The Immateriality of The Material Universe

The Immateriality of The Material Universe

We investigate the nature of experience primarily for two reasons – we’re curious, or we’ve encountered an acute form of confusion or suffering that resulted in the collapse of our current model of reality. In both circumstances, we can conclude that a thirst to dig deeper into the nature of experience is an immense blessing since it has the potential to transform the quality of your overall life experience. Imagine a king that goes out into the market in the disguise of a beggar in the hope of understanding what it feels like to experience life on the lower rungs of society’s ladder. Eventually, this king becomes blind to his original identity and is totally convinced that he is a beggar and lives out his days begging in the market. Whether this king turned beggar realizes his true identity or not, it never alters the fact that he is the ruler of the entire kingdom. However, in ignorance, suffering becomes the everyday reality for the king and he finds himself battling through these self-imposed limitations believing that they have been imposed by external circumstances. The key word over here is “belief”.

Almost the entire culture of the human kingdom is built on the foundation of strong chains of beliefs, most of which have little or absolutely no evidence at all. Several of these beliefs have been accepted as immutable scientific truths. This is due to the fact that the fundamental bases of some of these scientific theories are arbitrary beliefs upon which heaps and heaps of logic and mathematics have been laid to cover up the fact that the foundations of these theories are nothing but beliefs in ideas. One such theory that the entire human kingdom accepts as immutable is the theory of the material universe. Completely fortified, glorified, and given immortal status, it is considered as the most fundamental truth in all scientific endeavors and has been left unquestioned ever since its conception. However, let us dig our fingers deeper into the very foundations of this truth and see for ourselves if it is indeed an immutable and irrevocable fact that governs the universe or if it is as few remarkable beings throughout human history have discovered, an assumption with absolutely no experiential evidence at all.

If you are to follow what I am saying, we must proceed like true scientists who rely on nothing but direct experience to make our conclusions. If our observation is adulterated with concepts or theories gathered from outside, we will betray our own experience and hence arrive at adulterated conclusions. I am not asking you to believe in anything I say or to seek some tangible form of reason in my words that your mind can latch onto and say is agreeable or not. I am asking you to investigate your own experience in the most honest and scientific way possible. Do not let your mind get lost in a frantic search for little hints of logical coherence. Instead, stay true to your direct experience as a being that is aware of all the movements in its field of awareness. Imagine you are the first human being who has just awoken and is walking the surface of the Earth. Imagine nothing has been discovered and you are here, an explorer setting out on an exciting journey to understand the nature of your own life experience.

Let us conduct a simple thought experiment. In your own experience, rewind to the time when you had your first experience of the senses. As a newborn child you first became aware of light, sound, taste, smell, and touch and all these sensations took place within the field of your awareness. Since every sensory experience is perceived by a body and mind, we can retune this observation and say that the arising of these sensations in your field of awareness was actually you becoming aware of a human body and mind. It was your first experience of this body and mind which can also be rephrased as “your body and mind arising in awareness.” Every experience that you have, ever had, and ever will have is either a perception or a thought. Irrespective of the objects that you observe, the feelings that you have, or the images and symbols that appear in your mind, all experiences are either thoughts or perceptions arising and descending in awareness. According to the matter model, a material universe exists outside and independent of awareness and within which a human body is born. Within this body, a mind is formed and within this system there is a spark of consciousness that appears through some random miracle which is regarded as either a questionable idea or an unexplained truth. This human body-mind system exists in a universe that is made of material objects and as it ages it will perish just like all other objects do. Therefore, we say that when this body mind system perishes, we die, since the spark of consciousness that exists within the system is dependent on the system itself. When we investigate our experience deeper, we come to see that this entire model is just what it is, a model! It is an idea, a belief, and a system of thought that has no experiential evidence. Let us forget that this idea was ever conceived and look at our actual experience.

The common name that we give to awareness is “I”. When a perception or thought arises in awareness, we have an experience of a world that seems to be outside of us. However, the perception or thought exists because it is known. If there is no consciousness to experience the perception or thought, to whom will it arise? You might say, the universe exists whether we are there to experience it or not. Now this idea is also a thought that arises in awareness and it is allowed to exist because you are there to be aware of it. Everything that you know, that you have ever known, and that you ever will know derives its existence from the fact that it happens in the field of awareness. If you conceive of the existence of an invisible dimension beyond the field of awareness, even such a conception arises in awareness and exists because the light of awareness shines on it. Awareness is primary. This is not an idea. It is an immutable fact that is revealed by our own direct experience. Once we have seen this, perhaps the next question you might ask is what is awareness? This question stems from the mind’s habit to objectify its experience. The mind deals with objects and imposes its laws of space and time on everything that is experienced by it. However, awareness is not an object and hence it cannot be experienced by the mind similar to how a chair, or a cloud, or a table is experienced. This is perhaps the single most powerful source of confusion that is prevalent among human beings which veils awareness.

In reality, awareness cannot be veiled. But the experience of the body-mind system appears to veil awareness since awareness identifies itself as this body-mind system and believes that it is a limited person living in a world of objects. Through this identification, it believes that it is limited to the body-mind system and everything that is not the body-mind system is different from it. This is an illusion created by the multi-dimensional instrument of the human mind that projects the dream in which there is an independent person living in an indifferent universe. Awareness believes it is a limited person living in a community of other limited persons. This illusion gives rise to a series of countless other illusions that seem to create our reality. However, if we see that all experiences exist because they are known, does that not imply that the world is not separate from awareness? As a matter of fact, this implies that everything is awareness! An experience of a perception or a thought arises simultaneously with the knowing or awareness of that perception or thought. It is just that the knowing element is veiled since it is not an object and exists outside of spacetime. In fact, space and time also exist within this knowing. We can go deeper into this exploration by investigating the three states of experience – the waking state, the dream state, and deep sleep.

Instead of the waking state, consider the state of deep sleep to be our state of reference. Now in deep sleep, thoughts and images begin to arise and create the experience of the dream state. The experience of the individual person is usually very weak in this state and awareness seems to be stimulated more by the movement of images which often are incoherent with no tangible linearity. Finally, a body appears in the field of awareness. This is what we term the waking state. There is much more linearity in the waking state compared to the dream state due to the seeming existence of a body. The body brings with it the experience of the five senses which are much more intense compared to the experience of fleeting images in the dream state. Furthermore, the experience of mind seems to be much more concrete in the waking state compared to the dream state. This is because through the mind, awareness now identifies itself with a body and looks out into a world which it believes to be different from itself. This arrangement is necessary for awareness to experience the dream since a dreamer is required for the dream to be experienced. Therefore, awareness arises as a character within the waking state that is a body-mind system and begins to experience everything that is not the system as different from itself. Space, time, objectivity, duration, choice, birth, death, good, evil, truth, falsity, and every other imaginable concept are all ideas that are propelled by the emergence of this separate body-mind system. None of these concepts have any absolute existence separate from the arrangement of awareness identified with a body-mind system. When you go to sleep every night, the body-mind system is withdrawn and the dream state is set off again. Finally, the dream state is withdrawn into deep sleep. From a relative standpoint, deep sleep can also be considered as an experience that arises in awareness. However, there is a fourth state, the stateless state, in which all other states disappear and awareness remains as itself. This is the natural state that exists before birth of the body-mind system, will exist after the death of the system, and continues to exist now. The mind cannot experience this state and hence when we try to think of it, the closest representation we can make of it is a “void”. However, it is primary to everything. All other states happen within it. It cannot be experienced objectively by the body-mind system but it can be known! In fact, it is always known. It is known now, as you read these words. Awareness is present throughout your experience.

As the objects and images of the waking and dream states appear and disappear, they have no effect on awareness. But you can have no experience without awareness. Both experience and non-experience exist within it. Being and non-being exist within it. It is neither an idea nor a belief. It is the fundamental space which is infinite and eternal. The main question here is, who are you? Why you’re awareness, of course! Who am I? I am awareness, of course! When we use the word “I” in each of our conversations, we are referring to this infinite eternal awareness. However, “I” has been limited through the body-mind system which is our confusion. This confusion leads to every conceivable form of suffering. It our departure from this natural state that gives rise to our fear of death and our struggle for survival. Every animal, creature, and human being is the exact same awareness playing different roles. Each role is a modulation of infinite awareness that seems to limit it. A few features of the human modulation are space, time, and choice. Space and time are not absolute features of the universe but rather characteristics of the human mind that offer a modulated experience of a universe governed by spacetime to awareness. For a different creature, existence will be an entirely different experience! It is not possible for the human mind to conceive how or why awareness creates these modulations. This is the great illusion, the cosmic play, or Maya, as it was termed in old Sanskrit. It is the great drama that awareness weaves for its own enjoyment.

This understanding needs to be experiential and serves no purpose if it is digested intellectually. Awareness needs to find itself by itself since the mirage of the body-mind system is revealed not by the acceptance of outer knowledge but by the turning around of awareness toward itself. You can begin this enquiry now by simply looking at your own experience. Instead of the object of knowing, turn your attention to knowing itself. Do not seek an object of fulfilment or some state of enlightenment. Instead, just look at your own experience honestly. There is no material universe that is independent of the consciousness/knowing/awareness of it. When you see this you will notice that nothing exists in reality except consciousness. However, human attention in general rests in the realm of objects and, therefore, very few people are even aware of these things. Imagine what it would be like when you discover that you are the very fundamental fabric of all existence? There is nothing separate from you. Everything is you! This is not a state, this is not something that you attain or achieve, it is your very nature and it is available to you now.

In this enquiry, there is no right or wrong. You can choose to continue your identification with the body-mind system and continue the experience of the objective universe or you can choose to turn around and discover your true nature and allow it to permeate all experience. Either ways, it does not change the fact that You’re IT! You’ve always been IT! And You’ll always be IT! You already are the very thing that you seek. This is your own glorious arrangement of illusion. There is not a single experience in the entire grand cosmic multiverse that happens outside you. This understanding is the source of love, peace, and happiness. When Jesus came to this understanding, he proclaimed, “I and the Father are One.” When Siddhartha saw it, he said, “The Way is not in the sky, the Way is in the Heart.” Ramana Maharshi said, “Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”

For no one’s sake, or for your own sake, wake up, darling!

Know Thyself.

 

 

If you would like to read more, I recommend these two books:

The Transparency of Things – Rupert Spira

The Perfume of Silence – Francis Lucille

The Impersonalization of Eroticism

The Impersonalization of Eroticism

With the vast number of opinions being pinned onto the origin of motivation to rape and commit forms of sexual violence in our communities, it has become extremely important for us as individuals to investigate the source of this kind of behavior. When I mention the word source, I am indicating the source within ourselves and not the people in society who commit these actions. While we are an intellectually advanced species, most of our investigations begin with unfounded assumptions and we often choose to resonate with dull conclusions that strongly support our emotional and sentimental inclinations as opposed to actual reality. In this matter, we can use neither psychological, scientific, nor philosophical enquiry to arrive at the direct source. Instead, we each need to directly investigate within ourselves what is the source of sexuality itself. Biological sexuality is extraordinarily simple. But the human race has colored sexuality with a variety of shades and, in the process, has lost complete touch with the beauty and purpose of this function. We are now faced with a tremendously powerful monster that governs our actions, dreams, and thoughts – psychological sexuality. Of course, this counts for thousands of years of conditioning and we must be very careful as we begin to investigate the sexual process within ourselves. The easiest thing to do is to continue our lives by assigning sex and eroticism their regular roles of pleasure and procreation and to term those who misuse them as rapists and criminals who deserve worse than the guillotine or the electric chair. This is a blind and foolish commitment to convenience and with our limited investment of energy into the investigation of these matters, we allow our society to continue to rot with its blind conclusions on a force of energy that is pivotal in understanding the most important tool that we use to express our existence – the body. We must begin this investigation in ourselves, and the best place to start is to identify the source of the drive that motivates us to seek sexual communion with another being.

As little children, our first contact with our sexuality is the bubbling of pure sensation within the body when we observe someone of the opposite sex. This is a direct flow of energy created by the body’s perception of another body that is shaped differently from its own physical form. The difference, of course, extends to a variety of features including fragrance, voice, movement, and so on. There is absolutely no psychological coloring in this pure sensual connection. The fever flows through and it passes. These sensations come and go whenever they are triggered and the body neither tries to understand nor hold onto them while simply allowing them to flow through. As the mind develops with external conditioning and constant pruning, curiosity leads it to color repetitive sensations of high intensity that occur in the body. Undoubtedly, the sensations that are of the highest intensity are sexual sensations that arise with contact with the opposite sex. Now, even in these moments, these sensations are allowed to flow through easily although they flow through two apparent entities – a body and a mind. With the advent of experiences that begin to enforce the existence of a separate entity that each of us confidently call “I”, we come to see that this I begins to have preferences. Essentially, I is nothing but a powerful thought that lodges itself as an elusive permanent entity within the human body and then begins to filter experience as pleasurable and non-pleasurable. When this apparent I looks out of the body, it allows itself to be colored preferentially by the information that it is exposed to. The bombardment of sexual information that we receive in everyday society inevitably forces this elusive I to protect sensations within the body associated with sexuality and then sets forth a series of actions to force the body to bring appeasement to these sensations. Now remember, the sensations are nothing but pure energy flowing through the body. The “I” is nothing but a thought that has lodged itself due to habit and conditioning in the body. The mind is nothing but a series of thoughts with gaps between them. What existed before all of this happened? There was pure awareness! Always, at every moment, impersonal, unconditioned and always awake. Even in the presence of bodily sensations and the I thought, this awareness does not disappear because if it did, it is impossible to have sensations and thoughts. Have you ever wondered why you have no memories of when you were just one year old? The I thought is generated as the brain begins to develop the ability to think. However, the I thought is not representative of your real identity and, therefore, is not representative of life itself. We can consider the “I” thought as a mechanism that promulgates the forgetting of awareness due to which a multitude of experiences becomes available to the body and mind. The most intense of these experiences is sexual intercourse as the mind tends to color with intensity the sensations of the body that are most intense physically. Stay with me. I want you to investigate within yourself as we proceed. It would be useless if we drift away into some baseless philosophical discussion.

The current experience that you have of yourself as a separate identity is just what it is, an experience. It is not you and when it perishes with the death of the body, awareness does not perish. The body and the mind arise in this awareness and dissolve into it. When we allow ourselves to cook a little in the juices of this realization, we begin to see the absolute lightness of all of experience. The heaviness, pain, and suffering that has been caused by sexuality in our world is only a reflection of our unquestioned identification with the “I” thought. When something is personal, it becomes important. Have you ever investigated the source and nature of this personality? Remove the feeling of “I” from sexuality. Entirely eliminate the “I” from sexual intercourse, friendship, social relationships, and so on. Doesn’t it all become such a grand display of playfulness? Obviously, the first thought that arises in your mind is how is existence possible without “I”? Have you ever investigated? When you look within yourself and seek this entity called “I”, do you find it? When you go to sleep, is this “I” present? Of course not! Well, did the body perish when the “I” disappeared? No! Remember, from the “I” thought, the thought that the “I” is the body is born. But both of these thoughts are just what they are – thoughts! The apparent “I” goes out into the world seeking another I that can make it complete. These so-called love relationships, or marriage, or simple sexual communion are nothing but elusive projections of the belief that one is a separate self. I am not proposing that these things should not happen. When you understand the true nature of who you are, pure awareness, you cease to seek happiness in whatever endeavor you commit yourself to. The world becomes a playground in which you can express your infinitely beautiful being. And wow, sexual intercourse is perhaps the most important action a being can indulge in to recognize its shared being with another body. It is a celebration of true love and oneness. It is not out of sex that love is born but out of love that sex is born. Love is not a selective process that relies on prettiness and ugliness, on the ability to fulfill the needs and desires of another person; these are childish misunderstandings. Love is the inherent state of our being. It is the inevitable oneness of existence. Awareness is not separate from some other awareness. “I” thoughts can be separate, but the awareness from which they spring is one and the same and that awareness is the true nature of each and every one of us.

Now, when we tackle the rapist, are we to point fingers? We can temporarily resolve a situation like this by passing some form of government policy that helps this “I” thought lodged in your body to find appeasement when it rests cozy in bed at home. We can come up with a host of different solutions to outwardly tackle violent behavior from men that harms women. But, how can we continue to remain under the stupid pinhole assumption that suppressing these undesired external elements can resolve this issue? Is it not so easy to see that the origin of the rapist lies in the fundamental structure of our schooling, upbringing, and conditioning? Our culture has been subtly designed to ensure the empowerment of the “I” thought that fuels the feeling of separation from the rest of the universe. A separate mind will inevitably seek a solution to fill in the void that its separation creates. Now ninety-nine out of hundred separate minds will choose some form of activity other than rape to try and fill this void. There will always be one mind that somehow stumbles upon violence and decides that it is the only solution. You can go ahead and eliminate this outlier, but does that mean that these outliers will stop getting produced? Our global culture of separateness is responsible for the violence in our world. You can choose to be lazy and march on a street with a banner in your hand to spread awareness of this so called “need for change”, but you will need neither spread any awareness nor effect any change. Go to the root of the problem. Be brave! Why is it so hard for us to investigate the source of our own suffering? Why are we so content with settling for half-baked solutions? Are we not interested in the truth? We are so distracted by the incessant whimpering of our own minds that we never stop to investigate – where does this mind come from?

It is easy now to ask yourself, “If I change, will he change?” This is the wrong question to ask. The correct question to ask is, “Who am I?” Am I this woman who fears being raped? Am I this man who fears being raped? To change the very fundamental structure of our culture, we need to produce a generation of human beings that are self-aware. We initiate this production by bringing up our children in a manner that they do not feel separate from the rest of the world. Why fuel feelings of patriotism, femininity, masculinity, religious loyalty, political loyalty, and all these others idiotic sentiments? Do we want to construct a global community that is fitted with bolts and screws or do we want to construct a living organic force that drinks from the fountains of its own natural state of love and connection between the elements that create it? Do not be a fool that rides the vicious wave of hatred and separation created by our predecessors.

Love is impersonal. Existence is impersonal. Discover the impersonal nature of your being. When you shine the light of your awareness on this “I” thought that apparently exists inside your body, you will be free. Look at the multitude of beautiful forms in this universe that express the infinity of their source. You can look deeply into something as fragile as the eyes of a woman and discover the immense expanse of your own marvelous being. Every leaf, every smile, and every cloud will carry an invisible sacredness that touches you deeply as you move through life. Simply turn around and investigate this “I” that you believe yourself to be. All that is left to do in this marvelous existence is celebrate. Sexual intercourse must be a creative expression of your understanding of this intimate oneness with everything that is. Don’t repress it, don’t hide from it, don’t avoid it. When you have come to the important realization of who you truly you are, you can dive deep into the deepest orgasm in your experience and discover that it is no match for the bliss and ecstasy that you inherently are.

March on, you wonderchild!

-Screamjack

Silly Satsang Lilac Leela

Silly Satsang Lilac Leela

Brickman: Well, gentlemen, we are here today because the author who is creating us seems to have expressed a wish to understand the very root of all human agitation.

Waterman: He believes that a dialogue is necessary between three distinct characters to accurately represent the varying dilemmas that crowd and disturb the human intellect.

Tripman: By all means gentlemen, I must confess that I strictly adhere to my opinion that it is a futile effort on his part to create us, three confused men sitting in a room, to reveal a problem that is as old as perhaps the species of man itself. However, I am interested to observe how the three of us are developed and how our non-existent knowledge of matters relevant to this dialogue can be used to discuss a non-existent problem itself.

Waterman: Non-existent problem? Why is it that you seem so convinced that human agitation, or suffering, as the professors of dogma prefer to call it, is non-existent? Is it not clear to you that men and women are in pain every moment of their lives? And, if a few seem in solace, it is only an entirely temporal thing. There is deep pain inside everybody.

Tripman: Are we to wander away again into these talks of human thought and ancestral conditioning? Should I waste my time again to shine clarity upon the sources of human suffering? The author, as I can clearly deduce from the state of his mind (since he is my creator), has wasted time immeasurable on contemplating the fallacies and eventual vanity of all human thought. As a matter of fact, it is very possible that it is his frustration with his own intellect built of vain thought that created us. It is possibly an escape from his own madness.

Brickman: Are you sure it is not the whisky that speaks through you Tripman? Seldom have I seen you without a glass of whisky resting gracefully in your hands. Perhaps the perpetual numbing of your own intellect has bestowed upon you such a reckless attitude toward life.

Tripman: And am I to blame for that? Look within yourself. Our creator boasts of a voracious attitude toward whisky. Perhaps, it is that attitude that created me and my reckless perspective toward life.

Waterman: Why do you call it reckless, Brickman?

Brickman: I have studied the pain of mankind for years now. I have known several people who share an enthusiasm for such loose carefreeness as Tripman harbors. It is naught but a futile effort to escape from the inevitable tragedy of human existence. If you excavate patiently into the darker corners of Tripman’s imagination, you will find lurking there, a very regular and commonplace fear of death. A fear that we all share with trembling fervor.

Tripman: Death? Escape? I am not the Buddha or Lao Tzu my friend, but I can quite easily proclaim that all ideas of death are faint illusions that the human intellect wastes its brilliance on. Even on my most sober day, I can proclaim the very same. You speak from what you have heard from others. Tell me, when is it that this fear of death first came upon you?

Brickman: It is as old as my memory. The oldest memories that I have are of things that I fear. At least, they seem to be more in number than memories that please me. But, then, you will say that all memory is illusion, right? You will say that memory is nothing but stickiness. It is the pointless trail left by human experience that serves no purpose at all except survival, and according to you, survival should not be the primary existential concern of human beings.

Waterman: You assume much, Brickman.

Brickman: Our creator is the same my friend. You should forgive his inability to perfectly distinguish his characters from each other. At times, my mind might reveal that which is intended to be revealed by one of you two.

Waterman: I am curious now, about this whole idea of illusion. Often, I have heard men say that all of life is illusion, maya, color, glorious play, lilac leela! Is it not true then that illusion, which by itself is a concept, is also part of illusion? Language as a mode of communication simply cannot reveal such a complex situation since whenever it aspires to state something that is beyond it, it is limited by itself. Language is an aspect of the very philosophy of illusion that it tries to deny. Tell me, the best you can my friend, what is illusion?

Tripman: That brings us to a very basic question now, doesn’t it? What is not illusion?

Waterman: I am blessed with five senses alone and every truth I am aware of depends on these senses. What my senses perceive are not illusion.

Brickman: What according to you is not illusion, Tripman?

Tripman: You gentlemen seem to be making a very fundamental mistake. The five senses, of course, create a very tangible reality. But, they are awakened by the awareness you give them. And, if you draw that awareness away from them, where is the reality?

Brickman: How can I draw awareness away from the five senses? My existence is these senses. In a way, I am these five senses. I see no separate entity that exists outside of these five senses.

Tripman: Your awareness is not an entity. You are drunk on your intellect. You are drunk on the content of your imagination. Whisky is but a little joke of an intoxicant if you compare it to the thoughts of men. The greatest addiction is thought. You see, gentlemen, I am in deep suffering because the author seems to be in deep suffering. I represent the dilemma that is causing him this suffering. You on the other hand, represent the aspects of his intellect that give him the very cynicism and critical attitude from which his heart draws security. Now it is clear that among the three of us, I am most dear to our creator. This conversation between us is meant to bring a little token of solace to him. Instead of delving deeper into such spiritual matters like suffering and awareness, will it be alright if we move this dialogue into a more tangible dimension?

Waterman: What is it that you wish to discuss?

Tripman: The hypocrisy of individualism. What does it mean to be an individual, Waterman?

Waterman: I do believe that if a person can learn to be entirely self-reliant and live without allowing his personality to be constantly influenced by external forces, he or she could be an individual. Individualism implies nonchalance toward what the world considers righteous and immoral. An individual sets his own standards for morality, productivity, education, spirituality, and so on.

Tripman: I am torn, my friend.

Brickman: Are you referring to your personality?

Tripman: I behold an ever-sincere grudge toward the ways of human society but simultaneously, I also harbor a deep love for human things. You see, this is my hypocrisy. This is my mediocrity. My thirst for individualism led me into an abyss far from the common boulevards where my human companions built their lives. But I have strings that help me climb in and out of the abyss on a regular basis.

Brickman: You must know that we all harbor this form of split, my friend. There is no one who entirely enjoys the human world. Everyone within themselves builds secret dimensions that they frequent for peace and silence.

Tripman: I had silence. A long time ago. When our author was much younger, his naivete led his heart to be infatuated with meditation and prayer. His entire being quivered in gratitude as the spring breeze blew across the city harbor. His youth led him deep into the hills to discover the fruits of the earth that drove his intellect into uncertain planes. He discovered new dimensions of being. But, you see, with great awakening comes a very great responsibility.

Waterman: What is it?

Tripman: You become aware of the hypocrisy of your regular life. The hypocrisy of social manners, family, friendship, love, marriage, wellbeing, wealth, promise, glory, sweetness, success, joy; everything becomes hypocritical before your eyes.

Waterman: I would say that these things might still hold value to our author. They are definitely very valuable to me. In discovering the truth of human constructs such as society, civilization, and the systems that govern our world, one who is wise can learn how to be more understanding and compassionate. And, if you are even wiser, you can learn to live in this world without being of it.

Tripman: I cannot fool myself my friend. While I proclaim that pain is illusion, this endless agitation that pricks away slowly at my heart feels more permanent than it did yesterday. But I carry both opinions within me. That pain is real and, also, an illusion. You see, this duality is the root of my suffering. But seeing this duality also implies duality! It implies that there is something being seen and a separate seer. The fact that reality is split into two gives me immense confusion. When I look behind my eyes, I do not see anyone there.

Brickman: If your life seems to be so futile, why is it that something as meager as human society bothers you? We are all bothered by the restlessness of the human mind that has been bestowed upon us. But we must learn to do it right. Adapt to the mind, learn to answers its whims and keep it in a balance so that one part of the mind does not overcome the other leading to eventual insanity.

Tripman: Isn’t it this human society that we live in? I both loathe and love it. And the existence of time makes me feel like I am ten different people. I cannot exist in this way. I have gathered too much knowledge about what it means to exist. So much that I feel it will consume me.

Waterman: What shall we do about it now, Tripman?

Tripman: Can you not see the whisky in my hand? Humor and the high plane is my answer, my friends. It is in humor that I have found at least a tiny degree of sanity that can help me stand on my feet.

Waterman: Whisky and humor cannot save you my friend. And, neither can they save our author. Even if this world is undeniably an illusion, an escapist attitude implies that it is real and something to be escaped from.

Tripman: Whisky is not an escape, my friend. And neither are the fruits of the earth an escape. They are blessings from the gods to aid men when they dally with the darkness in their souls.

Brickman: I am beginning to feel that you are not sincere at all in your search for truth, my friend.

Tripman: And at which instant did you first feel that I was sincere?

Brickman: What then, are we to leave our author, our creator to burn in his distress? Are we to leave him to manage his hypocrisy with drunken sleep and candlelit dinners with pretty girls by the oceanside? For how long can we escape the agitation that lurks in the heart?

Waterman: Perhaps, it is only right to adopt the attitude of escapism to allow our hearts to rest awhile, my friend. Man is after all an inferior creature before the glory of the cosmos.

Brickman: I beg to differ. The glory of man lies in the fact that he has the ability to contain the vastness of existence in the smallness of his intellect.

Waterman: The intellect only contains an idea of the real vastness.

Tripman: Waterman is right. But then, neither of us can deny that man is the sweetheart of mother nature. But such a judgment cannot be held valid when we as men make it ourselves. However, I do find it special that as a man, I can be aware of such a thing as hypocrisy.

Waterman: Is it better then to be aware of one’s hypocrisy rather than simply being hypocritical?

Tripman: Perhaps, it is my friend. Maybe that was our gift all along. To be aware of the things that torment us.

Brickman: And is this awareness stained by the things that is becomes aware of?

Tripman: The purity of white cloth is easily stained by the weakest dye.

Brickman: How is it then that this awareness is a gift?

Tripman: You see, we are aware that we are aware.

Brickman: Who is it then that is aware of awareness?

Tripman: Who is asking the question?

Brickman: You have changed the direction of my enquiry, Tripman.

Waterman: Perhaps, this new direction might lead us into a more silent place.

Tripman: Perhaps. It seems like our author has found solace; at least for now.

India (She is Pure Mystique)

India (She is Pure Mystique)

She is often referred to as the land of Gandhi, incomparable exotic cuisines, mystery, yoga, spirituality, and so many things ancient. And when people think of what’s negative about it they think of poverty, corruption, narrow-mindedness, and an addiction to tradition. India has experienced thousands of kings, both the despotic type as well as the wise and visionary. The religious mystique of this land can be credited to a series of wise men who dug deep into the human spirit to uncover and solve some of the most bizarre mysteries of existence. And today, it is also the land where the greatest miscomprehension of ancient wisdom exists which can be credited to immature and childish errors in perception of its common citizens. There are so many dimensions to this land and one truly needs to question if he or she knows anything at all about India. How do we analyze a country? Normally, we consider several factors regarding the quality of its society including economy, technology, education, and government. And, in comparison to its peers, I think India lags terribly in most of these dimensions. But is that all that a land can be limited to? Is it even acceptable to say that a land can be judged based on the behavior of its inhabitants? Let’s deviate from the conventional way of analyzing a country and look deep into the soul of India to discover what she truly is.

India is not simply a land that exists within carefully calculated borders and ruled by a majority-favored government. It is not tradition, culture, cuisine, and religion that define this land of pure mystique. When you wonder about the unacceptable poverty that reigns supreme in India, it becomes very difficult to understand how a society so advanced in its approach to existence throughout millennia can remain so materially poor and incapable of resolving such a fundamental issue. I think the primary reason for this is that the inhabitants of this land have never held material wealth in high esteem. While there seems to be a great craving for social status and material wealth, there is a much stronger underlying desire to find intellectual and spiritual understanding within oneself. Throughout millennia, the inhabitants of this land never accepted that material supremacy matters more than everything else. They valued each aspect of life as much as the material aspect and sought to grow in every dimension of living.

Does economic progress truly imply human evolution? We have been so conditioned to believe that true progress means economic security that sometimes we just fail to understand that economics is just a human idea. What does it mean to be Indian? Does the fact that you were born to Indian parents, eat Indian food, live in an Indian city, or look like an Indian mean that you are Indian? Does the fact that you vote for your democratic suppressors, or wave that lovely Indian flag about, or post about your patriotic spirit on social media imply that you are Indian? No, it doesn’t. The Indian mind has been corrupted by perverse ideologies preached by people who know nothing about this sacred land. They have promised the inhabitants of this heaven a greater heaven which does not even exist. Unfortunately, a deep desire to imitate the west has destroyed the innate intelligence that always existed in India. If this desire to become economically supreme can be transformed into a desire to be humanly supreme, I think this land has endless potential to return to her former glory. And that former glory does not bleed dry another nation and does not rely on the impoverishment of an enemy for the wellness of oneself. It is true glory from which all nations on the Earth can drink from, as they have in the past. So, what really is India? And what does it mean to be Indian?

Civilization was born in the rich and fertile plains of India. It was here that the ape decided to become conscious of itself and coin the term human being. To be Indian means to be human. To be Indian means to crave mystique, wonder, and evolution. India exists in the human soul. It is a compartment in the human spirit that drives it to growth and self-understanding. I do not say this because Advaita and Buddhism were born in this land. I do not say this because this is the land of Siva and Krishna. I say this because I have never considered India to be a country. The word ‘country’ implies a very limited concept and I do not think that it can contain the vastness of what India truly represents. India is not just a nation with a set of ideologies and values that its loyal citizens strongly adhere to. If you walk into a dark corner of the Himalayas, you will find people who will laugh at the common definitions of India. If anyone is to be blamed for the world’s limited understanding of this great land, it is its inhabitants alone. We took too much pride in the glory of our past and continue to flaunt around our culture like it is a priceless necklace that gives us a priority pass to redemption. Everything beautiful dies and it is foolish to carry around a corpse that was once beautiful. This is what we do with our culture and tradition. It was beautiful and now it is dead. It has no more use to us. If we continue to rely on it, our entire approach to life becomes prejudiced with ideologies that smell of rotting corpses. We need to leave behind the things that we once considered beautiful and now march into the future to discover new intricacies and ecstasies that existence can offer us. We need to continue to embrace that powerful thirst for mysticism that has brought us this far. Our infatuation with western thought has destroyed the mystic within each of us causing us to overvalue the fancy delights of intellectual and logical thought. We need to drop it all and rediscover the inner wealth that exists within each of us.

Growth has nothing to do with your daytime job, the decisive number in your bank account, the percentage of tax you pay, and your good favor with god. Growth is individual freedom. It is the ability to converse with each other without prejudices and to understand each other’s perceptions and interpretations of life as it moves before our eyes. Conversation was treasured more than any other form of human intelligence in India. In ancient India, actual dialogue existed as opposed to ignorant monologues that are thrown around in modern society in the name of conversation. We need more dialogue. We need people who listen to each other and digest what the other person is saying. And to do this, we need to drop all prejudices regarding identity and culture.

Logic calls for an explanation of the consequences of acting out my suggestions. But what I am proposing is illogical. Having a true conversation would seem illogical to every educated mind in today’s world because self-growth is valued more than human growth. You are educated to value yourself more than anything else. And what are you but a stupid collection of ideas and prejudices, however beautiful and sophisticated they are. India means openness. She means conversation, love, appreciation, and true community. Whoever you are and wherever you live, I urge you to explore this inner map within you that is India. She will reveal some of the subtlest intricacies of the human experience to you and you will not be disappointed. Everyone who is tired of life moves toward India because she offers a soothing ointment for the wounds caused by basic human endeavors. Whether it be yoga, the Himalayas, or the pure vibration that pulses in this land, there is healing available for everyone who can be open.

I was blessed to be born in this wonderful land. But it is the fragrance of her people and the mystique of her imperfection that taught me what it truly means to be Indian. I am not a patriot in the common sense of the word. But I find it my duty to introduce the world to the real India, the ancient land that cradled and fueled the evolution of humanity. When you stand alone in the middle of this land, you will understand how insignificant you are no matter who you are. That insignificance will drive you to seek and find answers to some of the most significant questions of existence. And you will come home to yourself.

So, when people usually ask me, what is India? I say, she is pure mystique! And you must taste her before you die.

“I call India not a country, but an inner space. I call India not something that exists there in geography, on the maps. I call India that which exists hidden within you, and that which you have not yet discovered. India is your innermost space. India is not a nation, it is a state of mind.” – Osho   

 

Hello

Hello

Vincent watched her shuffling through the pages of her notebook trying to find an empty page to note down the symbols that the professor had just drawn on the whiteboard. She was sitting on the same row — a couple of seats away — and Vincent had a clear view of everything she was doing. Her eye shade was light blue and the color seemed to merge well with the light blue t-shirt she was wearing.

It was a semiotics class and Vincent usually had the habit of trying to interpret his classmates like they were each a unique symbol with tremendous hidden meaning. The girl wore black jeans and plain white sneakers and resembled a malnourished athlete.

A bit too masculine, Vincent thought. I wonder if she wears a bra. Her tits are too small. That eye shade just doesn’t go with the sneakers. Her hair seems long and lovely though. I wonder if she regularly washes it. It seems straight enough for my liking. But she’s too much of a tomboy. Fuck. If she just wore something more pink, or a good feminine top instead of that polo shirt.

When she took a quick glance toward him, Vincent quickly shifted his head upward and moved his fingers across his hair pretending to cure an itch that had mystically grabbed his attention. When she turned back toward the whiteboard, his attention seemed to just divert itself back to her like he had no control over it.

Why am I even looking at her? She seems so ordinary. Wait, fuck! That’s a Valentino t-shirt. She must be rich. A rich girl with a bad taste for clothes. Fuck.

It was after a long trail of thought that Vincent realized he was now thinking of what life would be like if he married the girl.

If we have kids, it needs to be a son. I can’t imagine a daughter with this girl. She’d be too distasteful and probably a geek virgin till 30. No, fuck it! I can’t marry her. Imagine having sex with this girl. She’d never wear what I ask her to wear. And after I’m bored of her body, it’d be hell trying to convince her to do what I want.

“Professor, I have a question,” the girl was raising her hand. Vincent’s thoughts were too loud in his head to understand what she was saying and his thoughts continued.

Fuck, she’s paying attention. She might know more of semiotics than I do. She might go to graduate school. I don’t think I want to go to graduate school. I love being intelligent in bed after sex. I like saying witty things with intervals in between. But what if she talks too much? I wouldn’t be able to be me. I should stop looking at her.

The girl took a quick glance again toward Vincent’s direction and this time he continued to look at her, but in a way that indicated that he was looking through her at the wall. The girl seemed not to notice Vincent staring right at her.

She’s dull. Fuck, I’m sure she sucks in bed. I think I should start paying attention to the class. But I can’t stop looking at her. She’s not even attractive. Stupid rich bitch with a bad taste for fashion. I wonder if she’s on Facebook. I’ll look her up later. Fuck, but what’s her name? There’s no name card in front of her. Maybe I’ll wait till the professor calls her out sometime. Wait, why do I want to stalk this ugly rich bitch? Her sneakers are so white. Does she play tennis? At least she could’ve played football. There’d be something interesting about her. But wait, tennis players have terrific bodies! Maybe she has a nice body. But that face, there’s nothing sharp about it. There are no proper curves and turns; the kind that a proper pretty girl should have. I don’t think she’s pretty. I should have just jerked off this morning. That’s why this is happening. Fuck it. Let’s pay attention to the class.

The class was dismissed and Vincent raced toward the elevator. As he waited for it to arrive at the second floor, he saw the t-shirt girl walking toward him. He felt the usual currents of discomfort that everybody feels when they become aware of who their elevator companions will be for the next few seconds. Everybody feels it with strangers, and Vincent was no exception.

Fuck, this bitch again! I hope she’s going up.

The elevator arrived and the girl entered before Vincent did.

Fuck, she’s going down.

As the elevator began to move, Vincent’s eye caught the girl who broke into a gentle and pleasant smile.

“Hello,” she said.

“Hey,” Vincent replied smiling. It was a whisper that came out in an awkward choking manner.

She’s sweet, Vincent thought. He suddenly became aware of an overwhelming scent of green apple laced with small amounts of lavender.

She’s ovulating. She has to be ovulating! Fuck, what a scent that is. Is that how she smells? Is she wearing something? Whatever it is, it smells brilliant!

The elevator reached the ground floor and the girl started to walk away slowly. While her white sneakers made no sound as they treaded against the ground, Vincent envisioned her wearing black pretty heels that made a loud noise with each step. Vincent turned around to walk toward the building exit. He was too naïve (or careless) to notice that his thoughts were now completely transformed.

What a delicious chick. That t-shirt went so well with those jeans. A pretty athlete; how brilliant is that? I hope she’s on Facebook. My phone’s out of charge. Fuck! Once I get home then. I should talk to her in the next class. I wonder if she drinks. We could go out for a drink sometime. I’m sure she loves good vodka. She looks classy. She definitely likes good vodka. I can’t believe I thought of dropping semiotics. I should form a study group with her. And that smile in the elevator — so . . . soft and genuine. We need more women like her. I could just feed her berries in bed all day without touching her. I’d still be happy.

Vincent pulled out a cigarette to light as soon as he stepped out of the building. He looked around him and then adjusted the waist of his jeans to hide the pounding erection that made the cigarette tremble in his fingers.

 

The Brave Write Tragedies

The Brave Write Tragedies

Let me dip my hands into your heart,
And hurt you well with words and verse,
And take you back into my world
You are my lover, my reader,
And my wish is to enslave you
To beat you a million times,
And make you bleed and beg for more
And kiss you gently when you’re wounded,
And whisper laughter into your ears

Come dream with me, sweet beloved,
Of old castles and sparkling streams
Of that great archaic place,
Where our fairy tales are made
When we were little — boy and girl,
I watched your little skirt dance with the wind
And in your eyes, I remember,
The twinkle that made me a prince
How I wished that when we’d get older,
I would build you your own castle,
And feed you berries in the spring,
And keep you safe and warm through winter

I’ve aged like a warrior who has no war,
To bring his mind to solace
Look at you, oh darling sunshine,
You’ve turned grey beneath the sun
There are no castles and no spring,
But just bricks and noisy streets
Filled with lost dreams and broken soldiers,
Who never braved the breezes of tyranny
How we let our hearts go rotting,
Into dreams we never really cared for
How we weep and mourn now in misery,
With heaps of gold in our halls of diamond

Is it too late, my beloved damsel?
To find a better place in this firmament,
This great wilderness of life,
In which we’ve stuck too hard to the past
Do I have enough to bleed?
So that I may find you once again
Of what good is poetry if it heals not my heart?
Of what real purpose is this weak artistry,
If it brings not my life the light that I crave

I can write whatever tale I want,
I can end it in blood and tears,
Or belittle the spring in the fragrant glory,
Of my eternal verses on love and light
But why is it that I lean toward tragedy?
Do I hold a softness for melancholy
Am I made of thorns and sad endings?
Forever lost, my beloved damsel,
Are our dreams of castles and elysian gardens
The cotton touch of your long and tender fingers,
Are but a fainting dream,
In the cemetery of my memories

My years on this earth are but the reflection,
Of a strong inner thirst for beautiful tragedy
I am made of tears and midnight wailing,
I am the heart of sorrow itself.
Be lost, forever, my sweet damsel,
I gave you no castle, and the work of my hands,
Has brought no fruit to your thirsting heart
Let our tears be the testimony to this tragedy of life,
And let our deaths tell no grander tales,
Than those that we lived
When our eyes close gently beneath the moonlight,
Let us not forget that it is us who write our tales
And the brave write the deepest tragedies,
And shed tears that are salted,
With grand cosmic laughter

Screamjack

The Iris Molecule

The Iris Molecule

June 15th, 2099

The Internet of Things has been prophesied to be many miracles, but it is me who brought to fruition the absolute one that mattered. Hundred years ago, men wallowed in their dreams of the future waltzing with the endless desire for a connected world. They spent years bugging large industrial machines and regular household devices to transmit constant flows of information to large databases that processed billions of exabytes of data to spit out sensible patterns and concrete results. All of humanity shares a very fundamental weakness — a love for information. And it is this perpetual romance with symbolism that separates the creature that is man from the rest of his peers on planet earth. It is this tremendous infatuation with interpretations and observations that has rocketed the species into the technological utopia that is today’s human society. Today, everything in the world is a computer. From the mattresses that we rest on to the commodes that we shit in are connected to standardized databases that are always measuring, always calculating, and always concluding. We do not hate our connected world. We do not loathe or despise it when we ponder about the lack of privacy that operates our lives. We only seek to improve the network of objects that we rely on to sustain our technological utopia.

Three years ago, when I initiated my research with Bud Alton to develop the molecule that would change the world, I redefined the meaning of the word “object”. Western Medicine and Science has for centuries treated man more as a mechanism as compared to an organism. The human body was studied as a collection of parts as opposed to a holistic living being. It is this perspective that aided me and Bud Alton to extend the Internet of Things to include the bodies of every living creature on Earth – more objects meant more information. Our science had advanced itself enough several decades ago to develop this sort of system. But people were not courageous enough to even try and analyze the consequences of such an arrangement. The scientific world preferred to just store such an idea in its closet of eternally ignored “dangerous things.” But Bud and I understood that the positive consequences of such technology would far outweigh the negative ones and decided to bring our dangerous dreams to life.

“She’s going to be here in ten minutes, Todd,” Laura told me peeping through the corner of my door.

“Thank you, Laura.”

I closed the blinds behind my chair that concealed the window through which a viewer would have access to endless stretches of green plains and a few isolated peaks visible near the horizon. I did not want to allow Tina Goswami the access to such a boundless source of inspiration as she tried to convince me to sell out.

“Hello, Todd,” she wore an attractive red shirt with three open buttons that revealed the perfect amount of her delectably tanned cleavage. Her skirt was black and fell tightly above her knees that supported themselves on pretty, needle-like heels.

“Whisky?” I asked her as she slowly sat before my desk.

“Of course.”

I poured two glasses and took a sip out of mine as I waited for her to make her move.

“Alton Rich Co. seems to be making the news all over,” she said.

“We’re doing as much as we can to maintain a low profile, Tina.”

“I’m proud of you Todd. It astounds me how inspired you continue to remain after seeing how full of dirt this valley is.”

“What do you want, Tina?”

“Have you thought about it?” They had made their move on Bud three weeks back and now they were going to give it everything to lure me, the important one, to their side. There was a reason they sent Tina to do their dirty work. I had gone to school with her many years ago and the two of us were close friends who shared the occasional whiskey whenever we found the time. The scent of a woman is the greatest weapon that an organization can use on a man who has shared his bed with the very same woman sometime in the past. The whitest collars of Edison Electric had chosen to use their trump card to bring home the treasure that they so desperately sought.

“I’m not interested, Tina.”

“I don’t think you still have the complete picture of the potential of this deal. What’s bothering you, Todd?”

“Edison Electric is a corporation, Tina! Why can’t you see that there is no heroism in this deal? I didn’t work on Iris to spit gold into the revenue streams of conglomerates who have been milking the hard work of honest men for centuries.”

“Are you suggesting that I work for such an organization?”

“The major clients of your IoT business are mass retailers and sharks in the consumer products space. How do you expect me to believe that you would invest in any form of medical research?” I didn’t care if they invested in medical research. Even if they did, it would be fueled by some form of motive that would drive monetary gain. I hated corporations. I hated large conglomerates that had convinced the world that they existed for the well-being of mankind. They had never convinced me. The only reason that they existed was to keep their sections of the screens on Wall Street a luring green instead of a spiteful red.

“I understand that you’re emotional about this, Todd. But if you don’t let us acquire you, we’ll kill you. You know how this works, right?” I could see the sympathy in Tina’s eyes as she gently devolved the threat that her company had commanded her to do.

“You have neither the slightest clue of our R&D nor the infrastructure to begin such research immediately,” I was beginning to feel the anger tickling my fingers as I tapped them hardly against each other.

“You’re a very intelligent man, Todd. But you need to look ahead of yourself in an unbiased way if you want your invention to hold your name against it in the future.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“I’m only stating the inevitable course of things,” Tina placed her right palm on my desk revealing a bright glow of green nail color.

“Do you want to eat something?” I asked Tina.

“Sure.”

“There’s a good Thai Restaurant a few blocks away. I’ll drive you.”

As I opened the car door for Tina who smelled like fresh peach on a sunny summer dawn, my thoughts went reeling to the day that I presented the Iris Molecule to the rest of the world at the “Emerge into the Morrow” conference at San Francisco. When I sat before the wheel and took my car out onto the bustling streets of the valley, I wondered if my presentation at that conference was going to be something that I regretted for the rest of my life.

March 4th, 2099

“And while most of the world’s businessmen and engineers still taunt and tackle the untapped potential of the Internet of Things, I propose . . . the Internet of People,” I watched the audience slowly shift in their seats as the slide switched on the large screen behind me to reveal a large red pill inscribed with the word Iris.

“I present to you, the Iris Pill. Imagine technology that allows us to constantly monitor the workings of a human body. We could have a real-time flow of information about your hemoglobin count, the condition of your heart or liver, the productivity of your sexual organs, and the rate of your metabolism as you go about living your daily life.

“While we have seen several inventions over the years that have aimed to achieve this purpose, none of them have been practical. With the use of the fundamental concepts of nanotechnology integrated with the ever-evolving algorithms from the field of data science, we at Alton Rich Co. have developed this pill which when consumed can transform your body into a powerful source of data; and for what purpose? For your own health, of course! And the health of billions of other human beings.

“You would have access to this data across all your personal devices, and with sufficient training, you will be able to take precautionary measures to prevent all potential illnesses that threaten you. As the global network of the Internet of People grows, the exponential amounts of real-time data that will be collected will help us speedily solve several of the medical problems that we have been stuck with for decades. It does not take a genius to understand that it was millions of exabytes of data that helped us create a viable cure for cancer fifty years ago. The primary focus of medical science today is to solve some of the abstract psychiatric disorders that torment humankind which we have been unable to solve using the conventional approaches of Western Medicine. This is where the Iris Pill steps into the picture. Once the pill is consumed, the material lodges itself in your bloodstream and organs and begins transmitting data to a centralized database that is protected by advanced security technologies. This data is then securely re-routed to your personal devices. The waves used to transmit data are non-ionized electromagnetic signals that are generated by the Iris molecule that interacts with the heat signatures in your body. The process within your body is very simple. The real magic of transforming this information into tangible and operable data takes place in our data treatment systems. The centralized database consists of advanced pattern recognition systems that process all real-time data to produce tangible results. An example of a result would be — “Your blood pressure rose to undesirably high levels last evening due to an anxiety attack that you had at 5:15 PM.”

“This is just a very simple example. Our algorithms can give you detailed information about which aspects of your behavior directly affect your physical health and which nutrients from the food that you are eating are disturbing the normal functioning of your body.” At this point, I could see that the entire audience was glued to me. They were listening with vicious curiosity and I could tell that my next revelation would blow them out of their minds.

“I’m a terrible presenter, but even I delight in saving the best for the last. What makes the Iris Pill truly special is a complex predictive algorithm that can predict human behavior based on the present condition of the human body. Our databases consist of trillions of exabytes of data collected over several decades which use probabilistic tools to predict the future behavior of a single individual based on the current signatures gathered from the brain, blood, heart, and other organs. Pre-crime investigation and pre-symptom cures will no longer be fancy elements that make science fiction entertaining. They will become tangible realities that help improve the condition of human society.

“I would like to warn you, however, that the Iris Pill will still need to be fine-tuned to maximize the security of our data systems and to eliminate the potential for any possible side effects that stem from the non-ionized radiation from the Iris molecule. The molecule is so designed that data transmission occurs only from the molecule outward to our systems and not the other way around. This is an extremely important feature and I do imagine that you can understand why it is so. The safety and security of people dictates the feasibility of any technology and we strongly adhere to that fact. I urge you, my fellow inventors and scientists, to ponder upon the infinite potential of this technology and to also work toward designing a sustainable method to bring it out of the laboratory and into the lives of our citizens.”

A month passed since I delivered that presentation and nine corporations had already moved to acquire the R&D segment of the company that Bud and I had strived to build — Alton Rich Co. We had been around for six years primarily operating as a company that offered IoT solutions. What most of the valley were unaware of was our highly sophisticated R&D facility where Bud and I spun our magic with a team of twenty dedicated scientists from different fields. I had denied every sweet and suited chap that walked through my door to discuss the potential synergies that could result from an acquisition deal. However, it wasn’t until the CEO of Edison Electric — Dr. Jason Thames — walked through my door that I felt more anger than nonchalance grip my entire body. He proposed a plan to acquire my entire firm as opposed to just the R&D unit and spoke about the potential of Iris in the retail and consumer products space. He spoke of how Iris was the talisman that could transform the subject of consumer behavior into an actual science compared to the pussy science that it had been for the last century. I hated people like Dr. Thames who symbolized man’s misunderstanding of wealth. He represented majority of mankind that measured wealth by the size of revenue streams and judged sustainability in terms of perpetual profit. He didn’t just want our prediction algorithms. He wanted us. He wanted our expertise. He wanted the enthusiasm of Bud Alton. And most of all, he wanted me and my rebellious spirit to become a part of his utopian prison of a corporation called Edison Electric. This bastard didn’t care about society. It was not the material of his suit but the smirk on his face that openly indicated his burning passion for that upward green arrow on Wall Street.

 June 15th, 2099

“The important word here, Todd, is synergy,” Tina said as the odors of lemongrass oil overwhelmed me. I enjoyed lemongrass oil. It was probably one of the reasons that I ate Thai food so often.

“With the expertise of your R&D team in the IoT space and the clientele and substantial funding that you’ll get from Edison, you simply cannot fathom the extent of the synergies we can create from this deal,” Tina held her gaze toward me with severe sincerity. I could see that she was here on a mission and she was going to champion a deal out of me some way or the other.

“The research isn’t complete yet, Tina. We are still not entirely sure if the thermal radiation from the molecules are completely free of any potential hazards,” I was only being honest. I truly believed that safety was the first measure of the feasibility of any technology.

“Where do you see you and your company heading in the future? To what possible scale can you take this new breakthrough? You need us, Todd. If not us, you need someone else who resembles us. And you know that we have the resources to ensure successful scalability.”

“You’re not seeing this the right way, Tina. It’s not a matter of trust. The Iris molecule didn’t come to life so that a corporate giant could dedicate its resources to secretly improving a shopper’s experience while it threw a façade of commitment to healthcare on the face of society. All you give a shit about is your shareholders and I am not willing to sell Iris to such people.”

“Who will you sell it to? Everyone out there cares about the same thing we do, Todd.”

“The predictive algorithm in its current state is the perfect solution to enhance the performance of the consumer products industry. I know that every other application of Iris will be overshadowed by this impending fact. The only way that I can escape this disgusting outcome is to not sell out,” I raised my voice and hardened my tone so that Tina would understand that our friendship was secondary in this situation. Furthermore, I was committed to making my point that I was not interested in doing business with anybody. This feat was in complete honor of science and the greed of man would not reduce its glory in the name of practicality.

“Todd, if the program can excel in the retail space, its success would only extend into healthcare,” Tina said.

“Why do you think people would put a strange pill into their bodies to help corporations increase their revenue?”

“That is not your concern, Todd. There is a reason we spend billions on our marketing professionals. They always find a way out. You are only to be concerned with building a sustainable method to implement this technology.”

“Fuck off, Tina,” I indicated to the waitress that I wanted the check as quickly as possible.

“All your dreams of curing chronic psychiatric disorders – how long do you want to wait till they come true?” Tina was growing impatient. “Fifty billion dollars, Todd. We both know that your company isn’t worth that much. We are paying not just for long-term potential here. We are paying you for your brilliance, Todd.”

“What do you propose to do as soon as you have us?”

“We will invest in improving the security of your systems and spend heavily on R&D to bring the pill into the healthcare space as soon as we can. And I will not lie, we will offer outcome-based solutions to our clients in the retail space as well. Portions of revenue generated from that source can be directed into R&D and we can begin transforming your dreams into reality; faster than you ever imagined. This is the only way to do it, Todd. You cannot make something this big belong only to yourself.”

“How do you expect my people to fit into Edison’s cutthroat culture?”

“Let’s get real, Todd. People are problems and every problem has a viable solution if the right people are pulling the strings,” I was finding hard to understand how Tina had reduced herself to such an empty woman in just ten years. When I knew her in a more intimate way at the Rodney Pike School of Management at Oakswood University, she seemed like a woman of depth. Someone who was human and real; someone touchable and exciting who exuded a demeanor of natural intelligence and unbiased brightness. Now as the CTO of Edison Electric, she had reduced herself to a clean mannequin that was easy to decorate with a sparkling white collar. Disgusting.

I had begun to realize that Tina was making sense and I needed to let go of what was precious to me if it had to grow. Tina told me that Edison would give me three months to work on a self-evaluation which I could propose to them and they would consider as part of their bid. Tina was clever enough to know that if I had made up my mind, Bud Alton would simply follow without too many questions. We left the Thai restaurant and headed back to my office. As soon as I entered, I realized that the blinds had been opened; it was probably Laura.

“You’ve got quite a view, Todd,” Tina said. It was too late. She needed no more inspiration to complete her mission.

“How much do you think we’re worth, Tina?”

“You’re priceless, Todd,” Tina pulled off the phoniest blush I had encountered in a long time. It was cheesy, sick, and left a lump in my chest. “Can we set up a meeting with Jason and the rest of the board next week? I’ll get your trip to Chicago arranged.”

“Sure. I’ll get Bud to join me as well.”

“You’re a genius Todd. I never imagined you would change the world so fast,” Tina was doing her best to soften my defeat with her girlish charms that I had always been weak enough to blindly adore. I had least expected that those charms would sneak so deeply into my professional life.

I was well-aware that the coming week would be filled with different thoughts that battled with each other. While I deeply loathed giant corporations and hated selling myself to men in power who wanted to exploit the work of my hands for that green arrow on Wall Street, I understood that I needed to commit myself to lesser evils to ensure the greater good. If I didn’t sell out to Edison Electric today, they would probably come out with a poor imitation of the Iris molecule in a few years and be remembered in the future as the pioneers of the entire technology. I didn’t care about the credit. I just wanted to ensure that Iris found itself the future it deserved.

As Tina got up to leave and my eyes followed her glorious ass as it danced across my room toward the door, my eyes caught sight of the Butterbot that stood tall on my cabinet to the right. The Butterbot was a little robotic contraption that I had built when I was twelve years old. It was inspired by a classic cartoon that had first aired on TV in the early 2000’s. The entire purpose of the contraption was to move on the dining table, detect the location of butter, move toward it, and drag it toward to user. For that little moment, I drifted away into an old memory of my father who symbolized everything that Dr. Jason Thames — CEO of Edison Electric — stood for.

“Don’t expect me to be excited about that little robot of yours, Todd. Nothing in this world has value until its creator has learnt to sell it,” my father told me one rainy evening in the Spring of 2069.

“Really, dad? But look at this little fellow. He looks so cool!”

“You don’t understand, Todd. If you can’t sell it, nobody will ever know about what you made. What’s the point? You can go to the moon and get back. What’s the point if you couldn’t prove it to anybody?”

“But dad, that doesn’t change the fact that I went to the moon, does it?”

“It isn’t a fact until you can prove it. You’re probably going to make much bigger toys than your little Butterbot over there in the future, but you better figure out how you’re going to sell those toys to people. Alright, son?”

I snapped back to the present moment and gasped, “Tina, wait!”

“Did I forget something?” Tina turned around.

“Let Mr. Thames know that Alton Rich Co. has decided to end all communications with Edison Electric. We thank you for your interest in acquiring us but we have decided not to proceed with any such deal,” I smiled at Tina and turned around to walk toward my open windows.

“You take us too lightly, Todd,” Tina responded.

“Get out of my office. And do the best you can,” I didn’t look back. I knew that I had a weakness for Tina’s eyes, and her legs. I kept my gaze concentrated on the green plains of salvation that thrived brightly outside my windows. As Tina stepped slowly out of my office, I heard her mutter idiot which I knew was intended to be loud enough for audibility.

I didn’t deny the deal because I had suddenly discovered a sustainable way to implement my technology on a large scale. I did it because I understood that businessmen compromise science to ensure sustainability. Their understanding of sustainability is different from mine. I am not interested in whether an endeavor is profitable. I am interested in whether a piece of science is allowed to find its entire potential. And for centuries, corporations have scarred the face of science with their lies and deceit. I do not blame them for their wrongs. It is the way that society brings them up and they cannot be blamed for these inherent idiocies. I decided that if the Iris molecule was to truly enhance the human experience in an absolute way, it needed to stay away from retailers and manufacturers of consumer products. Those spaces operate using the dynamics of greed and those motives can only hinder progress. Fuck synergy. Fuck value. Fuck the index on Wall Street and fuck shareholder value. These were not the parameters that I was interested in enhancing. While the world of business is motivated to better the human experience, it is always unconditionally influenced by the venomous delights of monetary gain. It is only natural for such a force to exist and I do not blame anybody for such a horrendous arrangement. However, I chose not to allow the child of my human creativity to be tainted by the poor conditioning of the human race. I waited in my office that evening until everyone had left. Once the clock struck eleven, I poured myself a long hard drink of whisky and drank to my success. When the whisky was over, I looked out of the window onto the dark plains lit by the moonlight and whispered, “Freedom.”

January 5th, 3004

“Looks like it’s complete, Todd,” Bud was smoking a cinnamon-flavored cigar and switching through the news channels.

“What are they calling it?” I asked as I stood looking out at the traffic from the patio.

“Plutus,” Bud yelled out from the hall.

How fitting, I thought to myself. While Iris was the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology, Plutus was the god of wealth himself. Perhaps Dr. Thames was sending out a message to me. Fuck him.

I walked into the room and glared into the television screen.

“We did alright, Todd. At least we’re free. Besides, we have no idea about the quality of their products,” Bud said trying to console me.

“I don’t care, Bud. To be honest, I just hope they’re not the cause of a global epidemic that ends up killing half of the world. Or worse, turning us into zombies,” I chuckled, but I did harbor a sincere worry about Edison’s product. The timespan of their research seemed too short to develop a product that was ready for large-scale implementation.

I walked back out onto the patio and felt a surge of envy rising up my chest. Was I jealous that Edison Electric would have global recognition for the Internet of People? I envisioned it! It was my idea. I created it. A powerful breeze began to blow outside and I could smell the salt of the valley exploding into the air. I thought of the millions of men who had shed blood in this place to create something new that could transform humanity. And I also thought of the few hundred names who took those dreams and made corporations out of them. Edison Electric would probably be remembered as the pioneers of the Internet of People as the millennium rolls on into its next level of technological utopia. However, Plutus might only scrape the surface of psychiatric cure while it generates trillions for enthusiasts in the retail sector. I wasn’t guilty of anything. I was very well-aware that if I sold out, fate would have told a very similar story. The powerful consolation that I allowed myself was the fact that I hadn’t played a part in Dr. Jason Thames’ grand and greedy vision for the future.

As I watched the price of Edison Electric’s stock on the TV, slowly fluctuating with a heavy upward green arrow standing proudly beside it, I remembered something that Nikola Tesla had said a couple of centuries ago — “The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”