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“Janice Among the Immortals”
After the dark and disturbing world of Narrative 4, it is a breath of life to return to Janice’s perspective in Narrative 5. Not that she is without problems. Quite the contrary. But she is a radiant being.
In this narrative, she describes a visit to the underground world of the Immortal Illuminati, and gives us the content of a speech delivered there by Alexandros.The purpose of the speech appears to be to justify the work of the Illuminati, but it raises many difficult issues. She then tells of a subsequent close personal encounter with the Eldest, and sets down in words much that is wordless. We learn a great deal through her perceptive eyes.
The opening quote comes from a poem by Sylvia Plath, and in a way it encompasses everything.
“Compared with me, a tree is immortal
and a flower-head not tall, but more startling
I want the one’s longevity and the other’s daring.”
At the beginning of the narrative, she has just left Saul and Menniss and is walking alone through redwood forest.– Kate
People say redwood forests are beautiful, but I don’t like them. True, the trees stand there perfectly straight reaching into the sky all cathedral-grand, and you can walk between them like you’re in a park, no shrubs to trip over.
But the reason there’s no shrubs to trip over is that redwood forests block the light with their canopy and poison the ground with their acid bark and basically kill off everything besides themselves. And they also kill each other a lot. Bigger trees choke out smaller trees, and so there’s fallen trunks lying here and there.
Here I was, a little live thing, scurrying around tickling their feet. “Sorry for living,” I said.
But somehow I don’t think Janice is actually going to get choked out by anyone. Those big guys have a surprise coming. — Flyss
In the most recent installment, the Blue&Blacks,there’s a moment of innocence, and then the helicopters arrive. It’s terrible. — Flyss
At the end of “Tied-Up, Helpless, Loving” (the latest installment of Narrative 5), Janice plays bondage games with Blair again, and this time he surrenders to it. And you know what? I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.
But the first part of the installment is about a different level of bondage: We meet some members of the blue&black organization, and we find that if any one of them were to tell the world about the immortals they’d die instantly. (Or, at least, they think they would, which is still bondage.)
Also they call hangers-on “lice.” I agree that Menniss is a louse, but to call mortals who are hungry for immortality “lice” is disgusting.
I know, I know, this is all written by Oxadrenals, and shows his bias. But with details like this, it’s hard to see the Immortal Illuminati as the good-deed-doers they say they are. Soraya, are you willing to refute anything here? — Flyss
In installment 5, we enter the underground world of the Illuminati. Just barely enter it. But enough to see how you get there.
“How,” not like in directions, but in process. Janice calls it “driving into the land of Faerie,” and she means what it feels like to her. Not at all like I imagined. I more or less figured you walk up to something like this and a hidden door opens.
In the next installment after this one, we meet Alexandros. But right toward the end of this one we do see someone we recognize living down below. — Flyss
(P.S. I’m getting worried that the “walnut” the weird radiologist saw on Janice’s CT-scan in installment 5 of Narrative 3 might be something bad.)
I have no doubt that what we read in the newly posted installment 6 of Narrative 5: Janice Among the Immortals will provoke great controversy. As it should. (Note: Please use this blog post itself for comments. As the comments are now threaded, we can now choose which threads to participate in, and let us use this forum to burrow deeper rather than to attack one another.)
Janice quotes Alexandros as saying approximately the following things (I am editing slightly):
I was young when the ice sheets melted and the ocean rose to flood the world. I was young when the first great fields were tilled, and the foundations of Jericho laid. These I remember, and much more beside. So do others among us. We look back and see the human world becoming, and with memories so full we can also foresee. So it was in 1919 when as one world war ceased we saw a second war coming. As did many others, mortal as well as Immortal.
But we saw too what others did not: a flood of fire, a catastrophe so fearful only a god could create, and, yet made by the hands of mortal men. Yahanna too envisioned the nuclear gods, and she was amazed. And she gave us leave to delay that fire until passions cooled.
We could not stop the second world war from coming, but we could shape it. And so we did. We found two terrible men and brought them to power. Why? Because in blurred future sight, we saw that the great horrors of Stalin and Hitler would prevent a greater horror. And so it came about: though the nuclear gods did come to birth, the two powers that wielded these gods were chastened by the horror we had caused them to know, and found the wisdom not to unleash them.
Were we right to have touched history in this terrible way? Did we do good or evil? Was it an act of compassion to cause in clear sight the death of millions because we saw otherwise in blurred future vision the death of billions? Was this egoism or wisdom? Did we have a right to act? Or, did we have the right not to act, foreseeing as we did?
Janice’s comment after hearing this is as good a summary as any: “You create a Hitler knowing he’ll kill millions because you think that otherwise nuclear bombs will kill billions. That’s what you call stepping up. Or really awful. I’m not sure.”
Nor am I. This is hard to swallow.
There is much more of interest in this installment as well, including credit given by the Immortals to mortals, rather along the lines of some things our reader “Bob” has said. But it is, in my opinion, overshadowed by ths one great matter; a matter foreshadowed, clearly, in Soraya’s fable. – Stephen
I have lots of pictures of the place where he talked with Janice and gave her a letter to give to the Eldest. I took them when I was out there with Strattera a few years a few months back.
Here’s the church, with a special Santa Cruz twist:
(See the Buddhist nun?)
Here’s Mission Santa Cruz, just across the street:
And here’s the crumbling original Mission Santa Cruz. (Buildings are mortal.)
Though my pictures don’t show it, these are all clustered near each other. Holy ground, like Zeke says. And a tricky place for someone who feels he has to hide from a disapproving Yawheh!
From here, we will move on to a meeting with the Eldest. — Flyss
Two updates in 24 hours. Probably that’s because the sequencing clock bumped up 10% in one go.
This installment is titled The Eldest, and it’s truly grand.
I met the Eldest myself, and I was blown away. But I couldn’t come close to describing what she was like.
Janice can. And what she writes is amazing. — Flyss
I know the content of this blog is complex, so I wish to clarify a point: It was Alexandros and Soraya who, as heads of Immortal Illuminati, deliberately chose to put Hitler in power, claiming that it was the only way they saw to prevent an even greater evil. (Installment 6 of Janice Among the Immortals.)
This is certainly a shocking revelation, and hard to swallow. But nowhere here do we read that it was The Eldest who did this.
At most, she did not interfere with them; she seems to be a minimalist in her manner of intervening in historical events.
Remember: Though the Illuminati keep a chair for her, Janice records Alexandros’ complaint that for a considerable period of time she has declined to join them. To a man of his age, the term “considerable” suggests centuries at the least.-- Stephen
In installment 8 of Janice Among the Immortals. The Eldest is sharing some of her personal history with Janice. She comes to the point in time when language was invented. What she says is intriguing:
Words became thought, became power. Words slaved her. Then she became free.
It makes me think of how we can use words to control others. Think of ideologies and religions. Words are planted in the mind that resound and influence behavior a whole life long. Without words, could there be any “ism?” — Kate