The Man Who Knew Everything

Discussion in 'Writing' started by James Lemper, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. James Lemper

    James Lemper New Member

    The Man Who Knew Everything


    Once there lived a man who boasted he could know everything
    and the two brother gods, Remembrance and Forgetfulness,
    punished him for his pride by taking him down to limbo
    where nothing ever lives or ever dies
    and there they expanded his mind almost infinitely,
    and placed within it everything there is to know
    The position of every leaf on every tree,
    when and where that leaf would fall,
    knowledge of the tree when it was a sapling,
    a seed, and when it was a campfire,
    and then as ash, and to soil and back to a seed again
    What you had for breakfast yesterday,
    What you thought about the car accident you saw on the way to work
    and the ladybug stuck on the windshield of that car
    and what that ladybug had for breakfast yesterday . . .
    EVERYTHING there is to know
    right down to the position and velocity of every single particle in the universe
    throughout the cone of time
    which you might think is impossible
    due to Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle
    But somehow, he learned it
    Then they put him in a room with a bed, a table a chair and a locked door,
    and the two gods said unto him in their unison voice:
    “NOW YOU WILL LEARN THE BOON AND BANE
    OF REMEMBRANCE AND FORGETFULNESS!
    WE HAVE ONE LAST THING TO TEACH YOU
    THE DOOR IS LOCKED AND WILL ONLY UNLOCK
    WHEN YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN ALL WE HAVE TAUGHT YOU
    ONCE IT DOES YOU CAN OPEN IT
    AND GO ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE AT ANY POINT IN TME.”
    Then the gods vanished, leaving the man in his room alone
    and the Man Who Knew Everything spent billions of years in this room,
    desperately trying to remember to forget
    But one memory he tried to write with his own blood on the walls
    a memory he felt terrified to forget
    He tried to scratch all important words of the gods into his skin
    but to his dismay he found that blood did not flow in Limbo
    nor could he leave any mark on anything
    He tried the door millions of times
    but still it remained locked
    and one day, after countless eons, the door finally unlocked
    Did the man ever escape the room?
    Was his fate was eternal?
    After he forgot the last thing that they taught him
    that the door would only unlock after he forgot
    the last thing that they taught him,
    what could cause him to try the door a final time?
    Only after he forgot all that the gods taught him
    and then spent further eons
    forgetting that the door was locked all the times he tried it before
    When he happened to try the door one time in curiosity
    and it swung open and he went through
    by then he had no knowledge of anywhere in the universe but his room
    and that's exactly where it led
    and on a guess he decided to go to the room at the point in time
    when he first entered it billions of years before,
    though he had no memory of that time
    There he met the gods just after they decreed their cruel joke to his past self
    and since the gods did not anticipate this,
    they became frightened and vulnerable
    For the first time, the god Forgetfulness knew what it was to remember
    and the god Remembrance knew what is was to forget
    The doomed men saw their one chance
    Working together, the two selves took hold of the gods
    the past self grappling Remembrance,
    the the future self grappling Forgetfulness
    and they threw the gods into each other, winking them out of existence
    forever freeing the universe from their pernicious games
    Then the Man Who Knew Everything and the Man Who Forgot Everything
    Exited the room together, and reintegrated into one
    and since the condition was now met
    since now he had forgotten everything, and at the same time knew everything
    he was free to go anywhere in the universe at any time
    So he went back to his home and family and computer
    and finished keying in this story at 10:07 pm, February 21, 2018.

    And the moral is:

    If you punish yourself long enough to forget what you've done, then you're doomed to punish yourself forever. Yet if you always remember what you've done, you may likewise never cease to punish yourself. To forgive yourself you must learn to remember and forget simultaneously.
     
    Boreas likes this.

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