I’ve been traveling back and forth from Seattle and Portland for all of November to help with a church project there preparing for a move into a new, renovated building.
The bus takes three hours to drive from Seattle to Portland. Sometimes I use the time to read stuff on the internet, and sometimes I use it to read books from the “Stories from the Golden Age” series that’s published by Galaxy Press.
These books are reprints of LRH stories that originally appeared in the “pulps” in the 1930s and 1940s. These magazines were popular sources for all sorts of fiction at that time. There are usually three stories in each book, and original illustrations are always included. The stories are all also available as audio books, fully produced with music, sound effects and multiple actors.
These are always fun reads, but with Hubbard doing the writing, also guaranteed to be thought-provoking.
I reviewed the first book of stories I read here.
The next book I read is titled The Great Secret.
The title story is a ten page mini-story of one man’s struggle to obtain some “esoteric” knowledge that he thought would put him on top of the heap. It didn’t!
The next story, Space Can, recounts a Star Wars-type battle and concentrates on how a group operates when it is well-trained, prepared, and dedicated. The technology described is startlingly realistic, considering there was no space travel on earth at the time the story was written.
The Beast uses a short-lived struggle between a man and – something else – to explore the mental ravages involved in fighting against something seemingly unknowable.
And The Slaver is yet another story of struggle. This explores the role of prior intent and training in the battle to remain free.
The Professor Was a Thief is the most recent book I’ve read.
The title story in this book is about a kooky guy who found a new way to populate his huge miniature train setup. It also deals with the role of the press in shaping public opinion and how old time newspapers used to work – interesting stuff.
Battle of Wizards contrasts magic with science, and explores the fuzzy boundary between them.
And The Dangerous Dimension is a funny story about a guy who discovers how to travel just by thinking. It gives “controlling your thoughts” a whole new significance!
Making it real
Are the stories we read, or watch on TV or at the movies pure entertainment? Or do they serve some higher (or lower) purpose? Are they useful to us in some way?
I guess this is really a question for a sociologist or anthropologist or historian. But we are the consumers of our entertainment, so we should have some idea of what we are consuming, shouldn’t we?
Before the printing press, story telling was the primary way – we suppose – to provide cultural continuity – or change cultures – in a society. Printed stories, TV shows and films are all forms of story telling. But they are presented as products of the creative imaginations of artists. While artists are clearly involved in the creation of all our modern stories, there are also financial backers, producers, directors and goodness knows who else deciding what the final products contain, what they look like, and who can see or listen to them. There is also an industry of “counselors” and “teachers” who have attached themselves to the creative community, particularly the entertainment industry. And through them can flow influences from the intelligence community, academia and various political interests. So I see a definite level of control in modern story-telling that is shaping the kind and content of stories we have access to.
In any period of our experience in the physical, we have used story telling to share experiences and to teach right and wrong conduct and attitudes towards life. This has not changed.
What has changed is that the “teachers” don’t use the same story – superficially at least – over and over again. They keep dressing up their stories in different costumes, plots, and characters. The result can be confusing, and I think that is the intent of some.
Oddly, I think we tend to take a story and compare it to our own experience to see if it “rings true.” The fact that it’s a story gives us license to use it this way. And I think that the results we come up with when we do this demonstrate the intentions of all those behind the story tellers.
LRH, and many others of his period, was obviously a free-thinking individual. I think it is worth seeking out such story tellers. Their writings I believe are an attempt to counsel us and warn us about how things are and how things might become. Their material may not come totally from the “imagination.” It may indeed come from their past experiences, leaking through the veil of forgetfulness that usually accompanies death. I see these people as special beings with potentially special abilities. It is worth spending some time to listen to what they have to say by reading their stories or accessing them in any way that works for you.