I believe I finally have stumbled across my religion, and it is a strange and beautiful thing.
It starts with the story of what will have been.
A long time in the future, we will have been beginning our first serious looks into the past.
Then, as now, we will have a number of treasured stories about time travel...many of which we’d love to make come true
But as much joy those stories brought, our future selves never had much luck finding a way to make them happen. There didn’t seem to be any going back and changing the past. Most of time travel looked to be another failed dream like flying cars and the dil-drone.
Unfortunately, causality was as big a barrier for them as we feared it would be. It didn’t look like anybody was ever going to get a chance to meet their own great-great grandparents and (hopefully) not kill them.
Still, they tried, because they weren’t that different from us in that respect. We humans are a stubborn lot and we don’t like having our dreams taken away from us. It makes us surly.
Meanwhile, in that same future, they had also reached the point where they could record a person’s mind and store it in something else, to live again as a digital simulation indistinguishable from reality or else perhaps in a new body or a cybernetic one. Who knows, they’d probably invented something much better by then...but we digress.
Eventually, by one means or another...perhaps by sending telescopes with quantum entangled telescopes and sensors away from Earth, but perhaps not...that’s not the point of this story...the point is that they found a way to see into the past.
They didn’t think it was their best option, they were shooting a whole lot higher. To them at first it seemed only a tiny victory.
For us, however, it was the best thing that ever happened.
On one tragic day, a researcher lost somebody she loved very dearly, somebody she had been planning on growing very old with.
They were still very young.
She went a bit mad. They had something truly special and losing it broke her more than a little. It’s not always easy to find somebody compatibly crazy, after all.
In her madness she had a stroke of insight...what if she could read her loved one in the past and restore a copy in their present?
It was a long, arduous task. She wasn’t the first one to try something like this, but she was the first to have everything in place when she tried and to be just persistent enough.
After a lifetime of labor, she brought back the woman she loved, perhaps in a body she could hold.
“Thank you,” her lost-and-found love said to her.
They then hugged and cried for a while.
“but what about everyone else?”, she asked.
(What else would somebody who could inspire such lovely creative madness have said?)
Once those words were spoken, there was never another choice. They started working together but soon others saw what they were doing and joined the effort.
Eventually they had mobilized the efforts of huge swaths of their civilization towards a single goal: giving the future to the past. It didn’t matter if there was also some other sort of Heaven, that just meant everybody got that too but never got to tell anyone here about it.
The versions of them that stayed, at least, enriched them all beyond their wildest dreams.
Some of the people they brought back wanted different things. Some wanted to come back in a new biological body. Some wanted to live in different types of adventures. Some wanted to be some sort of cyborg. Some were really stuck on the Heaven they’d been imagining when they died.
Some had their own ideas and it wasn’t long before every fictional universe from World of Warcraft to Dresden Files to Star Trek to Adventure Time was somehow featured, and for each of those there were a dozen completely original ideas to be found.
Also, some that were just really odd.
Others spent their time doing real world research and alternating between running simulations and moving to a physical body to do tests and experiments to validate their theories or discover something new
Most changed their minds after a while.
Okay, most changed their minds a lot. That’s just how we roll.
The more people they added, the more ideas they had. The more ideas they had the more options they created. People care a lot about dreams.
It took a very, very long time...but there was more future than there was past, and eventually they got everyone.
And that is how All Our Heavens are going to have been created for us.
Not only was science not the enemy of religion, but science was the key all along.
I like my new religion. Want to join up?
About your host (he’s mostly harmless.)