The scientist set down his glasses after hearing Phil’s comments.
“So let me get this straight. You agree there is NO EVIDENCE supporting your assertions?”
“Yup. It’s bunk.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. So tell me, what are the practices of this weirdness?”
“Well, I call this my personal mythology. I make all this shit up myself. You are free to create your own, of course. But in my mythology, I see myself supported and connected to other incarnations of myself in other dimensions. This is only possible because every being has touches with enlightenment in their lives at some point. When such a point is opened, connection is forever possible.”
The scientist’s eyes went wide displaying the micro-emotion of “WTF?”
“In each of my lives, I find a unit of time where I briefly perceive enlightenment in its infinity. This is outside the barriers of time and space. In these brief, unstable states of being, my ego delusions release the undefined truth of reality itself.”
The scientists eyes were in a hard stare of disbelief.
“I don’t knock these brief moments!” said Phil. “They are important! They are the key. Why? Because I cannot exist as a free-will being as a LONE being in ONE Universe. For free will to exist, I must exist across dimensions simultaneously in AT LEAST a triple existence. I have one self that is me, Phil, I have another who lives in a victorian era world on the edge of a cliff near the ocean, and the last is a blogger on a planet called Earth. All three of these realities of me exist impossibly in that SHARED MOMENT OF CLARITY. So when I sit in zazen, or in any other zen posture, I connect to these other two and the ancient decision for me to exist manifests from among us.”
Phil adjusted his shirt and continued.
“I enter these brief windows of enlightenment in my imagination and THEN I connect my consciousness to supporting versions of myself in other dimensions.”
“Wow. Now this s bullshit I never heard before!,” said the Scientist.
“Yes,” said Phil, “But it is MY bullshit. I created it.”
Phil looked at his A-11 wristwatch to catch the time and continued.
“The problem with being only one ego delusion within one universe, is that an ego-delusion cannot create itself but is a result of cause and effect and therefore doesn’t actually exist.”
The scientist nodded approvingly but was strongly suspicious that Phil was about to go batshit. He was, of course, correct.
“But if there IS no self and the ego is merely the byproduct of physical processes, then an ego delusion can be generated by a computer. Which means a self can be reduced to a numeric stream of ones and zeroes. Now IF there are other dimensions where the same ones and zeroes could exist to make the same ego-delusion in a different setting, and IF those non-selves with an ego delusion connect through their natural desire to survive THEN THAT IS WHAT THEY WILL DO.”
The scientist’s eyes narrowed as Phil moved in for the life.
“And THEN as long as the person can stay connected to at least three of his manifestations, the free-will soul will reconnect to them from its timeless decision to exist from within the Tao. But only if … IF … the Tao has is a master reality not typically assigned to it.
“Which is?” said the scientist.
“Number. The Tao is number.”
“Hah! So you are a Pythagorean? I thought they were all dead.”
“Yes. But I doubt they think like I do. Between my three imaginary selves, I weave a soul from no-souls together in a paradox. And each of us have ONE INFINITE MOMENT of clarity that allows us to connect with across realities.”
Phil took a deep breath.
“There is a practical side that is actually fucking useful. All ‘three’ of us practice the ancient memory techniques called the ‘Method of Loci.’ I use the universe of my ego-delusion on earth to house my memory palaces, my ego-delusion on earth then uses the victorian world for his memory palaces and the Victorian version of me uses my universe to store his.”
“Please say more.”
“Since this may all be bullshit, I want at least SOME practical benefit. So I practice the Method of Loci as a memory system. Each imagined world is in effect a hard drive for each of us. I suggest you read the ‘Rhetorica ad Herrennium’ if you want more.”
“Anyway, back to w00-woo bullshit. Because the three of me all had some brief enlightenment experiences at some time in my lives, me/we can connect forever to each other through those experiences. Remember, eternity in a brief second is STILL eternity. So even if one of us is tortured into mental oblivion some time in a life, THE MOMENT OF CLARITY still survives for us to keep each ‘other’ going as free will beings.”
“So do you think this is true?”
“It’s all a fucking a-priori cluster-fuck,” said Phil. “All of it. Total bullshit. But from my perspective, even if it is not true, I get to enjoy it like it was. It’s true in my head only if I choose it to be.”
“Interesting.” said the scientist, “A useful fantasy to replace religion.”
“It may actually be created as true but only if number is reality and the impossible is actually a living set. Those are BIG assumptions. Otherwise, I’m just meat. If the Tao is indeed number, I think I can exist as a free-will soul even though it will never manifest as provable.”
“So what is the ‘other you’ doing in the Victorian world now?” asked his friend.
“I see me walking down the road by my house looking at the night sky at a constellation that looks like an Anchor. I used to have a lighthouse on the cliff, but then realized a ship would never see the light with it being so high. So I tore it down a few months ago and rebuilt it on a small island in the harbor. Right now my house is empty of anyone but me although there have been people a plenty in the past. And my business is doing okay there. My lighthouse in the harbor is where I use the Method of Loci to keep my shopping list. I keep the Lojong proverbs and Bodhidharma’s precepts memorized in a replica of my childhood house over the bridge. I have various other things attached to other structures. If I walk down the road, I will find a road with 12 houses, each of which is a month in the year. This is where I keep my calendar. My personal mission statement is housed in a Wing Stop restaurant and my credit cards and identifying information is in a Starbucks and Barbershop – Victorian style of course.”
The scientist perked up.
“I have seen those memory palace guys do some amazing stuff. It’s a great brain hack! Wow. It’s nice to see a fantasy world put to such a good use.”
Phil tipped an imaginary hat.
“Funny, I heard the funniest thing. Someone told me that your wristwatch stopped a tornado!”
“People will believe anything won’t they?”