Lost In Paradise
Is being lost in Paradise a paradox?
I’ve truly begun an adventure into the unknown, with each step I make taking me in a direction I simply have to trust, because without a specific geographical destination, I’m essentially guessing.
“I remember not existing”.
This sentence echoes in my being with aftershocks that suddenly propels me in a different universe.
My body is in the same spot in space. If I were to open a maps app on my smart phone, you would see I hadn’t moved, but my mind activates a different pair of lenses to something alien, unsure if I am the one projecting it out into reality or wether I am invited to see cosmic changes to our World.
These moments come in waves, and I’m gaining the tools to tell when they’re coming, calling friends in advance and seeking help where I can, and as the wave approaches, I have to choose; surf it back to shore, resist the push back by standing tall in its collision, or dive under and continue floating?
“It’s like I see the weaving of spacetime’s fabric. A new order from the invisible hand”.
It’s difficult to make sense of my experience, and even more challenging to communicate effectively these changes to the people around me, and unfortunately, my words can worry, conflict, and scare, even though all I want to do is share my world with theirs, so that we may bridge the gap and connect.
Mental handshakes with other parts of the universe.
We each carry our own backstory, and can be entrenched in context so deep that it would take a miracle to sway us off course, I included.
I don’t know if I’m mentally ill (as some people constantly project onto me), or as my Mum says, “eccentric”, or wether I am indeed tuned in to a frequency which allows me to see other dimensions.
Just saying that makes me sound like the answer is the former, but quoting Cloud Atlas, “all boundaries are conventions. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so.”
Some people go to the movie theatre to see a film in 2D, others wear red and blue bifocals to see it in 3D, so don’t tell me that the concept of seeing differently is too outlandish to be understood.
It’s just likely that I don’t yet have the correct words, in the correct format, to formulate a coherent key for those to enter the door I am inviting them in.
There’s a thought experiment, Frank Jackson’s epiphenomenal qualia exploring the Knowledge Argument, about a hypothetical scientist named Mary who knows everything there is to know about color (or colour), she has studied each crevice and detail about every hue and tone that exists, how it interacts with light, you name it, she knows, she’s the epitome of mastery when it comes to an artist’s palette… However, she has lived her entire life in a black and white room, she herself is in black and white. The question is, can she truly know all there is to know about color if she’s not seen it?
It is possible that people judge my experience from their black and white room, incapable of seeing what I see, literally forbidden, for the door to the other side is locked, and therefore, anyone that can exist beyond the wall is deemed crazy.
This has been my experience, and frustratingly, as I delicately balance on the event horizon of this world, I acknowledge that I too may be in my own black and white room, all of us forever trapped in a fractal of experiencing humanity’s consciousness cornucopia.
During a wave, a glimpse into metaphysical communication, or madness, I began to behave oddly, inconsistently, using language that frightened some, which I openly shared to the crew, as it was my duty to do so for a documentary about my return from amnesia a few years ago.
As far as I was concerned, to share honestly and vulnerably about my inner World, including dark and complex subjects such as death, which I no longer see as an ending of life, but as a season to be experienced, much like the leaves fall off trees in Winter; to share all this, was my responsibility as storyteller.
With cameras pointed on me, I did the aforementioned, and understandably, it worried the crew, especially as my battle with suicidal ideations isn’t performative, but a reality, my reality.
They suggested I see a Doctor, and I agreed, for my health, for their consideration, and to serve the story we were filming.
Next stop, Delaware, The First State.
My thought behind articulating as best as I can the above, to the camera and thus the crew, is because it may be of value not just to an audience who share the same troubles, but for their loved ones to perhaps better understand why people live with this dark cloud tempestuously throwing them from side to side.
“It feels as though if I did it (the act of self-murder) that I would return home”, I told the doctor.
A concept perhaps difficult to grasp, but since emerging from the memoryless void, I feel as though I’m not at home in this reality.
Once again, nothing new, these things have been explored multiple times; Doors Of Perception, The Matrix, Quantum Leap… Mean Girls maybe, I don’t know.
So, yes, I struggle to comprehend what is happening with me and it is turbulent for myself and those around me, but no, I am not alone in this experience and therefore, am I sick or just aware of a World on the other side of the fourth wall?
Needless to say, production of the documentary was halted.
Not my decision, and in fact, I felt as though continuing would further the story. After all, it is a study about this man going through the aforementioned. Surely to continue filming is the point.
However, I don’t blame them for their decision.
Crew safety is imperative, and although they were safe with me, they didn’t feel that way, and so, what else can I say or do to convince them otherwise. Once people have made up their mind about who they think you are, there’s very little you can say or do, because everything from that moment will be viewed from their perspective, one in which the person attempting to convince them has lost it.
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson is a great book that explores this dilemma.
I returned from the doctor to the crew, and the decision had been made to halt production, which I can understand, however, I returned to my bags already packed, which I admit was a little hurtful and perhaps insensitive.
If I were ill, (which I don’t feel), that’s quite a way to treat someone who needs help.
Maybe I’m wrong, and I’m certainly willing to learn more, but as far as I understand, a story, especially one of this nature with fast-paced filming all shot in one take, must have a compass to guide our way through the chaos, and a logline (the elevator pitch) is the arrow aiding us each day so that we may improvise and do our best to create in the moment. We can look to the pre-approved pitch and make sure that what we do serves the story.
I take responsibility for some ill-prepared actions and for perhaps divulging too much. And the crew weren’t wrong, I was struggling with the things that were happening.
But I was also performing the duty required to tell the story, which happens to be my story, one that I assume I could tell best…
Like I said, maybe I’m wrong.
I just wish I had been given a little more trust.
And here we are, here I am, the show must go on.
I packed a small bag with some essentials, change in clothing, toiletries, notebooks, a pillow, and two unprecedented things.
The first, something I said to the Doctor which I’m not sure I ever said aloud before; “I want to live”.
These words reverberated with massive impact, physically feeling as though I had been shifted on a brand new trajectory, but with comedic and troubling quality, for if I now want to live, it does qualify that sensation which I carried with me for so long, that I was dead.
This would explain the tattoo of Schrödinger’s Cat on me.
The second, one that on occasion, I still struggle to say, I believe in God, whatever that means, because believe me, that is one Hell of a complex World to live in. What is God?!
Since believing, each day is fucking weird.
Shifting from an atheistic mindset to suddenly believing has transformed my reality. To see is to believe, but could the opposite be said, is to believe to see?
“One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so”.
I’m on this adventure, and I don’t know exactly where I’m going, I’ve slept on the streets and woken up by cops, in the woods and woken up with dozens of insect bites and on occasion treated myself to a King-size bed.
From a half-constructed house with my sleeping bag laid out on the floor, I call my agent to debrief on this project. Very thankful for her in my life, she knows me a little too well, and closing the call, she asks me, “do you think you’re still being filmed now?”
So yeah, maybe I am a little crazy, and believing in God is maybe what’s suddenly made me a little more dangerous, and now I’m wandering, wondering, rambling on the rim, blisters on my feet as if walking on the Sun, and although a little lost, I do so with a mind aimed at paradise.
Time to write a new logline.