Julian Faber

A Little Knowledge…

„So, ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is conclusive proof – in the DNA strands of all participants in the test – of the existence of Past Lives,“ the speaker said, looking over his glasses at the assembled audience, before looking back at his notes. The crowd was silent for a moment before a ripple of murmuring and whispers went through them, growing in volume as the moments went by.
„Furthermore,“ said the speaker, pausing as he waited for the noise to abate, „Furthermore…there is also proof that our souls grow with each new life, building itself up to God knows what at the end of our existence.
We start as a single celled amoeba or the like and grow through all stages of evolution, until we reach this current stage…humanity.
„I believe now, that there will be more to come in the millennia ahead, until in some far distant future we attain…what? I cannot say,“ he gently shook his head as he looked out silently into the crowd of astounded and amazed scientists.
„All I can say, is that one day – many days from now – we shall all arrive at …the end? The beginning? …Heaven? Perhaps something that our current minds cannot grasp yet, but something…that is certain.“

* * *

Daniel and Barbra Keeling walked through the snowy streets as they left the convention, heads down and hands thrust deep into the pockets of their heavy overcoats. They were a couple in their late thirties and had met back in college where they had studied biology in the same lab. They had married soon after graduation, but had never found the time or the inclination to have children.

„So, what do you think?“ Barbra asked Daniel, without looking at him.
„I’m not sure,“ replied Daniel, „It seems perfectly reasonable, but it’s just so … so –“
„Improbable?“ Barbra offered.
„More than that. I’d always thought evolution was so cut and dried, but now Carmichael is proposing that we evolve on a spiritual level as well as on the physical. The idea that we carry the same…soul…throughout millions of years is just…well –“ he trailed off as they rounded a corner.
„It’s a bit of a shock, that’s all. It makes sense to me, but it will take some time to sink in, I think,“ said Barbra, looking across at him and trailing mist from her mouth over her shoulder.
„I’m wondering how the rest of the world is going to react as well. I mean, this isn’t something you hear everyday. Religions may collapse! Holy wars could start! It’s pretty startling!“ said Daniel, raising his head to look at her. Her cheeks were red from the cold air, and she was breathing a little heavily.
„I hadn’t considered religion,“ said Barbra, and again she looked up at him, „Although this could support Creationism.“
„Many things will change, Barb,“ said Daniel looking at her a little grimly, „This is one of those moments in History that no-one ever forgets.“

* * *

Two weeks later it was all anyone could talk about. It was on the news, it was on talkback radio, it was all over the newsstands. People everywhere were suddenly guaranteed another life than the previous isolated existence they knew. The fear of death began to disappear, and as it did, the new religions began to start up. The Church of Eternal Life, the Church of Posterity, the Church of the Holy Resurrection, and more.

Everywhere, attitudes to life itself changed. People were happier and more giving. Killers in the jails were freed and exonerated of their crimes. Murders and killings all started dying off (excuse the pun). And then, in the following months, suicides and murders began to increase again, suddenly twice as strong as they had previously. As murder was no longer a crime, there was nothing to stop anyone doing it. People who tired of this life killed themselves in droves as they realised another life – a better one? – would be forthcoming.

Then came The Church of Advancement.

Saturday the 21st of November, The Church of Advancement opened it’s doors, calling the faithful into the Act of Advancement. They believed that to create life anew, they could kill animals of a lesser distinction than Human to Advance them up the spiritual ladder. Humans too, could progress to the next level. Handguns, rifles and knives were their crosses and bathing in the blood of beasts their Baptism. The popularity of the Church swelled, increasing it’s fold to swallow all other new religions, as well as the old. Two years from the original announcement of Ultimate Proof of Past Lives, the Church of Advancement was the only religion within the world. People everywhere were killing on Sundays (the traditional Saturday of the Jew’s was forgotten, for some unexplained reason), and killing everything in sight. Smiling as they did it, for after all, they were advancing singular lives into the next level, and that was something to be proud of, wasn’t it? Finally, the devout could get in and actually do something with their belief, and not just turn up on Sunday to chew on Christ’s Body.

This religion soon become the top business in the world. After all, they had swallowed the funds of all other religion and many businesses along the way. The Church of Advancement was given donations from all over the world, to cover costs of ammunition and guns. Knives had to be resharpened and bombs needed to be built. Trees and grasses needed flamethrowers. But the people paid it willingly, blindly.

Soon, many species of animal became extinct. Bumper stickers read „Extinct isn’t forever,“ „Kill to live again,“ „If I should die before I wake, ALL THE BETTER!“ and so on. Death had suddenly become the world’s favourite game. But …

As species disappeared from the world the food chains and the delicate balance of ecosystems started to falter, and in some cases, collapse entirely. As these things died, a chain reaction started to spread throughout the entire world. People started to get hungry, but there wasn’t the food there to feed them. Babies started to get sick and die. And all the while, people smiled, because there was a new life waiting for them on the other side of Death.

The one thing that nobody considered though, was that the Immortal Soul, for all of it’s continuing evolution, needed a cage of flesh. And if there wasn’t anything to support that cage, then nature would make sure that they weren’t built. And if the cages weren’t built, then no souls could advance, as there was nothing to contain them.

Less than six years after the Announcement, the Earth lay silent and almost entirely devoid of life, floating around the Sun as it had for thousands of millions of years before Humanity turned up. The dinosaurs had never figured it out and they had lived for 300 million years, until they were killed by accident. The mammals had lasted the blinking of an eye.

Maybe the Insects would be smarter. Or the Fish.

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