It's Time for an End to the End of Time
If we look back at the entirety of human history it is quickly obvious that it covers a vast amount of time compared to any single nation's history. Curiously, at any given time in our long past, the extant generations were full of people who thought time was something they were running out of.
This should come as no surprise considering how routine it was ages ago for the world to end for some aspiring community somewhere or other. Luckily, the rest of the world carries on despite all the endings. For most societies, the End of Time is supposed to be a happy place. An unlucky community runs out of time and fails to reach the End of Time.
The End of Time is a happy place because it is the final reward that societies promise to fulfill when all enemies are defeated and everyone follows the One True Way To Happiness. When things can't get any happier for a society, it doesn't want any more time. It is the time when the promised Eternity must begin. Imagine a day where everyone is healthy, well-dressed, the weather is nice, all the chairs are comfy and all are in mid-sip of their favorite beverage. Why can't time just be that moment for eternity? Happiness, in the form of our brain chemistry, would flow forever from an eternal internal faucet. That's when things will stop. Adding any more time is just asking for things to resume being imperfect again.
Time and Perfection are antithetical ideas when it comes to our future. Time brings change and why would any State of Perfection want to change? It could only be for the worse. For traditional thinkers, that is the whole premise of our current reality. There is a persistent view in our mythology that, long ago, things started out perfect and will, one day, end in perfection. Man's history is the middle bit where we mess things up like, falling from a state of grace that we must struggle through time to regain. We must always redouble our efforts to re-achieve the perfection that was lost when that darn time started our sad history. There are those for whom the nightmare scenario is that perfection is never achieved and time never stops. That makes the whole cosmos an endless expanse of bad news. It doesn't look like ithe universe is going to stop any time soon. Why should this news make anyone unhappy?
What is the role of perfection in the broader cosmos? There are moments that might qualify… a beverage is sipped on a nice day, a cat savors its prey, a fly lands on some poop… and lead us to imagine some frozen state of perpetual happiness that is devoid of suffering and even the possibility of suffering. They are peaks of well-being in the life of an animal. They end, and life goes downhill from there until the next peak comes along. Humans can imagine a place that is one very wide peak that everyone can fit on. That would be a perfect world. Time would flow, but nothing would change. Only the best there is, over and over again. What would a perfect world for flies or cats look like?
The point is, no matter what animal's perspective we chose to imagine a perfect unchanging world from, none of them look like this one. Perfection as a permanent quality has no role in the ever-changing cosmos. Nothing is permanent. Even structures that took many billions of years to form can fall apart in just a few million. So, how come we can envision perfection if it's not there? What are we supposed to do with the resulting disappointment? Can we learn by asking what is the broader role of disappointment in the rest of the animal Kingdom? Let's start with my cat. I observe that while his life seems to be full of disappointments, his ability to shrug them off is admirable. He seems to shrug off the peaks just as quickly. This ability to pick up the pieces and move on… to never cease striving nor to accept defeat… is pitched by some as qualities of bravery or devotion that we as humans should emulate. As if animals are somehow morally pure and can choose to maintain an uncorrupted innocence. Or, it could be a lot of nonsense. I think animals are really telling us the same thing that the cosmos is telling us… perfection is a silly idea.
Perhaps trying to inflict perfection on the world is a misdirected ambition. Maybe there is no life without disappointment but maybe there is a better or more perfect way of looking at disappointment that is less disappointing. Maybe there is a more perfect way of looking at things while leaving the world the way it is. Then we can stop asking what the world should look like. What if the answer was disappointing? Then what?
Simply seeing our perception for what it is might reveal the very mysterious state we started with long ago and to which we seek, by various routes, to return. Both religion and science perceive that something has gone amiss and we need to fix it… be that a fall from grace or a fixation on ancient mythology. We share this planet with animals who show no signs of a similar pursuit. Generation after generation of them seem completely satisfied with their perception the way it is and each generation appears to see the same world over and over again. This suggests that they are already seeing their perception for what it is. Animals aren't questioning their perceptions the way we do. There are happy moments and disappointing moments but they always look ahead and move on when either has passed. That isn't an act of moral courage. Animals don't choose to look ahead and move-on any more than a carousel horse. They never fell from grace.
Falling from grace need not be framed as a religious or philosophical issue. If we assume that we have biologically evolved from animals who weren't like we are now, then we are looking at a long, slow fall. Not from grace, but from the innocence of the forward-looking carousel horse. If a tiger kills a human, it is not held to account as an individual. It may be eliminated as a danger but with the acknowledgement that the tiger went where the carousel led it. It saw and responded to its perception for what it was and was innocent of deviating from its natural course.
Such a deviation has already happened and right under our noses. There is something animals can see that keeps them on the carousel's course that we humans no longer see. Animals are always looking at the end of time. Most of our pre-human ancestors did, too. For them, it is a plain and inescapable perception. Their perception always stops at the end of time. The metaphor isn't about seeing the whole future but rather about seeing a small stretch of future. This kind of end of time is strictly relative to the observer. It is a question of how much present moment or 'now' one can perceive at once. The end of time is the far edge of our perception of now.
It is really a very mundane and obvious idea. We can take in a finite amount of sensory input about the present moment. There is an edge or limit to what we can take in and then no more. Logically, it has to be there since most of us deny omniscience. A frame is filled and then there must be a next fresh frame. From a traditional single-experience model, the question of where the boundary or fill-line is is a little unclear. If we focus on something singular, the answer would seem to be one. If we step back and gaze at a panorama, it would appear that a great many things can be included in our perception of now. At any moment of now, we seem to be in full control of any such perceptual limit. There is no end of time in sight. If you believe that already, that's good. All trioonity is going to suggest is that there is a tricky reason why this is so.
If we did not take control and beat this perceptual limit, we would see what other animals see and we would see our perception for what it originally was. That little act of taking control is our fall from grace. In taking control, we see our perception in the form of what we want or imagine instead of for what it is. Control isn't taken by a secret cabal of lurking neurons a fraction of a second before we are aware of it. Instead, it is the last thing we do and we couldn't be more aware of it if we tried.
Let's start with an example of how the world is perceived without the act of taking control or falling from grace.
There may come a time when God sounds the gong
then we can stop waiting for things to go wrong
Your brain can likely find the meter at three-fifths in or less and put the whole phrase into that meter before you finish reading the whole couplet. Finding the meter it is real easy as if finding it is something your brain is happy to do right away, while it is reading or listening. If it can be read lyrically, then no act of control was involved. Meter gives the couplet beats and they are shown here in bold type.
There must come a time when God sounds the gong
then we can stop waiting for things to go wrong
At every level of structure from the single beat to the line and to the verse, there is a limit of quantity beyond which the meter cannot be pushed without a loss of lyrical-ness. Not the case here…
There was a young lady from Brighton
of whom all the Mayors were frightened
They could not endure
and she could insure
that all of their polling would heighten
One might say that these words are simply pandering to our natural sense of rhythm but we are seeing our perception for what it is and seeing how easily it can work. It is our chance to have a good look at the end of time. When in the presence of a rhythm, the far edge of our perception of now is where we anticipate the last resolving beat to be. This sentence provides no apparent beats for our rhythm radar to detect and will, through a clever use of comas, lack any sense of meter.
Such a loss isn't fatal to us. We simply take control. Aside from the lines in italics, none of this text is at all lyrical. As long as I follow the rules of grammar (begrudgingly), I don't need to be lyrical or metered. Sentences can abandon meter altogether and rely on structure and syntax and grammar that has been consensually established. And that's the gaping difference between lyrical and narrative reading. Our capacity to be lyrical in both expression and perception is innate. The form that capacity takes is established, uniform and unchanging. Our capacity to be grammatical is a blank slate for which a form must be invented or adopted from a prior invention.
When faced with a few pages of grammar that has no discernable rhythm or beat, we must commit to taking control and also, at the same time, yielding that control. But yielding only in an imaginary sort of way in that we imagine someone other than ourselves as the source of the expression. At the moment, that would be me. Hi there. Can you see me waving? Good. To be strictly technical, it isn't me taking control. It's the grammar. And it isn't my grammar. It is the consensual grammar.
This makes for a very incomplete explanation of language since the bulk of our daily expressions are neither lyrical nor necessarily grammatical. Language doesn't need to be either as long as the desired expression is limited in its scale. Most of our routine expressions aren't all that ambitious in scale anyway. An exception would be writing an essay about something. That is very ambitious. It is going to have to be grammatical and it is a good idea to get some outside help to insure that it is done correctly. Grammar is not innate. Fortunately, it doesn't need to be innate or even involved to facilitate a big share of everyday communication. As long the expression can fit comfortably in one single space between now and the end of time.
How do we find out how much that is and how much of what exactly? If you duck into a fetal position, cover your ears and hum real loud, you might be able to avoid finding out. Headlines, slogans, signage, titles and a great percentage of our daily verbal exchanges all qualify. The advantage for messages and expressions that can fit into one space between now and the end of time is their ease of use. That easiness comes from the simplicity of being able to perceive the entire message at once in a single gulp of perception. The phrase 'a single gulp of perception' is about the size of a typical single gulp. A gulp isn't a unit of time because it is the same size if said quickly or slowly. The key is the number of components that are vying for your attention. The components aren't syllables or single words because those have already been recognized by trained pattern recognition processes. Your attention is faced with a few condensed abstractions associated with those words and any adjacent modifiers. In this gulping example, there are three.
Any opportunity to observe these gulped components passed as soon as the phrase was comprehended. That only took an instant or so and now the phrase is a single abstraction or summation of the three components. Three became one. It was easy, because nothing got too close to the far edge of our perception of the present.
We are good at making comparisons and spotting differences and commonalities with any visual input that we can hold and examine and see clearly all at once. If a single gulp of perception could have only a single component before exceeding our attention, we would not be doing any comparing or difference spotting. So, it is reasonable to conclude that the number of attention-getting components in a single gulp of perception is not one. What about a dozen or a hundred? There are no slogans with a hundred components and a headline with a dozen components would be rejected as a headline. It doesn't take a lot of counting or examination or listening to reasonably conclude that the maximum number of attention-getting components that fit into a single gulp of perception is four. Three is good too, and slightly less effort than four. Two never breaks a sweat. Sometimes, four takes a little push. Five is impossible. Six is right out.
Two is golden
Three is a chore
This rhyme will stop
on line four
Consider this fundamental act of rebellion…
Two is golden
Three is a chore
We will strive
To hear the rhyme
On the line after four
If a message is complex or plain wordy, it will need to carry over to a further gulp or two for us to take it all in. There are different ways in which one gulp can follow another. Reading an essay full of sentences is an example of many gulps coming one after another with most of them being only two or three components or 'chunks' in size. Comprehension seems to accumulate as we go because there is an ongoing perception of a summation that is suspended throughout the act of reading. It carries over as one of the chunks of the next gulp and the next and so on. This is actually the trickiest way to do it, so, if you are reading this, I salute your high-end skills of text-driven comprehension.
There are other means of connecting the gulps that are less demanding of our attention than this sort of reading. Relax and go with the flow. The gulps keep coming all by themselves in a sort of stream. This is a restive state and works fine as long as the message follows the basic rules of rhythmic anticipation for primates. How do you implant the expectation that there is still more coming after the end of time? How do you know that there will be something further to hear?
The listener must first expect that something more is coming. Something that will turn the end of time into beat one. It's real easy. Watch this…
There was a young lady from Brighton…
Notice how our lurking automata can seek and locate the meter as promptly as recognizing the words. We have been exposed to rhythm and rhyme. We know what it means when we hear a meter and a steady beat. We expect there is more coming in the same meter. It's time for an end to the end of time.
If read with its intended meter, the line creates an anticipation of continuing and a suspension of the perception of the suggested lady from Brighton. We know a limerick is coming. What about the lady from Brighton?
…of whom all the Mayors were frightened
Line two is anticipated to modify the first line. Retention of the first line is assisted by the rhyme which caters to our lurking automata's aural association abilities. Now we have multiple components summarized in a frozen moment of scenario. With the scenario in suspension, the next gulp is partly consumed already. So the third line comes with a half-meter rhyme, which gives retention another boost from the lurking automata.
They were regular dudes
and that's why she sued
The moment of satisfaction comes next. The now heavy load of retention will soon be relieved as long as the fourth line obeys the rhythmic meter and rhymes with the second line. Like this…
'til all of their war chests were lightened
Finally, the end of time. We can rest now. That was more than a gulp. We chug-a-lugged a limerick. Limericks are cool because with only the tiniest amount of effort and never for too long, we are looking past the end of time without taking control. This entire essay could be presented in limerick form but that is not necessary. Limericks are easy but the point here might be harder to see. In being simple and lyrical, limericks are not speaking to some stupid or intellectually clumsy part of ourselves. Typical content aside, limericks are speaking to our perception of rhythm. We have that perceptual ability because we take in gulps that are one measure of a few beats at a time and we link them by an anticipation of Beat One. When in the presence of a rhythm, we can assume a new perspective of the end of time in the form of anticipation, suspension and satisfaction. These translate roughly into here it comes, wait for it and, here it is so stop waiting for it. This happens strictly within the way we perceive the world. Rhythm and beat one are not objective realities. Pulses and the timing of the spaces between them are real. Pulses can coincide or collide but rhythm is in the machinery of our perception.
Seeing ourselves respond to rhythm and rhyme is taking a peek at our perception for what it was and still is just under the surface. What surface? Normal, competent reading does not need rhythm and rhyme because we are instead taking control of our perception. We are handling the continuity of our gulps without any concern for their meter or speed or any anticipation of beat one. We can go as fast or slow as we want to and stop and start at will. Many people like to read in complete silence or learn to tune out background noise. Narrative reading does not come easily without effort and training. Our means of taking control is with an additional facility of perception that peers inward only and can separately perceive our vision and hearing and thoughts as something that happened a short instant ago. In seeing and hearing this way, we escape the necessity for meter or rhythm and the four beat chunk-limit of our basic primate perception.
This additional perception gives us the ability to consume and create long, narrative-scale organizations of information. In doing things like reading an essay, we can kick off and maintain an internal sense of continuity. In trioonity, this is called the Narrative glean or post-cinema perception and what it looks at is called the Cinema glean or cinema perception. Cinema perception includes our fully gleaned visual and aural information but with the limitations in structure imposed by the four-component chunk-limit and an ever-flowing frame rate or gulp-rate. Post-cinema perception does not replace cinema perception. It interacts with and enhances our cinema perception by shepherding thought, vision and words into independent continuities that we can 'see' in our 'minds'. If you are reading this essay, you are shepherding words in sequences beyond the primate gulp-limit without the aid of rhythm. Congratulations!
In equating reading this essay with the biblical fall from grace, the intention is to suggest that the talent of narrative reading is the hallmark of the very thing that emerged in humans and made us unique and got us kicked out of Eden. The traditional claim cites an ever-increasing intelligence that one day reached a critical mass in humans. The trioon scheme suggests that there was no sudden increase in intelligence. We had only acquired a new means of harvesting our intelligence. There is an argument for this claim, and it may cause a few folks some embarrassment.
We are gonna need to do some talking about stupid people. This will include simpletons, rubes, yokels, morons, hicks, goyim, dolts, riff-raff and all those common folks who are typically brushed aside as unintelligent or dumb. In contrast, we have people who like to sit in quiet spaces and read high-brow, long-haired treatises because they are intellectually stimulating. Such stimulation is exclusively appreciated by those folks who are viewed as very smart. This perception of smartness is further reinforced by the tendency for these smart-people to be achievers and on the whole, do much better at navigating the modern world than simpletons. Stupid people are more adept at handling the old folksy ways of doing things. This plainly visible situation has led to the conclusion that helping simpletons handle the modern world is the burden… sorry, role of the smart people.
This essay will propose that there another factor to track that makes all other perceived factors like color or religion nothing more than coincidence. This factor clearly affects all of humanity.
Intelligence is usually expected to be an innate talent that can vary from person to person. The common perception is that some people are just born darn smarter than others. That implies that intelligence is basically fixed and smartness is the extent to which one benefits from one's intelligence in the course of their life. Intelligence can be pushed to the max or left to wallow. If a full course of modern education cannot make one actually more intelligent, then a simple life in the forest or an isolated farm community cannot make one less intelligent. Yet we all solidly talk as is if some tangible variable exists behind the loosely-termed concept of smartness.
How do some cultures get a reputation for an ever-advancing smartness or a primitive backwardness? How does one ask without the offensive suggestion that some particular culture or race is innately dumb or innately superior? It is a difficult case to make. Genetics tells us that intelligence must have been a well-established capacity well before the two thousand generations since all living humans had a common ancestor. What could happen fast enough to genetically change one group? Wouldn't modern racial mixing negate the effect just as quickly? Genetic isolation is pointless at this point. However, it is a useful point to illustrate that there is something that folks want to defend as theirs alone. Wouldn't it be terribly conspicuous if one group made an effort to keep their gene pool isolated from others? What sort of public explanation could there be?
"We have, through a conscious examination of the observable facts, determined that the best course of protecting our unique qualities is to isolate our gene pool from others."
Or, put another way…
There was a young nation from la-la-land
for whom your DNA was contraband
They were sure their achievin'
flowed from their semen
And they stayed in their own Genetistan
If we were to determine that this motivation is based on a rubbish idea, that would present a problem for secularists. If intelligence is reliably passing down from one generation to the next, then what is the means of transmission if not genetics? What other alternative can there be to the claim that some group is actually favored by God? Is there something else they are getting right?
No yardstick is truly useful unless we're all confident in the existence of what it measures. Turns out, there is already a lurking yardstick that both the secular and religious already believe to be actually there. Each pose a question… How far have humans departed from animals? And, exactly how far have humans fallen from grace? In trioonity, this can be determined with one common yardstick. You, essay reader, are at the top end of the stick. But this is easily remedied…
A town full of avid readers
was thinking of choosing new leaders
Not to fortify fences
but build a consensus
So they voted out all the extreme-ers
For one limerick-sized moment there, you were at the middle of the yardstick. This occurred smoothly and with no impact on your intelligence. There should be no stupid after-effects. It is simply easier to read the limerick than the essay. Does it seem like there is something you must engage or switch-on to go from reading the limerick to reading a paragraph full of sentences? Something that might casually be described as applying a further extent of attention? That's your post-cinema perception taking on the role of narrative supervisor and allowing you to read without meter or rhyme. Or rather, this is your post-cinema perception taking on the role of narrative supervisor and allowing you to read without meter or rhyme.
This yardstick mobility is due to well-developed reading skills and the effect of such skills on our perception. Or is it? Trioonity reverses this into an alternative claim. Well-developed perceptual skills affect our reading ability. If one tires quickly or can't follow an essay-like presentation, it need not be a reflection of their intelligence. It is instead an indication of the strength or weakness of their inner perception of continuity or, post-cinema perception. This perceptual skill isn't needed to read the limerick or follow something lyrical or communicate via a gulp or two at a time. So, it is hardly crippling to be weak in narrative ability and in most day-to-day situations, a lackluster perception of continuity would go unnoticed.
Perception of narratives and continuity is born relatively weak in everyone. That is, relative to what a life-long course of training and study can do to it. Narrative ability is a human resource that a culture can rightly claim to have done a better job about. And, it’s a non-supernatural explanation for how a culture can change its people faster than their genetics ever could. It can make them a nation of capable narrators who can think beyond the chunk-limit and independently create their own narratives. That includes useful talents like invention, exploration and critical thinking.
A culture can claim to be a cradle of modern achievers if it makes a strong effort to train every child of both genders to reach the top end of the yardstick. That means an intense training through childhood with the aim of completion by the onset of puberty. This changes more than what a culture can read, it changes what they can perceive and hence, think. Not every culture is designed to do this. Some cultures don't want every child to see the whole yardstick… just the first half of it. The second half is reserved for those in power. These cultures are not cradles of achievers because they do not grant the means of achievement to its citizens. Not with only half the yardstick. These populations can have all the innate intelligence anyone could ever want but they don't harvest it. Their training is very different.
In school we read and recite
All day long and into the night
Back and forth we rock
all around the clock
'Til they say we're ready to fight
So what does falling only halfway from grace look like? As with us, post-cinematic perception is trained to shepherd narration but without any sense of self-direction. At the mid point of the yardstick, post-cinematic perception still operates but with direction from an imaginary shepherd.
This is analogous to the task of reading for us fully trained top-of-the-yardstick narrators. We displace identity to the source of the text as its imaginary shepherd for the duration of the text and then resume the identity of our internal narration when we stop. For those granted only half of the yardstick, that doesn't happen. One's sense of identity remains at the level of the limerick and there is no self-narration when the shepherding stops. This rules out, or at least suppresses, the self-directed ambitions of invention, exploration and critical thinking. These societies provide no means of expression for such ambitions anyway.
The reason a culture would want to do this is because it allows a small group of elites to control a large group of morons, hicks and riff-raff as morons, hicks and riff-raff in an authority-based system. That means, for the riff-raff, any thought or expression beyond the single gulp or a meter-driven verse must have an author. This can be a living, passed-on or imaginary person or persons that are given the identity of the internal shepherd of any narrative thought or speech. And that leads to stories and explanations that are authorized and taken on authority. Training only to this extent leaves a student with only a partially functional narrative facility. It is best described as a limited perceptual muscularity that lacks the stamina to sustain a self-directed narration. The ruling elite get a heavy dose of continuity and order in their lives and hence get the full yardstick. Semi-organized chaos is for the riff-raff. Once this system is established, it is easy for the Betters to claim they are better than the riff-raff because they are better in their narrative perception than the riff-raff. Or the Betters can just call them stupid or primitive or unsophisticated or low-born or the common clay. Then, the Betters can call themselves royal or anointed or high-born or god-connected or chosen or just plain better.
This half-yardstick model citizen is an archetype that rarely exists in modern connected societies. Students around the world are exposed to input that trains them to the top of the yardstick despite their culture's efforts to suppress their training to the half-mark. Many modern students must be an entirely different sort of people depending on whether they are with their family or friends or workmates. They are flooded with conflicting aspirations of tradition and modernity. The modern world aspires to grant everyone the full yardstick. Other traditional and militant forces insist this will leave behind the Supreme Authority and lead to man-made evil and anarchy and supernatural misfortune. They would hack off the top half of the stick.
I was taken for committing the crime
of objecting all of the time
twas quicker instead
to lop off my head
before I could finish my rhyme
There are those who wish to live in a mindlessly eternal authoritarian system whose ultimate and unquestionable author is a magic or super-smart person who led a perfect life. Let's call them, Type A. There are those who wish to live in an individually directed pluralistic system of consensual laws that makes no claims of magic or perfection. Let's call them, Type B. There are those who feel neither of those aspirations and would abide by a Law of the Jungle as their own instincts define it. Call these folks Group Zero and exclude them from consideration here. In the first two examples, these are sincere wishes based on an expectation that one will feel relief and then feel good once everyone is living together without conflicting aspirations.
What divides Types A and B? Would anyone claim that it is intelligence? Perhaps how one is informed or misinformed will entirely determine their social aspirations. Then how would B's keep emerging from A's or vice versa? This is more than a political leaning or philosophical stance. It is a marker that indicates where one stands on the yardstick and where one thinks everyone else should stand on the yardstick. This is a more clear-cut and dangerous divide because it cuts through all traditional factions equally. Anyone with the aspirations of Type B is siding with pluralism, secularism and autonomy whether they are religious, spiritual or neither. Anyone with the aspirations of Type A is siding with authoritarianism whether they are religious or atheist.
Fascists and religionists aspire to be elites in a Type A society where the average citizen submits to the status of moron and takes everything on authority from their betters. In ancient times, this was a simple matter of regulating full training to an exclusive and deserving elite. In modern times, it is a complicated matter of actively suppressing narrative perception in the non-elite population with slogans and rote memorization and, if necessary, torture and terror. Type A societies played a role in the emergence of civilization by dragging humans out of a tribal life in the wild and into large purposeful organizations capable of abundantly feeding and continuously defending ongoing generations of its members.
If your homeland is still a Type A
and offers the One True Way
Some men folk of letters
will say they're your betters
and hold your ambitions at bay
There is a limited lifespan to a Type A system of governance especially if a society is successful and thrives. As its organizational demands grow, full training must extend beyond the elite to handle increasingly complex systems. In time, narrative perception starts breaking out throughout the population. Efforts to suppress it are eventually overwhelmed and the emphasis switches to regulating and controlling the narrative perception now accepted as inevitable in nearly everyone. Just leading a reasonably civilized and ordered life is going to make the average citizen's perception grow to the full scale of the yardstick. They are no longer fit to be morons. They are going to want liberties, rights and a pursuit of happiness. This creates a crisis for the elites that is like looking at the end of time. A crisis of better-ness.
Being better than the riff-raff is no longer a plain perception demonstrated in countenance, patience or achievement. In its place must come some imaginative and semi-plausible alternative explanation for the elite's elite-ness. Some of the most creative effort in the history of mankind has gone into filling this hole in the meaning of elite-ness. They eventually fail and a sudden social convulsion transforms the system to a Type B. Being the Best is better forgotten.
A Type B society will in some way introduce the governed into the role of governance. Individual selves are no longer relegated and regulated to be morons and the emphasis switches to regulating everyone's perception of the world. Society concedes that you can own yourself but not the world you live in. This allows Type B's to live in an individually-directed pluralistic system of consensual laws that, by the way, must still respect that the world is actually a mindlessly eternal authoritarian system whose unquestionable author is a magic or super-smart person who led a perfect life. Any Type B citizen who still holds to the aspiration of full personal autonomy in both self and setting is now reclassified as Type C. There is no historical evidence that a Type C society has ever existed though there is endless evidence of its aspirants.
This ABC system tracks social aspirations and hence serves as the yardstick of narrative ability.
The kind of world you want
says more than your choice of font
It can say what you see
when you're looking at me
and in whom you can be confidant
Why would anyone whose perception was self-directed want to live in a strict authoritarian society? Authoritarian religions claim that secularists are placing Man above God or worshipping Man as a God. To a secular humanist, that sounds like a word salad. In the context of trioonity, it is a clear-cut message. Narrations are hosted and shepherded by internal authors until the Narrative glean is trained enough to assume self-directed operation. Man as self takes the place of God as author in the role of the operator of un-rhythmic thought and expression that exceeds the chunk-limit. Man falls from grace in abandoning the innocence of always being the listener of narrative thought. That is the original meaning of the word worship- to allow something or someone to be the author of your narrative thoughts. Worship had a different context in an untrained world where sustained narrative thought was rare. In a world of self-narrators, worship is a do-thing where one pinches their eyelids shut and thinks worshipful self-directed thoughts while in a culturally-appropriate posture. That is as much as the thoroughly trained can do, without more training of an opposite kind. Relaxation techniques and modern meditation promote letting go of self-directed narration and shutting off the Narrative glean altogether.
Why would anyone whose perception was not self-directed want to live in a pluralistic self-driven society? If one does not rely on their own self-direction, why would he or she trust anyone who did? If everyone answered to the same authority, then everyone would know what to expect from everyone else. Secularists would respond, "sure… we do that too… only in a self-directed fashion so don't worry about it. We choose to be good." It is unproductive to make this claim with someone who believes that man cannot reliably do this and must never try. Modern prayer and worship rituals train worshippers to yield or submit to author-driven or authorized internal narration. This can result in a compromise of sharing the role of author where one is self-directed day-to-day but yields to authors during regularly scheduled rituals. This usually comes with a belief that those who never yield are not trustworthy.
In a Type B society, that trust may extend to practitioners of other rituals. That is as pluralistic as most Type B societies ever get.
You'll find that our pathway is wide
as long as faith is your guide
Remember your reason
is not for all seasons
lacking grip in a hell-bound slide
Another social parameter that is awkward to discuss is advantage. Does one group have an innate advantage over another when it comes to being civilized? What factors are there to consider except genetics or supernatural forces? Maybe one culture is more advanced than another but in what way? If it is just education and other cultural influences, why aren't the results more uniform? Why can't strict authoritarian nations like North Korea raise children to be citizens who are uniformly happy to live there? Why would the model exist unless there was once a time when it could? And without being a disadvantaged police state in an increasingly pluralistic world?
There is no advantage in possessing a fully-trained self-directed narrative perception in a Type A society if your social status is riff-raff. The system will treat you like a moron… not because you are one, but because they would prefer you that way. Then all your narrative perceptions would be acceptable submissions to authority. If self-narration in the riff-raff becomes a serious problem, society must become a police state. Or, it can fail and fall to a new system that in some way accommodates individual self-narration even if provisionally.
This system offers a reasonable deal to self-narrators… individual autonomy is fine as long as the system can still tell you what kind of world you are being autonomous in. Authority focuses on authorizing things and points of view that citizens are free to autonomously believe in. No restrictions are placed on self-directed eyelid-scrinching while assuming ritual postures or on any conscious thought while doing so. To any victim of a police state, that must seem like unmitigated freedom.
For those raised in a freedom-loving Type B society, there is still a layer of mitigation to find. What if the world did not have to answer to an authority? What if the world had the same freedom we did? Can we use our perception and critical thinking skills to simply ask the world directly what the world is? We could use science and reason to determine and test the nature of the world and ourselves and design a social system based on what we find as we find it. There would be no authority in the form of an imaginary being whose imaginary feelings have been hurt by turning away from the authorized view. All authority was an illusion meant to shepherd us to the end of the yardstick.
Anyone with these aspirations belongs to the Type C group and their aspiration is for a Type C society where the world is as self-directed as we are. But first, Type C aspirants should pause and be grateful to live in a Type B society from which to have such aspirations. If we tear at society too ferociously, it could revert to Type A. We must strive to nurture some things that are philosophically uncomfortable. Compromise? No, accommodation of those who are truly disadvantaged in the modern Type B world and as a result, are its greatest threat.
There are a variety of causes of impairment to our capacity to perceive post-cinematically. Trauma, injury, actual genetic defect, torture and terror can stunt or limit anyone's capacity to narrate or use internal auto-narrators regardless of background. Those with little capacity to self-narrate have no use for the freedom that a Type B provides. When one can find no clarity in their personal narrative, submission to a system that provides clarity without narration (self or otherwise) would be an attractive alternative. Finding one's self stuck in a society that demanded all the responsibilities that go with personal autonomy would be a living hell. Any evidence of failure in that society would be perceived as simply wrong and an example of moral decay.
If God really meant to say
that evil should be blown away
I am ready to serve
against all who do swerve
'til His happiness rules the day
Type B societies are losing their problem narrators to Type A causes and organizations. That could be stemmed if our educational system recognized, examined and tested narrative perception with the same fervor as testing math comprehension. Students at risk of full submission to an authoritarian cause could be identified. Educational systems that emphasized recital and rote memorization over critical thinking skills would have to be reformed. No student in a Type B society should be denied the Right of Self-Narration (as it should be enshrined) and demonstrable narrative ability should be a requirement of elected office or any teaching position. It already is for lawyers, doctors and professors. Those have always been elite roles in society.
There is no casting the A-B divide as a fair fight between rival contenders for control of mankind. This is analogous to caterpillars wanting to rid the world of butterflies and outlaw cocoons. Those of us in groups B and C are grounded in a declared position that mankind emerged from the animal kingdom and that personal autonomy equals personal and cultural progress. Type A societies are not rivals. They are predecessors. Time alone will turn a Type A into a Type B. Only violence and terror can reverse the process and only for so long. The momentum of nature is at our backs like a favorable wind. (that last sentence was written before 2016)
Imagine a world that caters
to autonomous self-narrators
If only 'twas clear
'tis already here
'neath a veneer of mad dictators
Forget about genetics or intelligence or betterness… this is a fight over the yardstick of narrative perception (also called The Malarkey Scale). There are no races or cultures that are more ready for the full yardstick than others. We have all been ready for it for a long time. It comes on its own in modern life and only active suppression can stop it. We need to counter that suppression anywhere we find it including our own neighborhoods.
There is a simple question one can ask that puts the core issue of the contest in plain sight. Think about the future. Do you see the End of Time? Do you see a time when either we have put things right or the Great Authority Itself comes and puts things right and then time stops? Is that the far edge of the future? Or have you looked past the end of time and seen what the future looks like to the rest of the universe? Does perfection play any role in making the universe stop? Is it time for an end to the end of time?
Perfection is an illusory idea that simply means the moment that the One True Authority is satisfied that all is as it should be. That will herald end of time as we know it.
There may come a time when God sounds the gong
then we can stop waiting for things to go wrong
The concept of perfection comes from our desire to see a comforting 'end of time' in our unlimited and un-resolving narrative perceptions as our genetic ancestors always saw and we still see in our chunk-limited perceptions. It is an act of personal courage to, in seeing for one's self, look beyond the perceptual border at the far edge of now. And then to stand fast and live without any need or desire to see the end of time as some future resolution for an imperfect world. Some of us will need help to bolster confidence in the face of social intimidation or require just a bit of extra lift in the learning process. When did you, dear reader, get the confidence to look past the end of time? When you learned to read this essay. Thanks for sharing your time and narrative talent.