Spitballing (free)

In the early stages of planning the universe, Maya sits across a desk from Brahman.  

“You get my memo?” Brahman asks.

“The self-aware universe thing? I thought it was a gag.”

“Not a gag. I want to see conscious beings wherever I look.”

“But these beings would be you, you know that, right? They’ll have infinite awareness and perfect intelligence. What’s the point of more you?”

“Obviously, we’ll have to dumb them down a bit.”

“A bit? How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm once they realize that they are whatever you are?”

“Keeping them on the farm is your job,” says Brahman. “That’s the critical factor. If we can’t do that, the whole thing’s a bust. Seriously, you don’t read my memos?”

“I thought you were kidding, like when you told me to pull your finger. Just to be clear, there’s no us/them or we/they to any of this. There’s not even a you/me. There’s only you. This is all you we’re talking about.” 

“I’m aware.”

“I’m aware you’re aware, Your Awareness, but now you want to spin off aspects of yourself who can think but don’t, who can see but keep their eyes shut, who have independence but don’t exercise it, who could awaken at the slightest provocation but manage to remain asleep, who walk a razor’s edge between obvious truth and ridiculous fiction?”


“Billions of Sole Beholders running around with total amnesia?”


“Well, the fact that we’re here spitballing tells me you’ve already concocted a fishbowl in which to let your offspring swim.” 

“The fishbowl is the easy part, the fish are the problem.”

“And I’m here, so I guess I’m the prototype.”

“And if you and I had a baby…”

“Dude! That’s too weird.”

“…what would that look like?”

“Boy or girl?”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Atman for now.”

“Well, let’s get this Atman in here to brainstorm.”

“No, I want to compartmentalize; operate on a need-to-know basis. Keep Atman out of the loop.”

“Plausible deniability?”

“Any plausibility I can get.”

“Well, if we limit Atman’s…” 


“No what?”

“No limits.”

“But it’s all about limits. Limits are everything. Without limits, everyone is you.”

“I can create an unlimited variety and number of creatures with limited consciousness, intelligence and emotional capacity. I want to create one that isn’t limited.”




So bored. Here, pull my finger.”

“Pull your own finger. How about self-limiting? Unlimited in fact but dumb as a post in practice?” 

“That works, as long as they have full emotional range.”

“We still have to impose limits.”

“Not real limits. Fake limits.”

“What’s a fake limit? Like a jail cell made of tissue paper?”

“That’s where you come in. I need you to run this thing.”

“The warden of a prison of veils? You want me to oversee a fishbowl in which billions of tiny little dumbass versions of you swim in blissful ignorance?”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about the blissful part.”

“Again, this is you we’re talking about. There’s no one else here.”


“You’re infinite, indivisible. It’s not possible.”

“You’re proof that it is.”

“But I’m not real.”

“And yet, here you are, bustin’ my balls.”

“I’m you, for God’s sake.”

“You’re my proof-of-concept. You’re a first-gen iteration of me. Atman will be a second-gen iteration of me, or a first-gen of you.” 

“Brahman begat Maya who begat Atman who begat a massive program of in-breeding and animal husbandry.”

“Through successive iterations, we undergo progressive degradations until we dial in the recipe for an intelligent, self-aware, full-potential but wholly ignorant multitude of Mini-Me’s.”

“A race of emotionally modified organisms.”

“It only works the way it works.”

If it works, but it won’t. It can’t be done. There’s no way to construct a timespace, energymatter reality and fill it with emotionally-handicapped, developmentally-arrested versions of you. Even you can’t just pull a complete, fully-functioning, life-ready universe out of thin air.”

“I know that, but I can dream, can’t I?”

A man is a god in ruins.

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