Saturday, 13 January 2018

Anak Wungsu and the Ziggurats in the Shallow Sea


The Sumerians, Babylonians, Elamites and other ancient peoples of the fertile crescent spoke of a race of fish-men, who dwelt at the bottom of the Persian Gulf and rose to the surface as caprice dictated. Whenever they appeared, it was said, they would dispense dangerous wisdom to the peoples on the surface - the kind of wisdom that leads to civilization but also brings with it disease, war and enslavement.

These fish-men were first named in a human language by those young grand-nephews of the Naacals, the Sumerians, who called them the Oannes. Their existence was no myth. The Oannes were ancient astronauts, an alien race who originated in the cosmos but who had been dwelling on earth for aeons in cities they built in the pitiless frigid blackness of the oceanic depths.

In times past - before even the Naacals had risen to prominence, when the earth was stalked by giant mammalian beasts - these Oannes also built tombs and other monuments in the warm shallow seas near the coasts, all of black obsidian embedded in white sand and coral in azure waters lit by sunlight beaming through. The crocodile saw this, of course, on its wanderings. Black geometric nests or hives swarming with the activity of things that to its mind looked like fish, though fish of an altogether unusual type, with gracile hands and tentacles and fingers able to manipulate objects, and intelligent eyes. Their mythagos haunt its memory as scaly fish with many arms endlessly grasping, clasping and groping around them as they swim through clear warm waters around reefs of vivid coral in the Remembered Ocean of the crocodile's mind.

The Coming of the Naacals

The first Naacals who came to this region of the crocodile's memory were nomads, navigators and explorers fascinated by the possibilities offered by the infinite warm sea. But they were quickly followed by others - those with an interest in the locations of the cities of the Oannes in the real world. For, these Naacals reasoned, there might be some correspondence between the patterns of the locations of the huge black geometric shapes as they existed in the crocodile's memory, and the actual settlements or constructions of the real Oannes that have been lost for millennia in the world above. It might be, they thought, that one could survey this region of the crocodile's memory and use it as some kind of map or guide through which to locate the ruins of the vanished civilization of these alien visitors. Theorists, then, and cosmologists, but also treasure hunters; they remain there still, though many have lost their minds or forgotten their original purpose, and merely roam the seas in their automated vessels without aim or destination.

The Coming of Anak Wungsu

Anak Wungsu is a Balinese trader who, hit by a violent cyclone when sailing his ship, was forced off course and shipwrecked on the shores of Paradijs. More than half-dead and with nothing on his person, he was nursed to health by natives who found him naked and desperate, washed up on the beach. His commercially gifted mind soon realised that there were commodities in this new land waiting to be gathered and taken back to Bali and sold - and his eyes grew bright as he imagined the possibilities this new trading route could offer him. He set off into the interior where he came upon the Lady of the Lake and was told by her of the untold riches and treasures of the Naacals waiting to be discovered beyond the veil in the crocodile's mind. He passed behind it at once.

Anak Wungsu soon made his way to the ziggurats under the sea, as if sensing by instinct the traces of greed which the Naacal explorers and cartographers had left behind them on the surface of the water. Once there, he set about building the grandest vision he could hold in his mind's eye - a vast trading network spanning the ocean's floor and bringing with it untold wealth and commerce to its centre. Goods, commodities, treasure and produce flowing between and around the black undersea Oannes "hives" in endless streams of import and export and all with him in the middle.

Now all of the mythago Oannes "hives" team with the activity of trade as their inhabitants head out into the seas around to harvest resources they can truck, barter and exchange. All of them obsessively seeking the crucial comparative advantage over the others - or attempting through force and subterfuge to take control over sources of revenue. Every one of them a rival as much as a friend, aware in the abstract that trade benefits all, but as forgetful of it in practice as the humans participating in the spice trade in the Moluccas. An unending struggle for commercial domination that frequently spills into violence and which can never end except in a constant competition that can only accelerate in intensity and never diminish.

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