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The Conditionalists Part 1

by GuyLathamzim

Part 1- Chapter 1


Conditionalism, the concept whereby a soul may only transcend unto the spiritual realm under the condition that one’s life was spent in morally sound comportment. The questions and possible implications of hacking this code that is so intrinsically woven into the fabric of the universe is the reason for this place. “Transience 1” they call it. For an institution so profoundly interested in the soul, the building could not possibly be more soulless. The unpainted concrete, stainless steel, grey uniformed staff and the atmosphere of a mental ward, which, i suppose it wasn’t all that far from being.

And so once again, I’m deep within the vorago of my own mind. Clawing at the confines of my morality as a vermin would claw through a viminal mass. This place is cramped, inescapable and intolerable. But through the dense and dark matter, a sliver of bright and brilliant light is visible. I push towards it, squeezing through the heavy unescapableness of my thoughts. The closer I get, the clearer it becomes. Finally, it’s at my finger tips. A brilliant and enlightened thought emerges. I grasp it and realise that at any point I could make this overwhelming inclement bearing down on my existential conscience dissipate. But instead of relieving myself of this heavy inflicted burden, I dig deeper, search harder and find the underlying sphere of troublesome dynamism. I feel like I could pick it up and caress it with my palms. Pull it to my face and study it’s condescending energy. I know I’m not worthy of this and yet I am vividly aware that its origins are autochthonic. My soul shakes with discordance, something is different this time. Nothing is right. But it’s too late. It has already imparted its brilliance unto my mind. 

Suddenly, everything begins to make sense again and euphoria washes over me as I sit up, unable to recall anything prior to the jabbing of a needle into the protruding vein in my left arm. I look about the empty concrete room and then up to the glass ceiling where a dozen or so faces stare back with a curious expression, or is it concern? No, it’s definitely curiosity. Did I just find what so many couldn’t? What so many had lost their sanity or even died for before they were able to comprehend this flawless sensation that extends into empiternity? I almost hope not. But I suspect the value of my thoughts just increased a million fold. This was unlike the other times. The foundations of existence and nonexistence were visible and malleable. I remove the wires and needle from my arm and push my feet to the cold concrete floor. Disorientation and a vacant mind hold me for some time.

The weekly journey between the concrete cell and the interrogation room consisted of numerous indistinguishable passageways filled with streams of brain dead staff dressed mentally and physically in the same appeal. I can see and feel their vacant and drug abused eyes staring back. 

I now sit facing a short, middle aged man. His cheeks slightly flushed and tiny veins visible under his stubble. His spectacles are too small; he has to tilt his head back and forth in an unnatural way when he shifts his vision from the notepad to my eyes. His stress is visible and it is apparent that His sanity is slipping away with the rest of us. But I have not met this Interrogator before, He's definitely new here although he looks as though he has been dealing with this place for years.

"Good day Mr Caarm, My name is Dr Greigh."


“What exactly did you experience?” Greigh asks me in a fastidious tone

“The same thing I've experienced every week of my life”

“Could you describe the sensation with a little more detail perhaps?”

“Not really, but I usually compare it to having someone stick their hand in through the back of your skull and attempt to pull your still functioning brain out of its place. It was much the same as it always is.” In reality, it was the most profound I had ever experienced. I can’t understand why I didn’t say so. I was usually honest, but something new is resting within my mind, a new canon of enlightenment.

"I see." 

He nods for me to leave and I jump at the opportunity, Im desperate to leave and get back to Granfort.

As I walk towards the shuttle, Im very disorientated and a little hungry. The sharp cold cuts straight through the thick over coat i had piled, it made the shelter of Transience1 seem almost inviting, almost. I put my shoulder down towards the prevailing wind and began to jog towards the open doors of the large white ice-cube like shuttle. I take the first seat i see and fall back heavily into it. The spacious cabin is empty except for a young woman in a heavily starched Granfort staff uniform. It was only an hour flight to Granfort and i thought i would take the opportunity to rest my drained eyes.


The liberal societies of the 21st century were easily buckled the dystopian reform of 2030. The world reached a breaking point and the culmination of a century of heavy industrialism was dramatic. An unsustainable Technological revolution reached its climax and then began its downward spiral. Governments no longer sought out advances in technology but pushed for advances into the spiritual realms. The transfer of conscience into a machine was the seed. Once they had done that, they wanted immortality. to make ones self into a deity was the final goal for most of them. Controlling a nation was not enough, they wanted to control the laws of the universe and travel beyond the physical into a realm of absolute empiternity. And so Transience1 was created to explore the possibilities of the soul by means of a new drug, 'Cognitobrofin' it was called.

I awoke with a sudden sense of solidity and looked out the window. Hard ground and black ice surrounded the shuttle. I began to rise but kept my head low, as one instinctively does on transport vehicles for some reason. The weather is vile at this time of year, I long for the sun or the warmth of my quarters. I’m standing on platform3 of the enormous Granfort. My “home”, if you can call it that. Its immense spherical carbon fibre frame is about the size of Britain and suspended in the stratosphere by a counter weight in orbit around earth.

 The world of Granfort is something of an institution. Everything organised, from the time everyone awakes, 6:30 on the dot, to the time the curfew alarm goes at 22:00. My life is regimented, everyone’s is. Free will has been purged from this society for fear that it will breed free thought. And free thought harbours enlightenment, the seed of rebellion.

‘Cognito’ has become as uniform in Granfort society as eating. You don’t know anything else. Its taboo to think it could be different; the search for eternal life and for the foundations of existence is the obsession of society, Pounded into the minds of the young and forced to be normality. Your thoughts are valued depending on your ‘Cognito’ experiences. The more profound they are the more valuable and the more comfortable they allow your life to be. Children tend to have the deepest and most light filled experiences. “It’s due to innocent thought” Transcience1 tells us. The value of your thoughts is a concept they developed to give people incentive to divulge their experiences. There are certain tests they do and data they record to ensure that the experiences people claim to have are genuine and not talked up. But it IS possible to downplay an experience. They just seem to be daft enough not to image that someone would do such a thing.

Authors note: Please feel free to be critical. I am not sure whether this concept is worthy of continuation and feedback, good or bad, would be appreciated. Thanks

Is this a review?



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475 Reviews

Points: 661
Reviews: 475

Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:08 am
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Apricity wrote a review...

Heyo Lath, happy review day! Flite here for a review!

I'm actually rather glad that you've chosen to write a short story on philosophy and something that's more avant-garde than pure action and mystery short stories because I'm getting sick of reviewing them.

Anyways, let's get to it. First thing I noticed was the switch between the small 'i' and the capitalized 'I'. I'm sure that it's just a keyboard thing, but it really bugs me so next time you upload something. Perhaps preview it first?

Whilst reading this, I had to search up words that I swore I knew, so thank you for expanding my vocabulary. That, and my mind was running in a circle when I finished this. I'm not going to lie because this was pretty confusing, the concept itself it's extremely intriguing but the way it's been written reminds me a lot of someone rambling on and on. This is especially evident in paragraph two and three, there is a massive chunk of text where our narrator is in his mind (I assume) and he is exploring different thoughts and grasping them?

There's a lot of abstract thinking going on and I'm not sure if I can finally, how does one grasp a thought? How do you dig deeper? How can he end it? So, he reached a point but what exactly is that? These were the questions I asked as I read it, but perhaps I'm just a bad interpreter.

I would put my two cents in nonetheless, a lot of the concepts you've mentioned here are metaphorical and hence it's hard to make it concrete. But at the same time, it's hard to visualize what is happening without adding some concrete substance to it. One way to do this, would actually be comparing it to something. Say a metaphor, say you compare programming to doors or sewers, and anger to a bright red ball of lightning.

...curios expression..

I noticed a typo there, be careful when editing. Curious is missing the 's' at the end.

---no, it’s curiosity.
The 'n' needs to be capitalized, so, there is a lot of stream-of-consciousness going on here to the point where it's almost suffocating because the rate of the MC's thoughts are so fast. If it is curiosity, than why is it curiosity? Personally, as I read through that paragraph I get the feeling that it isn't the narrator speaking, but you as the author. Because near the end of it, there is an unexplained bout of rage that causes the narrator to get tensed up and frankly, there shouldn't be any reason.

I now sat facing a short, middle aged man. His cheeks slightly flushed and tiny veins were visible under his stubble.

O_O What? I thought he was in a concrete room? Now he's facing a short man? Is this Inception layers? Actually this reminds me slightly of Inception in some aspects.

Free will has been purged from this society for fear that it will breed free thought. And free thought harbours enlightenment, the seed of rebellion.

Now, that's a very interesting sentence, could you elaborate on that a bit more? This is a dystopian society I presume, so why has free will been purged? For what reasons, is the government corrupted or has there been a massive rebellion in the past? Why is this society the way it is today, that's what I would like to know.

The same goes for the 'Plug in', that was also another info dump. Can this information be asserted elsewhere? Perhaps distribute it along the way, I still don't have a very clear sense of this Plug-in. Could you please explain it to me?

All in all, this is by far one of the most intriguing stories/idea I've read for a while now. So I definitely recommend re-drafting and re-working on this idea. If you have further questions or want help, please let me know.


GuyLathamzim says...

Thanks a lot for the review. You raised many issues that I had over looked. However, I spat it out in under an hour and so I knew there would be issues with it. But I definitely plan on re-drafting it and hope you could share your opinion on the final product. Thanks

GuyLathamzim says...

Any opinion on the new draft?

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Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:27 pm
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Lycando wrote a review...

Hey there! I really liked this piece of work, particularly how you conceptualized the value of thought. Overall the story was well written in addition to very vividly described scenes.

Now, some ways I think your story could be better crafted:

When he was "plugged in" and exploring the inner most depths of his mind, I thought that maybe he would find a certain insanity lurking, possibly his inner demons or thoughts he has which haunt him. Developing his character in a sense and showing the reader what he's really like inside. Also, when he was waking from his "plugged in" state, perhaps add some physical discomfort, rather than focusing mainly on his cognitive state. Being pulled out from your own mind could hurt a little physically.

Secondly, how do the common people react to having their minds invaded and being aware that they're valued based on that single factor? Is there mortal fear perpetuating their daily lives or certain punishments dealt to them if they disobey or are deemed unworthy in some way? With such a sovereign government in place, are they abused or exploited based on their thoughts? Most importantly, is the government able to control their thoughts since they're plugged in daily? Have some of them even ceased to keep their sanity? Just some questions you could ponder about while developing this idea of yours.

I think it's a really good path you're on here and you have many different avenues to take from here on to make it a really complex and captivating plot. Good luck with it! :)

GuyLathamzim says...

Thanks for the advice. I shall definitely take those thoughts on board when I redraft it. Its a plot that really does have so many factors, both mental and physical, which need to be taken into account for it to reach its maximum potential. I appreciate whatever advice I can get, thank you.

GuyLathamzim says...

Any thoughts on the new draft?

Lycando says...

Wow! Really liking it, more clarity given on the back story and the character's experience now. I like how you gave the plugged in state the 'Cognito', sounds very apt indeed. Looking forward to the next chapter :D

I do all of the training for Walgreen’s cashiers.
— The Devil