How Pokemon Go Will Help Change the Very Nature of Reality

pokemon go

Right up front, I have never played Pokemon Go and this is not an endorsement for the popular augmented reality game that has spread like wildfire the past week, causing speculations of conspiracy among even the most straightforward tinfoil hat accusers. And while it may indeed be a CIA plot to distract us from police killing and democratic shenanigans, or a tool of the Satanic Reptilian Shapeshifting Illuminati New World Order for some more esoteric outcome, its effects on human consciousness will transcend whatever normal or malignant purpose its current popularity is predicated on.

To be more specific it is the augmented reality itself that will have an unimaginable impact on humanity and reality. It will not do so directly, intentionally or obviously. We will not instantly be transformed, and most likely, we will not notice our transformation taking place. The lessons of augmented reality will not be explicit. They will not be a product of content or gameplay. Rather it will be the overall implicit context of navigating augmented reality that will bring about this evolution in consciousness.

As it is, most people tend to think about reality in the most literal terms. If we can measure it and define it, it is real. Despite the fact that most human experience happens outside of this mass hallucination of measurable objective reality, we still deny the existence or importance of that which remains intangible and beyond physical description. The reason for this has been quite simple. That reality is where everything seems to be happening at.

Augmented reality pastes another layer on top of that. It provides non-physical objects in real space/time that we can interact with through both physical and technological efforts. It provides rewards for doing so, even if intangible, that give that new layer of reality significance and import in our every day lives. It provides a new layer of reality in which things also seem to be happening at.

When we think about reality as a single layer of physicality, it appears to be incredibly rigid. Augmented reality will force us to think of reality on multiple levels. It will create new ideas about what is possible within reality by expanding our thoughts about what reality is. And as our consciousness absorbs this new fluidity then reality itself may take on less restrictive properties, since reality is not an external object but a manifestation of our deepest conscious ideas about what reality is.

This may seem like a pretty big leap for those conditioned to view existence through the narrow window of materialism. Materialist narratives make us subjects and victims of an external reality independent of our consciusness. Reality becomes an inescapable plot to contain and control everything within it. While there is a certain romance to admitting existential defeat, it is far from rational. The materialist narrative is just that. It is not a doctrine of absolute truth. But if it is wrong, we are potentially limitlessly powerful beings with only the limits set forth by our own imagination.

The materialist view of reality has been incredibly useful. It has allowed us to evolve from simple animals to complex technological/cultural beings. Technology and culture, and not just biology alone, are the partners of modern humans evolution. So it should be of no surprise that culture and technology will eventually do for us what we did for it, to guide us towards a complexity that seems almost magic when compared to our earliest ancestors and their tools.

This is exactly what augmented reality will do. It will remove the bumper lanes, or training wheels if you will, of human consciousness. The rigidity of physical reality is useful for learning to explore our existence, but it provides too many obstacles for consciousness to explore the almost infinite possible outcomes suggested for millennia by religion, philosophy and science alike. The fact that such limitless possibilities extend beyond our capabilities suggests that we may evolve in ways which allow us to experience those distant possibilities of reality.

Augmented reality, however, is not the beginning. The entire trajectory of human history has been to rise above any and all challenges, no matter the difficulty. We have done so through cleverness and invention. Our inventiveness began with sticks and stones, but has evolved to new layers of reality on our phones.

Soon the phones will be replaced by glasses. Then the glasses will be replaced by implants. Finally the implants will become unnecessary, as our own conscious will becomes the creative force that dictates what sort of experiences we will have.

In our waking states, we are asleep to the unlimited possibilities. In our sleeping states, we are awakened to them but have no will. The coming incarnations of reality, of universal experience itself, will be somewhere between. We will be awake to our own will and all possibilities. Choice, rather than some abstract learning device like physical nature, will guide our consciousness along its journey.

I know this seems fantastic and unthinkable. But our world would seem equally unthinkable to anyone we plucked out of prehistory to observe it. Perhaps, even, the world to come seems even more incomprehensible to us than ours would to those ancients. That incomprehensibility is often mistaken as impossibility, but that is because most of us have been conditioned to see the universe as a place of discovery rather than creativity.

I suggest that we are not worms in a universe experiencing its own corpse by consuming it, but that we are the body of divine creativity learning how to control itself one training course at a time. Augmented reality is one small step for Pokemon, and one giant leap for mankind.

Transcendent Discordianism

transcendent discordianism

The Principia Discordia [PD] lends itself perfectly to obfuscation and prankster ambiguity. For this reason Discordianism has come to mean as many things as there are Discordians. Yet despite this obscurantism I believe that there is an actual point to the teachings passed down to us by Kerry Thornley, Greg Hill, Robert Anton Wilson and others, that there is a core message that stands out among the parody, humor and cunning self-effacement of those original teachings.

Read: How Social Network Users Miss the Point of Discordianism

The most troubling interpretation of Discordianism in its modern context is the tendency to view it only as a parody, and to not only reject it as a religion, but to use it as a justification for the rejection of religion in general. I have fewer reservations about calling it a religion than a parody, or a satire, for that matter.

Parodies reshape existing narratives using new subjects. A parody need not even be humorous. The PD and it’s related works do not directly ape any pre-existing works, and certainly none by the major religions.

Satire is a reactionary form of literature whose aim is to address an idea or ideology that came before it. They are narratives of negation. It is not always necessarily humorous, either. However Discordian works do far more than just negate other ideologies, they create new ones.

I think that the tendency to reference Discordianism as a parody or satire comes from the false belief that literary humor automatically equates to those forms. It is aided by the inability of the unimaginative to believe that religious truth can take the form of humor while still remaining intellectually and spiritually fulfilling.

When we remove the humor and take the paradoxes referenced by Discordian works as zen riddles of enlightenment, rather than self-refutations or total negations of meaning, what emerges is a set of ideas and principles no less profound than those found in other religions. And like other religions, people have joined together under the banner of these principles. To deny the religious nature of Discordianism is to deny Discordianism itself.

The people who like to deny the religious nature seem to attach themselves to Discordianism merely out of a desire to be edgy by associating themselves with the most potent modern archetype of chaos. Every religion has an embarrassing sect of followers who get a little too heavy handed with their literalism, and Discordianism has it’s fair share. The ‘I Fucking Love Chaos’ contingent do just that. I recently addressed this attitude and behavior on social media:

“Those of you who think that the point of Discordianism is to be an ‘Agent of Chaos’ are sorely missing the point. Eris is THE agent of chaos. Yours is to understand and accept so that, in fear, you do not try to swim against her tides and wind up drowning in her waters in the struggle. Chaos is not to be promoted and worshipped. It was chaos that threw that apple and led us into the first major war. Trying to one up Our Goddess is not going win you Her favor. You let Her divvy up the chaos and do your part by being creative with it.”

It is a vanity and a conceit to believe one has any control or influence over chaos. Chaos is simply that which exists before all else. We are all products of that primordial swamp of all possibilities. How could a drop of water in a bucket have more water to add to the bucket?

Read: The Importance of Distinguishing Between Chaos, Order and Disorder

Another issue I see in many Discordianism circles is equating all of the ideas of Robert Anton Wilson with Discordianism. While there is no doubt that RAW is a Discordian and has produced some of the finest works based on it, that does not make everything he has ever said or done Discordian Doctrine. One of the most refreshing things about RAW was that he was constantly forcing himself to shift perspectives, which no doubt took him beyond Erisian ideologies. In fact, I am pretty sure that ol’ Bob would have been disappointed to see his entire intellectual and creative output all labeled under that one banner.

This is illustrative of a mistake I see often in the world. People have a tendency to try to group their favorite things into a single category. All of the single things that we like or don’t like do far more to define us than the things themselves. This kind of categorization is flattering to our self-image, but it also creates entropy in the symbols and archetypes in the process. When we shove Discordianism into a broader collection or category and redefine it by incorporating the other symbols and archetypes we have placed there, we water everything down. It is like getting a plate full of your favorite foods and putting them in a blender. All those things that once tasted great on their own have now just become an unpalatable mush.

It is in the interest of rescuing the One True Religion of Our Goddess that I suggest we start walking it back down and rein Discordianism into a meaningful religion that we can use to understand our existence and guide us through Eris’ primordial waters ever more joyously. Which, considering the amount of depression and mental instability that is prevalent in Discordian circles, is exactly what our religion needs.

So spit shine your pineal gland and fire up your frop as I propose to you the idea of Transcendent Discordianism.

The problem with all genuine religious experience is that it cannot be described using ordinary terms and concepts. Religious truths are not measurable, objective facts. Religious truth comes from transcendent experiences in which revelations beyond words reach from behind the veil of the illusory physical universe to share the deeper nature and meaning of existence. Through these experiences we can gain gnosis, which is to know something beyond the limitations of human experience.

This is synonymous with ‘Eris speaking to you from your pineal gland’. I suspect that the reason some people are so dismissive about Discordianism is that they have never experienced its revelations through transcendent experience. Or that their transcendent experience was so skewed by the kind of watered down ideology I mentioned that they failed to get a distinctly Erisian message out of it. Before I go further, let me give my own history with Discordianism.

In 1998 I was working at a headshop and was given the responsibility of ordering product for our book, magazine and comics section. Going through the Last Gasp catalog I came across the PD. It seemed interesting enough so I added a copy to our order. When it arrived, I took it in in a single sitting. I have been a Discordian since.

In the early days it was difficult for me to find other Erisian adepts. I found a few scattered around the web, but I was just figuring out the internets and so I didn’t get involved in many online groups until social media became prevalent years later. I would also put up flyers with absurdist text and Discordian references, as well as my email address, and this sometimes turned up a conversation. For the most part, however, I was forced to make my own Discordians by preaching the word and selling copies of the book.

Yet the social context of Discordianism is never really what I was after. I did not need others to grow and learn from the teachings. And I think this is very different for Erisians now in the context of social media. Discordianism has become sort a of a church. Like any other church, not everyone there has the same amount of faith. Some are just there for the community it provides. And I guess that is fine, but perhaps we shouldn’t let those sisters and brothers erode our theology in the process.

What really stuck out from the first time I read the PD was the Anerstic/Eristic philosophy. I began applying those philosophical models to everything I ever knew. I was also chasing transcendent experiences via entheogens like a madman. As I continued to re-read the PD and experiment with my consciousness, I saw that everything in the book really leads back to the central premise of Aneristicism vs. Eristicism. It was all variations on that one theme. And so I delved further and further into my mind and beyond, using that central thesis as a way of exploring myself and the universe around me.

What I discovered blew my mind. The trouble with having your mind blown is that there is no possible second person experience of it. What happens in a blown mind stays in a blown mind. Ain’t nobody got words for that.

Whenever I meet a fellow Discordian who seems to have navigated around all of the koans, fnords and absurdist humor and penetrated into the depths of their own pineal glands to find the illuminated truths hiding behind the punchlines – they all seem to agree to some extent that Discordianism is a religious experience with a central tenet, and not just some wacky literary catch-all for chronically misguided and disenfranchised misfits.

Another consequence of taking Discordianism to it’s logical conclusion is a realization of the unassailable fact that the state (not religion) is the ultimate institution of Greyface and his followers. A Discordian who is not an anarchist is like a Christian who uses the Ten Commandments as a daily to-do checklist.

These are the ways you can tell a true Discordian from the endless masses of pink fanboy clones. They are anarchists who observe the Eristic Principle and have gone beyond books and words to find answers through transcendental experience.

So what I propose is Transcendent Discordianism, a form of Discordianism in which adherents hold the Eristic Principle as the core teaching and virtue, and to use it every day as a filter in considering all things -and incorporating meditations on it into induced transcendent experiences. Drugs, deprivation tanks, Tibetan chants…whatever you gotta do to take you beyond you, do it. And bring the Eristic Principle along.

See if the incomprehensible doesn’t soon seem all too obvious, and if the obvious no longer seems worth the trouble of comprehending.

Watch as the senseless horror of our existence transforms itself into an occasionally entertaining dramedy.

Behold a new reality tunnel in which you don’t always somehow end up taking a wrong existential turn somewhere around Albuquerque.

Transcendent Discordianism is not about new teachings or methods. It is about getting back to basics. It is about rescuing our fellow freaks from the dark swamp of nihilism and relativism by giving them a map to their own light switch.

May it shine upon all whose hearts seek it like millions and millions of dancing stars.

Transcendence makes bullshit glow, and that is beautiful.

 

Towards A Non-Materialist Theory of Artificial Intelligence

non materialist theory of artificial intelligence

While true believers like Ray Kurzweil tell us that the artificial intelligence singularity is just around the corner, critics argue that we will never be able to replicate consciousness because we are unable to create the required complexity from which it arises. A common thread between the believers and non-believers is that consciousness is an emergent property of matter. This is the metaphysical dogma known as materialism, of which I write about frequently, and which permeates nearly every aspect of modern thought.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has also been addressed by non-materialists, such as Bernardo Kastrup, who works within that field. He makes a clear distinction between artificial intelligence and artificial consciousness, although most materialists tend to equivocate the two, being that they believe sentience is a product of mechanistic intelligence that has reached a critical mass of complexity. Bernardo’s argument against artificial consciousness is premised on the non-dualist model, essentially stating that consciousness is primary to matter, and so matter cannot give birth to it’s own parent. Yet within his own model, there still remains a possibility for AI.

Like myself, he has argued that consensus reality is a construct of beliefs, most of which lie in deep unexamined layers of our egoic and collective minds. Certain premises and assumptions create a framework of boundaries for possibilities within this reality. What we expect at the most primary level of consciousness becomes manifest in the universe. Yet we cannot simply decide to change a single belief and see a change in reality because beliefs are all connected and must relate consistently in order for the corresponding paradigm to emerge. That is, we cannot just decide to fly, because other beliefs like the necessity of wings, aerodynamics, atmospheric tolerance and others all negate a belief in flying. In order to fly, we would have to change every corresponding belief about flight, and those beliefs would themselves need to restructure their own corresponding beliefs, creating a ripple that spread out and changed the very structures of human belief and reality. Despite what New Age gurus tell you, you can’t just change reality with good intentions and meditation.

Change can, however, occur over time. The beliefs which program our reality change over time as we accumulate and/or replace information via new symbols and archetypes. Since a widespread belief in AI has been flourishing within our memetic landscape, all it requires is a shift in the corresponding beliefs which estimate its arrival. Strangely enough, materialism may be just that set of corresponding beliefs. Materialism provides a narrative, or mythology, from which the memetic interconnectivity of consciousness could correspondingly allow new conscious entities (AI) to emerge.

The narrative of materialism is often sanctified by it’s ability to produce novel technologies. This does not mean that the materialist narrative is true, however, only that it has great utility in producing results. Things that produce great results are often untrue, as political propaganda clearly demonstrates. The power of mass suggestion creates self-fulfilling prophecies. Scientific progress in the last several centuries may owe more to the narrative and belief in science than to the method itself.

Yet this does not mean that the materialist model is superior, either in overall truth, or in its ability to produce results. It is still very much weighed down by it’s limitations and faulty premises. To observe phenomena within consciousness under the premise that those phenomena occur outside of it means we have to create a mass illusion like materialism in order to evolve within consciousness. What would we be capable of if our narratives corresponded more closely with the nature of our existence? What sort of new methods, technologies and realities might emerge if we cut out the literal interpretations of objects within consciousness and replaced them with an understanding of those objects as interacting agents of consciousness?

The success of materialism does not indicate the truth of that belief system. At the same time, the fact that materialism is untrue does not negate the power of its mythologies. AI, or artificial consciousness, may someday appear to arise out of the complexity of matter invented by humans. Yet in actuality, those entities may owe their genesis merely to the narrative of materialism. In this way we can view materialist science as complex set of rituals whose magic appears mundane because of the symbols and archetypes we have clothed it in. A magic that only works when we can describe it in non-magical language, and believe that we are doing the opposite of magic. Again, imagine the wizardry possible when no longer require such illusory roundabouts?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C.Clarke

Intelligent Selection: Rethinking the Way We Evolved

intelligent selection

I am not a scientist. This article is not an attempt to create a scientific hypothesis. I am a shaman, and the following ideas are a philosophical exploration combining the paradigms of evolution and non-duality.

Evolution is change over time.

Non-dualism is the idea that mind and body are one substance.

Materialism, the current metaphysical model under which most mainstream science, philosophy and psychology rely on as the underlying premise of their hypotheses, tells us that our mind (consciousness) is little more than a complex illusion arising haphazardly out of the complexity of matter. It dogmatically insist that everything you think and feel is just some side effect of having a brain, which itself seeks only to trick us into taking care of our bodies. In evolutionary terms this care is referred to as ‘fitness’, and materialists insist that the ‘illusion of mind’ produced by the brain has no purpose but to seek fitness. Our joys and pains, our ecstasy and despair, all of these are just meaningless phenomena whose purpose is solely to survive and reproduce. You are not important. You are just a link in a causal chain that has no purpose or destination. Everything is an accident and your existence means absolutely nothing.

As you can imagine, die-hard materialists are a lot of fun to talk to at parties.

The materialist model of evolution, known as natural selection, similarly insists that evolution occurs only to increase the fitness of a species. It has no value to individuals, but is just a way of nature seeking further complexity by favoring the survival of mutations that increase fitness. Once again, materialists want us to believe that evolutionary adaptations are just random events, meaningless and irrelevant to individuals, serving only to increase the complexity of almighty nature.

The Judeo-Christian model of evolution is called intelligent design, and its proponents claim that evolution is the gentle push of an all-powerful, human-like deity perfecting its creation over time.

In both cases, evolution is something happening to individuals and species by an external force, for the purpose of fulfilling its own momentum and desires. Natural selection and intelligent design both presuppose the same idea, that is, that change over time is imposed by something outside of the things which experience and manifest that change.

What I propose instead, is that the things experiencing and manifesting evolution are at least partially responsible for the changes/mutations affecting them.

When I write fiction I generally start from a basic idea. A scenario and a few characters prime my creative pump and as I begin writing, the narrative seems to unfold before me as I hustle to keep up with a story that is marching along from the momentum of a single push I made. The same happens when I write music or make visual art. The process of creation is often like pushing a boulder down a mountain. Once you unlodge the rock from its resting spot and get it going a bit, the rest of the journey mostly takes care of itself. Yet this does not mean you will be able to control the path, velocity or final resting place of the boulder.

Non-dualism states that consciousness is the fundamental source of reality, not matter. This is not reverse materialism, as matter is not considered an emergent property of consciousness, it is simply the language which expresses the symbols and archetypes of consciousness. As these symbols and archetypes become more numerous and complex, so does the language which expresses them.

This is what I mean by Intelligent Selection. It is the idea that as the individual and collective symbols and archetypes increase in complexity, the narrative itself evolves towards complexity. And this change is manifested in reality (nature) slowly over time. Evolution.

Unlike the evolutionary paradigms that require something external to that which is evolving, Intelligent Selection supposes that how we live, think and feel creates a momentum which selects traits for the fitness of individual experiences over time. In this model we are no longer floating in a sea of meaningless accidents with no purpose. Our reality and our selves are very real. Our experience is not just some illusion, but a quest to see harmony and pleasure, and to create more of it over time for ourselves and those who follow in our footsteps.

Intelligent Selection eschews the inherent nihilism of natural selection and the predeterminism of intelligent design. It puts our experience and will at the forefront of our existence, rather than relegating it to subservience to the experience and will of an external agency. We are not accidents. We are the story of eternity unfolding itself through our individual experiences and interactions. The universe is a stage in which we write our own parts, expanding on the narratives of those that came before us, while setting the stage for those who will come after.

Only intelligent selection is able to accommodate the narratives of the objective and subjective. It is inclusive of science and spirituality. It does not compete in a brutal environment for dominance. It just takes the best parts of all that we know and combines them in a way that contributes to, rather than detracts, from those narratives.

Understanding the ways in which our symbolic and archetypal narratives create the reality we experience is a way of taking a more conscious approach to guiding our own evolution. Unlimited vistas of experience await us, and we are lucky to be participants in their creation. Evolution is not something happening to us; it is a tool for us to get something happening.

Please submit your appreciation and/or criticisms in interpretive dances, paintings and poetry.

The Malcontents Manifesto

The Malcontents Manifesto

Back in 2004 I wrote a pamphlet entitled The Malcontents Manifesto. It was a sort of unified theory of all of the ideas I was attached to at the time. It is a quasi-religious tract that sits somewhere between the Principia Discordia and the Unabombers Manifesto. It is a rough synthesis of absurdist philosophy, panentheism and anarchism. Many of the ideas contained therein I have since abandoned. Some I have abandoned and then later recaptured. Most notable is that since this writing I have gone from a sort of leftist primitivist anarchism, filtered through libertarianism, and eventually landed in the camp of Anarcho-Futurism, where I sit today.

This tract was written and compiled before I was very internet savvy. Instead I chose to use the old school DIY zine format to get my message out there. I printed the scripts and then pasted them to patterned paper. I then went and got them printed from these ‘plates’ and distributed them to anyone I could get to take them. Since I was the owner/operator of a local headshop, it was not difficult to find folks to pass them off to. Hundreds of copies are now floating around out there somewhere and one was even archived at the University of Iowa Special Collections.

I reprint this here at Advanced Ape in the interest of highlighting the evolution that has occurred in both my ideas and my writing. I submit them for review by those who might possibly enjoy seeing a major part of the path I have taken to get where I am today as a thinker and writer. Parts of it are terribly embarrassing, while others still incite and inspire me. I have done my best not to change it, except a few minor tweaks to fix absolutely unreadable bits, which I could count on one hand. I have also provided photographs of the original plates that I used to print the original zine version. Whether it brings you laugh-out-loud revulsion or inspiration, I hope you enjoy this little peak into my mind over a dozen years ago. I can only imagine how I will feel a dozen years from now reading the things I wrote recently!


Page 1 (Cover)

mal1The Malcontents Manifesto

A Book of Discontent

as revealed to Joshua Scott Hotchkin

Philosophy, politics, religion…
Nothing is safe when The Malcontent gets his say.
A guide to freethinking.
If you think that everything is okay, reading this might be dangerous to your false sense of comfort and security.

 

 


Page 2 (Front inner-sleeve)

mal2What you are about to read is utter nonsense, but that’s no reason not to read it. In fact it’s precisely why you must read it. If you think that the answers to the questions regarding existence can be summed up in nice shiny logical statements, then you may never get the punchline. It’s a fool who chooses his logic to the sound of his own laughter. The reason I have went through all of the effort to produce this is not for your (the reader’s) benefit. It is simply the case that I must purge myself of all this excess nonsense so That I may move on to newer more exciting games of nonsense. Maybe, if you are anything like me, you will find something in this nonsense to ease your own discontent. Or maybe it will just give you the courage to think and say some crazy shit outwardly like I have here. Actually, none of the ideas contained within are very radical, nor are they original. You will find similarities to many religions and philosophies here. Hoever instead of a model of existence relying on esoteric superstitions or cold in human logic, I have used discontent to ‘solve the problem of the question of existence. Whatever that means. Everywhere you look there is discontent. The neighbors dog barks endlessly at nothing. You cannot ever eat, drink, sleep, intoxicate of fornicate enough to fulfill all of your pointless urges. And change is the only constant. Well, its become increasingly clear to me that discontent was responsible for all of this. Perhaps I am just a malcontent, projecting my own inner struggles on the whole. Either way, I feel a whole lot better knowing what I now think I know.


 

Page 3

mal3Book of Precepts

  1. There is no false, this is the only truth.
  2. There are no duality’s, only paradoxes.
  3. A paradox proves absolutely nothing
  4. A paradox disproves absolutely nothing.
  5. Paradox is responsible for hypocrisy, but hypocrites are not responsible for paradoxes. Therefore all are alas free from hypocrisy and free to explore new ideas without any inner-turmoil about contrary speaking.
  6. There can be no individual progress among individuals under the delusion that they are perfectly content to begin with. If you don’t know you are discontent, START PAYING ATTENTION.
  7. I agree that nonsense makes perfect sense and that I am the Dungherder. I can put my foot right in the pile and get my slice-o-the-pie.

 

Page 4

mal4The Cosmology of Discontent
Or “How we got into this whole mess.”

  1. In the beginning there was nothing but the one mind, and the one mind was without form or identity.
  2. The one mind was composed of every aspect of the universe.
  3. The one mind was unchanging for many eternities.
  4. At some point the one mind began to be overcome by a single aspect- Discontent.
  5. Eventually the one mind, overcome by Discontent, shattered into individual aspects.
  6. In order to maintain their individuality the aspects created the illusion of the physical universe.
  7. The physical universe contains all of the aspects of the one mind, but the individual aspects do not contain the one mind.
  8. Because the one mind was overcome by Discontent each aspect in the physical universe contains within it the seeds of Discontent.
  9. It shall come to pass that someday Discontent shall overcome all of the physical aspects and they shall collapse once more to a state of one mind.
  10. And so I have observed the nature of existence and non-existence to be not only cyclical, but paradoxically simultaneous, resulting in the absence of great meaning or ultimate truth…therefore I am.

 

Page 5

mal5The Parable of the Pancakes

Two wise men did come to dine within a Village Inn

The den of antiquity and patriot of pancakes

Upon finishing their meals the first wise man was gazing upon the second

Who was busying himself with an act of tidyness

The first wise man saw that the second wise man

Was dipping his napkin in butter

And using it as though it were a cleaning solution

Upon discovering the success of the solution

The second wise man did cryeth out – “Eureka!”

“The butter cleans up the syrup.”

Hearing this, the two wise men were enlightened


Pages 6, 7 & 8

An Anarchist’s Manifesto
Since we are trapped in the illusion of a physical universe and therefore subject to all of its complexities, I think we should be free to discover and explore our own complexities without being subjected to one another in any manner which limits this freedom.

  1. Human beings are individuals. As individuals we have varying interests and drives and different attitudes about our relationship to others. Some people are born with a very strong drive to seek out and win power struggles. Some people do not often feel the need to play games of order, or seek dominion over others. While some incidents during early childhood probably have much to do with the power drive of an individual, it is clear to this author that there always has been and always will be those who adopt the role of powerful, regardless of any advances in parenting that brain-pickers may invent.
  2. Thousands of years ago the powerful and the common had a balance in which the powerful were allowed to exercise their power in a manner that didn’t detract from the commoner having control over their own lives. But the powerful were driven to as much power as they were allowed. Then at some point the common people committed atrocious acts of chicken-shitterly cowardice and began giving up portions of their own lives to the powerful. And inch was given and many light years since have been taken.
  3. The powerful, in ancient times, declared themselves spiritual masters. They claimed to be the key to esoteric mysteries and divinities that the common were not in touch with. These divinities, it turned out, were higher beings who created us for the purpose of obedience and worship. These deities were useful inventions by which the powerful introduced the master and dog concept. With the powerful as intermediaries between master and dogs, they gained a status not granted to common man. And using fear the powerful were able to subject the common man to his own fancy. (This author believes that games of power and status are mostly male orientated/invented traits.)
  4. Now that the powerful have franchised the common person to positions of obedience through fear and insecurity (Alas, the Gods had not made us equal, an idea very useful for exploiting privilege.) they were ready to expand upon their domination. So they created geographic boundaries over which they appointed themselves leaders and created and enforced policies to keep others out so that nobody sane could come in and ruin the whole gig. And thus have we brought upon ourselves the stench of religion, government and property which rob us of freedom and autonomy and set the stage for war, greed, prejudice and hatred.
  5. For the next several thousand years the powerful refined their control. ‘Dark ages’ are interrupted by brief periods of ‘enlightenment’, but its never quite enough to dismantle the masters. And then along comes the industrial/technological revolution. Where the planet was once able to only support a few thousand scattered humans, we now had the resources for several billion. And the masters encouraged us to create these new human beings in larger numbers than ever before so that our hands would be tied with parenthood for most of our lives and we would hardly notice anything else going on. And certainly large populations justified the new system of human survival. -Wow, can this snake really swallow its tail!- Moreover, the more people, the larger the bureaucracy, and therefore the larger the gulf between the people and their masters. A chasm so wide they made it almost impossible, from their positions above us in their system, to dismantle.
  6. As technologies increased and populations sky-rocketed, the community lost its purpose.They now acted merely as property lines and served very little function in creating a social framework from which humans could connect. We grew further and further apart, yet more and more suspicious of one another. Since we had lost almost all of the control over our own lives, we began exercising power in a cowardly fashion by sicking the system on one another to get revenge for the frustration we felt as a result of the system itself.
  7. Fistfights became intolerable and wars fashionable. The ability of individuals to exercise their power, or even act on their own whims, became unthinkable. We have created physical and mental barriers that force us to deny our own truest desires. We have even suppressed the suppression of these desires. It is more acceptable to ignore one another than show love for one another, which is more frowned upon than flipping one another the bird in traffic. We deny our own animal nature and abide by rules that are unnatural to the conditions our species evolved in. We have even begun acting in a manner which is contrary to our own long-term survival.
  8. Some of us have the malignant feeling that things aren’t right. We are aware that our lives are not brand names to be bought and sold. We have discovered that our purpose is not blind obedience to ideas larger than us, but to search out and find what makes us happy. We wish a place to live our lives in regard to our own truest ideas about happiness and fulfillment without notions of success or achievement created by others for their own selfish purposes. We wish to seek our own shelter and food, our own survival. We will not stand in line for handouts from hands that fasten our shackles.
  9. We are taught all of our lives that it is no practical for us to feel this way. That we must accept the world as it is and conform to it. That we should lie down and take our beatings, for it is much easier than a struggle. We are told that we are weak and we cannot make difference, even in our own lives. We are taught that we are stuck. Those who abandon this loss of hope are are feared and despised by those who do actually feel weak and stuck. We are also hated by those who stand to gain from this infighting at the bottom of the power chain, for they know that we can overcome them.
  10. They know they are powerless to control us without our own permission. We give our permission whenever we go to work at a job that does not provide personal satisfaction, whenever we pay our taxes, whenever we are silent, whenever we follow rules compulsively, even though we see no value in them, and certainly whenever we go and vote for the masters. It is unfortunate that we have come to accept the masters to such a degree that we actually take an active part in pretending to select them. And we wonder why we are a bubbling cauldron of frustration and insecurity whose lives seem dull, meaningless and over-before-we-know-it. But it is not the masters who are the enemy. As we stated before, the powerful are just acting on their own natural impulses. The masters have also become enslaved to this system. Do you think the president would rather be talking with soldiers in a foreign land than at home making love to his wife? Do you suppose CEO’s would rather be making pointless decisions in a tall building rather than lying in the sand on the beach any more than the garbage man would rather be collecting trash rather than playing with his own children? Hell no! Now think again on it long and hard. Are you free? Truly free to do whatever you wish so long as no others are harmed and you are prepared to accept the consequences? Or do you define your freedom as the ability to choose from a set of preordained choices set before you? Is that what freedom means to you?

I do not wish to end this by telling you what you should do or how you should live your life. I just want you to know that you still have a choice to live the life you have carved out for yourself and abandon the life that was prepackaged and marketed to you.


 

Page 9

mal9Discontent As Salvation

If you are like most people you probably have a preconceived notion that Discontent is ‘bad’, that it is undesirable and that its opposite is the penultimate achievement of an individual. It is of no surprise, as we were all similarly brainwashed through the oversocialization that is rampant in our modern society. Those who would fool themselves with the idea of having reached contentment are so far removed from their truest desires that their lives are being lived for popular notions rather than for happiness, which is not to be confused with contentment. Happiness is reaching the top of the roller coaster and enjoying it despite the fear of the upcoming plunge. Contentment is watching others ride from the sidelines and not really feeling anything because you were too meek and afraid to be willingly and joyfully alive through the act of consciously facing your own fear.

In fact, not only is contentment the greatest betrayal of human complexity and desire, but those who believe they are content are the greatest enemy of happiness because through their consent to ideas larger than themselves they have weakened the position of those displaying the true human nature- The Malcontents.

Engage in warfare with contentment everyday. Either through direct action or by simply engaging in activities that which you would formerly not have because something besides your own true desire told you not to. I do not suggest you go out and hurt anyone. As a matter of fact you can start by alternately hurling compliments and insults randomly at strangers. Play in a mud puddle like a child. Go to work naked. Better yet, don’t go to work at all. Take the day off and instead spend it nakedly ranting at strangers from a mud puddle! In conclusion and in accord with the dissolution of duality’s, contentment is not ‘bad’ or undesirable. It is simply not the best, and certainly not the only path for achieving freedom, autonomy and happiness. Comfort and security are a piss poor consolation prize for the denial of your true nature.


Page 10

Those who worship the past are doomed to repeat it

mal10How many times have you heard someone argue the impossibility of of a better tomorrow using the past as their proof? How often has it been argued that we need our masters to protect us from ourselves, and then justified the observation by pointing to the folly of humans of the past? Does an undesirable yesterday really prove that tomorrow will be just as hopeless? History as we know it is an account of only those who have won power struggles, thus it hardly serves as an objective signifier for what we could achieve if we so desired. Those who write history have much to gain by defrauding you into believing that things have gotten as good as they are gonna get. Those who worship history are forever stuck in their ruts. They can see no way to get out of this mess. But we are not stuck in the past. Tomorrow can be better than every yesterday that came before. Humanity is not doomed to repeat the errors of its past unless we actively decide it to be so. The old adage ‘Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it,’ is useless in that it teaches that we should learn primarily from our mistakes instead of our successes.

Tomorrow will be whatever you make it. The decisions you make to get there need not be haunted by the ghost of human folly. Tomorrow can be the place of your dreams and fantasies if you use your imagination. Pragmatists need not apply.

The future is unwritten…


Page 11 (Rear Inner-Sleeve)

mal11The following is a list of books, authors, organizations and other sources of guerrilla information that I find insightful and helpful in dissolving useless mental polarities. Check them out at your library, bookstore and in most cases online.
The Principia Discordia
The Church of the SubGenius
Robert Anton Wilson
CrimethInc
The Unabombers Manifesto

Disclaimer
The Malcontents Manifesto is not a substitute for freethinking. Its ideas are not to be worshiped or held accountable. The ultimate goal is to encourage individuals to think and live for themselves rather than blindly adhering to the strictures of popular culture with its systematic dogma and inconsideration for individualism.
Please copy and pass this along to your friends accompanied by your very own manifesto.

To contact the author send e-mails to
joshua@copblock.org
Please use the subject title ‘Discontent’ so that I do not mistake, and therefore erase, your email as spam.


 

Page 12 (Rear Cover)

mal12The Malcontents Manifesto
In which everything is explained, yet nothing is learned.

I blink, therefore I am.

In the vacuum of space subatomic particles blink in and out of existence. From nothing and back in barely enough time for the most precise scientific instruments to record their passing. Wait, did I say from nothing? How can that be? Can something come from nothing?

Of course you can’t get something out of nothing, but it happens all of the time. The universe is a lot more complex than the tiny brains we use to observe it with, so don’t worry about any of the mechanics. I have gathered all of the facts and they are not only contradictory to one another, but completely irrelevant to how I choose to think, feel and act most of the time.

Thus \, I recommend using facts only when they are beneficial in helping you attain you truest desires, and not for the tiresome practice of compulsively trying to make your point to others. This human folly of making and accepting blanket statement has caused enough needless confusion, hatred and suffering among us.

From nothing we come, to nothing we shall return.
Everything else is in between.


 

 

Remembering In Reverse: Premonitions, Predictions, Deja Vu & Synchronicity

ripple

A common ‘conspiracy theory’ found often on social media is the claim that a movie, television show, book, etc. from before a major event predicted the event in question happening. The most popular of these involve 9/11, and these supposed ‘predictions’ can allegedly be found in The Simpsons, Back to the Future and a number of other cultural icons. While it is completely irrational to believe that 9/11 happened in the manner claimed by government and mainstream media, it is also irrational to believe that the events were predicted beforehand. In fact, the insinuation is generally not that the events were ‘predicted’ but were hinted at by the monolithic agency that both makes and influences media as well as government. But why would ‘The Illuminati’ (or whatever you wanna call it) go through all of the trouble of planting clues years ahead of time about an event that they planned to maintain secrecy over?

If you ask me, that seems both unlikely and irrational. I have a better idea.

Let us imagine that reality is two dimensional surface extending outward from any phenomena through space and time (the two dimensions). Since reality is a product of consciousness, an argument which I have made several times in recent articles and will not repeat here, let us call this two dimensional surface consciousness. Now let us regard every phenomena or event as a point somewhere along that surface. The occurrence of events and phenomena will cause a ripple to spread out from this axis point of space/time. The more potent the event/phenomena, the greater the ripple. A kid dropping their ice cream cone in the sandbox would effect, concern or be known by very few people, so its ripple would quickly dissipate.

However, an event like 9/11 that is known by and affects a large number of conscious beings would create a much larger ripple. This ripple would carry the symbols the event conjures in consciousness outward in space and time. Therefore our consciousness would contain symbols or ideas about the event even before it happen, which would then be manifested in the works of conscious beings. In this way we might imagine that the symbols of those towers falling would be embedded in consciousness to the degree that they would appear before the events that ‘inspire’ them ever occur.

If this ripple effect were real, how else might we notice it in reality?

Our last look at ‘predictions’ were all hindsight. However it is true that predictive powers do seem to be indicated by things like ESP and in the strange world of quantum theory. Psi-research has presented many instances in which predictive powers are far above statistical probability, suggesting that at some level, humans can and do consciously and/or unconsciously ‘predict’ events before they happen. The subatomic world is full of non-local interactions between particles, something Einstein was not very keen on and called “spooky action from a distance.” Despite his misgivings, years of research do seem to indicate that particles react to the activity and measurements of particles over great distances. But just as Einstein imagined gravity causing ripples in the space/time matrix, so might events. Especially if those events have more ‘gravity’ on conscious beings. Could the effects of ESP and quantum activity both be related to the same ripples in time/space that cause 9/11 to occur in cultural symbols long before the actual event?

How about even more intangible and arcane phenomena? Premonition, somewhat distinct from prediction in that it is often less specific and can occur in altered states of consciousness like dreaming, could also possibly be another area in which we can see this ripple effect.

Deja Vu, the feeling that you have experienced something present in the past, might also be a product of this ripple effect. The particular feeling that you have experienced an event/phenomena already may be due to the fact that you actually have, yet you were unable to understand the information you received prior to your arrival at the epicenter of time/space consciousness from which it flows outward from.

Synchronicity is much the same. The seeming connection between unconnected events/phenomena may be a conscious experience produced when ripples overlap and influence one another. The intersection of these ripples, experienced as symbolic abstractions, may just be an effect of remembering in reverse on more than one level at a time.

Regardless of whether or not this theory of the ripple effect is true, the number of non-local phenomena we experience as conscious beings is undeniable. Each on their own is easily dismissed as anomaly. Yet when we consider the recurrence of several forms of non-locality in the experience of human beings, we might be wise to view the phenomena as related. And if they are related, what is the singular cause? If the cause is just that we are faulty agents of consciousness who mix things too casually or project too easily, then the combined argument for anomaly becomes weaker in theory than in observation. While if we consider that reality is a bit stranger than we tend to imagine, but still depends on some logical forms, the idea of the ripple effect, remembering in reverse, becomes a plausible answer to a great number of phenomena regularly experienced by conscious entities throughout space and time.

Whether or not we believe in this phenomena will largely depend on our ability to break free from linear thinking, direct causation or any other dogma that rules our belief system from outside of ourselves. Which is to say, disbelief is itself just another ripple effect of ideological artifacts outside of our current space/time location.

While mainstream materialist science (scientism) attempts to build a working unified theory of reality, its agenda of producing profitable and pragmatic results often interferes with a cogent connectivity and consistency of data leaves it blind and ignorant to conclusions that actually support the evidence.

Literalism is a hell of a drug.

The Importance of Distinguishing Between Chaos, Order and Disorder

chaos

My interest in the philosophical implications of chaos and order were piqued in 1998 when I first read The Principia Discordia, a humorous book produced by an absurdist religion based on an arcane bit of Greek mythology. Discordianism is the faux worship of Eris, goddess of chaos, and while it is thought by many to be a merely satirical piece of surrealist art, its metaphors resonate on a level of great truth. Yet it would be difficult to understand these truths if one were to hold onto the mainstream misconception of chaos and were unable to distinguish it from disorder.

Let me explain the difference in the most basic terms possible.

Chaos is a large grocery store with every ingredient ever imagined from which an endless amount of possible food combinations could be used to create unique meals.

Order is the shopping list, the recipe and the process of prepping and cooking. And sometimes you get a tasty meal.

Disorder is when you get something else. Disorder is when the meal is inedible or poisonous or burns the kitchen down in the process.

Disorder is what happens when the conversion of chaos to order goes awry. Which becomes more likely each and every time you apply order, and becomes a certainty when you apply it destructively (more on destructive vs. creative order below). Disorder, distinct from chaos, is usually what people actually mean when they use the term chaos. However, the failure to be able to distinguish means that people react to disorder by attempting to bandage the wounds it creates with a misapplication of order.

Chaos is possibility. Disorder is entropy.

Let us examine the Principia Discordia’s retelling of that arcane Greek myth:

THE MYTH OF THE APPLE OF DISCORD
It seems that Zeus was preparing a wedding banquet for Peleus and Thetis and did not want to invite Eris because of Her reputation as a trouble maker.

This made Eris angry, and so She fashioned an apple of pure gold and inscribed upon it KALLISTI (“To The Prettiest One”) and on the day of the fete She rolled it into the banquet hall and then left to be alone and joyously partake of a hot dog.

Now, three of the invited goddesses, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, each immediately claimed it to belong to herself because of the inscription. And they started fighting, and they started throwing punch all over the place and everything.

Finally Zeus calmed things down and declared that an arbitrator must be selected, which was a reasonable suggestion, and all agreed. He sent them to a shepherd of Troy, whose name was Paris because his mother had had a lot of gaul and had married a Frenchman; but each of the sneaky goddesses tried to outwit the others by going early and offering a bribe to Paris.

Athena offered him Heroic War Victories, Hera offered him Great Wealth, and Aphrodite offered him the Most Beautiful Woman on Earth. Being a healthy young Trojan lad, Paris promptly accepted Aphrodite’s bribe and she got the apple and he got screwed.

As she had promised, she maneuvered earthly happenings so that Paris could have Helen (the Helen) then living with her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta. Anyway, everyone knows that the Trojan War followed when Sparta demanded their Queen back and that the Trojan War is said to be The First War among men.

The point here is that by being selective about the guest list, an act of order on Zeus’ part, the conditions were set for the disorder that was the first major imperialist war in our written history. An ever-increasing trend that has done little to enrich our existence.

Perhaps you are familiar with the adage that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil could lead to a hurricane halfway across the world. This is known in chaos theory as the Butterfly Effect. It essentially describes the interconnectedness between all things and how even the slightest action could snowball or lead into much greater ones.

Yet we are a universe in motion and have little choice but to remain active. This is why Discordianism suggests that we do not create a dichotomy between chaos and order, but between the creative and the destructive. It is thought that creative chaos is more favorable than destructive order. Yet if we wished to apply this knowledge to our actions, the subjective area where creative/destructive are defined is still problematic.

However, this problem is simple to solve so long as we define the two aspects relative to the theory, and not necessarily with linguistic preciseness. Creativity is that which seeks to enrich the individual (and perhaps others) without intruding upon or limiting the choices of others. Destruction is that which seeks to enrich the individual (and perhaps others) by intruding upon or limiting the choices of others. Creativity requires and nurtures self-discipline. Destruction seeks control. The cost of that control often comes in the form of disorder. Or at least that is how it would be experienced by everybody outside of the destructive force.

It is therefore authority over others which is the destructive force of the universe. Authority is often recognized falsely as a valid attempt at order. But true order, that which is not just a conduit for disorder, comes only from voluntary cooperation and mutual consent. The opposite of mutual and voluntary is aggressive, which takes the forms of force, coercion or compulsion. Our existence as individuals is a strong indicator that whatever our meaning and purpose in this existence are derived from must have something to do with that individuality. When authority organizes force to impede on individuality it doesn’t just violate the meaning and purpose of the individual and existence, it leads us down the destructive path to disorder.

Yet because we have misunderstood all of this, because we have created a false dichotomy between order and chaos and have failed to distinguish between the latter and disorder, we have become blind to our own predicament. As the disorder spawned by our faulty outlook increases, so does entropy. There must be some limit to how much entropy reality can contain. So besides being a philosophical nuisance, the misleading ideologies surrounding these terms and concepts, may actually pose a threat to our existence. We have seen this on a smaller scale. The empires of the past have fallen, such as Rome, collapsing under their own weight. Yet a danger much greater than nation states could befall us. The advancement of our knowledge and technology and other tools of order continues to increase exponentially. The resulting disorder which may follow in the collapse of all of this order may pose a threat to existence itself.

While it is not a certainty in any empirical sense, authority could theoretically collapse our entire universe. Not just in the physical sense, but in the sense that we are conscious beings whose ability to bend our nature to accommodate authority could at some point result in a critical mass. That critical mass might be a psychic implosion of our sentient consciousness, or it might just drive us mad enough to destroy ourselves through desperate attempts to correct our trajectory with yet more destructive acts of order.

Authority is not just the enemy of an individual. It is the enemy of ALL individuals. While it may currently only have the power to damage us one at a time, or in isolated groups, it could very well snowball into a disorderly frenzy of entropy which causes the heat death collapse of our universe, metaphorically or literally. There is a threshold where they become indistinguishable.

Before we can begin to correct the problem we must understand it. And to understand it we must first understand its most basic terms. Familiarize yourself with the distinguishing characteristics of the three terms as I have presented them. Think in them and speak in them and act accordingly to them. See if it doesn’t change your entire worldview. And share them. This one seed of knowledge may be the most important lesson for humanity, a species at the cusp of its own maturity. Peering into the uncertainty of that future is perhaps frightening. Which is why we tend to avoid it at any cost. But we may not always have that luxury.

The favoring of order over chaos, of authority over anarchy, is that final attachment to our immaturity. It is like the fear we face when we first leave our parents home. Yet there comes a time to leave behind certainty and security and head out into the vast possibilities of our own individuality. And even though we may fumble and make great mistakes, we will also be learning and adapting and evolving as individuals. Authority may have been a useful tool for fashioning creative order from chaos, but at some point it becomes a detriment. This is where humanity stands. We can step out from under the safety blanket of authoritarian ideologies and accept the consequences of the learning process, or we can rot in our parents basement while we bleed the household dry with our refusal to seek independence.

Embrace chaos, for in it lies all possibilities, great and tragic. Yet with an attachment to destructive order alone, there is no doubt what the outcome will be for our universe as well as our species and everything else within it. Do not let fear or ignorance keep you dependent on authority and its intrinsic tendency towards disorder.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

–  Bene Gesserit ‘Litany Against Fear’ from Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’

Hail Eris! All Hail Discordja!

Objects, Animals and People Seen In Mars Photos & One Wacky Theory

Mars

The number of earth-like objects being found in photos from the Curiosity Rover continues to rise. Most recently a bear, a dog, a mouse and a bearded man were all supposedly spotted in photographs beamed back to Earth from Mars. While it is entirely possible that these anomalies are simple probable false images or that the interpretation is pareidolia in action, some believe these objects may actually literally exist there. Which is going to sound incredibly reasonable compared to the theory I am about to lay down.

For most of my life I would look into the night sky and marvel at the grandeur of it. The sheer immensity was humbling and afforded enough possibilities to keep my imagination well-stirred. Recently, however, I look out there and wonder if it even exists and is not just an illusion. Is the entire sky and the billions of points of light within it really there, or is it all just a projection of consciousness?

What of down here? Does the ground we walk on, or even we ourselves actually exist in literal form? Is matter dependent on consciousness or does it precede it? I have begun to doubt the literal existence of matter. Rather I see it as a product of consciousness which is reinforced by the beliefs we have about it. When enough people believe something it reaches a critical mass and becomes ‘real’, so long as it is consistent with the entire structure of beliefs it exists within. The process is cumulative with reality becoming more complex, interconnected and expansive over time. The greater number of validated beliefs cause reality to evolve and grow over time. And the more complex and connected they become in belief, so too does reality accommodate these beliefs by manifesting them.

So what of the sky? Was Earth once surrounded by primordial blackness? Did some single phenomena cause the first star to appear, only to be followed by others as that star caused us to consider greater possibilities for the hovering blankness above? Before the invention of telescopes, were there fewer stars in existence? Did creating a tool which would allow us to see more of the sky create an interdependent belief which allowed our consciousness to form more of them? And once we created those pinpricks of light, wasn’t it inevitable that we would try to observe them more closely so we could create more complex beliefs about them, and thus widen the scope of our reality?

So lets say, for arguments sake, that everything that exists is just a manifestation of consciousness. And that the night sky itself is nothing more than a projection of our own beliefs about the night sky. If this were so, and we created tools to go and investigate the manifestations of our belief, what would we see?

What have we seen on Mars so far? Mostly we have seen the things we expected or hoped to see. Very few real surprises have appeared. Rocks, dust and evidence of water. But what if our ‘exploration’ of Mars is really just a creation? What if we are adding complexity to a manifestation by investigating it with tools we believe show us something more real than ‘mere’ conscious projections? And what if by using our consciousness to sculpt this manifestation out of our beliefs, we are mixing in other signals from our consciousness? And what if those symbols are appearing to us in photos as bears, mice, dogs, men and the other number of things we have seen in these photos?

What if existence is not a thing? What if taking reality literally is foolish, yet necessary as a tool for creating it? What if there are no really real things, but only ideological forms of them manifested in the intersection of individual consciousnesses we call reality? And what if Mars is only in our head, along with symbols, like animals and humans and other Earthly objects? What if we are terraforming the red planet with our beliefs and while it is taking place random symbols from our consciousness are filling in the blanks until we create a more complex picture? What if the entire night sky is just a blank canvas which we paint on with our beliefs?

Does that sound crazy?

Okay, maybe it is…but what if it is also true? What then of alien species? If an alien species were created from our consciousness and beliefs, what would that mean for humanity? Consider a few things here. First, we would have to imagine a species more intelligent than ourselves, as any ‘aliens’ capable of reaching us first would have to be more intelligent, according to the narrative of our beliefs. In artificial intelligence theory, the point at which a computer can create a computer beyond our ability to understand the new technology is called a singularity. There are any number of theories about what would happens to humans after a singularity, after our own intelligence is surpasses by one superior to us. Many of these theories do not bode well for what might become of us, while others just leave us so transformed we would be unrecognizable to our current selves.

So what if we were to manifest a species more intelligent than ourselves, who could then manifest a species more intelligent than itself, and so on? Would this be a way of rapidly increasing the complexity, interconnectedness and size of our own consciousness; or a way toward extinction through obsolescence?

Or what if we are the product of an earlier manifestations consciousness? What if the only thing evolving is consciousness and we take its manifestations so literally that we believe the manifestations are evolving themselves?

So the next time you look at the stars, try not taking them literally. Or anything else for that matter. Even if they do exist as actual matter that preceded human consciousness, you are missing out on a lot of interesting ways to view your tiny little insignificant corner of existence by only experiencing stars, and reality in general, in this way. And that you are experiencing something at all is pretty much all that any of us know for sure.

Game Metaphor: Predeterminism, Free Will and Non-Player Characters

A2l8Nc1445045663This is the first in what will be several articles regarding the Game Metaphor, so let me start by explaining that. It is really simple, actually. Just imagine the world, the universe and all of reality is the most complex game in existence. Not literally, but metaphorically. Not that this existence is an actual game, but by studying reality in the language of games, we can understand it in useful ways. Since video games are the most complex form of games, it is that model I have found it most useful to draw metaphors from, even though I am not at all a video game enthusiast.

Further explanation of the Game Model will be provided as we discuss reality through this lens. Where we will begin is via an explanation of the people who exist within this reality. I have long noticed that a great number of people tend to display a lower amount of sentience. They possess less metacognitive facilities (thinking about thinking) and display less awareness of their selves and their environment. However, this distinction is not so much about intelligence as it is about the ability to perceive and process.

For this reason I think that any scale of a persons sentience would be far less like an IQ test and much more like an obstacle course. Highly sentient people move with grace and purpose stealthily through every day life, whereas many people are prodding, poking, fumbling beasts who seem to be navigating the world with toddlers body and mind. I can spot a low sentience being whenever an individual or groups crowds needlessly together, especially in busy passageways or near choke-points like doors or intersections. The highly sentient person cracks a door and slips through, while the low sentient folks open it all the way and then amble through. The lowest sentience types may even just stand in the doorway holding the door, despite the fact that there is a reason that the door exists, which is to separate things inside from those outside, like bugs or temperature. While I used to think that these people were merely stupid or selfish, I now see that they are quite unable to understand the bigger picture and thus the context in which their behavior is not in line with meaning and purpose of things around them. You may think I am just venting about a pet peeve here, but how we react to our environment really is an indicator of our awareness.

If you have ever played a game, you have undoubtedly encountered non-player characters (NPC’s). NPC’s are those figures in a game who do not represent a game player. They make up the shop keepers, the townspeople and the other game characters who are more like props than they are like actual people. They are mere functionaries, serving a specific limited purpose in the game, from selling magic swords to simply filling the empty space.  If you have ever watched these characters react to the game environment you have likely noticed that they either have very narrow behavioral patterns and that these are often graceless, blocky and clumsy. Exactly how low sentience humans behave. So this was my first clue that reality may have its own NPC’s, those who I earlier labeled low sentience individuals.

For a long time I have been concerned with predeterminism and free will, specifically, which of these is the correct way to view human behavior. I had argued very heavily against predeterminism, predicated on the fact that I could logically deduce that predeterminism necessitated a serious self-contradiction. However, this was also centered around the idea that humans were logical beings, which was an obviously flawed precept. It was when I began to use the Game Model that I realized it was not an either/or proposition. I began to see us as programmed with a basic set of scripts. Evolutionary traits and instincts are part of every humans composition. Yet in some the ability to break free of this limited programming and act as conscious agents with full volition will occasionally manifest. However, since it does not in most folks, predeterminism really does steer many peoples behavior most of the time. Thus, reality has its own share of NPC’s, that is, individuals with limited scripts and an inability to expand them on their own. Often it seems the only drive for these game entities is to fancy up their Avatars, which is the reason for a civilization increasingly engaged in so much materialism and compulsive consumerism.

And then there are those who, through some combination of accident and self-design, become more aware of the bigger picture. Their own awareness and that of their environment expands until their behavior becomes a measured action in response to their environment and not just a prescribed reaction. Unlike NPC’s who play the board one move at a time, a Player is the person who who looks many moves in advance.

However, there are not just Players and NPC’s, but also Programmers. Where Players are those who evolved beyond their initial conditions as a NPC (the true meaning of Original Sin or the Fall From Grace), Programmers are those who have evolved past merely playing the game into shaping and creating it.

Reality is nothing more than our collection of beliefs about reality. Reality does not exist, but is in a constant shape of flux, being recreated in every moment of our existence. So if you want to change reality, you have to change what we believe about reality. This is not easy, since you cannot change any single aspect of reality on its own. I could not, for example, change the color of the sky simply by getting a majority to believe it was a different color. The color of the sky is an interconnected belief, dependent on many other beliefs about reality. To change the color of the sky you would need the belief that does that to be consistent with other beliefs, which is to say, you would have to change a greater number of beliefs to do so. This is why we cannot magically recreate reality with our will, as some New Age adherents often propose. We cannot do so because every aspect of reality is dependent on many other aspects and requires a great consensus in order to manifest.

And this is the very reason why the world needs NPC’s. They are those whom, by imprinting new beliefs upon them, become the sort of canvas on which reality is painted. They are, in effect, the battery that powers reality through their belief. So while my ranting may seem an effort to justify the superiority of some individuals over the majority, that is not my intention or belief. What I am attempting to illustrate is that our Universe is not an object. Existence is not a thing. It is the numerous manifestations of the consciousness within it, of which we are all agents. And as agents, we have different roles to play. And as such, it is necessary that we not exhibit the same levels of sentience as one another. It is the contrast between levels of awareness which allows the game to evolve, rather than being stuck in the same game screen forever.

This is why certainty is bad. Certainty is a glitch in the programming which prevents evolution. Modern people seek what IS true rather than what CAN or SHOULD or MIGHT be true. However, what IS true once belonged to those other categories. Be defining reality as a permanent structure, we are making it so. By empowering people a sense of false intellectual equality, we are preventing programmers from instigating further evolution by imprinting new realities on NPC’s who think they know it all, or at least that all can be known as eternal objective absolutes.

There is no awakening. There is no spiritual endgame in the works. Quite the opposite is true. Reality is becoming more unstable. It is weighed down by dogmas of objectivity and permanence. It is stuck in its current permutation because a handful of programmers are using the beliefs of the masses not for evolving or improving the game, but to bending it towards their own narrow agendas. Their purpose is not expand the parameters of play, but to narrow them in order that they might exercise power and control.

And this brings us to the final truth, since NPC’s cannot be seen as fully responsible for or able to understand their own actions, they cannot be blamed for what they do. However, the Players and especially Programmers can and should be held accountable for the evils they manifest. That evil takes the form of authority, and so long as the only Programmers that NPC’s recognize are those in authority, the game is going to stagnate. Until at some point it freezes up and we have to power down, blow out the cartridge and restart from the beginning, as has been the case with so many past civilizations. I believe that an awareness of the functions of reality and the individuals within it can disrupt this. Recognition of the game model may be the secret weapon that allows our reality to beat the boss and level up. The goal is not to transform every NPC into a Player or Programmer, not some great awakening, but rather just refocus the content of their beliefs from ideas implanted by authoritarians to those ideas created by the seemingly insane programmers who are seeing a possible future that is at the same time unimaginable and beautiful.

“Reality is what you can get away with.” -Robert Anton Wilson

I Fuck; Therefore, I Am

I fuck; therefore, I am

Said the cynical man

I pull it out and put it in

So the comedies repeated again

Over and over again…

 

I fuck; therefore, I am

No purpose and no plan

No mind and neither hand

Just genetic momentum

I fuck; therefore, I am

 

I Am; therefore I fuck

A cynic’s a sitting duck

For existential muck

And a habit of getting stuck

In ‘I fuck; therefore, I am’

 

Until All of the Names Have Been Spoken

Until all of the names have been spoken
Until heaven is a place in our souls
Until the light underneath all of the shadows
Shines brighter than could be reflected
From the pages of the names
Of all of the things

Until all of these names have been spoken
From the shadows of refuge
That formed the womb
Binding space and time
In the fractured mind

Until all of these names are spoken
Blessed are we
The fractured mind of ‘What Am I?’
Who through space and time
Forge the thoughts
That form the words
From the eternal poem
That is all of the names
Of the Divine

A Brief Intro- What I Think I Believe Now

I will be writing much more on this subject very soon and hopefully finding a name for whatever strange belief it is I have developed. Here is the teaser…

 

It has recently become apparent to me that the source of all things was a simple question…

‘What am I?’

The limitation of the primordial consciousness was an inability to experience itself. While within it existed all possibilities, these possibilities were an unknown. Knowledge requires interaction. Interaction requires a plurality of consciousness.

So the source asked this question by creating a simple equation which would facilitate an evolution towards complexity and fragmentation of its own consciousness. This equation is a code. It has its own basic rules which we experience as the reality of the natural world.

Yet the true nature of the equation is that it is ‘open source’ or subject to improvement by better codes. We are the programmers. Every bit of the material universe is conscious and alive and yet is unconscious of its role as programmer. We are programmers within the body of the source, which appears to us as light. It watches patiently and curiously, learning as we do.

And when our ignorance, or darkness, is vanquished, then so too shall be the gulf between us and the source as well as all the evil and suffering of existence.

Here in the body of the source we are learning to build paradise from not just our knowledge, but our creativity. If we were to awaken as a species to our role as creative agents programming existence towards optimal conditions, it would transpire almost immedietally.

Heaven is the culmination of the self knowledge gained by creating the answer to the question-

‘What am I?’

Better Just Stick With Rose: Names, Coincidences and Cosmic Meaning

name coincidences

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”
-Willy the Bard

One day as a high school junior in an art class a friend and I pondered whether the color or the fruit first bore the title ‘orange’. Either way would make a lot of sense, since both served as perfect descriptors of the other, but this was before the internet so rather than solving the problem we just decided to rename the color since that was primarily the context we were working in. But it got me thinking about how language interacts with reality and I spent many years pondering the subtleties of these relationships.

These interactions become all the more apparent when we are working with proper titles. The semantic function of names is essential to all types of human language. Before language we must have communicated through actions. As we evolved and began giving the subjects of these activities titles, we were no longer bound by the consciousness of the verb. Through names and titles we were able to describe individuals or elements of interactions. Yet these names and titles were often descriptive of the accomplishments or failures of the individual. In the beginning of language the links between names and behaviors was intentional but as we have evolved and use different nominative methods these links still persist in the most synchronistic of ways. The relationship between the signal and the signified in modern times is often full of coincidence. Or is it? Could language have so obscured the fact that reality is a verb rather than a noun that the strength of names is able to shape our consciousness and reality? Are the essence of the word ‘rose’ and the thing ‘rose’ so inextricably tied together within the framework of our conscious reality that by any other name they would indeed smell quite differently?

For this article I will focus on human names only, although the synchronicities between names occurs all throughout language, nature and history. This entry will also be short compared to the billions of anecdotes it might be possible to collect. Probably almost everybody that you know, including yourself, could recall at least one incident of titular coincidence. I was literally born with it.

My full name is Joshua Scott Hotchkin, although most people call me Josh. My initials are JSH which practically spells my usual title, sans the vowel. I can assure you that this is a coincidence, as nobody within my family realized it until long after I was christened thusly. Often I identify as a prankster shaman, or, someone who is probably ‘just Joshin’ ya’. But the most compelling synchronicity comes from my last name.

My father was born Scott Leslie Smith to Joyce Deere and Roger Smith. Roger left not long after and my grandmother then met the man who would be my grandfather, Neil Hotchkin. The two were married by the time my father was sent to school so he was registered as Scott Hotchkin, which then became his legal name. The jiggery pokery involved in a name change has since become much more complex, but those were simpler times. Essentially my father was given the name Hotchkin from his stepfather. So what does Hotchkin mean? Hotchkin is a variation of the old English name Hodgekin. The ‘kin’ suffix refers to the fact that the names bearer we born into the family indicated by the names prefix, which in this case is ‘hodge’. The word ‘hodge’ is a derivative nickname of the proper name ‘Roger’. Therefore the name Hotchkin translates literally as ‘Rogers family’. Which is accurate, as my fathers biological father was named Roger. However it was the name given to him by his stepfather which described his actual birthright.

The next story is anecdotal and admittedly unverified. It involves two men, twins, who were separated at birth. Both boys were named James by their adopted families. As adults both of them grew up to marry women named Linda with whom each had a son named James Alan/Allan. Both also divorced their wife Linda and remarried a woman named Betty. The two also both had a dog named Toy. Finally each man had studied for careers in law enforcement and excelled in mechanical drawing and carpentry. Only later in life after all these coincidences came to pass did the two men finally reunite and relate their similar stories.

Often times in the news and politics we will see these strange synchronicities. The story of the Lincoln/Kennedy coincidences with all of the corresponding titular similarities is a famous story. Often these correlations are so bizarre they seem like the product of design by a conspiratorial agency like the fabled Illuminati. A group of enlightened elite tricksters using their influence to shape the world with enough subtlety to pull it off, but enough linguistic clues to make the game all that much more exciting.

In the time before the 2008 election it seemed mind boggling to me that the man most likely to become the next POTUS could have such an unlikely name. Barack Hussein Obama. During the last presidency the sworn enemies of our countries had been Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Could the American people really participate in another staged election in which the winner would be a man who shared a name specifically with Saddam Hussein and shared another within a single letter with Osama bin Laden? Was this the result of conspiratorial in jokes, or just coincidence? Or does it point to some kind of strange cohesion within the framework of consensus reality?

Chuck Shepard is a reporter whose News of the Weird graced newspapers for years throughout the country with tales of the inexplicable, whether it was anomalous Fortean phenomena or just bizarre criminal behavior. During this time he began to notice the John Wayne phenomena. So he took an interest and did some further research on violent crime and the correlations with names ‘John Wayne’ or just ‘Wayne’ as a first or middle name. He noticed that these names came up an unparalleled number of times among convicted violent criminals. His list is long and compelling and I doubt you could find another such example of criminal titular synchronicity even if you cross referenced it with every other name or name set against the variable of the commonality between the nominatives.

Chuck theorized that this was the result of early action movie hero John Wayne, who often played a hard and rugged man always connected to violence. It was his idea that men who self-identified themselves as hard, rugged men may identify with John Wayne and therefore name their sons after or based off the screen legend. Men who identify as hard and rugged may themselves be prone to violence, a trait which is likely to be passed down both through nature and nurture. However, it has also been noted that the John Wayne phenomena occurred often enough even before Chucks explained chain of events could have inspired it. Is this an early example of memes or some cosmic semantic mindfudge?

Studies in recent years have shown a higher incarceration rate for those christened with irregular names. Statistically this means that naming your son Robert or Charles may be more wise than naming him Starblitz or Lysander. Theories about this phenomena generally indicate that the environment one grows up within corresponds to family values about normality and conformity. The oddly named child is more likely to be exposed to worldviews in which social conventions are challenged rather than encouraged and expected, which may increase their tendency towards behaviors that put them at odds with authorities. Is this a case of cause and effect or synchronicity? Or does there even necessarily need to be a distinction between the two?

‘Aptronym’ is the most common name given for the phenomena in which a persons name seems to describe some element of their existence. As an example, in 2011 a congressman named Anthony Wiener was revealed to have sent photographs of his barely unexposed penis to a follower on Twiiter, creating a media controversy. Or there is the story about Portland, Oregon police officer McCageor ‘Cage’ Byrd, who was applauded in the media for having saved an injured Red Tail Hawk by rescuing it and then transporting it via cage to the Audubon Society. And who could forget Lorena Bobbitt who ‘bobbed’ off her lovers penis and into headlines. Then you have Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple whose right to love went all the way to the Supreme Court, challenging miscegenation laws.

When an aptronym refers specifically to a synchronistic link between the name of an individual and their career path that is often called Nominative Determinism. I first encountered this while employed processing outgoing mail. Most clients were within the education field and i began to notice how often their names were befitting of their jobs, such as Elizabeth Reading, Library Coordinator. My favorite of these was a certain Dr. Gage Payne. An example of this which became well know was the urologist Richard Chopp, who specializes in vasectomies. This phenomena is well known and examples can be found all over the internet. I wonder, if i would have been born ‘Will Hung’ would I be making adult movies in SoCal right now instead of writing an article about titular synchronicity? Did my own nominative determinism lead me to a path in which I would validate the coincidences within my name by making a name for that name talking about names?

This stewpot of our existence gets thicker the longer its on the burner and as it cooks down the flavors tend to blend into a homogenous whole. Is language merely a product of this culinary reality, or is it the ingredients within it? How much of our mental framework is constructed through language and words and names? Then, how much of our reality is constructed by our mental framework? If our minds generate reality through consensus and belief, as I have agreed to believe they do, then does not language also provide the structure for what phenomena does and does not occur and/or exist? As all of the ingredients and instructions in this recipe advance it becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between the meaningful and the coincidental. This is likely to continue until the flavors are indistinguishable from one another. Meanings and coincidences are just flavors of the same dish and as they break down we begin to see the oneness reforming from the varied elements. As our species is rapidly and exponentially evolving in so many ways it becomes clearer that the divisions we place between things begins to dissolve. Entropy is the process by which the singular reforms itself from deconstruction of its former self. It is the cyclical process by which intelligence zooms in and out of itself to have a look and in the process becoming the one or the many, ad infinitum. Our minds are the many, rooted and connected by a whole, but separated for the purpose of learning and growth at this stage. Through the interactions between language and reality, names and people, we catch a glimpse at our own interconnected nature. Words and actions feedback against one another until the differences resolve and the lessons have been absorbed. Is it just a coincidence that ‘human’ looks and sounds like a portmanteau between ‘humor’ and ‘man’ or is it a hint that buried in the bizarre and comic elements of this existences lie the truths of our genesis, ontology and teleology?

Spirit Quest

spiritquest
When I was younger it was a habit of mine to experiment with psychedelic drugs. I felt that these experiences opened up new vistas of thought and creativity within me. It had been years such I had done such a drug, until a few months ago. What I found was that the experience no longer opened up any new doors of perception from which to step into brave new worlds. However, it did reawaken the desire for me to re-explore the limits of my own thinking apparatus. I considered many alternatives from meditative yoga to sensory deprivation, but none of these appealed to me because they seemed to lack extremity. I recalled several books I had read, fiction and non-fiction, on Native American cultures. One of the things that always fascinated me most was the spirit quests in which an individual would fast in isolation until they were visited by their totem spirit guide. This was generally an animal of some sort that represented an individual’s link with the natural and/or spirit world. Why I didn’t necessarily believe in the religious aspects of the ritual, I saw how such an action could open the mind to new insights.

I spent two weeks making preparations for the outing. Although most Native American cultures used the spirit quest, they tended to vary in their pattern from tribe to tribe. Instead of choosing just one of the many, I attempted to blend these customs while personalizing it with my own ideas. The plan was to spend six nights and seven days alone in an isolated patch of forest without food or water. Actually I originally planned to take along a flask for emergency purposes, to be used only in a life or death situation. I read about the human bodies limitations regarding food and water, and decided that I was pushing the envelope. I didn’t want to die in this experiment. I decided to ration out a very minute portion of water each day to prevent total dehydration, while still allowing the lack of fluid to push me over the edge of normal bodily functioning.

Only one friend was willing to help me with my journey, the others were all too afraid for my safety to participate. The plan was that my friend would drive me the location and hike into the woods with me so that he would be able to locate me on the seventh day. I explained it would most likely be the case that I would need physical and mental assistance getting out of the woods. The night before I was to leave I visited with family and my closest friends. Those who were not aware of my plan were not made aware as I didn’t wish to alarm anybody. I then prepared letters and a will should anything unexpected occur during the outing. Finally I went to my favorite restaurant and ate an entire plate of Pad Thai. I should not have done that. The large meal stretched my stomach and would make the fast more difficult, as I learned later. I was careful not to drink any alcoholic beverages, as I didn’t wish to dehydrate prematurely.

The final preparation was to secure tobacco, and a carving knife to make a ceremonial pipe, such as been used in the Native American spirit quests. I set to bed early, but hardly slept a week all night due to anticipation. The next morning before the sun rose, we began the hour drive to the large wooded area I had chosen. When we arrived dawn had just received the day and the sun lit our way through the forest canopy. We hiked a few miles into the woods to an area I felt I would be left undisturbed in. My plan, were I to encounter hikers or such, was just to hide to avoid contact with other humans. My friend bid me some encouraging words and then left me alone with the flora and fauna of the forest.


The first day I was very eager, for what I did not know. I had used fallen branches to create a large circle which I would be confined to. I studied my surroundings, and tried the best I could to name all of the plants and trees I saw. It was obvious I did not know many, and I made a promise to familiarize myself with such knowledge after the excursion. Only in the evening did the hunger become a distraction, but it was not yet bad as it would get, I knew.

After a mostly uneventful day I fell asleep early nestled in a nest fashioned from dried leaves. I dreamt about a spiral staircase, which I climbed both up and down in seemingly infinite stretches without ever reaching anything. When I awoke to birdsong, I interpreted that the spiral staircase of my dreams represented not only DNA, but the spiraling nature of our infinite universe, in which there was no beginning or end.


Upon awaking I allowed myself half of my daily water ration. After that I began looking for a branch from which to carve my ceremonial pipe from. The Native Americans always spoke about finding a piece of wood that spoke to them and revealed the shape waiting to remain when all excess was stripped away. I looked for such a branch, but determined after several hours that I could not hear wood. So I picked a piece that seemed easy to carve due to a lack of knots. I spent most of the day slowly whittling away on the piece of wood, and what finally emerged was a crude but working pipe whose stem and bowl could be separated. I located some juniper berries and used them to dye the pipe, and then I thought to attach some feathers I had found using thin strips of soft bark, but the result was ridiculous and the adornments were removed.

As darkness fell I finished the other half of my daily water portion, and entertained myself by singing as many songs as I could remember the words to. I fell asleep to the sound of owls protesting my rendition of Paul McCartney’s ‘Band on the Run’. That night I dreamt of clouds that could coagulate into the imagined forms I saw within them. For whatever reasons many of these forms were cartoon characters I had remembered from my childhood.


Awaking the next morning on the third day, I could find no meaning within my dream. The third day started with severe hunger pains. As I had the morning before I immediately drank half of my daily water ration. I found it difficult to focus on anything but my hunger. I didn’t have the luxury of the previous day’s activity to occupy my time and my thoughts, or the enthusiasm of the first day. I paced within my circle into the afternoon. As the afternoon went on my will to continue faded rapidly. I cursed my self for setting upon this course of action with no plan for escape. I continually thought if I could just eat but one little insignificant cracker, everything would be okay. I realized the pacing made the hunger worse and sat down at the edge of the circle staring into the woods. I noticed something out there, a sight familiar from my childhood. It was a gooseberry bush. I knew it was early in the season so the plant would not be incredibly fruitful, nor its fruit ripe yet. I began to make every excuse I could to justify leaving my circle and breaking my fast with these berries. Before sundown I convinced myself it would be okay to eat a few of the berries. I picked about a dozen berries and ate them rapidly, and washed them down with the second half of my water ration.

Somewhat satisfied I lay down in my nest and recalled favorite stories until I fell asleep late into the night. That night I was aware of several short dreams, but did not remember any of them. I slept in a little later on the fourth day, and fought every attempt of my body to awaken until it could be put off no longer. It must have been shortly after noon. I had gotten confident in my ability to gauge time during the day by the suns position overhead. I drank my usual water and tried to think of something to occupy my time. My mind was over-ridden with doubts about this spirit quest. I became angry at myself. Within a few hours I decided to ditch the whole experiment. I would gather several handfuls of berries drink plenty of water and hike back to the road and hitchhike home away from this nightmare. I was eating the berries as fast as I could pick them and washing them down with my canteens contents. I must have eaten three dozen or so berries and consumed all but a day’s ration of water when I was inextricably stricken with feelings of shame and remorse at my own weakness. I went back to my circle, lay in my nest and cried for what seemed an eternity without emotional or mental content. Somewhere in this catharsis my resolve to continue went on. As I began regaining control of myself, I considered forcing myself to vomit the berries up, but I knew this would increase the danger of dehydration. I reassessed my situation. I knew I could survive the remainder of the trip with no water. I also realized that while I had broken my fast, the three dozen or so berries were really quite inconsequential as far as nourishment goes. I might still experience some revelation in my time left. I began to doubt very much I would meet with a spirit guide, but I thought the experience would still teach something useful.


I sang songs of my own devising late into the night. I sang songs to the moon and the stars and all of the plants and animals that lived in the forest. I sang songs to those who came before me and those who would follow after. I sang songs of beauty, love and joy. I sang late into the night and into the early morning until I sang myself asleep. That night I dreamt of a civilization of intelligent humanoids called Dandrites who had evolved from a single speck of my own dandruff. Within this relatively short dream I dreamt the entire course of Dandrite existence from beginning to end. I dreamt of the experiences and cultures of Dandrites in different regions. I even dreamed of some Dandrites who were my favorite throughout their history. The dream spanned millions of years, but in my reality lasted probably only an hour or so.


When I awoke the fifth day it was just before noon. I was thirsty, but the aching for food and water was only a dull undertone. It was as if it was merely a symptom of my body but no longer part of my conscious or subconscious desire. The need to cheat my fast had subsided and I began to accept the environment on its own terms and not as a barrier to my expectations. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and other animals no longer seemed to move about frenetically. I saw them living within their own patterns, related to, but independent from human ideas about time. I realized their apparent scurrying was only them reacting to their life spans. I envisioned the squirrel accumulated just as many experiences in its life as I did in my relatively longer life. The sun was bright, even through the tree cover.

Occasionally I would stare into the sun, mesmerized, before becoming alert to the danger involved. Each time as my eyes retreated from our nearby star, my vision was flooded with the rods and cones that make up our sight. At the time, however, I did not think of them in these concrete scientific terms. Instead I saw them as subatomic particles floating about the atom that was my eye. Lost in these thoughts I unknowingly returned my gaze upon the sun. Revelations collided! Now the sun was the nuclear center (nucleus) of an atom in which all other things in our solar system from life to matter were merely subatomic particles. It followed in my mind that many solar systems (atoms) combined would make up a galaxy which was like a cell, which when combined made up the single body of our universe. By god, a God! Universe. And we are merely its most minute constituents acting out our part to preserve the body of the divine. What then of the cells that made up our bodies, our matter? Did this process repeat itself fractally in both directions micro and macro? Was there no end to small or large, infinity to oblivion? Or were these all just incomplete thoughts, confined by the apparatus of my perceptional and analytical capabilities? I saw at once that all truth I manufactured would be just that, manufactured. If the closest thing to a perfect thought could be so flawed, what then of the thought of a perfect thought? I began laughing hysterically. I had the sensation that I was not an individual within Universe laughing, but an individual tuned into and channeling the laughter of Universe. I grokked in fullness. Who is the great master who makes the grass green!

When at last I bifurcated from the laughter of Universe, I noticed it was nearly dusk. All of the thoughts of the day seemed to occur within mere moments, but in truth had been stretched out over nine hours or so. Like the other inhabitants of this forest, my pattern of time was no longer conforming to human standard. I wondered if this changed my very nature. Was I still myself or a new probable version of myself? The thought ‘probable’ sent me spiraling into yet another aspect of awareness. Was the very idea of individuality, of nurture and nature, completely flawed? Was it that I was not simply a product of my meat and its experiences, but a function of probability? I did not confuse this thought with destiny. Destiny is predetermined. Were all things simply a function of probability, playing out every possible action and generating experiences to fill the void of curiosity of Universe? If so could people and their actions not be labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but merely probable? Was Universe and eternally cyclical infant learning from its discoveries and mistakes? What then of those who acted in deviant ways. Did they weaken the overall cells structure and thus compromise the health of the universe. Could misaligned egotistical beings create a sort of cancer in the flesh of Universe? After thinking these thoughts I realized the prejudice or polarity of my thinking that labeled cancer as ‘bad’. Would not the learning process of the divine require obscenity as well as beauty? I mulled over the idea of my life being a matrix of probabilities acting in the interest of a single grandeur intelligence. Universe!


Some time later I fell asleep. I did not dream. When I awoke at dawn I did not wake into the consciousness of my being. I was a disembodied spectator observing a narrating the experiences of my flesh. From such and angle I was poised in front of and above, looking down upon myself. A peculiar thing occurred in my observation. The ‘self’ I looked upon was a two dimensional image. It was as though physical reality was a cartoon, and perched above the vision of myself was a thought bubble of the like used in comic strips. It said, quite simply, ‘ACME’.

Immediately the barrier between myself and my disembodied consciousness dissolved. The next thought did not belong to me, and it said, “How I feel, now know you.” I should not have recognized that voice, for it belonged to a fictional entity that had never been given a function such as speech. The revelation of its identity was tantamount with significance of its appearance. I had found my spirit guide, and it was none other than Wile E. Coyote.

“Of the nature of existence, insight you have gained. But of the self, much have you to learn.” It was Wile E. Coyote, now standing right before my eyes. All of our surroundings were two dimensional replications of reality like a cartoon. Rather than the lush forest, we were now in a desert sitting upon a cliff overlooking a highway. “To be knowing of all things and their futility is a truth, but tis not a lesson from which the will of action benefits.” Wile E. Coyote, my spirit guide, talked just like Yoda. He went on. “Not a proper motivation for action or inaction is futility.”

After saying so much he lifted an anvil that had recently materialized and dropped it over the cliff to the road far below. I looked over the cliff, and though faint, recognized below The Roadrunner eating a pile of birdseed Wile E. had left there as bait. No paying attention to the scene below, Wile E. spoke to me again.

“Because meaningless our lives may be in the scheme grand, means not our lives are to ourselves meaningless.” As Wile E. spoke these words, The Roadrunner had noticed the anvil and exchanged places with a trampoline that had not existed moments earlier. The anvil hit its new target and was sent careening back to its place of origin. “Undefeatable The Roadrunner may be, but of this truths essence, my will is not.” The anvil came arcing overhead with great speed and hit the wise but blustering cartoon coyote on the head. It bounced up and down repeatedly striking Wile E. and pushing him further down into the ground with each blow. Just before the final blow sent his head beneath the rock surface he spoke his last words to me. “Thus is life.”


Having met my spirit guide, I felt spiritually renewed. I removed my pipe, put it together, and loaded it. I took long drags and turned in a circle blowing smoke in all directions and offering the smoke as a gift to Universe and all that I held sacred. The smoke carried my prayers far away, eventually dissipating and becoming part of all things. I sat still for many hours interpreting the truths my spirit guide had shown me. Although there really was no meaning to life, there was no reason to live under such a pretense. Life would only be as meaningful as I lived it, and to live was to live without fear, hatred or greed. Universe was not mine to use, but ours to share. Peacefully, under two thirds of a moon and millions of stars, I fell asleep.

The God Pill

the god pill

“All I am saying is that perhaps the universe is just one diverse neighborhood of human beings. Each solar system or planet would be like it’s own insulated family or home. Although the neighborhood has constants in the core values and culture, there are a number of advantageous or disadvantageous differences in each specific household. That is why one kid may end up hanging from the end of a rope he tied himself at the age of sixteen while the kid next door grows up happily and becomes an astronaut. If that is the case, then how do you think Earth humanity would rate as far as producing happiness and success is concerned?”

“This might be the wrong address, Mike.”

“That’s what I am saying, Andrew. Shouldn’t it be our goal to be the ultimate humans on the ultimate planet? Obviously we aren’t doing a very good job if…”

“No, dude. This might actually be the wrong address. I was a little jooky when I took down the address earlier and I had just given him my phone number. I think I just wrote down the last digits of my phone number.”


They had come in contact with the man from a strange message left in a library book. Andrew had checked out a science fiction novel about a man who made a pill that had the strange effect of making the person who took it gain absolute belief and faith in God. Although the God varied depending on the preexisting beliefs of the person who took the pill, it gave the person awe-inspiring hope and dedication and seemed to improve their lives, albeit often crippling their capability to be rational. Scribbled on page 235 of the book was a message:

‘Do you wanna see God?’ -with a local 515 phone number behind it.

They drove around behind the state fairgrounds in the old dark industrial neighborhoods looking for a house where an unknown man lived. Large ominous structures seemingly constructed of pure frustration and anger floated like angels of industrial death in the background. In the gloaming of late dusk, small flashing lights often blinked out from the shadowy monstrosities like demons winking a cruel warning to anyone who might consider entering such an unnatural structure. They turned into a little neighborhood where the poor souls who lived among all of this spiritual cancer huddled hidden inside their miserable homes. As if waiting for actual cancer to release them from this nightmare. Andrew kind of liked it.

“Well, we have the right street anyway. The guy told you it was a blue and brick house. I don’t think there are too many houses with that questionable combo so we should be able to find it.” Mike said in his usual hopeful way.

Mike already sorta believed in a sort of God. Andrew had always admired this about him and wished that he could as well. Andrew had grown up with a militant atheist father and a dedicated reborn baptist mother. The atheism of his father had stuck but he felt guilty for not being able to empathize with his mothers beliefs. They seemed more admirable and peaceful than her fathers while also seeming ridiculously juvenile. He had longed to find some compromise. The man at the phone number had promised Andrew that he would find exactly what he was looking for.

They only had to drive a few blocks before they found the blue and brick house. It was immaculate. In the dull looming night it seemed to glow of its own internal energy. Everything was well kept and appeared fresh. It stood out against its surroundings like laughter at a funeral. A man who appeared to belong in such an out-of-place place answered the door and invited them in. He wore a neat gray beard and wire glasses on a small head that adorned a giant fuzzy sweater many sizes too large for him. The walls were covered with religious imagery from what appeared to be every known religion of man. He invited them into a sitting room and offered them to rest on a giant over-stuffed couch that was covered in a heavy knitted material just like the sweater. In a chair in a corner a woman about the mans age and equally awkward sat slowly rocking in a chair and knitting. She was rocking in time to some kind of swing jazz and her eyes batted a hello at them.

“I won’t keep you boys too long.” the man said in his deep husky baritone. The voice was disproportionate to the visual image of the fuzzy little man. “Here are two pills, one for each of you. They are a gift from me. I made these myself and can assure you they are absolutely safe. Their effect is identical to what I described in the novel you found at the library. That is all that I can tell you. These pills are yours to take at any time should you choose to.”

After some small talk the man then escorted the two out of his strange home, explaining that it was ‘dance night’ and that he and his wife were eager to get to their weekly gyrations. Mike and Andrew got in the car and began driving back to their place on University. Halfway home Andrew suddenly pulled out his pill and popped it instead of waiting like they had planned. They both sat silent for several blocks. Finally Mike broke the silence.

“Well, how is it? How does it feel?”

Andrew smiled coyly. He did not yet have precise words to attach to the experience so he gave a bit of a chuckle and then answered, “Like a verb, Mike. Like everything I thought was nouns are actually verbs.”

All of his life Andrew had been taught that The Divine was something to either be only laughed at or to never be laughed at. Now he was seeing a new truth before him. God is laughter.

This story was originally written as a submission to ‘Juice’, a Des Moines, Iowa local magazine, and was called ‘He Who Laughs, Lasts’. There were certain guidelines that had to be followed which made the story particular to the area, but I am unable to remember the details of them.

Jumping

jumping

The jumping began in my dreams. These dreams were incredibly vivid although they were never the same dream. Only the jumping connected them. At first the jumps were very small but as the dream would go on I would be able to jump in exponentially accelerating leaps and bounds. Over time I was able to jump great distances from the onset of the dream. It seems that I had learned the skill in that other world and could now perform it without question. In some dreams I jumped to escape and in others just for the sheer joy and beauty of the activity. The jumping was accompanied by a weak sense of being able to float. As if I could will my mass to such a low density that gravities effects on it were weakened dramatically; but not totally. For a very long time these were nothing more than highly welcomed dreams. But then I began an experiment.

I began with the assumption that physical reality was an illusion of consciousness necessary during this stage in the increase of complexity. Not that it was an immutable truth. I also had a hunch that dreams were the more pure form of our consciousness; untethered from physical reality yet interchangeable with many of the symbols, archetypes and experiences within it. More simply put I began to believe that the wall between dreams and reality was not so great as to keep me from jumping over it.

There was a long period of failure. My initial attempts were the most comical of all. I began by trying to jump in place. My efforts to will the concentration were mangled sums of physical strain. I realized with much internal laughter that if my plan were to shit myself with enough force to nullify gravity, this was the method to pursue. That, however, was not my aim. So I began studying and using yogic techniques to escape the space-time velocity of my mind and enter the realm of pure mind while still awake. As pleasant as that was it was just another form of dreaming. One night during this time I had one of the jumping dreams again and I remembered an important fact. The jumping always began with running.

I fucking hated running. It seemed like such an animalistic form of narcissism that I had no interest in it. Nonetheless, I began running. A lot. And I kind of liked it. Not at first, of course. At first it was dull and painful and frustrating. The constant movement of cars, bicycles, pedestrians and other runners made the chore seem more like a burden than an exercise in evolving. So I began running outside of town on trails or through woods and other open spaces and soon it began to make sense. It was not just about running. It was about becoming aware of the environment, I had to anticipate each footfall in those rugged terrains and adjust accordingly. Suddenly running became an activity of my mind as much of as my body. I later learned to adapt the techniques to rural situations but the feedback was too much to learn the basics in.

By this point I had really gotten into running. My first step into jumping was developing a sort of rural parkour. Trees and rocks and watersheds provided the perfect places for my growing sport. Like a perfect animal I was able to negotiate the wilds physically beyond the abilities of any other living human I knew of. And from this the jumping just sort of emerged. I soon found myself taking great leaps followed by several more. I was a pouncing machine, like a supernatural big cat, able to leap in greater bounds with each successive one until the treetops themselves were visible to me. I began to become aware of a feeling that accompanied these actions. It was constant deja vu. I always had the sensation that I was just at where I now was. But this was happening every second as if I were experiencing time as a linear progression of loops. Becoming aware of this feeling caused me to concentrate on it to the point where I was soon unable to jump beyond just superior human abilities.

I had an inclination to understand the dynamics of what I had been doing in the woods so I began fumbling through mathematics, biology and other scientific disciplines to understand it. What I was led to believe after much research is that what I had been accomplished was technically impossible because the human brain was not capable of operating the body machinery at optimum enough levels. The basic ingredients for these abilities lied within the machinery but the programming did not allow processing to access memory at a high enough rate to maximize sufficient uses of available energy. Science seemed to suggest, in the end, that humans could not perform these feats because humans could not perform these feats. It was a futile exercise in recursive defeatism.

One day I was sitting around smoking cannabis and decided to try staring at the dial clock on the wall for an entire hour. For the first half an hour it was the most boring fucking thing I had ever done. Slowly it began to become disorientating until the hands of the clock disappeared altogether. Only by thinking about a time would the hands emerge to evidence it. By concentration I became able to move the hands in such a steady pace as to keep time. Or at least keep it steady. I have no idea if my internal sense of time that powered that clock was anywhere close to objective time because at the end of the experiment I fell directly to sleep. Before that, however, I began to sense another form of dissonance in my relation to the clock. If I was controlling the hands of the clock not only was I controlling time but by controlling the relative physical positions of the hand I was also controlling space. Suddenly the clockwork of entire Universe both inside and outside of my mind were perfectly in synch. So much so that I realized they had never been distinct to begin with. I realized that both time and space and all of reality were a product of anticipation and then I just sort of napped out.

When I awoke I went for a run. As I ran I began to anticipate every movement before it happened until my self awareness was such that my anticipation no longer had to be informed by the known physical laws. If I wanted to jump several meters over a few acres of woodland I just created a mental image of the action in which every point across the arc of the jump was anticipated just a moment before my body arrived there, but my anticipation was always formed by new data and new perceptions along the way so that I could make necessary adjustments. I ran all night long into ever more complex maneuvers and jumps into the morning when I think a farmer might have spotted me. I decided to head home.

The walk home was full of many revelations beginning with the realization that I was not tired. Well, I was a bit tired but that was because of how long it had been since I had slept; however I realized my body was not tired. As if it had suffered no indignation at such a workout. I began to wonder that all of my life my body had been made to serve under my limited brain but rarely did my mind have access to it. Now it was as if my body were obeying the mind alone in those intense moments and was therefore not restricted by the physical realities which brain was a constant subject to. Brain and body were necessary to create the conditions in which mind needed to evolve but our consciousness was not to be limited to them once we had mastered that reality. Religion, science and politics had been attempting to master that reality since the dawn of humanity but for the express purpose of controlling it and not for escaping it. To become more than meat we needed new priorities. And fast.

My first priority became then to share this with the world. As I ran at night I began to formulate a plan but then I one night I became aware that I was not alone. At first my mamallian instincts were of fear and paranoia. I could not make out this other thing or being that galloped through the wood with me. Soon this gave way to competiveness as whatever it was seemed to posses skills even far beyond my own. Eventually though it became kind of a dance. We leaped together in what can best be described as melodies and harmonies and as the beauty of that sank in I began to laugh as loud as I ever have; tears streaming down my face at the sheer excitement of it. Through my own laughter I began to hear another voice laughing and I was suddenly overcome with what can be best described as a sense of love the likes of which I had never known. I became overwraught with this to the point that I needed to stop and just let let that moment overcome me. And so I did and when I came to my senses she was sitting there beside me.

“Nice night for a run, no?”

She was beautiful in a sense so deep that it could not be accounted for by physical beauty. She seemed to glow of joy and self-possession and knowledge all of which she radiated as a simple matter of fact of her being.

“Who are you?” I asked.

She laughed. “I am you and you are me and all is one. I thought you had figured that out by now?”

She continued laughing but it was not perverse as in mockery. It was joyful and sharing and inviting so I laughed with her and that kinda answered my question.

“Okay, I get it. But who are you in that other sense.”

“My name is Satori and I am like you. A jumper. It started in your dreams, didn’t it?”

We talked well into the next morning about our experiences. The dreams, the jumping, but most of all the mind. She explained to me that there were others, too. Not everyone jumped. Some flew, some dived and some did things that wouldn’t make sense in the waking world. But they all had one connection. They had started in dreams. She said that humanity had begun to wake up from the limitations of its waking physical reality. That some of us were already beginning to move beyond this plane of existence altogether into another place of pure mind. Like a world of dreams but with distinct seperate consciousnesses interacting of their own free will. Finally she told me that she would likely be going there soon and that I would follow.

“You will have to say goodbye in your own way. Once you are gone it will be as if you never existed or they will concoct some permutation of reality in which you died amongst them. And not all of them will follow. Sadly, most will not. It was necessary for that reality to create an abundance of interacting minds in order to produce those that would be able to progress past them. Many of those entities you call humans will just go on living as they always have until slowly when all of the great minds have evolved past them they will begin to stagnate and regress in that limited reality. I believe you have already seen this happening. It is unlikely that many if any people you know will join us in the new plane on which we will exist. So say goodbye however you wish but just remember that you will either be forgotten or your absence excused by conventional means. Telling them about all of this will not be of any use to them. When it is your time to move on you will meet one like yourself and prepare them for the journey as I have done with you.”

She embraced me in a way that went beyond physical. We temporarily became as one and shared everything we had ever known and I learned more from her what would be happening to me. This embrace seemed to last an eternity and I awoke that afternoon alone in the woods. There was a young man running through the forest. He ran right past me in great leaps and bounds hardly making any noise except the sounds of self satisfaction with his newfound abilities.

I go running every night and watch him without letting him know that I am there. He is progressing fantastically although differently than I did. I hardly belong to the waking world anymore. When I am not running I am sleeping somewhere out of the way living in those dream simulations of where I am heading. I have written this all out many times and then destroyed it. Should anyone ever find this it will seem like a work of madness or fiction. Nonetheless I am compelled to write it if only to understand it myself.

I cannot concentrate anymore. This world, this reality…it is like a stranger to me. It is like the sensation of pressing ones thumb to their finger in heavy gloves as opposed to without them. The young man seems to have come to understand as much of the mystery he is embroiled in as he will on his own. Tonight I shall jump with him.

For what it is worth, I love you and will miss you very much. Even when we become one anothers memories or fictions. If I don’t see you on the other side I hope the end is not too hard on you. It may not be too late for you. We are all children but somewhere along the way we lost our imaginations. If you can recapture that from your dreams you too may just have a chance to grow up with us. So find love of your dreams so you may yet find dreams of your love. Love will bring us all back together to a place where we cannot harm one another and instead act as coauthors of the most beautiful existence we can imagine. Love beckons and now I shall go be with it.

p.s. You are about to bomb yourselves back to sticks and stones. Try not to do that. You are all responsible for that reality. Even children keep their treehouses clean.

We Are Everything

we are everything

Objectivity is the illusion 
That has facilitated our evolution
Singular truth
Is no longer the solution
Subjectivities rapture
Destroys the delusion
Cleanses the spirit
Removes the pollution
A time is coming
A revolution
Of consciousness
And new illusions
You’ll need a key to pass
So remember this saying
I am not a thing
I am everything
I am not the eye that sees all else
But just an eye that sees itself
God is not a thing
We are everything

Advanced Ape

advanced ape

“I have been thinking a lot about dying.” I said

“What, like killing yourself?” Her voice was genuinely concerned but her expression betrayed none of that. She was beautiful when she smiled at him, so he didn’t mind the inconsistency.

“No. Not really. I mean, I think about that but it doesn’t seem like an option. Just that if it happened, it might not be so bad. I just don’t think I belong here anymore. I feel like I am supposed to be moving on, seeing what comes next.”

“What if there is no next? What if this is it?”

“That would be unfortunate considering how well this is turning out. And I do not just mean my bad luck. The whole thing. Everything, everybody; especially everybody.”

“What about me?” For just a second her expression changed to hurt. Rejection.”

“I love you. I thought you already knew that?”

“I do. But I am not real, you know.”

“It doesn’t matter.”


The wings were made of a thin, black, shiny material. Like a child’s cape in a Dracula costume. The structure beneath had been constructed of cheap disposable chop sticks, duct taped together. A harness of kite string was attached so that it could be worn. It was an impossible contraption but he knew it would work if he put it on. Those were the rules. He climbed onto an old metal platform with stairs that had been abandoned by the mobile home it once served. With a mighty push he leaped off and began falling even more rapidly. Just before he hit the ground a wind rustled through and caught beneath the wings lifting him into the air. Looking down he saw their expressions of disbelief and amazement. Smiling smugly he did a few circles around them and slowly came to the ground. They were gone. Folding the wings gently and then placing them gently under his arms, he tried to remember what the tallest building he could possibly get to the roof of was and then began walking towards it.


“You again.” I sputtered half contemptibly and the other half sardonically. I hated it when I showed up like this to bother myself when I was trying to be alone.

“Feeling sorry for yourself again?”

“Maybe. Or maybe I am just feeling sorry for everything and tired of feeling sorry for it.”

“That wouldn’t make sense to anybody else. Why do you insist on being understood and at the same time insisting on flying in circles above everyone.? Tone it down. You have to land sometime. You are drifting away inside that fancy mind you are so proud of. What good will it be if you cannot figure out how to build stairs and a door for others to access it with?” People tended to think I was unduly argumentative and confrontational with them. If only they could see how I talked to myself like this maybe it would make sense. Maybe not.

“I keep trying. But every time I think I have, Universe puts up a shiny new escalator next to it and I stand there watching as they pass by; laughing about things I cannot seem to understand..”

“Maybe you should build the stairway at the top of the escalator?”

“Then Universe would just build another escalator next to that.”

“If you insist.”


Everybody in the house is either away or asleep and he is bored. He wanders through the house exploring and rifling through things while trying not to disturb anyone. His room is in the basement but he has made his way up to the second story floor. In the center of the that top floor there is a closet. Opening it he finds a warehouse of items left behind by past residents. Things that were kept in case their owners should ever return for them or in the case a new occupant might find use for them. He starts at the top pulling things from shelves, then hanging racks and finally ends up on his knees rifling through the stuff on the floor. There is nothing here that he wants. Taking a final look before moving on he notices a small square panel on the far wall. Curious, he pries at it’s edges. It opens revealing a small crawlspace that he just barely manages to squeeze into. Half the crawlspace is a dirty wooden floor covered in what must be centuries of dust and cobwebs and the other detritus of the passing of time in closed forgotten spaces. The other half, however, is a dark opening going straight down. He pulls a cigarette lighter from his pocket to illuminate the empty, darkened space. There are steps attached to the wall but he cannot see anything below. Positioning his body in the cramped space, he manages to adjust himself to make the descent. Climbing slowly at first but not getting anywhere, he picks up his pace. After awhile of not getting anywhere he slows back down and drained of his curiosity and bored with this jumps from the steps and plunges…


“Are you feeling any better tonight? Or are you still contemplating the Great Beyond?” I try to imagine her not like this but like her real self. Dirty, sick, angry. Petty, childish, self-absorbed. She must be those things from time to time, but I have never seen it. Maybe it is for the best.

“I am not feeling anything tonight. I thought that might be nice for a change.” I lie.

“You lie. You cannot do that. That is part of your problem. You never turn it off. Of course, it also makes you endlessly fascinating. Fascinating and terrifying. Its like a haunted house, isn’t it? Despite the fact that it is frightening people line up to get inside. Yet nobody wants to live in a haunted house.”

“There doesn’t seem to be that many people in line. In fact, most of the time it is just me standing there in a silly costume and a bullhorn which I often find myself yelling into the wrong end of.” I am proud of this answer but I am a bit dazed as she is not usually this metaphorical with me. She has been showing up less often and I try to convince myself that it is probably for the best. There is a soft melody and I realize she is singing. I cannot make out what she is singing but I become so transfixed by it that I do not even notice when she stops until she speaks again which may have been seconds or eternities later for all I can tell.

“Do you know why I am here?” she asks.

“Probably because you don’t know any better.”

“Yet I am not really here, am I?”

“Obviously. But that is because I don’t know any better.”


He is not there. There are things happening. Events. People. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and the whole shebang; but he is not there. Time passes. Things progress, sometimes jumping from one scene to the next. Seamless and seemingless. None of it appears to matter but he cannot stop paying attention because he is not there and he cannot remember this ever happening before. Or maybe it is because he has no choice since he is not there to control himself. There is more of it and he wants very much to enjoy it, or even despise it; but he is not there.

He is in a new place far away. He has just moved there but he cannot remember why. There used to be something here, or at least near here, that he wanted. Whatever it was he either cannot remember it or it is not here now. It occurs that either way it really does not make any difference, the results are the same. Like every time before he finds a job and makes friends and explores the differences between all of the other places he has ever been. Those differences have begun to seem less pronounced and this time there is almost none of it at all. It is always the same no matter where he goes because he is always the same. He cannot objectively observe his own growth. He has become the forest which cannot see itself through the trees. The forest, he thinks, would be a nice place to live next.


“Who are you?” I demand, trying to be brusque and in charge of this apparition.

“Does that really matter? Do you even care? You never seem to stop running away in that head of yours, so why should it matter where or who you run to?” I once saw a picture that was supposed to represent what the average human being would look like. This is as close as I can come to describing this androgynous, amorphous illusion. The voice is much the same.

“Alright, fair enough. What, then, do you want?”

“To ask you that very same question. What do you want?” Its eyes bury me in a corner where I cannot escape. I remain silent and those eyes remain vigilant. They are not really eyes, though. They are not really a ‘they’. It is a mirror in a pitch black room that may or may not exist when nobody is around to turn the lights on and look into it. Whatever it is, I cannot escape it. “What do you want?”

“I want to turn the light off.” As I say this I know that I cannot, ever, turn the light off. I can close my eyes and pretend that it does not exist but always there will be bits of it seeping into the corners of my eyes where the shades no longer cover. “I want it to be fair.”

“Then you are a child.”

“Then I want it to be easy.”

“Then you are a fool.”

“Then I want it to be meaningful.”

“Then you are an ape.”

I laugh. It laughs. Everything laughs. Or is everything laughter? For a moment I think that it must be the latter. If everything is laughter, what of the sorrow? How is sorrow if everything is laughter? Now everything is sorrow. Even the laughter is sorrow and I ask myself if this is paradox or irony. Now everything is paradox and irony simultaneously. This thought makes me laugh and once again everything is laughter.

“You could do that for forever, you know.” It quips.

“Because I am just an ape?”

“No, in spite of that.”

Silence. Darkness. Nothingness. At its center a small point of light appears. It grows slowly at first then exponentially faster until there is no more more darkness and only light. The light collapses suddenly and there is only darkness. Once again the pinpoint of light appears. Expand. Collapse. The process repeats itself, each time more rapidly than the last until the process becomes non-linear and simultaneous. Infinite. The vision gives way to a gnawing sense of hunger and curiosity. They are at odds. The hunger wants to consume the curiosity but the curiosity cannot allow itself to be consumed, less it may never understand the hunger. It is like an ontological knife fight in a cosmic alley with opponents matched so evenly in skill and determination that it can never end.

“What if I do not want to be an ape?” I try to sound confident and confrontational so that it knows that I am in control, even though we can both see clearly through the falsehood.

“Then you must advance.”

“Can’t I just quit? Seems a helluva lot easier if you ask me. I grow tired of being a mind attached to meat. The meat asks so much of me that it makes itself a prison. My mind can see far beyond the bars but the meat cannot slip through the narrow openings. Just how do you recommend I advance under such conditions?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t do it.” It is gone.


He knows that he is dreaming. He can control the dreams but he cannot escape them. Occasionally he tries and just finds himself slipping through recursive layers of his subconscious mind. It becomes disorientating and so he just gives in and wanders into the next dream. He sees himself climbing up a platform with crude childish wings attached to his back. She is there watching the other him. He walks up next to her and asks her what he is doing.

“He is trying to advance.” Her smile is like a mirror catching the light of infinite stars. If he closes his eyes or turns away she will disappear. Afraid to blink he takes turns closing only one eye at a time while opening the other. Each one is a setting sun, or a rising sun; depending on the light she reflects back to its source.

“You are not real.” I whisper, afraid speaking will make me blink.

“Yes and no. I exist and I do not. I wear many faces but none of them are mine. You have created and destroyed me countless times. I am always the same and always different. Only one underlying truth remains. I am your desire and you try fulfill me with whatever you can find but if you look more closely you will see a you-shaped hole where none of these ideas fit. None of them can ever fit. Instead of plugging the hole with the next closest shape, as you have been wont to do, you need to move on.”

“You mean end it?” I ask, unable to hide the fear.

“No, I mean to advance. The hole you try to fill is not a gap to be covered over but a door through only which you may pass. To advance you must pass beyond that which you have formerly tried to fill with self-pity, fear and sorrow or by shoving others in front of to give yourself an excuse not to pass through.”

“Then how can I pass through? How can I advance? What is the secret?”

“There is no secret. There is nothing hidden. To advance one does not find what was lost or hidden. To advance one must create that other place. The past is a pastiche of different perspectives from the present but the future does not exist. It is not written. It is not etched in words or memory and has no blueprint in what has come before it. To advance you simply start putting one new idea in front of the other and stop worrying about who is following you or who is by your side. If you get the knack for it you will advance without ever knowing it and lay a path on which no other may follow. However, they can learn from it. They can be emboldened to lay their own paths of advancement.” she pauses and smiles at me again.

“Do not be surprised that many will or can not do that. Like you they started out as apes and had no idea where they were going. In fact by way of concluding that they had already arrived most of them insured their destinies had no destination at all. There is a reason you are here and only you know what that reason was. In arriving it has been forgotten so it will be necessary for you to recreate it.” Suddenly, she is gone.


I sit at the keyboard hoping she will come back soon. I know she will. But the next time I will give her a new face and not reconfigure her from the forms of other faces I have already met or created. I will give her every imaginable form possible and I will not stop until I must, if that becomes the case. While the other apes try to shove their visions of her into their own ape-shaped holes I will pass through my own with infinite capacity to create her in whatever carrot-on-a-string shape I can imagine to keep me moving on; because I am an Advanced Ape.