Pilgrims of Tranquility by Raymond Greiner
My name is Caleb. I am sixteen years old and documenting my life thus far. I have no parents or siblings. I was scientifically created and live in a barracks facility among one hundred males my age with an adjacent facility housing one hundred females. We are genetically engineered. Guides define and teach goals to increase population. I am compelled to record this eventful, historic time.
It has been two hundred years since global devastation ceased creating present day conditions. Our expansion team is assigned to Peace School located in a central region of what was formally the United States of America. Currently this country does not exist. History dominates our curriculum designed to circumvent repetition of events nearly destroying all earthly life. Even after two hundred years residue from this cycle of destruction hinders restructuring. What happened over two hundred years ago was unimaginable.
The United States bears responsibility as the primary source of this catastrophe. This allegation is because the United States occupied the highest position of influence during this era. Social erosion slowly developed within the country predominantly from extreme leadership inefficiency. Large industrial enterprise and banking controlled government disregarding welfare of the general populous. Corruption infiltrated all levels of government culminating in tangled misdirection. The United States economy fragmented imposed by greed oriented profit objectives through relocating major manufacturing facilities to foreign locations, exploiting economically deprived countries offering lower cost labor. This undertaking diminished American middle class tax revenue leading to fiscal collapse. United States consumption fell dramatically negatively affecting foreign enterprise and manufacturing dependent on American consumerism, resulting in severe global economic decline, a conundrum manifested by profiteering without foresight. Simultaneously Muslim extremists threatened war with subversive bombings seizing opportunity to inflict further damage. Lacking tax revenue United States defense systems weakened; although, maintaining and escalating atomic weaponry conjecturing extremists would be held in check yielding to fear of these weapons. Then a triggering event occurred. A Muslim country developed nuclear weaponry aspiring to use these weapons against the United States. New York City was reduced to ashes. Immediately the United States began launching nuclear missiles randomly bombing Muslim countries, reacting without clear knowledge which Muslim country was responsible for the nuclear attack. This caused other anti-American nuclear powers to view the United States as a wounded lion emulating jackals and hyenas pouncing on this much-hated country. North Korea destroyed the west coast entirely, and also Japan, considered a United States ally. It became a frenzy of relentless atomic attacks as the United States unleashed every missile in its arsenal. Washington DC was annihilated and United States leadership was gone. The nuclear attacks killed millions, destruction far greater than ever imagined. Only those in isolated geographic locations survived and millions more died over the next year from radioactive fallout. Nuclear winter set in and many froze to death. Populations became sterile, some living another five years developing cancer or other health failures from extreme radiation exposure. Most early deaths were from starvation. Food production stopped, without transport. The world never experienced such horror and despair. Bedlam dominated; among the few survivors food acquisition was the highest priority, with much of the remaining food contaminated from the attacks. Clans formed in an attempt to survive but failed quickly from either killing each other or starvation. The country was almost void of human life six years after the attacks as greater numbers died after the attacks than during the attacks. The United States became a barren landscape. The recurring atomic explosions damaged the ozone producing erratic weather patterns, weakening the atmosphere allowing meteor penetration with frequent strikes throughout the world. In an intense final stance the United Stated nearly destroyed North Korea and Muslim countries were in ruin. Some areas of the world felt less impact. Hunger was widespread; countries not directly hit slowly regained order.
Our group’s foundation was formed by an alliance of surviving countries in an attempt to discover new direction for population expansion infusing social design engendering higher ethical standards void of propensity for supremacy, which historically provokes war and its consequence.
Teacher Benedict: “Good morning to all of you. It has been a great honor to serve as your teacher to this point on your journey into the future. The alliance has worked nearly one hundred years striving to arrive at this time. In early stages study and analysis concluded social order lost balance with Earth, beginning in the Fertile Crescent representing the genesis of humankind’s thirst for conquest using war as its means. Population growth” – “and border establishment increased confrontational opportunities. Sumer had a standing army as early as 3000 BCE. This composite lead humanity to the brink of extinction.”
“Scientific evidence of ancient cultures discloses less confrontational and societal dysfunction. Neanderthal tribes lived harmoniously in excess of three hundred thousand years. Very early social orders were not plagued with high population densities, which intensify social complexities. Hunter-gatherer cultures embraced earthly cycles in cadence with nature.”
“Alliance planners envision an experiment and those of you sitting here today represent the beginning toward discovering a more peaceful future. Until now your curriculum concentrated on historical events leading to warring eras. From this point forward you will be encouraged to interact socially establishing male/female partnerships. You have been raised as a unit allowing insight toward developing lifetime partnerships. You have studied and worked together in preparation to confront your future. The alliance constructed five communes located within various geographic temperate zones using geodesic dome structures to house partners allowing space to expand to a family of four. Twenty residents will occupy each commune. This design replicates ancient social grouping melding with limited modern conveniences. One partnership assigned to each commune will receive medical training and given proper equipment to provide health services. During formative years you were assigned daily to work in the school’s vegetable garden learning techniques of gardening. Gardening will become your daily, routine task and each household will have its own garden with a” “larger garden shared by communal members. Garden yields will be your single source of food. You will have no weapons and killing of animals is forbidden. Your scientifically created genetic profiles were carefully planned establishing character traits obtained from selective sources emphasizing a combination of qualities. These qualities include love, compassion, work ethic and intelligence combining with natural non-confrontational behavior. During your communal experience you will have access to technological devices and a daily journal will be maintained communicating with the alliance. This daily record will be assigned to one individual; however, all participants are encouraged to document thoughts conveying them to the alliance as a method of enhancing future programs.”
Teacher Benedict was correct about our bonding, we knew each other far exceeding typical and daily physical work taught trust and respect. Since my earliest years I have been very close with a female member, her name is Marlene and she is strikingly beautiful. We engaged in long discussion daily for as long as I can remember. One experience is vivid in my memory. We were seven years old and just beginning to learn gardening. Marlene happened upon a garter snake and became extremely frightened. I picked up the snake and told her it was harmless and she should not fear it. She looked at me in an odd manner but said nothing. A few days later she beckoned me to the storage shed. Inside the shed was a box with five garter snakes.
“I captured these garter snakes so we can share their release. It will be delightful to see them regain freedom. I don’t fear them since you taught me they are harmless.”
This event became fixed in my mind. Although simple and seemingly of little importance, it revealed Marlene’s heart and natural connection to nature and its functions. She overcame fear through knowledge and understanding displaying her sense of compassion. We shared profound love and closeness, craving deeper connection. We agreed our life together would be meaningful living with fellow students, taught by the alliance. We became partners venturing forward.
After the selection process we were transported to our assigned commune site. We were not given an exact location only told it was south of where we were born and trained. The average yearly temperature and rainfall were major influences selecting commune locations. Upon arrival the domes were in place with ample space for gardening and also a larger dome to serve as a common space for gatherings. Dwellings were furnished, including two computers allowing opportunity to communicate with alliance leaders and guides. Two natural springs flowed through the area and a well with a hand pump was installed. The alliance provided a years supply of food while our group established self-subsistence. An array of solar panels supplied power with satellite connection relaying computer-transmitted messages to the alliance. In our communal garden we will grow hemp to be stored, accumulated and processed as material for clothing. It seemed possible to be fully self-sufficient within this arrangement.
Soon day-to-day functions fell in place and Marlene and I felt escalated to a higher plane. It was a glorious feeling harmonizing in every manner of living. No government controls were applied. Our group frequently met in the common area for discussions toward maximizing our endeavor to achieve sustainability. Work sharing became routine. Much labor was required making compost for soil enrichment; cutting firewood for cooking and heat. Communal unity heightened the entire undertaking.
Alliance message: “The combined opinion of alliance members is one of great pride and appreciation for the quality effort your group exhibits. You have been given a title. You are referred to by our alliance as ‘Pilgrims of Tranquility’. As you progress personal gratitude will expand, inspired by physical efforts revealing richer self awareness, which was largely lost within what was historically termed ‘modern society’, shunning physical tasking. Frugality attached to manual applications allows sensory capacities to permeate your lives elevating awareness, opening introspection as you blend with environmental dynamics. Materialism is absent in your regimen. This experiment strives to gain knowledge regarding humankind’s ability to blend less intrusively with the Earth applying minimal, amiable practices. Although premature for accurate analysis we are encouraged at this early stage.”
Marlene’s message to the Alliance: “Caleb and I have become extremely attached while adjusting to communal life. We feel fortunate and grateful to be given this opportunity.”
“In our discussions questions have arisen. From our historical studies previous to communal placement it was revealed how global ethical standards and values slowly eroded. This erosion was not solely government actuated; the collective populace was mired in dysfunction far adrift from values and principles taught by our mentors and teachers. Our experimental group was scientifically created choosing selective gene banks. We were taught from our earliest memories the importance of high personal standards, emphasizing peaceful coexistence and altruism, combined with simplicity. It is apparent to the alliance and also apparent to those of us participating in this experiment that absence of these characteristics bore responsibility for mayhem destroying much earthly life. Our root question is: How has this changed? It is unrealistic to imagine global populations scientifically created on a large scale, duplicating our guidance and learning. Has society made progressive adjustments toward betterment? Does anger, hate and war mentality remain? Are selfishness and greed continuing during restructuring? If so, how will our small scale experimental lifestyles implement sweeping change?”
“We agree that our simplistic life, tending crops, embracing basic elements of living offers higher personal balance; however, studying the historic failure period reveals these elements were not in place and without recognition. Materialism and monetary status formed a God like presence creating ubiquitous corruption touching all levels of social structure. Cites infested with crime, poverty and social separation as the wealthy lolled in extreme comfort pressing toward gain beyond necessity and those with less were ignored and often chastised. It seems unlikely to us our example can alter such large scale, historic revelations.”
Alliance: “Marlene, your points of discussion are worthy, meriting response. Since inception the alliance has addressed these issues, becoming an ongoing” “debate regarding the experiment’s long-term impact. Currently many oppose the alliance and its goals. Our purpose is to learn what results can be achieved evaluating future applications based upon degree of proven worth. Social restructuring is not reflecting teachings you and your fellow pioneers received. During the rebuilding cycle repetition of dysfunctional activity during the historic self-destructive period regained momentum. Although, no major wars have erupted and atomic weaponry is absent. Anger, mistrust and convoluted disposition have returned. Selfishness, greed and materialistic goals have reemerged. We agree it is not a feasible solution to attempt genetic engineering on a large scale, quite an impossible task, creating uncertainty regarding forward progress. We do sense headway via this communal demonstration. If social order continues downward, again becoming destructive, your group will exemplify value as harbingers; exhibiting peaceful coexistence is possible offering viable option. Your success is germinating seeds of change. The alliance’s philosophy and purpose is presently a minority view with limited range of acceptance, and this may ultimately lead to failure. Your group is nearing self-sustainability and if our alliance is broken your commune will become a beacon, lighting a better course away from destructive social flaws. Your group shows option to the ‘grab bag’ of materialism. The vista is clouded at this point, but as time passes it is possible that your precedent exhibiting solidarity, compassion and self-sustainability may be just enough to tip the scale exposing proof that cannot be ignored. It is our hope. The looming reality is humanity must change if longevity is to be attained. It cannot endure cycle after cycle of self-destructiveness.”
My name is Caleb. I am forty-five years old, documenting my life thus far. I was scientifically created and have no parents or siblings. I was created to participate in an experiment forming a new approach to human development. I have a loving partner Marlene, who is the stalwart supporter of my life and equally responsible for our achievements. Our teachers and mentors were organized by an alliance offering opportunity to prove peaceful, compatible life is possible, aspiring toward symmetrical coherence with Earth. The alliance that formed us failed, caused by reemergence of social dysfunction that nearly destroyed humanity; however, participants in this new design of peaceful coexistence succeeded. Established partnerships grew into families and our communal concept spilled over influencing others away from selfish, social disorder. Our new approach expanded beyond what many predicted. Without alliance support we progressed, gaining knowledge, building shelters from natural materials opening opportunity for expansion duplicating patterns of our success. Even though materialistic, dominating society remains some are becoming influenced by our simplistic life discovering worth outside overt consumption and control. Those participating in the foundation of our social design are gratified. We had dubious thoughts of success but encouraged by teachings during alliance years. The alliance named us “Pilgrims of Tranquility” and now we are many.
The alliance spoke of the necessity for humanity to discover equanimity or perish and this wisdom has proven correct and moving to its future.
From Marlene’s journal: “I am communicating with students entrapped in the old dysfunctional culture. They admire our effort but plagued with skepticism. Some feel humanity is incapable of large-scale change embracing our model, perceiving the pursuit of dominance as an inbred human trait. Questing power over those viewed as weaker spawns from instinctual reactions of survival of the fittest. From our philosophical viewpoint displaying wealth as strength and superiority forms false perceptions of balance, graphically obvious in wealth worshiping cultures. Within this design the most fiscally affluent are distinguished, recognized as the most successful. My argument is, as with all earthly life forms, humans adjust to environmental conditions. If social development manifests within the shallowness of materialism this design becomes broadly accepted. Through teachings by alliance mentors our communal design opens new direction. Dominance is absent, we have no monetary system, and wealth is not recognized in the same manner as the historically destructive culture. Our ability to work in simplistic union, sharing subsistence efforts represents wealth. We are master gardeners; we are students of the Earth and its myriad of mannerisms. We view our fellow communal members equally without necessity for individual power and control.”
“It is encouraging to Caleb and me seeing so many joining us bringing added dimension to the commune’s structure and future. During our curriculum at Peace School it was also taught that even during the high point of self-destruction a minority sought peace, but were overwhelmed by warring forces seeking power and control, driven by quest for domination. This revelation exposes similarities to our philosophy existed during the destructive period.”
“Our curriculum did not include the arts or music and we view this as a missing element in our development. Most of us have learned of the joys of music and art using our computers. Recently a young man appeared from the woods after a very long trek to locate our commune. He was carrying a guitar and serenaded us in the common area dome. This event was extraordinary, a spiritual awakening. A former alliance member has become our benefactor as much as he can afford. He shipped us twenty guitars and now the musician appearing in our lives is our teacher and we are experiencing great joy from learning to play the guitar. It is such a wonderful feeling.”
Epilogue: The five communes established by the alliance remain intact. Learning has been expansive and continuing, assimilating with those seeking change from historic social flaws. It is unknown if this design can expand creating global balance. The communes have maintained their original direction based upon early teachings and additional residents open freshness, adding to the effort. Music enlightened the pilgrim’s mission.
So, the world is at a crossroad, options to chaos have appeared proving viability. Life in the commune is tuned to the Earth and its natural functions, synchronizing with universal consciousness. Humankind evolved in concert with Earth’s tides, then strayed nearly destroying itself. Nature’s vast, immeasurable patterns of progression must be embraced to secure humanity’s future. Alternatives are infinite in nature’s ever-changing, evolutionary timeline, continually adjusting. The voice of destiny sings in various rhythms and tones, often off key and out of tempo, like a catbird singing in a thorn bush. Then the sky opens and darkness becomes light as clouds of doubt vanish. The Pilgrims of Tranquility have unfolded an Earth story.
Copyright: Raymond Greiner 2014