by R. K. Rugg
There once was a person who
made a significant discovery.
was given a divine gift.
developed an innovative transhuman technology.
wrote a recipe for a powerful new magic potion.
created a special virus in a laboratory.
It was a
technology to make a person think much more clearly.
symbiotic organism to exponentially improve the human brain.
magic that allows people to more accurately judge reality.
Subtle trends, hidden causes and effects, consequences of decisions; all would become obvious and indisputable to anyone who
contracted the virus.
received the blessing.
fell under the spell.
melded with the neurotechnology.
Whether on a personal, national or global scale, people would be able to foresee the true results of their actions. Guesses, assumptions, unfounded beliefs and intuition would become obsolete concepts.
The person knew it could bring much good to the world and
announced it to the people and declared an intent to
introduce the potion into the water supply.
infect the population with the organism.
spread the blessing among all the lands.
implement the self-replicating technology.
The people said, “No, this
belief is not the same as mine,
technology doesn’t feel right,
potion is unnatural,
it goes against my religion.”
I distrust it and reject its validity.”
it is a violation of my rights.”
it breaks time-honored taboos.”
The people said, “No,
you are the wrong gender.
your skin is the wrong color.
your hair is the wrong length.
you believe the wrong teachings.
your appearance is unconventional.
you come from the wrong place.
you love the wrong people.
You haven’t the
to bring this into the world.”
ignored the people and
flipped the switch.
brewed the potion.
shared the blessing.
released the virus.
Became possessed of
a mind that knew truth
the ability to understand consequences
eyes that saw reality
and shared all this with the world.
flowed to everyone nearby. It spread to the next person and to the next. And from those people to others. Rings of truth and reason and understanding rippled outward, moving around the world until they encountered themselves on the far side of the globe. Every living person,
one way or another,
whether they wanted to or not,
eventually and before too long,
drank the potion.
heard the divine word.
became one with the tech.
With the benefit of their true vision and clarity of thought, some people said,
“I see now that this particular economic theory that I have espoused for so long is flawed.”
“I comprehend now that this particular political system that I have encouraged my whole life actively promotes injustices.”
“It is clear to me now that these business practices that I thought were contributing to the general welfare are, in reality, detrimental to the population and the environment.”
“I can now perceive that these personal habits that I thought to be simple pleasures are actually harmful to myself and to others.”
With the benefit of their true vision and clarity of thought, some people
changed the way they lived.
apologized to other people for their past behaviors.
sought to make amends for the harms they had inflicted.
left behind their old and unjust
Some people said
(to themselves), “I understand now that there is no doubt that this policy benefits me, in the short-term and at the expense of everyone else. But I will not change.”
(to themselves), “I can see now that differences don’t make other people inferior to me. But I don’t care.”
(often to themselves, but just as often to the rest of the world), “It is clear to me now that my actions are harmful to those around me, and even to myself. But I will continue to perform these actions. Just because I want to.”
And these people, the ones who would not change and who didn’t care, they hated the person who had made the discovery that had given
These people hated the bringer of clarity because they could no longer
pretend to themselves that their business models provided opportunity and access for anyone who would just work hard enough, who would just apply themselves.
appeal to a vague and confusing doctrine and set of rules in order to justify their mistreatment of people who were different from themselves.
cite inaccurate research and out-of-context data as reason to doubt the impact of their actions upon their surroundings.
With the benefit of their new vision and clarity of thought, these people saw that there was a better way. Yet they continued to live as they had in the past, because to change would require
more effort than to stay the same.
that they relinquish some measure of control over others.
the sacrifice of immediate gratification in order to secure more long-term well being.
the undoing of habits ingrained through generations.
an admission that they had been wrong.
And these people directed their wrath and anger toward the one who had made the discovery, because their true selves had been exposed, not only to the world, but also to themselves. They had no longer had
behind which to mask their
destructive and self-destructive desires.
These people hated the person who had
developed the technology.
brewed the potion.
cultivated the organism.
created the virus.
spread the word.
And so these people took action.
Among the world’s population, there were people—the ones who resented having been revealed for who they were—who still retained resources adequate to harm the one who had brought understanding.
And among the world’s population, there were even more people—also ones who resented having being revealed for who they were—who had no resources but
the harm inflicted on the one who had brought understanding.
But remember, our
existed at the very center of the origination of recognition of truth and of the spread of clarity, and was, in fact, the embodiment of the event from which ability rippled out into the world. The vision experienced by this person was more
than was that of any who came after.
And as a result, this person knew something that the opposition
look far enough ahead to comprehend.
This person knew that those who chose to remain aligned to harmful and hurtful ways would grow old and pass their
houses of worship
on to their children.
This person knew that a certain number of that next generation would reject the ways of the opposition and would instead embrace the
Many of these children would choose the
kind over the cruel.
good over the evil.
truth over the lies.
And among the children of the children of the haters, still more would choose to change and to embrace knowledge, and to act upon it.
understood that through the years and centuries to come, fewer and fewer people in each generation would choose the ways of cruelty, until the hating and the greed and self-destruction eventually disappeared from the world.
In anger and shame and wrath, the ones who resented having been revealed for who they were finally drove
her to her death and she
it to its death and it
him to his death and he
them to their death and they
but knowing the path upon which
she had set humanity, she was
it had set humanity, it was
he had set humanity, he was
they had set humanity, they were
at peace and died content.
R. K. Rugg is a transplant from the American West to New England, where he works in office technology sales by day and freelances by night. His work in speculative fiction, speculative non-fiction and speculative poetry often addresses issues of identity and community. His website is located at www.RaymondKRugg.com.
Poetry by R. K. Rugg:
"Tapestry" October 2020