Breaking the fourth wall

When I was younger, I used to think I had all the answers. Now I feel like don’t even know the question – if there even is one. Very “Hitchhiker” of me. I guess I’ve always had a bit of the clueless know-it-all attitude. As this slowly dawned on me, it is with few competitors my least favourite aspect of myself. Despite myself, I love expanding my knowledge by thinking too much and writing too little. And I cannot help but believe that there is a magical component, an ultimate truth, that can be found through contemplative perseverance. It is the serious version of something like: you will find Narnia if you just look in enough closets, or is behind the fourth wall of the theatre of life, or is nowhere to be found because you have been riding it along. And even writing it down in the pseudo-fiction format that is a blog post, it feels so true.

Then I look at the lives of those around me. People I love and strangers alike. People who from the outside perspective seem so sure about the ongoings of their lives and obediently follow the trajectory forward. And there is a non-trivial part of me that is thinking “What the hell are people doing?”

Strangers running to the subway to escape the rain or to arrive on time. People eating ice cream in laughter next to the local lake. Children that cry and parents who comfort them. And friends whose pursuits and conquests I know more intimately. says she found her calling. and sound like they found that special someone. signed the wedding vows despite swearing never to and even recently got married. And following the majority of my 30-something friends, and just had a baby. Happy for my friends’ joy and enchanted by the carefree existence of strangers, I cannot help but view the persistence for the continuation of life as a bit absurd, if I may… Most likely doing all the wrong things, here I sit, waiting for someone to explain to me why the earth spins. I cannot accept that it is only to provide us with a frame of reference to ground our experience of the passing of time. Cause, f*ck me, that is just way too thought through…

It is true that most people follow the template that human life seems to be standardised for: get born, grow up, buy groceries, get a job, buy a house, have children, complain about politics/insurance/your boss, grow old, feed the ducks and die. The hamster wheel spins round and round. And even if they don’t follow convention, questioning life’s existential components is somehow not part of neither happiness nor misery of people going about their daily lives. Instead, it is as though we simply fill our lives with a sequence of experiences and objects because we cannot see any other choice. But, realising I might sound a bit mad here, what if there is? What if, we live life in this sequential, sausage-cramming kind of way because we are falsely made to believe that time moving forward is an essential part of existence?

In my past, I have had the privileged to visit so many extraordinarily beautiful places. While I take pleasure in these experiences, these places are just as beautiful even in my absence. So what purpose does my momentary experience play on the grand scheme of things? In a hundred years, no one will be left that remembers my name. Earlier still, my consciousness and memories will have been deleted, obliterated simply as remnants of a past that no longer exists. What then is my experience at this precise moment worth? Is my experience, my life a sequential component, a breath of air, in a larger consciousness or is everything about me, about you, about everything, simply inconsequential?

Research from neuroscience has demonstrated that we experience our world with a 400msec delay. What if we assume that this is all there ever is in the first place? What if we isolate our experiences to that precise moment in which we are. An existence in which time is not a linear trajectory, but a point. A point consisting of all of history and all the future all at once. A point in which all of us, all of life, all of everything exists equally and simultaneously.

Metaphysics is through mathematics uncovering more and more of the fabric of existence and the concept of space-time teaches us that time cannot be separated from space. What does this mean for our experience? What does it mean for our individual existence?

A while back I had an intense internal vision kind of reaction to my thoughts. It was as though I took a step up from my physical body and entered into a dense shade of orange. In this parallel dimension, I was walking in slow-motion yet not moving. In this world, I knew I would not care for struggles nor pleasures of an existence based on a single temporal trajectory. I would feel nothing yet everything. From both sides of the translucent shades of orange, I watched myself and remember contemplating, in not so many words, which was the richer existence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *