Meanwhile, deep in the recesses of somewhere in the uncharted realms of the collective unconscious, an unusual patient is undergoing…
Past Life h2g2-gression: A Play in One Cyberact
The scene: A psychiatrist's office. A Jungian psychiatrist's office. The certificate above the desk reads 'Hubertus von Datenschreiber, N.D. (Doctor of Noetic Science).DR DATENSCHREIBER (Strokes obligatory goatee)Now, suppose you tell me vat – er, what – the problem is.
The patient reclining on the couch shifts uncomfortably. He is a slight figure in a dark blue dressing gown, with a rather hang-dog expression on both his faces. Yes, both. The patient has two heads – one, a normal, human-looking head with a lugubrious and unshaven face, the other, a larger, rounder head, with features arranged across what could only be described as a map, with oceans and continents. The expression of the second face is often obscured by passing clouds, and is creased with longitudinal lines.PATIENTWell, Doctor, I appear to be having some problems with my lifestyle recently.DR DATENSHREIBER (Holding up one hand. As he forgets that this hand contains a pencil, he almost pokes his eye out.)Don't say that! Remember what happened the last time.PATIENTOh, sorry. (Blushes) That really wasn't my fault, you know. All right. I seem to have lost track of my purpose in life. Is that better? I mean, everything's going great – I have a new job, a new place to live, new associates, I'm even hoping to meet new girls – but I can't seem to remember how I got here, and what I'm supposed to be doing. For instance, I've got all these notes in my pocket (Pulls crumpled post-it from dressing gown, and examines it) that say things like: 'Write Guide Entries about the Olympics.' And I don't know why.DR DATENSCHREIBERAha! A typical manifestation of Post-Rescue Disorientation Syndrome. Also known as the Arthur Dent Phenomenon. I have just the thing for you. Past Life Regression Therapy.PATIENT(Doubtfully) Are you sure that's a good idea? What if I don't remember anything?DR DATENSCHREIBERDon't remember…? (laughs Teutonically) Unsinn. You have total recall, due to the infinite searchability of your database. Just lie still and count backward from U999999, while I apply the algorithmic sedative…PATIENTAll right, if you say so, Doctor…U999999…U999998…U999997….
…Usnore…DR DATENSCHREIBERYou are getting sleepy…sleepy…okay, you're snoring, which is pretty sleepy…you are going backward…back past the introduction of the profanity filter…back through Y2K…back past Single Sign-On…PATIENT(groans) No, not that…anything but that…DR DATENSCHREIBER(Quickly)…back into the Digital Village…PATIENTHoopy…hey, guys, I have this really great idea for a website…DR DATENSCHREIBER…back…back before the internet…back before the PC…PATIENT00110110101110011010001010010101
10100101011010010111100110100101DR DATENSCHREIBERI don't get that, but move on…back through ARPANET, back through ENNIAC…back through radio, telegraphy…Gutenberg…the invention of writing…PATIENTMmpf, mmpf, mmpf…Hwaet, we gar-dena in gar-dagum…alea jacta est…Α Ω…. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…
(Prolonged snore.)DR DATENSCHREIBERAha, I believe we have arrived. Look around you, please. Where are you now?PATIENT(Puzzled) I am in a very large cave. There is a painting on the wall. I'm looking at it. It seems very familiar…it is blinking magically at me…DR DATENSCHREIBER(Impatiently) Never mind that. Describe what you feel.PATIENTI feel very…very…er, relaxed. I feel all fresh, and shiny, and new, somehow. Like all the things that are going to happen, haven't happened yet. But I want to know all about them…I can hear voices, in different languages. They're singing, and praying, and talking, and telling jokes…heh-heh, did you hear the one about the sabre-toothed tiger and the eucalyptus tree? Wow, I want to know, man, er, Doctor…I want to see, and hear, and remember…that's my job, remembering…DR DATENSCHREIBERWhat kinds of things do you want to remember?PATIENTEverything. I want to remember it all: the sunrise, the sunset, the first cave baby's first tooth, fourteen different ways to prepare mastodon, how to build a fire, and how to put one out…what the stars look like, and what stories people tell about them…oh, yes, the stories…all the stories…bedtime stories, scary tales, legends, myths, parables…and the music…how to amplify your pan pipes in three easy lessons…and the art…from the sketchy deer in the cave to the Sistine ceiling…I want to remember it all…DR DATENSCHREIBER(Softly) What is your name? Who are you?PATIENTSome call me the Akashic Record…others say I am Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who records…but I am the one who remembers. The sum total of what is put in me. The record of what is observed…
I am The Guide.DR DATENSCHREIBER(Visibly moved) Well…I never guessed…you are very important, then. I am pleased to have been a part of your memory recovery. You will wake up now….coming forward…back through printing, sound recording, radio…television…computers…the internet…when I tap your arm, you will wake up…THE GUIDE(Sitting up) Wow. That was a wild ride. I don't know what you did, Doctor, but I feel much better now.DR DATENSCHREIBER(Beams) Don't mention it. That will be €442, please.THE GUIDEUh, sure, Doc. Do you accept PayPal?
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