A Recital Of Tales
The ancient civilization of Egypt believed that the pharaoh’s body could be preserved after death, allowing the pharaoh to live for an indefinite period of time. The tomb of the pharaoh was situated in a labyrinth underneath a massive stone structure that pierced the sky in order to mark the journey into the afterlife. This pyramid was designed to protect the pharaoh remains, personal effects and vital provisions for the seamless passage into the next plane of existence.
In seventeen century India, the Taj Mahal was erected as a final resting point for the Mogul Shah Jahan and his beloved wife. Mumtaz Mahal died soon after giving birth to their fourteen child. Both ruler and wife lay buried in a secluded chamber underneath the structure of white marble. This monument of stone is flanked in flawless, smooth marble that glows with splendor in unison with the moon of a night sky giving the surreal impression of levity. The edifice stands as a worldly symbol of Mogul culture, imperial prowess, and eternal love. It is as much a masterpiece of architecture as it is a colossal fortress of immortality. The sublime yet harmonious embodiment of spirituality and purity in the hereafter while standing as a transient source of worldly enlightenment. A celestial palace abutting the Yamuna River in Agra where the faithful quench themselves upon adduction into heaven, then; bathe in perpetuity over ponds of paradise.
In this particular splice of history, it should come as no surprise that as a literary genre, the dystopian novel has established itself as a longstanding category of entertainment and intrigue.
The first camp that has encouraged the dystopian theme is theater. In Blade Runner (1982), the future is reimagined as a setting where human survival is cosmically vetted through genetically remanufactured replicas conceived primarily for the unfathomable exploration and exploitation of the universe. After a substantial experience at the farthest corner of the universe, the human replicas inexplicably return to Earth to reintegrate themselves into the mainstream: some peacefully, some deviously.
Actor Rutger Hauer laments:
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die.
The reference to c-beams in the prior is to a type of particle beam that are accelerated to levels near the speed of light. They are recognized as cutter beams; cesium beams by scientific denotation; or as abbreviated. In practice, a glitter effect is produced when agitated C55 isotopes reach the contact point of a starship hull, effectively slicing it apart. The glitter pattern is the close range aftershock of e-shields reacting explosively with starship material, upon impact from an energy weapon. Being in the presence of c-beams glittering simply means that either you are the aggressor or you are the target at close proximity. In space combat, the Tannhauser Gate would be the ideal zone for sighting this effect. This is because there is an adequate concentration of hydrogen to dither the beam path. A feat that is not otherwise possible since, lasers included, c-beams do not travel at the necessary right angles.
On such matters, British composer Sir Arthur C. Clarke relates a vision of the future where space travel is the medium for a mission to spread intelligent beings throughout the solar system. The novel, 3001: The Final Odyssey, alludes to the science of tomorrow in a reference to astronaut Frank Poole. His frozen body is discovered beyond the orbit of Neptune and is resuscitated by advanced medicine. Another venue directed at the plausibility of thrusting humanoids into a distant time or place reveals that it is not a matter solely reserved for cinematic portrayal. The proponents of cryonics, for instance, are laying the groundwork for a future commune of reanimated relics of the past. There is a school of thought that believes in the possibility of transporting cells, tissue, organs even viable anatomical sections of humans and animals into a point in time where the state of science will be equal to and readily accessible to the latent remedy of illness or premature departure. To date, no deceased person has been restored to full health, by cryonics or otherwise.
Molecular nanotechnology is an emerging technology for manufacturing and manipulating matter at the molecular level. The concept was first suggested by Richard Feynman in 1959. The theoretical foundations of molecular nanotechnology were developed by K. Eric Drexler, Ralph Merkle, and others in the 1980s and 1990s. These scientists have concluded that the mid to late 21st century will bring an explosion of amazing capabilities for analyzing and repairing injured cells and tissues, similar to the information processing revolution that is now occurring. These capabilities will include means for repairing and regenerating tissue after almost any injury provided that certain basic information remains intact. (alcor.org)
As potentially fertile territory, the blank canvas of the future holds the panacea for longevity through innovation. It leaves only one consideration as an impediment or perhaps an admonition. That particular oversight can be distilled from the 1818 novel: Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. The character of Victor Frankenstein personifies the excitement and the admiration of the laic, the skeptic, and the elite; in equal measure. The unanticipated perils of unnatural or unconventional human creation turn the promise of life eternal into the dark manifest of a dubious strain. Incidently, Thomas Alva Edison produced the earliest film adaptation of the novel nearly a century later. In 1910, Edison Studios released a 16-minute rendition for a motion picture audience. An encore performance that would replay countless times since; most recently, with the release of Victor Frankenstein (2015), relived vicariously through the inner circle of the scientist, none more incisively than by his protégé.
Novelist Mary Shelley quips:
I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organisation; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man. The materials at present within my command hardly appeared adequate to so arduous an undertaking; but I doubted not that I should ultimately succeed.
So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.
I paused, examining and analysing all the minutiae of causation, as exemplified in the change from life to death, and death to life, until from the midst of this darkness a sudden light broke in upon me — a light so brilliant and wondrous, yet so simple, that while I became dizzy with the immensity of the prospect which it illustrated, I was surprised that among so many men of genius, that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret.
I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.
In science, cinema, history, and literature: the limits of mankind are extended to new frontiers. By dénouement, the dystopian purview intercedes profoundly within that possibility and eventuality.
About The Author
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