|Public Domain Science Fiction Writer||
Feeling Kolok's distress at the violence the Pathfinders' Guild felt they had to respond, and sent their envoy, Daasur. |
So had arrived Daasur to Kolok to examine her distress. On Kolok she travelled searching for recognition of the path:-
So much confusion, she felt, so much confusion around no wonder there was violence. At least she knew there was hope if there were Talaks who were not conditioned - conditioning that was now turning to confusion; the Taj of course could not escape their conditioning, they were totally addicted. Unless they stopped being Taj. And for a sensoid like Daasur, in a Moment she could feel whether compassion, insight and creativity existed; it was her job!!
She hated these assignments but they were necessary. No hate is an exaggeration - it wasn't hate because what she did was valuable; but there was trepidation. She was required to take Moments to determine the hopes of these Gaias like Kolok. At the Moment she could feel all that the other felt, if she chose one of the deplorable Talak she could feel all that they did. Whatever quagmire existed in their minds she felt.
For her taking a Moment was just an extension of her consciousness. For most Talaks consciousness was restricted to their bodies, emotions, perceptions and thought processes; such arise and consciousness grasps what arises or not. When a sensoid takes a Moment s/he touches the consciousness of the other, so when Daasur chooses a Talak, at that Moment her consciousness temporarily incorporates the other's consciousness and records it - this is what sensoids call taking a Moment (of consciousness). This incorporation takes a brief second, but that Moment records all the attachments the other consciousness clings to. In a sense it is like recording the other's self in a Moment.
But for that Moment Daasur's consciousness feels all that is the other, and on Kolok that could be very distressing. It was an envoy's requirement to record a Moment of the elite - for the damned Council. And it was her skill as an envoy that there only be one Moment of distress - the one required elite, on Kolok one Taj. She recalled the Taj she had chosen. As she expected this Taj was insane, addicted to their power and all the manifestations of that power on Kolok, and lacking any compassion submerging innate compassion with material hedonism and excess. It was distressing as she expected - a pain she had to suffer, part of Kolok's distress as a whole.
That done she needed to measure the Talaks, to be able to report the possibility of hope, to determine whether they had any freedom or whether their consciousnesses were just restricted to the conditioning. She only needed to know that some were on Kolok's path - that was sufficient for the Council. They required just 10 on the path - their stupid quota. When she first started out as an envoy she thought filling this quota would be easy, she would find the required individuals amongst the leaders, religions etc. In her arrogance she breezed in, found the "nearest" political leader and that was her worst Moment ever - she felt the pain and ugliness for days; this puppet was soulless, heartless and self-serving. Not only was this individual heinous, but on that Gaia they were creating hatred of others, and this puppet actually believed the hatred. Even now she recoils from the great pain in that Moment. That Moment worsened her experience on that Gaia. Once in touch with that overriding pain her own consciousness could not detach because of the recoil - negative attachment, and she lurched from one bad Moment to another requiring nearly a 100 Moments before she reached Quota. There was a silver lining, she begrudged somewhat cynically; at least the Council were happy with the completeness of her report - they never seemed capable of understanding sensoid pain. Once she had given her report the Guild gave her time to recover, she felt their empathy and recalled how they had tried to warn the novice.
She looked back at her arrogance and just wondered at her own egotistical stupidity - if the Gaia was in distress how could the leader have embraced the Gaia's path? Over the years she had found such paths in all the "wrong" places - that was how they survived with their compassion. Many were recluses but so were some recluses evil; care was needed. These compassionates were in healing and caring and teaching obviously, but even in those obvious compassion arenas there was much corruption - if all the healers, carers and teachers were allowed to fulfil their duties the Gaia would not be in distress - the Pathfinders' tautology. Amongst the political she stopped looking, after all the political sought power for themselves so were not compassionate; occasionally there were pathtivists in the grass roots movements, but on planets where the Gaia was in distress the grass roots will have been intentionally divided. Obviously the creative were to be looked for but on distressed Gaias the creative cannot be effective. There were always some creative who were on the path, but judging the creativity of another culture is difficult unless she took a Moment - with the potential pain this was a Catch 22 decision as one creative had described somewhere. Over years she wisened up, her Quotas were never just 10 Moments but she was able to judge sufficiently to avoid the grosser pains.
Kolok was not easy because the Taj had created such confusion. Simplistically analysis dictates that the Taj needed to exploit the Talaks to maintain their wealth, power and influence, but all the Talaks could not know this of the Taj. There were always indicators such as the lack of Talak Unity, but usually the elites were sufficiently analytical of their own preservation that such Unity was never possible. Kolok was no different as could be observed by the intended confusion.
Taj propagandists promoted confusion enabling Talak egos, promoting instinctive conditioning rather than allowing these instincts to fall away as Talaks matured. Not all Gaias used instinct in this way especially the more mature. For the younger Gaias it seemed common sense to give their life-forms instincts for survival - a time in the young when compassion could not always be in the forefront. It was all wrapped up in the damned suffering conundrum. The pathfinders called this type of conditioning - "reinforced conditioning"; suffering through natural conditioning was a learning process but reinforced conditioning was far more painful. Moments of this reinforced conditioning were particularly painful. Sensoids felt ego as a form of mental abrasiveness but natural conditioning was tolerable. But reinforced conditioning heightened the abrasion – for some reason nature dictated that sensoid consciousness should experience ego as a grating pain at the Moment. Reinforced grating was an experience they wanted to forget but sadly it was part of their job. No Gaia was ever in distress if their beings were free from ego.
Of course the Talaks were no exception so it was a sensoid hell as she navigated around Kolok. This required observation, and for sensoids restricting experience to the 5 senses was a great limitation but a necessary one. She remembered her debut envoy-mission, the Moment of pain with the politician, and quickly dismissed her sensual self-pity; no way did she want that again. As she observed a feeling grew as to what was happening on Kolok, and it felt positive for her; Kolok need not feel distress – at least no long-term distress. Daasur knew that the problems were primarily caused by Kolok allowing her own attachment, she identified too much with Talak pain and this was distressing her. Kolok had to learn that although these Talaks were her "babies" they were not who she was - she had to know to let them go if necessary.
But that "genocide" was a long way off - if at all. These Talaks causing Kolok distress were not in any way doomed - she had seen doomed beings on other Gaias. Yes the Taj were exploiting the Talaks but there was clear evidence to Daasur that there was sufficient connection to Kolok's truth for the distress to be ended. Kolok didn't know this because she was all alone. And that was the other part of the envoy's mission, to make the Gaia sufficiently aware of herself to end the distress she was causing within and on Kolok.
Pathfinders' Report to the Council on Gaia Section 117 Planet 5/q/3
These reports were always verbal, the Council demanded it.
"Just to note I will refer to this Gaia as Kolok - as does her highest path-seeking life-form," Daasur began. "The Guild had noted a low level distress as previously reported to the Council on 3174/12/3. With the Council's consent I was dispatched as envoy to Kolok to determine the level of distress.
"I travelled Kolok the requisite time, please find on file Moments for the Gaia, Kolok, one Taj, their name for the exploiting elite, and 15 Talaks as per Quota. I would note here that well within that time I recognised the source of the distress, and the additional time simply reinforced that view." The Council don’t care about the sensoid pain that additional time caused me, she muttered to herself, a Quota of 3 Talaks would have been sufficient for her conclusions.
A council member asked “Is the 15 Talaks (is that the correct name?) significant as being 5 above quota?”
“Not in my opinion,” answered Daasur “my average is just under 14.”
"My assessment is that Kolok is a young Gaia, and that the distress she was feeling was a youthful identification with her highest pathseekers. These pathseekers had slipped into an early stage exploiting model typical of the instinctual development the Gaia was going through.
"As per protocol, after Moments with the Taj and Talaks, my Moment with Kolok was to some extent interventionist. I helped her observe the attachments to the Talaks (and Taj) which were causing the distress, and I noted the Gaia experienced the awareness that her own distress was providing a feedback loop making the situation worse. This will obviously lessen her distress as well as affect the balance of the Talaks.
"Overall, I observed the instinctual development of a young Gaia - too much attachment causing ego, and noted how much this was contributing to her own distress. There was nothing unusual in this instinctual distress, and that there is no need for the Council to be concerned. Appropriate monitoring (non-urgent) in order to observe that the Gaia is maturing naturally is all that is necessary. I would note here that the Guild has observed an appropriate reduction in Kolok’s distress since my return, and they would like me to report that there is no need for concern in their view."
"That is the end of my report on Kolok," announced Daasur. The Council discussed the report briefly, and as there was no necessary feedback thanked her for her pain and effort. Daasur left.