Imagine a World – a short story; a parable

Imagine a world similar to Earth, only smaller, about the size of Mars, and from space looking more green than blue.  That was Ashuan, many, many thousands of Earth years ago.  It had evolved, much like your Earth, and a species of pseudo humans found itself living there.  These humanoid creatures, like Earthians today, possessed a violent nature.  They were predatory, possessive, greedy and fearful.  Not surprisingly their interactions with nature and each other were punctuated by constant violence.  Individuals competed against individuals for anything and everything.  Tribes fought tribes for control of territory.  As they developed agrarian communities, they fought pitched battles and wars over control of arable lands and space to build ever-expanding cities.

The planet did not have massive oceans as on Earth.  It had several smaller seas and apart from many tributaries, some running only in the spring, it had two great rivers that flowed away from each other from a central mountain chain, each into one of the largest seas.  In the chasms and valleys grew great forests of hardwood trees and these too were fought over as the wood provided much of the economic resources of the planet.  It was used for fuel, for firing forges and for construction.  As the sentient race’s technology developed, minerals were hungrily sought out and fought over also.

Even among the teacher clans there were fights, and the children were encouraged to waylay and attack students from competing clans.  So you get the picture, not pretty, but certainly not strange to any observant Earthian.  Yes indeed, people after your own heart; who know what is necessary to ‘survive’ on a harsh world.

To attempt to curb at least the local and individual violence Draconian laws were passed all over Ashuan.  Death by some kind of torture was the penalty for most crimes, including theft and giving false testimony or lying about a neighbor.  Adultery was punished by drowning.  Murder was punished by slow strangulation.  All of these executions were publicly held and relatives of both the perpetrator and criminals were forced to attend and participate in these exercises.  While these laws did curb some of the worst local and personal violence they did nothing to change the overall mindset.  Groups continued to attack groups and wars continued to be the answer to hold unto power or control resources.

There arose, on Ashuan, certain families whose members demonstrated a much higher intelligence than the average Ashuan.  Over time members from these families, despite many challenges which included assassinations, came to control the highest levels of rulership in business, government and law.  They were a harsh and grim folk who never backed down.  Gradually their determination and fair-mindedness made them acceptable to the rank and file: the bureaucracies supported them.

Once established as a power on Ashuan, these individuals known as “Ostars” began the onerous task of changing the mindset of the people.  They ‘nationalized’ all resources and implemented fairer systems of trade.  They established a planetary representative government.  They brought the teacher clans under the law so that any teacher or student found to promote violence against another clan or student would be answerable to the courts.

But they saw that these changes did not accomplish their end: the elimination of personal violence against others.  So they went to the next obvious level.

Here’s a true story of how Ashuan was changed.

A deserter calling himself Crannik was apprehended after attacking a pioneer family, killing the father and son, raping the mother and two daughters and killing them in turn.  The prisoner was brought before the presiding judge at the court of the City of Leehat.

The man, in chains and flanked by two peace-keepers with two more behind him to prevent any attempt at escape, or anyone else trying to free him, stood sullenly, head bowed, before the court.  After a short deliberation if became quite clear that the man had indeed committed the crimes he was charged with.  The judge passed sentence based on the law: death by slow strangulation to be carried out by the remaining families of the victims.

As the court exploded in cheers and cursing towards the perpetrator the judge, a tall old man with white hair flowing down over his shoulders, stood up regal and authoritative in his presiding judge’s white robe and scarlet trim.  He allowed the uproar to continue for a time, then motioned for the court to be silent.

“People of the court,” he said, “saddened families of the victims, citizen Crannik, listen carefully to what I will now say.”  In what was likely a rehearsed move he turned to his assistant, a young woman, and asked her to take over the presiding role.

“Listen now, people of Leehat and Ashuan.  The judgment passed upon citizen Crannik cannot be repealed.  The execution must take place this day.  However, as judge of this court I have certain prerogatives in handling this matter.  We have seen many people moved by lust, greed, fear, pride or anger, pass through this court to be executed.  We may have noticed and I certainly have, that the number of crimes committed among us has not diminished despite the punishment of the law being applied to the letter in every case.  We have accomplished little, maybe nothing.  I have caused blood to be shed on top of blood already shed and I see no results.  Therefore it falls upon me, as judge, to take the blame for this and to seek a better way.

“Let me assure you that the laws of the land will not be challenged.  They stay as is.  Without them we are lost.  So if the law is not to be changed, then how it is applied must be.  So this is how it must be: I, as your judge, now make a trade with citizen Crannik.  I will take his place as the one to bear the punishment.  All records of his crimes will be stricken and all charges dropped.  He is a free man as of this moment.”

He then removed his judge’s robe and took the one step down to the prisoner’s station.  There he instructed the chains be removed and placed on himself, to the obvious horror of the peace-keepers.  But one look from those icy-blue eyes convinced the men to do as they were told.  The man Crannik walked out of the court and no one followed him.  All eyes were upon the judge as he was led to the place of execution.  It can be said that the families of Crannik’s victims took no pleasure in administering the punishment.

The story also goes on to tell that Crannik walked away in utter confusion, a confusion that later turned to self-analysis and near despair.  About a month later as he was walking through a canyon, still thinking of himself as a fugitive, still hiding, he heard cries.  Below him three people struggling in the current of the river were being swept toward a water fall.  He stumbled down, jumped in the water and managed to save two of the people before he and the third man were swept over the falls to their death.

The story also goes on to tell that the young woman who became presiding judge found herself in a situation of having to apply capital punishment and took the death penalty upon herself, setting a condemned woman free in a case of flagrant seduction and adultery.  This presiding judge, by her death left two children and a loving husband.

The story also goes on to say that the fruits of this change were certainly bitter for many years.  To a casual observer, these ‘Ostars’ would seem to have lost their minds.  You see, it wasn’t just in the courts that judges took on the punishment of the condemned.  In business, owners and bosses came among the workers and joined in their labors and their meager pleasures then found ways to share the profits of the enterprise.  Many became penniless, along with their families.  In government, leaders took the place of armies and offered their own lives in the quest for peace between nations and tribes.  From these sacrifices the people learned, despite their selfish nature, to share the land, its resources and the labor freely among each other, and to respect each other’s place.

It took hundreds of years, says the story, but Ashuan was changed – forever.  To guarantee their newly found and costly freedom the Ashuans joined an inter-galactic group of dissenters and turned their planet into a hidden world, out of the grasp of the Time Lords who continue to this day to promote violence as a means of control over their worlds.

Ashuan, today, is known as Altaria.  Interbreeding between the Ostars and the Ashuans eventually produced a race of beings known as ‘avatars’ or bodhisattvas.

You will ask me, ‘Is this really a true story, or at least a channeled message, or is it more fiction?’  And I will say to you, ‘Does it matter if it does not move you?  And if it does, look to your own fields; that is, ask yourself why.’

8 thoughts on “Imagine a World – a short story; a parable

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you indeed for your comment, “Prose” – I appreciate it the more because that is a hard story (parable) to digest.

      Reply
  1. Emma

    Love it.

    Are you familiar with Par Lagerkvist, a long dead now Swedish (Nobel winning) writer?

    My guess is not (almost nobody is, not anymore, and not in America at least), so here is his Nobel speech to give you a taste: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1951/lagerkvist-speech.html

    He is one of my favorites. Your writing — blissfully sparse, free of clutter, poignant, and focused on (the search for) the eternal truths — reminds me of his.

    I am so pleased I’ve found your blog. I’m mightily intrigued and full of questions, but will try to curb my curiosity. Somehow.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for your warm comment and for reading. I am sorry to say, I don’t know (yet!) about Par Lagerkvist, but I will look up on the link as soon as time permits.

      Reply
      1. Emma

        I hope you’ll like him. He was (still is, in his prose) all kinds of awesome, IMO — but also that of many in the world, as evidenced by his Nobel.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I’ve read Par Lagerkvist’s Nobel prize acceptance short story about the man and woman who come to earth. At the end the two brothers are faced with the same dilemma Cain faced: if they were the only humans on the planet, where would their “wives” come from?

      Reply

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