16. THE SYMBOLS UNIVERSE
The symbols universe was set up as a prison universe probably around 60 or 64 quadrillion years ago.
The transfer implant used to send people down to the Symbols Universe has them set up hidden pieces of themselves which give them all sorts of compulsions etc. This is mental machinery which the person builds and then hides from himself. This was based on penalty universe symbols etc. and gives him urges such as needing to eat and to feel sensation based on the degraded goals established by the penalty universes. For the first time, the individual has a sort of "subconscious" and does things (mainly to himself) that he is not aware of doing.
Since each convict had hidden pieces of himself, various mockups based on the penalty universes would stir up feelings of hidden things in motion etc. This expanded into a general concept of symbols where seeing any mockup might imply other things that are not immediately visible. And so we have a situation where symbols were given great significance and there was a continual struggle to communicate as a result.
This actually acts as a sort of reactive mind based on symbols. The person meets, lets say, a tiger and gets a stimulus response reaction even without the presence of mental image pictures. He gets the reaction because there is a piece of him sitting in a compulsion pool being the tiger of the penalty universe "To Eat". At this time, the individual did not have an Engram bank or a time track. He could not be affected by force (although his mockups could be affected) and knew it. But you could show him some object out of a penalty universe and make his hair stand on end.
As a result, the subsequent games, implants, etc. used here were primarily based on symbols. A common method of fighting was for opponents to send waves of symbols at each other (especially symbols of penalty universe terminals). At first these only had mild impacts. But everyone kept postulating so hard about wanting to create heavy effects on their opponents that they agreed too heavily with the power of symbols. So these symbols developed a real kick. This in turn let people commit stronger overts and become motivator hungry which made them even more affected by the impact of a symbol.
The individual was mostly worried about the effect of a symbol being pushed into his viewpoint since it could trigger compulsions. So he tended to put out substitute mockups in place of himself (he was not as concerned about these mockups being affected). Here you have the individual flinching from direct telepathic contact and using communication vias to protect himself.
The MEST (matter/energy/space/time) of the symbols universe primarily consisted of "Thought Planes". These are like photographs drifting in space. You could float over to one of these and look at it and then sort of turn sideways and step into the picture. The picture would then expand out in its own 3 dimensional space that was at an angle to the normal 3 dimensional space of the universe (2 co-ordinates were shared and the 3rd co-ordinate would be in a different direction, hence you get a 2 dimensional plane at the point of intersection).
Over the course of time, more and more beings were exiled to the symbols universe. Eventually entire populations were mass captured and dumped.
By around 46 Quadrillion years ago, the motion universe was getting empty and wilting away. The remaining "winners" wanted to establish themselves in the symbols universe while retaining high status. So they invaded. There might have been many invasions and the range of dates might be as much as from 48 quadrillion down to 42 quadrillion years ago.
The invaders came in with implants. They designed the implants based on their "higher" knowledge of earlier track and the anatomy of the sentencing implant mentioned above. The symbol universe people were not much affected by force (it only hurt mockups) but were very subject to counter thought and gradually came to be affected by counter emotion as well (symbol masses could pack a considerable emotional punch as well as a heavy confusion of thought).
A common invader implant was the Pyramid Trap. This is a big pyramid in empty space with an open doorway leading to something interesting in the center. The unwary being goes in (later is drawn in by beams or tricked in) and the door closes. The pyramid has 128 layers of walls, one for each penalty universe and each inversion. Each wall is covered with the symbols of that penalty universe. The innermost is create, next is destroy, etc. all the way out to Endure and its inversion. The victim can push through a few of these, but then he hits one that he can't confront and falls back to the center. In some variations, there is only a single wall for each dynamic covered with all of the symbols for every goal associated with the dynamic. This required fewer walls and therefore was easier to manufacture.
Once captured, the victim is left inside for a very long time to soften him up. Occasionally the walls would state that another trillion years had gone by to make him feel that it was even longer. Eventually he gets worried about missing out on things and becomes abberated about time. He starts getting desperate to get it over with and will put up with being implanted if only they will let him out.
So he gets trapped in the pyramid, sits there for a few thousand years while getting implant items that tell him that many trillions of years have gone by and then the invaders come and pull him out. Then he gets hung on a wall and simultaneously hit from both sides by a stream of symbols. The first stream is Create/Destroy using the terminals from the penalty universe and its inversion. These symbols alternate in each wave and opposing symbols collide in the center of the victim forming a ridge. The symbols have the "price" thought in them (things like, the price of enlightenment is to suffer, etc.). This is done 64 times, once for each penalty universe. After that he is allowed to compete in a game. The winner is always an invader. The being is then given to the invader as a prize.
There were also other sorts of traps based on symbols. Usually these are either the terminal of a penalty universe or a symbol of one of the valence masses (from the fall of home universe). The guy would be floating along and then he'd come to a big mockup of The Tiger or something like that floating in space and he'd feel drawn to it and slide in. Then a cage would appear around the tiger and he'd be stuck. The bars of the cage would be covered with symbols so that he couldn't pass through them. Then they'd come and haul him out and handle him as above.
Eventually there was a revolution and the invaders were thrown in their own traps. Also, more elaborate traps (big colorful energy structures etc.) were built, usually with pyramids hidden in the center or other sophisticated variations.
Finally a complex civilization of thought planes and symbol masses developed and went through the usual decline.
This seems to be the first time period when there was a real government. People were just abberated enough to need a formal organization to undertake large projects and see to the welfare of civilization. So a controlling council was set up, originally consisting of individuals who were most instrumental in combating the invaders. Once established, the council saw to it that everyone continually perceived the need for such an organization. They undertook the construction of large "Cities" consisting of interconnected thought planes and other mockups. They established a police force to protect these sophisticated mockups from the ravages of malicious individuals and perpetuated the invader machine building implants and traps. Here are the early upsets with governments and their police forces and bureaucracies.
The mockups of this civilization are a bit strange compared to our current experience. Bodies and scenery as we know it only existed in the thought planes. You might be drifting around disembodies and then feel the presence of another disembodied being who would then flash a symbol identifying himself (maybe a body mockup or even something like a Chinese pictogram). Let's say you were being asked to a council meeting. The request might be a series of symbols flashed at you. Then you'd float over to the Council's thought plane which would appear as a flat picture of the council chamber. Then you'd turn sideways into the picture and appear in the chamber. You'd need to "manifest in form" so you'd tap the definitions for a suitable mockup that was not in use and materialize as that body. Note that this would not be a complex body with internal organs etc. as we have them today. It would simply be the image of a body which you would shift around by postulate. Then maybe you'd walk around and talk with and argue with other councilors etc.
Of course if you had to appear in court the police would enforce the mockup you were supposed to appear in.
Note that this controlling council was in existence for most of the duration of the symbols universe. This is an immense period of time and the lifespan of councilors was very very short. The council was constantly being overthrown and replaced. It was a position allowing for great overts and the motivators tended to come in very fast. There were also periods of round robin rotation of council positions or competitions for the post etc. So I think that most people will probably find some point where they served on this council. Usually it was a very abberrating experience where the being played endless games of treachery and betrayal, especially against other council members. Of course the universe was vast and there were occasional rival governments, but generally they didn't last long or control large areas. The controlling council was very jealous of its privileged position and stamped out competition as fast as it could.
The only exception was that people were in good enough shape to wander off on their own and just pick an empty place and start building their own thought planes. So the bulk of the universe was really in a big state of anarchy with the controlling council holding the organized area in the center. Sometimes they would try to take over some of this anarchistic area, but they wouldn't have much success. But let a crowd of the anarchists try to form up into an organized group and the council would move right in and make them join up.
This was the first great machine building period. They would take individuals and condition them so heavily that they became robots and would follow a canned set of instructions without thinking about them. Even after the invaders were overthrown (and made into machines), people were trapping each other and programming them up. Nobody stayed as a machine throughout the entire span of this universe, but everyone had it done to them at least a few times. One of the common uses for the machines was to keep favorite through planes mocked up and dusted off. Whenever someone uses a through plane, their postulates tend to alter-is it, so the "machine" would reset the mockup back to its pure state when they were done.
A final invader wave came down from the motions universe against a civilization that was armed (with sophisticated traps) and ready. To really fix these guys, the Controlling Council (which tried to run things in this mostly anarchistic era) had a prison universe constructed. Soon there were many more convicts being exiled and the cycle was starting to repeat itself.
But this time, after a few quadrillion years the prisoners researched the implants, erased them, and came out and took over. Of course they needed to build a new prison universe for the former controlling council members and various other peoples that displeased them.
This sort of thing was repeated a number of times. Each time, the sentencing implant became more complex.
To some degree, the prison universes became an interesting game, like Houdini doing his famous escapees. If the beings didn't dig themselves out after a few quadrillion years, generally someone would be sent down to start them on the road.
Because these prison universes were intended as temporary, the Symbols Universe kept going at full strength for a long time.
On the whole, it was actually a very interesting universe. The thought planes often had a tremendous aesthetic. The use of symbols and substitution made for very fine art and in a thought plane, you live the art rather than simply looking at it. These thought planes were actually very much like limited versions of the individual universes of the home universe matrix. You'd enter them to see and experience things or meet with people or play games or be told a story.
You could also have thought planes which contained subordinate though planes. A high level though plane might be an art gallery where you could walk around and look at the paintings. But the paintings would be lesser thought planes and you could step into the ones you liked (similar to Disney's cartoon rendition of Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition). If you are one of the people with a horror of art galleries, just remember that implant designers just love to take something nice and use it as the twisted hook that sticks you to an implant. Eventually there was an art gallery implant used in the symbols universe where you were forced to go around in a gallery and experience horrible thought planes. But this is minor compared to some of the other things that went on.
One mockup, usually used by the police, consisted of walls which could attract or repel you. Their action is based on the symbols inscribed on the walls. The repulsive walls had symbols you'd pull away from (as in the pyramid traps). The attractive walls would have desirable symbols from the various penalty universes. Things like symbols of wealth and power and sex. Sometimes the symbols on a wall would change from one kind to the other or there'd be complex sandwidges of walls of various types. They'd try to bang you around with various walls and get you into high motion. The being was already slightly subject to motion sickness if he was made to jump around too much in too little time. This comes from the earlier Motion Universe (which starts with the Treadmill which lays in a spinning sensation).
The police also used Black Thought Planes. In this case, the picture is concealed and you have no idea what you're being thrust into. So there's the flinch at black pictures. Often they would bang you around with walls until you were dizzy and then push you into a black plane where you'd get an implant.
One common implant used this way is The Sources Implant. This played on the fact that the people were already upset about hidden sources of things because of the compulsion pools. The implant pretends to tell you what the real source of various things is. Of course the items are intended to trick you. They are things like "The only source of energy is Machinery".
Another thing present in the late era of the symbols universe is a sort of earlier similar on Arslycus (discussed later) where endless slaves were made to serve in a city of endless thought planes that was much too large and where the tasks were much too boring. The city was known as "Alpha Prime" (really just an intention that means "The First City"). The incident may include a body builder type sequence. You might be assigned to clean up a thought plane and have to do that over and over endlessly. This thing was probably one of the controlling council's big projects. It seems to end with a collapse in a manner similar to Arslycus (these collapses are all based on similar collapses which occur in the text of the penalty universes for the goals To Build and To Orient).
The symbols universe also made heavy use of somatic pools. These were mostly used to supply the sensations etc. that were experienced in the thought planes. Instead of simply telling someone to feel and emotion, pain, or sensation, large numbers of people were ordered to place a feeling of this kind into a sort of "pool". Then when the sensation or whatever was needed, an individual could be "connected" to the pool to get the feeling from it, which made for a much stronger experience than simply having him imagine that he felt a certain way.
The universe went on (in an active manner) for an incredibly long time period. This is probably because everyone was Clear in the sense of not having a Dianetic engram bank. You might think this to be a strange statement in light of the fact that we were loaded with problems, guilt, upsets, pains, sensations, emotions, and every other ill. And we were subject to hidden influences and continually fighting against a suppressive government, and occasionally being made into machines etc. Yet we just kept getting up and dusting ourselves off and carrying on. Because all these abberative things did not have a cumulative and compound effect. The Dianetic A=A mechanism was not present and therefore things would not go into chronic restimulation. You could just go off somewhere for awhile and cool down. So things only slid downscale very very slowly.
Our entire sequence of universe since we left the symbols universe (i.e.., the thought universe, the conflicts universe, the magic universe, and the current universe) have a combined duration of only around 4.3 quadrillion years. This is nothing compared to the duration of the symbols universe. So it seems like we've just gone down into one of these interesting little prison universe sequences again. But this time, the implant was much more sophisticated. And the subsequent war between the thought and conflicts universes (the theta mest wars) was very interesting. And it seems like the last of the beings in the symbols universe got so interested in the wars that they came down as "gods" to join in. So there might not be anyone left up there to dig us out. And I don't think that any of the other prison sequences went deeper than two universes below the symbols universe. Now we're 4 universes deep and the next one is already in operation below us (the Mud Universe). So I think we're playing for keeps.
The symbols universe contained much much more than the things listed here. I've really barely scratched the surface. Certainly there are numerous other implants and abberative factors. But also, there was a great deal of good and wonderful things. In this write-up, we're concentrating on what was wrong. But there was tremendous rightness as well. The universe was generally very exciting and enjoyable. At least 90% of your time in the symbols universe was better than anything you've ever experienced here on Earth. You can spot some pleasure moments of sliding into some incredible picture and having the most wonderful time. Or even the satisfaction of creating a thought plane that others enjoyed and marveled at.