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Message from the future
WE MADE IT!
Copyright © 2021 by Henning Jon Grini
The provisions in the Copyright Act covers this publication.
No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the prior written permission of the author.
Original title: Var naere fremtid
Translated from Norwegian to English by Brit Weisz
Cover and Layout: Henning Jon Grini
Cover foto: © Iofoto – Dreamstime ID 2042191
The future, – what will it bring? What will it look like? This is a large and fascinating topic which engages and worries a lot of people. Will we be plagued by escalating environmental catastrophes and pandemics, or will we succeed in handling and controlling them? Will the future be full of pollution and plastic, or will it be clean and free from all kinds of littering? Will we manage to stop – and possibly reverse – the global warming? Will we have a society characterized by fear and misery, or filled with laughter and joy?
How the future is going to manifest itself is not cut in stone. It is we humans who decide what is going to happen in the years to come. The future is malleable and depends entirely on what we do. Still, there are hints and trends that point in certain directions.
Imagination is more important than knowledge, according to Einstein. I have made an attempt at describing the future based on many years’ interest in this topic, lots of self-studies and long experience in my professional work. Yes, ever since I was a boy I have taken a great interest in the future. In my room I had a model of the Space Shuttle and futuristic posters, and I read books about science and the Great Questions. I watched science fiction movies, and already as a sixteen-year-old in the early eighties I was programming computer games. Since that time my field of interest has expanded to encompass new societal models, spirituality, extraterrestrial life and more. All of this has become a part of this book.
In me a picture has gradually formed of a potential future far more positive than the impression one gets when one regards today’s world. One reason for this is the relatively one-sided focus – especially by the media – on what is wrong and dysfunctional. An enormous amount of innovations and generally positive things are emerging, but far too seldom are the camera lenses directed at these.
This book is also meant to counterbalance all the gloomy and dystopic scenarios of the future that are being outlined in such a lot of science fiction books and movies. In my view, how we envision the future is in fact contributing to how that future will become. Precisely this is an important reason why I have written the book. It also views today’s society as seen in relation to the future described in the book, as well as the process needed to achieve it.
My view of the future is most profoundly bright and positive, but also realistic. Why, and in what way, you may ask. Because many of the greatest global challenges humanity struggles with today are on the mend. Wars, for instance, are statistically seen becoming fewer. In the futuristic scenario I describe we have put a complete ban on such primitive conduct. This is because of the fact that as our understanding increases, we develop. We have also seen a dramatic reduction of extreme poverty, and life expectancy has increased. In addition we now have an expanding cooperation between different nations in order to solve the problems we face, such as pandemics and the environmental ones. All of this is far more important, in my opinion, than the technological development, (although this obviously is also helping to raise our level of conscience). For what are the benefits of technological development when it can be misused and we are in danger of destroying ourselves? This is why the human aspect is of such paramount importance, which is exactly what this book emphasizes so strongly. On the other hand, a lot of new technology is described in this future world, but it is subordinate to man and only employed for the benefit of people in a world far more human and friendly than today’s society.
Although humanity is progressing, new challenges arise and must be dealt with. Man-made climatic changes are serious and pose a threat to our future. We have arrived at the Age of Consequences. On the other hand, the climatic changes have an important function by reminding us that we cannot treat our planet exactly as we wish. The changes in the climate have made us conscious of the fact that our actions have consequences, and of our profound connection with Nature. They have made us find environment-friendly solutions, and this development will accelerate. Examples of other challenges we face are misuse of genetic engineering and increasing loneliness. At the same time, tenacious problems like social inequality still create great and increasing challenges and suffering, and are large contributors to the emergence of populistic leaders.
The good news is that nearly all our problems already have their solutions, but they are so thinly distributed throughout the world that only a few people know of all the good solutions that already exist. As time goes by, these and new solutions will more and more be put to use all over the world. This is something this book deals with.
How far into the future is the plot of the book thought to take place? This question is something I have left to the reader to imagine, but I can at least say that it is not so very distant. Some of our children and grandchildren will still be alive in the future I describe, and even some of the younger readers.
The Star Trek series and films are well known. They are set in a future more distant than the story in this book depicts. Science fiction often describes things that later have become realities, and Star Trek is no exception. The Star Trek universe was multicultural long before this was the norm. In the original series the leading role was for the first time on American television played by an Afro-American woman. Star Trek was apparently the only show Martin Luther King and his wife allowed their three children to watch. In Star Trek there was a normal and peaceful coexistence here on Earth with other beings in the Universe. Here were also the headquarters of The Federation, which was a union between different races. The Federation had abolished money, which in turn had removed the need for buying, selling and competition, as well as greatly reduced greed, jealousy and many other problems. Humanity had conquered illness and poverty. The series was first shown in September 1966, which happens to be the month and year in which I was born. Perhaps I wanted to take part in the fun?
At the time of writing certain politicians and heads of states appear frightening, but here it is important to take the long view. Present politicians will long ago have left their political offices by the time of the future scenario I describe here. As humanity gradually acquires more empathy and wisdom, our understanding and development will increase, and future leaders will reflect this.
Many older people alive today have witnessed an enormous social change, and the development over the next decades will go significantly faster than during the preceding decades. Precisely for this reason this time is so crucial for our future. We need visionary persons who can express themselves through their works of art, authorship, inventions and innovations, just to list a few areas. We need dreamers! Yes, we have a great need of everyone who wants to contribute for the benefit of humanity simply by seeing the best qualities in humans and our enormous potential, of which we have only just started to glimpse the contours.
It is my hope that you will come along on this journey into our near future together with the main person and the ones he meets there, which also include friendly intelligent life forms from other civilizations. The book is free from murder, crime, intrigues, fear and other kinds of misery. It is not a dystopic description of how people have to struggle to survive in a largely destroyed world. On the contrary, it speaks of happy experiences, optimism, hope, imagination and love. It has a more philanthropic and positive approach to life. There is light in the tunnel, and my wish is that more of us will see it and together create a fantastic and enriching future for us all, full of vivid and empathic people.
In short, the message from the future is this: WE MADE IT!
And this book describes how we managed it…
The sun peeps in through the curtains towards the bed where I lie. It is morning, and I know I should be happy for a new day with new possibilities. The truth is, I am not. Just now I am fed up with most things. My life is not going smoothly at present. Not only did I recently lose my job, but my marriage has gone down the drain.
Furthermore, I think the entire world is a pile of shit. Everywhere one looks there seem to be problems. Terrorism and wars are particularly dreadful, but wars are being fought here in my own neighborhood as well, even over trifles. And then there is the way people, animals and nature are being misused and usurped. And our greed for profit and exaggerated material luxury, which has brought so much suffering in its wake. Additionally, we have these enormous environmental problems that we don’t seem able to handle, they just keep increasing. Did I mention social distancing because of pandemics? There is apparently no end to all our problems. I’ll not continue to enumerate them all here, – you get the picture…
The only place I feel really free is in nature. That is where I can be myself. Or actually, not completely, as my thoughts won’t leave me in peace even there, but accompany me wherever I go. Albeit muted when I am in nature, because the peace and harmony that reigns there has an effect on me, but it is very bothersome to have a mind that is constantly nagging. Perhaps, if I do some special exercises with a view to stop all this nagging, I might see the end of it? At least so I have heard. Well, I might take a look at this later. Just now I simply want to get out of my apartment; I can’t stand being here any longer. My own thoughts are making me feel depressed.
But I ought not exaggerate. After all, I have good friends and family who confirm that the world and we humans are perhaps not that bad after all, because there are a lot of great people in the world, and we do many good things. On the other hand, there is no getting around the fact that we cause a lot of problems for each other. Just the other day I saw on the news that yet another murder had been committed, and yet another violent conflict and protest against some injustice or other was going on. In fact, such things are on the news every day. No wonder one can become disillusioned, depressed and losing faith in humankind! Could this be what has happened to me?
So who is this frustrated person, you may think. Sometimes I myself wonder! But what I do know about myself is that I am a man in my late thirties, and I feel reasonably sure that I am heterosexual. At least I have never tried, or been interested in, anything else, but one never knows these days. I suppose I have lived a rather mundane life with a wife and a job. No kids, though, but all of this is now history…
The story I am about to tell is anything but mundane, however, and may appear unbelievable to most people. Already at this stage I shall reveal a bit of what happened to me. Hang on tight, – not only have I been fortunate enough to visit the future, but there I also got to talk for a while with our friends from other civilizations!
It all started on that morning when I felt so frustrated and just had to get out of my apartment in the huge city where I live. After driving for some miles, I parked my car and decided to go for one of my long walks in nature. I shall do my best to relate what subsequently happened.
I walked for quite a while and then sat down to rest at a place on a mountain plateau where I had a beautiful view and could glimpse the far-away ocean. I was entirely alone up there. The walk had been good for me and my mind was calmer. I was actually in a good mood, a rare thing these days. The weather was glorious and the sun warmed me. How wonderful it was to feel the sunshine! It is rather incredible that an object many millions of miles away can give light and warmth here! Not only that, but of course the sun gives life and energy to our planet.
It is all rather magical, I reflected gratefully as I lay there.
Some distance below me and on my left there was a beautiful small lake and a river that meandered by. The lovely chirping of birds could be heard in the distance as I gradually became more and more relaxed. I was actually no longer sitting, but had lain down on a small grassy area shadowed by trees and had closed my eyes. I was, after all, rather tired after the ascent and had not slept well the previous night. In fact, I felt quite comfortable lying there… Suddenly I heard a low humming sound and was seized by a weird feeling that I was being watched. It felt odd, and I opened my eyes and looked around, but there was nothing unusual to be seen. I closed my eyes again, and the feeling of wellbeing returned. I felt I was in a daze, not asleep but not awake either. Then, after a while, things started to happen…
In the distance I heard the chirping of birds. Gradually I felt more and more awake and clearheaded, unusually so, like after a good night’s sleep. I got up and stretched a bit. The sun had moved quite some distance in the sky, so it was perhaps about time to start on my way home. I cast one last glance at the plain far below me, and just as I was about to turn around and walk away, I noticed some buildings or tents in the far distance that I could not remember having seen before. They seemed to be mainly round. There were some people there as well. This was strange, very strange. Somehow I did not feel able to simply walk away, I wanted to find out what this could be. After all, I had been here many times before, even though it was a while since the last time. Never before had I seen these buildings. I decided to investigate.
It was too steep to walk straight down, and considerably further to go back the way I had come, so I chose another and apparently quicker path. This meant I had to walk through the forest in places where I had never been before. Hm… something is rather peculiar here, I thought, something is different. For one thing, it felt so peaceful there that I myself was in a more relaxed frame of mind than I could recall having been for a long time. But this was not all, something else was singularly different, something I could not quite define… I was probably too engrossed in thinking about the mysterious buildings I had seen, to register the changes that had occurred in the vegetation.
When I got down from the mountain and walked along a path where I had been a few times before, I passed a small area that I had always viewed with distaste. Somebody had simply dumped a load of rubbish down a slope. I could not understand why anyone would do a thing like that, but now I was very pleased to see that it had fortunately all been cleared away. How great that someone had literally grabbed hold of the problem and removed it!
As I walked along, a person came towards me. He smiled and greeted me as we passed each other. I only just managed to do the same before he was gone, because he made me somewhat confused and distracted. Not because he greeted me, as this is quite usual when one meets someone while walking in nature, but it was his entire appearance. The heartfelt smile he gave me, and not least the clothes he wore. They were certainly rather incongruous. If you have seen the apparel people wear in science fiction movies you will understand what I mean. I had to chuckle a bit and now had yet another thing to wonder about.
It soon appeared that there were many other things to ponder. I saw a dear fairly close by, and the wonderful thing was that it did not get frightened as I approached. It took a few steps away from me, but it did not run off. Well, I thought, what a pleasant experience it was to get so close to one of the wild animals of the forest! Maybe it had got used to being around people? We were of course in the country, but there was a house here and there.
But suddenly I was really stunned: I had by then emerged from the forest and stood there completely mesmerized, scarcely believing my eyes. In front of me were many of these small round houses I had seen from the mountain, and they were solid houses, not tents. A narrow river flowed through the area towards a small lake, just as I had seen it from up above. Several adults and children were in the area, and a particularly peaceful and loving atmosphere could be felt. How should I best describe what I saw? Perhaps if you visualize an Indian village of older times, such as can be seen in books and movies, you might get an impression of what this looked like. Only this was – how should I put it – of a far more modern type, sort of an Indian Village Version II. Had I happened upon a filming? Now I understood why the man I had met in the forest had worn such peculiar clothes. He had obviously come from this place, and they must be filming a scene for a science fiction movie!
Someone was calling my name! I noticed a woman about my own age walking towards me. This has to be a science fiction movie, I thought, because she also was dressed in a futuristic way. Hm… I ought to have known about this movie, considering I live only some miles from this place.
When the woman got to where I was standing, she gave me a warm hug and smiled broadly. It seemed as though she knew me. I can’t say that the way I hugged her in response was quite as warm and heartfelt, but that was because I did not know her. This was really starting to be rather weird.
«Do I know you?» I heard myself ask in confusion.
«Yes and no», was all the answer I received. «My name is Natalia, by the way, and welcome to our small town of Lighthaven.»
«What kind of movie are you filming?» I asked, feeling flurried and bewildered. «And where are the camera men? I don’t see any, nor any movie equipment.»
«You’ll get your answers, just come with me, please» Natalia said.
I followed her across a beautiful small bridge which had been built across the river. They really had put a lot of quality work into this filming, I mused, for here was a fantastic parklike environment and really cool-looking buildings. It seemed a bit odd that Natalia referred to it as a town, though, as it didn’t seem to be of any great size, more like a village. Maybe they had taken such pains with the «scenery» with a view to later usage? Who knows, perhaps they planned to sell the houses and other buildings later? In that case I might even consider moving here myself, I thought, – provided I could afford it, of course, for I found the place to be exceptionally pleasant, with a wonderful ambience! A far cry from the apartment building where I live, to put it mildly. Here there was life all around me, with children at play. Their happy laughter could be heard, a positive sign. But the fact that I did not know of the existence of this place already, was really peculiar…
«Welcome to the future!» I heard Natalia say.
«Ha-ha, thank you. I have to admit that I am quite impressed with the scenery you have constructed for this movie» I replied.
«Aron, this is not a filming, this is the future!» Natalia said, sounding a bit more serious.
I felt shivers going down my back. I looked at Natalia and could see that she meant what she said. She quickly put one hand on my shoulder to calm me.
«Take it easy, there is nothing to be afraid of. You are just a bit shocked and frightened by what I said. And that is simply because you have no inkling of what has happened to you, but I have. Look, let’s sit down over there and I’ll explain a bit more.» And with these words she took my hand and led me to a bench with a view of the area. Her calm words and her touch quietened me and made me trust her.
«What you have experienced is rather special and something only very few people are granted. You should know that we have been waiting for you. We know where you live. We know that you enjoy being in nature and from time to time visit this mountain plateau. We know of your recent troubles. All in all we know a great deal about you and your life. But most importantly, Aron, we know who you are! We know your personality, your character and your psyche», Natalia said.
«How on earth can you know all these things?» I asked in a state of light shock.
«We’ll get back to that later. Just now I only want to explain a bit more about the process and what has happened to you. When you lay down on the mountain plateau and were just about to fall asleep, things started to happen. In that transition between being awake and sleeping, you were brought through a time portal to the future. The details in this process are of no importance in this connection,» Natalia explained.
«How am I going to believe this? It sounds completely weird!» I said and could feel several other questions building up inside me.
«You might begin by pinching your arm», Natalia said and started to laugh. Her laughter made me feel calmer. As a matter of fact I myself began to laugh a little, until she actually pinched my arm. And then we both laughed even more. After a while our laughter subsided and my urge to ask questions returned.
«I might simply have walked down from the mountain, got into my car and driven home. Then none of these things would have happened» I said.
«In the first place, you would not have found your car. Remember that you have stepped into the future. The vegetation has also changed a great deal. Another thing, – the man you met on the way here was actually on his way to fetch you, to bring you here if you had not found your way to us by yourself. He has now gone to his home. Besides, you would have had trouble finding your apartment, to put it like that. The area where you live looks completely different now. But just relax, we shall bring you back in due time. Although I won’t rule out the possibility that you might want to remain here, but I am afraid you can’t» Natalia explained.
«And why can’t I remain?» I asked.
«You could, but we want you to go back to the age you came from,» she answered. «We want you to tell about us to those who are willing to listen.»
«Ok, and precisely what do you want me to tell?» I asked.
«Tell people about how we have solved many of the problems you face, like the environmental problems. Tell them that we have no poverty here, and that we long ago have abolished wars. We want you to tell who we are, how we live, what we do and how we have organized our society. And, not least important, how we love each other and make love to each other!» she said and sent me a warm and coquettish smile. I suddenly felt rather hot. Natalia was a beautiful woman, at least I thought so. Was I embarrassed? In any case I didn’t quite know what to say.
«You are thinking of sex,» she said, laughing. «That is probably no wonder, after all, you are a man.» I had no time to reply – or defend myself – before she continued. «Jokes aside, we shall show you how we make love, including sex, but to make love is so much more than just sex, as I know that you too are aware of.»
«Yes, I am very aware of that» I replied, and felt my body growing warm from her direct, playful and teasing energetic emanation.
«But where you come from, not everyone is aware of this», she said, serious again now. «Here we have neither abuse, rape or prostitution. All of this we have outgrown, and it is one of the many topics we’ll be touching on while you are visiting here.»
«That is great, of course, but this is after all just a small village where everyone knows everyone else, what about the rest of the world?» I said.
«We’ll get back to that. It is not all that small, however, it is larger than you believe it to be. The larger part of the town is behind the hill you see over there. Come along with me now, I’ll show you around.» Natalia got up from the bench, and I followed her while she continued to explain.
«Do you see the small buildings that are spread through the area? They are dwellings», she explains. «And if you look closely you will see that there are also some houses up on that slope and some among the trees over there. They are also dwellings and have been designed to more or less blend with nature and are not necessarily round.»
«Actually, I had not noticed them» I said in surprise.
«Everything we have built here have been built on nature’s own terms, absolutely everything. There is nothing here that in any way causes pollution. Also, the round houses are far better able to withstand the elements of nature, for example strong wind, and they feel far better to live in. This has to do with energies. You live mainly in square boxes and lead square lives, at present I myself live in one of these round houses. I prefer to be down here where there are more people. Behind that hill are even more dwellings as well as larger buildings that are used by the community. That is where the center of Lighthaven is located.»
«So then it is larger than what I imagined».
«Much larger than what you actually see here, because this is more than just a village, as you supposed from your first impression. It is a small town, but with a village feeling. It has been quite intentionally planned and designed that way. Lighthaven is also a suburb of an even larger town which you will get to visit. On the other side of the hill, in the center, there is a connection to the greater city. By means of maglev trains that are operated by magnetic energy it only takes a few minutes to reach the city, although the distance is tens of miles. Of course, in your time you have that type of trains in simpler versions, and you are experimenting with developing them further, and also with what you call Hyperloop. By the way, we also have what you would call flying cars!»
«Fantastic! I would love to see and experience this! How far into the future – seen from my own time – are we actually? I ask, profoundly impressed by what I see and what she tells me.
«Not as far as you perhaps might think. It is not a matter of centuries, not even of one. Some of the young people of your time are still alive. Exactly how far into the future we are is not so very important. And as for flying cars and maglev trains, of course you will get to try them. It should not come as a great surprise for you that we have these things. In your own time there is a lot of experimentation with flying cars and passenger-carrying drones going on, and you are even testing hoverboards and flying motorbikes.»
«Yes, but these futuristic houses, this place, and not least the people here seem to be far more relaxed, balanced and content than what I am used to where I come from. And not least, they smile a lot more.»
«That is quite correctly observed, but I don’t know how well you have been paying attention. Already in your time towns based on sustainability and renewable energy are on the way to becoming a reality. In addition there are quite a few so-called ecovillages and other smaller areas where people are experimenting with new modes of living such as Damanhur, Auroville, Findhorn, Tamera and others. The people there try their best to live according to the principles of Nature and to create a more humane society. And the results show that they are more content with life and therefore happier.»
«I have paid some attention and have heard about some, but not that there are as many as you describe’ I answered. ‘By the way, how is that now, in this future where I find myself at present?»
«First I’ll have to explain a bit about the reason that this place and similar ones came into existence. In your time and your reality the ruling mentality is materialism and consumption. Yes, you even had a national measure for it, Gross Domestic Product, which was always based on growth. But that is not possible in a world with limited resources. It has resulted in a superficial, cold and not very humane society, something that has made you yourself feel terribly frustrated without you really understanding why it is so. It was literally a «every man for himself» mentality which led to unfair distribution at the expense of others and the community. This greed and inequality felt extremely unfair, which in turn created discontent and a fertile ground for populists with easy answers that appealed to the baser instincts in man. This mentality also led to an unparalleled pollution, the consequences of which were enormous environmental problems. In addition, such a superficial society created a lot of ennui, feelings of meaninglessness, loneliness and depression. At the same time there were other challenges for the society as a whole, such as thirst for power, xenophobia, conflicts of religions and cultures, and much more. You might say these were the collective flows that permeated the society at that time, in your time, that is.»
«I think I understand where you are heading. A shift in the mentality has occurred,» I said.
«That is right. And this shift actually happened quite rapidly once it had got underway. This has now led to things having been turned more or less upside down, at least here in our society. For it is not the same everywhere on Earth in my time either, and even we have our problems. But in general things have become much better. We are far more oriented towards community in our society, and we are collectively working at restoring the environment and repairing the damage that has been done to Earth. In fact, this is now one of the most significant collective flows and tasks that our society is going through globally. In short, we are cleansing and rewilding the planet. We are tidying up after our own ravages. This will be going on for many years to come, until we have restored the balance.»
«It sounds like an almost impossible task!»
«It is definitely not impossible! Don’t forget that when a sufficient number of people work together, enormous creative powers are set in motion. Since your time we have had ideas and invented methods that have solved the majority of the problems humanity struggled with at that time. I’ll try to draw a parallel here: In the 20th century we had two world wars. By now we have completely stopped such a primitive and horrendous behavior as wars are. We no longer solve our conflicts with violence. However, these two world wars led to an escalated technological development while they were going on, particularly within the weapon industry. People on both sides of the conflict felt threatened. This affected first the allied forces and then the axis powers, and heaven and earth was put in motion in order to meet this threat. Something comparable happened around your time. Many problems had their roots in differing religious dogmas, while others were caused by the unfair distribution of resources or exploitation of animals. The environmental problems in particular gradually became so enormous that people realized that something drastic had to be done, and fast. Pandemics, unrest, hurricanes, sea level rise and huge flooding’s, extreme drought and high temperatures were some of the scourges that plagued humanity. We were not facing a threatening external enemy, – we were our own enemy! We had brought all the problems we struggled with onto ourselves.»
«So what you are really saying is that we had to change ourselves?»
«Yes, precisely! An individual as well as a collective self-development was called for. When enough people had realized this after we had had enough of all our problems, and started to act accordingly, masses of means and power was mobilized, and things quickly began to change. Starting at grass root level, and gradually attracting the authorities, business, organizations, private persons, – you name it – who implemented one measure after the other to help further this turnaround. People began to co-operate on a scale humanity had never before witnessed. Instead of making weapons of mass destruction, we started to create mass repair and mass mobilizing for the benefit of people and Nature. This is not a mere play on words, we quite concretely changed focus. We stopped making dreadful weapons meant for destruction. This freed an enormous lot of resources. In the place of weapons came a deluge of environmentally friendly ideas, inventions and innovations. Ecologically produced goods and services popped up everywhere. Creativity and inspiration blossomed. That was the time when the cleansing and rehabilitation of Earth really took off. And we in addition began to use robots to perform this work, the speed was further increased. But most importantly of all, massive resources were employed in order to create a shift in mentality which would prevent similar problems in the future. We became far more skilled at engaging in dialogue and in general listening to each other, also where religious conflicts were concerned, and we greatly improved in our ability to take care of each other and to share and distribute resources in a fair way. First, of course, there must be the thought! All of this meant that the turnaround in both the external and the internal world went more rapidly than many had foreseen. We shall return to much of this while you are here.»
«Now I have suddenly acquired a brighter view of the future! I have to admit that I have been rather «down» lately and have taken a gloomy view of both my own future and that of the planet» I said.
«It is understandable and natural that one reacts like that. Just take care that the gloominess doesn’t quite take over. You know, one thing leads to another, and when you take a dim view of what is happening in your own life, it can easily infect other areas of life and so the snowball starts to roll. The solution is to find and enjoy the small and larger good things in life. There will always be more and more of them when you appreciate them. And, not least, there will always be something to appreciate and be grateful for! Practice this kind of mentality shift often, so that this becomes natural. This will result in pleasant surprises in the future.»
«So now we are going to talk about my life? I said, smiling.
«It probably wouldn’t do any harm» Natalia chuckles and greets some persons who smile in a friendly way at both of us as they pass by. We sit down on another bench.
«If you say that this is not really very far into the future, I am still surprised at how quickly things must have gone. As far as I can remember, people have not exactly been very fast about changing their ways. In fact, we have been repeating our mistakes for generations and not been good at self-reflection. Could you explain a bit more about the road you have taken and how you have managed it all» I ask.
«First of all I’ll repeat that it is not like this everywhere on Earth. This is actually one of the experimental projects we have started in this country and which I mentioned briefly earlier. We have had a certain control over the first people who chose to settle here. Of paramount importance was that they agreed with our philosophy and understood our intention and what we were creating, as well as a sincere wish to live here and take part in manifesting and developing this fantastic society that we have created.»
«Then I can better understand why you say we are now not so very far into the future!»
«Exactly. We are still working on this, that is experimenting with new ways of living, just as you are doing in your time. But as you see, we have got quite a bit further. And this small town here, Lighthaven, has proved to be so successful that it is one of those that are used as templates in other parts of the world. For that reason we have many people who come here from other parts of the world to study and learn about us and our way of living.»
«I can understand that. It is so quiet and peaceful here. In fact, it is surprisingly quiet, hardly any bothersome sounds. You barely hear that vehicle over there.»
«Those small vehicles are self-running and are used by those who need transport within the area here. They carry people and goods to their houses and are particularly useful to those who have any special needs for this service. On the other hand we are aware of the importance of using our bodies, and we don’t want to become too dependent on these vehicles, so we don’t exaggerate the use of them. I like to walk, so I use them mainly when I have to transport larger items to or from my house. There are almost always some available for use. Of course we also have other small means of transport that we use. The sources of energy that they use are obviously completely pure, and range anxiety is long ago a thing of the past. Some of these crafts can float above the ground, something that means we no longer have to build so many roads. However, we also have quite ordinary bicycles where muscle power is the only source of energy.
But, there is another important element which has been a great help in our process. Would you like to hear about it?
«Of course I would», I answer quickly.
«We have received help from other worlds, other existences!» Natalie says and looks as if she is eagerly waiting to see my reaction.
«This is definitely starting to get weird! A short while ago I was lying peacefully up on the mountain just over there, then I suddenly arrived in some kind of time travel to the future, and now you are talking about aliens» I exclaim.
«I am talking about more than aliens, I said we have received help from other worlds and existences, which is more comprehensive, although I understand what you mean. Besides, I don’t like to call our friends from the stars for aliens. It creates associations to something strange, and to many people the word itself has negative connotations. But why are you so surprised? Once we humans believed the Earth to be flat! Once we believed the Earth was the center of the Universe! You should not believe that humanity has reached the pinnacle of its evolution, understanding and insight. You in your time are just at the beginning of your development. Obviously there are intelligent beings in other places and other dimensions. The proofs are overwhelming, already in your time. The irony is that so many in your time ridicule those who believe these beings exist when the Universe and the Multiverse are so unfathomably large and the worlds so unfathomably many, and those who inhabit them could be of such a great help for you.»
«But why did they not appear when we needed them so badly? This I don’t understand!» «That is easy to answer. You know that to do the best for one’s children is not to help them with every kind of problem they meet or think they may encounter in life. Then they don’t learn to stand on their own feet, they don’t learn from their mistakes, and they have to be helped continually. Imagine a civilization thousands of years ahead of us. Would it not be natural to assume that they had developed to a higher level, both technologically and spiritually?»
«Yes, one would imagine that to be the case, it is logical.»
«Yes, exactly. They look at us a little like the way parents regard their children, but I wish to
emphasize that we are equal in every respect, they have only reached a higher level in their development. Actually, you are doing the same thing, or at least you are attempting to do so. I am thinking now of developed countries that try to help those countries that have not got equally far in their development. This has not always been very successful, because the motives have not always been pure, or one has not quite understood the consequences of what one did. The best kind of help is obviously «help to self-help», so that the ones receiving the help will not become dependent on the helpers. Of course, we are all dependent on one another, but I speak now of an unhealthy kind of dependence» Natalia says.
«Do you mean to say that these beings are highly developed and are functioning as a form of mentors for us?» I ask
«That is exactly what I mean. Of course the reality is more complex. Some civilizations are more developed technologically, but not spiritually, while others are spiritually and also technologically advanced, but use technology only if it benefits everybody without any form of misuse. Those who are not yet very far advanced spiritually will of course also become so, it is only a question of time. Our own civilization is among these, but we are on the way. And very significant is the fact that being far advanced spiritually far supersedes technology. Highly evolved civilizations have been waiting for us to reach a high enough ethical level that we would not be in danger of misusing technology in order to produce weapons of mass destruction, for example. Also, they have not wanted to reveal themselves publicly before we were mature enough for it, that is before we had more or less eliminated poverty and war, for instance, and as I have said already, did not misuse technology. They came when we had fixed most of these things and also reduced our xenophobia and stopped projecting it onto them. But be aware that they have been cautiously assisting us here and there, both technologically and in many other ways and guided us so that our evolving would not be hindered or curtailed. They have given and still give help for us to be more self-reliant. So in a way they did come after all. Or more correctly, – they have always been here!»
«This is making me view the future with even more optimism, and not least with excitement and expectation!»
«Would you perhaps like to meet them?» Natalia asks, and it seems clear that she knows what the answer will be!
«What? Guess if I would! Are you saying that they are here, among you?»
«Yes, that is what I am saying. They sometimes visit us here in our town! As we here in our society probably are the ones who have got the furthest with our societal development, we are the ones they have chosen to visit first. But by now they are also visiting in other places on Earth.»
«Incredible» I say enthusiastically.
«It has been the intention that you should meet them, and so you will, later. And, just so that you know, these entities don’t like being viewed as something more important or more significant than us, but simply as fully equal beings, which of course we are,» she says and gets up from the bench. «I think we can go to the center of our town now. We just have to walk around this hill. Then you will get to see a bit more. When we get there, we shall also take a trip to the city.»
«You see the area over there, a little to the right of all those fruit trees, where there are some people out in the field?» she says and points to some persons a short distance away.
«Yes, it looks as though something is being grown there. Is that correct?»
«Quite a few different kinds of crops, actually. And of course it is all done ecologically, we are not interested in anything else, nor can we count with anything else, both for the sake of the planet and for the health of the people. Everything is based on the cycles of Nature.»
«Yes, that is the direction in which we have to move», I agree as we continue our walk. «By the way, where is your house, I mean, where do you live?»
«In one of those round houses you passed as you arrived. I don’t own it, that is not the way our community functions any longer. We don’t own things, but nonetheless it feels as if I do, as I may use it for as long as I wish. I shall show you my house later. In fact, you are going to stay overnight in my house. You need somewhere to live while you are here, and I have a guestroom available», she says, smiling.
Did I see a hint of a twinkle in her eyes as she said this? Or was it just my imagination? In any case, I felt a sudden rush of heat at her suggestion. I wondered if she noticed… Hm, a bit odd that I react like this after just having been transported into the future, a bit absurd, actually. But at the same time I feel so at home here. I shall just have to let myself be led to wherever Natalia is taking me, while trying to be as present in the moment as possible. In fact, that is not too hard when your entire world has been radically changed and you find yourself in the future! Besides, Natalia herself is a very present and lively person. This is not the worst place to spend some time, to put it like that, – on the contrary!
«We can make ourselves dinner later, and then share a bottle of wine if you like?» she continues.
«Of course I would like that.» I say. «It is good to hear that you are not teetotalers, by the way, or I might have wondered whether you were some sect or other hehe…» I say, and feel myself growing even hotter. Pull yourself together, man, I admonish myself, after all, we have only just met. Even though you are single, you can’t be sure that she is, or whether she is interested in you, or in men in general. For all I know, she might prefer girls, or even both.
«We are not exactly teetotalers», she says, interrupting my thoughts. «But we have become far more careful about using alcohol and only use it in moderation and at festive occasions. You know what enormous problems alcohol has led to in your society. The consume of alcohol became too great, and it often became an addiction, by being used to deaden problems or slide them under the rug. The problems might be the results of serious neglect during childhood or other traumatic experiences, but alcohol was also used to escape from a cold and hard society with great challenges. If you go even further back in time, the problems caused by alcohol were considerably greater, and caused unimaginable suffering for masses of people, especially women. We have hardly any alcohol-related problems here in Lighthaven, and very few drug problems in our society as a whole.»
«So you do still have drug problems outside of these areas?»
«Yes, we do. There are bigger problems in other parts of the world, but also there they are far fewer than in your time. Besides, nowadays more natural intoxicants are used, the kinds that Nature has such an abundance of, for instance in the flora. And they are more often used to access altered states of consciousness so that one gets a wider perspective on oneself, existence, cosmos and the life of the soul. You might say that the more content people are, the fewer drug problems arise. We have actually improved conditions for everybody on the planet since your time.»
«And that is cause for celebration!»
«Absolutely. And speaking about celebrations, many congenial get-togethers are arranged in different places here. In fact it is possible to partake in some happening or other every evening. This part of Lighthaven has been divided into different zones which ensure that things don’t get all too large and impersonal, while at the same time maintaining the possibility for a good contact with the people in all the other zones. This is part of the reason why those who live here perceive a strong inter-connectedness, which in turn means that we really take notice of each other and take better care of each other. The feeling of fellowship is strong, and is the reason why our society functions so well. We gradually realized that we needed to do something about the comprehensive use of technology that led to a feeling of proximity to people far away, but created a distance to the people near one. We have found a golden mean with less use of holograms, TV, mobile phones, computers and other gadgetry. You will have experienced for yourself how a great many people in your society, your children and maybe even yourself, have their noses stuck in their smartphones rather too much of the time. We have now become far more aware of each other, of how we are feeling, and we talk candidly about things and process what may be difficult. If possible, we address such things as soon as they occur, to prevent them getting stuck and causing problems at a later time. In other words, everyone is taken notice of! But enough of this, tomorrow I’ll have you accompany me to such a festive social gathering.»
«I look forward to that!» I say. «And I just have to say, it is so incredibly beautiful here, simply gorgeous! Such a profusion of flowers, and I see you have also spent time on artistic expressions. In particular that house over there, with that amusing wall decorated with pictures. Cool building, by the way»
«That is the school in this part of Lighthaven» Natalia says.
«It is very nice, but not very large.»
«Large enough. We don’t wish to build our schools too big. We shall pay it a visit tomorrow. Now we have enough to do, and this evening we’ll have fun.» Again a somewhat coy smile plays on her lips. Is she flirting with me? I am beginning to think that she is.
«I have nothing against fun», I reply, but quickly realize that the statement could be misunderstood and taken as a suggestion of something more intimate. But Natalia does not seem to react to my words. Perhaps she is not averse to that kind of fun? And with this thought I start to visualize the two of us in different situations… It seems I have been single for too long…
«And those buildings over there, what are they?» I asked in order to divert my thoughts from the subject. They had a tendency to lead their own life and just take off at times.
By now we had reached the other side of the hill and I could see a lot more buildings. Here as well the area and buildings were esthetically pleasing with tasteful decorations. A far cry from the grey, sombre-looking buildings of which there were far too many in my own time.
«As I said, Lighthaven is much larger than you imagine it to be. The building over there is our creativity centre. If you look in the other direction you‘ll see the administration building, and over there we have the community building where we gather for smaller or larger events. Over here you see the communications building where we are going now.»
«These are superb buildings, and the areas surrounding them are lovely!»
«Thank you! Yes, isn’t it great? Esthetics are important. Our surroundings ought to be beautiful. It affects us.»
I notice a person sitting in a rather peculiar-looking vehicle. It looks as if she is not focusing on anything in particular, simply enjoying the view. «Can you tell me something about that vehicle?» I asked, pointing at it.
«That is one of the small self-driven vehicles. You just plot in where you are going and perhaps also at what time you wish to arrive there, and the vehicle adjusts the speed automatically dependent on the surroundings.»
«But what about those who are taken ill here?»
«Very few get ill. Should anyone become acutely ill, they will get help very quickly. But this is very seldom needed, because we know so much more about the state of our individual health. Plus the fact that we are far better at preventing illness, and we live far healthier lives, physically and not least mentally, because we have understood how important our state of mind is for our health. Our ethics have improved, which means that we no longer produce unnecessary and detrimental medications. You know, in your time the pharmaceutical manufacturers were to a certain extent dependent on people being ill! For as long as the society was so totally driven be the seeking of profit, this was the extreme consequence. If everyone was healthy, they would earn no money… We know that in a way the body produces its own medications, it has a very effective immune system which we have become much better at supporting. And again, we take a lot better care of each other here. If a need arises, a group of people focus with positive intentions – or healing, if you prefer – on the person who needs it.»
«It is really incredible that things have gone so awry in my time.»
«Yes, and it was not only within that sector of society that things were done in very dubious ways. But back to your question. We do have a building where we treat people who get ill, and we call it the Wellness House. That name has very different associations from hospital, and we are after all out to make people well.
As far as crime is concerned, we do not have any police here in Lighthaven, as there is hardly any crime at all. We just have a few people in readiness. In the large city there is only one small police station, because even there they barely have crime. The few persons working there have other tasks than fighting crime, but obviously they take care of it when something does happen. There are other buildings, but these are the most important ones.»
«This place, on this side of the hill, seems more like how I had imagined a futuristic small-town to look like. I am really quite curious about these buildings, could I see them and learn more about them?»
«All in good time. We shall see what we’ll have time for, but in the city you will get to know some of them,» Natalia answered. By now we had reached the large round Communications Building. The maglev train went straight through the building! Inside we came directly to the beautifully decorated waiting area for the maglev train. A cool bridge at the centre of the building brought people across to the area where the flying cars were by means of a conveyer belt. A circular eating area high up beneath the glass roof offered a fantastic view of the area. No neon advertising posters were to be seen. It felt rather good to be without them!
«We’ll take one of these flying cars, or hydroplanes as we call them. There are several small landing areas for them outside, on the other side of the building, so we have to cross the bridge. In the city we are going to now, there are larger hydroplanes that are used for greater distances.»
«Why are we taking this small hydroplane and not the maglev train?» I asked.
«That is so that I can better explain to you what happens with the town, and so that you will get a bigger view of the area. Besides, flying conditions are perfect today.»
«It will be great, and I am very happy to go along with it,» I answered. We left the building and walked towards a small hydroplane that is waiting for us. It seems we can simply go aboard. I shall have to ask Natalia later why we didn’t have to buy tickets.
«As you see, this one is also self-driven» Natalia said just as the hydroplane took off with only the two of us as passengers. «It does not use fossil fuel and does not cause any kind of pollution, like everything in our society. In addition, they cause far less noise than your planes do. Since your time we have implemented propulsion systems that are completely pollution free, not only in planes, but in all means of transport all over the world. Today only vintage vehicles are allowed to use fossil fuel. Even the production of these new vehicles is pollution free, and everything is recyclable.
We now also have larger and newer hydroplanes that, like this one, take off and land almost without sound and without runways, and which have even more advanced stabilization systems. They automatically and immediately correct the air stability based on where one is and at what altitude in relation to wind and turbulence, so that they are always as stable as possible. It is a bit like the way gyroscopes function, only that these counteract turbulence.»
«Impressive», I said, and felt reassured, because turbulence was not something I enjoyed.
«This hydroplane stays at a certain altitude. It moves along invisible paths in the sky that are used to direct the traffic. We need to have these systems, just like you do in your time, or there would be chaos. Small planes like this one – and as you can see, there are a lot of them – move along the lowest paths, while the largest and fastest use the highest ones. Although we are able to diverge from these paths as well, and make detours, but then below them and at a lower speed. The systems of these planes are in full control of what moves in the sky and are at all times aware of where there are other planes nearby. And they are very flexible and can stop in mid-air if we wish, like helicopters can in your time.»
«Can you trust these self-driven traits? I mean, I can see that you feel safe with them, but are there accidents?»
«Accidents are extremely rare. You may relax completely. This development and extended use of planes means that we use far fewer cars today, and we therefore deconstruct more roads than building new ones. And as I have mentioned, the cars are all self-driven and for the most part in use all the time, since we no longer own them individually. They are all owned by the community and for the use of all. We therefore need far fewer cars and fewer parking places. In addition, they are much safer to use, so that we hardly have accidents any more. And we no longer need the long runways which occupied huge areas, as our planes take off and land vertically. Actually, if you look down there, you will see that large parts of what was earlier a highway have now been transformed into green areas. Only a small part remains before the entire highway is gone. You see, we are reclaiming and rewilding Nature!»
«Guess whether the conservationists in my time would be happy to hear this!»
«Yes, and not only the conservationists, but most people», Natalia said. «We are approaching the city. Do you see the skyscraper over there?»
«Skyscraper, you say? It doesn’t seem to be impressively tall. How large are they going to make it?»
«On the contrary, they are not building a new skyscraper, they are dismantling an old one. Just as with highways and runways, we are also deconstructing many skyscrapers, factories and other poorly functioning, unaesthetic and impersonal buildings. Today we have a far greater focus on intimacy and interaction between the users of our buildings. We strive to make todays buildings as vibrant as possible for those who are going to live or spend time there. Therefore we also have a far greater emphasis on what is aesthetic, artistic and beautiful.»
«Is that the reason why I don’t see many large skyscrapers in this city?»
«Yes. Earlier, that is in your time, I mean, not a great deal of thought was given to any entirety when one constructed buildings. In fact, there was not much of a holistic approach in society in general. Although there was a budding awakening which led to some people beginning to think along these lines. In addition, many cities grew far too large and impersonal, and therefore we are engaged in deconstructing these enormous cities. This is the reason why we have established the new suburbs. But enough of this now, we are about to land our plane on the landing place down there.»
«Wait a moment, – I know this city! I live not far outside of it!» I exclaimed in surprise.
«That is right. You are now in the future, but it is the same city. Now we have to land.»
Natalia touched a virtual screen, and with that it did not take long before we got safely onto the ground close to the Communications Centre of the city. As we walked out of the hydroplane, some other people were on their way towards us in order to use it.
«Who are going to use the plane now?» I asked.
«I don’t know that, only that someone has booked it. More and more we have left the notion that everybody has to own such a lot, as I told you, at least here in our society. So you could say it is the community that owns the plane, not private persons or airlines like in your time. In this case the large community is the country we are in just now. In that way there is a far more efficient use of the hydroplanes, at least compared to if everyone should have had their own. Actually, I thought we would visit somebody in that building over there on the other side of this park», said Natalia and pointed to an oval building with a cupola in the centre.
We walked beside a smallish pond buzzing with life. Both carps and birds seemed happily at home. The many people we saw seemed equally to be content. All in all there was a very relaxed atmosphere here as well. People did not appear to be in a hurry. The air seemed fresh and clean, and I could not see any unsightly factory chimneys spewing smoke that would be a health hazard.
«This does not look much like a city. It seems far smaller, and the entire city looks more like a park», I said surprised. «In a positive way it has changed completely, and there are very few cars and hardly any noise. I can hardly recognize it.»
«That is probably because you are used to all those huge and tall buildings that existed in your time, plus the fact that we have integrated far more of nature into our cities than what you are used to. Many old and decrepit urban apartment buildings have been demolished in order to make room for green areas. So when you say the city resembles a park, it is precisely the correct description» Natalia said. «Wait just a moment» she added, and before I could react, she approached a person whom she evidently knew.
I wandered along by myself for a short while, and suddenly a small girl came towards me. With great enthusiasm she began to talk to me and showed me a green caterpillar that crawled on her hand. I bent down and spoke warmly about how beautiful it was, and about the amusing movements of the caterpillar as it meandered across her hand. She laughed, and skipped away happily. I could not see her mother or father anywhere, but surely they had to be nearby? A lovely occurrence, I thought to myself and noticed Natalia walking towards me.
«What a delightful little girl», I said. «She wanted to show me a caterpillar. Her demeanor was so natural and trusting. In my time it is not like that. There children are taught not to speak to strangers.»
«It is not like that now. There is no longer anything to be afraid of. We are no longer suspicious of strangers. We have a far more humane society where the needs of people are met and crime is almost non existing, at least in this city. In this community people are seen, understood and accepted just as they are, so here one can feel quite safe with everyone.
By the way, what would you assess the age of the woman I just spoke with to be?» she asked.
«In the mid- or late fifties?
«Wrong. She is nearly seventy.»
«Really? I would never have imagined that!»
«No, I didn’t think you would, that is why I asked. Because our society has become so much better and we have lifted so many yokes off people’s shoulders, – that is, stress – people stay far healthier, younger looking and live longer. They are also happier, and it shows.»
«Yes, I have noticed that people smile a lot more here than in my time» I said.
We had by now arrived at the other side of the park in front of the entrance to the building we were to visit. We entered, and I was surprised to notice how airy the building appeared. It seemed very open and spacious. This was due to the large glass atrium in which we were, and where there even were trees. It felt like a small park inside the building. We walked towards a restaurant area where some people were sitting. Natalia approached a couple that evidently were the persons we were going to meet.
«This is Skylar», Natalia said, and introduced me to a woman who got up and greeted me with a handshake and a hug. I was then introduced to a man named Kayden who greeted me in the same way.
«Well then, how do you like it here?» Kayden asked.
«Actually, I am overwhelmed. It is incredibly lovely here, and so pleasant. I can scarcely believe it. Natalia, perhaps you should pinch my arm again, so I’ll know I am not dreaming.» Natalia got up and came towards me. But instead of pinching my arm she kissed my forehead!
«Did that feel real?» she asked.
«Eh.., hehe, yes, you might say so… It had a greater effect than when you pinched my arm, I must admit. I’d prefer you to do this from now on when I ask if my experiences are real. In fact, I think I might ask a bit more often» I said and heard a soft giggle from Skylar.
«It was a surprise to see that you are dismantling buildings like that skyscraper we flew past. Skyscrapers always made a big impression in my time» I said.
«We now put a far greater emphasis on the artistic, aesthetic and human aspects» said Kayden. «In your time many of these huge skyscrapers simply demonstrated money, power and prestige. The inequitable distribution in society was greatly accentuated by these skyscrapers which so clearly showed where the money and power was located. In some countries it was not unusual that in close proximity to them, people lived in a state of wretched poverty in dilapidated shacks without running water, toilets or electricity. Further back in history, the power in a given society was also shown in the form of the largest and most opulent buildings. In the West, it was seen in such buildings as churches, castles and palaces. In your time, the power had shifted to multinational companies which swallowed other smaller companies and accumulated enormous resources. One could usually recognize this power by their lavish buildings. They would often belong to banks, finance- or insurance companies, or oil-, gas- and IT companies and others. In your time, which was a very masculine period, these skyscrapers – or church spires, for that matter – stretched towards the sky like phalluses. It was a way of showing off. Who had the most spectacular building, or who could erect the tallest one? The parallel and symbolism is easy to see when you reflect on it. Today there is a much greater balance between the masculine and the feminine.»
Skylar interrupted him mildly by saying «We still have some distance to go, even though things generally have become much improved here on Earth. The places you have seen today, Lighthaven and this city, are both still on an experimental stage and under development. They are pioneering places where people from all over the world come to study what we have managed to achieve here. Now it has become commonplace to study what actually functions, and we are among those who function best in the world. The criteria are quite simply human happiness, not how much profit one makes. It was finally understood that the best thing for society as a whole is that everybody have their material needs covered, not just those who can afford it. However, material needs are one aspect, but the most important goal is that as many people as possible will have as good a life as possible, in other words be as happy as possible. The real change has therefore been on the personal level. Technology is subordinate in this connection, although it does contribute a great deal. For example, this society is far more oriented towards sharing than yours was. Something in this direction was attempted in your time, for instance communism. But because people, and in particular those who were put as leaders of countries, did not have sufficient empathy or awareness, things turned out the way they did. The results were not pleasant, to put it very mildly. With capitalism there is exactly the same problem. A high level of ethics is prerequisite for it to function. We believe we have achieved a system that functions far better, primarily because we have abolished the monetary system. We have evolved from a rather selfish society to a more altruistic one, and thereby we have created more trust and less division.»
«How did you manage to do that?»
«As always, what was needed was a change in awareness, Skylar answered. «The time you are living in was a period of great upheaval. Huge shifts in awareness took place in people all over the world, and gradually the society was radically changed for the better. These shifts happened in waves. Now you are in the middle of a challenging period with many immature political leaders, but this will change and in time they will disappear. The process of changing people’s awareness is still going on, but the situation is now far better and more stable. The countries that are still lagging a bit behind are actually better off than some of the most highly developed ones in your time.»
Kayden leans forward, strongly engaged, «We have no wars or civil wars anywhere on the planet, and there is scarcely any incidents of terror. It is actually quite some time since the last one, so perhaps we are rid of that problem as well. When inequality was eliminated and people were seen, respected and listened to, the basis for conflicts disappeared. You might say that in your time you did terrible things TO each other, whereas now we do fantastic things WITH each other. The recipe for peace is to unite and integrate, not separate people and countries the way it was so often done in your time. The fact is that now all countries are united and there are no longer serious conflicts between any of them. We gradually succeeded in building bridges, heal and release old hatred between different peoples, although we have not yet completely reached our goals. There still exist some issues that have to be resolved.»
Now Natalia interrupted mildly: «We have actually become so much better at taking care of each other, at least here in our society, that we almost sense when someone has difficulties. We care about each other, and when we notice rare occurrences like that, we contact the persons and gather friends and others who help them get through the process they are in. Today it is much easier to talk about issues than it was in your time. There are no longer any taboos, and no one needs to keep their difficulties to themselves.»
«This is very good to hear. But to talk about something entirely different, what is this building being used for? I see some robots over there, – fascinating!»
«This is in fact the robot department» Kayden said. «We administer all kinds of robots in the city and suburbs. The robots do a lot more work today and have set people free from a lot of time consuming and, especially, routine work. The buildings are even largely constructed by robots. People today therefore have a lot more spare time. You could say that we have more freedom to enjoy life, to be creative and artistic, and not least to spend time together, do voluntary work and help others. In short, we use our time in more meaningful ways. This new freedom and extra spare time has released enormous capacities, potential and creativity in each person. We are far more creative and enjoy our lives far more now.»
«Ok, then I will not be so concerned about robots taking over for human beings.»
«No, I think you have more reason to be concerned about the humans in your time, you don’t have to be worried about the robots here in our society. Robots are nowhere near the complexity of humans. They are also soul-less, they are not human, and that makes a world of difference. As long as everything in a society is handled with high ethical levels, all is well.»
«That sounds reassuring.»
«Yes, but it is also true that in your time there was a danger that robots would make people unemployed, while the business owners put the profit generated by the robots in their own pockets. This issue has been completely avoided here, as we no longer operate with money and profit.»
«We can look at it in a historical perspective.» Kayden continued. «Machines have been a gift for mankind. They have freed us in such a way that we no longer need to use muscle power to the same extent as before. In the same way Internet has freed our brains from a lot of superfluous data processing and storing. Robots free us from unnecessary time consumption, both in our homes and at our jobs.»
«How are all these things financed?» I asked.
«Here, that is in this country and this large city with its suburbs, money is no longer used, as we have said. It has become outdated. In other parts of the world a monetary system as you know it is still mainly being used, but there as well things are happening. Many people now wish to abolish the monetary system, because they observe that doing so functions so well here in our society, and that it has solved many social issues. We started small. When we established Lighthaven, we began to concretely and systematically to liquidate money. At that time our community was not as large as it is now, and as it functioned surprisingly well, the other suburbs began to incorporate the new system as well, Then the city followed, and recently the entire country. We use money only when we interact with other countries, that is, we usually exchange goods. You think from the perspective of your own reality, that is why you ask how we finance everything. We simply decided to do it after having seen that it functioned excellently on a small scale in other places. That is how simple it was, although it has obviously been a long process for us to get to where we are today. We realized that society had to change if we were to survive as a species. The monetary system was an important factor in this, because the striving for profit not only destroyed nature and endangered our future, but also caused extreme suffering and almost unbearable living conditions for countless people and animals. We also viewed this topic in a historical perspective and did research on societies that had functioned excellently without money, among others some that you would call primitive tribal communities. Perhaps they were not so primitive after all, at least not in some areas of life?»
«Why did it take us so long to see this?» I burst out. «Sorry for the interruption, please continue!»
«What we have implemented is a combination of sharing- and circular economy, in addition to gift economy, except that there is no money involved. Quite a few people were thinking in these terms already in your time, for instance Charles Eisenstein, and there were communities that experimented with it, such as Auroville in India. The people have to be clear enough and mature enough for this to work, They must have freed themselves from the need to possess such a lot of things. This is one of the reasons why we have exercised some control over whom we allow to settle here. It has become a far simpler and more just society after we stopped using money. All persons living here are guaranteed a good upbringing and a life rich in experiences and freedom and with only minimal worries.
Think back on a time in history when tribal communities were common, let us say an American Indian village. They did not use money in their society, but still they managed very well. They took care of each other. It is in part this same principle we have implemented here, only on a much larger scale. We have become skilled at taking care of each other. And remember, we no longer squander time, strengths and resources on wars and weapon industry, not to mention corruption, tax evasion and other suspect things that were profit-oriented and self-serving. That saves us a lot. This has also led to us using only a minimum of resources on combating crime, and thereby on a police force and prisons. Crime practically disappeared when everything became available for everybody at all times. We also have very little illness, so on this front as well we save enormous amounts of resources that we can use for other purposes.» Skylar said.
«I think this will also eliminate the unhealthy competition mentality which leaves so many tragedies in its wake,» I said. «There is an eternal rat-race to be the best, earn the most and appear the most successful, to mention just some of the aspects. From what you tell me, and from what I see for myself, a lot of superfluous jobs that in fact do not benefit society, have simply disappeared.»
«That is correct» Kayden said. «We have, for instance, far less of a bureaucracy now, in part because we have abolished a lot of needless rules and regulations. And we have no problems with hidden fortunes, tax havens and the like, simply because we don’t use money. Today people trust each other to a far greater extent and are basically honest, but again, one has to be sufficiently mature for all of this. This was one of the things we emphasized when we founded Lighthaven. You could say that every basic need, and more, is covered by our community, and now again I am speaking specifically about our country, our city and its suburbs. As we have said earlier, it is not like this everywhere on the planet. This has become a very popular place to live, and we attract people who are fairly «complete» in themselves and have more or less the same view of life as we have. This is a prerequisite for being allowed to settle here, as this is a pilot project. For those who wish to live here, we put housing at their disposal, as well as food and everything one needs in order to live a decent life. When all these areas are assured, one avoids getting stressed and worried about basic needs, which we know is something that can cause illness in the long run and even shorten one’s lifespan. Means of transportation are available at all times so that you can go wherever you may wish, more or less at any time, only a little dependent on the tasks you have in the community. There are many other benefits for everyone as well.»
«But what if someone wants to have more?» I asked.
Skylar answered, «I hardly know of anyone wanting more, they have everything they need. Some have for different reasons wanted a bigger house. We have then joined together and fixed it. It is not more difficult than that. None gets envious, because they know they may have the same should they wish so. We have many country houses, both by the sea and in the mountains, that people may use for a while.
In fact, you did actually experiment with something in your time that you called civil wages or basic income, where everybody was given a sufficient amount of money to cover their basic needs, completely without strings attached. This showed itself to be very successful and was gradually implemented in more and more places on Earth.»
«Should we think about getting back to Lighthaven, Aron, it is beginning to get a bit late now?» Natalia asked me.
«That is fine with me,» I answered.
We all rose, hugged each other and said goodbye.
«Actually, we are coming to the party tomorrow, so we’ll meet again then» Kayden called after us as we began to walk towards the exit.
«We look forward to seeing you there», Natalia said, then turned to me and continued «We can take the maglev back, then you will get to see that as well. The station is located at the same place where we landed with the hydro plane. In fact, it leaves in twenty minutes, that suits us just right. «We walked back the way we came and entered the station area. The maglev was in place and we entered.
«This train uses magnetic and gravitational power», Natalia explained. «This is what causes the propulsion through glass tubes. On some of the larger distances it rushes ahead in a friction-free vacuum. It floats a little above the tracks through these glass tubes that are built a few meters above ground and are held in place by strong posts. It will only take a few minutes for us to reach Lighthaven, just about a quarter of an hour, in fact. It will halt in just two suburbs.»
I leaned back in the comfortable seat and admired the beautiful scenery we were rushing past. The view was fantastic, because the entire curved compartment in which we were sitting was made of glass. But it was not a great deal of the landscape or the two suburbs I managed to take in before the trained dropped speed and we slowly floated towards Lighthaven station.
« Now you probably understand how comfortable it is to live here. You live in a rural area, but if you wish, you have endless possibilities in the city, just a few minutes away. Come on, let’s go to my house. You have probably received enough impressions for one day, I imagine.» Natalia said and smiled at me. «We’ll walk back the way we came, around the hill.»
«That is where I live», said Natalia and took hold of my hand. In a determined way she lead me to one of the round houses at the edge of the forest. The door is unlocked and we enter her house.
«We don’t have to lock our doors here», she said as though she had read my thoughts.
«The door doesn’t even have a lock!» I exclaimed in amazement.
I looked around, surprised. The room was spacious, open and pleasant. A large section of the wall was of curved glass from floor to ceiling and almost imparted a feeling of being outside.
«No robot to receive us?» I joked.
«Haha, no, but that can be arranged if you wish. A robot can’t replace human contact, it is only bits and bytes after all. In essence, it is only a on-and-off function which one has managed to program in such a way that advanced functions and programs can be installed. But it still remains just soulless data. Humans, on the other hand, are something far more than just data. We are way beyond complex. We are embodied souls who live here on Earth for a while before we return to a new adventure on the other side. That is how we see it here. I do use a robot from time to time to perform some housework, as well as a small vacuum cleaner- drone which flies through my entire apartment and suck up all it encounters of dust and other tiny debris, wherever it can reach, that is. I am sure many people in your time would have liked to have one of these!»
«Your house seems less science fiction than I imagined», I said and noticed Natalia smiling to herself in a rather secretive way. She got out a small round object which she pressed while she walked over to the large curved glass wall where there is a spacious open area. Up through the small object a hologram appeared, and at the same time the entire glass wall in some way or other darkened. Natalia asked me to come closer to her. She touched the hologram, and suddenly it seemed as though we were in an entirely different place. A fantastic view appeared. It was evidently a Space Station, because I could see Earth far below me, as the glass wall and the floor had somehow become a screen. It is unbelievable, I thought to myself. There was a small oasis with a little beach and water, and masses of plants and flowers all around. It felt as if I were really there. Natalia made some movements with her hand, and everything seemed to tilt forwards towards Earth. I felt that I was losing my equilibrium and was about to fall, and Natalia took a firm hold of my arm to steady me. She then concluded the demonstration.
«Sit down there in the sofa» she said.
«This gave a fantastic feeling. It felt just like really being there!» I said.
«We are not really that advanced,» she answered, «but you may come with us up there already tomorrow if you wish.»
«To the Space Station??? Of course! I would simply love to». I responded enthusiastically. «I withdraw everything I said about your house not appearing like science fiction as I first thought. Clearly it harbors secrets.»
«Hehe, yes, you might say that. Maybe more secrets will become revealed.» Again she threw me that particular glance that I had noticed earlier. Now there was no doubt that she was flirting with me! She pressed the small object once more, and the glass wall appeared normal again, with a lovely view of the area and the river not far away. By now it had become rather dark, but the faint and cozy illumination of the entire area made it possible to see the surroundings.
«Everything I have seen today is so very different from what I had imagined it would be like, « I said. In the time I come from the perspectives of the future are a lot gloomier. Just about all science fiction movies are apocalyptic or portrays a nightmarish dystopic future. This far exceeds my expectations of the future and is far more positive and fantastic. I feel thoroughly uplifted.»
«That is good to hear;» Natalia said. «The scenarios in your time did picture a far gloomier future, because they preyed on people’s fear ant thirst for excitement, and because they were in general based on old information. When they were making futuristic movies, they naturally looked to the past up to their present time and created the movies with the thought that the future would be more of the same, until everything at some tie simply collapsed. And this was correct, in a way, because things would have gone wrong if everything had just continued along the same tracks. Those movies did in fact have a mission, for they functioned as a warning to the people of that time. But it was a linear mode of thinking, and they underestimated the rapidly accelerating transition that gradually took place. Nor did they consider the importance of the innumerable good ideas that were not always caught up by the medias and individuals. And last but not least, not many people understood the tremendous importance of the shift in mentality which was on its rapid way into society, triggered by various events, in particular pandemics and environmental catastrophes. There was also injustice on many levels, various undermining subcultures and concealed disruptive businesses, conflicts of cultures and religions, and the desire for change.»
«I am simply overwhelmed and impressed by how far you have come, and I almost feel embarrassed about people in my own time who have made such a mess of things», I said frustratedly. «I am wondering what your historians say about us, and I can understand it if they leave us no honor! Thank you, Natalia, for all the things that you and the rest of the people here have managed. I feel deeply humbled by it!» I continued.
Natalia walked over to me, put her hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes. «On the contrary, Aron! You are judging yourself and your contemporaries far too harshly! It is we who stand on the shoulders of the people in your time, and on the ones of those who lived in earlier times. It was you who laid the foundation on which we have constructed our society. In your time, many people were incipient sprouts of the society you see here today. In fact, everyone has been part of it on some level or other. Therefore I and all of us have a lot to thank you and others in your time for.» With this she kissed my forehead and sat down in her chair again. For a while we sat in silence.
Natalia looked at me, friendly and smiling. «I am going to take a shower in the bathroom upstairs and change to some suitable clothes. You can use the bathroom on this floor, and you will find some new clothes there that you may use. I got them for you just recently, and they will fit you. And by the way, they can change color and patterns», she said, smiling, before she disappeared to the first floor. I did as I was told, and was the first to get ready. I went back to sit down in the sofa again while pondering the stylish clothes. It felt as if they automatically adjusted themselves to the body!
Natalia came downstairs in a lovely dress. «Your dress is really beautiful» I said.
«Thank you! Please come to the kitchen with me, then you can keep me company while I cook.»
Once more she took my hand and lead me to the kitchen. I sat down in the comfortable seating by the kitchen table as she laid the table and lit some candles.
«I’ll make something vegetarian. We no longer eat meat here. But I know that you do, so I am making a dish with something that will seem like meat. You won’t notice a big difference.»
With that she got going. She gathered the ingredients and something which I thought were spices, put it all in a bowl and placed it in some kind of mixer. She also took two other bowls containing something or other and put them into another mixer. Then she pressed a button on each machine.
«Look, you could open this bottle of wine.» She got out a white wine and two glasses.
«I wonder whether there will be any wine left by the time the food is ready» I said, laughing a little.
«The food will be ready before you are», she laughed and indeed, I had barely got the bottle open before she set the food on the table. I pour wine for both of us before we help ourselves with the food.
«This is really tasty and delicious!» I said after having eaten a mouthful. «I almost didn’t
expect it to be so good, considering how quickly it was prepared., I mean.»
«Thank you. The vegetables and everything else were rapidly but gently treated in the machines in order to preserve the nutrition’s as well as possible. But we can prepare the food in the traditional way as well, and that is what I usually prefer to do, because I enjoy cooking. Just now I wanted to demonstrate some of the possibilities we have. In fact I seldom eat alone. Something is always going on, and one is included and invited to just about everything.»
«Tell me, do you live by yourself here?» I asked, trying to appear unaffected, while deep inside I was hoping that she was single, without a boyfriend. There was no denying that I had begun to be rather interested in Natalia. Her demeanor, personality, smiles and touch had evidently made an impression on me. But there was something more: The strange thing was that I had taken to her as soon as we met. There was something familiar about her, as though we already knew each other. Perhaps we had known each other in a previous life? At least there are those who maintain that such a thing is real, but I was skeptical of it. On the other hand, all of this seemed a very strange experience, as I felt so well in her company. And everything did suggest that she liked me as well.
«I am alone, yes, although I don’t feel alone in this community. Besides, I have a ten-year-old son. He is right now staying with my parents for a few days. It was in fact his father you met as you arrived today» Natalia said, and I perceived something like a small stab. Was I actually a bit jealous? Apparently Natalia had not noticed anything.
«At this time we are just good friends. And besides, he has a new girlfriend» she said as if to reassure me. So maybe she had noticed after all? Anyway, my smile grew perhaps even broader than it had been. Also, the wine was slowly starting to have an effect.
«So you are footloose and fancy-free» I said. My smile was if possible even broader, and I clearly showed that I liked the answer.
Natalia laughed. «We are actually rather free here in any case. And besides, we don’t have quite the kind of relationships that you traditionally have. In our time that kind of relationship, like marriage, for example, is viewed as being rather old-fashioned, although one may of course choose to marry if one wishes. But we don’t tie ourselves to one another for ever. You know, people change. There is no longer such an awful upheaval when a couple no longer function well together. We manage to end relationships in a far better way than earlier. Only very rarely does enmity arise or two people leave each other without being friends. At least it is very rare here in Lighthaven. We are taught about such relationships from an early age, and I am familiar with it since I was little. You know, no one is dependent on the economy of the partner here, to just mention one of the problems people had earlier. Relationships here become more real and loving and precisely for that reason in many cases longer lasting.»
She leaned closer and said «That was a long answer to a short question, but yes, I am free, and it is also quite some time since I was in a romantic relationship. That creates certain needs, both emotional and physical» she said and gave me a lovely smile. I really liked her direct and honest demeanor. It was not very difficult to interpret what she just said. I already felt very well here in the future…
«This was a rather direct statement, – and cheers to that!» I said, smiling warmly back at her and feeling tingles going through my body as we looked into each other’s eyes. I put my hand on hers as we continued to gaze deeply at each other. Her fingers crept into my hand as waves of pleasurable feelings rolled through me.
«You are simply wonderful!»
«So are you…» Natalia rose and led me over to the sofa. I sat down while she went back to fetch the glasses and the bottle of wine. I was feeling rather overwhelmed, this was mighty. Just watching her walk across the floor gave me an unusual feeling of calm in body and soul. Her movements were easy, sensual, graceful and self-assured. What a woman, what a future we are heading for! If these people here and in this time are like her, we are approaching a future that far exceeds anything I had imagined to be possible. Just then I felt I was in love with her and with life. Was it at all possible for something to be so wonderful?
Natalia came back and put on some music that could almost be described as ethereal. It felt as if the sound was present everywhere in the room. The vibrations from the music filled my entire being. I enjoyed the sight of her and perceived a wonderful flow of sensations through my body and psyche, giving me a feeling close to ecstasy. All I could do was to enjoy the moment.
Just as I thought life could not possibly get better I felt Natalia’s lips against mine and we both sank down in the sofa. Her hands were stroking through my hair. My own hands were on their way to quite different places. Her body language told me that she had no objections, on the contrary. I felt her playful tongue against my own. What a fantastic feeling! I was totally present in the moment. Time and space ceased to exist and for a long, long time we lay like that, she on top of me in a sensual position. It seemed as though we could not have enough of each other, and I had never before felt so alive and loved…
After a long while Natalia got up, took hold of my hand and purposefully led me upstairs to her beautiful bedroom.
«We’ll forget the guestroom» she said, laughing. I laughed as well and looked around. Already there were candles burning there, while starlight shone through the large skylight. A gorgeous setting! We looked at each other and smiled. Natalia slipped out of her dress and stood there in her glamorous underwear. She pressed a certain point on her panty, and I saw how it slowly grew a little transparent. Immediately I felt myself going hot and hard, as if she had pressed a button on me! We smiled and laughed and held each other as we lay down on the bed. Again we lay there for a long time simply enjoying each other. Gradually all our clothing disappeared and I could admire Natalia in all her glory. We kissed each other for a long time. We caressed each other for a long time. And we made love for a long time…
The sunbeams warmed me as I lay in bed. They streamed through the large curved skylight that reached some way down the wall. It was morning, and Natalia lay beside me. Her presence beside me warmed me even more, in a way, than the sun. I saw she was about to wake up and I reached for her arm and stroked it. She turned towards me and moved very close to me. For quite some time we lay like that, two naked bodies tightly entwined, simply enjoying each other. I kissed her throat, and son after she kissed me in return. We kissed while waves of warm sensations flowed through me.
We were interrupted by pleasant music.
«We have quite a few things to do today as well», Natalia said as she got up and disappeared to the bathroom. «There will be other opportunities for us to enjoy each other» she said, smiling, just as the door automatically shut. I just had time to smile back at her. To be honest, I would have preferred to stay there in bed with her for the rest of the day. But at the same time I was very curious about what she intended to show me.
«What are your duties here?» I asked while we breakfasted.
«At present it is to guide people around in our community and explain to them how we live, for as I mentioned yesterday, they come from all over the world to study us. And sometimes I am also a teacher for the youngest children. That is actually where we are going now,» she said, taking my hand and holding it in both her own hands. «That was why I got up so quickly even though I would have liked to stay in bed with you for longer.» Again she sent me a warm and infectious smile, and I could do nothing but return it.
«How many other suburbs belong to the city?» I asked while we walked towards the school.
«There are seven. However, Lighthaven is the one that has existed for the longest time, which is why so many people come here to study us and our community. The maglev we travelled by yesterday has a circuit which goes from the center of the city, which lies by the sea, in a huge semi-circle that stretches far out from the city before it returns. Along the way it passes these seven suburbs. Two of them are still under construction. All these suburbs are unique. We have put our own stamp on them, and we travel a great deal from one to another in order to exchange experiences and learn more. One of them, for instance, has attracted many artists and has in itself become an attraction.»
We had by then reached the small school with the lovely decorations on the outside.
«I thought I would show you one of the rooms where the pupils I teach are today.» Natalia said. And with that she opened a door and I peeped into a large circular room where the pupils sat quietly on the floor. It looked as if they were meditating.
Natalia closed the door again and led me a short distance away so we could talk quietly without disturbing them.
«As you could see, these children were meditating. From they are small they are taught to quieten the mind. This has many advantages for both physical and psychic health. And in addition they learn to connect with their souls and their divine source.»
«I have heard that this has been implemented in some schools in my own time as well» I commented.
«Yes, and I believe you will see it spreading, because one sees that it works and gives very positive results. But there are more things going on in this school. Over there they are now having sexual education, and here neither pupils nor teachers are embarrassed. Well, maybe a little… But it is an important topic to address. You are well aware of the enormous problems in your society in the time you live in», Natalia continued. «Sexuality is one of them. It is obvious that when prostitution, rape, sexual harassment and intolerance of other sexual orientation is so widespread in your society, one has to change things. And that is what we have done. For example is nakedness no longer hidden, so the children get a natural relationship to their own sexuality and the sexuality of others from they are quite small. So if the children should catch a glimpse of their parents stark naked, it is really just healthy, and we encourage this to take place in a natural way, as long as the parents have a healthy relationship to their own sexuality. But just about everyone has that today, at least here in our community.»
«I do understand that one has to change things, but isn’t this going a bit too far» I asked.
«Why? The problems you have in connection with sexuality are a far cry from ours. We hardly have any at all. So perhaps we have done something right?» she asked rhetorically. «To be naked is after all quite natural.»
Natalia continued, «Back to the school system. We have a school system that is completely different from yours. We teach the children much more about life itself and how one should relate to each other and life in the society. We also teach the children about themselves – who they are and why they are here on earth, and that they all are fantastic and unique creations, unique expressions of existence. We teach them to trust themselves, about their intuition and what it means to be a human being. That one may not do anything to another person unless it is voluntary, and that you don’t treat other persons any differently from how you yourself wish to be treated. We teach the children love, honesty, responsibility, respect and other values that are the most important in life.»
This really is very different from what we do in my time! But back to this question of sexuality. Are you really sure of this thing about nudity?»
«Children are curious about everything, also about their sexuality. To explore it in safe and playful surroundings is just fine! It is natural for them. As I said, sexuality is not taboo here with us. We don’t indoctrinate our children with the idea that there is something about their bodies which is shameful. We have long since ridded ourselves of concepts like sin and shame, precisely because we understood that it was the cause of an incredible amount of problems and suffering. And when children acquire a natural relationship to sexuality from an early age, they are very unlikely to get problems with it as adults. Besides, we are quick to discover irregularities and problems the children may have, and we work hard to release them in cooperation with the parents. This goes for all aspects of their lives. For that reason bullying among children is something that barely exists here. We wish to have children who are vital, full of creativity, spontaneity and joy. Unless children experience a fantastic growing-up, it is very difficult to create a fantastic society.»
«Ok, the more I think about it, the more sensible it seems,» I conceded.
«There are also other things that we do differently. We teach them to think more for themselves and find their own solutions, in contrast to your society which endeavors to press as much already well chewed knowledge into the minds and psyches of small children. Knowledge and facts are easily forgotten, but not the wisdom they acquire by themselves. We have neither homework nor tests which put a pressure on children and cause them to go into competition mode, and which then will make them either winners or losers. How can one be a so-called winner if someone else loses? What kind of society is that? Here we are all winners! We have eliminated the competition mentality. We have eliminated the dysfunctional monetary system. Here in our society everyone is well taken care of, actually far better than the best in your time. As we are not dependent on having to struggle to become the best in some education or other that can give us some kind of livelihood, we can focus more on the talents and wishes of the children. We put far more emphasis on bringing out the wisdom that is inherent in everyone. The children here have a far greater freedom of choice in what they wish to learn than what your children have. It is also important to let go of old ingrained conceptions and dysfunctional norms, which your society is largely characterized by.» She paused for a short while.
«I want to return to the sexuality education: Do you really believe a child would have been harmed by seeing the two of us make love yesterday, when it was so wonderful for both of us?» She smiled and took hold of my hands. «Of course a child is not harmed by seeing two lovers who laugh happily, utter lovely sounds, who love fully and radiate their love throughout the act? On the contrary, I would say:»
«When you put it like that, it does seem quite logical» I said.
«It is simple logic. If you had children, what would you prefer that they should see? Two lovers who are truly happy together and show it, or a movie where the bullets are flying and the blood is flowing?» Natalia asked.
«Eh…. Unfortunately far too often the latter is what happens in my society» I answered.
«Yes, and therefore it is reflected in your society in all the problems you have. Many things are turned upside-down in relation to what actually works. In other words, you might increase your ability to learn from what really does work in your society. We strive as best we can to create happy and well-functioning children, and hand-on-heart I believe we have succeeded quite well. Admittedly not in all parts of the world conditions are as good as here with us.»
«You have mentioned that before. I would be interested in visiting such a place. Would that be possible?» I questioned.
«Absolutely. We’ll see to that one of the days you are here, perhaps already tomorrow. But now we have to move on. You haven’t forgotten that you are going to the Space Station today, have you?»
«Of course not! It seems incredibly exciting!»
«We’ll take the hydroplane a fair distance from here to where the base you are going to visit is situated. This will take just under an hour, and then we’ll be at the base that will take you to the Space Station. It is still morning, and the Spaceship leaves at noon. You will land on Earth again at 6 pm. The trips up and down don’t take long, so you will have several hours up in Space. I am not going, but I’ll come and collect you when you have descended.»
«Great! I am really looking forward to this!»
We walked behind the Communications Building where we had been the day before. There we entered a hydroplane which had been reserved for us. Almost one hour later we landed at the base where the Spaceship stood ready for departure.
«It doesn’t look much like the Spaceships we used in my time» I observed.
«We use far more advanced propulsion systems now, and therefore we are no longer restricted to a certain type of design. For this we can thank our friends from Space. They have recently given us the opportunity to utilize a form of technology that we earlier could only dream about. You will be joining a small group of people who will be sightseeing at the Space Station. There the guide will explain and help you.» Natalie accompanied me over to the Spaceship, spoke briefly with some persons there and said goodbye. I entered, feeling both excited and full of expectations.
After a while the Spaceship took off, rising vertically in the air and rapidly accelerating. Strangely enough I didn’t feel the strong pressure against my body that I had expected. Perhaps the advanced technology Natalia had mentioned compensated for gravity? The Spaceship had windows, and to watch the Earth from so high up was very beautiful! Over the loud speaking system we were soon informed that we would shortly arrive. And indeed, in the distance I noticed something that looked like a tiny speck. The small speck turned out to be quite large as we got closer. It was oval, with a larger circumference in the middle. The Spaceship dived and we entered the Space Station where we were received by the guide.
«Hi, and welcome! My name is Adrian, and I shall be your guide while you are here. No special precautions are required, the air here is the same as on Earth. We have artificial gravitation, so you can move in the normal way. We have a special room without gravity where you may enjoy yourselves for a little while later if you wish. You will then receive some instructions before entering.»
«How many persons stay here on a regular basis?» someone asked.
«As a total there are around 250 persons who live here and have specific duties, some for quite a long time, while others are here for shorter periods. It is a very multicultural group. We also have quite a few guestrooms that are in use all the time, for instance when important meetings are taking place. We’ll go now to our largest room, where these meetings are conducted» Adrian said and led us through a hallway towards a door. He smiled at us as the sliding doors opened automatically. We entered, and I was struck by the fantastic view of Earth through the large curved panorama window in the meeting room.
«Sit down for a bit» Adrian said and showed us to comfortable chairs in the room which resembled some kind of auditorium. In front of the curved panorama window was a large round table. «As you see, we have an incredibly wonderful view of our Earth from here. This is no coincidence. Here we conduct regular meetings which lead to decisions that are important for humanity, such as those between world leaders and between the largest religions of the world, science and the new spiritual worldview which has by now become the largest. On some rare occasions we have meetings with our extraterrestrial friends.
This gives a quite fantastic setting for the participants at the meetings. From here they look straight at Earth, our beautiful blue planet. We are not so very far from the planet, so the view is overwhelmingly wonderful. This view does something to those who are here, many astronauts have experienced that. It creates a very special atmosphere, a stronger sense of community, a feeling of oneness. From here we see no national borders. The whole gives one a sense that we are together in the effort to take care of each other and of Earth. To be here can be described as being in a numinous place, and one perceives an elevated ambience.»
«It is so quiet and peaceful here» someone said.
«Yes, that is the intention. The colors and the neutral decorations are meant to emphasize the view and a peaceful atmosphere, and in addition the room has been sound proofed» Adrian explained. «You will now get to watch a holographic movie. It will show you something of the history of this room, a bit more about what it is used for, and what it has achieved of different breakthroughs during the last years.»
The room got dark and the holographic movie started.
After it had ended we all remained seated, quietly digesting what we had seen. Towards the end of the movie we had been shown an absolutely beautiful filming of the Earth, oceans and landscapes with all the fantastic life that inhabits it, including human beings. Together with the music in the movie, it had put us in a very special frame of mind. It was akin to a meditation where one’s mind is brought into a different level of consciousness.
After a while Adrian got up and the rest of us followed suit.
«What about those who either don’t dare or for some reason can’t come up here with a Space ship, but who would like to be included in these meetings?» one person asked as we moved towards the entrance.
«Space travels are very safe these days, but for those who for one reason or another can’t meet up in person, we have quite lifelike holograms which enable the persons to participate virtually even if they are not physically present here.
We shall now continue to the largest room in the entire Space Station, namely our Recreation Room where people spend most of their time when they are off duty.»
We went out, and the sliding doors of the meeting room quietly closed behind us.
Adrian took us further into the Space Station. We soon arrived at a large open area. I suddenly realized that I had seen this before, in Natalia’s house the previous evening as she demonstrated the multidimensional projector like hologram gadget, or whatever they were called. Here was the small beach and the water! It was wonderful to see this oasis in reality, and a very special experience to see the green plants, trees and flowers in the small park when one had huge plates of glass in the ceiling which enabled one to see stars, parts of Earth and the Moon at the same time.
«Right here, with a view of the park, is the Space Station’s restaurant where we are going to eat after we have made a short walk around the area» Adrian lead us, pointing and explaining. He showed us among other things an area where food was grown. He explained that in principle they could be self-sufficient here at the Space Station, but as they were located fairly close to Earth, they received a lot of supplies from there. After a while we walked back in order to have something to eat.
«Do you know whether there is a Space Station established on Mars»? I asked my table neighbor during the meal. Suddenly I realized that he did not know that I came from the past. He looked a bit oddly at me before answering. «Yes, we have had that for a long time, obviously. It is not as large as this one, as we here can much more easily get supplies from Earth. But there they are entirely self-sufficient and have been so for several decades. Once a year they get a visit from Earth, where some of the staff is exchanged and supplies are delivered.»
«I suppose it was robots that built this Space Station? I envisage huge robot arms in action just outside here,» I said, perhaps mostly to show that I was not completely blank.
It didn’t quite hit the mark, and my neighbor again looked at me rather strangely. «The Space Station was built in modules on Earth, as it is rather more complicated to build in Space. But other than that you are right, it was mostly built by robots.»
Adrian rose. «The time is now almost 16:15, which means we have 45 minutes before you are going back to Earth. Those of you who wish to, may play for a while in the zero gravity room. Come with me, those of you who want to try it. The others may remain seated here or move around in the park, but all have to be back exactly here at 17:00 o’clock.»
I obviously went with Adrian, as did most of the others as well. This was something I wanted to experience! The closest I had ever come to a condition of weightlessness had been while swimming, There had been a hint of it in the Spaceship on the way up here, but then we had been strapped down and unable to move.
We arrived at the rom and were told by Adrian that we should avoid making too abrupt movements. We all sat down on some chairs and put on some kind of belt buckle. Adrian pressed a button and the sliding doors opened. The chairs we were sitting on moved into the room and the doors closed behind us. The room was relatively large, and the walls and ceiling were padded so that we should not be harmed if we were unfortunate and the speed got too high. Adrian removed his buckle, kicked cautiously against the floor, and began to float towards the ceiling. The others followed, some towards the ceiling and some towards the wall on the other side of the room. A woman beside me gave me a little shove while she laughed.
«No abrupt movements!» I heard myself say, but then I too began to laugh. I was also unable to stop moving, so I bumped into the person beside me, and a small chain collision took place. Other people were also bumping into each other, and there was a lot of laughter. Quite chaotic and comical. It really was great fun, I felt I was a kid again. One person did a somersault, which perhaps was not such a good idea, as another tried to stop him, which meant that he began to rotate. This weightlessness was not so simple to handle, but it definitely was great fun!
The amusing half hour passed quickly, and we got back to the others. Adrian took us to the Space shuttle which was ready for departure. We thanked him for the visit and everyone gave him a hug. «Live long and prosper!» one person said to Adrian as we entered the shuttle. I don’t think many understood why he said it. As this was some time into the future, it was evident that not everybody had heard of Star Trek…
The return trip went flawlessly and we landed at 18:00 as scheduled. Natalia was waiting for me and gave me a hug as I walked to her.
«I am eager to hear about your trip, how was it?» she asked.
«Just marvelous, and great fun!» I answered and explained what we had seen and experienced, among other things the zero-gravity room and the oasis that I first had seen while in her home. I mentioned in particular the grand meeting room and the idea behind it that so appealed to me.
«Good to hear! Then let’s go home. A dinner party is being arranged near where I live, We’ll go to my home and get ready before it starts.»
We talked a bit while the hydroplane took us back to Lighthaven and we walked to her house. After a while we were both ready for the evening and went to where the party was to be held, only a few minutes’ walk away. As the weather was nice and warm, we were to eat outside.
The long table had been decorated in a creative and humorous way. The surroundings were lovely, with the beautiful scenery and the river flowing nearby. Many kinds of food were being placed on the table, and wine was set out here and there. Natalia told me that there were other places in the area where similar parties were arranged. Here old and young alike were present. We greeted and hugged several persons before we sat down beside each other. I noticed that hugs were being given generously. It seemed clear that this entire group of people had a friendly and good relationship to each other. We greeted and hugged Skylar and Kayden as they arrived and sat down opposite us, and all began to eat.
«How was your trip to the Space Station?» Kayden asked.
«Terrific! I should have loved to stay there for longer! It was an incredible experience to see our planet from above, and it moved me. I was also surprised to see how Earth-like they had managed to make it, like the small oasis» I answered.
«To explore Cosmos is one of the next steps for humanity. We are in the process of preparing for that, and the first humans will leave our solar system within ten years», Kayden said enthusiastically.
«Gosh, what fantastic perspectives for the future we’re approaching!» I exclaimed.
«We think so as well. It is incredible what can be accomplished when humanity co-operates and we in addition receive some help from other civilizations. But I actually have to correct myself a bit, – a few persons have already left our solar system and have visited other worlds. They have been permitted to accompany our cosmic friends» Kayden added.
«Do you live here, by the way?» I asked.
«No, Kayden and I live in the city and we like it there. On the other hand we are often here because we very much enjoy this place as well, so you never know. It was Natalia who invited us here today, so why don’t you two make a visit to us?» Skylar said.
«I am sure we could» I said and glanced at Natalia. She was the one who had the agenda for my time there.
«We could visit you tomorrow evening if that would suit you» Natalia suggested. Skylar looked at Kayden and they both nodded.
«But first we are going to another continent to visit a city there» Natalia said.
«We are going to visit one of the worst places on the planet» I elaborated.
Natalia glanced at me. «Don’t forget that they generally have a better society than the best you have managed in your time.» Natalia stroked my back in a friendly way.
«If you think of the world that existed two centuries before your own time and compare that to your society now, you will see that there has been a formidable development. At that time most people lived in miserable circumstances, yes, in what you in your time would call slums. And even though you have raised an enormous number of people from dire poverty, you still have quite a lot of poverty, slums and hunger left. To put it differently: In your time a relatively large part of the world’s inhabitants, roughly half, lived under conditions resembling those of a very few aristocrats several hundred years ago. Today everyone lives like aristocrats here in our society, and almost everyone globally! We have taken societal development to a completely new level. And the development has accelerated far more rapidly. Just the latest ten years here correspond to at least thirty years’ development in your time. That is how quickly the development has taken place here.»
«How have you managed to create this wonderful society?»
Skylar answered: «You live at a time when there is a lot of unrest and chaos, but, you know, after chaos comes order. Here we are almost at that stage. We have restructured our society. We share things, which is a far more efficient use of resources and far more just. And we give. We have eliminated money and competition. There is more than enough of everything, so why compete? And, not least important, we have become good at giving of ourselves, and I am then speaking of empathy, consideration and affection. We see each other, on a deeper level, that is, and everybody is seen as they are. All of this strengthens the feeling of fellowship, which is alfa and omega for creating a truly good society. These are some of the reasons, but we could have conversed the entire evening about this topic. None of it could have happened without the huge shift in mentality.»
Kayden interrupted mildly «Look at the houses around here. They are self-sufficient when it comes to energy, and also with water. Should they for some reason be needing more, they get it from the local area. Refuse is being composted, and whatever cannot be composted is recycled. We have new types of organic toilets. We don’t have to build as much infrastructure as earlier, on the contrary we are dismantling more of the old than we are building new ones. We don’t manufacture enormous amounts of unnecessary goods. Almost everything we produce can be recycled, and whatever we are not yet able to recycle we keep until we have found a solution. You might say we live more simply, but no less comfortably. In short we lead a richer life. We lack for nothing materially, we are technologically advanced, and not least, we have a warmer and more humane society with less work and more spare time. But spare time does not necessarily mean just relaxation and holidays, we spend a lot of our spare time contributing to society because we feel like doing it, not least because it is meaningful and satisfying.»
Skylar added: «And the self-driven vehicles are in use most of the time, except at night, and with that one saves a lot of downtime and we need fewer of them. In your time the cars are unused for most of the time. So why should we need garages now? Neither do we need to spend a lot of time and money on repairs and maintenance, this is usually done by robots. If one wants to go someplace, one simply has to ask for transport, and it will arrive automatically. You seldom need to book in advance. We could try now» Skylar looked at Natalia.
«Of course we could. I order transport, and then we’ll take a short trip to the center of Lighthaven so we can show it to Aron.» Natalia pressed the bracelet she wore around her wrist. A virtual holographic screen suddenly appeared on her arm. I had no idea that she had such a thing! After a couple of clicks in what appeared to be the air, I saw a small green spot appear.» It will be here in a few minutes» Natalia said.
Gradually it had got darker. The dinner and dessert had been consumed. The dessert consisted mainly of fruit, as they no longer used a lot of sugar in their diet. The natural sugar in fruit is preferred, and fruit is of course very healthy as well as delicious. I thought to myself that the use of it ought to be far more widespread in the time I came from. It might have subdued the craving for sugar that a lot of people struggled with. I looked at the persons around the table. The people were beaming and laughter came easily. No one was intoxicated or loud. I witnessed hugs being exchanged and received some hugs myself. Some kissed each other’s cheek. Others kissed in a more intimate way, they were probably lovers. Clearly, there was no social distancing here! It seemed that pandemics fortunately no longer were such a huge problem. It was great to sense the affectionate atmosphere everywhere. The ambience was unusually good and it seemed as if they were members of one large family. In fact I felt as if I were one of them, I felt included and safeguarded just as the person I was. Perhaps this was the key? The feeling of fellowship, the sense of being seen and of totally being one of them was simply beautiful. I felt sure that my own society had a lot to learn here…
«Here is our transport now». Skylar pointed to the vehicle that was approaching. She, Kayden, Natalia and I entered it. The fact that we had all drunk some wine made no difference as the vehicle was self-driven.
It took off right away and accelerated when there was none nearby. This one went around the hill from the other side, probably because there were fewer houses and people there. After a short time we arrived at a beautiful open area which seemed to be a park surrounded by nearby buildings. This had to be the center of Lighthaven which until then I had not seen a lot of. We exited the vehicle and it continued by itself, perhaps to a parking place somewhere in the vicinity.
«It is lovely here!» I exclaimed. «The lighting is so special! Those who designed this park have really been able to express their creativity.» Soft lighting surrounded all the beautiful flowerbeds, the small oval lake, the bridge that crossed it, the paths in the area that led to other small lakes and bridges, and created an atmosphere of pure magic. Could this be the reason the town was called Lighthaven?
Seating areas were abundant, and quite a lot of people were present. A lighted water fountain that spread out over a sizeable area made lovely synchronic patterns, and it seemed that many of the persons were there to watch it. Some places one could actually walk among the sprays of water that were shot into the air. This way of getting wet would surely be fun for children, – and for adults who wished to bring out their inner child, for that matter.
«Yes, isn’t it just beautiful here?» Skylar said as she put her arm around Kayden.
«Absolutely! And I see it is a place with a lot of surprises to offer.»
«There are other places we might visit nearby, among others some eating places and other gathering points. Activities are going on constantly both in daytime and in the evenings, but we’ll stay here. We can walk around the lake and look at the fountain a bit before we return. After all, we are at a party» Natalia said and slipped her hand into mine, to which I had no objection. We talked about this and that as we walked. In the lake were birds and colorful fishes. We paused for a while and watched them before walking over to the fountain to admire the beautiful play of light. After some time Natalia pressed the virtual holographic screen that once more appeared on her arm, and a short while later the vehicle arrived. This really was very practical, one did not even have to think about finding a parking place!
When we were back at the party, we continued the conversation about the societal differences.
«What other differences are there between my society and yours?» I asked.
It was Skylar who answered.
«We here in Lighthaven have a completely different outlook on life. Our spirituality has developed a great deal. The predominant mentality in your time was strongly characterized by people regarding each other as separate. This view spread and permeated the entire society in a negative way. Because of this view one tolerated indescribably dreadful things that were done. This was caused by the fact that one did not see the other person as oneself or one’s neighbour. We have taken this a step further: you are your neighbour! This is the way we look at it here. We have a strong fellowship based on our view of all of us being one. On a deep spiritual level we are one with everything and everybody, and it is this that is the real key to creating a fantastic society. But this you will learn more about when you meet our cosmic friends.»
«I am thoroughly looking forward to that! It feels a bit scary also, though» I said.
«Haha, scary? That should be the least of your worries!» Skylar laughed.
«So you have met them?» I asked.
«Both Natalia, Kayden and I have met them. They are the ones who told us about you and who wanted us to guide you. At the same time we have been studying history with special emphasis on your time.»
«Then I understand why you know so much about me and about that time» I replied and glanced at Natalia.
Suddenly someone started to sing not far from where we were sitting. Silence reigned around the tables while everyone was listening. They sang well, and there was laughter and applause when they finished. We continued our conversation.
«In my time there were those who believed that there did not exist intelligent life, or any form of life at all, other places than here on Earth» I said. «They would surely have been surprised if they had been here! But what about those who don’t believe that there is a greater reality, a life after death and more lives for that matter, a little like me? Or, I guess I am open for such thoughts, though.»
«Not many people think like that anymore in our time» Skylar said. «It can be understood that many thoughts like that in your time, after having seen what atrocities many religions have inflicted upon humanity and the world throughout history. But this has also in a way blinded them to reality. Besides, our worldview and spirituality is developing all the time. It has evolved from a rather primitive understanding to a more developed one. Everyone is at liberty to believe what he wants to, but I would have given the idea of something more a greater chance if I were you. Think of the smartphone which was so popular in your time. It can’t just appear all by itself. There has to be an intelligence behind it. If you look at the human being with its DNA, which is infinitely more advanced than a smartphone, not to mention Earth and the Universe, how could this have come into existence all by itself? There must be an incredibly intelligent design behind all these fantastic things. This is food for thorough reflection!»
«Other things have changed as well». Now Kayden spoke. «Hardly anyone gets married here any longer.»
«Natalia mentioned that, but please go on» I said.
Kayden continued: «Choosing to tie oneself to another for the rest of one’s life is outdated. As you know from your own time, around half of the marriages were dissolved, and that was not without a reason. Even in some of the marriages that did not break up, the relationship could be problematic. But just for the record, a great number of people here still choose to live together. And we arrange lovely ceremonies when people announce that they want to make a commitment to each other. Skylar and I, on the other hand, live separately although we are sweethearts. But it is quite possible that at some point in time we may choose to live together. In our society we regularly evaluate our relationships. We are also good at being honest with each other and speaking openly about things, so there are few problems here.»
Skylar joined in: «I can for example sometimes be a bit jealous, and I know that this is something I need to work on. I also know that it is mainly because I don’t love myself fully. This is largely caused by my childhood and growing up on another continent, but it has become much better now. For that I can also thank Kayden.» Kayden smiled and put his arm around her.
«I have decided to be honest as well. When I heard Natalia mention her earlier lover yesterday, I felt a stab of pain. And we are not even a couple, so I guess I also have some work to do» I said and glanced at Natalia. She smiled, took my hand between her own and put them on her lap.
«Family patterns are also not the same any longer» Kayden continued. «Today in some ways one selects one’s family. Here in our society, that is in the city and in the surrounding suburbs, many people live by themselves. But even if they live alone, they are not lonely, if you see what I mean. We have become much more skilled at mingling and socializing. Perhaps you have noticed how good the sense of friendship and unity is here. We are now also better at taking care of the elderly, and they are far more included in the society and not tucked away somewhere. They receive more stimulus and consideration from the community. In fact, the concept of generation housing has had a kind of renaissance. Older persons are highly regarded and well cared for, and thus they stay healthy longer, both physically and mentally. They are seen as a resource and are good at taking care of our children, for example. Should they require extra care and help, this is not seen as a burden for the community.»
Someone had put on some music, and before long there were people dancing. The sound volume was only moderate, so hearing what the others said was not difficult.
Skylar took over. «In your time, looking back from now, the society appears rather cold, at least in many of the affluent countries. There was often scant contact with neighbors, even with those living as close as next door. It also seems clear that those who were married or living together tended to isolate themselves with their closest family members. When one lives alone, one is usually more likely to involve oneself in the community, visit others and keep contact with relatives and friends. This was not always the case, obviously, I am speaking generally here. But being alone was something quite different in your time from what it is now, by the way. Loneliness was a major problem at that time, it was like a pandemic itself. Those who are alone here are not lonely, while we to a far greater extent include others and socialize and are open and honest with each other. Yes, even our buildings and infra- structure are too a much larger extent arranged for this as well.»
Natalia commented, «I need only get out my virtual activity calendar here on my arm, and it gives me an overview of everything that is going on here during the coming days and further in time. You did have something resembling it in your time, but this is more advanced and customized. I get to know about most things through friends in any case, but it is nice to be able to plan and have it as a supplement.»
«We have also a large number of persons who choose to live in collectives. In fact, one of the most recently established experimental suburbs consists of many small collectives. It is architecturally and infra-structurally designed after the newest research results in that field. We are eager to see how it is functioning» Skylar continued. «But back to this question of relationships. Loving couples of every variety are highly regarded here. Love knows no boundaries. Kayden and I have found each other, and it seems that you and Natalia are finding each other as well!» Skylar regarded us with a knowing smile. Natalia smiled at me and took an even firmer hold of my hand which she was still holding in both of her own.
It was late, and people had begun to depart for their homes. This did not take place without kisses and hugs. Natalia got a lot, and so in fact did I.
«Perhaps we should retire as well?» I asked Natalia and was already looking forward to being alone with her and all the lovely things that would lead to. Natalia didn’t have to say anything, I understood from her smile and body language that she had the same feeling. The way she touched my fingers spoke of this as well. We got up and said goodnight to Skylar and Kayden and the other persons near us, after which we walked back to Natalia’s house.
«It is fairly late, so we may as well go to bed» Natalia said and gave me a kiss. We went to our separate bathrooms to get ready for the night. I finished first and lay down on the large double bed in her bedroom. Imagine being able to look straight up at the starlit sky through the glass ceiling! It was just so beautiful and peaceful.
Together with the reflection from the moon it gave the room a dim lighting.
Natalia came out from her bathroom wearing only a thin and partly transparent nightie. Just seeing her coming into the softly lit room like that made me tremble with anticipation. She got into bed and snuggled close to me, and we smiled at each other.
We began to stroke each other gently and I kissed her lightly on her cheek, forehead and throat. And then she started giving me her wonderful deep kisses, the ones that sent shivers through my body. For quite a while we did nothing more than kiss each other, until I heard a moan from Natalia and at the same time felt a hand creeping gently in beneath my underpants. Quickly we got rid of the little we were still wearing There and then nothing else existed than Natalia and I. We made love, and we were no longer two individuals, we were one…
It was morning. Natalia lay beside me. Another day in Paradise, I thought to myself. Natalia moved slightly and curved her back closer to me, I put my arm across her body and she pulled it to her. We were both half awake. For a while we lay like that, enjoying each other.
«We have to get up» Natalia said and turned to me. «I would have loved to lie here for longer, but we have to catch the hydroplane that leaves from the city in a couple of hours.»
We rose and got ourselves ready, and together we prepared our breakfast.
«We can sit outside, the weather is so lovely», Natalia said. And before I could blink an eye the entire glass wall slid aside and the room was opened to the outside. Carrying our breakfast we went out to a patio just outside. It was lovely to sit there and feel the scents of nature.
After breakfast we left the house. This time we walked in the opposite direction around the hill to the Communication Building. Suddenly a boy came running towards us. Natalia gave him a kiss. «Say hello to Jayden» she said to me. «This is my son.» I greeted him and we exchanged a few words. He was on his way to school and had no time to stop for long. Natalia hugged and kissed him before he ran off.
«So you are a single mother, really?» I said.
«I am a mother, but I am not single-handed about the task. Single mothers in our society, or even couples, for that matter, are not alone about bringing up a child. We don’t let one person have the sole responsibility for a task as important as taking care of children. In your time there were many who had children before they themselves had had time to really grow up. One can’t expect them to master the role of parenting when they are so young and have to be so alone with such an important role. The children here, regardless of whether they live with one or both parents, are being far better taken care of by the people around them, and it does not necessarily have to be within the family. This is one of the great advantages with the community not being too large. Even if Jayden nowadays stays with my parents who live up the hill just there, he also sometimes stays with other acquaintances nearby. Here the children can run around freely without having to be afraid of strangers. We have quite a wide age distribution, and many of the elderly find it a joy to take care of the little ones. They have plenty of time, as well as a lot of knowledge, wisdom and not least, love to share. This often goes outside of family ties, although Jayden often is with his father and paternal grandparents who live in the city. And sometimes he is with someone else’s grandparents who are not related to us. He has a great time with all of them and gets a lot of inputs and a variety of impressions in this way.»
«This sounds like a very good solution» I commented. We had by then arrived at the Communications Building. From there we took one of the small hydroplanes to the central station in the city. There we entered a much larger hydroplane which would take us to the other continent. This plane went at quite a high altitude, and according to Natalia it went at supersonic speed. After barely a couple of hours over the ocean we descended, disembarked, and entered another and smaller plane. This one was to take us to our destination, which was one of the police stations in the city. This city looked rather different, and from above it seemed quite green. In some places one could not see that it was a city at all, only from one side could we see buildings, probably housing. There were not as many tall buildings as I had expected here either, just some buildings downtown.
We descended outside a pleasant looking building with a small café outside. I had not expected this to be the police station! I had visualized a larger building, but no, this one apparently housed more than just policing functions. Here were areas for mingling, and outside were green areas. We were received by a man in a sort of uniform who introduced himself as Felix.
«This doesn’t look like much» I said.
«We are not many persons working here. Even though crime is highest on this continent, it is far less than earlier and very little compared to in your time. There are three stations of approximately this size in the entire city of more than a million inhabitants.»
«That is not much, which is great. What about prisons?»
«We have only three of those as well, one connected to each of the stations, and that is all we need. We did actually have four prisons some years ago, but as there was less and less crime we closed one of them. It has now been restored and is being used as a museum and for prevention.»
«I am surprised» I said. «I had expected you to have greater problems in such a huge city, but this must be a good sign. You having so little work to do, I mean.»
«Yes, definitely. Crime has been steadily declining for a long time and still is, especially after we began to distribute goods and resources more fairly. Why commit crime when your needs are already covered? Theft, for instance, is something we hardly ever experience now. What we still do have to struggle with are drug problems, but again, they are few compared to what you had in your time.»
«I thought a police station was just that, but here a lot of other things are taking place.»
«Our thought is to create a pleasant and natural relationship for people like us as the police force. Earlier, at least here, the police was associated with fear because we hit too hard on criminal activity. Now we have stopped doing that. We only rarely carry weapons, for example. The same goes for our prisons, they are no longer places to be dreaded. Do you see that building over there?»
«Do you mean to say that the lovely building complex there is a prison?»
«Yes. Our prisons are far more pleasant and humane than they used to be, especially if compared to large countries in your time. Punishment and strict discipline functions badly and belongs to the past. There is always a reason why people do what they do, and we try to delve deeply and unravel the reasons why, and then process it so that it will not be repeated. We seek to prevent, so that they can go out to liberty again as new persons. Everyone is let out sooner or later, and they seldom repeat their crimes, in contrast to how it was in your time. Most of them even have some liberty to move around in the vicinity, and we know exactly where everyone is at any given time. They also receive good follow-up when they are let out, this is important to specify. While they are here we confront them with the consequences of what they have done, so that they understand what problems and suffering they have inflicted on others and on society. As I said, we treat them humanely, which is important.»
«Now I understand that the world really has become a better place», I said, «This has been uplifting».
«How about coming downtown with me so that I can show you around?» Felix suggested, and Natalia and I accepted. We moved out of the area and into a street that I thought had to be a residential area. There were also some pleasant looking eating places and convenience stores here and there.
«Where have the large chain stores gone?» I asked.
«Those mammoth stores are now more or less features of the past. They meant too much transport of goods over long distances. Now we have a far greater focus on short-haul goods. The large chains also became too little creative and too much focused on profit, something that rarely led to anything positive. Now, for instance, there has been put a stop to the usurping of workers from low-cost countries who barely earned enough to survive. In our society we do still use a monetary system, but we have far greater control mechanisms, so that it is no longer possible to enrich oneself at the expense of society. We have no billionaires here, and none who can earn immorally high sums. This has taken years of struggle to achieve, because those who had enriched themselves through the system, and those who possessed large amounts of money and goods were clinging to it and to their power. Some of these rich persons also had a very bad and unfair tendency to look down on others, simply because of their own wealth. Slowly but surely we succeeded in convincing most of them that this was wrong and in working out solutions which they too were more or less satisfied with. They gradually realized that the ruling system was grossly unfair the way it was being practiced. They often possessed huge private properties, not to mention enormous yachts, while others barely had food on their tables. But as I said, it was a struggle, and laws and regulations were required before things could be changed. The system favored those who had most, in other words a reverse Robin Hood practice. After all, the money that the rich had accumulated had to have come from somewhere. But by altering the rules of the game the society got more money at its disposal, and the resources were more evenly shared. As a result we have far fewer problems and a happier population. Many of those who possessed a great deal of money and power and disagreed with the changes have now either died or reached a high age, but most of them have also changed their minds and agree with the reforms that have taken place. But on the other hand, this process had already began in your time with some of the super-rich voluntarily deciding to give the larger part of their fortunes to charity. The proofs that it works are conspicuous, as it is so easy to see that everyone now has a much better life and is far more content. And hand on heart, – I believe that also those who earlier were so wealthy are actually happier now. Money is not what makes for true happiness.»
«No, that’s for sure, but please continue!» I said.
«We have implemented a system comparable to what you call civil wages or basic income. That is, all are now assured of receiving the most essential things, completely without conditions attached. Especially after the robots made their entry we found we needed to do something. This has set free enormous potential in people, eased the competition mentality, and not least given people more spare time, and thereby more time to live… That is the reason you see the many small shops all round. Believe me, a lot of creative work is going on here, resulting in products such as clothes, art, pottery, jewellery, not to mention all the things that can be done with the new technology. And within the food sector there is no lack of creative dishes, healthy foods and a diversity of delicacies.»
«I notice that the streets are quite clean here» I said as we continued our walk.
«Well, in the first place people have become far more conscious of aesthetics, so trash is hardly ever thrown away anywhere else than where it belongs, and furthermore just about everything that is thrown away is recycled. And robots tidy the streets every day, as it occasionally happens that some things go astray, for instance in strong wind.» Felix answered.
«When I look at the houses here and the high-rise buildings further ahead of us, this city is what most closely resembles those in my own time. Apart from the fact that there is more greenery here, it looks more cared for and tidy, and the houses have a greater aesthetic beauty.»
«I would guess this city is a couple of decades ahead of your most modern cities» Natalia said to me. «And if you compare it with our city, you will find it is developmentally about well over a century ahead, and Lighthaven perhaps one hundred and fifty years ahead, viewed in comparison with your most modern cities and your societies there… Sorry if the concept of time and my explanation became too complicated.»
Felix spoke again. «We have realized that the cities had become too huge, dysfunctional and alienating. One lost much of the contact with Nature. We have large development projects outside of the cities, but we don’t make the kind of traditional suburbs that you had in your time, we make more full-fledged communities. The place Natalia comes from is a source of inspiration for us. The development is far gentler towards Nature than what it used to be. Our city used to be larger, we are now dismantling and removing the oldest and most dilapidated buildings and areas or rebuilding them. Therefore fewer people live in cities now. For some time the trend was for people to move to the cities, now the reverse is the case, which is also in part due to the fact that communication today is so much easier. Plus the fact that to interact with Nature has had a renaissance. The world population is generally declining, which is just as well. We have probably been rather too many. When we succeeded in raising the living standard of the poorest people worldwide, they had fewer children, especially here on our continent. This was understood already in your time, Aron, and therefore it did not take long before massive resources were employed in order to lift people out of poverty and strengthen education, especially for women. As a side effect of this people had fewer children, and so we prevented an all too great increase in population in the poorest areas, and a corresponding use of Nature that was not really sustainable.»
He looked at Natalia. «Usually it is we who come to you in order to learn, not you who come here…»
Natalia smiled. «True enough, but surely we have things to learn from you as well» she answered.
«I know you have a timetable to follow, but we could have something to eat before you have to return», Felix suggested. «I know of a pleasant restaurant just over there.»
It seemed a good idea, and we accepted. We were served delicious food, and afterwards we said goodbye to Felix and were brought back to the large hydroplane that would take us to our city where we were to meet Skylar and Kayden. By the time we landed, dusk was descending. I actually felt quite awake and did not notice any jetlag, probably because we had returned to the same time zone on the same day.
«We’ll just walk, it’s not far» Natalia said.
We left the Central Station and walked through the park where we had been the previous day. Darkness was descending. Here as well the area was beautifully lit. We walked a slightly different route through the park, and after a while we saw Skylar and Kayden coming towards us. We hugged each other.
Kayden spoke. «I suggest you stay overnight here, as you are going to spend the whole day here in town tomorrow anyway. There is a lovely guest apartment available in the building where we live, and which I have already taken the liberty of reserving for you. What do you think?»
«Fine with me» I said and looked at Natalia.
«Why not», she said and smiled at me, «but some change of clothing might have been nice».
«That has also been arranged for both of you» said Skylar. We walked together towards the apartment complex where they both lived.
«Do you see those buildings over there?» Skylar asked.
«Do you mean the helical ones? It looks as if those buildings form a circle» I said.
«Exactly. That is correct, and that is where we live, in the nearest one. They are all terrace-shaped and spiral a bit upwards, and they have a lot of plants growing along the terraces. They are self-sufficient regarding energy, as all buildings in our city are nowadays. Now you can also see a park with a pond in the middle and all the terrace buildings centered around it.»
«It is beautiful! I can also see that there are quite a few people outside the buildings» I said.
«Yes, we have arranged the area for socializing. There are activities of many kinds, small local shops, café, a small library and a restaurant. We have fitness rooms, paths for games, party room, an atrium and playground outside, swimming pool and some mingling rooms inside. In fact, it is a small community in itself. It is a great place, but at the same time it feels a bit too large for us, so Kayden and I are considering moving to a smaller place, perhaps to one of the suburbs. In that case it is very likely that we might choose Lighthaven.»
«We thought we would go up to my apartment, and there Kayden and I will make some food for us. In the meantime you can go to the guest apartment and change» said Skylar. We entered an outside glass elevator which took us almost to the top, that is, to the seventh floor where the guest apartment was located. After we had changed and readied ourselves we went to Skylar’s apartment which was on the same floor. There we settled down outside on the large terrace where we had a view over the entire city. It was noticeably quieter here than in the noisy cities from my own time. After a while the food was put on the table.
I spoke up: «I am interested in hearing more about what kind of outlook on life you have. I am open for the idea that there is more between Heaven and Earth, but I am not sure that there is a life after death, or that reincarnation is a fact. I guess I am skeptical to this idea and perhaps more scientifically minded.»
«One’s outlook on life influences oneself as well as society enormously. It is in fact that which creates and forms society, so what you are asking here is actually very important» said Skylar.
«Although for us in this society, particularly in Lighthaven, it is quite obvious that there is life after death and that reincarnation is a fact, we don’t wish to impose our beliefs on you or anyone else. However, as you say you are open minded, I have a suggestion for you. I am experienced in bringing people back to their earlier lives. How about me trying that on you? Do you dare? Then you can decide for yourself whether what you perhaps may experience is reality.»
«Ah, eh… this was rather unexpected, but yes, I guess I could agree to that,» I said in surprise.
«Good, then we’ll have a try after we have eaten» Skylar said.
«OK, probably just as well to just jump into it. Has either of you tried it?» I asked and felt that I might not quite know what I had got myself into.
«All of us here have done it. In fact most of the people in Lighthaven have also done it. And there is absolutely no hokus pokus to it at all either. I simply guide you into some kind of altered state of mind, a light form for hypnosis you might say, simply by talking to you.»
«Well, that doesn’t sound too scary» I said.
After we had finished the meal, we went into the Livingroom. Skylar asked me to make myself comfortable in an armchair that automatically and gently turned into a recliner. Skylar looked at me and asked me to close my eyes. Then she started speaking to me in a friendly and soothing way. She instructed me to visualize a beautiful landscape and notice the lovely ambience there. The sound of birds singing mingled with the rippling of a small stream.
There were masses of gorgeous flowers with wonderful scent.
Gradually I was entering an altered state of consciousness and could clearly «see» the landscape Skylar described. Apparently it was a park. She asked me to walk further into the park and told me that it was starting to get a bit misty. After a while I got to a small body of water with a bridge across it. Because of the mist I was not able to see what was on the other side. She asked me to cross the bridge. I could vividly imagine everything she told me and started to walk across. Her words and my own perceived experience were merging.
«When you get to the other end of the bridge you will have come to another time and another reality where you have experienced an earlier life. The mist will gradually clear. Please describe what you perceive as you progress.»
«I am walking along some kind of cart road surrounded by hills and mountains and I see a large cluster of houses in the distance.»
«What kind of clothes are you wearing?» I looked down at my body and legs. «Well-worn clothes, brown and actually quite outworn, especially my shoes. I am walking fast.»
«Why is that? Why are you in a hurry?»
«I have to warn my family and friends» I said and noticed I was feeling stressed.
«Why do you have to warn them?»
«Because their lives and mine are in danger!» I could sense the fear sneaking up on me.
«Just remember that you are lying safely and comfortably here in your chair in a quite different time! What is the reason their lives are in danger?»
Skylar’s words calmed me and I began to speak in a controlled way. «The church does not like us because we think differently and don’t hold the same beliefs as they do. That is why they are after us.»
«Do you know where you are, and in what time?»
«I am in France, and I believe it is the year 1214.»
«Who are you, as the church is after you?»
«We are cathars, of course. Oh…, I see a person coming running towards me, it is Natalia! I said amazed and continued to describe what I was experiencing. «She is running towards me and throws herself into my arms. She holds me for a long time before she lets go of me. To be reunited with her is indescribably wonderful.»
«You may now return to our own time» Skylar said. I stayed quietly in the recliner for a short while and felt myself gradually returning to the present.
«You really went quickly into this regression, I must say!» Skylar told me. I looked at her and smiled.
«It was a short but very powerful experience» I said. «At first I was not certain whether it was just my imagination playing tricks on me, but gradually it felt more real, as if I were really there. I guess the whole episode has made me feel a bit unsettled, but the strangest thing of all was that I saw Natalia there. Of course that was not her name at that time, but I know, in my innermost self, that it was her I met. And the embrace she gave me was fantastic!»
«So how do you look at the idea of reincarnation now?» Kayden asked.
«I just need to gather myself a little and digest all of what happened…» I said, making a short pause before continuing. «This does put the matter in a quite different light! At present I feel that what I experienced really has happened once. It feels as though my consciousness has expanded. The fact that I saw Natalia there as a completely different person made a very profound impression! And her embrace and the sensation it gave me really leaves no doubt.»
«What one experiences oneself has a far stronger effect than when someone simply tells one that this is how it is» said Kayden.
«Yes, that’s for sure» I agreed.
«Why don’t you look up the cathars, Skylar?» asked Kayden, Skylar simply said «Screen», and a large virtual screen appeared on the wall. Then she continued: « Find short text info about the cathars who lived in France in the 13th century.» Some sentences appeared on the screen. We learned that the cathars was a gnostic dualistic Christian sect which was especially widespread in Southern France. They preached and practiced frugality and renounced the material wealth of the church. They held the Earth and all matter to be evil. We also read that they did not eat meat, and that they believed in reincarnation. Women were therefore regarded as being equal to men. This was one of the reasons they became popular.
Gradually they were perceived as a threat to the church and were systematically persecuted, particularly under Pope Innocens III. The crusades were in a way the forerunners of the inquisition during the Middle Ages, we were told, and further that the word «cathar» is the origin of the word «heretic».
«This has been a profound experience» I said as I sat up. I looked at Natalia, and she looked back at me. I got up and walked over to her, and we embraced. I felt tears in my eyes and some of the same sensation now as during the regression. I sensed a great ease and tranquility engulf me.
«I am a bit overwhelmed» I said. «So it was you who came towards me that time?»
«Yes, it was I, Aron! I have gone through some regressions myself, and then you have appeared several times, among others precisely there in France. So this is one of the reasons I knew you before you came here now» Natalia said.
We went out and sat down on the terrace again. Skylar and Kayden cleared the table and brought us dessert.
«By golly, what a wonderful life you are living now compared to the time I live in! Not to mention earlier times like the Middle Ages!» I exclaimed.
«I am not quite sure what «by golly» means, but I understand you mean this age is far better than earlier» Skylar said.
«And the fear I felt during the regression, – imagine living under such conditions» I said, shaking my head.
«This shows how important it is that humanity develops. And for humanity as a whole to develop, one is obviously dependent on individual persons to develop» said Skylar.
«Everyone does develop, of course, occurrences in each individual’s life see to that. We learn and grow from what we experience.» Kayden said.
«Yes, of course. But many people make the same mistakes over and over, and we can accelerate the process in many ways, like by calming our thoughts and learning to meditate» Skylar replied. «The whole thing depends on whether there is a will to change. But it also helps to alter the focus of society. In your time, Aron, society was very superficial and only rarely touched the profound areas of life. People were somewhat somnambulant then! They didn’t delve deeply when they tried to understand and solve the problems and challenges they had to face. And how could they when their view of life was so narrow? In your time many people discarded spirituality, that there is more than this life, a life after death, for instance. Science also discarded spirituality, and rightly so, as much of it was outdated and very distorted. But the spiritual understanding has developed. Scientists and many others in your time would have gained by taking a closer look at the “new” and far more mature spiritual understanding which was starting to spread. Today this is the most widespread view of life in the world.»
«I feel it is pride that spoils things far too often, people are too proud and not sufficient humble to admit mistakes» I said.
«Hehe, that is why one lives several lifetimes. One gets more opportunities to improve oneself» Kayden said.
«That is obviously not the only reason, Kayden is just putting it somewhat pointedly. Our view of life in Lighthaven is that we are primarily here in order to live life to its fullest. To develop our potential as far as we can and express ourselves as the divine beings that we are, like to love and be loved, and laugh along the way…» Skylar said.
«Tomorrow we’ll make a visit to the Building for Outlook On Life in the city center. We can start the day there. But it is beginning to get late. Aron, shall we go over to the apartment we are borrowing?» Natalia asked.
«I’d be glad to!» I exclaimed, and quickly added «Of course it is very nice to be here, but you know…!
Skylar and Kayden glanced at each other and laughed. «Of course. We know, and we would have done the same thing.» They gave each other a kiss. «Besides, that gives us the opportunity to go to bed a bit earlier than expected…». Another kiss was exchanged between them, and we all laughed. Then we said goodnight and walked over to the apartment that had been put at our disposal. I looked at Natalia. By now I could better understand why I had become so fond of her in such a short time. We shared a past, a long past apparently! Now I also understood why Natalia several times had taken hold of my hand and led me around, and that I had found it completely natural.
We went out on the terrace of the apartment and looked out over the area. It was rather fascinating with all the flowers, shrubs and even some small trees up along the terraces. It was almost like living in Nature. Birds were also around in the area, and below us it looked like an oasis. People had begun to settle down for the night, and it was much quieter than when we arrived.
«I’ll go to the bathroom.» Natalia winked at me. «Just wait here and enjoy the view.» With that she disappeared and I was left alone with my thoughts, good thoughts, that is. I reflected on how these last days had been incredibly fine and full of experiences, and I wondered what more was to come…
After a while Natalia reappeared, and then she remained on the terrace while I went off to the bathroom. By the time I came out she had lit candles. We sat there and looked at the scenery, but we also looked at each other, and so it was not long before we got up and moved to the bedroom. We undressed but left our underwear on, and then we lay down on the bed and kissed each other. Again I experienced those wonderful deep kisses that created tingles throughout my entire body. Natalia lay on top of me. She raised herself a little up and forwards, probably to glance at the mirror above us, something that made my own view just great. Again she was wearing one of these special panties. I couldn’t resist and cautiously pressed the half hidden button at the edge of the panties. Just like the other night the pantie became practically transparent and I almost lost my breath at the sight… Natalia laughed and told me I might as well undress her completely. And this is how another indescribably wonderful night with Natalia ended. That is, it didn’t end just then, of course…
The next morning we breakfasted at Skylar’s apartment. Both she and Kayden had to work for a few hours before we could be with them again. Like most of the people here they did not have to work long hours, and because of our visit they planned to leave work extra early.
«We thought we would visit the Historical Museum first of all», Natalia said to me, then added «And if you think that sounds boring, just wait and see…»
«I am ready for anything» I replied, «and I have not been bored by anything here!»
«Great! Then let’s move!»
With that we got up and said goodbye before leaving the apartment and taking the elevator down. Already there was quite a lot going on outside the building. We were headed for the City Centre, a walk that took quite a few minutes. The city consisted of a lot of Nature and very little tarmac, so it was a very pleasant stroll. We arrived at the large building that housed the museum and entered it.
«Here you’ll see different departments that contain artefacts, clothing and many other things that represent different ages» Natalia explained.
«We have such museums in my time as well» I said.
«Sure, but perhaps not this?» Natalia walked towards a large opening formed like a gate, or rather, like a virtual gate. As we passed straight through it, I was utterly overwhelmed. We had entered a different world! It was almost as though we found ourselves in another dimension of time. Apparently we were back in pharaonic Egypt. We literally walked around in their society. Many people and buildings from that time surrounded us. We saw their daily lives. This entire huge hall consisted of a living hologram, with sounds and even smells. Besides, there were plants, palms and flowers that were holographic as well. Even the walls and ceiling blended into this hologram, or rather holograms, for there must have been several ones somehow joined to form a whole. In any case it was an incredibly exciting experience to walk around here. I could see a difference between Natalia and myself and the people who walked around here in the hologram itself. We were somehow more solid.
«I am almost lost for words» I said as a person from pharaonic times passed close by me. I stretched out a hand, but of course it just went straight through the person. But it did seem completely real!
«There are several ages one can explore in this way. Just this month the focus is on Egypt and the time of the pharaohs. Other months we can see other civilizations and ages» Natalia explained.
«What are the people over there doing?» I asked and pointed to a group of people who stood around a large stone boulder. They seemed very focused on something.
«That boulder is to be placed on top of the Cheops Pyramid, which you can see a part of over there. They employ vibrations and energy fields in order to repeal gravity and in that way be able to lift the boulder and put it in place. This is a forgotten knowledge that we are engaged in acquiring again. Of course, everything consists of vibrations.»
«Do you mean that the Cheops Pyramid was built in that way? That is not something one would find credible in my time.»
«No, that is true, but a great many things that were viewed as crazy and impossible earlier are seen as true and natural today, just as most people in the Middle Ages would consider many of the things that you in your time believe in and practice as crazy and wrong, and as something one could easily find oneself in trouble for believing. In any case, a great number of things have changed by this time. You have seen how our society has changed. Our understanding of history and earlier civilizations has also considerably increased. As you must know, in your time they are experimenting with levitating objects by means of sound frequencies, and I know that they have succeeded.»
«Yes, granted. At least I know that one has succeeded in bending spoons with the force of thought, so I know for a fact that that is possible, and scientists now say that the observer affects the object that is being observed. So why shouldn’t our impact influence matter and thus a boulder?»
«It is not miracles we are talking about here» Natalia said. «A miracle stops being a miracle when one knows what it is and how it works. Just as this particular pyramid was not only not built by slaves, like most people in your time believe, but by highly conscious people. Highly developed civilizations have existed on Earth in earlier times. And you have also had visitors from other worlds who have assisted. Besides, the pyramids were not primarily used as burial chambers. That would be the same as saying churches merely were built to honor the dead. The Cheops Pyramid contains shafts, among other things. Through them energies were channeled for different purposes. In churches in your time rituals are performed, in some of the pyramids there were initiations and consecrations. The people who built the pyramids employed concentrated mental force and chanting combined with a type of instruments that altered the vibrations all the way down to a molecular level in the objects they wanted to move. In that way they mastered the antigravity forces. Thus they were able to levitate the objects, these massive boulders, move them to where they wanted them, and in this way build the Cheops Pyramid.»
«Cool, as the youngsters in my time would say!»
«Yes, you are right. But it is a bit odd that people in your time called things they did not understand for miracles, when all of life itself is a miracle! The fact that we can see, hear, smell, feel and so on could also be called miracles. That one tiny fertilized egg – an embryo – can grow and become a complete human being is fantastic, but usually people don’t lift an eyebrow at the thought of it. Scientists and people in general at your time tried to explain miracles and mysteries from their own level of understanding, but they could only do so as far as their own conceptual world could reach. Our understanding has expanded and by now generally encompasses a lot more than earlier. Science in your time created resistance when new discoveries shook accepted scientific truths, which is rather strange as the pillars of science are precisely to be open for new knowledge, or at least to not counteract or ridicule it.
«I do at least know that the Cheops Pyramid consists of more than two million boulders, and that most of them weigh several tons. We are in fact talking about building a mountain!» I said.
«Yes, and there is a lot more to say about the pyramids, for example how the boulders were made and where they came from, but I believe that will have to suffice for now. Let us walk on.»
Natalia started to walk and I followed her. We passed a river which I assumed should represent a part of the Nile. Beautiful river boats were gliding along. It was a wonderful sight, and I reflected on how fortunate I was to experience all these things. A feeling of profound gratitude engulfed me, not just for having been able to visit this building and all it contained, but even more for Natalia and everything I had experienced together with her.
«We’ll meet with Skylar and Kayden in a little while. They wanted to join us at the Centre for Outlook on Life, so I suggest we walk over there now.»
«Fine. It sounds interesting» I said. We had left the museum, and Natalia pointed to a large building not far away.
«That looks rather special, even for this place» I commented.
«That building is also a museum equivalent to this one. Except that this is to show how our dear cosmic friends live. In that way we can wander among them without having to travel all the way into Space in order to visit them. By now a great many people will get to experience this. We are the only ones on Earth to have such a Visitors’ Centre, though.»
«Oh, wow! Can we visit it, please!»
« I’m afraid that is not possible. It has still not been completed, but it will open quite soon. And you are not the only one wanting to see this centre, we are reckoning with masses of visitors from all over the World once it opens. In one part of the building there is a real UFO, as you call it in your time, which has been gifted us by our friends. One may enter it and be shown around in it.»
«Maybe I might come back here at a later time!»
«Possibly. That would be very nice and I really hope so, but we’ll have to see» Natalia said and smiled at me.
«The other building over there is open for us to visit, and that is where we are going. Do you notice the form of the building?» she asked.
«It seems to be round.»
«In a way, yes, but not completely. Seen from above it is like a spiral-formed shell with a beautiful glass dome in the center. The building has two main functions. The central part is used for spiritual activities and rituals of all religions and spiritual paths. The outermost part is the museum. Between these parts there are offices, classrooms, a café and a conference room connected to the museum. Just at this time there is an exhibition of unusual and controversial belief systems that flourished in your time. At that time there were lots of odd things, like for instance many different conspiracies.»
«That’s for sure!»
«There is a specific reason for the building being spiral-formed. It is meant to illustrate the fact that our development and understanding always moves towards higher levels as time passes, that the development never stagnates. Also that it is in constant cyclical movement.»
«Hi! There you are» Kayden and Skylar were approaching us. We greeted each other and walked together towards the building through a beautifully designed park with lots of flowers and many different symbols. I assumed they were meant to indicate several different religions. Inside we were met by particularly beautiful decorations and illuminated works of art everywhere. Light from outside shone through and lit them in a very fine and well-considered way. The large central room was a revelation! The ceiling was round and had some fantastic colorful decorations, Tiffany-inspired, it seemed. The walls had decorations as well, and even the floor were discreetly beautified. For quite a while we stood silently and just perceived all these lovely impressions, and then we walked on to the museum.
Natalia continued with her introduction. «The Museum for Outlook on Life contains hologram modules that can be programmed, as you can see in different places here. These modules are based on different beliefs and views of life, and they are flexible in a way that makes them, as well as the decorations pertaining to them, easy to move. The digital pictures on the walls can of course be changed according to need. When we discover something new, or we change the time period we are displaying, we simply rearrange the modules. There is also room for completely new modules at the front of the spiral.»
Skylar, who apparently also had been here before, took over. «As you can see, Aron, the exhibition starts with humanity’s first budding understanding of the Divine. We know there have been other civilizations before us who have had a different understanding and other paths, but we have concentrated on our own civilization. But actually, we do have a separate building here in the city dedicated to these earlier civilizations that we have some knowledge of.»
«Why have you dedicated an entire museum to depict the history of humanity’s view of life?» I asked.
«It is primarily because that which mankind regards as truth in many ways determines our lives. What we think, believe in and regard as truth shapes not merely the life of an individual person, but of society as a whole, as society of course is the sum total of its individuals. Actually, we regard the museums of views of life to be the most important museums that exist» Skylar answered.
«Then I think I see how important this is!» I responded.
«Yes, precisely. Hopefully you will understand it even better after having been here» Kayden said. «Our first modules are dedicated to our early, simplistic religions, and what some people regard as so-called primitive systems of belief. This includes for example Animism, where everything is viewed as sacred and imbued with soul. The interesting thing is that we in our modern society here, also view everything as sacred and imbued with soul, but now in a much higher and evolved way. It is as though we have gone in an enormous circle and are back at the starting point, only that, as I said, we now have gained a far greater understanding and perspective.
But to return to the earliest time of our civilization: At that time there existed primarily only small groups of people. When the mighty forces of Nature, such as thunder and lightning, were at work, people gradually «created» different gods that commanded these forces, such as the god Tor in Norse mythology. Since they did not understand these mighty forces, they imagined that «the beings» who caused them were more powerful than they themselves were, and thus the first gods started to evolve. And to placate them, one began to bring them sacrificial offerings.»
Kayden showed us a hologram that was meant to illustrate this. The module where we were standing dealt with nature religions in general and had a large circular touch-sensitive table. I knew we had such things in my own time, but this was far more advanced, flexible, and also holographic. Kayden pressed a certain point, and a small holographic cloud formation with flashes of lightning around it appeared in mid-air over the table. We could hear thunder. We saw some people, wearing simple pieces of fabric, bending down towards the ground in order to show their respect for that which to us are forces of Nature. It looked like a three-dimensional live miniature world and was quite fascinating.
«It reminds me of a story from the end of WW2. I read it a long time ago in a book by Erich von Däniken» I said. «At some place in New-Guinea in the Pacific the natives had observed the Americans who had built a large base there. Aeroplanes carrying cargoes were constantly landing, and from time to time the natives were given some of the goods. When the Americans had left after the war was over, the natives cleared a small runway and built planes of straw that were supposed to imitate the real planes. I have seen pictures of these bizarre imitations. This illustrates the fact that mankind is at different levels of development. One might even wonder whether some of the religions of my time also have derived from misunderstandings…»
Kayden commented: «Then you ought to check with an author in your time called Neale Donald Walsch. He wrote a lot of books, among which one is entitled “God’s Message to the World: You’ve Got Me All Wrong”.
«Aron, that is definitely an interesting reflection, and you are onto something significant there. But we should also remember that we learn from these beliefs, for example from what many call Nature religions» Skylar said and read aloud that which was written on a display that had appeared on another part of the table. «Excavations show as convincingly certain that many of these civilizations were not hierarchical, but rather very oriented towards fellowship, and that they took care of each other and respected Nature. For example, when some of these societies had visitors for extended periods, the people in the community closely examined the goods the visitors had brought with them, and helped themselves to some of the things there was plenty of. In return they brought the visitors things they felt the latter needed.
They were dependent on one another for survival, and everyone had his or her place in these small societies. Women seem to have dominated in certain periods, and during these times one has not found anything that would indicate weapons or wars of any kind.»
Skylar made comment on what she had just read: «It is called matriarchy when society is governed by women and patriarchy when men dominate. If one looks at history, one sees that it has been dramatic, turbulent and warlike – to put it mildly – almost until our time. And who has been ruling!»
«It is quite possible that society was better with women in the driver’s seat, but I doubt that everything was just rosy in those times either!» I said.
«I am sure you are right. What matters is to find the famous balance. And I must say I think we have succeeded quite well with that in our society» Skylar said.
Kayden quoted from another display on the table: «Here it says that there existed many different Nature religions and that the people worshipped Nature in different ways. Some worshipped trees and animals, others the sun and moon, and so on. Some worshipped different gods and spirits, while others worshipped their ancestors, or some combination of all these things. It says here further that there still exist certain remote pockets in the world where these Nature religions are being practiced.»
We continued onwards past a few more modules before we stopped by one. Some other persons were just leaving, so we got to have the module for ourselves.
«This is something I think many people would recognize. Here we have namely got to the monotheistic religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Baha’i and several others» Natalia told me.
«The word «monotheism» means «one god», so when monotheism made its arrival, people had turned from worshipping several gods to believing in only one God. We’ll take a closer look at this module which shows Christianity. On this display it says: There are many varieties of Christianity, but its common denominator is the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son Of God, and that he died and was resurrected for the salvation of mankind. Over time Christianity has changed somewhat and has generally become more open and including. In spite of that, Christianity and the other monotheistic religions, with the exception of Baha’i, have lost a considerable number of members during the latest decades. They are no longer so dominating.»
«There are quite a few holograms to choose between. Here we have something interesting we can have a look at» said Kayden and pressed the display on the table.
«This is about a large church gathering in the year 325. Present were representatives from the church, primarily bishops. Their aim was to try to achieve unity in their dogmas.»
In the middle of the table there appeared a hologram which was meant to illustrate how the meeting was conducted, we could see many people who were gathered, and we could hear voices talking. Some were gesticulating. Kayden drew a finger sideways to increase the volume so that we could hear what they were saying. They were discussing sentences, formulations and content. The point was to sort out what was to be true Christian texts and what should be considered heresy.
«Here it says something about the church’s view on the idea of reincarnation, by the way,» said Kayden and quoted: «From very early days the church did not like the idea of reincarnation. This was because the church spoke a great deal about sin. Many things were sinful, in fact even just not going to church was considered to be a sin. Seen from our time and perspective, this Christian God was considered to be a judging, punishing and ruthless god who threatened with punishment and hell if one did not obey the demands of the church. Those who believed in reincarnation, on the other hand, said that we all get a new chance, and that we therefore should just do the best we could. In order to keep their membership, the church therefore introduced the painful intermediate stage which they called purgatory, as well as many other rather dubious concepts and rules, such as indulgences. This meant that one could buy oneself out of most or all of one’s time in purgatory and instead go straight to heaven. Of course, this was limited to people who had plenty of money.»
«It really is quite incredible, isn’t it, how this religion that ostensibly preached love to such a great extent, consciously used fear as a means to keep their followers!» I said.
Skylar interrupted us. «Look over there! Here there is a new module. It is about the cathars, whom we talked about last night. How is that for synchronicity? It can’t possibly be just coincidence. We’ll have to have a look at it!»
We all walked over to the module. This one we also had all to ourselves.
«Let’s check if there are some holograms we can watch» said Kayden. Natalia came close to me and took my hand.
«Here we have something» Kayden said. «It says: “The last Cathars of Carcassonne” I’ll start it».
In the middle of the table a fortified medieval town on the top of a hill promptly appeared. We could see that the town was under siege. A text told us that the siege lasted for two weeks, during which quite a few people managed to escape through subterranean passages. At the end the hologram showed the last people coming out together. We saw that they were killed, in fact many were burned while some were hanged. At this point the hologram ended.
«Here is another one» Kayden continued. «This is some years later, in 1244. Here it says: “The Siege of Montségur”. Kayden started that hologram as well. An impressive fortress appeared on the top of a steep small mountain. It looked utterly impregnable. All of ten thousand soldiers besieged this fortress, it said, and this siege lasted as long as nine months. In the end these cathars also had to give in. They had been offered the possibility of saving their lives by converting to Catholicism, but many refused. More than two hundred persons were burned on an enormous bonfire. They actually had to build the bonfire themselves and went into the flames of their own volition.
I felt Natalia’s hand holding firmly onto mine and noticed that I was getting emotionally moved. I looked at Natalia and saw a tear appearing in the corner of her eye. We remained standing like that for some time. Skylar and Kayden were silent and gave us space to digest what we had seen.
«Perhaps we should take a break and visit the café?»
Everyone agreed, and we went in. Once there and seated, we all ordered lunch.
«There is such a muddle of belief, and it is quite scary to know of all the manipulation that goes on in the name of religions» I said.
«It reminds me of the Scientology Church which was founded by an author of science fiction» Skylar said. «That religion is simply based on one of the author’s books! As far I can remember the book tells about an extraterrestrial dictator and many other rather far out things. Here, as well, there was talk about a lot of money from members and that it became very commercialized. I don’t know whether there is much left of that religion nowadays, or whether it still even exists. It was just a sect, really. In a way one might simply call many of the great religions for sects as well. For what defines a sect? Is it the question of what is true and what is not true? Who is to define truth? What perhaps makes it all rather confusing is that after all there is more or less something true in all belief systems. Scientologists believe in reincarnation, for example.»
«The worst thing is that many of these religions use fear as a means to keep their members» Natalia said.
«Fortunately the belief systems change just like mankind changes. When one has lived several lives, one gains a greater understanding and more wisdom, as well as increased empathy and conscience. This is then reflected in our belief systems. By now there are not many left of that type of fear-based religions, and those that still exist have become very reduced during the latest decades. That is a good sign that humanity is evolving» Kayden said.
«At the same time there is something to be learned from all this» Skylar said. «For many people belief systems and religions are like a crutch they can lean on. People let others think for them, that is, the religions think for them. Gradually, – and I am speaking then of several lives – one begins to see through all of this. And then one begins to in a greater way trust oneself and one’s own intuition. That is the reason why Christianity and other religions have lost so many of their followers, at least in our part of the world. Some religions have changed in approximately the same pace as society is changing. They are the ones that have succeeded best.»
Natalia looked at me. «Shall we go down again and have a last look before we go on?» she asked.
«Sounds fine» I agreed. We all went down and continued our round.
«Science? Why has science got its own module here?» I asked, somewhat confused.
«Well, it is a View of Life, and besides, it developed into a belief system» said Skylar.
«How is that?»
«Basically, science is not meant to be a belief. Science develops through trying and failing. It must continually adapt and alter in accord with new facts. The problem is that a dogmatic way of thinking has sneaked into science over time, something which one associates with religious belief. Said in another way, science has a theory about something. That means that it is simply the best imaginable explanation one has at present. This is not worse than that it can be discarded if a new theory should emerge. However, that is in theory. In reality theories, which could just as well be called assumptions, all too often become fixed truths. But truths may be discussed, as we know. What is true for one person can be falsehood for someone else. What is true for religion is not necessarily true for science and vice versa. That which religion considers true, science regards as beliefs, not quite realizing that what they themselves regard as true is actually also a belief.»
«Do you have any examples of this?»
«How could science believe, because that is what they earlier did, that Life occurred entirely by chance? It was only a hypothesis! Where were the proofs? How could science believe that there was no other reality than the physical one? How could science believe that living organisms, like human beings, are complex «machines»? Where do feelings and emotions enter the equation? They believe that matter is without consciousness. Science earlier postulated that one had the answers to the most basic questions, just like religions do. This, as well as many other dogmas, science fought for and clung to for a long time, and even now there is still some residue left of it.»
«The human aspect enters the arena. Pride, fear of being wrong or admit mistakes. Inertia and habit. Strong convictions and beliefs that one is right. In other words, arrogant attitudes and lack of humility. Classic human undeveloped characters. By the way, you ought to study the works of a man called Rupert Sheldrake. He wrote a lot about these things in your time.»
«Then what happened to science as time went on?»
«One scientific discovery after the other, coupled with new instruments, rejected that which science itself was based on. Actually, quite a lot of it had already been refuted in your time, but largely because of the reasons I just mentioned, the new discoveries were not completely accepted. For one thing, the belief that everything is material and mechanical was very strong. The discovery that everything is vibration, on the other hand, changed all of this. It means that the physical in a way is an illusion, since all the miniscule particles vibrate at an incredible speed, something that makes reality appear to be physical. In addition, science discovered through quantum physics that we are able to impact matter by means of thoughts and intentions, that is, with consciousness.
But the big shift occurred when extraterrestrials made themselves known. Science, which had largely ridiculed those who believed in intelligent life somewhere else than on Earth, were now forced to simply admit that they had been mistaken, thoroughly mistaken. Because the Universe is teeming with life! This made science considerably more humble. It has by now become far more open and conducts a far freer research. There is now, for example, a widespread research into many of the fields they earlier did not take particularly seriously, except for the military which conducted this kind of research in secrecy. This might be paranormal phenomena like telepathy, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences and near-death experiences, but also dreams, astrology, placebo and much more.»
«Here we have a module which I think we would find it interesting to explore. It concerns precisely one of the things you mentioned, a near-death-experience. I have heard about that, it means persons who have been declared dead but have woken up again and have the most fantastic stories to tell» I said.
«Perhaps we should look at a hologram?» Skylar suggested. «There are several available, among them one that describes the start of such an experience. It says here that it is based on many personal reports, and that the hologram shows that which they have in common. Another one is meant to illustrate two persons with totally different experiences during a car accident.»
«I would like to see that one» I said. The others agreed and the hologram was started. Again things began to happen in the middle of the table. We saw two cars driving towards each other at high speed on a curving country road where one’s view ahead was severely limited. Judging by the cars, this must have been quite a way back, before my time, in fact. We saw the cars colliding front to front. There were no passengers in the cars, just the two drivers, a man and a woman. The hologram focused first on the sequence of happenings for one of the persons. We saw the energy body of the person – the soul – which was a form of light-being, continuing out of the body and straight through the car, and landing in the road. The light-being got up, was very confused and looked towards the wrecked cars. It gradually dawned on him, as he saw himself lying wounded in the car, that an accident had happened. He was shocked. We could see that, because the camera had zoomed in on the light-being and its facial expression. As soon as the shock had diminished, persons were shown in an energy field around him. They were most probably meant to illustrate whom he was thinking of there and then. We understood that this was a person who had not reflected much around the deep questions, and that he did not quite believe that life would continue after death. Looking at his thought field we understood that he worried a great deal about his house and family. Suddenly we found ourselves in his own home. His energy body had moved there instantly because his thoughts were focused on it. He was there, but at the same time he was not there for those who were present physically. They neither saw nor heard him. We noticed that he was getting frustrated over not being noticed. This went on for quite a while, seen from our physical reality. Gradually the person realized that he had left the physical realm, and in that moment something happened around him. It was as if a new dimension penetrated where he was. He felt a strong pull towards that which revealed itself. We, who were watching the hologram, saw a relatively strong light radiating out from the table, and a supplementary light from the ceiling made it extra powerful. The person smiled as he recognized light-beings inside this light. He disappeared into the light, and we saw how he was reunited with the other light-beings.
With that this part ended, and we paused the showing of the hologram.
«I would have liked to have a description of the feelings of the person when he discovered the light and was reunited with people he knew. That must have been fantastic! Now I can better understand how much our thoughts and belief systems influence our lives» I said.
«Yes» Skylar said. «What potentially could have happened here is that the person might have haunted the place, become a so-called ghost. Had he been strongly attached to a certain place, or to other persons or things, he might have done so for a while. There are also those who haunt a place they know well because they are afraid of death or afraid of being punished in the afterlife. There is however absolutely no reason to be afraid of either death or that which happens afterwards. In this particular case it seems he was not strongly dependent on, or attached to, anything that might have held him back. Besides, he will have the possibility of choosing, either to continue where he is or return to Earth.»
«So it is our consciousness that governs what we experience?» I asked.
«Yes, that is correct. Our belief systems contain the underlying thoughts that govern us, pull the threads, so to say, often subconsciously. The more distorted one’s belief system is, and the more closed a person is, the more work has to be done in the afterlife to un-learn this. That is also an important reason why some people «haunt» an area and are sometimes even seen by living persons, Skylar said.
«It also means that consciousness operates without the brain and outside of the brain. The brain is an organ, it is not the consciousness itself. One proof of that is that many people who have had a near-death-experience have been able to repeat literally what others have said even if they were some distance away or in a quite different room, to the amazement of these people» Kayden added.
«Shall we have a look at what happened to the woman in the other car?» he continued. The rest of us nodded in agreement, Skylar started the hologram again, and we were back at the scene of the accident.
We saw that the woman, in the form of her light-body, was a bit confused, but that she quite soon realized what had happened. We saw other light-bodies coming towards her, surrounded by a similar radiant light to that which the man experienced. She perceived them and saw them. As with the man, she is zoomed in on. We could see that she was far more composed as she was drawn towards them through a tunnel of light. It seemed as if this near-death-experience began where the other one ended. By then other spectators had come to watch the hologram. The light was particularly strong and well produced and was probably what drew people to watch.
Suddenly there was a change of scene. We understood that the woman was to be granted a retrospective view of her life. Afterwards she got to choose whether to stay or to return to Earth. She chose to return, in part because she had children who needed her.
«In connection with this hologram there is a short explanation around these two experiences» Natalia said. «It says that this accident and the two persons involved are fictional, but that what they experienced is taken from real experiences people have had.»
The text further stated that during the latest decades tens of thousands of stories from people all over the world who have «been to the other side» and have returned, have been gathered and systematized. They are from people of all cultures, social classes and professions. I thought to myself that some scientists would have had their mind blown by studying all this! We were told that the experiences people have are entirely individual and that one experiences a lot of things in a short time, because one has stepped «out of time». The experiences are described as appearing more real than our reality. The retrospective looks at one’s life are comprehensive, and one gets to see, and to a certain extent feel, what consequences one’s thoughts, words and deeds have had for other people.
A great number of people have reported that they in these situations actually are the other person, and thereby also to a certain extent themselves can feel the consequences of their own thoughts, words and deeds for good or bad.
We could also read that one has discovered that many of these experiences are more or less colored by the persons’ belief systems. This was something we had talked about some while back. Many describe a feeling of coming home, but they have difficulties when trying to put the experience into words, because words are not enough to convey the experience. It is too fantastic, beautiful and loving, entirely beyond normal human comprehension. One does not have a body with all the limitations that implies. Illness and worries no longer exist. Many people have gained deep insight through these experiences and have become profoundly transformed.
«This has really given me food for thought. I must say I have found it a very exciting and interesting topic!» I said.
«Yes, and it is also one of the most often visited modules» Skylar responded.
«Perhaps we ought to move on? We have spent quite a while here already» Natalia suggested.
«Let’s just show Aron one last module before we leave. I am thinking of that what we have embraced in Lighthaven, namely the new, modern spirituality» Kayden said.
«Fine with me. I find all of this very interesting and instructive» I said, as we walked towards the module Kayden had mentioned.
Kayden talked about what it in general represented. It was clear that he knew a lot about the topic and had spoken about it before. He continued: «This spirituality has detached itself from religious beliefs. There are in fact significant and important differences. Religious beliefs are more or less immutable, while spirituality alters as our understanding changes and expands. Here science and the new spiritual consciousness have quite a lot in common, namely that one adjusts in accordance with how new facts or knowledge appear. Religiosity is based on external frameworks, in other words other people’s truths, thoughts, experiences and opinions, which the adherents are expected to accept and follow. In short, religions demand submission, while spirituality wants people to think for themselves. This submission that religion expected – or at least advocated – created a seedbed for charismatic and often manipulating leaders, while in this new spirituality that evolved, this type of leaders had less good conditions for flourishing. Religions, and often also these charismatic leaders whom the adherents mostly blindly followed, had certain unifying characteristics, such as common dogmas and rules for how one should live. The new spirituality did not have this, but as it grew, more and more leaders emerged who appeared unifying and had a positive influence in a non-manipulative way. People had had enough of the old dysfunctional system. Eventually the new spirituality became the driving force and is now the largest spiritual path – or direction – in the world.»
Kayden continued. «One might say that science did something positive by clearing out old superstitions and fanatic religiosity, as we have talked about before. It was a natural process that the modern and developed countries acquired more knowledge, and in that way saw through the more primitive religiosity. Besides, the countries that in your time, Aron, were considered developed, have by now reached a much more elevated level. Science contributed to implement sense and rationality, but it did not consider, nor did it really understand, the more advanced and elevated spirituality. Science and spirituality have come considerably closer during the last decades, something we also touched upon when we were studying the science module. Science has to quite a great extent confirmed what highly spiritual persons have claimed for centuries, such as that everything is vibration and in movement, and that this movement creates matter. The time you are living in, Aron, is what we call the chaos period. There was then a chaotic and confused mix up of outdated belief systems and conspirations, and this was reflected in society with all its problems.»
«I’d like to say a few words about politics» Skylar put in. «Politics are of course formed by our values, and they grow out from what we believe in, that is, our systems of belief. So these systems are what forms our ethics and values, and are what become the basis for political attitudes. In other words, spirituality is actually what forms politics. Politics therefore become spirituality in practice. And the highest form of spirituality is Love.»
«I have heard of a woman named Marianne Williamson who speaks about precisely this, a political system founded on Love’» I added.
«So why not base your politics on that?» Skylar said. «As you understand, this is the reason why people’s view of life is so important, and is the reason why we consider the museums for views of life to be the most important museums in the World. And this is why we now have spent so much time in here!»
Kayden held forth. «We spoke about the chaos period of your time, Aron, but out of chaos order eventually emerged. Humanity developed very rapidly in your time, and especially in the succeeding time period. It was not merely the technological development that went fast, even more important was the development of the human consciousness and empathy – read love – which also accelerated and was actually greatly enhanced by all the crises we experienced. They served as catalysts. So, after all, the crises did lead to something positive: They made us think and act in a different way and so got the world off in a new and better direction. After your time the problems escalated. The climate changes led to increasing environment crises and climatic catastrophes, such as many species of animals and insects becoming extinct, as well as the loss of land areas and thereby ecological systems. Not to mention economic crises which tended towards an economic meltdown. In addition we had outbreaks of epidemics that were hard to effectively crack down on. It got worse before it got better. But I have to add, it became so much better than what most people would have believed after we gradually managed to implement all the good ideas that existed. Or, to be correct, that actually exist within us. Of course, all ideas emerge from within us before they become a part of society at large. You have already seen how we are living here!»
«Yes, indeed I have!» I said.
Skylar spoke. «There are many other modules we might have looked at, but as we have been here for so long already, we’ll drop them. However, I can just mention shortly Zen, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Atheism, Jedism. There is also a module about conspiration theories. In fact, it has become known that some of these conspirations have actually happened. They have then been removed from the module, but most have remained, to put it like that. Not that so many people believe in them any longer, but the module is here to show the diversity in people’s belief systems. For example, there were those who believed that Earth is flat, or that man had not set foot on the moon, far into modern times. These, as well as other more dangerous conspiracy theories had a divisive and destructive effect on society. This topic of conspiration theories is, as mentioned earlier, one of the topics that are being discussed in the conference room here during these days.»
Skylar continued: «I thought we might take a walk to the old town, and afterwards walk along the beach promenade and have a look at what goes on there.»
Everyone agreed, and we all left the building. Also on this day the weather was lovely. We walked through a park area, of which there seemed to be quite a few here in the city.
«You see the group of people standing over there?» Natalia asked me. I looked at them and nodded.
«They have come to study our society, and they are also going to visit several of the suburbs. Ever more groups of people from all over the world come to learn more about us and well-functioning things which they can integrate into their own societies.»
«When a society functions as well as this one does, I can understand that they are eager to learn and to implement something similar. If more people can manage to integrate this in their own societies, well, then the entire Earth will become the Utopia or Paradise one has dreamt about since the dawn of civilization» I said.
«It has taken its time and been quite a journey for mankind», Kayden replied as we found ourselves a little outside the city center.
«But… I recognize this place!» I cried out in surprise.
«Yes, I should think so,» Natalia said. «It was here in this area your apartment was situated, or rather, still is in your time.»
«I actually lived in the low apartment building there!» I exclaimed. «Just imagine, that I should get to see it while I am here, in the future! I think that is fascinating.»
«What do you think when you look around you here?» Natalia asked.
«I must say it is quite some contrast. It does not look particularly pleasant compared to all the lovely things I have seen and experienced in other places here. Is this area the city center?»
«No, that is in a different section and closer to the city. We are actually just going to walk past here. I did not intend for us to stay, I simply wanted to show you the place. I like to surprise from time to time,» Natalia answered.
«Why have these ugly apartment buildings been preserved? I see now that this is not a very tempting place to live after all I have seen here with you.»
«Well, for one thing, this is also a part of our history» Natalia explained. «At the same time it bears witness to the failed politics and ways of thinking, as we view it. We preserve it so that we more easily can remember what it was like and how we should not do it. And we have chosen to keep only one low block and one high block. One apartment building, the low block, is accessible to the public. The ground floor contains a café and an information room. The other three floors contain some apartments one may enter and have a look at.»
«Shall we take a look?» I asked.
«Exactly the one you lived in is not one of those that are used for viewing, so I think we’ll drop it. Those that are accessible are furnished according to different decades, based on the interior of that time. Only that building is in use. The high block is empty» Natalia further explained.
«For people with children I can see that the contrast is particularly great between these square, boring and soulless buildings and, let’s say, a cozy house in the country with a lot of Nature, animals and life around it» I commented.
«Yes, it is obvious what is beneficial for children. Of course, Nature, animals, plants and life in general is very important for us adults as well. These apartment buildings were built around the time when you were born. There were fewer resources and a less holistic mindset at that time. Increasingly, apartment complexes were built mainly because the developers wanted to earn as much money as possible. Apartment complexes were built in the cities just about everywhere one could find room for them. In our time we build out larger areas, and the planning is more thought through, and not least, holistic. Remember that we also no longer build for profit, that aspect has been discarded. Now the focus is solely on what is best for the people who are going to live there, based on many years of experience with dwelling communities that function well. Now we don’t build only apartments and nothing else, we have a great number of additional functions which will make them as alive and pleasant for those who live there as possible, as you saw where Skylar and Kayden live. We also share things a lot more than before; you could say we have a sharing-culture. We no longer need such a lot of things, and thereby a lot less goods are manufactured. You know, it feels meaningless to keep shopping when life has become far more meaningful! It must also be said that we have become far better at being social now than people were in your time. We have recaptured the forgotten or lost sense of community as well.»
«Now we have arrived in the old city» Kayden said.
«This is very different! Here it is far more pleasant. It is quite similar to in my time, only now there is more activity here and it seems better maintained» I observed.
«As you see, the buildings from that time were smaller and the environment more intimate. On the other hand, it was probably not easy to grow up at that time as it was a generally less conscious time with a great deal of old-fashioned morality» Skylar added.
«How about sitting down at this cozy eating place and have something to eat?» Natalia suggested. The rest of us were not hard to persuade. We found a table with a parasol so that we could sit in the shade. After ordering the food, we just small-talked a little while we watched the bustling crowds in the market square beside us. Some laughing children ran past. It was clear that a lot of things were going on and that it was a popular place. A bit further away I could see some narrow cobblestoned streets where the sun just barely reached. Plenty of flowers all around made it extra enjoyable, not to mention the pleasant and relaxing ambience. The people were consistently very nice. They seemed happy.
«Shall we go on to the beach promenade after we have eaten? That is also a very pleasant place, and today a lot of things are going on there» Natalia suggested.
Again everyone agreed, so after a delicious meal we got up and walked on through the cozy old town.
«How lovely to see the ocean again!» I exclaimed as we reached the sea front. People were sunning themselves just like they do in my time. The number of people there was just right. Some were packing their things as it was drawing close to evening. The beach promenade was simply gorgeous and invitingly designed, winding itself along the beach. Self-driving vehicles passed silently and peacefully on a road a little distance from the promenade.
«Do you see the large ship over there?» Kayden asked.
«Yes, – what about it?» I asked in return.
«It runs completely on renewable energy. All ships do so today and have done for a long time. The same goes for aeroplanes and vehicles. Even that which is being manufactured industrially is environment-friendly and without polluting emissions. Therefore we have clean and fresh air. Yes, the air in the cities is in fact just as clean as out in Nature.»
«Fantastic! That would almost seem to be Utopia in my time» I said.
«Shall we take a trip with that boat over there? It takes us to a small floating artificial island which we can spot further out at sea» Kayden suggested.
Once more all were in agreement, and we walked over to the boat and boarded it. After a while the boat moved from the quay and past the breakwater before it accelerated towards the floating island.
«I didn’t see anybody throw off the moorings» I observed.
«That is no longer necessary. Parts of the quay area have magnetic fields, and the boat has powerful magnets that automatically connect to these magnetic fields on the quay. These can be turned on or off to regulate the strength.»
«What is this island used for?» I asked as we approached it.
«It is a research station. It is also an aquarium, or that is not quite correct. Rather call it an aquarium with free-swimming fish. The fish are namely not closed in, even though there are also some ordinary aquariums here.»
«It is also a hotel» Skylar said as we disembarked.
We walked around for a short while on the upper «deck» of the island. Many small glass domes and a few large ones stuck out from the sides. That must be where the accommodation rooms are, I thought to myself. On the side most sheltered from the wind an artificial beach had been landscaped. The area it occupied was also round. The pool itself had a few meters’ depth at the deepest part, and a raised area with a fence prevented the sand from disappearing and from large waves and fish to get in. Should a heavy rain or a storm occur, a protecting roof could be shoved over the pool area. In fact, that entire area would then become hermetically sealed.
Skylar led us down to the lower floor or rather the «underwater floor», as we there found ourselves beneath the sea surface. In the middle of the island there was a large artificial coral reef which just barely protruded from the water. The reef was held in place by strong flexible straps.
«How about spending the night here?» Kayden suggested.
«Good idea! After all, we did bring with us what we would need if we were to stay overnight some place» Natalia said.
The rest of us agreed once more. It seemed as though we never disagreed. Perhaps we were in a kind of flow with each other. At least we were in a flow on this island!
Kayden disappeared in order to ask whether there were rooms available. Meanwhile we stood there watching the beautiful coral reef with its multitude of fish through the large round window. Since we were under water and the building was circular, we could walk around the entire reef and admire the colorful fish swimming there. Sometimes larger fish would appear. According to Skylar it was not unusual to see sharks and dolphins.
Kayden returned and informed us that they had only one room available under water and with a view of the reef. However, it was large enough for all the four of us to stay there, as it was a kind of suite. Skylar and Kayden said they could sleep in the sitting room, where the sofa could be turned into a bed. Natalia and I could have the bedroom at our disposal.
«Wonderful! This will be great! And thanks for letting us have the bedroom» I said to Skylar and Kayden.
We went up to the surface again.
«There comes the boat. Let’s take it back to the city and spend a few hours there before we come back here» Natalia suggested. Again we all agreed and walked towards the approaching boat.
A short time later we were on our way. As we were about to dock I glanced down into the sea. The water was clear and lovely and teeming with life. It warmed my heart to see this. The contrast between my time with its polluted cities and this city was striking. Not only the air in this city was clean, so was apparently also the ocean, rivers and lakes. I could see no trace of oil spills or garbage, such as plastic refuse, which was such a gigantic problem in my time.
«Isn’t it lovely here?» Natalia remarked. She had clearly noticed my enthusiasm.
«I look at this ocean with joy and relief. It is so clear that we might just as well have been on a small island far away from people», I replied.
«One of the most important things we humans are engaged in now is to clean up after ourselves. We repair, rewild and restore Nature after the damages we have done to it through generations, as I have mentioned earlier. This city and the surrounding suburbs are perhaps the area in the world that has come the furthest with this work, and we have actually kept on with it for several decades. What you see is the result of this work.»
By then it was dusk. Dimmed lighting along the beach promenade created a beautiful and intimate ambience. Many people had sat down on the numerous benches and other seating places in the area. We stopped by some of the sand sculptures. Here creativity had been given free rein!
From a little further ahead we could hear music. More and more people were emerging.
«What is happening?» I asked.
«It is a festival which honors our global fellowship and our unity with everything. It is celebrated all over the world precisely on this day. A lot of things go on all day. Earlier today several hundred persons meditated in the city center. The focus was on the main message of the festival. By now art, celebration, dance and music are in focus. We can sit down here at this amphitheater. There is going to be some sort of artistic dance show, and it is about to start in a few moments» Kayden suggested.
We were not difficult to persuade, so we sat down.
«What is all this equipment above us?» I asked.
«It is some holographic equipment which has been mounted for the occasion» Skylar said, smiling. It seemed as if she knew more about what was about to happen, but did not want to reveal it all in advance.
We talked a little while we waited for the performance to begin. After a while we saw what appeared to be musicians in the background. They started with a few cautious notes. Gradually dancers came out on the stage in front of them. Each step they made which touched the floor of the stage triggered digital patterns in the floor, spreading outwards like rings in water. If I were to describe the music, the closest I can get is electronic music mixed with classical notes. At the same time instruments that I had never seen before were used, producing a completely distinctive sound. It was beautiful, however, both visually and acoustically.
But there was more to discover! Suddenly, out of nowhere, hundreds of gorgeous butterflies appeared, mingling with the spectators in a frolicking sequence on stage. I knew they were a holographic illusion, but nevertheless I tried to catch one. I actually managed, but of course it simply went straight «through» my fingers. Just as suddenly as they had appeared, they were gone.
Another scene also moved me; During the playing of beautiful music, red hearts came floating down. For the grand finale we were showered in gorgeous digital flowers that came streaming down on us. The effects in this performance were few but beautiful, and I was actually moved. On our way out of the amphitheater we were offered real flowers, and Natalia and Skylar took one each which they stuck into their hair.
«Of course we also have quite normal concerts without all these modern things» Kayden said to me.
«The simple is usually the best, but I did like this performance very much. There were few effects, but they were therefore all the more effective. It is incredible how much creativity is being released in this city!» I said.
«Art, music, colors, providing enjoyment and help to other people, everything that touches the soul is being much more highly valued today, as we have got all our basic needs and more covered, plus that we have so much more spare time. Human beings have an unimaginably great potential, and we are so very much more than what most people realize» Kayden answered.
«How about some supper, folks, before we take the boat back to the island?» Skylar suggested. It was deemed a good idea, and we sat down at a lovely small restaurant.
«For me it feels quite strange, but of course absolutely super, to be able to just sit down at a restaurant and eat great food without having to pay for it» I said.
«I am sure it must feel strange for you, but for us it is quite natural. The people who offer us this lovely food receive other services from other people. And we do services for others. We complement each other, and all seems to function in an almost organic way. If anyone needs help with something, the community takes care of it. And the people who live here are all so spiritually developed that it feels natural to share, help, and perform services for each other when needed» Skylar explained.
After we had eaten, we walked back to the boat which soon after would make its last trip to the island for the day. All along the beach promenade one could sense the lovely ambience, and again it struck me how beautifully they had arranged the lighting.
After a short while we were back on the island and went down below the sea surface to the suite we had been given. It was beautiful, with large panoramic windows from floor to ceiling, where we looked directly out at fish and the coral reef. Fantastic! Dimmed lighting enabled us to see fish swimming around. We sat and talked for quite some time, after which we decided that it was bedtime.
«This has been a long day!» I said to Natalia as we entered the room where we were to spend the night.
«That’s for sure. We have done a lot, and a lot has happened. I am a bit tired» Natalia answered.
When we had undressed we lay down in the double bed, talking softly while we watched life in the ocean. Fish were swimming directly over us and the curving glass dome.
We embraced and held each other close. It was lovely, and I felt I had been longing for it. For a long time we lay like that, giving each other kisses and stroking each other. Just lying close together like this was simply wonderful. I kissed Natalia’s forehead and stroked her hair, and she did the same to me. Suddenly I noticed some slight twitches in Natalia’s body, and I understood she was about to fall asleep. I kissed her one more time and stroked her back. Then I noticed that I could barely keep awake any longer either…
The first thing I noticed when I woke up was a dolphin! Natalia was also awake and saw it. Directly outside the panorama window in our bedroom it glanced at us while at the same time moving its head up and down. I sat up in bed in order to watch it. It looked as though it was trying to communicate with us!
«They are really something else, these dolphins» I remarked to Natalia as we walked over to the window.
«Yes, that’s for sure! They are highly intelligent, playful, and clearly quite curious» Natalia replied as she moved her arms and body to catch the dolphin’s attention. The dolphin followed her movements with its eyes. After a short while it swam away. Perhaps it was curious and wanted to look in through the other windows of this underwater hotel?
«Good morning! Did you see the dolphin?» We heard Kayden say outside the door. Yes, we answered, and told him we would join them shortly. We dressed and got ready and went into the sitting room. Kayden and Skylar were sitting in the sofa.
«That was a lovely experience, wasn’t it? These dolphins are truly impressive!» Kayden said.
«Did you realize that they have an amazing capacity to heal themselves? In a few weeks they can regenerate a large wound back to normal condition, they don’t get infections, and they tolerate pain incredibly well» Skylar added.
«As far as I have heard, they also have a brain which practically functions as two brains. This means that one part of the brain can be asleep while the other part is awake. They are very intelligent and have a sonar that can detect objects at a great distance» Natalia put in.
«I know they have a uniquely smooth skin. And, not least, they are known for being playful and helping other species like us humans, not only their own,» said Skylar.
«Should we perhaps go up to the surface and have breakfast and continue to talk there?» I ventured.
All agreed, and we gathered together the few items we had brought. We breakfasted just beside the artificial beach, where there already was a lively activity. We could see the tip of the artificial coral reef. The atmosphere was peaceful and we all felt very relaxed, although I felt sure we would have a tight program that day as well. But as long as we were having such a great time together, it would not seem stressful.
«I thought we might start the day with a visit to the Solution Building» Natalia suggested.
«Fine, but what is it?» I asked.
«It is a building where all the solutions that can be useful to mankind are collected and displayed. Most countries have such a building now, and some countries actually have several. These Solution Buildings are coordinated and connected to each other. Of course, all people have access to the same information via internet, but in these buildings everything is far more clear and structured, plus that one is able to speak with experts in the different fields. They also have a lot of local knowledge» Natalia explained.
«How did one realize that this was necessary?» I asked.
«Why reinvent the wheel? Doing so was the problem in far too many instances. People did not know about the many good ideas and innovations that were popping up everywhere, or that already existed. There was not a good cooperation and coordination of these solutions in a comprehensive and unifying way. Now there is. In fact, just about every human problem has been solved somewhere in the world. Already in your time there existed solutions to most things, but only very few people were aware of them. Now they mostly are, irrespective of where in the world one lives.»
«What kind of solutions does this include?»
«Every conceivable one. Of particular importance are those that are beneficial for humanity’s development, as well as new environmental solutions, as the latter was very urgently needed. Criteria are that it functions and is an improvement on the already existing one, if there was one at all. Inventions, ideas, innovations, projects and research are all parts of this.»
«What are the advantages?»
«As I mentioned, one was able to avoid spending time and resources on something that had already been invented. This, as well as a far greater openness and international cooperation led to the development accelerating. This was also highly necessary considering the escalating environmental problems we faced. These were of dramatic proportions earlier, but by now we are about to achieve control globally. We implemented enormous projects already several decades ago in order to remedy and reverse all the greenhouse gases humanity has released. But it has taken time. As you know, a new forest is not grown overnight!
«Now you have made me curious! Can we go there now?» I asked.
«Of course!» they all said, practically in unison, and off we went.
We took the boat back to town and walked towards the center. After some distance I got a hunch as to which building it was: a dome-shaped building we could see a bit further ahead. Not far from the entrance was a large, beautifully lit globe, held high by several huge statues of people. We walked underneath it and towards the entrance. There a discreet sign, this also lit, greeted us with the words “Welcome to a World of Solutions.”
Inside there was some information about what the house was used for, and how it was organized. It said that an American woman by the name of Barbara Marx Hubbard had been one of those who were behind the idea originally. It further explained that she already in 1984, as the democratic vice president candidate in the USA, launched the idea that we needed a new social function that could search for, map out, combine and announce that which functions in the USA and the rest of the World.
We proceeded towards the center of the dome. The walls were decorated with positive pictures of mankind’s solutions and inventions. We entered a large open room. In the middle was a huge holographic globe. It was a beautiful sight! Spread around on it were dots of light in many different colors. Some people and a group of students were standing around the globe, studying it.
«What is it meant to symbolize?» I asked.
«It shows the latest of new solutions or inventions and ideas and where they originated. We speak then of matters that have a significance for humanity, and not of for example the superficial and useless products that were so numerous in your time. The colors indicate the different sectors» Skylar explained.
«If you look down at the floor you will notice that it has been divided into areas of different colors that indicate the different sectors. These sectors represent all aspects of human life. The colors start at the globe and expand until they meet the walls that also have the same color. There one can enter the room that belongs to that particular sector. One of the 12 sectors concerns the environment, and its color is obviously green. Over a long period of time it had the largest number of dots on the globe, but now other sectors have more, as we by now have regained control over the environment» Skylar continued to explain.
«Could we go in where the environment sector is? «I asked. As usual the others agreed, and we went in. Some tables and chairs were placed here and there in the room. Here too the walls were decorated with relevant pictures, such as photos of gorgeous parks or various environment-beneficial inventions. A movie on one wall showed Nature in all its glory. A guide dressed in the green sector color approached us. He welcomed us and directed us to a free table. The table was a large touch-screen! The guide explained that it could also show holograms, and that some of them were touch-sensitive. I sat down on the chair in the middle which apparently controlled what was shown in the table. The others also sat down, while the guide remained standing.
«Now you only see a large green circle in the middle of the table and a menu bar further up, otherwise nothing. The circle is also segmented into several subsectors, among others transport, renewable energy and free energy» the guide told us.
«Free energy? I questioned and looked at Skylar who was sitting beside me.
«That is what we are now about to change to» Skylar explained. «In your time one is now gradually changing from fossil energy sources to renewable sources. We are now changing from renewable sources to free energy».
«And what is that?» I asked.
«In this connection we are thinking of the kind of energy and power which is available all the time and anywhere. If I drop an object, gravity comes into play. And then there are magnetic forces. Besides, there is energy everywhere, as the atomic age showed us. Nikola Tesla was way ahead of his time. Already around 1800-1900 he endeavored to release free energy for mankind.»
«But apparently mankind was not ready for it at that time» I said.
«Correct!» Natalia agreed. «Mankind was not so developed and conscious at that time. Almost nobody contemplated the environmental consequences of what they did, for example. Already at the end of the nineteenth century there existed electric cars. In fact, electric cars were the most common types until quite far into the twentieth century. There were even electric boat engines at that time. If one had put a larger effort into electric transport already then, one would have avoided many problems. But you know, the greed of mankind was boundless…»
The guide broke into our conversation: «If you would like to have a look at the historical aspect of a specific subsector or invention, it is perfectly possible. When you tap the menu, four choices appear. The first shows environment solutions that have been implemented and are functioning today. The second shows environmental solutions that are being developed. The third shows research in the area of environmental solutions. The last one shows the archive where one sees some of the earliest environmental solutions that occurred, as well as some history around them. I shall now leave the exploration to you, but do feel free to ask if you wonder about something.» He took leave of us and went on.
I tapped on one sector. The main circle moved to one side, and a new circle appeared with a topic related to the subsector. After exploring many topics and several levels of subsectors, we decided it was sufficient and got up.
«Is there anything else you would like to explore further?» Kayden asked. I looked at the different colors and the 12 different sectors, environment, science, economy, education, spirituality, government, media, health, justice, infrastructure and art.
«Maybe we could have a look at the media sector?»
«Of course we can. Any special reason for that?» Kayden inquired.
«Nothing else than that I am curious as to how that sector functions today. In my time there is such a lot of focus on superficial and unimportant things without any further relevance. At the same time there is an exaggerated focus on crises and catastrophes.»
«Precisely. So let us go to the room where the media sector is located» Kayden said.
Here we were met by a guide in a blue uniform.
«Is it possible to get an explanation of what media really represents?» I asked the guide and noticed that she considered the question for a few moments.
«If you look at the globe as a living organism and compare it to a human being, you could say that to a certain extent the rivers represent the veins and the rain forest the lungs. Media would then correspond to the nervous system» the guide said.
«Eh… okay? Could you explain that in greater depth? What does she mean?» I asked and looked at the others.
«I think it is a very good comparison» Skylar commented. «In your time, Aron, mass media communicated people’s suffering through the nervous system of «The Earth». Mass media presented most of the «wrong and painful» that went on all over the world, and gave it unnecessarily much attention, be it wars and killings to crises, accidents and Nature catastrophes, just to name some of it. In other areas of the media sector the media focused on the lower aspect of human life. This created a wrong picture of the world and mankind.»
«Yes, I recognize that» I said. «I watched television a lot and probably read far too much news. I did get the impression that man was a burden who only caused trouble for the planet and for ourselves».
«Exactly!» Kayden broke in. «Imagine the influence it had on the people in your time! But what if we were able to turn that focus around?»
«Was that perhaps what happened? «I asked.
«Right!» said Skylar. «Gradually we turned it completely around. Mass media began to present to a far greater extent the positive aspects of what we humans did. This Solution Center is of course a part of that now and is diligently used by the media. In addition countless stories around these solutions are presented, as well as all the ideas, innovations and projects. That is something entirely different from earlier times! It lifts and inspires instead of accentuating all the negative things that went on earlier. Media also used to have the bad habit of all the time trying to turn people against each other in debates. They used polarization instead of a more respectful approach. There was always a hunt for viewers and readers, or, more correctly, a hunt for profit. Obviously one of the roles of media is to put the spotlight on things in society that don’t function, but everything that was wrong, all the polarization and all the superficial things got far too much space».
«So positive news and solutions became the new norm?»
«Right again! This of course elevated mankind and was very motivating and, not least, inspiring. I am sure you can imagine how the development of society accelerated!» Skylar said.
«And with perfect timing. We really needed it. We had a very real need to increase the speed of the development of society and to implement all the new things that emerged. In addition it awakened an enormous positivity in people, one simply became far more optimistic on behalf of oneself and the world» Kayden put in, and continued: «Mankind has evolved from being irresponsible teenagers to become responsible adults. At least we are well on our way there.»
Again we sat down at a table. This one had a blue circle with different relevant things pertaining to media. We looked a bit at the history of media from my time till the future I presently found myself in. The entire focus had altered! Instead of being problem-oriented it had gradually become more and more solution-oriented. Many media houses had taken to sharing the good news and solutions to the problems of the world. Large columns in the newspapers became dedicated to doing this, in addition to publishing their own stuff. TV-programs and movies were produced with focus on humanity’s future, with our challenges and – not least – solutions to them. Documentaries and series began to focus on solutions that were of benefit to everybody. This created a contagious effect so that the question of how one could raise mankind out of its problems became a far more common topic of conversation.
The goals humanity had set for bettering the conditions of people in the poorest areas of the world, as well as for climate and environment, now received support from the media. That led to the goals being reached more rapidly than had been estimated, which in turn inspired to set new goals and have new ambitions on behalf of mankind. These were then promoted by media. It became a self-reinforcing trend. After a while there were so many concrete positive cases to refer to that people saw it with their own eyes and experienced it themselves. Optimism and the hope of a better world began to return to humanity.
«This really was particularly interesting to learn!» I enthused.
«Yes, wasn’t it!» Natalia said. «And not only that, but politics also changed a great deal. We won’t go to that sector now, we don’t have time for it, but I’ll just mention that as a side effect of all these solutions being collected and implemented both nationally and internationally, we avoided a lot of political discussions and debates. The solutions were there already! And when one could observe that they functioned excellently all around the world, that was sufficient proof. All that was needed was to put these solutions into operation without these eternal time-consuming discussions about what would be the best thing to do» Natalia said in conclusion.
«But now I am wondering if we should perhaps return to Lighthaven. The end of your time here with us is beginning to draw near.»
As she said these words I was abruptly pulled back to reality. I was in the future and would soon be back in the time period from which I had come. The thought actually made me feel quite sad. This was noticed by Natalia who gently took hold of one of my hand, kissed it and held it between her own. I felt so wonderfully well here in the future, not least being with Natalia, of whom I had begun to be very fond. I had no wish to leave her!
«It may well be that we meet again, time will show» she said as an attempt to encourage me, I noticed that she too felt moved. It was clear to see that she liked me and did not feel happy about my having to leave her.
«And we have a few things we have to do,» Kayden interjected, «so we also thought we’d leave now.»
Natalia took my hand and we all walked together out of the Solution Building.
We exchanged some long and affectionate hugs with Skylar and Kayden and said goodbye to them, after which Natalia and I walked to the central station and took the hovercraft back to Lighthaven.
«Maybe we should take it a bit more easy the last day you are here with us. We have done such a lot of things during these days,» Natalia said. I agreed and we talk as we walk through Lighthaven to her house.
«Would you like a massage?» Natalia suddenly asked.
«What? Eh… Of course I’d say yes to that, Natalia. It sounds ahem… lovely!» I answered.
Natalia laughed. «That is not the kind of massage I was thinking of, although you may have that as well some other time» she said, smiling at me.
«Then what kind of massage did you think of?»
«As you so quickly got into an altered state of consciousness at Skylar’s, I was thinking of trying out a redemption-massage. I notice that you sometimes are a bit tense, and so I am wondering whether massage might be of help with that, but I’ll start with some energy massage where I don’t touch you.»
«Ok, why not?» I said.
We had by then reached Natalia’s house, and she asked me to undress down to my underpants. We were in her guestroom where she had bench for giving treatments. She asked me to lie down on it on my stomach. I could just barely sense that she was moving her hands over me.
«I am now treating your aura, your energy field» she explained.
I stayed like that for quite a while before she asked me to turn around. Even though she did not physically touch me, it was very relaxing. I wondered for a moment whether I could perceive this energy field, that is her touching it, but I was not sure.
«I have now finished the energy massage, so please turn over again.»
Shortly afterwards I felt her loving hands touch my back. I noticed that she pressed certain points on my body. I asked her why she did so, and she explained that she noticed muscle tensions and worked to loosen them. She told me that often deeper emotional issues are being redeemed at the same time, and also that it removed stress. Again she asked me to turn around. Her treatment was clearly beneficial for me, and afterwards I felt tranquil and balanced.
«This is something more people ought to try!» I exclaimed while I dressed again.
«Far more people do receive such treatment today» Natalia replied. «At the same time we are beginning to utilize our potential to a far greater extent than earlier. We actually have a Centre for Human Potential here in Lighthaven. It is a building where we work with body, consciousness and mind. Here there are advanced exercises in yoga and meditation. We are working on developing our abilities within parapsychology, such as telepathy, hypnosis and clairvoyance.
Work is being done on the effect of the mind on matter, the body and the psyche, out-of-body experiences and a lot more. These phenomena are far more widely accepted today than they were in your time. To a far greater extent we now realize what enormous potential every human being has, and what we have discovered is truly not trifling!»
«And not only that,» she went on, «occasionally we receive tutoring from our cosmic friends who are far more advanced than we are…!»
«Wow… that sounds fascinating! I would have loved to take part in that!» I commented.
«Maybe some other time, but that we’ll have to come back to. Tomorrow you will be going back to your own time, but you are going to meet our wonderful friends from Cosmos before you leave.»
I noticed that Natalia’s voice sounded sad, and suddenly I realized that we might never meet again. I felt a lump in my throat and sensed that tears were on their way. I went to her, and we held each other for a long time.
«However, we still have a bit of time together. All evening and all night!» Natalia said.
«I wouldn’t miss that for the world!» I answered while I stroked her hair. «Lucky me!»
«And I am also lucky! she parried. «Aron, should we pay a visit to my son Jayden and my parents up on the slope over there? They know about you, to put it like that.»
«Of course we could do that!» I said.
«They are aware that we might come sometime today, so I’ll just give them a message that we’ll be there in a little while. They will then prepare some food for us as well.»
«That sounds great» I said, wiping away a tear.
We got ourselves ready, Natalia received a message from her parents that we might come anytime, and we left the house.
Again I was struck by the pleasant atmosphere in Lighthaven. The entire area appeared so harmonious.
We reached the small hill where Natalia’s parents lived and began to ascend it. Suddenly Jayden came running towards us. He threw himself into Natalia’s arms. Their joy of reunion was great. We walked together towards the parents’ house. They had by then come outside to receive us. They smiled at me and hugged me in a very hospitable way. I very quickly relaxed as I felt at home with them.
«Have you had a good time here?» they asked as we were eating. I could only confirm that it had all been the greatest of adventures! We talked quite a bit about all the things we had seen and experienced. They were listening, but at the same time eagerly taking part in the conversation, and time flew fast. Gradually we got to talking about their own lives, and they related some of the many things they had experienced. They said there had been an enormous societal development. They remembered little from the turbulent time when there were so many problems on Earth, because they were so little then. That was something I knew more about, to put it mildly, so I told them quite a bit about it.
By then it had got late, and it was bedtime for Jayden, who asked Natalia to see him to bed. She did so, and when she after a while came back, we thanked her parents warmly and strolled the short trip back to Natalia’s lovely house.
We talked for a long time before going to bed, and then made love for a long time before we fell asleep…
«Good morning…» I heard Natalia say. I had just woken up and looked into a pair of warm brown eyes, – Natalia’s. She sat down on the edge of the bed and looked at me smilingly.
«Good morning, yes» I said, returning her smile, still feeling slightly sleep-drugged. Then reality hit me: Today I have to go back!
«Dear Natalia, I really wish I could stay here! I have simply no wish to go back to my world.»
Natalia stroked my cheek. «I know, and I would like you to stay, but it is not that simple. Besides, you now have a responsibility to convey what you have seen and experienced here to those in your world who will listen. It is a great and important assignment you have been given!»
«Do you think anyone will listen, or believe me at all?»
«Some will, others won’t, but you should simply not bother yourself about what other people think. Be yourself and tell the truth, and then it has to be up to the others what to think of it. Here are the clothes you wore when you arrived.» She put them there for me and gave me a long and warm kiss before going down to make breakfast.
«What will happen now?» I asked as we were eating.
«I shall go over to the school to teach for a while. You will be going in almost the opposite direction to behind the mountain where you came from. In fact, just where your car was parked. There a large landing field has been landscaped for our friends from the stars. And they are already waiting for you, so our paths will have to part in a few moments.»
«Forever?» I asked, holding my breath.
«That will depend… it is complicated. We’ll have to see. I really hope we can meet again!»
I could see that Natalia meant what she said. By then she had tears in her eyes. I walked around the table, and once more we held each other for a long time. It was really not easy for me to say goodbye to her, even though we had only known each other for a short time. Or had we? What we had experienced together, as well as the earlier life I had got a glimpse of, showed that our acquaintance was not something new, but went way back in time. That was probably why it felt so hard to part again now.
We let go of each other and I went towards the entrance door. Natalia followed and grabbed hold of me. Again we held each other and kissed each other lovingly.
«Love you!» I heard Natalia say as I walked away from the house.
«And I you!» I replied with tears running down my face. I walked on. Soon after I could barely see her. The last thing I saw was that she blew me a kiss and waved. Then I was by myself.
Or was I? I noticed as I walked that it felt as though someone was trying to communicate with me. Strange. In the forest on the way to the landing field I found a place where I could sit down for a little while. I needed a break in order to gather myself a bit after the departure from Natalia. I comforted myself with the thought that I would surely see her again. That helped, and it calmed me.
After a while I rose and continued to walk, and again I had that peculiar feeling that someone wanted to communicate with me, but now it felt different. I felt I was being calmed and comforted, somehow.
I was getting close to the place where I was to meet our cosmic friends and realized that I was excited as well as a bit nervous. What would they look like, and how would they behave? Then it was as if I perceived a low and mild voice that seemed to be saying: «That is something you don’t have to worry about, just you relax.» That helped, and by then I was nearly there. Behind the trees I could see a clearing. That was where they were waiting for me! I was by then quite calm and no longer nervous, just a bit excited…
Suddenly I saw something: A gleaming object and two figures who were waiting for me. I could also see a table with flowers on it, as well as three chairs, and all these things were floating just above the ground! All at once I became more excited, or tense, rather, but at the same time expectant, they actually waved at me, and I waved back. Calmly we walked towards each other until we stood face to face. They were more humanoid than I had imagined, although there were certain notable differences, particularly the eyes. But they were beautiful and wore lovely tight-fitting clothes. They smiled at me in a friendly way and bowed cautiously. This made me relax, and I returned their smile while I bowed. I could clearly sense the energy they radiated, and I recognized that they possessed a higher wisdom and love. I clearly felt it when our eyes met. I actually felt that they looked deeply into me, that they in a way «read» me. One of them came a little hesitantly forward, and I realized he wanted to greet me when he silently reached one hand towards me. I took it carefully, and he cautiously put his other hand around it as well. Then he quietly let go and touched my shoulder in a friendly way.
«That wasn’t so bad, was it?» he said clearly and distinctly in my own language. It surprised me that he spoke the language so well and that they were so similar to us humans.
«No, not at all,» I answered. «Was it you who tried to contact me just now?»
«Yes, I tried to cautiously communicate with you telepathically, but you were too emotionally blocked for me to get through to you. After a while it got easier. That is the way we communicate with each other where we come from. We use telepathy and what one might call «truthful feelings» my new friend from Cosmos explained.
«You may call me Aurelio, and this is Zaina. Please come and sit down with us!» Aurelio indicated one of the chairs, and the two of them sat down on the other ones.
«I am Aron. I thought you would be more different from us.»
«Perhaps you are thinking of the type which you have mostly been exposed to description of, but there are countless different types of creatures in the enormous Cosmos. They are also on different levels of development, and some are friendly while others are not. We have been keeping an eye on you humans and looked after you.»
«I have asked Natalia about this earlier, but I would very much like to hear it from you as well: Why did it take such a long time before you came to help us here on earth?» I asked.
Zaina spoke up. «We can’t do everything for you, then you would not get the chance to develop as a civilization and it would also contradict your free will. Besides, you had to be ready for it and want it, and preferably not regard us as gods, but as your equals.»
«How could you know when we were ready?»
«When you no longer exploited all the new technology, especially with regards to weapons. Another indication was how you treated those who were different, and especially how you treated the ones whom you considered to be the «weakest» in your societies. When a multi-cultural society was no longer regarded as a problem, the time was becoming «ripe». If you could not manage to see each other as equals regardless of race, how could one expect that you would look at strangers from other civilizations as equals? As long as you could not manage to treat everybody equally, regardless of race, or for other reasons as for example sexual orientation, we did not make ourselves known to you. It is simple, really: the more empathy and love you showed others – and yourselves as well, I must add -, the more we approached you. We had a word for it, we called it a «love indicator». You can also look at it in another way: The more you saw everyone and everything as a unit and implemented that understanding in your society, the better for all and for the unit. In our civilization, for example, we share everything with everyone, always. Duality thinking was quite strong in your society, but the truth is you are all one large family, you are one and united with each other. And with everyone else in Cosmos as well, I must add. Another important reason for our keeping back was the fear you harbored of us. As that gradually disappeared, we were ready for a more official contact» Zaina explained.
«Aurelio added: «We did give you a lot of hints through the ages. Many people have seen inexplicable flying objects, and we have given cautious help in ways that you yourselves have not been aware of, such as telepathy for instance. We have also given more concrete and visible help and hints that you are not alone, such as many of the crop circles that have appeared in fields several places in your world. We have considered that to be a friendly, playful and amusing way to convey a message and at the same time challenge you a little.»
«Not many people will believe that, these crop circles, I mean.»
«Then they have not studied them sufficiently. There were persons who made some of them, but it was quite easy to notice the difference. One important reason why we made many of these formations was precisely to tell you that you are not alone in the Universe, and wasn’t it a beautiful, friendly and genial way to do so?»
«Where do you really originate from, and what is the difference between you and us?» I further asked.
«There is no difference, we are souls just like you. We have merely chosen to live somewhere else, for different reasons. But the divine essence in us is the same. I say «divine», because all of us everywhere are divine, also you and everyone else on your planet. We also have the same origin or source. In fact, everything that exists is a part of this source, and this source is what many of you call God. This source, or God if you like, has always existed and will always exist. So will we, as we also are a part of this source. And this process is all the time in movement and change, and this goes on by means of cycles, for ever and ever.»
«This is so big that it is hard to comprehend. These cycles you mentioned, is reincarnation a part of this?»
«It is, as in the great, so in the small. Everything moves in cycles, that is what makes eternity possible» Zaina said, and added: «Your Universe expands until it at one point will withdraw before another Big Bang occurs. It is in a way God’s breathing in and breathing out, to put it in terms you understand. Your souls use reincarnations to develop, whether here or in other places. But be assured that this is not a school, one is here to live one’s life to the fullest and use one’s potential as well as possible. In your turbulent time many people are waking up and realizing who they really are, and who strive to help their fellow humans and Earth ascend to a higher level. Both individual persons and countries are on different stages of development dependent on the soul-experiences one goes through and has gone through. These experiences are accumulated and integrated. And as soul one has chosen to forget one’s source and one’s earlier lives before coming here, that is part of the process of developing here on Earth. So in fact, you have all the answers in you. The soul knows everything, it is rather a matter of remembering and call up in yourselves that which you actually already know.»
«Could you say something more about the divine?»
«We are, like I said, a part of this source. We are sources or gods in miniature, you might say. We are fragments of Source spread all over the Universe and the Multiverse. This is how Source experiences Itself through us. Source is divine and has creative powers. And it is pure Love. We have creative powers as well, and not least we are also Love.»
«It doesn’t seem that way where I come from, but here, however, it is another matter.»
«That is because a great deal of this love has become twisted and you have forgotten who you actually are. You originate from Source, experience separation, and then move back to unity and Source again. As I said, this is a part of the cycle, so be aware of the fact that you are never really separated from Source. Separation is merely an illusion. And this cycle is not only about your souls, it is about your entire society. The earliest and so-called «primitive» societies had a strong feeling of unity and spiritual connection. Atheism was an unknown concept for them, but not for you who are in the middle of this period of separation. As a society you are now about to leave separation and move towards unity again. One can detect a budding tendency to it in your societies. It is this separation that is the reason for all your problems. Therefore, the reason for your problems are deepest seen spiritual. Find your way back to your true spirituality and unity, and you will be able to solve them!
You will not lose the sense of individuality when you move towards unity again, by the way. The illusion of separation is necessary, however, because we cannot know what love is until we have experienced the opposite. You cannot know what «cold» is if all you have experienced is «warm».»
«Could you tell me something about the world you come from?»
«It is rather a challenge to describe it» Aurelio said. «It would be rather like taking a person from the stone age and show and explain your civilization to him. But I can say a little. Our civilization is far older than yours, and we live much longer than you do. We have mastered much of that which you have just barely began to explore, namely metaphysics. Among other things we have learned how to de- and rematerialize ourselves. We can do the same things with our vessels, like that one over there. This vehicle interacts with us as well, and we can control it with our thoughts. And as you yourself have experienced, we master telepathy. You have only now reached the point where you are ready to learn more about the metaphysical aspects of Life. First you had to grow through the physical, become more empathic and bring Love and the feeling of unity into the World again.»
«Why are we actually here? What is the reason for our existence?»
«Seen in a larger perspective we are here primarily in order to experience the physical World with everything it includes. We all come from what you call Heaven, which is a more timeless existence full of unity and love, but which is rather difficult to describe for you as it is not physical. We are mainly here to fully live out our potential and develop our empathy and love, something which is not so easy to understand before one has experienced the opposite, as I just mentioned. For that reason it is very challenging to be on your planet. Or rather, it used to be. As you have seen, it has now become very much better. We might also say that the goal is to bring down Heaven on Earth, or said in another way, to become a highly developed civilization, which is the same thing. The higher developed a society is spiritually, the more Unity and Love is experienced, which is a good description of Heaven. Actually, the more highly developed the societies are, the simpler are their societal structures, and the fewer laws and regulations are needed. Worth considering in your high-tech world! Zaina and I come from such a place, and we want to help your and other similar worlds in ascending to a higher level.»
«This is really very interesting, but it is quite a lot of information to process!» I responded.
«We have not told you how important your task really is. This is just the kind of information from here that you are to convey to your world!» Zaina said. «You are the only one from your time that we have brought here. By telling your contemporaries about us and how your world has managed to develop and solve most of your problems, you will be performing a service of immeasurable importance, and will be able help with the changes that are needed. And this is of urgency in the time you are living in! You have in you an unused potential for conveying things. You have good speaking skills, for instance, and you have understood more than you are aware of. These are some of the reasons why we chose you.»
«Ok…. This gives me something to ponder, but I do feel honored that you chose me. I humbly accept the assignment, but I have a hunch that it will not be easy.»
«Know that you are free to accept or refuse the task, but if you choose to accept it, simply do your best!» Zaina said.
«I have decided, and I will do my very best. But is it so that I very soon am going back to my own time and that you will take me there?»
«Yes, that will happen quite soon. You will scarcely notice anything, but you will remember most of what you have experienced here.»
«Might I get to visit your vessel over there and be taken for a trip before you bring me back to my time?»
«You may come inside, but nothing more this time.»
«Does that mean that I may come back here?» I asked with hope in my voice.
«That is not impossible.»
«In that case I would love to also visit the world you come from! Would that be possible?»
Aurelio smiled and looked at me. « It can be arranged. If you come back here, we shall take you to our world!»
I smiled at them both. «Then I’ll do all I can to get back here. I hope it will not be too long before I’ll have the possibility! There are so many things here that I wish to experience again.»
Aurelio looked at Zaina and smiled. I felt that they understood me and that they knew that Natalia and I had become more than just god friends and that she also was an important reason for my wishing to come back again.
«We are now ready to take you back to your own time, although time is actually a genial illusion» Zaina said. «You are coming into our spaceship with us, and there we are going to bring you back with the help of our apparatus, but exactly what it looks like inside there, you will not be able to remember.»
«Aha… Now I remember that I felt I was being watched just before I fell asleep on the mountain. That was you!»
«That is correct, and now we are going to repeat that process» Zaina said as we calmly walked towards their vessel. She became quiet and concentrated for a moment. After a short time an opening appeared. Strange, because I had not seen any door there earlier. We walked towards this opening… And then I remember nothing more…
I rub my eyes a bit. The sun is shining, but its position in the sky tells me it must be getting on towards evening. I must have been in a deep sleep, I muse, until it slowly but surely starts to dawn on me what has actually happened…
I remember it now! More and more of the memories are flooding my mind. Natalia, the future, our cosmic friends… I quickly rise and look out over the landscape. I am still on the mountain plateau. Is it possible that all these things actually happened? Happened to me? I look down on myself and see that I am wearing the same clothes as before all these extraordinary things happened. Quickly I step to the place where I saw the round houses, but no, – there is nothing. I suddenly feel sad and depressed and a sorrow engulfs me.
But suddenly it is as if I in some way am being comforted. I feel a calm settle inside me and get a feeling – a pleasant feeling – of not being alone. Which is very good! However, there is nothing else I can do, I have to start on my way home. But first I want to go down and see if the houses really are there or not. I start off, taking the same route as last time.
What is this that I see beside the path a little further on? Rubbish! Someone has simply thrown it down there! Oh, yes, – it seems I am back in my own world… I feel a bit sad, and even sadder as I reach the spot where I had heard Natalia call to me the first time I saw her. No Natalia, no round houses. Nothing but Nature. I feel a lump in my throat, and a tear is rolling down my cheek. I turn and start on my way back to my car which I had parked at the other end of the forest.
I find my car exactly where I had left it that morning. Or was it in the morning? Did any of this really happen? I get into my car and start on my way home. As I drive into town I think about the places I had experienced in the future. It had been so peaceful and quiet there, and people did not seem to be stressed. Here there are far too many ugly buildings and a great deal of noise. And people are so busy! What is it that is so very important and so terribly urgent? And where are all the smiles? A bit further ahead I notice a person begging in the street. I never saw that where I was in the future!
I arrive at the apartment building where I live and park my car. What a contrast! This apartment building is very ugly and sad looking, and it is not much better inside, I reflect as I go inside. I cannot afford the latest trend in interior design! I suddenly recall that this building had been turned into a museum in the future I visited, and that was not in order to show how nice it was! On the contrary, it was to show how it ought not be done. Once I am inside my worn-down apartment I stand still for a moment to get my bearings. There is my cell phone! I had left it here, like I often do when I go for a walk in nature. I hadn’t counted on being so long. I see there are a couple of messages from my friends. I’ll contact them later.
Again I remain standing still. I have been so engaged with my thoughts that I have not noticed that there is something in my pocket. I put my hand into the pocket and find a small flat object. I immediately recognize it! It had been lying in full view on a table in Natalia’s bedroom. She had in fact shown it to me and explained what it meant. In that moment I realize that everything I had experienced while I lay on the mountain plateau really had happened. It was not something I had simply dreamed or imagined! I sink down in my sofa to process it all, sending a silent “thank you” to Natalia. She had placed the object there on purpose so that I should know that she and everything I experienced together with her had been absolutely real.
I am filled with a sense of gratitude, both for Natalia and all the others I had been fortunate enough to meet, and everything I got to experience there in the future. And that I actually got to meet a couple of our friends from the stars is just about incredible! The big question now is whether any of my friends or other people here will believe it! At the same time I feel a great responsibility to convey all that I have experienced. I shall have to find a strategy for how to proceed.
Everything I experienced also gave me a great hope of being able to see my friends from the future again, and not least be with Natalia again. It has also given me hope on behalf of mankind. It seems we are not that bad after all, we have simply been in a process of of growing and developing. But what a potential we have! And what a future we are approaching! I now feel full of hope for the future, a future that may not be very distant and that gives us a message which tells us that WE MADE IT!
I wish to thank my family, friends and The Wednesday Group. And I wish to extend a thank you to Brit Weisz who has given fine inputs and has translated the book into English. I also wish to thank Per Henrik Gullfoss and Briana Holberg who have given me inputs and feedbacks. I am also grateful to all who have been of indirect help.
In addition I wish to thank all those who have inspired me and given me insights through many years, some of whom are named in this book.