Chronicles from the Future: The Amazing Story of Paul Amadeus Dienach

Eye looking into the future. 	Source: Author provided.

Introductions typically attempt to present the essence of a book, highlighting the most important elements of the story you are about to read. My introduction does not do that. Rather, I will be telling you the story of how this unique text came to be and its journey from the 1920s until today.

This is a book that contains the diary of a man who never intended his words to be revealed to the world. It chronicles an experience that was never shared for fear of ridicule and disbelief. As you work your way through his very personal memoire, the reason for secrecy will soon become clear – the author claimed to have lived in the future and returned back to his original era, 20th century Central Europe, to record a detailed account, outlining exactly what happened during his journey.

The real protagonists of this amazing, true story are two persons: Paul Amadeus Dienach, the author, and the man who claimed to have lived in the future; and George Papahatzis, Dienach’s student of German language studies to whom he left his notes - the diary you hold in your hands today. After making the first acquaintances, let's start unravelling their story step-by-step.

Chronicles from the Future tells the story of Paul Amadeus Dienach. (Author provided)

Chronicles from the Future tells the story of Paul Amadeus Dienach. (Author provided)

Who Was Paul Amadeus Dienach?

Paul Amadeus Dienach was a Swiss-Austrian teacher with fragile health. His father was a German-speaking Swiss and his mother was an Austrian from Salzburg. Dienach travelled to Greece in the autumn of 1922, after having recovered from a one-year coma caused by a serious illness, hoping that the mild climate would improve his condition.

During his time in Greece, Dienach taught French and German language lessons in order to provide himself with a minimum income. Amongst his students was George Papahatzis, a student that Dienach appreciated more than any of the others. Papahatzis describes his teacher as a "very cautious and very modest man that used to emphasize the details.”

Dienach, as we learn from Papahatzis, was born in a suburb of Zurich and lived his adolescence in a village near the large Swiss city. He later followed humanitarian studies with a strong inclination to the history of cultures and classical philology. It is believed that he eventually died from tuberculosis in Athens, Greece, or on his way back to his homeland through Italy, probably during the first quarter of 1924.

Before Paul Dienach died, he entrusted Papahatzis with part of his life and soul – his diary. Without telling Papahatzis what the notes were, he left him with the simple instructions that he should use the documents to improve his German by translating them from German to Greek. Papahatzis did as he asked. Initially, he believed Dienach had written a novel, but as he progressed with translations, he soon realized the notes were actually his diary… from the future!

Old Painting of Zurich (Author provided)

Old Painting of Zurich (Author provided)

Back to the Future: Time Travelling to the Year 3906 AD

At this point we have to clarify something crucial. Dienach is thought to have suffered from encephalitis lethargica, a strange neurological disease that develops an immune system response to overloaded neurons. The first time Dienach fell into a lethargic sleep it was for 15 minutes. The second time it was for a whole year. During this year that Dienach was in a coma in a Geneva hospital, he claimed to have entered the body of another person, Andreas Northam, who lived in the year 3906 AD.

Once he recovered from his coma, Dienach didn't talk to anyone about his remarkable experience because he thought he would be considered crazy. However, what he did do was write down the entirety of his memory relating to what he had seen of the future. Towards the end of his life, he even stopped his teaching job in order to have as much time as possible to write everything he could remember.

Dienach describes everything he experienced of the environment and people of the year 3906 AD, according to the mind-set and limited knowledge of a 20th century man. This was not an easy task for Dienach. There were many things he claims not to have understood about what he saw, nor was he familiar with all their terms, technology, or the evolutionary path they had followed.

In his memoires, he claims that the people of the future fully understood his peculiar medical situation, which they called "conscious slide", and they told Dienach as many things as they could in relation to the historical events that took place between the 21st and 39th century.

The only thing they didn't tell him was the exact story of the 20th century, in case Dienach’s consciousness returned back to his original body and era (as he did) – they believed it would be dangerous to let him know his immediate future and the future of his era in case it disturbed or altered the path of history and his life.

World War I painting. (Author provided)

World War I painting. (Author provided)

Whatever Happened to Dienach’s Chronicles from the Future?

By reading Dienach's unique personal narration page by page, you will be able to decode what he claims to have seen in relation to mankind, our planet, and our evolution. Many may wonder – what happened to the diary in all that time, from the distant year of 1926 until now, almost a century later?

George Papahatzis gradually translated Dienach's notes – with his not so perfect German – over a period of 14 years (between 1926 and 1940), mostly in his spare time and summer breaks. World War II and the Greek Civil War delayed his efforts of spreading the amazing story that landed on his desk all those years ago.

On the Eve of Christmas in 1944, Papahatzis was staying with friends at a house which was also occupied by the Greek Army. When the soldiers caught sight of Dienach’s notes, which were of course in German, they confiscated them because they considered them suspicious. They told Papahatzis that they would return them only after they had examined their contents. They never did. But by then, Papahatzis had already finished the translation.

George Papahatzis tried to track down information about Dienach, by visiting Zurich twelve times between 1952 and 1966. He could not find a single trace of him, nor any relatives, neighbors, or friends. Dienach, who is thought to have fought with the Germans during World War I, probably never gave his real name in Greece, a country that had fought against the Germans.

After the end of World War II and the Greek Civil War, Papahatzis gave the translated diary to some of his friends – masons, theosophists, professors of theology and two anti-Nazi Germans. Once everybody realized what they had in their hands, the diary was kept within a close philosophical circle and in the Tectonic Lodge, in which he was a member.

The book was taken very seriously by the Masons, who did not want the information spread to a larger circle. They considered the book to be almost holy, containing wisdom about the future of humanity, and better kept only for the few.

Finally, after strong disputes, George Papahatzis decided to publish Dienach's diary. It was during the period that Greece entered the hardest phase of its seven-year dictatorship in 1972. Strong protest from certain church circles – who considered the book heretic – and the fall of the dictatorship a year later, condemned the first edition to oblivion. No one was interested in the future when the present was so intense and violent.

All these factors, along with the difficult language and the rough style of Dienach’s notes, which mixed together elements of his past, along with his experience of the future, made the diary even more difficult to understand. Only a few had the time, patience, and knowledge to decode the secret knowledge that lay encoded within almost 1,000 pages.

Another edition followed in 1979 in Greece. However, again the book disappeared and it was hardly mentioned again, apart from the few that knew of its existence. After all the silence, Papahatzis died, and his family did not wish to carry on with his work.

Illustration of Paul Amadeus Dienach writing his Chronicles from the Future. (Author provided)

Illustration of Paul Amadeus Dienach writing his Chronicles from the Future. (Author provided)

Saved from Oblivion: Achilleas Syrigos and the Chronicles from the Future

Twenty-two years passed before the diary was picked up again by Radamanthis Anastasakis, a high ranking member of the Masonic Lodge in Greece, who decided to publish the book on a small scale, exactly as it was previously written.

That's when I discovered the book for the first time and started to "restore" it, without the sentimentalities that kept Papahatzis from doing something more than an exact translation of the “holy” scripts of his teacher. Almost a century after the original script was written, this was a task that had to be undertaken so that a 21st century reader could really understand what a 20th century man wanted to say.

And so I did it, making sure not to change any of the content, but filtering out irrelevant notes pertaining to Dienach’s early life and emphasizing his experience of the future, but in a simpler language and without the gaps that Dienach’s narration had.

I have tried to keep the true essence of his story intact. This was my debt to Dienach, whose chronicles of the future completely changed my perspective of life. Nothing more, nothing less. My only goal was to make it accessible to all of you, because if Dienach’s experience was indeed real, this book contains revolutionary information – something the Masons clearly recognized – and has the potential to radically change your view of the world and mankind.

Now that you know the background to this unique story, I will simply deposit the future in your hands with an abstract from the introduction of the 1979 edition of the book by George Papahatzis, the man who personally knew Dienach:

The translator of the original texts, knew Dienach personally. His belief is that the inspiration and writing of these texts wasn’t an imaginary creation of Dienach, based on his education and insightful abilities. It is a true phenomenon of parapsychology that was linked to his life. Maybe he has also added his own things, maybe he didn’t see or live all of the events that he so vividly describes and presents. What is certain is that most of the basic elements of his texts are true experiences that he had; he lived in advance a part of the future to come and a metaphysical phenomenon of incredible clarity happened to him - a phenomenon of parapsychology that rarely happens with such an intensity and roughness. Because of him, what is going to happen on Earth starting from the last decades of the 20th century up to 3906 AD, is now known to us, at least in general terms.

I have to tell you that while Papahatzis was just a student at the time of receiving Dienach’s diary, he went on to become a very respectable man of his era. He was Vice President of the European Movement (National Council of Greece), Founding Member of the Greek Philosophical Society, and a Professor of Philosophy and Culture. He risked a lot in publishing Dienach’s work and this on its own reflects his unwavering belief in its authenticity.

Now I leave you with Dienach’s diary, a chronicle from the future…

23rd May 2015

Chronicles from the Future is now available in Kindle or paperback format through Amazon.

Chronicles from the Future  is now available in Kindle or paperback format through  Amazon.

Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.

Top image: Eye looking into the future. Source: Author provided.

By Achilleas Syrigos


Chronicles from the Future: Diary Page - December 2nd 1918

Paul Dienach writing - Illustration


December 2nd 1918

I’ve decided to write a little bit every day, so that I can tell my sad story, little by little, from the beginning till the end.

During the first 21 years of my life you’d think I was the happiest person on earth. It’s been 11 years since then, 11 unbearable years. The only thing I’m now longing for is some solace, or something to keep me occupied…

It feels like yesterday, those holy days of craving that never-ending happiness with Ann. It can’t be true that this love has had such a sad and unfixable ending , that Ann has been dead for so many years now, that everything has faded away… No, I can’t believe it, 9 whole years without her.

“Why do you keep torturing yourself by thinking about all that?”, they ask me. I understand. I need closure, but it is hard to find.

You don’t know it, but our love was not an ordinary love-story. We were still at school when we fell in love with each other. Since then I had been imagining her name next to mine…

That man, who brought destruction into our lives and sent her to the grave, never loved her! He never considered Ann his one and only, like I did. He never saw anything in her eyes.

Paul Dienach looking at the window - Illustration

When I was little, I would stare for hours through my window, which overlooked hers. And when the weather got nasty, that’s when I didn’t even move from there! I saw the people pacing quickly, smiling at the thought of a warm soup and a cozy bed at home, while I was wishing that the weather would continue so that I’d have a better chance of seeing her.

“What is Ann feeling at the moment? What does this colorless world look like through her eyes?” I’d think.

And when I saw her under the light of the lamp, holding her embroidery, my longing became a life goal vindicated, my salvation from loneliness…

Only on holidays did I wish for good weather, because a storm would lessen my chances to run into Ann and her family in the park. But still, I got nervous. I would have to say hello and it would be embarrassing for her parents to see me turn pale.

How happy were the days that came after! Shortly before her brother left the city to study, I got to know him better. He invited me home and I went many times indeed. I swear to God, my acquaintance with Anna was not a product of my own initiative. I would have never found the courage. Those who have loved purely and vigorously in their early teenage years are well aware of that, and deeply understand it.

Anna - Illustration

In the early days, not even Anna had realized a thing; she was only looking forward to my next visit so that she could give me a different present each time - travel books, colored pencils… I still remember the first time I saw her at church dressed in white. “How did her eyelashes grow so much all at once?” I thought to myself. I also remember that during my last year in high school, all the margins of my books had her name written on them.

One day I couldn’t help myself and she noticed my tear filled eyes. We were sitting in the living room with a huge book opened in front of us on the table. Her mother was sitting right next to her. I will never forget her gaze. It took the form of a massive question mark. It was so serious; too serious for her age.

We didn’t say another word and quickly closed the book. Angry at myself, I wiped my eyes, hastily said goodbye to her mother and rushed out of there. I cried myself to sleep that night. It would be my fault if I never saw her again.

Eleven days passed. One afternoon, on my way back home early, I heard noises from the living room. I walked in and, who would have thought, Ann was there with her mother! Before I could get a grip I had to greet the ladies. Ann was completely unabashed, like nothing was going on. A boy could have never disguised himself as well as she did! The visit had been her idea.

Then it was my turn to go away for studies. I was absent for a year or two. By the time I got back she had become a proper lady. The first times I saw her she didn’t talk to me the way she used to or looked straight into my eyes. And I blanked out, like an idiot, not being able to utter a few words to form a sentence. I blushed and answered with single words to her every question. But still, I was so happy.

Now I go back to the places where I used to meet her, again and again. What else is there for me to do so as to come to grips with my misery? While writing, my tears drip over the fresh ink, disfiguring the letters. It’s ridiculous, I know, for a 32-year-old man to cry like a baby. I’ve been told so many times by now, enough to know it very well myself. But please forgive me. I’m just a miserable man that has been through too much in life.

Nobody knew about our love back then, no-one except her best friend, Amelia. I hadn’t even told my mother, my own best friend, my hero! How much has she been though herself, with my misfortunes and my sickness. And even now, in her deathbed, she’s still my shoulder to cry on, instead of me being hers.  I remember you, mom, crying at nights and me not knowing what to do. I remember you going to her house to see her, during her own sickness, and her parents telling you there’s nothing else that can be done, no hope whatsoever. And they didn’t let you see her. They didn’t even let me see her…

Chronicles from the Future is now available in Kindle or paperback format through Amazon.

All images and content copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 


Chronicles from the Future: Diary Page - December 4th & 6th 1918

Paul Dienach's diary - 4 Dec 1918

Note: Use the arrows at the bottom to navigate between the pages of the book.

December 4th 1918

Our secret happiness lasted several months. I don’t recall what season it was. Did other people talk about us? I don’t recall that either. The only thing I do recall is you. My every future plan, my every thought, my every hope was formed by you, and had your form…

Then I got offered the position at that school. I took it as a good sign and was quite happy, since I was financially independent and was able to see her every 3 months. Then another year passed. Her mother died. I had finally saved some money to start my life with her. She used to write to me saying she was very sad. I assumed that her mother’s late death was the reason. I was mistaken.

When that man appeared and asked Ann’s father for her hand in marriage, her father begged her to accept, lying to her about his financial situation. He kept begging her for months, bending her will little by little. Only after Ann’s death did I learn the whole truth about how her father took advantage of her love and affection for him. Should her mother have been alive, she would have sensed the pain in her heart.

Even now Amelia talks to me about how torn Ann was between making her father unhappy and shattering her own heart forever, and how much that made her suffer.  She would cry in her arms for hours and Amelia would urge her to leave home right that second, but she could never take that step.

Her mother’s last wish from her deathbed - for Ann to listen to her father - was pinned in her mind and defined her every move. And so, from a wrong interpretation of duty, she was consumed by the idea of sacrifice.

One morning I received a letter from my mother. Her brother had been looking for me. I met with him. He asked for my help. They still hadn´t managed to convince her. “Have you ever thought about how you´re going to live, in what conditions? What do you have to offer her?” he asked me. I asked him to leave, swearing at him, and then I went home and cried, for I had offended someone she so dearly loved.

I managed to see her, a couple of times. She looked happy. “Don’t worry, they can’t make me marry him without my consent…” she said.

Paul Dienach kissing Ann - Illustration

For the rest of my life - no matter how long that’ll be - the memory of her that night, the last time I ever saw her standing in front of me, will always stay the same, fresh and vivid in my mind. She wasn’t sad. On the contrary; she was full of optimism. She was laughing. I couldn’t stop staring at her. We were on “our” hill. I placed my lips on her hair. Around us, only blooming windflowers.

"Enough for today ... Let’s go back ... I have to be home early", she said. “Next time we’re here, I’ll make a wreath from windflowers. Will you place it on my head?”

“Promise me that I will see you again, that they’re not going to bend you.”

 “We will come here again”, she promised, “I swear to you that we’ll come back…”

December 6th 1918

Running to Ann - Illustration

The damned pains never go away. The doctors ordered me to rest. What was I saying? Oh yes! One day my mother asked me to go on a trip. It took me a while to figure out why. It was the period when Ann was supposed to get married. Don’t blame her…

She died two years after the wedding. She started losing weight. Her husband said that she wasn’t listening to anyone, nor was she being cautious. The doctors had told them that she shouldn’t get pregnant. She died before she could breastfeed her child.

When I came back from the trip I stayed indoors for a year without any contact with anybody. My hair and beard had grown to chest length. The only company I wanted was that of Amelia. Ann was sick but still alive then. One afternoon in 1909 I heard knocks on the door.

“Open up! It’s me, Amelia!”

I ran downstairs and almost grabbed her from the neck.

“What happened? Is she dead? Tell me!” I asked while shaking her. Her eyes were red.

“Listen to me! You have to come with me right now. She wants to see you.”

Amelia told me she had been asking for me, especially at nighttime. And she kept saying she wanted windflowers. But only today did her husband let her tell me. Today, because the doctors said the end was very near. He wasn’t at home. He had purposely left so that we wouldn’t meet.

The first thought that came to my mind was that I hadn’t even once seen her after her marriage. I couldn’t think of anything else. We waited till nightfall. Their house was one of the finest mansions in the state. We entered and went straight to her room. She sat raised on her bed. Only the sweetness was left to her otherwise withered face. She was dressed in a silk robe and had selected her favorite hairstyle. The first word she uttered was my name. She smiled, expressing as much happiness her face could still express. She stretched out her hand. I took it in mine and started kissing it.

Dienach and Ann - Illustration

“You came, Paul! You came!” I’m so glad you came! It’s good to see you one last time, now that the end is near…And since my husband allowed it…”

I knelt down beside her bed and asked her to stop. I told her she’d get better and everything would be ok. She kept pulling my hand towards her pale face and lips and sighed as if relieved.

“The last time you saw her”, said Amelia, “when she swore she would come back, she really believed she could…” Ann was nodding in agreement. “But then life happened and she couldn’t. That’s been a burden in her soul since then and thus she asks you to forgive her…”

I forgave her with all my heart, I kissed her hair just like I used to, and suddenly her face lit up with pleasure.

We let her rest for quite a while and then she told me: “When I’m gone, I want you to visit our hill once in a while. The trees and grass might have something to share with you. Do not forget me. If you stay true to our love and don’t forsake me, I’ll never leave you alone. I’ll be right by your side Paul… by your side and my child’s. Whenever you need me I’ll be there…”

Closing the door - Illustration

I escorted Amelia to her house and then went back to mine at midnight overwhelmed by a strange mixture of pain and happiness. “What is this?” I wondered, “Why do I feel so confident that I will see her again?”

On Wednesday night I saw her, on Sunday she was dead.

Chronicles from the Future is now available in Kindle or paperback format through Amazon.

All images and content copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.


Chronicles from the Future: Diary Page - January 17 to February 24

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

Note: Use the arrows at the bottom to navigate between the pages of the book.

January 17th 1919

This morning, at 8:40, was the 2 year anniversary of my revival from my first coma. It was at that time that I opened my eyes and was myself again. I remember it was snowing. My mother was on the floor next to me crying tears of joy. “What happened?” I asked her. I got my answer by our family doctor: “Well, it was about time you woke up! You’ve broken every record!”

Apparently it was some kind of lethargy. I had been asleep for 14 days.

The doctor, wearing a fancy tie, was trying to give me courage. Not only did he not succeed, but instead of laughter, a grotesque grin was spread over his face.

As the months went by and I began to feel better, I regained my courage. In the end, human beings can get used to everything…

“Now you are familiar with my case”, I told the doctor once, “so I shouldn’t fear getting buried alive…”

January 23rd 1919

Dienach getting a book

It’s the fourth misty, cloudy day in a row. What can one do in this weather? No friends come to visit me anymore… I’m reading a history book. Since I was in primary school, history has always had the power to take me away.  I remember thinking back then that we were all born in a certain place and era from a mere coincidence. We could have easily been born in a completely different country, culture and even century, with completely different friends, jobs, lovers. But we wouldn’t be able to know any of the things that were about to happen later, that is, now.

I’m trying to read but I’m pushing myself to do it. Back then I used to really engage with what I read. Not anymore. Today, my loneliness has reached its deepest depth.

February 8th 1919

I started seeing the priest again. He never pressured me to talk and that eased me. Amelia had explained to him that I need time. He respected that. That’s why I went. He said he liked talking to me. I did as well. The conversation with him was always very interesting. He had a positive way of thinking and a clear judgment, free of prejudice and stereotypes. His mind was robust and bright.

I stared at his library. He had almost everything; from the mystics of the East and the Ionian philosophers to the modern philosophers of the Western civilization.

“I see you staring at these worthless books,” he told me as if he could read my mind, “Don’t expect big things from them. I’ve read them all. I know all that’s been said by the brightest minds of all times. But I will never feel the power that real love has to raise you to the highest point of knowledge… I’ll never experience a love like that…”

He turned to me. It was the first time that he, being such a discreet and considerate man had made an allusion to Ann, albeit indirectly. He was looking within me for help, for insights. He was hoping to feel what love is, even just through a description.

“She told me she’d be with me… that I’d feel her close to me from time to time.  It’s been ten years since then. Never, not once, have I had a sign from her. You tell me then, father, how does the concept of the imperishable soul that you preach about reconcile with the absolute lack of any communication with those who so loved us?”

“If you’re looking for shelter from the moments of pain I have nothing else to offer you other than faith; any faith. But let us focus on you. And I’m talking to you as a brother, not as a priest. If I were you, I would not place my hopes and future on this promise. All these years you’ve been over-thinking and consuming yourself at the expense of your mental health. Why? Do you consider this healthy or right? Haven’t you had enough experience to know that you’d better not rely on unrealistic expectations? You need a sign; why should Creation reveal its secrets to you? And why, with the sole excuse of lacking signs, do you discard them altogether? And how are you sure that they haven’t been revealed to you, but found you too blind to notice or understand them?”

I had no counter argument. We sat there for a while opposite each other without talking, and then we left.

That night I said a prayer after a very long time. I asked the Lord to calm me down and show me that my doubts were unjustified; nothing. But then I cried; I managed to cry! Could that have been the sign I was looking for?

Dienach praying

February 24th 1919

The thought that I could leave this life, get away once and for all, was very attractive in the beginning. So many people are gone every day, at every age.  Nothing can be ruled out. Suicidal thoughts, however, didn’t cross my mind. I don’t know if my mother or my cowardice was to blame for that, or rather a pure selfishness created by that open wound in my heart.

The possibility alone, however, comforted me. I was vaguely looking forward to breaking the ties. If she’s gone I’m going with her; as simple as that. That was the thought. And she’d be waiting there for me, unchanged, and everything would go back to the way it was.  

Chronicles from the Future is now available in Kindle or paperback format through Amazon.

Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.


Chronicles from the Future: Second Diary, 3 years later - July 16 1922

Illustration for the Chronicles from the Future - Paul Deinach

SECOND DIARY *(the Diary when Dienach awakened from his second coma)


Note: Use the arrows at the bottom to navigate between the pages of the book.

July 16, 1922

The preparations for the trip, along with all the forgotten things I decided to get rid of, showed me the way to my old library where, hidden behind the rows of books, was lying the diary I kept for three years, from December of ’18 to February  of ’21. During the period of my illness, some friends had been taking care of the house, especially after my mother’s death. Last night I sat there, leafing through it, occasionally reading some of its pages. Between the lines I rediscovered, for a second, my old self – whom I had lost somewhere between all the unbelievable things that happened to me in the meantime. I re-experienced that guileless emotional atmosphere with such a genuine, pure thrill, breathing that pure scent of loyalty in the one and only love of my life. Something so rare and random… I knew back then that it was something pointless, but still, I couldn’t do otherwise.

Many things within me are different now, changed. And at this point, being the old dog I am, I can tell you that those moments were worth it all, they were precious, even if people thought that they were nothing but traces of an abnormal temperament.

Oh my precious Ann... Forgive me. Why won’t I think of you more often? Why won’t your memory dominate my mind like it used to? But these incredible countries I went to, changed everything for me. Neither my little hometown nor my first love fit me anymore.

But this is not the reason, it can’t be! I wouldn’t deserve your forgiveness if it were… This life journey and destiny of mine reminds me of a myth I had been told when I was little – the myth of the unjustly killed man. For years and years his soul was wandering around and in the wilderness of the night, you could still hear the crawling of his chains. But after justice was served he was never heard from again.

My first days back, two months ago, my fellow villagers welcomed my healthy and changed appearance with utter surprise. Their joy felt genuine. Most of them considered me dead. Luckily for me, however, the doctors in Zurich had an opposite view on the subject and therefore let me occupy a bed for 12 whole months-from May of ’21 to May of this year- tube-feeding me with special liquid foods.

Paul Dienach at the hospital

My mother had died before I got back. She left with a pain in her chest, that unbearable pain of a mother that didn’t see her child strong again. All the excitement and joy I felt, caused by my psychological resurrection, was eliminated in the beginning by my sorrow over the loss of my mother. My Lord, forgive that holy woman and let her rest in peace.

The priest is away in Italy. I still feel ashamed about the doubts I shared with him; my unfaithfulness. Like a massive sin. On the other hand, he couldn’t have possibly had any idea about all the incredible things that followed my three-year struggle between skepticism and remorse.

Paul Dienach working

I try to drive all these away using energy as an instrument, an energy I could have never imagined I possess. I’m constantly on the move.  I’ve taken care of all the inheritance issues, sold my land, I work in the fields in my free time and I’m trying to keep my mind occupied all the time. But when the night comes and all my friends are gone, all these memories, so recent but at the same time so distant, come back and haunt me before I fall asleep. And when these moments come, I can’t help but thinking about what I’ve lost.

From time to time it feels like I’m a waif of a real physiological shipwreck. And I can´t talk about my vicissitude to anybody, I can’t even confess it to the priest. The things I know cannot even be conceived by the human mind.  The lifeless paper is not just a lifeless paper anymore, it’s my own self. And my own self knows very well indeed the reasons of my firm conviction. And never, for as long as I live and breathe, will I be in fear that anyone will laugh about what I’ve experienced and seen with my own eyes. And I believe them with all the strength I have left in my heart.

Chronicles from the Future is now available in Kindle or paperback format through Amazon.

Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.


Chronicles from the Future: Second Diary - July 21 to August 17, 1922

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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July 21st 1922

The number of my evening solitude companions is dwindling. Maybe they’re right. There isn’t much left to say every other night. At this point, most of the times my companions are my books, and I am happy with that. Who would have thought that everything that went down in history since they were written, would justify the value of their contents. My own old childhood loves, Schiller, Goethe, but more recent names as well, like Einstein, Schweitzer, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Mann, Maeterlinck… I can’t express how strange a feeling a meeting with them would give me. I could - and I alone - tell them things on the course of the last years of their lives, on how their work would be glorified in history, on their end, things that they never knew and never could have known.

I’m sitting at the bottom of a tree, awe-struck by the vastness of the existences that I have wandering around me. And yet I feel like, from this very spot, I could cut the universe in half and squeeze into it!

August 10th 1922

Tonight I went through hell. On the one hand, I felt like talking about everything I know, getting everything out of my system, but on the other hand I knew I had to push myself to bury everything deep down inside forever!

Where are you, Mom? Were you alive I’d tell you everything! To you, everything! I know that you’d always respect what’s now the most sacred thing in my life.

August 14th 1922

Two days ago I ran into Father Jacob on the street. He had come back from his trip to Italy. I thanked him for all the help and support he gave my mother during my lethargy. I told him I would visit him the day after, which I did. We sat in his garden. How differently it felt being next to him this time! All the doubts I used to have were long gone now.

Paul Dienach meets with Father Jacob

“Father, I’m not the same person as I used to be. If only you knew about the change I’ve been through…”

I reminded him of my old thought and my disrespectful conclusions and I assured him that I don’t share the same point of view with my old self anymore. At the same time, however, I felt like I had no right to talk to him more clearly. He seemed very excited that faith had spoken to me.

“I was wrong father. If only you knew all those great things there are…” I stopped suddenly. The tone of my voice surprised even me. The priest stared at me in silence raring to hear the rest.

“Even the very toughest pain is welcomed, both physical and mental. Vindication will come in the end. Never should a sigh come out of a human mouth.”

And then came a moment of silence. The priest was now getting nervous. He looked like he was trying to make me talk without asking. Finally he said: “See, son? That’s faith!”

“No, father, no”, I replied with a calm and steady voice. “It’s not just faith that changed me. You can’t even imagine what’s really out there. The human mind is incapable of realizing the greatness of it.”

I didn’t reveal more. But I had already said too much, more than I was entitled to…

At first, Father Jacob was patiently waiting for me to proceed. Later he started asking me, in his own casual, indirect way. Then he started begging me. He called me “son”, he called me “brother” and he reminded me of our past discussions back in the winter of 1919. Finally he claimed that it’s a sin to believe that something can be exclusively ours to keep, ending with how that something would eventually become a burden on my conscience. I regretted having said all that and having spoiled those sacred truths by giving them the shape of human reason.

Paul Dienach at home

Since last night, I’ve been thinking that something has changed between me and the priest, and that our long lasting friendship now belongs in the past.

August 16th 1922

In such summer days like this, the sky is so clear- nearly transparent- and the breeze so cool, that midday time resembles a crystal clear spring morning. I am so glad that I postponed all my responsibilities for tomorrow; all the paperwork, all the boring seriousness of my everyday routine.  Mornings like this are not designed to be spent between four walls. It should be considered a sin to work on such divine days. Now I understand why we, all the worms of this earth, should think twice before we refer to the divine. I was told that all the great things that surround us are far beyond the capabilities of our finite mind to comprehend. That’s why little children find joy in trifles, and based on that, they´re undoubtedly a lot wiser than we are.

Forgive me Heavenly Father for my lack of faith.

August 17th 1922

When it happens that three people are having a conversation on the pavement, in the midst of the complete silence of the night, it´s normal that someone could overhear them, no matter how low the volume of their voice is, especially if that someone´s open window is right above their heads...

Half an hour ago, I was lucky enough to experience such an annoying situation, without them knowing I was listening. At first they were talking loudly about local matters. I could hear the deep voice of a hotel owner, the typical tone of our family doctor’s voice and a third person talking, whose voice I couldn’t recognize. At some point, they realized where they were standing and turned the conversation to me. They asked the doctor what exactly was wrong with me and he gave them a few minutes lecture on lethargy. The other two kept on asking more questions and a few “shhhs” interrupted the conversation every time someone was raising their voice.

Then the idea popped into my mind. I remembered the motif from the second part of Ruthemir’s composition. Once, twice, three times I played it in my head without any mistakes. I could easily play in on the piano. I sat on my stool, with my window open and then, the divine melody broke the silence of the night, like a storm of happiness, a genuine expression of the knowledge of the future. Then I approached my window. The doctor, the hotel owner and the third man were still standing there talking, like nothing had ever happened; unbelievable! I think that even the human flocks that used to carry massive stones for the pyramids would be less indifferent to the sound of this melody.

In a few days I’m leaving for Athens. I’ve already made all the arrangements. I need a more temperate climate, the doctors agreed with me on that. Psychologically I’m fine but physically I’m weak; the tuberculosis never went away, I know I haven’t got much time left. Maybe a couple of years…

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 


Chronicles from the Future: A new life in Athens - October 20 to November 2, 1922

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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Athens, October 20th 1922

I feel so settled in the white city now. I have got used to the warmth brought by the winter sun, the voices of the street vendors, the odor of chrysanthemums and the car fumes. I think I’ll fit in just fine here. My greatest pleasure is, however, to go out in the evenings and get lost in the crowded streets, among the bright windows of the stores and with the characteristic, rhythmic sound of the rubber wheels as a soundtrack. You have to be either sick or crazy to stay at home at dusk. No one in this city finds any pleasure by staying inside anymore.

The place is poor - it’s shown by the many beggars on the streets and the sympathetic elderly men with their tormented violins - but the women here are all well-groomed and elegant, with an inexplicable air of true nobility.

I just recalled, without really wanting to, the somehow unjust words that Stefan uttered one day in conversation, when he wondered “what would it be like to suddenly find ourselves in the heart of the 20th century, among the most proud and rebellious of the underdeveloped and nearly uncivilized nations of the South?’’, in order to emphasize that the cultural centers had now moved up North. “What ignorant opinions are formed in the absence of any historical knowledge…”, I now think. Stefan, my friend from the future, with all his pride and affection for the ancient Scandinavian blood that runs through his veins, easily came to unjustified conclusions about the “uncivilized South”. But I, on the contrary, am well aware of all the excesses that this lucky race got dragged into. And I say lucky because they couldn’t have achieved anything on their own. They were merely representatives of the other big winning force, with the authorization of which they came and re-colonized this tortured continent that was almost emptied out by the fatal war of ’-87 (our 2309 AD*). This is when a thermonuclear war of a medium intensity took place that destroyed Europe with the exception of the northern Scandinavian countries. After that, Europe was re-colonized by the Northern Europeans.  (* When a global government is established in 2396 AD, the year is reset to 0.)

And as far as the Greek nation is concerned, I think there’s not a more relaxed nation under the Mediterranean sun, unless everyone is pretending, including my landlady that does everything in her power to help and please me, and the little eight-year-old boy that went late to school so that he could take me all the way to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on his own, and didn’t even accept the tip I gave him.

I don’t know about the rest, but I could walk the most remote and secluded streets and districts after midnight, felling as safe as I would in broad daylight. Here I’ve met both decent morals and remarkable internal civilization.

These Mediterranean shores are where civilization was born and I’m proud to live here now. I feel so light in this foreign but so beloved country among strangers. I’ve now settled just fine in my humble room. The only thing I fear, however, is starting to feel the same weight in my chest again, the one caused by the limited-time issue.

Wednesday November 2nd, 1922

In a foreign country the first few weeks are quite difficult. Everything - the morning, the evening, your habits, the way you’re going to spend your day - needs to be redefined. I truly believe, though, that with the passage of time things will get better, and I rely on the reassurance of Mr. De La S*… that he will recommend me to German foreign learners, who he has in abundance. After my visit to the archaeological school, with the recommendation letter of Μr. M*, I have every reason to be optimistic. (* Dienach didn’t want to reveal their real names).

Paul Dienach lying down

During the past few days, the weather has been reminding me of home and loneliness keeps flooding my world and my eyes. If I find private lessons I will accept them all even if they’re underpaid, with the hope of finally meeting someone that I can actually trust and communicate with… Hilda, Stefan, Silvia, where are you…?

This evening I sat down across from the Parthenon – by the northern side – and got lost in my thoughts for hours, stroking with my eyes the inscriptions carved into the rock. Suddenly, a small noise interrupted my daydreaming. I heard steps nearby and raised my head. It was a tall young man who looked like a civilized person. He apologized in French. I introduced myself and he shook my hand, expressing his joy about me not being Prussian. That’s all he got from my accent.

“I understand… I understand you very well”, he told me. “When you concentrate your thought entirely on this rock, without allowing your mind to think about anything else, it’s like you’re living in that era, two thousand years ago… What more would a person see back then, if spent at this spot for a couple of minutes? For those minutes, this rock would be their world…”

I got carried away and answered him: “And after the same amount of years it will still be the same… This land has strong and solid foundations. So many things will have happened in the meantime, so much will have changed until then, and yet this piece of rock will remain exactly the same; this is the incredible thing! So, staring at it, and forgetting for a moment everything else around us, isn’t it like we’re living in the future for a second?

Paul Dienach looking at the sky

He turned around and looked deeply into my eyes. I hushed…

“Except,” I said after a minute, like suddenly remembering something, “Except then, there will be no bars around it, they will have gotten rid of them.

He looked at me with a strange expression on his face, almost like questioning me. He seemed a bit offended, not by what I had said but more by the simple and confident tone of my voice.

“I should go now,” he said right after, “the doors close by the time the sun sets.”

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 

Chronicles from the Future: The truth about his sickness - March and April 1923

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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March 20th 1923

Here we go again. The slight breathlessness and the small but gradual rise of fever every night have returned with the same hostile intentions, with the same malevolent persistence; hints of small and sneaky cracks inside me. The end is near. I have to deal with it now. The need to get all these things out of my system becomes more imperative by the second. At an age when other people feel young and plan ahead, I will die, having a mercilessly intolerable moral burden inside me.

Everyone in my hometown knows that the doctors were wrong to believe that the disease that tortured me for 14 days back in 1917 wouldn’t come back to torture me again. It came back once more and not for a couple of weeks like before but for approximately twelve months. They remember rushing me to Zurich in mid-May 1921 and me looking like a dead man. Everybody there knows it. What they don’t know, however, is that the first time I recovered I didn’t remember anything from the time of my sickness - for me it was as if I had lost touch with myself and the world just for a second, not for two weeks. On the contrary, the second time I opened my eyes, I was filled with fresh, crystal clear memories of a real 360-day life; so recent and so vivid in my mind!

You can give whichever explanation fits you better – medical, scientific or whichever else - and I will accept them all. Just do not tell me it was a dream or a product of my imagination because you will have never been more wrong! There are things that the human mind doesn’t know or understand. Only if someone had put themselves in my shoes could they ever feel my absolute certainty. God be my witness; and I say God because he and he alone can see in the depths of my soul. And he knows how much I respect and cherish his name.

Listen to me, the truth cannot be covered. The signs are innumerable; first and foremost the passing of the time. When one has lived a certain reality for a certain amount of time, when they have seen and touched all these tangible things and their embossed details, it’s very hard to assert that it was all a dream and not an actual part of their real life. The same goes for my experience. It’s now been months since I re-found myself and the logical thing would be for these “memories” to have blurred or faded away. Well, I assure you that, never, throughout this period, have I doubted my firm conviction that all these things that happened to me were incidents of actual live experience and that I spent 360 days of real life in the distant future!

March 21st 1923

I’m not feeling better. I think I’ve gotten worse from the surprising temperature drop over the past few days. This cough – which in the beginning I thought would pass - doesn’t seem to be leaving me alone. I didn’t like the look on the doctor’s face yesterday. But what else is there to tell me? If I am to die, let it be. After what I’ve experienced, what else remains for me to see? For as much life as I’ve got left, that will be my prayer and that will my soul await.

April 1923

I remembered the myth of the white-haired hermit: back when he was young, his loved one took him out of the monastery after many years, and made him spend some time with her. Before she left, she put her emerald ring on the middle finger of his right hand.  The hermit, woke up again in this life, among the shrubs where he had laid down on, believing he had seen a dream and that everything he remembered - the golden lampposts, the thick carpets he was walking on, her sweet kiss – was part of that dream. But after looking at his hand he shuddered; the ring was there. The other hermits confirmed it afterwards.

Dienach looking at the window

I’m sitting here, staring at my empty hands and I wonder, why can’t reality, no matter how distant in time, leave behind the slightest tangible sign, when a dream once could? But these things only happen in myths and legends. If, however, I could choose what tangible sign I’d like to find on me, last May, surrounded by the physicians of Zurich, it would be neither her emerald ring, nor her picture, nor any other of her precious little presents. You can make all the assumptions you want about me, but what I’d really wish to find would be my original manuscripts. (Note: this is a reference to the diary in the future, the one he tried to remember and write anew). That’s what’s been constantly messing with my mind. What happened to that diary? It took me a great amount of time - almost a year - and many sleepless nights to finish it. With true joy and genuine passion I put down on paper every single detail of what I had experienced during each day in the future. The memory of Andrew Northam, whose body I lived in, and of my manuscripts -“The Diary”- that I left behind, provokes a burning pain in my heart.

No, no!  I must at all costs dismiss these disturbing thoughts from my mind - the belief that nothing is really irreversible in this universe and that we have no right to measure everything in the finite capabilities of our human mind. And after all, what do I have to worry about? One day, in a couple of thousand years’ time, Andrew Northam is going to write these pages himself!

My judgment is still clear enough to point out to me that these mistaken ideas are pushing me towards idleness and submission to my fate, my doom growing closer by the second.  But I won’t fall into the trap. My heart might have been sick and challenged and pained but, thank God, my brain is still strong and working properly. You, my Lord, chose a humble, unimportant man, a man that went and is still going through a severe illness, to show him a small bit of your eternal secrets. It’s you who decides what needs to be done on every occasion; I know it, I believe it. So please, give me the strength to finish what I started and relieve my burdened heart. Let the paper become my confessor and my savior!

Tuesday, April 24th

A while ago, my landlady, this amazing woman, knocked on my door to see if I needed anything and make sure everything was all right. Well, you won’t believe it, but I felt this sudden urge to take her in my arms and deliver her the great news - that I most certainly can do it! Because once again, I was given the chance to verify how excellent my memory skills are. After all the hardships and the suffering, it’s still here! I managed to put down on paper, word by word, complete stanzas of poems that I had never read or heard in my life, before Silvia recited them to me, that unforgettable night under the stars.

Paul Dienach Eye

So what can possibly keep me from re-writing my lost pages, my memories from the future? I can definitely do it now!  Any doubt I might have from here on, will merely be an unsound hesitation that I will have to fight against.

I don´t mind this cough tearing my insides apart or this fever burning this obnoxious carcass of a body. All these are not sufficient to put a shadow over the excitement that the prospect of completing my work gives me! The time might be limited but this will be my “future” from now on; and it will be the joyful re-writing of the manuscripts which were once ready but left behind… The same fate that doomed me gave me, now, in the end, this unique chance and I’m convinced that I can remember it all, page by page, if not word by word.

I stayed up late tonight and enjoyed my new “happiness”. I’m ecstatic!  Nothing will be lost; from now on my short life won’t be empty anymore. I’ve got a new reason to live it!

My case has nothing to do with inspiration and creation. I was never blessed with such gifts - and you can’t lose what you never had. My case is that of a traveler who never spoke about his adventures and who finally decided to break his silence.

I have no friends, my mother is dead. I’m completely alone in the world. So, whoever you are - you who somehow, one day, will end up with my manuscripts, be my friend and understand me. Do not laugh and do not mock me. I’ve been tried and tested a lot in life. Everything you read, I’ve seen with my own eyes - I’ve lived it, I’ve touched it, I believe and I worship it all!

I’m not going back to my home country. I made my decision. I don’t need any obligatory, superficial relationships with the neighbors. I just want to tell my story in the most precise way possible; and I want to tell it till the end! (From here onwards, Paul Dienach re-writes the diary that he kept in the future, trying to remember as accurately as possible whatever he had written in that diary)

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 


Chronicles from the Future: Reborn – Aug 17 1923

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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August 17th 1923

It’s the twelfth day today and I’ve already started writing about it! Whatever happened to that combination of astonishment and horror of the first week, that religious awe in the sight of everything that, in the beginning, I considered supernatural? Where has the fear of losing my mind gone? All these mixed feelings lasted a lot less than expected. Here you have it then; man can, indeed, get used to anything! One will get accustomed to the most unbelievable things and will eventually return to their everyday routine.

(After a while)

Almighty God, the course that my life has taken was always planned by you and always your desire. All these days and nights, only my faith kept me from losing my mind over this incredible reality that I’ve been living in. Have mercy on me, my Lord, and don’t deny forgiveness to your unworthy servant!

(At night)

It’s been three days now since I managed to carry myself out of bed and noticed something unexpected: my pains have gone away and I was able to walk even during the first few hours. The mirror is now the only reminder of the bandage that I still have wrapped around my head. And if what they say is true, they’re going to remove it the day after tomorrow. Have I recovered then? Can it be true? Am I not dead? Who could imagine and believe a miracle like this?

(Three hours later- dawn)

Paul Dienach in the future

I even feel much better psychologically, after the soothing words of the doctors and my  meeting yesterday with one of them, Johannes Jaeger. Before, my days and nights had been excruciating. The pain was nothing compared to the psychological torment I was going through - due to the inner conflict between a world of unbelievable things happening around me and the existence of another world inside me, one of different memories but nevertheless complete and clear.

My mature judgment, a result of my age, had taught me how to distinguish the real from the unreal and my exceptionally good memory was flooding my mind with images and events from my past, in sharp details, exactly as I had lived them. I was functioning perfectly, as I remembered myself. But so did all the crazy things around me…

I was certain it was me; on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but it was me! Once I was in the presence of the Ilectes* I fell down and started to cry, that’s all… And anyway, I don’t think that anyone could confidently say that they’d be able to control their nerves in such a situation. (*a term used for senior officials of the spiritual leadership, who had a special position in the social life of that future era)

These last few days I haven’t seen anybody else apart from the two doctors. The nurses were being kept away from me following the episode with the mirror, when I first saw my new face and lost it. The new doctor stood by me as a kind and skillful healer but also as a silent partner who always avoided looking straight into my eyes whenever we were alone, and who always had a hint of agitation in his eyes.

The day before yesterday, the chief doctor, Professor Molsen, came unexpectedly to my chamber in the afternoon. He seemed more excited than usual. He told me to get up and, holding me by the arm, helped me walk to the adjoining living room. I realized at that moment that a whole world was opening up before me. Sometimes I find myself overpowered by a newfound infantile eagerness. I hadn’t felt so impatient since I was a little child!

Paul Dienach - Future Landscape

I stood at the entrance for a while, looking at the living room. A strangely large room with all kinds of bizarre - for me – things and those tall transparent doors that offered a panoramic view of the lush countryside, the slopes of the mountains and beyond. Then I started walking again but not for long. Every two steps I stopped and peered about.  At some point, I turned around and saw the doctor looking at me with a curious expression on his face, - I’ll never forget that look - but at that moment I didn’t care about anything.

It was neither gold nor gems, like in fairy tales, that amazed me. Everything there was made of a beautiful type of crystal dressed in perfect combinations of pastel colors; sky blue, green, white and red. Everything, from the tables and chairs to the stools and the frames, gave you the impression of a colorless metal on which a soft light flowed incessantly in harmonic waves. Everything was bright and clear; even the flower pots and the crystal blooming springs of the flowers. However, if you came too close, like a curious child, believing you would find something in that transparent panorama of colors, the touch would rectify that first impression and the surfaces of the seats would prove soft and warm.

The doctor didn’t rush me. Passing through the living room we found ourselves in a big hallway; that’s where I finally saw people again after the isolation of the past days. It was a spacious vestibule that led right to the enormous main terrace. It was afternoon and the place was filled with light. Doctors and nurses were quietly chatting to each other standing up. At the sight of the chief doctor they discreetly stood aside and made way for us to pass. While walking past them I heard them whisper that name again, the name that everyone kept repeating all these days when in my presence: “Andrew Northam.” I shivered. “Who is this Andrew Northam?” I wondered. The reality unfolds merciless before my eyes from all sides. There only remains for me to admit, along with the doctors, this unprecedented thing happening to me, which exceeds even the wildest dreams of the most overactive imagination.

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.

Chronicles from the Future: Meeting the Leaders of the Future and Revealing his True Identity

Paul Dienach meeting the leaders of the Future

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Across the hallway, in front of an extremely tall door, there were six boys and girls standing who, judging from their outfits, probably didn’t live in the institution. They had just arrived. I only saw them for a couple of seconds and I didn’t have the chance to meticulously observe them. They were teenagers, all of them with long hair à la page, with almost matching uniforms - in the same pastel color shades as the living room - and all of them with belts embroidered with silver thread and short silk shawls hanging from their waists. Although strangers, they were the ones to open the door for us to enter into the small living room. Suddenly, the door shut behind us and, without anyone having told me anything, I found myself face to face with two Ilectors.

They looked at me in silence. Nobody else was there. To my surprise I saw Professor Molsen standing opposite them in awe.

I felt my body failing me and I was unable to resist. I didn’t know if they were priests or kings but, these venerable figures, dressed in white, with their imposing appearance, impressed me from the beginning. I saw them as a peaceful harbor for turbulent souls. I wanted to tell them everything right away.

I fell on my knees and in a quivering voice, I told them everything in between sobs. I was struggling to breathe every so often but my fervor and my yearning were so intense that I kept going. I had never felt like this, not even during confession. I was so shaken and upset that I couldn’t keep my narration in a chronological order but I managed to tell them the whole truth, little by little; and I think that the tone of clear sincerity in my voice, my nonlinear but otherwise coherent narration, my real thrill and the steadiness of my tearful gaze did not escape the grasp of the two elders.

While staring at me, their peaceful faces started to turn pale. No words could describe the expression of their eyes. I begged them to believe me.  They gradually started asking me in broken German – the language I was speaking with them - a storm of questions concerning the place where I lived and my time. I explained everything straight up. I could see them getting more preoccupied by the minute by my foreign language speaking.

Paul Dienach and the Leaders of the Future

I remember that for a moment there I lost my courage and almost broke down, but then I resumed answering all their questions as precisely as possible. I kept reassuring them of the truth of my words, weeping in emotion but also in sorrow for not being able to provide them with tangible and concrete proof.

In the end, these wise men believed me! Oh my God, they believed me! They lifted me up, sat me next to them and with that inexplicable air of profound blessedness and utter benevolence, they looked at me and spoke to me as equals.

God bless them! Only He can repay them for the good they did me in those extremely difficult and bizarre moments.

I didn’t make out a lot from their insights on “the narrow limits of human cognition” or ‘’the relativity of time and the potential existence of simultaneous time intervals”. Neither did I completely understand the concept of “the great and unified reality lying beyond the human perception of the past, present and future”.

Paul Dienach

But the rest of what they told me on the divine and human matters calmed me down. They gave me such a profound serenity, such consolation that made me feel more in peace than ever before. They worked as medicine alleviating my troubled soul. Later, of course, I achieved a deeper understanding of their version. In their view, they had before them “one of the rarest metaphysical phenomena, a peculiar manifestation of a mental state, not entirely balanced - at some point they even called it pathological - but not something supernatural that escapes the confines of the laws of life and of the physical world.

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.


Chronicles from the Future: The accident of Andrew Northam

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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The two elders left. The time had passed without me realizing it and it was now dark outside. Valleys and mountains surrounded me. I could hear the now familiar celestial melody (their evening prayer), sang by children’s voices as coming from far away, from another, extraterrestrial world. Truth be told, I never wanted it to stop.

August 18

(After midnight)

It’s two o’clock in the morning, there’s complete silence around me and I got out of bed to write. My day was painless and my nervous system free from the tension of the first three days. If they are telling me the truth, there’s still hope for me to recover from the shock.

Today was the thirteenth day of my new life, thirteen days full of newfound experiences and emotions. My thought is always with God, only he can show mercy even to the sinner.

Yesterday morning I went out to the terrace and enjoyed the sun. I spent a long time by myself. I sat down and re-read what I had written at night.

Paul Dienach and Professor Molsen

Later, Professor Molsen joined me and kept me company until noon. He was different with me today. He was talkative and we communicated quite well, except for the times when he tried to talk to me in his own German. Yearning to know more, I accused him of having experimented on Andrew Northam, without being sure that such a suspicion had any right to cross my mind. He vigorously denied that allegation and he did it with apparent sincerity.

Northam dead

The day before yesterday, Ilector Jaeger told me that they had brought Northam to Molsen, suffering fatal injuries on the head after a car crash. He died in Molsen’s arms and only after fifteen minutes and after having frozen him for a while did Molsen manage to bring him back to life. I didn’t mention any of this to the doctor. I asked Jaeger for the reason why they didn’t let me speak to everyone freely, like the rest of the patients did, and he assured me that this would only last for a few days. He also told me that my insomnia wouldn’t harm me, as long as I spent most of the night in bed.

As far as my life was concerned, he didn’t ask me about anything other than the illnesses I had been through. In as much detail as possible I talked to him about the incident of 1917; “a kind of lethargy” I called it.

In the afternoon, Jaeger paid me a second visit. Both times he was sent by the Ilectors. He told me so much… His company is a great consolation to me. He speaks in such a different way from the doctors; he puts his heart and soul in it.

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 


Chronicles from the Future: Fainting in the Past (1921 AD) and waking up in the Future (3906 AD)

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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At night I felt extremely nostalgic. Everything I had ever loved, everything I had been used to… My whole life triggered torturous memories that made me cry like a baby. If only I had something here from my own place and time; anything, even lifeless, to keep me company and make me feel like home.

The awareness of the existence of an incredibly long time gap felt like a heavy weight on my chest. It gave me a feeling of a moral abyss that proved much more frightening in my mental world than in the physical one. The idea of an intentional escape from life entered my mind. The image that penetrated my mind at all times was that of my beloved grey-haired mother, desperately crying over the lifeless body of her child in some hospital in Zurich was unbearable. “Mom!” I’d cry out sobbing, “Mother, I won’t see you again…”

That first night before I woke up here, while lying in bed half asleep, the vivid memory of Ann once again conquered my mind. I had spent the evening on our beloved hill with the windflowers. When the darkness of the night fell, it found me there. I returned home walking through dark and deserted streets so I could hide my tear-filled eyes from the world.

I lay down on my bed, careful not to make the slightest noise that would wake my mother, who was lying sick in the adjoining room. She had been exhausted lately. When I switched off the light and it became completely quiet, I could hear her breath, I remember. Her presence, the feeling of being in the company of my mother, somehow sweetened the misery caused by the loss of Ann.

Paul Dienach sick

I was burning up with fever. My eyes hurt when I blinked. I knew I had a  bowl of water beside me and a towel to wet and put over my forehead if I needed to; but I was so tired and worn out that I couldn’t find the strength to get up, so I tried to cool down my eyes and forehead on my cold pillows, changing positions all the time. Then, I remember the sensation of slowly falling asleep, and I thanked God for that sweet salvation, even if it lasted only for a few hours. My last thought before I fell completely asleep was that the next day I’d go sit under the two fir trees.

Waking up, however, was really painful. I realized I had a very high fever. My mind went straight to the bowl of water and the towel. Without opening my eyes I tried to reach it but couldn’t even move. After a while I passed out from the fever.

These alternations between consciousness and unconsciousness lasted for several hours. And the moments of consciousness were excruciating for me. I felt like I was falling into an unfathomable abyss without touching anything. The agony of the abyss never left my side.

Amidst the dizziness of fever I remember seeing, as if in a dream, males and females standing over my head. I was aware of my situation, that is, I knew I was sick and I thought that they had moved me to a bigger city, to another hospital and that all these people were doctors and nurses. Nothing else was clear in my mind. Oh! And my mother! I felt that my mother wasn’t by my side.

Then I thought I was having nightmares. “Why are they dressed like that?”, I was wondering. The setting around me looked completely different and unfamiliar compared to what I used to up until then. “No” I thought to myself, “it can’t be a hospital.” I blinked and caught glimpses of the countryside, the sky, shades of blue and green blended together and a pink light reflecting on the crystal walls, so bright and so beautiful…

Paul Dienach looking at the mirror

I also recall breathing the scented spring air and sometimes, a celestial melody coming to my weary ears. It resembled a prayer sung by children’s voices. I could distinguish the sound of the harp. I had never heard anything more melodic and more extraordinary in my life, and I wished it would never stop. And then I wondered whether I had died, but if I had why would I feel sick and feverish?

Another crazy thought crossed my mind: when I was still at school, I had read that our beloved Earth might not be the only planet in the universe. But I ruled that possibility out after remembering the people I saw standing over my head. They were humans, they were ours. And I had also taken a glimpse of our good old earthy sky.

All these tangled and scrambled thoughts dominated my tired mind every time I somehow opened my eyes in the midst of the dizziness of the fever. And the truth is that they didn’t leave me with an unpleasant memory. But it’s hardly possible to describe the surprise that awaited me one morning, when I had completely recovered and managed to get out of bed - I get shivers all down my neck and back even writing about it- “God! This body! This body isn’t mine!” A young man that happened to be there looked me in the eyes with a face distorted from terror. I thought I had lost it. I cried for help. I sensed someone running towards me. I choked and blanked out.

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 

Chronicles from the Future: The Language: English and Scandinavian Blend

Paul Dienach at the hostpital in the Future

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When I woke up I saw two doctors standing next to me, with a strange look on their faces, waiting for me to regain my conscience. Everybody else had left the room. I was so nervous I could barely breathe.

“What happened?” I asked with a trembling voice, “Have I gone mad? Where am I?”

Then I remember crying out several times “Mother, Mother!” as though I was asking where she was.

And instead of answering my questions, these men of science just stood there, stunned and pale, as if my simple words had left them speechless. One of them was young, in his late twenties to early thirties. I reached out for his hand, I begged him in the name of God and his own mother, but he was shaking and obviously trying to avoid my touch.

Shortly after, the older doctor turned to him and said something. “They’re foreigners” I thought. For a couple of minutes I just looked at them talking, abashed, trying my best to reach a logical conclusion. A far away land, their outfits, their manners, and now the foreign language; everything kind of fell into place, but yet not quite.

I wasn’t familiar with that language. I remember that the accent of that man made a strong impression on me. Some words sounded somewhat similar to ours and had Anglo-Saxon roots and some others resembled Scandinavian words – quite familiar to me - and thus I got the gist of what they were saying. The older doctor, still pale and unsuccessfully trying to force a smile, from what I got, told the other doctor that he had lost his temper. The young doctor denied it by shaking his head. The former seemed deeply puzzled. He pronounced my last words: “Mother… Mother…” “Mutter… Mutter…” Nothing else.

Paul Dienach at the hospital

He grasped my hand. He talked to me. I understood that he was asking me if my head ached.

“Now less,” I replied, “I’m better.”

Physically speaking I told the truth; but I didn’t say a word about what was going on in my mind.

“I want to see my mother”, I added.

I noticed that, once again, I was having some difficulties with articulating. But I blamed it on the illness.

On top of everything else that I was thinking about, I was also pretty convinced that, if I couldn’t help myself and started crying for help, they would treat me as a crazy person that talks to himself and then I wouldn’t stand a chance of finding out more about them. But if I could just see my mother, she would help me see things clearly.

And then I noticed something about them, something that made a difference and explained a lot: what made them look so stunned wasn’t what I was saying, but the way I was saying it and the language in which I was saying it. While they were talking to me, their wide eyes revealed the bewildering thrill they felt!

Paul Dienach waking up at the hospital

The older one leaned towards me once again and, with a quivering voice, he slowly uttered a sentence in my language:

 “Andrew Northam, don’t you recognize me anymore?”

The last words he managed to pronounce - with an evident effort and some difficulty - still resonate in my ears: “nicht mehr?”

“I want to say my prayer,” I replied in a fading voice before I fainted again.

It’s been thirteen days. The younger doctor came to my room this evening and saw my pillow soaked in tears. He tried to console me but, unintentionally, he did me more harm than good. I talked to him about my mother, who would be mourning the death of her child and he replied to me with a completely misplaced smile about some kind of a story buried deep in the past, saying that there’s no need to fret about it in the present! Jesus Christ! I can’t believe them! I don’t want to see that man ever again! I won’t let them drive me mad! Tomorrow morning I’ll talk to the older doctor and demand that they tell me the whole truth!

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 


Chronicles from the future: The Northam-Jaeger Relationship & Confessions

Chronicles from the Future - Paul Dienach in Bandages

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August 20th

This morning they removed my bandages. When a gentleman came to see me, not for the first time, whom I now know as Ilector Jaeger, my face lit up! He gave me a firm handshake and with obvious joy he praised and congratulated the older physician. I didn’t know that eighteen years ago, Jaeger had been Andrew Northam’s teacher. From what they explained to me, this now famous and widely celebrated spiritual man, this “eminent thinker”, whose work has now been widely read and whose lectures at the Reigen* are attended by thousands, back then was still unknown to the public. He contributed towards young Northam’s education for four years, wholeheartedly offering him the care and affection of a spiritual father.

Then they became caught up in life’s responsibilities and they each went their separate ways.

When the superior Ilectors discovered who had stood by Northam’s side as a teacher and a guardian in his early years, they called upon him and asked him if he could dedicate some time to him again in the afternoons. And it was very moving to see the now middle-aged thinker coming alone, without the escort of the Unjie*, and devoting his precious time to convey the same childhood learning to the same personnow a twenty-eight-year-old manwho, physically at least, resembled his spiritual son of two decades ago. What’s more, as they informed me, he had unexpectedly been resurrected—but as a completely different man, disturbed and half deranged—after his fifteen-minute trip to the land of the dead. I remember how delighted Jaeger was when Professor Molsen told him that the freezing process had been done hastily but just in time. His brain hadn’t suffered the slightest impairment.


August 21st

Jaeger, Stefan and Andrew

Today, for the first time, Jaeger was accompanied by Stefan, Andrew’s closest friend and three years his senior. He is an earnest young man; I truly took a liking to him.

Jaeger let him observe the lesson for a while. Then I showed him my first writings. I had already started to write and I continued writing in his presence. I thought he’d be impressed by the fact that I had recovered my writing skills even from the first days, but Jaeger had already informed him about my past research on Ibsen, about which I had talked to him as well.

“This is not Andrew’s handwriting,” was the only thing Stefan said.

Apart from the superior Ilectors, only four other people knew about Northam’s unique case: the two physicians, Ilector Jaeger and Stefan. I pleaded with Jaeger to keep it a secret and to not let me become an object of curiosity in the eyes of the whole world. He promised, but he also added something that I didn’t understand: “The Valley of the Roses will have the last word; it’s up to them to decide how long this will be kept a secret from the rest of the world.”

As for Stefan, he will start coming regularly in a few days; he has got a lot to teach me about Northam and his life. He says that I need to know all that before I expose myself to this new world. The words that Jaeger said, shortly before Stefan’s departure, come to mind: “In any case, Andrew Northam’s family and friends will seek him out. Since the news of his recovery has become known, what’s going to stop him from going back to his normal life?”

When we were left alone, I asked Jaeger to tell me what the Ilectors had been saying about all this and I told him what happened that night when the young physician saw me crying at the thought of my mother. “Try to put yourself in my shoes for a moment because, trust me, in such a bizarre and grotesque situation it’s worth considering both sides. Your course of life flows normally and unobstructed, at the same pace as always. For you, Northam is the one who’s changed. For you, this is a case of “personality shift” of a man who was revived after fifteen minutes of clinical death. A very rare parapsychological phenomenon associated with language switching. Your friend is a man who once was one of yours and now speaks a dead language. But I haven’t changed at all. What I see is a piece of the future. Taking that into consideration, how can I not think that I’ve lost my mind? That I’ve gone mad?”

I was sobbing uncontrollably. I was utterly at sea because I could not believe that in there might be the slightest rift in the solid axes of time and space that I knew. The rift had to be somewhere inside me. I had to be the paranoid one!


“Only you can tell me the truth. If it’s been two thousand years, like the young physician told me, then I’m going mad. You can’t imagine how fresh, how recent the memory of going to sleep is in my mind; it feels like yesterday. I could hear my mother’s breathing; she was sleeping in the next room. I can almost see the basin of water next to my bed and the fringed towel with the blue-green embroidery on it. It’s like she is in front of me right now.”

I stared at him in agony, but Jaeger made no attempt to avoid my gaze. He could understand most of my German. “I don’t think,” he said holding his gaze steady, “that hiding even the tiniest vestige of truth from you will help still your heart but, trust us, we know much more than you do. We don’t live in the times of Descartes and Kant anymore. Many things have changed. But not everything can be measured solely on the basis of the intellect and constricts of the mere human brain. Are you absolutely sure, for example, that at the time you went to sleep, as you say, Andrew Northam did not yet exist? And are you absolutely sure that, right at this moment, your mother has ceased to exist?”

His incredible response struck me less than it would have a few days ago when it would have seemed inconceivable for me to process. Now, what brought tears to my eyes was the way this great man spoke to me, in such a different manner from the physicians. And he talked to me in my own tongue…

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 


Chronicles from the future: Sleepless

Chronicles from the Future - Paul Dienach

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August 23rd

Yesterday and today were two very quiet days. I spent the day writing or talking with Stefan in the mornings and Jaeger in the afternoons, and night-time reading. I’ve turned into a voracious reader, a proper bookworm!

The physicians believe that trying to induce sleep artificially would be futile. Moreover, lack of sleep is neither fatal nor very harmful in my case, according to them.

At night they let me read, provided that I do it resting in bed for at least half of the time, and in the morning I wake up so fresh, as if I’ve slept for seven hours. Little by little I’ve started picking up their language as well, the “universal tongue” as Stefan calls it or, as I call it, “broken Anglo-Scandinavian”. This language does however have a certain consistency between pronunciation and writing as I can now read much more comfortably though I often need the help of a small dictionary.

My long conversations with Jaeger are like a spiritual and mental cleansing for me. Under his tutelage I have ceased to seek shelter in the memories of my old life. This man has managed to sow the seed of faith deep inside my soul and has given me a new brand of confidence of which I had never thought myself capable. Because of him I’ve stopped feeling that I inhabit a foreign body. Because of him I can now look at myself fearlessly in the mirror and, strangely enough, somewhere beneath all these foreign features, I can distinguish my own expression as I have known it my entire life.

Without having mentioned anything myself, Stefan shared a similar opinion on the subject with me the other day. “The man I see in front of me is, indeed, Andrew Northam but, by his accent, the tone of his voice, and even the way he expresses himself and looks at me, I can tell it’s not him.”

August 24th

Paul Dienach Learning

Today, like every other day, Jaeger tutored me in articulation, elocution and pronunciation. Next, we will start learning about the world around me. This incredible man spends a great amount of his time patiently explaining every little thing, its use and function. When I go out into the world, I will have to be able to get around by myself and not look lost.

Whenever he gets tired, we take a break and I tell him all kinds of stories: about my hometown, my life, my mother’s love for me… And he raptly listens to me, taking interest in the ways of the 20th century, asking a myriad of questions about our schools and our habits in general, even taking notes every so often. He seems delighted with my outbursts of nostalgia.

I’ve told him that I, too, used to be a teacher in my time and I’ve spoken to him about my preference for history. With these conversations I have been overwhelmed by a great spiritual thirst; the thought of an immense prospect suddenly opening up in my field helps me temporarily

forget my situation and makes me quiver with anticipation. And this thirst in my heart, only some steps away from this new and unexpected El Dorado, only I can feel.

(In the middle of the night)

I’m tired. I’ve been walking around on the terrace for hours on end in the divine serenity of the night. I feel a hint of joy springing up inside me, as if I could hear my heart beating. Am I feverish again? The prospect of the new emotions welling within me meets the permanent turmoil of my mind. Will I stop obsessing over this incredible experience and slowly become accustomed to it? Will I become a normal person that finds interest in everyday life again? Will I be worthy of new excitement? I feel like an avid philatelist who has just been offered the King of England’s stamp collection and can’t wait to examine it; or like a Classics scholar who has just gained access to the Library of Alexandria.

August 25th

Paul Dienach

Jaeger said to me tonight, “Trust Stefan. He’ll lead you through everything, step by step.” I kindly requested him to give me some more history books for now, and he promised he would. He also suggested the Reigen-Swage (these are the surnames of two inventors of a device that projects image and sound in different sizes: from the internals of palaces to simple personal devices. Something like our TV set), something completely new to me, a type of narration that consists of a simultaneous combination of sight and sound, which you do not even need to read! A voice narrates them and you see pictures come to life before you.

“Listen to me,” he told me—and I recount his words not as he spoke them but as I understood them—“When the time comes in a short while and I will no longer be by your side, rise to the challenge and do not let your thoughts be nourished only by facts. Delve more deeply into the great spiritual paths that have now been opened to humankind. You won’t benefit much from hard facts. Try not to be dazzled by them and end up spending your hours watching them unfold in the Reigen-Swage. After all, whatever happened has happened before. History repeats itself. Try to read between the lines and see beneath the surface of mere events.

He made an allusion to the “new, bright paths” that will lead to “quenching the thirst of the longing of centuries” and to the alleviation of “humankind’s metaphysical pain”.

Nevertheless, I am not entirely in a position to know if I’ve interpreted correctly all that this wise man has patiently taught me. It is us, he says, who pass by, not time. We, the human creatures with the short-lived biological destiny, come and go. The dimension of depth eludes us. Our antennas have a very limited capacity. They only form subjective impressions that are totally irrelevant to the true and objective “Great Reality”, the Samith (a term used by the Adersen Institute: the total of what exists. The essence of this terms is impossible to perceive due to the restriction of human abilities) as he called it.

August 26th

There come times when the idea of that huge, unknown world out there frightens me. I’m becoming accustomed to living the same, unchanging and unsurprising life, day by day in the institution; and I find some joy in it. But Stefan tells me that I have to fight against my shyness and face the life that’s out there, waiting for me.

August 27th

Today Jaeger remembered young Northam again. Then, looking straight into my eyes, he murmured, “I know Andrew is not with us anymore; but I will always call you by his name.”

Stefan told me the same thing the other day: “Let me call you Andrew…” And such was the tone of his voice that anybody would be jealous of Northam, of that rigid faith in the concept of friendship (so foreign to us) that was so strongly connected to his memory.

August 30th

A few days were enough to change everything around me! The environment, the people, the circumstances; all so different! Who could have imagined…

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.


Chronicles from the future: Northam’s circle and their social code

Chronicles from the Future: Paul Dienach

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(The dating changes. This is our year 3906 AD and according to the dating for the future era it is 1509)

Once again, everything is crumbling inside me. A great part of the expectations and the dreams of the latter days has proven futile. The famous “environment” of my new life, the “circle” of Andrew Northam doesn’t look like anything more than a playful and carefree bunch of young people. I am, however, starting to have fun with this whole story. Who knows, it might be just another defense mechanism of my mind…

The plan for this morning was a walk by the nearby lake, with boats that you could hire. Youth, laughter, noise, singing; Stefan was struggling to marshal them at every turn.

  • Hilda! Hilda! Wait! We can’t catch up! Andrew can’t run!

He looked somewhat annoyed by the fact that his girlfriend happened to be the one who was far ahead of everyone and that she was the reason why the whole group accelerated. Walking between him and Silvia, his other friend, it was difficult to catch up.

  • “Sorry Andrew,” Hilda later said, “my mind was elsewhere…”

I felt that I had to say something nice to her as well. I looked at her; truth be told, she was very pleasant to look at. Forcing an awkward smile I said that it didn’t matter and that I was now feeling strong enough- which was a lie. Stefan noticed my fatigue and suggested we have another break. Luckily the rest of the road was downhill.

Lying down on the grass

I sat next to Stefan on a bench made of stone and we listened to Axel and Eric who were talking about the beauty of spring mornings while collecting poppies. Silvia was chit chatting with Aria. Juliet and Hilda were chasing a couple of blue butterflies.

“Is this the group of Andrew’s friends then?” I meditated in disappointment. “I think that no one could expect to gain great knowledge from this bunch of big children…”

These two twenty-five-year-olds along with the four girls and Stephan, stormed into the institution three days ago, as soon as the doctors allowed visitors. They surrounded me full of joy, screaming and laughing and asking me a thousand questions! They could hardly contain their excitement from seeing me strong and healthy again- that is, Andrew Northam.

I was impressed by their manners that would be considered rather childish for their age. It seemed very strange for Northam to have such a circle of friends since I knew that, before the accident, he was a respected young scientist who had worked in some sector of applied physics- I don’t remember which one exactly- and with quite good results for that matter. In fact, the institute for which he was working had called the Molsen Institute several times asking about his health.

Unintentionally, I looked towards the North, behind the high mountains, with a vague sense of nostalgia for my old homeland. I felt a tear trapped in the corner of my eye. I didn’t say anything to Stefan at that moment; he was showing me some villas, far into the distance, that looked innumerable, almost like entire states. He told me that in many places they had kept the same archaic names like Waren, Cernobbio, Belano, Menaggio and others, names that sound weird now that the language has changed.

Hilda had the idea to sing a song with the rest of the girls. It was a spring song that they sang all together, stanza by stanza. It’s a fun and entertaining song to sing between friends. Out of the blue, a window opened, a girl appeared and started accompanying the song with her violin. Right next to her, a painter, who, up until then, had been struggling with his palette and his brushes, pulled out a flute and accompanied the melody in turn.

Playing music

How did that happen? How did these people leave their jobs and tune themselves with our rhythm and our way of having fun? I was immensely impressed by that spontaneous and easily acquired joy, their positive attitude and their will to identify with us! The fun was generalized as if the rhythm of the song became an invisible bond that made us one! Before we headed to the lake, we applauded our new friends and they applauded us, as if we were old mates or acquaintances.

The guys then started pinning flowers on the girls’ lapels. Stefan pinned it on Hilda, Axel on Juliet and Eric on Aria. Silvia was looking at me with a hint of a smile, waiting for my move. With trembling hands I pinned the flower on her lapel like the others did, and we marched holding hands, like little children. The four boats were ready. Most of the other groups of friends had already taken position and greeted us, the “late arrivals”, raising their right hand and waving to us from afar. The white sails were already set.

I stop and observe their codes of conduct. As Stefan explained to me, in this new world prevails the strange habit of not being strangers to anyone. They talk to people they have never met open-heartedly, like they are old friends of theirs; and the latter respond with the exact same way in return. They all have the same kind of relaxed attitude, the same naivety in their manners, the same benevolence, the same tact, the same brotherhood, as if they have all gone to a big, universal college in their childhood.

I wanted to ask Stefan so many things; but how? It would have to be just the two of us if I were to do that. He had promised he would show me a typical image of modern life. He knew that what I wanted to see and experience was not the countryside and the holidays but the exact opposite: the large urban centers, the world of work and the everyday people; and I knew that these things existed somewhere.

I would also like to know whether this common behavior, which was highlighted by strong and obvious characteristics of childhood purity, was a cause of the purely economic grounds Stefan had talked to me about, which, with the passage of time, managed to raise this equality, this homogeneity, to such a high level. And doubt me if you will, but I’m not going to believe this universal fairy tale with its flawless and refined manners and its spontaneous brotherhood of people that lack any ulterior motives, without first seeing it with my own eyes in all its manifestations…

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished. 

Chronicles from the future: 3-ΙΧ to 5-IX

Paul Dienach - Chronicles from the future

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The odd change I’m going through all these days should be investigated, if anything, from the psychological point of view. My heart is calm and I’m becoming accustomed to all that I see around me. That has not been easy. I remember the first days when even the way people dressed seemed strange to me. I now find my life increasingly interesting. Every little thing intrigues me and I ask Stefan about so many things that it would take me ages to write it all down. But why do I not have the power to express all that I feel with precision? Wouldn’t it be more suitable for a craftsman of writing to be granted with this unique fate instead of someone like me, a poor and sickly teacher? So many new and different things and experiences! How wonderfully better a writer would transcribe them…

Every day I think of my mother, the only source of affection in my life, and I wonder how it would be if she could be next to me and see it all with me. Anna still pops into my mind from time to time, but I feel that my old wound has somehow started to heal in my heart and doesn’t hurt as much anymore. My mind then takes me elsewhere: Oh God, how light is the weight of my twenty-eight years! How light! From this perspective, it’s as if I’ve turned back time! Looking at myself in the mirror, something that terrified me and almost drove me insane in the beginning, now gives me untold pleasure!

Everyone treats me as if I were Andrew Northam. And I am sure that none of them—excluding Stefan—knows the truth. From what I’ve understood, the old Northam was a bit superior to the rest in his circle of friends. The same goes for Aria if I judge by the way they treat her. Aria is twenty-five years old but, when she speaks, the rest fall silent. And another thing I noticed: last night when she entered the drawing room of the villa where we were, the ladies of our group stood up, like we men used to do—something that in our time and our social circles the ladies would never have done.


In the meantime, I’ve learnt a great deal from Stefan regarding my new companions. Axel’s relationship with Juliet is only two months old. She is very young, nineteen or twenty years old, brunette, pretty and somewhat frivolous. She’s always a bit scruffy and enthusiastic about life and when she’s by herself, she often hums. Axel is her first love and their acquaintance began one day when they were in a garden and Juliet’s muslin dress was soiled and Axel hastened to hem it with pins in a makeshift way before it became dirtier. Axel plays the violin quite well, though if you ask Juliet, she’ll tell you that he’ll soon become a virtuoso! Nevertheless, they both have hearts of gold and the group can’t live without them.

Silvia - Chronicles from the Future

As for Silvia, I learnt that Andrew Northam loved her very much for a period of two-three years, but she never felt anything for him beyond a simple friendship and appreciation for the man and his work. Her heart might belong to someone else, who knows? Stefan doesn’t know anything on the subject since nobody cares for gossip here. However, when I saw her for the first time I got the feeling that I had seen her before. Then, when I was alone, I realized: I remembered because of my blurred memories from the hospital. She was among the nurses and even in the midst of my feverish daze I had noticed her. There was something very gracious and noble about her figure and she stood out from the others.

Stefan told me again yesterday, “This love was very painful for Andrew. There were nights that his eyes constantly welled with tears.”

I replied that he should, however, appreciate the honesty and principles that characterized Silvia, who never even thought of reciprocating without having feelings for him. “Somebody else in her place,” I said, taking into account Northam’s reputation, “wouldn’t really mind feigning love and affection in order to be with him.”

Stefan, startled at first by my words, replied, “Why would you say that? That would be vulgar! No woman would do that!”

I should not have opened my mouth. I quickly changed the subject and asked him what the others had to say about the “new” Northam. He told me that Silvia had mentioned me several times over the past few days. In fact, this morning she had asked him if he had noticed my changed gaze and if he remembered Andrew having such an expression before the accident. She also told him that Andrew was acting very strange, that he seemed unusually quiet, hesitant and timid, that his accent had changed and that he even found difficulty articulating words.

I asked Stefan what to do since it was impossible for someone to make sense out of countless new things, obtain a new mentality, new manners and speak the language fluently, from one day to the next. He encouraged me with a smile and said that things would get better. An old friend of theirs happened to suffer a dreadful car accident and, after his recovery, he temporarily has to struggle to regain his mental capacities; that’s the impression they have. Would that ever be a reason for them to love you less? No. You can see for yourself that they’re always by your side showing you such affection.”

Discussions in the Future - Chronicles from the Future

I’m sitting on the terrace and all these thoughts and discussions flash before my eyes like moving pictures. I can hear the girls talking and laughing below. They tease me and ask how on earth I can read and write in such a ruckus. The sun has almost set and soon it’ll be time for “The Prayer of the Dusk” they hear every afternoon.  I hear them call out for Stefan before I sink into my thoughts again.

Here’s the peculiar thing about Stefan. It appears that we share a bond, a bond that he didn’t even share with his closest friend, Andrew Northam: the same love for history. His main occupation was the study of history in general and the art of the past millennia in particular. And so our friendship evolves effortlessly even if there’s nothing in me to remind him of Andrew—neither their shared memories nor their dreams…

As for Stefan’s bond with Hilda, it’s something that has stood the test of time. They’ve been happily together for over four years now and it looks like it’ll stay this way for the rest of their lives. Here is a truly happy couple! In fact, they have decided to have a baby and they have already handed in their legal statement to the Office Partners, the executives of the demographic services, to whom those wanting to have the one child they are permitted must submit their application. It’ll be their turn in roughly a year.

Hilda also helps Stefan with work sometimes, reading aloud or copying, although Stefan himself says that he’s not made for big things. All he wants is to learn and that’s all. He knows he’s not meant to make any great contributions to the world of research, the exact opposite of Aria who, at twenty-five, has already published papers that took five or six years to complete and made a name for herself.

As for the other three–Hilda, Silvia and Aria–they are bound together by a special friendship, different from their friendship with Juliet, which is a very recent one. The latter, of course, knows it, but she doesn’t mind in the slightest since she sees how much they care for her.

They met on Christmas Eve eight years ago, at the Valley of the Roses in one of the palaces of the Lorffes—another ruling class similar to the Ilectors—where they, according to Hilda, along with many other teenage girls, carefully hand-picked among thousands for their natural beauty, dressed in white and holding torches, were welcoming the Ilectors to the reception after the great evening mass. They describe it as their best childhood memory, like a dream that was later hard for them to believe came true.

Eric is finally coming! He’s holding some sort of racket and some other smaller paraphernalia needed for a game or sport I haven’t yet bothered to ask about. He’s wearing sandals and he is naked from the waist up. He looks fresh and excited. The acquaintance between Eric and Aria was a fateful one. They’ve been together for fourteen months and no one knows how long this relationship will last. This special girl, with her early inclination to study what she believed in since childhood, has managed, in her twenties, to be present at excavations in America together with great experts and who, based on a bold intuition—almost like an inspiration—argued for her own conclusions on the life of the Incas, findings that were later to be proven true! This inherently wise young woman, whose views were vindicated in so many aspects, who made her own statements before an audience of thousands in the megacity of Norfor two years ago, who lately had a whole crew of young people to help her with her research, had given up everything for this dark-haired young man, who might have an exquisite heart, but could not bear to hear a word about her job. A while back, Stefan heard him say, “Talk to me about sports, talk to me about travels, about swimming or whatever else you want, but don’t say a word to me about God and all these ancient treasures!”

They’re ready to go. It’s time for the prayer. I won’t be writing till tomorrow.

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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.