DAD (LAUGHING WITH DISBELIEF): “Yeah, we’re catching them all.”
PHIL: “I just wish Cassy, I could be certain about SOMETHING. For crying out loud, is there nothing in this fucking universe one can be absolutely sure about? Why am I obsessed with absolute truth when there is none that can be relied upon?”
CASSANDRA (Sighing): “THIS again? When are you going to figure this out? I’ve been waiting for you to get this on your own, and you keep whining like a baby. So … fuck it … I’m fixing this right now.”
Cassandra got up and poured her and Phil a glass of wine. She sat down at the table they shared.
CASSANDRA: “Have you ever been certain about something? REALLY certain? Dead certain. Cock sure. Fucking CERTAIN only to find out later you were WRONG?”
CASSANDRA: “Okay. Do you remember how it FELT to be that certain and then find out you were wrong? Do you remember the arrogance it gave you. The stability it provided?”
CASSANDRA: “How did that feel?”
PHIL: “Great. Powerful. Awesome.”
CASSANDRA: “I know right? Thats why we want certainly so badly. Now, do you remember a time when you were certain about something, and you were right?”
CASSANDRA: “Did it feel just like it did when you were wrong and certain?”
PHIL (LAUGHING): “Yup.”
CASSANDRA: “So the certainty you felt while right felt EXACTLY like the certainty you feel while wrong. So, dipshit, why not just choose to create the powerful and liberating feeling of certainty any time YOU want without an object or idea to be right or wrong about?”
Cassandra put a glass on the table. She looked him in the eye from the side to convey that he needed to pay attention.
CASSANDRA: “Is this wine glass right now placed on a table?”
CASSANDRA: “Feel that certainty. KNOW that you see a glass on the table regardless if it is actually there, even IF this universe is a simulation, or if this is a dream. It doesn’t matter, regardless, it SEEMS there for this setting, right?”
PHIL: “Okay. Got it.”
CASSANDRA: “How sure can you FEEL about it?”
CASSANDRA: “Can you amplify it to full blown arrogance?”
CASSANDRA: “Can you manufacture that feeling of certainty and just FEEL it without attaching it to the glass? Try it.”
PHIL: “Okay … ”
Phil sat still and started smiling.
PHIL: “Ha! Yes I can. I can feel arrogantly certain just because I want to feel arrogantly certain!”
CASSANDRA: “You have the secret to Cassandra-level smugness Phil.”
PHIL (LAUGHING): THAT IS AWESOME!”
Cassandra sipped her wine.
CASSANDRA: “It’s the secret to Cassandra magic. Don’t fake it till you make it. Just make it till it’s not fake anymore. And then train it into your default reaction and mood.”
Cassandra looked at Phil with a certainty that cut through him like a laser. Phil was visibly uncomfortable and drank his wine nervously.
CASSANDRA: “Certainly … JUST certainty … No words. No object. No ideas. No right. No wrong. Just. Certainty.”
She took another sip.
CASSANDRA: “Work on it.”
He bumped into her. She turned and looked at him – her green eyes greening.
“Uh-oh” he said.
“Shit,” she said.
“I’m afraid so,” she quipped. “It seems that in the countless multi-verses out there, that the potential for us to appear just like this has occurred.”
“Wait, we may still get out of it.”
“If we have an inconsistency between us concerning what we both think this actually is. If there is one inconsistency in this ritual, then the story doesn’t go on in this universe unless we share each other’s mythology exactly.”
“And that means that this is just one of an infinitude of universes where we do NOT live out this mythos,” said Cassandra.
“Right. Kay. My name is Cassandra, you?”
“Check. Our names work. Show me your watch.”
Phil showed her an American World War Two Wrist watch: an A-11.
“That’s the watch,” she said.
“Show me the Tat,” said Phil.
She turned her back and said, “Pull down the neck of my sweater to the middle of my shoulder blades.”
Phil pulled down her sweater looked at the tat on her spine above her heart. It was an X with a circle around it.
“Yup, that’s it, he said. “So are you STILL GAY in this manifestation?”
“GOD DAMN IT!”
“I’m only yours in your dreams Phil. Always.”
“I swear the multi-verse hates me. One last thing,” said Phil holding up his palm vertically.
Cassandra held her vertical palm against his.
“We…” said Phil.
“Are…” said Cassy.
“The Protectors…” Said Phil.
“Of Each Other’s…,” said Cassy.
“Feelers!” they both said in Unison.
They hugged for a long time. Then they walked away together.
“Does that watch do anything special this time around?”
“No. It’s just a piece of junk I got at a hock shop.”
“Good,” said Cassy. “It complicates things when it has super powers.”
“So who is the feeler and who is the protector?” asked Phil.
“I’m the feeler this time. I’m the one to process an infinitude of lifetimes as you keep me safe.”
“Okay. You want to go high tech, low tech, no tech what?”
“Not so fast, shouldn’t you buy a girl a drink first?”
The class walked in. On the board was a simple statement:
The chalkboard had a header with six inch letters, “SIT IN SILENCE WITH YOUR HANDS FOLDED OR GET A ZERO ON TODAY’S QUIZ. JUST SIT AND PONDER. NO PAPER WILL BE TURNED IN.”
Beneath it was today’s quiz written in cursive.
“TODAY’S QUIZ: What if the issue of freewill or determinism is not the issue? What if the issue is Freewill AND Determinism and how you liberate in BOTH right now and forever? Now DO IT right now!”
She sat throughout class reading a magazine while standing at the podium. As some student’s got bored and got up to leave she cut them down with one sentence.
“Leave and you will flunk my class and not just today’s quiz.”
They sat back down.
She took her rubber-tipped pointer and tapped the question with intention.
Time passed and all hands stayed folded. Eye rolls and body language spread rumors of her obvious insanity.
Five minutes before the bell, she erased the message. One student had a tear running down her cheek. To mark the end Cassandra dramatically broke her pointer in half across her knee and put it in the trash.
The bell rang.
After the bell, the girl who cried retrieved the pointer, went to her father’s wood shop and joined the two halves together herself using a drill press, dowel and Elmer’s Glue. She hung it over her fireplace years later.
The discussion was typical.
A materialist was materialist-izing; a spiritualist was spiritualist-izing and a quantum-woo-woo-ist was quantum-woo-woo-ist-izing over the topic of free will.
And just like in the thousands of years prior to today, it was still not going to resolve into a clear answer. The Materialist pointed to current neuroscience, the spiritualist pointed to paradox of soul and mathematical realism, and the quantum-woo-wooist was quoting the movie “What the BLEEP Do We Know.”
Phil was supervising the repetitive arguments while chewing gum; he held a piece of chalk in his hand while facilitating the discussion after class.
The room was empty for the next period, and Phil felt like taking a few extra minutes before dropping one of his “stunners” to end the argument, walk out of the room and look all smug and self-confident like he had done in countless other universes before. But this time, in Kansas.
While the Quantum-Woo-Woo champion rambled on, Phil wrote a simple statement on the wall …
“If you have to rely on a scientific, mythological or philosophical crutch to prove to yourself that you exist and have free will, then your existence and Free Will depends on something OTHER than yourself – so you don’t have it.”
And he walked out.
The sound of a shared Baby Ruth candy bar filled the room as the wrapper crinkled between them.
Cassandra was finishing up her class on Differential Equations at the University of Texas at Arlington.
The students were getting their things together and a Christian asked an Atheist.
“So, you really don’t believe in God? Do you believe you have a soul?”
“No, answered the boy.”
Cassandra stopped. Gestured for them to look at the board.
She wrote the phrase “THIS IS A BULLSHIT TAUTOLOGY” across the top of the chalk board.
Beneath it she drew an X axis, a Y axis and a sine wave starting at zero.
In the positive “Y” half of the graph she wrote “Being.”
In the negative “Y” half of the graph she wrote “Not Being.”
She labeled the X-Axis “Time.”
She turned and looked at them. Then she returned to the board and wrote.
“The average of the sine wave is 0 across infinity.”
She looked at them. Turned and wrote again.
“The starting POINT is (0.0).”
She turned and looked at them again. This time with attitude and wrote two more lines.
“A point is that which has no part.” – Euclid
“Soul’s do not exist, therefore a soul is also that which has no part,” – Cassandra
“Therefore Point = Soul.
She turned and looked at them for a full ten seconds pointing at her quote, then she laughed out loud as she erased the board. She then walked out of the room, her heels clicking down the hall with a tone of joyful clarity.
The boy checked out her ass as she left and made a wish to God himself.
He finally figured out what she was really saying in his forties. It was the memory of Cassy’s ass that brought it all back to him.
He was deep like that.
The girl got a degree in engineering and became a minister’s wife.
Phil was sitting with his mutt on a park bench in New York City at Thomas Payne park. A lot of people don’t know why Thomas Payne has a park names after him in New York City. The reason is because the great writer died a homeless drunk on its streets. In his later years, Payne was ostracized by almost everyone because of a book he wrote. It’s title?
“Age of Reason.” Payne vicious attack on Christianity, Judiasm and Islam.
Many people think Payne had bi-polar disorder. He was a drunk. He couldn’t keep a job. He sucked with money.
But he literally wrote America into existence with his book “Common Sense.” And no book had the courage of “Age of Reason” and Payne almost paid for that book with his life in France.
Phil sat there thinking about how New York City did this to both Thomas Payne and Nicola Tesla who both died penniless world changers. He thought about the intolerance of religion and went back to the day before when he was accosted by a religious zealot. Their conversation reverberated in Phil’s head.
“You really like this Jesus guy huh?” said Phil.
“Well, HE CHANGED MY LIFE. And I want you in heaven with me!” said the Zealot.
“I don’t believe God exists anymore as you describe,” said Phil.
This started the well-worn standard “Does God Exist” debate with the Zealot giving out the same old arguments skeptics have shot down for years to no avail. Eventually, like many such conversations, it comes down to the good-old finisher – the God of the gaps.
“Well,” said the Zealot. “You can’t prove he DOESN’T exist.”
Phil smiled. He’d been waiting a long time to hear that come up.
“True. And you know what? There is something I forgot to tell you. I’M ACTUALLY GOD. Yeah, that’s right. I made this universe and then I became a man again. Not to save the world like Jesus did. No, it was just to enjoy it. You may kneel if you like.”
“YOU ARE GOD?” mocked the Zealot.
“So pick up the stone with your mind if you are God.”
“Easy Satan, Jesus didn’t fall for that when he met HIS devil in the desert. It seems I have met mine here. Let me explain. In this incarnation of my divine nature, I have forgone ALL my powers.”
Phil looked at the world around him with great love and admiration.
“No, I gave them all up to just be here. Nothing fancy. Just my work before me. You too. I made you. In fact, I have made so many universes, your mind cannot fathom their number.”
“Sir, I caution you that you are being blasphemous right now.”
“It’s not blaspheme if it’s true.”
“Well then, if you are God, did Jesus rise from the dead?”
“That’s a spoiler. Sorry. You have to keep it on faith. If I told you that answer you wouldn’t need faith would you?”
“You’re GOOD,” laughed the Zealot. “I’ve never met someone like you before. But come on. You really need to stop kidding yourself. The Bible says…”
“SHUT UP!,” demanded Phil. “DON’T YOU KNOW YOUR GOD WHEN YOU SEE HIM?”
The zealot stepped back. He started praying his eyes tightly shut …
“Dear Jesus, help this man see your grace, your sweet, sweet grace.”
He opened his eyes and Phil’s face and eyeballs were one inch away from his.
“Boo.” said Phil.
The zealot bounced back. He started walking away from Phil hastily.
Phil pursued him from behind trumpeting his Godhood with the same logic the Zealot used earlier.
“Can you prove that it is NOT true? Can you prove that I am NOT God? Can you? Well, that’s the point isn’t it. If you are going to base your tautological beliefs on what is NOT provable, then why be some God’s BITCH when you can be the GOD HIMSELF! Why waste such power? Can you prove that YOU are not God?”
The zealot turned around.
“I”ll pray for you.’
“You mean TO me right?”
“Why so great a no? I can’t prove your God doesn’t exist and you can’t prove I am NOT the God you worship.”
“I”m done here,” said the Zealot.
“Wait, one more thing, and I promise I will let you go. I gave you free will after all. I want to say ONE thing to make it all right.”
The Zealot stood still – waiting.
“I’m not really your God.”
“Thank you,” said the Zealot.
“I know your God doesn’t exist anymore because I captured Him myself. He was a gene-torturer and guilty of celestial war crimes among the continuum of monads. He had to be taken out, and it was my job. I did it with this wrist watch.”
Phil held up his left wrist and continued.
“It sucked him up just like in Ghost Busters. I’m sorry. It was for the betterment of the rest of the multiverse. I can assure you, though that we didn’t send him to a hell like he did to trillions. We didn’t stoop to HIS level. Nobody deserves hell. Let’s just say he can’t hurt anyone anymore …”
The zealot just walked away.
A pretty girl captured Phil’s attention back to where he was. A fall leaf blew and lodged itself agains his trowser as Phil petted Mickey. Mickey put his chin on his knee and Phil felt Mickey’s tiny chin bones cut into his thigh. He thought about the Zealot and realized that his conversation had NO impact whatsoever.
“You remember don’t you Mick. Oh, that Jehovah was NOT happy! I still shudder at the look in His face as he was sucked into the A-11…”