19. THE CONFLICTS (or MEST) UNIVERSE
After the collapse, there is a long time period of living in the resulting "MEST" universe. The goal of this universe was to gain bodily experience and sensation. The environment is mostly flat worlds in space (continents in the sky). The wars had been so extreme that we feared to build a lower prison universe for fear of starting the whole mess over again.
Again there is a long and interesting creative period building societies and civilizations. But as always, there was an undue amount of conflict and people wouldn't leave each other alone. Some people just wanted make slaves of their fellow man. Others were trying to make everybody good. But in either case, the effort was to make people obey and walk in straight lines and the counter effort was to have revolutions etc. And anyone who tried to step aside from this and "cure" the insanity was stupid enough (thanks to the misleading information in the jewel of knowledge) to try to do it by implanting even more conditioning, which only made matters worse.
Since bodies were of tremendous importance, but the person carried on in an energy form even after the body died, it was possible to push someone into a body, kill it off, and then pull him out, push him into another body, and then kill that one too. So the predominant form of conditioning used here consisted of repetitive deaths and heavy pains and sensations. Here the person can be mauled around by force and it is used either to make slaves or to force people to be good depending on which team you were playing on. Here you might suffer endless car crashes or be thrown out of the door of an aircraft and go splat on the ground over and over again while they try to lay in various stupid orders and conditioning.
Near the end, a group formed that was going to take care of everybody once and for all. It would bring about peace by holding everybody under its sway and it would solve the social problems by having a rigid social structure. This was the "Magic Kingdom of Gilead" (approximate translation). It had the innocuous appearance of a castle beside a lake on one of the continents drifting around in the sky. But they had salvaged some of the higher dimensional technology from earlier universes and internally this castle went on infinitely with the 3 dimensional corridors curving off slightly at 4 dimensional angles so that the castle was quite capable of housing the entire population of the universe.
Giliead was set up as a "pyramid" society where new recruits came in as servants and everyone else bumped up a level in the social hierarchy when enough people came in to fill the lower strata. In other words, social status and privileges were based on how early you joined the society and when it began to look like they were going to take over all of civilization, there was a tremendous influx of recruits who were quite willing to work temporarily as servants with the expectation that they would be overseers later as the rest of the population joined. But of course this tapered off when the remaining people saw that they would be forever stuck in the lower positions. And so the Knights of Giliead (armed with energy weapons and riding flying horses) set out to conquer the remaining peoples of the universe.
This pattern of a stratified pyramidal society trying to take over the universe and make slaves out of the majority of people has been followed frequently. Our modern day Hitlers are but the tiniest shadow of these super organized societies that live by continual expansion and enslavement. But they inevitably collapse when their expansion is blocked either by running out of new people or by a determined military resistance. The three really big ones were Alpha Prime in the Symbols Universe, Giliead as discussed here, and Arslycus in the current universe. All of them had populations in the trillions and their collapse always has a bit of the feeling of the collapse of home universe even though none of them were really nice places for anyone who wasn't at the top of the heap.
Eventually, around 200 trillion years ago, we did build a lower prison universe. This was probably done to provide a fitting place to dump the rulers of Giliead after its collapse.
But we still had a great deal of worry about a prison breakout triggering something like the Theta-MEST wars again. So this time, the prison was intentionally made a fairly nice place so the prisoners would stay there. The transfer implant used a volcano on a flat earth copy of the original earth. A path lined with statues of the penalty universe terminals (the tiger, the bear, etc.) lead up to the peak where one was tossed in and went on down to the prison universe.
People were weary of the constant conflicts, so around 181 trillion years ago, there began a wave of mass suicides where everyone threw themselves into the volcano to "die" as beings and be reborn in the next lower universe.
Eventually this next prison universe came to be known as the Magic Universe.