Object Permanence :
Lately I have been questioning the reality of things around me.
I can sure identify where it started, and where it came from, but I just can’t get it out. An idea cannot be killed; you may try to not think about it or distract yourself, but it is there, and it will always be there. Now, if you would like to hear a bit about me, just sit tight for a brief prelude. At a young age, I was like any other normal boy, except for one little hindrance. I grew up, attended school, went to college, and graduated, all with good, if not exceptional grades. I swam, participated in clubs, you name it. I used to be a very active and healthy guy. The ’hindrance’ grew with me. The doctors call it myopia, the kids at school call it glasses, I call it bad luck and genetics.
Well, whatever you call it, I was stuck with it, and it stuck with me. It started with a slight blurriness, then became a wall of impassibility. Surgery helped me slightly, but in the long run, just prolonged my fate.
Eventually I had the misfortune of coming down with eye cataracts. The surgery this time was damning. Retinal detachment, occurring when the retina literally detaches itself from the eye, can lead from severe myopia to blindness. In my case, it led to blindness at the age of 18.
Now, blindness meant several things to me. A dark point in my life, both literally and figuratively. I imagined that I was in a hole, a black place where no light shined. I existed there alone, in pure isolation. Sure, they could peer down into the hole and talk from their bright place above me, but they could not see. They could pretend, but they couldn’t comprehend what I was going through. I used to drink heavily and experiment with substances in order to dampen my perception.
When you have that much detachment from the outside world, you begin to think.
Imagine you are in a room. There is a ball in the room. You look at it, and it is red, hard to the touch, and bounces with a satisfying thud. Now if you leave it placed down on the floor, and walk out of the room, facing the opposite direction, you cannot see, hear or touch it anymore.
What evidence do you have that it still exists?
Infants go through this in their lives, due to their pre-developed minds. I am sure we are all familiar with the game of ‘peek-a-boo’? Well, when the child see’s its mother, it is aware it exists, but when the hands come down, where did mother go? She disappeared, and because the baby cannot perceive her, it firmly believes that she does not exist.
Now apply this concept to us. Growing up, our brain develops, and we innately know that an object continues to exist. It is something we learn to accept. However, when you are alone in your room at night, the world outside does not matter. We are secluded in our own little world, and only the immediate area is tangible. Now imagine that the darkness envelopes your entire life. You cannot see what is around you, so what proof do you have that it truly exists? Sure you can touch and hear and smell and taste, but how do you know you are not being manipulated? We have developed technology such as the television, which can create a world that exists in your field of vision. While watching it, our mind becomes absorbed in it, and we zone out from our surroundings. Our subconscious makes us believe that we exist in that world for a time, and when the movie ends, we snap back into reality. We have created a means to manipulate vision, so why is that concept not applicable to our immediate world? Nowadays, every person that I pass may greet me with a hello or brush by me, and while I can feel them and hear them, how do I know they exist? How can I be absolutely sure that every single person and thing around me is living? Has a conscious and a mind like I do?
I used to try making myself feel to cement the outside world. Experiencing pain through sharp tools. However, this never worked out for me. It was just a mere interlude, after which I grasped the full nature of my surroundings.
I believe this thought has taken over my mind. A sort of obsession. Though I doubt I am wrong. I spend my time isolated here in my room. All is quiet. I know that the floor in front of me extends about four feet, and the one behind me 6 or so feet. I know the carpet is soft yet scratchy, smells damp. Possible mold here and there. The air seeping in is cold, and yet I know none of these things. There is no world outside of here. As I move throughout my house, I believe that my surroundings are a mirage. They only exist when I am around them to give them a physical existence.
I feel as if I am in a grand sort of surreal play. The set is created around me as I go through the scenes. The characters appear and disappear, play different roles, but only ones that relate immediately to mine.
I feel as if the universe is trying to keep me occupied. Or maybe I am all that exists. Maybe each and every one that comes to visit me under the premise of hospitality, or the structural safety of my home, or investigation, or for, ‘my own benefit’, is coming to get a spark of life, or a glimpse of living. Of experiencing.
One time I tried communicating with the actors, trying to get a feel of the depth of their minds. You see, I could believe that they exist just like me, however, something in my mind denies it. If a child can be deceived by something as small as hands, then what says that I should not be deceived by this world too? I grew up with ‘people’ around me. Everyone did. They accept this and do not question it. Especially with my once premature mind, what stipulates that I should not be tricked? I recognized this midway through my interrogation with one and left him out in the shed in the backyard. He was too weak to plead, however I doubt he suffered much. I shut the door, walked upstairs and he ended. All was quiet.
Now more of them have come and searched my home. Police, a figment of my imagination that I once respected. I suppose I can not fully dictate the flow of my environment, as they were able to capture me. Take me to another room. Concrete floors.
They allow me to write. However I doubt that my handwriting is much legible anymore. I write this now to whom it may concern in order to help you grasp the truth.
Perhaps there are those of you who are like me. Perhaps nothing exists beyond the exit door. Either way. I am confined here, as I have always been.
Nothing has changed.