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There's something about yourself that you don't know.  You probably don't remember the circumstances very well, but I do.  If you enjoy things the way they are, if you revel in even the smallest speck of ignorance, you need not read ahead.  I won't force you.  But from what I know of you, you don't like secrets.  Especially not when they are about you.

You see, when you were born, so at once was everyone else.  Your mother, she sprang into existence, just like that, the instant your tiny infant brain achieved the smallest semblance of self-awareness.  Woven out of the ether, she remembered everything that never happened, and she looked down at you, cradled and squirming in her loving arms.

"Oh," she said. "So here is life."

The doctor was there too, although a moment before – if there ever was a moment before – he was not.  He just nodded, smiling assuredly, and said, "Here is the beginning."

And just at that very point in time, that tiniest fraction of a second – a smaller time than it takes to blink an eye, or cut a thread; smaller than the time it takes for an electron to even think of how it's to go about orbiting its nucleus – the rest of the universe was born.  It happened in a systematic way: there was your mother, and the doctor.  The hospital around, for how can there be a doctor without a hospital?  And how a hospital without a city, and a continent, and a planet?  The universe corrects for these things.  How can there be cities without people?  How can there be people without other people, and other places?  How can there be places at all without time – or the illusion of time?  In this way, every element of existence fit together, striving desperately to spontaneously form reality as it absolutely must be – all for you.

Initially, none of us knew what had happened.  We went about doing what we believed was our usual business, in what we thought was our daily lives, in what must be a place and time that had always been just the way it was in that thin chronological slice.  We did our work, read our books, played our games, and lived in what your world had decided was the normal way for us to live.  Some of us did so for just days.  Some of us lasted months.  Many of us thought nothing of the true reason for our existence for years, and sadly, the majority may never know.

But the lucky some of us, at some point in our lives, we meet you.  Back when you were just a baby, the first person apart from your family and the hospital staff held you steadily.  Her face was at first a luminous blend of glee and apprehension, but when she saw your face – you burbled innocuously at her – her eyes widened and her mouth went dry.  "Here," she said, and looked up, although not away, just to catch your mother's eye; she only smiled and nodded. "Here is the first baby."

You've met more and more people in your life, of course.  They all notice you, they all expect great things.  When they read your name on a tag or in a document, they smile invisibly to themselves: "Here is a momentous occasion, this reading."  When they pass you on the street or in a hallway, the light switches on in their head, and they whisper when you've passed: "Here is something… something…"

And when they at long last actually meet you, when they find how articulate you are, how attractive and competent, they finish speaking with you, bow or nod or shake your hand and say their farewells.  Then they turn to one another – for there are no strangers, not when two people have each at least once in their deceptively short lives found themselves beneath the sheer gravity of your presence – and they say, "Here, friend, is the center of the universe."

How is it possible, then, that you do not know?  How are you reading this, probably with amusement or at least skepticism, with no concept of the truth behind these words?  It is, I firmly believe, because yours is the solipsist's lot: reality is reality regardless of who says it is so and who does not.  For us, reality is more than just what we perceive: it is also what you perceive.  All these people, they say nothing to you about the extraordinary implications of your birth and continued existence.  After all, what would it mean if they did?  Indeed, what does it mean now that I have?  What will you do at this point, as the origin of the cosmos, the anchor of all existence, the reason for this reality?  There are people who do not want you to do well.  Although some have their secret awe, others have their more overt fear of your progress; you have felt their unsavoury impact upon your life.  Think about it from our perspective: what does it mean to only exist for the sake of another's perception?  We simply cannot know, and in this world that you have constructed, the fear of the unknown is the most pervasive of phobias.

I, too, have that fear.  I saw you for the first time - your name, that is – online.  I don't think it was even your real name, but, "There," I said, "might well be an exceptional individual."

I believe in you.  I do not believe in what is, what is here, for what is here is fleeting.  I believe in what might well be.  There might well be a young individual who seeks the truth in everything about this world that exists for their own sake.  There might well be a good and moral person, who doesn't always know what the right choice is, but when they do, they make it.  There might well be a hale and healthy human being who will live a long and prosperous life, in their own image, in the world.  It might well be that I will meet you one day.  And when you're gone, it might well be that the rest of the world, the rest of all that might be seen to exist, will be gone too.  It might well be that I depend on you.  We all depend on you.

I think that's all I wanted to say.  Thank you for listening.  I appreciate it, I really do.  It's a real honour, you know.  Take good care.  Of everything.
If you don't think this is addressed to you, then it is.

For criticism: Effectiveness of message? Pacing (especially within paragraphs)?
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-01-06
From the suggester: Gandhi said "our deepest fear is not that we are powerless, but that we are powerful beyond measure." The Solipsist's Lot by ~Yitik explores this idea and so many more in riveting prose. ( Suggested by LadyofGaerdon and Featured by neurotype )
:iconjeditrooper:
jeditrooper Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Amazing.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014   Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconjeditrooper:
jeditrooper Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014

You're very welcome.

 

I was thinking of posting a poem about solipsism, but I'm too busy being awed by your story...

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:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014   Writer
I hope you do get around to that poem, though. :)
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:iconjeditrooper:
jeditrooper Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Eventually...
Reply
:iconxsjb:
xsjb Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(( OOC: I was born in a house. :trollface: This is really powerful though. ))
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:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner May 15, 2013   Writer
That's just what they tell you.
Reply
:iconxsjb:
xsjb Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
((OOC: My big sister was there at the birth and she can't lie to me without me finding out immediately. :P ))
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner May 16, 2013   Writer
That's her job.
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:iconxsjb:
xsjb Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(( :ohnoes: ))
Reply
:iconthesilverbells:
TheSilverBells Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredibly interesting. (: <3
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
Thanks for reading.
Reply
:icongadgetsmith:
Gadgetsmith Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I Remember conversations very similar to this back in school, but I doubt they were as well written. Or said, as it were. I liked it a lot, and the pacing worked really well, but I could just be biased.

Though Consumed By Chaos...
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:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013   Writer
Not as biased as me. Glad you enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconblakecurran:
BlakeCurran Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Writer
How do I know that I didn't make this up, and this and you are just the manifestations of it? :P
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013   Writer
It's not my job to know.
Reply
:iconblakecurran:
BlakeCurran Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student Writer
Touché.
Reply
:iconchat2ashley:
chat2ashley Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
My first read through, I too thought you were talking about a "specific" exceptional person.

Upon re-reading it I found that it gave a boost to my ego even though I do not share the theory.

I enjoyed it immensely.

Thank you for writing it.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013   Writer
And thank you for reading it. :)
Reply
:iconschopper:
Schopper Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
The writing is solid and strong but the thought behind it might not be clearly understood. Purpose is unclear sometimes. But for the most part this is a pretty kickass piece of writing on a nifty concept. Well done.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Thanks for commenting.
Reply
:icondrakora5588:
drakora5588 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
Thank you.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
:)
Reply
:iconthemonsterofthestory:
theMonsteroftheStory Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I've been waiting to meet this person my entire life. Like you wrote, I hope I will one day.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
It's a sensation that can never be replicated.
Reply
:iconthemonsterofthestory:
theMonsteroftheStory Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's amazing, I've never discussed this sort of topic with anyone before that didn't look at me afterwards like I was insane. This is such a refreshing & awesome relief.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013   Writer
Of course they did. We're not supposed to talk about it.

Thanks for reading. ;)
Reply
:iconthemonsterofthestory:
theMonsteroftheStory Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:bow: You're welcome, thank you for writing it! You're something else, definitely someone to watch.
Reply
:iconhopeyouguessedmyname:
Hopeyouguessedmyname Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... I thought I was the only one.


I wrote this a month or so ago. Scary;)

[link]
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:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Ever so slightly different, but both interested in solipsism.
Reply
:iconparallaxm:
Parallaxm Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
When I read this, I read it in the voice of a narrator in a story, almost. I don't feel as if it's supposed to single any one person out despite the comment you made below. The tone reminded me of Mark Twain's notice in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: "PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot." The epitome of satire, that is.

It's not that I feel "above" the imputations- it's that the second-person perspective makes it down to earth- but not personal. Not personal, despite the intimate details surrounding the baby's birth and first memories (we define them as memories; the baby defined them as reality). Not personal, but perhaps this is purposeful? In describing the reality according to the baby, the narrator actually depicts more of the reality outside the baby's world.

I had a bit of difficulty trying to define an ultimate tone or atmosphere of the piece, because initially, the tone appears somewhat disparaging, intimate and erudite in a satirical way. Especially here: "And when they at long last actually meet you, when they find how articulate you are, how attractive and competent, they finish speaking with you, bow or nod or shake your hand and say their farewells . . . and they say, "Here, friend, is the center of the universe."

However, near the end, the tone seems to become more genuine: "I believe in you. I do not believe in what is, what is here, for what is here is fleeting. I believe in what might well be." But then, in the very last sentence- "It's a real honour, you know." It feels like the narrator is enjoying themself, somewhat. Poking fun, almost, but with a solemn mask. A fascinating composition. And quite enigmatic, too. I think every reader takes a different message away from the prose, because some immediately felt affronted and thought the text accusatory; others thought it was too distant to pinpoint a concrete message, etc... It depends on their reaction to it, too- I chuckled and went back to reread some parts.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
You know, that makes a lot of sense. In real life, even, some of us do get a compliment and immediately think, "Is he making fun of me?" while others of course just blush and say thank you. I'm surprised no one else has pointed this out before about this piece, and more so that I never considered it myself. I didn't intend it as satire in the sense that you found it, although perhaps satirical of some life perspectives in a fashion.

I'm tickled that you found a rather different viewpoint to read it from and still enjoyed the piece, at any rate, and I really appreciate the lengthy and well-considered comment. Thank you very much, and all the best to you. :)
Reply
:icondeaths-lament:
Deaths-Lament Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is the strangest and most captivating thing I have read in a long time..and it's beautiful....

I don't think I'll ever fully comprehend it, but I'm okay with that...it fills me with something I can't describe..somewhere between wonder, love and a polite nod and smile..somewhere there
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
I always love responses like these. Cheers, friend.
Reply
:iconigloojumper:
IglooJumper Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
very nice, I enjoyed reading this.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Thanks for reading.
Reply
:icon1000themes:
1000Themes Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
I like how personal it is
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Another one for 'personal'. :P Thanks for reading.
Reply
:iconsilverluminosity:
silverluminosity Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Photographer
absolutely exquisite.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconsilverluminosity:
silverluminosity Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Student Photographer
You're very welcome.
Reply
:iconvalleygirl13:
ValleyGirl13 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
And yet you categorized this piece as fiction..... :)
I kid. Nice job though. Definately interesting.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Well, I can't guarantee the deviantArt staff are familiar with the feelings I describe here, so I don't know if I were to head it under non-fiction they would be able to sympathize.
Reply
:iconvalleygirl13:
ValleyGirl13 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Allright, touché.
Reply
:iconvagabond24-7:
Vagabond24-7 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
Very well written, and it certainly makes one think (which I beleive was the intent).
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
That it was! Cheers.
Reply
:iconmusicmuse1:
musicmuse1 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, and I might add, that I imagined all of this at a very young age and don’t recommend giving it much serious thought. Or, you might imagine yourself being a very young, say six year old, center of the universe and the center of your universe happened to be at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month.
Reply
:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
I think an awful lot of people do imagine this sort of thing. I certainly did, and do when I'm feeling philosophical. I think that's one of the many reasons responses are so polarized.
Reply
:iconmusicmuse1:
musicmuse1 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Cute! I once imagined a universe that was only about 2 miles in diameter (the eye can only detect a difference of about one arc second) whose contents and people adjusted with my motion. Beyond that, there was nothing except potential. At the interface between nothing and something, was a spherical, magical matt painting that shows mountains, oceans, blue sky and distant clouds during the day and bright points of light and a moon during the night. The painting and the local “furniture” (e.g., houses, roads, people. etc.) changed second by second when I moved because the center was always me. When I flew on a jet, the entire world consisted only of the magical painting, air, clouds, the airframe that carried me and the flesh and bone Muppets that looked and acted like people. Mary Travis once sang a song that observed that it seemed like there was only 50 people in the world, just with a myriad of different faces. You know what I mean.

I once even tried to tell an aquintence that this imagined world was true and that she was THE PERSON that was the center of that world and that I was going to get in so much trouble for telling her the truth.

I don’t think she believed me.

If one were a sociopath, this could be a true picture of the world. Kindness, honesty, ethics is optional, but useful to manipulate the Muppets to do things for you instead of being nasty to you, the center of the universe. And if you get upset, any kind of action, no matter how bad, even horrific is OK because after all, you are the only thing that is real. The rest of the world is just a make believe construct of your own supreme existence.

The Solipsist has a dilemma.
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:iconyitik:
Yitik Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   Writer
Hahah, that's fantastic. You did to your friend just what I try to do with this piece. Perfect. The question is, though, does the recipient believe me?

Terry Pratchett does something similar to this piece in Thief of Time, in that one of the characters suggests that the universe is destroyed and remade an infinite number of times every second, and we just perceive it as being continuous because every time it's remade, it's done so in a way that alludes to continuity. I actually somewhat shamelessly semi-stole a line from that book (the electron one near the beginning).

One doesn't necessarily need to be a sociopath to be a solipsist. It's a common topic among philosophers over the years. Not to say it doesn't help.

Thanks very much for reading and I'm glad you got something out of it. All the best.
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