“Dave: What do you think it’s like, Father?
Father Shellnut: What’s what like?
Dave: Being crazy, mentally ill.
Father Shellnut: Well, they never know they’re ill, do they? I mean, you can’t diagnose yourself with the same organ that has the disease, just like you can’t see your own eyeball. I suppose you just feel regular, and the rest of the world seems to go crazy around you.”
I woke up with a thought – What if all your life, the sum total of all your experiences, the good, the bad, the suffering and joys, the path you’ve taken, was all just for one moment.
But that moment was not about you, it was for the benefit of someone else.
You were supposed to be in a certain mood, with a certain mind set, an attitude, on a particular day, at a point in time, so that you could say or do something which would impact another person.
Perhaps that other person was not the end destination, but a link in a chain just like you. Your impact on them would lead them to be in a certain mood, with a certain mind set, an attitude, on a particular day, at a point in time, so that they could say or do something which would impact another person.
And at the end of this chain would be someone who would do something monumental for mankind in some way – either good or bad or whatever – such as invent the wheel or spread a virus or make the first batch of ice cream.
What if there was no other purpose for everything which has happened to you than this one moment. And once the moment has passed and you’ve done your bit, that’s it. You keep living but your life is now completely pointless.
This was an odd thought to have in as much as it did not seem to have anything to do with the dream I had been having before I woke up. Thinking that life, at least my own, is utterly pointless is fairly typical for me.
“John: You don’t choose the Soy Sauce; the Soy Sauce chooses you!”
The dream was an exceedingly complicated series of sketches depicting a journey from A to B. Some of the scenes were scraps of old dreams rehashed. The only one which stood out, and may have prompted the thought…
I was standing with a group of about five people. I did not know them as I had only just arrived in this place. They were chatting about something which seemed important to them. I was slightly detached from the conversation as I turned up in the middle of it and I wasn’t really a part of the group. I was just there.
Then one of the group turned to me, touched me on the shoulder and asked – What’s your tissue?
The way the question was asked made it sound like one of those – getting to know you – formulaic queries which people use to figure out your social status – superior, inferior, on a par – and whether you’re useful to know or need to be rejected as inappropriate.
In real life, unless there is a good reason for me to be conventional, I prefer to handle answering these social queries unconventionally to see how people react to my answer. They may be trying to determine if I’m suitable to know, but I’m not interested in being considered suitable to know. I am not being subversive for the sake of being subversive, I am trying to determine something of my own.
Now in the dream I knew this was one of those questions, but since I had never heard it before and didn’t know anything about this society, I had no idea what answer was conventional and what would be unconventional. I could have asked them to explain the question and give me some optional answers, but I decided to wing it.
Since the person who asked me this question had touched my shoulder, which was bare, in a way which suggested that they were trying to figure out of what it was made, I replied – skin.
The answer, which I thought made sense, affected the group as though I had swung my arm around and managed to slap them all in the face with one movement (which would have been fun and I wish I had done it… it was a dream after all).
They exchanged meaningful glances. Then like droplets of mercury they split apart, scurried away, and rejoined elsewhere, reforming their group without me in or near it.
I wanted to find out why – skin – as an answer to – what’s your tissue? – had affected them in the way that it had. They seemed to be made of skin too. But the dream moved on, dissolved, and I woke up.
Now usually I would have mulled over this tissue issue on waking up, but instead thoughts of that incident were rapidly replaced by – what if my entire life was lived for just one moment, one which was for the benefit of someone else, and that is all that it is for?
And have I had my moment or am I still building up to it?
The thing about this kind of moment is that it may pass by unnoticed, seemingly ordinary, and you’ll never know…
“Dave: Someday you will face that moment. And at that moment you will face either complete nonexistence, or you will face something even stranger.”
But none of this is the riddle referred to in the pic which goes with this post… that riddle is here.
*all quotes from – John Dies at the End (2012) – the film I watched before I had the dream.