Humorous essay in which God uses the concept Delusional Telepathic Waved (DTW) to explain genius.
It was a singularly strange place. Nothing about it was normal. Every direction that one looked in, one found weirdness. The oddness stretched out as far as the eye could see. And beyond. I told myself there surely ought to be a method to this madness. I looked again. The madness remained, but the method still escaped me. But it was oddly comforting.
Except when the laughing hyenas showed up that is. They made me cry. They always do for some odd reason. The sight of laughing hyenas never fails to make me cry. Just as the sight of weeping willows never ceases to make me laugh.
A fierce sun shone weakly and a large flock of small birds flitted noiselessly across the sky.
Why the spiders were walking snails on leashes I could not tell. Every spider that I saw was always accompanied by one or more snails on leash. The spiders appeared to be in great hurry, but not the snails. Perhaps they were, but one can never tell with snails. The spiders hurried in a deliberate kind of way.
A large army of tiny ants marched past heavily in a tight formation. They did not even break a stride as they walked past heavy elephants bouncing lightly on tiny trampolines.
Some men could be seen digging the hard earth softly. They were digging around plants that grew upside down. The trees looked bizarre with their roots sticking up in the air. The men said they were digging to climb down to the top of the tree to retrieve the fruits.
Ominous clouds suddenly gathered overhead. It looked like we were going to get some rain. The clouds got darker and the wind picked up. Suddenly it looked like we were in for a rainstorm. It started with a few alphabets falling gently, mostly vowels, followed by a steady stream of consonants. Just as I found shelter under the roots of a tree, it started to pour words. When I was beginning to think it could not possibly get any worse, it rained harder than ever, and there were entire sentences and even some paragraphs crashing down all around me. One can learn a lot from watching a rainstorm.
Standing there waiting for the rainstorm to pass is when I made acquaintance with the indolent lemur with sleep issues. He always dreamed the same dream, he told me, and he dreamed that he was sleepwalking. His dreams of sleepwalking, he confided rather weakly, exhausted him so much so that every morning when he awoke, he went right back to sleep. And then he had more sleepwalking dreams, which in turn exhausted him even more. Poor Lemur. Perpetual exhaustion can be, well, exhausting.
Suddenly there was a loud noise followed by a terrible shriek. I woke up with a start. Thank goodness it was only a dream! It was more real than reality itself. The bang and shriek that woke me up was the actually part of the dream. A militant dove had shot dead a peace-loving hawk. The last thing I remember from the dream is the dove stating in a very matter-of-fact tone, “the worm has turned, punk!” as it blew delicately on the smoking barrel.
Incredible. What was incredible was not so much the ghastly shooting as the dove’s voice; it was incredibly deep for a dove. And grating. Perhaps all doves have incredibly deep grating voices, but I am yet to meet another talking dove.
“Is it not remarkable how fantasy turns into reality when one has actually seen it?” bleated a voice behind me.
I turned around in astonishment. I could not believe it! I would recognize that bleating anywhere. It could only belong to one person. I can say this with some authority since I had not noticed any sheep wandering around in the vicinity.
However, what I saw puzzled me slightly. There was a very large person straddling a very large Harley Davidson. He was wearing a very tight sleeveless jean jacket with Harley Davidson emblazoned boldly across the back, which was much too small for his generous frame, and exposing very large arms which may have been muscular at one point, but had atrophied now and all that remained was the unsightly girth. The jacket was unbuttoned exposing a hairy chest, and a very grizzly and more than substantial belly. A red, white and blue bandana and a pair of sleazy glasses completed this repulsive personality. There was also a flag tied to the rear handle bar of the Harley.
I looked around once more to ascertain whether there was anyone else that may have articulated the words I had heard.
There was no one but this big fat biker dude.
“And reality a fantasy when one has not see it?” continued the substantial biker in that distinctly squeaky voice.
“God?” I asked somewhat tentatively.
“Man, don’t you recognize me?” he asked with what might have been an incredulous look in his eyes. However, the cheap sunglasses prevented me from asserting this with any degree of certainty.
“I would have hardly expected you to show up as a biker,” I said.
“So did I. So did I. However, it interested me greatly to see what it was that attracted big men of limited intelligence and a great deal of bellicosity to bikes, flags and booze, and inexorably linked them together into one indivisible and totally inexplicable bundle.”
“Find an answer?”
“Limited intelligence,” he said with a matter-of-fact shrug.
I looked at him closely. He appeared to be serious. I smiled and nodded.
“I have always entertained that very suspicion myself,” I replied. “I sure am glad to see you,” I continued, “I was wondering how I was going to contact you to set up another interview.”
“I figured you would be about ready with more questions for me.”
“Boy, do I have questions for you. I only wish you had given me some kind of advance notice. That would have helped me prepare better,” I responded.
“You should always expect the unexpected and always be prepared for the unprepared. Besides, impromptu questions are the kind I like best.”
“I am sure there was a point to that strange dream I was having a few minutes ago?”
He had by this time removed his ugly sunglasses and was contemplating them with mild disgust.
“Yes, multiple realities,” he replied. “That dream was meant to introduce you to that concept. Hop on the bike and let’s ride while I explain.”
I eyed the bike suspiciously.
“Are you sure you know how to ride this thing?” I asked.
“I will learn along the way. How hard can it be? I have seen men of less than modest intelligence ride this thing with what appears to be remarkable ease. Hop on, sissy!”
What’s the word I am looking for here? Launched? Yes, launched. I got behind him and we launched off in the most frightful manner, with massive jerks between gear changes. I am surprised that all my teeth are still intact and not stuck to the back of God’s greasy jacket.
None of this appeared to concern him.
“Just as there is this universe in which you live, it should not be too much of a stretch to imagine that there are others like it, yes?” he asked.
He was oblivious to the fact that he was riding on the ribbed surface along the shoulder of the road. My brain was rattling in my skull.
“God, can you please get off the shoulder?” I asked through my chattering teeth.
“Oh, terribly sorry.”
He veered suddenly to the center of the road, and only narrowly missed getting hit by a car that screamed past us with its horn blaring.
Out of harm’s way for the moment, I pointed my mind back to the question at hand.
“What exactly do you mean when you said there are other universes like ours?” I asked
“Ah, that got your attention, did it not?” God said with a large smile on his face.
“Well, there has been the idea of parallel universes around for quite some time among our scientists and science fiction writers, so I am interested to know if that is indeed true .”
“O, the concept is true all right, but hardly explained correctly or in the detail that it deserves.”
“There is the idea that a parallel universe could exist made entirely of anti-matter, for instance, which is identical to ours in every manner except that it is made up of anti-matter instead of matter” I explained.
I thought I sounded pretty intelligent providing this explanation. I had read this snippet of information in some magazine or the other some time ago, and it had, unlike other more important things in life, stuck in my head.
“I am glad to note you have a curious mind, young man,” said God turning around and giving me a surprised look.
I beamed. I chose to ignore the surprised look and concentrate on his words instead.
“You will doubtlessly have also heard of the Level I, II, III and IV universes, all of which are attempts to explain the structure of parallel universe or multi-verses.”
My eyes crossed ever so slightly. And my head was swimming in the most peculiar fashion. I hard heard nothing about the levels or the term multi-verse before, but I was not going to advertise this little fact least God should think I am a moron.
“I see you are quite unfamiliar with those rather advanced concepts,” said God.
I felt a little deflated to say the least.
“Let me just say this,” continued God, “there is more than one universe and most have civilizations flourishing in them, and almost all of them are far more advanced that the one here on Earth,” God continued.
My dejection was now complete. We were the dumbest of the lot.
“O, there is nothing to feel bad about that,” said God, as if he were reading my thoughts. “After all, yours one of the youngest universes in the cosmos, you know.”
I suppose that should have made me feel better. It did not. How could my universe be the dumbest?
“Individuals are mere miniscule specs in the vast sea that is the universe, with as much power to influence its progress or the lack of it,” God proceed, hoping I am quite sure, to assuage my hurt feelings.
It was not working. My pride was bruised beyond repair. I hated this universe we were living in. And to think I was beaming not more than a few seconds ago.
“For instance,” he went on, “the population on Astra X-15 Beta planet in the U-12B universe discovered that water was the most efficient fuel and hence never found a need to depend on exhaustible fossil fuels. They have the cleanest environment and the population lives in harmony which people of the Earth shall never know.”
“They use water as fuel?” I asked incredulously.
“They are a smart bunch of people, the Astrals are. They stayed away from fossil fuels. They saw it for what it exactly was – a short-term solution to their energy needs, but with a very high environmental cost. They would have nothing to do with it.”
I had not met these Astral wise guys, but I disliked them already. But they used water as fuel?
“They use water as fuel?” I repeated with the same incredulity as before.
“Very simple really. There is hardly anything to it at all. You merely break water molecules – H2O – into their constituent parts – Hydrogen and Oxygen. You get the energy you need to when you recombine them, and here is the clincher: the byproduct is water!”
All was not lost. Here was a way to salvage some of my self-esteem. I knew a thing or two about chemistry.
“Pardon me, Lord,” I said with what I am sure sounded like quiet dignity, “but we have discovered that it takes more energy to break water into its Hydrogen and Oxygen constituents than the energy that is earned from recombining them.”
God turned around and gave me long look and appreciative look. OK, the long part is true . It was more thoughtful than appreciative look.
“You sure know your chemistry well.”
I beamed again. You have no idea what it is like to be praised by the Lord.
My eyes widened in horror. Somewhere between God’s long look and my beaming, the good Lord had strayed into the opposite lane and we were now headed on a direct collision path with a tractor-trailer.
“My God, you are going to get us killed!” I screeched.
Many things happened simultaneously. And God did them all. He changed to a lower gear, opened the throttle wide and stood on the brakes all at once. The motorcycle skidded wildly. O, did I mention that God turned the handle bar wildly as well? Fortunately in the right direction, which put us back in our lane, but not before the truck had screamed past us with inches to spare. Its horn was bellowing angrily and the driver extended a fearsome birdie at us. I looked back and, until the truck disappeared from sight, the horn was still blaring and the birdie was still visible. I think the driver was slightly annoyed with us.
“What a remarkable and fundamental science that it! But you people sure have a long way to go and a lot more to learn about Chemistry,” continued God, quite unperturbed by our near death experience.
“Going back to your question,” he gushed on, “how does one efficiently break down a water molecule into its constituent parts? All it requires is the discovery of another element, which your scientists are quite close to discovering I must admit, called Dingbatinum - at least that is what the Astrals all it - which when mixed with water in a ratio of 1:200,000 will safely and instantly separate Hydrogen from Oxygen.”
“That’s brilliant!” I exclaimed getting caught up in the excitement again, and forgetting my near death experience. “But I did not know that there were yet undiscovered elements. Dingbatinum did you say?”
“O, scientists on Earth have been creating new particles in their little particle accelerators for a long time now. However, the tragedy is that they have not figured out how to keep them from decomposing almost instantly into some more stable and familiar particles.”
“And the people of Astra-whatever have perfected this process of creating stable particles?”
“Yes, and the mass production of stable elements from them. D’Ofus Dinbaticus, one of the most famous scientists you are certain to have not heard of, perfected this process. He discovered the Dingbat constant, which enabled Astrals to create stable particles in their labs.”
“Remarkable,” I said in an awed tone.
“You can find out more about the Dingbat constant and many other remarkable discoveries of his, you know,” said God in a very matter of fact tone.
I perked up.
“I can? How?” I croaked in disbelief.
“Using Delusional Telepathic Waves or DTW as it is know more commonly.”
“ Lord, I find this hard to believe!” I said with some disbelief.
“Surely you have heard of telepathy? It has been in use for a great many years to communicate with other minds. While it is true that telepathy never gained mainstream popularity, it is a very powerful tool that may be used for communicating with minds in other universes.”
“I thought telepathy was a hoax!” I exclaimed.
“As there are quacks amongst doctors, so too you will find fraudulent telepathic practitioners.”
“But, Lord,” I protested, “even if one were to believe in telepathic communication among individuals on this planet, won’t you concede that it may be a bit of a stretch to say that one could successfully communicate with beings on an entirely different universe?”
“What if I were to tell you that you need a little more than telepathic skills to communicate with anyone, anywhere?” asked God with a twinkle in his eye.
My head was spinning. As if it were not hard enough for me to accept the concept of telepathy, God was now telling me there was even weirder stuff to believe in.
“Isn’t telepath enough?” I asked weakly.
“Hardly, my boy, hardly!” exclaimed God with a resounding laughter. “In order to be a great telepathic communicator, one needs to be deeply delusional.”
“D-D-Delusional?” I stuttered in disbelief.
“Yes, of course. It is the D in DTW. If one is not delusional, one cannot transmit telepathic waves very far. Same thing with the reception of telepathic waves. Lack of delusion severely limits the telepathic range. In order to achieve trans-galactic and trans-universal telepathic ranges one must be deeply delusion. Greater the delusion, longer the telepathic range. Most of you garden variety telepathic types are hardly delusional.”
Now my head was spinning in that curious way that it did during my previous conversation with God.
“And if one cannot maintain very high delusional levels for long periods of time, one is in danger of misinterpreting the telepathic information that one receives,” continued God. “Look at the people of India. Some deeply delusional sages very long ago carried on extraordinary telepathic exchanges with inhabitants of Ordega Q-32 Pi planet of the now defunct UB-40 universe. Due to a momentary loss of delusion, they followed what they thought was the recipe for increasing their people’s spirituality, but in reality turned out to be the recipe for increased fertility.”
“Wow! That explains their population,” I said. “Same thing with the Chinese then?” I enquired.
“O, the Chinese took this knowledge from the Indians and improved upon it. They simplified it so the common man could understand it without any trouble. That succeeded only too well. Now their population exceeds India’s. It is a small wonder then that the use if DTW is now outlawed in China and is punishable by lingering death? The dear leader would have nothing to do with DTW.”
“How does one learn to become delusional anyway?” I asked.
“Ah, that is not an easy art to master, son. Many have tried and most that succeeded could not snap out of it. The mental institutions around the world are replete with such individuals who are now permanently delusional. Others that did not succeed became permanently disillusioned and are either providing excellent company to the permanently delusional ones or have already killed themselves in the most curious and astoundingly painful manners.”
“Tragic,” I muttered.
“Indeed. What is even more tragic is when the permanently delusional are freely wandering around. Some even become leaders of very powerful nations.”
“No way!” I exclaimed in disbelief.
“Karl Marx, Stalin and Mao are obvious examples of leaders you are sure to have heard of,” said God.
“Hmm. Now that you mention it, I am not all that surprised,” I replied meditatively.
It is hardly surprising then that only a precious few succeed in snapping in and out of delusion at will.”
“Anyone else?” I asked.
“President George Bush,” came the pat reply.
“W-W-What?” I spluttered.
“He was greatly delusional, permanently delusional in fact, and showed great promise which the conservative Republicans easily recognized, but his greatest shortcoming was his intelligence. There is nothing more gravely dangerous than permanent delusion in a person of less than average intelligence. He was in telepathic communication with a Jesus Jones, an individual of modest intelligence, from the Dork 31-F Zork planet of the U-7 universe, whom he accidentally mistook to be Jesus Christ. Great tragedy. The Iraq mess would never have happened if he had realized whom he was talking to.”
I was crushed. How could we have not seen it? So much disaster could have averted and so many lives spared, not to mention the untold amount of wealth that could have been saved, if only we had known.
“O, don’t you get all disillusioned now, son,” said God with a gentle smile. “Think of the successful delusional telepaths who have given so much to the people of this planet.”
“Do I know anyone?” I asked cautiously.
“Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are two that you are sure to have heard of. These gentlemen could maintain perfect delusion for months, and from one you got the laws of motion and calculus while the other gave you the physics of the very large and the very small.”
“They were both delusional telepaths?” I asked incredulously.
“Absolutely. However, what distinguished them from Marx, Mao and Bush is that they were able to snap in and out of the delusional state at will. They had mastered that technique. Just as Shakespeare, Mozart and Beethoven did.”
“Fascinating. Anyone else?” I asked with increasing curiosity.
I almost fell off the motorcycle.
“J-J-Jesus Christ was a delusional telepath?” I stammered in disbelief.
“And the prophet Muhammad too. Most prophets, if not all, were delusional telepaths, among other things. Almost all Hindu sages that created the timeless Vedas had mastered DTW. On a side note, you appear to be developing a stutter, son. You must have that looked at.”
I ignored God’s concern for my newly developed stutter.
“It appears to me, God, that…that…that anyone who is extraordinarily gifted or wildly successful in this world is or was a delusional telepath.”
“Not quite, my dear boy, not quite. You have it backwards. It is only the delusional telepaths that are capable of – to use you phrase – being extraordinarily gifted or wildly successful.”
“I am not sure I see the difference,” I said rather huffily. I really did not.
“That is not surprising, seeing as you are neither extraordinarily gifted nor wildly successful,” replied God.
I got a little hot under the collar at this disparaging remark. I had not expected something like this from someone so…so…um…almighty. Before I could say anything, I noticed God had turned to me with a gentle smile. Suddenly I realized God was not mocking me, but simply making a point.
“If you were a delusional telepath, you would already have known all this and would not need me to sit here and explain the subtleties to you. You see? Some call them geniuses; others call them savants; yet others call them gifted. Call them what you will, they are all delusional telepaths. Can one become a genius by practice and dint of hard work alone? Can anyone compose music like Beethoven did by any amount of practice, practice or hard work? Can anyone duplicate Newton’s genius by mere hard work, dedication, devotion and practice? I should hardly think so. While hard work, dedication and perseverance are indeed noble qualities they are hardly sufficient to make a Da Vinci or Michael Angelo out of any layperson. Do you see my point, son?”
God’s voice was quite gentle and his look very compassionate. All my resentment vanished.
“What you are saying, very delicately and with great tact I might add, appears to be that either you are born with this gift or you are not,” I responded with a smile.
“I am glad you understand, son. Naturally you are wondering whether there is any reason behind who is born gifted and who isn’t,” replied God.
“The thought did cross my mind, but I think I know the answer,” I said simply. I was beginning to respect and revere God’s wisdom and his infinite patience. My ego was vaporizing almost as fast as my stock market investments.
“Yes, it is a random and probabilistic occurrence that causes some to be born extremely gifted. It is the same random probabilistic nature that causes some to be born with mental and physical handicaps. If you look at it completely dispassionately, you will notice that both the gifted and the handicapped are really aberrations rather than the norm. Both are abnormal in their own different ways, leaving normalcy to the large percentage of average people.”
“At least I am normal,” I said with a wry smile.
“It should become readily apparent that there is more to it than meets the eye when an individual like Einstein can come up with the building blocks of Quantum Mechanics and his theories of relativity. And to think that he won the Nobel Prize for neither the General nor Special theory of relativity, but for his paper on the Photoelectric Effect! How can one individual in one lifetime come up with such deep and precise understanding of the nature of the world around him? People spend a lifetime studying the theory of relativity and still cannot fully grasp it breadth or its depth.”
God paused and looked at me in that deep and penetrating manner. They seem to shine with the brightness of a million suns and contained the wisdom as wide and deep as the entire cosmos itself.
“Or how about Newton explaining the laws of motion of all that you see in this macroscopic universe? He even created a branch of mathematics, calculus, which would allow him the freedom and to better quantify his understanding of this universe. How could one man come to such deep understanding of the universe around him?”
“Happenstance?” I hazarded.
“Partly,” replied God. “There are a number of delusional individuals, and yet others that are telepathic. Then there is a very large majority of those that are born without either ability. While the category into which any of these individuals is born into is largely probabilistic, to be born with both delusional and telepathic abilities is happenstance to the greatest degree. However, that alone hardly provides either a complete or sufficient explanation for the mind-boggling discoveries some of them made, the incredible philosophical insights others provided, or any number of other super human endeavors that these individuals undertook and succeeded in. As gifted as these individuals may have been, they simply could not have come up these answers in their own lifetimes. They had to build upon the abundance of knowledge that is out there in this vast cosmos, amidst its far-flung universes. These gifted personalities consulted, discussed and sought answers and ides from other great mind in the distant reaches of this cosmos. Some are more willing to share their knowledge than others, but DTW, which travels faster than anything else, including light, allows for the rapid collaboration and knowledge sharing which is necessary for swift progress and incredible advancement that these gifted people achieved.”
“Take the case of Max Planck, a genius if there ever was one, but one who refused to use his delusional telepathic skills. He did not believe in it. Consequently he did not believe in what he saw – quantum nature of light. Ironic isn’t it, considering that he proposed the particle nature of light to explain the blackbody radiation, which he did as a purely theoretical explanation, but refused to accept the reality of the quantum nature of light?”
“Is there any reason that these people did not come out and reveal this DTW business to the world?” I asked.
“And be ridiculed by the world? They were smarter than that, my boy. They were geniuses remember? Just as scientific progress here on earth is cumulative and based on the knowledge revealed by past masters, refinement and advancement of ideas and thoughts proposed by those that came before them, so too it is in this cosmos. Progress and advancement is based on the thoughts and ideas of others in this and in other universes. Ownership of ideas and thoughts may be local, but their origin and development is cosmic.”
I was speechless. How does one respond to a revelation like this? Being not of the gifted type, I am easily awed.
The motorcycle was chocking now and jerked to a stop. Fortunately, God had pulled to the shoulder. We got off the motorcycle and I stretched our arms and limbs, feeling the pleasure of feeling blood flowing to the limbs again.
“I fear we must part ways now, son. There are other inquisitive minds to satiate,” God said gently.
“How will I get home?” I asked.
I was not afraid. I was not apprehensive. A strange feeling of calmness and tranquility had come over me. Quite an extraordinary thing for someone accustomed to being the hyperactive and jumpy type.
“You will be home before you know it, son,” replied God smiling a broad smile.
“I hope I will see you again soon?” I enquired hopefully.
“As soon as you have digested the information you have just received and the thirst for more begins.”
With these words, he disappeared. Faded is more like it. I stood there looking at the motorcycle and studying the long stretch of highway that spanned in both directions uninterrupted and uninhabited by another living creature besides me. I knew I would make it home.
I woke up with a start. I was crushed – it was all a dream! None of it was real. But it had felt so incredibly real! I felt bitter. Disillusioned, disappointed, disheartened, dispirited and disconsolate all at once. In short, I was dejected. I had experienced disappointed, disillusioned and all the other adjectives before, but never all at the same time. Well, maybe not more than two or three of them at the same time. What was especially crushing about this instance was that it had all sounded so good. It had all made such perfect sense. Only to find out that it was all nothing but a dream.
It was then when I raised my hands to my head in despair that I noticed I was clutching something in my hand. I looked closely and a wide grin spread across my face. It was a sleeveless jean jacket with Harley Davidson emblazoned boldly across the back!