Dust to Dust

The earth we walk on once contained many more secrets. It wasn’t just rich with nitrogen, oil, metals, salt, precious stones, and other natural byproducts of a spinning molten core of iron hanging in space near a moderately warm star.

It once had another type of material in it that allowed for humans to combine things that shouldn’t have been combined.

This was a completely natural element to ancient people. They knew the chemical processes through time that had created it. They made massive mines to gather and store it so that it could be used for ‘greater purposes.’

It allowed for perfect geometry of planes, seen in the way ancient masonry is so precise. It allowed for sound to permeate stone to encourage movement throughout difficult terrain. It also allowed for the creation of pseudo-life, in the form of clay men and women who were ambulatory, but not sentient.

Prague Golems

Ancient texts are littered with the effects of this element. We see it in golems, God creating Adam out of clay, and the massive Chinese stone soldier armies. We can see its effects today, in the world around us. In heavily developed parts of South Africa, where massive stone circles cover the land in the millions, there are not enough human remains that can account for who may have built them. An abundance of clay and sediment covers the land, as well as carefully arranged stones that have no place being there.

This ancient material was incredibly costly due to the production of mines because of its volatile nature. Once removed from the earth, the material was known to evaporate very quickly. It broke down to its component parts. And once used, no trace of it was found, save for dust particles that seemed as innocuous as the dark clouds in the sky on an overcast day.

It took thousands of years, and yielded many great human feats, but the resource had been completely drained from the earth. What last vestiges could be found were in such small quantities that they evaporated almost instantaneously upon atmospheric contact. The world grieved its loss but continued forward, looking for new ways to recreate the same effects in another, more renewable resource.

They never found such a material.

After much of this knowledge had been lost, a curious mentality appeared within humanity. It seemed deep down, humans were intent on recreating some of the technology once so ubiquitous. It wasn’t long before another earthly byproduct emerged as a potential salve to the thorn in humanity’s side.

This material seemed just as promising as the first, even though its quantity was much more limited. Humanity seemed doomed to repeat itself, but was too much of a slave to the glory it could achieve to prevent its use. The effects were different, but still a cause for celebration. This new material allowed for humans to move throughout the earth thousands of times faster than before. It allowed for a person’s imagination to travel throughout air and manifest in specific places throughout the planet as audio-visual hallucinations. It allowed for whole communities to live as if the night didn’t exist, abetting human vision to the point of an entirely new view of humanity’s relationship to time.

Once used, not a trace of it was found, save for dust particles that seemed as innocuous as the dark clouds in the sky on an overcast day.

Eventually, humanity used this material to its natural end as well. They were forced to develop a relationship with the earth, just as they had before, but the cultural shadow of what they could be would not let go. They are psychologically compelled to restore their former glory.

They have these monuments around them, promising that they are capable of much more. These mysteries surround them, a gentle reminder that some key ingredient must be missing to restore their power. It remains embedded in the mind of the human to this day.

Image credits:
Golem Statuettes © Enrico/Flickr
Oil Spill by ellenm1

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Interested in many things, but nothing captivates more than technology, entrepreneurship, futurism, and humanity's quest to problem-solve.