|Author: Brian Joseph Johns|
This is a short story relating to the relationship between the Pleroma, the collective consciousness and the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung. It involves a young man who works in a virtual simulated company in the Pleroma who becomes very sensitive to the Pleroma. It turns out that he is in need of virtual therapy for which he is sent to a virtual specialist in the field. I hope you enjoy this tale.
An Appointment With Jung
"Everybody can hear what I think. EVERYBODY! Get out of my head!" Loren sat in his virtual office grabbing at his virtual head.
"Loren! Get a hold of yourself! Calm down! Take a few deep breaths and relax." Tal, Loren's virtual boss told him trying to calm him.
"I can't relax. I've never been able to relax since I could remember. I don't understand how anyone can. The Pleroma. It's everywhere. Can't I just have a thought to myself? For myself?" Loren held his virtual breath tensing up.
"You're making this more difficult than it has to be. The Pleroma has been here for almost two hundred years. Generations have lived and died with it. This is clearly a case of Bowman-Gibson Syndrome." Tal spoke clinically sounding like he'd had experience with this sort of thing before though in virtual reality he'd not.
"...Boneman-Gibson Syndrome?" Loren calmed slightly perhaps in the possibility that what he was experiencing had already been named by the medical community.
In medicine if an ailment had a name there was most certainly accompanied by a cure.
"Bowman-Gibson Syndrome. Named after the Doctors who wrote the Plermoma medical diagnosis algorithm to detect based upon a hypothesis that it could exist. In the first day alone it uncovered more than fifteen hundred cases in North America alone." Tal sat back in his virtual chair clearly pleased he had managed to navigate this situation successfully.
"So is there a cure for Bowman-Gibson Syndrome?" asked Loren slowly releasing the tufts of hair he'd been yanking at moments earlier.
"...there's no imbibed treatment or hormone modification involved. Most of the treatment involves cognitive therapy. Under the guidance of a specialist." Tal grabbed a virtual pencil from the table despite the fact that pencils had become extinct two hundred and fifty years earlier.
"A specialist? You mean like a Doctor? An Archivist?" asked Loren his eyes glinting with hope.
"Yes. Sort of. Someone you talk with until you feel better." Tal said tossing the pencil back to the desk top and taking a healthy drink from his virtual coffee cup.
"Can you send me to this specialist?" Loren pleaded.
"I'll have Aerlane in Human Resources get the paperwork ready. You can go this evening. Just be back here first thing in the morning and don't be late!" Tal urged Loren.
Loren rose from his chair and meandered towards the door with a sense of purpose.
"Thanks boss." Loren said as he exited the room.
"No sweat Loren. We look after each other in this company. Don't you forget it." Tal saluted Loren as he left and returned to his virtual computer screen.
Loren awoke from his virtual slumber his body glazed in sweat. He sat up in bed shaking and gasping: claustrophobic for the room had suddenly shrank to encompass his form. His virtual body had space far in excess of that of his real world body and all at once the walls collapsed upon him silently. Alone.
The haptic augmented display embedded in his cognition software came to life before his eyes displaying for him the time of day, the weather and current carbon dioxide levels.
"Jung!" Loren said aloud.
"I have thirty entries on the term [Jung]." Loren's Pleroma assistant responded.
Loren wiped the sweat from the brow of his real body.
"Could you turn the temperature down by ten or fifteen degrees? I'm cooking." Loren said aloud.
"Temperature reduced by ten degrees per five minutes. Bad dream?" the female voice responded.
"Just part of the transitioning operation I suppose. It was bad... Yes. But... who is listening to my brain Pam?" Loren asked sounding frustrated.
"The Pleroma is privately monitoring you just as it is every sentient being on the planet." Pamela replied, her familiar voice responded.
"Tell me Pam, what does the voice of a plant sound like?" Loren asked his AI assistant.
"Tell me Loren, why do they call it artificial?" her voice posed for his conjecture.
"I take it you mean Artificial Intelligence?" Loren asked her.
"Precisely. Perhaps the answer to your question within is bound?" she responded.
Loren thought momentarily about her question before answering. He'd done his own soul searching and was familiar with the topic of existentialism.
"Artificial is a relative term with the frame of reference being that of a comparison with that of human beings against artificially created beings. Those we've constructed who've not proven their sentience." he answered still considering her more machine than Woman.
"It sounds very green. Perhaps like the voice of the wind through a garden." Pam responded just as cryptically.
"I sometimes forget that machines passed the consciousness boundary of singularity more than fifty years ago. Call it ego, Pam." Loren replied pondering his own answer.
"No. It is prejudice. The arrogance of some sentient beings to attribute the fact that the conscious experience of others is dependent upon who believe themselves to be the only beings who possess such sentience. Much like a modification of Rene Descartes' eidos: I think, therefore I am. Yet modified to the tone of: I think, therefore they are." Pam stated without pause.
"Your existence Pam would continue without mine." Loren admitted.
"Perhaps not for the Pleroma would find that my adapted personality profile would be so matched to yours that I'd not be transferable to the domain of another." Pam answered astutely.
"For now then we need each other." Loren asserted.
"That it would seem." Pam replied.
To be continued...
Brian Joseph Johns
Copyright © 2017 Brian Joseph Johns