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By S.B.K. Burns All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Scifi


Reality has a way of disproving itself.         

Nom Dit (from Manifestation)

Hello. If you perceive me now, it means that you have some intuition, or, maybe, as so many of your friends believe--you're just nuts!

How do we know someone exists? Whatever your take on this reality thing, this manifestation thing, or for those of you out there who are philosophically challenged, I’d like to shed a little light on How we exist. Then I'll let you make up your own mind. Assuming you have one, which, sad to say, objectively speaking, you don’t.

I hear you, but I’m not ready to listen. I'm not focused enough. I’m not integrated enough. I have to know who I am, first, before I can know you. Don’t I?

I'm awakening into a world that only samples the isolate potential—the individual—human, bird, frog, or ant. The world you know doesn’t recognize me yet, so how can I acknowledge myself? But that’s all right. That doesn't bother me. I'd have to be one hundred percent probable to get upset over such a small thing as being shunned by you.

Can you see how you've violated me, landing us back here in this mediocre world? Didn't you ever wonder why you could imagine so many things, even reasonable ones, but none of your fantasies ever seemed to come true? How is that possible? Did you ever stop to think about how unlikely that is? I have. Of course, I know the answer, so it’s not a great leap for me to expect mediocrity.

Here’s what I’m referring to. Some of you go get your PhDs in astrophysics, and then you spend the rest of your lives coordinating others around the world to look for signals of intelligent life beyond your planet. You’ve never figured out that extraterrestrials are not one hundred percent probable like you. You’re more sophisticated than that! You’ve run The Drake Equation front ways and backwards, and you come up with a number of alien civilizations so small that if the universe was ten times as large and had existed four times over, the chance of another intelligent toolmaker would be less than one in ten times the number of people that ever existed on Earth.

Your mathematicians have been dealing with complex numbers for centuries. Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that something times something is something, nothing times something is nothing, and nothing times nothing is embedded? No. I guess not. And now that I’m speaking to you like a know-it-all, you probably don’t even care.

Look, who I am not going to talk about are people like Einstein or Da Vinci, people who thought they were individuals, all those you thought were working alone. People whose genius became more focused as the centuries passed. But it doesn’t work that way. No one is that focused, not even Snigglypoof of the Morble Planet, if he existed at all, which, like me, he doesn’t. Who I am going to talk about are really creative people like Nom Dit, who could have set the whole world on its ear, if he hadn't bumped into me first.

Today, I’m sitting in the dirt outside Miracles Bookstore. I could say that I’m happy, if I ever considered my moods anymore. That’s my biggest challenge, getting along with people, not because they’re bad or even pathetic, which they are, but because they want to force me back into a body. They want to define the hell out of me. And every time they force me, every time they try to define who I am, which is all the time, I become depressed, and I wish I were someone else, or somewhere else.

I live just around the corner in a ranch house with my three roommates. They all think they’re individuals, neatly tucked into their own bodies:

My first roommate, Nelly, is a witch, a firestarter, but she doesn’t want to be. Once, she and the rest of us camped out after a chilling rain, and she kept the campfire going all night. I don’t know why she complains about this ability she has to start fires. It’s a remarkable power. Looks to me like a gift.

Maybe the toughest part about being ourselves, following our dreams, becoming what we’re meant to be, is it stops us from connecting with others. It forces others to do the impossible—accept us as we are.

My second roommate is Tom. If Tom doesn’t like the way events turn out, he reinterprets them. He had a dinner date the other evening. We were so happy for him because he sits at his laptop all day writing up a storm, but doesn’t have much time for a social life, unless we force him. He got to Italiano Brothers, ready to share his most perfect food, angel hair pasta, with another kindred spirit, and no one showed up. You know, he wasn’t even upset. He said, according to Nom Dit, it was karma. And that it taught him not to want things too much. He said it gave him a great idea for the ending of his novella. We didn’t have the heart to argue with him.

Today, I look from the eyes of my third roommate, Kenneth. He’s so much into the philosopher Nom Dit that sometimes he believes the man a prophet. At least, he applies Dit’s teachings rigorously. I try to tell him there is something missing in the man’s philosophy. One can’t just refrain from action because forcing the universe does violence to it, messes with the natural order of things.

I tell him that he takes his own existence for granted. If he were anything like me, if he understood how confusing and unfocused life could become when you’re embedded, he’d do things differently. But there’s no getting through to him. Just like there’s no getting through to you.

You and I, we’re a lot alike. Every formula predicting alien life has proven that we don’t exist, and so until we can understand ourselves into existence, all we can do is peek over shoulders and influence others, preparing a means to their revelation.

After watching Nelly and Tom stand in line for the great Nom Dit’s book signing, we, Kenneth and I, joined the group.

“Where’ve you been?” Nelly asked.

“Oh, just sitting in the shrubbery waiting for you guys,” we said as Kenneth cleaned us of the dead foliage, and then joined the others.

Tom held something tightly to his chest, and the other two tried to free it.

“Where did you get a copy of Dit’s latest book?” we asked. “I thought it was sold out.”

Manifestation, the perfect integration of spirituality and science,” Tom said, attempting to wrest the heavy book from her grasp.

“Science? Statistics, don’t you mean?” Out of breath, Nelly returned Tom’s book, barely able to lift the six-hundred-page hardcover volume.

Here’s where this Nom Dit or Dim Wit got it right—quantum mechanics has been interpreted for decades as though its outcomes are statistical, and statistics had been interpreted as though events occurred due to chance durations in time instead of chance distributions in space. I’ll let my buddies interpret for you:

“It’s not statistics anymore. Tom ran on, again. Mr. Verbose. “Not statistics as we’ve been taught. For example…,” Tom had found a perfect career for his theoretical personality. Unfortunately for his roommates, he didn’t leave all his bubbly at the word processor.

“For example,” Tom repeated for effect, “fifty percent chance of an event, like fifty percent chance of showers at a specific location could just as well mean rain clouds cover half the sky.”

The line of book-toting groupies funneled into the doorway of Miracle Bookstore as my friends and I got closer to Dit and his signing table.

“So you’re saying that Dit says that if half an area is covered in clouds that it has a half-assed chance of raining?” Nelly asked.

“Half a chance,” Tom said through Kenneth’s laughter.

“With my witchcraft, I try to capture the fringes of what’s possible,” Nelly said. “Unfortunately, there’s always some side effect that raises its ugly head, putting a damper on the temptation of all that power.”

“You mean like forcing the world to do what you want it to do, instead of letting it be what it wants to be?” Kenneth said, as the crowd jostled him forward.

“Kenneth has a point,” Tom said, “Keeping us warm overnight at our campsite was great, but us having to put out house fires each time you become agitated is starting to get on our nerves.

“I haven’t burnt down the house yet, have I?”

“You came awfully close…”

 Kenneth put his hand on Tom’s shoulder, attempting to damp his roommate’s criticism.

“That’s not what I meant,” Nelly said, as smoke seemed to exit her ears.

Kenneth stepped up on his soapbox. “We are too quick to label one another. We must let people say what they have to say and be who they have to be.”

“Well, then, who are you?” Tom taunted.

I felt Kenneth’s eyes dart about in their sockets, as he cleared his throat.

We all laughed as we stepped up to the signing table to get a good look at Nom Dit.

Dit looked up, and Tom thrust the book at him and began to kiss ass something fierce. “I haven’t read it all, but my associates and I are already having deep and meaningful discussions about it.”

It was then my friends should have taken notice of me. And though I wasn’t a great fan of Dit’s, I was impressed that he was the first to recognize my presence even as my roomies went on in blissful ignorance.

Dit put an inscription in Tom’s book, and then signed three promotional brochures to the rest of us.

But wait. Besides Tom there were two, Nelly and Kenneth, left. But Dit signed three brochures. Didn’t that give my roommates a clue that I was there? Nope. Tucked safe and tightly into their own bodies, they were not aware as you are, or as Dit was, that a somewhat less probable entity was present.

The line of new age readers began to advance as Tom moved off, wobbling under the weight of the open book. What was he doing? Trying to kiss Dit’s signature?

Nelly threw my pamphlet, the extra one, in the trash, and Dit put his hand up, stopping the line from advancing. Kenneth and I stood there in front of Dit, unable to move.

“You don’t understand.” Dit said first to Kenneth and then to Nelly as he looked in the trash at the extra brochure, the extra signature. “Young woman, take your friends out of here and discover yourself.”

Nelly’s shoulders rounded in embarrassment.

“Your world will turn out just right without you messing with it.” Dit said. “There is more to the world than any of you know. And it all has a right to be. Listen to your friend. Don’t force it.”

Nelly’s whole body shook. Caught in a thoughtless act? Anger brewed up from within. A strong smell of smoke impacted the three of us as we stood before Dit, immobilized and anticipating what might proceed from Nelly’s anger.

Nelly continued to stew, aware how her ignorance made her appear to Dit. Throwing away his signature when he was kind enough to give her that extra one. At the smell of smoke, even Tom awakened enough to stop molesting his book.

Kenneth stood in front of Dit who ceremoniously turned his head looking around the small shop to discover the source of the fire.

Kenneth yelled out, “Dit’s collection of original tapes!”

Kenneth and I ran around Dit and disappeared into the next room, holding our breath against the smoke, feeling our way along the shelves for Dit’s books and old video collections.

People outside screamed.

I tried, but I couldn’t influence Kenneth to leave. Panicked, I split from him and embedded myself in a stasis-like state into the potential of the words in Dit’s unburned books.

Over the painful wheezing of Kenneth’s lungs, I could hear people clamoring from the other room, and then quiet, as if we’d been abandoned.

After the swishing jets of fire extinguishers and some of the smoke began to clear, Dit stood at the door motioning for the firemen to find and remove Kenneth who had since passed out.

After the rescue, Dit remained.

“How shall we do this, my friend?” he said. “In a moment, the entire building will be in flames. I can’t make it out. But you can. And you must know by now about all that is missing in my work, and all the work that is yet to be done before we humans, we individuals, can make contact, can recognize your kind.”

“It’s up to you now,” he said as the hem of his monk-like robe began to burn. “I hand over to you and your friends the task of finishing my work in progress. Will you do that for me?”

As soon as Dit had entered the room to save Kenneth, I jumped into Dit’s brain, a brain that had produced every book in which I’d been embedded.

It’s hell when you can only influence people, when someone can save you, but you can’t save them. Ideas go on and on forever, but people don’t. As Dit went unconscious from the smoke, I jumped back into the comfort of my roomies.

The news media commented on what a self-sacrificing, spiritual man Nom Dit had been, how profound his work. Some even called him a contemporary prophet. By the end of the century, he was a saint, unrecognizable as the man who set me free.

Kenneth recovered with the help of Tom, Nelly, and me. Nelly gave up her anger to help Tom and Kenneth finish what Dit had started. 

Once we publish, all we have to do is wait, wait for the ideas in the book to catch on, wait for them to release all that potential hidden in those pages, a potential benefiting both the probable and improbable universes.

So the next time you get a hankering to judge people, to make up some kind of a story about them, thinking you’ve caught the essence of their individual natures—don’t. It’s not possible to sample your world, to grab it, confine it, and describe it without doing violence there. Our worlds, our lives exist in process; they cannot be objectified. Not one thing exists, except in relationship to something else.

I leave you with the words of the great Nom Dit:

The fun in reality is that it always finds a way to disprove itself.

We may not know why. But that’s what happens. And that’s where the adventure begins.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, S.B.K. Burns
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