King Ruhtra of Tolemac

Montreal, April 24, 1999

Emile: No, it's not the same myth as Atlantis, but there's some geometrical similarities

Zeus: Well this Rooter guy sounds too far out to be believable. I have some real doubts about some of these mythical figures, as you well know.

Emile: Yes I'm aware of your identity anxieties and researches, ... but my feeling is that these myths didn't just come out of the blue, and even if they did, that doesn't mean that they have nothing to offer us.

Zeus: If we can agree on the fictitiousness, I can certainly go along with the value content in these tales from the crypt or wherever, ... so carry on.

Emile: Well King Rhutra or 'root-er' as it was pronounced, lived eons ago on an island in the middle of a vast sea, where the climate was ideal and living was easy. The peoples of Tolemac had lost touch with their history and knew nothing of any other parts of the world, so they became very focused on themselves and their island. Rhutra believed that understanding things in depth was the worthy thing for people to do and his precedent set the pattern for a whole dynasty of kings who encouraged their people to get to the 'bottom' of things. 'Rhutra' in their language, in fact, meant 'one who gets to the bottom of things'. And they were apparently a highly capable civilization in terms of technology, presumably as a result of their inquiring, analytical cultural bent, ... some say they were as advanced as our present civilization, but in any case they were well equipped to develop an in-depth knowledge of themselves and their island.

Zeus: What kind of things were they trying to understand?

Emile: Well, as you might imagine, they wondered where their own island had come from, being alone in the ocean like that, and King Ruhtra initiated a multi-generational program to get to the roots of that problem by digging a number of mines vertically down into the core of the island to great depths to get a picture of the 'causal roots' of the island. The results of this investigation were very dissatisfying and to top it off, after some generations, another island emerged about 50 miles to the west of them. This was a great embarassment to the managers of the mining program since the whole story of how their island evolved had been playing itself out just a few miles away, but of course they were totally unaware of it until the upwelling island came close enough to the surface to manifest as a large area of breaking waves in stormy weather.

Zeus: I can imagine their frustration, it sounds like the feeling you get when digging for horse clams, .... if you're not fast enough, ... they fill in the sand passages as they travel through them, and then, after you've got a big pit dug, you see their waterspout come up several feet away from where you're digging.

Emile: .... yes, and the Tolemacians did just as the clamdigger would do, ... once a firm beachhead had evolved on the new island, they quickly transferred all of their mining equipment over to it, and recommenced their investigations with renewed vigour, while 'nature's gun was still smoking', so to speak.

Zeus: But, Emile, ... everyone knows that such islands do not have continuing roots because they are formed by the confluent effect of deep crustal hot spots and weak spots in the oceanic plate which flows over them, .... they are the result of relational effects, like puffs of smoke which drift away from the top of a smokestack in the breeze, or like the 'flow moguls' or standing waves in a flowing stream which, rather than indicating the presence of a rock directly beneath them, are the embodiment of interference effects from rocks around them.

Emile: Well, apparently King Ruhtra and the Tolemacians had never thought about that possibility, even though they had plenty of flowing streams on their volcanic islands, ... too busy rootering to reflect, perhaps.

Zeus: ... it's weird that the lightbulb didn't come on for them.

Emile: But the story gets curiouser and curiouser. Ruhtra's line of successors were very embarassed by this inability to get to the root of the origins of their island, and they began obsessing with every emergent issue in their own sociology, ... wanting to understand it in detail, to get to the very bottom of it, almost as if to make up for their failure to explain 'the big one'.

Meanwhile, the Ruhtrarian dynasty encouraged the development of a sophisticated media, the various components of which competed to be the first in the rapid identification of newly emergent problems and in the exposing of their root cause. The impressiveness of their 'live performance' in this investigative undertaking became the determinant for which one's thrived and which died, and they progressively padded their programs with all kinds of expert testimonies, and impose inferences as to the root cause of complex social issues. But, of course, specialized opinion was not what was needed to shed light on emergent behaviors coming from relational interference.

Zeus: But Emile, ... its too obvious that complex social problems emerge from interference effects, and not from explicit root cause, ... trying to get at the causal root of them is indeed like trying to get at the non-existent rock under the 'flow mogul' in the stream. What they obviously needed to do instead was to keep moving, ... to keep pursuing those purposes that were meaningful to them, since .... to stop and be mesmerized by your own waves that you're stirring up is to act like a dog chasing its own tail.

Emile: I know it seems far fetched, but I didn't write this myth Zeus, ... I'm just passing it on like many others must have done over the eons.

Zeus: Well it sounds like a 'rooters nightmare' to me, ... what ultimately happened to the Tolemacians?

Emile: In the process of trying to identify the causal roots of their problems, there was much recrimination and fighting, and more and more of everyone's time was taken up worrying about how to solve the mess, ... the more they focused on problems and cause, the more they were distracted from their normal pursuit of purpose, and to the extent that their pursuit of purpose was displaced by causal investigation into problems, their problems loomed ever larger and more threatening. To compound matters, the intense orientation to searching out the cause of problems, induced all kinds of conspiratorial theories and paranoia which fragmented and polarized the population, until they began to see their entire existence in terms of problem-solving rather than purpose-seeking.

Zeus: ... so their pursuit of purpose effectively 'collapsed' with the focus on cause.

Emile: Exactly!

Zeus: What else does the myth say, ... how did they ultimately meet their demise?

Emile: Well apparently, their own children could see the madness in the whole schema, but the children, of course, had no say in such matters, so the incidence of youthful suicide rose steadily, as did the incidence of children turning against society with murderous intent. It's ironic that even as the Tolemacians were locked in these death throes, ... their islands were quietly subducting in the normal course of nature's recycling program. So the 'missing piece of information', the subductive phase of the circular tectonics which explained their island's origin was ultimately presented to them on a platter --- but too late --- and too bad, because had they anticipated the answer earlier, the light would surely have come on to the fact that all things are part of a curved space upwelling and subduction, their island and their emergent social issues being no exceptions, ... a single answer for both sets of problems.

Zeus: Fascinating story, Emile, but I can't believe any culture could ever get to the stage where they were putting all their thoughts and resources into the causal analysis and control of problems, as opposed to pursuing their own community purpose, of living in a harmony of whole-and-part with each other. Such cultural dysfunction smacks of megalomania or Tolemacentricity or something, .... any psychologist can tell you that you must 'let go' of problems and refocus positively and purposefully, on your own ontogeny, and when you do that in harmony with your friends and family and community, problems shrink while the powerful flow of collective purpose builds, .. a double whammy in favor of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Emile: Apparently, the negativity continued to feed on itself, and the climate of paranoia intensified to the point where one side would make pre-emptive strikes on the basis of subjective interpretations and suspicions, and this of course yielded self-fulfilling prophecies which seemed to validate the causal projections. This works in the same way as when one says, ... the managers of this bank are incompetent and their bank is going to fail as a result, ... and sure enough the bank fails, not because of the incompetence necessarily, but because of the imagined future reaching back and modulating the present. The mood of suspicion and investigation alienated the young in particular and exacerbated the outbreaks of socio-cide, which in turn fuelled rises in the rate of suicide, etc. etc., ... all-in-all amounting to a kind of collective self-destruction of Tolemacian civilization.

Zeus: Sounds alot like the same old 'mogular versus intermogular' space-time perception you've been going on about in the present.

Emile: ... same geometry to be sure, ... the community seen as a master mogul-skier is purposively focused on the intermogular passages, and sees the moguls themselves as reciprocal and secondary things created by interference amongst the flow channels, in the same way as the 'flow moguls' on the turbulent river. The good skier tries to get into the 'Tao' of skiing, and of course, being in the Tao is like being part of the flow 'whose' natural desire is to be fulfilled by flowing into the sea of purpose.

Zeus: ... you mean a full-filling in the pub-lake house at the base of the slope.

Emile: The fulfilling of purpose can incarnate in many ways, Zeus, but whatever the ways, they are happy and harmonious by definition and if one is in that orientation, one can't be a frustrated and depressed slave to problems at the same time.

Zeus: Well Emile, we all have our favorite myths, and Ruhtra and the Tolemacians is not bad, but how is it that one never finds any physical artifacts of mythical communities like the Tolemacians?

Emile: But they do! The table used by the disputing Tolemacians in the last round of negotiations prior to subduction, was a massive wooden table which floated off and was recovered and preserved in a museum in Dresden, until Dresden was destroyed by bombing in WWII.

Zeus: How was the table identified as being from Tolemac?

Emile: It was a square table engraved exactly as in the myth, ... "In controlling each other, we become slaves"

Zeus: Sounds like they were at least coming to terms with their fetish for establishing causal responsibility for all problems so as to justify putting the boots to the alleged causor, ... but wait a minute, Emile, ... this has got the ring of another myth with a table and inscription in it, ..... but which evades my mind at the moment. Anyhow, after listening to all of this, I am beginning to think of our own present day situation with Kosovo, Y2K, high school massacres, global casino for economy and all that.

Emile: Yes, there's definitely similarities, .... the media and the internet is so problem-focused that everyone's mind seems to have little time left for pursuing natural community-purpose, and besides, ... in this mature state of problem-focus and lost purpose, it is politically incorrect NOT to be worrying about problems. The causal culture is a generalizing culture, which ignores the power and beauty of co-resonantly interfering diversity, as in the rainforest. And of course, today's problems are clearly of the 'flow mogul' or 'relational' variety which have no 'root cause' but are set up by interference effects within the flow.

Zeus: But Emile, ... the interference metaphor only goes so far here because even if the 'cause' is not direct, it must be real, and therefore it can only be in the past and not in the future. So, the stream-flow analogy doesn't work because the 'flow mogul' derives from events both in the upstream past and downstream future; , ... that is, the 'flow mogul' also draws from obstacles which the flow has not yet encountered. In our real world, only real events in the past can be causally responsible for present behaviors, ... that indeed is an essential attribute of causality, ... and that is the basis for our justice system, wherein a 'cause' is responsible for an 'effect' at some time in the future and not the other way around.

Emile: And Y2K, ... you do not think that this future event, the millenium bug, reaches back to influence the present. And the media imagery of mass annhilations in Kosovo, ... you do not think that this future event reaches back to influence the present, ... and for westerners who are skilled withholders of finance, resources and privileges, when they contemplate the middle east closing the tap on the west, .... do you not think that this reaches back from the future to influence the present? In other words, do you not think that 'the imaginary' must be accounted for in understanding 'community as complex system'.

Zeus: phhweeeeeuuhh! I don't know what I was thinking about, ... of course it must be accounted for, ... there can be no denial, Emile, and out the window goes the notion of 'causal' roots of social problems, ... and in comes a new and clearer vision of those 'flow moguls'; i.e. .... as grows the fears of what might happen in the future, so grows the 'flow mogul', and if we fear nothing and move ahead in the confident pursuit of purpose, back-from-the-future interference dissipates and the mogul shrinks, and we move on into our desired future at the same time.

How can our culture continue to search for causal roots of problems when what we imagine in the future so clearly influences the current behavior of our community? How can we allow our culture to set up fields of fear and suspicion by looking to genetics as the cause of criminal or insane behaviors when such behavior is so strongly influenced by imagination of the future? And how can we respond to trouble in the schools due to alienation of some of the students, by intensifying our suspicious scrutinizing of them as potential agents of cause, with the result that feelings of alienation are also intensified.

Emile: Good question, Zeus. What kind of imagination of the future is in the minds of the 52% of kids in youth care centers here who have already tried at least once to commit suicide? What kind of imagination of the future is in the minds of students who strike against society by massacring their own schoolmates? What kind of imagination of the future does one take away from negatively selective media imagery, particularly when community, which could be offsetting the bleakness of problem-oriented envisioning of the future, seems often to have no other purpose than to act as a staging ground for amassing wealth, within which charter, it sets up educational plants to fabricate people-as-money-making engine's, as opposed to ontogenetic legacy cultivators?

Zeus: Like you say, Emile, there is a growing focus on moguls and root cause, and a corresponding decline in the focus on intermogular pursuit of purpose. As the culture turns towards the identification of real, past, causal explanations for things, ... it turns its back on the building of a positive image of the future, ... thus our denial of the effect of imagination not only puts us on a wild goose chase for causal solutions which don't exist, ... for non-existing rocks beneath the flow-moguls, ... but also collapses our sustaining of purpose which, when its there, gives us a positive instead of negative imagining of the future. The belief in purpose collapses with the belief in cause. We have got it all upside down. What can we do to our own evolving myth? .... what could the Tolemacians have done?

Emile: Well if they had inverted their perspective from voyeur to immersed, that is, ... from mogular to intermogular, ... this would have moved them from euclidian or 'rectangular' space and linear time into curved space-time, ... in which case, they would be trading out their square table for a round table and the inscription "in controlling each other, we become slaves" for the inscription "in serving each other, we become free".

Zeus: Now I remember the other myth!

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