I woke up dreaming.
I awoke fat and flatulent.
I awoke as I normally do, and lay there continuing the thoughts that had awakened me.
This morning, like many mornings, they were about my life. Could it have been better? Or is this the “best of all possible worlds?”
I awoke with thoughts of the enormous surplus on my EMT credit card, and amazed at the fact I even had one. Who could I feed with it? How fat had I gotten over the past year or so, and still amassed such a balance to my monthly food allowance.
I awoke thinking how nice it would be to be GOD – on Earth – and have perfect knowledge. To know which stocks would rise and which would fall. To know which cards to play; which slots would pay off next; what words to write so that my books would outsell both “Harry Potter” and the Bible.
To be able to dictate a book – a perfect book – from start to finish while on my way somewhere to do something that would be pleasurable. To email the recording to a secretary with instructions to send the finished manuscript to my publisher – and know that it would be a best seller. That I could write of events before they happened, and be assured that they would. To know that the writing would only change that which would ensure that the events of the story would play out as they were written – cause and effect embodied perfectly within perfect knowledge.
And then the thought: I am GOD and therefore have perfect knowledge and therefore know who will wish for what and what the outcome of granting that wish shall be. I would know that the cause of a mass murder next year was an event which happened, a decision which was made, on a country road a thousand years ago – the decision to turn left, or right, or proceed ahead. Because of that decision, someone lived, or maybe died – or maybe they met, or maybe missed meeting, the love of their life; because of that meeting, or missed meeting, children were born, or not born, and from there arose a series of lives and deaths, meetings, discoveries, opportunities had or missed, which brought about the events next year. That one decision – like an ancient butterfly flapping its wings to cause a storm on the other side of the globe –set in motion a series of events and interactions which resulted in a decision that lead to the violent, unforeseen, death of many.
The best of all possible worlds – a world in which an all knowing and all powerful entity could change any event, take any action, and know with absolute certainty what the outcome would be.
Imagine that you, or I, were that entity. Imagine that we could take any action and know its outcome with absolute clarity of purpose and result.
Imagine the ramifications.
Imagine that we could have such power, such knowledge, and then imagine the world as it really would be – as opposed to that immediate, fleeting and sublimely irrational, idea of “perfection.”
You would never have to yell at your child – before the child was conceived, before you met the mate with whom they would be conceived – you knew every argument, every problem, every mistake that would be made and that there was absolutely nothing you could do to change it ... because your knowledge of the outcome of a choice was perfect and without error.
Imagine that you would need to weigh the errors, the problems, against the outcome and decide that certain things MUST occur – for, if they did not, you could not get from here, to there, and you would have no choice to remain here (where you are) for eternity.
Imagine that there is no sin – that you lied to your creation so it would not realize that it is you lying to yourself to allow events you know must happen to happen.
I could not awaken to win any lottery I played. Nor could I write any book that would be so perfect that it would be immediately the unsurpassable best. At best, I could allow someone to say something that will pass, or be considered a classic and so relegated to the corner of academia to be read, studied, and shunned with bursts of teenage scorn by those generations who followed.
Imagine a perfect path.
Imagine a perfect world.
Would there be death? Could there be death? And without death, could there be life? No more children – they consume and consumption requires the death, or destruction, of something. No more adults – they too require support networks that consume and destroy.
Of course: We could live without eating or the need to excrete waste, without aging, without disease, without clothing. We could live without work – because there would be nothing to produce. We could live knowing everything that could and would happen – but that would force us into inaction ... wouldn’t it? There would be no purpose to actions whose outcomes are perfect and without doubt.
I awoke dreaming, thinking, and my mind followed the path it always follows ... trapped in a realm where there is a deity and we are it.
How to escape?
Perfection, an absence of error, a lack of imperfection, is paralyzing – and exceedingly boring.
But what if my life were my death?
What if to live I must reproduce, re-experience each of the possibilities anew through the next me, that next generation? What if I could give birth to myself and spend my time as my own fetus? I know, would know, that I am me ... but the process could be experienced anew. All the possibilities – all the options and alternatives explored in the process of being who I am, was, will become.
You have no choices to make because the outcome is a given. And yet! Yet you explore each path – turning right, left and proceeding straight ahead – so that every action with led to imperfect is experienced and every path ... the sole ultimate path ... to perfection is derived again, and again, through each successive generation. Infinite generations, taking infinite time, to explore the infinite possibilities of that which made me who I am.
A circle of time and experiences – no beginning, and without end.
I awoke dreaming this dream. And it told me that this is not only the best of all possible worlds, but that the idea of the Buddha, the ultimate attainment of ultimate knowledge within ones lifetime, is to simply recognize that everything that has, or will be, done is so that every possibility can be known and experienced. There is neither good nor evil ... there was no “original sin” – there could not have been. Perfect knowledge precludes anything having happened that was not foreknown and determined that it must happen for the events which follow from it to have happened.
I awoke as I went to sleep – thinking and exploring the possibilities. I determined that my dream should be positive or negative. That events should be logical, or illogical. That it is totally logical for events to be totally illogical – and it would not, necessarily, be logical for me to prove that presumption.
I awoke fat and flatulent.
I woke up dreaming and living the life that made sense in terms of the life I had chosen to live.
It is, as the scorned philosopher realized, “The Best of ALL Possible Worlds.” It is, if only because I have the power to make it otherwise and for some reason, without consuming enough to deplete my EBT Card – but in fact accruing a significant credit balance – I awoke fat and flatulent and feeling sorry for those (of me, of my alternative states) who will never awaken and do not understand why. They do not understand why the only universally apparent law is the admonition embodied in “the Golden Rule” … It is us, that is, ourselves, we are doing it to.
I awoke to experience a new day.