This preamble is especially intended for the readers who missed the previous novels «The Missing Planets» and «Dumria». But it also contains some novel data, unpublished since these two books.
The discovery of the quantum telescope, in 2065, allowed for a detailed examination of nearly all the planets of the galaxy at large. However, against all the predictions of science fiction books, no solution was ever found to the problem of the interstellar journey. So it is only from Earth that detailed knowledge could be gathered about these other worlds, thanks to the oddly distorted black and white views of the quantum telescopes screens.
Life was here on millions of planets, but at first only planets with plants and animals were found, without any trace of any human civilization, and all the more no technology civilization. This lack of civilizations, and some other odd clues, led to very pessimistic views on the future of mankind, which in turn were at the origin of a serious moral crisis in the world. This crisis was resolved in 2081, at the time of the Missing Planets affair: at a stage of moral civilization more advanced than our Earth, evolved planets undergo a «spiritual transition», a change in their physical nature, which projects them into a psychical world comparable to a religious paradise, where its inhabitants will now share a strong and unalterable happiness. Only remain in our universe empty planetary orbits, with sometimes abandoned satellites or time capsules on the other planets of the system, explaining what happened.
The first discovered time capsule was the one of Centaurus 1296, a nearby planet where a detailed look on a whole library could be obtained, with a content of millions of books, gathering all the history, achievements and dreams of this people. Centaurus was a double planet, like Earth and the Moon, but closer and more symmetrical, two globes eternally facing each other: a big one inhabitable and looking like our Earth, and a smaller, airless, looking like Mercury. So Centaurus had an eighteen times longer day than Earth, and a solar eclipse every midday. Centaurians were an humanoid race, short sized and stocky, wearing on their heads two kind of sensory protuberances, the one behind the other, not unlike the Sioux hair dress. Hermaphroditic, they completely lacked any sexual life, only exchanging germinal cells at the occasion of casual encounters of daily life. Industrious and peaceful people, they lived into well united communities of tens to hundreds people, based on a farm or around a factory. These beings with grey and wrinkled skin had nearby no concern about art and beauty, but on the other hand their emotional life was very rich, and life was good and fulfilling into their cosy and well organized world.
One of the first early publications on the Centaurus society, written in Russian, used the Russian word «soviet» for the local councils leading the Centaurus society. This arose a persistent misconception as what the Centaurians would have been communists. This mistake was feeding on some historical ignorance: In Russia, the «soviets» were created well before the Russian revolution, as spontaneous strike councils without political orientation. Only later, the «soviet» government took over this name, but for disguised control bodies. But the centaurian society was far from Marxism, even if it was not very religious and its inhabitants more oriented toward practical things. In facts it grew and evolved much like the Earth societies, doing about the same mistakes, such as feudal system, social classes, states and market economy. Just that the Centaurians had an innate sense of accepting to deal with different people and different behaviours. This made that their society evolved in a steady and peaceful way, without the appalling fights, revolutions and setbacks Earth had to experience.
So the Centaurian society slowly shifted from a very Earth-like system with democratic states and market economy, to a more and more self-regulated and organized distributive system, where the very idea of social classes became totally irrelevant. The power of the governments receded, not to left the room for some wild and immoral capitalism, but on the contrary to more and more individual responsibility. Centaurian economists even invented the ARF, Altruism and Responsibility Factor, which was very well predicting in which extend the governments and regulations were needed for a smooth operation of economy. And indeed, when the factor reached the predicted level, the whole society flipped into less than a century to a council led system, where governments were only dealing with some specialized matters and planning (like space exploration). Soon these governments united into a world body, managing only science and space, while the economy moved to a massively cooperative system. However the comparison to communism was not very appropriate, as most of the cooperatives were operating on their own, without central planning.
As at random, passing the ARF threshold simultaneously triggered the interest into the spiritual transition, and a sudden rush toward the few spiritual traditions...
The Centaurians had developed a technology similar to Earth's, and, without any bad intend, they started to look for means to travel toward the neighbouring stars, with the hope of finding some inhabitable planets. They installed bases and observatories on their companion planet, at only some hours of their mother planet. They even successfully launched a first interstellar probe, built around a nuclear fission reactor, but it had stopped any emission after only seven years of travel. It is at this moment that the Centaurians discovered the quantum telescope. They also found other more ancient libraries, and they understood that the true interstellar journey was not with material machines, but into the world of the mind. So, spirituality, which was until now relatively discrete on Centaurus, became in some years the first concern. They went fetching in the remotest deserts the rare yogis and their precious tantric techniques allowing to obtain an immortal psychical body into the world of the spirit. Projects of interplanetary probes were abandoned, and the only remaining space project was the colossal setting of about twenty time capsules on the Centaurus moon, the very ones that Earth was to discover ten millions years later. Soon the spiritual transition projected the whole planet into the world of the mind, leaving in the material world only the moon companion with the libraries, free on its own stellar orbit.
Numerous other void orbits of missing planets were found, sometimes showing remnants of space activities. It soon appeared that the Centaurus case was just one on millions of civilized planets which all shared the same fate, all along the History of our galaxy. So the civilizations last only very little time, compared to the billions years required for their appearance. And this explains why we do not see them: if we observe a thunderstorm just the time of an eye glimpse, we have little chances of seeing a lightning. However they are so numerous to appear in the galaxy, that several should always be visible at a given time. So their total absence was still a mystery. It was resolved in 2086: A world wide conspiracy of «anti-suicide» scientistists, hostile to extraterrestrial life and to survival of consciousness beyond death, had succeeded into intercepting and censoring all the discoveries, in order to avoid the Earth to also undergo the «spiritual transition». They claimed that this transition was in fact a kind of catastrophe destroying the planet and its inhabitants. For them, to try to provoke it was a suicide. It is Steve Jason, main character of these three books, who discovered by random the Dumria planet. The conspiracy tried to kidnap Liu Wang, Steve's wife, in order to silent him, but this was not the good way to deal with Steve and Liu...
Dumria was a magnificent planet which inhabitants just wanted to share their friendship with Earth. They had evolved in a brilliant and artistic civilization, peaceful and endearing, entirely based on beauty and cultivation of happiness... but entirely materialistic. Their mastery of genetics allowed them to obtain virtually immortal material bodies, able of regenerating indefinitely, repairing at once the wear of time, and even serious injuries or mutilations. This result was obtained at the cost of complex genetic manipulations, implying the complete transposition of all the genome of an inseminated ovum into a huge computer file, using a tunnel effect microscope. Then came the rationalisation of this file, to add all the new abilities, without modifying the race or the personality. Then the file was rewritten into genetic molecules, still with a tunnel effect microscope, bearing on its point an electronically controlled ribosome. At last it was reinserted in the ovum, and implanted in the uterus of the mother to be. The dumrian brains were too reorganized to obtain increased capacities and a nearby complete immortality, but from the beginning appeared some inconveniences, such as strange dreams and difficulties to assimilate non pre-programmed knowledge. It is at this moment that the Dumrians discovered in their turn what the missing planets were becoming. They realized that their material immortality was in fact blocking all their spiritual evolution, delaying their future happiness by thousands of years. From here their strong desire to contact Earth, a planet often in war and irrational, but where evolved spiritual masters were keeping the secret if the genuine immortality: into the spiritual worlds, beyond death, where no material limitation would ever reach them.
The Dumrians had to wait, because on Earth it was still antic times. They could record an unimaginable number of scenes of the History of Earth, and give us later an incredibly lively view of our own past. While waiting that Earth evolves enough to be able to communicate with Dumria using quantum telescopes, the dumrian geneticists created a new genetic map of brain, called the second version of brain, able of unexpected learning, and especially of the precious non-Aristotelian logic which is at the basis of meditation. But, from their very long life, the Dumrians could bear only very little children, only to replace the rare deaths caused by accidents. For this reason, the second brain map could spread only slowly. Still today the dumrians with the second brain version are only a small minority, but much more influent, enterprising, curious and travelling than the first brain map owners, who are too often content with their little happiness as they always knew it. But the second brain map is still more unstable than the first, giving more often those dreams where the dreamer finds himself in a place with strange properties, experiencing all the range of the most bizarre and violent emotions, strange phenomenon also known on Earth under the scientific name of sleep paralysis, or under the traditional name of nightmare.
On Earth, it was the «anti-suicide» conspiracy which first found Dumria, at the occasion of general surveys searching for inhabited planets. Accomplices of the conspiracy could intercept the messages of software in charge of finding technological shapes on the planets. So the conspiracy was able to censor this discovery, and undertake alone the first contact with Dumria, on the hide. They immediately tried to manipulate the majority of Dumrians with the first brain version, against the minority with the second brain version, in order to eliminate any possibility for Dumria to one day experience the spiritual transition. This attempt to divide Dumria into two enemy clans was a very serious interference, and a potential catastrophe for this people who had no experience of conflict. The conspiracy consciously took the risk of ruining this fascinating civilization in a matter of some years. But what they did not foresee, was that the peaceful Dumrians had a fail proof community sense, together with a great knowledge of psychology: instead of cutting in two opposite clans, they all together took stand against the conflict itself, and not against the other clan. So the conspiracy just gained useless expanses in the bargain. The only thing they won was to be sued into the first (and still unique) interstellar trial.
The true contact between Dumria and the Earth was an incredible explosion of joy and thinking, leading to fantastic possibilities for the two worlds. Technically, the first messages were exchanged with quantum telescopes, observing a movie screen at a distance, with an instant quantum interaction. So the communication was in real time, despite the huge distance of thousands light years. Then special telescopes were built, with much more complex emitters than the screen of the beginning, networks of micro-lasers emitting each gigabits of data. Fantastic quantities of information were exchanged between the two planets, which quite simply shared their two Internet networks, allowing any of their inhabitants for instant access to all the information of the other planet! This was not without some surprises, as seen later in this book.
The main characters encountered in these three book are Steve Jason, an American exobiologist, first sceptic and materialistic, but getting more and more interested when confronted to facts; Liu Wang, a Chinese physicist, Buddhist for long, who married Steve some times after the Missing Planets affair; Sangye Tchögyal, a Tibetan Lama who is also a high level scientist. At the epoch of the Dumria affair, all three were working in the International University of Zambu Shedrup Ling, in Lhassa, Tibet.
This university is a science learning and research centre as many others, but with a remarkable feature: Instead of using only the classical science method of the materialistic physicists, based on the observation of the only material evidence, they use the General Epistemology, based on observation methods and kind of evidences belonging to the studied domain: material or spiritual. In facts the elimination of the hypothesis as what all must be explained materially led to a fantastic unlocking of knowledge, and to the possibility of studying domains which were considered as «beliefs» by the materialistic science, such as ethics or spirituality. This led to simple explanations to mysterious phenomena such as parapsychology or NDE, without attempts to reduce them to anything «materially explainable» or to «psychological stuff».
A remarkable feature of this series of novels is that it is not based on interstellar travel. As far as we know, it looks physically impossible: otherwise, we should have visits since long ago. However, interstellar communication is present everywhere and instantaneous, thanks to the quantum non-locality of our physical universe.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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