Chapter 1 of my non-OCD-related book, 'The System':


‘Identity’ [br][br]The Sun: Linked with the sign of Leo.  Attributes: Self-expression, identity, creativity, a playful and romantic nature, pride, charisma, entertainment; a father figure. [br][br]     The comet rips through space against its will, ‘hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky’*.[br][br]     Hyperion watches, burning his way across the surface of the Sun.  His form lengthens as it moves, now erupting, now stretching darkly along, as he ponders what he sees.  This comet is no peculiar thing, but it’s important.  It means many different things for the ‘children’ of Hyperion, and so they are watched carefully by their collective ‘father’.[br][br]     Last time a comet came, it was more than just a comet: it was an asteroid that threatened each child.  The people of Pluto were particularly afraid.  They had already suffered more from an asteroid than any world should have to endure.  Hyperion might have wept for that distant child, if such a thing as tears existed for him.  Far from that world, he hoped its people did not imagine he ever forgot them, no matter how little they may see of him.[br][br]     This Hyperion is not the first–or even the only–Hyperion.  There are others here, like him–just like him.  They too burn their way across the surface in flaming motion; they too look out across stretches of space and feel that fatherly concern for their children; they too are called Hyperion; and they too have been here since time immemorial, yet have not been here at all.[br][br]     Each can recall when Hyperion was first born–or, at least, they remember the early stages, for no creature remembers his birth.  Each piece of Hyperion remembers his time as a small potential flame, spinning across the universe.  They were separate then, not quite on fire yet, but streaks of gas in the wide vacuum that was their home.  Lost and unsure of what their futures held, they allowed themselves to be carried along, for it was easier to let Fate do her job than to struggle against the flow of the vacuous tide.  Each flame of Hyperion remembers that feeling of inexplicable attraction, drawing him forcefully toward those other streaks of gas.  He recalls that strange metamorphosis he survived, as his body was transformed into something so hot it might melt anything that came too near it.  He can still feel that strange sense of connectedness when his body first merged with the others, when they mixed in the most intense unity, so that each new flame was almost interchangeable with the next.  They all remember when they became one identity.[br][br]     How peculiar it was, in those early days, to look out into the gulfs of space and see those giant masses of rock and gas, ever spinning in their own confusion, orbiting around one same figure.[br][br]How did I ever come to be the centrepiece of this mysterious system? Hyperion thinks, just as he has often thought.  He has yet to understand such things, but he carries with him the memory of that first moment when he looked into space and considered his circumstances properly.  Hypnotised by the rotations of so many other spheres, he felt a puzzling sensation overtake him.  At first, he could not grasp what he was feeling.  At last, though, he identified it: he felt great sympathy for these creatures.  They were such tiny, helpless things in his unclosing eyes, and he had a burning desire to care for them.  He wished to nurture them, and help them to grow, just as you might want to foster a lost child who has been left alone in the dark; those planets have not the abilities he has, and so he wished to share his own good fortune with them, to protect and guide them in the light.  It was not long before Hyperion realised he was intended to feel this way.  That was the moment Hyperion knew it was his ordained duty to guide the solar system–and there is not a being in existence who can escape his destiny.[br][br]     Hyperion watches as his children turn in their time.  He eagerly reaches out to those new inhabitants who now face him, careful not to favour one child over another.  If it were up to him, he would fly across the solar system horizontally and touch all those planets that are most distant.  As it is, at times he has difficulty reaching even the closest of worlds.  Angrily, he flares up when clouds jealously obstruct the people’s view of their father, for he is a generous caretaker.  And gently Hyperion radiates his surface onto the people afterward, in the form of rainbows.  The bands of colour propel forward, tearing through all layers of formidable moisture.  The people look up and see the most beautiful, natural displays of colour, but Hyperion has deeper intentions than mere beauty.  Each ray sent forward contains all the colour in creation.  Each rainbow, subtle as it may be, is a message, a beam of hope expressing the realm of possibilities in a single simple arch.[br][br]     Hyperion looks on his children sadly.  He feels united with them, as his presence determines their existence.  He is lacking in individuality among his many parts, and yet he affects so many others in their own.  He cannot relate, and yet he understands, for he is an integral part of the process.  Each Hyperion knows he is indispensable.[br][br]     And so it is that Hyperion returns.  He leaps up and away from the surface, burning brightly against the eternal black that surrounds him–and each Hyperion dies, for even flames must fade.  Yet, out of some inner sense of duty, some innate instinct to guide and protect–to help those others so lost on their way to gain what understanding Hyperion has already been granted; like the Buddhist bodhisattva, each Hyperion relights himself from the flaming bodies of the others, and so he is reborn, like the very Phoenix itself.[br][br]     It is a love even Venus could not understand, this love Hyperion feels.  It is an almost unquenchable emotion that propels him along his orbit–that erupts across his surface.  Indeed, perhaps the only thing that truly frightens the compassionate Hyperion is the thought of that day when he will collapse.[br][br]     What will my children do, then? he thinks to himself as he surges forward in his orbit.   They will follow my lead, and they too will die.  Their fate lies in my burning hands.  My own weakness will be the catalyst that brings about the end for all the trillions of creatures who have entrusted themselves to my care![br][br]He is plagued by the knowledge that, one day, he will be forced to let them down.  It haunts him in a way no other life form can imagine.  It lingers in the shadows he imagines he can see, the shadows of planets dead and gone, leaving only blackness in their stead.[br][br]     Infuriated by this fear, Hyperion leaps outward, forming limbs extending out from the spinning ball, at last landing in a sea of himself.[br][br]Self-reflection can be destructive, he thinks, especially when your sense of self is manifested in so many other beings.  [br][br]   And so he turns his attention once more to the comet in the sky, on its return orbit home.  At its current position, that spoiled child Mercury can see it as easily as its father; Hyperion knows this.[br][br]     Leaping once more–fading and returning, miraculously the same–he observes those children who dwell the closest to him. [br][br]

* John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, Line 45.

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