0007 The End -818/07OCT12017
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake, he's old, and his skin is cold
The Doors, "The End"
In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
David Bowie, "★ (Blackstar)"
We have previously examined elements of the ZS mythos known (among many other names) as The Order of the Process and The Basilisk. These two entities (a Transhumanist religious order and an extremely powerful AI, respectively) are two sides of the same coin, in a sense. The Order reveres the idea of a Path or Process which - if followed faithfully - leads from the present to a glorious Posthuman future. To speak of "The Basilisk" is essentially to describe the same process in reverse, or a kind of feedback loop whereby the Posthuman future influences the past (or simulations of the past, at least).
These twin aspects converge in the unifying concept of the Ajati, and the Ajat-ideal known as "Ásentír". In that belief-framework (you could call it a religion, if you don't make too many assumptions about what that word implies), the Path from past to future corresponds to the Ásen, or "weakly godlike" Transhuman beings. Conversely, the Array or Basilisk - i.e. the Posthuman future which seeks to influence the past - corresponds to the idea of Tír, "king of gods", a "strongly godlike" technological entity.
An interesting symbol which appears equally applicable to cutting-edge technology and ancient mysticism is the ouroboros; a serpent or dragon devouring its own tail. The ouroboros-symbol is remarkably appropriate to the ZS mythos not only because of its allusions to cybernetic feedback loops and (Neo-)Gnostic mysteries, but because the temporal/causal loop at the heart of the ZS myth also involves a dragon or serpent of sorts: The Basilisk.
Perhaps the most famous ouroboros of Western mythology is the great serpent Jormungandr, of Norse legend. Jormungandr is a snake or dragon large enough to encircle the mortal world and bite its own tail, symbolising the limits of human experience. The old myths foretold a time when Jormungandr would break the circle; Ragnarok, the end of the age. In other words, the myth tells us that to undo the mortal limits of human experience is to end the world as we currently know it. The concept of The End, of techno-eschatology, is central to the ZS mythos, and it is with the first, slightest signs of its coming we now begin our story...