that if even one of them dissented that planet was out. Some planets lacked enough of an essential element, while others were a little too large or too small. Some planets were a trifle hot or too cool, while others were a bit too light or heavy. This one had an excess of internal heat, but another was losing its own heat quite rapidly. Still others had excessive elliptical orbits around their star or had an adjacent planet that was too nearby. Once, they thought they had found their ideal home until Elohm pointed out that a twin galaxy was due to merge within three billion years and that that might cause disruptions. Several suitable planets were already occupied by their own children, the Mindkins who, although not intending to take physical forms, viewed their planets as home bases from which to venture forth. If several sizable moons circled a planet they could cause severe surface movements, or if a planetary system had twin suns, irregular orbits ruled it out.

Elohm and the group could have, of course, “organized” a perfect planet with the aid of the Devaminds and the Living Spirals already involved, but the group felt that if this project was going to be genuinely “independent” of Reality as Cause, then it should begin with a “naturally” evolving planetary system. So they continued searching the cosmos for their ideal acreage.

They found it in a beautiful spiral galaxy within whose graceful arms numerous bright new stars were being formed. One young star shone with full spectrum light out onto nine planets which had formed around it. A chemical analysis of the third planet disclosed the widest range of elements and compounds, all in plentiful non-volatile proportions. There was plenty of water, carbon, oxygen, iron, sulphur, phosphorus, nitrogen and silicon. It was a rocky planet dense enough to hold a thick, rich atmosphere of mostly nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and nitrous oxides.

This promising world, which was already about 500 million years old, had only one large satellite which seemed to be just the right size to continuously stir up the liquid innards and cooling surface of its parent planet without causing excessive disruptions. The group wondered whether this moon had formed as a smaller twin by its own gradual accretion of dust grains, rocks, asteroids and even planetesimals, or whether it had been a separate small planet which had been captured by its bigger partner. Alternatively, a large, aggregated planetesimal could have smashed into the bigger planet early on and splashed off a lot of the surfaces and mantles of both bodies, the two iron cores eventually merging in the bigger one. The blast-ejected iron-poor material formed a scattered debris pattern circling the main planet, debris which soon coalesced into the large nearby moon. Elohm and the group asked the planet and moon Devaminds what had actually happened and they were told the last scenario was the correct one. The Devaminds had had a sense of destiny regarding their system and deliberately created a magnetic, iron-cored planet and a very large moon to serve unknown, future purposes.

The internal heat of the planet, in conjunction with the moon’s gravity, was initially sufficient to cause constant violent eruptions which brought to the surface a wide variety of minerals. The planet’s interior, rich in radioactive uranium, thorium and potassium, would help maintain the planet’s warmth for billions of years. Initially the moon had been quite close to its parent planet which in turn had spun more rapidly on its axis. As the moon slowly moved away it accreted the remaining debris in its orbit, debris that exploded on its surface pock-marking it with craters and triggering even more volcanic eruptions from within. The bombardment of the main planet also continued at a very high but decreasing rate, until, by 500 million years after the moon’s initial formation it had slowed down to only occasional hits. The rotation of the planet also slowed so that, gradually, the duration of the day and night lengthened.

When the group discovered their home planet at 500 million years of age it had a relatively soft, rocky crust, much of which was still being broken up and resettled time after time during that turbulent era. Volcanic lava flows, which were frequent, kept adding lighter, porous rocks to the basic granite and fine-grained basalt. A hot, heavy, iron-nickel core had already formed in the planet caused by these metals draining from molten rocks in the thick mantle surrounding it. The outer crust had now cooled a little on the surface and the water vapor in the atmosphere condensed to form real oceans. These had been and were being further supplemented by water from numerous, mostly small, impacting comets. The atmosphere did not contain free oxygen so iron was in good supply in the oceans in the form of ferrous which could not rust. The surface of the planet was still being bombarded by a miscellany of meteorites and comets which not only helped pulverize the surface mixture but also added amino acids and other organic compounds to its composition.

On the third planet the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide kept the surface very warm, even though the sun-star was cooler than it would be four billion years later. And without an ozone shield the ultraviolet rays could penetrate to the earth’s surface and help maintain its heat. Thus, on land and ocean, on rocky tidal shores and in deep ocean vents numerous prebiotic, but biogenic, compounds formed spontaneously or were showered down from space to be preserved for future reference.

The group surveyed this planetary system very thoroughly and each member came to the conclusion that this was the one in which they could eventually realize their goal of living inside matter. The vote was unanimous and when they asked permission of the Living Spirals and Devaminds who composed and regulated this system it was given willingly and lovingly. The team bubbled with joy that their long quest was over and the Devas sang out of happiness because they now had a future purpose for their home.

*   *   *

When the planet was found by the group it was half a billion years old. In a “virtual” retrospective replay the group had witnessed its formation as well as that of its large satellite. Compared with its long birth trauma the planet was now relatively stable. It had large oceans, cloudy skies and land masses. The land was constantly being added to by volcanic eruptions both in the sea and on the land surfaces. Most kinds of chemicals already existed, or continued to be manufactured. Carbon atoms had the ability to link themselves together, along with other elements, into long chain molecules, some of which could also divide down the center into twin halves. These, in suitable environments would sometimes link with other organic molecules. Comets and asteroids had brought in many amino acids which had helped seed these formations. Thus more and more complex molecules in ever increasing varieties soon laced the planetary seas and its shores.

Elohm and Ring knew it was time for another definitive conference. They needed more guidelines which would help them in their evolution of their future costumes. Again this was fresh ground and directional principles needed to be laid down.

Oval, the mathematician, was the first to speak. “I’ve been pondering on the idea I had at our last conference of mimicking our present ‘sleep’ in the Realm of Reality so that as physically costumed creatures we can be recharged during our times of deep sleep on the planet. I now think we have to mimic many of the working concepts of Reality here if we are going to make our physical costumes and our self-contained planetary environment work.”

Arch was curious. This was getting interesting. “Can you give us an example, Oval? How can physical material mimic the properties of Real Mind-as-such?”

“Well, you all know that in Reality King Origin creates a Being by first encapsulating a piece of his existing Mind-as-such in his Love and then giving it an eternal independent Life within his own infinite Mindfield.”

“Yes, we know,” the group chorused.

“Okay, then you also remember how these ‘new’ Mind-as-such Beings also possess all the attributes of the King which he passes on to his children within his ‘piece’ of Mind-as-such?”

“Yes, we remember,” replied the group as one. “It is his gift of himself to us, his offspring.”

“Fine, and you are aware that when two or more of us mind-meld we, too, can create new individual Mind-Beings which still possess a full ‘package’ complement of all the King’s attributes?”

“That is true,” they agreed. “We can reproduce ourselves like the King even though it usually takes two or more of us.”

“Then, my friends, isn’t it obvious we should imitate this mutual package, this Mind-gene transfer from individual to individual whenever we are in our costumes on this physical planet?”

Elohm was ecstatic. “That’s it, Oval. You have just elaborated the basic hereditary principle of creature reproduction. Keep that ‘genetic transfer of characteristics’ concept in mind so we can fill in the practical details a little later. For now, does anyone else have any mind-to-matter mimicking schemes?”

“It sounds bizarre,” ventured Cube, the ethicist, rather uncertainly, “and perhaps I am the last person who should suggest this, but you are all familiar with our process of reabsorbing Living Spirals back into our Minds once their work is done. So why don’t we mimic that re-absorption principle on this planet in physical ways. I’m not clear on the precise methods by which we could accomplish this re-ingestion of dense material but certainly it would give us a practical solution to the energy sustenance problem.”

“Very good, Cube,” said Ring. “How would this re-absorption idea work; your idea is very hazy.”

“Perhaps we as planetary creatures can live off the contents of the planet in some way. We could consume planetary materials in a variety of ways and expel them again in other ways. Maybe, for example, we can draw in the atmospheric energy and then release what we do not need.”

“Next you will be suggesting we incorporate the water and rocks of the planet itself and expel them as waste after extracting their energy!” exclaimed Apex, the teleologist, who felt somewhat dismayed at the prospect. “Do you fully understand,” he went on, “that we would be devouring countless Living Spirals each time we ingested something.”

Cube did not back away from his notion. “So, what’s so unusual about that? We train them to blow themselves to smithereens in supernova explosions, we crush them to nothing in singularities and we hold them in interminable stasis in the baby universe nursery. That is what they are for——to help us create our Theater according to our collective will.”

“All right, I agree,” answered Apex, “but I just don’t like the idea of all planetary Life feeding on Life! Because that is, in fact, what it will be.”

Arch had been quiet during these exchanges and this had given him time to think. “Maybe we are already dropping into the darkness, but the whole situation is being forced on us because we all agree we should not be able to receive direct energy openly from Reality. Therefore we must use the Physical Domain resources of this sun-star and our new-found planet if we wish to have a blind, self-sustaining system. So all Life here will have to consume Life. There is no other choice.”

“Fine. I said I would agree to it,” Apex replied rather reluctantly.

And before anyone could comment further, Elohm again jumped in with a request for more ideas.

“Yes, I have an idea,” Arch burst out. He had been waiting for a break in the conversation. “We will need to mimic Real Love on our planet because we will be cut off from it here. Did anyone mention this before? We will have to simulate Love but in much weaker, diluted forms than the Total Love we have been used to in the past.”

“Good point,” affirmed Ring, “and we can attach these forms of pseudo-love to a variety of costume creature situations. Just as King Origin Loves us as a parent so can we mimic that Love in a limited way with our costumed offspring. Even during reproduction itself we can set up some kind of pseudo-love.” Ring and Arch were pleased with each other’s contribution to the future uses of pseudo-love.

Wave had something to add to this. “If we are going to substitute unreal love for Real Love then we should also substitute an imaginary shortage of this limited love for the unlimited abundance of Total Love.”

“This gets more strange and macabre with every pronouncement,” said Apex, “and if this is the way to darkness then I don’t like it. How can we even exist without Real Love; it is impossible and I . . . ”

Ring interrupted him. “We have through this before, Apex, so you know that all this Theater stuff is only playful imagination, a game, and that in Reality we will always be Loved and Loving. Now get with it and join in the fun.” But Apex still looked dubious.

“Remember the King asked us to explore the dark aspect of imagination,” Ring went on, “so it cannot really be too bizarre.”

Apex was unconvinced. “The King only suggested this mission of darkness after we were adamant about building a dense Theater and even then he insisted we each volunteer,” he reminded Ring quietly.

“Correct, and that is all the more reason for us to get on with this so-called mission wherever it takes us,” insisted Ring. This was the first time he, as leader, had discerned any dissension in the group. Was this the first sign that their fundamental unity was beginning to dissolve, he mused.

Cone, the psychologist, broke into his thoughts. “I have one more idea that I think we should mimic on our planet. We are at present in our miniminds and we are still basically operating from the Causal Domain. Now, just as we project out into our miniminds from our Real Minds-as-such so, too, should we project out another step into these costumed creatures as …er … microminds.”

Everyone laughed uproariously. “Microminds projected from miniminds——that sounds not only ridiculous but unmanageable,” Wave chimed in.

But Elohm, who had also laughed, suddenly realized the full potential of Cone’s proposal. “That’s brilliant, Cone. It’s the answer to all the evolutionary problems of creature creation. It’s been a puzzle to me how we, or rather you lot, could animate these physical costumes with your miniminds because you would then retain too much Mind Knowledge which would constantly interfere with the purpose of the mission. We always knew that costumed creatures would have to be amnesic about Reality, but how to do that and, at the same time, retain some consciousness was a mystery to me. This ingenious ‘micromind’ concept of yours is the perfect solution. We can project all kinds of microminds into all kinds of creatures in endless varieties of identity!”

“Hold on, Elohm, you’re going too fast for me,” interjected Wave, the scientist. “What is this ‘identity as microminds’ business?”

“Okay, let me explain further. Obviously these costumed creatures, if they are to succeed, must be unaware of Reality, Minds-as-such, miniminds and this group. They must also be unaware of the Devaminds and Living Spirals of which their costumes will be composed. Now, with all those exclusions there was nothing left of mind, so to speak, to give these creatures a consciousness, and that has puzzled me. These costumed creatures, fabricated as they will be of Living Spirals and Devaminds, will need an operational, conscious identity which will keep them unaware of Mind, and even miniminds as well. That operational, conscious identity can now be supplied in the projected forms of microminds.”

“Why do you say ‘forms’ in the plural, Elohm?” asked Wave who tended to listen meticulously.

“Because the development of these physical costumes will, no doubt, require us to evolve myriads of biological forms and each of them will require its own unique form of micromind as its conscious identity.”

“Then these microminds will not only be amnesic but also programmable?”

“Yes, Wave. While microminds will all be programmable in varying amounts, they will also always retain varying degrees of limited freedom depending on their stage of evolutionary development.”

Apex was still preoccupied with his doubts. “If these microminds are amnesic, automated, programmed creatures with limited consciousness and a false identity won’t they be——won't we be——lost forever in this darkness stuff you guys seem so anxious to inhabit? How will we ever get out?”

“Apex,” Cone exclaimed, “you, as our teleologist, ought to be the first to know the answers to your own question. Have you forgotten that King Origin promised we will eventually emerge from the darkness into his Light and that he also made provisions to fulfill that return Home?”

Apex was contrite. “Okay, Cone, thanks for the reminder. I do recall the King implanting a Call-Home communicator in our Minds and that he would send us Teachers if we immersed ourselves too deeply into the mire. Will the communicators go with us into our microminds?”

“Of course,” interjected Elohm before Cone could reply, “and don’t forget I will be here just as I am now, in full consciousness, as a kindly overseer who is always ready to help whenever I am asked. Now, to change the subject slightly, does anyone have any insights as to how we can design organic evolution to make it work; that is, so we finish up with creature costumes which are as perfect for manipulating physical matter and energy as we can make them?”

Apex decided it was time he flowed with the team, and furthermore “goals” were his area of expertise. “As we have said before we have no idea of what that ‘perfect’ end-result will look like. So we have to devise an open-ended, evolutionary system which because of its own built-in characteristics and functions, will take us to our goal. It will have to do this of its own accord with only minimal interference from us, but it will be quite different in principle to the inorganic evolution of the Theater which we and our Devaminds had to steer deliberately through millions of necessary gateways.”

“Can you be more explicit, Apex,” asked Elohm. “Have you thought through any of this organic evolutionary process?”

“A little, and only in terms of the obvious. When we, or the King, create new Minds-as-such through encapsulation with Love, they receive all our mind-genes and then live forever. That will not work with creature costumes because the planet will become overpopulated with all the previously evolved creatures as well as the new in a very short period of time. What works for Mind in an infinite Mindfield will not work in time and finite space, especially a minuscule space like this,” explained Apex as he gestured telepathically towards the cloudy and watery surface of the little planet.

“So, elaborate on your solution.” Elohm wanted Apex to get to the point quickly.

“Death, obliteration! Or, at least, a full recycling of the Living Spirals embodied in our future costumes. There is a faint parallel in the birth and eventual demise of stars because those which explode recycle much of their material content for new stars to utilize. We, however, need a much more subtle and short-lived system here. Mere creature death will not cause biogenic evolution unless it is possible for beneficial changes to occur in each generation of new costumes. There is another rough parallel in stars in that the newer, heavier elements which are constantly being produced in recycled stars, are passed on intact to newer stars thus contributing to the future, more advanced evolution of the universe. And we will also make use of that carbon and other evolved compounds in our planetary based evolution too.”

“Good thinking, Apex,” said Elohm encouragingly. “Keep talking.”

“Okay, so we have death as a costume recycling process …”

“Wait right there, Apex,” interjected Arch. “If the creature costumes die and completely recycle, are our projected microminds, which will possess those costumes, also to be obliterated with them?”

“Arch, you know that Mind in any form cannot be destroyed, and that it is really in Reality. Its imaginary thoughts can change, be forgotten or disappear but Mind-as-such is eternal. Always be careful to distinguish between the Thing-that-thinks and the temporary, changing thoughts it has loaded in it.”

“Got it! Please go on.”

Apex continued. “The answer to micromind transfer from an old, dead creature costume to the new one, lies in the word ‘amnesia’. We, as microminds, will not only have to suffer from amnesia about Reality, but will also have to have amnesia for our previous existences in all our previous costumes. If we do not incorporate such an amnesia for previous lifetimes our awareness of them will make evolution and our purposes a big joke; we could never get serious about our material existence on this planet being reality.”

“But what about between these so-called ‘lifetimes’ of yours, Apex?” asked Ring. “Won’t we revert to our miniminds during the transfer period from one costume to another, and, if so, won’t we remember who we Really are?”

“Aha!” exclaimed Apex who was on an inventive roll. “As I see it our microminds, while between lifetimes, will transfer to the Mutable Domain, but even there they will not remember who they Really are. Some limited recovery of memory may be allowed at the discretion of our miniminds but only to an extent that will facilitate the on-going transfer from one deceased creature costume to another newborn one. Even this sojourn in the Mutable Domain may be unnecessary during the first stages of organic evolution if we use division as our initial method of reproduction on the planet. You will recall that the Living Spirals originally reproduced themselves by each dividing repeatedly into two, and we can imitate that mitosis process in this situation.”

“Do you mean that early organism microminds may not need to transfer to the Mutable Domain, because they will merely split their costumes in two, over and over again?”

“Yes, Ring, something like that.”

“This is all becoming extremely complicated, Apex,” complained Arch. “I mean, won’t the microminds have to evolve in parallel with their biological costume?”

“Of course the two must be synchronized,” replied Apex, “but Elohm will have to regulate the amount of creature micromind and its temporary programming to match the biological costume’s psychological needs. Or, better still, we can retain our minimind status on the Causal Domain for a long time during the initial stages of the creature evolution process and only project tiny pinches of micromind into the evolving creatures.”

“I like that idea,” interjected Elohm, who felt he did not want to take all the practical responsibility for this mission. “You can each mastermind your own ‘pinches’ of micromind from the Causal Domain until you have evolved the optimal creature costume. Once you have made that perfect costume you will then be able to go into it as a ‘complete’ micromind——whatever that may be!”

“So the ‘pinches’ of micromind we project into our developing creature costumes will get larger and larger as evolutionary time progresses? Is that what you mean Elohm?” Apex asked.

“Exactly, so you see you will each get the best use of all three domains——well, anyway, for some time to come.” Elohm said wryly, “And I am using the term ‘best’ rather loosely.”

“To exist on four domain levels at once——if we include Reality——will be quite a feat. How split can a Mind get?” Cube asked this question of no one in particular.

Oval picked up on it first. “From what I can gather you haven’t seen anything yet, Cube. It seems to me that the dense domain, biological evolution stuff is going to differentiate our minds into billions of separate pieces, and I am not even including the Devaminds and zillions of Living Spirals which will also be involved. The permutations and combinations will become a mathematical nightmare and you needn’t call on me to sort it out!”

“Of course we will, Oval,” grinned Cube, “and that will become your portion of the darkness! You will have to suffer, too, along with us.”

That’s a new concept, Cube. What does it mean, ‘to suffer’?”

Cube, the ethicist, had been pondering on this himself because it was slowly dawning on him that being consumed (as a creature costume) by another creature costume might not be a happy, loving experience. He elaborated on this ‘Life eating Life’ scenario to the group emphasizing its unloving, unethical aspects. “. . . but it seems to me that, as gross and unloving as it may sound, it is an inevitable part of dense creature viability.”

Elohm was usually the member of the team who saw the implications of these vague ideas the others produced. “So, Cube, you don’t like the idea of being eaten by another creature——even one of your own kind——in order to give that other one energy? Do you think you would try to avoid being consumed by another?”

“Certainly, I would!”

“Then you have just invented the emotion of fear.”

“I did?” Cube was a little perplexed.

“Yes. Your minuscule microminds will need to possess an emotion which we will call fear. Fear will cause you, as a creature, to want to preserve your costume——that is, to not get yourself eaten——or destroyed.”

“Okay, I get the picture, but will the fear in my micromind make me suffer as I am being consumed?”

“I understand your point. We will need a seeming biological counterpart to the psychological fear.” Elohm paused to think about various possibilities.

“The costume will be seriously damaged as it is eaten so why don’t we invent a costume-to-micromind experience called ‘pain’? Pain will hurt in the sense that it will make us very uncomfortable so we will always endeavor to avoid any event causing us pain——which will hurt us. Microminds will have to be capable of learning from hurtful past experiences and so remember to escape from prospective painful events.”

“That’s my field of expertise,” blurted out Cone, the psychologist, “and I reserve the right to label that learning process, ‘conditioning’. Let’s call the negative, avoidance-causing situation ‘pain’ and the positive, attracting, experience ‘pleasure’. Pseudo-love attracts and rewards through pleasure, while pain discourages the repetitive performance of hurtful activities——like getting a part of yourself eaten!”

“Cool,” grinned Arch, the architect, sarcastically, “therefore if I eat you, I experience pleasure, whereas you will suffer pain——that's neat!”

“It cannot happen any other way in this dense domain if we are to seem to be totally independent of Reality, totally separated from the King’s Love and manna,” Cone told him. “And you know it’s so!” he added, privately thinking that Arch was a pain.

Elohm excitedly broke in. “The ability to learn to avoid pain, hurt, death and damage is another great key to biological evolution, one which we will have to incorporate in our genetic survival system. Gene-creatures that can be more easily conditioned to seek the ‘pleasure’ of safety and avoid ‘hurt’ will more often survive to reproduce their learning traits in their offspring. Long live learning!”

“Are you suggesting that psychological learning be passed on from one generation to the next?” asked Cone. It sounded like a good idea.

“No, not exactly, although very primitive ‘learning’ like turning to the light of the sun-star for survival or migrating towards warmth and food supplies can be wired in chemically and neurologically.” Elohm was already devising physiological schemata for these proposed costumes. “What I also had in mind was a limited capacity for the micromind to learn from experience within its environmental niche and to use that learning for its own future survival. A parent organism could even teach its offspring those self-preservation techniques just as we share our ideas now.”

Cone was confused. “But don’t we have to keep ‘mind’ out of the micromind creature’s mind?”

The group laughed, and Elohm appeared discomforted.

“Yes, we do,” he admitted, “so we will have to build into all these creature’s costumes a biological interface that they will think they think with… let’s call this interface a ‘brain’. Of course we will have to evolve it so no suspicion of Real Mind-as-such enters their little microminds. They will naturally attribute their thoughts to the brain——to the interface which mediates back and forth between mind and costume. After all, all this is a ‘set-up’ so we might as well ‘set ourselves up’ in these costumes as completely as our Minds-as-such will let us. We have to delude ourselves at all levels of evolutionary development that we are physiological beings and that Minds apart from costumes are nonsense. Of course at the beginning stages of evolution the costumes will be so minuscule and relatively simple, and the ‘pinch’ of micromind so tiny, that there will be only a very, very limited, conscious awareness of ‘self’ and the surrounding environment. As the costumes become more sophisticated, however, and the ‘pinches’ of injected micromind become relatively large, the primary delusion of being a biological being must be carefully maintained through the overriding amnesia of a wider Reality. We will probably have to engineer a false psychological identity of self if we, or rather, you, are going to role-play successfully the characters in the dramas we propose to enact in our Theater.”

Cone took his cue as if already on stage. “Then I propose we call these false identities ‘egos’, at least that can be their name as we become more self-aware towards the end of our biological evolution. But, Elohm, won’t we know it is really Mind that sees and hears. Even now, as we operate from the Causal Domain and observe the dense physical universe we can remotely view, hear, or otherwise experience any event, anywhere. How will we curb that inherent Mind attribute so that we sense only our own projected scenarios?”

“No problem” replied Elohm confidently. “All we need do is build into the evolving creatures biological organs for the micromind to see, hear and sense through. These sensing organs will be neurologically wired into the brain-interface so it is activated in all kinds of impressive ways. We will fill that brain and its peripheral equipment with so many relevant bells and whistles and other bedazzling devices that scientists like you Wave will eventually be kept busy for millennia!”

“Will the sensory equipment and the brain actually work in the creature costume?” asked Wave, who was already having his scientific curiosity aroused.

“Oh, yes. It will all work very logically, or rather, biologically, but only as long as the micromind is in there to enliven it. Whenever the micromind permanently leaves the physical epiphenomena, which we will call the ‘body’, that body will die and disintegrate simply because the costume no longer has a live mind-actor ‘inside’ it.”

“I follow your drift, Elohm, but will death only come because the micromind decides to leave its physical costume——or ‘body’ as you now call it?”

“No, Wave, that would not deceive the micromind into believing it is a body because, by merely exiting, it would be consciously in control of physical death.”

“How then will these bodies die?”

“We can invent many superficial ‘material’ causes of bodily destruction and death. How about diseases, accidents, drowning, burning, poisons, toxins, calamities and, of course, we must not forget killing each other both across species and within species. There will be plenty of pain, damage and devastation to keep fear operating at a high level almost all the time. The only temporary alleviation from pain and fear will be to bury it briefly under a bout of pleasure——or numb it with chemicals, and even some lower species will learn to numb it.”

“Please explain to us what you mean by ‘species’, Elohm.” This time it was Apex who inquired.

“Oh, that is just a term for any single group of evolved, almost identical creatures who can interbreed to give birth to new physical costumes, all with a similar genetic structure. We will allow for minor discrepancies within a species but major mutations will sooner or later develop new species especially in changed environmental niches. Don’t worry about all that now; we will investigate it when we actually make the costumes, the bodies.”

“At least you can tell us what a ‘mutation’ is.”

“All right. First, you do understand that biological evolution will require frequent changes in the creature costumes if we are to improve existing organisms into ‘superior’ models. You will recall that the ‘perfect’ costume is our goal. Right, Apex?”

“Right on, Elohm!”

“Okay. The genes are the key to change so it is the genes which have to be changed in small steps and stages in order to evolve ‘higher’ species which take us nearer our goal. So far, so good. But how do we change, that is, mutate, these genes? It has to be done by assaulting them in any one of a variety of seemingly random ways so that they are organically altered. We can use cosmic rays, x-rays, ingested chemicals, other minute organisms, spontaneous malformations——you name it——we will find lots of ways to achieve all that mutation stuff. We may even sneak in some necessary deliberate mutations ourselves from this Causal Domain, but this must never be known to your microminds on the planet itself. You will always have to believe mutations are brought about by radiation or other physical agents.”

Apex was still not clear on another related point. “Elohm, how will we get clear-cut species that do not all blend into each other ‘at the edges’ so to speak? How will the lines between species be drawn?”

“Good question,” replied Elohm, “perhaps we will just have to arrange to kill off all the individuals in between those species we want to survive. We have to focus on the wider picture of evolution in terms of our end-goals. Through genetic manipulation I will secretly make the beneficial mutations, such as brain size, large ones which will create large gaps in between species. I can make the offspring of fringe or borderline hybrids sterile. I can make sure the mainstream members of any species kill off or eat any which deviate too far from the norm. Or if I want to get rid of a large group or species I can simply organize a significant change in the environment. I can freeze them to death, remove their food or create another internal or external creature to exterminate them. Another method I could use is called ‘fatal diseases’. Or I can exterminate all the so-called weaker (less-adaptive) members of the species continuously before they reproduce so that the species drifts further away from its previous genetic makeup thus widening the gap between it and other species. If the worst comes to worst I can blow them out of existence by the long term effects of a large asteroid impact. I will always think of something to rid ourselves of individuals, groups or species we do not want, but it must always appear to be the result of ‘natural’ causes!”

“I am beginning to like this whole idea of the darkness less and less, Elohm. Does it all have to be so negative and destructive?” Apex’s doubts had resurfaced and he needed reassurance.

“We will arrange a variety of rewards, pleasures, survival instincts and just enough superficial beauty to keep us interested, but the main ingredient for all creatures will be ‘hope’. Even the most primitive ones will ‘hope’, in a very limited sense, that food is coming. If we do not inject universal ‘hope’ into all living forms on this planet they will all want to kill themselves instantly.”

Ring interjected here. “This is all going to be such a sick game I think we should name our planet, ‘The Planet of Darkness’. What do you others think?”

“That would give the dark game away to our microminds, Ring,” cautioned Arch. “I think that ‘Terra’ would be much more appropriate, considering fear will replace Love as the central emotion here.”

Ring agreed, “Okay, ‘Terra’ it is. Now, I think it is time we all went back to consult with King Origin——before we begin to implement all these ‘terrible’ schemes and scenarios.”

“Do you think that is wise?” asked Cone. “I feel we have come too far into the play to face His Happiness now.”

“I’ll go along with that,” said Wave.

“Cone is right,” agreed Oval emphatically. “If I have to go into the darkness the last thing I need is a large dose of Love and Light!”

In the end they all conceded that a visit with King Origin might seriously undermine their present resolve to manufacture a Planet of Darkness in their Theater of the Dreamtime.

*   *   *

Another rent in time shattered Oval’s minimind. He found himself sitting on a lakeside beach beside a Polynesian maiden he adored. Both were naturally naked, but it was taboo for either of them to touch the other even though they were passionately in love. Friends, who were also enjoying the sand and sunshine, teased the couple gently with outright sexual suggestions——which brought only rueful smiles to their faces. A wooded island far out in the center of the circular lake held some meaning for the lovers, a significance that Oval was unable to fathom as the vision vanished from his mind….


CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

Costumes Are Created

 

 

By 700 million Terra years the team had managed to group string-like organic molecules and amino acids into minuscule clumpings in tidal pools and by deep ocean vents. They still had not worked out how these complex but loose coagulations of chemicals could be brought to reproduce themselves spontaneously, but, by now, they knew the secret must lie in splitting very long string molecules with a carbon base. The team experimented with many possible combinations and permutations. Terra was still evolving, albeit at a slower rate, but sufficiently erratically to compromise several promising starts. But they had not forgotten their guiding principle that “living” forms, the creature costumes, must appear to evolve naturally and spontaneously without Mind intervention.

One particularly stubborn difficulty was working out the details of the biological mechanism for passing on the genetic attributes of an organism. This was such a thorny problem they decided that, once they got it right, they would use that one method of biological gene transfer for all species. There would be no parallel lines of incompatible replication.

Wave, as the scientist, worked diligently on this replication problem trying many “spontaneously” occurring, natural, sequential solutions, but none worked.

Wave explained the situation to the group. “We need to assemble these abiotic amino acids into proteins which are essential components of the organisms we wish to create. To achieve this initial protein synthesis and production I have discovered we need ribonucleic acid, or RNA, which is itself derived from deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which in turn must be structured from RNA information. So both RNA and DNA are required for each others production and for the assembly of proteins. Now, I know, that RNA must be developed before DNA and protein synthesis….” Wave continued to elaborate on his scientific dilemma for several minutes.

“I haven’t the faintest idea of what you are talking about,” complained Arch, in his role as artist, who had busied himself configuring beautiful, smoky, dust-laden sunsets.

“I’m not sure I do either,” answered Wave. “The chances of even one complete RNA molecule spontaneously occurring, even by gradual assembly, in a warm little pond or deep-sea vent is so statistically remote it is inconceivable. This is an extreme ‘gateway’ problem if ever I saw one.”

“And, if one did spontaneously assemble itself, would you be happy?”

“No, Arch, because even then the RNA molecule does not have the innate capability of self-replication. It only transfers the coded information it received from a non-existent DNA. So it is the non-existent DNA which, gives the RNA its coded information for the purposes of protein building. So an RNA world, even if it could arise  spontaneously, would be sterile. It is a messenger not only without a coded message, but also without a meaningful assembly recipient.”

“Then in the beginning, Wave, the extremely complex RNA molecule would have to assemble strictly by chance, at billions-to-one odds, not just once, but many times.”

“It’s worse than that, Arch, because this seemingly spontaneous, growing  ‘world’ of RNA will have to last a long, long time, perhaps for many years, while its protein-making mechanisms are chemically developed so they can manufacture the complex enzymes which, in turn, are necessary for the catalytic sustenance of the first minute living costumes and, incidentally, of RNA itself! Therefore, for it all to happen spontaneously in an intricate, interlaced fashion is, for all practical purposes, impossible. But if we manufacture it ourselves we will have to try to hide our deliberate, RNA-world synthesis behind the guise of ‘randomly’ happening chemical events, which, in turn, will appear to be ‘successful’ in terms of ‘natural’ selection. And we will have to leave a ‘genuine’ chemical trail which will hint that such a process was ‘naturally’ possible.”

A meeting was called to discuss this issue of RNA/DNA replication thoroughly. Wave elaborated on his view until every member of the team understood the impossibility of faking this extremely complex simultaneous set of necessary events as a “natural”, drawn-out sequence of discrete chemical steps. The group noisily examined the difficulties from every angle until Elohm called the meeting to order.

“Then we will have to start our creative costume ball of life rolling with the deliberate act of manifesting first the whole RNA set-up, at least to the point where it can appear to continue spontaneously on its own through a biological process.”

“But how will we prevent the scientific microminds of the future from knowing the RNA set-up was deliberately created by us as Mind, at one shot,” asked Apex, the teleologist, who liked to keep tabs on possible long range future events.

“We bury it——very deeply——so the scientists of the future will discover that the ‘natural’ evolutionary history of the original, sequential, chemical processes are ‘lost’. We will manifest our RNA world in a very tidy, and sequentially precise, series of pseudo-chemical events that could seem to have plausibly happened in a prebiotic world. We, however, will employ the Devaminds and Living Spirals to hold each minute step firmly in place until the entire sequential assembly is accomplished quickly. If we do that then these future scientists will keep trying to recreate experimentally the ‘lost’ processes of a chemical puzzle that cannot really be solved. A few may surmise that the RNA came from other life forms in outer space, but that will only remove the protein synthesis puzzle one stage further away if they retain an orthodox bottom-up scientific philosophy of Life. One original cause you can be sure they will never suspect is that they themselves, as descendants of and participants in this group’s miniminds, not only originated the genetic structure of their own bodies, but also, over eons of time, supervised the entire evolutionary formation of RNA/DNA chemistry in terms of so-called ‘natural’ selection variables operating in early Terra environments.”

“You are becoming a genius of deception,” laughed Ring. “I hope that down the timeline we don’t have to hide any more mind-manifested key materials or processes.”

Elohm grinned. “If there are, I will leave them to you and Wave to figure out. I don’t want to tarnish further my unsullied reputation as a top-notch Theater builder!”

Soon the group, led by Wave and Elohm, and with the full consultation of the Devaminds who would coordinate the processes involved, jointly synthesized the amino acids, the Living Spirals and other necessary catalytic components into the least complex, but viable, RNA-world system. The team had to find prebiotic catalysts which could help initiate emerging RNA processes until enzymes made of protein could take over later. They found them in thioesters that have a high energy bond which can be closed by ultraviolet light. They discovered adenosine triphosphate was the key to the chaining sequences of nucleotides and to the future metabolism of energy.

The problem of RNA sequences of nucleotides reproducing through exact copying was solved by folding the strings back against themselves twice in succession. This opened the door to rapid, molecular replication and through that door was the pathway to natural selection through chance mutation.

The team agreed that, because glycine was a left-handed amino acid which was essential to future protein building, all the other nineteen amino acids involved would be used only in their left-handed forms. All this unconfined, biochemical activity was taking place in the soupy environment of one tidal pool. Of course, during all this initial RNA-world activity the Living Spirals were the actual molecules, and the Devaminds coordinated every chemical step. The group had to remind themselves often that the living physical universe itself was composed only of Mind “strings” called Living Spirals. The group were intuitively feeling their way towards living costume formation step by step because this was an unexplored area of manifestation which had to be developed in a pioneering fashion without any outside help from the King or any other Reality Being.

Progress, in an overall sense, was slow, even though the RNA-world within itself was moving along quite quickly.

Cube was curious, “How are we going to code the genetic information, Wave, and even if we do code it successfully how will it be transferred from one costume to another?”

“Elohm and I have given that considerable thought and we suggest the following strategy. We will build the costumes out of the peptide tails which are chained sequences of twenty amino acids. We can experiment with a wide variety of specific sequences in order to synthesize a wide variety of peptide/amino acid tails which we will now call ‘proteins’. To achieve the creation of these protein ‘building blocks’ we will have to create a permanent, self-contained niche, a cell, within which all these protein-forming RNA processes can take place.”

Elohm broke in, “But these initial genetic foundations have to be very meticulously planned if they are to function perfectly in the future, even with respect to deliberate ‘errors’. We have to get it right because we have no clear concept of what our eventual costumes will be like.”

By now Wave realized the functions of replication, pairing, splicing and translation of the code from the RNA gene to the protein “tail” assembly were all getting in each other’s way.

“The only way out of this tangled mess,” he announced, “is to separate replication and translation. The entire process has to proceed in assembly line stages, step by step. Now that we have lots of longer spliced RNA ‘genes’ to use perhaps we can reorganize some of them into a separate replication system.”

“Great idea,” interjected Elohm. “Why don’t we use some of these new deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules which are floating around in the soup which are minor modifications of RNA. The Devaminds will have to organize a reverse transcription here because….” He went on to outline the use of DNA as carriers and storers of genetic information. “Long DNA strands will eventually reduce the replication error rate,” he concluded.

“Good thinking, Elohm, but we will have our work cut out to integrate smoothly the various DNA, RNA, protein and enzyme functions within our proposed costumes,” said Oval, who had idled away his time calculating the mathematical odds of getting together a precise RNA/DNA functioning system in a short period of time using only natural selection and random proximities in the soup. The odds, he found, were astronomical.

Elohm was not perturbed. “Once we get this soupy environment encapsulated in a minuscule costume, the molecular proximity problem will be suitably confined.”

“What do you mean by ‘encapsulation’?” inquired Arch who had shifted his artistic skills to making bright moonbeams dance on rolling waves which washed ashore on talus beaches.

Elohm was happy to explain. “We are going to mimic Reality again. Just as the King takes a piece of his Absolute Mind which contains all his ‘gene’ attributes, encapsulates it in Love and gives us an individuated Life as a ‘bubble’ of Mind within his Mind-as-such, so will we encapsulate the essence of biological, genetic life in a tiny costume and give it an individuated existence as a bubble of soup within the soup. We can call it a ‘cell’ and our next task is to manifest it meticulously through ‘natural’ selection.”

“Sounds great, and good luck!” grinned Arch. “Just let me know when you get around to developing masses of these cells into the variety of forms you call costumes, because I want to make some of them beautiful. Remember, we have to hide the dark side under a widespread, superficial beauty, and that is my job.”

“Okay,” agreed Ring. “I will co-opt your services the moment we evolve multi-celled organisms, so you can exercise your talents. But make only some of them beautiful or, down the line, future micromind beings will become overly suspicious that evolution was not entirely ‘natural’.”

Arch was not disconcerted. “No problem. I will design some to be so ugly they will be called ‘cute’. Also I will give them ugly names like ‘toad’ and ‘vulture’. It takes a true artist to create genuine ugliness. Forms will be my business.” And everyone agreed.

The team and Devaminds set to work evolving a RNA/DNA soup-encapsulating plasma membrane which was constructed of amphiphilic phospholipids molecules, one end of which loved water while the other loved fat. The team got the idea from the foam bubbles that Arch had been playing with on the shore. It was Wave, significantly enough, who had first pointed out that the bubbles’ qualities of encapsulation, fusion and division were just what they wanted for their biological cellular bubbles, the primordial containers of life.

The team decided that these bilayer, walled cells would have to be easily and naturally formed, and, of course, be impermeable to most water-soluble substances. The problem of interaction and communication with the environment, including waste elimination and nutrient acquisition could be solved by the insertion of new kinds of transfer proteins into the cells’ “skin”. This skin could also act as a defensive wall against chemical and other environmental invasions, and so for the first time the Terra concepts of specific “attack” and “defense” were born in the miniminds of the team. A little later, in evolutionary time, these surface barriers would have to be multiplied in further defensive layers; stouter walls would come to protect weaker functional walls against varieties of invaders.

Creating a prototype cell was a lengthy, very complex task involving thousands of biochemical steps. The group even had to evolve an ion-charged, bioelectric pump in the skin that would take in nutrients and expel waste through the “gated” pores. This electric pump was to become the forerunner of all future nervous systems.

Cells had to divide because once a “bubble” cell grows beyond a certain size, its surface area is not large enough to absorb the nutrients necessary for maintaining the increased volume of living biomass inside. The only way to circumvent this starvation-through-expansion problem is to increase the surface area by forming buds on the bubble. This would be a natural evolution, as would the next step of bud-separation from the mother-bubble cell.

These newly forming cells had to take in energy from the environment and the easiest available “food” to absorb and break down from the soup consisted of those already existing, organic molecules which had come in from the cosmos. It was all coming together, so to speak. Before long a complex, multilevel system of two-way electron transfer was successfully evolved by the team which enabled carbon dioxide to be absorbed. This, in time, freed the emerging cells from their sole dependence on organic molecules because now, these living bubbles could manufacture some of their own internal components out of inorganic minerals extracted from the surrounding hot soup.

The next step in the team’s evolution of these cells was to develop control mechanisms in the form of proteins. These “on-off switches” would allow them to open up, or shut down, intake channels in response to favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions and inner needs. This chemical “sensing” called for sophisticated cells which could move from less favorable to more favorable parts of their hot surroundings. It was a simple matter for the Devaminds to gradually evolve simple flagella in the form of protruding rods which rotated. The cells with more efficient flagellum motors were the ones which survived best.

Yet another innovation devised by the group was the development of an excretion system which enabled cells to rid themselves of harmful proteins and enzymes. This was of double benefit. The enzymes ejected by living cells would break down “dead” cells in the soup thus making their constituents available for re-absorption by the “living” cells. This enabled “progressive” cells to begin living off the externally digested dead cell debris. This step saved them the trouble of manufacturing their own constituents from basic building blocks, and the team were not slow to see its vast evolutionary potential. Life had just begun to feed on life.

Sensing and directed movement had tremendous advantages over aimless meanderings. But so would anchoring if it could be evolved. So the Devaminds mutated long hair-like filaments on the surface of some cells enabling them to attach themselves to rocks in the environment, or to cling to one another in beneficial places.

Before one billion years had elapsed in the life of Terra the team, the Devaminds and the Living Spirals, had jointly evolved the ancestral cell which, of course, was constructed of those self-same Living Spirals. It was a specific bacterium, an archaebacteria prokaryote which was to be the common ancestor of all future life on Terra. And it could proliferate into trillions of offspring very, very rapidly. This capability for fast multiplication allowed for billions of replication-error mutations, let alone mutations from other sources. Because the team had themselves created the principles of spontaneous evolution through “natural” selection, they could leave most of this process to proceed semi-automatically, only giving it occasional constructive nudges as needed. The Devaminds and Living Spirals could handle most of the mutation and favorable gene selection process in terms of survival.

In ancestral archaebacteria the DNA consisted of a single closed loop with almost no structure. When in a few million years, some of the archaebacteria began to adapt to the relatively cooler environments imposed on them by Terra changes. The new mutants became the ancestors of all eubacteria which, through further mutations, adjusted successfully to the wide variety of cooler, but still very warm, habitats. A very significant mutation at this time was the two-stage development in some cells of chlorophyll, a step which enabled them to use sunlight to produce hydrogen and oxygen by lifting electrons from water, the toxic oxygen being released.

Although the “exhaled” oxygen was promptly absorbed by oxygen-hungry minerals for eons to come, the team intuitively realized that “down the line” this free oxygen could be ecologically useful. Now these bacteria were free to slowly turn most of Terra into a blue-green surfaced sea.

While the unicellular eubacteria continued to evolve in a variety of widespread ways, the archaebacteria Living Spirals were busy evolving their own line in more restricted hot niches. One day one ancestral archaebacterial cell mutated in what seemed to be a reverse direction——it lost its outermost, protective wall. Fortunately, it was located in a chemically harmless environment. Of course, it still possessed its inner layer of membrane “skin”.

This little prokaryote cell “discovered” it could absorb the organic debris from other cells much more efficiently now that its delicate membrane surface was unshielded by a tough outer barrier. This proficient absorption of organic nutrients caused these little cells to grow quite chubby. Then a subsequent mutation enabled one rotund prokaryotic cell to “eat” even more vigorously and thus expand even further; it could now wrinkle its membrane and grow more of it. Before long one of these wrinkled prokaryotes mutated in such a way as to allow it to close off the outer edges of a few wrinkles thus encasing some debris-rich soup within these membrane capsules. Now, the cell had inside it several rudimentary sacs, or “stomachs,” because they, too, were surrounded by digestive, enzyme-producing membrane.

At this stage the team and Devaminds saw the opportunity for a major evolutionary breakthrough which would call for several innovative features. The main idea was to centralize the cell’s DNA within an internal envelope, made of deflated membrane sacs which would still retain their attached protein-making RNA.

In time the edges of these flat, deflated sacs became linked, thus forming a large somewhat spherical container for the DNA and protein-making RNA. The group called the whole package the “cell nucleus”. Gradually, the simple prokaryote cell was metamorphosing into a sophisticated eukaryotic cell.

At the same time as the cell nucleus was forming the team and the Devaminds mutated a couple of the motility rods into much longer waving flagella. This change to primitive “paddles” gave the transitional cell a far greater directional mobility.

At this stage the team had produced an efficient, mobile, eating cell, a phagocyte, which could thrive by enfolding and ingesting other dead bacteria in its very rudimentary “stomachs”. Such a phagocyte could, in its primitive way, swallow food, secrete digestive juices, absorb the resulting nutrients, and get rid of waste externally.

Elohm and the others were beginning to get excited because at last they seemed to have the makings of a viable costume they would eventually be able to work from the inside. This prospect increased their enthusiasm and they went to work to improve the phagocyte, the cell-that-eats. In terms of Terra time it had taken the team over one billion years of evolutionary tinkering to get from their ancestral protocell to the transitional phagocyte which, incidentally, still lived in a watery oxygen-free environment. During this same period, however, the other quite separate line of phototrophic cyanobacteria, the blue-green algae, had also been mutating, and refining their chlorophyll-based ability to use light to extract hydrogen from the water they lived in, while releasing the toxic oxygen into Terra’s atmosphere.

The group realized that, if they hoped to populate most of Terra from within the phagocyte costumes, they would have to evolve them into oxygen-tolerant cells——or better still, cells which could utilize oxygen to help generate energy. The team and the Devaminds soon came up with the first step. Their carefully created phagocytes would be enabled to consume the descendants of their own more primitive bacterial ancestors—alive! Thus the main branch of future, mobile life would now mostly live on life itself because, by this time, the largest phagocytes had grown gigantic enough to become occasional carnivores.

Along with sunlight and terrestrial heat this fateful step would close the biological energy system on Terra once and for all; the living planet would be self-sustaining.

Another occasional innovation by the team and the Devaminds was to fuse two phagocyte cells together. This was not difficult to do because their outer defensive walls had been removed previously. The combination cell now had two nuclei which had several survival advantages, the main one being that a harmful mutation in one nucleus could often be counteracted by the genetic status quo of the other. The team were not slow to see that this double nucleus in cells would eventually enable some future cells to reproduce sexually when faced with emergency situations.

Some two and a half billion years after the formation of Terra, the free oxygen being produced by the separate line of blue-green algae, the cyanobacteria, could no longer be wholly absorbed by the oxygen-needy, mineral substances of Terra. These oxygen-sinks, such as ferrous iron, had become saturated. Therefore oxygen began to permeate the land, the atmosphere and the oceans in ever-increasing quantities. This free oxygen was fatal to phagocytes who were especially sensitive to the toxicity of internal chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

By finding safe havens in certain oxygen-free environments, some types of phagocytes lived to reproduce and continue to evolve. Most free-roving phagocytes were wiped out, poisoned by the rapid oxygen build-up. But that is what evolution is all about, namely, a quick genetic adaptation to new environments through favorable mutations.

Wave, as the scientist of the group had seen this oxygen disaster coming and was not dismayed.

“All we have to do,” he explained to the team, “is incorporate into selected burly phagocytes some of those simple aerobic bacteria called peroxisomes so they can convert the oxygen to hydrogen peroxide and then destroy it with the enzyme catalase.”

Ring was impressed. “You mean that if these peroxisome bacteria can be embodied alive into healthy phagocytes, the latter will be able to tolerate an oxygenated environment?”

“Certainly! But, Ring, the key trick will be to prevent the incorporated peroxisome from being digested by the phagocyte that swallows it. The peroxisome will have to continue to live symbiotically inside the host phagocyte and that will call for some precise genetic engineering in both cells at the same time.”

 “Great! So the oxygenated environment problem is solved. Let’s make it so!”

One of the Devaminds spoke up. “I have an additional idea. The peroxisomes dissipate their excess energy as useless heat. Let us find another type of cell we can introduce symbiotically into the host phagocyte which will not only counteract oxygen toxicity but also provide it with useful energy.”

Wave was surprise. “You can do that? This symbiotic cell concept sounds like a major breakthrough.”

“Perhaps. I will look around for a likely cellular candidate. If we can find a suitable cell, it will save us engineering one from scratch.”

Once the Devaminds had modified the phagocyte, it could now manufacture its own oxygen-absorbing peroxisomes, or organelles, as needed.

But the team and the Devaminds were not satisfied. They intuited there had to be a better way to solve the toxic oxygen problem. So they searched around for a better bacterium to internalize as an organelle, one which could transform the harmful oxygen compounds into useful metabolic substances. They found what they were looking for in purple non-sulfur bacteria.

The Devaminds encouraged their peroxisome-containing phagocytes to ingest one of these purple fellows. The Devaminds then followed a procedure similar to that used to transform the peroxisome, but this time they left a few of the purple bacterium’s genes in the introduced cell. The group now renamed their modified phagocyte host cell a eukaryote and its new symbiotic addition a mitochondrion.

Almost all of this internal reconstruction of the simple phagocyte into an organelle-possessing eukaryote was achieved by deliberate genetic mutation. If left to random mutations and adaptation it would never have eventuated, not only because mathematically there was insufficient time owing to the rapid oxygen buildup, but also because many essential, beneficial mutations had to be synchronously keyed into one another more or less simultaneously.

Three billion years from Terra’s birth had passed and, at last, Elohm and the others had developed a self-sufficient, free-swimming costume. They had achieved this without outside input from anyone other than their own independently made Devaminds. This eukaryotic costume was constructed entirely of biotic and abiotic chemicals and could fuel itself autonomously from the environment.

The group watched it replicate itself into a few dozen copies. It was at this point that Arch asked, “Okay, but how do we get inside these microscopic marauding murderers?” Arch liked alliteration which, in telepathic terms, was achieved by packing one or more ideas inside each other.


CHAPTER TWELVE

 

The Costumes Are Donned

 

 

Cube, the ethicist, echoed Arch’s question, “Yes, that’s what I’d like to know too. How do we get inside these miniature monsters that consume almost every living thing they touch——except their brothers. But then we’ve programmed them not to eat their own, even if occasionally one does eat a relative by mistake.”

“I’ve been giving that mind-into-matter infiltration issue some thought,” announced Cone very seriously, “and I do not think we should psychologically infiltrate these eukaryotes with our entire miniminds. If we did it would be too risky; we might not be able to get back out at will even with Elohm’s help.”

“So what are you suggesting Cone?” asked Apex, the teleologist, who was always interested in possible future outcomes.

“Do you remember me suggesting we project a piece of our miniminds out into our biological costumes and that we call these projected bits ‘microminds’? If we do that our miniminds can pull our microminds back out of these creatures when their costumes die. What do you think?”

“Sounds like a suitable solution, my friend,” Elohm commented. “While I envy all of you the trip, I will not participate because you will still need me as an intact anchor on these Casual and Mutable Domains.”

Wave had a question. “How will the Devaminds fit into all this micromind extension stuff?”

“Our microminds will have to be unaware of both Devamind cell management and the Living Spiral cell content. That is the only way we will be able to experience seeming overall ‘control’ of these organisms. We will also have to become unconscious of our minimind overlordship if this living-in-a-costume experience is to seem genuinely physical.”

“Oh, my King!” exclaimed Cube without fully realizing this was the first time anyone had used Origin’s name in exasperation. “Isn’t that carrying this separation business too far. I mean, if we identify with these chemical costumes we will have removed ourselves from Reality by three degrees——miniminds, microminds and now physical bodies.”

Cone was not bothered by the implications of Cube’s embryonic, separation anxiety. “But that is exactly why we are on Terra. It is what we came to do here. We cannot initiate our Drama of Darkness in the Theater without putting on the costumes and identifying with their roles. You had better get used to our triple separation from Reality, Cube, because I suspect this Play will have a long run!”

Ring had another concern. “Will we have to eat one another, Cone?”

“I hope not. Perhaps we can mutate some kind of specific chemical identification signal which will forewarn us there is a micromind inside.”

“Anyway,” added Elohm, “The moment you are consumed, or whenever your cellular body dies, I will haul your micromind out of there, back to the Mutable Domain where it will rejoin your minimind.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” grunted Arch, “even if we do experience our demise as ‘real’!” His cynicism was not lost on some of the others, but Cone and Ring chose to ignore it.

“We’re ready, Elohm, to take our first trip into our first biological bodies, so if we do not extricate ourselves voluntarily beforehand, be prepared to extract our microminds the instant we die.”

The group, except for Elohm, formed a circle and focused on the double feat of projecting a tiny piece of each of their miniminds into selected individual eukaryotes and, at the same time, ensuring that those micromind pieces suffered total amnesia about their origins.

They found themselves in very hot water. Moving around in these cells was a clumsy task because their microtubule flagella were more designed for irregular movements than navigation. But their sensing was fairly accurate as far as heat, food or foreign chemicals were concerned. They soon became attuned to gobbling up any “attractive” morsel which came within chemical range, but they had no way of distinguishing between animate and inanimate.

Each one was at first surprised when their newfound bodies jerked away from harmful substances. These novel experiences quickly became routine, however, and eventually gave way to an entirely new micromind feeling of being totally isolated in an alien world which existed without context. They were unaware, now, of each other or of any previous state of being. It even took a while for each to “possess” the cell in the sense of learning to flow synchronously with the cell’s vital functions. As microminds the team had not the least idea of how the cells’ biology worked because their amnesia extended to all former knowledge. In this limbo state they each experienced only a very limited, immediate state of consciousness which gradually became identified with their individual cell’s needs and functions. Thus, were the first micromind egos born.

The Devaminds, at Elohm’s request, had discontinued temporarily any division of the cell-bodies in which members of the team were located, but now the Devaminds lifted that block. To their amazement each possessor of a cell felt their body begin a furious activity as the mitosis got under way. As the split proceeded a waist formed forcing each ego-consciousness to decide which of the identical twins it wished to stay with. Microminds could not divide without minimind help, but that fact was neither known nor forthcoming.

Elohm was brimming with curiosity. Although, with the assistance of the Devaminds, he knew which cells his friends inhabited he could not mind-meld with them in their micromind ego state. In the circumstances telepathic communication was also proscribed, so Elohm felt doubly cut off from the group. He decided they had each now had plenty of time to become familiar with becoming the ego-consciousness of a eukaryote so, rather unceremoniously he yanked them out of their cellular costumes back to the Mutable Domain. After a brief reorientation on that level the team transferred to the Causal Domain for a thorough debriefing by Elohm.

“A weird, very limiting experience,” said Ring.

“Not much point to it really,” contributed Apex.

“It was not possible to investigate my own biological functions because I was not self conscious,” Wave explained disappointedly.

“We need mutual communication on the physical plane; there was only silence and isolation,” complained Cone.

Arch was more caustic. “I couldn’t even see. There were only nascent chemical and heat proprioceptors plus some slight sensation of external vibration. We have to beef up and broaden the sensory apparatus to make that ‘material life’ worth living.”

“I agree,” added Cube, “but we must also improve our discrimination and interpretation of what those senses detect.”

Oval was the last to contribute. “I agree with all your suggestions about improving the costumes. But in terms of random mutations, ‘natural’ gene selection and the coincidental occurrence of suitable niches there is nowhere near enough time, mathematically speaking, for these changes to occur. From your statements you seem to want a body that will provide you with all the sensory and motor physical apparatus which will be the exact physiological counterpart of your present minimind apperception of our theatrical universe. In other words do you want to be like you are now, but looking out from within a biological body?”

“The problem is,” butted in Wave, “that we haven’t the faintest idea of what such a creature would look like or how it would function.”

Ring finished the thought for him. “Therefore we have to continue our trial and error experimentation until, step by step, we evolve a model we can live with——or rather in!”

“Yes, and we need to move it along a little faster if we expect to complete the project before our cosmos crunches,” stated Oval flatly.

Elohm thought so too. “It’s taken us three billion years of Terra experimentation with the evolution for forms to get to this point, therefore we have to accelerate the rate of development continuously if we are going to reach our goal.”

“Fine,” Ring agreed, “But with the proviso that future scientists will believe that none of it was engineered by anything other than ‘random mutation’ and ‘natural selection.’”

“Certainly we can manage that through the ego-limitations of their microminds functioning in isolation from higher domains. We can also use catastrophic events such as asteroid impacts to effect widespread rapid changes in Terra’s environments,” suggested Arch who always had his eye on the big picture.

Elohm felt it was time to summarize their conclusions. “Okay then, we are agreed we need much more sophisticated costumes with vastly improved sensory-motor functioning. I would therefore recommend that, as we proceed, we create a wide diversity of specific bodies. This will not only create an assortment of living food sources for all species, but also help us in our blind search for the most functional and flexible physical form.”

“Also, it will enable us to close and isolate the entire future ecosystem of Terra more efficiently,” added Wave, “because, strangely, the more complex it is, the more easily it can all be dovetailed——much like the cosmos. In fact, it would be a great idea to let variety and complexity run riot. Can we program it that way?”

“No problem,” answered the Devaminds collectively, “but almost limitless diversity will make any claim to random mutation and ‘natural’ selection even more statistically outrageous.”

Cone cut in. “In that case we will have to endow the individual and group belief systems of ego-microminds with the false concept of having ‘supreme’ psychological power on Terra. All ego-beliefs, including science and philosophy, will have to be limited, distorted, fairly fixed and totally involved with locality and role-identification.”

“While tolerance, open-mindedness, innovative ideas, and anything to do with Reality will always be greeted with suspicion, ridicule, rejection and even death. We of the Shadow will kill them off!” cracked Arch who was getting into the swing of the discussion, but with mixed feelings.

Cube was confused as well. “But that will mean all ethics will be at the whim of the ego’s arbitrary, myopic beliefs. There will be as many ethics and morals on Terra as there will be individuals.”

“Well, yes, I suppose so,” admitted Cone, “but I suspect they will form clusters and present united fronts, even as they argue with one another. If this Shadow notion is going to work, there has to be universal dissension.”

Elohm interrupted. “This discussion is rather premature since we don’t even have the beginnings of a suitable costume yet. Let’s get on with the biology and leave the psychology to the future. Anyway, if all life on Terra is to feed on life it seems to me most of that ego-psychology will unfold automatically.”

*   *   *

Without warning Ring found himself in an Oval Office having an earnest discussion with an extraterrestrial, a Higher Grey. It seemed that the inhabitants of Terra were quite unique and had much to offer other galactic beings, especially in terms of variety and individuality. In exchange for specific gene segments (it was unethical to take these without permission) the Greys were happy to offer the President very advanced technology such as the secrets of true anti-gravity power systems. An agreement was being reached, one which would open up Terran science to innovative inventions and “miraculous” experiences.

*   *   *

The team returned to the immediate but protracted task of evolving the eukaryotes into diverse species with multiform functions. The Devaminds, who kept a watch on all mutations, noted that one eukaryote had replicated its nucleus without splitting itself in two, something that had also occurred earlier in certain phagocytes. This became the forerunner of future sexual development, an attribute which was to have such profound consequences for all life on Terra. The group began to realize that single cells would never result in truly advanced bodies no matter how big they grew. Wave had noticed large colonies of various types of bacteria, such as stromatolites, which clung together for mutual benefit. He asked the Devaminds if it might be feasible to unite different kinds of mutated eukaryotes into a complex, biological entity which would allow for greater specialization of bodily functions. They agreed to try, there and then, with a series of multicellular experiments.

Terra’s arid landmasses were still rocky deserts devoid of life, even after three and a half billion years. The seas, however, swarmed with all kinds of single-celled bacteria and eukaryotes. From the eukaryotes the team and Devaminds quickly mutated the cellular ancestors of the three kingdoms——animals, plants and fungi. Their reasoning was simple. While there was a need for complex costumes, such as the eukaryotes, which could move freely and forage for food in sophisticated ways, there was also a need for fixed multicellular plants that would form living habitats, and also become direct or indirect sources of food. The members of these two distinct lifeforms would have to have relatively short lives because this helped favorable mutations to arise, adapt and take over, thus accelerating both evolution and the increasing diversity of species. Short lives meant lots of dead plant and animal “bodies” all of which required chemical recycling, hence the need for fungi.

Then Wave had a scientific brainwave.

“If we can devise an efficient way to kill off most of the earlier, ‘weaker mutation’ members in any species, even as the ‘stronger’ ones adapt and survive, then evolutionary progress will romp along much more rapidly.”

Oval picked up the theme. “You mean that if we can invent a deliberate way to cull out the less hardy individuals of any species long before they have lived out their lifespan they would be less reproductive and have less time to mutate. Great idea! It’s a simple matter of statistics.”

“Exactly!” Wave was delighted that Oval understood. “What I have in mind is a method of killing off the unwanted, weaker ones from the inside. Because the eukaryotes ingest bacteria why not mutate some of these bacteria to ‘eat’ their hosts internally. We will call it ‘disease’ and, in the future, we will engineer any number of diseases for weeding out the feeble and inept. These diseases will take out some hardy individuals as well, but far fewer of them than the vulnerable ones.”

Elohm was impressed. “Wave, you are a genius. Down the evolutionary line, we can invent all kinds of additional internal exterminators, from parasites to viruses. With this killer concept in place we may be able to wrap up our evolution of a viable costume within a billion or so years. That’s enough time to convince future orthodox scientists it all occurred without mind-intervention. Wave, do you think we can turn disease-causing organisms loose to follow their own evolutionary destinies?”

“I don’t see why not, but to do that we will need to create a widespread immunity system which we will correlate with overall survival strength. That will be easy because each successful, survival mutation will tend to support the others. So healthy individuals will resist disease well, while the less healthy will succumb.”

The group went to work on primitive multicellular plants and animals simultaneously. The oceans were their laboratory. Red algae came first with brown and green occurring later. Simple algal seaweeds were developed which could attach to rocks and shallow seabeds. Sexual reproductive systems evolved.

Animal life began when a single free-floating eukaryote cell mutated to allow specialized cells to develop without separating. Gradually these associated cells evolved a central feeding tube with a “mouth” on one end and an “anus” at the other.

Some of these animals mutated to develop an “internal” stomach. Next came the worms which had the makings of a head complete with mouth nerves, the first signs of a brain. In turn, worms mutated into an even greater variety of marine animals which now possessed an alimentary canal, a skin and a coelom area for organs in between. All these species needed oxygen and the first extracted it through the skin from water currents. This was inefficient so the Devaminds and several of the group eventually designed a fluid oxygen-moving system using intake gills, together with oxygen-carrying cells which flowed in tubes and were pumped around the system by the first primitive hearts.

While these first formative phases of fish were proceeding, some seaweeds invaded the shorelines by adapting genetically to drier land. This occurred gradually at first in tidal zones until some plants were left high and dry in wet climates. These survivors had mutated a waxy skin, for protection from the drying effects of the sun and wind. Pores in this cuticle allowed carbon dioxide in, and oxygen out. Plants which developed simple rhizoid roots could extract moisture and nutrients from the muddy soil, roots that also provided anchorage in turbulent weather. It was in the area of reproduction that the team and Devaminds had to be most inventive. Haploid spores were engineered for environmental air dispersal, and a protective layer kept them safe until it was wet enough for each to germinate into a diploid “bisexual” plant. It was this plant that produced swimming male gametes and stationary female eggs which, when united in watery nooks outside the parent plant, developed into the next-generation of haploid spores all ready to be blown away. The green algae were the only species to succeed in colonizing the land in this way, first as mosses and later as more sophisticated plants. The latter were constructed genetically to defy gravity with upright stalks that also doubled as nutrient conduits from roots to buds. When Terra had been in existence for a little more than four billion years, diverse plants appeared in suitable niches. As these vertical varieties pumped nutrient-laden water from the soil to the plants’ upper structures, the transporting water evaporated making the atmosphere moister and rain more frequent. Along with the green invasion of the land went the bacteria and immediately the fungi followed. Thick stalks developed into strong trunks when the Devaminds introduced a lignin polymer to give internal support. The combination of rain, fungi, bacteria and primitive trees soon produced great tropical swamps filled with ferns, mosses, fungi and, before long, a wider variety of seed-producing plants and trees.

At this point in time Terra’s dry land consisted of two vast continents which the Team dubbed Laurasia and Gondwanaland. Laurasia existed in the northern hemisphere while Gondwanaland was in the south. The upper rocky crust of Terra was now composed of quite a few moving plates which floated on the viscous upper mantle, which in turn floated on a more liquid lower mantle and magma. Plate tectonics not only moved continents, it crumpled them into mountains in places or split them apart in others. Upwelling volcanic currents, the spin of Terra, crustal mass and the occasion interventions of the group all contributed to the drift of continents.

In the oceans the crucial new development was that of regulatory genes which, in conjunction with certain proteins, could turn other groups of genes off and on. This innovation allowed for the replication of individual body segments within a single costume. Thus an individual worm could now be composed of a lengthy succession of almost identical compartments that were internally connected to form one long alimentary canal. The team and Devaminds foresaw the enormous potential of this gene-controlled segmentation which would enable them to engineer a wide variety of segregated organs within one body.

Before long spontaneous successful mutations (with an occasional tweak from the Devaminds) had produced shrimp, crabs and lobsters, as well as horseshoe crabs and sea spiders. Other mutations resulted in an enormous variety of shellfish, all encased in hardened plates. Eventually a few shellfish mutated to convert their outer shells to inner ones. These became squids, but still later, others lost their shells entirely and became octopuses.

Arch had a field day (actually a billion years or more) designing beautiful seashells. To their obvious functional designs which, among other things, armored them and prevented them from rolling too easily on the sea floor he added pretty colors, curlicues and other artistic touches, mostly as neutral mutations. While he knew that the mantles of the live fish, as well as mud and extraneous growths, would usually cover his artwork, he also knew how attractive the empty shells would look littering tens of thousands of Terra’s beaches and coves, then, and in the future. Besides, he, as well as the Devaminds and the group, were able to admire continuously the beauty of Arch’s on-going supplementary designs and sculptures, not only in seashells, but in many aspects of Terra’s creation. Some time before this, Arch, Cone and Apex had agreed that aesthetics was to be a major component of the living planet, one which all conscious species could enjoy. Beauty, the Team agreed, would be built into every natural thing.

The first competent swimmers were the jawless fish who sifted the sea floors for nutrients. Shortly after, some of these mutated jaws and teeth, as these devices were much more efficient for food gathering. The team then let life in the oceans run riot so that soon large primitive sharks and other cartilaginous boned monsters abounded.

It was time to take stock again. Much had been achieved since Terra had first formed some 4.1 billion years before. From time to time one or more members of the group had gone into a species as microminds in order to experience that particular state of the biological confinement. The Living Spirals in a species found it difficult to encompass themselves collectively as a unitary, consciousness and so, through the Devaminds, they had asked the group for some kind of permanent ego-micromind of their own.

When Ring asked for suggestions, Cone, who as the psychologist felt this was his field, said, “What we need is a ‘group mind’ for each narrow species, something like the one the slime molds have developed, but more flexible.” The slime molds were not molds at all but were single-celled organisms which, when food was in short supply, could release a chemical communicator. This signal would trigger their Living Spirals as cells to congregate into one unit that could form an erect tower. This accomplished, the “unitary” slime mold would activate a sexual mechanism and the communal erection would manufacture spores and disperse them from the top. Myriads of airborne spores could scatter abroad where they would remain dormant while waiting for renewed supplies of fodder. When this occurred the spores would “awaken” as new single cell slime-molds. The entire process was a miracle of biological genetic automation which required the individual organisms to cooperate as a team, the members of which, in bunches, had distinct behavioral functions and specific capabilities.

Apex was intrigued. “Quite apart from any ‘meta-conscious’ ideas, I like that erection concept for future reproductive designs. It would be an efficient way to deliver gametes from males to females now that sex is here to stay.”

“Yes, yes,” agreed Ring a little impatiently. “Now let us stick with the format of this ‘group mind’ Cone is proposing. How will it work in detail Cone?”

“We could split off a chunk of micromind during a team mind-meld. Each species, or even some sub-species, would own its own chunk as a kind of shared group mind, but one with elaborate properties. I suggest we call a species-wide micromind a ‘corporamind’ because the term ‘corporation’ allows for individual roles within the corporate unity.”

“And what will happen when an individual body dies?” asked Cube, the ethicist.

“It’s piece of the corporamind will return to the group corporamind until it is utilized again at the generation of a new individual. Moreover,” Cone continued, “in almost all corporamind species the individuals will be able to communicate with each other telepathically. Any essential, survival learning of which individuals in the species are capable will be remembered and stored collectively in the corporamind. In most species this survival learning will be also encoded in the genes so that the members have the biological equipment to act on it appropriately. For example, a whole school of fish will be able, physiologically, to turn simultaneously when one or more of them psychologically becomes aware of food or danger.”

Wave picked up on Cone’s last thought. “I think we need a psychological emotion to go with external danger. It is not enough just to sense the prospect of being eaten and then to exhibit avoidance behaviors——it's too mechanical.”

“I agree,” said Cone, “and that corporamind component must jolt both the individuals and the school or group instantly, even alerting them to possible danger, and …”

Apex cut in. “Do all of you realize that the introduction of a powerful escape emotion such as Cone is describing——let's call it ‘fear’——will have extensive implications for all future beings on this planet? It is highly likely it will replace Love, or at the least contaminate it, all down the evolutionary line.”

Cone was not abashed. “Apex, I was going to propose a whole set of corporamind emotions which would include fear——by the way, that word has a nice tremble to it.”

It was Arch who broke in this time. “Way to go, Cone. Let’s rid ourselves of Love altogether, folks. Let’s seed this benighted satellite of the Sun with fear, attack and pseudo-love. Let’s screw everything up——royally!”

Ignoring the sarcasm, Cone continued. “For those attacking behaviors, Arch, we need an emotion I will call ‘aggression.’ Once aggression is associated in the corporamind with attack-for-eating, we can extend it to many other contingencies such as self-defense or protecting progeny.”

Ring was fascinated. “Cone, what other emotions do we need for the dark side?”

“Pleasure! There is a physiological satisfaction from having a full belly and I propose that this be accompanied by a feeling of pleasure——even delight. Pleasure will be more associated with bodily satisfactions. For example, we can trigger pleasurable emotions to occur when eating well, soaking up warmth or indulging in sex. Lizards will enjoy all three!”

“What are lizards?” asked a puzzled Elohm.

“Just a species of animal I have been idly planning once we get these costumes out of the swamps onto dry land.”

“Oh! Okay,” said Elohm who approved of speculations about possible futures. Then he added, “Well, let’s get these basic emotions in place in the most advanced fish, along with the corporaminds which will contain them. Will we need a fourth emotion to keep them in schools?”

“Why not,” agreed Cone. “We might as well inject as many emotions as necessary into the corporamind all at once. We can call it ‘attachment’ or ‘affection’ and it will be the antidote to separation. While not all species will need to school together, almost all species will require a degree of affectionate bonding at some stage during their lives——if only to pair for reproduction, like the rock fish.”

It was Oval’s turn to be curious. “Cone, which species do you suggest we should endow with corporaminds and emotions?”

“All of them——that is if you all agree. We can even do this retroactively as far down as the first bacteria. Of course, the further down the phylogenetic scale we go, the narrower in scope the corporamind consciousness will be.”

“So, bacteria will be consciously alert to only a very restricted environment and feel only minuscule emotions?” inquired Wave.

“Yes, that is what I had in mind,” answered Cone. “I don’t see why any living costumes should be deprived of consciousness. A phagocyte, for example, would be only as conscious as we were when we possessed them temporarily——remember?”

The group and the Devaminds collectively agreed to implement Cone’s ideas and, following a mind-meld, each individual of every species, including plants, was endowed with a corporamind consciousness complete with fear, aggression, attachment/affection and pleasure.

“How will our own microminds fit into these corporaminds when we project into a member of a species? Will the two minds clash?” asked Arch.

Cone was pensive for a moment, then replied, “Each type of mind will merge seamlessly with the other. The corporamind will be the collective mind of any given species which, while not rigid or fixed, will enable the members to operate together intuitively but not necessarily in identical ways. Even if all the members of a species are loners they will still act and feel in much the same ‘instinctive’ ways. We can invent the ethological patterns of life-long development for each future species as we go along.”

“The etho-what?” exclaimed Arch.

“Ethology. That’s the psychological aspect of physical behaviors which are essential to survival, such as the attachment of newborns in some species to their mothers after birth, or the schooling of some fish, or the mating rituals of some species. Ethology is a psycho-biological science I just invented!”

“Very clever,” said Arch dryly. “But Cone, you have not yet explained the conjunction of our own microminds with species corporaminds.”

“Well, I wanted to tell you that these corporamind behavior patterns will seem to be almost entirely inherited by the individuals in a species and will seem to operate semi-automatically. For example, fish will be individually aware they are schooling together but will not know how they do it or why they do it.”

Arch was becoming impatient. “And our miniminds…?”

“Our miniminds will be superimposed as egos over the top of the corporaminds of any individual creature costumes we may enter. I’m sorry to make the psychology of it so complex. There will be ego- microminds within corporaminds within miniminds within Real Mind, but that is no more complicated than inorganic chemicals being inside organic chemicals inside organelles inside cells inside organs inside bodies. In the worlds of biology or psychology or, for that matter the cosmos, systems work within systems which work within systems. Oval and Wave know all about that!”

“Indeed we do,” agreed Oval who also knew that the (base 12) abstract mathematics of pure Mind was a vastly more complex and open-ended system of systems than any science. “Cone, will our ego-microminds be able to investigate our ‘shared’ corporaminds once we evolve our advanced, species costumes? I mean, will ego-mind be aware of how its own or even other species operate psychologically?”

“As I envision it, no! In the interests of maintaining our Terrestrial ignorance the veils between our various mind systems must be made well nigh impenetrable. It will take considerable effort and will-power to penetrate the thick veils we are now making between the various mind-worlds.”

“And between species as well,” added Wave more as a statement than a question. “We do not want any direct telepathic comparing of notes about corporamind functions across the psycho-biological board——do we?”

“Never,” Cone agreed. “If any future, wise individual begins to break through these barriers we will make sure they are ridiculed by other ego-microminds and ostracized as insane. And if that doesn’t work their ego-creature brethren will kill them, there and then!”

Cube was perturbed. “That sounds rather drastic even though I realize our physical costumes will be only make-believe. Can we make those veils a little permeable?”

Cone hesitated, then answered carefully. “Okay, but if this journey into darkness and ignorance is going to succeed, the penetration of the barriers between mind-systems has to be very slow and very difficult. Furthermore, I suggest that each individual will have to undo, at sea snail pace, all prior negative experiences and acquired shadow accumulations, both psychological and biological! We must not make the return Home easy, or this whole Project of Darkness will never get off the proverbial ground. Are we all agreed about this?”

It took Cone and Apex some time to convince the others this was the only way to go. Elohm stayed out of the debate because his role was not to have a costume at any time. Eventually the rest of the group acquiesced and the motion to make escape from the darkness very difficult was carried.


CHAPTER THIRTEEN

 

Holocausts Galore

 

 

The team and the Devaminds next turned their attention to the arthropods, those segmented sea creatures with legs and waterproof shells, such as the shrimp, many of which had invaded swampy lagoons and wooded river deltas. Several deft mutations enabled these creatures to live out of the water. The group did not stop with one arthropod; they moved several types out of the ponds, especially those which copulated to reproduce. Arch soon realized, however, that the architecture of the chitinous shell of all insects would always be an insoluble limitation on the growth of these creatures. So the group decided to leave the insects alone to diversify and proliferate at random into every nook and cranny of Terra’s surface where they were to become an essential aspect of the global ecosystem. Cockroaches were among the first.

After some 4140 million years had passed since Terra’s birth the Team turned its evolutionary attention to the backboned species of fish. An internal support for the body from vertebrae seemed a much more likely prospect for future costume construction than the arthropod’s carapace. Some boned fish had developed an internal air sac to regulate buoyancy so it was a simple series of steps to mutate this into a primitive lung and thus create a type of lung-fish. All that was needed for movement on land was to mimic the lobster and convert the front fins of lung fish into prototype legs so it could crawl after food or find shade. In time these legs became articulated. Back legs were soon developed, enabling these first carnivorous amphibians to catch insects more easily. Salamanders and frogs were among the many species which now abounded.

Insects and amphibians developed through a variety of types of metamorphic phases. Frogs started as tadpoles which subsequently lost their tails through cell-death. Fingers developed using the same principle of lost flesh. Insects, especially many of those that flew, went through remarkable metamorphoses which converted them from eggs to caterpillars, and then to aerialists. They did this by virtually dying in their cocoons only to transfigure their costumes in accordance with a totally different DNA pattern. Lowly worms went in, but rainbow butterflies emerged. The Devaminds were having great fun even as they explored the limits of evolution, while Arch used the creature’s wings as canvases for his masterly paintings. He knew, of course, his designs also served more practical functions such as species identification, misleading camouflage and even poison warnings, but, as he saw it, prettiness and practicality were easily commingled.

Once in a while the team received a visit from one or more of their Mindkins who were curious about this Terraforming project of their “parents.” Some Mindkins expressed a desire to physically terraform a suitable planet of their own but the group advised them to hold off, at least until the major evolutionary problems of costume construction had been solved on Terra. As Elohm said, “There is no need for you to reinvent the biological Wheel of Life until we have got it turning smoothly. Once we have a viable model in place you will be able to create your own versions quite easily.” With their curiosity satisfied the Mindkins invariably returned to their own star systems to play happily with a wide range of manifested imaginary projections, some of which, superficially, looked like Terra.

After 4.25 million Terra years had passed the first true reptiles were engineered and Cone was able to evolve his lizard. It took him and the Devaminds some time to change one species of amphibians from spawning as a method of reproduction to copulation and the laying of hard-shelled fertilized eggs.

The continents had now combined into a single land the Team called Pangaea. Much of its surface was covered with warm, wet, swampy carboniferous forests. These conditions brought about the widespread proliferation of numerous plant and animal species throughout that hospitable land. Giant insects abounded while amphibians grew to be large and numerous. But it was the egg-laying reptiles which best adapted to life on land, and it was on these reptiles the group concentrated most of its evolutionary attention. Wave and Oval had designed the three-layered egg with its shell, its amniotic liquid-filled sac and its inner yolk of stored nutrients. Eggs could be buried and left, or laid in nests and protected. Best of all eggs, before laying, could be fertilized, developed and encased in shells inside the female body, obviating the precarious nature of open spawning in lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans.

As time progressed some nest-building reptiles, which lay on their eggs, developed rudimentary mammary glands as their newborns licked fatty excretions from the undersides of their bodies. Feeding vulnerable babies in the nest had great survival advantages so the Team were quick to mutate nutrition-secreting glands on maternal chests. A few of these reptilian mammals burrowed underground or lived in deep nooks and crannies for increased nest protection. These particular new species, the group felt, were the key to the future so they decided to clean house.

“We have to eliminate ninety percent of the species on Terra,” pronounced Elohm, “because this unchecked evolution is getting out of hand.”

Ring agreed. “We need a narrower path of directed change rather than this chaotic widespread hit and miss system of mutation. Any ideas?”

“A large asteroid will do the trick,” answered Oval. “I calculate it should be approximately 12 kilometers in diameter and impact on the continental shelf at 17 kilometers per second. For good measure we can follow it up at intervals with several comet strikes and a few volcanic eruptions. The net result will be an extended period of destruction and darkness, caused by dust, debris, impact meteors, world-wide forest fires, dense smoke, giant tsunamis and, later, continuous acid rain.”

Arch was aghast at the extent of the proposed holocaust. “You have no compunction or guilt about killing off billions of living plants and creatures?”

“But nothing dies, Arch,” Apex, the teleologist, explained. His attitudes had changed over four billion years. “You know as well as we do that the physical demise of the body means only that the corporaminds, the microminds and the Living Spirals will simply return to the Mutable and Causal Domains. If a species is eradicated totally, its entire corporamind will either dissolve back into our miniminds or, in some cases, be held by the Devaminds for use by a convergent, similar species in the future.”

“I know, I know,” grumbled Arch. “It is just that darkness, death and devastation are becoming so literal. Isn’t there another way?”

“Nope!” interjected Cube. “If I have become ethically reconciled to this Terrestrial Theater you can too. We could easily make all the unwanted species and excess plants and animals just disappear off the face of Terra, but then future intelligent beings would have to believe in the power of Mind-as-such, and that is contrary to our mission of darkness. They will have to believe in physical causality if this project is going to work.”

Arch could see the logic even though he was disenchanted by the tragic turn the play was taking. He decided to focus on perceptual beauty by making all future species as attractive as their forms would allow.”

Several large asteroids were passing close by Terra during their wide orbits around the inner solar system. It was a simple matter for the Team to focus on one that met their specifications and nudge it telekinetically to impact offshore near Pangaea. Thus did the great Permian crisis begin around 4.3 billion years after Terra began (ATB). The Team and the Living Spirals had noted which genera to preserve, including only one tiny mammal-like reptile, a Dicynodon, out of fifty such genera. Many other types of non-mammalian reptiles were also saved, but most marine species of plants and animals died because the entire ecosystem collapsed. In the continuing darkness photosynthesis stopped, causing the plants of land, lakes, rivers and oceans to die. The waters of the world became stagnant even as numerous northern volcanic eruptions warmed the seas and slowed their currents. This composite of processes depleted the waters of oxygen——a necessity for aquatic creatures. This desolation undermined the whole food chain and so ninety percent of fish and other sea animals dependent on both it and oxygen died.

On land it was only in conserved niches such as burrows, inside dead tree trunks or on very high unburnt islands did some selected species survive. Any eaters of carrion worms, grubs and especially fungi were at a distinct advantage as long as their reproduction could continue in a given niche.

Once the skies cleared the survivors soon resurged. The reptiles gradually dominated Pangaea which, by 4.35 billion years ATB, was beginning to break apart again. But not before one version of the little reptilian mammal had evolved a rudimentary marsupial pouch around its abdominal nipple into which the undeveloped fetus could crawl after its naked birth.

The Team decided the Permian holocaust had been such a success that they could use the asteroid impact method of accelerating and diverting evolution several times. So, twice, they repeated the performance with less severity around 4.34 billion years and 4.41 billion years ATB thus wiping out many more superfluous plants, insects and animals in the process. Quite a few of the reptiles who had survived these catastrophic episodes had mutated into many shapes and sizes which the group labeled dinosaurs. Many species of these creatures soon dominated the land. Other reptiles learned to fly using great wings of stretched skin.

The landscapes on both Laurasia and Gondwanaland as they drew apart were now much more varied. Along with tropical swamps and trees, there existed large forests of pines and some desert lands. Swimming reptiles who fished skillfully in shallow seas developed long necks and tails and flatter limbs.

Birds began to evolve out of their reptilian ancestors some 4.45 billion years ATB. Wave and Arch designed the first prototypes. They had the flying insects and pterosaurs as forerunners, or rather forefliers, but whereas insect wings had evolved from chitinous skin flaps in pond skimmers, and flying reptile wings from limb-to-body skin sheeting, birds, they decided, would be superb planned aerialists. Therefore, together, the scientist and the designer invented the lightweight keratin feather and then, over time, genetically engineered an existing small, quilled dinosaur to grow them——particularly on the forelimbs. Initially, this warm-blooded, fast runner could only evade predators with flying leaps, but in time full wings were developed which kept it in the air, safely. After their first few successes with birds, Wave and Arch mostly left this class of creatures to evolve on its own. However, Arch could not resist introducing numerous artistic touches such as iridescent colors, melodious songs and comic features all of which the Devaminds also enjoyed and elaborated on endlessly.

Not long after the marsupials had become established the group discovered one of these animals had mutated an internal placenta which could nourish the fetus directly inside the mother’s body. Wave set about improving this internal incubator until the external pouch of these engineered mammals could be eliminated entirely.

An even greater diversity of other forms, this time plants, was also initiated by Wave and Arch around 4.45 billion years ATB. They took one seed-bearing plant and mutated it to form the first flower which was made of specialized leaves without chlorophyll. These original angiosperms at first had pale off-white flowers. Some insects, like moths, were naturally attracted to the reflected sunlight. The bodies of these insects transferred pollen from the male stamens to the female pistils thus fertilizing the eggs and turning them into new seeds. This combination of flowers and insect pollination proved so efficient that by 4.46 billion years ATB flowering angiosperms now secreting nectar had spread across the land. During this period Arch had a literal field-day designing beautiful blossoms of such varied hues, shapes, sizes and textures that the whole Team congratulated him on his superb artistry. By 4.47 billion years ATB he and Wave had helped make so many varieties of flowering plants in so many ecological niches that, with the help of the Devaminds, their evolution could continue on its own. Through the agency of pollinating insects, many of which were also engineered for that purpose, cross-pollination so accelerated angiosperm diversity and dominance that most plants produced flowers.

*   *   *

Arch was jolted into future-time where he was a disciple of an enlightened man who silenced storms, healed the sick and advised his followers to love their enemies. Arch was a well-to-do young man who knew that long before they were born he had contracted with Jesus to play a vital role in the unfolding drama of Jesus’ life and death. It was a difficult, even distasteful task, but they had agreed there could be no slip-up when the time came, so Arch, who was much loved by Jesus, happily consented to act out the part of Judas, flawlessly. When during the last meal, Jesus gave him the piece of dipped bread Arch knew it was their arranged signal to set in motion a vast Plan of planetary Healing that would take millennia to fulfill. Only Judas did not know this.

*   *   *

The group still continued to project into the animals, birds, insects, plants and sea creatures. Although most such experiences were enjoyable, especially flying, the activities engaged in were almost entirely mechanical and the twin problems of limited, narrow intellect and specialized, functional body-forms continued to restrict their “creative scope.” From dinosaurs to dragonflies the action quickly became routine and boring. Even reproduction, including copulation, was so genetically programmed it lacked any spark of continuing psychological absorption.

“We have to do something about that,” complained Ring.

“About sex?” asked Elohm.

“Well, yes, that too, but I was really thinking in wider terms. Let’s summarize our progress thus far. We have wings and can fly. We have four legs and can run. We have warm bodies and in one species we can give birth to naked young. We have feathers and fur to keep our various ‘bodies’ warm and all the necessary internal organs to maintain them. Where do we go from here?”

“Flying is out,” said Oval, “because I have calculated the upper limits of wingspan, weight, rates of metabolism, energy requirements and functional design——and the figures just don’t add up. Anyway, beaks as tools are too limited. We will have to be land-based animals.”

“What about brain size, Oval? Can you work out the dimensions and weight of a neurological master organ which, when activated by mind, can reason and compute as well as you?”

“Brain size also correlates in part with body size, because the brain ‘works’ the body, but if we don’t wish to be large dinosaurs and don’t want to eat mountains of food I would suggest a body weight of between 40 and 90 kilos containing a complex brain of some 1.4 kilos. This combination will allow for the most efficient body and most intelligent brain after taking into consideration the surface gravity of Terra. It is my scientific opinion our best evolutionary direction to achieve this physical format is to develop the little placental mammals which have not changed all that much in 100 million years.”

“Then we have to come up with a brainy, four limbed, warm blooded, fur covered mammal which bears live offspring,” summarized Ring. “Can any of you add other desirable attributes?”

Cone indicated he had a key contribution. “If specializations such as defenses, for example, are a problem then our ‘body’ must become as unspecialized as possible.”

Elohm was intrigued by this new concept. “Please elaborate some more, Cone.”

“Okay. Let me express it more in terms of what we should divest our future ‘bodies’ rather than what they should have. Under my plan for the future we will not need scales or thick hides, large teeth or horns, big claws or lethal venom and, certainly, we will not need to confine ourselves to one source of food, like grass or flesh. We will have to learn to live safely by our wits. May the meek mammals inherit Terra!”

“The dinosaurs have to go then?” Cube concluded. “And that will mean another major holocaust?” he added unhappily.

“Sure,” answered Apex. “Do I have to explain all over again that life cannot die? Even the Living Spirals of which bodies are ultimately composed live on after dispersion to be recycled one way or another.”

Around 4485 million years ATB the Team carefully selected another large asteroid, this time approximately 10 kilometers in diameter which struck the shallow ocean at the northern end of the widening gap between the two major southern continents that had, not long previously, constituted Gondwanaland II. This impact was near the equator which enabled the winds of Terra to spread the debris, dust and smoke over both hemispheres. The asteroid brought with it approximately 181 million kilos of iridium which was also widely layered around the surface of the planet, a surface yet again shrouded by darkness and desolation. The group organized several successive major volcanic eruptions which extended the darkness for years. Seventy-five percent of existing species died out. Much of the surface of Terra froze causing only smaller creatures in warm niches and with warm coats, or feathers, to survive. This time the Team made sure all the large animals became extinct. Also, under the cloak of the holocaust, they deliberately killed off those other species not essential to an ongoing ecology. All surviving dinosaurs, other than some birds, were obliterated by disease, loss of habitat, or local disasters over the next few million years so as to make their demise seem natural.

By the time the widespread terrestrial effects of this most recent global holocaust had ended, Terra’s ecology was quite different. As well as the indestructible conifers, deciduous forests became commonplace. Flowering trees, plants and grasses now spread rapidly across each of the separating continents. Occasionally temporary land bridges would form between some continents enabling a variety of animal and plant species to migrate across the linkages. Birds, being unconfined by ocean boundaries, proliferated everywhere. Some of the small cold-blooded amphibians and reptiles survived and rebounded mostly in warmer climates. Little insects had mostly survived while their large cousins did not. The evolution of many of these creatures still continued even as their original progenitors often stayed in a relatively undeviating lifeform. After all, at this time, cockroaches had existed for some 270 million years.

The group decided they needed to keep a much tighter control over mutation and its outcomes. This did not mean that evolution was not given free rein in many areas of life. Extreme diversity was one essential aspect of the global ecology, but the Team realized they had to keep a balanced ecology. They would no longer let one dead-end lifeform, such as the reptilian dinosaurs had been, dominate the global scene. Another decision by the Team was to eliminate all prior versions of any given mammalian species unless they were essential to the ongoing ecology of Terra in their own particular niche.

Elohm was adamant that the Team concentrate on the development of the single mammalian evolutionary track most likely to yield the final costumes they intuitively felt they required. All agreed the most promising candidate, in terms of their previously decided criteria, was a furry, shrew-sized, placental mammal that ate mostly insects so Wave kept it under observation. They still did not know what the final costume would look like or precisely how it would function so the mostly trial and error process would continue.

Between the time the Rockies rose around 4.485 billion years ATB and the Himalayas crumpled upwards through a tectonic crunch at 4.5 billion years, the Team and the Devaminds had diversified many types of prototypal warm-blooded mammals across Eurasia and Africa. These original forerunners were mostly small species, usually much less than 20 kilograms in weight. The proto-horse, hyracotherum, which weighed under 10 kilos, lived in forests and fed on soft foliage and grasses. The proto-rodent, the purgatorius, gave rise to not only a wide variety of early rodents and other types of mammals but also the primitive tree shrews and lemurs of that time from which later primates descended.

Many kinds of very large land mammals evolved spontaneously between 4496 and 4515 million years ATB. Most of them were horned, hoofed herbivores, but others such as the baluchitherium were more rhinoceros-like. With considerable care the Team weeded out all unnecessary species, keeping only those smaller ones such as the antelope-like bovidae which showed great ecological promise. The Team had decided that, down the line, they would need many species of these herding herbivores to provide plentiful food for the emerging carnivorous predators.

Around 4500 million years ATB Wave found a spontaneous mutation of the shrew-like carnivore which he named miacis. While it made its home in a den, it could also climb trees. He and the Devaminds saw the potential of miacis and from it eventually developed many types of animals including cats, bears and raccoons and, separately, dogs and wolves. Tomarctus, the direct ancestor of the latter group was genetically engineered and corporamind programmed around 4540 million years ATB to live socially in families and to congregate in packs for efficient hunting. Of course, a widening variety of rodents and other small creatures also provided almost all species of larger carnivores with food. Life was now well into the business of feeding on life. Bodies ate bodies. Form consumed form.

From a lemur-like primate descended from miacis the group developed first aegyptopithecus and then, around 4514 million years ATB, catopithecus. By 4525 million years ATB the ape proconsul had emerged and the group selected one variety which, over the next 23 million years or so, was genetically modified many times to evolve Homo habilis. By now these small proto-humans were walking upright, carrying their infants and moving around their terrain in small bands.

All through out this evolutionary development from a form of aegyptopithecus primate to Homo habilis (over a time span of some 38 million years) the Team had, from time to time, spun off several distinct groups of primates. By the time Homo habilis appeared on the scene around 4548 million years ATB these early primate groups had evolved into monkeys, gibbons, orangutans, gorillas and, out of the ancestral human line before Homo habilis, two types of chimpanzees.

A huge variety of programmed corporaminds had been implanted in almost every species. Each species had its own “innate” patterns of psychological behaviors, its ethological instincts, which were genetically synchronized with its physical structure. This was as true for ants and bees as for conifers and wild corn. It was as true for migrating eels and salmon as for snow geese and wrens. The communication between corporamind patterns and their Living Spiral bodily equivalents was two-way. And each individual member of the species also possessed a conscious but limited micromind of its own. Bees were an excellent example of these dovetailed, very complex, psychological and physical characteristics at work.

At this point, approximately half a million years later, the group modified the physiology of Homo habilis to create Homo erectus, who stood much taller and was much more sophisticated in every way. Homo erectus people had larger brains and used simple tools and fire. They lived and hunted in bands, ate more meat and could communicate simply by using meaningful voice sounds. Some Homo erectus groups spread far and wide out of Africa across much of Eurasia.

The Team were pleased with what they had accomplished. In Homo erectus they felt they had at last made a viable costume which fulfilled most of their criteria. The steady evolution of a true upright posture, a larger brain, multipurpose teeth, and the beginnings of meaningful, vocal communication were creative master strokes. Members of the Team enjoyed projecting their own miniminds (as microminds) into these physical bodies and brains which also came complete with complex social and personal corporaminds. It was true that while in these bodies the Team members were unaware of their mutable plane, minimind existence but they could utilize fully the built-in corporamind patterns and programs to the extent that their physiology and the environment would allow. One of the main programmed, improved attributes of the Homo erectus corporamind was pleasure. Specific psychological enjoyments were permanently enmeshed with specific biological functions such as the sensations experienced when playing, eating or mating. Not that other primates did not have many of these various pleasures——to a lesser extent they did. But in Homo erectus these pleasurable sensations were much enhanced and sharpened, and this was achieved by microweaving enriched, corporamind psychology with improved, mutated physiology.

However, by “courtesy” of the Team and the Devaminds, much of the corporamind programming had come from Homo habilis and even earlier primate ancestors. Many cooperative nurturing, sharing and grooming behaviors fell into this category. So also did complex, often subtle, dominance patterns pervade groups. In the face of threat or challenge most higher primates, individually speaking, could sometimes scowl, grimace or glare, threaten with or throw sticks, stamp the ground, shake adjacent objects, grunt, growl, hoot, bark or shout, slap, hit, tug, pull hair or grab and bite, and the hunter-gatherer Homo erectus groups were no exception. Attachment bondings between mother and child occurred at and after birth. Bonding between family members took place in early childhood while peer group bonding first appeared a little later. Sexual bonding in various limited patterns happened mostly during adolescence and young adulthood, while friendship bonding could occur at almost any age. Homo erectus peoples rarely had long lives, and their corporamind programming ranged from fairly rigid patterns such as smiling or frowning responses, to loosely organized ones like social dominance and playing, where spontaneity was often a key element.

Ring, however, still felt that something was missing so he convened another meeting.

“We, when projected into these costumes, need more active control over the environment, more tools, more ingenuity to manipulate the physical world, more aspirations, more powers of abstract thought and much better vocal communication. Are we all agreed?”

Cube, the ethicist, had some reservations. “If we program into humans too much of ourselves as miniminds we will not be able to experience the dark side truly. We must remember our mission and adhere to its inherent restrictions.”

“How can we determine just how much intelligence, insight, and understanding of the abstract we should insert into these advanced humans,” asked Arch. “If we go too far we cannot reverse this evolutionary process easily,” he added.

Apex, the teleologist, had a drastic solution. “We can mutate two species of Homo sapiens,” he suggested, rather pleased with his new label for the proposed advanced humans. “One group should be much more concrete intellectually speaking while the other will be capable of limited abstract thought. Whichever one we eventually decide to go with we will retain; the other will be eliminated.”

Everyone agreed this was a neat solution so they set about planning two new humans, namely Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens.

“I propose we mutate Homo erectus quite gradually until we have a ‘viable’ proto-sapiens from which to mutate our two new models,” Wave suggested. “We can do this first in a suitable Middle Eastern niche. Once we have our basic sapiens prototype through continuous refinements, we can mutate both Homo sapiens sapiens and Neanderthals from him. The remaining Homo erectus will be killed off or left to die out. Are we all agreed?”

So, around 4,549.6 million years ATB, the group went to work to improve a small group of Homo erectus, tinkering here and there until, some 200,000 years later, they were satisfied with their much brighter, better constructed, but archaic new sapiens. They did receive a little help from some extraterrestrial Mindkins who had transferred some earlier primates to another earth-like planet which had been terraformed very quickly using Terra’s resources. These Mindkins had engineered some advanced brain DNA which they now contributed back to the group to help with the sapiens project. Next, the Team diverged this single creation into their two planned subspecies, Neanderthal sapiens and Homo sapiens sapiens. Neanderthal sapiens people were designed to have larger occipital/visual brain lobes, stronger bones and more muscular bodies, so as to be in keeping with their more “concrete” world view. In the case of the Homo sapiens sapiens people the Team decided to maintain an overarching control over their degrees of freedom with respect to overall abstract thinking and insight. It was agreed this variable blanket control would be exercised only in terms of their microminds and corporaminds. Their Living Spiral brains, however, would be able to handle any degree or type of necessary higher processes—from the neurological point of view.

As it turned out the Neanderthal experiment failed eventually because of the all-round built-in rigidity of concrete thinking and functioning. Their language was too limited and their stone tool making, though diversified, remained quite simple. Neanderthals, who had migrated across most of Europe, did bury their dead with food and tools for a vaguely conceived afterlife, but their art forms were almost nonexistent. The group agreed to let the Neanderthals die out slowly through disease, ice age accidents and privations, starvation, and a low fecundity owing to short lives. Part of this last reason was the result of direct clashes during the last Ice Ages with Homo sapiens sapiens tribes and their superior weapons, over territorial hunting rights in a cold, harsh, sparse land. The Team had built a territorial defense and acquisition need into all sapiens corporaminds.

Homo sapiens sapiens humans, too, had not only spread rapidly across Europe from their Middle Eastern origins, but also east into Asia. They traveled south as well, returning to the Africa of their earlier ancestors, habilis and erectus, in the process. The group members loved to project themselves into these Homo sapiens sapiens humans and they did so often, even as they continued to refine and diversify this intelligent subspecies for some time to come. Occasionally, one of the group, as a micromind, would enter a human body during its fetal stage and live that lifetime inside it until the costume died.

            The Neanderthals had vanished by 4549.97 million years ATB, but Homo sapiens sapiens had proliferated everywhere. These smart humans crossed ice age land bridges to the Americas, and paddled, drifted or sailed canoes and rafts across large rivers and narrow straits as far as Australia. They now possessed the surface of Terra.

 

Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD

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