The seventh and final book, in the Letters from 500 story, is about to be published. In 2009 the story began, and the thread of life’s harmonious potential grew and grew. In many ways, the idea of a perfect world, where we experience our oneness and our planet’s magnanimous embrace of our survival, can be a reality.
Thank you to all who have joined our merry band of believers.
Author’s Note – Assist the Transition
Imagine … “You are sitting on a grassy bank beside a stream. Put your hand in the water and feel it swirling around your fingers. Put your gaze into the stream and the rippling flow. The flow is moving from some unknown source toward some unknown destination. Stretch your feelings out toward the unknown in both directions. Embrace the totality of this moment and movement; it rests within the center of the unknown.”
—Orange, Letters from 500
I write these letters in the ‘second person’ when I’m addressing my friend from the future, Orange. I know it may be confusing to the reader. I’ve tried putting it other ways during editing. But that hasn’t worked for me. From the beginning, these Letters have been a bizarre form of correspondence between O and me. I ask, therefore, that you indulge us in this. When I say ‘you’ in the dialogues, I am speaking directly to Orange, as though writing her a letter.
At last, we are at the end of the seven-book series. At first, as I’ve said before, I really expected it to end after one book. Then, I thought the third book was the end. Now, according to all participants, this is manifestly the final ‘last one’. I promise. Enough is enough!
By the way, this is a continuation of the story in book six, picking up in midstream from that narrative, as though the two are one together— so much so that the chapters here continue the numbering from the previous book.
So, now, what is the upshot of all these volumes—the Letters from 500—that I’ve written over the past ten years? What was the intent, and what was the result? Where does it go from here? A corollary question that comes to mind in that: What is happening in our world today? How have the books addressed that? Are the perspectives on our time, laid down in these dialogues, reasonable to consider?
People have asked me if the characters in the stories are real. Is the story somehow real? Some want to believe the letters truly are from the future. When I begin to answer such inquiries, I find myself shifting into a kind of altered state. It’s as if the mere wondering sends me into a new dimension, a very ‘sincere’ place, deep inside. Contemplating a response demands I assume an openness and respect for the possibilities.
I might at first be tempted to dismiss questions in an offhand, joking manner. I might try to say, ‘nobody can predict the future.’ But then, that statement is so patently false I can’t utter it. There are clearly ways of forecasting the future; many have done it. Contemplating the idea of where this material comes from demands—at least of me—serious attention and as much honesty as I can muster.
On the other hand, if I get too serious in answering, another force comes into play. It undermines my seriousness. I end up saying, honestly, ‘I don’t know where it comes from. The writing is not ‘channeled’—as I understand that term—because it is thoroughly, laboriously edited. I may be a kind of ‘transcriber’ of inspiration, but I’m also an active participant with it. An exact characterization of how, and from where the words come, continues to elude me.
But then, also, I admit, the messages and stories, and the flat-out wisdom in them, seem to have a life of their own—they do ‘come through’ from somewhere. As much as it may sound presumptuous, there is sagacity in the teachings of Omis and Orange and Green and Black. And let’s not forget Mike!
I have witnessed the ‘life’ of the stories at close range for ten years. To be sure, the Letters have not taken the publishing world by storm; they’ve not risen up in the rankings and echelons of new age literature. The ‘teachings’—if that is what they are—in the books are quiet and subtle, even meek. They are interspersed into the dialogues, continuously accompanied by own skepticism and arguments.
I must keep asking, what are these books in fact? I certainly do not see them as ‘literature’. They are not pure science-fiction fantasy, because they’re not restricted to mere fiction. They have elements that ring actual to me. They contain divinations and predictions of times to come: They outline events of the next 500 years, for one. But they’re also not purely prophesy or philosophy; there is a storyline, as meandering as it may be.
More in the style of sheer imagination, the books describe the next 26,000 years—and the past 26,000. And far beyond that, they depict the last species on Earth—the Ozuli—in the year 5 billion. We are also told of a fantastical, ‘Grand Reunion’ of souls, over 9 billion years from now.
I do not claim the reality or truth of any of this. The point of the Letters is not to be ‘right’ or to ‘convince’ readers to believe in anything; the point is to open up a perspective, a portal if you will. I and we— speaking from the point of view of the characters in the books—only want to deliver a broader sense of the future that can be creative and welcoming.
If the information does have a life of its own, then we shall see signs of it. I believe there’s already evidence of that in fact: We are undeniably living through a great storming time all around the world. Along with this, people everywhere are waking up in growing numbers, one way or another. People are seeing political, economic and social realities, dredged up from hidden darkness, like never before.
Like it or not, we can see that our civilization has crystallized and may well be crumbling; our institutional and ecological environments, our value systems even, are collapsing dramatically. Events in the world are pushing governance up against thresholds of impossibility. The dark, ugly sides of humanity are being brought up into the light of day—the light of awareness. Never before has human beingness been challenged to such an encompassing and menacing degree.
There is in fact honesty in the material of these books. Woven into the composition of the dialogues is a transcendental essence of meaning and inspiration. I know, because while writing them I was also reading them—over and over—during multiple edits. I studied what they said, often disputing it. As immodest as it sounds, I have become a student, as well as a critic of my own writings! Not because they are mine. But because I was finally able to hear what the muses were sending through me.
Doing this work has been a wonderful, playful, exhilarating experience. I cannot imagine not having done it. It has been the fulfillment of a life script, etched on my soul; the essence of it was there long before Letters from 500 began precipitating down into ink on paper. Now that it is out in the physical world, I honor its form with deep appreciation. I truly love having been involved in this. I cherish the characters in the stories. I love the stories. Most of all, I love the world that we are all building. I am firmly persuaded that humanity is creating a bright and wholesome future.
From the dark place we are now, light will emerge, inspiration will seep out into the awareness of curious, conscious explorers, near and far; it has already begun, Stefan reminds me. I do feel the destiny. O has explained—from her perspective—that the coming generations will use the information to assist the transition into our new species, beyond humanity. At that point, the Letters will belong to them. I wish them well.
For my part, it seems I will remain in a less-awakened state this lifetime. My skepticism, they say, has played a role in their process. Since I often put up resistance to what they say, the friction is a kind of test grounding for the material. Whatever it takes, I’m happy to do what I can—even if it meant I was playing the part of a troglodyte.
I can’t seem to help myself: I will continue challenging what they’ve told me—and what I’ve written—if it seems too improbable or abstract or patently impossible. I want to make sure their messages have been put to the test in my intellectual laboratory, such as it may be. I will continue trying to make it more sensible—even after endless editing. Couldn’t I have put it down in clearer wording, with deeper sensitivity, with better understanding of the messages?
I will continue to doubt myself, and the cogency of what I’ve alleged. In the end, I can only fall back on my own sense of enjoyment in the writing—and the fact that it is finished. It’s the best I could do.
I welcome you now to read and listen to the last episode of my peculiar adventure. May you find within it a means of honoring yourself and honoring all of us who are on the grand journey of the human species. May we all share in the bright, sweet goodness that is surely soon to come.
R. L. Potter,
Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, December 1, 2017