“Manufactured Heaven” was written at a time where none of us knew where the internet was going or what the implications may be. Movies like Tron wherein consciousness could penetrate the electronic world of computers were a part of my early development. The same is true of science fiction shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, wherein computers had achieved a relative form of autonomy and consciousness (Data; the central computer).
This story is somewhat incomplete and leaves much to the reader’s imagination (which is often one of the hallmarks of my writing). I intentionally left out the hands behind The Aries Plane. Who would have the technology and the reason to make such a place is up for interpretation. What company was able to extract the consciousness of humans, and furthermore, how did they receive the permission to do so. It is self-evident that Michael Steven Flores, April 6th, 1975 did not give permission for this experiment. So who, if anyone would have.
The vision I had for the ‘powers that be’ behind The Aries Plane was a technology conglomerate searching for the quickest and easiest way to innovate the realm of the internet. Today, Alexa and Siri represent the types of technologies that I imagined the consciousness of the dead would have served the internet. While both Alexa and Siri are limited in their scope of contextual understanding, this is changing every day.
Transitioning consciousness into technology would certainly be a controversial topic if it were to arise. Religious leaders, philosophers as well as capitalists would have much to say about it. I envision the capitalists may wish to escape into the electric realm and/or create some form of tourist destination. Imagine going on vacation, but never actually leaving home. It could be much like ability to plug in as in The Matrix or the drones seen on Dark Matter.
In my story I left out the rational behind The Aries Plane in part because it seemed like far too much to explain, and I also wanted to give the impression that no one knew it was happening. Much like the claims of ignorance of concentration camps in World War II, those entering The Aries Plane may have been theoretically abducted from their bodies moments before death. It is unlikely that the families would be looking too closely at the bodies of their loved ones to see the small puncture in their temple.
The title “Manufactured Heaven” occurred to me while writing the story as a bit of a jab against the Christian concept of Heaven. While Heaven has many descriptions across Christian sensibilities, there are no “true” accounts of such a place. In fact, Heaven as a concept is manufactured. People decided (and continue to decide) what such a place could look and feel like.
“Manufactured Heaven.” Jade Buddha. 2007.