Some years back I read this book titled 'The Sleeper Awakes' by H G Wells and considered at the time when I young and naive that it was merely a science fiction story which had somehow managed to get some minor details correct. Some of the finer details written in this book have stuck in my mind over the years and it wasn't until I began reading up on Agenda 21 that I really began to think back to it.
Well, as my memory isn't the best I thought I might have found some tedious anecdotal links with this novel and what appears to be going on at a international level at the moment, however when I did re-read this story I was shocked at just how spot on this novel was with on-going trends which are happening right now.
So before I begin, I suppose it is important to detail who H G Wells was:
In short, he was a novelist who essentially wrote propaganda for eugenics and the promotion of the formation of a world state. He was friends with the kinds of folk who thought of themselves as elite in the wake of the Darwinist philosophy typical for that period, and therefore when you read some of his other works such as 'War of the Worlds' where he justifies the culling of millions in order to make a fresh start on a "Brave New World", then its easy to see retrospectively that these books were not simply entertainment, they are meant to be a message to be digested by the public who then accept it as feasible.
In any case, if I told you he left the Fabian society because he thought they weren't radical enough, you can kind of judge this guys rabid extremity.
Now, this book "The Sleeper Awakes" is a relatively short one, but due to the amount of prophetic accuracies, I've managed to take down way more notes than I am likely to be able to share in fear of losing peoples interest. For this reason, I will try and keep this article as short as possible and let the reader ponder my observations without too much explanation on my part.
If you have the time I suggest you read this book yourself for free here:
The general storyline is that someone who is plagued by insomnia and is considering suicide happens across a stranger on a beach. The stranger takes the man to his house and gives him something to help him sleep, except he overdoses and slips into a coma whereby he remains asleep for two-hundred years. He awakes in the future to discover that because of interest, he is the richest man in the world. The people are kept dumbed in giant cities and are kept in forced labour.
I will try and go through chapter by chapter, this way if you are reading the book on Wikisource you can read the entirety of the chapter yourself and see whether you agree with me, but otherwise please take my word for it that these quotations are present.
Then he bent still lower to look up at his visitor's face. He started violently and uttered an exclamation. The eyes were void spaces of white.
He looked again and saw that they were open and with the pupils rolled under the lids. He was suddenly afraid. Overcome by the strangeness of the man's condition, he took him by the shoulder and shook him. "Are you asleep?" he said, with his voice jumping into alto, and again, "Are you asleep?"
"It has," said Warming. "And now the gold supplies are running short there is a tendency towards . . . appreciation."
This chapter also allows a third person perspective of 'Graham', which turns out to be almost definately a representation of Wells himself.
"He was a man of considerable gifts, but spasmodic, emotional. He had grave domestic troubles, divorced his wife, in fact, and it was as a relief from that, I think, that he took up politics of the rabid sort. He was a fanatical Radical -- a Socialist -- or typical Liberal, as they used to call themselves,-of the advanced school. Energetic -- flighty -- undisciplined. Overwork upon a controversy did this for him. I remember the pamphlet he wrote -- a curious production. Wild, whirling stuff. There were one or two prophecies. Some of them are already exploded, some of them are established facts. But for the most part to read such a thesis is to realise how full the world is of unanticipated things. He will have much to learn, much to unlearn, when he wakes. If ever a waking comes."
Read into Wells political and personal life and you will find that the above passage is with no uncertainty himself.
In this chapter, we are informed about his awakening two hundred years in the future, except Wells description of simply a sleep is somewhat weird and leads me to believe, again, that this book was actually some kind of vision seen through a combination of Magickal ritual and drug taking.
But Warming was wrong in that. An awakening came.
What a wonderfully complex thing! this simple seeming unity -- the self! Who can trace its reintegration as morning after morning we awaken, the flux and confluence of its countless factors interweaving, rebuilding, the dim first stirrings of the soul, the growth and synthesis of the unconscious to the subconscious, the sub-conscious to dawning consciousness, until at last we recognise ourselves again. And as it happens to most of us after the night's sleep, so it was with Graham at the end of his vast slumber. A dim cloud of sensation taking shape, a cloudy dreariness, and he found himself vaguely somewhere, recumbent, faint, but alive.
The pilgrimage towards a personal being seemed to traverse vast gulfs, to occupy epochs. Gigantic
dreams that were terrible realities at the time, left vague perplexing memories, strange creatures, strange scenery, as if from another planet. There was a distinct impression, too, of a momentous conversation, of a name -- he could not tell what name -- that was subsequently to recur, of some queer long-forgotten sensation of vein and muscle, of a feeling of vast hopeless effort, the effort of a man near drowning in darkness. Then came a panorama of dazzling unstable confluent scenes.
In any case, the talk of feeling like you are on another world with strange creatures and the feeling of a conversation in your own mind fit incredibly well with experiences written down by not only Crowley but others too such as John Dee and thousands of 'astral travellers' you hear of today. The seeming inane chatter about consciousness and subconsciousness also seem to indicate that this is no simple conventional 'awakening'. This awakening is something all together bigger than that.
The other thing to consider in this chapter is that the room in which Graham finds himself in is like that of a clean, ornament-less room, somewhat evoking of the kinds of futurist styling we are shown today as being the future of decor and architecture, (but we'll hear a lot more about architecture in a short while.)
Chapter 4:There is some mental technological prophecy in this chapter which given that this book is over a hundred years old now has been one hundred per cent accurate on our innovations.
Graham lifted his arm and was astonished to find what strength the restoratives had given him. He thrust one leg over the side of the couch and then the other. His head no longer swam. He could scarcely credit his rapid recovery. He sat feeling his limbs.
The man with the flaxen beard re-entered from the archway, and as he did so the cage of a lift came sliding down in front of the thickset man, and a lean, grey-bearded man, carrying a roll, and wearing a tightly-fitting costume of dark green, appeared therein.
"This is the tailor," said the thickset man with an introductory gesture." It will never do for you to wear that black. I cannot understand how it got here. But I shall. I shall. You will be as rapid as possible?" he said to the tailor.
The man in green bowed, and, advancing, seated himself by Graham on the bed. His manner was calm, but his eyes were full of curiosity. "You will find the fashions altered, Sire," he said. He glanced from under his brows at the thickset man.
He opened the roller with a quick movement, and a confusion of brilliant fabrics poured out over his knees. "You lived, Sire, in a period essentially cylindrical -- the Victorian. With a tendency to the hemisphere in hats. Circular curves always. Now --" He flicked out a little appliance the size and appearance of a keyless watch, whirled the knob, and behold -- a little figure in white appeared kinetoscope fashion on the dial, walking and turning. The tailor caught up a pattern of bluish white satin. "That is my conception of your immediate treatment," he said.
The thickset man came and stood by the shoulder of Graham.
"We have very little time," he said.
"Trust me," said the tailor. "My machine follows. What do you think of this?"
"What is that?" asked the man from the nineteenth century.
"In your days they showed you a fashion-plate," said the tailor," but this is our modern development See here." The little figure repeated its evolutions, but in a different costume. "Or this," and with a click another small figure in a more voluminous type of robe marched on to the dial. The tailor was very quick in his movements, and glanced twice towards the lift as he did these things.
It rumbled again, and a crop-haired anaemic lad with features of the Chinese type, clad in coarse pale blue canvas, appeared together with a complicated machine, which he pushed noiselessly on little castors into the room. Incontinently the little kinetoscope was dropped, Graham was invited to stand in front of the machine and the tailor muttered some instructions to the crop-haired lad, who answered in guttural tones and with words Graham did not recognise. The boy then went to conduct an incomprehensible monologue in the corner, and the tailor pulled out a number of slotted arms terminating in little discs, pulling them out until the discs were flat against the body of Graham, one at each shoulder blade, one at the elbows, one at the neck and so forth, so that at last there were, perhaps, two score of them upon his body and limbs. At the same time, some other person entered the room by the lift, behind Graham. The tailor set moving a mechanism that initiated a faint-sounding rhythmic movement of parts in the machine, and in another moment he was knocking up the levers and Graham was released. The tailor replaced his cloak of black, and the man with the flaxen beard proffered him a little glass of some refreshing fluid. Graham saw over the rim of the glass a pale-faced young man regarding him with a singular fixity.
Notice the tailor has a hand sized 'Kinetoscope' which automatically measures up our main character and shows him how he will look in different clothes. A Kinetoscope by the way is just a moving screen. Now think to yourself, is it really that far off that we might have an Ipad or smartphone with a 'tailor app' which could perhaps use 3D cameras in order to create a complete measurement of a person for garments which could then be made by a machine (like 3D printers which are taking off at the moment) within minutes? No, that technology is up and coming right now, let alone in another hundred years.
Another important thing to note here is that Graham is clothed in purple, a colour which is heavily associated with magick, ritual and the travel into other realms.
Chapter 5:Its hard for me to actually quote this as practically the whole chapter describes what the modern city may look like. Instead, please just read this chapter yourself:
Now compare with a futurist design of a self contained city.
I just find it almost impossible that a man living in Victorian England could have possibly have predicted architectural advancement and trends so incredibly accurately.
Chapter 6:Again, futurist city design somehow accurately predicted by the existence of giant wind farms built on top of the city:
Graham suddenly glanced up to see whence he came, and beheld through the glassy roof and the network of cables and girders, dim rhythmically passing forms like the vans of windmills, and between them glimpses of a remote and pallid sky. Then Howard had thrust him forward across the bridge, and he was in a little narrow passage decorated with geometrical patterns.
The most astounding aspect of this chapter however is when Graham meets the twelve members of the world council. Well obviously, anyone who has even the slightest understanding of religion understands how important the number twelve is here, with this character Graham technically being the supreme leader which makes these twelve his trustees (or read disciples.)
So where does he meet these twelve world leaders? Well, that is interesting too, as he meets them in the 'Chamber of Atlas', where lo and behold, in the councils main chamber, there sits a statue of Atlas holding up the sky (Uranus.) Atlas and Uranus together essentially signify the highest attainment or man, or having reached an almost God-like position (which echoes the wishes of the eugenic/Darwinist movement when it was written.)
If that doesn't strike you as even slightly dodgy, then read up on this movement which was made only five years before this novel was written and used Atlas as a symbol:
Rockefeller Center in New York which again links the financial aspects of this novel with philosophical reality of the worlds most powerful people - again, these same sorts of people like Rockefeller in the real world believe themselves above the rest of us which perhaps explains their complete disregard for wars and extreme poverty they allow to happen.)
Chapter 7Again in this chapter, the seemingly innocent book about a time traveller turns out to be completely jam packed with more political and philosophical references.
In this chapter, Graham is shoved into a room for a number of days (in a room which is incredibly detailed and once again seems entirely probable of future architecture and technology) and he comes across these 'books' which are held on small metal cylinders instead of on paper and ink. These books he comes across are:
In this chapter, Graham also comes across a flat screen television in his room which shows brain-numbing soap operas, and finds that promiscuous sexual activity is no longer frowned upon.
Graham's rescuers come along, and we see more of the wind turbines. We do however get this strange sentence, which admittedly may be harmless, but given the themes of the book so far its unlikely:
Graham had a surging vision of a great hall crowded with people. He saw no individuals, he was conscious of a froth of pink faces, of waving arms and garments, he felt the occult influence of a vast crowd pouring over him, buoying him up.
If you do not believe anything occultist then this sentence will unlikely mean anything to you, however to those with a basic understanding of occult work will know that conscious observation and participation is as much to do with magickal works as is the ritual itself. So when he speaks of deriving occult influence from a vast crowd, this can be quite literal. Its well known for instance that when thousands of individuals are together, individuals cease to act like they usually would, as though a hive-mind overtakes them.
Again, I don't want to get too involved with major philosophical discussion here, but it could arguably explain the theories behind massive events, like 9/11, being mega-rituals, because to the individual they are unable to see the symbols and occult references but collectively it acts to create real change in the physical reality (essentially using the worlds collective conscious power against itself.)
Chapter 9:Having been rescued, he is able to ask some questions for the first time which up to now have been left unsaid.
"Tell me!" he cried. "Who am I? Who am I?"
The others came nearer to hear his words. "Who am I?" His eyes searched their faces.
"They have told him nothing!" cried the girl.
"Tell me, tell me!" cried Graham.
"You are the Master of the Earth. You are owner of half the world."
He did not believe he heard aright. He resisted the persuasion. He pretended not to understand, not to hear. He lifted his voice again. "I have been awake three days -- a prisoner three days. I judge there is some struggle between a number of people in this city -- it is London?"
"Yes," said the younger man.
"And those who meet in the great hall with the white Atlas? How does it concern me? In some way it has to do with me. Why, I don't know. Drugs? It seems to me that while I have slept the world has gone mad. I have gone mad."
"Who are those Councillors under the Atlas? Why should they try to drug me?"
"To keep you insensible," said the man in yellow.
"To prevent your interference."
"Because you are the Atlas, Sire," said the man in yellow. "The world is on your shoulders. They rule it in your name."
The sounds from the hall had died into a silence threaded by one monotonous voice. Now suddenly, trampling on these last words, came a deafening tumult, a roaring and thundering, cheer crowded on cheer, voices hoarse and shrill, beating, overlapping, and while it lasted the people in the little room could not hear each other shout.
Graham stood, his intelligence clinging helplessly to the thing he had just heard. "The Council," he repeated blankly, and then snatched at a name that had struck him. "But who is Ostrog?" he said.
"He is the organiser -- the organiser of the revolt. Our Leader -- in your name."
"In my name? -- And you? Why is he not here?"
"He -- has deputed us. I am his brother -- his half-brother, Lincoln. He wants you to show yourself to these people and then come on to him. That is why he has sent. He is at the wind-vane offices directing. The people are marching."
"In your name," shouted the younger man. "They have ruled, crushed, tyrannised. At last even --"
"In my name! My name! Master?"
The younger man suddenly became audible in a pause of the outer thunder, indignant and vociferous, a high penetrating voice under his red aquiline nose and bushy moustache. "No one expected you to wake. No one expected you to wake. They were cunning. Damned tyrants! But they were taken by surprise. They did not know whether to drug you, hypnotise you, kill you."
Again the hall dominated everything.
"Ostrog is at the wind-vane offices ready -- . Even now there is a rumour of fighting beginning."
So this is the first time we are introduced to Ostrog, where he is the leader of the resistance against the council, supposedly fighting for the good of all the workers. Ostrog, unsurprisingly means 'prison' in Russian. The revolution which starts in this chapter and goes on until the end is yet another surprising element because it predicts a dictatorship arising from the ongoing hostilities in Russia before the Soviets were even in full control of the country. (This book was written 1910, Soviets never came into power until 1917.)