The Conversation We’re Not Having

Given the danger, fear and barbarism that are presently engulfing the West, I find it necessary to point out that we’ve lost something very important: We’re no longer having serious public conversations.

Granted, public conversation has never been pristine, but there was certainly more of it decades ago, and it was very often of a higher quality. Back in the day, people actually read books and spent time thinking about what might be best. There’s quite little of that these days; mostly, people seek confirmation of their biases from sources that are likewise biased.

And so, I’d like to illustrate what a serious conversation would look like, if 2020 weren’t a dark carnival.

Continue reading “The Conversation We’re Not Having”

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 24

(Continued from part twenty-three)

The galaxy was simply stunning. More engrossing, however, was the indescribable blackness that surrounded it. It was unfathomably deep, not only in color, not only in distance, but in time. I was looking at an infinity, incomprehensible but staring me in the face.

I stared until my eyes hurt. I realized that I hadn’t blinked at all, and they were watering to compensate. I pushed myself backward onto the mattress and closed my eyes. I remained there until my they felt normal again. Then I sat back up, remembering to shift my gaze from time to time, which also induced me to blink.

The galaxy secured my attention this time. My ship was at the outer fringe of it and slightly above its central plane; enough that I could see the shape of the whole, with handfuls of stars still visible above me. After a few back and forths my eyes had returned to their habit of blinking, which removed that concern from my mind.

There were so, so many stars. The estimates I’ve heard are a hundred billion, and I believe it. Everywhere I looked there were stars upon stars upon stars, deeper than I could see and I’m not sure how much deeper after that. But this was not like looking at a photo of stars; these were real, unmistakably round, each with its own position, brightness and contrast with nearby stars… and nearly all, I knew, had planets around them. The effect went beyond any photo of any resolution.

Continue reading “Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 24”

On Rigging Elections

There’s presently a lot of discussion about rigging elections, and so I’d like to make a few things clear. I’ll do that with a few, brief points and stories:

#1: Every significant election involves vote rigging. The incentives and the emotions assure it. The local election judge knows what he or she can get away with, and 1 of x times, he or she will. That’s just the nature of the beast, and no faction is immune to it.

#2: Political organizations always steal or add votes. Whether it’s stuffing a ballot box, tossing away votes from the precinct that votes for the opponent, or a thousand variants, this happens all the time. Again, the incentives are all for it, as is the arrogance of party: We’re the righteous ones and our opponents are crazy, ignorant and dangerous.

#3: Big operators rig elections with superior assets. The big players tend to develop manipulation strategies like Google campaigns or psycholinguistic-based TV adds (bending the masses to their will), but they play dirty too. Not only do they have financial motives (favorable laws are immensely profitable), but they love the feeling of owning politicians.

Stories

Again, briefly, I want to give you a couple of stories.

Continue reading “On Rigging Elections”

The Wages of Perpetual Fear

I’ve gone on for a long time about fear making humans stupid, and even about it being a weapon and a brain poison. But I’ve also wondered at times whether people would hit fear-fatigue… that point where people have simply had enough fear and walk out from under it.

As it turns out, however, I was a bit optimistic on fear fatigue. I’ve been reading Robert Sapolsky’s newest book, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best And Worst, and was disappointed to learn what the best new research shows on the long-term application of fear. (Or, in the academic terminology, sustained stress.)

My disappointment, however, was soon tempered by two things:

  1. I gained information on how fear poisoning works.

  2. That human neurology is immensely variable, that there are exceptions to everything, and that if the whole picture were actually as dark as the most troubling findings, we’d have devolved into nothing but murderous monkeys long ago.

I barely need to say this, but 2020 has been The Year of Fear. I’m a bit amazed by the extent of it. There is a certain appeal to soaking up all the fear stories in normal times – our ability to look evil in the eye makes us appear vibrant – but 2020 has pushed far beyond that level. What we’re encountering is much more than simple fear porn, and there are certain outlets (including websites) that I can only describe as obscene.

This is more destructive than people realize.

Continue reading “The Wages of Perpetual Fear”

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 23

(Continued from part twenty-two)

As it happened, the “shuttle bay” was the one thing our sci-fi shows right, or close enough to it. There was a big door, lights and alarms warning of upcoming depressurization, and the ship did look like a Star Trek shuttle, or perhaps the Runabout. (It was also made of the white/pink metal.)

I saw Jens into the ship and went back upstairs (the shuttle bay was one level below), then watched him leave through the window, which I had time to un-dim.

But once he left my field of view (in the down direction, which was odd), I dimmed the window again. I wanted to plan my time, because Jens was right, looking out that window would grab and consume my attention.

I sat at the table and took stock of myself,, and the first thing I realized was that a fair amount of sleepiness was bleeding through my excitement. And so I decided to get my body ready before I did anything else. I opened the window just a little, went to the bathroom, poured some water, found a blanket in a closet Jens showed me and turned the lights off. I lay myself down, with the galaxy as my night-light. I had to turn away from it to sleep – not because of the light, but because of the ecstasy I felt looking at it – and slept for several hours at least.

* * * * *

I woke up slowly, feeling a need to pull the pillow out from under my head and to lay fully flat on my back. And laying there I began to feel my joints relax. This was a surprise. When Jens mentioned relaxing, I thought of my muscles, not my joints.

My knees were first, with an instant surge of a surprising and even troubling intensity. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I felt a sort of burning or electrified ring around and through my knee joint. It was the type of thing that at a lower level might be almost pleasant – and in no way did it feel harmful – but it was intense to the point of discomfort, albeit a type of discomfort I couldn’t define.

The most precise comparison I have is to an electric shock from a DC power source, rather than our usual AC power. The pain of a DC electrification was absent, but the feel of the continuous (non-alternating) power was similar. I’m not sure this description will help many readers, but those who have worked with old-style DC motors should gain some understanding from it.

The effect on my knees was intense enough that I squirmed in response, after which it stopped. I worried that I had stopped it prematurely and tried to summon it back, but unsuccessfully. And so I lay there for a few minutes, first forgiving myself then glancing at my galactic night-light to cleanse my psyche a bit.

Then I felt it in my hip joints. To be precise, I was feeling the extreme top of my femurs, where they joined my hip. This I felt longer, but at less intensity. And I should add that I felt it to the ultimate, deepest portions of those joints. (While writing this I’m feeling it again, though not as strongly.)

As Jens said, this was unexpected. As yet I’m unsure what it signifies or why it was the first thing to strike me.

* * * * *

I remained in bed for some time after my joints relaxed (or whatever it was that they did), trying to relax the rest of me as best I could. I have some relaxation techniques I’ve developed over the years, and this seemed like a good time to employ them. Seldom do I have time enough in my normal life.

I relaxed more deeply than I would have expected, but the impression I got was that this environment would allow me to unfold gently and slowly. Perhaps, then, what I felt in my biggest joints was the first creaking open of the whole.

In any case I was out of bed about an hour after waking up. I showered, cleaned my teeth with something akin to a water-pick, and made some of the coffee drink. I undimmed the window about half way and decided that I should eat something before giving it my full attention.

I rummaged through the refrigerator and found a meal pack that Jens said was close to bacon and eggs. I heated it and ate it with my back to the window. And there I planned my few days on this ship. A wrote my plan on the notepad I used previously, wondering if my plan would survive its first engagement with the window, but it hardly mattered at this point. I was here, I was stable, and I would be back home in a few days. I finished my food, went to the bathroom, re-cleaned my teeth and came back to the main room.

Before I opened the window all the way, I pulled up the schematics Jens had shown me (on a flat plasma screen very much like ours), pulled up my pillow and mattress and dragged them to the window (both had been held in place with the smooth Velcro), then walked back to the console, keeping my back to the window. I rechecked my body, seeing if it needed anything (it didn’t), then opened the window and turned off the light. All that remained was the low illumination of some buttons on the console.

I sat on my mattress with my eyes closed. (The chairs were bolted/riveted to the floor and I didn’t want to spend time figuring out how to release them.) I took several deep breaths to even myself out, and then opened my eyes.

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Why Idealism Leads to Death

With violent idealists roaming streets, burning things, enjoying the fact that they can scare people and so on, I think a brief explanation of how idealism leads to death (and frequently to mass death) is in order.

The Two Models

There are two primary models of seeing the world that have been duking it out for a long, long time. They were most famously embodied in the rift between Plato and Aristotle, well over 2,000 years ago. Both men had their errors (this was a long time ago, after all), but each came up with a basic model of viewing the world. I’m simplifying, of course, but here they are in essence:

Aristotle: We should look at the things that are (aka, reality), make sense of it and draw useful conclusions from it.

Plato: Everything we see is a weak version of the real and glorious things that are beyond us. We should seek the ideal, and bring ourselves toward it.

Our Western civilization, as it formed in late antiquity, tended to take Aristotle’s path, focusing mainly on reality. The Roman Church – after it gained real power centuries later – took a very Platonic course, but they had to give up a good deal of that after about 1200 AD. (Thomas Aquinas, etc.)

And so we’ve been a civilization more in tune with Aristotle than with Plato. Idealism, however, reverses that, and has brought masses of people back to Plato’s way. And while it tends to sound good (“lets hold to the higher principles”), when mixed with human weaknesses – and especially when mixed with power – it leads to dark and deadly places.

To explain why this is so, I’m going to use a wonderful but academic passage written by Harry J. Hogan, from his introduction to The Evolution of Civilizations. I’ll pull pieces out of the quote and then elaborate:

In a Platonistic society, social arrangements are molded to express a rigidly idealized version of reality.”

This is why the Bolsheviks killed all the other socialists.

In a group of humans holding to a higher principle, the principle quickly becomes rigid, and the people become rigid. If you espouse a variant of their belief, you are immediately seen as an enemy. You can find this in more or less every idealistic group.

If your ideal is the great one, anyone who distracts from it is pulling people away from Truth. By so doing, they are destroying anyone who listens to them and they are destroying the future of humanity.

Once real-life humans take a principle as perfect, this is what you get. It’s how you get self-righteous college students and kindergarten teachers breaking windows and terrorizing kids.

Such institutionalization would not have the flexibility to accommodate to the pressures of changing reality.” 

By holding your principle as high and perfect, you are also making a claim to perfect knowledge. Real humans, however, do not possess perfect, god-like information. That isn’t to say we’re stupid or defective, but we just don’t have perfect knowledge, and pretending we do has to lead us into dangerous places.

Bear in mind also that science proper (not the kind beloved by politicians) was the opposite; it held “we could still be wrong about this” as a fundamental and eternal principle.

Idealism cannot bend, cannot adapt, cannot accommodate itself to better concepts. Humans change, and endlessly.

Western civilization… is engaged in a constant effort to understand reality.”

This is our model: Looking at reality, attempting to understand it, adapt to it, and if possible use it to our benefit. This model is wide open to differing and even clashing ideas, to infinite experimentation and to endless growth.

Within Aristotle’s model, then, reform is always possible.

Does All Idealism Kill?

All ideals held rigidly can kill and will in certain circumstances. Holding principles as stars to guide by, however, is something very different.

The principle used as a guide is not a claim to perfect knowledge. Rather, it is “the highest and best we can currently make out.” And that is a fine thing to steer by; we need only remember that we came to that principle with incomplete knowledge.

And so a human-friendly principle, like proper scientific findings, remains open to future clarification and modification. That is honest, non-arrogant and useful.

The Idealists Are The New Barbarians

Idealism tends to spawn clannishness, disgust for “the other,” and soon enough collective guilt and the death that follows it. This is what has flowered in 2020 AD. Under the new idealist model, white people are inherently defective and need to be put out or put down. (After a good fleecing, of course).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, any institution or corporation that has bowed to cancel culture has gone over to the barbarians… who are also the idealists.

There’s a lot more to be said on this subject (and I say a good deal of it in my book Production Versus Plunder), but in practical terms, this is enough. And the idealists on the news are barbarians.

None of us possesses perfect knowledge, and by arrogantly imagining that we do, we spawn death.

* * * * *

As it turns out, history was never too hard to understand; they just told you the wrong story.

Comments from readers:

“This is the most amazing little book I have read on history in 36 years of reading history.”

“It will change the way you look at nearly everything.”

“I will flat out say that this is the best history book I have ever read… I am fairly well read, but I learned a tremendous amount that I hadn’t known before or hadn’t aligned so that it made sense.”

“This is the best and clearest description of the history of Western civilization I have ever read.”

“Packed with insights on every page concerning how the world came to be the way it is and what we might expect in the future.”

Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 22

(Continued from part twenty one)

Over the next hour or so, Jens showed me how to find food, water and so on. Everything was similar to our Earth supplies, but none of it identical. The ship had, in the cooking station, a refrigerator, a stove and a sink. Again, they were all close enough to use but not the same. He went on to show me how to control the lighting and the window, the bathroom and the shower. I made a few notes just so I didn’t spend too much mental energy on remembering, but they really weren’t necessary.

Jens also explained that this ship had been a mystery to his world for a long time. It had simply showed up in his star system, empty, spawning some variation of the Flying Dutchman mystery. They had reverse-engineered its course fairly well over the subsequent years, but this visit gave Jens a chance to improve their calculations and follow the ship back more precisely. Maybe even to learn what happened to its crew.

This is for fun,” he told me, then paused.

I’m using your terms, now, like ‘just for fun.’ But that’s actually misleading. Fun is a virtue, not a waste. It engages necessary parts of your being and teaches your inner parts to value and express themselves.”

This was a spot where I needed to stop and dig in a bit.

And by ‘inner parts’ you mean something like ‘subconscious’ or ‘psyche’?”

Well, all of your terms for this are partial and sloppy. Soul would be a good catch-all, save for the religious dialogs it spawns. I think ‘inner parts’ has the fewest appendage ideas attached, and so I’m using that one.”

I appreciated his care for us and our language, but I was feeling agitated by it. I knew why… it was something I had thought about many times over the years, and with significant discomfort… though I didn’t want to just blurt it out; that struck me as rude or disrespectful. But I should have know that this man would read me deeply enough to see it. He was kind, but nonetheless hyper-advanced compared to us.

It’s okay,” he said, “this is a good time and place to express what you’re feeling.”

I’m tired of being a damned monkey!” I said it loudly and with a considerable level of passion. “I want to understand these things… I am capable of understanding them… I don’t want to be always the ignorant brute.”

You have to know that we don’t look at you as a brute,” he said.

I know, I know,” I went on, now standing and pacing. “But Jens, I don’t want to be ignorant and undeveloped. I want to understand and to engage in the important things, not to be stuck in a sandbox, playing with baby toys!”

I continued to pace, long enough to notice that he had gone silent. I looked at him and found him crying.

I… uh…”

It’s okay,” he said in a choked-up voice, “I understand… I sympathize.”

I sat next to him and waited. He reached over and held my hand. And I could literally feel some sort of benevolent substance running from him into me.

In your book, Paul, you wrote about being half-way between homo erectus and full growth, did you not?” He was still holding my hand, still emanating the benevolent substance.

I did.”

Then I’d like you to understand that I am less than half-way between where you are and full growth. I haven’t experienced frustration to the extent that you do, but I’ve felt it nonetheless. Please believe me that if I could make it all better for you, I would.”

Then I started crying. “I believe you,” I pushed out.

The two of us sat there for a bit, then began regathering ourselves. Jens found two towels in a drawer, wet them, handed one to me and proceeded to wipe his face with the other. Then he poured two glasses of water and sat back down.

A big part of your problem,” he said, “is that your inner parts are out of sync with your cognition. You were born into that, but it seems to me that you’ve been addressing it fairly directly over the past few years. Is that your impression as well?”

I explained to him that he was correct; that I had several dreams in which it seemed my inner parts, as he calls them, were trying to communicate better with my cognition, and vice versa. First by feel and then with at least some understanding, I had been working on that, though I added that I’m still doing it by image and feel.

At this point that’s probably the only thing you can do,” he said mournfully, “but it will improve.”

I nodded, and smiled as appreciatively as I could. Knowing that I was at least progressing helped.

And that’s part of why I want to get off this ship quickly; to leave you with as much time alone as I can give you.”

Because being alone in this environment will help me sync-up with my inner parts?”

Exactly so,” he said. “Think of this as being deeply alone. Not lonely, as in missing people, though that would happen eventually… but alone, where the outside pressures simply aren’t there.”

Then this will be instructive to me.”

He laughed. “I suspect it will be an especially good kind of instructive… the kind you never saw coming.”

I laughed along with him, and then struggled to find a last question or two to ask him, because he was now standing and scanning the ship to be sure there was nothing else he needed to do before leaving.

We’re glad you’re writing about these adventures,” he said.

Honestly, Jens, aside from my regular subscribers – a tiny fraction of the world – I’m not sure who’ll care about it. Without some fairly serious reading and thinking, they’re not really going to understand.”

You’re right,” he said, “aside from a few, they won’t. But writing endures. It will be waiting for those who are hungry to understand, and for a long time.”

I nodded.

Follow me down to the ship,” he said, smiling. “it will remind you of a Star Trek shuttle.”

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Filling Gaps In The Shadow Gate Documentary

The Shadow Gate documentary contains a lot of intriguing information. I can’t verify it, but it is the kind of thing we’ve been seeing for some time. In no way do I mean to degrade the documentary – I am thankful for it – but I’d like to fill some of the gaps in what it reveals:

Shadow Gate on Bitchute (banned by YouTube/Google as “hate speech”)

Dr. Janda discussing Shadowgate

NSA Whistle-blowers Bill Binney & Kirk Wiebe

Julian Assange on Google

Google’s Selfish Ledger

The big picture

**

Paul Rosenberg

freemansperspective.com

Why Homeschooling Is Easier Than You Think

I homeschooled several children all the way into college, back when people thought you were seriously crazy for doing it. So, I have some background for what I’m writing today. And I want to get this out now, because millions of parents are presently considering options they never expected to face.

Please pass this along to anyone who may need it.

The Problems With Home Schooling

When I say homeschool is easier than you think, I really mean it, but there are complications and caveats involved. So, let’s start with the problems and get them out of the way.

First of all, there will be days that suck. The kids won’t listen, will be difficult, or will just be obtuse. Expect it. Either you’ll come home from work to your spouse telling you to forget the experiment and find some other place to send them… any other place; or perhaps you’ll be that spouse. It happens. No experienced person ever said that raising kids was painless. That said, nearly all such parents get over the day’s mayhem, and decide to continue the experiment.

Secondly, there’s an underlying problem that tends to drive many others, including the one above: You arrange your homeschooling so that other people can’t criticize you. Below I’ll explain why.

After that are the kinds of problems you’ve already considered: Things like two incomes being required in the modern world and figuring out how to reschedule the work lives of two parents. These are significant problems, but they can be worked out if you take the education of your children as an imperative and arrange your other affairs around it. I’m not promising this will be easy, but please believe me that it’s worth it. Educating your child is rewarding and meaningful.

You are likely to remember these years as your hardest but your best. When you’re 90 years old, do you want to remember the giant screen TVs you had in every room, or the fine people that you – with blood, sweat and tears – molded, filled and sent into the world?

The Big Problem

As I noted above, a terribly common and large problem is arranging your efforts to keep people from criticizing you. I’m telling you to forget that. Let them criticize; let them whisper about you and make fun of you. You don’t want such people in your life anyway. What you must do is arrange your efforts around the results you want.

Your goal is well educated children: Children who can think clearly; who can read, write and do arithmetic well; who are blessings upon Earth; who have confidence in their own abilities. And I’m telling you that doing this, with all the caveats noted above, is easier than you probably think. Please consider:

  • You do not need to start at 9:00 AM. Start when all involved are ready to start. The clock is not God, and you’re dealing with complicated little beings. (As well as your very complicated self.)

  • You do not need to spend 5 hours per day. In fact, you may not need to spend even 2 hours per day. One hour of quality learning, every day, is a lot of learning. Government schools – factory-model schools – are hideously inefficient, and children simply cannot maintain unidirectional concentration for hours on end… and more than that, they shouldn’t.

  • Still, routine can be your friend. Will power is required to set up habits, but once set, willpower and cajoling are no longer required. And so you may find doing school between breakfast and lunch to be a great model. Get it set up early and run with it. You can certainly make exceptions, but a routine helps make the journey a lot smoother.

  • Be adaptable. Once the learning habit is established, be open to temporary adaptations. At one point in my homeschooling career, we looked out our window to notice a deep trench being dug through a nearby park… a park I knew to contain debris from the 1871 Chicago Fire. And so we dropped everything and spent three days digging in a trench, uncovering artifacts of the 1860s. This is one of the great advantages of homeschooling: you can follow the surprise opportunities that arise. It’s especially important for the older kids.

  • Adapt your lessons to each child. Like the clock, the curriculum is not God. Each child is different, and each will respond to each subject and lesson differently. That’s okay; more than that, it’s good. You, the homeschooling parent (or grandparent, aunt, uncle, or whatever) are very directly observing this child; so, decide what you think will be best for him or her. Will you be wrong sometimes? Of course you will, but you’ll also be able to adapt instantly. The ability to tailor lessons to each child is a central advantage of homeschooling. Use it.

The Unexpected Benefits

Before I close, I’d like you to know some of the benefits of homeschooling you may not be expecting:

  • You’ll forge closer relationships with your children. Not only will you know each other better, and will have a larger number of personal and intimate conversations, but you’ll have more shared experiences.

  • Your children will learn how to learn. That is, they’ll develop confidence in their ability to read, examine and grasp concepts by themselves. They’ll tend to become self-driven learners.

  • Your children will not see much of an adult-child divide. They’ll consider themselves full beings, jumping into conversations with adults. They’ll tend to be bolder than they would as products of factory-style schooling.

  • Once you see some results, your confidence in your own abilities will grow. Accordingly, the set of options you see in life will expand.

All of That Said…

All of this said, I’m obviously an enthusiastic proponent of homeschooling. But I’m also an experienced advocate, and I told you the bad bits first. 🙂

**

Paul Rosenberg

freemansperspective.com

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 21

(Continued from part twenty)

The room – it had no square corners but was still a room – was an odd white, almost metallic and ever so slightly pink. I was laying on a bed-like platform, a little lower than our usual. The mattress was difficult to describe. It felt soft as I first emerged from sleep, but the more I woke up – opening my eyes, looking around, engaging my muscles – the harder it became. On a normal day I’d never pay attention to my mattress while waking up, but feeling it change beneath me got my attention right away.

But I pushed that back out of my mind. I had more important things to observe. I scanned the room carefully and found nothing distinctive. Nothing that located me in any way.

There was a door-like opening from my sleeping room to a much larger room, and that room was built of the same material. I’d call it metallic, except that it had an almost organic appearance.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, was the line that ran through my mind.

I sat up and found a roll of white clothing at the foot of my bed. I unrolled it to find a pair of underwear, a T-shirt and a pair of coveralls, all made of some unfamiliar fabric. The same went for the shoes and socks. Everything was appropriate and functional, but odd.

Come on out when you’re ready, Paul, “ a voice sounded from the main room. “I’m making some coffee… or something that’s very much like coffee.” The voice sounded like Jens, but with the acoustics of the large room, I couldn’t be sure.

I finished putting on my shoes, which involved something like Velcro, but not fuzzy. I stood and stepped into the main room. Off to my left, 25 or 30 feet away, at what seemed to be a cooking station hugging a curved wall, was Jens. He was pouring a brown liquid from a carafe of some type into a couple of mugs.

Sit,” he said, smiling and gesturing to a couple of chairs and a small table. They were also made of the quasi-metal material. I sat and waited.

Here you go,” he went on, handing me a mug and sitting next to me. “Good to see you again.”

And you,” I said, taking a sip from my mug (not quite coffee, but close) and looking around the big room. It was an easy 40 feet across, maybe 18 feet high, round and narrower toward the top, like a transverse section of an huge egg.

Where and when are we?” I asked while noticing that the room was bright without any visible light source.

Jens smiled. “40,000 light years from Earth – the Earth of this galaxy – and 3,500 years before your time.”

Fifteen hundred BC,” I muttered, “that would be entertaining… save for the language problem.”

I have a trick that could fix that for you,” he said with an off-hand sincerity.

What?”

You have the ability, kind of buried in you, to understand and even speak languages you didn’t previously know. You’d have to listen rather than speak for some minutes first, but after that you could jump right in, almost effortlessly.”

I’ve heard stories of brain-injured people who woke up speaking new languages, but I always figured they were false.”

Without a doubt you have people who would make up such a story, so perhaps they were false, but a serious brain trauma might cut through the obstacles and allow someone to do that… once in every few hundreds or thousands of such accidents.”

I was half-stunned, but Jens handled the subject like I’d handle a discussion of fruits and vegetables; it was a long-known, almost trivial subject to him. After a moment or two, I decided to put it aside and move on.

And what is this place?” I asked, turning my head and scanning the room as a gesture.

Jens smiled. “Do you feel ready for a pleasant surprise?” he asked.

He was smiling, and I could feel the benevolence coming off him, and so I said, “Yes, I think so.”

Okay,” he said, as he got up, walked over to a large console in the middle of the room and pushed a button.

I stood involuntarily as the far wall slid up, like a thick window shade, leaving as clear a window as I’d ever seen. And behind the window was a galaxy… our galaxy. In a fog of amazement I walked directly to it.

You can lean against it if you’d like,” Jens informed me. “You could run a truck into it and never come close to breaking it.”

I was dumbfounded and overwhelmed.

I’m going to obscure it a bit now, Paul.”

I suppose I had been standing there half a minute or so.

Otherwise it will hold your attention too much. We need to talk.”

I knew he was right, and a second later I could see just a hint of the galaxy through the window, but I still didn’t want to leave. I wanted to feel what was on the other side, even if I couldn’t very well see it.

Still, some few moments later I pulled myself away and made my way back to our little coffee klatch. I turned my back to the window, breathed deep, and refocused my mind on the situation in front of me.

Okay,” I said, “tell me about this.”

Certainly. We are in what you call a space ship, but not much like anything you’ve seen or imagined before, I’m fairly sure. We’re traveling at .65 C, by your measurements.”

I nodded, quickly calculating (too quickly for my usual thinking, perhaps) that we were moving 195,000 kilometers per second. Insanely fast. But I pushed that away and focused on Jens again. He continued.

There are some technical things you can learn here, and I’ll find some schematics for you, but I didn’t ask to bring you here for that… I wanted to return your favor of welcoming me to your world, and give you a first taste of the world that lies ahead of you.”

Favor? I thought. It was an amazing gift to me. But again I let it pass.

This galaxy will last only a few days… two or perhaps three… and so there’s nothing for you to do in it. But I would like you to feel space… to feel what being unobstructed is like.”

Thank you,” I said, then went silent again and waited.

This is not an area where you’d feel a powerful life-force, as you call it, but it is away from the influence of seven billion confused minds. Right now you’re overwhelmed, but once you’re alone and relax a bit, you’ll feel it. And so I’m only staying long enough to orient you. Then I’ll take one of their small ships and do some exploration on my own. Does that make good sense to you?”

I nodded my head, sipped some coffee and decided that I’d trust his judgment on the things I didn’t understand.

Yes,” I said. “In a way I’d prefer you stayed, but I’m sure your plan is better overall.”

I think so,” he said with a grin.

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