The Circle of Savants

Version 1.0 of 24/3/2010-3:14 a.m.

Sometimes I like to regress back in time when the First Mind thought about the first thing that was conceived.

Without a human manifestation however, it is a really hard to imagine what this Mind was like. Was it God? The First Cause? The Firstborn?

A Mind so immense, which thought all the appropriate differential equations and all the initial conditions that describe this universe. A mind which thought every single detail about the future. Your future and my future. Can anyone fathom such a mind? And if anyone can do this, who could they be apart from the First Mind itself?

Is such a Mind to be trusted? The Brahmin drivers of India who drive buses full of western tourists around a famous bridge, sometimes raise their hands away from the steering wheel while the bus crosses a famous Indian bridge. While this causes extreme uneasiness to the bus tourists, the Brahmin drivers when asked, will cheerfully explain that when the bus crosses this particular bridge and they raise their hands away from the wheel, "Brahma drives".

On the other hand, religious people from western cultures have a fundamental conviction that their fate lies in the hands of God. Both Easterners and Westerners recognize that The First Mind occasionally, if not always, drives their future.

A group of rascals plays hide and seek outside my window in Knossos. As I hear their little voices, they transform into what The First Mind looks like: It's a group of 12 African individuals. They sit around a well lit fire, crouched down in the typical African posture with their knees close to their shoulders, wearing only a small red cloth cover over their genitals. They make weird shapes on the sand, using small broken sticks and they smoke something in a what looks like a pipe, which is passed around in a round robin fashion.

They are neither biologists, nor mathematicians. They are neither physicists nor cosmologists. They are simple African peasants. They are dark and their skin does not reflect the fire's nuances very well. Their curly hair is dusty from the hot African wind which is full of fine sand and they are skinny from their daily running and hunting Antelopes on the African steppes. Although most of them have some missing teeth, their smiles are large and radiant. Their eyes are black and sparkle with happiness reflecting the light of the central fire. They have this happiness that can be found only in individuals who somehow "know everything".

They are the circle of the first gurus of the universe. The first 12 wise men. The twelve "apostles". Their faces radiate with the wisdom of the first manifestation of The First Mind. They carry in their bodies the 12 gene prototypes out of which the entire human race was spawned forth. Heck, now that I look better, there's one with my gene type as well, but black.

The entire congregation looks like it's suspended in chaos. It looks like it's sustained by The First Cause. It's as if they have direct contact with it and they seem to talk of the First Cause's various scenarios.

I can hear their laughing as if I am watching their congregation from above. They are good hearted, benign and they like good laughs. They occasionally poke each other with small sticks or pinch themselves and laugh. They like to imagine things. But their best pleasure is for each one to show the rest of the congregation what scenario each one has dreamed up.

After taking a large sip of whatever they are smoking, one of them makes some weird ineligible geometrical figures on the sand and shows them to the others. He is drawing the life of a twentieth century human. The rest follow his hand gestures as if they are hypnotized. He explains to them what is what: I can see his representations of a large city, of lots of white humans and he finally connects all the figures together, using crude lines, indicating some sort of complex communication.

The rest of the congregation stares at the drawings, which by now have acquired some strange shadows under the night fire. He urges them to "dream" about this particular story. The pipe is passed around and the rest of the congregation starts chanting the Sacred sound. They momentarily all fall into a trance, closing their eyes and they somehow all find themselves inside the sphere of this particular dream materialized into 12 white businessmen communicating over the internet in some large city during the 21st century.

After a while, and after the trance is over, they slowly open their eyes. Each one of them starts laughing and pats the dream originator on the back as if telling him "good job".

The pipe is passed around and a second member starts making gestures. His designs are really elaborate. He gets up and draws around the fire using his fingers. He then tries to explain to the others using words and sounds. Some from the congregation point to the drawings and start laughing in a gesture of approval. After a while, so do the others. Then they all sit down, crouched again and start chanting the Sacred sound. The designer's explanations transform into a dream and all of them find themselves being 12 white kids in Knossos, playing hide and seek. The kids around my block.

After a while, this trance is over too, and they decide to dream of a little harder game. The pipe is passed around and one member lifts his index finger and suggests a different kind of dream. He starts drawing the figure of a woman on the sand. When the figure is completed, the group is divided. Some laugh patting him on the back, others move their hands in disapproval, kind of like saying "Nah".

He continues after the figure of the woman is complete, trying to describe her bodily and facial features. Some of the others come close to the drawing and make some corrections to her hips and waist. He scratches his head trying to see if he approves of the new shape and finally agrees. He then explains the scenario and using some final gestures, he finishes his overall design.

Some of the members are a little uneasy and they point out their uneasiness to the designer. He agrees. This is one dream which is not going to be all fun. It will entail pain. Finally, after what seems like an eternity of bickering and arguing, they all sit down and start chanting the Sacred sound. The designer's explanations transform into a dream and they all find themselves sometime in 18th century, with a beautiful woman in their midst. This is a difficult dream. The object is who, among them will win this woman.

Time unfolds very fast in the dream. Years pass like seconds. Some of the participants fall in love with the woman and have their hearts taken over by their love for her. The local village men fight for this woman in duels and some are killed by the fierce competition. The ones that die in the dream, immediately wake up in the circle of the congregation, scared and all sweaty as if their trance was interrupted violently and painfully.

One by one, they all wake up from the trance, except one: The designer of the dream. He is lost in the arms of his beloved design in his dream. He is asleep in his trance but he is smiling: In his dream he has won the woman and now he is enjoying her embraces. All 11 members of the congregation are awake except him.

They start laughing at his gullibility. The person next to him gives him a good shake, as if wanting him to wake up. He doesn't want to wake. After four of five good shakes and the noise from the bickering of the others, he finally opens his eyes. He has totally forgotten himself in his dream. He looks a little surprised, but after 15-20 seconds, he breaks out in a good hearty laugh. The others nod their heads in approval, as if his dream was ok, afterall.

The pipe is passed around yet another time. Things now get progressively more difficult. The dreams involve more and more pain: Children born in Africa with the AIDS virus, children of families dying, car accidents, wars, famine and diseases. The gurus wake up more and more distressed from their deaths in the respective dreams. Finally, after a good round of painful dreams, they sit down and furiously argue between themselves about what the ultimate dream would have to be.

Hours pass, with many of them taking turns trying to explain their dreams to the others. There seems to be no agreement on "the dream of all dreams". Then one of them has an idea: What if each one chose the dream of their liking and they stayed in it as long as they wanted? He gets up and draws on the sand some rays which seem to start from the fire and separate them into 12 different sectors, each sector with a different design.

They all nod their head in approval, until one of them raises his hand and asks the question, how will they all wake up if each one is in a different dream. They all scratch their heads in astonishment, until one points at the fire: "The First Cause". That's who will wake them all up in the end. The rest of the members cheer in approval and all laugh heartily.

They all take turns explaining their dream to the rest of the members, making it possible for all of them to interface between their dreams. This is the guarantee that The First Cause will wake them up in the end.

They all sit down crouched and invoke the power of The First Cause during the end of their designs. The pipe is passed one more time around and gradually, after chanting the Sacred sound, each one enters their own dream. Some of them will become famous people, others rich people, scientists, politicians, women, noble warriors, soldiers, painters, teachers. Each one has chosen what they liked to dream about.

And while they are asleep, the great First Cause sustains them all, until one day in eternity, when He will wake them up, so they can find themselves again around the fire, telling new stories and creating new dreams and experiences for the whole congregation to share.

They are the Circle of Savants. The first gurus. The Eternal Dreamers.