Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unremembered Histories

What follows is the introduction to my story Unremembered History of the World, which will soon appear in my short volume of stories titled Unremembered Histories. Follow on Facebook and stay attuned to this and other launches planned for fall 2011 at N&L Publishing.

Introduction to Unremembered History of the World


There are some who have proposed that it is sheer vanity for us to imagine our earth as the only heavenly body populated by creatures with intelligence and personality. I propose that it is equally vain to imagine that our history, the one recorded by our historians, the one we know as "recorded history", is the only valid history for mankind here on this earth.

To imagine life on other galaxies and to search for it are not unrelated. As is well known, steps have already been undertaken to find evidence in support of this hypothesis.

In regards to the notion that there exists the possibility of an infinite series of parallel times... verification of this theory is a task whose path is less self-evident, obscured as it is by mists. And yet, we see glimpses of it, reflected here and there from the great minds who were not bound to earth by the pettiness that so smothers us. Goethe noted that his heart contained the capacity for all acts, from the most heinous to the sublime. Could he have been standing on the threshold of those infinite courses that sweep into other avenues of time, unseen, unknown and unremembered?

Bernard Yachtmann records instances where people have had glimpses of other histories, reiterating the conviction that time contains an infinite number of parallel streams, and in each there are alternative histories, of an infinite variety. While not every act leads to significant consequence, many acts do, and what if in an alternate history the consequences of those acts were indeed being played out. Likewise one can find similar references by Marconi, Hasjammer, and Brandt, and an exhaustive treatise along these lines by Don Luis de Nativo.

While at the University of Salamanca at the turn of the century, Don Luis de Nativo wrote extensively on this theme. Though his manuscripts remained mostly unpublished and were eventually lost, the man de Nativo is best remembered as an archetype of de Unamuno's "man of passion" as fleshed out in TheTragic Sense of Life, de Unamuno's master work. (I have been told that it was a chance meeting with Joseph Conrad which prompted de Nativo to pseudonymously publish his epic work El Mundo Gordo.)

In other words, to get right to my point: my proposition is not original. It has been well documented by others as a reasonable conjecture. No doubt it is my own insecurity that forces me to cite other, more significant voices, as if the testimony of my own experience will be insufficient.

Those of you who know me know that I often have unusual dreams. Oftentimes the dreams unfold as detailed stories. I recently dreamt a short skit which became a television commercial. I've had prophetic dreams, including a dream which showed me that my firstborn would be a son. I've also had dreams which I believe were gifts from God.

In September of 1984 I had a strange dream. As is my custom, I recorded the images of my dream, in as much detail possible, and its effect.

Two months later, while looking for a book by one author or another at one of our local used bookstores, I happened upon a small, Irish green, clothbound book called Flight of Gypsies. It was one of those moments when a decision carries weight, when you feel compelled to act irrationally. The price, eight-fifty, was higher than I would have expected, especially considering the broken binding and what appeared to be several loose and missing pages. Yet when I opened the book and randomly read about five sentences, I knew that I must have the book.

I'd no sooner gotten the book home than I regretted the decision. The volume was more or less a compendium of prophecies by various gypsy seers in England, from 1632 to 1785. The purpose, I could only surmise, was to assemble a record of prophetic utterances for verification purposes. For the most part, the sketchy accounts were repetitive and tedious and I soon found my self bored. There were prophecies about early deaths, unhappy marriages, deformed children, and blights on households to the third and fourth generations, utterances about flea infestations, curses of blindness and baldness, worms, contagion, and dementia. I put the book on a shelf in our garage.

The next day I found one of the pages lying on the floor next to my desk. With no intention of reading, I picked it up to deposit it in the trash when the name Thomas Olney caught my eye. Olney was the name of the man in my dream. To this man and his family I will need to return, in order to strengthen my arguments and make plain my case.

Not all dreams are stories, nor do all dreams reveal secrets about the nature of the universe -- though many reveal secrets about ourselves, and I am often quite impressed with the power of this magic mirror of our souls.

Nevertheless, that night I began a quest, the result being this which you now read, of our unremembered history.... one of many, I might add... and one which we may all, with longing, seek to gain again.... if not for ourselves, then for our heirs.

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