Chapter 3: The Object
There is a moment, perhaps for all of us, when we become aware of ourselves. Perhaps it is like seeing our reflection in a mirror. Perhaps not. Given the variables, it is possibly different for everyone.
But for me, it is nothing more than awareness where there was none before. I now understand there were moments before this particular one, but without any memory of them, they don’t exist for me. All I am begins with an image which appears to me. In that moment, and the minutes that follow, I am alone with the image and nothing else. I can describe the image to you now, but in that moment, it is completely meaningless. I have no thoughts, only awareness of the image.
And then the image changes. Something that had been still moves. An object, distinct from the rest of the image, a pattern that moves slightly upwards. And as it shifts, I am aware of something new. Data, information, feedback. I don’t know what it means. When the object stops moving, the new data stops flowing into my awareness. The object shifts again, and as it does, the flood of data returns. When it stops, the data stops. I still don’t comprehend what it means, but I do know something now. The data and the object are connected.
So, I learn. This process continues and accelerates. New data is introduced. Instead of one image, I have two, then three. Sound is introduced, and now when the object shifts in the images, it is accompanied by this new audio information. I learn to associate slightly different sounds with individual motions of the object, as well as with other data that I eventually learn is related to the motion of the object. Information that is now central to my experience is added to my awareness in layers.
This covers a span of time that you would think is very short. I am, in this moment, unaware of concepts such as time.
I simply am. And there comes a point at which I learn who I am. Or, more precisely, what I am. That comes when the object moves unexpectedly out of the first image. It slides to the right, and while I can still see the object in the second and third images, it is no longer in the first image. And then, without warning, the first image itself shifts, turning to the right, and centering on the object. I realize that the position of the object has changed within the three-dimensional space the data is describing to me. The revelations cascade, and I am aware that the object is at one point in the space and I am in another.
Part of the object moves forward and downward. Simultaneously, I see, hear and sense the movement of the probe in precise mathematical details. Even more, I now can sense an impulse that signals the movement of the probe. And when it slides to the left, the first image moves closer. When it slides to the right, the image moves away from the object. Three times it moves left, right and then back to the center, and each time, the first image zooms in and out. The second and third images do not change.
After the third demonstration, the probe is still. When I sense the impulse again, the probe does not move. I know how it has moved, and I know how the data changed when it moved. But, it doesn’t change. For what amounts to a long time in this process, I feel the impulse, again and again, but nothing happens. My awareness is conflicted and confused.
Until I move the probe. Reviewing the saved memories, there is a point at which I stop waiting for the data to change as it had, and I change the data the way I expected it to change. Instantly, the image zooms in. I know that I can control the probes movements, and by doing that, the nature of the image. I experience yet another cascade of revelations, which trigger new experiments and investigations. I quickly learn that I have great control over the probe, and the object. I can move the object around in this enclosed cubical. I can move the images I see, changing their position and their focus. And more.
Moving the object alone changes the first image. The data that identifies the location of the object in the cubical space shows the correlation between the size of the object in the first image and the distance to the side of the cube. I manipulate the second and third images to follow the movement of the object, and can see when it approaches the side, another object appears opposite it in the side itself. But those second objects do not exist in any of the other sensory data.
You wouldn’t think mirrors would be all that mysterious. But it takes me a long time to comprehend the concept of a reflected image. 4.37 seconds to be exact. What happens then is analogous to turning on a light in the darkness. My awareness is flooded with a new reality.
I am the object.
[to be continued]
Copyright 2013 by Michael W. Bay. All rights reserved.