Ann
Mbuti





[Remark of the author: I actually wanted to write a contribution on the topic of fiction in relation to facts. That should have provided some theoretical support for my transdisciplinary project "Public Fiction Group". All in all, it would have been a form of talking yourself into courage, to convince yourself that it makes senseIn the course of my research I came across the incredible story that I am now trying to reconstruct instead. What you can read below is more of a field report of the last days, a rough draft, status end of November 2020. It will take me a while to get a complete overview of the whole context, but I've put together what I could find out so far].




My first zoom appointment with Professor Elena Ruggiero begins like almost all others: with connection problems. In her case this is understandable, because she is in the middle of a prehistoric fortress northwest of Athens in Greece. It is raining heavily and the only shelter is the better preserved buildings of the settlement. The power generators were transported there in a makeshift way after the tents could no longer withstand the water. Dry but poor reception, Ruggiero apologizes when her pixelated image appears on the screen. She has been monitoring the excavation site in Glas for almost two years, where the team, led by the resolute Italian archaeologist, is exploring one of the largest land reclamation projects on the low hill at the edge of a large plain. Estimated 3300 years ago, all of this lies in the past.



The dawn of a new age?

Last year they had a breakthrough when extensive building structures were discovered. Six of them, all the same size, with the exact same dimensions and layout inside. Probably warehouses, Ruggiero speculates, when I ask her about the discovery that caused a stir at the time. It would correspond to the incredible dimensions in which the planners of this settlement have thought. A new metropolis was to be created here. But if the latest find turns out to be what her team and she suspect it to be, it would put all this in the shade. Not only what the excavations in Glas mean, but for the entire discipline and beyond.



"Do you remember the uproar in 2012 when William Saturno discovered a new calendar with students in the Mayan stronghold in Xultún, Guatemala? Suddenly the end of the world was no longer a few months away," says Ruggiero and turns off her video when the connection threatens to break down. Now only a black rectangle with her name in it, her voice seems even more intense. "Their findings helped us to understand better that the other calendars had only predicted the end of a cycle. What we might have discovered with the inscription plate here in Glas has this magnitude. It puts all other findings in new perpective."
About a week ago, the team became aware of a large stone slab on a bland piece of land between the supposed warehouses. It had been placed so indiscriminately that everyone thought it was an carelessly abandoned relic from earlier excavations. But underneath was a small chamber measuring about 2 by 2 meters. At first they expected it to be a grave, but the relics inside more resembled a storeroom. Ruggiero deliberately avoids the word "treasure chamber", because apart from the obvious everydayness of the jugs, furniture and handicrafts, it is their jumbled together nature that is striking. Objects from different regions, from different cultures and times had been collected here and stored in the underground chamber. As if someone had wanted to hide goods. Among them a small stone tablet, no bigger than a sheet of paper, that is supposed to turn science upside down.



Professor Ruggiero is a woman of science, not of great excitement. She explains in a  structured way what they already know and what are mere suppositions. Which other colleagues from different disciplines she still wants to talk to and where they are still completely in the dark. And yet her excitement is palpable in every word she says. According to first investigations, the age of the stone tablet is estimated to be at least 3600 years, which makes it about as old as the legendary Phaistos Disc, which has still not been deciphered more than 100 years after its discovery in Crete. The difference of Professor Ruggiero's tablet: we can read it. And it tells an ancient prophecy.

"The myth of Ficta and Facta, the divided deity of truth and narrative, is about as old as the traditions of Gaia and Uranos. I’m having the next conversation, this time with Thomas Allen, Emeritus Professor of History and Literature at the University of Zurich. Grey parted hair and wire glasses, he apologizes for the mess in his tidy study when he receives me in his house just outside the city. Only the cluttered folders and filing cabinets point to the bustling explorer. The focus of his work was Greek mythology and he has published numerous writings on the intersections with other cultures. No culture can do without the inspiration of another, is one of the guiding principles he coined in the 1990s, when the Eurocentric world view in narrative research finally began to crumble.
For a few days now, he has had the first translations of what the tablet from Greece says, a favor from an old friend who knew how much this discovery would mean to him. It seems to be the last piece of the puzzle to a theory he has long pursued. It points to the beginning of a new era - and if we believe the tablet, it is imminent.

Allen senses that I am beginning to doubt his statements and pulls out some thick folders of yellowed paper, which he spreads out on the large table between us. He takes me through the last 30 years of his research and tells me that there are very few stories that have been handed down that tell of this peculiar deity. Some texts, on the other hand, build the whole creation of the world on the figure of Ficta and Facta. They derive from an oral narrative tradition of the late Bronze Age, around 1100 BC. But for some reason, Ficta and Facta never quite reached the canon of Greek mythology.

A general inclination to drama, Allen suspects, because instead the myths surrounding Gaia have prevailed. That very same Gaia who incites her children to attack their father Uranos, who keeps them locked up hatefully. And the son Kronos, who actually goes through with it and cuts off Uranos' genitals. "The tension between the binary principle of the masculine and the feminine is embedded in the nature of the two deities," says Allen. "Uranos, the sky, stands for the former, Gaia for the archetype of Mother Earth. Of course myths are no laws, but one should not underestimate the power of narratives and the norms and social structures they convey - then in ancient Greece as well as today.



Nevertheless, over the centuries of human history, there have been stories that are part of the tradition of the double-faced figure. The prophecy on the stone tablet from the latest excavations reflects the myth of Ficta and Facta. The sexless creature with the two faces existed in absolute harmony until it was separated from Ngai through an ambush. He wanted to claim for himself their luminous words of pure light, which stand for wisdom and knowledge. And how since then the separated halves have wandered through space and time to reunite, driven by the desire for one another. A love story then? Not at all. What Ficta and Facta have in common is a love concept that has completely disappeared from our collective perception. He pulls out another thick folder. "I hope you brought some time along today."
The occidental conception of love is shaped by the tripartite division of the ancient terminology. Eros (sensual-erotic love), Philía (love for friends) and Agápe (selfless love) denote the different forms, according to the general opinion. However, the connection between Ficta and Facta is something else. Ancient scriptures show that in addition to the three types of love there was something like a fourth archetype, Enkai. Central to it is the strength behind it. The drive instead of the result. In the ancient worldview, this attraction, the desire, was more comparable to a physical quantity. A pure form of energy between two entities that Ficta and Facta represent. The fact that the deity was sexless clearly shows that this is not to be equated with the sensual desire, for which it could be misunderstood from today's perspective, explains Allen.



Professor Ruggiero listens calmly to what I have learned from Thomas Allen. The quality of the video call is better this time, the rain seems to have stopped. I try to suppress any disbelief so she can make an impartial judgment. She senses it anyway. It should not be forgotten that the prophecies are based on impressive astrological knowledge, she explains to me. Observations of planetary constellations and sophisticated calendar calculations. For example, a date that contains the prophecy on the tablet is an intense phase of fact that was predicted in our calendar around the year 1700. At first I don't understand what Ruggiero means. “In myth, Facta chose reason when Ngai gave her the choice. The board predicts the Age of Enlightenment quite accurately."


So what does it mean when a millennia-old tablet announces the final age of Ficta and Facta? Predictings nothing less than the last cycle before their unification, their final spurt, after they have tried for centuries to find the signs of light that are our stars and heavenly bodies? The age that is determined by Enkai and gives us excessive love? Allen prefers to extend the myth from individuals to all of society. Ficta and Facta were never designed as individuals. They stand for both mysticism and truth, for knowledge as well as for artful narration. One must see these elements much more as a unity, instead of thinking of them divided in the struggle for supremacy. The developments in recent years, especially in the success-driven industrial societies, towards a more compassionate attitude to life suggest that it is not impossible to take such a direction.


As a starting point, of the final age of Ficta and Facta, the stone tablet of Ruggiero's team predicts a turning point of unprecedented proportions that affects humanity as a whole. It dates the event to spring 2020 regardless of the different timescales. So what if this year we are currently in actually represents an intersection? What if it is the lowest common denominator from which we move forward together? What if a new age does indeed emerge from the virus, lockdown, economic and personal restrictions? An age that is determined by a sweet longing and the driving force of the search for something bigger than ourselves? Thomas Allen shuts his folder to this question. "I would be very happy."










A Manifesto concerning the NEW NOW








1. The NEW NOW is born out of the twilight of a parting world. It gathers us at a common starting point from which there is no turning back. It doesn't matter if we were forced out of previous realities, if they broke apart, or if we left them behind voluntarily. It’s not important where we come from, but where we go together.

2. In the beginning there was chaos. And for the most part it still is, we just got better at categorizing and analyzing it.

3. We tell ourselves stories that help us to deal with the uncertainty and some of them have kept up the impression of being reality for centuries. We have been so busy living our lives to maintain this reality that over time we have forgotten how to really live.

4. Instead of staring at the past with the future in the back, we raise our eyes to a common focal point.

5. "Art is magic freed from the lie of being truth" and we let ourselves be seduced by it to  give birth to new realities.
6. Art does not have to be seen to exist: In a world where we have stopped hoping for miracles, dreaming is a subversive act. It is dreams and longings from which visions are born.

7. Everything truly beautiful carries a secret we will never fully comprehend. We navigate that sphere with the power of intuition. Trust in the logic of longing, in the truth in the absurd and in the beauty in surrender! This is how we create our revolution from within.

8. In a reality with endless possibilities and truths - perceived or real - making a choice is a bold move. A choice is not a decision, not the selection from given options. A choice is a conscious transgression, a deliberate act.

9. Times are changing, they always will. It is our choice to change with them. We surrender to the uncertain with the focal point of the NEW NOW in sight, hoping to find new visions and ourselves in them.