‘They marched down Telegraph Avenue that day. They were saying that someone was taking their park… of all the damn things. I am convinced that it was not so much that someone was trying to take their park. Instead, it was the fact that someone was trying to take their lives. All I know is that it began as a march, then came the usual demonstration and yelling. It was different this time though, as the national guard was now a continual presence. There were the speeches, and the curses… a scuffle, a burst of shots, then he was dead. I remember this as if it were a moment ago. A patch of agony scratched into my brain.
‘How is one to account for a decade as deviant as the 1960’s? Before this time were not the children of this great land content in their prosperity, proud of their heritage? I mean this was the richest century in the history of the world…in the richest country in the world…What happened? There was the war, of course. Boys were being corralled and slaughtered, a practice not uncommon in history, to be sure. But these times were different. The real income of individuals would have doubled over the 1950 figure by 1970. All of this the product of cheap oil. Gasoline was 25 cents a gallon…as metropolitan areas spread outwards like molds. As I say…people were now in mass richer than any peoples in history. They were able to give their children lives befitting nobility in the past. They were able to give their children the gifts of knowledge and educations befitting kings of old. They lived on small rural estates with lawns and separate residences with mechanical servants of every type. The first reaction would be…People now were beginning to have too much. More disturbing… They were beginning to know too much. They could not be fed the baloney that the United States must protect the world from Communism. They knew that the job now for all nations was to protect billions from hunger in the world, to get the economies moving. To give other persons a life as they themselves now possessed. Materially, many no longer felt the need for more. Now it was time to share. A world of material things left these young people in wastelands of alienated separate families in surrogate communities. But their parents could in no way understand the generosity, the new wisdom, the frustration of their children… and interpreted it as ungratefulness, obstreperousness, ultimately defiance. And so there was death, for by no means the first time in the story of man, on the school yard as well as on the battleground.
‘ Now as I look back ten years later, after a decade of supposed calm, although the New York Times continues to log its routine thousands of demonstrations a year, I can see that the 1960’s were not an aberration, but a harbinger…no, a promise… of changes to come.’
It was the third week in March and Omicron and Aura worked with the men and women, respectively, in the band that had been struck by calamity…by disease… helping to erect temporary shelters for the community. It would take only a week or two for new clusters to be created biologically. In the meantime, the contorted remains were conveyed by military vehicles to digesters located in the abandoned urban areas of the past. Here biological tissues which were malignant were broken down into amino acids for reassemblage. Organisms now were used to produce Living materials that replaced plastics of the previous age, which had been made from crude oil. Crude oil now was too scarce and too expensive for any practical use or source of energy now…This sudden loss of a cheap source of energy actually helped ameliorate the global warming that threatened the earth during the early 21st century.
Some of the members of the damaged community went to Live in other bands until clusters could be replaced and services reestablished.
On Friday, Aura was visiting Omicron as usual in the Blue’s cluster, watching the Cerebrum screen that occupied a wall. The trial was beginning. Scar Liege who was mutilated by the exploding shrapnel and nineteen other enemies of the State were on display before the country. All the data concerning the men, their backgrounds, and all evidence was fed into Cerebrum’s infinitely powerful brain. All previous decisions and all existing Laws were already in the data bank. In seconds came the verdict. Each man was guilty of ten to thousands of counts of murder, damage to federal and community property, and many other offenses which they had accumulated over the previous three years as well as from their contribution to the enemy effort during the Struggle. Found guilty, they were required to repay all costs of the actions to the country. Each Life taken had worth in terms of the loss of return on human capital. Since human beings now were very creative and lived many years, each life was worth millions of dollars. The guilty men were also responsible for all production lost during the war, which amounted to billions of dollars. Liege and several others would be executed and pay the ultimate penalty for infamy and evilness. Hundreds of other mobsters who had been hunted down and captured would be tried later. Most of the convicts would be required to remain in debtor’s prison until they repaid their debts to the country. There was little hope that they would be able to repay the money, so they would stay in the jails in the wilderness until they died. They would have to perform physical slave labor twelve hours a day every day to earn their daily food and shelter. They would not be allowed to do intellectually creative work which would give them joy and happiness. Such is the fate of those who do not keep their eyes upon the True and Just, thought Omicron.
Aura had been accepted with honors at the University. Omicron would be attending also with a late application which was honored by Presidential command by virtue of his extraordinary achievements during the Struggle. They would not start classes until September. In the meantime, Omicron wanted to begin on a new musical…one with his own ideas and with the new music he had begun to compose. He would work with a new group composed of artists from several bands in Golden Sun Tribe. He hoped with hard work that it could be completed and presented before University classes started in the fall. Omicron and Aura could be married at the end of the summer and Live together at the University as man and wife.
Omicron immediately plunged into his work on the musical production. Aura was going to help. Omicron wanted to present a story based on a biography of a couple which had struggled and met the challenges of the first half of the twenty-first century. This time was one of transition from a mass consumption-type society to one which would be more creative as machines began to proliferate at a tremendous rate and made it possible for people to move from urban areas out on to the land. It would mark the transition from an intellectually predominate period filled with machines and products of men and women’s minds to a period which would embrace all of the best which had preceded, plus it would envelop all within the Cosmic possibilities offered by the communities. Just as the Life of each man and woman progressed through the phases of the physical, intellectual, to the Cosmic, so too the ages of man and woman had progressed through these great periods. Men and women could not progress higher than their age allowed. It was only with the advent of the Cosmic age that men and women could progress together to the summit which was afforded by Will…that is, of creative attainment… and Love…that is, the total embrace of communities spread forth upon the land.
In the first part of the story… the hero was tempted to remain in a stable government job and invest his money in the consolidation of machines into gigantic cities that had less and less need for human input. However, his real interest lay with intellectual creativity… research, music, and poetry. His Lover, that is, his wife, was in fashion design and was an artist. So it was that when he had a little extra money, he began to invest in creativity and human resources, not in machines and physical resources. His was a constant Struggle to maintain a creative spirit in the throes of an expanding and profitable enterprise. In time, he was able to earn enough money to sell the business and move to the edge of the metropolis where he set up a prototype for the communities which would exist after the Change. The building of tools of the mind and of the factory, which was the essence of the Intellectual age and characterized at the end by massive transformations in technology and artificial intelligence, was driven inexorably, and quickly through to the next Cosmic stage during this transitional period, and the hero was caught up in this evolution of man and woman’s tools and spirit. In this new age creative work would explode and humanity would begin to bask in a world of joy and happiness.
Omicron was working arduously to write a beautiful symphonic type of climax at the ending when the protagonist would sing “A Song of Love,” backed by a glorious chorus. The musical had to be completed quickly. It was decided that an abbreviated sample version should be done first without costumes or scenery, although basic designs for these would be available for the national judges to examine. It was necessary to move quickly if the group was to be considered for a contract for the next production year, which started in January. The group worked, aided by the powers of Cerebrum. Omicron and two other I-types wrote a rough script based on the biographies available. The A-types then worked long hours shaping the dialog into an authentically pleasing, humorous, as well as moving presentation. Omicron contributed seven songs among which were “Oh Moon Up Above,” and “A Song of Love.” The actors would read their parts and a choir very hurriedly would learn to the best of their ability their parts to be sung.
One afternoon near the end of July, Omicron and Aura walked quietly up a stream which flowed through the hills near the University. There was no mountain to climb in this part of the Bay Area, but the walk was pleasant and they were able to rapidly separate themselves from the activities of the communities below. They walked hand in hand along a brook, shaded by black oaks which dotted hills covered with grass. White pillows of clouds were in the sky daily now… the long storm that had burst forth during the Struggle and briefly after…now were distant memories.
‘College is right round the corner,’ Omicron said.
Aura responded with a smile. ‘College will be just like the schools in the communities, with creative groups and all. Up to now, it’s been fun and games, and sell something if you can. But from here on in, it’s sell, sell, sell!’ ‘You sound like some crazy woman from the twentieth century. Sell, sell, sell. That’s why people left the cities. We are admonished now to create, create, create! But this we want to do anyway to have a happy, joyful Life. You’ve got a brain. All you have to do is relax and let the brilliance pour out of you.’
This remark was met with a handful of grass in the face, and Aura took off running up the side of a gently sloping hill. He caught up with her and both went flying into a rolling hug through the knee-high grass. They kissed, and Omicron’s hands gently massaged Aura’s neck and back. Gently he lifted her dress over her head and off. He laid her face-down in the matted trampled grass, which filled his nose with its sweet fragrance. He rubbed and massaged her neck and shoulders as he had been taught in school. The massage began as a therapeutic one as he moved the blood from her torso to her extremities and loosened and flushed the impurities from her taunt muscles.
Then, he stopped. He stood up and walked to a clump of golden poppies in the rolling fields of grass. He entwined the flowers together, bottom of the stem of one flower to just below the blossom of another, forming a chain which he closed into a circle. This chain he brought back to Aura who beheld him with admiration, without the least sense of puzzlement. She knew that he had been trained to operate according to eternal and universal principles and Laws. She, on the other hand, had been trained to act, eat and think..to kanoodle… like a chimpanzee.
He raised Aura to full erect standing posture from her sitting posture, then caused her to kneel. He placed the ring of chained flowers over her head. The flowers contrasted beautifully against her beautiful skin and offered a complement to her hair, which glowed in the sunlight.
‘This chain is symbolic of the ordeal of passion which the ancients had to successfully endure. With these hands, I now break the chain and will clothe you until that happy bright day which will soon be here.’
When they were again clothed, he said.
‘The fact that I was able to control myself at this time of complete Love, devotion, and passion for you gives me hope that we shall progress, shall climb, and shall obtain our dreams. I have felt all along that we would be able to make it to the top. Now I have a tangible sign, a sign of hope, that all will soon be well.’
Then it was the second Sunday in August. The play was put on in Golden Sun Tribe because most of the members of the Dionysis group that created it were from that tribe. The presentation of the play went well and the dialog was moving and believable despite its rapid creation. However, the highlights of the musical were Omicron’s songs. The finale brought down the house when he himself sang “Song of Love” for Aura and the audience for the first time:
Oh joy of my Life
In a world of storm and strife
You make me sing
Our hearts take wing
And our Love will Light the day.
With me forever please Love stay.
Golden is Love’s Light
That shines forth through the night.
Heaven’s sun’s rays
Will brighten all our days.
With you beside me fear is gone.
Your sweet smile is morning’s dawn.
Some will say such Love can’t be.
Man and woman must be free.
But Love is not a tinker’s toy.
Abiding Love brings peace and joy.
Oh sparkling Love, my Life’s delight
Who takes me to the mountain’s height.
Let the diamond gleam
Of this Love dream
Send forth its Light
Under shining brilliant sun
Our hearts and Lives
The response to the play was overwhelming. The community detained him for almost an hour after the meeting, congratulating him and encouraging him to write songs for the community to sing. There were several critics from New York, who greeted him warmly after the production. The praise he cherished most, however, were the Light and tears in Aura’s eyes when he rushed to hug her right after the curtain had gone down. She knew the music had been written for her and she melted into his arms.
After the reception, he and Aura left the dancing and parties which always followed the meetings, and together they walked up a sloping hillside in the darkness. Omicron was filled with happiness. Not only because of the work he had been able to do, but most of all, because of the maturity he had gained as a person and because of the growth of his relationship with Aura, both of which were the real reasons for his success. Before the presentation, he had felt himself to be a man changed by war but left without direction or purpose, except for the guiding Light of his Love and the certainty of a creative-filled Life together with Aura in the future. Now he felt that whatever happened, all would be Right. His dreams would somehow become a reality. For the first time he was filled with Hope. His faith that all would be well grew and flooded his body with a certainty that all was possible. He and Aura reached a bluff and their eyes were drawn up to the heavens. The clouds had parted to reveal a large patch of black. The moon was an iridescent large glow behind a cloud. But straight ahead toward where they both gazed was a star, shining most brightly among the myriad in the sky. ‘Cosmic step seventeen… Hope… is represented by a blazing star with eight rays surrounded by seven other stars hovering over a naked girl who pours over the barren earth the waters of universal life that flows from two goblets… one gold… the other silver. Beside her, a butterfly is alighting on a rose.’
The words boomed through Omicron’s brain with the heightened pulse of his blood. ‘This girl is the emblem of Hope which scatters its dew upon our saddest days. She is naked, in order to signify that Hope remains with us when we have been bereft of everything. Above this figure the blazing, eight-pointed star symbolizes the apocalypse of Destinies enclosed by seven seals which are the seven planets, represented by the seven other stars. The butterfly is the sign of eternal rebirth and perpetuation of energies expended unleashed by creative endeavor.
‘On the physical level, step seventeen signifies Hope. On the intellectual level, it symbolizes the Inner Light that illuminates the Spirit. On the Cosmic level, it expresses Immortality.
‘Remember, son of Earth, that Hope is the sister of Faith. Abandon your passions and your errors… and study the mysteries of True knowledge, and their key shall be given unto you. Then shall a ray of the divine Light shine from the occult Sanctuary to dispel the darkness of the future and show you the path to happiness. Whatever happens in your Life, never break the flowers of Hope, and you will gather the fruits of faith.’
Omicron embraced Aura, kissed her gently again and again and then talked to her in a soft voice. However, Aura could only hear the song he had sung… as it moved relentlessly over and over again through her brain.