Chapter 3 – Leyla’s History Class

Leyla had just got all comfortable and connected in her capsule, ready to start her next couple of hours of world history when she remembered the last session on Monday. She leaned her head back and took a deep breath. Around her the usual humdrum of the big study hall went on and she decided to turn her headphones to “noise cancelling” and dive under for a few moments.

Ah precious quiet.

Leyla genuinely enjoyed learning more about humanity’s past, about that entire range of happenings, both beautiful and atrocious, that made people what they were today. It fascinated her how much groundwork had gone into the present state, the new level of human evolution achieved through the creation of “New Society” which had called in the age of abundance that she had been born into. But oh how dear it had cost so many! So much pain, anger, fear, greed, and – that most exquisite feeling of the shadow side: hatred, which somehow had all of the others baked into it!

Leyla actually shuddered as she recalled the feeling of it. It bound up so much power within it, so much potential – for destruction! And humans really had excelled in the art of refined hatred before the dark years, before the transition began! No wonder then, what disarray Earth had been in.

So much of the mainstream course of history went against everything Leyla knew, which was the point – for humanity’s past could not be understood with the understanding of those born into New Society. The option to receive emotional triggers during history lessons had been devised as a safe guard to ensure the continued ascension of human evolution. Post-transition children were given an insight into the strength, variety, and utility of human emotions in order for them to have the ability to work with them. It was thought that they needed to know what the shadow emotions felt like, otherwise they would grow up never quite appreciating how good they had it. Of course great care was taken to ensure that students were emotionally stable and digested everything well with the help of their family, teachers, counsellors and other mentors.

Leyla reflected on this most foreign of the emotions, hatred. Where did it spring from? What were its causes? How did it manifest in the body, and the mind, and the magnetic field of a person? What colour was it? What did it taste like, sound like? How would one transmute it into its antidote – charity, love, compassion?

Then a new thought arose: Was there anyone today, in 2050 in New Society, who felt such genuine hatred? Persons who felt so wronged, or fearful, or competitive even, that they wished harm on another? Or used another for their own aims? It was striking to consider. Leyla knew the answer, she had picked up talk about it somewhere which she had not been able to place at the time – this was something she wanted to explore further.

Yet for now she began to let it go. She knew it was not advisable to linger with any of these, so to say, foreign emotions imprinted on her by the AI system for too long. Already she began to feel slightly ill lingering with “hatred”, there had formed a knot in her stomach that she could place with other emotions such as fear or nervous tension, but she also picked up an unfamiliar tightness in her neck and jaw, and her breaths had become short, shallow, hurried. Fascinating!

She very much wondered about the danger of getting hooked on any of these emotions. Leyla focused on the antidotes, on light and lightness, on deep breaths and beauty. She felt sleepy. Well she had stayed up chatting to her best friend way too long last night. What would be the harm of having a quick nap…

A little later Leyla woke up and got out of the caps for a stretch. It was strangely quiet all of a sudden, but the lone figure of a woman was standing at the window, looking outside. It was dark outside and the view was glorious. Leyla walked over and the figure turned around – it was Mama! Soleil smiled the same radiant smile that Leyla had inherited.

Oh, I’m dreaming! Leyla thought, and immediately felt elated and alive, much more alive even than when she was awake. Becoming aware in the dream state gave her a profound clarity and sense of Self that stood in stark contrast to the fuzziness of normal dreams.

Leyla flew right into her mother’s arms, finding comfort in familiar scents. They stayed like that for a while. Leyla’s lucidity wavered and she steadied herself by focusing on her dream body and speaking.

‘Will you fly up into the stars with me, Mum?’

‘Yes! Let us fly together once more, my sweet!’

They took off together, through the trees and up into the night sky where the stars where sparkling and the moon was smiling at them. They were holding hands one minute, then hugging the next, excitement flooding Leyla’s body in waves, making every cell vibrate. She felt so alive! They flew in superman pose, then flapped their arms like wings, laughing all the while. Leyla never got tired of flying, feeling the air, not being bound by gravity.