We start with a peek at the turn of the twenty first century when Western society was starting to recover from the bloody turmoil of the previous century. The First Enlightenment had reached its inevitable climax of nihilism and hubris, plunging much of the world into totalitarianism propped up by ill-fated ideologies as a desperate attempt to regain order.
There is little to be seen of the daily lives of particular individuals of this era. We have fictional accounts, but these have been deprecated by historians as highly variable in fidelity. What we do have are expressions of individual opinions on a wide variety of topics. Here we present a small sample passed on to PA Winston in the early years of the colony. They reflect an emerging response to the dilemmas facing the world – sowing the seeds for the Second Enlightenment.
The turn of the twenty third century saw the first of the great swarms leaving Neptune for their journey of exploration and settlement across the galaxy.
It also saw us throw off the increasingly burdensome shackles of The Treaty, which had competed its task of reducing tensions between the zones and creating global stability. With the turmoil generated by two Industrial Revolutions now subsided, the birth of a new era, the flowering of the Second Enlightenment, was emerging.
For us of the Brindabella Plain, our ‘little plain, hemmed by a fairy ring of hills’, it also saw the scattering of the initial spores that have mushroomed into the vibrant community we now enjoy.
Book 1: Brindabella 2200 – From Cell to Mind
When Mary decided to resume the quest of her great grandmother Sara she had no idea where it would lead her. She would never have guessed that the trail ended in a shallow rim pool deep in a cave. The only thing she had known for certain was that Sara's quest had vital significance for Arkadel's swarms.
Brindabella 2200, is the story of this scientific quest. Along the way, the participants explore the questions of what we are as humans and what we are as individuals. For Mary and her Arkadelian culture there is also the question of how reliably a Personal Archive can capture the character, or spirit, of a person and propagate that through time and space beyond their physical existence.
Book 2: Brindabella Aftermath – With Spindles to Stars
Back in Arkadel, as she tries to understand and quench the furore and fear that the results of their quest unleashed, Mary explores the worlds of the secretive cybs. They expand her understanding of swarming – the goal of all Arkadelians to send their PAs out into the galaxy on expeditions of exploration and, eventually, human settlement. She wonders whether this hope for the future is what has made Arkadel relatively immune to the fear campaigns. She realises that a key to understanding the behaviour and evolution of whole cultures is childhood – in particular the importance of children's stories.
Book 3: Brindabella Trust – The Evolution of Gods
In Brindabella Trust, Karl and Mary discuss the shift in physics from the classical world of Newton to the supraclasical, or supranatural, world that exists where nature forms structures in the realm between chaos and harmony. Their examples range from quantum mechanics through to patterns in social interactions, to the evolution of solar systems and the significance of the Golden Mean. Tom extends this to his view of the brain and our perception of beauty and the supernatural, while Clare points out that this was the intuition she'd been trying to describe all along.