THE NEW EARTH
Earth Changes and the Ascension of Planet Earth

Book III: LIFE IN THE NEW AGE
[First Published 1996 - Revised 13th Edition: 2012]

Copyright 2012 by
Lawrence & Michael Sartorius
with the exception of credited quotations.

Deutsche ‹bersetzung: 'DIE NEUE ERDE' - Buch 3: Leben im Neuen Zeitalter
http://www.thenewearth.org/DieNeueErdeBuch3.html"

Chapter 1: Memories of "The Ark"
Chapter 2: A New Geography
Chapter 3: A Rural Ride
Chapter 4: Exploring A Hilltown
Chapter 5: Home On A Hillside
Chapter 6: Growth & Learning
Chapter 7: Work & Economics
Chapter 8: The Regional Center
Chapter 9: The Rewards Of Leisure
Chapter 10: Politics & Participation


Chapter One:
MEMORIES OF "THE ARK"

The Lightworkers who long worked for Humanity on Earth, having been taken up to the overhead Motherships during the Earth Changes/Stasis Period for further instruction and planning for the New Earth felt themselves privileged indeed. Not only were they to return as the pioneer planners of a New World; they were to hold in their own memories their unforgettable experiences on the great Motherships. As future generations were born and grew up, tales of these giant Spaceships were to be handed down as folk memories like the story of Noah's Ark. But for now the experience remained strong in their living memory, providing a rich source of material for the stories which those of the present "Mothership Generation" were to pass on to their children and grandchildren now being born on the New Earth.

They were later to tell tell of the warmth and welcome when they first boarded the giant spacecraft greatly upset at the suddenness and magnitude of the Earth Changes and the plunging of the large part of the population destined to remain on Earth into a period of Stasis/suspended animation. On their stepping aboard the Motherships they were immediately given healing vibrations which soothed and calmed them, and they basked in the spirit of openness and instant friendship which their Space Brethren so readily accorded them.

They recalled the incredible size of the craft: the typical Mothership, anything from ten to a hundred miles or more in diameter, seemed like an entire planet, and indeed many of the ships' Earth guests departed without ever having fully explored the complex and fascinating craft which had been their home. No sensation of enclosure was ever experienced, for the accommodation, office and meeting complexes were set in "open space" so vast that it seemed like "the great outdoors". There was a feeling of sky high above, and beneath it there was "countryside" for walking and relaxation, and lakes with rocky shores and secluded beaches. In scenic spots were pleasant meeting places in rustic settings where people could chat and enjoy some light refreshment.

They remember the spirit in which the Space Brothers offered their help. Whatever was needed was there. Advice was always willingly available. Their interest, the concern, the enthusiasm, all were offered in abundance. Yet nothing was ever pushed or forced; for those of higher evolution understand the Law of Karma, that each must create his or her own reality. Earth's new inhabitants had to create their new world from their own hearts and minds, in line with their own collective point of evolution; and now it is done they alone must be responsible for what they have created, be it good or bad. The right and the duty of Earth's people to pursue their own line of evolution was always respected. Yet this was not reflected as a cold, academic detachment; the warmth of encouragement was always there in abundance, advice always freely offered.

And of course they remember the creative excitement of the great debating and planning sessions on board the Motherships, for it is based on those debates, decisions and plans that the present civilization of the New Earth was, and will continue to be, created.

At first, on the great Motherships, healing, relaxation, and familiarization with the spacecraft environment were given precedence.

As the Earth arrivals began to tune themselves in to the higher vibratory environment they found their bodies lightening, their minds becoming more alert, the need for sleep and food lessening. They gradually found themselves able to "see" on different levels as their range of perception widened, and so that they might enjoy and benefit from this new breadth of vision they were given opportunities to travel in thought to other planets and other civilizations.

Many also took the opportunity to study Earth's history through the Akashic Records. They emerged much chastened by the experience, for Human history is a turgid tale which is both disturbing yet rich in moral lessons.

But that was history, for with the benefit of a higher vibration rate and level of consciousness the old antagonisms and competitive ego-motivation which had been responsible for so much conflict in the world gradually faded away, replaced now by an enthusiasm to move forward in a spirit of cooperation, working together in the joy of sharing and contributing. At this point the people of the Old Earth now "born again" were considered ready to commence the serious work of preparation for their eventual return to their New Earth.

The debating and planning sessions on the various Motherships, centrally coordinated on the Ashtar Command's Ship Shan Chea, took place in huge debating chambers expressly set aside for the purpose. Here the guiding philosophies of moral and social law were first explored and formalized; broad notions of nationhood were discussed; economic laws were debated and researched; the nature of community was analyzed.

So that they might begin their great debates with a unifying foundation, the Earth people were given opportunities to study and discuss many of the great Universal Laws which govern the Universe and the conduct of people, communities and planets within it. The beauty and simplicity of these great Laws was a revelation to them; more so was the gradual understanding of their universality and practical effectiveness. It was not felt necessary by our space friends to stress to Earth people that these Laws had already been given to Earth many times by great Masters and Teachers whose words had been largely ignored by a self-centerd Humanity!

The Laws of the Universe give us many rules for our guidance. They can be divided into three Groups: the laws of Manifestation, the Laws of Self-Understanding, and the Laws of Relationships.

The Laws of Manifestation tell us how we can give form to our wishes on whatever level of reality we currently exist. They are concerned with what we on Earth would commonly call the "technology" of physical science, through the growing understanding of which we provide those physical goods and services deemed necessary for our health, comfort and improvement.

The Laws of Self-Understanding tell us how we can gain a greater comprehension of self within the wider context of evolution, and of the laws of karma through which we control and affect our destinies - the Science of Spiritual development.

The Laws of Relationships tell us how to treat one another correctly, and how to treat all other beings in the universe including the animals, insects, trees and rocks in the same way; this we would call Political Science or the Science of Social Conduct.

The Laws of Relationships are many, but they are based on one single Universal Law, namely that whatever we may choose to do, we should do nothing which is harmful to, or actively interferes with, the evolution of another or other life-forms. This is the Law which guides the Universe and all of the more evolved planets; it is the Law which was taken for granted by all the Space Brothers on the Motherships and it was - it is - the Law which Earth people soon came to understand and unreservedly adopt as a fundamental Principle guiding all Law within the Earth's new Constitution.

Earth people with experience or natural talent in legislation and political matters then began to make their contribution, pointing out that this concept equates not with Freedom which is inherently unlimited, but with the word of Latin-Roman origin: Liberty, a concept of limited freedom. A Land of Liberty is not a place where there is absolute freedom to do whatever you like no matter what the effect may be on others; that would be a Land of Anarchy. A Land of Liberty is a land in which the expression of individual freedom is limited to the extent necessary to permit the similar enjoyment of freedom by others.

Even with the inherent limitation of freedom expressed in the term Liberty however, there are degrees of limitation and degrees of liberty. When everyone pursues their own evolution, destiny and enjoyment in whatever way is best for them, but with one essential qualification: that no one should do anything which is harmful to, or interferes with, the evolution of others: then and only then is the overall liberty maximized. Enjoy your liberty, but do not prevent others from doing likewise.

When this idea had been thoroughly explored, Earth people were to eventually term it the Principle of Liberty. That entails never knowingly causing harm to another, or as the well-known present day maxim puts it: "Do unto Others only as you would have them do unto You".

A very simple law, as many Earth people thought when they were first told of it. Yet when they began to study its implications, both with the assistance of Space Brothers expert in such matters and through their own debates, they began to realize that this one single and apparently simple Universal Law does many things. It can guide each individual's personal conduct as it effects others; it can guide us towards fair and responsible use of the natural resources; and it can provide a just, stable and productive basis for economic and commercial activity.

And used as a Constitutional discipline it promotes a totally new kind of government: government which serves and is subservient to the Principle itself, government dedicated to the promotion of liberty, government in which all may freely and without formality participate to the fullest extent of their wishes, capabilities, inclinations and interests. With a clearly defined Principle guiding the course of law there can be no unilateral decisions, no arbitrary justice. Legislators become "Upholders of Justice" whose job is not to wield arbitrary authority, but, with the widest public participation, to interpret and apply, as accurately, fairly and consistently as possible, the guiding rule of right relationships: freedom up to, but never beyond the point where freedom harms or imposes upon the freedom of others.

With this foundation of common understanding established as a background, attention could then turn to the detail governing the whole of Planet Earth, of its Constitution and Legislation, Personal and Commercial Law, and the physical planning of the built and natural environment.


Chapter Two:
A NEW GEOGRAPHY

As time and the higher vibratory atmosphere of life on the Motherships healed the many "wounds" of past history - the memories of war and competitive strife of Earth-life - the old differences and distinctions of race, creed and color gradually faded. They were not silenced as an act of self-discipline nor were they "swept under the carpet"; such distinctions and the prejudices which so often went with them had been manifestations of a lower level of existence, and in a higher-vibratory atmosphere the old national, religious and linguistic groupings no longer held any relevance. Earth's population will have fallen to about a third of before and its physical topography too will have changed, so even if people had wanted to go back to their "old countries" this would not all cases have been geographically possible.

So how would they choose to group and locate themselves on the Earth's new surface? This question involved the probing of human psychology through much debate and soul-searching.

After considerable discussion it was decided to start again with simple basics, the very fundamentals of life which in the old, long-established societies were always taken for granted.

To begin at the beginning, people need to identify with something called "home". Most basically of course, one needs a home in the form of walls and a roof - a private space in whatever form and in whatever particular location one may choose or find possible. But the concept of home is not just a single isolated dot on the landscape; it's like ripples on the pool, an ever-expanding sense of belonging. Around or close to the private home-space you need a community in which to combine in work with others, for cultural exchange, to do your shopping, to meet friends. And widening the view yet further you need access to a larger central township, where you can employ some specialized skill or enjoy those special things, the lectures, concerts, learning, that require and are generated by a larger population.

Ideas became clearer with further debate. Though many would choose the quiet life in remote countryside, all were in agreement on the fundamental Human need for contact with others, for commercial, cultural, educational and social purposes. Those who felt they might like living in semi-isolation, nonetheless visualized being within reach of a small village community; those who preferred village life liked the idea of having access to a nearby larger town, and on occasion, to a Regional center which could offer yet more specialized and sophisticated amenities. And of course they recognized that many would firmly chose "city life" for its cultural stimulation, its varied activities and its sense of centrality.

Thus the concept of the Region was born as the fundamental unit of group habitation: small rural communities and a few isolated homes around the outside, villages and towns towards the center, all linked to a central-hub as the Regional center which would form the nucleus of the whole community, or Region, and act as a cultural and commercial focal point.

But do we then spread these Regions equally over the Earth's surface? If so, given that the New World's Fifth-Dimensional population will be but about a third of what it used to be, Regions would be very spaced out and isolated from their neighbours. Further debate revealed the need for a yet wider sense of identity, some kind of a regional-grouping corresponding in many ways to the old Nation-state.

But how big should it be? While many looked back on their old "Countries" as being of an acceptable size, it was observed by those who had previously lived in the United States of America that most Americans had actually thought of themselves as Texans or Oregonians first and Americans second. This was not to deny their American nationality; it was simply an acceptance of the fact that a comfortable grouping with which people can identify corresponds more to one of the individual States in size than to the total USA.

Thus it was decided by broad consensus that anything from half a dozen to a dozen "Regions" could be grouped to form a "Country/Nation", as it were, a "Regional family". The Regions would be grouped closely enough to create a sense of identity, yet sufficiently spaced-out to allow room for wilderness recreation and "for Nature to breathe". A much greater spacing and distance was of course envisaged between the "Countries" themselves.

As the planning debates proceeded on the Motherships and ideas gradually turned into formal plans, and as the re-planting of the now cleansed and stabilized Planet Earth by teams of Earth volunteers and the Space Brothers gathered pace, so a "Map" of the New Earth's geography, both natural and built, began to take shape.

Countries made up of a grouping of Regions were to be carefully spaced around the surface of the Planet. The centers of the Regions were to often correspond with the Planet's internal Vortexes or Power centers (equivalent to the Chakras in the Human body), or else located to take advantage of a particularly pleasing natural area. Some Countries were of course re-established in their former areas, either in the cooler areas and some in the "tropics" - though on the New Earth at the 5th Dimension Etheric level there are no longer the Physical Plane's extremes of temperature which rendered the old Earth uncomfortable or even uninhabitable in its frozen polar, or humid equatorial regions.

The layout of a typical Country might possibly consist of up to a dozen Regions arranged on a loose grid pattern to allow easy and equal access between them. The individual Regions are well separated with plenty of natural wilderness in between; yet overall there is a comfortable feeling of "belonging" to one's home Region, enhanced by the greater spacing between Regions.

Moving about.... Yes indeed. What sort of transport will there be on the New Earth? Right from the start two important propositions were accepted: one might be called negative, the other positive.

On the one hand it was unanimously accepted by everyone from Earth that never again would they allow themselves to get into the mess of cars, roads, spaghetti junctions, tailbacks, commuter crawls, pollution and environmental degradation around the larger urban areas which had been the distinguishing features of "transport" in the old days. Nor were they willing to contemplate what many saw as an even worse scenario: the hundreds of tiny "personal flying craft" darting about the skies in a constant cloud of multi-dimensional and multi-directional movement often visualized by twentieth century science-fiction writers.

On the positive side they were shown by their Space Brothers with knowledge of such matters something they could all readily understand: the simple fact that if you plan for shared community transport, shared transport will work perfectly effectively. Examples of this proposition were shown from life on other planets. And indeed there were many interesting historical examples drawn from the Old Age in the USA, Britain and Europe showing how in the heyday of public transport during the 1920s and 30s shared transport, such as tramways, had been planned in conjunction with major housing developments, or cases where transport undertakings had built amusement parks at the extremities of their routes to maintain traffic volumes.

In contrast, later location of residential and commercial developments in Britain and the USA was scattered and haphazard, spreading almost unrestrained over the countryside. The absence of integration with shared transport facilities made shared transport unworkable; and the low density of scattered development made individual transport inevitable.

The necessity of integrating transportation as an inseparable aspect of overall planning in fact combined very effectively with the Region concept already agreed, resulting in three types or levels of transit facility.

First, the individual homes and small neighborhood communities of five hundred people or less at the outer periphery of the Region are served by the Rural Services. These Rural Lines are carefully molded into the surrounding contours, even if that requires the occasional detour or slightly longer route. The pace of travel in glass domed magnetically levitated trains is leisurely, reflecting the needs of passengers who are either tourists enjoying the scene or country-dwellers who have chosen that environment specifically as a reflection of their quieter nature and less hurried lifestyle.

Second, the larger villages and towns are linked to the Regional center by the faster-moving "Radial System", like spokes radiating from the hub of a wheel. In addition, there are two or three orbital routes encircling the Regional center at varying distances, linking the spokes in the form of outer rings and permitting travel between the outlying towns without having to go through the center.

Third, a high-speed network between Regional centers links Regional center to Regional center, similar to the "Inter-City" concept of the old days. In fact this "Inter-City" service operates not only within the Region itself, but is also then extended beyond as a long distance system, using fast and silent overhead aerial craft, link Country with Country worldwide.

A separate, totally underground and automated freight transportation system was also conceived, using standardized goods containers running with magnetic-levitation through deep tunnels which had easily been constructed using new de-materialisation technology.

Thus New Age travelers could now move about easily and efficiently, while those enjoying the pleasures of countryside will see no traffic-clogged roads, freeways or motorways, no evidence of smog or pollution.

Once the basic details and theoretical form-plan had been agreed, the Earth Lightworker planners and participants on the Motherships were provided with holographic facilities to view these plans which seemed beyond their wildest dreams of science fiction, though they were an everyday reality for the Space Brothers. In an apparently living environment of multidimensional holographic virtual reality, homes, neighborhoods, villages, towns and cities complete with industries, agriculture, recreational facilities, natural environment and transport could be viewed. Even individual homes could be located within particular towns and cities, then furnished with a chosen colour scheme, and gardens planted... all in the form of multi-dimensional holographic reality captured on the Motherships' powerful computers.

The planning and debating proceedings held up on the Motherships were led by Earth people in a style reflecting their new attitudes. "Experts" were not called upon to dictate to everyone else, and there was no competition to "hold the floor". Individuals who felt instinctively that they had a special talent or interest in the subject under discussion would speak out, after which general comment and debate would follow so that all views could be heard. Everyone felt quite free to speak their mind, yet all spoke briefly and no one dominated the proceedings. They were also acutely aware that those still on Earth who would awake as 5th Dimensional Humans must of course have their own ideas and wishes fully catered for, providing they always fitted into the agreed higher level New Earth Plan.

As the collective vision of the New Earth gradually unfolded, its progress was followed by anyone who wished to do so from any place on any of the various Motherships, large or small. And as in the more advanced factory production lines of the 1990s anyone could "blow the whistle", anyone who had good reason could "stop the production line", break into the proceedings from anywhere and say "I think this is going the wrong way" or "wouldn't it be better that way?"

All the plans were drawn up in minute detail before any construction began on the New Earth. Simultaneously with the planning sessions on the MothersShips, Planet Earth was being re-seeded and re-planted by the Space Brothers with vegetation where it would not conflict with the building of towns, cities and transport lines.

Onto this pristine natural canvas the now completed plans of Regions and Countries, homes, parks and workplaces, recreational facilities and agriculture were then given physical form by teams sent down from the Motherships in advance of the general re-habitation. Only when much of the basic infrastructure and some of the living accommodation was completed, did Earth's Lightworkers and planners return to a considerably cleansed and rejuvenated New Earth, to which much of Humanity would now re-awaken to.

But the Lightworkers' "Return" was soon to become a fading memory. Reality was now the 5th Dimensional New Earth on which its inhabitants and their communities were to become well established.


Chapter Three:
A RURAL RIDE

There is now no population pressure on the New Earth, and the spirit of openness and friendliness makes of everyone an instant acquaintance. Yet there are many isolated, or semi-isolated homes around the rural periphery of each Region for those who seek permanent solitude, or for temporary recreational or meditation purposes.

One such home is a single-floor cottage sitting discretely in a small fold of the hillside to minimize its impact on the surroundings. Though constructed of "modern" materials the design and appearance of the cottage are in the old style, with muted colors and a wide old-fashioned verandah along the front.

The cottage is situated on the coast, and the views to left and right along the steep coastline and down to the clear turquoise sea not far below are breathtaking. The beaches and bays are narrow here, for the coastline rises steeply and dramatically out of the sea, its sharply contoured sides covered in the lush greenery of the temperate Etheric climate, punctuated by clumps of white frangipani, orange-blossom flowers and scarlet hibiscus. New varieties of old friends and numerous plants previously unknown on Earth were sent as gifts to Earth and her people from many different sources including several distant planets; it was considered a pleasure and an honour to contribute to the beautification of the New Earth.

There is some cloud about today, dark and filled with the promise of rain; but the early morning sun is shining beyond the edge of the cloud, touching the semi-tropical trees with a wonderful silvery glow. A slight breeze sets the palm fronds waving gracefully, and the mildly warm air is heavy with the scents of a hundred flowers.

A translucent white garden table and some matching chairs are set on the terrace in front of the cottage amidst a profusion of plants and flowers, some growing from spaces in the terrace paving, others in large ornamental pots. An inviting breakfast of pastries, colorful fresh fruits and juices is laid out on the table. To the side of the garden-terrace a crystal-clear rock-pool is fed by a stream; the pool empties over a waterfall, plunging down onto the rocks at one end of the small sandy beach below. A narrow path winds down to the little beach through the semi-tropical greenery.

A little way below the cottage a narrow, though well-made path forms part of the popular "Coastal Walk". At times it remains relatively high up, often hugging the cliff-face perilously closely; then it might slope gently down to a secluded sandy beach. Walkers can stop for a picnic by a waterfall, swim in one of the freshwater pools, or relax on the beach in the sun. There are way-stations along the path provided at a distance estimated to offer a good day's gentle walking - few people walk fast, preferring to enjoy the view, the scents of the flowers and the sounds of the birds. The way-stations are operated in this Region by the Ramblers' Association. The buildings' style and facilities, reflecting the wishes of members, are generally simple and somewhat rustic; but there is a modest room with a private balcony and a shower for every guest, and there is always a view and generally a shared terrace or verandah with easy chairs where travelers can relax and meet new friends. The resident caretakers provide maintenance, meals and a warm welcome for their transient visitors, many of whom return regularly.

To the right of the cottage a branch off the coastal path turns inland, winding along a narrow valley whose tumbling stream feeds the pool beside the cottage.

A short way up the valley path a small neighborhood community accommodates some two hundred people. About half live there permanently, the other half being visitors who come for the change of scene, for walking and sea-bathing, or who stay in the village's beautiful Meditation and Natural Health center. This is a low complex standing just above the village, consisting of a sloping circular building of garden terraces with a partially glassed-in courtyard in the center where group meetings and lectures take place. Around the circumference of the building, personal accommodation rooms face out over the village towards the sea, while individual lecture and consultation rooms face inland.

This little neighborhood community is the terminus of a Rural transit line which meanders through the countryside to the nearest town at a fairly leisurely speed. The building which serves as the station is of small scale yet combines several functions. Food can be eaten in the informal restaurant or taken out for a picnic, a small "general store" offers a wide variety of goods, and the modest accommodation on the upper levels is used by visitors for stays of anything from a few days to a few weeks, and as an overnight way-station by people walking the coastal path.

This low 2-to-3-storey station complex is located at the edge of the small village close to the side of the valley. The building itself is built into the hillside in a U-shape, forming three sides of a little paved square facing out into the countryside, laid out with colorful shrubs in terracotta planters and some tables and chairs. The inner side of the station square faces a glass-like wall in which there are sliding doors precisely corresponding in location to the doors of the transit vehicle which terminates behind it. The glass platform doors are open only when there is a transit vehicle in the station, a necessary precaution since all transport vehicles run automatically and unmanned, and must therefore be physically segregated at all times.

A mag-lev transit vehicle is presently standing in the station awaiting its passengers, its wide doors and those of the glass barrier invitingly open. The vehicle's floor is flat throughout and presents a level entry from the platform. Constructed of a glass-like material, the lower half of the vehicle is cream coloured whilst the whole upper section is of slightly green tinted glass curving up and over in one enormous panoramic window, its treated surface darkening in bright sunlight. The individual seats are molded in the same glassy opaque material; they can be rotated in either direction of travel and are comfortably upholstered with foam and an oatmeal colored hessian-weave cloth. The vehicle is articulated in several short sections providing a continuous carriage throughout its length. Since the vehicles operate without drivers there is clear unobstructed visibility to front and rear views through the clear domed end-sections; the front and rear seats are popular with children and with visitors touring the area for the first time.

As a quiet warning sound on the station square announces the train's imminent departure a few people stroll over and enter the vehicle. Another warning sounds inside the train, the doors close smoothly, and the vehicle starts at once, gliding silently above its shallow u-shaped track, away from the village and along the side of the valley on its reserved, segregated right of way. The vehicle has no physical contact with the track surface, being magnetically levitated just above it by a powerful permanent-magnetic material lining both the trackway and the underside of the vehicle. Propulsion is by electric induction coils set in the trackway and controlled by central computers.

But the technicalities are quite taken for granted by the passengers who are enjoying the leisurely ride through the countryside, many even unaware that following their track way beneath them is a totally segregated goods transport system enclosed in tunneling, using computer controlled containers which are also magnetically levitated and self-propelled by linear-induction. The containers can be automatically directed at computer-switchable junctions to any part of the Region or Country.

The passengers had no need to purchase tickets and will not be troubled by ticket collectors as there is no direct charge levied for each journey. This line is part of the Regional Transport Network which is paid for by a yearly charge on each resident of the Region; this yearly charge also includes public parks, lighting, paving and Regional amenities in general. Transport is considered an essential part of the "mechanism" of the Region, and to pay directly for each journey by any means whatsoever would be as tedious as having to pay for each step taken on the public paving, or each sniff of a flower in a public park.

Rural Line vehicles are relatively short and run at about ten-minute intervals throughout the day and evening. During the night when few people travel, vehicles can be called into service automatically from strategically placed underground storage depots simply by sensors noting the passenger's arrival at the station.

That the vehicle we are on at present moves relatively slowly does not appear to worry the passengers. Not that "New Age" people are vague about time; on the contrary, it is considered disrespectful to the lives and activities of others to keep them waiting for an agreed meeting or an appointment, and people always make a point of being very reliably "on time". But here in the countryside on the Rural Lines the pace is deliberately relaxed. The more urban Radial Lines travel at much higher speeds on planted berms with a water-course at their base to discourage animals intruding but also with frequent underpasses for animals as well as pedestrians. When nearing communities, the trackline descends underground to a station underneath the community. Maximum journey times are of twenty minutes or less from the Regional center to the furthest outlying Rural District Towns.

The Inter-Regional transport uses high-speed overhead air-shuttle craft for the longer distances involved. However, they start their journeys out as mag-lev vehicles within a tunnel under the community, rising up and outwards some distance from the community to move silently overhead without friction (by ionisation of the surrounding air by controllable short distance rays, and by creating a vacuum in front of the craft) at speeds well over the speed of sound. For longer journeys, say between Countries, even faster craft working on the same principles will be able to travel at between 6,000 up to 12,000 m.p.h., cutting the longest planetary journey times to under an hour!

In general however, life in the New Age is less hurried. And anyway, when transport is civilized and the scenery pleasant, traveling can be enjoyed in its own right. The transit vehicles are all equipped with a wide variety of facilities to suit passengers' needs, and the Rural Lines are no exception. There are fold-down tables for those who want to use them, perhaps to enjoy a snack brought from the station or to work on a personal computer.

A screen set into the rear of the forward seat is available to each passenger which can be activated to show news bulletins, weather reports or a route map with real-time train location indicator. People often leave the map on when they are exploring "new" territory as tourists; small speakers in the headrests can be activated to provide a commentary on any points of interest along the route, play music or be programmed to give an audible signal when the train is approaching a desired station. The individual videophone is particularly useful for walkers and tourists who can call ahead to reserve accommodation at stations or in villages. If their hiking or touring route has been pre-planned they can also send personal baggage unaccompanied via the underground automated goods delivery network - though most people travel light, and all accommodations large and small provide relax-robes, slippers and toilet requisites for their guests.

This route, like all Rural Lines, has been planned to afford the best possible views and "countryside experience" for passengers. Yet its segregated right-of-way on a low grass-covered embankment has been carefully molded into the natural contours so as to minimize visual intrusion. There are frequent underpasses to ensure easy passage for people and animals across the line. When approaching villages or towns the transit trackway descends underground so as not to disrupt life around the community, and the station is located conveniently beneath the community center. This Rural Line will call at four villages on its way to the local town serving the surrounding rural countryside, where it terminates and interlinks with the Radial System.

Most rural villages are built in the form of sloped terraced housing, if possible built into the side of a low hill so as to blend "organically" into the natural environmentnot. The overall effect is that of a natural hillside covered in greenery - in fact the organic blending of buildings with their natural surroundings is a major feature of New Age architecture. The terraces are always overflowing with flowering bushes, trailing plants and small trees that almost conceal the structure. The sloped terrace gives every home a virtual small garden open to the sky.

In the interior of the village, behind the housing, are various shopping and recreational facilities. Areas further inside and under the sloping village where there is less natural light space is provided for small automated manufacturing units and also the agricultural processing facilities for the crops grown in the countryside around the village.

Immediately surrounding the villages are the agricultural areas of mostly specialty crops for which the local soil and conditions are particularly favorable, and also the mixed market gardens for the village itself, since not only is local self sufficiency considered very important, but that everyone should have ready access to the freshest possible produce. Fields of single crops are regularly rotated. Market gardening is generally cultivated on an "intermingled" basis: different crops of fruits and nuts, flowers for pollination by the bees, and medicinal herbs are grown in clusters, often around or underneath fruit trees and nut bushes. This ensures a healthy juxtaposition of different plants and their attendant biological life.

The agricultural machinery used in the countryside around the village is kept within the village's interior areas underneath the sloped housing, with access to the cultivated areas along narrow tree-lined radiating lanes.

As our Rural Line train stops beneath several villages along its route, more passengers join it for the journey to the nearby Rural District Town. However, observation of the passengers using this Rural Line also illustrates the importance of countryside activities in the New Age. Winding gradually down into a valley the train passes through nut and citrus groves, stopping along the way at villages or fruit picking centers, scenic spots or access points to rural paths and hiking trails. The passengers' dress and conversation often reveals their purposes; some are dressed more formally and their talk is of visiting friends. But most are dressed for walking or possibly fruit-picking, and since it is still early in the day they are setting out for their daily walks, perhaps discussing their walking routes for the day, ready to get off the train at some delightful rural halt.

Though transport is easy and convenient, travel is now undertaken more generally for pleasure and recreation than for business. With an automated goods system serving every home, no one needs to carry shopping home: it is packed into returnable containers, bar-coded, and invariably arrives home before the customer!

Nor do people need to commute from the outlying towns to the Regional center to find employment, as each town and village is able to provide all the work opportunities needed for its inhabitants locally. Similarly those whose specialist occupation requires that they work in the Regional center have no need to commute to the countryside, for each such city can provide an ample choice of pleasant accommodation with green views - and clean air! Many people also work from home, such is now the convenience and flexibility of audio and visual communication.

With an average working day of four hours or less there is much more leisure time in the New Age, and many more people are able to enjoy the countryside. Activities such as walking and hiking themselves create a whole new range of pleasant, relaxing and rewarding jobs through the maintenance of walkers' paths and the hospitable "way-stations" placed along the hiking trails.

Eventually the train approaches the Rural District Town, which is its final destination. This Rural District Town in turn is situated on one of the four higher speed Regional Radial Lines which radiate out from the Regional center, so those passengers who have come all the way into this town may either be visiting the town itself, or planning to continue their journey to another Rural District Town or the Regional center.


Chapter Four:
EXPLORING A HILLTOWN

As the Rural Line transit vehicle approaches the Hilltown through undulating but relatively flat countryside and prepares, as usual, to descend underground, front-seat passengers see not the beginnings of suburban sprawl but a green pyramid-shaped hill some 300 feet high, surmounted by a glittering small glass pyramid at its apex. Other typical Hilltowns are either built into the sides of an existing hill or mountain, or where the land is flat, can be a free-standing cone-shaped or pyramid-shaped structure almost totally hidden under a covering of natural green growth.

Despite its deceptive covering of greenery, the gently sloping hill which comes into view, is not a creation of Nature but a complete, self-contained town with homes, shops, manufacturing and processing plants and a full range of cultural facilities. Nor is it a small construction. This pyramid shaped hill is half a mile wide at its base and inside the hollow center is a huge atrium 1200 feet across, lit by natural light through the pyramid glass roof at its apex.

The outer sloping sides of the Hilltown are all terraced. The South, East and West faces are occupied mainly by residential homes; some are single floor apartments and others are 2-floor houses. The gentle slope of the 1-in-3 gradient gives each home a private terrace of at least 30 feet depth, or 60 feet depth where two floors are involved, almost completely open to the sky. All of these garden-terraces are luxuriantly planted with low trees and beds of plants, both along their front edges and topping the side divider walls. The higher up homes have a magnificent view over miles of countryside.

The individual homes and their terrace-gardens are separated and given privacy by vertical-sloping dividers, double walls over three feet apart. These are filled with soil and planted with low trees and bushes, forming walls of greenery running up from almost ground level to the roof terrace at the base of the glass pyramid dome. Beneath the planting, the cavities between the apartment walls also carry the various building services such as water piping, telecommunication cables, power lines and waste disposal chutes; service ladders and "catwalks" provide access for maintenance. No need to "dig up the street" to replace a burst water main or install some new service!

Access to the homes is from interior "streets" situated inside the hill behind the apartments and their terraces, so everyone has privacy and a direct connection with the view. As an exception, there are often two wide exterior Promenades lined with flowering trees running right around the hill, one halfway up the slope known locally as "The Corso", the other as the "High Promenade", near to the hilltop. Homes fronting these exterior Promenades are preferred by those who like to "watch the passing show". These outer Promenades and the interior "streets" connect at the corners of the pyramid with wide sloping "avenues" of greenery running vertically up and down the slope from ground to hilltop. The "slopes" as they are known locally, are landscaped with steps and winding footpaths, flowers, trees, bushes, tumbling streams and waterfalls.

From a distance the Hilltown looks very much like a natural green hill. Only the glass pyramid glinting in the sun at its top dramatically signals habitation, rather like the tall cathedral spire of an old English market town. All New Earth architecture is "organic" in style, blending with trees and plant life so that it always moulds into the natural habitat as unobtrusively as possible. This particular pyramid Hilltown is home to some 10,000 inhabitants.

The housing on the outer terraced surfaces is served by interior sloping elevators placed at frequent intervals along the internal streets. Beginning at ground level with outside access, they all terminate at the "Sky Walk", a hilltop terrace running around the base of the glass roof pyramid. Here one can interchange with the vertical glass elevator/lifts serving the Atrium interior. Every residence is but a few minutes' walk or ride from the full range of shopping, cultural, social and employment facilities of the town.

On the exterior's North face are offices and studios, control rooms for automated production equipment situated in non-daylighted areas, and the "Halls of Learning" which offer libraries, computers, multi-dimensional experiences, craft and hobby workshops, and numerous other educational facilities for all ages. In one area six small, domestic-sized kitchens can be seen through the glass walls which separate them from the internal street. Here, new recipes are developed for the Hilltown cafés and restaurants. Interested passers-by are liable to be called in and invited to taste some new creation!

Having descended from the countryside down into into the tunnel beneath the Hilltown, the Rural Line transit vehicle arrives only moments later at the Central Station beneath the very heart of the pyramid Hilltown. This being a Rural Line which serves to connect the surrounding village communities with the town, the train terminates here, gliding silently into one side of a large octagonal platform from which seven other Local District Rural Lines radiate out into the surrounding countryside serving similar smaller villages, communities and recreational facilities.

Glass elevators in the center of the platform take passengers either down to the next platform level for the Regional Radial Line services which connect with other Hilltowns and the Regional center city, or up a floor to the "Town center", which is the large central Atrium Concourse. Most of the passengers happen to be going up to the Town center; the glass elevator is spacious and there are several of them so no one will have to wait. It rises gently through its glass-like tube to the giant Atrium concourse above.

This immense concourse, with sunlight streaming in from the glass pyramid 300 feet above, is the center of town life and is humming with activity. One can take a leisurely stroll around its perimeter, pausing to watch the passing scene in one of the many sidewalk cafés or benches set in alcoves among flowering bushes. The beautifully tiled floors and surfaces, alcoves with small sitting areas surrounded by scented flowering bushes and the many small ornamental fountains recall some ancient Moorish palace.

This is the hub of community life. The numerous small cafés and meeting areas are used as they were in the Mediterranean countries of the old world - places to sit for as long as you feel inclined, places to work, to read, to meet friends old and new, to play chess... the list is endless. Tropical greenery and flowers abound, apparently thriving in the warm and slightly humid climate which is carefully monitored and controlled to resemble as nearly as possible what the technicians fancifully, though quite seriously refer to as "Nature's own sweet breath"!

Along the ground and second level galleries surrounding the Atrium concourse are the shopping areas, each area specializing in the sale of different categories of goods such as food, clothing and household articles. The shops are thoughtfully and attractively laid out as pleasing display areas, showing off demonstration items of the complete range of goods available in settings similar to those in which they will be used. Customers can test equipment and appliances, try on garments, and make their selections.

Their chosen items are then ordered by programming a hand held computer note-pad and passing a personal credit card over its surface which enters their name, address and account code. The goods are then immediately dispatched to the customer's home from automated warehouses deep in the pyramid's internal industrial areas by automated goods delivery, the cost being directly debited from the customer's personal Bank Account.

The warehouse computer, like those in other towns and cities, is in direct contact with the computers of supplier factories, so the factories are continuously informed as to sales movements. Providing that there are no design changes and that the product remains current, re-orders can be scheduled automatically.

There are "Supermarkets" for dry and preserved goods, though these do not offer the bewildering range of competing highly-packaged "brands" which were a feature of the Supermarket shelves in the old days. Packaging is considered a waste of resources, and high standards of quality and productivity make competition between similar products almost irrelevant. Much use is made of bulk food dispensers and returnable containers; household needs from cleaning materials to dry or preserved food products such as nuts and grains are selected from rows of automated dispensers. A shopper wanting some flour for home-baking will select the bin containing the chosen grains, program an indicator panel, and the grain will be ground to individual requirements in the quantity desired. The finished product is then dispensed into a small returnable container which is automatically labeled and coded with contents, ingredients, weight and price. When all the desired goods have been selected the customer passes a credit card and the coded packages over a scanner, then places the purchases into a container which is coded for immediate, automated home delivery.

Fresh fruit can be picked or collected personally at the surrounding Market Gardens; but for convenience many prefer to make a selection from the varied and colorful market stands gathered together along one side of the Atrium concourse, where fresh produce is brought in from the town's agricultural areas several times each day for maximum freshness.

In the higher galleries overlooking the central Atrium are the cultural areas and facilities: Concert Halls, Theatres, and many meeting rooms large and small. Performances in the various theatres and activity spaces vary considerably, from old style operas to contemporary works; for something quite different there are dramas brought from other worlds in which the emotions involved in the action are communicated directly to the audience telepathically. Most productions are "recordings" projected in multi-dimensional form. Others may feature live Human performances by local amateurs which can be combined with background multi-dimensional scenes recorded anywhere in the world or in other worlds, the audience totally enveloped with realistic surround sound and vision.

Some productions are entirely "live", largely because people have found they still enjoy "acting" as an aspect of creation. This provides an outlet for local amateur talent, very popular with participants and audiences alike. Professionalism in performance is important, but equally important is that both performers and audience should enjoy the show.

Many people prefer to enjoy music in their homes; but there is always a wide selection of musical concerts, some live involving local amateurs or some featuring "recordings" but with full surround-sound and a visual display of instruments, natural scenes, or complex interplay of light. Again the musical offerings are numerous in their variety, from medieval to contemporary - that is, New Earth music! The "new" music expresses the New Age belief that music, like life itself, should reflect the "trinity" of intellect, emotion and inspiration; when older classical music is performed, the previous Earth's Baroque period of the 18th century, with its more "mental" music of fugues and variations, is particularly popular. The music completely surrounds and envelops its listeners, but does not deafen them; it is never aggressive either in volume or in content.

The act of musical performance is also enjoyed in its own right, and in the many smaller rooms and performance spaces music students can invite a few friends or the public to a short performance. Or perhaps someone will be reading poetry, others might be giving talks... there is always something going on and the variety is almost endless. Any event can be experienced either in the central theatres where they are taking place, or accessed live from people's homes relayed onto their video screens.

High above the Atrium Concourse where the glass pyramid-shaped roof-dome meets the main Hilltown structure, the roof-top "Sky Walk" runs right around the 600-foot baseline of the glass domelight, both on the inside and outside, offering magnificent views out across the surrounding countryside or down upon the lively scene of the Atrium below. These lofty heights are reached by several Atrium elevators of totally transparent construction, their stately progress as they gently rise and fall giving an added dimension of movement in the interior concourse. At night the elevator cars are glitteringly illuminated, as also is the pyramid glass roof.

The internal base areas beneath the Atrium concourse which are devoid of daylight are occupied by the various support services: waste reprocessing, water heating, air pumping and extraction machinery. Since most manufacturing processes are fully automated, the factory facilities and their computer-controlled production machinery occupy the less day-lighted areas located in the internal triangular areas between the external sloping housing and Atrium interior. The operators who control and monitor the machines however, work remotely from adjacent stations overlooking the central Atrium, enjoying the natural daylight which filters down from the overhead glass pyramid, or from control rooms on the Hill-town's exterior North face.

All service and production areas are open to public viewing. Where automated machinery is in operation special transparent viewing passages and galleries are provided. Most people like to understand and appreciate the "behind-the-scenes" operations of their Town, and throughout the production, processing and warehouse areas people of all ages can be found viewing everything from effluent purification to maintenance of the transit vehicles. Explanatory commentaries are always provided, with a personal chat for anyone who shows a particular interest.

A totally segregated internal goods transport system known as the "Autodelivery" serves the entire Hilltown through its own network of small-bore tunnels and lifts. The system uses 4-foot wide by 3-foot high containers propelled by linear-induction coils and supported by magnetic levitation. Destinations are bar-coded and containers are routed automatically through computer-controlled junctions for direct delivery to homes, shops, warehouses and production areas.

Thanks to the increased efficiencies of life in the New Age few people work more than about four hours a day. Production and service work is generally organized in triple shifts throughout the day to provide an overall 12-hour service period. With so much of the day freed there is plenty of spare time to enjoy and experience the Hilltown's great variety of cultural, recreational and learning facilities; this in turn creates an almost unlimited demand for new facilities and new ideas.

Though many people enjoy going out into the surrounding countryside with its numerous market gardens and fruit and nut groves to pick their own fresh produce, much is also communally picked for restaurant facilities and shops, and this is processed in the large and well equipped kitchen unit looking out over parkland at the base of the pyramid where prepared dishes are made for home or restaurant use.

With the varied yet generally milder, more equable climate of the New Earth, combined with the increased leisure time at people's disposal and their great love of healthy pursuits, fresh air and the outdoors, it is hardly surprising that the residents enjoy and consider as equally important the facilities existing outside and around their Hilltown. Indeed as much attention was given to the outdoor surroundings as to the design of the town itself, and the immediate countryside offers a thoughtfully planned selection of facilities.

Access to the "great outdoors" could not be simpler for the Hilltown residents. One can walk down the winding paths of the corner "slopes", or for quicker access the internal sloping elevators terminate at the base of the Hilltown permitting direct walk-out into the surrounding parkland. By its very nature and concept, this is a very compact town; there is no suburban sprawl gradually eating its way across those "greenfield sites" so much beloved of developers in the old Earth days! This and similar New Earth towns and cities resemble the old fortified towns of medieval times: town on one side of the city wall, open country on the other!

The extensive park area immediately surrounding the Hilltown is laid out semi-formally for quiet relaxation, and people can be seen strolling along the paths enjoying the trees, the green grass and profusion of colorful scented flowers. Although the air is good everywhere in the New Age, whether in buildings or outside, here in the park it is especially relaxing; for this the townsfolk can thank the many different species of pine trees which are known to give off beneficial emanations. On each side of the smooth paths molded from a glass-like material resembling cream-colored marble, the emerald-green grass is dotted with patches of tiny blue and purple flowers no bigger than the blades of grass. The colors of all the flowers are brilliant in their depth and intensity, and the scent is everywhere, sometimes almost overpowering, particularly when the sun is shining again after a rain shower.

In one area several rows of chairs are grouped in front of an old-style re-created Victorian bandstand screened by trees at its rear. An announcement states that a local youth orchestra will perform "for your pleasure" during the afternoon.

There are many small pavilions and open music auditoriums scattered around this extensive urban park, some circular and surmounted by crystal domes, others in the shape of small transparent pyramids or in the style of simple classical Greek structures, none higher than the surrounding trees, each one different yet all in their own way blending into and enhancing the park. Quite a few are covered by rich greenery and flowers trailing from their terraces. Some of these buildings are cafés, sport facilities or garden and plant centers.

At its outer edges the semi-cultivated and formally planned Town Park gives way to wedges of informal parkland alternating with market-gardening agriculture or fruit and nut groves. Although the market gardens are supervised and tended by professional agriculturalists, most of the produce is self-picked by the Town's residents themselves, who enjoy the experience of being amongst the plant life; they also take the opportunity, considered important in the New Age, to thank the plants for their generous gifts. This appreciation is carried through to the careful preparation of food and the tradition of eating slowly, consciously savouring the raw materials and their preparation. The expression of gratitude to the Universe is a frequent theme in the New Age - and relaxed appreciation of one's food also makes for better digestion!

There is quite a choice of footpaths leading off into the countryside, each one having a small signpost showing its destination, distance and walking time; some of the paths are designed as circular routes, again with walking times given for the circuit. Walking is a favorite leisure activity, particularly as there is so much beautiful countryside to enjoy and ample leisure time to enjoy it, and the less dense and higher vibrational 5th Dimension lightness-of-being causes less fatigue over long distances. A popular outing is to walk to the next village or scenic spot, perhaps enjoy some light refreshment then return home by one of the local Rural Lines that fan out from the Hilltown.


Chapter Five:
HOME ON A HILLSIDE

A few unobtrusive individual homes are still being built, either as rental vacation homes around lakes and beauty spots, and as isolated homes in rural areas for the dedicated countrysiders or for those who seek especial peace and solitude for a particular period or reason. Apart from those people who still prefer to live in the old style of villages and small towns preserved from the previous Earth times, most New Age people prefer to live on the slopes of a Hilltown, either built into an existing hillside, or as an independent sloping artificial hill structure on flatter areas and heavily covered in natural greenery. This has come about entirely by choice, for the simple reason that a hillside home can provide every resident with the three things considered most important in a residence: privacy, a view, and vertical airspace.

Privacy is important. The spirit of the New Age is one of cooperation and openness; it is normal for strangers to talk together in cafés and public gardens as if they had always known one another, and people often invite to their homes strangers they have met by chance, with whom they find a natural affinity. It may therefore seem something of a contradiction to observe that in their homes most people value their privacy, peace and quiet. But it is widely understood that "you can only give what you already have", and in the privacy of the home one can develop that inner peace and wisdom which makes for good company and good conversation. Privacy and peace are assured by the basic layout which places access streets behind rather than in front of the hillside homes. Once inside their homes, residents have complete privacy, which extends to the garden-terrace with sides sheltered by the planted dividing walls.

The second essential in a home, enjoyed by all Hilltown residents, is the unobstructed view from their hillside garden terraces over miles of countryside, with its rolling hills and streams, clumps of woodland, and perhaps just the occasional glimpse of another green Hilltown merging almost imperceptibly into the background scene.

The third essential is vertical airspace. The slopes of the artificial hill provides for every home a terrace garden open to the sky - as opposed to a high-rise apartment balcony which is open only to the front and perhaps the sides, with vertigo-views to the ground below! The generously-sized terraces are warm and sheltered miniature gardens, ideal for relaxing or for meals - most people like to eat "out" on their terrace unless the weather is unsuitable.

Since the terraces are sheltered, residents are able to grow plants and flowers that are even more exotic than those in the parks or public gardens. Terraces are generally paved in varied finishes and colors simulating natural stone, with ample space for seating and dining; large terracotta plant pots containing flowers or perhaps small fruiting trees will often be arranged on the paved surface, with more permanent flower beds built-in along the side walls. There is always a low earth-bed at the front of the terrace where people grow small bushes, flowers and trailing greenery. This planting at the front of the terrace provides essential privacy for the levels below.

In this particular free-standing Hilltown built in the shape of a pyramid, all of the main vertical dividing walls are set at least 48 feet apart between homes, determining the total width of the homes and their terraced gardens. There is nonetheless a choice of size in home and terrace; half the levels have single-floor homes with 30-foot deep terraces and the other half are two-storey homes with larger terraces of 60-foot depth.

The single-floor homes usually have a 24-foot wide living room with two 12-foot wide "personal rooms" at the side looking onto the same garden terrace. The two-storey homes generally feature a living room and dinning area with an adjacent den/workspace at terrace level, plus anywhere between two and four "personal rooms" on the upper level.

At the rear of the home, where there is no natural light other than that piped down through "light-tubes" from the divider wall cavities, sound-insulated rooms offer ample workspace which many people use for constructive hobbies. Since these areas are at the back of the apartment, some people like to have windows looking onto the interior "street". These are usually craftspeople who undertake work on a limited commercial basis like sculptors, artists, or musical instrument-makers (yes, people still play hand-crafted wind, string and keyboard instruments!). Passers-by can watch the work in progress or perhaps see a small display of the items crafted. Customers who want to buy these more specialized products will not mind making the special journey to the home-workshop; craft products which are more in demand are displayed and sold in the centralized shopping areas for customers' greater convenience of access.

The element of privacy within the home itself is much respected in the New Age, peace and quiet being considered important for personal "rejuvenation". It is recognized that everyone needs time for "self", time to reassemble one's thoughts, to review the day, and of course time for quiet meditation which in the New Age forms an essential part of everyone's daily activities. Although many families live together often with three or even four generations sharing one large home, there is still privacy for everyone, and that privacy is always respected.

Every family member has a "personal room", a sort of miniature apartment, the privacy of which is never invaded save by explicit invitation. The personal room is in effect a bed-sittingroom, with its own bathroom at the rear plus a small kitchen facility where meals can be prepared as required. The bed is arranged to blend in with the sitting-room furniture as a sofa during the day, to be made up as a bed at night with the bedding stored underneath. At the front of the personal apartment a sitting area might be furnished with a table or desk and reclining chair. In the two-floor homes each personal room will have a small balcony overlooking the family terrace below, and at the rear, its own separate access through a shared rear hall into the interior "street".

Quite often individual family members will "invite" the rest of the family to their personal rooms for a chat or even a meal. Normally however families eat together and spend time together in the larger family rooms - though there is not the presumption that families must always be together for every occasion. Food can be prepared at home; alternatively one can "call down" to the extensive food preparation services in the large central kitchens for "Autodelivery" of anything from cleaned and prepared fruits to complete dishes ready-to-eat in a variety of different styles.

Whether for individual personal use or family group entertainment, a vast catalog of documentaries, feature films, and recorded music from the past as well as new compositions, can be selected through the home video terminal; samples can be viewed or heard, and a chosen performance "ordered". The necessary material is then transmitted along a form of fiber-optic line and downloaded into the home computer as a complete film or musical score which is then viewed on a large wall-mounted flat screen.

Musical scores come ready to play with their own settings of instrumentation and tempo. But built-in software in the home unit allows listeners to select their own preferred tempi and add or change the detail of musical phrasing at will, while databanks of different sampled instruments and electronically generated sounds allow listeners to make their own choice of instrumentation. Listening to music in the home can thus become a more creative process; the listener can select any desired instrumentation and "conduct" the music in the very real sense of defining tempi and phrasing.

Most of the numerous activities taking place in the Hilltown's interior Theatres and Concert Halls, performance and lecture rooms can also be accessed in the home via cable vision.

While complete privacy in the home is generally preferred, there will always be those who like a little more social contact. Their choice might be a home facing onto one of the Promenades which run around the outside of the Hilltown, so they can "potter about" in their front gardens and exchange greetings with passers-by.

Others might go for an area known locally as "The Quarry". Imagine that a section of the hillside has been removed from one of the corner sloping surfaces of the pyramid - just like a quarry in fact. This forms a little square, the "quarry floor", which is flanked and overlooked by four or five vertical stories of single room apartments with balconies. The quarry apartments are popular with people living alone; some will be youngsters experiencing a new-found independence, others perhaps older people who no longer have a family around them.

The Quarry's own little square is treated almost like a private club by its surrounding residents. They can peer over their balconies or call down to see if anyone wants a game of chess; the square's flower beds are tended by a couple of local residents; and the café with its outside tables serves most of the residents as a communal dining/living or clubroom! Here they chat, check the news, have a meal or a snack. The wide age variety makes for lively conversation, and from time to time a "stranger" happens upon this little neighborhood square and is always made welcome. Indeed it is surprising how many "secret" corners and alleyways there are in these Hilltowns, both inside and out. In many of the Hilltowns people who have lived there for years are still making new discoveries!

All Hilltown homes are leased from the Community Corporation which oversaw the planning and construction of the Hilltown and which has subsequent responsibility for its maintenance, though the work itself is usually undertaken under competitive contract by specialized firms. The highest standards of cleanliness and general maintenance both inside the Hilltown and in the surrounding parkland can always be expected.

Overall planning at Region and Regional level ensures that there is always an adequate supply of vacant accommodation of all sizes, making it easy for people to move from place to place, especially as furnishings tend to be simple and much is built-in. Some people move quite frequently simply for a change of scene, while many elect to stay put in "their" community all their lives! Another motive for moving home reflects changing needs as families grow larger, then smaller; though once again tastes vary, and some families keep their larger home, opening it to visitors when the children "leave the nest".

There is enormous variety in the types and sizes of home available, even within what might be imagined as the constraints of the artificial hill. The "hills" vary too. There are formal cones and pyramids, though these are usually nearer the Regional centers. In the remoter country areas people prefer more "organic" architecture and here the artificial hills are varied in shape, contoured to fit the topography, curved around a corner of a lake, or perhaps "grafted" onto the side of an existing hill. All of these artificial hills are amply covered with greenery and flowers.

One interesting exception to the "greenery rule" is the example of a Mediterranean style Hilltown built into an existing hill overlooking the sea in an area where the rocky landscape provides little vegetation. This Hilltown's sides are covered by a haphazard-looking jumble of houses of different sizes and shapes, interspersed with terraces, squares and little winding paths, the whole colored white in the style of an old Greek island village. Solid front doors leading into homes or private courtyards are in simple blues and greens, and citrus trees with their seasonal perfumed flowers followed by oranges and lemons abound in both private courtyards and the little public squares. People have put out pots of flowers on their balconies, and outside their homes in the narrow winding paths and streets. In many of the public squares small cafés serve food and drink at rustic tables under trailing vines. At its lower end where the village meets the sea, a small harbor provides a home for rental pleasure boats, while small craft shops and cafés with their tables under sun umbrellas line the quayside. The town attracts quite a few visitors!

Privacy, a view, and vertical airspace: these are the requirements of a perfect home, features offered by virtually every one of the hillside apartments. But in addition to the requirements for the home itself, Humans also have a social side: we need contact with others for work, trade, culture, entertainment, and simple conversation. And if these facilities are to be of any practical use they must be closely and conveniently to hand: a few moments' walk or ride away, not half-an-hour's stop-go drive through polluted air on a crowded road with parking problems at the end of it! Here again the Hilltown scores on pure convenience.

Indeed with such a wealth of attractive facilities so readily available, less time is now spent in the home itself, mainly because there is so much going on around it. The numerous facilities inside the Hilltown around the Atrium concourse, the roof top promenade areas and the beckoning countryside provide plenty of incentive to be "out and about".


Chapter Six:
GROWTH & LEARNING

There is leisure time in abundance in the New Age, and innumerable ways of spending it enjoyably. But learning and self-improvement is also considered highly important, and the New Earth's new inhabitants seem to have an insatiable appetite for knowledge! Every community large and small provides a facility known as the "Halls of Learning", where young and old can study either full- or part-time anything and everything from history and philosophy to specific skills or crafts. Learning may provide skills for a chosen occupation or profession, or simply an expansion of one's knowledge and understanding.

Though personal teaching and apprenticeships are available, learning generally takes place through interactive computers or multi-dimensional imaging. This has the advantage of allowing individuals to take their own personal "exploration path", developing their own talents, skills and interests at their own pace.

In the case of very young children however, education is still a very "Human" process. Young children come together in supervised groups much as they did in the old days. Grouping helps children to interact with one another, and the "lessons" they learn provide an important foundation and guidance for their future growth and development. They are taught to be aware of their own bodies, minds and spirits, to value them and to treat them with respect. They are taught how the body functions, and they are shown the effects of maltreatment, the diseases and illnesses which can be caused by wrong thinking or wrong action. Here the Law of Karma guides education: the object is to show children the alternative paths of action and their effects, so that the children themselves can make the right choices without parental pressure.

Young children are also taught politeness and consideration for others; any occasional sign of rude or aggressive behavior towards other children is immediately discouraged in open discussion. Children are taught to serve one another through the performance of school duties. There are no "staff" to serve food or clean the premises; young children look after their own learning and recreation areas, sweeping and cleaning every day, helping with the preparation of food under professional guidance then serving it to their colleagues and clearing up afterwards. They are taught to take a pride in service and to do it willingly and caringly; and they are taught to take a pride in their surroundings, to treat their learning facilities with respect, and always to "leave wherever you have been better for your passing".

Younger children are also encouraged to communicate with and to respect the natural environment by the simple expedient of enjoying it as much as possible, and "field trips" or outings are organized frequently.

It is quite common to see a party of young schoolchildren leaving a rural transit station and setting off down one of the country paths accompanied by several adults - who always look as if they are there for the fun as much as for any "supervisory" duties. The children too look happy and relaxed, yet they are always well-behaved, with one or two younger ones walking in pairs holding hands. Children often come out in school parties to help with the fruit picking, working on the lower branches of the trees and bushes, always very serious about their work whatever their ages. They are never under pressure to work as an imposition; their parents and teachers try to communicate to the children the duty and the joy of making a contribution to their community. Later on, when they have picked several boxes of fruit which is then dispatched directly to the town Fruit center, the children gather at one of the pavilions in the fruit groves to be rewarded with some refreshing fruit juices.

After the children's rest and refreshment one of the teachers might talk about the fruit and nuts which form the main diet in the New Age, explaining that the fruit is freely "given" by the plant to anyone who passes by. "Why?" the Teacher asks the children. "So that the plant can spread its seeds" one of the children answers. "Yes indeed", replies the Teacher. "The seeds are surrounded by tasty, tempting, nutritious fruit and the plant, which is itself not mobile, invites animals, humans or birds who are moving around to take and enjoy the fruit as a reward for spreading the seeds. Nuts also are given by the plant or tree in that we do not kill the plant when we take and eat nuts; the same applies to grains. But when we eat roots or leaves we are taking a part of the plant's body, something which we do very rarely and generally only for medicinal purposes."

Food is grown organically in small irregular plots, fruit bushes and trees inter-mixed with flowers for the bees and fertilized by natural humus derived from plants at the end of their life cycle. The trees, bushes and plants are lovingly - yes, lovingly! - tended and cared for, and the resultant fruit is healthful and bursting with flavor. There are many more varieties than in the previous 3D period on Earth. Meals are always prepared freshly, in the form of various uncooked savory and sweet fruit salads - perhaps accompanied by baked pastries and breads.

On another outing children might be taken to an "Animals' Home" where they can meet horses, donkeys, goats and other semi-domesticated animals. Some of these animals will have come in from the surrounding wilderness areas to seek Human care when they have been injured, while others simply come and stay for a while because they enjoy the contact with Humans! There is never any compulsion for them to remain.

In the New Age Humans are able to communicate with animals on a telepathic level. Certainly there is no fear on the part of animals, and no exploitation of any kind by Humans - though animals and Humans do occasionally work together by common consent. Horses and mules will readily volunteer their services to carry Humans and their camping equipment into wilderness areas either for recreation or for environmental work, a collaborative experience enjoyed by Humans and animals alike.

Needless to say, the "factory-farming" and killing of animals, birds and fishes is not even contemplated in the New Age, with a resultant spirit of mutual friendship and respect between all life-forms. Nonetheless, people remain aware of their past Human history, and remind themselves of it frequently on the principle that "mistakes remembered will not be repeated". So the children communing with the animals as children like to do, will be told about man's past relationship with the Animal Kingdom. But the story will be told briefly and in a somewhat "sanitized" version. That Man was once responsible for the annual killing of millions of cattle, chickens, fishes and other creatures is something which people in the New Age both young and old find horrible to contemplate, and pictorial records of the breeding conditions and mass slaughter of animals as once practised are rarely shown for this reason. Worse still was the killing of animals and birds for so-called "sport", a form of "amusement" which these New Age children would probably not even comprehend.

Today in the New Age Humans have regained that wonderful bond of trust and friendship between all living creatures. As the children's teacher summarizes: "Mutual love between all our fellow beings throughout the entire range of Creation is something of great value to us all and to our universe. We must seek to develop and extend it, never letting it deteriorate again."

One very fundamental principle guiding the upbringing of children in the New Age is the "Law of Karma" - the Law of Cause and Effect - "What you sow you reap". Children are never told to "do this" or "do that" without any reason being given; rather, they are encouraged to review the different courses of action open to them together with the anticipated consequences, then make their own informed decision. And when they do take a course of action, be it good or bad, wherever possible they will be allowed to experience its consequences which will be clearly and patiently pointed out to them.

Children are taught that when they are young what they get and take from their parents is in the form of physical support; while it is always made clear that this is freely and lovingly given, at the same time children are expected to do their share in the home, for it is considered wrong that they should be encouraged to take what they are given without appreciation. They are held responsible for their own individual and personal upkeep and the cleanliness of their rooms; they are told how they should conduct themselves, and if they do not, then the consequent unfortunate effects are solely theirs to be experienced.

For example, a boy may not keep his room tidy. The parents would not scold or order a tidying up session, but rather they would drop hints that "we never visit young Jimmy in his room - it's such a disaster". Since everyone has their own "personal room" in the family home and it is the custom to "invite" one's family members to "visit", there is a natural discipline upon children to keep their own rooms clean and inviting. For outings outside the home, children are automatically invited anywhere adults go; if they misbehave they don't get invited anymore - they soon realize why, and will generally apologize and mend their ways. They are treated as adults, but they are also expected to act the part.

In the Old Age bored children were often responsible for community vandalism; in the New Age it is quite common to see groups of school children working in the public gardens, or helping with fruit harvests. They are taken around their communities and shown the detailed technicalities of how everything works, from public transit to communications systems, so that they will respect these facilities and treat them properly. They visit maintenance depots where they are shown working models of the construction and maintenance and the current work-in-progress, and are frequently permitted to help under supervision. In such ways they are taught to identify with, and participate in the running of their community.

Children are also encouraged as early as possible to participate in community and provincial planning and legislative proceedings. There are several student societies for group participation in legislative affairs; and in all legislative and planning proceedings at any level the Constitution requires open access for all - with no age limit!

As children grow older, their education process grows with them, giving wider and wider latitude for individual choice and self-expression while at the same time subtly demanding a greater sense of social responsibility and participation in the community. Young people are encouraged to take part-time jobs after school at an early age; even simple jobs teach self-discipline, time-keeping and how to treat customers with care and respect. And the act of working, of contributing to society and earning some pocket money further enhances the child's sense of self-worth and independence.

While schooling for younger children is paid for by the parents, at the age of fourteen youngsters take out their own loans in the form of Education Credit Units. It is considered important that young people see education for what it really is: an investment in themselves and their own future. It is also important for them to learn the power and the responsibility of purchasing; with their own Credit Units. It is they themselves who choose the education program, the teachers and the level of equipment they wish to work with. Thus higher-level education is always a reflection of what each generation of students wants to learn, and how they want to learn it. They are given expert advice on future trends so that they will know what skills are coming into demand; and expert analysts are available who can interview students on an individual basis and establish what occupation would be most suited to each student's personal temperament. But the decisions are the students' to make - and indeed to revise as often as they wish, for the education system allows as much flexibility as each student needs.

Many teenagers feel the need to get away from the family, see the world, and find their own feet. This is accepted quite naturally; indeed it is considered important in the New Age that young people should learn both the joys and responsibilities of independence at an early age. And in the New Age there are not the dangers which many parents in the Old Age feared for their children. There is plenty of opportunity for work anywhere the newly independent teenager chooses to go and no shortage of pleasant accommodation for rent - one-room studios in the towns and city centers being the preference among students and young job-seekers.

The "Halls of Learning" provide a wide and constantly expanding selection of facilities for more advanced study of everything from specialized skills, advanced meditation and mind-control, to historical or philosophical subjects, as well as higher levels of expertise in various creative manual crafts or musicianship. These facilities are used by people of all ages, and it is quite common to see eight, eighteen and eighty-year-olds sitting side by side without any sense of incongruity. Indeed the free intermingling of age groups adds a further depth of outlook and experience during any relevant group discussions. All forms of study are enjoyed, to the extent that learning, living and leisure in the New Age are really quite inseparable.


Chapter Seven:
WORK & ECONOMICS

The abundance of leisure time in the New Age is due in no small part to the high level of productivity, thanks to which all the necessary goods and services are provided in abundance, to high standards of quality, and at progressively reducing cost. This in turn results in part from the pervading spirit of goodwill, cooperation, dedication to service and fair trading. But the underlying economic systems make their own significant contribution to material prosperity, to the relaxed business climate, and to the continuous striving for excellence.

In "days of old" the whole subject of economic planning proved a continuing source of contention. On the one hand, if it made sense to organize workers in a business so that everyone was effectively employed, then this principle should logically apply to the economy as a whole. But "planning" could so easily become heavy-handed, as the Socialist-block countries clearly illustrated. In the New Age it has been found possible to provide overall coordination and full employment of the economy, while not conflicting with the creativity and initiative of individual enterprise.

Economic activity is continuously reviewed through Community Planning Councils in villages and towns, then coordinated with Regional and National levels. These Community Planning Councils are made up of groups of interested people: representatives from service or production companies, educators, Community Administrators, people with new ideas, consumers who want a new product or service. Some attend meetings regularly, others may come occasionally to raise some specific point. It is in these meetings that people discuss new products or services that may be needed, new ideas which can be tried, new services for the town, environmental improvements which can be made, or perhaps products or services which are currently running down so that new employment opportunities must be sought and developed. The group decisions reached on any proposed project by the Planning Councils will then be passed to the Regional Investment Agency which, after careful verification, will be providing the necessary investment funds. The Regional Investment Agency will call in skilled independent Advisors within their particular area of expertise needed in order to verify and approve a proposed project and the Agency will then continuously monitor the project's progress of implementation to ensure the safe repayment of investment funds at its completion.

Local initiative ensures that local needs are provided and that local people are employed; coordination through upper levels ensures that there is collaboration where necessary. For example, if a local community decides to promote tourism for some scenic natural attraction, then transport, accommodation and advertising can be coordinated with neighboring communities and at Regional level. Coordination also provides an order of priorities where labour or capital is scarce, so that resources can be apportioned productively.

A local Community Planning Council meets regularly in the Hilltown whose atrium and terraced apartments we have recently explored. In the most recent debate a representative of Management from a local manufacturing plant discussed new trends in electronics which must be incorporated into their design and production processes; this in turn would require that a new training program be developed for local education. A speaker from the local Hotel Management Group advised that tourism in the area is increasing, requiring more overnight accommodation and some additional walking paths, developed in conjunction with existing transit lines.

Another item debated concerned a local industry which is running down because its major product has been outdated by new technological developments; what can be done to replace the potential loss of employment? An advisor from one of the Economic Monitoring Services suggests that contact be made with a firm in another part of the Region which has ideas for expansion but lacks available workers due to full employment.

In these meetings, the Performance Audits of local infrastructure services are also reviewed. The Chief Administrator of the local Community Transit Management Team, a small group which operates four Region Radial Lines and their dependent Rural District Lines in coordination with the overall Region Administration, has been invited in so that her Team may be congratulated on producing the best Performance Audit in the Region for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Thus business and the community together establish an on-going plan of action and priorities. The Community Planning Council decisions are also used as guidelines for the investment of "public credit", a term which may require brief explanation.

A credit facility or system of accounting ("money" in Old Age terms!) remains an economic necessity in the New Age for registering an account of the amount of creative energy or labour each individual has either contributed or taken from the community effort. It also has the traditional purposes of facilitating trade in goods and services, as well as saving and investment. Without some kind of a credit system trade would revert to barter, while saving, and thus also investment, would be seriously impeded.

An aspect of the New Earth credit system immediately recognizable to present readers would be the servicing of customer and business accounts and loans, which is administered through the familiar network Banking System. But this is limited in scope to personal transactions of debit and credit.

For investment in industry, Regional Investment Agencies focus on ensuring the maximum use of ideas and talents by providing adequate capital within the expansion capacity of the economy.

Investment Agencies call upon independent experts to assess all new loan requests or opportunities. New businesses will be assisted where necessary to ensure that their projects, pre-planning and projections are viable; regular subsequent monitoring ensures that the business performs according to its projections so that remedial action can be taken promptly when necessary.

The Investment Agency of each Region is responsible for respecting the overall quantity of credit circulating through the economy. More specifically, it is required to maximize credit availability but within the productive capacity of the economy, or in other words, to ensure full employment. In the New Age everyone wants and expects to contribute and develop their creative talents in a rewarding job of work; if just one single person was unable to do so it would be considered degrading, a waste of talent - and a reflection of unacceptably poor economic management!

Full employment in the Old Age was impossible to achieve since economic expansion towards full employment was always accompanied by inflation. This is not a problem in the New Age, for pay and prices are based purely on the evaluated labour contained in a product or service and are therefore stable and not subject to inflation even in conditions of full employment. This condition of total monetary stability is ensured in turn by the familiar New Age combination of goodwill and a well-organised system.

The approach to pay and prices in the New Age is influenced first and foremost by the more enlightened attitude of people towards one another. As to their pay, the preoccupation of most people is not to get as much as they can out of each other, but rather that they should not take from society more than they give. The same rule applies to prices: no one would want to feel that their asking price for a product or service was unfair or excessive. The pay for the job, or the price of a product or service should be a fair reflection of the work and skill involved; in this way everyone can be sure that trade in all its aspects is fair and equal, value for value.

To achieve this objective, a standard Pay and Price Evaluation system, constantly reviewed and whenever necessary updated, is used to measure work in all its forms and at all levels, taking into account everything from training and responsibility to job satisfaction or concentration. By means of this system a fair remuneration can be established for each job, avoiding both the need and the embarrassment of having to argue over it.

Similarly, prices are established solely by taking the total outgoing expenditure on materials, remunerations, overheads and appropriate capital repayments, then apportioning this total over the products or services rendered. This is calculated on a yearly or half-yearly basis.

Of course this price-calculation process cannot always be precise, so firms may inadvertently make profits at the end of the year, or sometimes losses. Losses are held over to next year and remedial steps taken. Modest profits, this being more generally the case, are apportioned according to formulas set by law and by custom. Part goes to an emergency reserve fund; part goes to the Company for research and development; part goes to the co-workers at all levels in recognition of the success of their collective enterprise. Any surplus is regarded as an excess taken from the customers, and a downward adjustment of future prices would be made.

By this relatively simple system everyone is happy that they are paid in relation to the work they contribute, and prices fairly reflect the work which the goods and services "contain".

Thus workers and consumers can be confident, without ever having to think about it, that without any fuss or argument there is a fair remuneration for every job and a fair price for every product and service. Indeed economic historians in the New Age look back with horror at the strikes and lockouts, often violent, which so often accompanied the older process of "free collective bargaining"!

Another major advantage of a universally established Pay, Profit and Price Evaluation system is the resultant monetary stability. The universal use of a stable evaluation system eliminates the possibility of inflation - a concept by the New Age consigned to the history books. Thus it is no longer necessary to put the economy into recession and maintain a permanent condition of unemployment in order to check potential or actual inflation.

This being the case it is now considered quite normal that there should be a rewarding job of work available for everyone who wants one. Youngsters can easily find part-time work to provide some independent income or to complement their studies. No one lives under a cloud of fear that they might be made redundant when alternative employment is easy to find. And "retirement" in the sense of enforced idleness as a penalty for maturing years is a thing of the past; as people get older they retire gently, doing a little less each year but retaining their skills and continuing to make a useful contribution to society and their community, perhaps in a teaching or advisory capacity.

Full employment opportunity coupled with locally based planning ensures that everyone is able to find work in their own community whatever its size. Physical access to work is also made easy by the compact design of communities, as exemplified particularly in the Hilltowns. Within each Hilltown access to offices, design studios, and factory control rooms is always within easy walking and elevator reach of the home, and "commuting" time is rarely more than a pleasant five minutes' walk or elevator ride.

The production of physical goods and appliances in the New Age differs from the old days when globalization was the catchword and large factories produced centrally for distribution over a wide area. In the New Age it is not considered efficient to move large quantities of goods from one part of the Planet to another, and there is not the motive of profit or self-aggrandizement which makes for global corporations. Technology, designs and technical expertise are indeed developed provincially or globally for use on a wide scale to achieve economy and excellence; but designs and informational systems are then licensed in the form of computer programs for use by local businesses. Detailed programs can be fed directly into automated machines for local manufacture of products molded to the most sophisticated designs.

A typical manufacturing facility can be found in the industrial area of this particular Hilltown. It produces a variety of kitchen appliances, such as food processors and whole-grain grinders, mainly for sale in the towns and villages of the local Region. These products are all based on various well-known, world-class designs which have been licensed from one of the many specialist industrial design companies whose function is to develop new products or ideas, and to continuously refine and improve existing ones.

Within the factory's translucent white walls and double-height ceiling, lit by a soft, evenly spread form of electroluminence, fully automated machines are silently filling computer-generated moulds with a liquid material which is then crystallized through the application of certain high frequencies into a diamond-hard component, a method widely used in industrial products as well as in larger structures.

This material is based on the abundant resource of clear or pigmented water, which is either "printed" in 3D printers in solid form, extruded, or pumped into watertight molds and irradiated in the mould with certain high frequency rays to alter its molecular structure, in effect permanently "freezing" the water into a diamond-hard crystallized form. This material can be left clear for glass walls and windows where light is wanted and privacy is not required, or for other glass-like products such as elegant goblets and other items of tableware. Opaque forms of the material are obtained by including a pigmentation; this is used for virtually all large structures and buildings, as well as for manufactured goods, such as machinery, household appliances, transport vehicles and trackways and even the translucent marble-like pathways that people walk on in the parks.

Once the "diamond-crystal" material has been hardened in moulds, for instance, components are then automatically ejected, and by making use of the various built-in molded connection points, they can be rapidly assembled by automated machinery. The whole process can be remotely monitored with the help of computers and video cameras from offices in a high gallery overlooking the central Hilltown Atrium. Apart from a few maintenance personnel in occasional attendance as required or on a short-shift basis, the only other signs of Humanity in the factory itself might be a few curious explorers or a party of schoolchildren on an educational visit in the visiting galleries.

The manufacturing and assembly facilities, located on the lower levels between the central Atrium and the terraced housing, have direct access to the automated goods delivery system offering the large containers of the "Inter-Regional" freight system, or the smaller containers of the "Autodelivery" system for local delivery.

The large containers, ten feet square by twenty to up to forty feet long, are magnetically levitated and individually propelled by linear-induction coils, and travel between communities totally underground in tunneling. They are destination-coded and can be computer-directed to any part of the Region or Country. Except in the case of extra-large sized shipments, such as for a major piece of machinery, these large containers can be filled with smaller containers in several modular sizes; the consolidated load traveling between Regionss can then be broken down at its destination, and the smaller containers delivered locally by the local "Autodelivery" system.

There is a considerable flexibility in labour work schedules. Actual working times are arranged in several shifts to ensure a round-the-clock continuity of service to the customers. Individual shift times worked are arranged between a small cooperative group of working colleagues to suit personal convenience within the overall requirements of the business. The spirit is easy-going and relaxed; but reliability in relation to one's work commitments and colleagues is always scrupulously observed. No one is ever late in honouring a commitment, and last-minute changes are always agreed with colleagues.

Holidays too are arranged to suit mutual convenience. A few days may be taken here and there for some special personal or family occasion, and people will often take a week's break for an extended visit or a country ramble. The average Annual Holiday is one to two months. Longer holidays to distant places or other planets are taken every two or three years. Another popular option is temporary job-trading; people doing similar work in different areas will trade jobs and accommodation with one another for a change of scene.

There are no "statutory" holidays, though everyone by common consent takes three days off to celebrate the changing of the year from old to new. At this time all non-essential services shut down and everyone enjoys the holiday spirit.

The atmosphere at work is friendly and informal; yet this conceals a high standard of organization. Whether in production or services, the correct quantities of components and materials required are always on hand when they are needed; work-flow is properly organized; working conditions are pleasant. Participants in any commercial enterprise at all levels take their responsibilities to their colleagues and customers very seriously, and professional competence is a matter of pride and prime importance.

Especially important is the responsibility which every enterprise and every individual participant feels towards the customer, as well as to the suppliers and distributors, to the whole community in which the enterprise is situated, and to the educators who provide the work expertise.

Every business has an Executive Supervisory Board representing the business's "stakeholders": those who have a direct interest in its success. This includes the staff at all levels whose jobs depend on the good management of the business; the Regional Investment Agency responsible for the financial investment; the local community which depends on the business for its prosperity; the business's "significant suppliers" or distributors; the consumers who use the products or services; and the local educators who see the business as a vehicle for the talents they have encouraged and developed. This Executive Board oversees and monitors the firm's overall business activity, reviews performance and future trends.

A business still has "Managers" but they are not considered superior or privileged in any way, financially or otherwise. They simply have a role to play like everyone else, their role being to take an overall view of production and operation, and to coordinate the different functions or departments. Managers are also responsible for introducing improvements suggested by operatives and for the adoption of any new "Inter-Regional Optimum Standards" which may be appropriate to the business. The "Optimum Standards" required in all products and business services provided by the Regional Investment Agency as a condition of investment of community derived saving funds, ensures a high level of continuous improvement in design, systems and general productivity.

Research companies work constantly to improve designs and work systems, using their own in-house research and listening both to workers and consumers. Their findings are thoroughly tested and new or improved techniques, ideas and designs are incorporated into the Inter-Regional Optimum-quality Standards Database. Every business is required to be conversant with the latest "Optimum Standards" additions and amendments, and to ensure that any relevant improvements are adopted as soon as possible. It is also considered important to "contribute to the flow", and businesses and their workers take a pride in making continuing improvements large and small in research, design, production and management methods which if found effective are then communicated to the Standards Database for additional testing and promulgation.

Every business must also produce and publish a monthly independently audited TPA, or Total Performance Audit detailing the financial performance, together with statistics on many other factors such as customer satisfaction, response to queries, faults, quality, workplace conditions, response to and adoption of Standards improvements, and so on. The list will vary for each business. The TPA is reviewed by the Executive Supervisory Board and any shortcomings are quickly rectified.

Goodwill prevails; but the systems are in place and are strictly monitored. The Community Planning Councils provide a forum in which business activity can be reviewed, new services can be planned and full employment ensured. This in turn guides the flow of Regional Investment Agency funds into productive investment. Pay and Price Evaluation, combined with a high standard of management and pleasant working conditions ensure a stable industrial and business climate. Designs, production systems and services are continuously improved, backed by the assistance of centralized "Optimum Standards".

As a result, bankruptcies and business failures in the New Age are virtually non-existent; equally rare is any form of industrial dissension. Everyone enjoys their work, taking a pride in excellence, and pleasure in service to their colleagues and customers. The resultant prosperity, quality of life and available leisure time in turn provide the foundation of material wellbeing allowing Mankind to concentrate on artistic, intellectual, and spiritual development.


Chapter Eight:
THE REGIONAL CENTER

While every effort has been made to create as much variety and range of services as possible within the basic Hilltown concept, the more specialised cultural and economic services need a larger supporting population in the form of a Regional center city situated at the heart of the Region. This must be easily accessed by radial transport lines connecting the surrounding Hilltowns. Therefore, within most Hilltowns the transport arrangements share certain basic layout features in common. Somewhere in the middle of every central Atrium, glass elevators are available to take travellers down to the transit platforms invariably situated below.

At the first level below the Atrium, the local Rural Lines connecting with outlying villages and recreational areas terminate at their own six- or eight-sided platform. The glass elevators then continue down to a lower level which serves the faster Regional Radial Lines linking the Hilltowns with the the Regional center.

The Regional Radial Line station platform is laid out in a square, each side serving a different direction of travel: two sides for the Radial lines traveling into and out from the Regional Center, and two for opposite direction "Ring Line" which circles around to the other Hilltowns located at the same distance from the Regional Center. This square platform arrangement with crossovers for the four lines on the same level at each corner, allows passengers to make an immediate and level interchange from one line to another, while the centrally placed glass elevators provide access to the Local Rural Line platforms above and the Atrium.

Leaving the Hilltown by the Radial Line, bound for the Regional Center, the train remains in tunnel for some distance so as not to intrude on the town's views and surrounding park amenities. The "tunnels" are not dull or boring however, for the natural surface has been cut smooth and finished to a high polish using disintegrating/transmuting rays, then stabilized with a clear diamond-crystal lining which enhances the beauty of the original natural veins and patterns. The tunnel is softly and evenly illuminated as the vehicle passes through, often with some special geological feature highlighted.

Once outside the Hilltown limits the line rises above ground onto a raised berm trackway planted with grass and bushes, designed to provide minimum visual intrusion on the surrounding environment and yet with frequent underpasses for animals and pedestrians. This ensures the planning requirement of minimum impediment for wildlife and humans while maintaining the essential segregation of this fully automated system. The automated goods container systems run deep under the surface transport lines linking them to other communities, cities and Regions.

The Radial Line train, supported by magnetic levitation and propelled by linear induction, is now skimming silently at high speed along its slightly elevated track towards the next town. The track along this particular stretch is bordered by a formal avenue of trees, with periodic gaps so that the passengers may briefly enjoy some special view. Soon it descends once again under the next Hilltown, briefly glimpsed from the train as a cone shaped green hill similarly covered in terraced housing and greenery. As the train draws into the platform and comes to a halt, its doors aligned with those set in the glass platform walls, simultaneously slide open. Several passengers get out here, making for the central glass elevators which will take them up to the next level for the local Rural District Lines or up another level to the Hilltown's central Atrium.

A low warning chime sounds, the doors close and the train smoothly and rapidly gathers speed in the illuminated tunnel, the various minerals in its rockface sparkling brightly. Very soon the train rises up into the open countryside once more and speeds on its way towards its final destination: the Regional Center city at the hub of the Region. There will be two stations serving the Regional Center city itself however, for the city is built in two distinct areas, an Outer Ring and an inner central area.

The first is an Outer Ring of sloping terraced housing in the form of a continuous circular low green hill over two miles in diameter. This circular housing Ring is varied in height and skyline, and its sides are, as usual, covered by much planting of greenery.

The Regional Center has its own population of permanent residents living on the terraced slopes of this Outer Ring. Some face outwards to the open surrounding countryside. Others prefer to face into the parkland surrounding the City center enclosed by the Ring, with views over trees and green areas laid out more formally following the 18th century English tradition. The inner parkland's rural, almost uninhabited appearance when seen from the homes on the outer Ring facing inwards with their inspiring view of the central sloping glass center City, is deceptive; for concealed within its folds and clumps of trees are numerous formal gardens and recreational areas linked by a network of footpaths, with many colorful and scented beds of flowers, decorative bushes and trees. The contours of the park are slightly varied - there are even one or two little valleys and low hillocks. Set amongst the clumps of trees are numerous small outdoor recreational pavilions, and the extensive network of walking paths gives the park a pleasantly "un-crowded" feeling. Several decorative lakes provide residence for large populations of ducks, swans and many visiting birds. Other pools, though natural in appearance and irregularly shaped, are set aside for Human recreation and bathing. Special jogging tracks and exercise areas are provided for the more dedicated fitness enthusiasts, most of whom seem to prefer the very early morning for their activities. Another regular sight in the first rays of the morning sun are the little groups doing their beautiful slow-motion body- and mind-relaxing movements taken from the ancient Chinese tradition of calisthenics.

In the midst of this circle of green parkland the City Center shines like a brilliant jewel: a large stepped "octagonal pyramid" over 650 feet high, its glass-like surfaces left largely unadorned as a contrast to the green parkland and surrounding greenery-covered hill Ring, its unashamed brilliance affirming its role as the Region's cultural and administrative center.

This particular Regional center city represents just one of many "visions" created by the returning Earth planners on the Motherships. Every city, every town, every village in every Region on the New Earth is different in shape and layout, giving as much opportunity as possible for creativity and new ideas, and ensuring that everyone can live in the sort of environment they prefer.

As the Radial Line approaches the Regional Center's Outer Ring it dives underground, then decelerates smoothly and rapidly before making its first city stop located under the Outer Ring. The platform is again four-sided, for the Region Radial Line intersects here with the Outer Ring's own circular line.

Central elevators take passengers up into the huge Atrium which runs in a continuous circle inside the circumference of the Ring, forming a covered "boulevard" over six miles in total length. It is flanked by cafés, shops and little garden areas, grouped in clusters to create a sense of several different "neighborhoods". The Atrium Boulevard is a favorite venue for extended promenades circling around the different neighborhoods of the Ring, particularly popular in wet weather.

Set along the upper galleries at each side of the Atrium Boulevard are offices and shops, while underneath the Ring's outer sloped terraced housing are the usual factory and workplace areas. Even in this regional cultural center there are plenty of local manufacturing and service industries within easy reach of local residents.

Frequent glass elevators along the Atrium Boulevard offer a leisurely ride up to the roof and the 200-foot wide rooftop garden that circles right around the top of the City's outer Ring. Here is a whole new world to explore! Several main paths wind among beds of flowers and clumps of scented bushes, while smaller paths lead off to "secret" little roof-top gardens and secluded spaces many of which are known only to dedicated local explorers! One of the main paths is covered by a glass roof and there are many glass-walled and glass-roofed alcoves and little cafés for rest and refreshment or shelter from occasional rain showers. A walkable glass strip set into the surface of the main central pathway allows ample daylight to filter down to the Atrium Boulevard below. There are many small buildings rising above the circular roof-top garden promenade of the City's outer Ring, serving a multitude of purposes: they might be art galleries for paintings or sculptures, little recital rooms or semi-covered recreation areas. Their walls are mainly transparent or faintly opaque to make maximum use of their setting under the sun or stars, their glass domed or pyramid-shaped roofs adding a touch of visual excitement to the overall skyline as seen from a distance.

After its stop at the City's Outer Ring the Radial Line train quickly covers the last short section of its journey, continuing beneath the interior city parkland to reach the great octagonal central glass pyramid which lies at the hub of the Regional center. The train arrives at a large multi-storied interchange station beneath the central pyramid's main Atrium. Here there are two levels of square Regional Radial Line interchange platforms, one above the other connected by glass elevators, each platform serving four of the total of eight Radial Lines. This being the Regional center it is also served by the high-speed "Inter-City" transit system from a third platform at an even deeper level with the usual square, four-direction interchange form. This Inter-City, or Inter-Regional transportation system interconnects in a grid pattern with the other Regional centers within the Country, so the square platform serves the East-West, and the North-South lines in both directions. To facilitate the interchange between the dozen or so Regional centers around the Country, they are where possible connected in a North-South, East-West grid pattern for easy interconnectivity

The "Inter-Regional" system is not limited to its home Region however, for many of the services will continue in their direction of travel beyond the Regional boundaries to connect with other Countries, as was done in international travel between Countries of the old Age. The method of transportation used in the Inter-Regional Systems differs somewhat from the terrestrial-based Rural and Radial Lines. Whereas the wide single-unit vehicles of this system also travel on tracks magnetically levitated whilst in tunnel under the City centers, once they are well outside the City perimeter the tunnel rises up to the surface and they then carry on upwards as airborne spacecraft - an event which never ceases to thrill first-time travelers of any age!

Once airborne, these hybrid vehicles, with their own onboard magnetic/electrical generation facilities, function like all planetary spacecraft in the New Age, traveling at great speeds within the envelope of an artificially created vacuum. This vacuum performs a multiple function: it prevents air friction from affecting the craft's surface, and is also used both to propel and steer the craft. A full vacuum is induced in the direction of travel and a nil-vacuum at the "rear"; this allows the planet's powerful inherent atmospheric pressure to propel the craft "into" the vacuum at enormous speeds. A partial vacuum to left and right assists in maintaining the craft precisely on the required course. By additionally inducing a vacuum at the "rear" of the craft, it can if necessary, be brought smoothly to a fast stop. The external vacuum is generated by powerful multiple cathode ray emitters mounted around the exterior surfaces which ionize the air particles around the craft, thus creating a controllable vacuum at any desired point or area. The long- distance craft used for international travel are capable of reaching speeds of between 6,000 and 12,000 miles an hour, so no distant part of the globe is more than an hour or so away. The local Regional craft take only a matter of several minutes to travel between Regional Centers.

Above the Inter-City and the two Radial Line platforms is the main Atrium concourse area, accessed by the usual centrally located glass elevators. In this octagonal pyramid at the heart of the Regional Center city the Atrium is of even vaster proportions than the Hilltowns, measuring a quarter of a mile across at the base, and rising up 500 feet to the Panorama Promenade where the interior structure meets the 150-foot high octagonal glass pyramid forming the transparent Atrium covering.

As arriving travelers step out of the glass elevators into the base of this giant Atrium Concourse they find themselves also at the foot of what appears to be a natural rocky hill in the central area. Rising to a height of almost 100 feet it can be explored along gently sloping paths and steps, and proves to be a world on its own. Within its multiple folds and contours are tiny rock pools with water lilies and little Japanese lanterns, small clumps of graceful bamboo, waterfalls, and tunnels beneath overhanging greenery, with a profusion of exotic plants and flowers everywhere. One secluded area of this small world is home to many colourful and often noisy birds who, the Reader may be assured, are resident there entirely at their own volition! At the "summit" of the hill, a "lookout" provides a vantage point from which one can survey the Atrium around and below, or look up to the pyramid glass roof high above.

And there is yet another option, which new arrivals might like to take: right beside the station elevator in the center of the Atrium is a huge transparent column soaring up 650 feet to the very apex of the octagonal glass pyramid overhead. It terminates inside a large café-restaurant which revolves slowly within the Apex glass pyramid, rather like those often found in the Radio/TV Towers of the Old World. This huge café-restaurant is actually divided into multiple areas providing a choice of atmosphere and style. The inner rings of seating and tables, those not close to the window walls, are raised, each ring being a step higher, so that everyone can enjoy the views across the inner parkland and over the City's outer Ring (which is much lower in height) to the rolling countryside beyond. The outside atmosphere is so pure that on a clear day one can see for hundreds of miles around. This is a favorite place to celebrate a special occasion or to bring friends who are visiting the City for the first time.

The great Central Atrium below is the hub of the Region where people from all over the area come to meet and to participate in the enormous range of cultural activities which can be found in the Regional center city. The whole atmosphere here is alive with creative activity.

The Atrium itself is a huge tropical paradise of exotic plants and trees vibrant with life, their leaves shimmering with the excitement of the activity around them. The odd monkey or colorful bird can often be seen peering through the foliage.

This is the place to see and be seen, to enjoy the ever-changing parade of people, to make new friends or meet old ones, to read or relax, enjoy some light refreshment, work on a laptop computer, or play some table game with anyone who's interested (an ancient form of Chinese chess has recently been resurrected and is currently very popular here).

Around the Atrium periphery are numerous attractive counters dispensing a great variety of pastry and baked goods, fruit, fresh fruit juices and hot drinks, which people collect on trays then take over to one of the eating areas where elegant white tables and chairs are set under palm, mango and other tropical trees, perhaps grouped around a turquoise-tiled pool with its own small fountain.

Though the 5th Dimensional New Earth people dress for simplicity and comfort, their clothes are always colour-coordinated and chosen with care. Everyone manages to look effortlessly immaculate, with clothes fresh and clean, hair shiny and skin healthy. The atmosphere is definitely casual, yet there is an air of sophistication and worldliness among these relaxed, confident and smiling people.

The sense of activity, of things to do, and the ever-present challenge of exploration is almost overwhelming in this, the Region's focal point, rather like the great "World Fairs" of the Old Earth. The floor of this enormous concourse, and its surrounding galleries, offer a never-ending array of traveling exhibitions mounted year round as well as the numerous permanent exhibitions, such as those at the huge Arts & Craft Center where all the best and most creative individual craftwork is displayed. There are working demonstrations of many types of crafts, together with their wonderfully individual products each so carefully made and finished, reflecting the enormous variety of creative artisan talent which has blossomed with the increased leisure time now available in the New Age.

Then there are Science and Art Museums, Concert Halls and Theatres of all sizes and shapes, extensive Halls of Learning and a vast Central Region Library filled with books from all periods of history and a great collection of video and music recordings.

A cheerful colorfully dressed gentleman behind a pastry counter in one of the busy café terrace areas tips his yellow top hat to the passers-by. "This is the Hub of our Community, Ladies and Gentlemen" he announces. And no one in the smiling crowd would dream of disagreeing with him.


Chapter Nine:
THE REWARDS OF LEISURE

Though cultural, educational and recreational facilities abound in and around every town and village, the City at the center of the Region is by design and general agreement the place where mind and intellect find the greatest concentration of art and culture, entertainment and education, therapies and mental stimulation. Here people with new ideas can put them to an open-minded public in one of the many small or large gathering places which can be used freely and with little formality.

A real-time "notice board" in the form of a central databank details the enormous variety of events and activities on offer with their times and locations. This service can be accessed from screens throughout the City and surrounding communities, as well as from the personal communicators which many people carry with them. It is equally simple, via voice activation or keyboard, to reserve a meeting or performance space and enter the details of what you are offering.

The reservation and use of space may seem casual to Old Age readers but there are more than enough spaces of all kinds and sizes to suit every need, and users are very conscientious. No one would consider announcing an event without presenting it, and spaces are always left tidy, ready for the next user.

Another significant factor concerning the use of urban space is that of cost.

In the Old Age, land was bought and sold as an "investment". When a town or city grew in attraction and population, landowners were able to ask higher and ever higher prices and rents, so the fate of the city was already sealed. As prices moved up in the old European cities the familiar meeting places, the cafés where people had been congregating, chatting, and reading the papers for centuries gradually became more and more expensive and many were forced out of business. In America this set in motion the infamous "flight to the suburbs" to cheaper greenfield sites, and thus many city centers gradually died. In the New Age the use of urban space, a communally-owned asset, is priced only to reflect the capital write-off and maintenance costs, remaining both reasonable and stable.

The built environment here in this City has been carefully planned and constructed to be varied and exciting, while providing numerous formal and informal spaces for events and activities as well as occasions for the chance encounters which New Age people so much enjoy.

In many of the interior and exterior areas of the central core of this City much of the essential spirit of the Old Age cities has somehow been recreated. There are small stone-paved squares surrounded by lush greenery and intimate corners hidden away, "secret" courtyards at the end of narrow passageways, and some special secluded areas with a sign of two hands placed palms together indicating that they are set aside for quiet meditation. In contrast, there are many wide, imposing avenues run around the outside of the stepped gleaming pyramid hill at different heights for summer strolling.

Whatever anyone wants to do, there's somewhere here to do it. You can stroll, sit, watch the world go by, read or work, attend meetings or concerts large or small, listen to or give an impromptu lecture, consult astrologers and natural therapists, learn ancient Chinese mind-control exercises, swim in one of the glassed-in tropical-garden pools set into the outside surface, or find a quiet corner in the surrounding parkland where you can sit for several hours and hardly see a soul.

In the evenings people still like to "dress up" for one of the many musical concerts, dramas, comedies or documentary displays. The evening outing may be preceded or followed by a more formal dinner in a pleasant setting along one of the high galleries overlooking the Central Atrium with its myriad soft lights splashing the tropical plants and trees with colour.

To readers in the Old Age who may be wondering if "dining out" can be much fun when all you can eat is virtually a fruitarian diet... the answer is that only when you have tasted for yourself the New Earth's fruits, nuts and grains, so much more varied and so much richer in flavor and nutrition, only then will you begin to see that even with very little preparation every meal can be a taste sensation. And the New Age chefs certainly know how to prepare the finest, freshest ingredients in an unending variety of ways, using subtle flavors and seasonings, drawing upon the many culinary traditions of the Old World or creating new taste sensations. Whether presented as a buffet display or on individual plates, dishes are always a visual delight, arranged with the utmost care and an eye for colour and texture.

Nor should it be forgotten that the greatest benefits of New Age food lie in the after-effects it doesn't have! No one ever gets up after a meal feeling over-stuffed or lethargic, nor is there the long-term damage to health which was a feature of much of the Old Age food.

New Age health education teaches that 99% of all illnesses suffered in the old days was caused by fats blocking the body's channels, from the larger arteries pumping blood around the heart, to the many tiny capillaries in the body such as those that serve the brain cells and which when blocked can cause a stroke or partial memory loss. As New Age nutritionists put it very simply: none of your bodily channels will ever get blocked by the cleansing qualities of pure fruits!

Good health is considered a pleasure to be cultivated and enjoyed in the New Age, and the physical body is always maintained in top condition. The focus in the New Age is very much on spiritual development and evolution, and as people often like to observe, "the Body is the vehicle for the Spirit".

Though relaxed and plentiful exercise is generally preferred, there are gymnastic facilities in every town and city, where people go for a combination of exercise and physical checkup. It is quite usual for people to look in regularly at their local Health Center for an "aura-scan". A popular alternative is a deep, relaxing manipulative massage followed by a hot steam bath and a cold dip. This not only tones up and rejuvenates the body, it also allows the expert masseur, whose art combines that of the Osteopath or Chiropractor, to check over the physical body for any minor dislocations, stress areas, or other abnormalities which can then be quickly rectified.

If there is any deeper unease, perhaps resulting from an unresolved fear or reaction to some traumatic past event, a Healer similar in qualifications and function to the ancient Egyptian Seer-Priests will look into the patient's personality and history for the original cause. Quite often the remedy will involve reviewing one's personal Akashic Records then going back under hypnosis to a specific place and time which the healer has indicated in order to re-live some inappropriate action, confront it, and absorb it, thus nullifying its after-effects.

On the rare occasions where there is some physical problem with the body, herbal remedies will be used, or treatment in which a form of magnetic energy is directed to the affected area. Surgery, that is to say physical operations on the bodily flesh, is rarely needed. The higher vibration rate of the Fifth Dimension prevents the body from being subject to attack by negative viruses and bacteria or the heavy effects on it of the lower vibration density of the former 3D Plane. Physical damage is quickly restored through magnetic and frequency realignment of the affected part with its original Etheric blueprint.

While organized games are popular in the New Age, competitive sport is not played quite the way it used to be. People play purely for pleasure, and games might seem somewhat chaotic to Old Age eyes since good nature and having fun take precedence over tiresome rules and there is less inherent desire to compete or dominate.

One very popular recreation on the New Earth is known as the "wilderness experience". The typical Region consists of its Central City at the hub, with its dependent towns, villages and neighborhoods surrounding and linked to it, the density gradually becoming thinner and the character more "laid-back" and rural the futher one gets from the center. Though adequately spread to allow plenty of natural environment between habitation areas, the Region is relatively compact. Between Regions, however, there is always a substantial area of wilderness. This gives identity to the Region, and provides breathing space for Nature, as well as recreational space for those seeking solitude.

The "wilderness experience" gives Humans a chance to commune intimately with Nature in all her aspects. This was of course a fairly common practice in the old days, but today in the New Age, "communion with Nature" takes on a different, and a much deeper significance. It is possible in the New Age to communicate with the animals, birds, even trees and plants telepathically on a higher, spiritual level. This is partly an aspect of the general awareness that all Creation is One - this being understood as a very practical fact, not a matter of high-sounding words!

New Age people are fully aware that they as individuals are an integral part of the whole of Creation, an attitude which makes it very easy to identify "self" with every aspect of the natural surroundings. In the case of animals and birds, communication can be more direct; this is speech on a mental level and can reach considerable depths of mutual understanding particularly through those Humans willing to give of their time and patience. Even for ordinary walkers and hikers it is quite common for animals and Humans to exchange greetings and routine information on such topics as the weather or the condition of the trail. Animals may also approach Humans for help, perhaps to remove a stone lodged in a hoof or a thorn in the side. On the rare occasion when a walker or climber may have a serious physical accident it would be quite normal for animals to come instinctively to the rescue, to run for help or to keep an injured body warm while waiting for the rescue party.

The wilderness is wilderness. So the expression goes, and although there are trails cleared, signs put out where necessary, and small hospitality cabins provided, these intrusions are all kept very rustic in character, designed and located to make the minimum of impact on the natural scene. This is done out of respect for Nature, and the Humans too, for those enjoying the spirit and atmosphere of the wilderness will not want to be confronted at every turn by Human artifacts!

The small hospitality cabins are for individual or family use rather than being "communal". They are well spaced out to maintain the feeling of Human isolation and wilderness communication, though the occupants are generally happy to welcome passers-by for refreshment and conversation.

Hospitality is a great tradition in the New Age; its arts are even taught in schools! The two main rules of hospitality are first that the host should offer it freely, generously and with love; the second is that the guest should never abuse the privilege. As the saying goes, "always leave your Host wishing you had stayed longer!"

The "wilderness experience" provides an opportunity for self-refreshment and a mutually enriching communion with the "wildlife". But it is also practiced more seriously as a unification of self with the whole of creation, and as such it is seen as an important contribution to the individual's training and evolutionary progress.

With short and flexible working times there is plenty of opportunity for every kind of leisure pursuit either day-by-day or as part of a longer holiday break. The average annual length of holiday would be about two months, though not necessarily all taken at one time.

There are so many ways of taking a holiday; many people simply travel around on the fully integrated transit systems, usually taking the slow Rural Lines as much as possible, such as to a scenically positioned resort-type accommodation. One can travel to a planned route, or simply "browse the system", taking whatever line and whatever direction looks appealing! On all transit vehicles it is possible to check accommodation at the next stop on the computer screen available in front of each seat; databases can be readily accessed giving descriptions and illustrations of local accommodation options, as well as descriptions of the surrounding area and things to see. Reservations are confirmed instantly through the computer terminal. Paying a deposit on a booking is unheard-of; but it is considered highly improper to make any kind of a reservation whether for transport, restaurant, hotel or whatever, then not turn up! Notice of cancellation by people in the new Age is always meticulously given when reservations cannot be met.

Popular for shorter holidays, especially with families, are the Country Resorts of which there are quite a few in the outlying wilderness areas of every Region located in various scenic spots such as lakesides, large forest clearings or mountain areas. They are always located on, or within a short walk of one of the Rural Lines. A typical Resort might be a low semi-circular building in three sloping terraces of self-contained holiday apartments, with a green lawn, perhaps, sloping gently down to the lake in front. A café/restaurant serves the residents and passing walkers.

Life here is peaceful and relaxing, the days' activities consisting of mountain climbing or forest walking, perhaps returning tired and hungry - though bodily toned-up and spiritually refreshed - by the Rural District Line transit or lakeside boat transportation. Early morning swims in the lakes are also popular, perhaps followed by a brisk half-hour walk before breakfast.

Despite the low profile of Resort buildings and the relaxed, "communing-with-nature" pleasures enjoyed by their visitors, the accommodation would be considered luxurious by Old Age standards. Each apartment is a tastefully furnished suite, comprehensively equipped and immaculately maintained, fronted by its own private terrace-balcony. This is no exception but quite normal in the greater prosperity of the New Age, and affordable for everyone, large families included.

One can "stay put" for a couple of relaxing weeks, or make a tour of several Resorts. Advance booking is simple by computer, and luggage can be sent forward by the "Autodelivery" system so that one can enjoy an unencumbered walk to the next resort along the well marked woodland trails.

For a change of setting and tempo another popular option is a cruise in one of the large circular Cruise Airships which travel silently around the Planet, presenting their passengers with a new and different scene every day. These airborne Cruise Ships have exterior-facing suites right around the outer perimeter. They are capable of either floating offshore on water or alighting on dry land, allowing them to visit remote areas where there is no existing accommodation.

And for "something completely different" the more adventurous can travel in the Interplanetary Spaceships to see different ways of life on other Planets. These Spaceships depart from several "Interplanetary Ports" around the globe, directly connected to the nearest Regional Center by the Regional Inter-City high speed Lines.

Learning is also considered a leisure activity in the New Age.

Everyone enjoys their work, as well as the pleasurable sensation of contributing to the society of which they are a part. An additional pleasure is that of practicing a skill, putting knowledge and expertise to use, then expanding them with further education and training. Work is there for everyone, it is productive and pleasant. There is thus an ever-present incentive to gain and improve skills, to develop talents to the full, and this is undertaken at all ages with considerable enthusiasm. Even in their later years people do not retire, they simply work shorter hours as they get older and continue to pursue their educational interests to improve their skills or keep up with the latest technological developments.

The needs of knowledge are richly provided for in the extensive "Halls of Learning" complete with Libraries and Archives. The Akashic Records can also be accessed to delve into history, or to explore the remoter corners of Earth or other Planets through the medium of multi-dimensional "virtual reality". Learning is a pleasure, an on-going process that starts early and never really finishes, as youngsters embark on the great journey of knowledge, and people of all ages expand their skills or merely seek to satisfy their insatiable curiosity!

In Mankind's previous phase on Earth, technology was still relatively backward, demanding long hours of hard work to satisfy the basic needs of life. Aggressive competition and strife occupied much energy, diverting it from more productive uses. In the New Age, physical sufficiency, the higher energies, and the universal spirit of cooperation combine to provide a high standard of living with physical prosperity and an abundance of cultural and intellectual facilities, set amidst the beauties of a cleansed and refreshed environment. Against this background Mankind can now concentrate on more rewarding ideals and activities which might be loosely gathered together as "pursuing the true path of evolution". The needs of learning and evolving are an important component of leisure activities in the New Age.


Chapter Ten:
POLITICS & PARTICIPATION

While there are Region, town, village and neighborhood Bylaws dealing with purely local matters, the main body of legislation is debated and formulated at Regional level. It so happens that the particular Region which has provided the setting for this brief visit to the New Earth is the seat for the Inter-Regional (National) Legislature; it is here that the National Legislature conducts its debates and formulates legislation which is then submitted to the National Constitutional Executive for verification and ratification, and finally with the World Constitutional Executive to verify that it accords with the Constitution's ruling Principle of Liberty. At this point we might briefly review the Legislative Principles and Procedures agreed upon by the Peoples of the New Earth.

Government on the New Earth owes much to the experiences of past Earth history and draws upon the best of its ideals. But in essence it is radically different from anything known prior to the "Earth Changes", and this is due in no small part to the fundamental change in people's attitudes to one another.

In the New Age people are living on Earth at ahigher vibrational rate on a higher evolutionary Plane. Their own minds, bodies and emotions now operate at the Fifth Dimensional frequency, as does the physical world around them. The heaviness of the former 3D dense physical plane is gone; the air is lighter, the atmosphere brighter, colours more brilliant, Earth-gravity less heavy, and it is generally easier to "get things done". Man now has new facilities at his disposal, ranging from the almost free and limitless generation of electrical power, to the ability to electronically re-arrange the atoms comprising "material matter" into new forms and shapes.

The physical "lightness" is paralleled in people's attitudes to themselves, their environment and to one another. There is no feeling of suspicion towards strangers, as their true intentions and thoughts are plainly visible within their auras. There is therefore a general feeling of relaxation, no stress of the competitive game in which the "strongest" gets the prize. Aggressive competition is considered anti-social and wasteful, and people prefer to cooperate in a joint creative effort to enhance the goods and services they offer to one another as as their inherent internal moral code of "Service to Others". There is a pervasive sense of warmth and affection between all people, those one knows, and those one has never met before, but whom one immediately treats as if they were part of one's own family.

They also care for the well-being of the natural environment and which also inclued the "Planetary Being", Mother Earth/Gaia, which they are now fully aware of as a living entity, for whom they must always ask permission before making any major surface changes or digging into her interior. And this awareness extends throughout the whole of Creation - down from the Animal Kingdom, the Plant Kingdom, and even down to the "inanimate" Mineral Kingdom of rocks and minerals, which they are now aware of as being conscious entities within the Second Dimension.

Within their relations between individuals, they not only try to give equal respect to one another but to respect another person's right to pursue their own course of evolution without outside intereference. This, for instance, applies to another person's privacy. No one would approach or address someone sitting quietly and clearly in meditation or deep in thought, unless they were spoken to. People speak quietly and conduct themselves politely in public, and in homes there is always mutual caring yet without any interference, judgment or criticism. People are careful not to impose upon one another in any way, and this is also reflected in their political institutions. There is no contradiction between openness and privacy; both are aspects of the mutual respect in which people hold one another in the New Age.

This attitude of mutual respect for the lives of others and for the whole of Creation is reflected in the guiding Political Principle, the "Principle of Liberty", imbedded in the World's Constitution which guides all politics and social affairs in the New Age. Throughout the New Earth, individuals, communities and society generally accept without question the principle of "mutual respect" as the overall guiding code of personal moral behaviour. In the more formal area of Political Administration, this is formulated as the Principle of Liberty, which states simply that "We should all be free to do whatever we like, as long as we do nothing which harms or imposes upon others". In this way, Liberty for all is maximized.

Fortunately people no longer wish to harm one another, but Government is nonetheless considered necessary as a service providing useful advice on correct social, environmental and commercial conduct, so that any possibility of imposition may be avoided.

The structure of Government begins with working within the Constitutional framework incorporating the Principle of Liberty, recognized and accepted as an expression of the Highest Wisdom and the Fundamental Laws of the Universe in their application to social conduct. This Principle enshrined as the basis of the Constitution, regulating Government as well as the People, is the one and only fundamental Law which has validity and authority. All else, the procedures of its interpretation by Government, Legislators, Administrators, and the whole body of Legislation itself, together with the Judicial and Enforcement Agencies... all is subservient to and derives authority from the Principle.

Thus the Planetary "Constitution" sets out the very broad implications of the Principle of Liberty as Legislative guidelines, as well as general rules of administrative conduct to be strictly observed by Government. A Constitutional Executive at Planetary level has ultimate responsibility for ensuring, through the continuous monitoring of Legislation, that the Principle is consistently observed within all the Laws created or enacted by the World's Governments.

The Principle and Constitution are accepted universally throughout the Planet. But the vital process of Interpretation, through which the Principle is applied to the changing pattern of everyday events and conditions to produce Legislation, is normally undertaken at National and Regional level to facilitate greater public involvement and allow for any appropriate variations to suit local conditions.

The definition of the Principle of Liberty as by now accepted by all New Earth inhabitants, is very precise and clear.

Inherent in this concept is a "Presumption of Liberty", a presumption that everyone is free to do whatever they like within their own path of evolution. The only qualification is that one's actions should not harm or actively impose upon others, either fellow Humans, other living creatures, or the environment.

The Legislative process is initiated when it is claimed or established that an actual or proposed action by one person or party constitutes an imposition upon the Liberty of another or others. In this case protective legislation is required.

An imposition upon individual Liberty can also be caused by an existing Law which is not specifically protective or which extends beyond simple protection of Liberty by the Government, thus initiating its own imposition. In this case the Law in question must be modified or repealed.

Only when the perceived imposition has been identified and either eliminated or minimized can the Legislative process be considered as completed.

The need for a new Law, or the repeal or amendment of an existing Law, can be set in motion by several different participants in the Interpretive/Legislative process: by professional Legislators who are constantly monitoring events and seeking to minimize imposition; by the Legislature's Representatives who maintain a continuing contact with citizens on a local basis; by alert individuals; or by the many "Special Interest" groups.

Although each Region has up to ten political Representatives whose job it is to maintain a contact between citizen-customer and the Central/National Government, most people consider themselves "represented" in the Legislative process through their membership in one or several of the many "Special Interest Societies".

There are literally hundreds of Special Interest Societies around the Country representing every shade of interest, opinion and expertise from Civil Liberties to Environment and Transport. These Societies or groups frequently represent an assemblage of considerable expertise, of informed users or consumers, retired professionals, and people devoted to their respective causes. The Societies are genuinely democratic in that they are supported by the subscriptions of "Members" and are thus responsible to the Members and responsive to their needs. If they fail in their purpose they simply "die" through lack of subscriptions and support. Conversely, as new issues and new concerns develop, new Societies are formed. Citizens can rely on their Societies to monitor Legislative Proposals in their specific area of interest, and to draw Members' attention to any need for action. People generally take an active interest in their environment, Commercial Law and the maintenance of Liberty, and most will belong to several different special interest groups, the choice reflecting individual interests.

These groups are not necessarily politically oriented. For example, "The Ramblers' Association" normally occupies itself with path maintenance, providing way-shelters for walkers, and advising on itineraries. But the Association will also monitor any Legislation which has a bearing on its Members' use of trails and pathways, their location and maintenance. Young people are also encouraged to be active in political matters; all schools and educational establishments have their own debating societies which frequently contribute to Regional and National legislative debates.

Recognition of these Societies and special interest groups as participants in the Legislative process has greatly improved participation and contributes constructively by bringing information and expertise which might otherwise be excluded. However these Societies do not act as, and would certainly not want to be seen as "pressure groups". Their object is not to push their own interests at the expense of others', but rather to ensure that every viewpoint is considered, and that all available expertise is brought to bear. The motive for joining is enthusiasm for the subject; the motivation for participation in the legislative proceedings is a love of and deep respect for Liberty.

Also represented in New Age Legislative proceedings are Animals and the Natural Resources comprising our Environment.

The Natural Resources are not "owned" by people. The land and total natural environment belongs to Mother Earth/Gaia, who permits Humans to use it for as long as they need to do so provided that they use it respectfully. The Principle of Liberty applies equally here too: use the land, but do not use it in ways which are harmful to Mother Nature, or to other Humans or lifeforms. This is reflected in practical terms throughout the Legislative and Resources-use Planning procedures.

The Natural Environment, the totality of natural resources that constitutes Mother Earth, is recognized in the Constitution and in all legislative proceedings as a Legal Entity in its own right, represented by Counsel. The Natural Environment has its own rights of respect, protection and husbandry, and all proposed uses of natural resources must be considered from the Environment's own unique standpoint. The Planetary Being, Gaia/Mother Earth, is therefore always consulted before any major surface changes are to be made, such as tunneling, mining, change or damming of waterways, etc.

Similarly, the Animal Kingdom and other lifeforms are also represented by Counsel, to ensure that their rights to live their own lives in their own way are at all times respected.

When a Legislative Proposal has been thoroughly debated and all sides have been heard, a draft Law will be formulated by the professional Legislators of the Legislative Service. The Staff Members however are not "Career Politicians" in situ for life. They are academics, writers, researchers and activists pulled from the political, economic and constitutional fields, or sometimes simply ordinary citizens who feel they might have a fresh outlook to contribute. These people join the Legislative Service at their own request or by invitation for a period of three years. A second term is not normally served concurrently, though a Member may return after a minimum of four years' absence. In this way, a "club" atmosphere with its own narrowly defined outlook is avoided; fresh thought is brought in regularly. Members of the Service are paid according to standard remuneration scales, and "expense accounts" do not exist.

If the Draft Law thus formulated is agreed by all concerned parties as being the most accurate possible reflection of the Principle of Liberty, it will be passed as a proposal to the National Constitutional Executive whose specific responsibility is to ensure that the process of its debate and formulation was conducted in accordance with constitutionally defined procedures, and that the proposed Law accurately reflects the Principle of Liberty. When this has been passed, it is then further passed on the the World Constitutional Executive for final verification of it's correct interpretation of the fundamentals of the ruling Principle.

The purpose of Law, any Law, is to prevent or to minimize a specific and clearly identified imposition of harm by one person or persons upon another person or persons. If the Law succeeds in this aim it will be passed; if it falls short, or if it exceeds its aim thus initiating a new imposition by Government, it must be sent back for revision.

Following Verification by the National Constitutional Executive, Legislative Proposals are passed to the Administrative, Justice and Enforcement Agencies for application and are published for public information. Only then do Legislative Proposals become formally enacted and gain the "Force of Law".

It is extremely important that Administrative and Enforcement Agencies should not themselves distort the Law in any way, and that their personnel should conduct themselves correctly. It is the duty of the National Constitutional Executive to monitor the Administrative and Enforcement Agencies continuously in order to ensure that their conduct complies at all times with the provisions of the Constitution.

Enforcement in the sense of advisory administration is in general all that is necessary; this will include for example inspection of weighing and measuring devices used in retail trade, or hygiene standards employed in the preparation of food for public consumption. Actual physical force similar to the Police Forces of the Old Age must of course be available to protect the public against willful lawbreakers, though such cases are extremely rare at the Fifth Dimension.

The Legislative process also provides for the review of any Law at any time either by the Legislature or by the Regional Constitutional Executive, when so requested by the Administrative, Judicial or Enforcement agencies. This may be occasioned when the detail of a law is found to be ambiguous or impractical in application, or has become in time outdated.

The various National Constitutional Executives coordinate regularly at planetary level through Earth's Supreme Planetary Constitutional Council in order to ensure consistency in law wherever possible.

Government is simpler in the New Age since it deals purely with Legislation. Community welfare, health and education services are operated as "Essential Public Services" on a normal commercial basis, though under particularly strict oversight by the Government, subject of course to all the normal Standards-quality Laws, Price Evaluation and so on. In its now simplified, purely Legislative and Enforcement functions, Government can be more carefully controlled, its activities and their efficiency more closely monitored. And of course, its operating costs place a much lighter "Tax" burden on its citizens!

One important aspect of New Age "Government" is that in no respect is it outside the Law. Whatever Laws are deemed necessary for citizens and business apply with equal validity to the Government. The Government is required to serve its customers, to maximize Liberty, and to conduct its operations with the maximum efficiency and thus minimum cost. Employees of the Government are paid according to the Standard Evaluation System and are given no special privileges. Like any other business, the Government is not permitted a deficit on its current account. The Government is equally subject to National/World Optimum Standards in every aspect of its business conduct, and is required to produce a quarterly "Total Performance Audit".

The National Constitutional Executive is responsible for monitoring the productive efficiency and financial accounting of all areas of Government. Government performance is also monitored by two independent commercial "Planetary Rating Agencies" which publish twice-yearly Audits covering the quality of Law, the resulting Liberty, customer satisfaction and operating costs for all the National and Regional governments. Both these Agencies are widely respected and their audits carefully studied; any National or Local Regional Government whose performance is down-rated suffers a severe blow to its reputation, and even in the New Age, "heads can roll"! Generally however, the strong personal motivation of service backed by strict regulations and continuous monitoring ensure that high standards are maintained.

A political idea which circulated from time to time in the Old Age was known as "Anarchy". This concept, and the "Anarchists" who promoted it, suffered from an inherent contradiction. On the one hand, anarchy means "without law" and in a state of lawlessness public misbehavior would clearly and quickly escalate. Even in the New Age, when "enforcement" is barely necessary, legislation is still needed as advice on proper political conduct. On the other hand, Anarchists believed that no person has the right to set him- or herself above others and to rule others. In the New Age this contradiction is resolved. The apparatus of Government exists to debate, formulate and if necessary enforce laws for the guidance of citizens; but in no part of the process is one person set above another. Laws do not originate from an autocratic individual, nor from people be they in a minority or a majority. Laws in the New Age originate from a Principle. The Supreme Law to which all procedures and all people both in and out of government are subject is a Principle, namely The Principle of Liberty. A fundamental "Principle", not a Person or The People, is the source of all Law in the New Age.

And Democracy? New Age political analysts observe realistically that contrary to the widespread belief of their Old Age predecessors true Democracy never really existed, for true Democracy, or power to the people, can only be said to exist when all of the people are of one mind, not just the Majority imposing its will on the weaker Minority! In the New Age the Principle of Liberty is universally accepted; thus the process of interpretation is truly "Democratic" in that everyone is agreed on the same objective. No one wishes to harm a fellow Human, another living creature or the environment; no one wishes to gain wealth or benefit at the expense of another's loss; no one wishes to seek self-advantagement through the disadvantagement of others.

Government in the New Age is thus a true Democracy in that all of the people support that Principle, together with its accurate interpretation and application.

The Principle of Liberty, also known within the personal moral-behaviour code as the Principle of Mutual Respect - "Do unto Others as you would have them do unto You" is to become the fundamental Source of Law guiding all Social and Commercial conduct, as well as the use of the Natural Resources. It is to become a formal expression of the pervading New Age attitude of Love, Cooperation and a Respect for Others. The adoption of this Principle in the New Earth is a reflection of Mankind's new attitude in which individual enterprise and creativity benefit both Creator and Community, rather than the enterprise of the Old Age which so often benefited Self at the expense of Others. This change of orientation from Self to Community in turn reflects the new direction as Humanity begins its return to Unity with the whole of Creation.

From the extreme density of matter and the depths of conflict brought into being by Mankind's self-centeredness, the New Earth's people will be emerging to begin walking the "Shining Golden Path" - of Love and Cooperation and Harmonious Unity with all of Creation. Through our struggles we will have gained a great depth of wisdom, strength and awareness from experiencing a life within a World exploring the fullest depths and extremes of "Duality", and also explored a lasting resolution to the great conflict between the Light versus Darkness/Evil.

The story of Gods in the Making will thus be completed. Then a new Chapter will begin.

*********


The New Earth
Volume III: LIFE IN THE NEW AGE
Copyright 2012 by
Lawrence & Michael Sartorius
with the exception of credited quotations.
Use of the above copyrighted material is freely given by the Authors.
Contact may be made at: arton@thenewearth.org

Principle of Liberty

THE PRINCIPLE OF LIBERTY
A new direction in politics

This book takes a new and wide view of politics, looking first at the basic purpose of government, then scanning the history of political development over a thousand years. Beginning with Autocracy, or rule by dictator, we progressed to Democracy, or rule by majority, which is certainly an improvement over dictatorship. And yet we are witnessing a growing conviction today that there is a "right" and a "wrong" in law irrespective of the will of the Majority, or of Parliaments or their Representatives.

The concept of "Right Law" or "Natural Law" is not new. In early Greek and Roman times, throughout the Middle Ages in Britain and well into the 1800s in Britain and the USA it was widely held that there is a right and a wrong in law, it being the duty of legislators and political thinkers to seek out the "right" in the continuously changing circumstances of a developing civilization.

The Principle of Liberty is the title, both of the book, and of the Principle that "we should all be free up to, but never beyond the point where the freedom of one actively intrudes upon the freedom of others". It is a Principle which in its simplicity reflects the essence of "Natural Law"; it is as old as human conscience, and lies at the heart of English "Common Law".

Can this one single Principle be used as a basis for all Legislation required in today's complex world? The final section of this book deals with Legislation in the three major areas of: Economics and Commerce, Resources Use, and Personal Liberty. It shows that good laws, stability and prosperity can indeed result from the application of this Principle; additionally, Government can be held accountable for its laws, its productivity and its finances.


The Economics of Prosperity


Regional Development Banks established specifically to provide longterm investment for industry and infrastructure can create jobs and industries NOW, with genuine, repayable investment loans.

The absence of a fair and sustainable work-reward relationship creates inflation and monetary instability. Job-evaluated pay is already a reality in major companies. The combination of Pay, Profit and Price Evaluation can guarantee a fair day's pay, rising productivity, full employment, and a stable monetary unit.

Maximizing productivity must become a nationwide objective, especially in Government as the nation's biggest employer and its least productive.



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(PDF - 20 pages)
The Politics of Liberty


Politics as we know it today consists of two "sides": Red and Blue, Socialism and Conservatism, each trying to secure gains for its own supporters at the expense of the others. The result is confrontation, stalemate and ultimately dysfunctionality, while Government takes an ever-increasing share of citizens' hard-earned incomes.

Government popularity is at an all-time low, as is confidence that it can solve our current problems of recession, growing environmental degradation, and the dramatic failure of our banking and financial systems. The need is clear for a fundamental re-invention of Politics, based not on sectional advantage but on a policy of mutual respect, clearly defined fairness and justice, and maximum liberty for all, administered by a financially disciplined Government.

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(PDF - 15 pages)
The Supremacy of Constitution


No people should give Governments power over them, without first setting conditions on the use of that power. Such is the purpose of Constitution.

Governments govern people, Constitutions govern Governments, by establishing procedures, obligations, and perhaps most importantly, limitations on the powers of the Government.

If we are not to drift slowly and surely, ever deeper into debt and dictatorship, the issues of Constitution, its Provisions, its Supreme Status in the process of governance, and the provision for periodic and necessary Amendment must be given urgent and serious consideration.




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(PDF - 13 pages)

Further political, economic, environmental and constitutional aspects of
LIFE IN THE NEW AGE
are explored by the Authors in greater depth in:

The Art of Good Government

New Age Government

The Economics of Prosperity

Britain For Peace

Britain Forward

Full details of books quoted in all three volumes of THE NEW EARTH
plus some other recommended titles will be found in the

ARTON NEW AGE BOOKLIST

For additional New Earth-related material, please check our
NEW EARTH READER

Return to the New Earth Index Page
THE NEW EARTH

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