Let me tell you about the Living Option. How familiar are you with quantum theory?
Me neither. But I was always fascinated with the Multiverse. The concept that our
choices cannot be contained by pessimism. Alternate universes hold a candle to the
dark side of regret. Schrödinger was this Viennese scientist who may or may not
have had a cat. He certainly had ideas, but maybe we should go back to Descartes.
When I was in college, I once decided to start my weekend on a Wednesday. It led
to a good deal of work about a week and a half later, but freeing myself from the
traditional confines of our scholastic social schedule provided very real relief. I didn’t
even skip my classes, I just decided I was on my own time and wrote my thoughts
down as rap lyrics.
I took a Philosophy intro class as an undergrad, with an unintentionally hilarious
professor. She told us about “the old dry Kant” and once mistook a mid sized canine
for a turkey through her classroom window. She also told us some shit about Descartes.
It stuck. I was like a lost boy searching for Queens when I heard a little story bout Rene
Descartes. Shit fucked with my head. This fool went off on some spaced out wonderland.
He was saying we don’t know anything. We’ve all been brainwashed. And I grew up
Catholic. I was like – fucking right – I came up so messed up, they taught me the human
body is inherently evil and had me panicked over mortality before I could grow a beard.
Descartes realized he wasn’t sure of anything and started to work on deprogramming.
I figured that sounded like a pretty good idea. So, fuck what you thought we knew about
our choices. Rene got me thinking outside the box or whatever, but Erwin Schrödinger
destroyed the box like a razor blade. Also, he murdered a feline; but it was only theoretical.
Basically, Erwin suggested – based on thorough examination of a photon’s path – that light
travels simultaneously as a wave and particle. He witnessed contradictory behaviors in the
journey of a light beam, projected through perforated screens. I’m not a freaking scientist –
but, here’s what Schrödinger concluded:
Perception impacts reality. In scenarios of dual uncertainty – heads or tails, a fork in the road,
living or dying – before we know the causal outcome of our decision, both results exist
simultaneously. He had a bunch of equations to support this, but honestly I was never too
concerned about the math. I just appreciated the concept of the multiverse, an unending web
of unlived possibility.
For a long time, I would imagine the alternate realities as a fanciful distraction. Any failure or
regret could be filed under another world. Something like Candide. Everything works out for
the best. Then I started reading Stephen Hawking and fell in. A brief history became my Bible.
I saw signs of the multiverse everywhere. The Berenstain Bears Problem. Mandela’s Dilemma.
Discrepancies in Disney films. Dewey Defeats Truman?
When my marriage failed, I managed a level of despondence beyond what I understood to be
possible from my hereditary struggle with depression. I realized I was unable to kill myself. I
also realized something else. Within any idea of the multiverse, an act of suicide was futile.
Merciless in its absurdity, the revelation instilled in me some bit of perverse hope.
Any given moment, we can live or die – whether by an intentional act of suicide, or some
random accident. However, as creatures of ego, we may never perceive our own death.
Admittedly, temporary brain death can lead to fascinating/time-suspended visions. However,
we can (perhaps) agree that the termination of human life must separate mind from brain and – if
you like, body from spirit. Regardless of one’s view of the afterlife, our perception – such as it
may be – can not conceivably continue in the egoistic individualism of american ambition.
Ergo. We live or die, any moment. Death leads elsewhere, but life leaves us trapped in this same
mortal mind. In which case, an intentional act of suicide could result in two possible outcomes –
success or failure. In the event of a failed suicide, we’re stuck alive on earth. If your suicide
succeeds, your liminal consciousness would suspend and terminate. Ego follows the Living
Option. Suicide is pointless – you’ll never be aware of a successful attempt. Killing yourself
intentionally – under the logic of quantum theory – is a plan that can never succeed.
Admittedly, all of humankind is not trapped within your singular ego. We may perceive your
death. But you will not. So why try? Embrace the Living Option.