“When the bad thing happens will that be very bad?” asked my mind tremulously. No answer came and this was not surprising as all there was was my mind. There wasn’t anything else. My mind was all alone in a world that it had made – only it didn’t know that it had made it. My mind was me. I was my mind but I didn’t know it. My mind didn’t know it either.
“When the bad thing happens will it be very bad?” I asked tremulously but no answer came. No answer ever comes. All around me the shadows lengthen, stretching off into the distance. They stretch off forever – they make up the whole world. This is the Shadow World – it’s the world my mind made without knowing it. It’s the world of my mind which is me. Shadowy faces are peering at me curiously from the periphery of my vision, their shadowy lips are moving but the sound that comes out is incoherent and incomprehensible. They’re trying to tell me something but there’s no one there to hear it. I’m not here because my mind made me up – it invented me for reasons best known to itself. Only I am my mind and I’m all alone. The loneliness is unbearable…
“When the end comes will that be very bad?” my mind asks, full of fear. My mind is always full of fear – fear is what makes it. My mind is made of nothing other than pure fear. It inhabits the Fear World where the shadows are dark and menacing and something bad is always about to happen. The bad thing is waiting in the wings. Can’t you feel it there? Biding its time in the next room? On the other side of the wall, living and breathing and as real as you or me? More real, even. I can feel it. I know it’s out there just as surely as if I could touch it. It’s presence is unmistakeable, undeniable. It’s here in the room with me now. My fear is absent, nowhere in sight, and yet it makes itself so well known to me. Its presence is palpable. I am so very acutely aware of it – I am more aware of it than I have ever been aware of anything in my life. There is only me and my fear here in the room. Nothing else exists.
“When the bad thing happens will it be very bad?” asks my mind, full to the brim of terror. I’ve never known such terror – you could cut it with a knife. You can smell it. It’s a kind of electric smell, like high voltage cables with rotten insulation. The current is looking for somewhere to go. It wants to use me for a short-cut. I know that I’m in the Fear World and that this is the only world there is. There’s nowhere else to go, nowhere else to be. I’m all alone here and I don’t really exist. That’s what I’m afraid of – I’m afraid of finding out that I’m not real. I’m so very very afraid of finding that out. My fear is like a physical presence in the room. It’s terrible, terrible intimate – it’s closer to me than anything, than anyone else ever could be. It’s more real to me than anything; it’s reality itself, the only reality I could ever know. I’d like to pretend that this isn’t happening to me but I can’t.
“When the bad thing happens will that be really bad?” I ask, the words coming out as a laughably ridiculous croak of pure fear. I didn’t want to ask this stupid question but my mind made me do it. It forced the words right out of me. That’s how much power my mind has over me, despite the fact that it’s not actually real. I am dismayed by the absurdity of my situation – my mind totally controls me absolutely even though it’s not even real. How can this be?