The Infinite Loop: 4-15-2012

The Gladiator Book IV


Donald Bauer gulped more than sipped his brandy. It was the most expensive they had and he kept having it, he needed it. The door opened when a young couple came entered bringing in the cold and drizzle with them. After they had entered it shut leaving the elements out again, Harold wished the guilt and memories, could be so easily kept outside there, in the cold as well. It was raining that night too, only he was the young man then. He remembered like it was yesterday, the hum of the old Mercedes-Benz electric as it stopped with a jerk at the curb to let him out. Those old cars sat too low to the ground making it difficult to get out without pushing himself up from the seat with his arms. Not like the maglev cars they had now, that you could just float right up to the door and get out without having to straighten your legs to get up. In those days the cars were old and he was young, but today that ratio is inverted. With that shift of perspective laboring with youthful legs to lift his fit body out of the car didn’t seem so bad. Yes he was a young man then, but even then Harry was very, very old. He was sitting right here at the same table, just 29 years old with a PhD and all of his tomorrows in front of him. Now all of his tomorrows are yesterday’s and is only future is wrapped tightly in his legacy. A legacy which depends on the answer, carried by, another young man with his tomorrows in front of him about to come through the door of his favorite restaurant and deliver an answer to the same question to a slightly different decrepit old man. This was an informal ritual which had developed from necessity over the years. Now it had become a changing of the guard, a passing of information from the keepers of secrets to their chosen ones. He and Harry were both 50 years older. To him it was the end of a life, but for Harry what had it been, a second, a lifetime, and eternity? All anyone knew is that Harry had lived hundreds of lifetimes and would perhaps live a 1000 more, which is what Harold was waiting to know. What to do with Harry? That was the question that came up at the end of every loop. But this time the advent of quantum computing created a huge auxiliary problem.

But this time there had been a big development. Outsiders were being brought in. Who were they? The young man who opened the door opened letting in the wet cold and again, had the answer. It was his postdoc Alan Reid, Allen’s long mop of blond hair which hung over his piercing blue eyes gave the appearance of a man nowhere near his 30s. And yet Alan Reid, one of the world’s most promising quantum biologists is every bit the 30 years old and on this day older. Allen made immediately for him saying, “It’s going to be psychiatry.” “Who, who for Christ sake, who from psychiatry is it going to be,” Said Bauer in his slow, southern, and raspy old voice that he was unaccustomed to having to raise. “Bill Stepford,” Reid replied when he got to the chair that Bauer was still rising from. “He and some of the others are on their way over here right now,” he continued. Donald Bauer was still getting up and wrapping his coat around him and motioned to Alice the maître d’. “Alice will take our private meeting room now.” “I will have it prepared immediately,” she responded dutifully. “Alan would you wait for our guests in there, I have to go to the men’s room.” Donald Bauer had no desire to go to the men’s room, but he had pathological need to be in control, especially now when he was not. That meant not waiting alone in the room for those in control to come in. That is what postdocs are for.  Until this moment Donald Bauer knew everyone who even knew about the project, about Harry as they called it. He was owed favors by most of them, a physicist and those two slime balls on the ethics committee. But who were the psychiatrists, did he have anything on them? This is what he burned to know.

They held some important keys for Alan Reid too, who waited for them in the luxurious paneled conference room with its red leather seats and old-style green banker lights adorning the long, grained conference table. When Donald Bauer was sure that everyone must be there by now he left the men’s room and walked directly to the old conference room. He paused only briefly at the door, and entered only after he was certain there was nothing he could overhear from the outside. Inside people were talking informally as waiters stacked the table with hors d’oeuvres. Bader scanned the room like radar for Bill Stepford. He found him almost instantly, he was the tallest man in the room and the only one that Bauer had never met. He recognized him from pictures as the chairman of the department of psychiatry, but he was a quantum biologist, and quantum biologists and psychiatrists had very little in common. So it was with trepidation that Donald Bauer made his way, against the traffic of departing servants, around the table and took a seat not at the table, but in a chair but against the wood grained wall from where he could better study the room. Who was this Bill Stepford, a psychiatrist, why was he in charge? Psychiatry isn’t even a hard science, Bader thought contemptuously. But here they all were at the mercy of the touchy, feely pseudo scientist. Although no one had formally opened the meeting people were now beginning to discuss business. Ted Stepford sat on the conference table with one foot on the floor and his back to him. “Who’s it going to be,” he could hear someone ask. “Yeah Ted who is it,” someone else asked. Now Donald Bader stood up and made his way to his seat at the conference table. “Why don’t we all take our seats,” he said as he ambled to his. To his surprise no one obeyed, only a few even bothered to turn their eyes toward him. Bader, even in retirement was not accustomed to not getting his way. Instead everyone pressed in on Ted Stepford as Bader stood behind his chair with one hand on the head rest as if to keep his balance. “All right, all right everybody I think that’s a good idea. Why don’t we all just take our seats now,” Ted Stepford said, and everyone did.

He is going to be a problem Bader thought. He has a natural command of the room, but how, what did he have on them? Bader knew all about commanding a room. He had terrorized an entire department for decades. He couldn’t understand any other leadership quality. It never occurred to him that someone could command a room full of people just because they want to. So, why was everyone taking their seats at Stepford’s request when they had just ignored his own.  Stepford sat down, not at the head of the table, but somewhere in between, just to the right of himself. ” Who’s it going to be for God sakes,” Phil Straub asked plaintively. “It’s going to be Bonnie Weissberg,” said Stepford said in an unwavering clear voice. The room grew quiet.

“Who is she?” Someone asked. “I’ve never heard of her,” another one said. “Does she even have tenure?” Donald Bader asked in an accusing tone and volume that Bill Stepford could not miss. “Of course she has tenure,” he answered smiling. “She is a full professor and highly regarded. She has my full confidence,” he offered. “I’ve heard about her,” said Brian Potter. “She developed her own method of psychoanalysis, but then she got religion and fell off the deep end. They said she disappeared.” “That is not remotely accurate, Dr. Potter ,” Stepford corrected. “Well by all means please fill us in,” Potter insisted. “Okay, okay everyone just calm down and listen,” Stepford said motioning everyone with his hands to sit down.

Everyone sat down and waited with bated breath for Stepford’s next words, words their fates hung on like the gallows.

Stepford began:

“In 2058 I accepted a position as department head of the Department of psychiatry in the university’s medical school. One of my first duties as department head, was to hire a research psychiatrist. In the process of the search I hired Dr. Bonnie Weissberg. Bonnie and I worked together very closely for the next 10 years , on a number of academic, clinical, and professional issues. We co-authored a number of papers and sometimes taught courses together. For the most part I would say that we worked together quite efficiently. Efficiently in the sense a good final product was produced and as short a time as possible. But in the process we fought bitterly. We were equally headstrong, but with Bonnie was a very complex person. On the one hand she was obviously brilliant with a very dedicated research orientation. On the other hand there was a central sense of searching for purpose, you might say that it was her purpose. The way she always marched from one place to another, weather across the room or across campus, with an intense stare piercing everything in front of her she reminded me strongly of a soldier looking for a battle, no make that a war. I wondered if she ever found a purpose could she even recognize it. But it took me a while to realize that that impression whether accurate or not was immaterial. That any question I asked her elicited a very thoughtful response.

Bonnie related professionally with patients and could do naturally we cannot be taught, namely she could tune in immediately, she could see through their defenses and empathize while withholding judgment. As a therapist she is a natural. We worked together and accomplished much right up until 2065, but it seemed that the more successful we were as collaborators the more bitterly we became with each other. One day after working together on a particularly difficult project I said, whispered really out loud, there must be a better way. I wasn’t even looking at her when I said it, and certainly expected no reply. But to my surprise she said, you’re right Bill and I’ll help you find it. And that was the beginning of a joint commitment that led to what Dr. Potter called her method of psychoanalysis.”The question is Bader began “What are we going to do with it?” “It,” said Elizabeth Madison the head of the University legal team and the Dean of the University’s law school. She and Bader disliked each other since way back. “It,” she continued. “It is a human being whom you plagiarized your entire career from”. To Elizabeth Madison this was a statement of fact, Donald Bauer it was a deeply personal attack revealing him to be the fraud he believed himself to be. So, he counterattacked at any conceivable weak point. “For the record Elizabeth it is not a human being. It is a thing.” “Oh I’m very sure that you are proud of yourself for that one,” Madison snapped back. They were zeroing in on each other when Stepford interceded. “No one is accusing anyone of anything,” he said looking at Madison. “And no one is accusing anyone of anything,” he said looking at Donald Bauer.


Bauer placing both arms squarely on the table he bent his arms just enough to bring his eyes level with Ted Stepford’s. Then with his face nearly twisted he said, “What the hell do you have to judge me for Stepford?” Elizabeth Madison could barely restrain herself, but Stepford was able to stop her by holding his hand in the air. Then he said trying not to sound authoritarian, “okay people, this is what we are going to do. We are going to make contact with Harry. That’s all were going to do.” “That will ruin us,” Bauer scoffed. “He will ruin us,” he continued walking away and looking back as he did. “How do you know that, how can you be so sure,” Stepford asked? “Because,” Bauer continued but stopped. “Because that’s what you would do in his situation,” said Stepford. “That’s called projection,” Bill Stepford said dryly. “Assumed guilt, assumes punishment,” Stepford continued. “I am not guilty of the God damned thing, Stepford,” Bauer said dragging it out Step-Ford.

“I want to know about this Bonnie Weissberg,” Brian Potter demanded. “They say she only cares about her patient,” Elizabeth Madison shot out. “Well I don’t give a damn about the patient,” Potter said. “Yes, you made that abundantly clear,” Madison replied. Stepford had to wait again for the room to calm down. “Well, I think Bonnie Weissberg is uniquely qualified for this. In fact she’s the only one who is,” Stepford said.

“We can always throw the switch,” someone said. “You do that and I’ll be certain you want go straight to jail,” Madison said, coming to her feet. “How,” Potter asked? “How are you going to see us to jail, who is the victim? It’s certainly not a human being.” “No, you guys made certain of that,” Madison said accusingly while looking at Bauer. Bauer could feel the eyes of the room upon him, going through him, seeing him as a fraud. Of course most of them were frauds too. Most of them, and most of their predecessors, and most of their predecessors as well, it goes back for at least 100 years. It was 100 years ago that an 18-year-old sorority girl who through the University student employment office got a part-time job as a clerk in the department, and made an astonishing discovery without ever knowing it. There was a file on her department issued laptop, a text file that seemed to have a life of its own. It was a file which seemingly updated itself. It was the file of a professor Mortimer Harrison and it was of a most peculiar nature. As best as she could make out the file always started at the same, but added to itself with each new copy. When she went to the directory to try to delete it she noticed that she did not have administrative privileges. So, she reported it to her superior on several occasions, but no action was taken. She concluded that the laptop had been hacked and took no further action herself, until just before the end of her freshman year. The computer itself oddly had been issued to her had belonged to a faculty member. It was a very famous professor Fortunato who preceded Donald Bauer as chairman by many decades. Just before returning the laptop she saved iteration 11,019 to the laptop’s hard disk. Unable to think of a title she simply saved the document as Harry’s log. Harry’s log was beyond 20,000 iterations by this time, but no one ever dare mentioned. They might mention Harry, but they didn’t dare touch the log. But the log now seemed to find a voice of its own. “You see it no longer the brilliant scientist,” Madison began, “you’re a fraud,” and a particularly accusatory tone.

Bill Stepford tried to repair the damage, but Bauer was so angry as he made for Madison he burst a blood vessel in his brain and was dead before he hit the ground.

How could I have been so stupid, Bill Stepford thought? “That’s called projection, did I really say that,” he asked aloud? Then he wondered could that have gone any worse. Maybe somebody could have brought a handgun he thought. He was rubbing his temples about to pour himself a drink when he leaned back in his chair with his hands on his knees, looked up at the ceiling and smiled. His mind was really winding up this time and once again he had caught it in time. And what a nice catch it was. The old Bill Stepford, the one that fought Bonnie Weissberg tooth and nail for a decade would be beating himself up pretty good right now. But this Bill Stepford caught on to what his brain was doing he would have none of it. Once he recognized his folly he could only smile.

The speaker phone sounded. “Yes, oh hi Bob. An aneurysm, are you sure? Good enough then, thanks Bob. By now, bye.” So, Bauer died of an aneurysm instead of a temper tantrum after all. That didn’t change anything. Bill Stepford knew that there was a lot more to do than just improving his style. There was going to be pushed back, serious pushback every inch of the way on this one. His main job was to deal with the administration and shield Bonnie Weissberg to let her do her work her miracles. It would be just like when he was on the high school basketball team. When he left the star player from the other team and beat the crap out of him for the whole game, while his team’s star player lit up the scoreboard. Bill Stepford had been running interference for people or causes his entire life. But now for Bonnie Weissberg of all people, he never saw that one coming.

When he first saw Bonnie Weissberg she was a stunning 25-year-old beauty with jet black hair to the back of her knees and he wondered how she would ever make it here. Ten years later he wondered if she would leave anything standing in her wake. Such is the world of judgment.


Bill Stepford removed his Photovoltaic Glasses and placed them upside down on his desktop. Even under stress he looked young and every bit the man living in an idyllic lifestyle. His lean and fit frame was matched with skin taunt around the face and a full head of curly black hair that had just begun to turn gray at the temples. One would expect that he had a beautiful wife, perfect kids, living in a picturesque home. But there was nothing picturesque about Bill Stepford’s life. He had a beautiful wife once, but that was before Bonnie Weissberg was even in grade school.

Sharon was the beautiful loving wife with whom he would have had a most picturesque life. But those beautiful loving the colors were snuffed out by events random and callous and partly of his doing.

They had gotten married shortly after his appointment at the University. The damp and cold of the University was a shock to Sharon, but she tolerated it because she loved him. Besides providing her with a cozy home, he surprised her one Christmas when he offered to take her on vacation anywhere she wanted to go. He could never forget the way sitting on her knees on the sofa and staring at him work with complete acceptance she answered him, “Anywhere hot and dry as long as we’re together,” she answered adoringly. He looked at her looking at him and felt as innocent as a child. But he seemed to feel guilt that he had never have believed. Instead of going to the Middle East as they decided initially, Bill suggested that they go to the rainforest. Why, why did I say rainforest? He played that over a million times in his mind, trying to change the outcome each time. They had been there less than a week hiking and climbing, and being young and in love. Then, literally overnight Sharon was gone. He remembered they had just made love in the room and Sharon put on his T-shirt and gone to the table to get a bottle of wine. She never made it there, she fell with a thud to the floor not quite as loud as Bauer, but just as dead. Somewhere out on the trail Sharon had been infected with a brain eating parasite. When asked if that parasite existed in the Middle East the doctor shook his head no, and Bill Stepford never forgave himself.

After they spread Sharon’s ashes across the ocean, Bill could not go back inside what had been their home, but he couldn’t stay anyplace else either. So, he returned. The first two years were the most difficult. It was then that Bill developed dull eyes that never look directly into anyone else’s. He taught his classes, did his research, and performed his job well enough. But he walked bent over with hunched shoulders as his feet slapped the ground with a flat thud. One night as he returned from the office and fumbled with the mailbox at the curb and he looked up the long walk way to his dark windows he wondered, what it would be like if they had just gone to the Middle East. A researcher might ask himself why would a mind torment itself in such a way? But the grieving husband Bill Stepford began a process he thought he would never rid himself of. Every night that he walked up the lonely walkway to the darkened house he imagined an alternate universe where they had just gone to the God damned Middle East. In that universe is walking up a lighted walkway to warm home and a loving woman and who knows how many kids, instead of darkened rooms in an empty house. For two years Bill could not stop himself from thinking about coming home every night. Eventually Sharon’s scents and the memories faded into something bearable, but for Bill Stepford his home has been empty since and life would never be idyllic again.

Another kind of man, neither greater nor lesser, just another kind of man would have turned to drugs and alcohol, or suicide. But Bill Stepford persevered because it was his nature to. And even though he never expected life to get better he continued to slump through it. In that of the universe he could have a daughter who looked much like Bonnie Weissberg, only she would have been much less combative coming from a mother such as Sharon.

“You don’t get to choose your mother,” he once said to Bonnie Weissberg. It was an offhanded remark that led to major research collaboration between them. “You don’t choose your mother, your father, or anyone who has a significant impact on you. You are influenced most by the input you except unquestioningly.” It was a habit that Bill Stepford had of being able to state the obvious in a revealing new way. Bonnie Weissberg liked that habit instantly. She revealed to him a dream that she had as a child and never forgot. She was playing in front of the fireplace with her mother and father. It was very warm and she felt much loved and very beautiful. Then inexplicably her parents left her there. They went to bed and left there all alone on the floor. After a while the fire burned out and it got dark and very cold. “Then,” she said throwing back a long jet black hair crossing her leg straightening her arms on the bench and turning her head 90° to look at him, “Then I did something every child does, but shouldn’t. I tried to make sense of it.” Bill nodded. The extreme bewilderment and confusion of infants and young children who are abused or abandoned is well-known to psychiatrists. Children who are attacked by the ones who love them the most is overwhelming. They are wholly incapable of coping with such intensely conflicting signals. They are at once helpless and desperate to do something, anything. So, they do the only thing they can, make sense of it all. Unfortunately, in their young minds the only sense they can make of it is that, it’s their fault. It’s not that mommy and daddy are poor parents, or mommy and daddy need help, it’s your fault. Bonnie continued, “I decided that I must be very ugly, too ugly to be lovable. Can you imagine that? I made an assumption based not on a real event, but I dream I was having.” Together they teased out the concepts and published by highly regarded paper that extended rather than challenged contemporary personality theory.


What you accept as truth makes up who you are.



Bill and Bonnie shook their heads at each other, but neither of them knew at the time that they were dreaming even then.


Before the happenings Bonnie Weissberg was very confused about a relationship with Bill Stepford. On the one hand he was an intelligent insightful colleague, and older brother or father figure with whom she felt, or must have felt safe. His ideas were similar to hers and he had a way of helping her focus, crystallize her thoughts on a particular topic from which she was able to derive results. But he spent much of the time being defensive and aloof. She couldn’t understand that Bill was aloof when he was defensive and that he was constantly defensive with her, that she was constantly lashing out at him. Bill thought that Bonnie was constantly attacking the world around her hoping desperately that it would counterattack. Later he realized that she was desperately in search of a very particular mission, but in lieu of finding it any war would do.

Bonnie Weissberg didn’t know that she was desperate, but she felt desperate. She had no strong opinions of the world and she was equally unconcerned of the world’s opinions. Politics and religion were meaningless to her. Even after the happenings, she still felt it was more to do. But what God dammit, what? She couldn’t realize how soon it would be.

They were sitting at the circular conference table in Bill’s office. They had successfully completed another paper, but it had been a particularly difficult task, the task of working with each other. They were finished and Bonnie was standing up to leave when she heard Bill almost whispering something. She couldn’t make out most of what he said, but the last part she heard perfectly well. It was Bill’s plaintive call for peace, “there must be another way,” she heard him say. Bill didn’t realize that he was giving a speech, it wasn’t really a speech as much as an observation or statement of fact. He didn’t even expect a response but alone the one that he got. He had just straightened up when Bonnie stopped everything for it. Then looking up at him and she said, “You’re right Bill, there must be a better way and I’ll help you find it.” Then she turned and walked out. As she did she was surprised at herself. What had possessed her to say that? Now she wondered if she meant it, she would soon find out.

The buzzer rang and the photovoltaic glasses glowed in the dark bedroom. Bill Stepford couldn’t be sure if he was dreaming that the phone was buzzing or if it was. But when he saw that it was Bonnie Weissberg calling he reached out with a groan and put them on. Before he could say anything she started, “Bill I am sorry to bother you, but I just have to tell somebody and you’re the only one I trust.” Bill rolled from side to his back then propped himself up against the pillows. “Bonnie,” he moaned, “What’s the matter, are you all right?” She continued to apologize profusely not so much apologizing Bill thought as avoiding the issue. “Bonnie,” he demanded, “It’s three o’clock in the morning what’s wrong?” There was another long pause a couple of false starts until finally she blurted out, “Bill I am hearing the voices.” Bill straightened himself in bed. “What kind of voices,” he asked? “Well it’s just one voice and it’s coming from inside my head not from the outside. It keeps repeating the same thing over and over. It says this is a better way, please take notes.” Bill Stepford was wide awake. He adjusted the glasses and for Bonnie’s sake spoke very clearly and calmly as if nothing was wrong. “Bonnie, it only logical thing to do is to write it down. Just to write it down and send it to me. We can go over it together and we don’t have to tell anyone else about it. It doesn’t matter how crazy it sounds we will be the only two to hear it.” Suddenly the course of action seemed so obvious to Bonnie that she wondered why she hadn’t come up with it herself. “Of course, of course you’re right Bill. That is the thing to do. I’m so sorry to have bothered you like this.” “Don’t worry about it Bonnie,” he said, “just write it down and let’s talk about it tomorrow.” Bonnie didn’t even say goodbye, she just disconnected. Curious, he thought. He left his glasses on in the darkened room sifting through e-mail and trying to fall back to sleep, but sleep would not come to Bill Stepford that night. In 30 min. he got the most unexpected message especially considering the source.

Nothing real can be taken down. Nothing unreal is put up. Herein lies the truth of God.

Bill could believe that the words were written by someone other than Bonnie Weissberg. Then he began to struggle with it. Bonnie Weissberg was the only child of non-observance Jews. She was not religious. To his knowledge she had no religious verbiage at her disposal.  In fact she scoffed at the religious for believing in things for which there was utterly no evidence. She was an indignant if not angry atheist. Furthermore she prided herself as a research psychiatrist, not as someone who heard voices, who had heightened visual imagery, or a psychic.

Nothing real can be taken down. Nothing unreal is put up. Herein lies the truth of God.

It’s not something that she would have written.

The following morning Bonnie Weissberg walked into Ted’s office a tattered wreck. She could hardly talk and what little she did say was almost inaudible. “There’s more, there’s more, but I wrote it down because I don’t want to take the chance that it gets scanned by government or university surveillance and they think I’m crazy.” “You are crazy,” Ted said. “Government surveillance only covers one out of 1000 e-mails,” Ted said. “I don’t care, I don’t care, I can’t take the chance, she protested.”  “Okay Ted said, “Read it to me.” “I can’t Bonnie said hysterically it doesn’t make any sense.” “Don’t worry about what it says just read it to me. We can look at it later if it doesn’t make any sense we can throw it out and no one will ever know what it said.” Bonnie coughed and stuttered and made several false starts while Ted kept repeating over and over to her, “Don’t worry about what it says.” Finally Ted had to take her papers and read it for himself. It was the most astonishing thing he’d ever read.

This is a course in miracles. It is the only course you will ever need and you have already taken it. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, that removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

Nothing unreal has been put up.

Nothing real can be taken down.

Herein lies the truth of God.

Bill Stepford could not conceal his astonishment. “You wrote this,” he asked her even though he knew that she did. “Am I crazy she asked pensively?”This is unexpected, shocking even, coming from you, but never confuse unexpected with crazy.

“What is a miracle? And what does it mean that, “It’s the only course you will need and you have already taken it,”? Bill was actually considering what she had written. He had not dismissed it out of hand.

Bonnie Weissberg unclenched her fists, exhaled, and straightened her legs that she had curled tightly under her chair. She could see the indentation her fingernails had left in her palms. This was the first time in more than 12 hours that she had relaxed her body. “You have to continue to dictate this.” “Okay I will,” she said. “But if it starts to sound too crazy, or makes even a grammatical error, then I’m going to stop,” she insisted. So, began the process where Bonnie would scribe dictation from an unknown source and in the following morning Bill would type it into a PDF on a remote laptop that only he had access to.

Bill wondered what it said about Bonnie Weissberg. A sudden shift in religious beliefs was a classic sign of an inner struggle. But then it occurred to him that a gradual shift in religious beliefs was a classic sign of being healed. He thought seriously and wondered why he had not seen it before. Every one of his successful patients, those that had been healed, experienced a shift in religious beliefs during their course of therapy with him. He could not explain this or why it had not occurred to other therapists. But the data was conclusive. Every single patient who successfully completed therapy had undergone a radical change in religious beliefs. Let’s just keep the door open on this one, he thought to himself.

Then there was Bonnie Weissberg herself. Bill wondered if she would make it. For the next few months she would come into his office every morning in tatters. She was finally able to read it herself, but she would often have to hold her with one hand while dictating with the other. Whether this was a personal internal struggle for Bonnie or dictation from an outside source it was taking a toll on her. How much longer could she take it he wondered.

All of the material that he dictated from Bonnie had a strong Christian terminology. Bill was especially bothered by the term miracle. To a scientist miracle had no meaning. A miracle was an event which simply could not occur, yet somehow did. And where Bill was bothered by the term miracle Bonnie Weissberg was absolutely disgusted by the notion of an entire course in miracles. Then one day Bonnie Weissberg dictated, “Miracles remove the barriers to our awareness of love’s presence.” Bill stopped typing, and Bonnie stopped dictating. Looking at her for the longest second he said, “This is the sanest material that there is.” Then Bonnie continued dictating, now there was a subtle difference that neither would notice until much later. Bonnie’s fists were just a little less tightly clinched, there was a little less fear in her voice. From then on the acceptance of the material as new knowledge from an unknown source by gradual degrees overtook them both.

After each session of dictation Bill and Bonnie would review what they had written down. Bill was impressed by the fidelity Bonnie showed to copying each word exactly as it was given her. Bill once suggested changing the word because it didn’t seem to make sense. But Bonnie realized that if they changed it that it wouldn’t make sense later on.

Bonnie would feel the writing coming on daily, often several times today. Initially she resented it and one night she stubbornly refused to write. She fell into a deep sleep, and then in a dream she heard the words, “Why do you persecute yourself so? Write or don’t, you are still loved. It is you who compels you to write. Write or don’t write, it has all been done, it has all been undone.”   What does it mean that it has all been undone, she wondered waking from a dream.  But then she wrote, he for the remainder of that night and she never refused to write again. She never knew how a sentence would end and the ideas came so quickly she had trouble keeping up with them. On the other hand she could start and stop as she chose. She could pick up in midsentence without having to reread what she had written hours before.

Before the course began both Bonnie and Bill were strong atheists, but they were also aware of the deficiencies in psychoanalytic theory, especially personality theory. A cornerstone of personality theory is that a person is only responsible for what they do, not responsible for what they think. But Bonnie’s course said differently.

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. Do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you.

You have the two emotions love and fear. One you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing in different worlds emerge from their different sites. See the love of God in you and you will see it everywhere, because it is everywhere. With love in you, you have no need except to extend it.


Bonnie and Bill both realized that fear and love that the course talked about were the only two emotions that mattered. That if you could let go of fear then only love would remain. They both realize that the course was about undoing rather than doing. And they both wondered if psychotherapy can be the same way.

The Story of A Course In Miracles 5/16

Iambic pentameter


At the end of dictating the course Bonnie Weissberg has the dream in the cave.


What she would have said was don’t blame yourself.


And once found it would never be lost again.

No matter how unexpected.




Bader was impressed with Stepford, with the way he analyzed the situation as would an engineer. With the way that he could be appropriately dictatorial as a man in his position should be.

To Bill Stepford Bonnie Weissberg is the daughter that could have been.



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Dark, so dark in here, darker than the deeds which thoughts provoked, the deeds of a monster, the deeds that did this to me. Surely it must be the mind of a monster. And if it be the mind of a monster then a monster it must be, for what are we if not a mind? What then is a mind? Is it that thing we think we are, or does it hide us from that. On the surface it conducts our behavior “appropriately”, while down in the foul depths, far from human inspection, it runs amuck. Down there murderous, unmitigated rage mixes with desires, uncontrollable, and insatiable. Down there, in the pestilent places we never speak about, the brain secretes thoughts like bile from the liver. Yet the thoughts unlike the brain from which they drip are not mine, rather they pass through me. Me, what is it?


It is the answer to this question to which I have devoted my professional career. My reputation as a researcher is that of being as radical as rampageous. Fortunato on the other hand is considered to be as meticulous as he is pedestrian, mercilessly berating his graduate students with the necessity of meticulousness, whittling away at them, bringing them inexorably down to his level. For scientists without imagination what else remains but organization and orthodoxy, skills which could be acquired by a janitor. Where Fortunato spent his career building devices for dissecting brains, I spent mine discovering what a mind really is. What Fortunato and those of his ilk will never understand is that a brain cannot comprehend the mind. And I say the mind for as I have shown, there is only one. But before I present my data let me tell you something of how this came to be. As you will quickly see I’m unlike any other scientist. Whereas most scientists build walls to separate their personal lives from their scientific research, my life, my personality, myself is inexorably woven within the fabric of my research. For me there could have been no other way. To understand one you must understand the other, neither stands on its own.




I was a sickly single child, bed ridden until the age of nine I was unable to attend school. So, I was afforded the finest tutors which my able and financially generous parents could produce. After the hours attended by the tutors I did not tire, instead I spent many more studying by myself. That at such an early age I could concentrate for such long periods on end was considered remarkable. But it could have just as easily and more factually been termed a disorder. I say a disorder, but I should say symptom of a disorder. It’s not so much that I focused on my studies as it is that they distracted me from what I grew accustomed to at an early age, my loneliness. In my studies I attempted to fill the void of my absent parents. The disorder was unsuccessful in that purpose, but it did produce a finely honed scientific mind nonetheless. Fortunato should have been so lucky to have had such a disorder. But where my rational mind was impeccable and unconstrained by personal or institutional inhibitions, my emotional mind was as feeble and helpless as my body.


What else could it have been, raised as I was by attendants and servants? I sensed even then that my well-to-do parents were too preoccupied with their own lives to care about mine. It was not the case you understand, but it was my interpretation of the facts. As we shall see the error is always one of interpretation. Yet I was raised by the tutors and servants. The servants were dutifully attentive, but they were not parents. The difference cannot be precisely stated, or denied. But even then I knew that parents are with you because they love you unconditionally, where as servants are with you because they are paid.


Unable to play or associate with other children and separated long periods from my parents, I spent a solitary childhood alone with my mind and the dreams it made up, becoming socially awkward and an interpersonal misfit in the process. I took great delight in playing with a wooden gladiator set which I designed and constructed myself. I constructed miniatures of all the gladiator types, the Thracian, the retiarius, all of them. I played with them for hours on end, indeed it was the only non-sleeping diversion to my studies.


In fact my parents were concerned very concerned, not with the excess devotion to my studies, rather it was the excess solitude, indeed solitude seeking nature of my existence. So, they enrolled me when health permitted at age 10 into an advanced charter school. I disdained it intensely. Moreover I interpreted the maneuver by my parents as a direct attack on me. I could not understand at the time, that it was my parent’s poor parenting ability that was responsible not their desire to contradict my wishes. It was another error of interpretation.


My abilities far exceeded the school’s reputation and I was ostracized from the outset. I was harassed, verbally abused, physically beaten. That they should attack one so weak was incomprehensible to me. But again attacked is but my interpretation. None of us could understand at the time that what I interpreted as an attack was actually fear on their part.

Instead I sought solace in solitude. I would return home from school sequester myself in my closed room and study in the near dark. Only the light from the computer screen would spot the room. I continued in this manner for the remainder of the school year. Brick by brick I built a wall around myself. By the time I was 11 years old I was lonely, suspicious of others, and frightened. Despite my advanced intellect I had not a clue as to the spring from which these disturbed feelings flowed. Indeed I was scarcely aware that I had them at all. There was always a gnawing in my stomach what they call butterflies, day by day, hour by hour, constantly, there. I of course lacking a frame of reference didn’t realize that I was different in this regard. In fact it seemed to me that all was as it should be. So, when I ran away from home no one, least of all me understood. My parents love me didn’t they? They provided me a good home with the best of comforts. When they were there I wanted to be with them, when they were there.

If it was a ploy to gain their attention, then it worked, for they promised that we would spend the entire Christmas vacation together that year. Now I had been accustomed to broken promises, and ones he never intended to be kept. But this time I had cause to believe, this time I did believe that they were true. I so looked forward to those two weeks. It was as though those two weeks were the rest of my life and nothing beyond that mattered. There was nothing beyond them. In reality they never came at all.


I received the news by e-mail, that my parents private airplane had crashed killing all aboard. It was obviously an e-mail that was sent prematurely, but that is how I learned nonetheless. An e-mail, how contemptuous life can be that I the most impersonal of persons found that to be too impersonal. The sudden death of my parents was the greatest disaster that could befall me. Suddenness and shock swarmed over me as I was possessed with feelings that I had not been emotionally vocabulary to begin to understand. So, to bring familiarity back to my life I summoned my rational mind to do what it always did. Concentrate, I went into my dark room and studied by the faintest light of the computer screen. Again my powers of concentration I attribute not so much to devotion as to disorder. Until then I had known the love of my parents. Even in their absence I sensed that I possessed their total acceptance. I returned each night from a world in which I was scorned to their total acceptance. I had success in my studies along with failures to find any friends, but until that moment I had never known true deep heartbreak. My loving parents, the only ones who loved and accepted me were gone. Suddenly I was no one’s son. I would have aunts and uncles arriving soon to fend for me, but I would never again be a son.


It was this realization that crept into my rational mind and slowly strangled it after many hours, so that I could concentrate no more. I looked up and stared for a long time at the desktop, thoughtless. Indeed I have never spent so much time without holding a thought in my brain either before or since. Not a single thought, consider the significance of that if you will. Can any of you make a similar claim? Without the circumstances I could never have accomplished it. But in my deep anguish thoughtlessness came naturally. Indeed it was the only thing that could come. My only regret is that I could not hold it. Against my will feelings returned like a synonymy to my mind and flushed through my body in streams, as the snow fell in the darkness outside I wept until my sides hurt. I was 11 years old and it was far from the first time I had ever cried, but until then it was the hardest.


This emotional experience wasn’t simply new to me, it was incomprehensible. It was not something with which my rational mind could cope. My emotional vocabulary was totally incomplete. But there was something beyond the unfamiliar, beyond the sheer trauma, something which even now I cannot explain. It was something that I could not see nor experience even, but it was in the room with me, closing in on me. In an instant I went from the depths of despair, to being on alert. I dried my eyes on my sleeve and looked around my familiar room in 360°. But about it there was something definitely unfamiliar.

As usual the only light in the room was that of my desktop. Now the light from the computer screen though frail, could always illuminate the entire room, even the walls when it was the only source of light. But for some reason on this occasion it could not even illuminate the walls within. It was as if the light went out, but did not return. Such was the depth of the blackness of the cloud enveloping me.

And in that darkness from which light did not return was something I cannot trust my senses to explain as they occurred seemingly outside of space and time. Things outside of space and time can neither be perceived or experience, they can only be realized and that is what I did. Looking, observing, in a thoughtless state I began to notice an ever so subtle shift in perception. Before this moment I perceived reality for what I believe was there. But now I was becoming aware of what wasn’t there. Like Buonarroti who, “ saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” But there was no angel in the marble, there was only what was, being swallowed up by what wasn’t. This inverse reality I was wholly unequipped to deal with and I was beginning to panic.

I massaged my eyes and examined my room again, but I still could not see the walls. I knew very well where the door was and I focused my eyes in that direction, but I could not see it, it was just too dark. The light from the desktop emanated in a half circle of definite radius beyond which there once was a door and the rest of the world. But I could not see any light beyond the aforementioned radius, nor can I safely conclude that the rest of the universe was, “out there”. Now my burgeoning sense of panic exploded as I became acquainted with another previously unknown emotion, stark raving terror.

Now you will not suppose that because of my diminutive stature that I frightened easily and you would be wrong. I had been stoic in the face of bullying my entire life. But this was unknown, indeed I was unsure that anything really was the matter. I approached the rim of the darkness with my hands out in the manner of a man in a dark room looking for the lights. I extended my hands and lost them in the darkness to the elbows. Terror struck I withdrew my arms and threw myself back into the chair immediately. Now it was confirmed there was something very, very seriously the matter. Either it was with me or something outside of me. Of course there is nothing outside of me, but I did not know it yet. I resolved to bury myself again in my studies. I was sure that a few more hours studying and all would return to normal. Perhaps I was miss perceiving things. Perhaps I would study a few more hours and all would be right, perhaps even my parents would come home and my mother would walk through my bedroom door, breaking the seal of darkness that enveloped me within, revealing that all was well and this is but a terrible nightmare. But terror prevented me from turning my back to the darkness there. So, I held my computer screen in front of me and pointed it towards the door, but light did not reach to there. The light from the computer screen went no farther than it did when it was on the desk.


As I have said these sensations and my feelings regarding them I cannot explain. They are outside of space and time. But when the semicircle of light began to shrink I felt as would a scuba diver watching the jaws of a great white shark opening and coming toward him, trapped, as the shark came ever closer and challenged all that I had previously assumed to be true. Was reality here inside the semicircle of light, or out there in the darkness beyond? Perhaps the scuba diver would have similar such thoughts.


Can darkness really be carved out the light, I wondered. I would soon know the answer for the darkness was nipping at carpet at my toes. Then I heard a familiar voice calling my name. It wasn’t my mother and was my aunt who broke the darkness. She entered the room followed closely by my uncle. They came and threw her arms around me. My aunt and uncle were familiar and the familiarity allowed me to remember reality, my reality. My aunt and uncle stayed with me for nearly four years until I was ready to attend university.

I don’t know how my aunt’s voice broke my trance. Was I in a trance, were seeing, perceiving reality for what it was? Is this reality the trance? In this event did two things, one it set me upon my course of study in consciousness theory, and two and it gave me a knowledge that no other scientist in my field could have acquired unless they had the same experience. I realized that reality was not what it seemed to be. I could no sooner prove that assertion than I could prove that UFOs exist even after seeing one. But I would have confidence in their existence and that would make all the difference. Unlike my colleagues, I know that this world is an illusion and that has made all the difference.



Based on my preparatory education I entered university as a graduate student specializing in neurophysiology of the brain, although I had no interest whatever in the neurophysiology of the brain. I was interested solely in consciousness.

At the time consciousness theory was not a formal discipline. It was discussed only by physicians who were interested solely in its effects on the brain. They considered it as a byproduct of the brain. It requires a brain for consciousness, but few ever asked what consciousness is by itself. So, I chose to study neurophysiology of the brain because I thought it to be the closest discipline which could supply my answers while being, “academically acceptable. In the end however it was not academic acceptability I sought, rather scientific revolution. Fortunato was assigned to be my PhD advisor. I was aware from the moment we met that I was greatly his superior. Perhaps it was only an assumption which later proved to be true. In any event Fortunato was an extraordinarily ordinary scientist with a jaundiced eye for genius and I was a genius. It seemed a perfect match for me, for as I predicted he was unable to control me, leaving me the freedom to do as I please. And what pleased me to do was the same thing that I had always done even as I play with my miniature gladiators. I continued to ask the childhood questions that Fortunato had probably never asked. Why do we live, what happens when we die?

To say that I excelled in graduate school as I had in preparatory school is an understatement. I was by far the best student they had ever seen, and I knew it. By now you have heard this familiar refrain several times, that among my peers I had none. You will not suppose me boastful anymore than you would call me modest. My scientific mind demands accuracy only. I do not appreciate modesty anymore or any less than boastfulness, genuine or otherwise. Suffice it to say that when I did graduate I was the best of the best, you can ask anyone there and they will tell you. And it was there in graduate school that I first broke ground into consciousness theory. My dissertation is considered seminal and was the first in the field we now call consciousness theory. Indeed it is the first place consciousness is defined in the literature.


Before my dissertation consciousness was thought of as religion, outside the field of science, which I viewed more as a scientific blind spot. Only Alan Turing proposed more when he considered how to transfer the consciousness from an animate brain to an inanimate object such as a computer, if such a thing were possible then it would prove that consciousness does not depend upon a brain. On what then does it depend? The first step to understanding something is to define it.


Early researchers noticed that we are only conscious when the synapses of our brain are firing across the brain’s hemispheres. And that is how they define consciousness. Under this model consciousness is nothing more than a unity of all the separate active circuits across brain hemispheres at that moment. They accepted my premise that since all this synaptic firing is contained within the well defined neural network of the brain they conjectured that consciousness is confined to the organ as well. So, consciousness is a non-global phenomenon and dependent on time. Only certain kinds or patterns of information give rise to consciousness, but that’s all consciousness is.

Researcher Joseph E Ledoux stated the orthodoxy best.

Specifically he stated that:


“All subconscious behavior is the result of a vastly parallel distributed system in our brain. There is no specific center of consciousness, the appearance of a unity is, in fact, each of these separate circuits being enabled at one particular moment in time.



It was disquieting to some to realize that there is no core self, just as pixels on the screen can converge to make themselves a recognizable image so can the convergence of neural interaction become consciousness. That the self is something which can be turned on and off by brain activity just like flipping a light switch, was unacceptable. But this is not why I objected to it. Scientific truth not patronizing sensibilities is my only goal. Indeed this does seem to be a reasonable first approximation for lesser researchers. The reason that the conclusion is so believable is because it seems to be so utterly true. The earth after all does seem to be flat to an ant traversing its surface.

But by gradual degrees I began to doubt this conclusion. It is undeniable that consciousness is in the brain, but why is it confined there? Furthermore this is less than a definition, it is merely a description of what consciousness does. What I wanted was something that grabbed at the essence of what consciousness is. What is consciousness? I came to define and to understand it in successive iterations.

When I was still a young child I used to play a game which could be called, “what am I?” I would look at my foot and ask myself, am I a foot? If I cut off my foot however I am still me. So, I am not a foot. Then I would look at my hand and ask am I hand. Then arriving at the same conclusion we move on to other parts of my body. The object of the game was to whittle away at the things that I am not, to reveal that which I am. Like Buonarroti who, “ saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” But what was it that I set free? Whatever it was, it apparently had no size no shape no weight no physical characteristics detectable on the Newtonian scale. Therefore I said about to investigate on the quantum scale. To understand the consciousness on the quantum scale we must first dispense with a prerequisite, the seeming paradox of quantum entanglement.


To understand this seeming paradox one must solve another riddle, that of quantum entanglement. Let me say at the outset that this issue of quantum entanglement irritates me to no small degree. This seeming paradox has been around for nearly 100 years and I tire of it, it is not worthy of me. I sold it as a child merely by realizing it. I shall treat it as the child’s play it is and for all dispense with it immediately here. What will be revealed is not such an astonishing revelation on the nature of reality, rather on the degree to which humans are incapable of interpreting it, or interpreting it falsely, such as the sun orbiting the earth. Once this basic nature of reality is realized all correct theories no matter how seemingly fantastic fall into place.

The problem as I have said always is not of perception, but of interpretation. The colorblind observer can perceive color, but interpret only the shapes. Imagine then, for the purpose of this thought experiment, that a mass less particle is accelerated along the real line, from the origin in the positive direction. Since the particle is mass less there are no effects of inertia to overcome, and therefore we may accelerate it beyond the speed of light. Now ask yourself what happens to the position of the particle in the limit as the velocity approaches infinity. It’s obvious that as the velocity approaches infinity the position approaches everywhere in the infinite open ray.


Perhaps we could consider the same event on the unit interval. Imagine the particle is a mass less photon and that we have placed mirrors at zero and one. The particle Begins at zero goes to one is reflected back to zero and then reflected to one again. Is it clear that as the particles velocity approaches infinity the particles position approaches everywhere between zero and one? Of course it is.


Humans cannot perceive everywhere. When we look for the ever accelerating particle bouncing between the endpoints we can perceive only smaller and smaller sub intervals of the “blur” of the wave function. When at last we take a small enough sub interval to see the particle, we interpreted it as the particle. But alas it is just our faulty interpretation for the particle is still everywhere between zero and one.

Suppose we use a camera with an infinite shutter speed to take a picture of the particle. At a random time the camera takes a picture at a random point of the unit interval. In other words it collapses the wave function. In doing so information about the wave is lost, we can’t tell which way it’s moving for instance to the left or to the right. The camera takes the entire wave and interprets it as a separate particle, it is an error of interpretation, for the wave which is the “everywhere ness” of the particle remains. Indeed it is the particle which does not exist. For a particle must exist at a point and there is no point, there is only everywhere.


Let me explain another way. Suppose we use an intelligent camera to observe an infinite ruler representing the real line. Without focusing the camera can only observe the ruler as a blur, it cannot identify what numbers are on it, only that there seem to be some markings. Suppose now that the camera decides to observe entire ruler. In order to do this it must focus on a portion of the ruler i.e. collapse the wave function, to take the picture. Just like a human being in the example above the camera is incapable of observing the everywhere Ness of the infinite ruler, so it concludes from its observation that the ruler is just an interval. This is paradoxical to the camera because it knows that the ruler is infinite in both directions. So, the camera interprets events the only way it knows how to, concluding that there is an interval i.e. particle, infinite i.e. wave duality to the ruler. Of course there is no duality whatsoever the ruler is always infinite it is never just an interval.


What does this have to do with quantum entanglement? Let’s introduce another intelligent camera. Suppose that these cameras introduce a force at zero which moves the entire ruler one unit to the right. Suppose the other camera notices that as the interval from -1/2 to 1/2 moves toward one, the interval 3/2 to 5/2 moves toward three instantaneously. This would be amazing because it seemingly violates relativity in the sense that information is sent from one interval to another faster than the speed of light. Of course there is no violation of anything since what you are really observing is just the same interval. But the cameras interpret the infinite ruler as two separate finite intervals. This is the one-dimensional case.


In higher dimensions instead of an infinite ruler, we have a wave function, which we may move, spin any portion of and the entire wave moves as one. What appears to be the instantaneous reaction of one particle to the force applied to one at a distance is nothing more than observing the same particle at two different places. I say two different places but even the concept of space is not entirely correct as we shall see later.

What I was able to show theoretically is that quantum information related to consciousness inside the brain via quantum entanglement gets mixed up with quantum information related to consciousness outside the brain and exists everywhere. In so doing I set the Angel free and in that process I turned childhood question into a research question giving birth to the field we call today, consciousness theory.

My dissertation had made consciousness theory a respectable field and me somewhat of a hot scientific commodity, if such a thing is possible. Therefore, after graduating I had my choice universities at which to work at the age of just 21. Now the University of my choice was that from which I had recently graduated. Usually this is a problem since the hiring of one of its own is considered academically incestuous. But in my case the exception was made at once. Officially I was a professor of neurobiology, but in reality I would be the first consciousness theorists.

Fortunato of course was, despite his modest accomplishments, already a tenured professor. Given that I had outwitted him constantly when I was a graduate student, now that I was an associate professor I expected little trouble from him. It seems that to the very degree to which I had grown to be a feeble man in an attenuated frame, in matters of the intellect I had been overly compensated. And with so much success often come certain arrogance, and the accompanying jealousy. I do not defend this, I simply mention it as a matter of fact. Fortunato was not of my caliber. Indeed he was many rungs below others who were farther down the ladder.

My dissertation had made studies of consciousness respectable, and some researchers were doing studies of it, but I alone was developing a theory of consciousness.  I alone had the foresight to make conjectures and the ability to prove them. While I developed my consciousness theory Fortunato boldly demanded that I provide an experiment with which to verify theoretical results. Now if one’s theory is correct, then one need never perform an experiment. Indeed experiments are for those who do not trust their own theory, or were incapable of understanding the theory of another. Fortunato could no sooner understand my theory than he could develop one superior to it. He busied himself building machines for the multi-dimensional mapping of the brain, digital dissection, or electronic masturbation if you will. I find such things are boring and beneath me. I concentrated not on technological gimmicks, rather on theoretical substance. My theory was as advanced as the questions that it answered are basic. It centered among the most basic of questions, questions we all asked as a child until outgrowing them. What child (save possibly for Fortunato) has not asked himself, what am I? So, I designed an experiment by which to test the theory that experimentalists like Fortunato would accept.

The physicists know that on any scale information is ubiquitous throughout the universe. Even in the emptiest of empty space there is information. In the process I designed a device which would read the quantum information in the empty space in the neurons in the brain. Information right down to the smallest unit the Planck scale.

I did not mind designing the machine, but I did not want to build it. For this I felt it was suitable to downsource to Fortunato. But in addition to his seething jealousy of my talents he had previously sided with those “flat earth theorists” and this device was designed to prove my theory correct counter to his desires. This afforded me infinite distress; because even though I had designed it I could know better build it then I could repair a computer. For such things lesser minds could spend more time to become specialists. This was my dilemma, to lower myself to ask Fortunato to do the task which was beneath me. As I said it was arrogant, but not to a fault. I was sure of my results and the truth of my conjecture, I just needed this machine built to obtain the experimental results that others would believe. The issue was simply to convince Fortunato to do it. Furthermore despite my copious theoretical calculations since gaining acclaim for my PhD dissertation, I had failed until now to publish a paper. Publish or perish, even I was not above it. So, with the pressure on, as they say, I sought out Fortunato.

I surmised that Fortunato was as uncomfortable speaking to me as I to him, although for diametrically opposite reasons. So, I was surprised when he agreed to build it for me. I say surprised, but it was really something a little different, it was surprised with something more, something which I could not identify at the time. Indeed so diffuse was it that it’s light fell upon me only in hindsight. It was something like, or I should say like there was something wrong. Yes, I think that was it. I called a slight whiff of that which I could not recognize, but if I could my mind would have said to me, be cautious.

As promised Fortunato completed the device in time for me to select subjects and collect data. I still remember the day when I first saw it. Fortunato called me with exceeding alacrity and told me I could come to see it at my convenience. The device was worn over the head, it looked in every manner like one of the old virtual reality helmets. Fortunato was extremely deferential and excited as he explained the device to me. I got the feeling he was bragging not to show off, rather seeking my approval. I can’t say that I was impressed, but I was certainly relieved and thank him for his trouble. I had the helmet in my hand and the only thing remaining to do was to calibrate and synchronize the settings. Fortunato had graciously offered to find one of his graduate students and bring it to my office when he was done, but it being late on a Friday at afternoon I volunteered to let him calibrate it on me. “Oh no, oh no, not you,” he protested. “The graduate student, let it be calibrated on the graduate student, then I will bring it to your office or your mailbox personally.” “Nonsense I replied, I am right here and it’s past four o’clock.” “This is beneath you Harrison,” he shrilled. But I was strangely feeling guilty imagining that I had made him work late for several weeks and now that he seemed to have found his place I actually was beginning to feel bad for him. “Look, let’s just do it,” I said putting it on my head. “No, no, no”, I could hear him say as he physically removed the device from my head and took it from me. We moved it in such a way as to leave me a slight cut on my chin. This did enrage me initially, but following Fortunato’s grotesque apologies I was able to excuse the incident as a combination of my frail physique combined with his overzealousness to acquiesce to me. But there was something that bothered me very deeply which I can’t precisely put my finger on. There was a speck of my blood on his white lab coat, just a spec that’s all. But what was he doing there, my blood on his lab coat? It didn’t belong there did it? Strange that it should bother me so, yet it did, that something of mine was now his. I maintained my composure, but I reprimanded him, “Now this is getting ridiculous. You said you’re graduate student won’t be back for an hour and it will only take us 15 min. to do this. Now I insist that we do this immediately.” With that there was a long pause and Fortunato at last yielded.

Finally, I thought as a slipped the helmet over my head and reclined back in the leather chair. The calibration consisted of setting up an infinite feedback loop. I connected a video camera to the device goggles and videotaped myself videotaping myself. The entire procedure took barely a minute and was hardly worth all the fuss Fortunato made of it. I should have been irritated, but I was pleased to have the device at my disposal now, and thanked Fortunato for it. The next step was now to randomize some subjects and collect the data. But for purposes of completeness and fairness I should describe this device now. In short it was a machine which was inexorably being constructed by all of mankind ever since the idea was first proposed by Alan Turing hundreds of years ago, namely that of preserving the consciousness of an animate person within the confines of an inanimate structure. I cannot claim sole credit for design of the device since as has been mentioned, it has been underway for centuries. Progress escaped researchers until they capitulated in their efforts with electronic micro circuitry and began human synapses and nerve fiber. In desperation some researchers even cloned entire human brains. Indeed there were farms of such brains and a great scandal arose after they were discovered. Although all of the cells of these brains were alive none ever attain consciousness. But none of these brains were anymore conscious than a calculator. Why not? Obviously it requires more than a brain to acquire consciousness. Perhaps this explains why that to this day neither has there been a successful brain transplant nor has any artificial intelligence device ever gained consciousness. What is the nature of these failures? Is the brain a necessary, but not sufficient condition for consciousness?


Fortunato for his part contributed by succeeding in building the actual  device which as has been mentioned escaped his predecessors for hundreds of years a thousand even, if you go all the way back to Alan Turing who first proposed it.

This machine succeeds by collecting the quantum information inside of the subject’s brain, and holding onto it if you will. By other means we create a digital image of the quantum information surrounding the subject. Then we abstract the digital data into mathematical sets. When I showed that there was a mapping from one set on to the other in a one-to-one manner it proved that my theory was correct. There was an informational fingerprint outside of the brain of the information contained within it. Of course my theory was correct. The experiment was as my calculations predicted. Namely that consciousness left a residual informational footprint throughout all of space. This verified experimentally what I already knew and had stated, that, while consciousness was constantly changing as neurons turned on and off within the brain, it was not confined to there.




With that I had widened my acclaim, gained tenure, and bent my former nemesis Fortunato to my will. I have also unified two seemingly contradictory theories into one. I was a scientific sensation and should have been celebrating like a rock star, but I was deeply depressed and pondering suicide, again. Everything seemed so meaningless, again. I concluded that there is no objective standard to say what is meaningful or what isn’t, and this disturbed me greatly. What is the point, I thought? Life is too short to matter, in 100 years we’ll all be dead. Why not hasten the process and spare myself the anguish of the years in between. I was also still young, perhaps 25 or 26, but I had already lost hope and was not looking for it when quite unexpectedly it found me. For me hope came with striking blue eyes and strawberry red hair and answered to the name Amanda.


Amanda came to my office one drizzly day as I considered my above described predicament and it was as if someone suddenly turned on the sun. Until now my narrative has contained personal events but no romantic ones yet in that respect it remains entirely inclusive.


I had never given it much thought, my lack of female companionship that is. I had never thought my lack of companionship in general to be any kind of issue. Yet my overwhelming depression was clear evidence that I was in denial.  It’s not surprising that I am no Don Juan. I had been for all of my life a strict recluse, clumsy and awkward in manner of social situations. I had never spoken to a woman that I didn’t know let alone asked one out on a date. My only prior sexual experience was with another ugly misfit in high school who shared quantum mechanics with me. Mallory was only slightly overweight, but she had many more pimples on her but that she did even on her face. She must’ve been very desperate. I used to go to her home in the afternoons after school and before her parents returned from work. Before hand I wanted sex, afterwards I never wanted it again. Everything seemed so messy, the mingling of juices disgusted me. I’m sure that she was equally scarred, for we never spoke to each other again.

There was something more than clumsiness and play however I wasn’t aware of it at the time. It was cowardice, to expose myself to the risk of a heart break was unthinkable. On some level I was aware that such a thing would be impossible to recover from. So, the combination of fear and clumsiness conspired to keep me far from such things. Amanda hadn’t even completely entered the room and she changed all that.


It was the scent of an undeniably beautiful young woman that made me look up from my desk. And there was Amanda coming toward me, dressed with a long sleeved white blouse which was tucked neatly into a skirt, just tight enough to reveal the outline of the thighs of what must be a delicious young lap. She walked up to my desk and introduced herself and I replied with stunned silence.

She informed me that she was a graduate student in search of a major professor. Was it really time for me to have graduate students I mused. When I finally found my tongue I told her that I was still relatively new to the department and had never had a graduate student before. What I really meant was that I had no friends, that I didn’t like people and they didn’t like me, that she wouldn’t like me. And so I actually did my best to dissuade her. But I guess that I couldn’t resist leaving the door halfway open, telling her as she left, “If you are unable to find major professor please come see me and we will revisit the matter.” She left with such a bright smile that there was no need for lights in the room.


I could not stop thinking about her for the rest of the day. Nor did it occur to me that I had never thought of anyone or anything outside of my work for such a period of time. This was unusual, amazing even. But I had done everything in my power to dissuade her so; I shouldn’t be surprised that she didn’t return.


I was still absorbed in her as I walked past a motorcycle shop and another odd thought, and impulse really; I was going to buy a motorbike. Now this was ridiculous on the face of it. I had always criticized motorcycle riders as reckless even more so in the wet slippery environment of the University, where it rains more than 60% of the time. But I knew I could afford one so I walked in on two feet and rode out on a motorcycle.


I can’t say what it was that made me make such a drastic break with normality. Was it the strong influence of the site and sent of Amanda, was I suddenly at long last so weary of my dreary existence that I took action to alter it. I cannot say. But it was an interesting relationship that I was unknowingly about to undertake.


You see the motorcycle was physically the antithesis to me. Where I was weak and awkward the motorbike was powerful and sleek. I was afraid of the beast. It seemed that if I even looked at the throttle it would yank me uncontrollably down the street against my will. Finally I had met something that I had to adjust to rather than it to me, and that thing was a machine. But in surprisingly little time to adjust to it I did, becoming familiar with its sounds and feels. I learned to anticipate the turn and lean with the machine, feeling myself more and more at one with it, until we were not man and machine, but a single being, part man and part machine. Getting on and off the bike is much like going in between consciousness and unconsciousness. When I was riding it the singular man beast was alive and when I got off it that beast simply systems ceased to exist until I rode it again. I wondered if I could learn to adjust to the machine would it be possible to do the same with Amanda.


Amanda was now officially my graduate student. I was not supposed to have any romantic attraction to her nor did I exhibit any to the best of my knowledge. But I could hardly breathe and had heart palpations when she drew near. This was hardly objective. The only objective observation I could make was that her mathematics was weak, perhaps too weak to be a graduate student, my graduate student. This made no more of a difference to me than the policy precluding professors from being romantically involved with their students. The practice was as forbidden as it was universal. I cannot accurately describe what it was like to be with Amanda, to be near enough to touch her without touching her. Like the motorcycle Amanda aroused feelings and sensations unknown to me and to this day unexplainable. Unlike the motorcycle however I could not adjust to her, could not read her mannerisms. Was she being flirtatious or was it just my imagination, should I make my intentions known or keep my distance. Unlike anything else that I was accustomed to there was no reasoning it out. Nor did I have friends with whom to consult. I was as friendless as an adult as it was as a child. In fact I was the same friendless child. It was becoming painfully obvious that if I was going to know whether or not Amanda could be mine, then I would have to take a chance.


Yes I would have to take the chance one way or another. Thoughts of Amanda were taking up huge blocks of my day and I was accomplishing no science. Beyond that I simply couldn’t bear the torture any longer. And yet I was a coward. In fact it was she who was the aggressor. I suppose there was really no other way. I was as inadequate at romance as I was a genius as a scientist.


It all happened very simply. We were in the lab alone together when either by accident or on purpose she dropped a beaker. Now the laboratory floors are rubber so there was no danger of it breaking, but together we rushed to catch it before it hit. Instead it bounced with a mutter thud against the will rubber matting. She laughed a girlish little left that like everything else she did lit up the room. She was the only light in my life, but the only light I needed. We reached for the beaker together and for the first time I touched the softness that was her hands. I paused to look at them, they were small even with respect to my own and her fingers long and perfectly sculpted. I examined them enraptured and unexpectedly I felt her soft kiss on my cheek. That could easily have been the finest moment of my life. Then she stood up smiling and laughing replaced the beaker on the counter as if nothing had happened just as other graduate students arrived.


I will divulge my brief relationship with Amanda, or was it a lengthy one? I don’t know, I have trouble remembering now, but I shall divulge only as much as it is pertinent to the main discourse. Indeed I am incapable of divulging anymore it being of such a personal nature and I being such an impersonal one. But our relationship did go on, I’m just not sure anymore for how long.


I remember after that first kiss looking forward to a conference at one of the universities where the weather was warm. I had been so distracted by Amanda that I hadn’t even a new paper to present; fortunately for me I was able to conjure up something on the spot that was more than adequate. I imagined that after the conference Amanda and I could spend the week there, going to the beach in the day and making love in our room at night. I had never had good sex before, they say there is no other kind, but I can attest otherwise. So, as I straddled my motorcycle for the ride south to the beaches warm weather and Amanda, the only thing is high as my spirits was my expectations. Amazingly I was not to be disappointed.


I have no idea what talk I gave at the seminar, but I will never forget Amanda’s loving blue eyes in the first row and her face flushing with approval of me. There she was, beautiful Amanda waiting for me. We had planned not to commence our interlude until the seminar had finished, but that night after my talk there was no waiting. I sent a message to Amanda feigning some work for her to do. But when she arrived in my suite she didn’t leave it until the morning. My first lovemaking must have been a bit awkward to her; I’m sure I was jerky and rushed things a bit. But she, her body felt exquisite. As I sank my loins between her thighs I wanted to stop time. I never did fall asleep that night, instead just watched her sleeping in disbelief of the beauty lying in my bed.


On the following day, the last day of the seminar, I was not scheduled to speak, so I took Amanda to the beach. As I massage oil into her silky pure skin I realized that not only had I not ever been this happy, that I had never until this moment been happy. I spent at least 15 min. caressing her stomach between her belly button to her bikini bottoms, then a little lower. All I could think about was getting her back to the room to make love with her again. But amazingly we were the only ones on the beach. A city beach on a sunny day, it should be crowded I thought, but except for us there was no one. I did not ponder the issue for long, but wondered with anticipation whether she would accept me inside her right here. She was instantly terrified, and pushed on my hips with her soft hands, but after her cursory inspection of the beach her expression turned to that of the shy schoolgirl that she was. Her hands slipped my swimsuit below my waist and rested on my lower back rather than pulled as I slid inside her. There it was again, the exquisite feel to her body that I could never have imagined on my own. But this time with each push I wanted to get closer to her, to get not just inside her, to be one with her. I can’t be any more specific than that. I’m sure it has something to do with the dissolution of ego boundaries, but the only way I can describe what I wanted is to say I wanted to be one with her. In fact I think I achieved it for however fleeting of a second it was that we orgasm together there on what should have been a crowded beach on a sunny day.

I rolled to my side and we were still huffing and puffing. I could see our sweat mingling there on her breasts in my sweat pooled in her flat naval and I imagined our juices were inside her.  I was getting really carried away now the remainder of the week must have continued in much the same way. I say it, “must have,” because I really can’t remember. From then on our lives mingle as our juices had on that day, I kept in my apartment, but spent all my free time with her the dorm at the University. I don’t know if colleagues and students were aware of our relationship nor did I care. All I knew was that, if this is love then how is it possible I have lived this many years without it.

I was shaving one and the hot water steamed up her mirror. I could not resist writing with my finger: I am you, in the fog, in doing so I managed to cut myself. It was just a minor cut just like the one Fortunato had inflicted upon me. Such a minor cut but hardly worth mentioning, but it did return the thought to me that I had when I saw my blood on his lab coat, that something that was months once mine was now his. I dismissed the thought immediately, but when I looked back at the mirror, what I had written there had faded away.


There are many things about Amanda that I cannot remember clearly. Her purity and her beauty are not among them, but I can’t remember for how long we were in love or even knew each other. It seems to me by the strength of my attachment to her that it was a long time. But it may not have been. We only have our memories to be sure of what has happened to us and I have scantly few remaining. I think it must have been some time, or was it a short time after that, I am not sure, but things changed.

I was still a stranger to love, unaware that this feeling of love that she had made me discover was capable of changing. I was unaware that there was duality to it, that the blade cut both ways. I began to feel the sting of that duality when I saw her one day walking out of Fortunato’s office, smiling and laughing. Not just smiling and laughing, but in that giggle-ish schoolgirl way that was reserved for me. But I’m sure it was much more to do with Fortunato than Amanda.

That’s all it was, just her coming from his office. Fortunato that treacherous wretch my mind said aloud. When Amanda came into my office I asked her immediately what the meaning of being in his office was. It was nothing she replied innocently, and sweetly. But I suspected more, and admonished her not to go in there again. “You are either his graduate student or mine, not both of ours.” She seemed genuinely perplexed and I thought that I had been too harsh. I think that was the end of the matter. No, no, wait, there was more, and there must have been more. I can’t recall if it was the same incident or if I caught her once again in his office. But those sweet loving feelings I held for her just seconds ago were banished completely, replaced by hateful ones. What was once completely beautiful was now completely ugly, without gradation without warning. I couldn’t remember anything like it since I was an infant. Once as my mother was feeding me for some unknown reason she put me down. At that moment I remember clearly the rage and hate I felt for her. My sainted mother yet I remember that rage and hatred clearly and it lasted until she picked me up and help me to her breast again. Then as instantaneously she was my sweet loving mother and all was well again. Is this what love is like, then I want none of it. Ha, I want none of it but I want to chase Amanda out of my office and beg her to come back. Whatever I said sent her away and I felt such misery I cannot explain. I vacillated violently between keeping my pride in standing firm and chasing her down and begged her to forgive me.

I was totally new to this storm, to my heart pounding, to being completely vulnerable. My body had been weak and crippled, but my mind was keen and my heart always in my grasp. Now it was controlled by another. So, I sank into my office chair to try to do what the entire human race has tried and failed at one time or another, to make sense of love.

I say I set out to try to make sense of love, but I wondered out to somewhere else. I relived everything, all of my experiences with Amanda as best as I could. Remembering every physical detail, every sound every scent. I did not make sense of love, but I settled upon an inescapable and unsettling conclusion. The conclusion was that I had never really touched Amanda. Oh sure, my body had touched her body many times. I have described her soft skin, her beautiful eyes, and her luscious loins. But all that I experienced of her I experience within the well defined perimeter of my brain.

When I say that I saw her, what do I really mean?  What I mean of course is that the light reflected from her body into my eye and it was focused at a spot on the back of my brain. That is where I experienced her. So, I perceived to her as “out there,” but I experience her “in here.” But none of that mattered, for when the department secretary notified me that Amanda was no longer my graduate student I could not have restrained myself for a second.

It was drizzling and cold as I straddled my bike, to go to her apartment and begged her to, “remain as my graduate student.” I did not consider what would happen if she refused. The suspense alone was killing me. It did not, but a car nearly did.


End Amanda



I still don’t know how this happened, but I had just gotten on my bike when a car, impossible he jumped off of its maglev track and crashed into the car parked in front of me, which pinned me and my bike to the car parked behind me. The pain was as excruciating as a shock. The whole incident seemed to materialize on top of me. Where did this car come from, how did it jump off its track and how was I taken so unaware? Now my leg was pinned between the two vehicles above the left knee and I could think of nothing, nothing not even Amanda I could think of nothing save the pain until I went unconscious.


Although it was Amanda’s face that I lost consciousness to, Fortunato’s was the first I saw upon regaining consciousness. At the same instant that I gained consciousness and saw Fortunato’s face I felt agonizing pain in my leg, pain so bad that I checked to see if my left leg had not been amputated above the knee. I felt there with my hand, then I crossed my feet and feeling my left foot with my right was assured that all of my leg was still there. But for the pain I almost wished it wasn’t. When I could finally look, all I could see was an ugly mangled mess that had once been my leg. So, it was a long time before I looked at it again.


I languished in the hospital for many weeks, in and out of consciousness, but constantly in pain. Amanda was never there, I had no friends or family my only relations were with colleagues and not one of them save for Fortunato came to visit. Fortunato astonishingly was my constant companion during this time. Indeed becoming of my cheerleader and good spirits coach all through the agonizing rehabilitation process. I can’t begin to explain the intensity of that pain. It was unnaturally intense it seems. It was worse than the initial injury itself which I had thought impossible.


But eventually and again I am confused as to the length of time, but eventually my leg did heal to the point that I could at least walk. By that time I had come to consider Fortunato as my friend and it was he drove me home from the hospital. He offered to stay with me in my apartment, but the dark confines of that place were, especially in my post Amanda life, mine alone. So, I bade him goodbye at the curb, and went in there alone, to be alone.

I did not wish to be alone, I wished to be alone with Amanda. But she seemingly vanished without a trace, I was unable to contact her or find any information about her, indeed it was as if she never existed at all.


I was still less than 30 years old I think, and I suppose it was as good a time as any for my first midlife crisis. My leg had been crushed, my girlfriend gone, and I had contributed nothing to the literature since, before the accident and I don’t know how long that is. Although my leg hurt badly, it was a pain with which I can deal and I could at least still walk. As for my career I could not have cared less if I never had another thought about consciousness theory or ever published again. But Amanda, well missing her hurt just like my leg at its worst. But unlike my leg it wasn’t getting any better with time. This was perplexing indeed for in matters of the heart time is like distance. The further away you are the less devastating the effects of the blast. Yet what did I know of matters of the heart? All I knew for certain was that I wasn’t getting any better, nor was I hopeful that I would improve. Seeing no other way out I resolved to end my misery on the spot. How was I going to accomplish it? The answer was immediately obvious, there were many methods available to me in my laboratory. So, I rushed as fast as I could with my dangling injured leg dragging behind to my lab, considering as I went what I was about to do. By the time I arrived at the lab I was more resolved than ever to do it, but when I opened the door and went in I could see the spot on the workbench where Amanda and I first kissed. There on the floor was the rubber mat where the beaker fell and we both rushed to get it. A sudden sense of loss such as I have never known crashed over me like a tsunami , I felt my heart ripped from my chest and got shortness of breath. And I thought I was going to die on the spot and be spared the trouble of killing myself. But in the end all I did was fall to the mat and cry. I was more resolved than ever to end myself in my misery immediately and was set to do it appropriately on the spot. But then something happened, a subtle shift in perspective I suppose, but I saw myself. It was a clear and vivid, not an outer body experience, but perfect forgetting of my body. Then I asked the strangest of questions, who is looking at me?

It was a question as simple as it was curious. In the seeing of myself, am I the subject or the object , or both? I have been asking the question who am I for my entire life, but I never thought about it as I did that one time. I had never seen the self-referential error of my reasoning until that moment. What a strange moment to have a breakthrough. It was however I have no doubt the only thing that stayed my hand. Then I reconsidered my relationship with Amanda, how I would get her back. It was the answer to that question which would bring her back to me. For it had not been with my heart, nor certainly my masculine good looks, that had brought Amanda to me in the first place. No, I had won her with my rational mind and it was with that that I should win her back. So, it was to mend my broken heart that I resolved to do my greatest work.


My previous work concentrated on the space inside the brain, to the quantum mechanical forces within the neuron itself. It’s conclusion was that, I am my thoughts and they are temporary. Yet my experiences with Amanda made me doubt this. I am my thoughts, but there was a second when I was her thoughts as well. Indeed there were moments, just nanoseconds when I imagined we were one. After all, I had written it in the steam on the mirror, I am you. So, the idea that I change the, “I that I am,” whenever I change my thoughts seemed scientifically unintuitive. Also a calculator or circuit board has electrical firing across the circuits but it is not conscious. But what’s the difference?

I pondered these questions often, alone in my dank apartment, alone in my office, alone walking in the rain. When night as it drizzled drearily outside, I wrote down the words, who am I, I strip of paper and manipulated it between my fingers. I turned it upside down, folded it and twisted it into a Mobius band, without tearing the strip of course. In doing so I observed the words which represent the single thought, who am I? Then I had another subtle shift in perception. I realized that I had always asked the question, who am I like ant on the paper scribbling down the words which represent the thought.  I had always been the one asking and the one being asked about, but I had not realized it. But now I perceived that I was simply the observer of the thought which I observed from the outside the piece of paper on which it was written. I was afforded a higher perspective, from above the battle field if you will. Now I was the observer who was neither the subject nor the object of being. My subtle shift had given me an entirely new direction in which to search for consciousness.


In 1913 Bertrand Russell posed the following question. If a barber in a town shaves all men who do not shave themselves, who shapes the barber? The paradox is obvious, if the barber shaves himself then he does not shave himself because he shaves only those men who do not. If he does not shave himself he must shave himself by definition. To remedy the paradox you must remove the barber from the set, i.e. the town. Let us add an additional requirement to the above question. Suppose the barber is the only man in the town. You can see the impossibility of the situation immediately. So it is with the question, who am I?  Am I the one asking the question, or am I the one who the question is being asked about? You see with consciousness you must remove yourself from the set, i.e. the body, because until you do your frame of reference is self-referential. But how do you remove yourself?

We turn to Kirk Godel’s incompleteness theorem, which proves that there are systems and theorems within them which are true but cannot be proven within the system. They can be proven only by going outside the system. Thomas Hora proved that reality is such a system. Reality cannot be experienced it can only be realized. Since consciousness is a subset of reality then it too can only be realized. Reality can only be realized and by realizing it one goes outside of the system, i.e. the body. From that point on I stopped looking for consciousness in the neurons for I realized that only thoughts drip from the brain, but that there was no consciousness to be found down there. I am not the one asking nor the one being asked about, rather I am the observer who is neither. I am the observer and I do not reside within the body.

Now that I had a working hypothesis, I was still very far removed from a proof. What I realized is that what I had thought was consciousness was just a representation of the world via our senses in the brain. If there is an external reality to consciousness, then all that perceived reality may be an illusion. I stumbled off looking for a direction and fell upon meditation. I not only meditated, but I studied meditation. John Dunne showed that consciousness itself is only momentary. It is a sequence or quanta if you will, of moments of consciousness, with each quanta lasting less than 1/64 of a second. A very advanced meditator is capable of detecting the switch from quanta to quanta. I conjecture that it may continue right down to the plank scale.

Is consciousness quantized or continuous? It seems to me that it didn’t matter. I thought the answer would come out in the wash so to speak if I could just show that consciousness was not confined to the body.

I would build upon the work of Italian astrophysicist Paloa Zizzi, who calculated that the universe itself may have had a conscious moment within nanoseconds of the Big Bang. I found this Big WOW theory an attractive proposition because I had already shown that consciousness was ubiquitous throughout the universe. What I wanted to do now was prove that the universe itself was conscious and that the observer of each of us is part of the universe at large and remains so even when our individual bodies are gone. This would certainly prove that the observer was not the body.

As I progressed Fortunato was constantly at my side, pestering me for clues as to my progress and with some of his own ridiculous proposals as well. I say ridiculous not because they are provably false, recall Godel , rather there is just no reason what so ever to assume that they are true. The most prevalent one comes from none other than Descartes who theorized in the 16th century that, “We could be all nothing more than brains in a vat, manipulated by an evil genius. I conceded to Fortunato that this could be an in fact the case, but barring any evidence that it was the case, I implored him to leave me in peace so that I could progress on my work. But right until the end Fortunato would not relent. He would call or e-mail every, on odd days he would quiz me about my progress, I need even days he would aggressively engage me in debate about the, brains in a vat scenario. I’m afraid I lost my temper with him on more than one occasion. I feel sorry about it now, but he was so persistent, that I felt I should never get any work done otherwise.

Eventually I did get my work done. I did not exactly discover what the observer is, but by proving that the brain is just an organ through which consciousness is detected, the same way the eyes are organs which detect light, I made my great scientific contribution. It was my greatest paper to date and I won much acclaim and many academic prizes for it. I also won another prize, a prize not described by the usual metrics of academia or science, Amanda.

I noticed that Amanda was among the invited guests where I was to give a presentation. She had received her PhD in consciousness theory and I was certain she was attending as much to be with me as to hear the presentation of my work.


As we have discussed I am an arrogant man. But prior to this presentation I was not so sure of myself. Of course the science was beyond reproach, but I kept rehearsing and re-rehearsing my presentation to make it better than perfect, better to impress her with. I remember listening nervously as I was introduced to people who already knew me or of me, wondering as I rose and limped to the podium to speak whether I would be in her eyes a failure or triumphant. But I could never have believed what happened when I finally delivered my speech.


The first thing I did at the podium was search for Amanda. Her beautiful blue eyes stood out even in all those faces but I could not tell if they even gazed upon me, I could not tell if she was impressed with me at all. But as I got into my presentation I began to relax, I even forgot about the constant pain in my knee. I wasn’t even looking for Amanda, but she seemed to have turned her blue eyes on like a flashlight aimed straight at me. I looked at her and each time those eyes were upon me in a way which I imagined could only say, come hither. I was so delighted that I nearly skipped from one end of the whiteboard to the other. I could hardly wait to mingle afterward, mingle my colleagues immediately after and caress Amanda later.


But there in the middle of my presentation just as I removed my eyes from hers for the umpteenth time I noticed something that I had not seen since the night my parents died. Something in the room above the audience, something dark beyond dark, but that cannot be explained, something growing and coming toward me. I was as terrified as I was confused, for no one else seemed to perceive it but me. What they could not perceive I could not ignore, you are about to fall in, my mind screamed. The self talk bounced from denial to acceptance of what I thought I saw, and reverberated violently in my mind. The last thing I looked for before the darkness engulfed me was Amanda, but she was not there. I put my arms over my head and fell down.


I have a strange sense that much more when time, but that’s all that I can remember. I say that I had a strange sense, but in reality I think it’s more correct to say that I just felt strange. The next memory I have is sitting alone at my desk with just the dim light coming from outside to illuminate my office. The screen on my desktop was black and I could see in its pale reflection the site of a very old man. How old am I, I thought. I had the strangest thought then that I would find someone and ask. That’s when I noticed that it must’ve been very late because there was no one else there. There was no one in the office suite. I looked outside of my office window, no one. No one at all on campus, that’s strange I thought, getting up to investigate. But as I rose to my feet I did so slowly in great pain, the kind of pain an old man would feel. I began to wonder if I was dreaming. I determined to go outside and find someone, a student, a police officer, anyone.

My knee was throbbing and I noticed as I passed a mirror the shriveled skin and stark white hair that was now mine. How do they age so abruptly? How old am I? Did I have some strange neurological affliction, like anterograde amnesia that prevented me from remembering daily events, for more than a couple of minutes? Then a new thought came to mind, that my old enemy the darkness had come and this time taken me. That now I was alone in some dark alternate universe at the bottom of the black hole. But how could I have imagined that what was happening to me was much, much worse than any of that?

I walked outside and it was with some pain that I descended the steps of the building to my office. The trees and grass were green, but as I have said there was no one, no one in the other buildings no cars, no airplanes in the sky. There were street lights and lights in other buildings, but none of their light fell upon me. Strangely though there was a dim light dedicated solely to me. It was as if I walked around inside and out with a spotlight shining din around me. I walked over to a bench and sat down to consider my predicament.

Although I was alone, I appeared to be in the familiar surroundings of the University. Very well I thought classes will commence in the morning and surely people will be around. Then I can find someone, hopefully someone I knew and inquire as to what was going on. Then it occurred to me that perhaps there was no time in this new universe. According to my watch it was 3 AM. I waited until it read 3:01 AM to see if time passed. Then I spit in the grass just to be certain that it did. Once I verified that time passed I resolved to stubbornly wait for sunrise to bring if not people, then at least daylight.

But when 8:30 AM came neither without the sun, nor of another person I gave up. So, where am I now, what am I now? I went to my lab. Walking indoors I noticed that the corridors were lit where I walked, but not in front or behind me, or around the corners. I began to fancy again that I was in this alternate dark universe of my lifelong nightmares, again if only I could have been so lucky. Then I heard the sound of a single drop of water hitting the floor, amplified. The sound repeated at regular intervals fading off in a certain direction which I could not help following.

I was tired when I got to the lab. The exertion was much for the old man that I suddenly become. My body had not changed so much since my motorcycle accident. I wasn’t afraid yet, my inquisitive mind was still more curious than cowed.

What I noticed immediately was that the lab looks different. It hasn’t looked this way and at least a decade. It looked exactly the same as it did that day Fortunato and I calibrated my consciousness mapping device. In fact there it was, on the lab bench. Odd, I haven’t seen that in years. I reached for it with my aged and decrepit hands. I ran my fingers along the inner rim, there was blood where it fit over the chin. My blood I thought for some reason. Then I looked down on the floor and there was a pool of blood. The blood gushed out from some unknown source deep beneath the floor. Staggering back against the workbench I noticed that the light was now coming from the back corner of the laboratory. I went to investigate unconsciously taking the device with me. I went slowly, there seemed to be much in the way, forcing me to navigate around desks, boxes of beakers and such, and other such light equipment. The lab seemed to be much larger than it ever had before, but there at its farthest recesses in a tank about 4 m³ illuminated by a light from I know not where was a brain and spinal cord. Curious, I wonder, who left this here, was all that I could think. Then I glanced down at the device in my hands I had almost forgotten it. It was still dripping blood, my blood. Presently I placed it on. Playing was an old, old digital recording. It was of me the day Fortunato and I first calibrated it and that’s odd. It looks different than I remember. I can see myself placing the device over my head. I remember that Fortunato and I quarreled over who would calibrate it. I remember that he had pulled it off me quite forcefully at some point cutting my chin. But this is not what was being shown me at all. Ah, but I am still smart and have already put it together. I need to watch it no further to know it all, but how can I watch it no further. I see Fortunato not removing the device from my head, but punching me in the chin instead. I was knocked unconscious and have never regained it since.


I was so physically weak and feeble that even Fortunato could overpower me and overpower me he did. It seems unnatural that one such as I could be out done by likes of Fortunato. But it appears to be so, that a slave in intellect be the master of treachery. For I realize that the brain that I look upon is me and that for all these many years it has been. There was no Amanda, there was no motorcycle wreck, no conference, no nothing since the afternoon that long ago when seemingly nothing happened. I see that all of my experiences given me by Fortunato. But he could not resist before he died revealing his treachery, his superiority to me. It is an infinite loop that I am in. How long between one and the next one, why do I ask? How do I get out? I don’t know, I know only that the loop is to begin again. I see all so clearly now and it is dark, so dark.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%   End Harry’s Log %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Conciousness is all there is in the universe. information in the brain gets mixed up with information outside the brain. when the body dies, the information or conscioness that was in the body is preserved outside of the body.

The spirit, not the body is the altar of truth.

Trials are lessons that you failed to learn presented once again. All distress and any difficulty is but a chance to choose again.


I because of my superior capabilities, or perhaps only for my life experiences, for I must be factual and include this possibility, am able to take the view from above. I can see the forest without being blinded by the trees.







everything dies, where I wrote in the frost I am you





information comes in bits, discrete can not bedestroyed. when you erase files from the computer they are not destroyed rather are transferred to another environment.

The position and velocity of molecules in space is information. The information is inaccessible because it’s stored with too many degrees of freedom, information that is hitting are inaccessible is called entropy.




You must not do you must undo.


the thing that you are is without form.


Should we erase painful memories?





Reincarnation is just atomic recycling. For example, if one particle, such as an electron, is switching from one quantum state to another, it may be the same as if a bit is changed from one value (0, say) to the other (1). A single bit suffices to describe a single quantum switch of a given particle. As the universe appears to be composed of elementary particles whose behavior can be completely described by the quantum switches they undergo, that implies that the universe as a whole can be described by bits. Every state is information, and every change of state is a change in information (requiring the manipulation of one or more bits).


Our judgments color the way we see. We cannot know truth through judgment. Willingness to let go of judgment reveals our habitual ways of thinking, so we can choose to let go of that thinking and see through a purified mind. That allows us to see purely.



Desperate, so desperate to save that which will remain of me. But what is the point for tomorrow I die why should it matter tonight what shall become of the memory of me?