I Was Trapped In The Simulation Of Myself

Mine is not a particularly happy story but I want to tell it nonetheless: I had spent the best part of my life – the largest part of it, at any rate – working away in secret on what I like to call my ‘magnum opus’, which  – to put it as briefly as possible – is an elaborate proof that Piddle-Doodley-Frigglepop–Gumbel-Poon-Scollop-Pat-7 (a thing of my own invention, which I say in all modesty) is sometimes, but not always – equal to Neymar-Nimos-Fartwangle-Muttamoon-Zebrog-Ruumborg-6 (again, an entity of my own invention). I was to be awarded the Nobel Prize for extreme theoretical excellence in the field of Pure and Applied Speculation and I had already composed my speech of gracious acceptance. I was to appear on all the usual chat shows and morning TV slots. I had given Channel Four permission to make a documentary of my life. New Scientist magazine had approached me to write a series of articles. Only that’s not true. None of the stuff that I just said is true. Nothing of the sort is going to happen either now or at any other time. There’s no acclaim, no recognition of any sort – absolutely nothing, zilch, nada. The academic world doesn’t have the slightest interest in my work; I can’t get an article published even by the most disreputable half-arsed type of pseudo-scientific crackpot journal, never mind anything actually respectable. No one will touch my work with a barge pole – people back away when they see me at conferences, muttering incoherent apologies. So you see my situation, you get a bit of a glimpse of what I’m going through here. Perhaps you can grasp something of the unbelievable frustration that I’m feeling right now! Only none of this is actually true – I made it all up! It’s pure poppycock. It’s pure fiction from beginning to end. It’s utter howling balderdash. Or maybe it is true – I don’t actually know! I’m just trying to reach out, I guess. I’m just trying to open up a dialogue. Do know that thing where you’re hallucinating like crazy and you’re hallucinating that you are a person and everyone is telling you to cop on and stop being such a space cadet but it all seems so real – it has so much internal consistency that you can’t understand how it could possibly be unreal? Anything with that much internal consistency can’t be unreal – what is reality anyway but 100% internal logical consistency? What does it mean when an hallucination has more internal consistency than reality itself, I wondered – lost in the maze of my own rapidly decaying thoughts. Only I didn’t really wonder that at all. I only hallucinated that I did. I was trapped in the simulation of myself.







A Little Bit Of Eternity

Everywhere I look I see well-worn tracks. Tracks in the air, tracks in people’s faces. Tracks in their eyes. Tracks everywhere… I’m the tracker, I thought – I’m tracking the tracks. Because there is nothing else but the tracks. This world is made of tracks. There’s nothing ‘off-road’ anymore, no way to get off the grid…


I was rich in time but poor in space – it’s always one either one way or the other isn’t it? It’s always a trade-off, like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Relation. When you get one thing you always want the other. Isn’t that it? We’re never satisfied, I suppose. That’s just the human condition – we are always looking for something we can’t have. We want to have our cake and eat it.


When the Space-Like Universe collapses you are left with nothing but time. You got time on your hands, then. You’ve got time and plenty of it. We always say that we want more time, but do we really know what we are asking for? Time is not what we think it is, you see – it’s not what we think it is at all! Time is thought like Krishnamurti says, and we can’t see thought but only what thought tells us…


Time races onwards like an express train; it goes faster and faster and faster but never gets anywhere. There’s nowhere left to go, you see. In the Time-Like Universe there is nothing else but time and time is like water running out of a bath – emptying out into nowhere. ‘Yes but have we got time?’ you ask. The truth is that we have got plenty of it but it won’t get us anywhere. The truth is that time is all we have. It’s like pulling on a long, long length of string – when you get to the end of it there’s nothing there. There’s never anything there.


You’re fishing away in the creek and you think you’ve got a big one but then the line goes slack and there’s nothing there. You must have got your hook snagged on a rock, or on a clump of seaweed. All the mangrove crabs are looking at you, their little eyes swivelling to one side in unison. They’re wondering what you’re doing. Or maybe they’re not wondering. Maybe they know. Maybe the crabs know. Maybe they know what you’re doing and they’re feeling sorry for you…



The sun is very low in the sky – it’s a big red swollen disk, slowly softening as it merges with the horizon. You can hear seabirds calling out in the distance. You can hear the lap of the waves. It’s a timeless moment – a little bit of eternity is peeking out at you. You know that the Space-Like Universe is out there somewhere. It’s out there somewhere behind the veil, but you never see it. You are always in your head. You are always too busy chasing shadows; you are always too busy dreaming of better things. Only there aren’t any better things. Not in the Time-Like Universe there aren’t! Time unfolds with agonizing slowness, and then – in the ‘Grand Gesture’ – proceeds to reveal nothing, as Jean Paul says…


I can see the tracks as clear as day. Tracks in the air. Tracks in people’s faces, tracks in their eyes. Tracks everywhere. Well-worn tracks – the type of tracks you can never get out of! The type of tracks you can never leave. These are the type of tracks you don’t even know to be there – you are always too busy to notice them! You’re always too busy scanning for escape routes. You are always too busy trying to escape from the Time-Like Universe. You’re in your head and your head is full of tracks…





The Seamless Universe Of Self

‘Glitch Doctor has encountered a problem and needs to close’ spelled out the pink fluorescent letters forming in the central field of my vision. This was an ongoing situation – every time I look they are there, spelling out their simple but nevertheless very final message.’ ‘All of society’s structures are games of course,’ I commented in a knowledgeable tone. I was talking to myself. I was always talking to myself. I was everywhere. I was everyone and everything. I was in ‘The Seamless Universe of Self’. I read that phrase in a book and had never forgotten it. If the hat fits then wear it, I always say. I never say that. ‘You’re all alone in the seamless universe of self and there’s no way out and no way in’, I informed myself glibly. I’d booked into the hotel. The Glitch Doctor had encountered an anomaly and it had to close down. The glitch was me, it occurred to me then. I was the glitch. I was everywhere. I was everyone and everything. There was no way out of the state of being me. There was no way in, either. I was trapped in the seamless universe of me and I was all alone, I told myself. Self-referentiality had set in when no one was looking and the system had run away with itself. I was up on the MindCloud and something had gone wrong with the process. An anomaly had set in. I’ve been uploaded onto the MindCloud, I told myself. I’m on the MindCloud and the Sky Rabbits have taken over. No one saw them come – they boiled up over the horizon. Self-referentiality had set in and there was no way out. There never is a way out. I knew I had to consult the Geek Guru – the Geek Guru had all the answers. I was in search of the Game Maker but no one had ever heard of him. ‘The Glitch Doctor has encountered a problem and needs to close down!’ said the voice in my head. The Geek Guru was rewriting my neural pathways for me but now he had vanished leaving me all alone. No one knew where he had gone. No one had ever heard of him. There was no one here but me and I didn’t recognise myself any more. I was in search of the Game Maker and the Game Maker was me. Everything was me but I didn’t know it.





Secret Sorrow

Find out about our secrets and our lies, promised the book cover. Open the pages and dive in, open the pages and dive in, open the pages and dive in. Find out about our secrets and our lies, find out about our secrets and our lies, promised the book cover. Well there’s a book and a half, I said to myself. I was sitting at the table next to the lady who was engrossed in reading it. Well, there’s a book and a half, I said to myself again. Who could possibly resist the temptation to dive straight in and become fully immersed in all of those secrets, all of those lies? Who could possibly resist, I asked myself again, feeling positively giddy at the prospect. My head was spinning – all of those secrets, all of those lies! So much temptation – the richest and most succulent of all possible temptations, I realised. My heart was beating faster than usual at the very thought of it. Life’s a funny old thing I thought then, suddenly overcome by nostalgia for a past which I have never had. I felt the prick of tears starting and I had to blink rapidly to keep them back. Life’s a funny old thing, I said to myself again. Find out about the life you never had, I told myself – the life you never could have had, the life you never would have had. It’s all intertwined in a complicated ball of secrets and lies, secrets and lies. Secrets we have no business finding out about, and lies we would be better off not questioning. But I already found out. I had already questioned and I didn’t like the answer. It was now too late to turn back – the ball of secrets was coming undone before my very eyes! It was like a giant ball of twine that had all come unravelled so that now there was no more ball. Only a big unruly mess of twine everywhere. I felt nostalgia for that ball – I experienced a pervasive sense of loss and longing for what it had represented. I realised then that I wanted more than anything else in the world to return to that place, that secret place within me which existed no more. Which never had existed. I was coming undone, I realized. I was visibly unravelling. Find out about our secrets and lies, enticed the book cover. Come and find out – dip in and be surprised. By all those scandalous lies, by all those sordid secrets. But it was no use to me – I wouldn’t be let in. It was too late for me now; all I could do was sit here sipping my flat white, feeling pang after pang of unbearable nostalgia and longing for a past that I had never had, and never would have. There is a secret sadness in me I realised, but it belongs to no one.





Many Mouths

The summer air was full of the ripe, full bodies of flying insects. Not one but many mouths I had and I was hungry for this bounty of the skies. I was hungry for the ripe, tender bodies of all these flying creatures. Not one but many mouths did I have, and all of them were hungry. My hunger is legendary.


The air was ripe with the sweet corpuscular bodies of summer insects – each one was a luscious plump fruit just asking to be picked. My whole body was shuddering with joy. Many fingers had I, and each and every one of them was busy picking fruit. The fruit of the air I call them, and no tree-borne fruit ever tasted as good. I shed tears of ineffable happiness as I fly.


If I were a poet I would compose verses in honour of those sweet plump bodies upon which I feast so gladly, but poetry eludes me. The sweet plump bodies upon which I feast do not. They cannot elude my mouths for I have so many of them. The air is full of my mouths and there is no way to avoid them.


Many mouths have I and all of them are hungry! The fruit of the skies I call them. The little plump bodies explode softly in my mouths, releasing the purest of nectars as they do so. I shed tears of joy as I swoop through the air, harvesting the rich, rich bounty of the summer skies. I am like a giant invisible manta ray. I am like a vast metal wing cutting through the sky. Soft, ripe bodies burst against me in their untold tens of thousands. ‘None can escape me’, I cry out soundlessly as I fly. I am a silent wing of death.


I have many mouths, yet only one mouth – I am a giant manta of the skies, and I am a shadow on a summer evening. I am the flea that jumps, the worm that tunnels in the blackness. I am the man who cannot speak his name. I am the sound of a dry twig breaking underfoot in the dark deep forest. I am the wind. I am the old dog who twitches restlessly in his sleep and I am the little silvery fish that leap out of the ocean to avoid the steely blue jaws of the predator. I am both the dreamer and the dream. Today I joyfully feast – tomorrow I will be feasted upon.




When The Devil Made The World

When the Devil made the world, so I’ve heard, he mixed in a little goodness with all the badness, just to make things more interesting! That’s what they say anyway, and it makes sense when you think about it. Just imagine how appallingly miserable it would be if there were no one but bad people in the world! Bad people are so humourless and dull – they really are the worst company ever, and so very obviously that wouldn’t be much fun! I can’t think of anything less inspiring to be honest. They’re dull, dull bastards, and that’s being kind to them. The Devil knew this anyhow and that’s why he threw a few good people into the mix, which is rather like throwing a bit of seasoning into a stew. That way, the wicked bad evil people have something to stir them up a bit, something to put a little bit of life into them. It’s amazing to see how bad people come to life when there’s some goodness around! They love to ruin it for the good folks, you see! There’s nothing bad people love more than spoiling something good, corrupting something wholesome. They love it so much. That’s essentially ‘their mission’ you see – when they’re left to their own devices, with no goodness around anywhere to spoil, with no wholesomeness to corrupt, then they go to a slump. They mope. Say what you like about Satan, he is no fool! He knew what he was doing when he made the world. He knew exactly what he was doing! It’s not very fair on the few good people dotted here and there, of course. It’s not very nice for them. I often wonder what it must be like for them – I wonder what living in this wretched world of ours must be like. How do they make sense of it at all? How do they make sense of the abhorrent perversity of all governments, all authority structures? How to do they make sense of the utter mendacious stupidity of the bureaucracies that supposedly exist to serve us. ‘The mendacious stupidity of the bureaucracies that supposedly exist to serve us’ – that phrase resounds in my head. If any evidence were needed to tip us off as to it was who really created the world then this is surely it! Take a good look at the next official you come across. Take a good, good look at him. Or her. You don’t need me to tell you who they’re really working for, now do you? Think about it a bit. Ponder a while, if you will. Trust me on this one – it will all start to make a hell of a lot more sense once you get this key point straight…






Secret Superpower

Do you know that thing where sometimes you might be wondering what your secret superpower might be if you had one and yet didn’t know about it? I laugh to myself for a while thinking about this. It always amuses me. I’m here with a big smile on my face and nobody knows why. I think my secret superpower could be to pretend that everything is okay when it isn’t. I definitely think this might be my secret superpower. I can’t be sure though. You see the thing is that I’m quite possibly so very good at this – pretending that everything is okay I mean – that I don’t actually have any evidence that everything isn’t okay. Everything feels fine as far as I can tell. So maybe I do have the superpower and everything really isn’t okay, or maybe everything actually is okay, which would mean that I don’t have the superpower at all. Confusing isn’t it? That’s why I like to think about it so much – because it’s so intriguing. You really don’t know where you are with this kind of stuff at all. Another secret superpower I might have is a secret superpower of being a complete idiot and yet not knowing it. That’s definitely a superpower I might have – I wonder about this one a lot. How could I ever tell which it is? Another secret superpower I might have is a superpower of liking fast food. This isn’t so secret though. I suppose the reason I see this is a ‘potential superpower’ is because I really do have such an abiding and deeply felt fascination with fast food of all kinds. I always have done. It’s a type of an obsession with me. Actually that isn’t superpower at all, is it, it’s more of an addiction. Suppose I was addicted to some drug, let’s say methamphetamine for the sake of the argument – would I call that a superpower? I hardly think so. Although if I took enough of the stuff I would undoubtedly in time come to believe myself to have all sorts of weird and wonderful special powers. And you wouldn’t be able to talk me out of it. Is there such a thing as the superpower to think all sorts of utterly nonsensical thoughts whilst at the same time fervently imagining that they all actually mean something? This again is a tricky one, needless to say. How are we to know if this is a legitimate superpower or not? Is there any way to ever definitively know this? Somehow I think not…