The Tactician , pt. 1
“I’d like to have that watch. Bring it to me in my study after the morning examinations.”
And then that feeling again, a clearing haze through which a mixture of images and words steal incoherently through. I know how this goes – there’s something I say that buys some time, a distraction or cunning play which convinces him I’ll bring it later. Just not now. I need it. Even if I don’t know why, I know I need it. The time between ‘now’ and ‘then’ always carries great risk – how can I be sure I will still be the same person? – but I feel one thing for sure: it is during this time of ‘now’ and ‘then’ that I will have the necessary moments to explore the alternative plays, when I will figure out how to use the watch and activate various function which, in all nature of the word ‘honesty’ as conscious self-assurance, I can’t be sure even exist. I know that in another time, another parallel, the other me would never be so reckless as to trust the success of a mission to something as ephemeral as human memory. But I haven’t been sure of anything for as long as I remember. I certainly can’t remember the other self who speaks the words that afford me time, time during which the powers of this weapon will be restored to me. I can’t remember the words, even though this has all happened before. Remembering – it’s something I haven’t done for a long time.
I speak of ‘before’ like it’s an indistinguishable part of my present consciousness and I fear I’m being brainwashed back into the dogmatic perception of a linear, cause-and-effect history which belongs to antiquity. Something is happening to my mind and I have to remind myself: ‘the past has no reality except as present recollection, the future has no reality except as present hope, the present is undefined and indefinite, the past is…’ and then the haze returns and I don’t know what I was thinking; what I am thinking. Only the feeling again that this has all happened before, that all I need to do is repeat words which have already passed my lips in another time – but for memory. The problem is not so much memory, but trying to remember. This is why we are taught not to use memory: because by nature it is a self-interested, self-sustaining fiction – it has no concrete viability and is not a tactical option. Remembering is for dreams. In order to enter ultimate ‘being’, we must train our sensitivity toward parallel consciousness and reflexive thought, as opposed to the illusive trappings of an historical, linear narrative where each moment is subject to its past and eternally bound to its future . Yes, we are contingent entities, but only contingent in so far as our inability to calculate, employ, and act upon the possibilities of the moment – the ‘present parallel’.
This is not something you can learn – this is something you must be born into. And for the Tacticians there is no choice, for we are soldiers whose job is to maintain the consciousness of ultimate ‘being’. We must escape the trappings of possibility and impossibility imposed by singular memory and knowledge. We coherently explore all possible parallels before acting, know all possible presents and calculate the profitability of their futures. In our state of ultimate being we act for both the good of the mission and, most importantly, of ourselves. For if there is anything more valuable than the mission, it is our minds: and for this, we are targets.