O’Brien was right, you know. Of course you know. Even as you read this, and you reject the possibility, you know it in your heart. You have got one—a heart, I mean. Not the anatomical, muscular vessel that pumps your blood, but rather the core of your being; the center of your consciousness; the essence that is you and that Knows.

Knows what? you’re asking, defiantly. You reject it still even as cold, disorienting terror grips you and makes the back of your neck chill and your guts clench. It’s a terror you’ve become accustomed to so long as no one mentions it, but now I’ve touched it and made you uncomfortable anew.

What you know is that the world you see is the world that we want you to see.

That sounds more sinister than it really is, doesn’t it? I mean, you know it’s not quite like that. “We” is not some clandestine organization, out to ruin your life—at least, not deliberately. “We” includes you, and that bothers you more than if it were otherwise, I’ll bet. It does if you’re smart. If you’re very foolish, it probably actually comforts you, and then you’re one of “them.” “They” are still “us”, which makes it worse. If you are such a person, then I wish sincerely for your swift death, since that’s best for all of us.

Are you familiar with the sort of frustration that is part and parcel with the feeling that you are trapped in a constructed reality which is a subset of actual reality? If you’re not one of “them” then you’ll know what it is I’m talking about. You’ve got blinders on that you can’t remove, though you try. They’re not tangible, and you can’t touch them, but you feel them: pressing against your temples, fogging your mind, cramping your muscles. You are in a tight little box and there’s no latch. Is there a Creator, and if there is, did he intend for us to be this way, or have we put ourselves here?

Are you claustrophobic? Did you take a deep breath just now, to reassure yourself—to prove to yourself that there is plenty of air and plenty of space? It works, doesn’t it? For a while, it does. You can even get up from your chair, this moment, and walk about. You can go outside, and stretch, and gaze up at the blue sky above your head secure in the knowledge that it continues forever, or at least that it continues so tragically close to forever that it is effectively so.

But in your heart you Know. You know that this is your cell. You know that there is more that you don’t see. Do you know that we are the reason for that? Is diversity in belief such a good thing, or does it actually narrow our consensus reality? Those things that exist are only those things that we agree on, even if we don’t know that we agree. You struggle against these intangible barriers; you feel the press on your body from them while you simultaneously do not feel them at all. You’re smarter than most of us. You think more clearly. But you’re constrained by us. It’s terribly difficult to think in terms that the rest of us do not think about or even begin to understand, which is why such thought is the domain of scholars and academics, who create their own pockets of consensus reality within their universities and other places of learning and research. Within these pockets, the walls can be breached, but out in the world, most of us are fucked.

Genius is traditionally the realm of the solitary and the socially inept. Has it occurred to you (of course it has) that their ability to push the limits of understanding is precisely because they are free of the dampening affect of the rest of us? Has it occurred to you (of course it has) that within the consensus existence generated by the all, these things simply do not exist to be discovered?

Of course you Know, and that is why you’re uncomfortable in your own skin. That is why you stay awake late and wake up tired and unwilling to move. It’s why you need coffee, or Jolt, or Red Bull. It’s because the world is bullshit, and we’re all fucked. It’s all a dream with none of the benefits of a dream, and all of the inconveniences of life, and the reason is that we are sick. We define ourselves by our discomfort and so our discomfort defines us. You may be unwilling, but you will be drawn in. You cannot live in a reality separate from ours because you have never known reality in any other context. It’s a great karmic catch-22 and you’re boned, man. You’re so boned. In order to escape our tidy little prison you’d have to convince us all that we’re in such a place, and you’ll never do it. You’ll never do it.

Even those scholars and academics that chip away bit by bit in their pockets of rationality will never do it. They’re closer than you or I, but they won’t succeed. They’re under siege. They are surrounded by us, by the we, and they can’t win. They won’t win.

You’re so boned.

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