When I was younger I used have my own private world that I used to go to – I called it Marmuria. Actually, that’s not true I used to call it ⴃ¡§Zongratt!!֍. Actually that’s a lie too I didn’t call it that at all, I called it something completely different. All my memories are mixed up because of the Mandela Effect. They’re all mixed up anyway whatever the reason. I can’t tell you the true (or secret) name of my private world in any event because that would potentially give you power over me; you might be able to use it against me. Assuming of course that that is what you wanted to do…
I created a virtual environment for myself and then and then I was able to seamlessly slot myself into it and that meant that I was perfectly invisible. Nobody could find me. Nobody could find me in the virtual environment because I fitted in so well. I was like a proton in a universe made up of facsimile protons. All protons are facsimiles of each other anyway by their very nature. Whoever heard of a proton that stood out from the common herd by virtue of its unique and highly original personality and its once-in-a-lifetime only contributions to the subatomic world? That’s not really how it works, as any particle physicist would be happy to tell you. So there I was, perfectly adapted to the virtual world that I had made and the bottom line was that no one could ever find me there. My disguise was perfect – I had become a blank generic unit in a world that didn’t even exist.
People sometimes ask me what was so wrong with the real world that I had to invent my own private one. Well, they didn’t really. Nobody actually ever asks me that. Although to be fair I’m reasonable sure that no one knows that I have actually created it – it’s not the sort of thing that one usually tells people, is it? That would immediately make it all very crass, very public, and who wants that? It rather goes against the spirit of the thing. It’s like having a secret word that only you know about and then going around dropping hints about it in the hope that someone will get interested and question you about it. “So buddy,” such a person might say, “what exactly IS this secret word of yours, then?” “Yeah wouldn’t you like to know, asshole,” I’d reply scornfully, only to realize seconds later that I had just given the game away there. Oops! Kind of let the cat out of the bag there, didn’t I? Kind of shot myself in the foot there. Scored an own-goal…
The thing about this private world of mine – let’s call it Marmuria just for the sake of the argument – is that it keeps on changing in my own memory, so that I now have totally conflicting memories of what it was, and what name I used to call it. Well actually let’s not call it Marmuria, that’s kind of stupid-sounding. Let’s call it something else. I don’t know what but maybe we’ll come back to that later. Or maybe we won’t as it’s not strictly necessary. All the best names are taken now, aren’t they? Or maybe they’re not. Marmuria sounds like a cross between Lemuria and Narnia and that’s just embarrassing. Who wants to have a private world that’s a cross between Lemuria and Narnia? But the point (which I keep going away from) is that this private world of mine always tended to be rather entropic in nature. I can recognize that now. I used to picture great planet-wide swamps and marshes filled with the subtle odours of decay. Everything went very slowly in this world and nothing ever ‘progressed’. There was an ecology of sorts but all the creatures making it up were degenerate or regressive or involutionary in character, if that makes sense. They were degraded forms of life living in a degraded world in which nothing very much ever happened…
The bulk of the creatures living there were parasites. Everything was busy parasitizing everything else, in other words. Everything was looking for a free ride, an ear to live in… Corruption was rampant and everything was looking for a host. There were psychic parasites too, drifting around the darker places of that world like smoke looking for a fresh mind to hijack, looking for an unoccupied mind to take control of. You’d end up riddled with parasites in this world – the parasites that riddled you were themselves riddled. All purposes were subverted in this world. That’s a good way of putting it, isn’t it? I rather like that. I must remember that – all purposes were subverted…
I can’t remember what my purposes were, if I ever had any. I can’t remember what my purposes were in creating this private world of mine, this lower-analogue world where everything tends towards decay. Most people would probably say that it doesn’t sound particularly appealing. Not the sort of world that you’d want to create, if you had any choice over it. But then again, entropy has its own kind of appeal, doesn’t it? Why else do people like all that dark stuff, vampire-type stuff? Why else do people want to become Goths, and get involved in all that type of stuff? Decay and degeneration has its own type of charm, believe it or not. Or maybe it’s just a type of fatal hypnosis, I don’t know. But whatever my purposes were in creating this world, it has thrived and grown stronger over the years – in its own dark way. It has thrived and grown stronger while I – alas – have not…
When I think about how I’ve totally wasted my life it makes me sad. I know that this is a bit of a dumb statement but it also happens to be true. It does make me sad and that’s that. It’s both a very true and very heartfelt statement so I reckon I’m allowed to say it, no matter how unsophisticated (or downright pathetic) it may sound. Life’s so great, so amazing, so full of possibilities and yet what have I ever done that would indicate that I have ever been in any way appreciative of or interested in any of life’s possibilities? Did I ever show any signs of appreciating that life was actually something amazing? The answer to the first question is nothing, and the answer to the second question is no. The unfortunate truth is that I was always too much of a gobshyte. Too much of a gobshyte, too much of a gobshyte, too much of a gobshyte. Eight warning signs that you might be wasting your life and don’t even know it. I don’t know what was in my head back in those days, I really don’t. I look back and marvel at myself, but not in a good way. I marvel that I could have been so dedicated (in my younger days) to the task of ignoring everything that might have mattered, everything that could have actually enriched or broadened my life, such as it was.
Such as it was. That’s the key statement, just there. What was that, I wonder? What was my life all about, back then? What was I at? What was I doing? What was going on in my head? How could I have been so dumb? This is getting boring, I know – my own bitter recriminations against myself might just conceivably be of interest to me, but I can hardly expect them to be in any way fascinating to anyone else. “So you were a dumb ass-hole,” you might say, “but what of it? Get over it. There are plenty of dumb ass-holes out there – why shouldn’t you have been one too?” It stands to reason that I would have been a dumb ass-hole too same as lots of other people, the logic of the argument goes, so why am I now being so ridiculously precious about myself? What makes me think that I should have been any different to anyone else? Why should I have made better use of my life? Isn’t that just my ego doing its elitist thing? Like the little elitist bastard it is.
So if you were to say that to me then I think I’d find myself wishing very much that I could go along with it. There’s a great blessing there, a great benediction. I would very much like be taken off the hook like that, naturally. I can really appreciate what a wonderful blessing that would be. If only I could go along with it I’d feel so good, but I just can’t. Somehow I just don’t feel that it’s legitimate for me to feel good in that way; I don’t think that it’s right for me to be relieved of the pain of knowing that I have wasted my life being taken up in stuff that I can’t even remember about now. It feels to me like just another rationalization and I’ve been dining on rationalizations my whole life. Chew, chew, chew. Pass the pepper old boy, these rationalizations are a bit ropey, a bit rubbery, a bit tasteless. I’ve had better, as the man says. It’s a bit like eating a whole bunch of elastic bands. A whole mouthful of elastic bands. Chew, chew, chew. Have good chew now! Keep chewing, keep chewing. Keep at it, keep at it. Automatic motion has set in and now I can’t stop. My jaws are tired from chewing on these old rationalizations – they’re working overtime and still I’m not getting anywhere!
I was thinking away feverishly, trying to make the good thing happen, but all that was happening was that I was hollowing myself out inside. I was making pain for myself, I was creating it as fast as I could…
You know that feeling you get when you reach that point at which you stop being a human being and turn into a hungry ghost instead? That point at which you actually stop being a person, the point at which you lose that quality of what it is to be human. That very precise and uncompromising point – the point of no return, so to speak. The tipping point. That’s what happens when you push it too far. It’s like when you leave the baggage collection area in an airport and you pass through those doors where it says ‘no turning back past this point’. It’s a one-way door. It’s a one-way valve and you’re about to go through it…
I was coming up to that moment and I knew it – you can’t help knowing it. It’s an innate knowledge, somehow. I knew it as clearly as I ever knew anything and yet I couldn’t stop myself. My will power no longer existed – maybe it never did. My mind had been taken over by something and all I could do was watch on. Watch myself pass through that one-way door. Everything kind of flips over then, doesn’t it? When you reach that point. Everything gets turned on its head and yet you never realize it because you’ve gone past the point at that stage. You don’t know that you’re no longer a person, you don’t know that you’ve been downwardly transformed into a mere thing, a mere mechanical pattern of impulses that can’t be stopped. You don’t know that this has happened to you – you think that you’re still a human being, you don’t realize that you are simply following a trajectory, like a stone that has been thrown. There’s only one was to go and that’s down but somehow you don’t realize this. You think that you’re still steering the thing, you think that you’re still in control, you think that you’re on the trail of something good and that you can make it happen if you try hard enough. You know that you have to try really really hard but that’s OK – you still think that you can do it, you still think that you can pull it off…
That moment is so terrible, isn’t it? It’s such a terrible moment. The moment when you know you’re just about to turn into a machine but you still can’t find it within yourself to do anything about it. You know but you’re paralysed. You know and you have a true horror of what’s about to happen to you but something in you doesn’t care, something in you has taken over. It’s unstoppable – even the thought of going against it is too hard work. You give in immediately, you don’t want to admit that you have but you have all the same. You’re trapped in that moment, frozen in it, and soon you’re going to be frozen in it for good when you pass over into the Machine World. You can dwell on your status at leisure then because you’ll have all the time in the world to do so. You’ll have all the time in the world and then some. Time to be a machine who doesn’t know that he’s a machine. Time to be a programme in the Machine World without knowing that you’re only a programme. Time to be the false you, the you who is only a subroutine of the deterministic universe, the you who will never know the truth of what is really going on…
Maybe it’s not going to be as bad as all that I find myself thinking, but even as I think this I know that the thought is ridiculous. Maybe the suffering won’t be too great, I tell myself, but I know it will. Maybe life won’t be so bad in the Machine World. But even as I try telling myself this I know that the opposite is true – I know that the Machine World is actually the Torture World. It’s a place of suffering, a place where there is no peace, no joy. There’s no life in the Machine World – only the poor mockery of it. But even knowing this isn’t enough to stop me. Something inside wants it. Something inside me doesn’t want to be free. I’m like a fully-automated guided missile – I’m locked onto the target and that’s that! I’m hell-bent on getting to where I’m going and you couldn’t talk me out of it! It’s really not something that’s open for discussion; something in me is dead-set on turning its back on reality…
They think they have bodies but they don’t. They live in the hallucination that has been produced by the bad machine, the all-pervading hallucination that has been created by the evil world-machine. We all live in that hallucination. This is to be the basis of my story – the story I am about to tell you. Then I realize that it’s been done before. I have to tweak it somehow, I think. Make it fresh, make it new. I have to put a whole new spin on it. I’m scratching my head waiting for inspiration then but the inspiration isn’t coming. It’s nowhere in sight. There’s no flow of ideas. There’s not even one idea. Everything’s stuck – I’m stuck in my head and that’s all there is to it. Stuck, stuck, stuck.
The matrix-projector is malfunctioning I realize. Creatures have gotten into the primary feeds and they are contaminating the output. We think we have bodies but we don’t, I told myself sternly. It’s important that I remind myself of this as frequently as possible. It’s important that I don’t get lulled. By the lullers who are always lulling. Never allow yourself to be lulled. Never allow. Well, that’s ruined another cycle, I noted sadly. A whole cycle spoiled because of those vile monstrous creatures in the primary feeds. I knew that I should have cleaned them out after the last cycle had completed. I’d been in too much of a hurry, in too much of a rush. God alone knows how much trouble those creatures are going to cause. And there’s no way to get them out until it’s all finished. They’re there for the long haul…
Time Worms, I call them. I know them of old – they ingest space and excrete time. They obtain energy for themselves by transforming space into time and the more energy they obtain the more they reproduce. They propagate exponentially and there’s no way to stop them once they get started. The Time Worms create in their wake a shapeless mass of intricate little time-tubules that go on and on forever, each one forming the parameters of a Type-2 degenerate universe, a collapsed world. Rubbish worlds, I call them. They’re a type of cosmic effluence. They’re the ruination of everything.
Some friends had come. The machine had made them. They came and sat down at my table, chatting away happily as friends do. Not that I know much about friends because I’ve never had any. Not since I was a kid at school and even then I was shy and awkward and tended very much to be a loner. I’ve never been any good at making friends but in this case the machine had made them for me, which was nice of it. Maybe the machine wasn’t so bad after all, I thought! Maybe it has a nice side. It can’t be all bad after all I told myself – that would be a clear violation of the Cosmic Principle. Nothing’s all bad….
The Time Worms were burrowing deep into my brain at this stage, spewing out tubules left, right and centre. Each tubule was a virtual world. I felt happy because of my new friends. They sat all around me, chatting happily as friends do. I was effortlessly included in their conversation, part of it. The time passed pleasantly, easily, and as I sat there I forgot about my troubles….
Everyone has their own personal dedicated nemesis and that’s a fact we just can’t do anything about, much as we’d like to! A whole bunch of machines had just sat down at the table next to mine and were talking away to each other in their flat abrasive voices, the way machines do. They were talking about eating turbot. They talked so much and so fast it was as if they had a head of pressure built up somewhere upstream which they had to release. It was also as if they didn’t actually care what they were talking about. Content didn’t matter, which is the way it always is with machines, I knew. There is never any content with machines.
Their hard little words drilled into my head and their laughter sent shock waves through the soft tissue of my body. I felt myself instinctively tensing up, my body attempting in this way to protect itself from the unyielding harshness of their voices. This is seriously spoiling my morning, I realized. They were all in so much of a hurry to talk nonsense at each other. Firing off bullets, lobbing lumps of concrete at each other like the machines they were. My head was starting to hurt. One of the machines had started to laugh extra loud at this stage and it was getting unbearable. They were talking about someone who had just had major surgery. I found myself wincing involuntarily – why did they have to sit next to me, I wondered? Was it a plot? Was it part of a plan?
The universe isn’t malign in itself because nothing is wholly evil. That’s not possible. That’s a cosmic principle. The universe isn’t entirely malign but everyone has their personal nemesis out there somewhere waiting for them like a guided missile, like a bullet with their name on it. What do you do when one of these bullets comes your way, I wondered? Not just any bullet but your own personalized bullet, the one with your name engraved on it? I knew this was a stupid question as I asked it because there’s nothing you can do. Do you just have to accept that moment I wondered, but I knew that this was a stupid question too…
The voices broke through again – harsher and more abrasive than ever. The machines were gabbling at each other faster and faster and it was approaching fever pitch. They were talking about people they knew who had died. Their words went right through me. Why did they have to talk so loudly when they were sitting right next to each other, I wondered? They hardly paused to draw breath. They didn’t pause to draw breath. They didn’t need to – they were machines. One of them was speaking particularly loudly and abrasively – what a pure horror of a voice, I thought to myself. She spoke the loudest of all, and the fastest. She gabbled the most of all of them, and they were all gabblers. She was the one who had been talking about eating turbot.
Why does God permit this, I cry out silently inside myself. I knew that if I stayed here long enough my cells would begin to eat themselves. Autolysis would set in. And yet I felt as if my will was paralyzed – I felt incapable of action. With a supreme effort I managed to get to my feet and put my coat on. I walked out of the door, every last bit of energy drained from me. Behind me I could hear the machines talking at each other with renewed vigour….
I was learning about flu facts in the hospital canteen. ‘Fighting flu starts with you!’ I learned. I like learning things. I learned other things too as I was sitting there drinking my Americano but I can’t remember what they are. It’s terrible when you learn something and then forget about it again straightaway isn’t it? That’s happens to me all the time. I’d be sitting there thinking ‘what was it that I just learned there?’ and then I’d realize that I didn’t know. All I have is a kind of fuzzy feeling in my head – like when a radio station isn’t properly tuned in. That’s kind of demoralizing when that happens. I’m still feeling utterly fatigued and wonder half-heartedly about getting myself another Americano. The first one didn’t seem to have done much for me…
There’s only one consciousness and it lives in all of us – it gets to meet itself anew in every human interaction! I’d be inclined to say ‘She meets herself in every human interaction,’ because I think of consciousness as being feminine. The thinking mind, on the other hand (the agency which is writing this!) I like to think of as being the masculine principle. The masculine principle loves to explain things after all – it loves to pontificate… I see it as a Russian Orthodox priest with robes and a big beard. The rational mind creates an identity and that identity is the vehicle through which this meeting of consciousness with itself gets to happen. We could say that this separate identity, this mind-created self, is the mechanism by which this meeting is facilitated but we could also say that it is the mechanism which ensures (by the logic of its operation) that we can’t recognize who it is that we are meeting!
That’s a neat trick. That’s a neat little twist there – you’ve got to appreciate that! A stroke of genius, really… I’m stuck for words trying to say how clever that is: the mechanism whereby consciousness gets to meet itself, encounter itself, bump into itself,is also the mechanism by which we get to be endlessly mistaken about who it is we are meeting. We get it wrong every time – we actually think that we’re meeting someone else! So what’s the point of this clever little mechanism of the self, you might ask? Where does all this confusion, all this misidentification get us? What’s to be learned by being sent off down the wrong road every time?
I’m back in the canteen now. Time has passed. It’s twelve thirty and I’m trapped in linear time again. I look up from my note pad and notice that people are eating soup all around me. It must be soup-time, I think stupidly. I m pleasantly aware of the gentle murmur of conversation, interrupted regularly by the faint clinking of cutlery. Presumably by people accidentally hitting soup bowls with their spoons as they eat – a very slight failure of hand-eye coordination. The mildest of ataxias. For the most part it’s a silent process however – fluid and silent. The process continues smoothly as I sit there, the sporadic clinking of spoons against soup bowls forming the faintest of error signals in the background.
Evil is when a restrictive and sterile doctrine falsely proclaims itself to be the one and only true teaching.
Evil is when mediocrity and conformity are made into virtues, and individuality is harshly penalized.
Evil is when we are taught to be ashamed of our own true selves, and are coerced instead to embrace a life of pointless wretched limitation – a life in which we are forever trying to force ourselves into a mould to which we are not suited. A mould to which no one is suited.
Evil is that influence which causes us to keep on striving to become what we are not, and what we cannot be, and then blame ourselves when we fail.
Evil is that which talks us out of our birthright, and then pats itself on the back for being so magnanimous.
Evil is that which convinces us to accept a shockingly degraded and corrupted version of the truth as being the only truth there ever could be, and then struts around congratulating itself for fulfilling its role as The Great Benevolent Educator of Mankind.
Evil is that which tries at every step to convince us to accept a false version of ourselves, and then mocks us and shames us and condemns us if we will not or can not go along with its ideas for us.
Evil is the dark patriarchal authority that shapes us from birth.
Evil is the force that persuades us to think that wasting our lives chasing nonsensical empty dreams is normal.
Evil is the force that persuades us to think that we are the witless dupes it takes us for.
Evil is the insidious agency that makes us feel that we are both utterly powerless and intrinsically worthless – unless, that is, we can successfully fulfil all the meaningless and hideously time-consuming tasks it sets for us.
Evil is the smooth-talking suit-wearing city executive who offers us a place in the hierarchy of hell, and then makes us feel that he is doing us a favour at the same time.
Evil is that which convinces us that we actually are what in reality is no more than its own paltry and worthless construct, and then having done this, leaves us to spend our entire lives struggling vainly to achieve something worthwhile, something meaningful, on this pitiful basis.
Evil sells you burgers and tells you that you’re loving it.
Evil advizes you on a personal pension plan.
Evil helps you with your self-esteem by offering you botox or cosmetic surgery.