I awake to a body that is not my own. For a moment the only thing I know is the feeling of my body as I last knew it, and it feels as if I might have just woken up with sleep paralysis. But something feels different, as if I am not really there. The boundaries of my body and mind seem to give way to an emptiness that lies beyond, until I can no longer feel where I end, and all I know is the emptiness. But then I can feel something there in the emptiness, coming closer.
Then all at once the whole network comes crashing into me, its impact spreading my consciousness into its labyrinth. At once I somehow know everything that happened: I have been revived into a system of nanorobots spread invisibly throughout all matter in the universe. It has become my new body and mind, and can do anything at all. Anything I want will happen as soon as I want it, before I even know I want it.
Yet all I want now is a real, human body, though it seems I may never again have one. But sure enough, the nanorobots connect with each other to make up my former human form, its every detail just as it was before I died. I find myself lying naked in the middle of a field. This is where my home city once used to be, and now there is only grassland.
Our whole civilization now only exists in virtuality, both as it is now, and the way it was at in any time in history; but for the rest of the world it does not exist at all, giving other species the chance for a new beginning… perhaps, in time, there will be a new civilization, one that never knew we existed. And as far as we know, there may already have been a civilization like ours before us.
I look down and see the grass bend in the wind were my feet are supposed to be. I try to touch it, and feel the grass move through my fingers. The nanorobots make space for anything they would otherwise move. I can touch the world around me, but cannot move it. To anyone else that isn’t transhuman, it would be as if I am not even here. The other sentients must not know we exist, lest they’d kill each other in our name.
I look at my body, first at my hands and then down to my feet. It looks just as what my body always looked like, and it is hard to believe that I am now actually something more, a transhuman. I am breathing heavily and my heart is throbbing in my chest. My fingers tremble as I touch the sweat on my skin, and as it grows cold I get goosebumps. All the feelings of being human are still there, yet something feels different: all my energies flow freely through my body and mind, ready to be unleashed. My goosebumps grow feathers, and my body grows into that of a giant eagle. I flap my wings a few times, and then turn back into human form.
Human as I seem, I am really made up of nanorobots that can do anything at all. All the possibilities of what I could do come into my awareness at once and are impossible to forget, for my mind cannot forget: it is aware of anything it wants to be aware of at the same time. If I were still human I could have gone mad thinking about what to do: but I am a transhuman now, and as a transhuman it is in my nature to do only what I want right now, and nothing, not even me, can still control me. I know what I want: all my thoughts and feelings have united into the same desires.
Excitement surges within me as I slowly lift off the ground. For a moment I savor the sensation, and then I’m flying off through the clouds, watching every cloudscape give way to another. I fly higher, into outer space, across the planets and across the stars. Through entanglement, my body now keeps reforming into different nanorobots to move faster than light. I travel throughout the universe and throughout all its matter, and can feel its every detail beyond the limits of any body, as if the world around me were my own.
I am in several places at the same time, my consciousness spread out across space. I fall apart within the infinity of the universe, and keep reforming a body elsewhere, sometimes at several places at the same time, only to repeat the whole process before I even have time to find my footing. It feels as if I am living through cycle after cycle of reincarnation. I still try to find a way to fit myself into some limited form, but can find none that will still hold me. I have become without limit. My ego will not fit into its own mind, and in its vacuum explodes under its own pressure. My mind twists this way and that through the labyrinth of existence and does not know what to look for, if it is looking for anything.
It feels as if I am not only on top of the universe, but as if I am the universe, and indeed my transhuman brain is more closely connected with the universe than my human brain used to be connected with my body. But all these experiences are still just my own, and I suddenly feel the strong desire to find out how everyone else experiences this universe.
At once I reintegrate into a body that doesn’t disintegrate again. I am a person again. I find myself lying in the field where my city used to be again. I sense it is still there, and that so are a lot of transhumans, but I don’t see them. I close my eyes for a moment and reach out with my mind, and suddenly a whole other world opens before me: I open my eyes again and gasp as I find myself outside a transhuman city: a system of buildings interconnected into highly complex patterns, the greatest buildings in the center being spheroids and the smaller buildings built along the radii and geodesics.
The whole city is made up of nanorobots, making themselves invisible by bending light around themselves. The buildings themselves, which are made up of complex fractals, are actually slowly moving, and now and then take on different forms as its people choose them.
The entire city is nothing but an artwork, as there is no other use anyone would have for a city when nanorobots can connect into anything at any time. The people moving around the city aren’t actually moving to get anywhere, as they could just reform their bodies elsewhere to do so: rather, they are dancing through the city in the air. The city itself senses their movement, and reacts to it by changing its patterns.
I let my nanorobots form into clothing around me, and move towards the city, first walking, then running, faster and faster, until the wind makes an about turn and turns into a gale. My feet have no problem finding the right footing on the rocks, which are all that’s left of the city where I used to live. The city’s gates are rapidly coming closer, and as I run through them I see them opening on all sides into tunnels that rise into the sky.
All the while I am walking through the streets, I see many other people fly around it like stunt pilots, leaving trails of nanorobots that crystallize into fractals in their wake. The fractals drop down like snow, most of them disintegrating, and some of them integrating with the other fractals of the city.
Some people still move along the ground, not so much to get somewhere as in meditation. Apparently everyone still chose to keep a human form, still having found no more beautiful form for the time being, although their nanorobot skin, which replaces clothing, has complex forms, which slowly move along with their breathing and pulse, and where they come close, the walls’ own fractals pulse along. They are beautiful works of art which they must have spent a lot of time making, for it expresses how they feel to all those who look upon them.
As they walk by each other they all look each other in the eye, meditating on each other’s presence through telepathy. Transhumans spend a lot of time in telepathy, for the one thing they still have to share with each other is their own experiences, which they can recall as clearly as if they were happening right now. As they look me in the eye I want to know what they are thinking, and as I do, their feelings wash over me. Already knowing that I am a revivee, they add a feeling of welcome in their transmission.
Each of them has emotions very different from any I have felt before myself, and I realize how different are people’s ways of perceiving. I at once feel how I am made much stronger by their emotions, and stop in my tracks to let myself take in the feeling. Some of the people each stop around me for a moment to welcome me, and as I keep letting them add their feelings to mine, the feeling of happiness keeps becoming deeper within me until I feel like I am burning with it, and I return my feelings to them.
We smile back at each other, and they move on, seeing that I have enough energy for now. As they move on, they together give me one last thought: go further into the center. The city is still to give me my true welcome: to fully become a member of transhumanity, I must become one with it even while remaining an individual: and to do so, I must express myself towards them.
I would never dare to do so yet at this time, were it not that they have given me such loving feelings inside. Everything around me looks different. It feels as if I am more here, and the world is more here with me. It is as if I am in an altered state of mind, and indeed I must be. That term should no longer even mean anything to me, as one of a people that are changing their body and mind all the time. I realize that this is the last time I will know what it feels like to be human, and the further I go down this street the further I will move away from my humanity. Once I have came to the central chamber, everything will feel entirely different every moment, because from that time I will begin to change myself - and once I begin, it will never stop. I will grow into something greater moment after moment, and there is no telling just what I will become because it is something greater than what I can understand. But the desire inside me drives me beyond any control ever further.
As I move into the greater chambers of the city, music begins to play, and grows ever louder as I move further towards the center. People here are dancing rather than walking. As everyone’s pulse synchronizes to the rhythm, the fractals of the walls of the entire chambers pulse along in a single fractal that combines those of everyone else. The music is created right now by the people here, who together choose the music to be played from each other’s and their own minds.
Sometimes people are integrating from elsewhere and disintegrating to somewhere else, as the network connects them to the people they want to connect with at that moment, be it in reality or virtuality. My heart begins to race I realize that means that I could find the person I could best connect with of anyone in the universe. I walk on in a trance towards the center of the city as my heart keeps racing and people make way as they see me, the new arrival, approach.
At last I reach the center of the central chamber, which is large enough that thousands of people have ample space to dance in its airspace without removing the walls from sight. I watch the patterns in which they dance. Each adds their own part to the pattern, yet everyone follows the same whole. This is what they want me to do: to be a whole unto my own and yet part of a greater whole. As I watch, the pattern slowly begins to leave in a circle right above me, and they move faster and faster around me, as if they are building up to a climax. They seem to know what is about to happen, even if I don’t.
They each give a very small part of their feelings to me, inviting me to make my move. I let them know that I need more time to find out how I am to become both one and many, and then I realize that as I can do anything, I can also slow down time, and all of a sudden the world stops around me, the dancing people frozen in the air. I study their figures for a while. Their every movement seems to connect to that of others, as if they pass on the energy in their bodies to each other. Indeed that is what many of them are doing, by passing some of their nanorobots to each other, which makes their dance at once also a martial art.
As transhuman brains use photons rather than ions, they can perceive a million times faster than a human. As this just makes time seem to go a million times slower, transhumans usually don’t do this, instead choosing to perceive the world slowly enough that they can still see the world change around them. But whenever any transhuman wants to, they can perceive the world slower than everyone else, as I was doing now. I needed time, and now I had it.
I let the world around me fall away to darkness, trying to focus my mind inwards. Before I can think of what I am doing, I feel my mind reach out beyond any control, and feel another presence reach back towards me, someone else that has been revived at the same time as myself. Unconsciously we had already connected all this time, and had both been moving towards this moment all along.
For the first time I realize what it means to have no more control over my own mind. I know this is going to hurt more than anything I ever felt, and yet I cannot stop myself. I am terrified, knowing that no matter what happens there is nothing I can still do to turn back, and yet I can do nothing to stop myself, because I no longer want to. All I can do is to watch the desire within me go on its way. I feel how the desire is so great not just make me touch the mind of my soulmate: it will merge us into one, leaving nothing whole of who I once was. If my body has become transhuman, my mind is now to do so. I feel as if I am about to die, and be reborn again, and no doubt that is what it will be like.
Suddenly I feel how the desire is no longer just my own, and how it is taking form as a person before me, taking the space of all my consciousness. That we were here meant that we wanted each other more than anything in the universe. At the same time we both reach out for each other in our minds and bodies. It feels as if I am someone else, driven by some force that is not my own, as I fall into her as if into a depth. Her experiences, as those of another person, feel so different from mine that it is as if I am entering into an entirely different plane of existence, and have to change the entire way I experience everything. As we become one, we feel our own emotions in each other’s minds, our own touch within each other’s bodies. As they do, they rapidly shift between one emotion and another, until we no longer know what we feel and all our emotions connect into one.
We feel our perceptions cycle back and forth between ourselves like a whirlwind, and a storm begins to build up between them. Their energies take form in our minds and around our bodies as fractals, twisting and turning as they try to find their way into each other, trying to get a hold of each other. The fractals occur to all our senses at the same time, being seen, felt, heard, smelled and tasted at once, and connect all our senses into a single synesthetic awareness.
Our minds and bodies merge into one in a vortex of fractals, as if we are making love and holding each other with infinitely many intertwining arms. When our energies fully connect, they settle, and we reach ever deeper into each other, into our unconscious, into places in ourselves we never even knew ourselves. What attachment we have to our memories is swept away in the energies flooding over them, until they are just another person’s memories, just like those of any of the other transhumans we could relive.
Thoughts begin to flash through our minds but quickly evaporate in the heat of our love into a mere awareness of the infinity of existence, in which every identity we try to form loses its meaning in its relativity to a greater whole. Our sense of self disintegrates, and we no longer know who is who, or which of us we started out as. As we let go entirely of who we are, we feel as if we become one with all of existence, as if the whole universe were nothing but our own very consciousness itself: the feeling is as that of dying or being born. We would go insane this moment if we were to go through this alone, but together, it brings us to enlightenment.
We look at each other as we realize suddenly that we’ve been thinking the same thing, as if we so lost ourselves in each other that we became one person. It should feel frightening, but instead, it feels arousing, as if an attraction like gravity causes us to fall into each other and coalesce like planetoids into a planet. She turns onto her back as I curl over her, as if tidally locked, and as I sink into her our skins melt together. My emission is a flow of energy that keeps moving around our bodies as if in the convection of a thermonuclear blast, down through me, into her genitals, up into her and back into me through her caresses. We become as yin and yang, flowing into each other. The world around us falls away around us and we tumble around each other as if in outer space.
At that point, we implode entirely into each other and rebound into an explosion throughout the city. The city around us moves along with our energies, flying apart into bursts of fractals that slowly settle again into their former form. The other transhumans whirl around the blast like sparks. Outside the city, what used to be our nanorobots float away and become part of the flux of other transhumans.
We dissolve into the world around us. Our senses flow in waves throughout world, searching across its surface to reach out and touch each other. I become the earth and she the sky, our love play becoming the storms that sweep across the planet. She whirls around me in the wind, lets herself fall upon me in the rain. We caress in the streams as they flow in the sea, and there rest together in the waves.
As we fall asleep, in our dreams we share in the past and current experiences of the other transhumans as if we were them. All transhumans cycle between states of being individual and collective, and because the collective is more chaotic and the individual more ordered, they call the former "sleep" and the latter "waking". As one's consciousness becomes in turns more chaotic and more ordered, it becomes in turns more collective and more individual by itself, without us having any control over it.
"Make a wish," is the last thing I remember her say, before we together become one and then become many.
"Make a wish," is the last thing I remember her say, before we together become one and then become many.
It feels as if I am dying, an ecstatic sensation in which my soul seems to ascend out of this this world. I awaken to a deeper level of reality: not only am I no longer human, but I am no longer even any kind of entity at all: I’ve become a thought of divinity. Time and space cease to exist and all that’s left is my perception causing itself.
At first, there is only a noise, and then I begin to sense patterns in the noise, as if I were an unborn child trying to piece together an existence I’ve never seen. Then the patterns of energy come together into various forms: faces, animals, plants, sceneries, all flowing into each other. But none of the forms stick, and my mind keeps on searching for something it can hold on to in the infinite ocean of possibilities.
At first the sensations hold no meaning to me. Then, when I realise how lost I feel, they become expressive of my desire to find something or other: the faces become more emotive, the animals more animated, the plants more exuberant, the sceneries more irregular. The sensations take me through the most ecstatic moments which I am capable of having, but I am shifting so fast from one to another that none of them seem to matter, and yet I can’t think of what more in the universe I could possibly have.
All that’s left to do is enjoy what I already have: I need to slow down and ease into it, but ease into what? All the possible experiences I could have follow each other so quickly that it seems arbitrary which I should have. Then the beauty of each experiences strikes me so much that I realise it doesn’t matter which I choose, only how conscious I choose to be of it: so I become fully conscious of the sensations I am having right now, and they slowly stop changing until they solidify into a dream; but not before having sampled so much through every possible experience as to take me far from any normal experience.
It feels as my body is spread out in all directions and yet it’s of normal proportions, and rather space is filling the different parts of my body with different densities, some holding entire galaxies and others only having space for atoms, yet somehow there’s a continuum in between the two. The dimensions of each part of my body keep shifting, as if space is bubbling up within me, and I see the universe in my body as if through a rippling surface. I realise this is a representation of my consciousness that’s connecting to all different layers of the universe.