The Time Exchange
Chapter 11

Maybe you think that humanity embodies the Earth's most sacred dreaming, but let's be honest with each other, shall we. For as long as a lust for wealth is the single motivating principle which unites us all then there will be very little that's sacred about it. For as long as we believe in the wholesale exploitation of the environment then every other creature on this planet will suffer at the hands of our tyranny. Humans may once have embodied Earth's most sacred dreaming but now there are others who more closely fit the mould. If humans are to embody anything in this modern age then it will be technology's most sacred dreaming, and the Earth's most disruptive one, at a time when time itself is far from certain for us all.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm as much a technophile as the next person. I write HTML and C++ and I enjoy digital TV just like anybody does, but I acknowledge that these are not particularly earthly interests. An Earthly interest would be concerned with the lives of individual creatures and how they together comprise the components of an integral cosmic organism. An Earthly interest would marvel at how animals located in so many different places are able to relate to each other through their thoughts and dreaming, just as I'm able to relate to you here. Just as Europeans occupy the periphery of planet Earth so do humans occupy the periphery of the planetary dreaming while so many animals on this planet are able to cling to the heart of this endeavour.

Just as India is located at the heart of planet Earth and at the central hub of the planet's dreaming, so too are the cows who have long been a sacred presence in Hindu culture. While there may be other contenders for this role the cows have seniority over these because they are bigger than most other animals, and because they have been able to study the behaviour of their human captors for a longer period of time. But perhaps more importantly than considerations such as these is the planetary vision of the cows which may be a modest one, but it is one of such cosmic beauty.

When a cow sits up and watches the yellow moon setting to the west just before dawn, it is in possession of a vision which other creatures will want to share with them. The moon will be nearly full at this time and with such a resonant luminosity that the sky around it will be bluish in the darkness, and the hills and grasslands will be lit like a dreamlike vision of the day. It will be a classical vision of the Earth of a sort which may have inspired the academic painters of not so long ago, and which will inspire a reflexive recognition of Eternity in anyone whose good fortune is to see it.

The cows shine so brightly with memories such as these that others are able to find them in their dreaming. It is the cows who possess a timeless vision of the Earth which transcends the mortality of us all. We may all represent different features of the Earth according to the regression of representative summaries, but it is the cows who are out there grazing on the bounty of Earth's generosity, without possessions of any kind, and equipped with only their cherished thoughts and dreaming. While you may be thinking that cows are creatures lesser than so many pompous humans it is the cows who are in tune with their earthly feelings, and who contain such a deep pool of time when humans can be sure of so very little of it.

I know how difficult it must be for you to let go of your anthropocentric view of life on this planet, and look at it a little more objectively. You've probably spent your entire life believing in a human point of view, and up till now there's been no reason for you to change it. But if there's any value to be derived from the host model of Earth and its implicit regression then it will be in the provision of an ability to adopt the view that all creatures have an important role to play in the life of the planet. Animals are not just accessories to our many human lives which we may use and abuse in any way we feel inclined to. The planet is a living and progressive dreamer, who happens to host a multitude of different creatures, and many of them happen to play a more important role in the dreaming of it than we do.

And if you're having doubts about the way I have cast planet Earth in the role of a living and progressive dreamer then let me draw your attention to an example of its dreaming. I mentioned earlier how the British Isles represent a summary of the global topographical configuration and how the European region may be associated with the head of the planetary organism. To elaborate on this let me say that as a miniature depiction of the entire planet the British Isles represent the capital of planet Earth, and if I may exclude the rest of European topography, then Britain depicts the planetary head itself albeit one which is very small compared with the rest of its body.

A constant source of amusement to me is how fittingly the character of the British people has adapted to the performance of this role; the characteristic reserve of British institutions is unique among the many peoples here on Earth. But without wishing to enflame past grievances it is the political boundary surrounding Northern Ireland which is of most interest to me here. The location of Ireland corresponds with that of Australia in the global topographical configuration and as such may be associated with the depiction of a child who has a familial relationship with the island of Great Britain. In this case the child's legs can be seen protruding to the west while Northern Ireland depicts the head of the child, and is particularly noteworthy because the political boundary was drawn long before anyone knew about its significance to the host model of Earth.

How could this have happened if not by many individuals working together to achieve what comes quite naturally to them. Such individuals have been acting reflexively according to their personal vision of what they believe should happen to their isles. They have a vision, a "dream" let's say for the sake of consistency, and they act on it to produce a result which perfectly corresponds with the functionality intended by their location within the host model. You could look anywhere on the planet and see the same correspondence between people behaving spontaneously and their role within the planetary organism. I believe, and I hope you will agree with me, that the only satisfactory explanation for this involves both humans and every other creature on this planet in the progressive unfolding of an integral planetary dreaming.

Maybe you suspect that the British Government has been secretly conniving to set me up with the host model, something I also suspected for many years. Maybe you think that they've known about it for centuries and made plans regarding Northern Ireland quite early in the piece, so let me give you another example of what I'm referring to. Without wishing to trivialise the grave predicament which the Sicilian Mafia and the Catholic Church face with regards to each other, I doubt that either institution was thinking of the host model long ago when they adopted the roles they now play in global society. Yet the shape of Italy and its threatening stance is so unmistakable that both institutions bear a uniquely grave responsibility on behalf of the rest of us here on Earth. I'm sure you will agree that both parties adopted their roles quite spontaneously and together are evidence of how we're all thoroughly immersed in the integral planetary dreaming.

There can be no doubt that the shape of Italy assures us of the very special relationship we have with this planet. The planetary being has long foreseen our illustrious rise to global domination, but by the same token it only makes us all the more responsible for all the evil things we do here. It doesn't diminish the value which the planet has placed on the lives of individual animals. On the contrary it warns us of the price we must pay for all the abuse they have to suffer because of us. The planetary dreaming has assembled a large collection of symbols here on Earth, and what we do to animals will figure largely in the sort of symbols it will inevitably associate us with.

The shape of Italy provides me with a uniquely useful tool I may use to conduct my investigation into the countless odd features I've observed in my life. There can be no doubt that on first view it shocks the senses, but I think you'll find that its utility will be more appealing to you if you give yourself a little time to get used to it. Suffice it to say in fairly general terms at this point in my story that our predicament here on Earth grows more and more serious as each day goes by.

The shape of Italy and the political boundary surrounding Northern Ireland suggest that both the planet and humanity are involved in an intricate planetary dreaming. If both humanity and the planetary organism are dreaming then the infinite regression requires the inference that every last spec of matter on this planet is also involved in the planetary dreaming. The regression of abstractions implies that every spec of matter in existence possesses the attribute of consciousness, and dreaming happens to be the natural repose of this state of arousal.

Curiously though, the shape of Italy suggests that the planet is dreaming in terms of symbols, and a look elsewhere on the planet suggests that the symbolism is not confined to the area defined by the Italian peninsular. The British Isles represent a symbol of the planet as a whole; the Gulf of Mexico and the Antilles archipelago depict a pair of mating gametes, and the Hawaiian Islands depict the Sun and the planets of the Solar System. But, perhaps even more curiously, the bodies of animals consist of an integral collection of symbols, as was noted earlier with respect to the infinite regression of universal summaries.

The heart beating at the centre of the circulatory system depicts the original Big Bang of creation while the rest of the circulatory system depicts the cosmic microwave background radiation. The rectum and the centre of the brain depict the two ends of time while the alimentary canal represents the lifelong journey of an individual creature. The lungs depict the atmosphere we breathe, the diaphragm represents the surface of the Earth and the stomach depicts the molten core beneath the surface. It's all very symbolic as I'm sure you can see for yourself.

The regression of abstractions has implications beyond the immediate case of the Earth's dreaming of Northern Ireland and Italy. If every particle of matter is contained within an integral cosmic dreaming then the universe embodies a super-nature where every feature and physical principle has been purposefully dreamed and sustained by conscious intent. It's the ultimate social contract the terms of which are subject to some level of organisation which is dedicated to the achievement of the evolutionary goals envisioned within the universal dreaming.

Planet Earth will inherit these attributes from more elaborate representations of being such as the Solar System or galaxy. Planet Earth will constitute a super-nature empowered with the same purposeful dreaming as the greater cosmos enjoys. The shape of Italy also provides us with an excellent example of what the planet can do with its dreaming. It has evidently been able to see us as we are now from a distance of several million years ago, although it should be noted that it doesn't resemble us so much as it being the other way round. We resemble it, and it made us the way we are. And then it has been able to terra-form the Italian peninsular through the manipulation of coastal erosion, weather, and other geomorphic factors.

There are many other examples of what the planet has been able to do with its dreaming, but of most concern to me at this point in my story is the symbolic intent which the shape of Italy depicts. On a relatively superficial level it could represent the conflict between the legitimate rule of law and organised crime, but there are more subtle and deeper interpretations than this which are also more interesting. It could more generally represent the conflict between good and evil on a grand cosmic scale, but this overlooks the more obvious and much more troubling interpretation that we have simply been evicted from the Biblical Garden of Eden. We have literally been kicked out of heaven.

You'll probably have your own precious beliefs about the nature of heaven so I'm not going to launch into a detailed definition of them here because my intention has, in fact, been to be a little dramatic. I'm not obsessed with heaven in any case because I'm not a particularly religious person. I'm obsessed with Earth as I'm sure you will have seen for yourself. I expect your definition of heaven will be as foggy as mine in any case because it's not a physical location; it's a sentiment which is by nature very personal. In any case the shape of Italy represents a particularly threatening expression of the planet's Pleistocene dreaming which should be a matter of grave concern for us all.

While we humans may have been kicked out of heaven this will not be the case for the animals I've been talking about, in spite of their accompaniment with us here in this modern age, because they never forsook their Earthly culture and dreaming. They're still living their Pleistocene lives just as we did in that age so long ago. Those animals surviving to this day and living in an undamaged habitat never have to intersect with us and our self-serving machinations so they know of nothing but their timeless dreaming.

The several million years it took for the planet to dream the Italian peninsula into its present form represent a small drop in a much deeper pool of time which such animals remain immersed in. When they die their remains will be eaten by ants and others and their bones may remain long enough to become geological fossils but their dreaming will be of the Earth of ages. But if humans remain obsessed with the power of their adaptive technology then their dreaming will remain focussed on the age of technology when the Earth was demoted to the status of a cheap commodity and where the damage to it will continue to be relentless.

I can't speak for you of course, but in my case I'm not so fond of technology that I would be willing to turn my back on planet Earth in this way.

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