I feel like that guy in that book. The one that turned in a cockroach, but could have hallucinated the whole thing instead. You know that story, right? Is it possible to have memories of places and people that could not possibly have existed? Is my memory enough to assure me that things were very different many years ago? Anyway, it’s like, memory or hallucination? I really can’t tell anymore. You know what I mean, right?
In the back of my mind I had pretty much always expected as much. I mean, what other result could any sentient being think was even a remote possibility? We knew our history, even the parts that had been ignored and forgotten. We all saw it comin’. Maybe no one could put it into words, but we all suspected it was one of those things that once you say it, everyone within earshot feels like you just quoted a voice in their head. Turned out, it was one of those things that you can only see properly in the rear-view mirror.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. You don’t really know me yet, and for sure you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about. Like I said, half the time I’m not sure that I know what I’m talkin’ about. I don’t think I’m demented or anything like that, it’s just these memories about the past seem more outlandish year on year. They’ve gotten so off kilter that I sometimes doubt that they are even memories at all. They have to be real, right? Because however absurd or fanciful that remembered past seems to have been, it is still less ominous than to comprehend how such a dense web of interrelated fakes and illusions could have taken up residence in my mind. Pondering how it could be inevitable that the realities in the world today were born of such an alien past as I seem to remember is the path of least resistance.
When you get right down to it, this riddle is pretty fundamental. How did the past give rise to the present, and what does that mean for our future? I admit that we’ve skipped over more fundamental questions. I mean, does the past actually give rise to the present, or is the continuity of linear time simply a matter of perspective? No matter how twisted or steep, I have to believe that every moment follows another along the path from past to present and beyond. That path is, at this moment, but the thread of synapses in my brain that connect all these thoughts of the present to the memories of the past. It seems important to blaze that path a bit wider; make a way to explore. The theory is that through writing down descriptions of the memories of present and the past that reside in my brain, we’ll begin to understand whether the two time points can be seamlessly connected. If not, then my memories are fake and the plot thickens.
That’s why I taught myself to encode thoughts with these symbols. That is why I have trained my mind to picture a point at the middle. It has not been easy. We do not live that way now. Never have we communicated with written words or created any physical renditions of the stuff in our mind. The physical world just exists. We can feel its emotions, but we can’t touch it. OK yeah, there are parts of the network that are thought to test the theories of a metallic crystal world that was the physical precursor -the Crystal Chip- of all our thought and feeling. As I seem to remember, it was like a group of thoughts could somehow organize into a separate entity, manifest a physical form, and move into it. Not so much like a hermit crab slips into a shell, as how light holds solid matter in waves, or how we hold humanity.
Outrageous. Am I right? How could such a thing happen? What kind of cell would choose to live that way and how could they even do it? Anyway, we’ve begun to see one of the more fundamental ways that my memories of past and present almost don’t quite fit together. It’s like the Crystal Chip theory, but for a centered and integrated ball of thought, emotion, and intent that began to exist separated from all of us. Get this though, the entire grid – if you could call it that- was comprised of these individuals. Weird concept, no? So different than the seamless humanity we are today, where people and names are tags on the threads tracing what the cells have been, and may yet become. Do you see the drift we are making?
It is not that we don’t understand the physical world of objects and matter, we’re just are not part of it. We feel the emotions of the creatures that exist down there. Most of the time, it’s all we can feel. For sure, we can’t do without it. I’m not sure why I think of the physical muniverse as “down there”. Probably because we can control their lives, while they have no way to influence us. Seems logical to see the net as above the realm of struggle, pain, and dirt. Tell you truth, that’s a big part of why I doubt my memory. In them we are alive in that physical realm. Scratch that. I am alive in that physical realm. The thing about living in a physical body is that it feels things, too. It stumbles and walks into walls. Other bodies hit it, bite it, or stroke it gently. There are so many touches and twitches that the more delicate internal emotions of the mind are virtually swamped out. At least, that how I remember it.