Somewhere below the threshold of consciousness I was making up theories to explain my evident existence. There was an irritant out there in the velvety darkness of my sleep, a vaguely threatening issue lurking out of sight in the dense tropical undergrowth. The issue of existence – my existence to be precise. I was in a dream, not really paying attention, not really knowing or registering what was happening. It was happening but I didn’t care. I didn’t care because it didn’t concern me. The theories were seething under the surface, working away silently. I was content to let them do so. The brute fact of my existence suddenly looms, like a giant iceberg appearing in the dark – first impressions not giving any indication of the size of the thing. The theories start off unconsciously, autonomously, but then as the problem proves to be bigger than first imagined the computational intensity builds up and up until it reaches the point at which it crosses over the threshold. And then Bang – you’re awake. You’re conscious, although you don’t at first know of what. And then you realize that you’re becoming conscious of yourself trying to solve a big problem. The biggest problem there is – the problem of your own existence.
So there I was, evidently existing but unsure of what this meant, unsure of what the ramifications of this might entail. Doing my level best to get an angle on what was happening, but to no avail. I lay there, apparently relaxed, my mind working overtime in the background trying to get a handle on things. It was coming up with a rather strange line of thinking – visually it was all leaning over to one side with lots of baroque little curlicues branching out fractal-wise from the leading edge. It looked very much like a great wave, a great ocean breaker made up of thousands upon thousands of skewed endlessly reiterating computational matrices. Then the wave hit a limit and started to topple over itself, disintegrating dramatically as it did so. Time seemed to slow down. For a moment everything went blank and when I came to I was sitting on a stony beach next to a dark and stagnant sea. A stiff breeze had arisen and it was moving huge clumps of yellowish foam along the surface of the sea towards the shore, towards where I sat. Every now and again a giant lump of foam would come loose and get blown into the air. The beach was littered with clumps of the stuff. The foam had an unhealthy look to it and I didn’t want it to touch off my skin. There was a smell of decaying seaweed.
An event had happened – that much was easy to see. An event had occurred and some sort of emergency protocol had been triggered. That’s what created the discontinuity, I surmised. A whole world of questions were left to be answered, as is always the case after a discontinuity. Questions of identity. Questions such as ‘Who am I?’ ‘What am I doing in this place?’ and ‘Who was I before I came here?’ There was nothing in me but blankness. All I had left to me were questions I realized, questions that I didn’t even know how to begin answering. I went backwards in time, looking for clues. I retraced my steps – I rolled my memories right back to the very beginning, which was all of ten minutes ago. I replayed them slowly. ‘This time will be different,’ I said to myself, although I couldn’t understand where this statement had come from. ‘This time I bring back with me a token,’ I said again, more forcefully this time. ‘All of my memories, the memories of an entire world, are gathered together in a single multidimensional mindseed, hidden deep in my unconscious’, I declared. I didn’t recognize my own voice – it was deep and hoarse. I knew then that the seed was already beginning to stir within me – this time would be different, I thought to myself. This time would be different because this time I would remember…