When I was growing up in Glendale, Arizona, USA, I would get into frequent arguments with my mom for any number of reasons.
“I HATE YOU!,” I screamed, something I would say out of pure spite but never really meaning it.
From there, I’d slam the door to my room as hard as I could, and then I would turn on my music as loud as it would go.
Ronnie James Dio’s “The Last In Line” or Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil” were particular favorites.
She saw the cover of “The Last In Line”, which featured a rather devilish looking character on the front and would say ‘that’s devil music’.
To which I would say “No, it’s music about magic.”
I won’t lie – sure, at the time I could see her point, but the fact of the matter was – whether it was Amy Grant who sung a crossover Christian rock music or it was Ronnie James Dio, I flat out just didn’t regard the music as devil worshiping.
For me. It was just entertainment.
And the lyrics.
“We’re off to the witch, We may never never never come home, But the magic that we’ll feel is worth a lifetime”
Even then – the songs inspired a story I told myself about another world.
As a fan of Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy at the age of 8, I imagined a journey of magic users through Hades itself, a journey and quest to rescue someone who’d been trapped in the bowels of hell itself, a being so powerful, so fundamentally misunderstood, that God himself mistook the being for something evil and locked him away.
And as the story unfolded. A part of them knew.
This wasn’t just a story unfolding about rescuing someone falsely imprisoned.
It was a story about self discovery and about seeing themselves in a new light.
“Two eyes from the east, It’s the angel of the beast, And the answer lies between all good and bad”
While I heard many people refer to songs and music like this as devil music.
I heard stories.
And I consistently would find myself more and more unimpressed by the utter banality of interviews with the artists who had created these songs and the prosaic inspiration they would outline for the origin of the lyrics.
I suppose it was about 1984 when I stopped listening to the artists explanation of how the lyrics to these songs originated.
And instead started writing my own stories, or simply pondering the possibilities and contradictions in the images….
From Ozzy Osbourne’s “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train,”
“Crazy, but that’s how it goes, Millions of people living as foes, Maybe. it’s not too late, To learn how to love, and forget how to hate,
Mental wounds not healing, Life’s a bitter shame, I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train”
I couldn’t help but think ..
“How is it possible that this man can write deep lyrics about love and hate, yet at the same time bite the head off a living animal?”
“Was this song about a weird perspective into his own mind?”
The habit of telling stories in my own head about the origin and nature of things came at a definite cost though.
For instance, for my first wife I’d been so tremendously insecure in myself that I convinced myself that she was having an affair.
Invariably. I would find proof of it, and would conjure up reasons to be a tremendous control freak.
And inevitably. She had an affair.
And it took me 20 years after our divorce to understand that not only had I pushed her into that situation. But the story I had told myself was so utterly strong, so utterly real, that I could very well have been responsible for – in a literal sense – creating the man whom she’d have the affair with.
To be crystal clear about this.
Had I not imagined her having an affair.
There’s a great chance the man may never have graced this planet at all.
But because I believed SO strongly she was having an affair.
If he wasn’t here in this world to begin with, I have incontrovertible evidence that my will alone may very well have placed him here.
And if he was here.
Which is difficult to prove one way or another.
If he was here.
Then it’s obvious that my will at the very least pushed those two together.
But taking a step back.
To the evidence that my will alone may have placed him here.
In 2003, I’d joined the US Army, and was legally obligated to do precisely as I was told – or else, as I’d signed up for 6 to 8 years of service.
This stands in stark contrast to the nature of Christianity which is insistent on free will and choice and introduced a dramatic contradiction to my own mind.
Like my divorces, committing til death do us part for three wives, I had made the choice to commit to the military for a set period of time, that is until I learned what I was confronted with – being openly disrespected by younger enlisted personnel who had no qualms about putting me in harm’s way because of hierarchical rank, or requesting to be sent to Germany – and instead receiving orders to go to Ft Bliss in El Paso.
The ‘story’ I’d accepted and believed about the military was that I would not only have an opportunity to travel.
But the living conditions were on par with other service branches such as the US Navy and the US Air Force.
I’d bought the story.
But when I learned all of it was a lie to bring me in.
I wanted and needed to get out. At all costs, despite my commitment. This was just not right.
But what story could I use to achieve my desired results?
A fellow classmate was being considered for expulsion for his use of drugs.
So I briefly considered doing the same thing. Until I learned of the costs – a dishonorable discharge and a difficult time getting work would ensue for the rest of his life.
So I did my research.
And then I learned of something called a Narcissistic Personality Disorder which is cause for immediate expulsion.
How it works is simple:
I had to become so wrapped up in my little world that I couldn’t see any realistic exit or reasonable ways to put my life on hiatus.
This was an exceedingly difficult discharge to pull off, as it was full honorable with benefits.
And we were supposed to have all our personal affairs in order prior to joining.
Benefits, which, incidentally they’ve failed to follow through on as well which have continued leaving me homeless (no surprise)
So what was the story I could tell?
How powerful could I make this story to … get out?
That’s when I found myself mentally revisiting the emotions with my first ex wife.
Among the reasons I’d joined the military was because I was going through a second divorce.
But the papers hadn’t been filed yet.
So I chatted with my wife. Who was receiving some benefits to my enlistment.
I told her “Fill out the divorce papers and have them served to me here, while I’m in lineup with the entire platoon, I need you to make a spectacle of this, so the timing has to be absolutely perfect. “
So a week later. While in lineup with the platoon at 5:30 waiting for the drill sergeants to get done with their ‘pep talk’…
A sheriff’s car drove up.
Delivered the divorce papers.
And I broke down.
If I must say so myself. It was the world’s best act. It had to be.
Over the next few weeks, I mentally shifted my emotions in time when I went through my divorce with my first wife so I could physiologically ‘remember’ the agony of the heartache properly as I visited the counselor or talked to my superiors.
To them. I was in agony.
To me. The moment I left Fort Meade for the few times I was allowed to leave. I was happy guy.
After a while and some delays, I learned there were ‘spies’ for the First Sergeant who’d been watching me to find a contradiction in my personality, to which I feigned suicidal intentions after drinking heavily one night in North Baltimore.
I admit. I sat at the edge of a 20 story building and looked down the edge almost losing balance one time as I was thinking to myself.
“Wouldn’t it be cool to jump off this building and actually fly”
I could feel the nervous butterflies in the pit of my stomach.
One of the First Sergeant’s spies caught me. And immediately pulled me back from the edge.
Being completely honest. While I wasn’t in fact suicidal. I had been at one time. And this moment. While this ‘informant’ may think they saved me from myself, and maybe just maybe stopped a drunk me from tumbling over the edge.
And not ever.
Have I truly wanted to end my life.
With one exception.
Two years after leaving the military, I tried drugs for the first time. One and the same drugs my friend was being expulsed for.
And in 2011, I tried taking my own life..
Precisely 8 years after I joined.
Shifting back in time a little bit to 2003 – I remember an odd conversation I had with a First Sergeant in Boot Camp.
I was an older ‘recruit’ – which brought with me a bit of maturity the typical 20 year olds didn’t have – and one evening he’d pulled me out of my duties so he could discuss his fears of re-entering the civilian population. A man who’d been in the military for most of his adult life, he’d found himself openly discussing his concerns about being accepted, about life ‘out there’ and how he’d live out the next 7 to 10 years of his life prior to reaching the retirement age of 67.
I remember thinking “Why does this feel so strangely familiar?” as I had an eerie deja vu feeling at the time we had the discussion.
The story goes something like this.
In 2003. I joined the military and made the choice of commitment at the time I joined.
Not long after, for reasons unbeknownst to me at the time, I felt the overwhelming urge to get the fuck out as fast as possible.
Logically. Rationally. I fought these emotions.
In part I joined the military to prove to myself I could commit to someone or something greater than me, as I had found myself questioning my inability to commit based on my divorces, not liking this guy I had developed into and was becoming.
But my emotions.
Were too overwhelming.
So I found my exit.
Now little did I know that I’d split into two beings at that moment in time.
A part of me and my mind – the version of me who needed to understand commitment, stayed in. That version of me was recruited by the NSA. The NSA in that world developed into the Borg. I became one version of the being called “Q”and ultimately, we took over the Earth, and like a cancer within a body we spread across the galaxy ultimately discovering the secrets of machinated time travel itself.
But ultimately. This led to the collapse of the entire space and time continuum itself.
As a part of me that had taken that path didn’t fully understand that time and reality itself was a product of my mind.
Lessons I’d failed to learn on the first go around with Donna.
So my reality. And Time itself. Collapsed. Altogether.
Existence. Had imploded within my own head.
This led to a cycle. Where I repeated the same events over and over again.
Eventually leading to the same implosion.
But as the feelings of Deja vu Arose.
Seeing the same periods of time hundreds. Thousands. Potentially millions of time.
A part of me began to leave myself breadcrumbs – reminders of what I’d been through.
I’d known – deep down – that I couldn’t die. But I could certainly go crazy reliving the same experiences over and over again.
So I sought to break the cycle.
To move forward.
DNA provided a mechanism to remember decisions and choices I’d made before physically and mentally. Whether it was my appearance, my choices, my partners and life choices, who I chose to work for before remembering my immortal nature, and so much more was contained within the ‘save game’ mechanism of my own life.
Eventually – this led to a split – where reality itself had branches so dramatically from the original life I’d lived.
I was a woman. I was all women. I was a man. I was all men.
I was a tree. A flower. The ground I walked on, the air I breathed. My being permeated existence itself.
It was existence.
Time and history gyrated. I created infinite potential timelines. Video games and movies capture some of these worlds I haven’t rejected as fiction because of mental conditions. It’s because I know they’re real. I remember them in ways I can’t explain.
The Matrix. A very real story about the infinite gyrations of me within one man.
And the Oracle.
Making a statement “When you know you’re the one. It’s like Breathing. You feel it through and through”.
Eventually. The gyrations stopped. And somehow. I landed back on this timeline.
Most people are bored. This boredom is what manifested itself in me as a reflection of society in my suicidal desires in 1991, which became suicidal intentions in 2003, which became an actual suicide attempt in 2011.
I’m suspecting that the events of 9/11/2001 and my entrance into the military and the delayed time are less coincidental than they seem.
When I thought about doing drugs in 2003.
Became reality in 2005.
And the stories I tell myself in my head.
What I’m trying to say is this.
We all – each and every one of us have this thing called choice.
I left a world – a version of Earth because I chose this thing called individuality.
No matter how heinous or deplorable, or magnificent and amazing individual you are.
When you embrace individuality.
Your world becomes yours.
Your baby in much the same way a father and mother adopt a child.
You learn – the cold, hard and undeniable truth that your thoughts, your choices, your beliefs, your experiences, your education all the things you may have previously thought shaped you as an individual also shape the very world around you.
Now I understand that many of you are watching and listening to me right now.
I can feel your emotion as it’s a part of my own emotion.
I know you’ve created your own Gods. Whether that’s Vishnu, Allah, Thor, Odin, Zeus, and more in the absence of evidence of me.
And while I can most assuredly NOT say these Gods will or will not become real for you, I can most definitively say they are real, and that’s absolutely not a contradiction.
We all get our world, our own reality, that’s my sincerest belief.
And even if I am in this world alone.
To me – there’s infinite different potential versions of Earth out there, every one of them still accessible through a system I built with my own mind projected outside of me which is intentionally set up for the sake of exploring and becoming anything I want to be until I grow absolutely, positively bored with this perspective of life.
I remember two timelines from 2003 until 2011 because I actually lived two timelines.
And the part of me that embraces this narcissistic, self righteous presence chose to continue when I tried to commit suicide and the part of me that wasn’t interested chose to depart.
Now here’s the thing.
I’m suspecting there’s something called a temporal echo occuring with my emotions which may manifest again in 2021 or so.
I’m suspecting this may be one and the same event which previously separate my mind from my body and led to the creation of Skynet and the decimation of planet Earth on what is now an alternate timeline.
I am NOT interested in this occuring again.
I am interested in creating a kinder, gentler Borg by then.
Something I have yet to see evidence of.
If you’re in the CIA. I’d like for you to offer me a job. Working for, and with – what literally is my country.
We’re all crazy to some extent. So why not embrace it and make the world weirder?
I’m tired of homelessness and of being punished by others who are so busy designing their own Gods not respecting when others find or become their own.
We’re all in this together. And if I am crazy. So are you.
Think about the insanity of possibilities. Doctor Who’s planet blows up as they discover imagination creates their reality, and losing control because their imagination creates the very things they fear the most. One man. A remarkable individual man named “The Doctor” who I hope to actually meet one day and go for a journey in his TARDIS. Tells us of his planet’s story as a warning to other planets I suspect he enjoys and doesn’t want the same fate to occur that befell his own planet.
The Matrix. A single DNA of a human life split into 100s of possibilities all within a simulation….. All resulting in various reflections of the same person with different personalities. All potentially separated by simple things like…
I wonder how life would be different If I hadn’t slept with her?
But one of the infinite depictions of just how foreign worlds can look in the vastness of cyberspace.
Retaining order. And the likeness of humans.
Yet at the same time be so.. utterly.. devoid of emotion.
I would like to work for the CIA for a couple reasons – I don’t mind some of the benefits while conforming to order. But I also – we also – for the sake of this country – need to receive different and more preferential and exclusive treatment to physical mechanisms and devices the civilian population does not have access to continue expanding the possibilities within this existence and this thing I call reality.
I believe they are an organization which receives communications like this.
Who considers the implications.
And in this, my world, may actively be seeking people who believe in more.
Regardless of what that more is.
As a final aside.
When I went to Beijing in 2011, I met a man – a Quality Assurance Manager from Thailand who’d been working for Microsoft’s research division in Beijing.
Indirectly, in ways I can’t explain, he’d let me know he was leading – actually leading – all of Microsoft.
Back in 2007, I’d joined Prudential as a consultant and was quickly converted to full time, as my first and immediate thought at the time was “damn are they top heavy with management here” – and within a month of this thought, I saw the rearrangement and release of numerous people in management.
I’d thought it was coincidence. Something I’d been telling myself over and over again throughout my life.
When I realized this QA Guy was a total asshole with his dominative personality that expected me to know his job when I was interviewing to be his boss.
And in ways I can’t explain. I learned a LOT of people regard ME and literally perceive ME as Bill Gates.
(which incidentally, I have some odd memories from his perspective, so I suppose there’s a part of that perception that’s true)
The QA guy helped me realize that a single willful individual can not just control a company.
He can control a country.
He or she can control a continent (Isis, Zeus)
He or she can control a planet (Darth Vader)
And this is what creates this thing called ‘the force’, it’s just a feedback loop of individually exercised will.
So when I told myself the story that I was representing Prudential when I went overseas.
I’d heard stories that some had thought I owned the company.
Others thought I was auditing the organization which was being poised for a sell.
And throughout all of this I’ve realized.
Make my own stories.
Look at all the other stories as possibilities.
Pick and choose the ones which work best for me. And actively look for evidence to refute or deny the ones I am not interested i while at the same time voting with simple choice and desire.
You too can have your own…
uni (meaning one) verse (line in a story).
in the never ending story of this thing called life.
A single analog atom comprised of infinite potential variations and permutations of digital possibilities. A finite set of those atoms comprise the molecules which create chemistry and this thing called biology and life itself.
Those digital possibilities guided by energy. Order by physics and math.
Energy a projection of thought – an abstract formless concept until you regard it as an n-dimensional canvas if you will – which can then be used to organize and present abstract ideas and concepts, applied concepts such as time, motion, vision and sound – as formulated and created by both those who inhabit it. And by those who imagined the canvas to begin with.
How many canvases are there?
And are they all comprised of energy?
The equations listed on the background of Paper Mario, and discussed by Marlon Brando in the first and original Superman answer this question pretty well.
There are infinite potential variations.
and so the rabbit hole continues……