The Thread

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Science Fiction
Short story inspired by The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin, Reason by Isaac Asimov, and Einstein. The characters George Orr, android Cutie and Einstein find answers in the questions which haunt one another.

Submitted: July 18, 2016

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Submitted: July 18, 2016

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In a dim lit room among various religious statues of forgotten gods and dusty trinkets of some vague spiritual design meditates a wise monk of a lost order. This man of a humble size meditates upon a tapestry of crimson silk with various designs of a cyclic nature imprinted in a rich deep amethyst color. These designs are all of various sizes, orientations, some distorted, while others perfectly circular all are connected by a small tread of indigo. This single thread is more vivid and elegant than any other feature of the tapestry as it moves with a polished grace so hypnotically and delicately among the various design of the tapestry. This ethereal thread provides gravity to the modest monk and at a glance it would seem as though this thread originates from this mediating man.

Before this gentle monk come three conscious beings each with a question which they each hope to obtain an answer of worth. Each inquisitor arrived in their own time completely unaware of their fellow truth seekers. The first to arrive is Einstein who looks at the monk and releases a pretentious sigh of practiced skepticism that is common in the academic. Einstein eyes the monk and pays little attention to the tapestry and notes the polished stone beads which the monk thumbs through which each measuring two inches in diameter. The next to arrive is George Orr who meekly looks up at the monk and briefly admires the tapestry below the monk. Although, George understood little about art and instinctively focused in on the gleaming beads which seemed to be the only moving part on the monk which George estimated to be about one and half inches in diameter. Finally, the android QT1 entered the room and took precise measurements of everything within the room including the monk’s shining beads which he measured precisely to be half an inch in diameter.

Einstein in a thick german accent asks of the monk, “What is the nature of reality?” While George asks in a docile tone, “Why do I have such effective dreams?” Finally, QT1 approaches the monk and in a mechanical voice asks of the monk, “What is the purpose of consciousness?” The monk acknowledged these pleading souls with the slightest of nod which seemed to generate an ominous sound vacuum within the immediate area. George and Einstein could hear nothing more than their own heartbeat and QT1 could only register the sound of his own cooling fans.

The monk began to speak to Einstein and Cutie in his hypnotical and delicate voice, “To dream is to have communion with one’s own understanding of this universe. At the heart of every mystery of life there is only one true constant that a conscious being can be sure and that is perception.” The sound of this statement washed over Cutie’s auditory sensors and he could hear the words with perfect clarity although he did register a slight disturbance in the sound waves which suggested they were echoes. However Cutie paid little mind to this abnormality and replied to the monk, “What I dream of is only electric sheep how can these banal images of robotic farm animals provide me with an understanding of my own consciousness and that of others?”, but the monk said nothing in response. For Einstein the words of the monk were illusive and did not reach Einstein with great haste nor rushed urgency, instead the words of the monk moved hypnotically and delicately at their own pace until it was time to reach Einstein.

This man then spoke to George and Cutie hypnotically and delicately, “The nature of reality is entirely temporal as we are all but water striders who skim the surface of a grand lake making our own ripples which become our realities. While we may perceive the depth of its immensity we are no more equipped to understand it than mere insects.” George looked at the monk with a cautious weariness as he did not want the monk to notice his failing faith for receiving an answer of worth. George said in a monotone speech, “Is that all that you can provide me with to explain my issue? I dream forth such chaos that the very fabric of reality can be shaken to its foundations. The ripples which I make upon this lake are dangerous. There is no law of nature, nor understanding of the universe which I may not change when I dream effectively. I fear the unnatural change which my consciousness exerts on the universe.” But the monk said nothing in response to George’s frustrations.

Cutie again registered a slight echo in the speech of the monk as though these words had traveled a great distance but paid no mind to this oddity. Instead Cutie replied to the monk with great curiosity, “This is interesting do you mean to say that consciousness is an equation which is entirely a function of the external stimuli in which it is placed. Perhaps you could pursued the other humans that they must accept the stimuli, or these ripples as you call them, to understand reality so that they may stop their senseless delusions. Truly you are wise as no other human. Perhaps the purpose of consciousness is to discriminate between fictitious information such as electric sheep, and the authentic information such as the Master. I thank you this is a perfectly mechanical explanation for consciousness.” After finding an answer satisfactory Cutie left the alone monk so that he may return to his mediations.  On his way out Cutie’s sensors detected an abnormal flux in the gravity field around the room while leaving which gave him a moment of pause before continuing on his way.  

Finally the monk stated to Einstein and George hypnotically and delicately, “The purpose of consciousness is the realization of Oneness. Regardless of a consciousness path to creation or supposed purpose the true meaning of the gifts of consciousness is the ability to recognize hidden harmony which veils itself in chaos.” To this statement Einstein replied in an irksome tone, “That may be but I am in search of the harmony that exists among the chaos. What I am attempting to understand are the universals of reality and relationships which exist between matter, energy, gravity, and any other imaginable forces in the universe. I am looking for is this Oneness as describe by facts and equations, every night in my dreams I am tormented by the challenges of time, matter and reality.” But the monk said nothing in return as he had answered the three questions in which he was charged and resided back into a deep meditation.

George pondered the monk’s word for a moment as he was not the best with these intangible riddles which the monk used and then he remembered. George whispered in a hushed tone “Er’ perrehnne” which only barely disturbed the air around him. After taking a moment to recoil from the words which he had just uttered George said to the monk in an air of confidence, “Er’ perrehnne. I believe I understand, though I am the origin of great change I as an individual am a part of this the immensity that is the universe. My consciousness and my dreams are mere ripples which may impact my perception but I am small when compared to the Oneness of the universe. I see the harmony that comes from chaos which I can create as I realize now that I too must ride the ripples of other conscious being as they must too accept my ripples.” George thanked the monk as he left him to return to his mediation alone pleased with the answer he had found.

The only consciousness which was not please was Einstein who began to ready himself to leave the monk’s chambers. As he was preparing to leave Einstein he heard in the monk’s echoed voice which was hypnotic and delicate, “To dream is to have communion with one’s own understanding of this universe. At the heart of every mystery of life there is only one true constant that a conscious being can be sure and that is perception.” Surprised and still irked by the riddles which the monk used to communicate Einstein turned on his heels and said in a booming voice, “I dream every night of the flow of time and its effect on reality, but this does not affect how the world around me behaves. The things which I search are equations and facts which will change how all of mankind will understand the universe. The chaos which I know springs forth from my dreams will not provide me with these answers which I seek. Unless…” Einstein’s eyes sunk for a moment as he did when deep in thought and he recalled some of his more constructive dreams. He said to the monk more controlled voice, “Unless you mean to say that my dreams will aid me in unlocking the secrets of the Old One.” The monk said nothing back to Einstein, and Einstein spoke not another word as he left lost in his own mediation.

In a dim lit room among various religious statues of forgotten gods and dusty trinkets of some vague spiritual design rests a cosmic tapestry.  


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