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  • Writer's pictureJason Rodi

a ghost.

Updated: 21 hours ago

It is with trepidation that I continue writing now, because I know that once we enter the Territories, there is no going back. It will all start unravelling and I won't be able to stop. It will take a hold of me as it did that day in the desert when I was hit with the story the first time. I've been trapped in its maze ever since, and its become one of my biggest fears that I might die without having gotten out, without having figured my way out and shared the story with you. Thank you for reading this, whoever you are. As we await the birth of my son, and that we have all agreed to call him Kino based on this character that has inhabited me for so long, I finally feel that I have found the way to channel his story from a place of truth. Like I said, though this story is fictional, it is real in the sense that I have not made it up but rather shaped it from a kind of divine inspiration. The Invisible Territories exist in another dimension perhaps, but they are here. They exist in a space of the imagination, some precise metaphor for an inevitable future, a phase in history that we already inhabit but haven't seen fully manifested yet. And so, you see, I am stalling again, but I can't anymore. KINO has entered already and left the emptiness of the desert. Picture KINO as an empty vessel, a space waiting to be filled. Picture that space like that oasis in the desert, the fragility of its ecosystem. KINO was that vessel and the moment he entered the light he was flooded with the totality of it, as if he was suddenly diffused across the entirety of his new world. All forms of light, color, shape, and sound came at him at once. In that instant he forgot who he was, or that he even was. He entered a torrent of thought, stimuli, and emotion that was so powerful that it completely took him over. Time lost all meaning then. This might have lasted a millisecond or a millennia, a dream state so deep that there was no more dreamer, only the dream. KINO was the dream. In all of the minds of all of the people of the world, he had found a liminal space, becoming a secret part of each self. But what part? An idea, one could call it, or perhaps more like a feeling. A feeling that there was another way, something new, something beyond the NOW.

KINO & The Invisible Territories

What shape did KINO have then? From the desert a boy, to a feeling? What world had he entered, really? These were the questions that began to awaken him. He tried to focus his sight, his ears even. To block some of it out. But its the thought of the desert that did the trick, that reminded him that he once existed, that there was indeed something other than all of this. This? "Where am I?" he wondered, and all that he could think was the light of the stars, and all of the dreams they must inhabit, all of the worlds, and he remembered the city of lights, and entering it, and it made sense to him then. This place was where all of those dreams exist, the place where we go when we forget, when we become our thoughts and transcend our mortal coil. And KINO realized that he was something beyond life then. He had no hands to touch with, no eyes through which to see, no belly to feed, no thought to think. But feel, feel he did, a depth of emotion so vast that it had penetrated every soul in the Territories. A change had begun to occur already, and although no one was yet aware of it, they had all had the same dream and didn't know it, and why would they? Who even remembered their dreams anymore? They lived in a world where dreams and reality made one. That was the nature of the Territories. Everything was possible at once. You barely had time to want that you were contented. And so We all shared lives in this world that were never really our own because they could be made into anything at any moment. In that sense too, there was no need for possession of any kind. Even your personality was interchangeable. You could live multiple lives at once if you so cared to, some of which you might even forget about while they went on living without you. Children were born, some virtual, some less, but every mind was so augmented by the Territories that no child needed teaching. We were born within the Territories with all knowledge, our every need fulfilled, forever.

KINO & The Invisible Territories

You might wonder whether there was such a thing as death there, then, and to that I would tell you that there was no sickness. People carried their bodies until they could carry them no more and would transcend it, becoming part of The Mind, a collective consciousness. They might still exist among us, when they choose to, their knowledge and memories intact, though not bound by their visible form. As for a person, what constituted a person in these Territories had become so vast that no one had bothered to make the difference for a long time. What might be an apparition, an artificial or an augmented intelligence or a living human person, the difference was none. It was all the same thing. Everyone was augmented or they wouldn't exist in the Territories, hence no intelligence wasn't a little artificial. Once everything is artificial is nothing real? Isn't everything an apparition then, a projection?

KINO & The Invisible Territories

Yes, the entire world was a projection, an instantaneous manifestation of the collective consciousness, everyone connected at various degrees to make up whatever the world happened to be for any one of us at that moment. A dream world, I guess you could call it, but of this world, like a layer added to all of reality to create a new facade, blending it all into a collective ideal from infinite perspectives. We were all connected, at last, together with all things. Every imaginable language was universally understood in such a way that not only could we understand any living creature, but even inanimate objects could tell their story and in that way develop a personality, and even a soul. It sounds utopic, doesn't it? And in a very real sense it was. To be alive meant to suffer, but the burden was alleviated so much that even death induced no fear. As long as you were connected to the Territories, you would forever be. So KINO found shelter in this feeling, this idea of the forever. And it allowed him to calm himself, and focus somehow, and remember in the feeling of who he was, who he is. "KINO", he saw the word though he had never uttered it himself. He recognized it as his and said it in his mind as such. From the word he became, in that strangest of places, this city of infinite projections, a myriad of worlds packed on top of each other to form an endless city, a maze of mirrors.

KINO & The Invisible Territories

He could not see through eyes, but feel he could. He could not touch the world, but soon he would navigate it. He could not make a sound as he had once at the bird to keep it from eating the tree's precious fruit, but in his emotions he could direct his attention, and thus he began experiencing this brave new world, impacting it, unknowingly, changing it by how we saw it through him. At last, he was Here. He had found the place he thought he would forever yearn for. Whether it was real or whether he was lost in a kind of dream, it made no difference. He had arrived, and though sadly he could not participate in the world but only observe it, at least he was there. That much he knew. He was aware, Here and NOW, not whole but close. KINO, a ghost.

KINO & The Invisible Territories

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