I found this file lying around in my computer. I thought I’d share it here. It was my final project for a seminar I took freshman year in college. I procrastinated it until the day it was due. Then I sat in the computer lab in Trumbauer Hall for a few hours, and this poured out:
As I started to try to do research for this project, I realized that the very nature of the project I wished to do was not extremely friendly to the idea of research itself. This is to be a project to play with the difference between thinking and feeling, between rationality and emotion. However, in looking for books in which to discover the views of other men on these topics, I noticed that I was finding no information precisely on what I was looking for, while I have plenty of ideas in my head about my topic. Then I realized that what was really happening was my lazy emotions coming out, and manifesting themselves in the way I could find nothing. I truly wanted to write this paper from within myself, but thought that for the sake of “research” and “traditional college values” that I ought to sit in the library and find what was there. I thought that I ought to start working on the project weeks before, in order to do the best I possibly could on it. However, my feelings of procrastination and confidence in my own ability to put this together at the very last minute overcame my thoughts, and in fact changed them. I actually went to the library and found books, but it was far too late at that point to read them all, and I decided (again through my laziness) not to even try to. Even as I type this, my thoughts are fast changing to thoughts of what I am actually doing. So, now what this project has become, or will become, in my own mind, where it will exist along with the rest of my universe until it is released into the words I type, is a rambling monologue, a Chautauqua if you will, about myself and my own views and thoughts and feelings, as written on Monday, April 18, 1994. This is not the traditional type of project, but my own feelings have left me with little other choice, and my thoughts must make do with what is left. I now enter my own mind, and hope that I may emerge again at the end.
As I wander alone amidst the grass and minefields within my mind, I notice that there are two sorts of actions going on…. I notice thinking waves flying past me in long, straight beams of light. I notice feeling waves floating past me in symphonies of music and sound. They all flitter through the unsuspecting synapses and enter my soul. As I watch these waves, I notice that they move up and down in sine patterns, in perfect synchronization with each other, and with my own soul. But they are not actually synchronized; rather, they move with different speeds and through different media to arrive at the same point. But as all of the different patterns add up, I notice that they merge with each other to form what I now see at the centre, a brilliantly lit, yet perfectly formed sphere. This sphere has no distinguishable edges, yet seems to flow out forever in all directions; up, down, left, right, forward, backward, future, past, and through more dimensions for which my vocabulary can find no accurate words. I close my eyes; I can now feel myself rocking back and forth in rhythm with the sphere. I realize what I have known since I entered this domain; this sphere, for lack of a better word, is indeed the most abstract of all I have ever encountered, my soul.
I look back across the depths of the nothing where I am, and again see the waves of thought and emotion. I notice this time, however, that these waves that fly forward into the sphere are also flying backward out of it. In fact, as I look, I can see the sphere extending through all these waves as they move. I look, and I see that each thought ripple is attached to others. I see that, in fact, they are all connected, even as they move in many different dimensions; I can count five dimensions, but I know there must be more. I notice that every thought I think, and every detail I notice, creates a new wave, which flies forward from nowhere into the centre of the sphere, while at the very same time flying backward out of it. It seems rather odd to me that I should be able to notice things moving in a direction of time to which I am not very accustomed, but at the same time rather relieving to know that things go on inside one’s mind which have no applicable metaphors in the physical world. I decide to try to find a pattern within the thought paths, and I watch for the accompanying new path. As I watch for the wave created by my search for a pattern, I notice that the watch for this wave has in fact produced another wave, and I begin to think spirally, creating what must be an infinity of recursive waves. I look for this infinity, a bit scared that it will fill up the nothing, and inhibit all other thought. However, I see that each wave of the infinitude is somewhat smaller and fainter than the one before, so that they take up little more room than a few general thoughts. I marvel to myself at how well the mind can protect itself from damage. However, as I look closely, the thought thread created by my thought about mental damage illuminates other threads, separated from me through time, and I see how damage has been done in the past. I see broken threads and tangled strings. I see wounds on some threads and cracks in others. I wonder what I could have done in my past to cause this, and realize that I really don’t want to know. So I turn away, but not so much physically as mentally. I am still staring at the same area of the sphere, but now the damaged thoughts are no longer lit up, and I see through them and around them.
As I stare, desperately trying to find something to focus on to keep my thoughts away from the damage, I see something I had noticed before, but had mainly disregarded. I see the emotion waves. Very much like the thought waves, they move together, and connect with each other. I theorize (and see the theory’s thought wave form) that the reason I noticed the emotional threads now rather than earlier was because only now had I begun to feel strong emotion. The damaged thoughts frightened me, and hence a fear wave was formed. I do not see the fear string so much as I feel it, and I notice how it changes everything around me. Colour flows out from it, enveloping all of the thought waves. I see an onrush of bluish red. Not purple, but somehow bluish red. I wonder how long this feeling will last, and as I see the thought wave form from this wonder, I notice it immediately becomes bluish red itself, and the thought changes to one of fearing how long this feeling will last. I think how interesting it is that emotions change thoughts like this, and I see the interest’s thought string collide with the fear wave, and the fear wave dissolves. Along with it, the wonderment wave also fades, as I now know when the feeling will end, as it has ended, and so the wonderment string is unnecessary.
I look around, and see how this emotional experience has changed my surroundings. All looks the same, yet has a new atmosphere to it. I see a new string form, a string which emits a warm, friendly yellow glow. I realize that I’m feeling rather content here. The yellow glow soothes my thoughts, and builds upon itself. Before I know it, all I see is diffuse with yellow. I begin to feel happy, and the glow turns a golden shade with the new emotion wave.
The colours start to fade, but just a little, as new thoughts form. I begin to wonder what this environment is like when I am not in it, i.e. when I’m existing in the physical world during at least half of my time. I see how all my thoughts rest on each other, and create each other, and I ponder whether this only happens when I’m watching, or if it happens unbeknownst to me throughout my life. An entire barrage of thoughts appear on the left, and fly past me as I try to figure out how to measure this. I think about leaving some sort of recording device here as I live in the outside world, so I can view what happens later. I think about trying to arrange to have an EEG reading taken, and entering my mind again as it’s being done, to compare the readout to what I see. I think about trying to separate my conscious mind into two entities so I can exist on both levels at once. And I eventually realize that there is no way I can do any of this; like particle physics, the observations are always connected inseparably to the observer. Any way I could view my inner self would change it, because I am in fact my inner self. Even the idea of somehow recording for later viewing would be subject to change, because I see that in this realm, time is not linear, and I could easily change things from my own past, or future. By this point, the golden glow has dissolved into a sort of frenzied hot pink.
The thought about changing my past and future causes me to spin in place, and see other thought and emotion waves. I see a conglomeration of what appear to be millions of threads tied together in a tight bundle. Many of them appear to be veterans of a sort – old and used, yet filled with life provided them by the fresh, newer ones holding the bundle together. I speculate that this must be the area of my mind devoted to thinking about time, my favourite topic of mental debate. I see how different strings seem to be stronger than others, and assume these are the beliefs I now hold about time. But I notice that there are far too many strings here to account for my current thoughts, and I begin to wonder what the others are. I examine one, and discover it to be a thought about time I had at camp several years ago, one I have since disregarded as wrong. I start to believe that these faded strings are thoughts from my past, ones I no longer remember actively, but which are nevertheless there. I notice, however, that there still seem to be far too many thoughts to account for even all of my past thoughts on time. I believe that many of these waves may be from my future. I find it interesting how they look superficially identical to the ones from my past, faded in the exact same way. I wonder if I can tap into them, and then wonder if it would be morally acceptable to do so. A grey aura fills the void around me as I ponder this dilemma. I realize that to tap my future thoughts now would alter all of the reality I am now in, but I am not sure if the change would necessarily be for the worse. I begin to wonder if tapping these thoughts is precisely what I am intended to do, and if the reason they are in the future is because I will think them in merely a few minutes, when I give into the temptation to think them. Thus, there truly would be no dilemma, as it is what always will happen. This thought, in turn, creates a new dilemma, the dilemma of whether or not there is a dilemma, and creates with it a new greyer aura within, and around, the first. I prepare myself to create new dilemmas around this one, but I am pre-empted.
These auras fade into the background as I realize that this paper has now reached its sixth page, and that I do not wish to take up an exceedingly long amount of time in class this evening. I begin to see many colours as simply saying the word time brings back more thoughts, and I think about how I could possibly make time slow down as I read this, or make myself slow down through time, so that I can write more, but then I realize that I am now creating new levels of the problem I am trying to solve.
So, I pull myself back from the time bundle to take in the vast expanse of all I can see in here. I try to pull myself out of the sphere entirely, and seem to succeed. As I gaze upon the sphere which I call my soul, I see the thought waves and emotion waves no longer look very different. They are both packets of some ethereal energy, flying to and fro and mingling with each other before fading into their own pasts or futures. I turn myself, and I see a slightly different sphere. I can only assume that this sphere is a future, or past, version of myself. But, instead of attempting to temporally displace myself, as I am very tempted to do, I will allow myself to snap back into the corporeal world, in order to spare the time of those listening to these ramblings.
As I allow my essence to reemerge from itself, I glance outward as I float, and see just a glimmer of a long cord reaching out in a direction I’ve never seen before. I pass by the cord before I can get a good look at it, and when I turn to look, all I can see is a mess of thought-emotion waves. I now return fully to the physical world, and wonder if I’d just caught an instantaneous glimpse at my connection to God, and smile at the thought of going back some time soon.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end.