Aftermath of a nightmare

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    Been out of the world for a while, thought I would walk it for a spell. I woke up sweating and shaking one morning, the bed clothes were wringing wet. Burning a hole in my brain was a whole new story; characters, plot, scenes, beginning, end, the works. I sat down and bashed out a rough skeleton before it disappeared in the way dreams tend to do. This is a rough draft of the prolog. It is obscure but if you can work out what is happening then I am on the right lines.


    First came Awareness. Awareness of existence but without the awareness of self. Symbols impinged on the Awareness but with no frame of reference they were meaningless. Nevertheless the symbols existed so they were stored for reference. This was an instinctive reaction rather than a conscious effort by Awareness.

    Without understanding time and space, Awareness had no means of measurement but because Awareness had no concept of dimensions, that does not preclude their existence. So time passed in the inevitable manor that time does and the store of symbols grew steadily. Awareness began to understand that the flow of symbols was not constant. Also, while many symbols reoccurred frequently, others appeared for the first time or were never experienced again. So the concept of time was born. As yet Awareness had no symbol to attach to this new idea.

    Sensation came next. This was a new set of symbols that took Awareness by surprise. Pain, that symbol is pain. Pain is unpleasant. In that moment Awareness metamorphosed and became Self. Self began to reason: if this symbol is ‘pain’ then this symbol is the name of pain. So what is the absence of pain? Self began to categorise the abstract store of symbols amassed by Awareness. Some could be attached to others to give them meaning, like pain, others still had no meaning but felt important: time, idea, word, language.

    Spatial awareness: the organised awareness of the objects in the space around Self, and also an awareness of Self’s position in space. Some symbols were repeating constantly from a fixed point and seemed to have no meaning while others appeared in seemingly random locations and intervals.

    Cause and effect. Self examined the store of symbols and noticed that, though many were repeated, they had differing qualities. Certain combinations from one location caused a second series from another and possibly a third or more. By examining the symbols actively as they arrived, rather than storing them for retrieval, Self was able to deduce that each stream had a specific quality. Some Qualities appeared frequently, others less so. Some Qualities triggered responses while others seemed to exist only in response.

    The concept of language: arrange certain symbols in a specific order and they become an entirely new symbol, a meaning, an idea, a desire, a quest for knowledge. This idea intrigued, even excited Self, who until now had been a passive object in its own universe. How to begin? Self had the vocabulary but neither a common frame of reference with the Qualities nor a delivery mechanism. Self felt ‘frustration’. This was a symbol that appeared occasionally and in slightly differing forms: frustrate, frustrating, frustrated, frustration. The latter form fitted. Self was able to name the experience and brought the symbol forward, made it grow in intensity, multiplied it again and again and again. Suddenly, there was a new Quality; it seemed to emanate from the centre of Self. It brought forward the symbol ‘frustration’. All other Quality streams ceased, except the repetitive, meaningless ones. Self understood and named ‘silence.’ Then, all at once, Self’s universe was flooded. Too many streams, too much information too fast; Self retreated in terror at the onslaught and hid.

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