Over the next few years, Ede's eternal computer - Ede himself, as God -
rapidly continued his ontogenesis toward the infinite. Many times, Ede
copied and recopied his expanding consciousness into a succession of
larger and more sophisticated computers which he himself designed and
assembled, and then into whole arrays of robots and computers of
various functions (Where Ede-as-man had been a master of computational
origami, Ede the God perfected this art of interconnecting and
'folding' together many computer units so that they functioned as an
integrated whole.) One day, it came time for Ede to leave Alumit and go
out in the universe. He ascended to heaven, into the deep space above
the planet that could no longer be his home. Using his power as a god,
with the help of tiny, self-replicating robots the size of a bacterium,
he disassembled asteroids, comets and other heavenly debris into their
elements; he used these elements to fabricate new circuitry and
neurologics. He feasted on the elements of material reality, and he
grew. According to the Doctrine of the Halting which Kostos Olorun
hastily formulated to prevent other architects from following his path,
Ede the God was destined to grow until he had absorbed the entire
Ede, of course, as a man, as his original self before he had dared to
become a god, had deeply felt the logic of the real universe. Like any
man, he had felt doubt. But he had scorned his fears and uncertainty as
most ignoble emotions. He was after all Nikolos Daru Ede, the founder
of what would become man's greatest religion. He must always be a man
of genius and a vision and, above all, faith. It was his genius, as an
architect, to find a way to model his mind in the programs of what he
called his eternal computer. It was his vision, as a philosopher, to
justify the carking of human consciousness from living brain into the
cold circuits of a machine. And it was his faith, as a prophet, to show
other men that they could transcend the prison of their bodies and
finally conquer death.
... the gods restrain each other from trying to be as God. And how the gods
try to find ways of evading each other's restraints.
The universe is a womb for the genesis of gods.
is that a creator can be astonished by his own creations.
I am not interested in things getting better; what I want is more: more
human beings, more dreams, more history, more consciousness, more
suffering, more joy, more disease, more agony, more rapture, more
evolution, more life.
The true human being is the meaning of the universe. He is a dancing star. He is the exploding singularity
with infinite possibilities.
He spoke of
human beings, of their freedom to grow into godhood, or to remain gloriously human, to become human for the first
Always, man had felt the urge to discover the true image of humanity,
the shape and substance of what man might someday become. This is the
secret of life, of human life, the true secret that men and women have
sought as far back as the howling moonlit savannas of Afarique on Old
Information could be coded into
signals and sent anywhere, given enough energy. Sent everywhere,
this interflow of information. We could speak with the nebular brains
of the galaxy. We could extend the galaxy's information ecology. We -
every human being, Fravashi, oyster, sentient bacterium, virus, or seal
- we could drive our collective consciousness across the two million
lightyears of the intergalactic void to the information ecologies of
the nearer galaxies, Andromeda and Maffei and the first Leo - all the
galaxies of the local group were alive with intelligence and vibrated
with thoughts of organisms as ourselves. Someday the time would come to
interface with the ecologies of other groups of galaxies. Within ten
million light-years off the local supergalactic plane of the local
supercluster of galaxies were many groups of galaxies. Canes Venatici,
the Pavo-Indus and the Ursa galaxies - these burning, brilliant clouds
of intelligence and others enveloped our own small galaxy in a sphere
of light four hundred million light-years in diameter. To speak with
such distant galaxies would require the energy of a supernova, perhaps
many tens of thousands of supernovas.
Each of us - gods, men or worms in the belly of a bird, in our every
thought, feeling or action no matter how trivial or base - we create
this strange universe in which we live. We create God. At the end of
time, when the universe has awakened to itself, the past will be
remembranced, and everything and everyone who has suffered the pain of
life will be redeemed. This is my hope; this is my dream; this is my
And so at last he stood before the universe naked in his soul and saw
it as it really was. He saw that if consciousness was just the flow of
matter within his brain (or the vibrations of atoms within a rock),
then the consciousness of the universe was just the flow of everything:
rocks and photons and starfire and blood. And everywhere - in the great
Grus Cluster of galaxies no less a cathedral on a small, ice-bound
planet - this flow grew ever more complex.
This infinite organism that was the universe, in all its infinite patience and curiosity, brought forth endless new planets
and peoples and stars blazing with infinite possibilities.
The way for humankind is not back after all.
There is no return to simplicity this way. No true halla. I used to think of halla as a kind of perfect harmony of flowers and sunlight and good clean
life and death out on the sparkling snow. A perfect balance that life
might somdeay achieve - without war, without disease, without madness,
without asteroids and wild stars that can annihilate ten thousand
species of animals almost overnight. But no. The universe is not made
this way. True halla is the vastening
of life. The deepening into new forms and possibilities that we call evolution.
The more complex the programs of an organism, he greater is the danger of
insanity. It is very, very hard to be a god.
The cetics call this feeling the testosterone high, because when a man
is successful in his endeavours, his body floods with this potent
hormone. They warn against the effects of testosterone. Testosterone
makes men too aggressive, they say, and aggressive men grasp for
success and generate ever more testosterone the more successful they
become. It is a nasty cycle. They say testosterone can poison a man's
brain and cloud his judgements.
The brain is not a computer, the brain is the brain.
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
first and hardest teaching of our profession always must be to view the
world as through the eyes of a child.
To face and cross the landscape of the computer's information flow, one
needs the mental disciplines which the cetics have developed and
evolved into the cybernetic senses, Although shih, the sense that
'tastes', feels and organizes varying concentrations of information is
the highest of these, there are others. There is plexure and iconic
vision, simulation, syntaxis and tempo. Tapas is really more of a
mental discipline than a sense; indeed, it is the ability to control -
to restrain - the simulation of seeing, hearing and smelling.
For that is the beauty of organization, for that when one reaches out
to logically arranged data with the proper senses , the flowing
information pools fall into form and become more like snowflakes,
frozen waterfalls, crystal mountains.
Who programs the
Truly, I cannot know what you are. Conscious or not, aware of your own
awareness or only a program running a machine. But you are only you,
yes? This is the marvel. You cannot be other than what you are. Isn't
But the computer was made to simulate whole universes. You cannot even
dream what blessed simulations are possible. Human beings will always
need such computing power even as they need computers.
He tried to explain that the great changes rippling through his being
had little to do with mysticism, in the sense of being magical or
mystifying. "Truly, it is just pure technology, yes? This is what
technology is: just consciousness reflected upon itself, gaining ever
more control of itself and creating new forms."
I didn't make the universe. I just live in it.
are wise; after, you are wise. In between you are otherwise.
Fravashi saying (from the formularies of Osho the Fool)
The power of ahimsa is not just the readiness to die. It is the willingness to live. To live
utterly without fear - this is a fearsome thing.
'All living things are afraid to die.
'No, you're exactly wrong, the only truly alive beings are those unafraid to die.'
- Well, it's
a cruel universe, isn't it? Sometimes I think it all just falls worse and worse.
- No, it is just the opposite.
It is the way creation must always be.
- But how is it possible? How could it be possible that everything
is really all right?
- How could it not be possible?
Life moved ever outward into infinite possibilities and yet all things were perfect and finished
in every single moment, their end attained.
Always, life supplied life to itself and grew ever vaster and more
complex. Living things created burrows beneath the snow and songs
sailing out to the stars; they made lightships and honey, pearls and
poems and computers that generated entire universes of their own kind
of life. Life swirled and pulsed and blazed in terribly beautiful
patterns across the stellar deeps. The sun and the moons spun
ecstatically with life's wild fire, and the photons danced along the
rivers of light that streamed from star to star. Life, like and
infinite flower, opened everywhere out into the universe, and into all
possible universes, touching all matter, all space, all time with its
perfect golden petals and sweet fragrance. And it all grew deeper and
deeper, and brighter and brighter like a star swelling to an impossible
brilliance that could have no limit or end.
Self-creation is the highest art.
We are prisoners of our natural brains. As children we grow, and new
programs are layered down, set into the jelly of our brains. When we
are young we write many of these programs in order to adapt to a
bizarre and often dangerous environment. And then we grow some more. We
mature. We find our places in our cities, in our societies, in
ourselves. We form hypotheses as to the nature of things. These
hypotheses shape us in turn, and yet more programs are written until we
attain a certain level of competence and mastery, even of comfort, with
our universe. Because our programs have allowed us this mastery,
however limited, we become comfortable in ourselves, as well. And then
there is no need for new programs, no need to erase or edit the old. We
even forget that we were once able to program ourselves. Our brains
grow opaque to new thoughts, as rigid as glass, and our programs are
frozen for life, hardwired, so to speak, within our hardened brains.
We should all know the code of our programs, otherwise we can never
If I could find courage, I wondered, what would I see? Would I be
ashamed of the arrangement of my programs - of my very self - beyond my
control? Ah, but what if I could write new metaprograms, controlling
this arrangement of programs? Then I might one day attain the
uniqueness and value I found so lacking in myself and the rest of my
race; as an artist composes a tone poem, I could create myself and call
into being wonderful new programs which had never existed within the
rippling tides of the universe. Then I would be free at last, and the
flame would burn like star fire; then I would be something new, as new
to myself as the morning sun is to a newborn child.
does the flame go when the flame explodes?
We're the creators of out heavens. We create
Yes, I could create myself, but to create I must uncreate first. To die is to live;
to live I die.
What is real pain you ask? The power to choose what we will. Having to choose. This terrible freedom. These infinite possibilities. The
taste for the infinite spoiled by the possibility of evolutionary
failure. Real pain is knowing that you're going to die, all the while
knowing that you don't have to die.
'What is a human being, then?'
'An acorn that is unafraid to destroy itself in growing into a tree.'
To be what
you want to be: isn't this the essence of being human?
And thus he almost understood the important thing about gods, which is
that they must continually create, or die. They must create themselves.
is what we should strive for, Danlo: the heightening of our
sensibilities, the rarefying of our desire, the deepening of our
purpose, the vastening of our selves. The power to overcome ourselves.
To be more. Or rather, to become more. Who hasn't dreamed of such becoming?
All rules and boundaries must someday be broken. How else can we go
beyond ourselves? A thallow chick must break out of his egg, but this
does not mean that the shell is without value.
You must remember that an oak tree is not a crime against the acorn.
- ...If you were to ask me
who I thought Bardo really is, I suppose I should say he's a man who wants to evolve as much as any other man.
- Then evolve.
On Old Earth there were beautiful tigers who burned with life in the
forests of the night. And then there were crazed, old, toothless tigers
who preyed upon human beings. It is possible to completely affirm the
world that brought forth tigers into life and still say no to an
individual tiger about to devour your child. May all our thoughts be
May all our words be beautiful.
May all our actions be beautiful.
There is no matter without form, and no form not dependent upon matter.
They played for the sake of play alone, and their only concern was the ultimate
evolution of their game.