dynamics of Sea Free

Mapping a mirror universe is no small task. This website is an open source experiment at sharing what our team has been able to uncover thus far, in the hopes that others might share back with us and fill in the layers of Sea Free collectively.

We imagine our pursuit as a sort of archaeological dig. Amos is heading up a team of volunteers reaching out virtually and physically across the world to connect with people who have heard songs of Sea Free: stories, intimations, or explanations.

In the first years of work – before we had the idea for this website – we simply had stories and musings laying around, unorganized and confused. When Jorge and Damaya joined the team we finally had the interpretative and cataloguing support we needed to begin making sense of all we’ve collected. 

Damaya and Jorge have used details, facts or clues within each Sea Free sample to organize them into “Time Shards” or periods of time – past or present in Sea Free. We have not mapped all times of Sea Free, but we have a general sense of key epochs. 

Like the layers of soil in the forest, each shard tells us something different about an element of Sea Free and it’s history. Some boards are more complete than others, depending on how many stories or artefacts we have catalogued for that time period yet.

The shards of Sea Free time that we are currently able to map are the ones that we can pull some sort of resonance with our own – they are the ones that are most legible to us. There is still much that comes through that is simply still gibberish to us, we can’t make heads or tales of it. Perhaps with more time we will be able to decipher more meaning.

It may be interesting to look at the work of Julio Cortazar and how he presented stories to help us think about how we might present the overlapping artefacts and stories we are collecting – particularly his work Hopscotch. – J.R.

The shards of Sea Free time that we are currently able to map are the ones that we can pull some sort of resonance with our own – they are the ones that are most legible to us. There is still much that comes through that is simply still gibberish to us, we can’t make heads or tales of it. Perhaps with more time we will be able to decipher more meaning.

It may be interesting to look at the work of Julio Cortazar and how he presented stories to help us think about how we might present the overlapping artefacts and stories we are collecting – particularly his work Hopscotch. – J.R.

This Dynamics of Sea Free Page is meant to help give you a sense of the rules of Sea Free that seem to cut across or unite all Time Shards of their Myriverse.

Across all the layers of time and space we are cataloguing in the Time Shards Map – we’ve found some themes that run throughout. We felt it would be useful for readers to have a sense of these dynamics as you move through each shard.

This page is regularly updated as we uncover new themes and insights into the myriverse. This is version 10.9.21.

1 We cannot see Sea Free. For many years we could only hear it and feel it – that is largely still the case. That poses some interesting, but not insurmountable design challenges for a visual/written representation of a myriverse. The images and words used here are our best estimate at translating what we hear and feel of Sea Free for the limited dimensions of this universe’s internet. Our motto throughout this project has largely been: We’ll work with what we’ve got, for now. We have explicitly not attempted to draw depictions of Sea Freers themselves. That felt both grossly impossible and far too invasive. Instead, we invite you to make a translation of our translation into your own words and images.

Team, can you review the high level notes below and let me know if you have any edits? – D.S.

1 We cannot see Sea Free.

Team, can you review the high level notes below and let me know if you have any edits? – D.S.

For many years we could only hear it and feel it – that is largely still the case. That poses some interesting, but not insurmountable design challenges for a visual/written representation of a myriverse. The images and words used here are our best estimate at translating what we hear and feel of Sea Free for the limited dimensions of this universe’s internet. Our motto throughout this project has largely been: We’ll work with what we’ve got, for now. We have explicitly not attempted to draw depictions of Sea Freers themselves. That felt both grossly impossible and far too invasive. Instead, we invite you to make a translation of our translation into your own words and images.

Very recently, Amos has been leading up a team of volunteers to collect more samples of Sea Free as a well as artefacts that Receivers have created to represent Sea Free. We are just beginning to reference some of these objects in the Time Shard Boards. We do not believe these artefacts should be ours to keep – rather we believe the energy and curiosity they inspire are best shared and can serve the flow of courage and love in our communities. See the catalogue for more info.

2 There may be a multitude of languages of Sea Free – we simply don’t know. We have deduced of few things about their languages thus far:

  • Aural samples of Sea Free come through in 4 linguistic pathways:
    • in a language of our universe the receiver knows, 
    • in a language of our world that the receiver does not know (and we can help translate),
    • in “sea freesian” a language we are just beginning to map,
    • in a language that is completely illegible to us.
  • We do not understand why, or how any of this is possible, but Meg and Damaya are working on it.

Perhaps through a lack of imagination, we call the primary language we receive from their myriverse “seafreesian”. Jorge, our lead translator, first began building a translation of seefreesian in the summer of 2001 (July) – and it has taken 19 years and five months to be able to share the reflections that have come through in this dialect in English translation with you.

3 Time is not understood to be linear in Sea Free, rather Sea Freers (the people of Sea Free) see time as a spiral looping, folding and unfolding dimensions of life. We attempted to visualize this in the Time Shard Map through a simple spiral. We believe we do not yet have computers that would allow us to accurately capture how they conceptualize times. All mentions of time on this site are a translation or best guess.

My friend Nadia has shared some useful insights on how we might understand Sea Free’s conception of time. Bergson’s idea of duration and the collective spooling of memory and Borges’ story El Aleph may be places for us to look in the future. I’ll look into these and get back to you more soon – J.R.

3 Time is not understood to be linear in Sea Free

My friend Nadia has shared some useful insights on how we might understand Sea Free’s conception of time. Bergson’s idea of duration and the collective spooling of memory and Borges’ story El Aleph may be places for us to look in the future. I’ll look into these and get back to you more soon – J.R.

Rather, Sea Freers (the people of Sea Free) see time as a spiral looping, folding and unfolding dimensions of life. We attempted to visualize this in the Time Shard Map through a simple spiral. We believe we do not yet have computers that would allow us to accurately capture how they conceptualize times. All mentions of time on this site are a translation or best guess.

4 The physical laws, properties, and assumptions of Sea Free appear to be identical to our own. As far as we can tell, their physical world, animals, geography and outer space exactly mirror our own – a complete copy. The only element of the -verses that appear to be different are the people, and their conception of time, society, morals, governance, economy, love and ethics.

We will cover these essential differences in the sections below.

5 We assume that many Sea Freers phenotypically look a lot like us – somewhat. As we mentioned in our opening letter, we believe our -verses broke off from each other when Homo Sapiens never killed off or fully married the other species of humanoid around them. There are multiple species of human leading to, we assume, very different phenotypes within those human species roaming the myriverse. From the stories we’ve gathered we have deduced that in addition to varying statures and bone structures based in different species, and the miscegenation across species – they seem to have different skin colors, and the varying anatomies of gender as we do. 

Representation in aural pieces: Many of the stories and songs we collect make reference to physical markers familiar to us, like skin shade or physical attributes of gender – however they do not make the same conclusions of power, value, and identity that we would (see notes below for more on these differences). Additionally there are many references to physical attributes that we can only guess at but not understand, such as: tailed nubcue, shelf head, and thumb hand. We don’t know what these indicators look like, and we cannot assign a value – positive, negative or neutral to them. We can only assume that they may describe attributes of human stature based on other species that are now extinct in our world.

Representation in artefacts: Creators are largely repurposing images from our world in order to create a visual representation of Sea Free. We do not put any weight on these artefacts answering our questions of phenotype, and instead enjoy them for the metaphorical messages they are seeking to convey.

Species and Multispecies: From the trove of stories and songs of Sea Free that we have collected thus far, there appear to continue to be humans walking the earth who largely look like one species or another, and there also many people who no longer fit into specific species categories. While this may be of interest to us, these differences appear immaterial to their stories and songs, they are mentioned but do not seem to drive the plot or story as such notable differences might here for us. 

Phenotype and power: From what we can tell, they have not needed to use species, what we would call racial differences, or gender to structure power in their society. They cannot conceive of power as a hierarchy, the concept of collaboration and mutual aid so deeply permeates their society. Power flows, power is contested, harm occurs – but it is not structured along hierarchical lines. We are still trying to figure out how to map and describe their power structures. This is one of Meg and Jorge’s core research projects right now.

They are not post-racial – they simply never constructed race in the way we do. They have many similar cultural creations – you’ll see that Kali-like and Guayatri-like deities figure into their myriverse creation story in the Spider Birth Time Shard. However, these similarities are not racialized in a hierarchy in the ways ours are. They see differences in species and phenotype, it is honored, acknowledged and celebrated, it is just not used as a justification for the allocation of power. 

6 We are still in the process of mapping societal structures in Sea Free and hope to have more to share in this area by the end of this year. What we can say is, they have basic units of “families” that people are organized into. These base units of housing and relationships sometimes map to biological connections, and others do not. They do not seem to make a big difference between those units that are biological and those that are not. To this end, they have signifiers for both biological connections, and the social connections of the families they build (we will explain this in more detail in the Emergence Time Shard). 

They appear to have collected groups of families (biological or non-biological) into “tribes” across species in their early pre-history. They found power and strength in miscegenation, and they established stability and survival through heterogeneity. These tribes seem to have collected into larger bodies that we would recognize as “states”. We are still working to map out some of these structures in their Reckoning Time Shards.

Throughout families, tribes, and states there runs or overlays a system of spiritualities (what we might refer to as religions) and varying spiritual practices that also connect and sustain people and relationships. We haven’t yet mapped how the more political “state” structures interact with the spiritual institutions. We attribute this largely to our own failure of imagination. We are still seeing too much of ourselves in their stories and artefacts. We need more time to practice seeing the world from their perspective in order to make sense of their societal structures and religions.

It is important to note that they seem to have evolved out of “states” fairly quickly. During their Build Time Shard it appears they established a global network or culture. As we come closer to artefacts and aural stories that are contemporaneous with our own there seems to be more connections between them, more solidification into a multi-faceted way of viewing and engaging with the world. There is much more for us to explore in this concept of their “global culture” or system that connects them, but allows them to continue to see and celebrate difference.

7 Sea Free had a similar mix of cultural gender differences in their early times: some cultures had a binary system, some had multiple categories, some had no need for any gendered categories. Overtime, the influence of collaboration, the multitude of human species, and the concept of time as a spiral (among other influences we cannot yet hear/understand) led to a concept of gender as fluid, as shifting over time and as co-created by a person in relationship to their community throughout their life. 

The process of moving through one’s gender over time has led to incredible bursts of collective energy, and moments of deep depression that serve the process of discovery and change. It doesn’t always sound easy, but it sounds deeply meaningful and, for lack of a better word, productive.

The gender fluidity they have evolved into as a global culture seems to allow for varied connections outside of the biological – driving survival, connection, and love. We hope to collect more stories and artefacts that will shine a light on this area in the years ahead..

8 If letters E, F and G are starting to give you a sense that Sea Free is a utopia, let us clear that up right now. Sea Free is not a utopia. Ouph, far from it. We believe the dynamic between conflict and collaboration is different than our own universe, but the tensions of love, failure, anger, joy, and evolution are fully there. And while power is not hierarchical it can and consistently is contested. It is contested not as a binary battle of wills, but as a communal reckoning of awakening, seeing and connecting collectively. 

The economy is one place that we have been able to tease out an example of how power moves. At any given moment in “time” some Sea Freers have all they need, and some don’t- this can be due to weather, differences in strategy, the outcomes of choices with incomplete/imperfect information, or luck. And, when these imbalances occur, they have built economic systems (what we might call solidarity) to rebalance- offering those in need what they need, and shifting who may have and who may have not, for a time. Sea Freers experience pain, want, fear and uncertainty within a larger context of a spiral of time in which their role/status/context within their economy is not permanent- it flows. Their economic status is influx throughout their lives.

Power is not a codified concrete block wielded by some over others – it is seen an ability to act that is only made real within the context of a relationship. Hence they perceive of power as a flowing energy field that people move in and out of, that they share or don’t over the course of their lives. Power can ebb and flow in the life of a Sea Freer and not be seen as “good” or “bad” – simply what is: positive, negative or neutral.

And that’s as far as we’ve gotten into our understanding of power. This is a prime area of interest for more than a few of our team members, so we hope to have updates here soon.

9 We can strongly feel and hear that Sea Freers experience the full range of emotions that we do, happiness, anger, sadness, fear- and while we do sense the emotions of guilt, jealousy, rage, despair (and more) they seem to hold them very differently. They don’t seem to identify with these emotions, they feel them deeply and then continue into another emotion. They can’t seem to grasp the concept of “having” or “being” an emotion. Rather, they seem to expect they will feel all emotions, and be curious about what their particular emotion is in that moment.

We have not yet begun to try to map their systems of justice – we don’t even know yet how they conceptualize justice…. We feel that we must spend time understanding more of their creation myths, pre-history, and early emergent times to even begin to understand how they think about right and wrong, ethics, morality or justice. We can tell that it is not like ours – far from it.

10 The spiritualities (there simply is nothing we can feel there that looks like religion in our sense of the word) the Sea Freers have created support all the structures and dynamics above. We have come to believe these institutions may be the driving life force behind their global culture and the most important defining factor of their myriverse. We believe these spiritualities, and their early forebears in pre-history may be the answer to why Homo Sapiens did not or were not able to kill of or intermarry with the other species, thus destroying them. Some logic of pre-history that allowed for multiple species to survive, thrive, and then form a global society of unity and difference was passed down through generations of evolving spiritualities.

So much of their spiritualities still lie outside of our awareness. We are devoting an incredible amount of time right now in fleshing out the spiritual structures developed in the Spider Birth, Emergence and Reckoning Time Shards to help us map and explore this facet of their myriverse.

From what we can tell, humans relationship to their spiritualities are the backbone that make fluidity, non-binary views, power sharing, and economic balance possible. Their spiritualities codify an approach to love and courage, grief and fear that support their collective health and well-being.

There is no one spirituality that serves this purpose as far as we can tell. Rather there are a multitude of shifting practices that meet people’s spiritual needs as they move through their inner multitudes. Through a set of differing rituals called “the unraveling” it appears that children are supported in discovering and connecting with their own spirituality – that may or may not be the same as their “families”. As they mature into Sea Freesian society they evolve a relationship to their spirituality that supports their growth and development.

The spiritualities may be the element of their myriverse the Sea Freers have spent the most time building, and continue to spend the most time nurturing and maintaining. Spiritualities seem to be their life blood running through science, economics, politics, love, and ethics. 

11 The fact that the spiritualities of Sea Free are their most prized constructs may come as a surprise to our universe when we learn how technologically advanced they are. We often see spirituality and science at odds. We see peace as a damper on innovation. And yet, their ability to collaborate, and to connect into their spiritual selves seems to have massively propelled their scientific insights.

Their spirituality and their ability to embrace the unknown has made their science possible. Sea Free has had space travel for what we would consider about 350 years. As far as we have heard, thay have colonized their Mars and a few moons of Saturn, and are just on the verge of being ready to take a “multi-species human”-steered ship out of their solar system into the depths of their Milky Way. Their medical and communication technologies in particular seem to have paralleled their space travel and far outpace our own. We can hear of these technologies, but our stories and songs have not allowed us to deduce any of the technical science behind them. 

Their stories confirm that these innovations have not come without the death and pain of thousands if not millions. There are numerous stories of experiments gone wrong, failed missions, major setbacks in their pursuit of the stars. And, their suffering has been understood as a moment on the larger spiral they all share. We will be including examples of these in the To The Stars Time Shard and the Move Time Shard.

Our best guess for the interplay and mutual support between spirit and science: their concept of fluid identities and inter-species relationships , rooted in their different understanding of power and time is more compatible with the quantum physical laws of our -verses. Our histories, mythologies, and power frameworks in this universe keep us tied to outdated, inaccurate views of the world that keep us from understanding how to break free, move out and touch the stars. 

We do not yet know what they know. But we feel that their technological insights could very well be within our grasp, if we open ourselves to a different understanding of what can be possible in our own universe.

Photo:
Andy Holmes on Unsplash